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January 2017 Retro Gaming Article


January 19, 2017 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

The “pack-in game model” is part of why I'm not fond of Nintendo's decision not to include 1-2-Switch

pack-in games
I've never purchased a console because of the pack-in game, but they often turn out to be my favorite games.
All mobile games are downloads. They have no physical media. It's the nature of the beast. While smartphones come with a lot of utility, almost everything that makes them fun is added post-sale... via download. I was turned off by the PS Vita (bought the PS TV instead) for just that reason - most of the games were online downloads. There's something about physical media that I love dearly and the pack-in game is the the first for each console.

Uncharted 4 - PS4 By the way- a pack-in game only qualifies as such in physical format. I refused to Buy a Wii U with a Splatoon download code. I wanted the physical game!

My recently purchased PS4 came with Uncharted 4 as the pack-in game just as my PS3 contained the prior, third installment (enjoyed them both immensely). As I was purchasing the first two games last night, I began thinking about pack-in games and the way they've shaped my initial thoughts about each console. Truth is - they don't!

I bought a PS2 at the tail-end of it's retail lifespan and Toy Story 2 was included. My son was at an age where he loved Toy Story and was all over the game. I enjoyed it, but it had nothing to do with my decision to buy the PS2. Toy Story 2 was simply a nice add on.

Like many of us my gaming fascination began with the Atari 2600 and Combat was the pack-in game. I was all about Street Racer and Indy 500 with the custom paddles. I came to like the diversity of games on Combat, but it had nothing to do with my craving for an Atari VCS.

Similarly with the NES, I bought a few games when buying the console - having no clue what Mario Bros was about. I considered Duck Hunt nothing more than fodder for the included light gun accessory. StarFox was the first game I bought with my SNES and although I enjoyed Mario Bros on the NES, I didn't know anything about Super Mario when seeking out the console.

Cybermorph - Atari Jaguar Had anyone heard of Cybermorph when Atari's final console was released? I bought a Jaguar on release day and picked up Trevor McFur in the Crescent Galaxy (and Doom soon after). I really enjoyed Cybermorph, but it didn't figure in to my purchase decision. It was Atari - I had to have it!

OK, I'll admit it... I love Pack-In Games

My lame tale of pack-in game dismissal ends with a confession. Later on - with each console - the pack-in game became a favored title. So, these titles are often included to demo a console's features, but I tend to buy a few games with a new console based on reviews, box art, or other off-kilter metrics.

Isn't the Switch crying out for a title like 1-2-Switch to show us what those Joycons are all about? Buy a cow-milking game? Um, no thanks. If included (as a pack-in) I'm sure I'd give it a whirl and end up loving it! Pac-in games are an essential part of a new console!

Many have said the Switch is expensive, arriving at the same price point as the competition, but this cost apparently came at the demise of a pack-in game. I'm excited about the Switch and I can get behind the portable/home modes and the whacky joycons... but don't mess with my pack-in game!!


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