The Gamer Conversations – Observations

“Why do I even have a 360?”

This is a question my friend, Gabrielle, asked herself earlier this year (and later ditched the 360), and one I’m currently asking myself. I always enjoy talking to her, Because she and I think A LOT alike, and we have the same taste in games for the most part. In addition, she knows her stuff as she works at a GameStop in Michigan. This is the answer that she came up with (The following is mostly opinion and observation.) *My replies are in bold, while hers are in quotes*:

“You have one because of what MIGHT come out on it.”

But still, is it even worth everything – The Gold membership, the Microsoft Points, the Red Ring of Doom (RRoD)?

“Gold is a ripoff. The points…eh. It’s the same as Sony’s prepaid cards. The RRoD is some bullshit.”

[Given thisLet’s get the Wii out of the way first. The price cut from $249, to $199 was a good move on Nintendo’s part, because in theory, it might make the Wii the Christmas Killer the second year in a row. Even so, I think that for most, this motion-controlled console’s gimmicks have worn off, and quite frankly, that’s all it is — a gimmicky machine. In order for it to be more successful, the Wii needs better graphics, a hard drive, DVD playback, and better games. Someone on GameTrailers called it “My First Game Console” (as in kids’ “My First…”), and that’s pretty much what it is.] “I agree completely about the Wii, especially since 1) a good portion of the games don’t even use motion controls and 2) Sony’s SIXAXIS is comparable to the most minimal degree of motion control used in the average game. In New Super Mario Bros Wii (NSMB), the motion controls are restricted to jerking the Wiimote up or holding a button and shaking it.”

Um, ok, why? lol

“Dumb stuff lol. Like, the jerk-up I can understand and cosign on, but the holding of a button and the shaking is to pick something up, and most of the time, I don’t get it right. It’s more complicated than it needs to be”

“For the most part, our generation has just grown out of Nintendo. There’s nothing for us on Nintendo consoles anymore. The games aren’t classic anymore. Like, stupid controller shaking aside, I love NSMB, just because it has that feel. It reminds me of Mario 3 and Mario World rolled into one.”

[Referring to the comments in the above post] “Why do you say there are no such things as console-exclusives?”

Because, in reality, there’s not. Take for example… Tales of Vesperia. Not a console-exclusive. Nor are Star Ocean 4 or Final Fantasy XIII.

“There are some, though.”

Yes, like Heavy Rain. …Okay, I wasn’t thinking when I posted that comment. HaloMass Effect

“Stuff like Gears of War and Killzone are never gonna cross over.”

Speaking of Gears and such, I have a question. Not counting “presents,” do you notice higher percentage of a gender purchasing a specific console? Or is it fairly equal?

“I actually don’t get very many women purchasing consoles for themselves. They’re either buying one for their boyfriend, or their family. When I do, it’s usually actually the DS, followed by the Wii, 360, PS2, PS3, and finally the PSP. The PS3 is not a friend of the women around here.”

Hmm, ok. Not trying to be sexist, but to me the 360 feels like more of a male console.

“See, I feel the opposite. I think the PS3 feels more masculine, but they’re trying to change that. 2010 is gonna be the year that masculine persona crumbles.”

“For the longest time, the main things on PS3 were shooters and sports games.”

While on 360…?

[360 had a] “Myriad. Shooters, sports, RPGs. Like…both are probably more equally represented on each system than I’m making them seem, but I’m talking in terms of ‘exclusives.'”

“RPG-wise, PS3 had Disgaea, Valkriya Chronicles, and Cross Edge, while 360 had Tales of Vesperia, Last Remnant, Blue Dragon, Infinite Undiscovery, Magna Carta 2, Culdcept Saga, Spectral Force, and Operation Darkness.”

Truthfully, Gab. As a male gamer, even I want the masculine persona to crumble.

“As do I. I’m looking forward to the variation of games coming out on the PS3 this year. Still I don’t think the system can be completely blamed, though. I think the proportions of ‘hardcore’ to ‘casual’ female gamers are extremely offset. A lot of women who come in want to play the things that are on the Wii. They look at the PS3 and 360 and are intimidated by and ignorant as to the things that are on it. They want platformers and trivia games because they feel like that’s all they can play.”

“Of all the women who come in my store and buy DS games, only one comes to mind who might be considered hardcore. She comes in and gets the RPGs. She bought Moon. And she plays these games to completion, on each difficulty. Goes back and collects everything and when she’s done, she trades them in and gets something else.”

“There’s a couple of women who have PS2s. Older women with husbands who will sit and play SOCOM with them,”

o_O …whut.

“And a young couple around my age with a 360 and a Wii and they play Star Ocean, Dragon Quest, Metroid, Lost Odyssey. So there are some around here, but none I’ve seen yet with PS3s besides me.”

“I’ve definitely noticed a positive shift for the PS3 since the price drop. We sell through them faster, we sell more of them, and we sell more games for it. WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2010 and Call of Duty (CoD): Modern Warfare 2 were the first indicators of that — Their reserves for each system were nearly equal, and that never happened before.”

CoD was a given, but why WWE?

“lol. Well, that has a lot to do with our particular demographic, I think, along with the timing that WWE came out. Around here, I’ve noticed a really high proportion of black men own PS3s. It’s always been like that, even before the [price-]drop. Not sure why. But a disproportionate amount of black men compared to white men had PS3s. When the drop happened at the middle-end of August, we sold more. It was an affordable option for families wanting to buy a system for their kids and so we sold more PS3s”

o_O;;; Around here [in Buffalo], I’ve noticed more black men with 360s.

“lol. It’s a weird statistic to notice.”

“More teenagers got PS3s, simply put, everybody got a PS3 besides rabid Microsoft fanboys. Even last gen, out of my friends, only one had an Xbox. Everybody had a PS2. It created brand loyalty — like me: I got used to the controls of the PS2. I had an Xbox, it was nice because there was no other option at the time. But when I got my PS3, it was like…perfect. Like reuniting with an old friend; I’m used to Sony.”

“I think that’s what it is around here. People were used to Sony. Some of them settled for the 360. But the minute they could get the PS3, they did.”

Like me.

“And truthfully, for people who have a choice as to what system they want a game on, if it’s not something they intend to play online with lots of friends like CoD, I notice they’ll pick it up on PS3.”

Because of the familiarity.

“Exactly. Fighting games are usually picked up on PS3 because people who don’t love Microsoft can admit fault and hate with their analogs.”

Oh God… Exactly. Fighters on the 360 controller… *Shudders*

“Multi-platform people, the only reason they’ll pick up a game on 360 is 1) it’s exclusive or 2) they have more friends on XBL to play multiplayer with.”

“Problem is 1) more people are getting PS3s, so that multiplayer reason for buying 360 games is fading, 2) I’m seeing a lot of people getting fed up with RRoD and trading in busted systems while not replacing them. So I’m wondering if this evening of the systems is just going to be temporary.”

I’m with #2 — Fed up with the RRoD BS. But about that, I think most people are unaware that if you’ve had a RRoD within 3 years from purchase, the repairs are free and your warranty is extended another 3.


Even so, my next RRoD, I’m tempted to just say fuck it.

Andrew Monkelban

Andrew Monkelban is an avid gamer and writer, who has been featured in Second Skin, and on Wired's GameLife and The Escapist. He is also really into the Japanese entertainment scene. Even though he has Cerebral Palsy, he does not let it stop him from doing what he loves, although he's always on the look-out for technology that would help him with difficult tasks. He came to PopTen in the Summer of 2009, where he's now able to combine his passions.

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