I actually never owned any of the consoles I now find in my collection! In fact, I never had any interest in them during their hey-day, never knew anyone that owned one, and never even played them. So why did I end up collecting them?
My girlfriend Karina boasted one day that she had gotten all the way through Super Mario Bros. 1 & 2 on the NES that she and her brothers had owned when she was young. Now that's a challenge if ever I heard one!?! I became interested in seeing what all the fuss was about. Her brother eventually dug out an old NES (and a SNES) that hadn't been played in 10 years. To cut a long story short, numerous trips to flea markets, orders for new connectors and even the odd eBay purchase and I was hooked!
These days I'm pretty satisfied with my collection and only pick up the odd piece when I chance upon something I want at a bargain. I'm more interested now in developing PUCE and would eventually like to dabble in homebrew development - particularly doing some type of emulator that runs on the N64!
Interest in the NES was directly attributed to wanting to play Super Mario Bros 1 & 2. I was impressed by these games and as Karina started to recall playing other NES titles all those years ago, the collection grew. The number of emulators for the NES is staggering, far outweighing the number available for any other platform. Amazingly, homebrew development is still active today!
Whilst Karina couldn't quite recall playing the SNES, the fact that her brother had one sparked my interest. We started playing Super Mario All-Stars and it snowballed from there. In particular, I was amazed by the graphics of the Donkey Kong Country games. I am a little surprised (and disappointed) at the lack of homebrew development - I understand the SNES was a b*tch to develop for!?!
It was pure curiosity that led me to purchase an N64. Whilst the PS/2 was peaking by now, the N64 still had a strong (albeit fading) 2nd-hand market and it wasn't too hard to find boxed games in the trading stores. I even convinced a friend to buy one, and his entire family now play it almost daily! I made it my mission to attain boxed versions of each of the N64 'classics'. I'm glad I did because the consoles are going for peanuts and you can only find bare carts now.
The Gamecube is dead-in-the-water here in Australia - game stores that offer wall-to-wall XBOX (uggh!) and PS2 games offer about a dozen NGC games on average. So when Karina bought me one I felt I was adding another 'retro' console to my collection...
I must say that I have been very impressed with the games I have played on it so far. Metroid Prime (1 & 2), Soul Cailbur 2, Super Monkey Ball 2, Prince Of Persia, Gauntlet Dark Legacy, Star Wars Rogue Leader, Metal Arms, Pikmin 1 & 2, Need For Speed Underground 2 are amongst my favourites. Not owning a current-generation console, seeing some of these for the first time blew me away. Some day when my attention span lasts longer than a game of Defender, I'd love to get into these games!
Aside from a few of the abovementioned games, my NGC collection is rather spartan. Like the DC, I'm interested in homebrew development (some day) for the cube, and my few purchases have borne this in mind: