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Monthly Archives: February 2013

I finally upgraded my primary gaming system, just in time for Sony to cancel PS2 production and for the PS4 hype to start ramping up into full gear. I put it off for a long time, but it’s been absolutely amazing, perhaps particularly since I’ve caught up to roughly seven years of technology in one sitting. But I’m still not going to get a PS4 for quite some time.

For under $300, I bought a PS3 with 250 GB and complimentary copies of Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception and Eve: Dust 514. I didn’t even have to sit around in fear of the next upgrade, knowing full well that Sony would do what it always does and release a second version that is smaller, more powerful, and full of more goodies–I just went to the store and it was already there waiting for me, complete with a couple of games. And, sure, it also came with a 30-day trial membership for the PlayStation network, but if reading any kind of tech news in the last two years has taught me anything, I already know better than to join what appears to be the world’s favorite network for stealing my billing information.

But here’s one of my favorite things: it plays new games, boasts backward compatibility, and plays BluRay discs. The first two things aren’t the most exciting thing ever, but remember the fight between HDDVD and BluRay? It sounds like the Great War our parents fought over VHS and Beta by now, but this battle’s not only already been settled for me but also even solidifies the argument for a PS3 over an XBOX 360 (and the Wii U was never an option because my phone is already my handheld screen). Don’t get me wrong, I love the Halo series as much as the next preteen who knows more curse words than I do, but if I have to buy a console and a player when I could just buy the whole package–as well as stream Netflix–then why bother doing anything but rejoin Sony’s ranks? Furthermore, does anyone expect the PS4 to invent, I dunno, PrpleRay or DubbleBluRay or something?

Most importantly, though, consider the games. GameStop has FallOut 3 for $5. A game that quite literally changed my life costs about the same as my lunch and entertains me for probably about 200 times as long. The same thing goes for tons of well-established games with solid reviews and huge fan bases–I probably won’t be the world’s most preeminent expert on these newfangled Call of Duty games, but I’ll sure be able to catch up on proven hits and favorites (What’s this shiny Bioshock thing I’ve heard tell about? It’s $20 at GameStop, might as well check it out) while keeping a whole lot more money in my pocket.

All told, waiting until Halo 6, the slimline PS4, or the XBOX 1080 Special Tony Hawk Edition have been out for a while before you rush to get a new console just might prove to be a worthy investment. They’re only guaranteed to refine your console of choice, and none of the games are going anywhere (like that spare cash burning a hole in your pocket). It’s been pretty much the most enjoyable gaming I’ve had in years, and there’s no reason to expect it won’t be a similar experience five, seven years from now for either of us.

Unless Kinect gets co-opted by Skynet, I guess. In which case, I’ll be camped out in Vault 101.

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Full Albums:

  • Big Boi, Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors
  • Friendly Fires, Pala
  • Left Lane Cruiser, Junkyard Speed Ball and Bring Yo’ Ass to the Table
  • Miguel, Kaleidoscope Dream
  • The Rolling Stones, Exile on Main St.

Random Excellence:

  • Fitz and the Tantrums, “MoneyGrabber”1
  • Trae the Truth, “I’m On”
  • Led Zeppelin, “Celebration Day”
  • The Hold Steady, “The Swish” and “Stay Positive”
  • Method Man, “Meth Vs. Chef”
  • Meth, Ghost and Rae, “Gunshowers”
  • Fall Out Boy, “Pavlove”
  • Sly & the Family Stone, “Everyday People”
  • Queens of the Stone Age, “Misfit Love”
  • Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth, “On and On” and “It’s Like That”
  • Nas, “It Ain’t Hard to Tell”
  • Incubus, “Privilege”
  • Daft Punk, “Derezzed” and “End of Line”
  • The Clash, “Clampdown”
  • Bruce Springsteen, “Murder Incorporated”
  • The Afghan Whigs, “Magazine”

Songs of the Weeks:

  • Mayer Hawthorne, “Can’t Stop (Dam-Funk Remix)”
  • Big K.R.I.T., “Hometown Hero (Remix Feat. Yelawolf)”
  • Terius Nash, “Rolex Music”

Reviews:

1. Two of my girlfriend’s coworkers had a going-away party at a new place in the West Village called Houston Hall. I’d known the place was opening since she and her coworkers tend to frequent a place next door called the Brooklyneer. Never mind my constant confusion with the “Hewston”/”Howston” pronunciation debate, but, as a man from Texas, I sort of expected it to be another small little Manhattan bar and was taken aback when I walked through the second set of doors. Even the Thrillist photos I’d seen the day before didn’t do it justice. The place is huge.

And it was exciting, too. Packed to the gills, waitresses in German wear, custom-brewed German-style beers in large steins, and so on. Everything I’m supposed to love. But the more time I spent there, the more times security teams asked me to move around, the more people bumped into me, the less I could hear my own friends talking over the din, the more I realized I kind of hated the place.

Some of my fellow revelers pointed out the frustrations we were all having with the place might come from the shiny newness of it all, that it might get better with time. Which kind of makes sense, but I don’t really expect it to get any less packed, particularly at night time.

Roughly around the beginning of that conversation, this song came on. It might have been the only thing that helped me release some of my reservations about the place and be willing to take a second look at the place. Because if their taste in music can be this excellent, maybe it’s not their fault. It’s only one song, but maybe they’re on the right track, just temporarily delayed by some of the wrong clientele.

Comment:

I don’t want to jinx myself, but I think my new policy of exercising without my iPod in my hand seems to have saved its life. It’s already survived longer than all the other ones I’ve had, so maybe I can keep this dream alive. The iPod dream, not the hand dream.

In related news, working solely on this prehistoric laptop can sometimes be a bit of a nightmare. Luckily, a friend donated an old MacBook, which I’ve already installed a new hard drive in. The only challenge left on that front is finding the proper OS X materials since he didn’t have his on hand, but I’m looking forward the newness.