Box To The Future

Earlier this week I had an acquaintance approach me with the assumed knowledge that I was definitely a Father. Pending an extraordinary twist worthy of the world’s craziest soap-operas, this is not the case. I promise. However, this odd appointment (and today’s activity) has made me think about a number of things in a different way. And listen to music. I am currently listening to a rather bombastic, action-packed score, and reminiscing. I am casting my mind back. Way back…Back to the year 20…something (2002? 2003?)

In this year, I bought myself an Xbox. Money had been slammed down, metaphorically, as fast as electronic transfer means would allow – I had made this impulsive transaction at a time of life where it was probably in the Top 5 Most Expensive Things I had ever personally bought. The result was this massive, big-enough-to-eat-your-VCR-player-and-still-be-hungry monstrosity, that I had decided to purchase after being enthralled by a friend’s console. This experience of being “thralled” had left me believing that my recreational time, if not along with a measure of my rest time, would be best spent in conjunction with this…this…Box.



I was mostly right: It definitely got a hell of a lot of use. So much use in fact, that when it’s replacement, the whizz-bang, high-tech, slightly melted-looking Xbox 360 came around for release, I pre-ordered. Months later, myself and a similarly fanatical friend were waiting in line at the midnight opening, paid-off receipts in hand, eager for our early purchases of gadgetry to be distributed. Which happened very shortly after the clock struck 12. Laden down with boxes and plastic clam-shelled accesories, we raced back to his house, where his console was set up in minutes, and we spent the rest of the night blasting our way through the new titles, revelling in the machine’s processing power, and the freedom of our wireless controllers. After finally succumbing to fatigue and snoozing, I took my haul home and placed it reverently aside my TV stand.

Where it remained sealed for at least two months.



Looking back on it, it’s very clear to me that it was a strange, and potentially my first,  case of buyer’s remorse. Why exactly? I don’t know, but I was resenting that thing, that off-white, slightly sunken entertainment upgrade. I had loved every moment I spent playing my friend’s console, but something was stopping me from setting it up and getting into it myself. Was it the widespread stories of a high failure rate that scared me from powering up? Was it the amount of money it had cost and my relatively ambivalent level of excitement regarding the games I had? Was it just a nagging sensation that I had bought something I really didn’t want or need? I cannot answer any of the above. I lost many hours of sleep trying to figure this out. (Just imagine how my rest is interrupted by something REALLY important.) However, some later event occurred that ended with me setting up the device, and I never looked back – I love it like the other half of my unconventional cop partnership that would have spawned a successful movie franchise, had we only had that first, daring cinematic release.

One of these is a high-tech robot.

(left-to-right: High tech robot, Genre-savvy Detective)

Flash back (forward?) to 2013, the announcement was made that the third generation of Xbox was on the way, the confusing and oft-mocked Xbox One. Not the Xbox III. Being a lover of the portmanteau, I have taken to the “Xbone” nomenclature (pronounced “crossbone”, which should bring to mind either Pirate flags, or particularly macabre-looking arrow-shooting weaponry), and decided very early on that, controversy aside, it was the next-gen horse that I would back, and then promptly did not go out and did not pre-order it. My conviction and loyalty was so strong, I did nothing. Six months on from its release, to the day, and I’d still not bought one. Why is this?

Part of me was still sore from the resentment I held for the Xbox 360 (which, like a kid who is allergic to and loves playing with dogs even though they bite him, I still don’t fully understand.) Part of it was also a far more pragmatic “there wasn’t really a bunch of games I’m keen to plow into”. One of those could be resolved with time and a progressive release schedule. The other may require introspection, a process of rationalisation, and in a real extreme, therapy. In either case, I made a decision today, which explains the change in tense that this paragraph possesses: I bought a crossbone.

Wireless? I call shenanigans.

Wireless connectivity? I call shenanigans.

Partially it was because there’s finally games I’m keen to dive into and lose my free time with. Partially it’s because I finally said goodbye to my DVD player, which was the last single-purpose device I owned, opening up some cabinet space. Partially it’s because my co-conspirator B1acksword was generous with his time and skills, and wrangled a deal for me that was absurdly good, and will make the retailer rue the day they decided to be flexible. And partially, it’s because the stars aligned and I have saved enough to pay for it, so that it doesn’t appear to flat line my bank account.



I wish I could say more excited, complimentary things that went into making this decision, but the truth is as bland as that: I decided I was going to get one, and then waited. The process leading to the actual purchasing of this entirely-entertainment-based device was a realisation of maturity for me. I’m not saying I am a total man-child and that this is my sober Moment of Clarity, but it was definitely a decision I thought about with a lot more depth and measured control than I may have previously. I am quietly confident that the excitement and praise will manifest once I’m button-mashing my way through a high-definition world. I am also quietly confident that this third iteration of the X-brand will suck up just as much of my time as it’s predecessors.

Which I am ENTIRELY looking forward to…

~ by nick on June 5, 2014.

One Response to “Box To The Future”

  1. How fascinating! I recently realised that my DVD player was malfunctioning and instantly decided to replace it upon the morrow. And I did – with a Blu-ray player. It looks so teeny tiny in the space where my behemoth of a DVD player used to sit.
    But I watch so many DVDs, I could not countenance being without a player to play them. I simply could not wait. I wonder what delight I would have felt if I had gone without movies for a while, and was then able to welcome them back into my life when I replaced the DVD player?

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