The Modern Console Wars

The Modern Console Wars

Years ago as a child I remember the console races well. I was born in 1986, shortly after Nintendo released the NES, and from there I was introduced to the Master System as well as the SEGA Genesis console. Obviously at the age of 1 month old I wasn’t playing games but my mother introduced me to them at a young age (Thanks Mom!). I do remember some of my first games being Zelda and Mario of course but I didn’t understand then what I understand now about the console wars. Nintendo and Sega were the heavy weights of gaming and the games they released were mostly proprietary involving the likes of Mario, Sonic, Zelda etc.

Today’s version of the console wars is a lot more complicated than it was then, today AAA titles are easily available across platforms so what do I mean by the modern console war? I mean the explosion in digital content and distribution, which for myself being a PC Master race kind of guy is lead in my humble opinion by Steam. Steam has truly pioneered the digital distribution of games on the PC for many years now uncontested until recently. Personally I remember the first real jab at Steam coming from EA when they launched Origin and started limiting titles on Steam (July 2011). Though I felt no real threat to Steam from Origin I think it exposed to some an area of opportunity in an otherwise monopolized market. was and still mostly just a proprietary distributor and launcher, they are owned by Activision Blizzard so it makes sense that games such as “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare” are mixed with “World of Warcraft”, so no real threat there either though it was also an early pioneer in my opinion. The true modern day competitor of Steam, that has been throwing major blows, is Epic Games Launcher. Though they are often shunned by most Steam loyalists, they are throwing a great deal of money and effort into competing seriously with Steam, giving away a bunch of games for free.  Which is great if you are one of the ones like myself who believes competition will drive good innovation to an otherwise stagnant Steam.

I have a 5 digit steam ID because I’ve had steam for over 16 years, so believe me when I say it to this day isn’t far from what it was originally, the new UI refresh was great and LONG overdue. Don’t get me wrong there is still a great deal of room for improvement for Steam, and with Epic pushing the envelope with things such as exclusive launches of AAA games or offering other great indie games for free I truly believe it will force Steams hand in modernizing and competing.

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