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My PS2 Goes Into Retirement

I was flattered to receive an email today from a gentleman asking if I would be willing to allow one of my old console games, developed many years ago, to be on display in a console museum. Despite making me sound old enough to be a beta tester for Noah's Ark I took the compliment as intended.

The whole idea of a console museum makes me realise how far we have come in gaming from the original Atari console and Pong to the current XBOX 360 with a raft of consoles sitting between these hardware bookends.

It seems only yesterday that I was happily playing games that consisted of only two rectangles as bats and a square as a ball moving across the screen with fuzzy motion blur. And yet today, here we are with machines such as the XBOX 360 and real time graphics that only a few short years ago would have required an array of equipment and cooling fans that would have more than filled the floor space of a domestic house. It is a sobering thought to think that a single 360 has more processing power than the entire Apollo missions!

Such is progress however that the consumer always demands more and the developer is always keen to push the limits that little bit further. It was not too long ago that I was one of the select few invited to a preview of the original Sony Playstation ahead of release to developers and we all sat in hushed awe at the graphical capability of the machine. When the Playstation2 came along I remember colleagues commenting that this was the ultimate and that graphics do not even need to improve beyond such jaw dropping perfection.

How fickle we are as in a few short years when we all now talk of the limitations of the PS2. Give it a few years and no doubt my XBOX 360 will be seen as a quaint museum piece whilst we all salivate over the latest hardware. A friend in the industry joked to me only last week that he plays games on the day of their release as waiting any longer would make them look too old and dated!

I, for one, love the breakneck speed of progress both as a developer and consumer. Even with the incredible equipment of today my imagination is still a few steps ahead of achievable reality in gaming and I have a sneaking suspicion that it always will be. My only problem is that my attic is getting too small for the Nintendo consoles, Sega Genesis, 3DO, 3DO M2, the PS1, Atari and Colecovision systems that have found a home there. My PS2 is about to take its first teetering steps to join the ranks of the geriatric graphics and gaming systems. Perhaps I need to buy them a retirement home in Florida!


I know the feeling.

I still remember my first game system -- the NES. Wow, we were the cool kids on the block -- all my friends only had an intellivision or colecovision!

We'd take the NES to their house when my parents would go over to play Pinochle. The kids would play the NES until all hours of the morning.

It really is amazing for me to be growing up with things like this -- I'm 24 years old and probably what is considered to be the first generation to grow up with video games.

I'm enjoying every minute of it.

Brian "MrMoose" Beck

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