There are currently seven different gaming platforms out on the market: computer (PC, Mac, Linux, etc), DS, PS2, PS3, PSP, Wii, and Xbox 360. That’s a quite a lot of consoles if you ask me, but like any console generation, these consoles share a lot of games. Majority of playable games on the 360, I’m sure you could also find a PC version, a PS3 version or even a DS version of that game. This is a gaming generation unlike any other when more than at least 95% of the gaming library is multiplatform. Even some games considered as “exclusives” can be found to be multiplatform, especially in regards to those 360 games that can also be found on the PC. Gaming has evolved in a lot of ways as well so in many cases, many of these multiplatform games are of high quality and at times be even more worthwhile purchases than exclusives.
So why am I mentioning all this?
Well, I think that’s just one of the many reasons why while we have so many gaming platforms to choose from, just having one – at least the main HD systems like computer, PS3, or Xbox 360 – may actually be enough.
I personally only own the PSP, 60gb PS3 (thus, it can play PS2 and PSX games as well), and a really crappy laptop that can’t play anything more graphically demanding than an Xbox game like Fable, and only at the lowest settings. I used to have a Nintendo DS but I ended up losing it (I think it fell out of my backpack somehow). Now, it is true that I’ve had experiences with the other consoles since one of my closest friends is a video game collector but even so, I think I would be perfectly happy with just owning and playing on one of these consoles. Even with just the PSP or the PS3, there are still many great games to play on those system that it can be easy to ignore the other systems.
I guess having just one console or system would make fanboys out of us but with the gaming market so oversaturated (average of 300 games get released every single month), I think it’s inevitable that we come to consider one of our systems as the “main” console. If that’s the case, then perhaps it’s more economical to invest on just one console and buy games solely for that console. This would be a hard concept to accept for video game collectors but really, who needs and even has time for all video game platforms? Even discounting the handheld systems, there”s just far too many games for a single person to handle.
When owning multiple consoles, it’s only natural to have an obligation to buy games for all those consoles. Imagine owning a high-end PC, a PS3, and the Wii. Buying games for all three would be a very expensive feat and beyond that, it also requires a lot of leisure time. What is likely to happen is that the Wii would probably be left unplayed and collect dust for months while PC gets the dominant play time with the PS3 being played once in while when a good new exclusive comes out for it. For people with money, this doesn’t seem that big a deal, but really, if that’s the likely scenario then it’s kind of a shame that there wouldn’t be return investment on money that was spent so much on the PS3 and on the Wii.
Every gamer has that fantasy of owning every gaming console and trying out all the hot new games that come out and having a blast with all of them but while that’s a really sweet dream, I don’t think it’s a must. I think it may actually simply be much more beneficial, at least for regular consumers, to enjoy one or two platforms fully, instead of buying all these consoles with a lot of them acting as nothing more than dust collectors and placeholders.
Maybe I’m only speaking for myself here, but I mostly just play with my PS3 and my PSP and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. In fact, I’m quite enjoying it.