How To Stop Getting Mad About Console Exclusivity And Live A Happier Life

Recently, Kotaku reported that the former PlayStation exclusive Horizon Zero Dawn will likely be coming to PC on both Steam and the Epic Games store. Normally, this would be a good thing, and to a lot of people it is. Ports are common in the video game industry, and allow more players to experience a great game. However, the response to the news hasn’t been universally positive. Many PlayStation fans are enraged by this move, and the response reveals something troubling about the nature of console loyalty.

Platform elitism has long plagued the gaming community. Gamers might argue about the specs of one console over another, but loyalty mostly comes down to the games. PlayStation fans like PlayStation because they can play exclusives like Horizon Zero Dawn, Nintendo fans appreciate the long-lasting brands, and PC fans choose their platform based on the wide variety of titles available.

This shouldn’t be an issue. Players can choose the console that works best for them. Of course, like many things that shouldn’t be an issue, it quickly became an issue. Rather than being a choice between which games they liked better, the issue of what console to buy quickly became a so-called console war that lasted multiple generations of consoles. Making choices turned into taking sides. Questions like “PlayStation or Xbox” turned into “PlayStation vs. Xbox,” with fans rabidly defending their choices in an almost cult-like manner. The resulting toxicity makes the gaming community a worse place to be, with bitter arguments over which side is the better one.

So, when console wars become heated fights over brand loyalty, what happens when the things that make the brands distinct start to disappear? As it turns out, lots of people get really mad. PlayStation fans have spoken out against the decision to port Horizon Zero Dawn to PC, even threatening to cancel pre-orders for unrelated PlayStation games.

This is disappointing, because there are no consumer downsides to ports. It expands a game’s player base, attracting new fans that didn’t have access to it before. Sometimes there are even other benefits to ports. Games getting ported to PC often spawns a whole new modding community. Switch ports let players bring the game on the go with them. This should be ideal. If someone is truly a fan of the games that they can get on PlayStation, shouldn’t other people getting the chance to experience them a good thing?

Unfortunately, console wars have shifted into corporate groveling. The issue is no longer about Horizon Zero Dawn, it’s about PlayStation “winning” because some fans have chosen PlayStation. By this logic, it is also about other platforms losing. Horizon Zero Dawn can’t come to PC because that would be good for PC players, and for people who have based their identity around choosing PlayStation over PC, this is unacceptable.

There’s a simple answer to this problem. You don’t have to care. Sony certainly does not care about you, and for that matter, neither does Microsoft or Nintendo or any other corporation. Their aim is to make money, and that is the sole purpose of console exclusives. Horizon Zero Dawn being a PlayStation exclusive was nothing but a way to make money, and Horizon Zero Dawn no longer being a PlayStation exclusive was someone else deciding they could make money elsewhere. You don’t need to dedicate yourself to arguing over different corporations’ marketing schemes.

At the very least, you don’t need to waste your time giving them free advertising.

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