The 2020 Console War

Console War 2020 and the PC Gamers

                As I stated in a previous post that I would explain why I’m an Xbox and PC gamer over Playstation, I rather think this would be a more fitting angle to explain my choices and delve into some things that separate fanboys from gamers.

                In the latter end of this dreary year there is a light, something every gamer has been looking forward to. The new console war. But should it actually be a war?

                In the past fanboys have battled it out with memes and online hate over who’s got the better system. But a true gamer has been there and done that and decided what was best for THEM! I’m one such gamer.

                For many years I was a computer gamer, not PC but old-world Dragon, Commodore 64 and Amiga’s a-plenty. There was then the Sega, Nintendo and handheld era that consumed so much time being played. In the early 90’s my dad got a PC, a 286 branded monster with a huge 250mb HDD. Yup, you read that right, 250 megabytes. My brother and I would spend huge amounts of time playing around with it, so much into learning commands that we occasionally broke it… I say occasionally, we almost broke it once a month.

                I was much more into using shells myself, learning how they worked, in the Amiga we had Workbench, now we had Windows 3.1, it came on a load of floppy discs and it was brilliant. My dad used to buy magazines with ‘how to’ guides and I remember distinctly one issue of ‘PC format’ that had an instructional pull-out of about 50 pages to make your own Doom maps and sprites. My brother being the artist focused on doing a lot of character drawing work where I spent my time working on vertexes and such to make the maps work. We had moved to hardcore PC gaming by this point.

                Come the turn of the mid 90’s I had started to move more onto the Playstation side of games, the messing around to get a game working by having to buy discs or CDs with drivers on had grown tiresome and the new wave of consoles were just so much simpler. I still used a PC, but it became a side note when it came to gaming. I’d never really had much love for Nintendo, but the Sony Playstation was godlike in its time and stood out as to why a game should just work. Then along came command and conquer, boom, straight back to PC I went, life consumed and money drained for newer hardware, better internet services and so much more.

In 1998, I had been looking forward to what was to be the final Sega console, the Dreamcast, I blew a months wage on it and it was brilliant, the problem? Lack of developers, it lasted all of a year before the decline eventually became too much and it folded and back to the good old PC I went. In 2000 close to Christmas time, Sony launched the PlayStation 2, my eyes lit up and wallet bled, it was amazing. At this point I’d moved out and gone solo, I spent near all my earnings on my hobbies, mainly the games I played, GTA: Vice City being something of a staple game back then. Microsoft had released their console a year later, now being a PC gamer I took this as a huge step, PC designers making stuff for a console, but I didn’t pay too much attention as I had a gaming PC so why would I need one?

                The latter end of 2002, the war had begun in full, Microsoft was putting their all into their machine and Playstation started feeling the competition, by this point I needed to try it for myself and a friend at University had an Xbox, he brought it in and we set it up in the media room. It was big, bulky and odd, the controller was similarly strange, but somehow felt right, not as fragile as my PS DuelShock. The games we played were Project Gotham and Halo… 2 hours later I owned an Xbox. I took it home and hooked it up, the room lit up green and I loved it. But now I had my trusty, special edition silver, PS2 with all my saves on it seeming to stare at me like the forgotten pet. I had been turned.

                In the years that followed my PC was used for MMO games only, less demand on new hardware and upgrades and more function than style, the hard gaming was with a controller. This continued to be my preference until 2005 brought a new wave of chaos to my bank balance. The Xbox was getting something marketed as the PlayStation killer. Playstation had been rumoured for a PS3 but it never materialised that year and the 360 was a new hardware kit that was hugely more powerful than what was available at the time. With promises of new hardware additions to come, I broke the bank once more. Games, controllers, Kinects… I had everything, and I was happy.

When the release of the PS3 did happen, it came with a fanfare, and I’ll admit I was tempted, that was until the line-up of games came out and I, for the first time ever, halted the thought of buying the next new console. I needed to see why the spec, that was so similar for the best part to the 360, could be marketed as a big thing a year down the line. The games had something in common with one another, they all had anime stylings, Japanese story games, for which I never cared for. And that’s when it became a blatant fact, I preferred the Xbox, not because I was bias on the company, but because the games just weren’t for me. I preferred the Halo’s and ultra realism side to Sony’s cartoon like graphics and Anime leanings for their most part of games, and while they did have Tomb Raider as an exclusive for a time, Microsoft had done a deal that was bringing them to it’s console too.

                Role on 2013, what became known as the ‘Next Gen’ war. PS4 Vs Xbox One… Only we had a new player in the game, PC gamers.

                PC gamers became the new gaming generation overall because of the huge strides in new tech where it would still cost you more than £1000 to build a machine that could beat a new console, but it was possible, and people did. I was at the time back into PC’s for more work related reasons than for gaming, but I had a decent machine that could game… But it also brought something else that would plague anyone who held a controller, the toxic fans.

                This was both a golden era for technology, and an time of loathing of some people who believed themselves PC Gods above a peasant console gamer, for no other reason as they’d spent £1000’s on being that ‘x’ framerate better. And while I was a PC gamer and had been for so many decades, I still felt that the divide was more on what you played than the machine you played it on. I weighed up the pros and cons and when the games list was released I proved I wasn’t a Sony guy anymore, I was 100% Xbox. My reasons for, were the same as some for against. I wanted an online system that doubled as a full entertainment package, and basically removed the need for 3 or 4 boxes under my TV, it was Backward compatible once again, unlike the PS, so my games bought were not destined to gather dust for eternity they could still be played, including those from the original Xbox.

                The years that have passed my kids have been raised as Xbox players, one day they may venture into something else, but that’s where they have cut their gaming teeth as I did with my dads gear back in the early 80’s. I have moved into PC gaming once more but now it’s properly balanced and played just as much as my XBO. But here we are, Summer 2020 and the hype is on the rise.

                Xbox Series X Vs PS5 Vs PC.

                What’s different this time is that the PC is going to be on the backfoot to BOTH of these consoles. Even the most high end PC will struggle to keep up with the tech that’s been released on these new generation consoles and boy is the seething hatred showing its face already. Seems more people now than ever would lash hate on something that hasn’t even been demonstrated in the world yet. From the stats we have 2 new consoles, both huge on graphical capability, both with something unique to them. The nippy software capability will once again stay in Sony’s corner as they have developed their system strictly for gaming with some media elements, Microsoft have done something else and this is where the fight becomes, not one of the two brands, but of one. The Xbox Series X is a PC, it’s more powerful than 90% of prebuilt PC’s available and only the best of the best gaming PC’s come close to what it can do…

                So PS5 will undoubtedly draw in it’s dedicated gamer fanbase, and that’s good. For me the design is comically that of a modem router being given a 90’s overhaul, but if you just wanna game then it’s perfect for it. I am awaiting the new ‘Red Wings of Death’ though as I would worry about it’s cooling ability being designed very closely on the 360 layout, we all remember that time with dread. The Xbox on the other hand could pull in a whole untapped market, the PC gamers who can’t afford the next step up for the latest graphics card or more RAM than a field of sheep. If the rumours of Mouse and Keyboard compatibility are real, then it will essentially be the first Hybrid Machine, a PC with Gaming console built in. It’s even designed like a desktop tower.

                So yes I’m going to be Series X and PC, but time may yet be called as it’s only a hop, skip and jump before Windows becomes an ‘APP’ on the Xbox and if it happens, the PC gods who once looked down will join our console ranks and there will be no going back, The Xbox-PC Vs PS6 could be what we look at in 2028, then it’s simply be are you on console or PC all over again with the console war reverted to Nintendo being squashed by Sony.

                Time will tell how this all plays out, but for now, we have better times to look forward to!

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