The Idiocracy of Fighting Over Gaming Platforms
Aren’t humans great… OK OK, stop laughing. So yea we are hardly the best thing to happen to this planet aren’t we, give us any sort of topic and we will master the art of breaking it down into factions and fighting about them. At least in the past it was over big things like what language we speak, or what religions we should follow. But now that the world has progressed into more “civilised” times (not really but kind of) we have decided to do this over the more trivial side of life, like what gaming platform we prefer.
Now in the early days of video games arcades were the only option you had. Each machine it’s own platform built by the manufacturer. Many a youth of that era will grin gleefully at the afternoons wasted at the arcades with friends. All united in a fellowship of games.
This joyful happy golden age carried on into the early days of home gaming systems. But then the dark times arrived. Early home computer systems were cluncky and overly technical for the layman who, unlike arcades, didn’t have technicians on call. The arrival of the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and Sega Genesis however brought home gaming to the masses. Probably one of the earliest rifts (at least over platform rather than game) was one or other picked by fans as their preferred system. Even then though it was mostly a friendly rivalry.
The early nineties saw the arrival of windows as the main computer system. Many of the old DOS games you needed a degree in computer science to actually get running became easy to install. At the same time home computers were becoming more and more popular, and thus pc gaming experienced a great boom. The newer technology in the rapidly evolving computer systems soon allowed the computers to leave the consoles feeling old and outdated. As sales were dwindling the timing of gaming consoles seemed to be over. the reign of the PC empire was at hand….. Briefly.
A new challenger appears. Sony after a failed attempt at a joint venture co-building Nintendo’s next console, decided to go intendant and build their own one solo a few years later. Enter Playstation. In the face of a dying console market the Playstation cemented their place in gaming history. It brought the ease of use of the old consoles to newer more powerful hardware. No other gaming systems of the time lived up to the Playstation, now the consoles had their champion, at least for now, and the war turned to PC vs Playstation.
At the time Playstation had the advantage of its games being designed specifically for it. A few minutes of fumbling to connect it into the loop of the tv and VHS machine, then just put in the disk and it works. Also the entire systems resources were dedicated to running the game, no sharing the load with office applications or Encarta (people remember Encarta right ?). While PC games were much cheaper than their playstation counterparts, In my neighbourhood sometimes as much as half the cost. But you had to install them, and you weren’t guaranteed your system would have the spec to run them. PC gained another advantage when Playstation 2 arrived.
I had saved up as a kid to get a Playstation, and maybe 2 months later PS2 was announced, instantly I would have had to fork out full cost for a whole new system to be able to play any future developed games. Meanwhile PC’s could be upgraded piece by piece as you go, if you had the technical skills. Unfortunately this situation of a top end PC outperforming a console, but needing to be tech savy to build one affordably led to the pro PC team to become rather smug with themselves. We were smarter than those silly console people. While I am team PC, I despise the PC master race crowd.
Amongst all this The Xbox joined the fray, and a little bit later the Wii. Now the Consoles were divided amongst themselves, but united against the PC. As time progresses the various hatred and smugness seems to just get more and more toxic… over very slightly different ways to do the same thing ? Stop being dumb pls people.
The worst of this for me is platform specific games. We all love gaming, and to go exclusive to one platform is nothing but money grabbing. But apart from that really we all have our own circumstances. I need my computer for work and studies anyway, and I don’t own a TV. So I would have to fork out for both that and a console, to do something I could just do on the PC. I also play way better with a mouse than a game pad, except maybe arcade style games. So for me PC is best choice. Someone else might have a group of people sharing a lounge, and thus a console on their TV for some casual sessions with friends works better for them.
Were all gamers here, lets do our gaming united like the good old days