Editorial: Why Do I Prefer Sony?
For my part, I have never understood the concept of brand loyalty. Well, that's not true- I understand it insofar as it's little more than adolescent "mine is better than yours" and "I know more than you" posturing. But in terms of entertainment, it has never made much sense. Ever since I first put my hands on an Atari 2600 controller and tried to block this little white square (supposed to be a ball, of course), all I've ever wanted to do was play games I enjoyed. I didn't care that I played Tecmo Bowl on my GameBoy, Earl Weaver's Baseball on my Tandy PC (with 640k RAM!), or Contra on my NES. When I had both the SNES and Genesis, I couldn't comprehend why someone would only want one and not the other. I certainly understand not having the finances to own all the platforms, thereby forcing you to make a decision, but brand loyalty - aka, "fanboyism" - is both childish and counterproductive. This much, we all need to admit.
I love games. I don't care if I play them on a microwave or a vacuum cleaner. I don't care what company name is on the damn thing. However, over the past several generations, I've realized I've found myself gravitating towards the PlayStation brand, and this has never really happened before. Sure, I guess you could say I was a Nintendo fan, but who wasn't in those days? And I despised the N64 and GameCube, and don't think too highly of the Wii, although I do applaud Nintendo for that recent effort. I didn't really like the Dreamcast, but then again, I'm not a fan of arcade-style games. And yes, I was - and remain - a big RPG fan, so that's a good reason why the PS1 and PS2 got a lot of play time. But outside of that, I just found myself playing Sony consoles more and more often, and it's happening again even though I have both the PS3 and Xbox 360.
Thing is, I had the Xbox, too, and while I maintain that both Microsoft consoles to date (especially the 360) are the least reliable machines in the history of the industry, I really don't have a problem with the available software. I've played and loved the likes of the Halos, Ninja Gaiden, Gears of War, Deathrow (remember that one?), and more (I know Mass Effect is fantastic, but I just couldn't get into it). I also opted for the Xbox over the PS2 when it came to multiplatform titles, but that only made sense. But as I sit here and look at my collection, I have more games for PlayStation consoles than for anything else, and while I certainly had more for the 360 before late last year, that has already changed. It just seems as if the library of games on the PlayStation consoles has continued to suit my tastes more, and the PS1, PS2, and now the PS3 have all delivered what I wanted. It's the longest stretch I've ever "preferred" a company since the ol' Nintendo days.
Sony makes a reliable machine, the PS3 boasts a free Network, and with developers starting to gain a firm grasp of its architecture, we're seeing less crappy ports. Furthermore, Metal Gear Solid 4 is only the start of things; other exclusive titles like Gran Turismo 5, Resistance 2, Killzone 2, LittleBigPlanet, and Final Fantasy XIII are on the way. Yeah, the 360 will have Ninja Gaiden II, but at this point, it seems like both Bioshock and Mass Effect are headed to the PS3. Furthermore, I've always preferred the Sony controllers to the Microsoft controllers, although the RPGs are currently lacking on the PS3 this generation. In fact, with Lost Odyssey and Infinite Undiscovery, the 360 actually has the current edge. And yet, I already have more PS3 games than 360 games (I also have and love Warhawk, Hot Shots Golf: Out of Bounds, Heavenly Sword, Folklore, Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, Unreal Tournament III, Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction and Resistance: Fall of Man).
It was the same way on the PS2. It was the same on the PS1. Every generation for the past 12 years has caused me to lean towards Sony consoles. It's a combination of reliability, controller preference, and software, but it's mostly the latter...as it should be for all gamers. There's no doubt that gaming is a personal hobby and tastes differ, so bear in mind I'm not saying that PlayStation consoles are best for everyone. But I just find it a little ironic that with each successive generation, I end up with a much larger PlayStation library than any other console library I own. And the thing is, I always had/have multiple consoles to play! It's not like I'm limiting myself; I hate doing that. And it's not like I'm about to trash my 360, because I know it will have games I want to play. But I am never surprised to see Sony end up on top, because I end up leaning towards them at the end of each of the past two generations. And yes, I'm doing it again with the PS3, and I was actually very skeptical at first.
Of course, I can't predict the future. I could easily end up with a larger library of 360 games than PS3 games this time around. But...I just don't think it's going to happen, and this is not a self-fulfilling prophecy. I don't walk into a store and say to myself, "gee, I mysteriously prefer the PS3 so I should just get a PS3 game." I buy games I think I might like, and that's the end of it. Don't care what it's played on. Without much doubt, I do believe I'll be playing the PS3 probably twice as much as the 360 over the next few years. It's just something I've been doing with Sony consoles, and it's because they got the games. Guess that's the long and short of it for me.
5/23/2008 Ben Dutka