For the majority of my life as a gamer, I was a diehard Nintendo fan. I was raised on Nintendo games, starting with the original NES and continuing through each subsequent Nintendo console. However, there came a day when things changed for me. I did something I never thought I would do: I bought a Sony gaming console. What drove me to this decision? How has it impacted my life as a gamer? What can all gamers learn from my experience?
When the Nintendo Wii launched over 8 years ago, I was excited. Not only was this a new Nintendo console, but the concept of motion-controlled gaming intrigued me as well. I sat in front of Best Buy for over 12 hours in order to purchase my Wii on launch day, staying up overnight in the process. There were about 20-30 people camping outside of that Best Buy with me on that bitterly cold November night, so I wasn't the only insane person there. The store employees definitely thought we were crazy, though. In fact, I remember one employee shouting at us as he was coming in to work that morning; "There will be plenty of Wii consoles! You didn't have to camp out!" He was wrong. They didn't even have enough in-stock for everyone in that line. Afterwards, Wii consoles became extremely hard to find for the next year. So, needless to say, I was glad I got mine on day one. Take that, random Best Buy guy!
I loved the Wii; I had a lot of fun with it. I played Wii Sports with my little brother as soon as I got home from the store on launch day, even though I had stayed up all-night and was exhausted. I enjoyed bringing it over to friends' houses and showing them how it works, after which they in turn would usually go and buy a Wii of their own. That was the Wii's success story: the novelty of the thing. But, sadly, that novelty wore off over time.
That isn't to say that the Wii was a one-trick pony; it was host to some great gaming experiences. Games like The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Super Mario Galaxy, Mario Kart Wii, Super Smash Bros Brawl, and Metroid Prime 3: Corruption are all excellent. But those AAA first-party titles were sparse, especially when compared to the mountains of shovel-ware, gimmicky motion-controlled games, and half-hearted mini-game collections that were being crammed onto store shelves back then. Those games were obviously rushed out the door to capitalize on the popularity of the Wii and make a quick buck.
As a result of all of this, I became a bit disillusioned with the Wii. There would be long stretches of time in which I had nothing to play. This became the impetus for my decision to branch out from Nintendo territory.
The turning point came a year or two after the Wii's release. I was walking through Best Buy when I saw a PlayStation 2 game called Shadow of the Colossus. I had heard from friends how awesome this game was, and it really seemed like my kind of game. I'm a huge Legend of Zelda fan, so any game featuring an epic adventure with elements of puzzle solving is right up my alley. I really, really wanted to play this game, so I bought it right then and there, even though I had nothing to play it on. The game wasn't expensive, seeing as how the PlayStation 3 had already been released, and the game itself had been out for quite a while. So, there I was, the proud owner of a game that I couldn't play.
It wasn't long, though, before I found a used PS2 on the Internet and had it shipped to my house. The seller even threw in several games with the deal. Finally, I could play Shadow of the Colossus, and it was well worth the wait! That game is nothing short of incredible, and it quickly became one of my favorite games of all-time. If you've never played Shadow of the Colossus, go out and find a way to play it right now! I couldn't have asked for a better game to introduce me to the PlayStation ecosystem.
Buying a PlayStation console opened up a whole new world for me. It was like traveling to an exotic locale and seeing things with my own eyes that I had previously only heard about. Great game franchises like Jak and Daxter, Sly Cooper, and Ratchet and Clank were finally available to me. I never could have joined in such adventures had I remained an obstinate, diehard Nintendo fan.
I eventually bought a PlayStation 3 bundled with LittleBigPlanet, which turned out to be another wonderful game. Now, I also have a Playstation 4 and a Wii U, and I play them both regularly.
I don't have my PS2 anymore, as it stopped working awhile back, but I'm so glad I bought it all those years ago. It afforded me some great experiences that I otherwise would never have had. Now, some of my favorite game franchises are on non-Nintendo platforms: Portal 2, the Batman: Arkham games, the Uncharted series, and Destiny just to name a few.
My point in this story is this: if you're a stubborn fanboy (or fangirl) then you are missing out. There are so many great games out there, so why limit yourself? I totally understand having a preference of one game company over another. After all, I'm still a Nintendo fan first. I also understand that money is an issue, and some may not be able to afford an additional console. That's the main reason I haven't joined the XBOX community (yet). But, if it's feasible and if you can afford it, I encourage you to take the plunge and branch out like I did! You won't regret it. We're all gamers, after all. If the gaming community consisted of more open-minded players and fewer hateful fanboys, then the world of gaming would be a much better place.