A Trip Down Memory Lane | Part 3 | Sega’s end, Nintendo’s disappointment and Sony’s domination

It’s time for me to continue on my trip down memory lane with part 3 and in this article I will be focusing on my experiences and memories of console gaming in the first half of the 2000s, with the Sega Dreamcast, Nintendo’s GameCube, Sony’s PlayStation 2 and the Xbox from Microsoft.

A highly underrated console, the Dreamcast

Before I begin with the year 2000, I’ll head back into 1999 for the release of Sega’s last console; the Dreamcast, a brilliant machine that was the victim of bad timing, the Dreamcast had a great selection of games and it really was a great piece of kit but it’s life was short lived and in 2001 Sega discontinued the console.
I never owned a Dreamcast but I have played on a few in my time and I got to play some of the great titles like Crazy Taxi and the Dreamcast’s Quake III Arena port. Whilst I’m on the subject of the Dreamcast’s Q3A port, in my time with the PC version of Quake III Arena I sometimes got to play with Dreamcast players, it was fun and it is the only time that I’ve experienced cross-platform online play.

The unique GameCube

Just as the Dreamcast was on it’s way out, Nintendo were on their way back in with their new console; the GameCube, now because this article isn’t going in any sort of chronological order I’ve decided to situate the GameCube here before the PS2, however in reality, I owned a PS2 before owning a GameCube.
I didn’t spend long with the GameCube and I only bought one because it piqued my interest at the time because of it’s unique disc format, it used miniDVDs instead of the fullsized discs that the other consoles used. I owned a GameCube in late-2004 and in early-2005 when my original PlayStation 2 began to fail I decided to trade the GameCube in (along with my entire library of games) for the new slim model PlayStation 2.
Although my time with the GameCube was short, I did have a somewhat pleasant time with it although I felt some of the games to be a bit lacklustre in comparison with the PS2 due to the smaller disc format Nintendo went with for the GameCube and the only game in my library at the time that really stood out was Metroid Prime.

The original Xbox, look how ugly this bugger is.

Now before I get to the big one I’d like to talk about the Xbox, my Sister owned an Xbox and she still owns said Xbox, I’m not sure what year she got the console but I know it was after 2002 and I’ve only played a couple of games on it, such as: WWF Raw (This was a 2002 title as they were changing from WWF to WWE) and Shenmue 2 which I felt had a really great story and some great characters.
I always disliked the Xbox, it seemed intrusive, ugly and I’ve never liked the green colour scheme that Microsoft decided to go for, couple that with the sheer size of the controllers and the console itself and for me it really is one of the ugliest game consoles I’ve ever seen.

The best selling console of all time, the PlayStation 2. Pictured here are both the original and the slim models.

Now we move on to the big boy, the numero uno of all the consoles, the leader and the dominant force in gaming, none other than the PlayStation 2. Sony’s PlayStation 2 captured my imagination back in the latter half of the 90s when everyone was speculating on it’s design, numerous PlayStation magazines would show concept images of what they thought the console would look like, they were all ridiculous and outlandish.

Burnout 2, part of my preparation for the PlayStation 2

The PlayStation 2 was the first console that I’d prepared for before actually owning one, my first PlayStation 2 game was Burnout 2 which I purchased at least 3 months before I owned a PlayStation 2 and it was on Christmas day in 2002 that I unwrapped the largest present and saw the PlayStation 2, brand-new and in it’s box with Grand Theft Auto: Vice City resting on top of it.
I immediately opened up the box, plugged everything in, fired up the console and placed Grand Theft Auto: Vice City into the tray and it began.. The PlayStation 2 was fantastic, the first time I decapitated a pedestrian on Vice City it was like God had punched me in the face, it was brilliant. I really didn’t know what to expect when I fired the thing up and my hopes weren’t as high as they should have been because after owning the original PlayStation, I expected more of the same but I got much, much more.
I still own my slim model PlayStation 2 that I bought in 2005 and I still have it hooked up to my TV, it’s tough to compete with the fun of playing TimeSplitters: Future Perfect on the PlayStation 2. I still have a huge library of games for my PS2 and I still enjoy playing it, even if it looks a little dated and blurry on my HD television.

I think that wraps up my experiences with the consoles of the early 2000s, in the next Trip Down Memory Lane article I will be taking a look at PC gaming between 2000 and 2005, I was going to make it 2000-2010 but that would be an extremely long article, so I’ll separate it up a bit.

Until then, thanks for reading and good gaming.