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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Console Wars and Us Vs. Them

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - How would KoopaTV be back in the SEGA-Nintendo War?

Full disclosure here: This article was inspired by this GameFAQs Top 10 List titled "The Top 10 Things That The Next Generation Of Gamers Won't Get To Experience" by darkknight109. It's a really good read. But to the point: This blog was partially born from the idea of industry events as entertainment and the creation of facetious analysis. However, as that Top 10 list points out,  
“Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft aren't shy about blowing their own horns and touting their successes, as any large corporation is wont to do, but - with only a few notable exceptions - they conspicuously avoid taking more than the occasional pot-shot at one another.”
It's no secret that KoopaTV has a pro-Nintendo bias. I mean, look at the name of the site. The names of the contributors and the pictures that are next to them! And it's pretty clear KoopaTV has several agendas going on if you look at what we cover. We still haven't talked about Sony's (terrible) PlayStation 4 launch! Look what KoopaTV published instead! (Which is why you don't use KoopaTV as your primary source of news.)

Anyway, we're in an era with a lot of different factions. You have your mobile gamers. You have the console gamers, which are divided into a lot of sub-factions. You have handheld gamers, but those are basically just 3DS owners who don't own anything else and I'm pretty sure there aren't too many of those. You have those PC gamers. They suck. We don't talk about them on this site because we care about the console gaming side. So more on those sub-factions. You can divide yourself by genre or by system of choice. However, as that Top 10 List pointed out, 
“However, probably the biggest reason we will never see another Nintendo vs. Sega is the fact that it's now extremely common for gamers to own more than one console, which means many gamers have a vested interest in more than one of the console manufacturers. It's hard to be a fanatically loyal supporter of one team when you happen to be fraternizing with their rivals.”
A lot of people own Nintendo consoles as a secondary console. We at KoopaTV have decided that won't be necessary for the Wii U's generation, as we concluded at the end of this log. If Microsoft is truly doomed with the Xbox One as polls like this would suggest, then we might get back to the era of "Us Vs. Them" that we had when it was Nintendo vs. SEGA: Nintendo and Sony going at it.

You were either in the Nintendo camp, or the SEGA camp. They attacked one another directly and often. Now? Everyone is a lot more passive. According to Sony, Nintendo and Sony are basically on the same side against the threat of the mobile gamers. So instead of maintaining the Us Vs. Them between console manufacturers, the Us. Vs. Them is now between console gaming and mobile gaming. Depth vs. Breadth. 

So here's the question for us at KoopaTV. Do we reject Sony's idea of what the new boogieman should be? Do we reject that they AREN'T our adversaries? Should we really be accepting that we're partners? Of course not. There are meaningful philosophical differences between the console manufacturers that need to be addressed before they can "team up". In fact, when analyzed a certain way, Sony and Microsoft might even be closer to the mobile games than at first glance.

Consider Nintendo's evergreen status. Even now, games that are long past their time like Mario Kart 7 and Super Mario 3D Land are selling good amounts of units every month. Meanwhile, is anyone still talking about BioShock Infinite? I guess they are only because of DLC. Real evergreen titles don't need that. The popular games on Microsoft and Sony's consoles are there for maybe a month and then fade away. Nintendo's games stick around. Now some (such as myself) have theorized that since Nintendo makes games of so many genres, that each individual game sticks longer than they would on other systems where many genres are represented often. For example, Tales of Symphonia sold well enough on the GameCube. In fact, it's the most popular game in the Tales of series. Why? Because it was one of the only JRPGs on the system. But it was GOOD. So it stuck around all the way until the console ended. Meanwhile, the other consoles are completely saturated with games no one sticks with. There's no commitment.

And the same thing is the case for mobile gaming. We got hundreds of FREE releases every day and they're shallow shit. Just trying to make a quick buck via F2P schemes. Which there is nothing inherently wrong with, but a lot are done pretty badly or abusively. The point is that the attachment towards individual games is low. No fans do creative things with Call of Duty or Candy Crush Saga. In fact, they do abusive things like make hateful clans. While it's true that we (Nintendo and Sony) like actual controllers, there are still too many differences between the philosophies of the different consoles. And because there is no commitment with mobile games, it's hard to have war with them when they kill themselves quickly. It's one thing to demagogue Sonic the Hedgehog, it's another to demagogue a mobile game everyone forgets exist in a week.

Going back to KoopaTV and console wars, we basically have to make analyses to uncover strife for our own entertainment. Console manufacturers don't just give it to us anymore like they used to. Sure, Sony made an exception this E3, but it's just that: an exception. But hard work can be rewarding. ...Or back-breaking.

Ludwig didn't actually participate in the Sega vs. Nintendo console wars, despite him gaming during the time period. It must've been a great time. To follow Ludwig's actions in a sea of Nintendo fans, Follow him on Miiverse at NNID PrinceOfKoopas.

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