Tom Chick on The Firing Line
This column will make you $250 poorer
I didn't want to have to say this. And Lord knows, you probably don't want to hear it. But it's got to be said. You can't avoid it any more. Whether you like it or not, the time has come. You need to get a console system.
I know you already have a computer for gaming. I mean, duh, you're reading this site, so you play computer games. Maybe I'm just projecting here, but you probably play more than you should because you're looking for that Next Big Thing. You'd hate to miss one of those. The Half-Lifes, the Diablos, the Unreal Tournaments, the Warcraft IIIs, the Planescape: Torments, the Combat Missions, the Civs, the Neverwinter Nights. These are the things that'll stay on your hard drive for years, the things that will crystallize those gaming memories in the corner of your brain where you also remember great movie lines, the way your favorite books end, and that time on Buffy the Vampire Slayer when her mom died.
But some of these Next Big Things aren't being written for your PC. If you're like me and you have a compulsive need to make sure none of the Next Big Things slip unplayed past your fingertips, then you're not going to be able to get by with one platform anymore. Your PC is not enough.
The doom-sayers might tell you PCs are dead, but what they're getting at in their own shrill way is that PCs aren't the only game game in town anymore. After a decade of uncontested supremacy when anything worth playing was on a PC, not being able to play Halo and Knights of the Old Republic probably feels a bit like death to them.
But this situation is nothing new. If you're a thirtysomething, you probably remember a time when there were PCs, Amigas, Apples, Commodore 64s, Tandys, and so forth. There were some games you simply couldn't play because you had the Wrong System. As a longtime Apple IIe owner, I know the pain of having the Wrong System. Never again, my friends. Never again.
That is why I've bought every single console from the last five years on the date it was launched. I was in line for a Dreamcast, a Playstation 2, a Gamecube, a Gameboy Advance, and an Xbox, waiting until dawn in front of Best Buy, Fry's Electronics, or maybe even a K-Mart because my friend Trevor had called my cell at 3am to say the lines were shorter at the run-down K-Mart out by the highway where no one goes anymore and he heard they were getting 20 systems but they only had twelve pre-orders so my chances would be better out there with him rather than at the Best Buy with the three hundred other people.