Why, thanks for asking, and as a matter of fact you can!
Now, lets get this straight, you are not going to be playing Xbox360 or PS3 – the greatest and the latest – but if you don’t have a lot of cash, or want to give gaming a shot to see if its for you without spending the GDP of a small country, or you have a kid who wants a system but can’t afford the (lets be completely honest) several hundreds of dollars it costs to get one of the three newest systems plus a game or two to go with them, there are options.
Mainly this thing:
Yup, its a Nintendo Gamecube, and you can buy it today for a mere $29.99 at your local Gamestop.
Heads up, you will also need this thing:
A Gamecube memory card so that you can save your game progress, and on the cheap side, for the smallest, they are currently $9.99. Now to be fair, if your local Gamestop does not have these in stock the next size up runs $17.99 which is totally going to blow the intent of this post out of the water, but assuming that the $9.99 one is available, that means we have about $10 left for a game to play.
So, here are some games for the Gamecube that have garnered good reviews, (above an 8 out of 10) and that are currently at Gamestop used for less than $10.
This one is only 2.99!
And as far as the Gamecube’s shortcomings, well it actually is a more powerful little box than the PS2, which of course is still an issue of some contention for gamer-types, but in geek-speak: “Gamecube developers can effectively start with the base geometry (1), add a bump-map to it (3), add a dirt map (4), add a gloss map (5), add a reflection map (6), add a radiosity light map (7) and an effects layer of their choice (8) — all in a single pass. By contrast, PS2 developers would have to re-render the polygon itself for every pass meaning eight times the work to get the same effect. So essentially PS2 has to render 1,000 polygons eight times over whereas Gamecube only has to render 1,000 polygons once for the same effect.”
See totally. Here’s an that article on the PS2 Vs. Gamecube if you want some more of that…
I will say, the PS2 has a much better game selection including the Grand Theft Auto series, and The God of War series, but Sony, even now, is still charging $129 for the system, and its just under $100 used at Gamestop, so it completely defeats the purpose of affordable gaming. (Which, in my eyes, is Sony’s loss.)
Lastly, this post is intended for, as stated early, those who don’t have a lot of cash to spend, but even more importantly, the bunch of folks out there that really haven’t played video-games but wanna give them a try.
With the Wii, Nintendo has attracted a lot of purchasers who have never before purchased a system. For those who are considering a Wii, but really don’t know if they like video-games, this might be a great starter set. Furthermore, if they do graduate to a Wii, they may be pleased to know that all of the Gamecube games they have purchased, and the Gamecube controller are compatible with the Wii. Win – win.
So go out a buy one – or don’t.
(I think this is my nerdiest post yet…)