Not a day seems to go by without seeing fans of either console taking a jab at the other over something tedious, often lighting forums ablaze. It’s difficult for an adult who paid for a system to understand the mindset of someone wanting to have a crack at other platforms while ignoring problems at home. How does one ignore failings on the part of a company they handed €300+ to (and continue to pay €60 a year for the privilege of being called a  ‘cuck’ by children online) in favour of henpecking another tribe?

The idea of lording it over another brainwashed child has seemed natural ever since Sega went on the attack in the early 90s

Having seen a tweet from the head of Xbox Phil Spencer congratulating Sony Santa Monica on the reviews for God of War, it got us thinking. If the leaders of Xbox, Nintendo or Sony can congratulate their corporate rivals on their work, why is it so hard for fanboys/girls to do the same?

‘Blast Propganda’ or How You Became a Tool

Console wars are not new. The idea of lording it over another brainwashed child has seemed natural ever since Sega went on the attack in the early 90s. Advertisements that actively disparaged not only the console but the gamers that played them were commonplace. Nintendo may still have a squeeky clean reputation but their response to Sega was dirtier than many remember – full-page advertorials criticising Sega’s half-truths and propaganda complete with more half-truths and propaganda. The page itself was styled like a regular feature and the disclaimer stating it was paid for by Nintendo was inconspicuous to a point of invisibility.

The good guys…

The culture of the fanboy/girl was here to stay long after hitpiece ads became unfashionable. The playground battlelines were drawn and new rules of engagement were written. Children and young teens grew into adults who should know better but subsequently taught the young ones to never direct criticism at the company responsible for entertaining them. Keep it for fans of other systems.

Games editor, PrimeVinister never shuts up about his ‘sick’ ping and ‘dope’ up/down speed yet he showed me some laughably bad PS Now game streaming before we squinted our way through Mafia II. Fix the servers, Sony.

Defending the Indefensible

It is counter-productive to defend scumbaggery on the part of a company you essentially pay to exist. There are many examples of any given company shafting their support only to find the shaftee vehemently denying the shafter was anything but loving during said shafting.

For one, there should be greater debate over remaster culture, especially on PlayStation. While there is a market for games of a certain vintage to get a lick of paint, there are far too many examples of half-baked remasters that the public didn’t ask for or worse, actually did ask for. With Sony’s machine lacking backwards-compatibility, gamers are forced to beg developers to remaster something they love in order to put their old machines away for good.

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When South Park takes the piss out of laissez-faire capitalism, you know there is a problem

PlayStation Now needs to give players the option to download the titles. Games editor, PrimeVinister never shuts up about his ‘sick’ ping and ‘dope’ up/down speed yet he showed me some laughably bad PS Now game streaming before we squinted our way through Mafia II. Fix the servers, Sony. The service is also a little too expensive. At €20 p/m, it is far and away the most expensive game streaming service there is, albeit with the biggest and best library.

On Microsoft’s part, there are several issues that only Sony fans and the rare neutrals ever seem to mention. Fresh or at least interesting single-player IPs are few and far between; Xbox fans should not only admit that but actively pester Saint Philip to actually do something about it.

Please stop using disposable batteries as standard in your controllers – charging somebody to allow recharging a controller is a bit 2000s. If Sony’s broke ass could give native rechargeable batteries in 2013, why can’t Microsoft??

Tell N4G that you are jealous of GoW, congratulate your PlayStation friends on picking the right horse this time and maybe write a letter to Major Nelson demanding Master Chief have a kid in Halo 6.

Out ‘N’ Their Own

The less-criticised third party, Nintendo has arguably the most loyal fans of the bunch without their hardcore being as visible in criticising others. However, to express misgivings with the Switch hardware is to be a brave man or woman. Having the neck to question whether it’s an adequate portable makes one a target for deluded defences of a terrible battery life and eminently breakable screen.

There was a time when a three-hour battery life SANK handhelds but questioning the portability of the Switch is verboten. Image by Evan-Amos – Own work, Public Domain from https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=12172585

There has always been a cult of personality around the long-time gaming behemoth that renders criticism to be relatively silent. Sometimes, the long-time giant seems immune to accusations that would haunt other companies for years. Nintendo’s online infrastructure is very poor yet mentioning this fact, even in polite company, will bring responses about Sony being hacked or the fact that Switch Online is free. For now at least.

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The Infallible Nintendo Switch

The Big N’s two-decade long habit of swiftly dropping support for ageing hardware is also conveniently ignored. Moving away from the expensive cartridges of the N64 as quick as commercially possible was an obviously wise move. But the subsequent packing up of console generations as soon as Nintendo felt like it would have bothered fans of other systems or at least create yet another flame battle in the unending Sony vs. Microsoft ‘War of the Useful Idiots‘.

A Canon of Criticism (Yes, we do music puns)

It often feels like the classic fanboy/girl is just lurking in the dark waiting for Sony or Microsoft to release a game that isn’t well received or change a policy that affects gamers negatively.

Essentially, Sea of Thieves was being advertised as the game that could turn Microsoft’s fortunes around in this generation of consoles but unfortunately, reviews elsewhere haven’t been the best. The public Schadenfreude that Xbox fans poured out after The Order: 1886 tanked was returned with interest in comment sections around teh_interweb.

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Choppy waters for Microsoft

I don’t think the volume of criticism that Microsoft generally receive surprises anyone. As an OS giant that anti-trusted their way to fabulous wealth, the public can find it hard not to imagine the Redmond giants as eternally greedy b*****ds. So when you look at the omnishambles that was the Xbox One launch, there was nowhere for Xbox fans to hide. Except behind the box that their PS4 came in.

The €100 price difference was calamitous- a disparity that came only by bundling a s**ttier version of ‘HAL’ as standard. Mentioning games in passing while selling the ‘box as a media centre was unforgivable as was the initial DRM policy. Affairs like this are sticks that Xbox fans should have beaten Microsoft with yet the majority of the harsher words were in the form of playground insults from everybody else.

Exclusive Opinion

Deviation from the mean when it comes to reviewing exclusive games has become a no-no. Multi-plats can have a rich variety of scores; this has the effect of inviting discerning buyers to read conflicting opinions to sniff out their own version of the truth.

Our very own Thomas Telford didn’t play Shadow of the Colossus on its first run so had little in the way of rose-tinted spectacles for its remake. By scoring the game a decent-but-unspectacular 7, he had all manner of ridiculous accusations thrown his way. Some of which were that he was an ‘M$ shill’, natch. Tom the Newsman Telford, who paid actual money for a PS4 but had to have a hand-me-down Xbox One reluctantly thrust into his hands is a shill.

Just a thought…

God of Console War

This generation’s war is almost over. With the release of 9th generation consoles being rumoured, Sony has dominated for over four years with no sign of stopping. With the imminent release of God of War, Sony are nailing closed the Xbox One coffin.

Gaming editor PrimeVinister has a historical soft-spot for Xbox, loving his OG Xbox Zero for many moons. According to the old man himself, God of War is yet another A+ title to roll off the tongue when listing PS4 triumphs – what games MS can claim lack the star power of almost anything Sony offer – Forza franchise probably excluded. Most of Microsoft’s marquis names have had their day, critically and commercially speaking.

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Forza is probably the only Microsoft exclusive franchise whose best days aren’t behind it…

While it would be unfair to blame Xbox fanboys and fangirls for Xbox’s slide from the spotlight, they should demand better instead of going on the defensive. Tell N4G that you are jealous of GoW, congratulate your PlayStation friends on picking the right horse this time and maybe write a letter to Major Nelson demanding Master Chief have a kid in Halo 6.

Do that and maybe Sony fans can get to work demanding better PS Now servers and cheaper subscriptions to the service or lobbying for backwards compatibility in the PlayStation 5.