Microsoft made a huge splash with the first successor to their XBox gaming console with the XBox 360 in November 2005. I was an early adopter, although I am not sure why. Perhaps because it was the first generation released after I had seriously started to collect consoles several years prior. By this point, I had a pretty decent run of home consoles starting with the Atari VCS. Perhaps it was a simple matter of the fact the world was moving into true HD territory, I owned a fairly new HD TV, and it was time to give this new console a try.
I had no idea what sort of troubles that I would be getting myself into, and I was not the only one.
Sony's Playstation 3 was released as more than just a game console. Some may argue that it was released as everything BUT a game console. It was expensive, it played Blu-ray movies, and it didn't really have significant launch titles as far as I recall. It quickly became the victim of smack talk among the gaming community.
I bought my first HDTV in 2004. I was already a fan of home theater and had adequate 5.1 surround at the time. Blu-ray and HD-DVD hit the market, and it was time to jump on an HD format. I chose DVD over Divx many years prior - a no-brainer, honestly - and elected to go with Blu-ray for this next generation of media. I purchased the 60 GB PS3 - The SKU with the wincingly high price of $600. Some might have called it crazy, but for me it was a Playstation that had HDMI out, played Blu-ray discs, had backward compatibility with PS1/PS2 games, and ushered in Sony's next era of gaming at home.
It was a worthwhile investment... that lasted for about 3 1/2 years.
I love progress. I love seeing gaming hardware evolve. We love our games. We love good, solid gameplay. Every so often we love seeing a new gaming console hit the market. A new generation arrives, and we hop aboard.
The evolution of the hardware is sometimes expected, sometimes innovative, and sometimes shocking. WOW! Look what this baby can do! I have got to get my hands on one of these! New ideas breed new hardware. New games arrive. Gaming is revitalized. Developers get new ideas. People spend money.
People. Spend. Money. It is a cycle that is required. Eventually we hit a lull, and it is time for some new hardware to shake things up. People stand in line for new hardware for days. They are excited about spending their money on new hardware. It might be terribly expensive, but who cares!? It is the latest and greatest! Well... OK. Maybe it is the latest, but it isn't the greatest. Hardware developers are biting off more than they can chew, and early adopters PAY for it - literally. They pay with their pockets - possibly twice per console.