Console Wars: How Much Do We Buy Into Them?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few months, Sony and Microsoft recently released the Playstation 4 and Xbox One respectively. Gamers have been arguing vehemently in support of each product and its particular strengths. There have been arguments and turnarounds on various issues, from price to Xbox’s controversial policy against lending games which was quickly abolished. At the end of it all, both companies stand to make a lot of money and much of this is thanks to the hype consumers have created around the battle of the products.

It might be worth giving the Wii-U a footnote in a blog about console wars, but the Nintendo console has hardly featured in the press to the degree that the Playstation and Xbox have. As a more family-oriented machine than its counterparts, the Wii-U has almost taken a back seat in the gaming industries high-profile competition (at least in the western media). What is obvious is that the competition is good for both businesses, with only the PC market providing an alternative anywhere near as impressive.

I cannot say much for the new Playstation as I have not given it a proper try yet, but the Xbox One is an improvement on its predecessor. Whether or not it was worth my forking money out is another thing; the improvement is hardly incredible, it’s only about 15-20%. So why did I fork out the cash, when I have a perfectly good Xbox 360?

The question might be rhetorical, but there are some possible answers. The first of these is the prestige of the product. Owning an Xbox One at this stage might set me apart from my friends in that I get to play on newer technology and maybe inspire a little bit of jealousy. Another reason is that as an avid gamer, that 15-20% difference has much more importance to me than somebody who plays their console casually. The last reason however, ties into the idea of console wars. That is, the fact that the Xbox One received so much publicity, and largely because of its competition with the Playstation 4. Obviously being the owner of an Xbox 360 would lean me more towards repeated use of the same brand and hearing about the positives of the Xbox One in comparison with the Playstation 4 had me wondering.

At the end of the day, the biggest winners are the two giant corporations, Microsoft and Sony, who are making the money from the fantastic publicity their product war generates. Does that make me a loser though? I have an Xbox One with voice technology and great graphics! There I go, parroting the words that made me buy it in the first place.


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