Oh, the PlayStation 3. My most-played console. I remember the moment I got it. 

When I first switched the console on, I was blown away. After years and years of putting time into the PlayStation 2, I’d finally received an upgrade. The opening sequence and noise is something that struck me then as much as it does now. Loading up the XMB Menu with the “flow” dynamic background is a moment I’ll always remember. 

I also remember sliding in the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare disc and gearing up for one of the most highly-regarded games in the series. I spent a lot—A LOT—of hours playing Call of Duty. I mean, back then, what kid didn’t? It was the talk of my school and everywhere else. I was left in awe of the game’s stunning graphics; up until that moment, I was still using a CRT TV with a video player alongside my PS2. Upgrading to an HDTV, combined with the blu-ray drive, was incredible. Games never looked so good.

I met some of my best friends during the time that I played the PS3. We actually knew each other in school, but we spent most of our time together playing Call of Duty. We spent hours upon hours perfecting our craft and just having a good time. As all the kids used to do, we’d have quickscope battles: Intervention, FMJ, Red Tiger, Sleight of Hand pro, and Commando pro. That’s all you needed. 

We’d spend hours going back and forth on Rust or Terminal. Without sounding like a flex, I was pretty good at it. You know how people used to say “You’ve got an aimbot on?” I was the guy on the receiving end of that. I did feel bad at the time, but I have to admit, it also felt good! 

The clan community back then was also at its apex. Faze. Optic. Soar. All the original teams that we see today in MLG really started then, and it was hard to ignore that world as it transformed Call of Duty. There was now a rivalry between friends and, more importantly, strangers. These players you’d never meet suddenly bursting into flames and proving who was the better player, it was a great time. Call of Duty was at its peak. If someone started on me, 1v1 me bro. That’s how it would go down (that sounds really weird to say now, but at the time I thought I was cool). It was a brilliant time. 

Often, me and my friends reminisce about it. We do miss how Call of Duty and games in general used to feel. However, we were just kids enjoying what we had, and we didn’t know any different. Nowadays, everything is just too real. That’s why the PS3 has a lot of memories I hold close to my heart.

Not only did the PS3 kickstart my love for the multiplayer side of games, but it also opened the floodgates for my love of story-driven games. It introduced me to the world of Assassin’s Creed. That series is very different now, but back then it was one of my favorites. 

Altair, Ezio, Connor—all characters that made me feel like a badass. They sucked me into this whole other world. The PS3’s power contributed to that. It provided escapism. It provided worlds upon worlds. If it wasn’t for the console, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.

I owe a lot to this console. There are so many great games that I could speak about: Mafia II, Resistance, The Saboteur, Fallout New Vegas, Uncharted, the list goes on. Yes, some of these games were also on Xbox, but the PS3 experience felt different to me. The user interface felt friendly. The background music eased you in. It was an easy console to use. I’m a very picky person, and the PS3 was the correct platform for me. It was inviting. Not to mention it also had the added benefit of being a DVD/Blu Ray player (I’m an avid film fan so it was, and still is, perfect).

For many kids back in the day, the PS3 and Xbox 360 were the consoles. They were the ones people debated about with the “console wars.” Don’t get me wrong, I still think that the Xbox line of consoles is great. However, the Playstation 3 blew me away and brought me into a community I didn’t know existed. Now, like many other Playstation users, I treat any announcements like I’m going to see a film at the cinema. I’ll get snacks and a drink ready to sit down and baske in the glory that is Playstation. It’s more or less part of my life now, and I think it always will be.

It all started with the PS3. Now we are moving onto Next Gen and the world is changing. So, to the countless hours and many encounters I had with people from across the world, this goes out to the PlayStation 3. Without that console, my life wouldn’t be as it is today.