Seeing the startup screen of a console can evoke many different emotions in gamers. For some, it can lead to a moment of massive nostalgia, others may feel perhaps a twinge of dissapointment that the games that they played after that screen were not as good as anticipated. The startup screen is the gateway into gaming for all consoles, and some have really caught the imagination and stayed in our memories for a long time. What I have done here then is ranked my top 10 favourite startup screens, and given a quick reasoning behind my choices.
10 – The Atari Jaguar (1994)
The console itself may not have been spectacular, but I like the introduction for the Jaguar because it is very daft. Out of nowhere the word ‘Jaguar’ comes onto the screen accompanied by the roar of said animal, before letters drop down to form the Atari logo and then a spinning cube with a Jaguar’s face appears. And that spinning cube of a jaguars face is frankly too hilarious not to be given a mention on this list.
9 – The Nintendo Wii (2006)
After the Gamecube’s innovation, the startup for the Wii comes as some what of a disappointment. After the now traditional health and safety messages are passed, you are presented immediately with the Wii’s menu screen, comprising of several boxes on a white background. Clean and efficient, but a bit boring by Nintendo’s standards. I must say I like the jaunty little tune that is constantly playing in the background though.
8 – Windows (PC) (1985 onwards)
Face it, most PC gamers will use/have used Windows as their operating system before, so it would be nonsense to leave this out of the list. The startup for Windows is the most freeform on this list, because the opening sound effects can be customised by the user to be pretty much anything they want, whether it be a sound clip or a full song, and then the image that you see as your computer background can also be customised. This level of freedom gives the PC gamer more individuality from normal consoles as a result. If I was to narrow down a personal favourite for standard bootup however, then the jingle for Windows XP takes the prize.
7 – The Playstation 3 (Slim Version) (2009)
The sound of an opera tuning up bursts straight into the menu system. Simple and beautiful at the same time.
6 – The Playstation 2 (2000)
Starting up the console, you are treated to a screen of crystalline square towers with little balls of lights running through them, before you are zoomed into them and presented with the Playstation 2 logo on a black screen, with the now very familiar ‘woomp’ sound. Even after all these years however, I still do not know what it means in some games when there are less crystals on the screen to start up with; perhaps they represent the capacity of the disc or something.
5 – The Xbox 360 (NXE Startup) (2008)
I always thought the startup for the original Xbox was trying to hard to be ‘edgy’ and ‘cool’. The 360 has a much better startup. It starts with an impressive burst of swooshing noise, and then a ball swirls around the screen to create the logo. For whatever reason I much prefer this to the ‘lighter’ Kinect version, it just seems more grown up.
4 – The Sega Dreamcast (1998)
The only Sega entry into this list is their last console. A small blue dot bounces on the screen to spell out the letters of ‘Dreamcast’, before swirling inside itself to make the logo. Quite a relaxing introduction to say the least.
3 – The Nintendo Gameboy (1990)
This varied amongst cartridges, but the end result was always the same. Two lines of text of the screen, and a two-tone bleep. And yet it was ridiculously effective. Nothing fancy, and it gets you straight into the game which on a handheld is more important as you want immediate action. Sometimes, less really is more.
2 – The Nintendo Gamecube (2002)
This gets the spot for sheer innovation if nothing else. The standard startup is great, with a little cube rolling around the shape of a G to form the logo before you hit the menu screen, also based around a cube (basically, they took the gimmick of the console to heart). However, holding Z on one controller changes the background music, and then doing the same process on four controller’s changes it again. Genius.
1 – The Sony Playstation (1995)
It was never going to be anything else. This startup represents a large part of my childhood . Space age noises boom from out of nowhere to introduce the Sony Computer Entertainment logo, before the screen goes black and a shimmering noise ushers in the Playstation logo. It still sounds commanding today, and will probably never be beaten for sheer impact.
And so there you have it; in my opinion the best startups that a gamer can experience. What do you think on this matter? Feel free to comment, and I’ll be back with more Top 10’s in the near future