News Article

Editor's Opinion: Just Play Games

Posted by Ken Barnes

Not long now.

The next generation of console gaming is right around the corner. In a day or so, the PlayStation 4 launches in the US. In a week or so, the Xbox One launches in all the territories that it’ll be launching in this year. A week after that, the PlayStation 4 hits the UK. The boys and girls over at our sister site, Push Square will be doing their usual bang-up job of keeping Sony fans up to speed, while we attempt to keep Xbox fans covered.

Of course, the current generation consoles are still receiving frequent service in the form of new titles, too. In short, it’s a great time to be a console gamer. There’s something for everybody to enjoy, whether you’re ponying up for one new machine, both new machines, or standing by your current generation system and waiting to see what happens.

Magical Times

For me as a lifelong gamer, console launches are easily my favourite times. Forget Christmas, birthdays, and anniversaries of any kind – none of them can top it. From working the counter at my local game store’s midnight launch for the Sega Dreamcast some 14 years ago, through to waiting at the door for the postman on Wii U launch day last year like a kid waiting for Santa, these things always get me totally jacked. I’ve saved long and hard, and with a bit of help from Mr. MasterCard, I’ll be picking up both new consoles on launch day. No, I won’t be getting free machines, as some people automatically suspect. When people question me about why I would spend that much in a month on what they see essentially as toys, I respond with “I write for an Xbox-centric site. I need a PS4 in order to present a balanced opinion,” but that’s only partially true.

The new machines are so close, that I can feel it. I don’t care if you get it. As a gamer, this is the way it’s supposed to be. Society (well, my friends and family, at least) might say that as a 32-year-old man, I’m supposed to act like an adult and show a little bit of reserve. I stick my tongue out and blow a big, fat raspberry in response.

I’m SUPPOSED to be excited to see what the new machines can provide in the way of gaming experiences. Screw HDMI pass-thru, DVR,, Netflix, and controlling your console with your voice. Screw cable box nonsense that probably won’t matter to most people. Skype can take a running jump, too. I want games. I want to be wowed by shininess. Just like I was when I fired up Sega Rally 2 on day one of the Dreamcast’s retail life, or as I was with Super Mario 64 on the Nintendo 64 launch day.

This is who I am, and I’m OK with that.

Boo Boys

What I’m not OK with, is people trying to kill that buzz. It’s disturbing to see just how many fanboys (and to a lesser extent, fangirls) are out there just looking to pick and pull and rip apart everything that’s good about gaming and the new machines. “Xbox One Game X doesn’t run in 1080p.” “The PlayStation 4 doesn’t have any games worth playing.” “The Xbox One is lame because Titanfall isn’t out until next year.” “The PlayStation 4 probably needs a firmware update every twenty minutes like the PS3 did.” “Both consoles are too large.” “Neither machine is as good as a PC with £1,500 worth of hardware in it.” “Microsoft are forcing you to buy Kinect and that sucks because…”




We’ve heard it all before, of course. Even as far back as the early days of console gaming, Intellivision fans would attack Atari VCS fans and wave colour counts and game exclusives in their faces, as if it made any difference to anyone. And of course, during Microsoft’s royal botching of the Xbox One announcement earlier in the year, I personally felt the wrath of the fanboy and no mistake. Having people hit up your personal Facebook page, Twitter account, and email address to throw a death threat or two your way because they’re as dumb as paint and they think that you actually work for Microsoft isn’t fun, but such was the ire. Things have improved somewhat since Microsoft’s about-turn on its controversial policies, but it’s still sad to see gamers turning on gamers. If you’re a die-hard Xbox fan and have no intention of ever buying a PS4, why the hell are you following Sony’s official PlayStation 4 page on Facebook, let alone jumping on every PS4 announcement to tell everyone that you think the Xbox One is the best and that they’re somehow a lower class of citizen for liking Sony’s console? You’re doing yourself no favours and undoubtedly, someone somewhere will feel a little bit worse for reading your inane and/or abusive comment. And it goes both ways. The Sony boo-boys hate the Microsoft fans, too. Pretty much every comment system online right now (apart from ours, of course!) seem to resemble a playtime fight that's gone too far.

Why are you that hateful that you want to make people that you don’t know feel bad during a time that, as gamers, should be exciting for them? Or is being a complete asshat 24/7 just the cool thing to do now?

I'm glad I'm not cool.

Be Better

If you’re buying an Xbox One or a PlayStation 4 and think you’ll be happy with it, more power to you. Go have your fun, and let everyone else have theirs. Xbox fans, if you really are hell bent on making this into a “them and us” situation for the tenth year in a row, then at least try to be on the classier side. Let “them” take “their” potshots as often as they want. Don’t retaliate. You don’t need to attack Sony fans in order to support the Xbox community. Plus, be aware that both consoles have some fantastic games, the same way that the Xbox 360 and PS3 both had superb libraries of top-class titles. By cordoning yourself off and steadfastly refusing to look at what the “other side” have to offer just because…well…you’re a bit of an idiot, you’re missing out on a whole bunch of great gaming experiences. Don’t be calling yourself a gamer if you aren’t interested in games, no matter how they’re delivered.

Gamers play games, not platforms.

Y’all think about that while I go and peer through the letterbox again. You never know. A mistake is made at a retailer’s distribution centre and they ship their machines early. One of those machines happens to turn up at my door along with the games I ordered from…erm…a different retailer that also happened to make a similar mistake….

Well, I can dream, can’t I?

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User Comments (10)



Tasuki said:

Wow Ken I couldn't have said it better myself. You have put into words what I have always felt for years even going back to the 16 bit era with the whole Nintendo VS Sega. Even back then I had both systems. I will admit I like Nintendo a bit more but for me I enjoyed Sonic as much as Mario games.

I feel like anytime one of those annoying fanboys pop up on either here, Push Square or Nintendo Life I should post a link to this article as my response to them. Well said Ken well said I have to say this is your best piece of writing yet.

On a side note Ken I am so jealous of you getting both. If my bills allowed me too I would have done the same. Wait just thought of it I can live off of raman and mac and cheese for a few months lol. Seriously though even though I will be getting the PS4 Friday I will still be keeping an eye on things here and see how you all like the Xbox One. I plan to get one someday perhaps with taxes or maybe some awesome bundle will be available next holiday season for the Xbox One.

Oh and I know how you feel I feel the same way around console launch time. I keep staring at my PS4 controller waiting for Friday to come. I feel like a kid waiting for Christmas. Friday is going to be the longest day of work for me ever.

Once again Ken great article and thank you for this great write up.



SuperKMx said:

@Tasuki Thanks Tasuki, that means a lot man. Appreciate it :) And Ramen AND mac and cheese? I've just got the Ramen. Too broke for anything else! :p



DRL said:

I've been living outside all of this fanboy nonsense to my best ability since E3. It makes me happy that our staff and readers are so respectable. It makes it a lot easier to ignore it all.

"Gamers play games, not platforms."

Thanks for putting that out there, Ken. I hope more people realize this as we enter next gen.



Gamer83 said:

I think for at least the next month or two I'm going to avoid places like IGN, Gamespot and Gametrailers. I actually like all of those websites a lot but the communities there are a joke and sap all the joy our of gaming. Anything less than a 10 sucks. Sony, MS and Nintendo all suck (I actually agree with that to a large extent from a business perspective but that's a different discussion). Anyway I'm glad that at least at PushSquare and Pure Xbox we'll be able to have discussions mostly devoid of the console war nonsense. Only unfortunate part is outside of Killzone, Dead Rising and Forza the next-gen retail 'blockbusters' I look forward to don't come out until 2014 so it's possible after a few weeks discussion about PS4 and X1 will die down. To be fair these companies can't fire all the bullets at once. I am interested to see how the next-gen versions of cross-gen games like AC, NBA and Lego Marvel will stack up to the PS3/Xbox 360 versions.

Anyway, I'm hyped up. I've got tomorrow off work and will be going to the PS4 launch party, can't wait for the next-gen to begin. I agree with Ken, new consle launches beat almost anything and what makes them special is that they don't happen often. This one is the longest in the making during the time I've been a gamer.



mastodona7x said:

Fanboyism seems to be almost like a call back to the primeval days of war between rival are born into a clan and defend it with your life. Seriously some people actually do seem to take it that seriously.
I'm only getting an xbone but that's only because I only want/can afford one console and I've enjoyed the 360 enough not to change "sides".
Not trying to start anything here but the big sites it does seem to be almsot exclusively ps fanboys...nearly every xbox review the comments section is inundated with ps fanboys... I don't know if "xbots" give as good as they get on ps reviews too, maybe they do.
Lets just hope neither new console has the red or yellow lights of death or all hell will break loose!

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