The day I hooked the SNES into my shelf stereo was a revelation. From my meagre television, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past was impressive. Out of the stereo, it was sublime. Hidden lows boomed into existence as the title blared. Highs gained tinny clarity. The form of everything was transformed before my ears.
For my cousin, this was old news. He invited his brother and I to his bachelor pad a few weeks before Christmas of last year. Mostly, he wanted to show off some Japanimation he had scored – the kind where people explode after being punched. But he also wanted to show off his Hi-Fi stereo, 32-inch television, and the systems connected to it. To me, it looked like he had won one of those raffles from EGM that promised every kind of AV gadget under the sun.
Before he dropped Devil Hunter Yoko into the VHS player, I spotted a Sega CD in his equipment pile. “Oh yeah, check out the new Sonic game,” he said.