Consoles • Old vs New

There’s something special about a brand new console, and for me that feeling remains until the next console takes its place. My newest/current consoles have always been treated as royalty.

When handling my latest consoles I always find a responsible and safe way to transport them. I carefully pick them up, and carry them gently, with two hands. When it’s a last gen or an older console I may just toss it into a backpack and be on my way. There’s no time to clean it. It becomes a relic of good old times. It’s like this used to be worth $400 and now it’s worth $5.

I remember back in the day, my NES and SNES were un-moveable supercomputers — in my mind. They lived in one spot in the house and if they had to be moved, that would be done with the utmost degree of care. Today, they sit in a dusty old box. When taken out they aren’t treated with the same respect they once deserved.

Of course, I can’t say that all of my friends respected their old Nintendo (and SEGA) consoles the same way I did. I remember seeing friends pull cartridges out of the SNES while it was still playing, like savages. That’s like when I learned that my one friend keeps his car’s engine running while filling up with gas — Do you want me to blow up in here??? (P.S. Don’t try this at home, I still think he’s a liar and an idiot).

Once I moved on to the N64 though, these older Nintendo consoles were tossed in a box. Consoles were built much simpler and tougher back then. Games were cartridges not scratch-able discs. If you had a problem with your game you would just blow on it, not have to get a microfiber cloth or specialty cleaner to clean them off (because if you had an official cleaning kit you were a mega nerd!).

I’m pretty sure I had one of these or something like it in my house — Nerd Alert!
We later learned to just use alcohol and a Q-tip to clean old games.

The Sega Dreamcast was my first CD-based console and it lived in one place for its entire life — on my TV stand in my room where I would play my games. When I moved onto the Xbox 360 and went off to college (Luckily college was a road trip away — no planes), I kept the box with all of it’s inserts around for safe transport. My Xbox 360 would travel back and forth, if I were coming home for more than three days.

I’ve always kept my console boxes around, in case I had to take them anywhere. I took my PS4 to my friend’s houses and a couple of LAN parties. I later bought a specialty travel bag to hold and transfer my PS4 Pro safely to my girlfriend’s apartment on weekends.

The Switch is a tricky one since it’s the first of its kind — a hybrid TV console/handheld device. I have still always been very safe with handling my Nintendo Switch. I have had a case since day one and a screen protector. Whenever I’m not playing it you can find my Switch resting and recharging on the dock or strapped and sealed in my Nintendo Switch case.

Now that I have a PS5 (which lives at my gf’s apartment) my PS4 Pro is mainly used to watch stuff while I work. The other day I picked up my PS4 Pro to clean it up a bit and it didn’t feel as pristine as it once did. I wasn’t as careful when opening it up to clean the fan. Now that I have seen the future with the newer, next-gen model (PS5), it makes this older model (PS4 Pro) feel cheap and outdated.

It’s sort of like “the iPhone effect” in movies — a phrase I may have just coined. Have you ever been watching a movie that was filmed a few years back and someone pulls out an older iPhone? It immediately takes you out of the movie, Oh, this isn’t real life. You think of how old that now looks (even though it was probably only two to three years ago). Remember when that first iPhone was announced and it looked like some future alien tech, now we see any of the older boxy looking iPhones and we think it’s some kind of caveman device. Also, the latest iPhone models are now boxy like the older/original versions.

Technology moves fast and most new tech makes old tech look instantly outdated. The other day I was driving behind an antique Mercedes sedan from the 90s. It looked like the car they based the Sentinels off of in GTA (IV or VICE CITY). I thought about how this car used to look amazing and cool, but now it just looks kind of old and cool in a retro way.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that everyone should hold on to their older consoles, if possible. It’s always fun to go back and play older games. Also, game preservation is a thing that I think it’s important.

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