The Psychology Of Console Loyalty And Brand Fanboyism

GR: Undying console loyalty—or for the lack of a better term, fanboyism—has plagued the industry since its inception. In the early '90s it was the epic feud between Genesis lovers and SNES loyalists, shortly followed thereafter by Sony's entry in the gaming market, which birthed a community of PlayStation loyalists hell-bent against all in favor of the Nintendo 64 or Dreamcast. And judging by how cluttered the internet has become with ranting and raving on whether the PS3 or Xbox 360 is the superior console, not a whole lot has changed since the early days—if anything, it has only gotten worse.

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NYC_Gamer2082d ago (Edited 2082d ago )

I don't have any brand loyalty.. i'll buy any piece of hardware that offers quality content..It's about the software not the logo on the machine.

knifefight2082d ago

I wish more people thought and acted like this. ^

Shadow Flare2082d ago (Edited 2082d ago )

Tell that to the android fanboys. I've never seen fanboyism on that level before. Far worse then I ever saw with playstation and xbox

Army_of_Darkness2082d ago (Edited 2082d ago )

Umm, I think you mean the isheeps. android owners aren't blinded by an apple logo. Pay more for less, umm, I don't think so.

BrutallyBlunt2082d ago

@Army of Darkness

People tend to support Apple because they want something easy to use and in a more safe environment. It's a lot more closed off than Android and that can be a good thing or a bad thing, all depending on how much you want to exploit the hardware and how dirty you want to get your hands versus having things just work. Apple's software is structured in such a way that it becomes familiar going from one product to the other. It's like PC fanboys versus console gamers. One offers so much more flexibility but it comes att he cost of the player having to do a little more work. It also comes at the cost of not having every game feel like they belong with one another as far as stat tracking/achievements and online play. On the console it works within the device but it's limited.

To me it's very hard to be a fanboy or loyal to any one product or any one company. There are so many products out there that may do something better. That's why to me it's always go to keep your options open. Every company has faltered. From Atari to Nintendo all the way up to Microsoft. Apple used to struggle at one point too.

This generation it has been very hard to remain loyal. 3rd party exclusives were hard to come by, motion controls added new ideas, online serbices expanded, there was a lot of hardware issues, games are always needing fixing now and patches, hardware is always needing updating, the stagnant of new ideas and the glut of sequels. Right now there really is no reason to remain loyal. Anything can happen with the upcoming generation. We are also seeing things like games requiring online codes, free to play games, DLC still trying to do things the right way. Lots of things going on and we also have to look at the stableness of these companies. Nintendo for the first time recored losses. Sony has huge financial issues, Onlive is still in question, Microsoft is trying to changes things with Windows 8.

To me the companies in the best position right now are Steam and Apple. However Apple isn't very committed to gaming. They don't finance any game development and it's not really a threat at this point to PC/console gaming.

Shadow Flare2082d ago (Edited 2082d ago )

@army of darkness

Thanks for proving my point so well

iPhone is a brilliant phone. I'll leave it as that.

Why can't you?

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alexcosborn2082d ago

That's a great way to be :)

Sev2082d ago

I'm brand loyal, but it's because of quality or certain attributes that make me so.

For example, I like Polo or any clothing by Ralph Lauren, simply because it fits my frame and shape better than other clothing. I'm also brand loyal to Nike, certain food brands, Apple, restaurants, etc.

Brand loyalty doesn't have to be a blind, unwavering dedications, or an excuse to argue with others, but it certainly exists within all of us.

Not just brand loyalty, but team, city, etc. It's natural. Even you, not brand loyal as you say (which I'm not doubting if you say that), are loyal to New York City. Enough to have your username branded with it. That's not a bad thing at all, in fact I'm heading to NYC on Thursday for the Wii U event. I love that city. But Boston is where the heart is for me.

Loyalty exists, and that's just fine. But it doesn't give anyone the right to be an ass just because someone else's loyalty lies elsewhere.

Really a great article, and perfect for intelligent discussion like this.

ape0072082d ago

yep but u can't get 100% unbiased, we are all human after all

Phil322082d ago

Then you are an abnormality on gaming sites.

DarkBlood2082d ago

true that in fact i go to a point in my mind where i dont say this system sucks or this does better then that etc etc

i like to own all consoles and portables if i can

pixelsword2082d ago (Edited 2082d ago )

Speaking of phychology, this "writer" is trying to talk about people who suffer from cognitive dissonance, but he's not getting it right because he's not hitting the issues right.

The "problem" with game loyalty (as opposed to just about everything else that has the same degree of loyalty) is that the people who complain about fans aren't often able to get what that fan has, so they go and try to shoot-down a person who has what they can't have, whether it be in terms of software, reputation, hardware, or base loyalty.

What I have noticed is that Sony fans have acceptance issues (which I also and often complained about), but they generally don't often have cognitive dissonance (although, of course, there are some in every crowd). To have cognitive dissonance you have to feel awkward about having conflicting views about two things. Sony fans like Sony products above all other brands, and therefore there isn't any conflict of interests to be had. Now, if they also like the PC or xbox, then it's just that: they merely also like another brand.

Genesis, some xbox, sometimes wii, and for some baffling reason some PC fans have cognitive dissonance because despite the advantage of what each brand offers over Sony's brands, they don't have the reputation, games (in number and/or perceived quality), or the fan loyalty that Sony has (despite any missteps Sony may have had which I also complained about), and therefore to resolve that conflict they would have to actually buy a PS3 to resolve that issue, but for whatever psychological or financial reason they don't and therefore feel the need to debase either the PS3, Sony, or Sony fans. The ONLY reason I come to this conclusion is that I'm sure you've seen on many websites where there is a person rampantly campaigning about Sony or the PS3 but all of a sudden there's an about-face in their attitude... AFTER they purchase a PS3, and THAT'S the resolution to the conflict I've been talking about.

In short, all fans are loyal, but Sony has a reputation of being "cutting-edge" and full of features above other consoles, and PC fans jumped-in when consoles brought out a few games that looked comparable to PC games, and in some instances (Gran turismo 5, The Saboteur, for some time MAG's 256 players in a game) matched or excelled PC performance in a category or effect.

But as far as "fanboysim", it's everywhere: like Republican over Democratic fanboys, or LA Lakers over Chicago Bulls fanboys, or Cadillac over Lincoln fanboys, or Simpsons over Family Guy fanboys.

You barely hear sports fans talking about "everyone should love every team" or "I think everyone should buy every car" although there are probably rare and extreme examples of each existing.

Brand loyalty is when you constantly eat at Burger King instead of McDonald's, or when you go to Starbucks over Biggby, or when you buy Adidas over Nike: you go back to the brand that gives you the better experience, and there's nothing wrong with that.

Other forms of lesser logic will tell you that although you don't want to buy something else as much, you SHOULD purchase it for no rational reason other than some non-existent peer pressure.

knifefight2082d ago

Why is "writer" in "quotes?" Was not a thing written? I guess it was probably typed but dude....

Anyway, in response to:
"You barely hear sports fans talking about "everyone should love every team" or "I think everyone should buy every car" although there are probably rare and extreme examples of each existing."

Are Microsoft and Sony sports teams, then? Are they in a contest that you can "win"? So...I should cheer for another business to do...what, exactly? I should cheer for Sony or Microsoft or Nintendo to declare bankruptcy? Is...that what you're getting at?

Sports teams and sales products are not the same. This isn't some TV game show where you win a contest by selling more than the other guy. Competition does not equal a contest.

pixelsword2082d ago (Edited 2082d ago )

"Why is 'writer' in 'quotes?' Was not a thing written?"

If I have to explain that one to ya... aw, forget it; I probably do.

Grammar 101.3, Quotation Marks:

When quotes are around a single word it, it can mean that the word is being used in a special or peculiar way and that it really means something else.


"Are Microsoft and Sony sports teams, then?"

No, they are products, just like any sports team. Oh, wait; you must think the owners are in it for the love of the game with $80 tickets and $12 cups of beer.

"Are they in a contest that you can "win"? "

What are you reading to come to that conclusion? I didn't say that, you're just going off on some odd tangent. Since you wish to go there though, you look at the ton of articles stating what Microsoft or Sony has to do to "win E3", have a game "win GOTY", or comes in first, second,or third in sales and you tell me if the industry and it's commentators think these corporations are in a contest they can "win".

"So...I should cheer for another business to do...what, exactly?"

Again, you tell me, I didn't say anything about anyone cheering; that's just you getting weird again. Yet again, since you went there, there's crowds of people doing just that at every E3. All of the things you're asking about are already being done, so what's your point, anyways?

knifefight2081d ago

Oh I realize that you're trying to insult the writer. The grammatical use of quotation marks was not in question, but rather YOUR usage of it was in question.

If you disagree with something, hey, cool, but to go trying to imply that someone isn't really qualified to do their job because you disagree with them is a little bit silly. ;)

The best part was that you passive-agreessively dodged that question by answering a grammatical point that you knew I wasn't asking about. Classy.

pixelsword2081d ago (Edited 2081d ago )

No, it's silly if someone's going to do an article about the psychology of something and doesn't use any actual psychological terms.

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insertcoin2082d ago

Fanboyism is an extremist religion. Don't let the terrorists win.

dbjj120882082d ago

By terrorists you mean N4G commenters.

PopRocks3592082d ago (Edited 2082d ago )

I'd be lying if I said I possessed no brand loyalty. Anyone who follows my comments knows I am a big Nintendo fan and I tend to gravitate toward their platforms and games.

However, I have tastes that expand beyond that. I own a PC that can play a few games, a PS3 and a 360. I love my PS3. I love the games I play on it. I used to love my 360, but after it broke and I had to go through three more, I'm done with Microsoft's faulty products and lousy online service.

I've purchased a bunch of HD collections on the PS3 and even bought some multiplatform games (Brutal Legend and Borderlands to name a couple) I used to own on 360 so I could play them online without having to pay for anything. It's actually pretty awesome.

I also defended Sony during the hack attack a couple summers ago. I felt it was stupid to blame them for something that could have just as easily happened to Microsoft or Nintendo.

Basic point: I like what I like and I don't like what I don't like. I have my preferences, but that doesn't stop me from approaching new and different things from time to time. Just because I like Nintendo games doesn't mean I don't like Sony games or PC games or at one point Microsoft games.

knifefight2082d ago

Something tells me the people this article is about won't be posting comments here.

Sev2082d ago

Agreed. Maybe a few, but they'll likely be flagged for trolling.

Good, because there is some great discussion beginning here already.

HonestDragon2082d ago

I agree. I admit that I have loyalty to Sony and prefer getting multiplatform games for the PS3. For me, I prefer having the hard drive already available from the get go, their exclusives, and I like how games look on it. The only games I have for the Xbox 360 are Dead Rising, Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2, and the Gears of War franchise. Other than that, the majority of what I have is on PS3.

I have my PC as well for a few games. Nintendo has some of the most addictive, yet creative games I've ever seen. New Super Mario Bros. 2 is so much fun.

"I also defended Sony during the hack attack a couple summers ago. I felt it was stupid to blame them for something that could have just as easily happened to Microsoft or Nintendo."

I defended Sony as well. It was stupid that people were up in arms over this. Think about it: a group of jerk hackers decided to work together to get onto PSN to steal private information of multiple users. It happens all of the time. Hackers got onto Xbox Live before (twice, if I remember right) and quite a few people hacked the Wii before PS3 and Xbox 360 debuted.

Fanboys just need to learn that not every system is perfect and everyone's personal taste will be different.

jerethdagryphon2082d ago

actual brand loyalty is a fairly interesting subject i could wax lyrical on for a while,
the true psychology often stems from what was in the house growing up price and availability.

coupled with style preferences and features, few people truly have brand loyalty in a sterotypical manner who only buy one brand of product in each type.

for instance i have a lg moniter and tv htc phone logic 3 speakers and and ps3

however when it comes to moniters iwill only buy samsung or lg when it comes to phones htc these patterns of purchesing are brand loyalty and is what other groups will try to entice away

often in grocerys better then leading brand is an attempt to sway loyalty while not understanding the causes.

ninjahunter2082d ago

I used to have brand loyalty, then i got a job.

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