More electronic diversions…

Well, we did it. Mel and I got a new Sony Playstation2 as our Yule gift to each other. The damned things were sold out everywhere because of some mysterious “manufacturing delay” which Sony undoubtedly engineered to create a ridiculously high demand during the holiday shopping season. Every person I talked to in the few days I looked said they were flying off the shelves the minute they came in and there was no predicting when more would arrive. After checking about six places we decided to give up until a later date.

On a whim I walked into the EBGames next door to the AAA travel agency store I was visiting a few days ago and lo and behold, they had PS2 consoles! The 30 year old basement dwelling geek-boy behind the counter said he’d gotten two dozen that morning as a “suprise” from their Electronic Arts supplier and that he could only sell the units in a “bundle” that included a $50 EA game, an extra controller (a piece of crap), and a refurbed DVD remote for the unit (an even bigger piece of crap), all of which inflated the price by about 100 bucks. Pfffft.

After consulting with Mel on the phone twice and choosing the cool EA car racing game (as opposed to some stupid EA sports game), I was out the door with the goods.

Later that night after Mel got home from work we hooked up the Playstation and sat down to play the car racing game. We couldn’t play each other because the off-brand second controller they’d sold me didn’t work. Aaaarrggghh.

The next day we returned the brand x controller and got the matching Sony controller. Mel picked up a couple of used games, and then we decided we’d rent some of the newer games from Blockbuster to know which ones we liked before buying anything else.

So, now we had five games to check out. It turned out the car racing game is the only two player game. Too bad. And one of the games we rented – a Harry Potter game – turned out to be unplayable. The surface of the disc was badly gouged and there was candy stuck to it. (In my experience, Blockbuster is notorious for this. I can’t tell you how many DVDs I’ve rented that I’ve had to thoroughly clean before I’d even put it in the player and about a third of those are still too wrecked to play.)

To top it off, we discovered that in order save any game settings, characters or game progress, that we’d have to get memory cards for the console… so another required accessory. Fortunately I found those on eBay for about a third less than retail.

My point? While very fun, this purchase has caused a chain reaction of other purchases and a lot of running around. And it’s not just the PS2 console, it seems that nearly any major purchase you make these days involves multiple trips to the store for returns, exchanges and additional accessories. Why is it such a big pain in the ass? I almost feel…. manipulated.

Know of any good PS2 games?

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