Microsoft vs Sony vs Nintendo. Console vs. mobile. Hardcore vs. casual. PC vs. console. Am I missing any?
If you follow all the hype around the new consoles, apparently Nintendo is dying and Sony will beat out Microsoft depending on the DRM requirements. Yeah, sure, I understand where this is going. We have to compare, say something is better than another and all that. But isn’t it sort of a waste of time?
Looking at the current generation, I had two consoles, a handheld device, a computer, a tablet and a mobile phone. Yes, I know that I’m yuppie scum, but am I really that abnormal? Most people I know (gamers and non-gamers alike) have at least a computer, phone and tablet, plus a console. That’s four platforms for gaming, and they are all used for gaming to at least some degree. Then we have hard core gamers, who will definitely buy at least one console – but probably two!
Sure, there is a battle between Microsoft and Sony, but isn’t there already brand loyalty? The gamer who has been using the PS3 will most likely buy a PS4 – maybe due to the exclusive releases, or familiarity with the remote, or simply loyalty to PS. The same goes for the Xbox. As a wide sweeping generalization (and yes, I know I’m going to get flak for this), PS is for those who are more interested in RPGs and Action/Adventure genres while Xbox is for FPS players – just look at the exclusive releases.
And then there’s Nintendo. Most people I know have a Wii – whether they like gaming or not. What is to say it will be any different with the Wii U? It may not be the ‘main’ console in the house, but I’d wager that most gamers will end up with one, if only to play a few titles a year. It has unique features and certain games will simply be better on it – plus ZombieU 2 is coming, as it Wii Fit U.
Then there is the issue of mobile gaming. People keep saying mobile gaming will kill PC gaming, or is it the other way around? Just like handheld devices are separate from consoles, mobile games are simply a new platform for different types of games. No one would sit and play angry birds on their next-gen console, and I doubt any phone or tablet could run a full-length RPG. As long as there have been phones, people have played games on them – I certainly killed hours on my original Nokia playing snake. This isn’t a new concept – it’s been around for a while and it isn’t going anywhere. Bigger and better games may come to mobile devices, but the same is true of consoles and PCs.
Which brings me to the humble computer. No matter how great consoles get, there will always be the PC gamer. In fact, the feud between PC and console gamers is far older and way more bitter than the feud between consoles. But you know what, both are still going strong. Some games are simply more enjoyable on the computer – and easier to distribute. Some people’s lives are configured in such a way that they can only play games on consoles.
Despite numerous feuds, the industry keeps going. Like the battle between Coke and Pepsi, or Apple and Microsoft, or McDonalds and Burger King (which Burger King is totally gonna win in South Africa) – the battle is both inevitable and inconsequential. Plenty of people are going to buy consoles, most likely more than one. They will also still use computers, tablets and mobile phones. Like the Cold War, there won’t really be any battle, and in the end, consumerism will win.
Last Updated: May 15, 2013