Stupid Things in Videogames – Episode 4: Console Wars

This week’s Stupid Things in Videogames is a bit different. You see, the subject is not something that’s actually in games; rather, it’s something that surrounds them: console wars.

Ever since the birth of consoles there’s been a certain sub-sect of individuals with way too much time on their hands that have felt the need to choose a format and irrationally champion it as if their lives depended on it. Who knows what their reasons for doing so truly are. Maybe it’s because they really believe the format they love is the best. Maybe it’s because of brand loyalty. Maybe it’s because they’ve made a significant financial investment. Maybe they’re just chumps. The truth is it doesn’t matter. Anyone participating in the console war is a loser at the end of the day whatever their reason is for entering the fray.

As times have gone on, it’s got easier for these fools to spew their mindless, inane filth on others too, and trust me; they’ve revelled at the opportunity. Forums, message boards and social media services are often devolved into cesspits of bile as armchair warriors from all sides open their feckless mouths to release utter shit from the pits of their stomach. “Ooh, Horizon Zero Dawn has got the best specular mip-mapping ever. X-turds should go suck a donkey dick” some witless PlayStation fanboy will write. “Look forward to playing Gran Turismo Sport in 2057” a bumbling Xbox zealot will retort. It’s embarrassing really. You’d expect such juvenile behaviour from children in a playground, but not from so-called fully grown adults.

What’s really stupid is when they get all uppity about a game or franchise they regard as “theirs” becoming multiplatform. From Xbox fans spitting their dummies out of their prams because Titanfall 2 made its way to PS4, to PlayStation lovers furious that the Crash Bandicoot N-Sane Trilogy is likely to be released on other formats at a later date – can’t they see that their sense of entitlement is utterly ridiculous and unreasonable? Games being multiformat is a good thing. It means more people can buy them. More people can play them. That’s a win-win situation for developers and gamers. Do these console warriors really expect a developer to turn around and say “It’s okay. We’ll happily take a loss on our next title that’s cost £40 million to make. PlayStation fans deserve to have it all for themselves.”?

It’s this console war bullshit as well as other regressive mindsets and practices within and around the industry that perpetuate the notion that games are solely the hobby of socially inept weirdos and kids. We’ve got employees of major development studios being harassed because of facial animations, journalists being hounded because they’ve given a game too high or too low a score; does that sound like the behaviour of reasonable adults to you? No. The answer is a resounding no.

So if you’re the type of gamer that runs to their keyboard aghast when the sequel to system exclusive X goes multiformat or can’t help but childishly gloat because their favourite console does some special trick that the others don’t, please grow up. Don’t be a douche, just go and actually play a videogame. You obviously have the time to. Help the industry you supposedly love thrive and grow rather than drag it down with your unwanted and unwarranted keyboard scrawled diarrhoea. We sensible folk would all be very thankful.