Recently there was a thread I was involved with on NeoGAF, you can check out that thread here. The question that was asked was regarding owning multiple consoles and does it make sense anymore, especially since the number of 3rd party games outnumber the 1st party games. After skimming over several pages of that conversation, the answer I commonly noticed was that many gamers, including myself, tend to own multiple systems due to several factors including exclusive 1st party titles such as Halo, Uncharted, Super Mario, considering that many choose not to miss out on them. Makes perfect sense, right? Yet, at the same time, the counter-argument was that owning a system for just one or two games was pure insanity, a good point as well.
However I wanted to dive deeper into that, for example how many systems is enough. We currently have the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Wii U, as well as their previous generation counterparts, and of course the PC, all of which have a fair amount of exclusive content. Sure, it’s a fantastic notion that every gamer should have access to everything in order to appreciate all that is available to them. A very popular and positive notion to say the least, but one that does have a few negatives to it as well. Follow me as I go into a few examples, won’t you?
Playing multiple games on multiple platforms could detract the amount of time you can devote to one platform or another. I mean, unless you’re retired, don’t work at all, have a sugar momma or daddy or are well off, the chances of you being able to devote a reasonable amount to each platform is going to be a hard feat. I’m included in this category as I own every console from the past generation, the current generation and a gaming PC (built by me, mind you) and I’ll be honest, most of my time has devoted to my PC. My PlayStation 4 and Xbox One do eventually get some loving from me, but there’s the key word, eventually. There’s also that chance that you’ll attach yourself to a specific system and forget the rest. Don’t laugh or say “That will never happen to me”, because there’s a high chance that it may.
Money is also a huge factor; those games ain’t cheap. Well, then again if you’re members of specific groups that give discounts, buy your games pre-owned/refurbished, wait for Black Friday says or borrow games from your friends/family members, it will get pricey. At $59.99 a pop for most games, split that across 2 or more systems and it adds up. Sure this could apply to buying multiple games for a singular system, but we’re looking at multiple systems here which can double or triple the amount of monies spent. I’m with you on not missing out on exclusive titles, especially ones that are “Must Plays”, but at some point it does tend to break the bank or at least strain it.
Hell, my wallet is crying right now as I look towards Q1 2016, with games such as Deus EX: Mankind Divided, Dark Souls III (which I’ll end up getting on PC and PS4 or Xbox for PVP), Street Fighter V, Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst, Uncharted 4, Ratchet and Clank PS4, many of which are spread across multiple systems and are games that myself or other games in my immediate house hold want to play.
Honestly the entire debate is akin to a fighting game. For example, if you play one specific character, you tend to master that character and know everything there is to know about him/her. On the other hand you have those who have multiple characters they play with and while some are able to fully master them you still have those who are merely average or decent enough to do some good damage but in the end of the day when the chips are down, they go back to their main character.
It reminds me of a debate a few friends and I had a few years ago, where I basically had debated on the gaming industry abandoning the hardware aspect completely and focusing solely on software, which would be all accounts save both the companies and games money as they would only have to deal with one unified gaming platform. Of course that idea got laughed down due to “No one would buy into that” and “The industry is too greedy to do this.” While I definitely agree with the last point, I’m damn sure if there was enough drive, companies such as Sony and Microsoft would look into this. And to an extent, they are with the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 being driven by the same x86 architecture as PCs have been for years. On top of that we all know that neither company make any money on hardware sales and are eating those costs to get their hardware into our homes.
A unified platform doesn’t seem to much like a bad idea when it comes to the companies’ bean counters, that’s for sure.
I know I went on a tangent for a bit, but we’re back and I’ll sign off with this question. How many systems is too many and as a gamer does it make sense to own more than one or two systems? I ‘d love to hear your stance regarding the debate.