When the PS2 first came out, there were shortages. There weren’t enough to keep up with the pre-orders of the systems, let alone the dude on the street who wanted to walk into a Gamespot or Best Buy (or Target or Toys R Us) and pick one up. “Do you have any?” “Well, we got two this morning, but the guy in shipping bought both of them and he’s selling them on Ebay.”
Well, that might be an overstatement of the conversations that I had, but it was about a year before I found one on a shelf (and it wasn’t the last one even). I was able to leisurely pick it up and leisurely buy it and leisurely get it home and leisurely set it up and then get all excited because, hey, tomorrow I get to buy my first games!!!
And I go to Gamestop and, seriously, there’s nothing worth playing. Remember that first year, PS2 owners? Eternal Ring. Evergrace. Kessen. Fantavision.
I remember that I beat Final Fantasy IX on my PS2. Maribou asked me “isn’t that a Playstation game?” “Yeah.” “Aren’t there any PS2 games you want to play?” “Not really.” “Why did you complain for the last year about not being able to find a PS2?” “I have no idea.”
Well, in late 2001, the PS2 *FINALLY* got a real game. Final Fantasy X and then, a few months later, Grand Theft Auto III came out and then Katie Bar The Door. The PS2 went from being a Playstation that played movies to an actual “you need to buy this console!” console. So about six months after I bought it (and a year and a half after coming out), the silly thing finally had a library of games worth writing home about.
A few short years later, I found myself in a similar pickle with my XBox 360. While it wasn’t quite a year before I could get one, it was about 4-5 months. I finally was able to talk to a guy who knew a guy who told me “Jaybird, show up early on Sunday at the Best Buy on 3rd and Main. Seriously. They’re getting a shipment.” Of course, the shipment was around 100 360s and I was able to leisurely pick one up and walk into the game aisle and realize that Oblivion was the only game that looked interesting on the shelf.
All that to say: I am, finally, in no hurry to buy a PS4 or a XBox One. Well, yet. Maybe I’ll be told that there aren’t any available. Then I’ll just worry at it…