I have a somewhat mixed history with regards to console games. Looking back in history, I believe the first console I had was some kind of pong-type thing…back in the days before console games had cartridges, so about 1977…30 years ago. Yowsa, I’m old! The first console I had that I have a clear memory of was a Colecovision: I had Donkey Kong, plus some kind of adventure game where your “character” was a little ball with a bow going through a 2D maze. After that I went through a succession of Sega systems, culminating in a Sega Genesis “portable”. That was about when online PC games started showing up (1996), which somewhat coincidentally was the last time I played a console game for about a decade.
A bit over a year ago my interest was piqued by a game on the XBox. The price had dropped due to the then-future release of the XBox 360, and so I bought a console. I enjoyed it, but after about three months I pretty much stopped playing games on the machine. I discovered one main problem with this: the same TV I wanted to use for gaming was primarily used by Irene for watching TV. I tried sneaking in a bit of playing time when Irene was out of the house, but ultimate it didn’t work out.
I decided a couple of months ago that I’d like to build myself a dedicated station for playing console games. I’m talking here about XBox/Playstation/etc type games, and by “station” I mean deskspace, display, speakers and so forth. I re-organized my office a few weeks ago to create the space for it, and I’ve been buying the components to assemble it during the past week. Here is what it looks like now:
The monitor and speaker system are sort of a bit “super-sized”. The display is a 32″ HDTV LCD set, which has HDMI and composite HDTV inputs. I initially planned on getting a 26″ display, but…the prices kept coming down. Instead of saving money, I bought a bigger display. Does this surprise you? I didn’t think so.
The speakers…well, that’s entirely my fault. I bought a nice little set of speakers, Logitech X-340 “5.1” speakers. Unfortunately, they weren’t really surround sound speakers unless you were hooking them up to a PC: connected to a console, they were stereo speakers with “fake” surround using what Logitechcalls “matrix mode”. This just wouldn’t do, since the XBox 360 supports true 5.1 surround sound using optical audio connectors. I took the X-340 set back to Best Buy and came home with a set of Z-5500 speakers that *do* support optical audio connections and full 5.1 surround. The sub-woofer in this set is about the size of a small refrigerator…or at least three cats. Perhaps a bit of overkill? Nah…
For the curious, I’ve added my XBox 360 gamer tag to the right navigation of my blog here. You can see what I’ve been playing recently, and how many achievement points (whatever those are) I have.