Turn on a video game console and you'll most likely be greeted with a peppy animation and sound effects montage to announce that fun is imminent. From the Microsoft Xbox 360 to the Nintendo GameCube to the Sega CD and beyond, console boot screens have been with us for a long, long time. Over at Kombo, Lucas DeWoody has put together a top ten list of the best in booting moments. All of your old favorites are there as well as a few that may be unfamiliar. Here's a piece of the article in which Lucas recalls warm memories involving the original Sony PlayStation and the potential it offered.
To me, this one is among the holy grail of console boot screens. Back in 1994, nobody knew what to expect of the PlayStation. It was a strange new toy from the future that landed flat square in the middle of the 16-bit era's golden year: 1994. What joys or horrors would this unassuming little gray box deliver? Nobody knew back in 1994, and many were suspicious with the horrible image of the 3DO still fresh in our minds. The first time I saw one of these babies fire up in person was at a friend's house. He usually kept all his consoles in his small room at the back of the house, but the PlayStation was kept in the family room on the big projection TV. I followed him to that room as his dad shut off the lights, cranked the sub-woofer to max and fired up the disc based anomaly only to be treated what I refer to "Deep Note '94". Regardless of your opinion of the PlayStation in 1994, that sound let you know one thing: this console is a big freaking deal and demands your attention now. Ridge Racer promptly followed and blew us all away.
I was a proud N64 kid, even if now that at the age of 25 I hold the PS1 and N64 in equal stead, but you've got to admit that one of the N64's greatest failings is that it didn't have a boot screen like this to immediately kick your ass into gear and let you know something awesome was ahead.
Like any good top ten list, this one is missing a few entries that I consider essential. Where's the PlayStation 3 orchestra warm-up? The Game Boy Advance's colorful remake of the original Game Boy *ping* moment? The flashing black and gray sequence that one sees when a Nintendo Entertainment System is turned on without a cartridge inside? The real crime, however, is that modern Nintendo hardware boots up with a health and safety warning instead of a snazzy animation.