What you play your video games on really doesn’t matter.
Ah yes, the console war: an anachronistic and pointless piece of fandom warfare that really doesn’t benefit anyone except corporations who want your loyalty, and with it, your money. Look, I understand the feeling of wanting to belong; it’s nice to know that someone else shares something with you. The amount of vileness and toxicity that brews between people who own different consoles is ridiculous. So the console war is really pointless, and here’s why.
Firstly, the reason why the console war is so pointless is because, in the end, there really isn’t much difference between the two major consoles and PCs that makes buying one or the other a big deal. Their features are so minutely different from each other that going with one brand won’t drastically change your experience wrapping around the games you play. On the topic of the games you play, the releases on both consoles aren’t that different, either. The only variation between the two is really a handful of exclusives here and there, while most popular games have a version on all possible platforms.
So how does the console war benefit the console manufacturers, and why is this bad? To answer the first question is that, because there are far and few differences between the consoles themselves, by having this arbitrary war over which one people own, they gain brand loyalty and, consequently, confirmed customers. This severe brand loyalty only gives the big companies more money, so really it doesn’t help you, the consumer and gamer, at all. This is bad since, well, it’s just really skeezy and gross. It makes me quite uncomfortable that people are getting this aggressive and competitive over which plastic and metal box they have under their TV, and the only people benefiting from this are corporations.
Speaking of which, another reason why the console war is so bad is how toxic it really is. A few weeks ago there was an incident where one of the developers of Titanfall 2 tweeted out a picture of the PS4 disc of their finished game. Of course, people attacked this particular developer for having the gall to tweet out a picture of the PS4 version of the game only (turns out the reason why the developer chose the PS4 disc was due to the fact that the Xbox One pre-release discs are quite plain). This sort of petty and toxic behavior should be a clear reason as to why the console wars are absolutely ridiculous in this day and age. The fact that someone got attacked on Twitter and various other social media platforms for only showing one console’s version of a game should be sobering and make you think how maybe the console wars are pointless.
Look, I understand the sort of tribal mentality one can get with brands and consoles. I am not above this all the time. I get defensive about the fact that a lot my friends shit on the Xbox One, the console I own. I feel jealous and gross over how I don’t get to play with my friends since they’ve decided to go with Sony’s console over Microsoft’s. I want to belong, too. It’s even more difficult when people are constantly shouting at you on the internet over how you chose the wrong console which then makes you even more defensive. I understand. It’s nice to belong as part of a group, any group. It’s easy to get swept up in the hype and furor over the many brands you can be loyal to. I know.
But you should never really be vicious back. Be the better person. Be aware of the flaws of your chosen console. Be aware of how silly these fights can be. It’s such a small and pointless fight to have over plastic boxes filled with wires and discs. It’s even sillier once you start thinking about how similar the two major consoles are to each other. Yes, there are many functional and aesthetic differences (such as how one records game clips or how the two different operating systems look), but the core usage of these two consoles aren’t that different. On the whole, the consoles share many, many titles, with the exception of a few exclusives here and there. The difference in libraries is so slim that I honestly don’t feel that anyone needs to but one over the other: just go with whichever one you have the most achievements on, or the cheapest, or where all your friends are. There really is no reason to hate another console or another person who has that console. There is no need to have a difficult decision like back in the day of the SNES and Genesis since, again, the consoles share so much in terms of software that you wouldn’t lose out that much from choosing one over the other. Add to that the “power difference” between the two is so negligible that honestly there is barely any difference between them.
These big companies are not going away anytime soon. No matter what arguments you give or go against about their consoles, the sales are not going to be negatively affected by them. Even then, who cares which console “wins” the generation? The companies will live on and everyone will still be able to play video games. They make more than enough money to survive and the industry as a whole is healthy enough as well. This means that choosing allegiances really benefits no one but the wallets of the big companies who manufacture them, and they really don’t need anymore money. They’re fine. These allegiances have caused so much ill will in the past and I’m so very glad that it seems to have gone away this generation. I just really hope that it can stay that way. So let’s put down the pitchforks, give each other a hug, and just enjoy the medium of video games together without any hostility about what we play them on, alright?