How I Got My PlayStation’s
My first encounter with PlayStation is something that I can’t easily forget, simply because of how shocking it was to my then 8-year-old self. A friend in the neighborhood invited me to play video games at his house and what I saw there would change my life forever. Disc-based games?! Why, those are only used for high-quality music CD’s and VCD’s! 3D graphics and a memory card?! A controller that used shapes instead of letters to label its buttons! It all screamed high-end futuristic gaming. He put in Crash Bandicoot to show me what it was capable of and I was sold forever.
Over the next few months I would alternate between going to my friend’s house to play or even just to watch somebody else play with this PlayStation, and going home to tell my Mom and Dad how amazing it was and how much I would love to have one. I told them the most ridiculous stories, like how the mountains in the backgrounds of Pandemonium would remind me of our own family trips to the mountains. I looked at my old cartridge-based consoles with disappointment everyday, wondering when I would be able to join the future of gaming.
A couple of years later it was Christmas, and it was time to open gifts. I never specifically said I wanted a PlayStation for Christmas because I thought it was obvious. But maybe I should have. Because when it was time for me to open my gifts, it was clear from the shape what they were. PlayStation games. I opened them with excitement and content from the years of waiting until it suddenly dawned on me. These were my ONLY gifts. Where was the console?? I asked my parents but all they gave me was a puzzled look. A dream Christmas was suddenly turning into one of the worst. I almost broke into tears as I sat on the floor, staring at my amazing but then useless games.
Later that night, my Mom told me to grab some gifts she left in the car and handed me the key. I went into the garage and as soon as I opened the trunk, another familiar shape emerged. This was my PlayStation. I could not be mistaken. After countless times spent staring at this box in stores, the gift-wrapping was basically non-existent to me. While it may sound cruel to have made me wait an entire day thinking I wouldn’t be able to play any of my games, it made this moment, my first PlayStation even sweeter. I may have had no memory card to save any of my progress, but it didn’t matter to me. The future of gaming was finally mine.
Several years later, the PS2 arrived. DVD’s, the very same type of disc that brought those ultra-crisp movies to our home would be the format for my video games? And it was being powered by the Emotion Engine?!? This is a console with emotions I thought to myself, and that was a **bleep** impressive rubber ducky demo. It was the future of gaming once again and I had to have it.
Unfortunately for me, I was studying abroad and the PS2 was unavailable there. I listened to classmates who were fortunate enough to get it imported or sent to them brag about how amazing The Bouncer was while I was left to drool over pictures in magazines and read spec sheets over and over until I memorized how many polygons per second it could push.
Around 2 years later, it was time to visit home again. It was time to visit family! Right? Almost. It was time to visit family, AND it was time to get my PS2. The long plane-ride back, the long car-ride and the long sleepless nights. Everything seemed to be moving in slow motion until one morning, my Dad calls me downstairs and says, “So, do you wanna go get your PlayStation?” Yes! It was finally time.
We stopped over my cousin’s house on the way home and he had a PS2 as well. I could’ve easily tried out my copy of Final Fantasy X on his console but it just wasn’t the same. I had to unplug his entire console and use mine, with my power cord and my composite cables. I needed to see my silver towers on the boot-up screen, because according to all the magazines I had read, they would increase in number the more you play. Everything about it was amazing, and I couldn’t have been happier. I also had a memory card from the very beginning!
Finally, fast forward to 2006 and the impending release of the PS3. When I find out about the price, I basically gave up. No way a student like me would be able to save up in time for launch, and my parents wouldn’t exactly love the idea of getting me a gift that was expensive and a potential distraction for the start of my college life. Here we go again I thought to myself, another years-long watching from the sidelines.
A month later and it was Christmas, my friends and I were at the mall looking for things to buy. My dad calls and says one of the most unforgettable things a father could ever say,
“Hi, Do you want a PlayStation 3?”
“Sure, I guess? Is it okay?”
“Yes, why not?”
“Okay, thanks Dad!!”
And that was it. No excruciating wait. No need to go to a friend’s house just to play. No more listening to other people brag as I would be the first among my friends for the first time. A couple of days later a big box was lying under the christmas tree. There was no fooling me this time. I knew what it was. I had my PlayStation again.
So, thanks Mom and Dad! And thank you Sony for all the great memories!