Generation after generation when new consoles come out fans line up on the battlefield with their colors waving bright behind them. Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft have managed to create armies of gamers who sling verbal catapults and fireballs at each other. Like a Hundred Years War these wars go on and begin to sort of die down until rumors begin to surface for the next wave. These rumors only serve to fuel the fires of war. If you’re not familiar with what I’m talking about just visit any gaming website’s forums. Within a few posts you should have seen someone hating on another company’s console while raving why their choice was better. Most of these are supported by opinions that are boasted as facts that they have just made up or simply aren’t true but rumored.
My question is, ”Why?” Simple to ask but the answer always just starts another bloody battle. The most common answers are “No games” or “Why pay for online” and “It’s just for kids” but my favorite is “It’s just a gimmick.” My words to you? Let the flag go. Since I let my flag fly away I have been in a bliss of gaming. Having multiple systems has opened up venues of pure fun. Jumping from Mario on the WiiU to Ni no Kuni on PS3, and then skipping over to check out the Crysis 3 beta on PC is a perfect mix up making it almost impossible to get bored of any of it.
The truth is, different systems do different things better. If you’re in the mind set where your console is king then I plead with you to temporarily set your flag down, take the goggles off, and understand why as someone with a love for gaming is it more of a disservice to yourself to stay with one platform.
Nintendo has some amazing titles filled with nostalgia and magic. They have been around since the dawn of video games and are creators of the most well known mascots in the industry like Mario and Donkey Kong. If you’re of a younger generation then chances are the nostalgia isn’t really there. That said, they have done well to keep games like Mario (2d) relevant. While I was a bit disappointed with the Wii being standard definition I still enjoyed Wii Sports and Zelda with friends. However, with the Wii U finally jumping to HD we can finally have that, let me tell you. Playing Mario U was an awesome experience that was both true to the Mario memories and looked great in HD glory. Nintendo, I really can’t wait to see your next major Zelda game show it’s face.
Sony is a name known for variety and quality. The PlayStation brand has always had a vast and varied library of quality exclusives. One could find titles from every genre from FPS like Killzone to RPG like Ni No Kuni , from game shows like Buzz to artistic and unconventional like Journey or Heavy Rain. The list goes on. Huge titles like God of War or Uncharted can only be found on the PlayStation console. While Sony’s first party studios have had quite the run with the system some third parties are having some trouble which sometimes leads to inferior ports. Most have remedied this by using the PS3 as the lead platform then porting to other consoles. Sony also has kept the online service free which is a huge plus especially for those who have subscriptions to programs like Netflix.
Microsoft just joined the console game last generation. The Xbox got off to a rough start with not much support from developers. However, that did not stop Microsoft from launching the Xbox 360 and leading the way for the next (current) generation of consoles. Boy, did it work out for them! Sales skyrocketed with established franchises, like Halo, fueling it. Microsoft also gained a better foothold by getting 3rd party developers to support them exclusively or with timed exclusivity, the most notable game being Gears of War. Even though the PlayStation offers a pretty good online experience, according to many the Xbox Live offers a better experience but with a subscription fee.
We are left now with PC. As of the writing of this article the PC is where you can get tastes of next gen technology. With DirectX 11.1 already being used in some games and next gen tech demos running on currently available hardware for the PC there is no reason at all to have bad words to say about the PC platform. It may not have the most exclusives but 90% of multi-platform games both look much better and run much better than they do on consoles. Those with high end PC’s are potentially ready for the next generation we just need a game built on a next generation development engine. I get what people say about PC’s. Becoming a PC enthusiast can be a little pricey, but it’s times like today where it really pays off. Playing through Assassins Creed III with the higher resolution textures at 1080p and max anti-aliasing at 60 frames per second was jaw dropping! Far Cry 3 maxed out on PC is so good it almost hurts my eyes when I see the console version. So while it may be more expensive, you’re getting something out of it.
Alright, now this is where you decide if you’re going to pick your flag up and put your goggles back on, or you can free yourself from the shackles of the war. Start forward with an open mind and I guarantee you will be happy with that decision. When you get enough money saved up pick up the system you were forcing yourself to stay clear of and play the games the fans are raving about. Go slaughter some Gods as Kratos, then seek out and destroy the Covenant in Halo. After that grab a friend and play through some stages of Mario. When you free yourselves of the console wars everybody wins and so many more options are open to you.