Don't be a pretentious jerk


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Does Fanboyism Carry Over?

The gaming industry moves at a lightening pace. In my time as a gamer I’ve witnessed many different technologies come and go as well as the rise and fall of various hardware manufacturers and software developers. Each of these devices/companies has or has had a legion of fans at their back but, if the loyalty of the fans was as strong as some would have you believe, how come Sega stopped producing hardware or the Gamecube didn’t do as well as it should?

The fact that one console can dominate an entire generation only to have its successor do roughly half as well (but still very well despite circumstances) is evidence that even the most loyal fanboy can ‘switch sides’ in the turning of a hardware generation. This and more suggests to me that there is almost a ‘blank slate’ at the beginning of each console generation. Of course, having a legion of die-hard fans is a factor that can help a fledging console get off the ground but, it seems to me that, the console itself, its launch games and marketing are what truly matters and the fickle fans will turn on the drop of a hat.

The rise and fall and rise (and fall?) of Nintendo is an excellent example of how ‘bad’ decisions during the development of a console can come at the cost of the ‘loyal’ fanbase. I put the word ‘bad’ in that last sentence in inverted commas for a reason, which I’d like to highlight now. It’s hard to call the decisions of a manufacturer bad when they have to pretty much guess what people want from them. It’s like having to plan your meals five years in advance; you don’t know what you might fancy next week let alone years down the line. This is made worse by the fact that the consumer doesn’t even know what the hell they want either, take the Wii for example, the majority of gamers were against the very idea of it at first but now it’s this generations highest selling console. All this goes to show how, with the coming of a new generation of hardware, there follows a level of uncertainty that far outweighs any amount of fanboyism.

I’m getting into this now because I think that next year will possibly see, at least, the unveiling of ‘next gen’ consoles as well as the launch of the Wii U and many people will base their estimates on how well a follow-up console will do depending on how well its predecessor did. This is probably a mistake; however, there are some nuggets of wisdom to be mined from the lessons of the past. Take a look at hardware failure rates this generation; how many people will be picking the next Xbox knowing what happened to the 360 early on in its life-cycle? As a usual early adopter myself I will be looking for MS to offer an extended warranty from the get-go before I repeat my mistakes. Anyway my point is that pretty much anything can happen with every generational step and you should go into each with an open mind as to which console best deserves your hard earned cash (if you can only afford one). It’s a lesson that I probably won’t even heed myself as I tend to pick up any new hardware on launch, like the tech-whore sucker that I am, but I recommend anyone with a stronger will to really think about it.

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coolbeans2333d ago

To answer your title, it does for a healthy majority imo. I think your examples prove just how few "die-hard fans" there are in comparison to the numbers of consumers who just want X console becuase that's what my friends have/will have. Given that this is the first generation with a superfluous amount of avenues for fanboys to "display their loyalty", we'll see just how rooted in a future console some people will be (despite not knowing everything it's going to offer).

Personal prediction: I imagine some people will talk about "The Cell 2" for the PS4 around E3. Where I would've initially thought this would be an announcement to a terrible Inception-like movie made in...the early 2000's, I now know this arbitrarely bestowed name originally given at PS3's announcement is referring to the PS4's components. Along with this comes speculation that this new device shall rival super-computers 20 years from now.

Chaostar2333d ago

Yeah I'm pretty sure there will be carefully marketed exaggerations from all parties, which will be parroted ad nauseam.

Just to clarify your answer to my title question, you meant that you think the majority of fanboys will make the transition to the corresponding console, no questions asked?

You could be right, who really knows, but I guess my main point is that the reasons that they are fanboys of a particular brand in the first place may not exist after the changes of a new hardware generation take effect.

coolbeans2333d ago

To your question: Ummm...I'd say yes to majority (at least 51%), but not the vast majority (80%-90%).

Too right on your last sentence. Your points do stand, so I suppose it's just a wait and see sort of deal.

Interesting blog btw.

TopDudeMan2333d ago

It's all to do with the companies tendency to suck people into buying their console. Then they can have all the fans they want. I'm half asleep, so that didn't make much sense, but that's the way I see it.

Ducky2333d ago

The carry-over mostly depends on whether the next console has backward compatibility. If someone only had one console this gen, having the assurance that their current games will remain playable is usually enough to keep them sticking to the same brand.

Other than that, humans are selfish creatures, and they'll usually go for the cheaper deal (or whatever they feel gives them the most bang for the buck)

Fanboyism will still be there as the people who buy the more expensive system will try to justify their purchase by bashing the cheaper platform, while those that bought the cheaper platform will try to comfort themselves by arguing that they're happy with what they have.
These kinds of fanboys don't really have any loyalties. They just want to feel like they made the right choice, and usually, these kind fanboys are the loudest as well.

rob60212332d ago

About the 'more expensive system' argument: I think that kind of justification is going to be there regardless if one is more expensive than the other. People will defend their own investment regardless of how much it was, because to a lot of people they require significant initial investment. I know some fanboys get hostile defending paying for online access for instance.

Rage_S902332d ago

Yes, i have been recruiting in the name of my lord and saviour Ken Kutagari in preparation for the coming war.

death2smoochie2330d ago

"Take a look at hardware failure rates this generation; how many people will be picking the next Xbox knowing what happened to the 360 early on in its life-cycle? As a usual early adopter myself I will be looking for MS to offer an extended warranty from the get-go before I repeat my mistakes."

People bought the PS3 from the get go, yet the early PS2 had DRE...
People bought the PS2 from the get go, yet the early PS1'a had disk drive issues also.

If you're a gamer you will buy the consoles regardless.

Chaostar2330d ago

"If you're a gamer you will buy the consoles regardless."

Are you saying that being a gamer means you have to buy every bit of hardware released without question? If so I disagree.

I'm fairly sure there were people who had issues with the PS2 and took that knowledge into consideration when purchasing their next console.

To be fair to PS2, out of the 150m+ consoles sold, there was never an issue with hardware on the scale of RROD. Yes there were problems but, when you take into consideration the amount sold, the percentage is way below that of early 360 failures.