Console Wars make me feel uncomfortable
The Console War has been around for ages. "Sega does, what Nintendon't" should ring a bell if you've been part of the late-80s/early-90s console generation. And even though the War never actually subsides, it's always at its most heated when new consoles are announced.
Maybe I don't remember it because I wasn't so plugged in to the world of video game news back when the Xbox 360 and PS3 were announced, but I can't help but feel the War is at its worst right now, and I'm not really enjoying it as much as I should.
In reality, I should be loving it. The fact that both sides, Sony and Microsoft are duking it out to essentially "win" my vote should downright flatter me. Specs, processing power, game library -- all these things should get me pumped. But the plain truth of the matter is that it just makes me feel uncomfortable.
It mostly stems from the fact that almost any new announcement is a shot at the opponent. Yoshida stating 'If we just do big budget triple-A sequels the industry doesn’t have a bright future' is an obvious stab at Microsoft's more AAA game line-up. Even more so, Sony's blatant stab at Microsoft with their short video during E3, showing how easy it is to trade games between two people, since Microsoft still had its always-online policy still in place, was a really big blow below the belt.
It also fueled Sony's fire that Microsoft kept insisting on flip-flopping basically each and every single policy they insisted on since their debut of the Xbox One. From getting rid of the always-online connection requirement, to making the Kinect not necessary for the Xbox One to function, and even coming up with a whole new plan for Indie devs to get in on the Xbox One action. It's easy to see how Sony would use all this flip-flopping against Microsoft.
However, for me at least, it showed Sony in this almost negative light. Since E3, they've been the pioneers of doing everything right consumer-wise, and yet they felt the need to further prove their superiority with low-blow comments. It just wasn't characteristic of a company that seemed to be "the good guys" in this ongoing War.
Microsoft certainly isn't as vocal as Sony, but they've taken a few jabs at the competition. Of course, these are less offensive and certainly sound more like PR statements. Albert Penello saying 'I believe we're going to have the better system', the Xbox One will be 'every bit as good, if not better' than PS4. While tamer in context, it already went so far as Microsoft's very own Larry 'Major Nelson' Hryb creating a NeoGAF account to dispel some technical rumors and stand up for the Xbox One, since it seems to be the focus point of ridicule.
The Console Wars are, in fact, so influential that they manage to creep their way in to our everyday lives. As one of our writers, Josh Engen, pointed out, it's tough to even be excited for the Xbox One in a public setting amongst other video game enthusiasts, since simply stating that you're excited for the console gets you that same ridicule that Microsoft receives. And hell, I love a good debate on consoles, but it's been so toxic ever since both of these consoles got announced that arguments usually become one-sided affairs.
I think the part that gets me down, more so than it should, is that I'd like to think Jack Tretton, Shuhei Yoshida, Phil Spencer, Larry Hryb, and hell, even Reggie Fils-Aime, could one day enjoy each other's company, sipping on cold beers, congratulating each other on their massive successes, and possibly laughing at some of their failures (Virtual Boy, PSP Go). Sadly, the industry just isn't built that way, and we'll have to endure this ongoing War for years to come.