This week is kind of an off week for me since I’m working on something special for the next two reviews. A year has gone by since I started doing these reviews so I figured this week I would finally show all of you what I’ve been playing on to research the games I write about. If you want to know if I actually play or own the games I’ve reviewed so far the answer is yes, I’ve played them all and they’re all a part of my collection. If you’ve ever wondered how I have all my consoles set up or how I make room for them all then you’re in luck this week because I’m gonna show you.
Before I show you what my setup currently looks like, I want to quickly tell you about how it started. The whole idea behind my set up is that I wanted every game console I own to be hooked up and playable. Nothing irritated me more as a kid than going to a friends house and seeing a game console not hooked up. One of my childhood friends had an older brother that owned an Atari Jaguar. It was the only Jaguar I ever saw growing up and it was never hooked up. In fact, it never left the box. Why? I have no idea but I always begged and pleaded with my friend to play it. He always said no fearing a brutal ass kicking from his brother if we got caught playing it. As a young avid game player, it was torture hanging out at my friends house playing Genesis when a perfectly good Atari Jaguar was just sitting there daring us to take it out of the box to play it.
It was from that experience that I got the idea for my current set up. I said to myself at my friends house “One day, I will have all the game consoles I want and they’re all gonna be fucking playable and no one can stop me! HA! HA! HA! HA!” I may have been just a kid but I was very serious about my future plans. Now, after years of growing up and waiting, I’m sitting in front of my dream set up as I write this. So, like the internet says “Pics or GTFO!” I apologize for the quality of some of these pictures as I used an old camera phone to take them.
2008 – The Beginning
This is the set up in 2008 when I started tracking down consoles to add to my collection. As you can see, this was kind of a hodge podge set up. The Xbox 360 was the crown jewel of the collection but the PS2 was a very close second. I already had my trusty Dreamcast and Game Cube but the Super Nintendo and Genesis were new additions at this point. I had all this stuff crammed into a small bookshelf I had at the time and the back was a complete rats nest of cables, it was terrible.
2008 – It started growing
Here you can see a few new additions to collection with the most obvious one being the PS3. The 360 was forced to share the spotlight with the PS3 as both systems got prime placement on my little book shelf. Since I was running out of space on the bookshelf, I had to get a little creative to make room for more consoles. Sitting on top of of the 360 is my Turbo Grafx 16. It killed me to have the Turbo Grafx just sitting on my 360 like that but at this point, I didn’t have a choice. Moving on, if you look hard enough, you can see my Sega 32X is now part of the collection. Also, you can see the Audio/Video switch boxes that made it possible to have everything hooked up mounted on the side of the book shelf next to the PS3.
2009 – Movin’ on up
Ok, ok, ok, go ahead, get it all out, done laughing at my TV? I was never really concerned with upgrading my TV at this point since the money I was putting into my collection was all going to game consoles. This was the collection in 2009 and as you can see it grew quite a bit. I got rid of the old bookshelf which was difficult but necessary. I picked up this entertainment center at IKEA and was perfect for the collection at this point. There’s lots of new additions to this set up with the Sega Megadrive, Sega Saturn, Sega CDX, NES, Super Famicom, Panasonic 3DO FZ-1, Atari 7800 Pro System, and a FUCKING ATARI JAGUAR, joining the family. I had just put the systems in place when I took this picture and hadn’t wired it all up yet. It was 2009 when I took this and just a year into collecting.
2011 – Uh, it’s still growing
Things were starting to get serious at this point as I was completely out of space in what used to be a roomy IKEA entertainment center. As you can see in this picture, I really wasn’t concerned with cable management as I was more concerned with just adding more consoles to the collection. This is the ugliest the set up ever looked with it looking more like a video game collection put together by the Borg. Still, I was able to add more consoles to the collection with the Neo-Geo CD, first generation Sega CD, and Playstation 1 making their debut in this set up. Sadly, my Panasonic 3DO FZ-1 model crapped out on me in this set up so I replaced it with an FZ-10 model. Also, I upgraded my Xbox 360 to the sleeker Slim model. Notice anything else? I finally got a better TV! It’s not huge but it certainly was a step up from what I was using before. At this point, it was 2011. All of the consoles are hooked up and playable via 4 Audio/Video switch boxes mounted on both sides of the entertainment center next to the TV.
Today – Hi, My name is Pat and I’m an addict.
Well, it’s serious now. This is the current set up and as you can see, a lot has changed since 2008. The IKEA entertainment center is long gone as I replaced it with a bigger and nicer IKEA entertainment center. I finally got the cabling under control as there’s about 20 feet worth of plastic tubing mounted to the back of the entertainment center that most of the cabling is running through. The Amiga CD32, JVC X’eye, and Media Megadrive are now part of the set up in this picture as well.
All of the systems are hooked up and playable via the same 4 A/V switches I was using before on the older set ups. I was slightly concerned about signal degradation with some of the consoles running through two A/V switches before their signal actually reaches the TV but everything looks great. If there’s any signal loss at all, it’s incredibly minor as I’ve never had a problem with the display on any of the consoles. Some of the systems don’t have RCA outputs so I have them running through a basic coax switch box, some things never change. Using a few RCA splitters, I was also able to get all of the systems to run through my receiver so I could hear everything on my bigger speakers. Again, there’s no noticeable loss of signal in the audio as everything sounds crisp and clear.
So there it is, my video game console collection. You may have noticed, or not, that my Virtual Boy, Nitendo 64, Sega Compact Master System, Atari 2600, and Intellivision, aren’t in any of the pictures. I have them in my game room on a shelf separate from the mother set up. The process of molting my entertainment center shell is about to happen again to make room for everything. Like I said before, it’s not the biggest collection out there but that doesn’t matter to me. My childhood dream of having all the game consoles I want and having them hooked up and playable is finally a reality. I’m not done adding consoles though as two more consoles will be calling this set up home in just a few days. Which ones? Check back next week when I review the first one. Happy Gaming!