Last month, a friend of mine - whose only other gaming systems were a PS2 and a Wii, neither of which he'd touched in years - went out and bought a PS3. Knowing I had a decent collection of games, he came over to borrow some. I thought I was helping him out. I didn't know I'd be punching myself in the gut in the process.
I just felt so jealous. As a video game obsessive, someone who works in and around them literally every day, I consume every game upon release then move on to the next, like a hairy, bipedal locust.
This helps satisfy my cravings, sure (not to mention staying on top of my job), but it also means that moments of true enjoyment, of hitting those special games that stay with you for the rest of your life, can be months and sometimes even years apart.
It also means there is a lot of shit to put up with in between.
My friend, though, he'd missed the entire PS3 generation. The years 2006-2013 just passed him by while he was working, playing sport, getting married and having kids. So in April 2014, when he arrived at my house to catch up, he was not signing up for eight years of waiting, punctuated by brief moments of brilliance.
He was skipping straight to the brilliance, and leaving everything else - the bad games, the average games, the waiting and the disappointment - behind.
I handed him a bundle of discs. There were Uncharted games ("hurry up and get to the second one"). The Last of Us. Red Dead Redemption. Burnout Paradise. The first Modern Warfare ("don't get any others"). I think one of the good Assassin's Creeds, too (maybe Brotherhood).
This guy was going to sit down and over the next few weeks and binge on the very best the PS3 had to offer. It's as close to "all his Christmas' come at once" as he's ever going to get. He is having a blast, just putting in one classic after the next.
Imagine playing the first Uncharted, loving it to death and, instead of waiting two years between games, being able to move straight onto the sequel, which is even better? Or for the first 3D action game you've played since Sands of Time to be the best Assassin's Creed game yet.
It's an experience people are probably more used to in other forms of media. Getting the box set of a TV show once its off the air, or the collected trade paperbacks of a comic series after it's wrapped up. Gaming, by virtue of it being split across platforms, tends to compel people to buy into a system early then keep returning to the well for games.
The rush of experiencing the very best a platform has to offer after its essentially done for is just so rare. Or, at least is in terms of those talking about video games online. Yet from the jealously I felt to the sheer thrill he's having now, maybe it's something we could try more often.
Get the systems you need to get, sure, but if there's ever a console you're on the fence about, why not wait? Let it age, let it get cheaper then, when it's got all the amazing games it's going to get, dive in and enjoy them all at once.
You might feel left out for a few years, but the binge you get to experience at the end might be totally worth it.