The ‘F’ Word

There are several words that get people’s backs up; words that are offensive to some, if not most people. I’m not going to mention them here because that would be immature even for me, but you know what I’m getting at when I say things like the ‘c’ word or the ‘n’ word. Although these are two of the biggest offenders, there’s a word that, to gamers, can be just as offensive. I’m talking about the ‘f’ word; Fanboy.

Now, I would be lying if I said this article was treading new ground – fanboyism and console wars have been going on since before I could crawl – but it’s still a subject that interests and annoys me in equal measure. I remember in the schoolyard, there was a distinct division between the Sonic squad and the Mario mob and, while the divide between Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 doesn’t seem so bad, what with a fair number of people (myself included) owning both consoles, there is still an overwhelming number of gamers who prefer the 360. I love my PS3; I think it’s better looking than the 360, it’s cheaper to upgrade hard drive sizes, the controller is one I have grown up with, there’s a built in Blu-ray player and online play is free.

When questioned, I would tell anyone that I prefer the PS3 over 360, but what about when I’m asked why it is that I spend more time on my 360?  Sure, there are plenty of PS3 exclusives such as Metal Gear Solid 4, Resistance 1&2, LittleBigPlanet, inFAMOUS, God of War III etc. that I enjoy, but I always buy multi-platform releases on 360, as well as its exclusives, so why do I still hold the PS3 as my favourite console of this generation, when I play more games on my 360? Maybe it’s the clandestine achievement whore in me, or the fact that – despite hardly ever playing online – most of my friends own the 360, or maybe it’s some subconscious need to rebel. I’ve never been one to jump on bandwagons and it’s fair to say that the 360 has the biggest following among self professed ‘core’ console gamers. It’s certainly not because the 360 came out first because, as I mentioned in a previous article, I didn’t even buy a 360 until after they had HDMI sockets fitted as standard.

The tower of shiny

I actually started to ponder the question the other day and came to the conclusion that the PS3 is my console of choice due to its versatility. Sure, I can stream music and video through my 360 and, if I wanted to, I could transfer my media onto the hard drive, but considering I only have a 120GB HDD for my 360, I won’t be able to store that much – especially in comparison to my PS3 which has a 500GB HDD installed. I have all my music and video files stored in one place; one place that is connected to a 42” TV, plus I can watch my Blu-rays and upscaled DVDs on it. Not only that, but with picture in picture, I can set my PS3 to play music while I happily game on my 360, so maybe a revision of the statement ‘PS3 is my favourite console’ is required. PS3 is my favourite entertainment system and I still prefer Sony as a company to Micro$oft, but the 360 is my preferred gaming platform.

After this revelation, I started to think more about the actual console war itself. Do other dual wielding console owners feel the same as me? Why do sole 360 owners like it so much? Does anyone just own a PS3? How many people made the step from Wii to their HD console of choice? These are all questions I received answers to when I asked the console gamers of Twitter a very simple question: what is your console of choice and why? I can’t say that the answers shocked me; most people preferred the 360, with the price and release date being the deciding factor, but what did surprise me was the lack of ‘fanboyism’. Maybe it’s because the people who follow me aren’t aresholes who spout “my console has a bigger dick than yours” style diatribes, or maybe it’s because fanboys are finally a dying breed, but below are some of the key points that were raised. Thanks to everyone who took part; you know who you are.

  • Out of the twelve people who took part, only two people prefer the PS3, one of whom uses the PS3 exclusively.
  • Out of the seven people who own both consoles, only one person prefers the PS3; this was mainly due to friends and family also owning the console.
  • The most popular reasons for choosing the Xbox 360 were the price and release date.
  • Only two people bought a Wii before getting 360 or a PS3; they both prefer the 360 to the PS3.
  • Out of the three people who stated that they preferred the PS2 to the original Xbox, only one preferred the PS3.
  • Only one person chose the 360 over the PS3 because of the games available.
  • Only two people mentioned the console wars. Both thought it was stupid.

So what have we learned? That Sony dropped the ball when pricing and releasing the PS3, that even die-hard Sony fans tend to prefer the 360, that most gamers don’t give a shit about the games a console has, that the Wii is pretty much just a stepping stone to HD gaming and that, on the whole, gamers don’t care about console wars anymore. While these results are far from conclusive, what with only 12 people out of the millions of console owners taking part, some of the figures are still pretty interesting, if a little unsurprising. It’ll certainly be fascinating to see if these trends continue when the next generation of consoles start to flood into our homes.

Last five articles by Iain



  1. Edward Edward says:

    I have to admit, back in 2005 I was a bit of a Nintendo fanboy, but did the majority of my gaming on the PS2. This all subsided around 2006 when the Wii and the 360 were out, and I managed to appreciate what Microsoft were doing with the console even though I didn’t particularly care for the original Xbox.
    I think a lot of it for me was yeah, the Wii was a stepping stone to the 360 (though I do still love my Wii and it gets regular usage due to the amazing first party library available) and I love the 360 and the ability to play with friends, but it comes down to something else.
    Sony couldn’t market the PS3 to me if the machine found me the girl of my dreams, won me the lottery, found Maddy McCann and made me the most successful comedian/actor/writer combination ever. Since the PS3 was announced, Sony have done everything they could to make sure that they buttfucked the marketing for the thing. You’re talking about the most powerful console on the market that embraced new technology before it was successful, was revolutionary at the time and was the sequel to one of the most successful consoles ever, and I saw how they marketed it and ruined the success of that and the PSP.
    There’s a Monty Python sketch where a man in advertising manages to get away with coming up with ridiculous advertising campaigns for a company that completely ruins their profits and reputation and he’s been doing it for a cheap laugh. That’s what Sony’s marketing division were doing for years until the Kevin Butler thing, and then they fucked it all up again with Marcus.

    The way Sony handled the PS3 and PSP (and PSPGo) and its marketing ALONE ruined any favour I had with the company and is the main reason I ended up siding with Microsoft and Nintendo.

    Otherwise, this is a great article Iain, glad to see you back on the site ;)

  2. Rook says:

    I hadn’t owned a Sega console until the Dreamcast and therefore have never spent much time with a Sonic game but have played most of the Mario platformers. I played alot of games on PS1, PS2, Xbox, SNES, N64 and also a handful on GameCube, PSP, DS. Currently I have the 3 main consoles of this generation but do spent the majority of my gaming time with the Xbox 360. Even going back to my younger days I owned a Commdore 64 while my friend owned a Spectrum 48k and I happily played games on both.

    I’ll happily play games on whichever console has the game I want to play, the only gaming platform I haven’t spent a great deal with is the PC.

  3. Joeydale13 says:

    I am also a Dual owner.

    I had a 360 when it was released but traded it in as soon as the PS3 came out and got that on launch day. I reacquired a 360 in September 2010 as i really wanted to play Mass Effect. In that time i have picked up 2 games on the PS3 and 6 games on the 360…I even traded in my Black Ops on PS3 to get it on 360 as more of my friends are online with the 360.

    I think you got it spot on Iain, Sony is the best Entertainment Centre and the 360 is the better gaming console…especially if you do play games online, party chat is something that Sony has not picked up on and even tried to implement…The PS3 may even have picked up a few more customers (in my humble opinion) if they included a similar feature.

  4. Lee says:

    I love fanboy wars just to annoy the other person if for nothing else. I chopped my PS3 in because it was just attracting dust and the pad was too light and because the trigger buttons are stupid and because I got sick of spending an hour updating a game every time I wanted to play. So I’ve got a lot of hate for the PS3 at the moment, that said I’ll do the same thing I do every console cycle and switch my allegiances in the last third of the generation and start hating on the other one.

  5. Richie rich says:

    Despite my epic whoringness, originally I was going to get a PS3. I was a huge fan of the PS1 and 2. But then Sony fucked up and delayed it for six months in this territory, just as Microsoft were releasing screenshots of Dead Rising. The rest, as they say, was history.

    Thing is, PS3 fanboys are the worst kind. Absolute scum in fact. My site gave Killzone 2 a good, but not great, review and we got swamped by c*nts (and I mean that word in its fullest extent) because 7/10 apparently just isn’t good enough.

    As my buddy once said “only an idiot gets attached to his purchases.”

    That’s why I write for gamers rather than for publishers and console manufacturers because I’m a gamer. You are not what you own.

  6. Kat says:

    Fanboys can fuck off. I (now) own both consoles and yet to get stuck into the backlog of PS3 games but I don’t regret buying it. I never felt the Sonic vs Mario vibe at school and I played both – Sonic on my Game Gear and Mario on the SNES. The closest I ever came across it was with the Amiga and Atari owners. I loved my Atari but most people seemed to own an Amiga. Whether it’s in gaming, music or film, like whatever you like but the moment you start slagging off others purely for their taste or choices you’re a prick.

  7. Adam Adam says:

    Haven’t much stomach for fanboys and I’m glad that it’s all going to come to and end soon enough. The main reason that we favour consoles is because their are some games we want to play and some games we just don’t care for. When buying the console, thats what a gamer surely looks at first. An extra 50 quid here so that we can play game X here is surely 50 quid worth spending rather than having to wait in a vain hope for the game to maybe come to the alternate choice six months on.

    If I had the money, I’d own a PS3 just so I was able to play that handful of other games that are denied to me because of some purile bidding war where the developer was succesfully courted by the other party and then asked to read from their holy bible as a thankyou.

    I love my 360 and I love the 360 exclusives. I like live, I don’t like paying for it. I don’t care much for Blu-ray, I prefer movie streaming. I have a love-film subscription, I could make use of that on a PS3. PS3 has a naff (by comparison) live service, but it’s free. Not only that but soon they’re getting into bed with Steam and maybe, maybe they’ll have Steam babies. Then I’d want a PS3.

    It’s sad that you have to pick a side in the console war, yo’re not simply allowed to walk down the middle throwing daisies and singing the Swiss national anthem. Theirs no reasoning with a fanboy.


  8. Lorna Lorna says:

    Even back in the days when I championed Nintendo, I still very much enjoyed the Sega Megadrive because it offered things that Ninty didn’t, i.e a lack of censorship for blood in games like Mortal Kombat and even the intro screen for Zombies (Nintendo coloured the fucking blood green on that one). While I posess a dislike of some consoles more than others (Wii), I still appreciate the merits of the others. I am primarily a PC/Xbox360 gamer, however, it is possibly because there just isn’t enough time to fully get invested in the PS3. I own one and am itching to play a number of its great games such as Drake’s Fortune and Heavy Rain, but time is an issue.

    As for the fanboys though, the visciousness is pretty fucking astounding at times… I’m with Rich on this one… the PS3 fanboys are a lot worse for some reason. A few of the gaming forums that I was a apart of had a few review score bitchers (who would also regularly accuse the mag’s writers of bias based on the number of Xbox/PS3 covers) and it was usually always the PS3 guys – as are some of the nastiest comments that you tend to see on reviews which get 7 or less. Whether it is because there are more teen and juvy PS3 owners would be interesting to know, it may well be a factor.

  9. Mark R MarkuzR says:

    Fanboys eh? Yeah, I’ve met a shitload of them in my time… I always find it weird that there are those who can’t accept that people will like what they like and try to make it into something more than what it actually is. I do find the whole console wars thing fascinating though because they’re essentially just going to all be non-expandable PCs under a different skin regardless of who makes them.

    The reason I bought an XBox is because I just liked the graphics. That’s it. I got one, I didn’t use it very much… played Morrowind, Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis but beyond that just had a couple of hours on Destroy All Humans and the uber shit Robot Wars game. I’ve never been a console gamer until the XBox 360 came out and I got completely immersed in Oblivion. Now, the only reason I use the XBox 360 over the PS3 is that I actually HAVE games for the XBox and all my mates play co-op on the XBox so there’s not much reason for me to switch over to the PS3. I don’t hate the PS3, even though I see it as being an overpriced bread-bin, but that’s just because ours doesn’t get used at all. If we used it, it’d be no different to the XBox.

    Fanboys can kiss my arse.

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