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I Miss Gaming Consoles.

I was lucky enough to grow up during the classic age of home game consoles. You go to the store, buy an Atari 2600, and for the most part it’s all you ever need. Sure, they had those wheel controllers which were great for Pong and Wizard of Wor, but the system was all-in-one. Original Nintendo? Loved it! The accessories were never required, the NES MAX was for sub-par gamers who needed help. I miss those days!

You know what pissed me off about the PS3? That for all it’s grandiose technology, it has completely fucked up the most basic and simple tasks. Look at this:

When I’m ejecting a disc or booting the system, I cannot turn it off! I’ve perfected the double press to get around this, literally hit eject and then a fraction of a second after hit power. If you wait just half a second, it’s too late. Why can’t I just turn off the damn system whenever I want? I have to sit there like a shmuck until it lets me.

When I merely (and most often accidentally) touch any button on the remote, the system turns on. This is mind numbing! I have to keep the remote out of the remote caddy because the buttons are too sensitive and, because the system runs at 1,400 degrees fahrenheit, if it turns on I must turn it off. BUT NO! I am not allowed to turn it off until it finishes booting! WTF?! (see above)

Why won’t the controllers recharge when the system is off? Are you kidding me? You expect me to keep the system on while I recharge? I’m certainly not going to play with the controller plugged in, the cable is too short. I find myself always recharging my controllers on my laptop because my laptop is smart enough to charge them while it’s shut!

Why is there no option to just boot right into the game that’s in the system? There’s an option to start a video or game automatically when it’s inserted while the system is running, but if you have a game in there already and boot the system, you have to go through the menu to start it. Stop wasting my time!

Why does the option to start a video or game force me to hit left 4 times and down twice and then Enter?? Starting a video or game should be one button! It’s what I intend to do 98% of the time. Why do you make it even less accessible that the pointless mailbox?

Now, contrast this with something like the original Nintendo Entertainment System. Let’s say I wanted to play a game. Oh, look, the cartridge is still in there from earlier today. I hit power. Game has started! DONE!

Perhaps I have to put it in first. Take cartridge, open door (whether system is on or not), slide in, press down. Hit power. Game on! DONE!

It’s very hard for me to look at (A) disc loading times that are getting longer with every generation of systems, (B) menuing systems on my gaming console with no ability to bypass quickly, and (C) game prices increasing to $60 and wondering if we’re really advancing. We should be going in the opposite direction.

My theory is validated by the fact that gamers are progressively more interested in $5 downloadable games on the PS3 and $0.99 games on their iPhones! BRING BACK THE CARTRIDGE SYSTEMS!

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John Blanco

John Blanco is a freelance iOS developer in Denver, CO. He's been developing mobile apps for 12 years, starting during the medieval days of Java ME, making him the ultimate hipster mobile engineer. Follow him on Twitter!

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