The Reality of Gaming and Negativity This Generation (and Next)

fanboy-war-is-coming

Back in 2009, I was publishing monthly videos via my YouTube account, while working for a previous gaming website. One particular video that garnered much attention was a video I did discussing my thoughts on the gaming market at that time. The video was aptly named “Death of the Console Wars”. Though it got several thousand views, as well as numerous comments, I felt good posting it because it was my thoughts on everything I had experienced and known from my 20+ years of gaming. The video was a culmination of all the disgust and nonsense that was flooding the blogs and internet at that time between the so-called “Console Fanboy Wars”.

Obviously, let’s be honest, this past generation has been Microsoft and Sony neck-and-neck. In the video, I spoke very bluntly on why I buy all consoles and what my predictions were for all three of the major consoles. Fast-forward 4 years years later and it turned out to be completely on the mark. No, Michael Patcher need not worry, because I would need to be wrong numerous times while sounding overly-intelligent about marketing strategies, while at the end of the day I’m just really talking about video games and nothing even remotely important to all of our everyday lives.

In this video, I predicted how Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo would fare by the end of this generation, and, without getting into it, just check the figures and polls online and the results are roughly what I stated they would be. The point is I did that video because I was beyond disgusted with the super-fanatical stereotypical nerdy arguments and drama of 21st century expression. I had purchased the Xbox 360 back in November of 2005 and have never regretted the purchase. This system ushered me into the next generation. For the first time ever, my brother and I raced home and booted it up with excitement. We were told it would visually upgrade your original Xbox games, which was revolutionary at the time. Matter of fact, it’s still revolutionary, being that no other system, including the new X1 and PS4, can upgrade last-gen visuals. Wait, that’s right – they’re not backwards-compatible to begin with! Smart move guys, that way they can port more HD classic collections later on and charge for games we already bought years before. This equals extortion according to the FBI, but let’s not get off-topic.

console_wars_mn9x

Having bought the 360, I purchased Call of Duty 2 and Condemned: Criminal Origins, and needless to say, we were blown away. The visuals and audio were nothing we had ever seen or heard before. Now this is 2005; just weeks before that I was still playing San Andreas on my PS2! The graphical jump coupled with this new “High Definition” technology in video games was astounding. Right out the box, we had HD Component cables, outputting 480p “DVD” quality, 720p, and 1080i, the standard with which TV channels are broadcast in today. Hooking up my iPod to the Xbox, I could stream my music and use it as a game’s soundtrack, which for a movie score fanatic like me was pure bliss. I won’t keep describing the numerous features we have all learned and experienced now or expect. A year later, the Playstation 3 launched and after much apprehensiveness, I decided to buy this mammoth of a system, despite its equally-large price. After leaving Toys ‘R’ Us $640 poorer (tax included), I was eager to race home. This large black console I knew had to be teeming with power if it costs this much, right!? I purchased Resistance: Fall of Man and Motorstorm, and was very content. Motorstorm showed visuals I had never seen before up to that point and was thoroughly excited to see the future of this console. Resistance didn’t wow with visuals, but it did please all in its great gameplay and intriguing story.

As 2007 came, I purchased a Wii, because I wanted this experience of new technology that the other systems weren’t doing, and I loved it. It’s great when each system offers a variety that you cannot get on the other two. I purchased Super Mario Galaxy and Resident Evil 4 Wii edition. Both were fantastic titles that went on to score very well and sell even better. By now, I had experienced all three systems in their early years, and what each one was technically capable of, up to that point at least. And now, here is where the heart of this story lies. Throughout 2006 to 2009, there was an outpouring of gamers who continuously spewed hate because of their particular stance on a gaming system. Every website imaginable had ridiculous columns about why each system was better. Now for the first time ever, “gamers” all of a sudden knew or cared about company stocks and marketing strategies, and using these in arguments about which is the better console. Even big websites, which I will not name, occasionally had articles laced with overtones of bias that would, on numerous occasions, start a list of internet comment wars about 21st-century nonsense.

fanboy-anatomy

These articles/boards/comments would circulate throughout the gaming community, leading consumers who are “not in the know” to believe idiotic rumors, and some did not buy a certain console or tend to take a stance against a company because of what a friend of a friend said, or what www.$@$#.com believed. Now to me, this is all insane and I never encountered such a heavily-psychotic problem in the previous generations. I had a PS2 and Gamecube and a cousin with an Xbox and everything was all cool, the world kept spinning. By the time we got to 2009, I had realized the direction each company was going and I released this video speaking my mind on what I felt I could see coming down the road for all three. Now in 2013, I realized, as well as all of you, who had watched and commented that it was a correct assessment. Regardless, this console generation is finally coming to a close this fall. With the release of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, I had hopes that this drama would be a thing of the past; clearly, it’s not. Interesting, since this generation, both the PS4 and X1 are going to be so closely similar in specs and features and even appearance in some ways, that the differences between them are the most minuscule they have ever been in the previous generations. The Wii U shows the biggest difference between the three consoles.

xbox-ps4-wiiu-composite

I purchased a Wii U in November of 2012, and have my own thoughts on Nintendo’s latest system and their marketing strategies. Regardless, I have never regretted my purchase, nor have I ever seriously taken anybody’s prediction that Nintendo was already TKO’d when the system just came out, literally 8 months ago. Nintendo has been in the business longer than Sony and Microsoft put together, and they didn’t become successful from having a enormous selection of mature-rated titles or a fully interactive online gaming community. They always come out swinging with their exclusive and creative titles that no other company can replicate. And I have no doubts that 8 months from now, the state of the Wii U will be at a much more prominent status than it has been placed in now.

index

Sadly, ever since E3 2013, the fanboy rants have been growing to sizes of yesteryear. With Microsoft’s announced DRM policy (and its reversal), it gave Nintendo and Sony untold amounts of ammunition that is waning at a too-slow rate. I say this because once the Fall hits, all three crowds of extremist gamers will have to rant and rave. They will roar about a piece of cheaply-made plastic manufactured in China on an assembly line. They will then give reasons as to why they “hate” (yes, hate) the other company. I have said it many times before, Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony DO NOT CARE WHETHER YOU LIVE OR DIE. They do not care whether you make your rent this month, or hospital bills, or lose your job. Mircosoft/Sony/Nintendo exec’s do not scour the internet messaging you on Facebook, asking “how is the family” and “how your old aunt with the heart condition doing”. They do not care about you. Their business is to generate a maximum profit each year by releasing content people that will flock to stores to buy. And there is nothing wrong with that; it’s business, pure and simple. However, when you hear this sort of “hero worship” or “company loyalty” among the gaming community, I can’t help but laugh and feel sad at the same time for them.

Untitled

I still today can’t figure out where this hate comes from. Whether some people simply can’t afford to buy multiple systems, and must create an imaginary world of hate in order to compensate for their tight income, I don’t know. All these years later and it’s still a great mystery as to why gamers/nerds/gaming journalists continue to spew hate and lunacy towards the X1, PS4, or the Wii U and all past-gen consoles. What is this passion and anger that comes from a subject so inconsequential in our everyday world? The subject after all is video games; it can’t be more infantile than that. I am 25 years old and I love playing video games and writing about my feelings on them, and the market as a whole too. However, even I realize that no matter how mainstream gaming becomes, it will always be looked on as an adolescent hobby where the only true facts are that money is spent in vast amounts each year by the consumer.

fanboy-sony

The hate doesn’t have to be there this time, the rivalry should not be in our minds and spewing out. We are not sitting high above in an office working as an executive at any of these companies, we are merely a purchaser of their manufactured goods. And of course if you are someone who just prefers one over the other for specific reasons, that’s perfectly normal and acceptable obviously. Technology can be amazing at times, and in gaming, I do not think anybody should have the right or provocation to become enraged or angered by another piece of technology that nobody is forcing you to buy or not. I am a gamer and I love to game because it is a terrific pastime for me. I chose to purchase all three consoles because I work multiple jobs and monetary reasons would allow me to. More importantly, I chose to purchase all three because I can never see limiting myself to one or two, if not all three. If they all seem exciting in different aspects, and are all offering unique experiences in their own way, then why not?