And so; it begins.
Time for me to take some of my own advice before I succumb to artificial anxiety.
You see, unto every generation, a flame war is born. Especially since the console market has become such a rarefied atmosphere, whenever time comes for launch, there’s a huge scramble to have an argument about which does what better with how many numbers and will you just look at this widget! Come launch day you’ll be laying down hundreds of your hard-earned spondoolix for the latest shiny-joy-box and chances are good that you can only afford one. Both Sony and Microsoft want it to be theirs. This is obvious. This is natural.
It is bad for you.
There’s no way to judge which console will be better. No amount of rage fuelled invective rhetoric will finally decide whether the smart money should go to one machine over the other. Numbers alone are not enough to judge and at the moment that is almost all we have. As much as I – and others – would like to pretend that we can read meaning into those numbers, the fact is that unless you’re an engine architect, you just can’t.
So here’s the thing. Are you listening? You will probably want to disagree and add your arguments about why I’m wrong, why your choice of shiny-joy box is the best one, but I do not intend to join in the futile argument.
Here we go.
It doesn’t matter.
There. Take it in. Let it settle.
Both machines will be awesome. Whichever you chose, you will get a box full of modern magic and you will love it. Once you’ve made your choice, you will probably become rabid in its defence, because that’s human nature, but the guys who chose the other route are having just as good a time with their machine.
Not that I’m denying you the right to your opinion; I would never dare…I’d just like you to consider the idea that your fervently held belief…just…isn’t that important. You’re allowed to have a favourite, but so is everyone else. Personally, in the current generation, I prefer the Xbox (I have a PS3 also) for one major reason alone and it’s not the number of doodahs or widgets, it’s not the exclusives or the dashboard, its not the latest shiny redesign…it’s the controller. Just that. After an hour with the PS3 controller my hands feel cramped and uncomfortable, but I can play with the Xbox controller for hour after hour and never feel it. If you have smaller hands than I do and like the PS form, then that’s marvellous! I am glad that you’ve found a comfortable way to game. See how that works?
So relax. Don’t play the big companies’ marketing game. Both machines will be fabulous and ultimately your choice of favourite will probably come down to something relatively trivial compared to how many billion whatsits there are inside. It’s all good. When the next gen lands we will be awash in polygons and shaders and opportunities to relinquish our privacy. And we will love it, whichever flavour we buy.