Dark Watcher's Collection
|The Dark Watcher is not a true collector. We have never traded in or sold a console for another. We chose to keep and
preserve certain videogame consoles because of the memories they invoke. It is as if each console has a story to tell...
Other then a "Pong" unit that we have vague memories of, the Atari 2600 is where we got our gaming start. Yar's Revenge, Pitfall, Asteroids, Pac-Man, Adventure and even E.T were the gaming staples. The original family
machine has long since died, but the memories triggered a desire for a replacement from a local flea market.
The Nintendo NES, and Super Mario Bros, started a true gaming addiction. We were used to blocky (usually) monochrome
graphics and simplistic game play. We recall playing the NES at a cousins house and were simply amazed. We were too
poor to afford one, but we eventually got one to call our own. The NES shown has stood the test of time. It may not
have all its original guts, but it is the same little box that kept us smiling as a kid. It took some hard work and
odd jobs to save up for a SuperNES. A fan of Nintendo's previous offerings made this purchase a no brainer. Its a
shame Nintendo used shoddy fire retardant chemicals on the old plastic casing. It looks like hell, but still plays like
While we enjoyed all things Nintendo, we had a good friend that was a die hard Sega fan. We loved going to his home
and playing the Master System. He would later get the amazing 16-bit Sega Genesis. Years later we would make it through
military boot camp. Our reward to ourselves? We finally jumped aboard the Sega bandwagon and got our Genesis with Sega
CD in an all in one package.
We were stationed in Japan when the Sony PlayStation arrived. We were immediately hooked by playing a kiosk that
featured 3D titles Battle Arena Toshinden and Tekken. By the time we returned to the United States, there was word of
a 3D Final Fantasy. We snapped up a PlayStation immediately and lucked out with the Sony / Sega price wars.
It was the mid 1990's and our same little cousin had graduated to Sega Saturn. There would be plenty of smack talk
during that Sega / Sony war, but we had to admit the Saturn put out some smooth 2D games. We couldn't afford
another console at the time. Years later another friend would purchase a PlayStation 2. His Saturn was not getting any
play time. So when he offered it as a gift, we jumped on it.
|Nintendo passed up the PlayStation, but came back with the Nintendo 64. It was impressive, but we couldn't see
ourselves paying over $70 USD for one cartridge when we could grow our PSX library with CD games for $19.99. We
would patiently ride out another console war. Ironically, we would buy the Nintendo 64 system for $19.99.
We just happened to work in the same building as a Sega corporate office during the PlayStation 2 / Dreamcast
console war. We would spend lunch breaks playing Sega Dreamcast in their lobby kiosks. We loved many of the Sega DC
titles, but we patiently waited for price drops. Sadly, Sega would leave behind the hardware console market. We
finally got our Dreamcast for only $40 USD. It continues to be on of our favorite consoles, and remains a reminder
in Sega's place in console history.
The Sony PlayStation 2 hype train almost pulled us aboard. Its arrival brought about outrageous online and forced
bundle sales. There were also shootings and robberies. Never had we seen such an insane console debut. We just
happened to be at work when a good friend and co-worker (Mr. Stum) told us that he had just returned from a small
"Po-Dunk" town where some PS2 units were accidentally shipped. He went on to say that he had 3 consoles in
the trunk of his car. "Ya want one?" You better believe it! The funny thing is that our new PS2 was mostly
used to play PSOne games and DVDs till the console library really grew. It was still an amazing machine that allowed
for backwards compatibility with slight enhancements.
November of 2001 was an exciting time. There has always been excitement whenever it turns into a 3 way console war
for supremacy. Sony's PlayStation 2 had just survived a war with Sega Dreamcast and had just started expanding
on their console kingdom, but two new combatants entered the battle zone. Newcomer, Microsoft Xbox, arrived with
powerful graphics and simplistic game development. Combat veteran, Nintendo, also made a strong return for console
throne with their GameCube in an effort to reclaim the kingdom that was once theirs.
Nintendo had lost a lot of support when they elected to stay with the expensive cart format. We admit that we were
reluctant to try another Nintendo machine, but we could not resist the draw of Nintendo's franchise games. We just
happened to be deployed to a military base when this soldier was packing to return home. He neglected to pack his GameCube console, and claimed to not have room for it. How the heck could he not pack that small cube? Oh well...We
took it off his hands for only $50 USD, and later added the GameBoy Player to get the most bang for our buck.
To be honest it took some time for us to become interested in Xbox. With PS2 titles running cheaper and few Xbox
"must have" exclusives (that we took interest in at the time), we hesitated long enough for a substantial
price drop. At $99 USD, and with an expanded library of cheaper "Platinum Hits" titles, we finally took
enjoyment in Microsoft's big beast. It just happens to also be the first console we have attempted to
"skin". The Microsoft Xbox eventually grew on us, and expanded our range of game genres we now enjoy.
|We were reluctant to mention our little Yobo, but we have taken such a liking to it. The Yobo Gameware is actually
an NES clone. We found it at a small gaming "Mom & Pop" store near our home. As a console historian,
we normally don't have interest in clones (unless they are unique in their own right). For only $19.99, we figured
what the heck. What we got was a small top load unit no bigger then 2 stacked NES carts with composite video output,
two controllers with rapid fire / Slo Mo, and almost complete compatibility with all NES accessories. It plays nearly
all the games in our library, and gives us that classic feel when using a standard NES controller. It also means our
original NES front loader can be stored and preserved.
The best consoles are the ones that you receive as a gift. Nintendo Wii was the ultimate gift of the year. So much so
that it remained sold out in stores for most of its debut. It was the year 2006 and DW grew another year older. This
Wii birthday present actually made us feel another year younger. Nintendo truly won us back as a fan that year. Who
would of thought that waving a remote like a lunatic could be so fun.
Sony arrived with a new generation of PlayStation and the hype train made its rounds again. The cost of their
PlayStation 3 simply derailed the hype train for us. The HD optical format wars were still being waged and a price that
fell well outside our budget left ole DW waiting on the sidelines. Being patient had always worked in the past. Sony
would quickly throw a wrench in our routine patience program. They would drop the price of the PS3, but at the cost of
removing features and capabilities (WHAT! No PS2 backwards compatibility!). Needless to say... they forced our hand. We managed to locate one of the last discontinued 60 GB PS3 units. The HD format wars were over, and we bought a full
featured PS3 with Blu-ray capabilities. It was $100 cheaper, but is by far the most money we have ever paid for a
videogame console. We are quite happy with it though.