Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sunday Spotlight: PlayStation Portable

I've said before that I'm a Nintendo guy. Nintendo is what I grew up on, and it's all I've ever owned (well, unless you count the PC). When Mega Man and Final Fantasy migrated to the PlayStation in the late '90s, I was upset--it felt like Capcom and Square had abandoned me, their loyal fan. Thanks to various ports and multi-platform compilations in recent years, I didn't need to go out and buy a new system to be disappointed by Mega Man 8 and Final Fantasy VIII. Still, there's a good many games that won't be showing up on a Nintendo platform any time soon. Most of them I can live without--the majority of PlayStation games that have caught my interest are ones I mostly want to play in order to understand their popularity--but the exceptions are all continuations of series I played on the NES and SNES.

As completionist and a devoted Nintendo fan, it bothers me to have such mainstream parts of the fandoms I like seem so far out of reach.

As a collector, it seems obvious that brand loyalty in this case should not transcend fandom loyalty, and that I should just go buy the games and systems I'm missing.

As a working man with an eye on his paycheck, it seems obvious that this would be foolish for multiple reasons.

As a person strongly opposed to spoilers, I'd hate to watch someone else play through these games, in case I ever do get the chance to play them myself.

As a player with an already impressive backlog, it seems obvious that I really don't need any more games to play.

You see my conflict here.

I've been mulling this over for months, and especially with the Wii Virtual Console putting so many non-Nintendo games at my fingertips, I think I may be getting over my unflinching allegiance to Nintendo. Hearing and reading more about where my fandoms have gone or are headed without me is piquing my interest even more than usual in these mysterious PlayStation games. Cost is still a factor, and that backlog isn't getting any smaller, but it's really just the initial investment of the system, controllers, and memory card that would set me back--PlayStation games are comparable to, if not less expensive than, any of the old and used games I buy anymore; price-wise, building a new collection would be little different from filling out any of my existing collections.

I saw a used PlayStation Portable in great condition at GameStop last week for just over $100.

The PSP is home to Mega Man: Powered Up, Maverick Hunter X, and the Gradius Collection.

I'm pretty sure my 10% discount card applies to game systems as well as games.

I remind myself that now is not the time for nonessential purposes. I also remind myself that I could save up $100 simply by staying home two weekends in a row. Gas still ain't cheap no matter where you live, and all those Baconators at the Wendy's drive-thru add up (in dollars as well as in calories). For now, it seems like I'll need to remain conflicted.

Really, I am happy with what I have. I just get curious about things sometimes, and that curiosity often feeds off my completionist tendencies and continues to grow.

1 comment:

A Philosophical Nerd said...

I know exactly how you feel. I actually was never loyal to just one system. When I was a wee lad, we owned an Atari, then got a Nintendo when it came out. When the 16-bit systems arrived, my parents bought us a Sega Genesis, rather than Super Nintendo. Then we got a PlayStation. So I've done a lot of system-hopping.

PlayStation 2 is actually the very first video game system I purchased with my own money. I got into Final Fantasy after first playing Final Fantasy VII with a friend (I never played it on the original NES -- I was introduced to RPG's with The Legend of Zelda and Crystalis). So I felt betrayed when I found out that by the time Final Fantasy X arrived, they were pursuing releasing unique Final Fantasy games on other systems. I was going to go broke trying to keep up with all the games. I was never able to, as money has always been kind of tight for me.

Then someone actually broke in to my apartment and stole my PlayStation 2 and most of my games. So I had a dilemma. Should I purchase the PlayStation 3, or switch to another system. Personally, I opted out of PlayStation 3 because 1) It was too expensive ($500!) and 2) the cheaper version was not backwards compatible, which was a deal-breaker for me. I couldn't play the few games I had remaining on the PlayStation 3.

So I decided to go with Xbox 360 because I'm an avid rhythm gamer and Xbox 360 is really the best platform for Rock Band. Not to mention the other great games it has.

That's a somewhat brief history of my video game journey. :D

So long story short, I totally understand your feelings on completionism and wanting to play all the games in the franchise. But by the same token, I haven't really been faithful to any brand of video game system.