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Many of us can think back to the “good old days of gam­ing” and see those ear­ly years as a nostalgia-filled time of ex­plo­ration. But sad­ly, there’s one oth­er thing that has been a part of this amaz­ing hob­by since al­most the be­gin­ning. I speak, of course, of the dread­ed con­sole wars. Ah, yes; many a gamer has lost their life to this sense­less vi­o­lence… OK so maybe not, but that doesn’t change the fact that con­sole wars are a thing. A stu­pid thing, but a thing none the less.

Some might ask them­selves, What is the cause of the con­sole wars? The sim­plest an­swer I can give is mar­ket­ing. And the peo­ple that get so caught up in the hype of own­ing a new con­sole that they will say any­thing to de­fend their pur­chase. Which isn’t nec­es­sar­i­ly a bad thing. Especially when you just spent a few hun­dred dol­lars to own one. Most peo­ple are al­ways go­ing tell them­selves that their sys­tem is bet­ter so they don’t think they brought the wrong one.

Genesis-Does-Ad-Campaign-2
Image via http://www.twinfinite.net/

That’s how things were as far back as I can re­mem­ber. I’m sure most of you re­mem­ber “Sega does what Nintendon’t”. That mar­ket­ing tagline stuck with con­sumers. Same goes for “Blast Processing”. Now it’s true that the Sega Genesis had a faster proces­sor, but it was trumped by the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) in al­most every oth­er way, even though both con­soles were 16 Bit sys­tems. Fans of both Nintendo and Sega were loy­al. They waved their flags high in sup­port of their fa­vorite com­pa­ny.

I, too, am guilty of this; I grew up play­ing a Sega Genesis. I would de­fend Sega on the play­ground, and even quote their mar­ket­ing taglines to friends. We’d waste our en­tire re­cess ar­gu­ing about which con­sole was bet­ter. “This game looks bet­ter on the Genesis,” “This one looks bet­ter on the SNES! ”Sonic’s bet­ter than Mario be­cause he’s faster.” Yeah, I know, stu­pid thing to fall back on. Even I knew that Mario was the bet­ter game.

But most of the ar­gu­ments came from how a game looked on one con­sole op­posed to the oth­er. Genesis was bet­ter at mak­ing games with dark­er tones of col­or, where­as the SNES was bet­ter at mak­ing col­or­ful worlds that would ig­nite your imag­i­na­tion. They both had their strong suits and a strong line up of ex­clu­sive games. But what we were de­fend­ing were pur­chas­es, sim­ple as that.

Nowadays the bat­tle­field looks very sim­i­lar, ex­cept for a few things:

  1. Many of us that grew up dur­ing the Bit Wars know mar­ket­ing when we see or hear it.
  2. It’s no longer about Bits, but Resolution.
  3. Nintendo has ef­fec­tive­ly be­come “that con­sole you own be­cause the games they de­vel­op are sol­id”.
  4. Oh and no more Sega con­sole.

Instead, it’s Microsoft and Sony that have peo­ple wav­ing flags of hon­or. You’ve got Sony’s PlayStation 4 (PS4) and its “Greatness Awaits” ads on one side, and Microsoft’s Xbox One and their “Best Place to Play” ads on the oth­er. But most peo­ples’ ar­gu­ments this time around are about res­o­lu­tion and fram­er­ate. Will this game be in 1080p here? Will it be in 1080p there? Will it be run­ning in 60 FPS?

A lot of us that grew up dur­ing the bit wars don’t re­al­ly both­er with con­sole wars any­more. Or we try to not get as caught up. But to be hon­est, con­sole wars have a place in the in­dus­try, and some­times, when you see it nowa­days, it’s hap­pen­ing more like a de­bate. People have their talk­ing points and their op­pos­ing ar­gu­ments. But it’s more about price and pow­er now, and less about mar­ket­ing taglines.

Some of the ar­gu­ments are about res­o­lu­tion. I can agree with most cas­es of this ar­gu­ment. For in­stance, if you’re gonna spend 80+ hours in a game, most of the time you’re gonna want it to look the best it can. Now some of you may say, “buy a PC if you want it to look the great­est,” and you’re ab­solute­ly cor­rect. A PC with the cor­rect specs would do just that.

However, not every­one knows how to build or up­grade a PC. Which is why con­soles are so pop­u­lar to be­gin with. You buy the sys­tem, and the games just work. No wor­ry­ing whether or not the game will run. No wor­ry­ing whether or not you have to up­grade a com­po­nent. And no wor­ry­ing about play­ing with the set­tings to fix the res­o­lu­tion, just to have it crash on you min­utes lat­er.

 

Image Via Eurogamer.com
Image Via Eurogamer.com

But at the end of the day, res­o­lu­tion is just a lux­u­ry. At least, that’s the way I feel about it. I don’t think that the dif­fer­ence be­tween 1080p and 720p is gonna stop you from hav­ing fun. After all, game­play is king, and as long as the game’s fun to play, then you’re gonna have fun no mat­ter what. And isn’t that what’s tru­ly im­por­tant? Does it re­al­ly mat­ter where some­one choos­es to game? I think we’re all gamers no mat­ter where we choose to en­joy our hob­by.

What do you think? What are some of your fa­vorite con­soles, and fa­vorite con­sole mar­ket­ing gim­micks? Share your thoughts be­low or on Twitter by talk­ing to me @rottenryeHD and the site over @supernerdland!

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Rotten Rye
Rotten Rye stream(ed) The Weekly Grind every Satuarday Evening, as well as has up­com­ing gam­ing re­lat­ed projects to come! Unabashed Juggalo. And yes, he knows how mag­nets work.
Rotten Rye

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