Having been a gamer for 16 years, I have noticed something which has always
greatly disturbed me. That is the great war of the console systems. It's
been going on for as far back as I can remember. Atari vs. Coleco Vision, NES
vs. Sega Master System, Genesis vs. SNES vs. Turbografix, and now, the current
battle; Saturn vs. Playstation vs. N64.
The fact is, I really do not see the point of the console war. However, many
people do not share my opinion and seem to devote their lives to praising
their systems to the sky while bashing the competition to the ground. And, if
anyone disagrees with them, they insult that person. I have known many people
like that during my years of gaming and frankly, I just don't understand it.
Why do certain people insist on being faithful to just one company? I'm not
talking about the people who can only afford one system, they have choice in
that situation. What I'm talking about are the people who spend all their
energy bashing the systems they don't like and insulting the system's
supporters. Now, I'm not that crazy about the N64, it's library leaves much
to be desired, in my opinion. However, I am more than willing to give every
N64 game that crosses my path a chance and I do play them, I even enjoy a few
of them, but there are not enough games on the system that impress me enough
to make me want to buy it, that's all. If you enjoy the system, hey, that's
great, more power to you. I just happen to enjoy the Saturn and Playstation,
Now, there are many people who are loyal and devoted to a company, and then,
there are some people that are so devoted to a company, it's like Hitler's
Germany. There can only be one law and that law is the company they support.
They want to erase all other companies from the face of the earth and they
want only their company to reign supreme above all other consoles. Some
people also seem to think that if there was just one console system, the video
game world would be a better place. I strongly disagree with this view. I
don't want just one choice. I believe in the old saying, variety is the spice
of life. I like the fact that I can get a certain game on one system that I
can't get on another, it makes it unique. Also, multiple system competition
is good for the consumer because companies will do almost anything to get you
to buy their systems. Thus, we get price reductions and sometimes free game
I guess what I'm basically trying to say here is that I see no point in
arguing over which system is better. If you really think about it, there can
be no winner. Why? The console wars will never end. It's been going on for
as long as there have been multiple systems competing with each other and it
will only continue to go on as long as there are options in the video game
industry. You see, no one can win in this situation. The war will just start
all over again. The Saturn will most likely take it's final bow sometime in
98 and Playstation owners everywhere will be laughing, stating that they have
the "superior machine" that won the console war. However, a year or two
later, Sony will release a new system and Playstation owners will sell their
"superior machines" for something better. Gee, it doesn't sound like a very
superior machine to me if something better comes along. And one Sony and Sega
and Nintendo release their new machines, the console war will just start all
over again. Have we achieved anything? Have we advanced any further? Did we
prove which system was better? No, we're right back where we started. This
is why I can say no one can win the console war. It's like a merry go round
that never ends. It just keeps on going around in circles over and over.
However, people just keep on riding it and refuse to get off. They stick to
their guns and insist that they have the best game machine on the market.
These people simply don't understand that they are fighting a losing battle, a
battle with no winners, only losers. Some systems just die quicker than
others, that's all. Eventually, all systems die. Eventually, the Saturn, the
Playstation, and the N64 will be forgotten and the video game industry will
have moved on.
You know, what really depresses me, is that in the end, the console wars make
us forget why we became gamers in the first place. Some people become so
devoted to the war that the only thing that matters is who has the most
technically advanced system. Well, let me ask you a question. Did you become
a gamer because the Playstation had better 3D capabilities? Did you become a
gamer because the N64 was twice as powerful as the 32 bit systems. I'll tell
you why I became a gamer. I became a gamer because I enjoyed the fun I had
with them. I became a gamer, not because of technology, but because of games.
But, it would seem that games take a back seat with some people. In my
opinion, these people really need to open their eyes. They need to think back
to when they didn't care about polygon capabilities or warping effects and
whatnot. There was a time when only games mattered. What happened to those
days? On every message board I go to, people are constantly arguing over the
technical aspects of the systems and only occasionally do they talk about
games. (And when they do talk about games, they usually say something like,
"Sonic R rocks because it's by Sega, not crappy Sony. Plus, it has really
good 3D, so it must be awesome.") Um...okay, but you didn't really tell me
about the game itself. How are the controls? Is it any different from the
countless other mascot racing games like Diddy Kong Racing or Mario Kart 64?
You haven't told me anything, you've only convinced me that you're an
extremely biased individual who has no mind of his or her own and will only
follow Sega. This is really starting to get to me because it is increasing
day by day.
Look, let me tell you my philosophy about gaming. Just enjoy yourself.
That's what it's all about in the end, isn't it? It's not about which system
can handle 3D better or which system has graphics done on a supercomputer
workstation, it's about games, damn it, and I want the whole world to know
that!! I could care less whether the Saturn has inferior 3D to the
Playstation, I enjoy the games, so I play them. I could care less if the
Playstation isn't 64 bit, I enjoy the games, so I play them. It's as simple
as that. Take away the flashy effects and the technical jargon, and what do
you have? A game. A simple game hidden by million dollar effects done on a
supercomputer. People, we have to learn to look past the effects and the
system wars and just look at the games themselves! Forget the hype, forget
how much money they put into it or how long it took them to make the game,
just concentrate on having fun. It's an idea that is so simple that it's easy
to forget in today's world of mass media where they hype style over substance.
The truth is, a lot of our current 32 and 64 bit games look good, but can't
hold a candle to the classic 8 and 16 bit games in terms of gameplay and
length. I would much rather sit down to a game of Final Fantasy II or III
than Final Fantasy VII. Sure, VII had spiffy CG movies and it was three discs
long, but it was missing something, I felt. I just didn't know what it was.
I went back and re-played FF II and I finally realized what it was.
Simplicity. Final Fantasy II didn't have the greatest graphics, but it didn't
need it. It had a good story and it had characters that were somewhat
interesting. I was not interested by any of the characters in FF VII, except
for the villain. Why make the villain more interesting than the main
characters, it makes you not want to kill him when you finally reach the end
of the game. Sure, Final Fantasy VII had a great story too, but the sheer big
budget look of it all really took away something. I prefer simplicity in my
RPGs. I think if you concentrate too much on graphics in RPGs (or any genre)
you lose something in other categories, important elements like story,
control, length, and whatnot. What do the graphics give you in the end? Eye
candy and nothing but.
I'm sorry I went on for so long, but this is a very important topic to me and
I had to get a lot of things off my chest. I am pleading that people just
realize that the console war isn't worth fighting. No system will truly be
better than the other as long as people are allowed to have different
opinions. It all depends on who you talk to. I personally don't believe in
choosing favorites, I love my Saturn and Playstation equally and as long as
they continue to support me with great games, I will continue support them.
And when the time comes to move on to another system, I will, as long as they
support me with games I enjoy. It's a very easy philosophy and one that very
few follow. It's sad to think that so many have forgotten why they became
gamers in the first place. Maybe someday, people will realize that there is
no such thing as a "superior system" as long as technology continues to
advance. I can only hope.