I don’t even know how to start this apart from these words:
Thank you, Joystiq Podcast Appreciation Group. Thank you for your generosity.
A little background: my Playstation 3 died around june/july of this year. From what I can tell, the temperature sensor is conked out. The system is completely and utterly dead. It’s a 60 gig console with the backwards compability, so I figured getting it fixed would be an easy thing.
Well sure, I’d be easy. After $150. It was out of warranty. I grumbled a bit, and saved the money needed to fix it. I waited a while to do so, saving small incriments of money from my part time job. In waiting, I was even mentioned as one of those rare cases of a broken PS3 on the Joystiq podcast.
Unfortunately, my car died. I lost all the money I had saved for the PS3 to fix the heating coil (first time I discovered cars HAD heating coils).
Then any money I had at that point disappeared as the car broke down AGAIN-major components, including the oxygen sensor and part of the engine, melted (the temperature sensor failed after I Ieft the mechanics, causing much of the car to overheat.). My car, my precious LaFonda (or Joystiq One, if any Joystiq members were present.), had put me into debt considerably.
A couple of friends offered to help me out with the system repairs, as they had played the console more than once, but they seemingly dropped out over a series of issues. I had resorted to playing games rarely- playing my wii on short bursts and looking at some of the games I bought after the fact (I have a collector’s version of Resident Evil 5 that hasn’t even been played yet.). I gave up on fixing the system and decided to wait until December- where christmas money would be spent to pay off the black monolithic console that was reduced to a very heavy paperweight.
Today, I went to an Uncharted 2 event. Frazzled and annoyed that I got lost twice, I waited in bumber to bumper traffic with an eve shorter fuse. Waiting completely stopped on the 101 freeway, I received this message on my phone- a Facebook message from a fellow JPAG member, Alex Raymond:
After you told me the other day that your PS3 was broken and you didn’t have the cash to fix it (and frankly the fee is ridiculous), Randall and I rallied the JPAG and a bunch of us pitched in and raised $175 for you to send in your PS3 and have it fixed. Just send me your email address and I’ll be able to hand it over via Paypal!
I lost it. I checked my phone six, seven times over, trying to see if all this was true. I couldn’t believe it.
I lost it. I cried right then and there on the freeway. Crying as a police officer drove by, giving me a stange look upon seeing my face. I was overjoyed, shocked at the generosity, the compassion the JPAG (and some Joystiq writers!) had given me with this gift. I’m crying right now as I try and type this all out on my Blackberry.
Thank you again, JPAG. You really do make me proud to call you my friends. I don’t know what to do to repay you all.
Christ, I need a tissue.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry
Yesterday was the date, ten years prior, that the last Sega video game console was released. 9/9/99 was the date the Dreamcast came into the world and revolutionized video games. i wrote a little story about my very first memory of my Dreamcast over at Wing Damage.com: http://bit.ly/3tjoz It’s thinking, baby.
The title above can not be any more succinct- i love little big planet for bringing back my childhood. Sounds completely mundane out of the amounts of praise to which the Playstation 3 exclusive game has been receiving (or lack therof, in certain places), but it’s certain levels in the midpart of the story mode of the game that have me flabbergasted, thinking about my childhood in Mexico. I was born in Mexico, and I grew up there until I was seven years of age. My mother, a white woman born in southern California, fell in love with my father, a man from Mexico city. I grew up in Mexico for a number of years, until about the summer of 1994, when my mother took me to the United States. My memories of that time are very jolted together, and it’s hard for me to remember everything in that time I grew up the bustling metropolis. I’ve been on a stint as of late to try and remember my time there, but as most of my memories go, they’re mostly visual, mis-mashed together in ways I can’t begin to decipher. My friends in Mexico. My extended family. The private school my mother had to work at so my sister and i could afford going there and receiving a decent education. The small pushcart/go-cart I used to drive in the parking lot of my apartment complex, swerving about moving cars. It’s all tucked away in my brain- I just don’t remember half of them. There will be times when I see something and it just… clicks. I remembered the first game system I played it was the NES, at a friend’s house. I remember the wall surrounding the apartment complex i lived at- the concrete walls with the tops of the walls covered in broken glass as a safety measure. These memories are all locked away in my brain, and it’s hard for me to remember everything. My past life in Mexico is slowly unlocked by visual cues- I remembered the glass on the tops of the walls after seeing a similar wall in South Cenrtal LA. Playing Little Big Planet, however, brought me back to my memories of my childhood roots, unlocking them. It was The Wedding levels that hit me the hardest. The design of the levels have a distinct Mexican style to it, especially that of the Day of the Dead celebrations held every year around November 1st. The distinctive design of the calaberas adorning the entire levels, the flowers given to the graves of the dead as to honor their heritage. I looked at the screen, the bobblehead eyes of the calaberas staring at my ryu-adored sackboy as it remained frozen for a second, as i sat my controller down and began staring at the screen, at the stage before me. It reminded me of the ofrenda my mother made every October, a small shrine of sorts in the home where you leave offerings to relatives and friends who have passed on. I distinctly remember my mother setting down a can of budweiser beer (a rare thing in mexico those days, if my mind serves me correctly) as an offering to my great uncle Joe, who worked for the Budweiser company as a delivery man. I sat back and tried to remember the last time my family even did an ofrenda. It was probably middle school. I felt guilty I haven’t set down that Budweiser can in such a long time at the ofrenda in offerings to my Uncle. The song playing in the background of the level (youtube link) reminded me of the cassete tapes of Mana my mother had. (to this day, she hasn’t bought any of the tapes in digital form, the only mana album she still owns is the unplugged album that has had an insane amount of play in our stereo). The memories just flooded back to me, and I remembered visiting the grave where my grandmother was buried- the amount of vendors parked outside of the graveyard selling flowers, candles, and other sorts of offerings as the hustle and bustle of the graveyard as families tended to their respective graves. I had forgotten about it entirely. I had to stop playing the game. It reminded me too much of a heritage i had forgotten for some time. I spent some time outside, finding my mother taking care of her plants. I asked her about the ofrenda, and she had to pause to think about it. “Can we do one next november?” I asked meekly. I didn’t explain why until later, but she smiled and nodded. Playing a video game made me think of my identity- one of being of two worlds, of being white and being mexican at the same time, and i just felt… completely lost about both. Since playing Little Big Planet, I’ve taken upon myself to go and try to relearn spanish (got an B in spanish 1, going to take spanish 2 in the fall) and I may take a mexican history class I saw in the class listing earlier this week. Who knows. I would never had been spurred on to do this if it wasn’t that goddamn adorable game.
Thank god, school’s done. Well, until February, that is. I’m currently relaxing at a freind’s house, letting him and his brother sate their addiction to various shooters and fighting games on my PS3, which I had left at their house in order for me to concentrate on my studies and finals . I swear, Rainbow Six Vegas 2 is has been played more often on my PS3 than any other game thanks to those two. It’s a game that’s aged (for the year or two since i’s been out) quite well. Their current addiction is to go through each and every one of the levels on Terrorist Hunt, trying to beat them on the hardest difficulty setting. Their conversations and arguements while playing games together have been utterly amusing to me, down to brotherly bickering (mocking falsettos being one of their favorite methods over the use of a certain weapon or tactic to use. I might record their arguments and have it overlaid recordings of their gameplay, once I get the necessary equipment. There are no plans for classes for winter inter-session for me- i personally don’t like it, but i haven’;t been able to do any major work on my own projects during the semester, but i hope to get this time to get the projects done. I’m writing up proposals and such for the projects, as they’re going to require quite a bit of manpower. I hate talking like this in a vague sense, but I’m waiting until deals are finished and some major work is done and out of the way before i start talking about things. Some of the projects i’ve been working on have had me searching for the proper CMS engines to build upon. While I don’t want to build an outright blog and have a chronological order to all the data, I’d rather have a hybrid of sorts- to hold the information I wish in a spacial order, but have a front page blog that can keep people updated on the overall information on the site. Well, only heavy testing will help me turn out results of any kind, really. Oh yeah, I turned 21. Go me.
This is a little piece i just felt writing, just for the hell of it. I thought about GTA IV some, and seeing a friend just recently play through the multimillion dollar game made me think a bit about the whole experience of the game. I wrote it a long time ago, and I just found the whole review on my Google Documents account. So uh, here it goes. Up to the launch of Grand Theft Auto 4, there was practically an embargo of information on the game, so much so that there was speculation on internet forums to how the HUD would actually look like. Rockstar kept pulling down early gameplay videos from youtube and other sites hours to the launch of the hotly anticipated game. So much of the game was kept under wraps it felt as if this was actually a super-secret government project (might as well have been one, really). So when video game reviewers had to review the game, it was short, quick and rather dirty, and to have them base the review upon any first impressions of the game were… well nonexistent. As such, I’m basing this whole review upon playing it, listening to other people’s reviews and concerns of the game, and as such, shaping it to be a review after the fact. When the first fully 3D GTA game came out, GTA3, it was almost a proof of concept to where can games go and what the genre can do. Think about it. There wasn’t much to do, save for the main storyline and the car racing (well, it was car racing, ambulance, taxi, and cop missions, but really, when you think about it, the three are just racing but with different style to each one) but it was a proof of concept, and a fun one at that. It also was a prime tech example of the Renderware engine, an obscure engine at the time, became one of the prime engines during the previous console generation. Everything from Tony Hawk to Spongebob Squarepants games were built upon this game engine. GTA3 led upon this platform, which made the programming upon the once difficult PS2 to be a breeze for developers. Games like this wasn’t so open as we knew it, and games to follow have followed along to that standard the original had set. The following Grand Theft Auto games brought along different ideas to the game, including the simplistic mogul concept from Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and the gang control element from San Andreas. Each simply improved upon the sandbox formula and brought upon new flavorings to the genre. So where does this put GTA IV, then? Simple: right back at GTA3. The return to Liberty City as a setting is also one of a stylistic flavoring, for the developers to return to the original sandbox they had created and rebuild it. No, it was much more than that- it flattened the sandbox and built something new. What had been an algham of various New York city elements actually felt like a fluid city with its respective neighborhoods and people. What was at the time the de-facto standard for third person shooters (lock on and shoot and pray that you’re actually hitting the guy that’s shooting you) the game replaces it with a rather ridiculous cover system. (Mind you, i could not find a word for the aiming system in my vocabulary at the time- I instead turned to a friend playing the game at the moment, to which he responded “ridiculous” as he used said targeting to pop a headshot with relative ease.) This game is no longer simply a better version than its counterparts- by doing away with the standards it had set out to do, the game simply raised the bar for other games in the genre within this new generation of games to follow suit. GTA4 also attempts to push yet another new engine, Rockstar’s own RAGE engine, which is yet to be known if this engine will be licensed along the Unreal Tournament 3 engine and other next gen properties. However, its animation engine, known as Euphoria, had its first major debut at E3 2006. With videos showing crudely sculpted characters dynamically reacting to one another instead of using pre-scripted animations, it proved to be a major stepping stone for next generation games, and was to be released with a new Indiana Jones game (which with much of Lucasart’s non-Star Wars games, seems to have disappeared). With a high profile game such as GTA4, the Euphoria engine may recieve much more licenses in the future as GTA4 serves as a posterboy to the technologies in the game. However, as much as the game attempts to be it’s own GTA3 for the next generation, it’s own realism can be its downfall. GTA games were always campy in nature. It was ultra-violent, yes, but there was a level of surrealism and coy jokes layered upon the best selling series. Really now, is any regular person going to break into a Area 51-esque place to steal a jet pack? Is a drug dealer really going to rise to the top in a Scarface-esque fashion? Hell no. But the GTA series showed it, and gamers, while recognizing its parodying nature, enjoyed it. GTA:SA was worth simply having Peter Fonda as a hippie talking about erethral goats he rides (it’s in the pot farm mission). There were no memoral moments like that in GTA4. Sure, Brucie’s subtle gay innuendo was funny enough, but the game just took itself way too seriously for anyone of the series to truly enjoy it. The constant bleak reminders of Niko’s tragic past and events garnered very little concern- in fact, it almost brought on yawns among many gamers. Lighten it up, Rockstar. We know you can do better. The characters, while having some small comedic moments, end up giving the player little or nothing to connect with. GTA4’s characters either disappear or are killed in a quick and dirty manner (more so than any other game. How many characters that gave you missions ultimately died in the game? There were quite a bit…) so any connection a player attempts is short lived and rather unfulfilling. Consider Tommy Vercetti, CJ, and all the other characters in the series- they were outlandish, sure, but it melded with the already campy nature of the GTA series. The weapons were realistic, but it really isn’t a GTA game until you can light some people on fire (with a flamethrower, of course) in some ridiculous rampage that requires the Army to intervene. Here? Homeland Security. Realism has it’s place in games, but GTA isn’t one of them. GTA is (or should i say, was) a campy series in nature. Yes, graphics have improved, we see new game engines powering it, but why should the rather comedic nature of the series change? It was always ridiculous, it was always over the top, but it was fun. Yeah, there are rampages, yeah, there’s those over the top missions (especially the final one) but… it doesn’t have the grandiose and Hollywood style bravado that the previous incarnations did. This version may be simplistic, but hell, the way i see it, this is a start. Is it the grade A game of the year that we’ve all been expecting? No way in hell. But this new standard it sets makes every other game in the sandbox genre a run for its money, at least in its revolutionary game engines and tight-controls. Everything else the GTA games are known for- solid characters, campy nature- all but missing. A solid B would do in this case, but a grade-A/game of the year award winning game? No dice, Rockstar.
The past week of mine has been rather… adventurous, to say in the least. I probably had some of the strangest things happen to me the past week than the last three months combined. No, Tuesday and Thursday has been some of the greatest fun I’ve had around LA, and just recently have I been able to actually… recuperate my sleeping habits thanks to it. With the coming of E3 to my home city of LA, there were multiple meetups for Los Angelinos to enjoy- even though E3 was press only, there were many events open for the general gaming public to enjoy. Capcom had a party to allow the public to play Street Fighter 4, for example. I wasn’t very open to most of them- I doubted I would be able to go to Kotaku’s party, for it was held at a bar (I’m only 20). I was simply looking through them all when one caught my eye- the Playstation.Blog meetup, appealing to me as I was a fan of the blog. The Playstation Blog meetup was on tuesday, held at the King Taco a couple of blocks away from the main LA Convention center, and found half of the whole place taken up by fans of the Playstation community. They were easy to spot, as most of them had PSPs on them and were… well, nerds. Free food was offered there, so much of it that when regular people off the street noticed all the nerds were getting free food, they would pretend they were with us (the King Taco people caught on quickly and began asking people what the party was for). Here’s a picture of everyone who came, exempt maybe four or five people that left early: (finding me in this picture isn’t hard AT ALL) Free shirts celebrating the Playstation blog’s 1st year of existence were given out, and I was able to meet Jeff Rubenstein, the guy in charge of the official playstation blog. He had a kickin belt buckle that had the Triangle, Square, Circle and X of the playstation controller on it. He held a PSP tournament for a limited edition PS3 with Metal Gear Solid 4- unfortunately, I had no PSP, so I couldn’t play in it. I simply just talked to people and watched the tournament, and that was fun enough for me. I find that I am nervous when meeting people, but when finally getting the courage to do so pushes me to say the first words, the nervousness melts away, and it was fun talking to other video gamers that were as knowledgeable as I was in the industry. Talking to people there, I met with two of the writers for one of the sub-blogs for the Joystiq community, PS3 Fanboy, Andrew Yoon and Jem Alexander, as they walked in late thanks to a previous appointment. They were engaging to talk to as the PSP tournament wore on, and as the party wrapped up, both had a tired look on their faces, a look i recognized after walking around a convention all day. I offered them and some other bloggers rides, which was met with many thanks. After giving them a ride, they mentioned I should go to the Joystiq meetup party, and I would get some good schwag from the party for my kind ride. I hadn’t thought about going, but the idea of free stuff… well really, would you have passed up the free schwag? The Joystiq Party was held at Mahalo.com headquarters in Santa Monica- and that was FUN. Rock Band 2 was there, as well as multiple people from the Playstation blog meetup that recognized me there. Meeting the joystiq crew was well… fun. Each and every one of them were incredibly fun to talk to and very kind. I’m used to the very uptight and anti-social webcomics crowd, so to talk to these people about video game topics was engaging. I was supposed to play a game of Rock Band 2 with some of the people from the Playstation Blog meetup (Jeff Rubenstein included) to perform System of a Down’s “Chop Suey” only to be replaced at the last minute by someone else. They failed their performance, and I would like to believe it was due to the lack of… well my awesome self. Once the party ended, I ran into Christopher Grant, one of the head bloggers and the host of the Joystiq podcast. I offered to help clean up the place and to offer a ride to some of the bloggers, which was once again met with incredible enthusiasm. After cleaning up, I stuffed into my car five bloggers, three being Andrew and Jem (again) as well as Ludwig, another of the podcast hosts. (I leave out the names of the other bloggers for a purpose) We set out for the Joystiq crew’s hotel in Beverly Hills. On the way, someone in the car suggested food, and i drove to In-And-Out burger, packed to the brim with customers. Sitting in the car with some exhausted bloggers while lines for The Dark Knight snaked around the back of my car made me realize that I would have been home right now, on IRC and on my PS3 playing games, and to get out like this was… refreshing! After getting the burgers, we drove down a major intersection, sitting in a second turn lane of a very busy street to hear someone heaving in the backseat. Someone was throwing up in my car. I stopped the car in the street as to let the person continue to throw up into the street, and finally made the left turn into the turn lane onto a small grassy area. As soon as we stepped out, the sprinklers went off, spraying everyone with a fine mist. I rushed into the back of my car, trying to find something to help out the sick person with, only to find an empty brownie pan and random objects my sister had left in my car. I couldn’t help but laugh at the whole situation- it was probably after midnight, sitting in a car of people i didn’t know, getting soaked, and any other person would have been enraged at this point, but I loved it. I loved every second of it. The realization that NO one would believe this story. After getting all the wet people back into my car, we drove to a swanky little hotel in beverly hills. Imagine this senario- a ’92 LeBaron pulling into this upscale hotel in beverly hills and getting valet parking in the process (again, yet another surreal part of the evening) at about 12:05 am. I went upstairs to the Joystiq HQ- a medium sized conference room with a long conference table, mini-refrigerator, and TV/DVD combo. I simply sat there and watched as the Joystiq crew got down to work, checking emails and conversing. A second group of the crew walked in fresh from going to Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles, declaring that food to be heavenly and the chicken to be “actually be unicorn meat”. Their confused faces upon seeing me again after the party there were quickly answered by Ludwig, as they laughed at the story so far, and apologized profusely. Justin McElroy (one of the regulars on the Joystiq podcast) walked in with a regal step and presented a porno he had bought from a “vampire hunter” outside of Roscoe’s. Everyone on the crew freaked out as he made the move to turn on the TV to present the film (he didn’t thankfully enough, but he did disappear for a bit to return with a new t-shirt on). The film was of… the colored variety and had a name involving time, but the full name escapes me, probably for the better. Watching the Joystiq crew in action was incredibly interesting. These people all have a love of video games that’s simply indescribable as they spoke about their favorite games at the conference, or the horrible Konami press conference Ludwig had to sit through. At one point, a video circulating the many gaming blogs was shown (involving… um… garlic) and an impromptu mass showing of the video was done on 12 laptops all at the same time. The bloggers laughed like it was the first time they had seen the video, even acting out certain parts and crying out lines from it, which later received complaints from the hotel. I left the Joystiq hotel about 12:45 am, with a pretty rancid smelling car and a very weary body, still trying to comprehend the night that had happened so far. Thanks to all of this, I was mentioned in the Joystiq Podcast, referred to as “the Ethan Hawke character from Training Day” (listen starting around 62:00 for the mention). I also made an appearance on Mahalo’s Mahalo Daily show, talking about Tetris (you’ll find me in there, it’s not that hard). My swag from the party was this: a copy of Metal Gear Solid 4, a game I had planned on buying with my next paycheck, as well as a guitar that would work with Rock Band and Guitar Hero- a perfect addition to my current Rock Band pack. Only yesterday, I had recieved this game as a thank you gift: On the packing slip for Battlefield: Bad Company was a special comment, reading “BLEURGH!! Thank you for saving us twice! Love, Joystiq” Thank you for a memorable time, Joystiq. I loved every second of it.
So I got a signed copy of Ratchet and Clank: Future from the guys at Insomniac, thanks to a friend who works there. I have a bunch of cool stuff i have signed now… I’ll write a more lengthy post when I have a time. This proposal I’m writing is currently killing me.
Friday officially started my spring break plans. Which is basically wayy too much. For one, is to actually get some work done coding. I’ve had a bunch of projects lying around that need to be coded, and i plan to have some work done on them before the week is done. A couple of them is actually going to appear in some form as a facebook app (although i don’t know if i want to publish them or not- i think i might have to wait a bit or have someone else take a look at the codebase before i do anything with it.). I’m also working on learning template protocols for different CMS and blog engines. I already know Joomla 1.0x like there was no tomorrow (I have a couple of skins under my belt for that, none of which i’ve published), but I want to learn more in focus, WordPress, Joomla 1.5, and Drupal. I do have plans for Cornstalker this week- I’m planning to upgrade the forums from the now antiquidated PHPBB2 to the newest version, PHPBB3. The whole transisition is something that i’m stressed to no end on doing, because the whole move can go wrong in so many ways that I REALLY don’t want to screw it up. That in combination with no ssh access as well as some inexperience on my end has me creating dummy PHPBB2 forums on my own domains and upgrading them in order to get the process down pat. Hopefully, I’ll have the real CG transfer done by the weekend- but that’s just tentative. But I do have some fun on the side- I have my PS3 back for a bit, so I’m playing Rock Band in anticipation of tomorrow and getting Still Alive on it, as well as playing some rental games and pre-ordering what i know will be my latest addiction- Grand Theft Auto 4. I beat GTA3, GTA:VC, and GTA:SA to almost &90+ completion. I love those games to death, and I think i may go into an almost rabid like state playing the latest installment.
I’ve been compiling a list of great OS X programs for a couple of my friends, and thought this is a perfect little tidbit to bring up. My chat program of choice is none other than Adium, a great, free little program. I love it to death, due to its amazing customization it brings. So when trying to find a perfect replacement for the sound effects, I came across this: http://www.adiumxtras.com/index.php?a=xtras&xtra_id=4996 The villain from Portal, GLaDOS. She spouts off little things like “Who are yoou?” when someone IMs me, or “Are you coming back?” when someone disconnects. I find it all too hilarious. My family, unfortunately, finds it too annoying. One day, when I left I accidentally left my Adium open. Coming home, i found my speakers on the floor, and the cables frayed. I freaked out, thinking someone broke into my room. As it turned out, I left the volume up high, so my mother kept hearing “ARE YOU COMING BACK?” and “WHO ARE YOOU?” over and over again and went crazy and trashed my speakers trying to get rid of the sounds. The speakers are fine. I kept the sound set so i can drive her crazy some more. I did get to change the adium icon set to Mia Fey from Phoenix Wright….
‘s recent return to Macs (receiving a shiny new MacBook Pro), I came to a realization- I am everything nerds love to hate. It’s an odd conclusion to come to, yes, but it’s kind of… well, true. I am a big Mac fan and a Playstation 3 fan to boot, both of which aren’t very popular to represent in some online communities I frequent. I’ve been a Mac fan… well since I started using computers, which was back in the second or third grade, if i recall correctly. My elementary school was populated with Macs, and I used both the regular
LC 520 and the Performa 5300 in the computer labs. I distinctly remember preferring the Performa 5300 due to the better sound that would come out of the games i would secretly install on them (Command and Conquer, anyone?). But at home, I would use a PC, so growing up, I had been accustomed to both computer types. But the impressions Macs left me were undeniable- I even requested a colored case, “Just like a Mac” on my Pentium III machine. Today, I still use my PC from time to time, but I am a huge Mac fan, as i have discovered the ways of QuickSilver and its productivity brethren that have risen out of the Mac application community. I await eagerly for the “next big thing” from Apple, downloaded the iPhone SDK, and wear black turtlenecks. I don’t go on angry tirades to support Apple, I don’t defend them even when the situation is hopeless (I still don’t really use the iTunes store unless the tracks i want are in DRM free format), I do think the Macs are utterly hopeless at playing video games (that’s what my video game consoles are for!) – But to have a creative and powerful machine for high end applications for sound, image, web, and video editing- my Mac does it all wonderfully, and I’ve been happy with it so far. I’ve been a Playstation fan since… well, the PS1 days. My friend Primo used to own the original back in elementary school, and I loved to play Armored Core games (god, that’s one series that have gone downhill). I owned a PS2 for three years before it stopped working (dead laser). So I just played games for a while on my brand new PC at the time (now, the system barely qualifies for minimum system requirements, if not, at all). At the time, i was looking forward at the “next-gen” consoles, and I started leaning towards the Xbox 360, for the games (Halo 3 caught my eye early). But as reports of console failures started leaking out, I was getting worried about having another dead console on my hands. Plus, I realized that I didn’t like the Halo series at all, finding the story to be rather cheap, in my opinion. With the coming of Metal Gear Solid 4, I used the high paying job I had at the time to buy the 60 gig PS3 with full backwards capability.
And you know what? I don’t regret it. I had a keep my mouth shut for a while on owning the system, as forums I frequented declared early victory to HD-DVD, as porn would have decided a victor. I had to hold myself back from gloating when Blu-Ray became the victor… because I found it to be not so sportsman-like of me to do so. Yeah, the Xbox360 got some games I really wanted (Dead Rising, Mass Effect), but I did get some great games on the PS3 to play (Echochrome, PAIN, Ratchet and Clank). Plus the games I really wanted- Rainbow 6 Vegas 2, Rock Band- are multi-platform on the PS3.
The jokes I get for using both the PS3 and the Mac are… well, rather endless. I had a freshman in high school attempt to mock me for using the PS3, commenting, “Great, the PS3! You can play all the game it has!” (oddly enough, this same joke was used by a webcomic artist I know). I also get similar ridicule from mostly gamers on using the Mac, not understanding that the biggest application I use for the Mac- Final Cut Pro- IS ONLY AVAILABLE ON THE MAC. For what it does, the Mac gives me what I want, and does it damn well. Same goes for the PS3- I use the multimedia capabilities on the PS3 almost daily, watching DiVX-encoded films and episodes of my favorite shows without having to be sitting down at the computer all the damn time. So yeah, I’ll be mocked for what I have. But I’m a silent supporter- I’ll stay with both the Mac and the PS3. It’s a source of ridicule, yes, but they work, and I’m happy enough with that.
EDIT: IF i may indulge my Mac loving for just a little while longer, this is an excellent blog post on the advantages of the Mac platform, as done by a former windows programmer: