I've been gaming since I was 3 years old. I started on my family's Atari 2600 and moved on to the NES when they picked that up. We were a Nintendo family all the way up to the N64, loved every minute of it. Then I was old enough to work and buy my own stuff, I got an Xbox because it seemed the best value to me; No memory card needed, more powerful system, interesting exclusives. That's when Halo found me and my gaming landscape changed forever. LAN parties, many person multiplayer, tons of fun. Halo 2 introduced me to internet play and led me down the road to my Xbox 360 and Halo 3, ODST, et al. I've always owned all 3 systems of any given generation, but I've usually started on Microsoft's console because of Halo. It seems the times are a changin'...
I cannot fault Microsoft for their decisions with the XBone* as they make good business sense once the console gets into people's homes. It seems they're going to have difficulty convincing most of us to put it in our homes. I'm a huge fan of Halo and the end of Halo 4 nearly had me in tears. I know it's a cheap way to get a sci fi fan to go all weepy, but it works sometimes, even though almost nothing in sci fi/fantasy worlds is permanent (Trying not to spoil it there, but if you must know it's the death (and let's be honest, eventual resurrection of) Cortana). Having said that, I'm not that excited for Halo 5 yet. Or it's television show. Forward Unto Dawn was amazing, but I need to see some gameplay and footage, respectively, before they excite me.
It's not that Sony isn't exciting. Far from it. They have been landing some serious blows to Microsoft PR and saying EXACTLY what gamers have been hoping they'll say about their system. PS4 is shaping up to be the industry leader here in the days following E3. We'll see if they keep it up until the holiday season, but if they've proven anything with the previous PlayStations, it's that Sony is a marathon runner. They know how to play the long game and keep things running forever.
The only reason I'm getting neither the XBone nor the PS4 this holiday season is simple; I never trust first gen hardware. I doubt very much we'll have another "red ring of death" situation this time around, but first gen hardware always has that possibility. Any company, especially gaming companies, need time to get their systems working on the grand scale of selling it to the world. It just takes some time to do it and there's always, ALWAYS horror stories from people who got their system on launch day and it malfunction in some way. I'm glad people are willing to be test cases for the rest of us, but it's just not going to happen for me.
As a result, I am amazed to find myself actually contemplating getting a... getting a... a Wii U. I still think it's a fantastically stupid idea to have a huge touch screen on the controller, mainly because no one, especially not Nintendo, has given us a good reason why it needs it**. Remote play has no use for me, I play my games on my TV and, since I'm a single male, it's my gaming TV exclusively. It has no cable or satellite hook up, it's not something other people vie for. What's leaning me back towards the house of Mario is what every company should be focusing on; Games. Granted, the ones I'm being swayed by are typical Nintendo faire (Windwaker HD, Donkey Kong, Mario World 3D, Mario Kart, etc.), but they're experiences we've paid for again and again for a reason. The reason is they're high quality and damn good fun.
I'm as astonished as the next gamer, but Nintendo may get me if I see a good deal on a Wii U this holiday season. We shall see if it actually comes to pass, but I'm leaning pretty heavy that way right now. Anyone else feeling the same or am I just crazy?
*You know, aside from the name... and the price... and the 24 hour internet restriction... and the mind numbing, PS3 level of arrogance they're displaying, but other than that...
**A Mario Kart horn?! Really?! REALLY?!?!