Next Generation, here we come!

Alright, maybe not we. I don’t consider myself an early adopter. I did buy a SNES and N64 at launch but that wasn’t with my money. I didn’t, however, get a Gamecube or DS when they launched. I kept an eye on them and eventually indulged myself with the purchase. That said, I am a sucker for shiny new gadgets. As it stands right now, the Xbox 360 is the shiniest gadget out there. But I feel no compulsion to purchase one. Reasons why abound, but right now I’m just not ready to dive into the Next Generation.

The biggest reason is my current home theater situation. It’s been said in a couple places (most notably here (lame-o registration required)) that to get the full Xbox 360 effect, you’ll need an HD-capable TV. I predict a lot of disappointed kids christmas morning when they hook up up their new 360 to their non-HDTV and Call of Duty 2, which was glorious to behold at the Xbox 360 kiosk (HDTV), looks like total trash. Sure, there will be a lot of people who will upgrade their TV to an HDTV to enjoy the graphical goodness of the 360, but right now I’m not ready to invest that kind of money. I certainly want to watch TV in High Definiton. I want to watch Monday Night Football and 24 in HD. I want to watch the Discovery channel in HD. I’m not ready to make that plunge just yet. So why buy a console that I can’t even enjoy to the fullest? Especially when I have a stack of games I haven’t finished yet?

The second reason are the games. Forget for a second about backwards compatibility. How many Xbox games will actually be played on the 360? Halo 2? Sure. Anything else? Probably not. So let’s consider the 360 launch titles. I’ve had my chances to give the 360 a test drive a couple of times. The games look fabulous. Those Samsung monitors make Call of Duty look disgustingly good. I just can’t get excited about the launch lineup. Kameo doesn’t do it for me. Neither does Perfect Dark. Project Gotham Racing looks slick but that’s about it. From the looks of it, EA’s offerings look to be craptacular. Let’s not even mention the sixty dollar price tag.

I’m also getting a little tired of all the games Microsoft may (or may not) be playing. Toying with the supply to create artificial shortages doesn’t seem like the best strategy to me. Their 360 TV commercials are meaningless and lame. All the hype they’ll be pumping through MTV and Spike TV irritate me. Maybe I’m just bitter.

Xbox Live looks like it will continue to lead the way online, but the whole micro-transactions thing doesn’t excite me. Everyone is getting excited about downloading games like Joust and Smash TV from Live Arcade. Woo! If I’m not mistaken, I can already get those (at a comparable price) to play on my current Xbox. Midway Arcade Treasures, anyone? Paint me unimpressed. (I’ll take all that back if I can play Smash TV or Off-Road multiplayer on Live. That would probably make my head explode)

But what difference does it make what I say? In the end, the Xbox 360 will sell out world-wide. Scammers will be selling empty 360 boxes on eBay for thousands of dollars. Men, young and old, will weep when EB Games doesn’t honor their pre-order. People will brawl and little children will be trampled underfoot at Wal-Mart, all for that Shiny (Green!) Gadget. What a great hobby this is!

Will I ever get a 360? Yes. If Santa comes through, I’m not kicking it out for eating crackers, if you know what I mean. Just don’t look for me waiting outside Best Buy for a 360 next Tuesday. I’ll be too busy playing Mario Kart online.

Comments

  1. When it comes to gaming, I am very much an early adopter. Having certain games and consoles on what I refer to as “Day One” is extremely important to me, no matter how sparse, in the case of a new console, the launch title line up may be.

    I don’t have an HDTV, and I don’t believe I will own one anytime soon, so I’ll be missing out on a big portion of the X360 experience for a while. Instead of being bummed about that, I’m concentrating on the cooler aspects that I can use right away, like the Guide (I love the idea of it), the Gamer Card, and streaming in audio from an MP3 player or the network.

  2. 24 in HD was like when someone thought, “Hey! We should put butter on this bread and slice it”

  3. Well, as I’ve been reading people’s first impressions (those lucky punks that got them early) and I’m pretty jealous. While I still think I’ll hold off for a while on the 360, I am excited about the possibilities.

    And 24 in HD does sound like heaven.

  4. As a self confessed hardcore gamer, gadget adict and techo-whore, I utmostly agree with every single word written in this post.

    I am itching to get my paws on a 360 but it’s just to experience the newness of it all. Available launch games are nothing exciting (perhaps Condemned… maybe) other than that, color me “meh”.

    And I own a 46″ DLP HDTV set. However, I am not about to stand in line to buy this thing.

    I will buy it, when I can walk into a store, get the goods and walk out of the store in 3 minutes flat.

Trackbacks

  1. […] There, I said it. I’m envious of those lucky enough to already be playing on the Xbox 360. I stated earlier that I wasn’t interested in getting an Xbox 360 at launch. I had convinced myself the launch lineup was weak, I didn’t want to wait out in the cold, I didn’t want to be nickel-and-dimed to death with the Live Marketplace, I didn’t feel like paying for old arcade games and I most certainly didn’t want to drop sixty bones a pop for games. I thought my arguments were pretty convincing. Why do I feel an empty space in my gaming soul, then? Why do I want one when there are cases of crashes, power bricks overheating, unscrupulous bundling, disc scratching, shiny graphics with shallow game play improvements? […]

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