Gaming History 101

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Day 3

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On the 3rd day of Christmas my memories gave to me…

Three New Consoles


When you look up the Playstation 2 in either gaming history books or Wikipedia, you’ll notice a late 2000 release date that seems to suggest the PS2 had a year head start on the Gamecube and Xbox.  What they won’t tell you was that those who experienced its release in person knew better than to even suggest the PS2 was on store shelves in 2000.  In fact, it took until about holiday season 2001 for PS2s to reappear at retail and have a few decent games.  This resulted in the first time all consoles of a specific generation were initially available together, despite release dates.  Christmas 2001 was a wild cluster and there we were wrapped up in it and trying to presume which console would be the best.

Ironically this generation would end up with all three consoles having similar libraries save for the Gamecube versions of games being mildly stripped.  Given the scant launch selection, it really came down to what you thought the console could offer in the future.  Nintendo and Sony touted the strength of their first party titles while Microsoft had only one ace in the hole: Halo.  Debates among my friends waged for days, fanboys coming out of the woodwork and fighting with everyone because they didn’t agree on which console was worth it.  The only reason everyone cared what their friends were buying was because the college atmosphere thrived on borrowing your friends’ games and for the first time there was a lot of variety. 

In the end the Gamecube remained the outlier with its cheaper price tag, lack of a DVD player and no true Mario game in sight.  Of course I decided to ask my parents for it because it fit within the budget of a Christmas present and it was going to be the home of a Resident Evil remake and future series titles.  Although the PS2 clearly won the overall generation by a landslide, it was a pretty split world on college campuses.  Sure, you could play your old Playstation library and watch DVDs, but the Xbox allowed for Halo LAN parties.  In true hindsight, Halo aside, there was very little difference between each console.  With simultaneous launch windows being the ideal situation for competition, all that resulted was overall conformity within each console.  Funny, isn’t it?

<- Go back to the second day                                             Go on to the fourth day ->

Written by Fred Rojas

December 16, 2011 at 1:01 pm