My waste of money – Tue 13th Mar 07

I’m not a “gamer” when it comes to computers. I like to play computer games, and most people I know (who don’t use their PC for the two staple ‘e-diets’: MSN and porn), do too. But I don’t consider myself a gamer in that I only play certain games in certain genres of computer game. I don’t go for high spec games necessarily. I never play first-person games, and I wouldn’t have a clue what the latest big game out at the moment is. When it comes to PC specs I’m no slouch, but I’m clueless when about graphics and gaming systems.

And don’t even ask me about consoles!

But the annoying thing is how quickly systems go out of date! And it is annoying, because it’s avoidable. Like all new tech, it’s brought out every month, hyped up, and out-of-date six months later. It’s not (necessarily) because technology is moving that fast, it’s because it’s how manufacturers make money. Take HD. £500 for a new HD-DVD player. Then what? In a year there’ll be HD-DVD recorders/players. Assuming you don’t go the BlueRay path. It’s because people will buy the brand new super-duper electronic accessory, whilst the manufacturers know full well they will bring out a new version in a few months time; just enough time to milk the old product for all it’s worth and get two lots of money of money off people instead of just the one. After all, if they brought out DVD-RW recorders/players straight away, everyone would just buy them! This way, everyone buys a DVD player. Then everyone has to buy a DVD-VHS combo player. Then they get a DVD/VHS player/recorder a year later. Then you bring out DVD-recorders with HDD for recording live TV. Now you can buy HD-DVD players. Nothing else, they do fuck all except play DVDS, and they cost 3-4 times more than a normal DVD player.

Obviously this is just the way the consumer market works; it’s probably never going to change. But if people didn’t splash out on the latest electronic gadget (esp things like TVs and DVD players) then manufacturers would have to change their ploy. HD-DVD players: imagine if NO ONE bought one; if the collective consumer market said “fuck it! I’ll wait til they come down in price and I can record on them too!”…

Obviously technology does enter it slightly. I’m not suggesting that Sony have stockpiles of personal teleporters in their warehouses just waiting until the Playstation 3 sells out…<br><br>…but you see the same strategy with mobile phones. Do you REALLY think a phone that can also play songs costs the manufacturer an extra £100-£200 per phone compared to one that doesn’t?!

Computers are even worse. The exponential growth of PC technology in the 90s was incredible. Processor power and speed was growing every day, memory was going down in price and up in size. Windows95 ran on 8MB of RAM (but like all good Microsoft products needed twice that to work best!). Windows Vista needs 512MB of RAM to run the standard edition, and twice that to run the Premium edition. 1GB of memory for a fucking operating system?! Oh and whatever’s left can run those pesky games and applications of yours! You mean the pretty new interface isn’t good enough for you?? Phhht! Fine, get on with your business presentation then loser!!

Here I am…bought a new laptop last year. Gaming laptop too, excellent memory, top spec. Graphic-intensive games ran a treat. Unfortunately, that was a year ago, and C&C3 demo is slow on it and the graphics are pretty shit too. Why bother?<br><br>That’s the irony! The best time to buy any electronic wizardry is……tomorrow! Because no matter how much you spend and how good whatever you buy, you will have to replace it sooner rather than later. And the sooner is getting sooner. I had a Pentium 1Ghz processor with 128MB RAM and no graphics card that ran most games and lasted for 3 years. Now I have a superb gaming laptop a year old that won’t run one of the latest games very well…

And all manufacturers know this, and it’s how they not only make money, but laugh all the way to the bank with it. Which leaves us, the consumer, either doing without, knowing that there’ll never be enough of us to make a point, or giving in and just getting the best we can at that moment in time.<br><br>Do Dell have any offers on their website at the moment?…

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