Monday, March 20, 2006

Byte: New arrivals

I really should know better than to go shopping when I've just been paid my annual bonus. It makes me do irrational things. Yesterday my girlfriend and I went to Guildford to see our fourth film in consecutive weekends (which must surely be some kind of a record), and since we arrive in town just after lunch, I pay my usual visit to HMV.

Naturally, they have a sale on (as they always do) and they're evidently looking to shift the last of their Gamecube stock. They have a Mario Kart Double Dash Special Edition Gamecube there (with the Collector's Edition Zelda disk also included) for the princely sum of £39.99 and copies of Metroid Prime 2 on sale for £9.99. I umm-and-ahh over it for a few minutes. Clearly, I want them. I have disposable cash to spend, and there are quite a few titles on Gamecube I'd be interested in playing. But, I reason, I have Animal Crossing and Phoenix Wright coming at the end of the month on DS. Do I really *NEED* a Gamecube? Then I notice the "60Hz only" logo on the Metroid Prime 2 box. I'm not sure if my TV has a 60Hz mode, as it's the bad combination of quite old and quite cheap. So I put the boxes down and head off to GAME, thinking I'd probably made the right decision not to buy it. Besides, Fleur will go *NUTS* if I buy it without consulting her.

"But it's a bargain..." sticks at the back of my mind.

As I'm walking up the hill, I bump into Fleur. She's spent a fortune on presents to take back to her friends in France, as she's returning home for 10 days at Easter. I tell her about the 'cube, and she puts up surprisingly little resistance, especially when I tell her how small it is. I think she's given up on me ever stopping buying videogames, she's more concerned about whether it'll take up too much space, since it's at a premium in our tiny Surrey shoebox.

With permission granted, I head back to HMV. Thankfully, it's still there. I briefly finger a copy of Prime 2, weighing up the risks. It's only £10, but I really don't know if my TV will run it. Besides, they're hardly flying off the shelves, so I can check out my TV and come back later in the week to pick up a copy, assuming I don't need to buy a new TV first. So I just pick up the 'cube. It is, after all, a bargain, and neither my Scottish or Yorkshire blood can resist a bargain.

A quick stop-off at GAME yields a 64MB memory card and pre-owned copies of Metroid Prime (I have to complete that before I play the sequel anyway) and Rogue Leader for less than £30. So for the price of two new PC games, I have a new console and a hatful of new games. A copy of Resident Evil 4 may have to be bought at some point, but Metroid, Mario Kart, Zelda and Rogue Leader should give me enough to be going on with for the moment. So we're now a three-console family. Who would have thought it?

Iain McC: Jumping on bandwagons four years late since 1998.
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