When I turned 40 last year, all I wanted was to get back into gaming. I missed it. I legitimately missed throwing in a game and losing countless hours. I had been a gamer since, well…since the original NES came out. Even before that, now that I think of it, as I had (and still have in storage) the Atarii 2600.
As a “grown up” with two kids, the nostalgia for gaming was getting more and more intense the longer I was away from it. I wanted the tactile feel of the controller in my hands, the excitement of boss levels and finishing the game. The fucking multiplayer options. Yeah, I wanted to get back into gaming. I hadn’t been gone that long…maybe five, six years, but the need – the itch – was calling me back in.
I remember the first time I got my hands on an NES. I had gotten it for xmas, after most of my friends had gotten one, but I didn’t care. I loved that machine. Then I had the Super Nintendo (still think this is one of the best gaming consoles ever created) and the Sega Genesis. I took some time off from purchasing new consoles like the N64 because I always thought that the SNES and Genesis were more than enough for what I was doing. I thought the Nintendo GameCube looked ridiculous.
The next console I grabbed was the Sony Playstation or, as its come to be known, the PS1. I loved that machine and the games were just phenomenal. Of course, jumping from an SNES to a PS1 is akin to going from a iPhone4 to an iPhone7.
As a kid, the ‘console wars’ were between Nintendo and Sega. And while Sega had some great commercials that you and your pals would laugh about, generally it was Nintendo’s world. And then in the early 2000’s the console wars resumed with Sony’s PS2 and Microsoft’s Xbox and I went for the latter. I grabbed that massive not-really-sexy but still-kinda-sexy black and green brick of fucking gaming goodness, brought it home, hooked it up and threw on Halo. And my mind was blown.
Of course, after the Xbox and the PS2, each company threw down the gauntlet again and released the Xbox 360 and the PS3. And again, I went with Microsoft and the 360. I really, really loved Halo and the knowledge that Halo 3 was being released for the 360 made it the top reason I was going to get in on that console.
I wish my memories of the 360 were overly happy and joyous but the reality is I was a victim of the horrendous RROD (Red Rings of Death) on three different occasions. As I write this, I am in possession of my 4th 360 which I still, on occasion, play. But for the most part, my kids now play it.
Now I have my PS4 and I cannot stop gushing about the damn thing. It gets me excited more than my wife does. Now, why didn’t I want the Xbox One? Well, the fact that I had so many problems with the 360 really left a sour taste in my mouth. And the fact that a few of my friends had PS4’s helped lean me that way. But also…I wanted to play some of the Sony-exclusives out there like Uncharted.
All this is to say, I love gaming. I fucking love it. I love how intricate and beautiful and artistic the games have gotten. I’ve had my PS4 for about 9-months and most of the games I have played are experiences and that, for me, is a whole new…well, experience. I’ll discuss more on the games I’ve been playing later on but guys/gals..if you are in your 30’s or 40’s and thinking about getting back to gaming but just not sure…do it. Trust me, just do it. No matter what console you end up getting, I hope you’re as madly in love with your machine as I am.