I once hoped that this generation of video games would bring some sort of detente to the console wars. The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One were going to be powerful machines and owners of both or either console would be happy with the games on each system. We’d forget about all of the silly bickering and instead, focus on the games we were playing and enjoying. This is what I HOPED would happen but, sadly, this idyllic scenario never came to be.
Since the beginning of this generation, gamers have argued over what games ran at 1080p or which ran at 60 frames per second. Battlefield 4 and of course, Tomb Raider are the biggest (but not only) examples of this. Those who had consoles that ran games at higher settings ridiculed those who didn’t. People on the other side would say that these things don’t matter or pointed out flaws with the “superior version” of the game. This would of course devolve into people name-calling each other and using language that I won’t repeat here.
Arguing about what frame rate a game runs at or what its native resolution output is has got to be one of the most boring and moronic things that gamers can engage in. What I want to do with this editorial is point out why this sort of fighting is ultimately useless and a waste of time and energy.
When I was growing up I was a big fan of fighting games. The games would be released in the arcades first and then be ported to consoles. The console versions of these games would never look as good as the arcade versions but no one seemed to care. Why? Because the games were still fun even though they weren’t as graphically impressive as their arcade counterparts. We were having a blast and that’s all that mattered. Yeah, we did make fun of a port that wasn’t nearly as good as another one but we’d still play the game regardless.
The days where poking good, clean fun at a version of a game that isn’t as great as another are over. Gamers now go out of their way to say the nastiest and cruelest things possible. This may have something to do with this being the internet age where anonymity keeps you from being accountable for your words. There was no internet when I began to play video games and if we saw two different versions of a game, we’d rather just play them rather than nitpick every detail. I don’t want to put the blame solely on the internet for the way that some gamers behave but it’s certainly a factor.
The other problem is insecurity. Most people can only afford one console and since both current gen consoles are expensive, some get defensive about the machine they purchased. They see people make fun of the console they own and feel the need to retaliate. This is really silly too but that’s how some people are.
What people SHOULD be complaining about is if a game is unplayable. Look at Battlefield 4 for example. Its resolution was ultimately a non-issue because a lot of people had problems even running it. People were justifiably mad over that and soon forgot their little debate about how it ran at a lower resolution on the Xbox One (neither version actually ran at 1080p).
What should matter to gamers is whether or not the games they are playing work as they should and most importantly, are fun. If you own Tomb Raider for either the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One and enjoy it then why do you care what the other version looks like or runs like? If you’re happy with the game you’re playing then you shouldn’t be worried about how it runs on a different console. Why waste time and energy arguing over which version of the game is better when you could instead JUST play the game?
If you’re reading this and you’re one of the people who engages in these battles, do yourself and everyone else a favor and just stop it. Play the games that are on your system of choice and enjoy them. So what if your version doesn’t run at a high frame rate or isn’t at 1080p? If it’s fun then that’s all you should care about. Don’t worry about what other people are playing, worry about what YOU’RE playing. If someone makes fun of your system you can just ignore them. You’re not seeing these people face to face so it’s extremely easy to avoid anyone on the internet who is bothering you. If you and enough people stop engaging in these pointless comparison debates then the gaming community will be a stronger and better place.
Play your games and be happy.