Console wars have been around for as long as people could choose between more than one system, but why do they exist in the first place? It turns out that console wars are just an expression of broader human nature.
What Is a Console War Exactly?
In case you’re blissfully unaware of the battles fought in the name of console brand loyalty, console wars are essentially the animosity people who favor one console feel towards people who prefer another.
It’s not enough to sing the perceived praises of your console of choice, to be a true console warrior you have to break down and destroy the “enemy” consoles. This includes attacking fans of that console, spreading FUD (Fear Uncertainty and Doubt), and using blatantly dishonest tactics to make other consoles look as bad as possible.
Seeing console warring play out on social media, forums, and sometimes even in real life is an ugly sight to behold, but based on what we’ve learned about humans and society it’s not that surprising.
There are several theories from the field of psychology that help explain why console wars happen, but as always it’s dangerous to simplify anything related to people too much. Think of these ideas from psychology as a way to shine a light on parts of why console wars happen, but it’s probably not the whole picture.
Console Wars Look Irrational From Outside
If you’re not a part of this phenomenon, it can seem incredibly strange as an outsider. This is especially true with the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X generation. These consoles are so similar in technology and performance, that it’s unlikely someone would tell the difference between the same game running on both systems. Add to this that the age of the “console exclusive” game is fading thanks to PC releases on both sides of the fence, and it really does seem like two sides fighting over differences no one else can see.
In the days of the SNES and Sega Genesis, each console had a distinct character to its games and literally distinct characters in …….