PlayStation 3/Xbox 360 Console War: Unneeded Animosity?
Has anyone else noticed a disturbing trend in the console war, specifically between PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 loyalists? I own both consoles, most people I know own both consoles, and if you're not familiar with the PSX Extreme readership, we are a diverse group that loves to play great games. Sure, we've got mostly PS3 fans, but we don't - and never will - tolerate the fanboy mentality from either side. But over the past year or so, it seems as if there's a huge amount of animosity between those who favor one side or the other, and I suppose my question is...why?
Let me see if I can understand both points of view, and whether or not either side should be really annoyed with the other. As far as I can tell, the 360 fans continually assault the PS3 and its owners for the following reasons- still more expensive than the 360, still not as many games, the Network/Store still isn't as robust as Live, and the PS3 isn't delivering on its claims of superior visual capability. Did I touch all the bases? Anything beyond that is probably quite subjective, like controller preference. Now, on the PS3 side, the fans will claim the 360 is completely unreliable, that Live is no longer significantly better than the Network, that the great games are starting to lag in frequency, and that the exclusives can't compare to Sony's. Did I miss anything? Oh, there's this thing where the Sony fans say Microsoft treats their fans like crap, what with the whole RRoD fiasco and the fact that MS Corp. only seems to care about money. Okay, there's something to that, but doesn't this imply that Sony isn't as interested in money? ...I seriously doubt it.
But while one could argue any of the aforementioned points until they're blue in the face, I fail to see the need for all this hostility that didn't used to be there at the start of this console war. It really didn't, as far as I can see. So here's my theory: the 360 fans are silently irritated that the PS3 picked up so much ground so fast, and the PS3 fans are annoyed that Sony hasn't completely delivered on all their claims. I get this sneaking suspicion that it all boils down to this, and that bugs me. As an owner of both consoles and someone who reads the news every damn day, I will say the PlayStation 3 seems to have the edge at this moment in time. This has nothing to do with this site or anything else; I find the conclusion to be quite logical. It's tough to deny Sony's list of exclusives in 2008 and 2009 (Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, LittleBigPlanet, Resistance 2, God of War 3, Killzone 2, Heavy Rain, Wipeout HD, White Knight Chronicles, InFamous, Final Fantasy Versus XIII, Gran Turismo 5, etc.). This year for the 360...what top exclusives are there besides Gears of War 2 and Fable II? And what about 2009...?
At the same time, I really do see the tremendous strides the Store and the Network have taken in the past two years. Don't see as much on the 360 side, which means in my eyes, what with the free Network and all, both services are almost equally appealing. Yeah, I know the hardcore onliners will say otherwise, but for the vast majority of gamers, I seriously doubt the difference is significant enough to make a big stink about at this point. Yes, Blu-Ray is a big deal. Yes, the system is faaaaaaar more reliable than the 360. But knowing all this, and being as psyched as I am over the PS3's current momentum, I can't bring myself to feel any animosity towards the 360 fancrowd. I mean, if you're a fanboy, I despise your existence regardless of what side you're for, but you get what I mean. Why is it that so many people are more interested in insults than the facts? Why are PS3 and 360 owners constantly at each other's throats? I'm telling you, it's all because one side is a little jealous and the other side feels a little let down, and that's the end of things.
How far off base am I? I'm guessing, not far.
10/10/2008 Ben Dutka