In case you hadn’t heard, the Xbox 360 is supposed to be replaced by newer, shinier console in 2010. The PS3’s replacement will probably roll around a few years later, if only because the PS3 seems much more future-proof and should have a longer shelf life. For that reason alone, I like to consider the PS3 the Twinkie of this console generation. The Wii’s successor? All bets are off about when we might see that one, although it will surely include a scent-sensing function and neural implant. But no matter how hot and bothered fanboys get over their console of choice, one thing is certain: it will be replaced.
Gamers have dealt with this reality for two decades, with many gamers holding tightly to vast libraries of games. Since the original PlayStation and Sega CD, those games have been contained on CDs and DVDs, making storage a bit easier but still a hassle. After all, how many LP-sized soft cases can one person maintain, let alone keep organized?
For all those game-library collectors — you know who you are — Discgear has a product that’s right up your alley. The Discgear Selector 100, a tubular plastic case that holds 100 CDs or DVDs, seems awkward at first, but if you can avoid the knee-jerk reaction, you’ll find a surprisingly useful product.
I was among the first to think the Discgear Selector 100 would fall on deaf ears. After all, gamers like to keep their disks in the retail plastic case, complete with a place to store instructions, right? Let’s be honest here: How many instruction manuals do you actually still have from the PS1 days? Heck, even the PS2 instructions have likely been soiled by pizza boxes or six packs. As a result, many game collections are crammed into old music-CD folders sans documentation. That’s where the Discgear Selector 100 comes in.
With room for 100 game discs, the Discgear Selector 100 will comfortably fit most gamers’ game archives, and it does so in a case that looks a lot sexier under the entertainment center than a 12-inch-square cloth CD wrapper. The Discgear Selector 100 has just two buttons, one to unlock access to the pull-out labeling system, and one that opens the case’s lid to the appropriate disc slot.
The labeling system consists of 100 numbered cells in which gamers can use the included marker to write down the name of the game that’s assigned to that slot. As your game collection grows and changes, this list runs the risk of becoming outdated. Not to worry; just log on to Discgear’s site and download a new form.
Once your discs are organized vertically by number, simply move the disc-selector to the appropriate number, press down on the “eject” button on the unit’s base, and the top of the case opens with the selected disk held tightly in place. Removing the disc is just as simple: depress the number-selector to loosen the mechanism’s grip, and pull the disc right out.
Two questions spring immediately to mind: does the unit scratch discs, and how does it hold up? Our brutal handling of the Discgear Selector 100 resulted in no scratched discs — and we were shaking the thing pretty intensely. Shaking the unit lengthwise revealed incredible stability; we detected no disc-moving noises at all. Shaking it front to back (away from our stomach and back again) resulted in a consistent rattling noise, but a disc was never scratched, even on the outside rings by which the unit holds each disc in place. To our amazement, the mechanism that grips the disc when the case opens also avoided damaging discs, a true surprise considering just how tightly it holds them.
As for the unit’s durability, although the Discgear Selector 100 is plastic, it’s made of a much higher-quality plastic than the game cases most gamers use to store their discs. The number-selector and two buttons at the unit’s base also seem durable, with no signs of getting stuck or wearing out prematurely. If for some reason they do fail, however, Discgear offers a full lifetime warranty.
Now, the Discgear Selector 100 is not the best storage solution for everyone. There are plenty of gamers out there who insist on keeping the original packaging and manuals, whether for nostalgia’s sake or investment’s. For them, the discs-only approach of the Discgear Selector 100 isn’t the best fit. But for gamers who want a sturdy, easily organized case that does an admirable job for discs alone, the Discgear Selector 100 is worthy of their “selection.”
- Score: 8
- A useful solution for game storage, albeit one geared more toward gamers who keep around old game libraries than toward true collectors or new-game consumers.
— Jonas Allen