How Next-Gen Consoles Made Me Embrace My Old School Roots

Nov 4, 2015

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Back to the old school…

It happened in May 2015, when I found out I couldn’t keep up with gaming trends any more. Me, a lifetime gamer and game system lover, excited to explore the newest system, the PlayStation 4. I live in a small Wisconsin town. In fact, I live 10 miles outside a small Wisconsin town, which means no quality connection to any broadband ISP. For the last two years, I’ve survived with a 30GB data limit, administered through a cell phone hotspot with my phone in a special corner with a cell booster, just to get to 6MB per second… at midnight. That’s all that works out here in the middle of a forest in Wisconsin. Well I did have dial up till 2012, when the discontinued to offer dial up.

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So, when I was informed that PS4 would need a 17GB update out of the box, it stopped me cold. A 17GB update? I’d been getting by with my 30GB and my PS3 all right. I can manage the system and game updates. I can stream a movie or show here and there. But that 30 has to last all month long and 30 goes fast with e-mail, Websites, Twitter and so on!

Needless to say, I was sad about this PS4 information. (17GB sad.) Truthfully, there wasn’t much I really wanted from the PS4, but as a self-proclaimed geek that still feels that twinge of excitement when he picks up a game controller and has enjoyed keeping up on console gaming for more than 30 years, I had a terrifying thought: was this the twilight of my gaming life? I didn’t want it to be; it couldn’t be.

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I wasn’t ready to give in. I called the Sony PlayStation help line and explained my current limits. They had no alternative for me (and others like me, with limited internet access) and I heard: “Sir, we don’t recommend that you buy a PS4 at this time.” It really was the end. (Cue Palpatine’s Teachings.)

But was it really? I took a real look at current gaming trends: updates, patches for broken or unfinished games, multiplayer games which I’m awful at and DLC. Did I like what I’d been seeing and reading? Had I enjoyed waiting an extra year to get the GOTY edition for the real full game? No. No, I hadn’t.
Sonic 29112SupMar 20121

 

 

 

 

I’m a very simple guy. I love a good story, characters and games that make me think. I like playing games alone or with another person beside me, at most. When I looked at current trends and I saw myself being left behind for good.

I decided I wasn’t going to be sad or upset. (Cue Parade of the Ewok’s) I’ve never been what you’d call a “trendy” guy. I’ve been a Star Wars and Transformers geek my whole life, in good times and bad; I even like the movies. (Not as a fanboy, but as someone who genuinely likes living in those worlds for a few hours.)

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But still, where could I go now? No wifi, so as Sony said it wouldn’t be worth it if I couldn’t update or play online.

I went back to school. Old school.

GameCube 182831I went back to read and learn about games I’d missed in my early 20s. There were whole systems I’d never played, like Sega and GameCube. I got back in touch with Mario, Finally, I got to learn about Sonic, and revisited the always great Final Fantasy VII. And all without a 17GB update.

My current run of console game is ending, but I think my gaming life will survive, even if I have to play old school and offline. This simple guy prefers it that way.

 

Article written by: Bradley Anderson

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