Going back to when Nintendo and Sega were still freshly emerging as the dominant household names for video game entertainment you’d be hard pressed to find kids asking “why can’t they have Mario on their Sega?’ Instead the dominant conversation can be summed up in one excellent two page spread for the Sega Genesis “Genesis Does What Nintendon’t” It was a brutal ad with its striking bold letters that would be the basis that comes with any fandom for video games in the dubious (and I cringe saying this) console wars. Now it’s 2018 and the idea of console wars is laughable. Holding on to such a petty thing to begin with is a waste of energy. Where does that energy go then? Well, it goes to asking things like “why can’t y-game be on on x-console” (not an Xbox reference). Which is not a question we should be asking games at all.
It’s understandable that this question gets asked. I myself have asked this question in the past, but it’s not something to be focused on. It’s part of the territory when it comes to video games. We as the audience should understand that certain titles are going to align with certain consoles. Yet, still the masses will rise to say why won’t this game come to this console? Give us this game! It feeds into a stereotype of childish fantasies that are unhealthy, not propelling video games as a medium forward. Video games no matter the title, no matter the platform should be praised and criticized based on the merits being shown.
The most recent example of this can be seen in Monster Hunter: World. While previous titles in the Monster Hunter series have come to Nintendo platforms, World did not make it to the Switch. This was easily cleared up in an interview with IGN where it’s stated that it was already deep in development long before the Switch was announced. To back up even further Capcom had no intention of bringing it elsewhere, they also say that when developing a game, they think critically about which platform will fit their vision best. Even if Capcom did eventually bring World to Switch it would be a huge undertaking and cut into core beliefs for the company. It’s not to say a Monster Hunter won’t come to the Switch, just not this particular game and it’s nice seeing a company stand by their own integrity. Capcom is proud in the game they delivered.
The other major part of this it that it falls on the players to take responsibility for how they play games. Being the consumer after all is choice. If it means giving up not playing certain games, own that, and be happy in the games that will be played. There are limitless options for how to play games. Whether it’s through a standard console platform like a PlayStation 4, a PC built yourself or even just browsing through Itch.io, there are so many ways to play games. To crowd that with noise demanding that every game be everywhere doesn’t add anything to an otherwise healthy conversation. Scroll through any forum and the first thing noticed will be the dialogue happening around games. It’s constructive, friendly and fun.
The worst offender of this at the moment might be the Nintendo Switch crowd. Yes, I’m calling you out. The Switch has had a wildly successful first year and beyond, but part of the buzz around it also needs to back right off. The demand that every game come to Switch is trite. This is the most direct example when it comes to stereotypical narcissistic child-like tendencies. It also doesn’t set a good example for the younger crowd that is playing the console. How does it look when a bunch of adults are all screaming the same thing into the void at one of the friendliest names in video games?
Having every game on every console isn’t the best idea, honestly. Much like Capcom stated, developers are always thinking about what platforms will fit their game best. It’s also not unreasonable to understand developers having varying opinions on the subject; some will say the would love their games on every console, some might tell you otherwise. It all comes down to what will deliver the best experience. Why would anyone want to play a game that finally ported to another platform only to have it break?
Be happy in the platforms you do have and enjoy the games that can be played on those platforms. If a certain game on another platform does make it to your favorite, enjoy that too! Think of it like gift, because most likely, it is. Developers work hard enough, having their audience yell at them to bring their game to such and such platform is just rude and no way to thank them for working so hard on the games we love.