In buying your own console it takes on a different meaning as gamer. Buying it with your own money, whether that means saving pennies and gifted money from holidays as a kid or taking those paychecks and putting them all toward the system you desire. It becomes like a real world gaming achievement that gamers can take pride in accomplishing. Here are a few stories from Bit Cultures members of their memories of their first system(s).
My experience started with the original Nintendo DS. It was a chunky block even more so than the XL 3DS systems nowadays. I remember being the only one of my friends to have this version system of the system. The rest waited until they could get it as a gift, and by then the DSi and DS Light versions had already come out, with a slimmer and more efficient design. I still found pride in the fact that it was my system, though. I hadn’t relied on my parents to purchase it for me. I had saved and planned to get the system, even getting it on the day of its release.
The first major console I got myself would not be till much later with the Wii U and after that the PS4. That first purchased console to me opened up as a larger commitment as a gamer. Something that made it even less of a hobby and more towards something that was apart of me and who I would be, a Gamer. Even more pride coming from the money that I paid for it with being from the paychecks of my first job. I even stretched my paycheck and went broke for a time to get the system earlier than I planned to. I was waiting to get it until the week Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate came. But I was eager to get the system and set it up. So I remember finishing my classes for the day and then driving out to a further GameStop then I normally got to. All because it had the only other game that was already out that I was going to get for the system, Warriors Orochi 3.
This console now holds second fiddle to my PS4 in terms of how much it is used. Still, it’s the main system I play with friends on. Mario Kart 8, Super Smash Bros Wii U, and Monster Hunter 3U gave this system an even larger place in my heart for all the fun memories it brought.
The first console I ever bought with my own money was the PlayStation 2. And it was quite an ordeal.
The system was scarce in the months following its release, and over a course of weeks I looked all over town for one, hauling my hapless friend along with me. We arrived at a KB Toys and were told that they’d be getting a new shipment of systems over the weekend. I came back as early as I could, and sure enough, the shelf behind the counter was stocked with them. I was giddy, barely able to contain my smile.
Then the clerk informed me that they were only being sold in a bundle that included an extra controller and three sports games. It amounted to a $200 markup, and money that I didn’t have. I left the store without saying a word.
I spent the following weeks loitering around a local music store every Thursday, as they had informed me that their shipments came in around 5:00 that day, and they had been receiving between 2 or 3 PS2s per week. As luck would have it, that trend didn’t hold, and after the third week, I was exhausted, and disillusioned, and was starting to feel borderline superstitious about my prospects of ever getting my hands on the coveted system.
Soon I received a call from a friend that worked at Wal-Mart, informing me of a sizable shipment that had just arrived. Twenty minutes later, I had my brand new Playstation 2, which I promptly hooked up and used to play…
The first console I ever bought came after a series of hand-me-down consoles, gifts, and chip-ins. As a kid I would ask for the Sony consoles and my brother would ask for the Nintendo ones, together we ruled each generation. When Microsoft joined the party we had no interest, but this most recent gen was different. The Wii U was in my household but that was it. At that point, I had played my PS3 to death and I knew it was time to move on. After a lot of deliberation I went with the Xbox One.
This was my first Microsoft console and the first console I ever bought myself. After 2 weeks of working at a summer camp in Dallas, Texas I took a good chunk of my paycheck and headed to Best Buy. It was August 10th, 2015; sure I was late to the gen but I didn’t care. I immediately downloaded Ori and The Blind Forest and got to playing. Since then I’ve bought AAA titles, downloaded indies, co-oped, and even played online—all things you’d expect from your modern console. It was ordinary but it meant so much knowing I made this happen myself.
It’s a known fact that Sony “won” this generation and even though I recently bought a PS4 the Xbox One will always have a special place in my heart. This was the first console I streamed on and the first console I played online with and I absolutely love it, even on the days where I treat it like a Netflix box.
It’s a big step buying something outrageously expensive for yourself, especially for the first time. Sometime around 2007, I had found myself blessed with a surprisingly large tax return; working 20 hours a week at a grocery store when you’re 16 has some benefits. Equipped with more money than I knew what to do with, I did the most logical, responsible thing a 16-year-old could do with such cash- blow it all at once. Despite being a console kid my whole life, I decided to try out PC gaming for once, buying myself a Dell XPS m1330 laptop. I joined some high school friends in games of Counter-Strike and Battlefield 2, and played games like Red Alert 2 and War of the Ring. Not only was my PC gaming era a brief albeit impacting time of my gaming career, but it was the first time I was able to make a large, significant purchase on my own. This experience helped teach me the merits of the potential return of hard work, and was a subtle life lesson that I cannot overvalue.
If this is something you’ve done share with us your story. Or maybe it is something you plan to do with the upcoming releases still in development; Nintendo NX, PlayStation Neo and Xbox Scorpio.