My history in consoles is quite interesting: I’m a PC user. I grew up with a Commodore Vic-20, 64 and Amiga 600. I owned a Sega Saturn and only played Sega Rally – literally. That’s what it was bought for, and that is all it was used for. After that, I never owned another console until the release of Grand Theft Auto V… I bought a PS3 specifically for that.
You could say that I’m one of those guys who console exclusives would appeal to, and indeed, I bought for GTAV, then ended up trying Red Dead Redemption as well. Apart from that? I didn’t feel there was much a PS3 could offer me that I didn’t have already on PC or another service. Saying that, I have nothing against consoles, I just know what PCs offer as well.
All this 'master race' PC console crap is really bloody annoying. So similar to race sim vs. race sim, Apple vs. Microsoft, etc. Childish.
— Tim Wheatley (@timwheatley1979) June 12, 2014
For our TV (as this is relevant), we cut the cord a while back. We use antenna (to get local 83 digital channels, mostly crap but all the local affiliates). We then used an Apple TV (version 3, unhacked) and either used Netflix, Hulu, bought seasons/movies, or I transferred my DVDs to digital format and streamed from iTunes on my PC, to the Apple TV.
As E3 approached I knew I wanted to get a console, but I wasn’t sure which. I went into it planning on getting a PS4 (I bought games like Last of Us on PS3 and never played it), so figured I would upgrade and get around to playing that eventually on the PS4… But no, Microsoft totally won me over at E3… I started to take the XB1 seriously. But I still wanted Sony’s conference to impress me more…
I'm in the market for a console… Impressed with XBOX this year. C'mon Sony, keep me loyal! ;)
— Tim Wheatley (@timwheatley1979) June 15, 2015
…but they didn’t. I felt the Sony conference was very disappointing. After E3 I went back and watched the original XBOX announcement, I read some of the early reviews, the Kinect controversy stuff and all. I ended up making the decision to get an XB1, but why?
Well, mainly because of how it’ll work with my PC! I will be able to play XBOX/console exclusive games through my PC with Windows 10. I can also stream my iTunes media library of DRM free content (which most of it is, from my DVD collection), use it for Netflix, and even use it to control my TV (I bought the USB antenna adapter). With that, I can stream my TV channels from the XBOX to iPhone and iPad through the Glass app, remote control it, and even control my TV itself… This essentially replaced the Apple TV – AND – replaced the “smart” features of my Smart HDTV.
I bought an XBOX with Kinect, mainly because I have kids and they love both the dance and kids games that use it. I love using voice control, and am really shocked how well that works. I’m British and live in the USA, so we use Skype a lot. I can literally sit on my couch and say “XBOX, call mum” and it does it. Kinect has a built-in camera and microphone. It also listens to things like “go to Netflix”, “volume up”, “watch channel 7”, etc. I love it! No real concerns over privacy for me, unless you want to hear us talk about how tired we are each evening, or see my Husky dry-humping my Labrador. The XB1 replaced the Logitech (Skype) TV Cam HD we had.
Something I never expected, was how much I would use the XBOX for non-gaming related activity. I watch Netflix and TV a lot, but even watch Twitch (gaming streaming) quite a bit as well. I used to stream Twitch from my iPhone to Apple TV using the Twitch app. The XB1 replaced the need for that app on my phone.
— Tim Wheatley (@timwheatley1979) June 26, 2015
What else? Well, I’m cheap. I’ll spend money on something I want, but don’t often want something the day of release. I’ll quite happily wait six months for a Steam sale, or until a game is vastly reduced by other means. XBOX One backwards compatibility is huge – HUGE. I’m cheap enough that being able to buy a 360 game will satisfy me. It’s a little annoying that legal issues mean games have to be approved to play, but I’m OK with that. Really hoping Red Dead Redemption makes it soon! I’d also quite like to see Skyrim, because even though I own it on PC, I often want to game away from what is, effectively, my office. That’s why a PC guy owns a console…
I began my gaming journey via the family Commodore Vic-20, then later with my own C-64 and Amiga A600. These systems kept my attention until I moved up to PCs around the Windows MS-DOS Pre-Windows 95 era, which means I never really got into the console gaming market in a big way.
My parents spent a significant amount of time sharing my early gaming experiences, and this really helped foster my interests. I discovered racing games and space games for the first time, and those are still my main genres of interest to this day.
These days I use gaming to try to escape from the pressures of real life. I occasionally upload or stream gameplay to YouTube and Twitch, and enjoy the social interaction with viewers and other gamers.
Tim is British and lives in the United States with his wife and kids.
He works for software developers Image Space Inc. and Studio 397 on their racing simulations, and is a fan of Gaming, Motorsports, and photography.