We all have our opinions on the matter. XBOX is better than PlayStation is better than PC is better than blah blah blah. While I’ve certainly got my own set of biases, I want to put an idea out there that’s circled teh interwebz since the console “war” began. How about we take each platform on its own merits and simply say that we prefer one over others without all the hissing and clawing?
Where I’m at
Before I try to go the objective, intellectual part of the discussion, I want to get my own prejudices and opinions out of the way. I am first and formost a PC gamer. Not because I don’t care for the consoles, and indeed I still own both of them. I’ve not played either in some months, but not because I don’t think one is inherently better than the other.
The simple fact is: I’m bad on the control sticks. There’s no other real reason. I don’t care about the frames per second debate, or the content recycling, or the digital vs. retail delivery market, or whatever marketing speech people pump out these days. I’m below average at best and terrible at worst on the XBOX and PlayStation, and I do not have fun playing because of it.
Take away the indie gaming scene, the easier patching, the huge F2P market, Steam and Amazon and Greenman Gaming. Take away everything that separates PC from consoles, even graphical fidelity, and I’d still prefer to play with a mouse and keyboard, because I can succeed with it. And I think I’m not the only one who enjoys doing well as opposed to sucking huge ass.
And the main thing is, I’ll probably pick up a PS4 and XBOX One to play the single player exclusives if they catch my fancy enough. The Last of Us won’t be on PC, but it might be the game that makes me get a PS4. If Destiny doesn’t release on PC, I might get for XBOX One to play it with my XBOX friends I’ve neglected for far too long.
Where gamers can be
Let me be clear. I didn’t watch either the Sony or Microsoft reveal light shows, but I will be paying careful attention to their E3 raves. I’ll do it the same way I’ll do it for Blizzard and Ubisoft and Valve and Tripwire and all the developers who have something impressive to show off.
People seem to remember as they trash any and all platforms, we’re in this hobby for the games. I could give a hoot what my GPU’s top clock is, so long as it can play the games I want to play at really pretty resolutions. I don’t care how much RAM the new consoles have, nor do I care how much they’re behind or ahead of the PC. If there are valuable stories to tell in the games on offer, I’m all ears and my wallet is open.
I’m aware of the underhanded tactics publishers are using. I know on some level the abusive tactics Microsoft has planned, if indeed they stick to the course they apparently set during their event. I know Sony is on a warpath to oust both Microsoft and Nintendo as the top console again.* As a member of the gaming community, these things are important to me and important for gamers to talk about. As a guy who loves games and wants to see the medium obtain the same literary legitimacy as books or movings, these things are important to me.
But as someone who plays games as an escape or the only true type of interactive entertainment, I care first and foremost about the games. If they run at 30, 60, 120, or 3000 fps shouldn’t be an issue. Whose paid who money for first dibs shouldn’t matter. Which big celebrity name is attached to what game shouldn’t affect the quality of the story** or the number of people who enjoy and invest themselves in a game.
Where the consoles are going
At their current rate, the console war isn’t going to stop. It raged between gaming communities and now fills the hardware creators to the brim. In the XBOX vs. PlayStation war, the Battle for the Living Room is only just beginning, and the price has never been higher for everyone. Before I begin taking the Jimquisition’s stuff, I’ll say simply that I don’t like the route the big guys are taking. If it doesn’t affect the quality of the games much, then they can go over the brink under the weight of their own greed and short-sightedness.
And I say that because I know in my heart that games, as the next literary form, will survive. Maybe it’s on the PC, maybe it’s with Nintendo or the OUYA or the Steambox or some new contender not yet revealed to us. I think the communities, as disparate and hate filled as they are, are far too large and indebted to games to broach the thought of letting the medium die. There will be chaos, there will be jobs lost, lives and reputations tested, and angry people by the millions.
I think gaming is too big to fall now, and as the future unfolds, we’ll see where the winds take us.
*Nintendo’s stayed fairly well out of the XBOX vs. PlayStation conflict, and while WiiU might not impress, it doesn’t seem to want to compete too much with the Big Arguing Two Headed Giant.
**I’m looking at you Call of Too Much Expense.