In praise of video games and the end of the console wars – Reader’s Feature

With Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo all pursuing very different plans for the next gen, a reader hopes the console wars will finally be over.

For years and years, gamers have debated and argued over what they believe is the superior gaming console. I remember being right in the mix of it during my high school years, strongly supporting the Xbox 360 and casting aside any mention of the PlayStation 3. Sure, console wars can be fun. Comparing exclusives and pretending to be vastly intellectual when you rattle off the tech and specs is always a good feeling.

The easiest answer is to simply just buy every console, then you’re always winning. But that’s not always a realistic option; not everyone can afford each console and keep up-to-date with every new addition. So of course people will defend their purchase and try their best to antagonise the other side. It’s human nature to divide and fight over trivial matters, especially when you can tease your friends who are missing out on a shared happy experience.

Now that we’re fast approaching the end of the current generation, Sony and Microsoft seem to have opposing tactics when concerning the future. The PlayStation 4 sold over 110 million units, whereas the Xbox One sold around 50 million, so it’s safe to say that Sony came out victorious. Microsoft are fully aware of this and it appears that they believe this to be the case once again with the next generation. The Xbox Series X is not necessarily focusing on selling as many consoles as soon as possible, instead they are aiming for accessibility.

By providing services such as Xbox Live Gold, Game Pass, and xCloud Microsoft are allowing you to play a large selection of games on whatever platform you choose. This proves that they have accepted Sony’s dominance and they now simply wish to enjoy what they have, whether that be old or new. Sony, on the other hand, aim to transition PlayStation 4 gamers to the PlayStation 5 as quickly as possible, which is proven by the fact that no PlayStation 5 exclusives will be available on previous generations.

Sony are focusing on the future and want to bring a vast array of new titles to their new console, therefore making your purchase worth it. By examining these differing approaches to the new generation, one could say that Sony and Microsoft have drawn a line and are no longer competing head to head. They each have their own paths and, with the new emphasis on cross-play, they are happy to be different and work together for the benefit of gamers. This brings us to the main point of the article: it’s time the console wars came to an end and we should love and celebrate each console for what they have brought to the table.

My earliest gaming memory was on the Nintendo GameCube. Super Monkey Ball (2001), The Legend Of Zelda: The Wind Waker (2002), and Mario Kart Double Dash (2003) were the highlights of my early years and my first introduction to the world of gaming. This slowly transitioned to the Wii and I fondly remember hours of excitement while playing titles such as Wii Sports (2006) and Super Mario Galaxy (2007). Nintendo reminds us that games are meant to be fun and dumb, that you don’t always need the flashiest tech, strongest software, and mind-blowing graphics to enjoy yourself, and this model continues with the Nintendo Switch. Nintendo can bring the whole family together, gamer and non-gamer alike, and unleash everyone’s pure, childlike joy.

As I grew older and reached high school, I was all over the Xbox 360. Halo Reach (2010) and Gears Of War 3 Horde mode (2011) were strong favourites amongst my friends and me, along with Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2009). The hours spent on Xbox Live party chat together every night, screaming into our headsets is what made our teenage years. We owe all of that to Microsoft and the Xbox; they spearheaded and popularised the age of online multiplayer gaming.

Xbox turned your average first person shooter into a global classic and every shooter developed ever since owes a lot of credit to Bungie. The Xbox One and Xbox Series X may not provide the best exclusives or consistent variation of games, but they still focus on multiplayer, made evident by games such as Sea Of Thieves (2016). Halo Infinite being delayed to 2021 is nothing but a shame, I for one am truly excited to play it.

As I have grown older, I have relied more heavily on the PlayStation 4 and their desire to produce the best single-player, story driven games. My days of online, multiplayer gaming are firmly behind me. Granted, I do enjoy the odd phase of Call Of Duty or Battlefield online but I now seek quieter, less hectic gaming experiences, and PlayStation’s exclusives are perfect for this alone time. We owe of lot of credit to the PlayStation for this; they have a great history of supporting independent, single-player titles and they allow for the less skilled, average gamer to truly immerse themselves in a game, without feeling the pressures of the competitive world.

Although not a console, I still feel an urge to praise the PC gamers amongst us. PC gaming has such a broad selection of weird and wonderful games, some that you barely ever hear of. Despite being the costliest, PC gamers bask in the best graphics, and, if your wallet agrees, it truly can be the best, most powerful way to play.

The console wars of old are slowly dying, especially between Sony and Microsoft. They each have their own unique path for the future, and we should be excited for them both. At the end of the day, we’re all just passionate gamers who simply love video games. Instead of arguing one over the other, we should start praising all platforms and appreciate what they provide.

Except mobile gaming, let’s not talk about that.

By reader Lewis A Downie

The reader’s feature does not necessary represent the views of GameCentral or Metro.

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