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Why I’m Going from General Gamer to Primarily PlayStation

Mason Sylvia



Update: the title of the editorial has been changed to reflect a more neutral and positive standpoint. The original title of ‘Why I’m Going from Neutral Gamer to Team PlayStation’ had originally reflected a negative connotation and was perceived to be fueling the console war. It would appear that it needs to be explained that this is not a negative remark against Microsoft or the Xbox console—this is a personal outlook as to why I have decided to go from owning every console to choosing one primarily.

When I was young, I had much simpler tastes in almost everything, including gaming. I didn’t get into the hobby until the Nintendo 64 became available in the United States, and it was a unique and memorable time for me, indeed. You see, the PlayStation was already two years into its lifecycle and I had no knowledge of its existence. I only discovered gaming because of my fascination with James Bond as a three-year-old child and my father came home one day with a smoke grey Nintendo 64 and a copy of GoldenEye as a surprise for me. I would then go on to spend a majority of my free time with my parents, indulging ourselves in the entertainment. From there, I started to build up a modest and now classic collection of titles—Banjo Kazooie, Perfect Dark, Super Mario 64, Cruisin’ World, and Cruisin’ USA, among a few others—and it wasn’t until the near turn of the century that I then discovered the PlayStation and a rather prominent female figure named Lara Croft.

From there, gaming became my number one hobby, taking precedence over reading and it only went uphill from there. I was fortunate to own essentially every—what I consider to be major—console henceforth from the fifth generation all the way to the eighth. In lieu of that luxury, once I reached the sixth generation, I noticed that I began to lean more on one side of the inevitable and never-ending console war than the other. I didn’t have interest in the Dreamcast or the GameCube and opted for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox only—like the previous generation, I was only interested in two out of the ten available consoles. I spent a lot of my free time after school with my PlayStation 2, still visiting the original PlayStation and Nintendo 64 from time to time, but the more diverse gameplay and substantially improved graphics that the sixth generation offered really held my interest. However, it’s worth mentioning at this point that I never initially owned multiple consoles at the same time—we were an average, middle-class family, so my parents were neither wealthy nor poor, but they had the usual mindset of acknowledging my ownership of consoles X, Y, and Z, and that I didn’t need the newest one, but were happy to surprise me when we had money to spare, primarily around the holidays. Despite my ownership of both a PlayStation 2 and an Xbox in my childhood, I always found myself getting games for the PlayStation 2 instead, and spending more time with it.

It wasn’t until the holidays of 2006 that I eventually moved onto the sixth generation of gaming and, to my own surprise, opted for the Xbox 360 over the PlayStation 3, primarily because I saw the launch trailer for Dead Rising, an Xbox 360 exclusive on television and I absolutely had to have it. I became an exclusive Xbox gamer despite my history of preference with the PlayStation 2 and it stayed that way until I stumbled upon early alpha footage of Heavy Rain on YouTube and, being a PlayStation 3 exclusive, I only had one option. When I was seventeen and working part-time, I had enough money to start buying myself things, so when Heavy Rain finally launched in 2010, I purchased it alongside a PlayStation 3, Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, and LittleBigPlanet. It was then that my mother asked me a rather interesting question on the way home from Best Buy.

“Are you going to purchase literally every console that comes out from now on?”

It was a completely valid question, because since I was a child, one console was never really enough. I mean, I never truly owned all of them, but I never stuck to one. I always opted for both of the major consoles, or direct competitors. During some point of my childhood, some friends from middle school tried to get me into mobile, on-the-go gaming, and I went on to own a GameBoy Color (which I still have to this day), a GameBoy Advance SP and a Nintendo DS. However, it never really appealed to me and I stuck primarily to my consoles. Since the Nintendo 64, I was never much of a Nintendo gamer. I only own a Nintendo Wii because I absolutely had to have the then-exclusive GoldenEye remake and never bothered to relieve myself of the console since. I’ll indulge in WiiSports Resort or Just Dance every once and a while, though.

It was then that I made a decision: I would be primarily an Xbox 360 gamer and reserve the PlayStation 3 for exclusives that caught my eye. It was a credo that I carried over to the eighth generation when I picked up an Xbox One in 2014 and a PlayStation 4 in 2015, but is now starting to change. After some time, I started to develop a preference for the PlayStation 4 over the Xbox One because for me, I felt that the PlayStation 4 was a more enjoyable experience for a good handful of reasons, and these are just in my own personal experience:

  • Games both download and install faster on the PlayStation 4 than the Xbox One.
  • Start-up times are much faster on the PlayStation 4 than Xbox One; I find that it takes less time to get to the home screen on the PlayStation 4.
  • Your home screen on the PlayStation 4 is more organized and less cluttered—the menu on the Xbox One has too much going on and loads of advertisements, even though most of them are useful.

Of course, these differences may not be relevant to everyone, but are enough to give me a preference. The only downside is that the PlayStation 4 does not support external hard drives like the Xbox One does, so I had to opt for the Nyko Data Bank to add to my console for additional storage for games. When I initially discovered the switch in preferences, I decided to use my PlayStation 4 primarily for single-player experiences and my Xbox One for games I planned to play online, because I find the Xbox Live community to be more preferable and I have more friends on Xbox than I do on PlayStation. However, I rarely play anything online these days anyway—I’m not a fan of Call of Duty nor Battlefield, I’m tired of Grand Theft Auto Online, and the only game I’ll play online here and there is Forza Horizon 3. With that being said, with cross-play just over the horizon, gamers may soon be able to play online with other players regardless of what console they’re on—if that does happen, that will only give me another reason to stick to one console, and for me, that console will be PlayStation.

What about Xbox exclusives? It’s something I spent some time thinking about and the simple answer is this: I own a gaming PC. You see, with PlayStation exclusives, those games are only available on PlayStation. However, it seems that lately, Xbox exclusives are available on both Xbox and PC, which makes sense, as Microsoft owns Windows and both platforms are hand-in-hand these days. Up to this point, my only reason for owning both direct competitors was to avoid having to miss out on games that appealed to me because I only owned console X, not console Y—however, this may no longer be a concern with just a PlayStation console and a gaming PC.

For me, choosing to indulge in my gaming hobby on the PlayStation is simply a more enjoyable experience overall, and with my own individual gaming persona and interests, going from what was once essentially a neutral gamer to a, for all intents and purposes, member of Team PlayStation, is a decision I can proudly stand behind. I’m not going to abandon my currently owned Xbox consoles, but on a going forward basis, it doesn’t make sense for me to follow any other direct path except for Sony’s…and if there’s an Xbox exclusive that I absolutely must purchase, as long as Microsoft continues to bring those exclusives to PC, I’ll be sure to make more use out of mine.

Video game enthusiast, James Bond aficionado, Tomb Raider expert, and lover of Beefeater gin. I'm a creature of habit and I'm either found buried in a book or working through my video game backlog when I'm not working my day job.




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