The console wars are fascinating to watch from a distance for the primary PC gamers, as two consoles continue to escalate in a digital ego-measuring contest while fans rally to one or the other for whatever reason they have chosen.
It ends up a hill that everyone is fascinatingly eager to die on, and the corporations are only too eager to fan those flames lest the public perception shift onto their unfriendly practices that they’ve been conducting for years: the need to pay a subscription for multiplayer, backward compatibility being a point of contention (at all), a lack of competition on their own platforms (which is precisely what Epic is somehow attempting to fight with Apple) meaning users pay a far higher price for titles.
It’s all a bit baffling, honestly. Lest one think that PC users hold the consoles at arm’s length, many PC fans have a hand in it as well; owning multiple consoles both past and present for the more relaxed couch sessions to grind up a couple of dozen levels during a lazy Sunday.
It’s strange that the two fan bases haven’t combined to use their collective bargaining power against the companies absent a massive gaffe, such as the one that Microsoft had with their hilarious E3 presentation where they tried to hype up using cameras to monitor how many people were watching a movie, and charging users additional fees based on the data; a big reason the PlayStation 4 sold so well.
Yet both companies have slowly begun embracing more open platforms to the benefit of all, bringing their exclusive titles to PC as a means of offering a second-wind to titles.
After the PlayStation 5 title reveal, however, that attempted to downplay a tiny asterisk that showed ‘coming to the PC too’ (for Final Fantasy 16), and titles running on PCs, it’s getting a bit annoying.
I just saw the Final Fantasy 16 trailer and the last clip in it said
*also available on pc
— Pookumz (@DouchebagDeity) September 17, 2020
Will Final Fantasy 7 Remake ever bring its horrendously stretched arcs and poorly-paced plot to the PC? Sony still refuses to talk about it, in spite of every Final Fantasy title making its way across all platforms in the past.
As though people are still purchasing PlayStation 4’s en masse for the opportunity to hear Jessie (impeccably voiced by Erica Lindbeck) stumble over her hamfisted dialogue of general pleasantries with Cloud to give FF7R any form of character arc while simultaneously making her a shoo-in for waifu of the year.
Demon Souls was similarly of contention while PlayStation executives regurgitated the terms ‘PlayStation exclusive’ in ambiguous marketing-speak hoping that they’ll get more purchasers for the upcoming PlayStation 5. It’s baiting fans of gaming with vague ambiguities in the hope of spiking their movement of consoles just a bit higher, and it’s getting old.
Unfortunately, it isn’t going to end until fans realize that they’re the ones that are actually holding the power in this relationship with users and manufacturers; on Twitter, various fans of platforms refer to each other as ‘xBots’ and ‘PayStation’ in some bizarre one-upmanship that was frankly getting long in the tooth in 2005. Users attack each other with reckless abandon to taste that fleeting feeling of being validated in their purchases, not realizing that we’re all playing on souped-up PCs stamped with a brand that have various levels of anti-tamper to protect profit margins.