Like any normal teenager reminiscing on his childhood would, I like to see the progress of my early years from the perspective of the different video game consoles I’ve owned.
I know (or can ignorantly hope) that I owned very old video game consoles when I was very young, such as a SEGA Genesis. However, I also remember playing Duck Hunt and Super Mario Bros. in my house, which must mean that I either had an NES or a SEGA port of the same games. Whatever the case, my most recent video-game system history began one fateful day of which the specific environmental conditions I’ll never forget. I don’t think it was for Christmas; it might’ve been, but in any case, one day my dad and I drove over to Best Buy, some 30 minutes from home, on a rainy, windy day, to purchase my first-ever 32-bit video game system, the Playstation One. Note how I specified Playstation One – this was the second revision; smaller, curvaceous, and otherwise more attractive than the older boxy model. By this time, the Playstation One was beginning to be phased out as the PS2 was starting to become the most popular system, and the only alternative for gamers who had already built up enormous PS1 game collections. Thanks to that, Best Buy was offering the new PS1 model for only $50! A steal, indeed, and my dad and I took note of the price and headed out to the department store amidst a torrential downpour.
I was so happy once I got it! I sat in the passenger seat, looking at all the different pictures on the back of the box, of all the different games that were available for the aging system. I remember gawking at what I thought were unbelievably realistic graphics which, although they were for the time; had I been 10 years older, an inherent skepticism would’ve informed me that they really weren’t – it was only the boyish wonder that fooled me into awe.
Whatever the case, those awesome graphics had to wait, because when I got home and waited for my dad to hook up the brand new machine, he lent me a face of frustration as he explained to me how the television set was missing RCA video plugins. All these things, so commonplace and obvious to me now, were like unintelligible hieroglyphics to me back then, my dad being the intelligent savior, deciphering it all. Indeed, he knew what would save the day – an RF to RCA converter! Easily attainable at the local Radioshack – this time only a few minutes away from home – half the reason it was easily attainable was because of the popularity of the no-video-plugins conundrum that likely affected many TV/game system owners at the time. Five dollars later, the system was plugged in, the demo disc inserted, the controller connected, and I was playing my first PS1 video game, which was a demo version of the game Medievil. I bored fairly slowly of the demo disc’s content – which I blame solely on all the TV commercials it had on it, of amazing PS1 video games and accessories – and that boredom was cured by my first ever actual PS1 game, Driver.
Being the first game I owned, and being a good game at that; the opening screen, initial training level, and even the jazzy music compose some of my fondest video game memories to date. Only thing that was a bummer was what happened after I turned off the system for the night – I came back, and was truly disappointed to learn that I had to repeat all my progress from the day before because I didn’t have a memory card!