All Systems Go, Prepare For Launch

Today we welcome Jim Foronda to Dumb White Husband. Jim will be heading up all things geek. Is he qualified? Jim has been the voice of Duke, Cobra Commander, Opitmus Prime and Megatron as well as appearing in many video games including the Borderland series. He’s spent the better part of two decades making toy commercials and is probably the the reason your kids drive you crazy. So, yeah, he’s qualified.

Who got one of the new consoles last November? Anyone? PlayStation 4 or Xbox One? Did you preorder as soon as GameStop would happily stuff your cash in their coffers? On the eve of the midnight launch, did you wear your replica COG tags and/or Ellie & Joel T-shirt while standing in line for your pretty new machine? If so, I give you an awkward virtual fist bump across the internet while wearing a platform-neutral Abstergo Entertainment shirt and pressing a shiny new button to post a picture on Facebook of my ruthless pirate assassin petting a puppy.

When you think about it, being an early adopter is kind of a pain in the ass.

But if you decide you want to jump in on day one when the next generation of consoles comes out around 2022-ish, let me give you a few pointers:

There was a time when you had to camp out overnight to get a Next-Gen Console™ on launch day, but thanks to the video game retail industry practice of preordering, you don’t have to camp out to purchase a console anymore! Instead you have to camp out to preorder – those suckers sell out before they’re even made.

You may plan on eventually becoming a dual-system owner, but unless you’ve saved up for the occasion, are independently wealthy or still live with your parents, you have to pick which new console you’re going to get first. This is an important decision you must make on your own and never, ever divulge your choice to anyone. When you go to trade in stuff toward the purchase or put down your deposit, speak directly to the clerk and don’t make eye contact with anyone else in the store. Otherwise, one or more rabid fans of the opposing console will zero in on you with the sole intent of proving that you are, in fact, an idiot. For the last year, your average GameStop has become a nightmarish fusion of Tron and West Side Story.

Finally, after all the speculation and anticipation comes the midnight launch! YAY! You get to wait in not one, but TWO lines! While you’ve already preordered, you have to come into the store at a set time in the afternoon to pay the remaining balance and get your console number. Without fail, some kid in line in front of you has waited until this very moment to trade in their entire collection of Original Console™ games. What should be a five-minute transaction becomes fifteen minutes as the clerks open and inspect every item and make sure everything works. Expect an additional ten minutes if the kid’s parent becomes angry and belligerent upon finding out that Original Console™ stuff is pretty much worthless now.

Return right before midnight, receipt clenched firmly in hand, and take your place in line according to your console number. Don’t laugh at the second line filled with people who didn’t preorder. That’s very mean and chances are it’s a long, dark walk back to your car in the parking lot. Enjoy the final wait. Every launch is a communal experience, like a little Woodstock or Burning Man, only with less naked people. When the clock strikes 12, get your new toy, go home and get to gaming – after spending an hour or so downloading all the firmware updates.

Being a hardcore early adopter, you’ll enjoy a nifty but anemic selection of launch titles. There’s a good chance your friends will still be playing on the Original Console™, so have fun playing online against random people who’ll say really terrible things about your mom. By the time your friends get their hands on a Next-Gen Console™ you will have played the crap out everything for it and gone back to playing your Original Console™. And it’ll be like that for a while because, after launch day, nothing good comes out for around 5-6 months.

Aren’t you glad you decided to go for launch? This is the price we pay to play the newest new thing as soon as possible. Dumb? Yes. Fun? Definitely.

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  • reply Danielle Young ,

    Waiting in those long lines is definitely part of the fun. You get to be with fellow gamers that understand exactly what it’s all about. Finally you are surrounded by people who understand your need to have the latest and greatest gaming machine. It’s nice to fit in every once in a while.

    I have yet to make my purchase or decide exactly which next gen console I want. Usually my family is hardcore Xbox, but this generation of consoles has caused my family to draw lines. Half want Xbox *coughs* because Xbox rules *cough* while the other half wants a PS4. And as hardcore Xbox as I am the PS4 has me seriously questioning my allegiance to Microsoft. But the question for me is can I get over my old hatred of Playstation and actually play on it. Then there is the other factor what if I get a PS4 and actually like it? Oh the horror. I would be forever known as the Xbox traitor and I don’t know if I can live with that.

    • reply Jim Foronda ,

      Oh no, did I make eye contact with you?

      I’ve been a dual-system owner since the 16-bit era and have been the Geneva among fiercely territorial gaming friends for years. Cast aside your corporate prejudice and open your heart to what it means to really play a game, friend. It’s about the joy of the play, not about spelling the name of the opposing console’s company name with a “$” instead of an “S”. It’s not about who’s pressing A, B, X, Y or Square, Triangle, X, Circle… It’s about pressing BUTTONS.

      When it comes down to it, we’re all getting equally screwed by console manufacturers and game publishers, creeping their way into our wallets with their microtransactions and on-disc DLC! Let’s all hold hands and get screwed together!

      (By the way, I went with the PS4 first. The whole digital rights management kerfluffle with the Xbox One gave me pause. I’ll get one eventually, perhaps after the first price drop. And it pains me so because I really want to play Dead Rising 3.)

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