Why Video Game Systems Suck

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Video game systems suck. Do you know why?

If you take a look at my Throwback Thursday post from yesterday I geeked out over the Atari 2600 and as I was writing it I noticed something that newer systems don’t have that it did.  (I’ve known this for years, but that article reminded me.)  What I’m talking about is that the systems nowadays are not all inclusive.

When you bought a gaming system back in the 80s and early 90s you would get everything in the box.  It came with the connector for the TV, two controllers, and a full game.  It was ready to go.  Just plug and play.  If you didn’t get a second game it was okay, because you had the system and you were hot stuff.

The Atari 2600 era we would play a two player game of “Combat” and the Nintendo generation could play two player “Super Mario Brothers”, albeit one person at a time, and “Duck Hunt” (shoot the damn dog).

I noticed over the years that they were cutting back on giving you anything.  I have a friend that bought the Sega Saturn, and his version games with a demo disc.  (I don’t remember it coming with “Virtua Fighter” like Wikipedia says, if it did we would have played the crap out of it.)

[Author’s note:  When my friend was deciding what gaming system to chose it was a choice between the Sega Saturn and the Sony Playstation.  We looked at both and figured that the Saturn was the best choice.  The reason being was that the Sega Genesis was so successful how could he go wrong.  Oops.]

Now, when you get a system you get a controller.  I don’t even know if they give you anything to hook it up to the TV.  With all the money spent on systems nowadays they should give you everything in one box.  

I understand that they want to make as much money out of the consumer as possible since they lose money on the system.  They make it up on the accessories and games.  So, when you buy a system you’re going to spend at least $150 more because you need to get another controller and at least one game.  Of course, there is an online element to a lot of these games so getting a yearly online subscription is almost a must.

It would be great for these manufacturers to go back to the all-in-one box, but no one is going to want to spend the $600 dollars or so, even though they are going to, in the long run.

I think I’ll go back and play “Pitfall” again.

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Corey Charette

Corey Charette is a podcaster who loves the medium.  He currently lives in Connecticut with his wife and children. You can always find him at the Say It Productions network page.

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