DraugenCP / Member

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Quality Engineering - some anecdotal evidence

Even though I have done most of my gaming on a PC since the spring of 2010, I still turn to consoles once in a while to play some games I would otherwise be missing out on (Mario Kart) or I would have to wait for an excruciating amount of time (Grand Theft Auto V).

As a kid, 90% of my gaming happened on consoles. They offered the advantage of worry-free gaming with only a minuscule possibility of technical issues marring the experience. You simply had to put the game into the console, and the game was on. As an added advantage, owning a console meant a guaranteed 5-6 years of gaming pleasure without need for upgrades or any of that hassle.

Console gamers still try to make this point when juxtaposing their platform with the PC. But really, the time when console gaming meant plug in and play are far behind us. Regular updates, rushed game releases and useless DLC have turned console gaming into an experience that requires just as much, or sometimes even more fine-tuning than PC gaming.

For me the above is literally true: I have spent more time getting my Xbox 360 to work properly than I have with my current gaming PC. With the latter, I simply turned on the computer, installed Steam, downloaded some games and continued playing exactly where I had left off on my previous PC. As plug-in-and-play as you can get.

However, my issue is not with the way gaming as a whole has changed. I have accepted that, moved on and learned that DLC can have its advantages. The fact that Nintendo has been able to fine-tune Mario Kart 8, even providing some great additional content in the process, convinces me that having an update once in a while does not beat the prolonged lifespan of an already great game.

No, it is the lifespan itself I take issue with. Particularly that of Microsoft machines. While my own experience is not enough to establish a pattern, let alone evidence (hence the title), I will let the 360's dubious reputation speak for itself. Just take a look at the consoles I have owned in my life and their respective lifespans:

NES

Owned since: Before I was born (in the late eighties)

Current state: Used extensively over the years, works fine, apart from the usual problem of regularly having to blow dust out of cartridges and the console itself.

Nintendo 64

Owned since: 2000, bought second-hand, so it is likely much older

Current state: Relatively fine. The reset button tends to get stuck, which sometimes generates problems, but nothing a paperclip cannot fix. All games still work fine, even Mario Tennis, which I once threw against the wall out of frustration. Used extensively.

Gamecube

Owned since: 2003, bought brand new

Current state: Dead since 2009 by my own fault. Did not pack it correctly while on holiday and a rough trip destroyed the fan. Promptly overheated. Never had a problem up until then.

Xbox

Owned since: 2004, bought brand new

Current state: Dead since 2007. Randomly decided to not work anymore. Cannot even start up. Used often, but in concurrence with another console (Gamecube).

Additional information: Did not work upon arrival in 2004 and had to go to the repair centre 3 times before working properly. In the process they changed the Halo disc that was stuck in the console when I sent it to the repair centre for the second time to a fully German-spoken version of the game. I'm Dutch, and despite what you might think, they're not the same languages. Later, I also had to replace the power chord because they discovered the old ones were a fire hazard. It didn't work properly anyway.

Playstation 2

Owned since: 2007, got it from my brother (who had also gotten it used)

Current state: Dodgy since the beginning, but sufficient. It will read some discs, while spitting out others. It still works when you hit it a few times. Not used to often by myself, but extensively in the past.

Wii

Owned since: February 2008, bought brand new

Current state: Works fine, never had a single problem with any GC, Wii or Virtual Console game. Used extensively during the 2 years it was my only console of that gen. Since 2010 I still use it fairly regularly for certain games.

Nintendo DS

Owned since: 2008, bought brand new

Current state: Works fine, never had a problem. Used regularly over the years.

Xbox 360

Owned since: December 2012, bought brand new

Current state: Died last night. I can still access the main menu, but it won't read a single game disc anymore. Used for only 5 games alongside 2 other gaming machines (Wii and PC).

Additional information: S model, which is supposedly better than the original. Repair will cost me $79, because Microsoft claims the warranty only lasted for 6 months, until May 2013. This is against EU law, by the way.

Wii U

Owned since: April 2014, bought brand new

Current state: Works fine. Used fairly regularly.

Conclusion: In the future, I might just wait for the PC port of GTA after all.