Man, it seems nothing has ever sparked the flame wars quite like this new generation of consoles.
I get as much of a laugh out of the images like “XBOX: TURN ON PS4” and the one below as the next gamer, but treating it as a banner to rally behind so we can march all over Microsoft’s torn and bloodied remains is going too far. I understand we all have our camps and our wallets have limits, but when the trash talk starts to become vulgar and degrading, nobody’s winning anymore.
Take the IGN community, for instance. The site itself has been getting accused a lot lately about flame-baiting, with the Xbox camp stating that they love the PS4 and hate the Xbox One on articles such as “PS4 outpacing Xbox One in pre orders” and “PS4 preferred console of European developers”. It seems that everyone is quick to forget how last generation that there were many articles about how the 360 was outselling the PS3. Even so, if IGN is trying to provoke the fans to come out swinging, it’s clear as to why: there’s good money in courting controversy. If there weren’t, I’m not so sure there would be an NSFW Gamer in the first place. But the community is getting out of hand, labeling anybody who defends Microsoft an “xbot,” basically degrading them to sheeple who will blindly follow a still-great company. It gets even worse the further you go, with some going as far as “enjoy sucking Microshaft’s cock,” obviously not realizing how they’re only degrading their own community.
Then we have the folks who like to treat Nintendo as a full-on dumping ground. The longest-running veteran of the industry seems to be very short of respect according to the internet, and that’s a damn shame. In Gamespot’s article covering EA’s decision not to develop for them any longer (before that turned out not to be the case), there was a developing meme of “anything and everything > WiiU.” There’s a damn good reason everyone should be waving Nintendo’s banner: they are the main innovator for the industry. Think about it: analog sticks, our main standard for controlling movement in our virtual worlds, is a technology first pioneered on the N64. Then there’s the concept of second screen, something that Playstation and Xbox will be emulating once again via the PS Vita and Microsoft Smartglass, but Nintendo broke new ground first on the Wii U. And as for motion controls, we all know that the Wii popularized it, but the Power Glove on the original NES was the very first attempt, proving how Nintendo has been attempting to bring new ideas since their first console. Something this guy is only too happy to ignore.
If all the internet’s frothing nerdy rage was finally, fully satisfied, and PlayStation was the only console company left in the market, I have no doubt they would be content to rest on their laurels, becoming fat and lazy and probably not even bothering to produce good exclusives. Steam would be their only real competition, but with a cooperative attitude between the two companies already existing, who’s to say that it wouldn’t just develop into a partnership and no more forward moves were made except on the part of the developers? And even then, without being spurred to more innovations by leaps in technology, will even they be trying to produce the absolute best quality they can?
There are many reasons why we all need the big three, and why the Steam Box should it see the light of day. Competition between companies provides a measuring stick to see how good one is to the other, and new ideas implemented differently are essential to ensuring that our hobby never gets boring or too similar to every other experience. So while it’s great to be a fan, being a poo-slinging fanboy is a practice that needs to be over and done with, rather than any company, and the sooner, the better for all.
– Brad Cowan aka “DevilSugar”