Really, it is. You don’t have to cling onto only one console and/or in order to enjoy the world of video games. On top of that, you especially do not have to demean anyone who doesn’t share the same preference as you do. I’m not quite sure why this toxicity exists in the gaming community, but I do know that it really doesn’t make any sense.
Gamers need to realize one very important thing: regardless of which of the ‘Big Three’ console-makers you think is best, keep in mind that they all have strong points and weak points. Each of them has made really great decisions which have helped advanced the industry and detrimental ones which we can all agree are pretty stupid ideas that should have never made it out into the public eye. Neither Sony, Microsoft or Nintendo are perfect, but they all contribute to the overall quality of the industry in their own way. No one side is free from blame or deserves to be put down more than the others. In fact, each side actually compliments each other from time to time. (Look here, here and here, for examples.)
The whole purpose of this article is to look at each of the console makers with a balanced view. For whatever reason that you may be a major fan of Nintendo, Sony or Microsoft: Embrace that. Obviously one of those companies really appeals to you — and that’s exactly why it’s a good thing that there are multiple options.
I’ve seen some gamers holler that they would just love to see their non-favorite company burn to the ground and have their favorite company absorb their assets. That would not be a good thing. Competition drives innovation. It forces each of the Big Three to make drastic and strategic decisions, all in an effort to seem like the ‘best option’. That means that ultimately, it’s the gamers who benefit the most. For instance, Microsoft got the gaming world introduced to having a massive online ecosystem with Xbox Live. That inspired Sony to build the PlayStation Network and Nintendo to build Nintendo Network/Switch Online. Each of these companies also learn from each others mistakes. For instance, when Microsoft made a complete fool of itself before the launch of the Xbox One with its silly and almost draconian-like DRM policies and Kinect privacy concerns, Sony was able to deliver a massive punch by emphasizing how the PS4 would have none of that and also be a better, cheaper system. But, what if there weren’t multiple options?
Having competition benefits all gamers. You wouldn’t want a monopoly.
If we ever get to the point of having a monopoly in the console space, that would only be detrimental to us — the consumers. All of these companies, and their third-party developer/publisher counterparts seek to do one thing: get as much money from us as possible. Take away all the sugarcoated PR talk and you’re left with massive corporations that care about one thing above all else: creating a sea of green paper. These are for-profit companies after all, so it’s only natural that would be their end-goal. Think about that the next time you pledge your undying support for any of these companies.
Sony, Nintendo or Microsoft wouldn’t send your family a card if you were to die today. Neither of these companies would build a statue in your honor for patrolling forums and comment sections in an effort to put down anyone that speaks ill of them. You’re not going to be a mailed fat cheque for bowing down to your console of choice every night before you go to bed. The point is—these companies only see you as a number in their financial figures.
If any of them were to ever go away or be absorbed by the other sides, that would only result in the advancement of the end goal. Many gamers already hate how misused DLC is, and having to pay a subscription to access online features. So, imagine if we had a monopoly? Kick and scream all you want, but where else would you go if there was only one console manufacturer? With that said, be happy that we have a ‘Big Three’ and not a ‘Big Daddy’.
Regardless of where you play, just remember that these companies are not your friends.
Whatever you play on, just be happy that there are other people out there — millions, in fact—who love doing the same thing you do: exploring virtual worlds. There are still many folks out there who hold a strong stigma against video games, thinking that they’re nothing more than destructive, mind-numbing time-wasters. Gamers themselves are sometimes stereotyped as being weird and awkward people, especially those of an adult age. So, be happy that there are other gamers out there who are just as passionate as you (if not more); even if your preferences differ, you still have your common love of video games.
The way gaming fanboys go after each other reminds me of the way some overly enthusiastic sports fans to do the same thing. It’s not uncommon to hear of riots breaking out after the end of a big game where the majority of the attendees were rooting for the losing team. Some friendships can be even be strained or broken all over sports rivalries. I really just can’t get my head wrapped around this narrow-minded viewpoint.
If you have a close friend or family member that’s playing for a specific team, then I can understand why you would have an emotional attachment, but in most cases this isn’t the situation. People tend to gravitate who ever the ‘star player(s)’ are, and that’s who they get emotionally invested with. As to why you would put so much effort into either cheering on or booing someone who’s basically a stranger, I just don’t get it. If there’s a big game and ‘your team’ loses or wins, what difference does it really make?
Don’t be like a crazed sports fans who gets a bit too emotional over their favorite team/player.
Unless you actually bet on that game and ended up losing, then there’s really no positive or negative to the outcome. The actual players on those teams are doing their job; playing in those games are their careers. They fight to win to make sure their paycheque stays high. You on the other hand, are only being entertained by watching them. Your actions don’t actually have an effect on the outcome.
Likewise, let Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo be concerned about what’s going on with each other. If one company is performing better than the other, then let them and their employees either celebrate or fret over it. All you’re doing is benefiting from the products and services that they’re providing. When Sony sells a lot of PS4s, what percentage of the profits do you get? Unless you’re an investor or shareholder, you get nothing. When Microsoft is taking losses due to low Xbox One sales, how much debt does that create for you? Absolutely none.
My point is, just enjoy your games, enjoy the system(s) you play on and enjoy having friends who share the same interest as you. That’s all you should be doing as a gamer. Being a fanboy doesn’t make you a better gamer, just a much more immature one. You had no actual involvement in the development of your favorite console and games, nor do you have a say in what goes on in the companies behind them. Would you get all hot-and-bothered because someone doesn’t like the same flavor of ice cream as you? I would sure hope not. So, just continue sitting behind your screens, chill out and have fun. It’s as simple as that.