Feature Article

Is the PS4, Xbox One, and Wii U console war dumb?

Editorial: Fanboys love arguing about which system is better, but is it harmless fun or something hurtful to the industry?

One topic that instantly draws the most vehement discussion and irate comments on GameSpot is the so-called "console war." It seems like everyone either wants to sound off on how their console is the best and everyone who disagrees is a mindless fanboy, or comment with equal fervor about how none of this matters and everyone's an idiot.

People obviously care a lot, but is that a good thing? Is such ardent fandom just a harmless expression of brand loyalty, or does single-minded adherence to one system over another actually hurt discussion about games? GameSpot's staff sound off.

I Nintendon't give a damn - Daniel Hindes

If you're the kind of person who feels the need to take shots in this silly console war, take a second before hurling the next stone and look at the situation. You're arguing for the value of a product over the existence of another. You're grasping at company lines and transforming them into gospel. You're doing exactly what Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo want. You're not a gamer anymore--you're a mouthpiece for a corporation that doesn't actually care about you as an individual. I'm still battered and scarred from the PC gaming wars--AMD vs Intel; Radeon vs NVIDIA--and they were fighting over the exact same system, and the exact same games!

The biggest irony here is that the console war is over--and you won. The major systems are now so alike in core tech and third-party game options that the differences are, at best, negligible. We're well past the days of the Nintendo 64, PlayStation 1 and, let's not forget, the Dreamcast, when not even the controllers had enough similarities to make cross-platform games a viable thing. With very few exceptions, you can pretty much play whatever you want on whatever system your $600 outlay has turned you into a loyalist for. So what is there left to argue over? Display resolutions, refresh rates, multiplayer services--I'm already getting flashbacks to those PC gaming arguments.

A lot like appreciating LeBron - Tom Mc Shea

Alright, I realize that using an analogy is a tired way to get your point across, but I'm going to do it anyway. Rooting for a console manufacturer is a lot like pulling for your favorite sports team; I know this from experience. You laugh gleefully when your chosen idol succeeds and when your nastiest rival fails, and analyze every element so deeply that truth is blurred into an unrecognizable mess of nothingness. It's delightful chaos.

But here's where things become problematic. If you're a hard-nosed console loyalist, or a blind sports fanatic, you can paint yourself into a corner of bitterness. Yes, you may root for Sony to sell more consoles, or Nintendo to deliver their magic once again, but if you're ignoring everything else, than you're only hurting yourself. Just like how I eventually came to appreciate LeBron James even though I'm a Pacers apologist, it's important for console fans to not limit themselves to one platform.

There are tons of great games out there. Don't let your dogmatism prevent your from enjoying them all.

Make console love, not war - Carolyn Petit

Look, I've been as guilty of vehemently supporting one console over another as anyone. At the advent of the glorious 16-bit era, my parents weren't going to purchase both a Sega Genesis and a Super Nintendo for me. I had a Genesis and that was that. I was still an immature youth when I first experienced the charm and beauty of Super Mario World on a friend's Super Nintendo, and the delight of playing that timeless masterpiece was tarnished by a sinking feeling in my heart as I knew that I was stuck with a console that would never be home to Mario's latest grand adventure. My reaction to this sad reality was not a reasonable acknowledgment of the fact that there were good experiences available on both consoles, but a zealous championing of the Genesis as the one true console of the 16-bit era. I didn't even want to remotely acknowledge the possibility that I had made the "wrong" choice, so I loudly trumpeted the viewpoint that I had made the only right one.

Now that I'm older and (slightly) more mature, I recognize this mindset as youthful folly. Every console has a good deal to offer, and although it can be frustrating to not have access to all of the great experiences out there because we can't afford to stock our entertainment centers with every console on the market, the truth is that there isn't a reasonable basis for trashing one major console, and if you pour a lot of energy into criticizing one machine and those who enjoy it, I might suspect that you're trying to distract yourself from the fact that you're bitter or insecure about your own choices. I take my motto in these matters from my friend, former GameSpot staffer Carrie Gouskos, who famously said, "Make console love, not war."

Be vocal, be passionate, but don't be a dick - Mark Walton

I get the fanboy thing. I mean, if I've just spent too much money on a shiny black box, I want it to be the best damn box in the universe. I want it to fire rainbows at my face while I boot up a game, and have unicorns magically float out of the controller, wish me good luck, and gently kiss me on the forehead before I dive into an online battle. And if I finally find a box that does that, well, of course I want to share such good fortune with people I know.

I like being passionate about the things I love, and I love hearing from people who are passionate. It's those people that wait in line to buy the latest console, pre-order the needlessly over-the-top special editions of games, and go online to upload fan fiction and artwork of their favorite characters and universes. That is where console fanboys can triumph, and to those people, I salute you. The day I'm unlucky enough to not write about games, I'll be right there with you.

The trouble happens when that passion turns sour, and there's not really any need for it. I'm all for an open, heated debate on the merits of 1080p vs. 900p, or why the Xbox One UI sucks (seriously, it does), but when it gets personal, or turns into hate-speech, it all gets a bit silly. At the end of the day it's a big plastic box with some circuit boards in it. Be vocal, be passionate, but don't be a dick.

Dare to be dumb - Martin Gaston

Yes, the console war is dumb. But so is buying a hundred games in a Steam sale that I'll never play, watching all eight seasons of Dexter, and drinking so much Coke that I'm almost certainly going to end up with diabetes. There are a lot of dumb things in the world, and each and every one of us partakes in our fair share.

Still, there are a few important things to remember. Firstly, it's not weird that somebody wants to ensure they've invested their $500-odd dollars wisely, because most people aren't going to be able to afford all three consoles right now. Second, the battle between the PS4 and the Xbox One is equivalent to a drunken scuffle outside of a dodgy nightclub compared to the all-out nuclear war of the SNES and the Genesis, and the Genesis will always, always be coolest. Never forget. And finally, the fact that it's fun to add a bit of theatrics to the marketplace battles of the the gaming companies doesn't mean you're allowed to be a complete and utter douche about it.

Long Live These Console Wars - Randolph Ramsay

No, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being a fan of one particular console. After all, tribalism is in our natures. You see this everywhere and every day, from people cheering for their favorite sporting teams, to showing their political allegiances, to liking one type of mobile phone OS over another. It's Marvel vs DC, it's Coke vs Pepsi, it's Pokemon vs Digimon. It's who we all are--we choose a side, and we stick with it. Why should gaming consoles be any different?

Of course, you can still be a jerk about showing your console allegiances. But at its very core, being an Xbox/PlayStation/Nintendo/PC fan--and being open about it--is nothing to be ashamed of.

Game of Consoles - Cindy Tang

In the Game of Thrones of console wars, no one is dying, weddings are relatively fun, and sneering narcissists are the bane of everyone's existence.

Being so passionate about a plastic box of chips and wires seems like all sorts of first-world-problem, Purple-Wedding-decadent ridiculousness. Anyone who limits their options is doing themselves a disservice. To want a competitor to fail is economically shortsighted. If fewer companies come out alive in this "console war," the likelihood of a healthy gaming marketplace slims down significantly--and rarely is an unregulated oligopoly beneficial to the consumer. It hurts you, the consumer, when you align yourself with a brand because of loyalty rather than product quality or lifestyle compatibility. Competition is healthy; a console "war" is not.

On the other hand, people are shelling out half a grand for these plastic boxes so I can understand where the defensiveness stems from. But passionate debate should be anchored by decorum and mutual respect--after all, we want every single company to produce the best products possible for all gamers. So when deciding to sound off on a public forum, remember that we're all on the same side of the market. Bottom line: Don't be the Joffrey of the console war.

I don't want to set the world on fire - Justin Haywald

Console wars are harmless fun, and you've got to admit that watching people completely lose their minds on message boards has a certain appeal. Some nights I just like to crack open a frosty beverage, then delve into the comments section in a dark corner of the site for a morbid evening of reading.

Strong opinions and passion are what drive our world, and it doesn't matter how crazy the console arguments get, they ultimately make for better products. The console and game creators work to appease their frothing fanbase and allay attacks from their detractors, and those self-same fans go to extremes to make sure their voice is heard and echoed by as many potential supporters as possible.

Now if we only we could turn that same kind of energy towards something really big, like ending world hunger. Maybe after the PS5 and Xbox One Two come out.

Written By

Discussion

1891 comments
cainetao11
cainetao11

Its just funny to some of us. These are companies. People bring up the sports analogy but sports teams and athletes directly compete. Now if engineers of MS, Sony, and Nintendo had to say develop their consoles in a giant room with opposing groups doing so in that room, fine. They don't care about us. They want our money. Its business. I pay money for what I make use of. I don't get emotional about business. And limiting my possibilities of gaming goodness, within my budget is just stupid and self punishment. Why? Because I think a company that doesn't care about me actually does?

LJNkickstarter
LJNkickstarter

I dont know about america, There is no Console Wars in my country. All gamers here shares both Hardware & Softwares so they can all experience what others felt.

lilflipp
lilflipp

No. Not at all. It's challenging, constructive and downright brilliant. Similar to my comment.


Edit: PC MASTA RACE

onionking108
onionking108

if someone bought me all three consoles, I'd play games on all of them.  However, I'm too poor to afford any of them lol. 

PixelAddict
PixelAddict

This might be the best editorial I've ever read about gaming. All viewpoints are spot on, but Cindy Tang's I find as being especially appropriate.

Because, seriously, there are a LOT of Joffreys out there. And not enough poison.

phloyd74
phloyd74

Nothing helps to fill the comment sections of websites struggling for decent content than a story that provokes mindless fanboyism. Slow news day Gamespot?

war80
war80

competition is healty for cuality games, so no, but the fanboys war is totaly useless because if you not choose their product of choice they will haunt you to death:  they become so blind that they cant see the flaws of the system they pick and everytime they see something from a diferent system they will go calling that system garbage because is not his system of choice.

timmerous
timmerous

Debate is a good thing, blind fanboyism isn't. A debate with well thought out pros and cons can help people decide on what would be best for them and be very useful in general. However, people tend to go on the defensive when their opinions are brought in to question (and their expensive purchases are attacked) leading to most discussion deteriorating into useless slagging matches. I bit more maturity and acceptance that your view is not the only view in the world would go a long way to improving these discussions.

jlenoconel
jlenoconel

I think the console war is dumb because I think people should allow themselves to like all three companies (meaning Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo).  I've never outright preferred one console over another, unless what they're putting out truly is mediocre (like the Wii being full of shovelware, the DS and 3DS make up for this though).  Anyway, I currently own both all of the previous gen consoles plus a 3DS, VITA, and PSP Go.  I like all my consoles.  I think the 360's strengths lie in shooters and military type games whilst the PS3s strengths are in RPGs (I love A Realm Reborn on the PS3).  Both consoles have tons of games that are on both platforms too.  Anyway, I think people should learn to appreciate both, instead of pitting one against the other.  I for one, will be waiting to buy my next console because I want to see which one has the better games, as this really is all that matters.

arqe
arqe

Yes it is dumb. War is just a stupid term to use here.

Microsoft and Sony are Rivals , not enemies. The War is happening between stupid Fans that doesnt even play the console they love but fight over its SPECS online with other fans.


I mean it provided entertainment at first , when the machines first revealed. It was really good to troll tard fans but thats enough. After both consoles are available stop the stupid MY SPEC IS BIGGER THAN YOUR SPEC thing and just play the console you like. Specially when there is so-called %50 power difference on paper yet only %0.1 difference on practice.

Blackwand
Blackwand

Chevy/Ford

Samsung/Apple

Apple/Microsoft

Nintendo/Sega

McDonald's/Burger King


Nothing new here.  The real question is if you guys have such a problem with it then why do you go to such lengths to promote this war?

sortajan
sortajan

my hypocrometer can't read numbers this high


Mule007
Mule007

Sony (own a PS4/Vita btw) fans are ruining console gaming, constantly spewing stats and specs, but obviously are not playing games on their PS4, because their exclusives are piss poor right now.  Odd how Xbox/Wii fans are more "quiet," even with our "underpowered systems."  Maybe because Xbox and Wii owners have quality exclusives and are content with their systems?  Just saying...PS4 is all hype right now...


trotz75
trotz75

Who else sees the irony in this article?

Evil_Sidekick
Evil_Sidekick

Of course is dumb, stupid, ridiculous and pointless.


It's fun if it's done just for laughs, in a irony / sarcasm way; but taken seriously is pathetic.

SingletreeAve
SingletreeAve

I don't need to read this article to answer that question: Yes.  However, the console war is quite entertaining. Well at least it was until I got bored with it a few months ago.  Someone needs to come up with a new issue to incite the fanboys. 

nomisrevilo
nomisrevilo

The fact we're waging a 'war' between which is better is comical... it's like fighting over who's Moped is better... neither as they're both years behind current technology so who cares.



TheExxorcist
TheExxorcist

The "Console Wars" are completely normal, it happens all the time... it peaks when new systems emerge... let the haters hate, just sit back and "LOL" at them,

Enjoy what you have:)

jsmoke03
jsmoke03

fanboys arent bad unless you are a delusional one. 

without fanboys, some of these consoles would not be able to get off the ground before the rest of the masses decide to purchase a system.sure i should be all about the games, but launches usually dont have much and its the hardcore, and esp hardcore fanboys that gobble up systems that might not have games. because of them, a lot of the gamers can wait until the games come out before adopting a system


but being delusional is stupid, fanboy or not. accept a fact, if multi plat games look better on a rival system, more unit sales, better rated games....acknowledge it. oh and dont buy a ps4 only to smash it in front of people that are in line for one....dont make fake news to boost up your system. dont post youtube videos about some fake malfunction. that is fanboy + stupidity at work 


that said...i wouldnt want to be a fanboy....too many good games  that i dont want to miss out on

peterhorner1867
peterhorner1867

Console wars are just for the kids who rely on their parents to buy their chosen machine.

I have an xb1 and I absolutely love it. When the ps4 starts to interest me il buy one of those and im sure il love that too.

DWalker131
DWalker131

console war is dumb, purely coz the people choose to fight in it are trying to save those that oppose

i say let them burn with their limitations


hahah

phillybro806
phillybro806

Yes. Because people buy consoles for specific reasons. Just because it's not the console you would choose doesn't make it a stupid purchase.

o12blackgt
o12blackgt

I own all three consoles and couldn't be happier. Anyone who chooses one over another because of some loyalty to a billion dollar corporation is brainwashed. Pick one that suits your needs. Be happy and Game!!

hitomo
hitomo

gamespot ... you are the only warmongers here ... you are like putin


point is: xbox market is america and western europe / PS market is the same + Japan


gaming market in america and western europe is dead thanks to monopolising companies,


Japans market isnt .... ps4 wins

terrariafan247
terrariafan247

They console/platform wars are stupid. All that should matter is the games we play not the console.

riksterinto1
riksterinto1

Gamespot and IGN have got to be the worst.  Both sites have a new PS4 vs X1 article every single freaking day.  It's getting a little ridiculous.  Go out and find us some E3 leaks or something we care about.  Please

leigham
leigham

gamespot would you shark bait dropping mutherfuckers stop talking about a fuckin sales war. How about you talk about how shitty and how there are barely any fuckin games for these NEW FUCKIN MACHINES. Why don't these companies spend a full fuckin year making games, games and more fuckin games before they just release it and have people sitting around playing fuckin sports champions until the good games come out a year or two later.

trotz75
trotz75

I own a ps4, I will admit to being a bit of a fan, I like Nintendo and have owned several Nintendo consoles. I have never bought any Microsoft consoles because of the way I feel about Microsoft, there backtracking on there ridiculous pre-launch policies sums up Microsoft for me

endorbr
endorbr

I can answer the question simply with a no muss no fuss answer: "Yes."

praack
praack

so funny, in the xbox, ps3 gen it was open season on the ps3, now all of a sudden it is - oh ps4 people don't say anything, lots of comments of being nice, lots of mixed messages regarding system specs etc...


this gen the ps4 has met the need of the gamer- sorry xbox, microsoft shot for another group - the general family who only games once in a while. enjoy the kinect and the cable connection


it might change the next time- but for now well it's done, all upgrades microsoft could make have been made and Sony have not touched the PS4,- so what would happen if Sony decides to overclock the ps4 like microsoft did with the xboxone?


ps4 is still on top, just like now


so don't get angry, take a bit of the heat ( you sure gave it to us for the last few years) and it will all die down in about a year)

jlenoconel
jlenoconel

@Mule007  I agree.  I don't see why people can't be a fan of all three companies.

xTheTrueSeekerx
xTheTrueSeekerx

What are you even talking about? Gaming is much bigger in America and Europe.

Coldpain
Coldpain

@trotz75  But wouldn't that make them a good company? They actually listened to their customers. Unlike Nintendo...who won't implement either a trophy system or integrated purchasing system akin to PSN and XBL. Both of which their customers have requested multiple times...

peterhorner1867
peterhorner1867

Met the need of the gamer? How? It hasn't got any games!!!!

VersaType
VersaType

@praack  But it hasn't met the need of the gamer. Neither really has.

war80
war80

@jlenoconel @Mule007because if you like all 3 you are not a fan you are a gamer, you wont complain over every product you will just play the damm game

Mule007
Mule007

@xTheTrueSeekerx Agree, lol.  U.S.A. equals 3-4 times Japan in population, and EU is twice the size of U.S.A. in population, hitomo should learn math, lol!  And he needs a lesson on corporations, Japanese companies are "western" and monopolize just as bad, if not worse that whatever he's talking about. 

trotz75
trotz75

No it doesn't, the only reason they back tracked is because of the huge back-lash, if Microsoft had there way I wouldn't of bought a pre-owned game last week

UnrealJohny
UnrealJohny

@Coldpain @trotz75  


if you look at it closely does it realy make MS a good company? i mean don't get me wrong changing the policies is good but doing it in snap like that after earing about it does leave a bad taste in your mouth.


on nintendo's case (bear in mind it's just a question) are trophys that important?

i mean buying a console having trophys as your reason kinda seems like a bad reason (in my way of seeing it)

Mule007
Mule007

@peterhorner1867 PS4 "fans" are "nice," hahahahah.  Sony fans are the worst, simply because they got the "specs!"  Btw, MS DID NOT overclock the Xbox One, and the PS4 CAN NOT be overclocked either.  They're NOT PC's and simply don't have that capability.  Upgrades come in the form of software OS updates and hardware firmware updates, and NEITHER system has come close to it's full potential, and BOTH will updated continually through their cycles.  For instance, compare 360/PS3 game released last year, to 360/PS3 game released in 2007.  NIGHT and DAY how they look, but somehow they still use the same non-upgradeable hardware from years back.  It comes down to the skill of the software developers and how well they know and utilize each system.  PS2 overwhelming beat the original Xbox and Dreamcast in sales, but it was not the best system spec wise, not even close, somehow won still....know why...good, quality games made by developers that squeezed every ounce of power out of PS2, and Sony's marketing muscle, DVD player in PS2, and media hype.  And @praack, the next 1-3 yrs will be the last where our consoles solely rely on their own hardware for power, it's shifting to cloud computing.  Wait till Microsoft fully utilizes that, basically a mainframe/supercomputer powering your game, with the console merely being a "terminal."  How do you think they got Forza 5 to run 1080 and Ryse to look so good compared to Sony's exclusives running at lol, 1080p.  Yes, Forza 5 and Ryse are the best looking next gen games...but on an "inferior console?"  Same w/Titanfall...say what you will, but Microsoft PAID NOTHING for exclusivity for their platforms, well known fact Respawn needed the cloud computing power that Microsoft could provide to make the game work smoothly.  Microsoft, along w/Amazon and Google are the dominant cloud computing techs.  Sony simply did not have the $$ to invest in such a venture, and they'll pay for it sooner than later, when they have to rent/lease time from one of their competitors.


onionking108
onionking108

@Mule007 @trotz75 are you really complaining about getting too many free games and having to upgrade memory cards because of it?  you don't have to download ALL of them you know...

trotz75
trotz75

Just one more point, look at the free games u get with xbl, there pathetic, not worth having, it seems the idea of giving customers a good deal actually burns them cos they just can't seem to do it.

trotz75
trotz75

Anyway let that b an end to it, u will obviously not hear a bad word said about Microsoft, even though they have shown the lengths they will go if allowed. And before u say it, I know other companies including Sony would aswell, the difference is Microsoft tried.

Mule007
Mule007

@trotz75 And like Sony is such a compassionate and caring company?  Let me start w/Sony...release so many "free" PS Plus games in one month, that I have to go out and buy an overpriced, oversized memory card for my Vita that should cost less than $5, but now makes the Vita cost as much as PS4 almost.  Great value!  How bout the piece of crap headset I got w/my PS4, so I have to go out and buy another overpriced gaming headphone from Sony.  Sony hate to break it to you, is a giant Japanese company that could care just as less as MS, they all look for where they can make the most money, and MS misjudged the market and adapted because OF the outcry from fans.  And for the record the Xbox gaming division and SCEA are sooo tiny in the grand scheme of their companies, they barely make an impact on their overall companies.


trotz75
trotz75

They only 360'd because they knew they couldn't get away with those policies, not because they listened or because they care but because they would of been ruined in the gaming industry if they didn't. You still defending them is really sad, ms must laugh at people like you.

Mule007
Mule007

@trotz75 ...and really, how is MS a bad company??  Because they listened to their customers and made changes that we wanted?  How is it a "bad taste," they listened to us, changed it, and we're better off for it.  But they're still an "evil" company.  Yes, they got cocky and overconfident after 360 success, but barely 6 months into this console gen, and never have I seen a console company do a 360, no pun intended, to cater and please their gamers.  Monthly updates, and MEANINGFUL updates unlike Sony's which update you from OS 1.1 to 1.10100120101.