Real Saturn Chronicles Episode 9: PlayStation 2 is coming!

Over 5 years, I've had great fun with my PS1 and at that time I was able to amass a collection of almost 30 different titles. However, sooner or later the first news and images about new consoles started to pop up. First, it was the Nintendo 64. It was an interesting console, but unfortunately it was way, way expensive. Games were really expensive over here. I enjoyed Super Mario 64 quite a bit, as well as one of the Zelda games (I don't remember which one) but I always considered the N64 as a console I just couldn't buy.

Eventually, Dreamcast was also announced and that console slightly caught my attention, mostly thanks to Shenmue because, to be honest, the rest of the games such as Crazy Taxi, Sonic Adventure and Metropolis Street Racer were not interesting enough for me. However, I was so disappointed with Sega that I really didn't trust the Dreamcast. I was originally a big Sega fan. I never considered buying any other home console but the Sega Saturn. At first, I didn't care about the PS1 at all and I choose Saturn over it. The Master System and Mega Drive consoles lasted quite a lot of time in our market as they were both very successful over here. The main reason why I trusted Sega was because I've always seen it as a company that doesn't abandon its consoles, even when they are surpassed by newer technologies. At that time I obviously couldn't talk about Mega CD or the 32X because my knowledge about those things was very, very limited. As a kid, buying a new console was something big. I couldn't consider getting a console that would suddenly stop receiving games. I wanted to own something that would last a long time.

Unfortunately, I felt betrayed by Sega when they abandoned Sega Saturn to focus on the Dreamcast. Suddenly, Saturn stopped getting games, whereas PlayStation was receiving lots of new and amazing titles. I wanted to buy something for the Sega Saturn, but there wasn't anything interesting coming out. Even though I was only 14, I really noticed they were ignoring Saturn to focus on newer technologies. Sega wanted to be ahead in the competition by releasing the most advanced hardware but by doing that they started to ignore their current console. To me, that was a huge mistake that totally broke my trust on them and that made me stay away from the Dreamcast until a much, much later time.

After a while, information about the PS2 started to show up. First the rumours, then the pictures and finally a few videos. That was a long time before the actual release date announcement. I definitely wanted to buy a PS2 and I knew that I had to start taking action if I was going to buy that console on release date. So I started saving my cash at a very early stage. I had nearly one year and half to get enough money for it. I sacrificed a few PS1 games in order to save money for the PS2. Its price was tagged at around 90.000$, something like 450 euros and I was unsure if I was able to save so much money in the meantime, but I still decided to give it a shot. Eventually, I sacrificed some of the money I've saved to buy a few PS1 games, otherwise I would not have anything to play for a while. Two of those titles were classics: Resident Evil 1, the last title I was missing from the original trilogy and, of course, Tomb Raider 1, one of my favourite games. My mother also told me she would help me to buy the console if I was missing some cash by the time of its release date, as much as it wasn't a big amount.

One year and half later, the console finally came out. I was 17 at that time. I had a little more than enough cash to buy the console but I wasn't really concerned about preordering or going to the stores early in the morning just to secure one for myself. I never really believed that videogames were a big thing over here like it happened in foreign countries. Looking at every other family I knew, parents didn't care much about games. They would eventually pick up the controller once in a while, but videogames in general were seen as expensive kids' stuff. When I was around 15 or 16, my father told me once that I would not care about the games when I turned 18, and I would consider all those games I had bought as a total waste of money. I replied back saying that would probably never happen and he didn't know what he was talking about. I now look at my collection and... I guess he was wrong...

I didn't preorder any PS2 and I didn't even bother going to the store earlier to get the console. To me, that was just one regular day. It was a brand new, expensive system that most people wouldn't be buying, so I had plenty of chances to get it.

However, some things did not go as I expected. This was the first time I actually saw some radical changes about the impact of videogames in this country. The truth is, most kids who actually enjoyed playing on the previous gen consoles were now adults. Some had jobs already. For the first time ever, I saw on the news a report about the PS2 craze. People actually lined up in front of the stores before the opening hour just to secure one model. It was no longer parents buying an expensive system for their kids. These kids became self-sufficient adults and they were buying the console for themselves. I believe that Sony also thought the same way I did and they released a very limited number of models on release day. The number of models available was very low compared to the demand and the first batch of the console easily became sold out. I was truly impressed.

Basically, I lost my chance to buy the console on release day, but I didn't regret. Having almost 500€ in my pocket and seeing them go just like that was something I definitely wasn't used to. Two weeks later, I had the chance to buy one of two consoles available at a local store, but I couldn't. I really didn't feel like spending the highest amount of cash I ever had on a single thing. I just thought of how many things I could buy instead.

I only bought the console another couple of weeks later (basically, one month after the release date). The second or third batch of the console was finally available. I was randomly visiting a large electronics store and they had a couple of PS2 available. I realized this as soon as I saw a woman pulling a baby pushchair inside the store, but instead of a baby she was carrying a PS2. I picked one of the consoles and took it to my parents. I was still very reluctant about spending all my money. I had been saving for over one year and half with the sole purpose of buying the console, but in the end I couldn't do it. I asked my parent's opinion while carrying the console and they weren't very helpful. They told me to do what I thought it was best. 

I picked up my phone and sent a text message to my friend Rui to hear his opinion. I told him I had a PS2 on my hands and asked him if I should spend so much money on it. His answer was exactly what I needed to hear, as it gave me all the motivation I was lacking. He replied saying: - "Of course you should buy it, are you still standing there?". At that point, I told myself: -"F*** this, I'm taking this home." and went to the checkout line. As soon as I finished the checkout, I received a phone call from my friend Rui asking if I was serious about buying the PS2. I said yes, and thanks to his reply I had already bought it. He seemed very impressed and said he was going to camp on my backyard.

I finally had a PS2.

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