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6 Thoughts on Next Gen and Console Wars
by Tauriq Moosa on 11/26/13 04:28:00 pm

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.

 

1. Tribalism doesn't belong in gaming

Two black boxes with wires and noises and lights, which both play games, that you can purchase whenever you want are not "at war". These militaristic terms - "fights", "opposition", etc. - only help tribalise what should be means to an end: enjoying games. PC vs Console, Sony vs Microsoft, are battles we should long be over - we're united in wanting to have the best gaming experiences we can. We should celebrate, encourage and support each other (as thankfully many of us already do). If we want to compete with each other, we can do so on that awful thing called multiplayer. There's no war: there's just business as usual for shiny boxes from desperate corporations.

2. A means to an end

You don't love Playstation. You don't love Xbox. Unless you love BluRay discs and harddrives, it makes no sense to praise devices that just allow or carry data. You're talking about games. I take back what I say if there's a genuine love for the machines themselves, as the tech marvels they are. But most of us, I imagine, don't care and simply use these - as with discs and harddrives - as means to experience games. Giving up your loyal love for these devices means you can actually look beyond tribalism - see #1 - and not pit one against the other: which is good for gaming websites wanting hits and almost no one else. Don't be a puppet, be a player and just enjoy your games.

3. All about the games

Brand loyalty must go the way of astrology: both are about unfounded identities premised on things you'll never be a part of - corporations and a universe that cares about you. You shouldn't care which console is faster or has better graphics for this particular game: you should care about the games. I love Naughty Dog and Sucker Punch and Quantic Dream. Others like Epic and those companies. They appeal to me, those appeal to you. It remains possible to love and adore your games without insulting others who have different tastes. Again, undermining tribal loyalty to corporations would help.

4. Be wise, wait it out

There is nothing for next gen right now that seems worth leaping for, no games that demand your hand and wallet. This is to be expected. Things will get better, games will improve. For now, it makes sense to stick to current gen - no matter how sexy next-gen appears. Further, even these launch titles aren't going anywhere.

5. Regarding game sites

Game sites are mostly boring (not this one of course. I was paid to say that ;)). Everyone knows this. We use them to aggregate our information, sometimes because we actually like a particular writer or two. Reviews are reliable tests for game journalism banality, but next gen releases are too. Consider sites that are giving scores to game consoles - consoles that have just come out, with no time for actual games to demonstrate the capability of the machine. This is like giving a score to a game after playing through the title-screen and half the intro cinematic. Games sites being silly: yes, old news, but it's pretty evident when there's new news premised on words like "war" and "better" and "faster".

6.  PC's "master race" claim

"PC will be/is better" is the common claim (as is "master race"). But we should highlight it's "high-end" PC's. Unlike consoles, PCs aren't all equal or equally made. Hell, some aren't even PC's (I play on my office iMac). And whether they're as expensive, whether they're actually not a lot of work to manage, etc. is dependent on many factors undermining the idea that "PC" is just one thing.

Conclusion

Big boxes fighting each other and for your attention. That's the gaming world right now. And by the gods, let us pray for it to be over soon, so some semblance of sanity may return.

(Originally published at GameZone)


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