Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Game Drought

The last year Linzy and I exchanged Christmas presents rather then spending-limited stockings was a doozy. At the time, we were both working and although I won't bore you with details, suffice to say the present pile just for the two of us looked vaguely like the pile that we now get for other people.

That year happened to be the year of the release of the XBox and Gamecube. Now, Linzy knew better then to get me a $300 Xbox or PS2, but she did spoil me with the less expensive Gamecube.

The trouble with buying a game console at or near to launch is always game selection. Typically launch games are sub-par (with a few notable exceptions) and then there is usually a significant gap before the next round of games come out (as everyone either crunched to make the launch or needs extra time to acclimate to the new console).

Anyway, the Gamecube happened to have a particularly poor launch selection. I got Rogue Squadron with the console, which would have been an awesome game if it wasn't so incredibly difficult. After that, nothing. There was hardly even another game released for months, and certainly nothing I wanted to play.

It made me feel bad, because here was this fancy present and I wasn't even able to use it because there was nothing to play on it. I didn't get another game for it until late the following summer when Super Mario Sunshine finally came out (which, although a sub-par Mario game was good relative to anything else available for the GC at the time). Then it was another long wait until Zelda came out the following year.

Eventually, of course, games started flowing for the Gamecube, and I enjoyed the system. But, after that experience, I was highly amused today to see all the consternation over the announcement that it is likely that there will be significant drought of new high-profile first-party games for the Wii until late next year.

After all, the only reason there was a Zelda game at launch was because the game was intended for the GameCube but ended up so ridiculously late that they just delayed it a bit more and shipped it at the same time as the Wii.

And it certainly isn't the first time this has happened to a freshly launched console. The same thing happened to the Xbox 360, the PSP, the DS, and likely will happen to the PS3.

Not having many games to play on it for a while is part of the wonder of buying a console right out of the gate. Along with having them eventually replace the original hardware with cooler looking, slimmer hardware.

No comments: