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The great console debate

Written by Mike Holmes on the 14th of November 2011 at 17:08

Hey there. I'm Mike Holmes, the new staff writer at Gamereactor UK. We can do proper introductions tomorrow (or you can read my review of Halo Anniversary elsewhere on the site). But before that, I wanted to get something off my chest, and something I thought long dead. Or at least consigned to the teenage years of gaming: console favouritism.

A friend of mine and I were happily chatting the other day when the conversation shifted to a discussion about the differences between Playstation and Xbox. I got told my 360 was ‘crap' by my friend, the proud owner of a Playstation 3. It got me thinking about brand loyalty and why we gamers get so defensive about our console choices.

There are a variety of arguments that get rolled out whenever people are debating the pros and cons of each console; shelf life, price points, games, disc drives, online gaming. I could go on and on.

For the record, I own both consoles, and although I play my Xbox more (because more of my friends have them) I have to say the difference between the two machines is negligible. With that in mind I find it incredible how quickly good friends round on each other when the integrity of their console is brought into question!

A few months ago I myself was the victim of a concerted Xbox bashing. I was mocked because Microsoft backed the wrong horse and HD drive was a massive flop. It was almost as if it was my fault. These three Playstation owners were lauding their BlueRay disc drives over me, laughing at me for my stupidity for buying an Xbox instead of Playstation.

So why do people get so defensive about their consoles? Why do debates about the quality of our machines often result in bitching and moaning?

I have no definitive answer for this one. I can only speculate that it has something to do with familiarity and brand loyalty, but it strikes me as very odd that gamers get so hostile when it comes to defending their consoles, especially considering that the differences between them are so minor.

Imagine all the console owners living life in peace, not fighting over petty differences, united in celebration of our considerable common ground. You may say that I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one.