flywheels / Member

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flywheels Blog

Debating the Vita

I've never been what you call a Sony fanboy. The first Playstation that I owned was the small PSOne. I was a late adopter of the PS2 and the PSP. I haven't bought a PS3 and probably never will. I generally despise Sony's console controllers. All that said I've recently become captivated by the PS Vita. I finally got my first hands on experience with it the other day and was amazed at the sheer power of the device.

A lot has been said if this device will get people to play "real" games as opposed to playing on their iPhones and such. Being that I don't have a smart phone it's hard for me to comment, but seeing what the thing can do I would suspect that gamers will easily will adopt the Vita.

I guess my complaints about the device are not uncommon. Memory cards. Expensive memory cards. From a business perspective I understand why Sony went the route they did, but this still infuriates me as a consumer. If I buy the system I don't see myself downloading a lot of games. I'm not all that familiar w/ the Playstation Store to begin with, but if I do see a few games I want it sucks that I'll most likely have to buy multiple (expensive) memory cards. Get with the times Sony and give us some sort of internal memory!

My 2nd issues isn't as much a complaint as a worry. I've heard that the OLED screen may not have a long life. What happens when your screen dies? How long is the average life span of OLED screens?

Third and lastly - the battery. Like the OLED screen, what is the average lifespan of the battery. How many times can it be charged? Will it eventually become like my laptop battery where I can only use it if it's plugged into an AC outlet?

I'm leaning more and more to the side of buying the WiFi model soon. I was looking at some current trade-in specials @ GameStop *shudders* and thought about trading in my clunky first model Nintendo DS. Then I remembered all the great Castlevania games I own for the DS and I didn't like the thought of only having access to my wife's DS Lite. So that option is off the table.

What I decided to do was the keep the DS and sell out my small WonderSwan collection. I bought it more for the novelty aspect to begin with. Plus when I saw what some of the games I have recently sold for on eBay it was a no brainer. So now I sit anxiously awaiting several eBay auctions to end hoping they bring in enough money that I can take down to Best Buy and buy the Vita. Thankfully I have a few gift cards left over from Christmas and a few GameStop gift cards from taking online surveys. I hope to use those to defer some of the cost and or pick up a memory card and a game.

On the game front I'm torn. Most likely I'll only be able to afford one game at the moment. I played Uncharted and was impressed. I've never played any of the other games in the series so I'm not that attached. I'm not a huge fan of fighting games, but the Marvel vs. Capcom games have always been great. The touch screen additions, new playable characters and the lower price tag is very appealing. I also like racing games and while the Wipeout game was pretty, I'm not sure it's my cup of tea. At least at full price! That Mod Nation Racing game looks cool. I don't care about not being able to race my friends online.

I just want my first game to be something fun that I won't get too bored with. I can't afford to buy new games left and right so I want to stretch my dollar as far as I can. Makes sense, right?

Lazy Summer

Summer is upon us. With the high temperatures and humidity outside playing video games has become ever so much more fun as I grow older. I hoped to get a lot of gaming in this summer and I still plan on doing so as several great games are just waiting to be played. Finding the time can be difficult for me as a new dad, but I won't give up. I will complete Transformers: War for Cybertron and Crackdown 2 this summer. Then bring on the new Castlevania game this fall. I can hardly wait!

Welcome home...

A few weeks ago I was updating my ad on Craig's List for work and I happen to run across a ad before shutting the internet browser down for a cell phone being sold. What caught my eye is that on the end of the ad's title was "arcade machine" tacked on. Why would someone not make that the main item in the ad's title?

Much to my surprise the machine was in great shape cosmetically and a game I wouldn't mind owning, Capcom's Marvel Super Heroes. The seller didn't list a price so I thought I'd submit a knowingly lowball offer just to see what would happen. Is that so wrong of me? I didn't tell me wife I had made an offer that wrong too? Shortly after my submitting my first offer I was told no which didn't surprise me. She did however say that a local pawn store offered her $200 so I matched the offer, which she accepted! Woohoo! My 2nd full size arcade machine to add to the game room @ home. Picking up the machine would be a whole different story. Oh yeah, my wife gave me her full blessing to buy the game since it was a good deal and I don't get the opportunity very often to buy something as this.

The last machine I transported home was light and rather easy to move despite having to haul it from North Carolina's outer banks. This machine wasn't even comparable. This beast was heavy. Thankfully one of my brothers helped me move the machine in his trailer and we got it to it's new home safe and sound. Fun times to be had...that is when I can actually remember the moves for the majority of the characters.

Collector vs. Gamer...

My wife was very gracious enough to let me have a whole room to myself to devote to my gaming hobby when we built our new home in the summer of 2007. Since we had 2 "living rooms" she let me have the room on the front of the house to set up all of my consoles and house the upright arcade machine (Raiden Fighters 2: Operation Hell Dive) she bought me when we got married.

So we set out to find the perfect furniture to display around the old rear projection TV I had to set up the various home consoles. We ended up using these white modular pieces from Target and set up what looks like steps on each side of the TV, with a tall rectangular piece that houses several "cubby holes". I staggered the consoles in the holes and rigged up to A/V selectors to make things easier when switching from console to console. Everything worked out great until my big screen died. Thankfully I was able to just push all of the furniture together to form a pyramid of sorts and place a new 32" Olevia HD TV on top. My newly purchased Wii & 360 Elite appreciated the TV upgrade!

I soon discovered however that all of my favorite Saturn, Dreamcast and PS2 light gun shooters were now obsolete thanks to the new TV. It was a small trade off, but I was still disappointed. Going forward I started to realize that most of my classic systems just sat there and collected dust thanks in part to how much time I played the 360. I thought about adding those horrible games I still had in my collection along w/ the light gun shooters to my newly created eBay store, but the collector in me had a hard time letting go...even though I couldn't play or want to play some of those games. However that choice was made easier for me when our 1 1/2 year old air conditioner in the house went out.

After getting several quotes to have the AC fixed, I went ahead and bit the bullet and decided to downsize my video game collection to help off set this unexpected bill. It kind of sadden me to unhook and pack up some of the consoles, but why? I never played half of them anymore. Sure I have fond memories of when I did play them (mostly before I was married), but why is it so hard to let go of something you forget you even have? I had the same "problem" letting go of my PC Engine Duo and Neo Geo CD consoles when I decided to finally buy a 360.

So I packed up the turquoise N64, redesigned SNES, Sega Genesis 3, Sega Dreamcast and the original bulky Xbox and went off to eBay w/ hopes of making a decent amount of money to put towards the repair bill. What to do now? Now I'm focusing on being a gamer again and not worry about the # of games in my collection. Now I'm going back and enjoying some of those great games I had forgotten about on my Saturn. Now I'm having a blast picking up compliations of the older games and downloading classic titles via the Wii's Virtual Console and Xbox Live Arcade. Now I'm adding a few import shooter titles to my wish list. Now I'm happy...

Man, aren't us collectors/gamers weird like that?!