- Jul 20, 2006
(Kind of a long story... but if you've been around a while you guys know I'm a writer and long stories are kinda what I do...)
Ok... little bit of background here: I'd just moved to Berlin, Germany from Barcelona. I sold off my Xbox 360 and Kinect before coming because I didn't want to travel with two systems. (HUGE mistake.) So it was just me and my PS3 for the first year or so I was here.
And I was EXTREMELY poor once again. (Okay... "Poor" as in "I could live wherever the hell I wanted in the entire world... with my cat... and get by on next to nothing.")
So the Xbox One and Playstation 4 came out roughly around the same time just before Christmas.
I knew I couldn't come close to buying one of them. Didn't even particularly WANT either of them. (That last bit is important.)
All I wanted on earth was to be able to play the new Killer Instinct game. Neither the PS4 or Xbox One really HAD anything that anybody really wanted to play, in the beginning, besides that.
So... the following Christmas... after I'd moved in with GF#1... I decided to look around to see if maybe I could just rent an Xbox One for a weekend.
Just to purchase and play Killer Instinct. (Which you could play FOR FREE.) I figured a 20 or 30 buck rental wouldn't be enough to kill me.
Then I thought "Even better! What if I just buy a used one and RETURN IT?"
Just so happens I knew the manager of a Famous Videogame Retailer.
I was just hinting around about if he would let me do this or not. Much to my surprise... he tells me he got an Xbox One for FREE that he never ever plays because he also has a PS4. (This point is ALSO important.) So he says I can borrow it for a weekend if I want.
So I get the Xbox One... I play the free version of Killer Instinct. Wind up buying the whole thing. Spend the whole weekend playing it... and I'm happy as a clam!
Weekend's over. Time to return my buddy's Xbox. "Where do you wanna meet?" Nothing. "WHEN do you want to meet?" NOTHING.
This goes on for a YEAR. Long story short I breakup with GF#1, move all the way across town, and bring the Xbox with me.
A year later this friend FINALLY gets in contact with me to get his Xbox back. Says his GF wants to play the new Final Fantasy.
"NO PROBLEM." I say. "Just tell me where to drop it off."
Nothing. This goes back and fourth for FOUR YEARS total. I never really buy that many games for the system because I know at SOME POINT I've got to give it back to this guy.
That finally happens this past October. He's got a friend dying to play Red Dead Redemption 2 but he doesn't own any video game system.
By now I've already had, and been happy with, a Playstation 4 for like two and a half years. But I was right in the middle of finishing up Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments on Xbox One (which I got for free at some point I can't remember) when this guy asked for his system back.
I surrender the system without incident. (Even though, technically, I owned it waaay longer than he did at this point). And didn't really think twice about it... until around Christmas time.
GF#3 asks me what I want for Christmas. IMMEDIATELY I thought to myself "IPAD!" I never really wanted one before... but right now I could USE one for SOOOO many things...
But I know that... particularly towards the end of the year... money's pretty tight for both of us.
So I give her a range of things from about an $8 Funko pop to a used $130 Xbox One S. I tell her I would be ABSOLUTELY happy with anything on the list.
She gets me a BRAND NEW 1TB X... well whatever... You already saw the picture.
...until I remember I never really WANTED an Xbox to begin with. I just wanted to play Killer Instinct. Which I'd DONE at this point.
The Sherlock Holmes game I was in the middle of? I was at the END of it. Downloaded it and finished it in like 2 hours.
For those of you who don't know... Xbox has had kind of an exclusivity problem for basically this ENTIRE CONSOLE GENERATION. There's practically no game available for the system that isn't already available for every other system. (Notable exceptions: Sunset Overdrive, the Halo Franchise, Sea of Thieves which sucks BAWLZ, and the aforementioned beloved KI). I've already played EVERYTHING on the PS4.
So I've been thinking about that iPad... but it's not like that Xbox can ever NOT be there now.
It's probably the single greatest gift I've ever received from a girlfriend (or at least TIED for first with GTA San Andreas... which I would put up against almost ANY Christmas gift short of an actual car... and even then it depends on the CAR.)
And I don't want to seem ungrateful because I ADORE HER for even thinking enough of me to buy me something like that.
I just don't know what it says about the state of console gaming... or maybe my age and maturity level... or maybe how far technology has come and how we interact with it in our everyday lives that an iPad (and I'm a LIFELONG Apple hater...) would even enter my mind.
EDIT: BTW... I'm probably going to MARRY her. You want to show a guy you're ABSOLUTELY serious... a gift like that or an all day spa, hot tub, steam room deal will do it. It's 2019. Everybody's gotta up their game. But even without the gift... she cares about my cat almost as much as I do... and there's no quicker way to my heart than him.