In recent years, the amounts of hate between PC and console users have escalated tremendously. While the "Platform War" has been around for quite some time, it has always been mentioned in a more jestful manner before. Now, it would seem that stating your preference for one or the other could bring undue hatred on yourself.
Time for a history lesson
So, why is it that this trend of self-righteousness on one's preferred platform so prevalent these days? If we look back at history, the gaming industry grew on both platforms:
- 1956: Arthur Samuel wrote a computer checkers program on a IBM-701. The program would later beat a checkers master.
- 1957: Alex Bernstein writes the first computer chess program.
- 1962: Steve Russel invents the first computer-based video game, SpaceWar!
- 1972: Pong was first made on an Arcade Machine.
- 1974: Maze War introduces consumers to first-person shooters.
- 1976: Don Wood's version of the text based game Adventure paves the way for thousands of other computer RPG games.
- 1977: Atari releases the Atari 2600.
As you follow the timeline toward the current year, one can see a pattern of growth in both console and PC gaming. Although console gaming would be the most popular platform for years, PC was not far off and had very famous names on its list such as DOOM and Warcraft.
So, what happened?
In my opinion, one of the reasons why there is such a gap between PC and console gamers is due to the dynamic change on how games are connected and played these days. The advancement of the Internet and the rise of Internet-connected multiplayer games pave the way for how games are played now.
Last time, it was all about playing locally, be it on LAN or split screen. It was fun playing in a room with a bunch of friends or family, and it was fun that it didn't matter which platform you were on. What mattered was that everyone was there enjoying their time together.
Consoles got the brunt of these changes, as, today, console games encourage people to play on separate units in order to enjoy multiplayer games. Back then, it didn't matter if you did not own a PlayStation or an Xbox. If you had a friend that had one, you probably came to their house just to chill and play together. So now, one of the attractions of playing on consoles is lost. That sense of camaraderie when playing together on one screen is a thing of the past.
The PC had no such issues, as it transitioned from LAN games to online very easily. As console games become more and more reliant on an internet connection, people seemed to like the idea of playing on a PC instead of consoles.
The rise of competitive gaming (or "eSports") is also a catalyst for the rise of PC gaming. DOTA 2, League of Legends, and Counter Strike: Global Offensive are among the top games right now in the global competitive scene. With these three big names, the PC platform has a huge advantage over consoles, as the scene or them is not as big (or not as publicized) compared to these huge names.
For PC gamers, consoles seem more like PC gaming wannabes — only that it's played on controllers. For console gamers, PC gamers have a "holier than thou" vibe with their claims of superiority.
Whether you prefer a certain platform or not, you shouldn't shove it down another's throat. Nor should you dismiss it as complete garbage just because it isn't your cup of tea. What's important is that everyone is having fun. Love and respect each other. After all, we're all gamers.