Hello and welcome once again to the Weekly Grind. This week, we deal with a problem that has been around for over a decade: System Loyalty. Stemming from the days of Super Nintendo vs. Sega Genesis, system loyalty has become a real pain in the butt for those of us who can see that all game systems have something to offer. The silly debates went on and on as the PSX entered the market and they’re once again flaring up as the new consoles hit the scene. This time things seem even worse than usual; is it really the store clerk’s place to tell you that you shouldn’t be buying an Xbox because he or she thinks it will tank? Oh, sorry, I thought your store WANTED business. Thankfully, I haven’t encountered this situation myself, but I’ve heard more than a few stories from others who have.

Every console and manufacturer has its share of fanboys who believe that other companies are unworthy of being in stores next to their favorite console. I know I’ve had my experiences with this sort of thing; two of my friends are Nintendo fanboys…bigtime. I get pretty ticked when they start rippin’ on my PS2 and my future Xbox. When I first got my Dreamcast one of them went nuts and started yelling about how I shouldn’t have bought one and that it was “a piece of crap.” Ah, but I knew better. When we got back to my house and started playing he was forced to calm down. That night when we all went to bed he was up playing the Dreamcast into the wee hours of the morning… hmmm, I guess the Dreamcast isn’t that bad for a “piece of crap.” It’s so obvious that these loyalist freaks haven’t even played the competition enough to know what they’re talking about. I’m not saying that you can’t have a favorite, but everyone should realize that every system has some good games on it.

For months now, my PS2 has been the target of their retarded babbling saying that, “it doesn’t even have one good game.” Well, both my friends liked Twisted Metal: Black and Grand Theft Auto 3. Finally, with GTA 3 they’re beginning to see the light as one of them said, “I want to buy a PS2 just to play this game!” Yeah, that’s what I thought, PS2 rocks, huh? For a year now I’ve been defending SSX against vicious attacks and now that Tricky is coming out for the GameCube, guess what game suddenly looks “pretty good”. There’s just no excuse for that kind of thing, what makes a game any better just because it will be on GameCube? Actually, the GCN version will be a little worse than the PS2 and Xbox versions because those will have extra features for you to view, just like a DVD.

The most recent target of this console bashing is the newcomer, the Xbox. So what if it’s a little bit larger than the other consoles? OK, so the controller blows, I can’t even begin to argue against that, but I imagine that after some playing time you should get used to it. I don’t really care how big the thing is or how dumb the controller is; as long as I get to play DoA3 and Halo, I’ll be just fine. The other day I was at the local Babbages playing the Munch’s Oddysee demo and a teenage couple walked up behind me. I heard the girl say, “An Xbox? What’s that?” When I explained to her that it was Microsoft’s new console she said, “Huh, I’ve never heard of it, how stupid.” And with that they walked away. What the heck is that all about? I mean, she just said that she’d never heard of it, how would she know if it was stupid? Her boyfriend wasn’t any better; he just kind of stood there and laughed at it. Ugh… how can anyone be so dumb?

Folks, now is the time to put all this nonsense behind us. As long as you can play good games, are you really going to care how the letters on the front of your console are arranged? Huh, I doubt it. The fact is that every console has good games on it and when you trash one you’re only making yourself sound like an idiot. I realize that not everyone can afford to buy all the consoles out there, and therefore, you must choose which one you’ll enjoy the most, but that doesn’t mean you have to put down the other systems. Everyone should be free to decide what they want to spend their money on, so don’t go knockin’ the products other people want to buy. I know we’ll hear plenty of bickering in the next few months, but hopefully some of you will refrain from joining the fray with your newfound knowledge, so go in peace my friends.

By Ryan Schaefer – 01/09/02

Screenshots for Weekly Grind: System Loyalty