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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
I 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