There's Something About Consoles

There’s just something about video game consoles. I’ve primarily been a PC gamer for the past several years now. Ever since the era of the 360 and PS3 began to die down and the new, current era approached. PC gaming has been great for all of the obvious reasons including, but not limited to, Steam sales, extra graphics settings, higher frame rates, and a bevy of control options. Though there are also the lesser spoken of cons to PC gaming: Screen tearing, occasional random crashing, hit-or-miss controller support, and the like. To be honest, I wasn’t exceptionally bothered by any of the PC-related annoyances or hardships. I think I’d forgotten just how easy consoles can be—until I bought one several days ago. I now own an Xbox One. I’m a console gamer again, at least part-time, and it honestly feels like a breath of fresh air.

Making the leap to the current console generation was, not too long ago, something I imagined possibly never happening. I was content with my PC and, broadly, people on the internet have given the impression that these current consoles are a bit of a downer. I guess it was this year’s E3 that changed my mind. Rock Band 4 only being on consoles gave me good reason to really stop and think. With that game’s DLC transferring over (amazing, by the way), but only to the same platform (PS3 to PS4/360 to One), it made the decision to buy an Xbox One over a PS4 a little easier, given that I have hundreds of songs purchased through my 360. Rock Band was a huge motivator, and the game I’m most looking forward to later this year. That said, there are a whole host of other things I’m now looking forward to as well. Forza 6, Halo 5, Rise of the Tomb Raider, and even the new Gears seems interesting, which isn’t something I thought I’d ever really care about. The upcoming dashboard redesign seems really slick and like a major improvement. Backwards compatibility stuff seems real cool as well. I really hope the library expands at a reasonable pace and lives up to what Microsoft is pitching there.

God this minigame is great.
God this minigame is great.

But aside from the things to look forward to, what’s really surprised and impressed me, and what’s made me want to write this and share, is just how enjoyable the whole experience of a console is after a long break from them. Everything is easy. You turn the system on and it’s all right there. My Gamerscore is now increasing again from right where I left it, and it feels strangely good to be earning achievements. My gamer picture, one earned by completing the “Klungo Saves the World” mini game within Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, was there to greet me—I love that gamer picture. Aside from the long download/install times, games simply boot up and work. They look great. Forza Horizon 2 is beautiful, and I’m having a ton of fun in that world. Turn 10 and Playground Games have crafted the best Need for Speed game in years. No messing with graphics settings, no screen tearing, no frame rate fluctuation. Playing my Xbox One feels much more free of distraction than my PC ever has.

It’s been nice to see some of the people on my friends list still active on Xbox Live too. @thegreatguero, for one, coincidentally acquired an Xbox One recently as well, which is neat. If any of you guys would like to add me as a friend on XBL, my gamertag remains JJWeatherman, same as my username here. I especially welcome any potential future Rock Band 4 bandmates. Active/friend leaderboards are always fun too, so definitely send me a friend request if you'd like, and make sure to mention that you're from Giant Bomb so that I know you're one of the Cool Kids.

That’s it. I hope you guys are enjoying these new consoles. I sure am, despite being a couple years late to the party.