Console Wars: A war not wanted but needed

Console wars. Sounds so intimidating when you say it out aloud. But what exactly are the console wars? And is there anything good that can come out of this? Let us talk. And not to mislead our readers, this article will not be debating about whether the PS4 or the Xbox One is better.

First off, what are console wars? The general opinion is that console wars are nothing but angry gamers supporting their favourite console and arguing with each other while the PC gamers sit back and watch the show. But what most people fail to realise is that the console wars are not just a clash of the fans, they are also battles fought by the devs.

Console wars are shunned by the more mature section of the fans as these wars have spewed more hatred into many forums and comment sections than Phil Fish’s tweets. What starts off as a knowledgeable debate about which console is better quickly turns into an ugly spat of words between angry fan boys. This is the image that console wars have in the gaming community. But there is more to it than meets the eye.

The whole point of console wars is to debate the pros and cons of each console, critique them and in the process, produce valuable feedback. Hence, it is naive to think that these console wars take place between immature 12 year olds. These wars are everywhere, especially in the air conditioned offices of Sony and Microsoft. Gladiators in suits, to put it simply. The guys at Sony and Microsoft and even Nintendo work very hard to make these consoles better than their counterparts and these console wars, these angry rants that people throw about around in forums and comment sections play a vital role in the process of making a console better.

Given that most of the arguments are rude and go off the point, people fail to realize that these arguments, even in their crude form, churn out valuable forms of feedback. The DRM policy withdrawal of the Xbox One is the biggest example of this; when Microsoft had announced that Xbox One will have to be online atleast once every 24 hours, it led to massive outrage from the fans. The forums were filled with playstation fans trolling Xbox One and the Xbox community itself was split with most of them opposing the decision while the remaining few tried in vain to defend Microsoft’s absurd decision. And in the end, Microsoft had to withdraw the always online policy. One has to note that this outrage was so intense not only because the policy was stupid but also because the PS4 did not have this policy. Imagine if there was no PS4; there would have been lesser trolls, lesser arguments about whether the DRM policy should be tolerated or not and lesser outrage.

And not only do these fan arguments, even though they are as rude as Gordon Ramsey, give feedback, they also give a sense of competition among the companies making these consoles. Competition, especially in commercial business, forces the best out of everyone. But how exactly does it do it? Here is how: Every year new people join the gaming community and the first dilemma they face is whether they should buy the PS4, the Xbox One or the Wii U. So they go about asking their friends in schools, workplaces and reddit. And this is where they enter the burning battlefield of console wars where people criticize and point out the flaws of different consoles. And fortunately, since it still is a free world that we live in, the big companies can do nothing about this criticism. The only thing they CAN do is try and eliminate these flaws so that they can entice new potential customers.

So, the next time you see two people arguing about which console is better, you shouldn’t take them so lightly. Because this is how the gaming industry works. This industry thrives on critique and feedback. We, as consumers, have every right to tell the companies what we like about their products and what we do not like. And gamers have more freedom to do this than any other consumer in any other market.

However, console wars are prohibited in many online forums; not because they are irrelevant but because they have a high tendency to get ugly and offensive. What people need to understand is that when someone points out a flaw in your favourite console, be it the PS4 or the Xbox One, it will eventually and ultimately only lead to the betterment of your favourite console. So, to all those warriors out there, fighting on behalf of their consoles, to win the coveted title of “The best console”; you guys are doing a great job. My only request is please be knowledgeable and please be f**king polite. Thank you.

So, yea, the console wars, although may not be wanted by most of us, are definitely needed. Lets hope that these whiny arguments evolve into polite, knowledgeable debates.

What do you think about console wars? Let us know in the comments below.

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