Which basically leaves me with three choices. I can get a PlayStation 2, I can get a Microsoft X-Box, or I can get a Nintendo GameCube.
I ruled out PS2 immediately, because everyone has one of those. Both of my brothers, and most of my friends, have those already. So, if I want to play PS2, they're readily available. No sense in buying one, then.
Which leaves the decision between X-Box and GameCube.
I have to admit to an initial bias against X-Box, as I don't much care for Microsoft. However, I'm buying something that I'll likely use quite a bit, so like them or not, I wanted to make sure I was getting the best system.
First consideration, then is the price. GameCube comes out winning here, at $150, versus X-Box's $200 price tag.
Next, we consider games.
X-Box: There are a couple of X-Box games that look pretty cool. Halo, Oddworld, and Splinter Cell especially. However, I didn't really find a lot of games that looked like "must haves". The kind of games that I would buy immediately if I had the system.
GameCube: There's a handful of interesting looking games here, too. The big difference, though, is there's a couple of "must haves" that jump out immediately. First of all, there's Metroid Prime. This game looks amazing, and everyone I've talked to has raved about it. That, and I *loved* the old Metroid games. Next, we have the new Zelda game. I was a little uncertain when I heard they were going very cartoony, but I saw a trailer for this the other day. . . My God that looks impressive. They also have the always good Resident Evil games, Eternal Darkness (which I've heard is what Resident Evil 0 *should* have been), and the new Mario game, which ought to be entertaining. I also heard that Splinter Cell is being ported.
At this point, I was leaning towards GameCube.
Then, a friend of mine pointed out that if you pre-order the new Zelda game, they'll send you a GameCube version of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. I never had an N64, so this is as good as a new game, for me. And I've heard that Ocarina was one of the best Zelda's they've done.
At this point, I was thinking I was going to go with a GameCube. . . and another friend of mine points to Nintendo's new promotion, then slated to start in a few days. The promotion is that you get a free game with the purchase of the console.
So, to sum up, I now own a GameCube. ;-)
I got Metroid Prime as my free game. I also pre-ordered the new Zelda game, and my free Ocarina of time arrived the other day. Also, I found a bunch of games on sale at ebgames.com, so I ended up picking up Hunter: The Reckoning ($10), BloodRayne ($15), and Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance ($20), from there. Coincidentally, they arrived the same afternoon I bought a GameCube. ;-)
Oh, and I also took this week off work (I had a week's paid vacation, dunno how much longer I'll be there, figured I'd use it).