LTTP: Just When I Thought I was Out…

Kind of like that guy who is just now watching every episode of lost. They’ve ended up a little late to the party. Well damnit I’m just as excited about stuff that everyone else has probably already played and I’m going to talk about it anyways.

I’ve been a PC elitist for a very long time. I last owned a 360 in… 2008? I hit some financial rough spots and ended up parting with it for much-needed cash. However recently I got a job – and with that job I once again have discretionary income. Despite protests from part of my conscience, I got myself a fancy 250GB 360 and a pile o’ games. Long story short? I really missed it.

Don’t worry, I’m still an avid fan of PC gaming and will continue you to tell you that it is a far superior gaming experience. Having a console is providing me with only two things that I cannot get as a PC gamer: 360/console market exclusives, and sports games. Skyrim is a good example of this relationship. Even though the Dawnguard expansion is currently limited to a 360 release, I won’t touch it until it graces the PC. Skyrim and many games like it shine their brightest when they have mods. Bethesda has lamented this fact themselves, and it’s a problem not limited to Elder Scrolls titles. If I want to go back and play an old game with UI and graphics enhancements, as a console gamer I am at the mercy of developers. On a PC I can access any number of user-created mods that are capable of sprucing up old games like Planescape: Torment.

But I could go on about this forever. What are consoles doing right? Well, they’re emulating PCs. I can watch Netflix, ESPN, and Hulu on my 360. I can manage social contacts, do networking through apps like Facebook, listen to music, etc. As the console industry moves forward with more implementation of external devices and internet connectivity (read: SmartGlass and IE on 360) – the similarities will continue to grow. Will a console ever have the customize-able nature of a PC? Probably not any time soon – it’s not what users really want and it’s a market they’d be hard-pressed to move into just yet.

There is also an ever-growing stable of great titles that cannot be found on the PC. I’ve recently been playing Halo: Reach and enjoying myself thoroughly. There are also many titles that, while available on PC, are clearly designed for, and are more functional on, a console. I tried playing Space Marine on my PC with mouse and keyboard a few months back, but found the controls and camera to be too unwieldy. Trying it now on the 360 I’m burning through the plot and finding everything much more easy to execute. And of course the sports games… there hasn’t been a proper NHL title on the PC since 2009. Madden has been gone for some time as well. I don’t advise dropping money on the yearly sports title – but as someone who enjoys watching and playing sports I do stop in every other year or so to pick up the latest release. Again, the consoles have this market cornered. Playing a college football for the first time in 4 years was a wonderful feeling.

It’s an experience that I really missed: especially now that getting connected to my wireless network is so much simpler. The reasons that drove me to get back into the console world are only a few, but they’re very important reasons indeed. I’ve had a lot of fun already, and in light of the announcements at E3, I feel good about the future of my purchase as well. Be sure to comment on the current status of console appeal or what you think consoles biggest room for growth is in the future.

Shaun Watson

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