Metacognition: Going Off-Brand

We’re back with our “thinking about thinking” series! If you’re interested in our previous deep thoughts, check out the Metacognition series.  Join us for some deep thoughts (and maybe the occasional not-so-deep thought) about gaming. If you find one you’d like to answer, you can either comment below or write a post and share the link so we can all read your fantastic thoughts!

Would you ever go off-brand (e.g., buy an Xbox, build a gaming PC, etc.)?

Why yes. Yes I would. I may go about it in a roundabout way, but I have no problem trying other brands, even though I do tend to have first-choice brands, if not exactly brand loyalty.

I actually recently picked up an Xbox 360 the other day, and it is nestled happily next to my Playstation 4. The reason, you may not be surprised to read, has to do with games more than hardware or anything else. The Xbox 360 has a bunch of games on it I want to play.

Image result for stick figure pulling away from computer

I know, right?

Remember how I’m playing Knights of the Old Republic? Well, that’s a PC game. I am not a PC gamer, and I found myself actually uncomfortable with the controls, with the camera often swinging wildly around or my character accidentally interacting with things when I meant to turn around. Sure, that’s totally my problem, but why suffer when I can play the game on a console?

So, in addition to my fancy new (used) Xbox 360 and wireless controller, I’ve recently added the following games to my to-play list:

  1. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
  2. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II
  3. Jade Empire
  4. Fatal Frame (or Project Zero outside of the USA)
  5. Fable
  6. Fable II
  7. Fable III

Oh, and I also picked up Lord of the Rings: The Third Age for GameCube, which is another console I don’t have but I’m cheating and using the Wii, so I’m not sure if that counts as going off-brand since I technically have Nintendo products…

Image result for lord of the rings third age
And more LotR is always better, right?

At any rate, I’m pretty excited to dive into KotOR on a console this time, and hopefully feel a little more confident with my progress.

My number one rule when it comes to video games that they need to be fun, and your set-up needs to work for you. While “console wars” are good in terms of bringing business competition, which is good for the consumer, they can also lead to the dreaded fanboy or fangirl. We’re all here to game, we’re all here to have fun, and for me, if that means I’m playing on a Playstation, Xbox, a Nintendo console, or even a PC (it’s true), that’s what is important to me.

What about you? Would you ever consider going “off-brand” for a gaming device? What would convince you, if not? Do you think console wars are harmful, or just a necessary part of business taken to the extreme by consumers? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll see you soon!
~Athena

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16 comments

  1. I don’t have an “on-brand”! If there’s a game somewhere that I want to play, if it is within my means to do so, I will find a way to play it. That means acquiring new hardware if necessary.

    Since the PS2 era, I have had each of the “big” platforms while they were current; this present generation is the first I haven’t done that, because there’s simply not enough unique stuff on Xbox One to make it a worthwhile purchase for me. Were an amazing game that is in my wheelhouse to come to Xbox One, however, I’d definitely consider it — though perhaps not for just *one* game.

    The only time I was really “on-brand” was back in the 8-bit computing days, when computers were quite expensive and thus it was rare for anyone to have multiple different platforms. We had Atari computers in our house in both the 8- and 16-bit era, so we felt something of a rivalry towards Commodore and Spectrum owners. I didn’t resent or hate them, however; in fact, I was always quite curious to play some games that were exclusive to those platforms that I never got to try on the Atari. It wouldn’t be until the dawn of emulation that I really got a chance to do that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah I do tend toward Sony’s consoles, but mostly because the Playstation came out before the Xbox did, more than some profound love I have for Sony. It’s what I’m most used to and I haven’t been given a reason to change. I’d prefer to have the console that has the games I want to play, and I think that’s the best way to be.

      I think most reasonable gamers feel the same way as you do, insofar as you needed to “stick” with a brand because it was too expensive to have multiple consoles (etc.), but there was no resentment towards others. I loved playing on my friend’s Sega, even though we tended toward the Nintendo consoles.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m in an odd position with it in that I’ve never paid attention to the console wars. I just buy the systems I want to own, based on the games. It was the same as a kid in the 16-Bit era, a bunch of us just had different consoles, and we all got to experience all the games as a result.
    Technically though I did tend to buy SEGA consoles. I never got a Saturn because they didn’t stock them in my area, so kinda went off-brand for a PS1. After that though we had a PS2 and a Dreamcast. Eventually, it expanded to include an N64 and GameCube too. So I guess really, I’ve never been – and am not likely to be – someone who goes off-brand simply because I don’t stick with one entirely anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Probably it’s because the time when I was a “gamer” was 25 years ago and I could only afford an NES and I’ve started playing again in these years but I can’t see any problem in switching between platforms. Since my collecting goals (hence gaming goals) are still undefined I own different platforms that has always competed one against the other: NES and Master System, N64 and Playstation, PS2 and Xbox and now PS4 against Xbox One against Switch but I don’t have any problem to play games on one or on the other. At the moment I’m more oriented on Xbox games probably because I’ve received an Xbox One as a gift and I already had a 360 and a lot of games for it. On the other hand if we go back to an older generation of consoles I prefer the PS1 instead of all of the competitors, even if I was a “Nintendo boy”. Probably I’m taking it too simple but I don’t see that much difference between a game released for the PS4 or the Xbox One today. Sometimes probably it’s just lazyness as it happens with people who keep buying Samsung smartphones because they’re accustomed with Android and refuse to switch to an iPhone (and I’m one of them)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey! Haven’t seen you around for awhile 🙂 I think you have a point about switching around, even if we’re used to one console or another. I tend to ebb and flow with what I play on, as well, although I do tend toward the Playstation. That is, however, probably due more to familiarity (like with your Samsung example) than any real crazy brand loyalty. I think it’s perfectly fine to go off-brand or not have a brand at all, as long as what you’re doing makes you happy and you can play the games you want!

      Regarding Xbox One and the PS4, you have a point that they release pretty much the same games. It seems like they each have a few exclusives to their names, and for me that always winds up being the deciding factor since I can’t purchase two current-generation consoles.

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    1. I think that’s the best way to be. All the gaming systems have great titles on them, so as long as they are scratching a person’s gaming itch, that’s what’s most important. And you’re right that only companies benefit when people blindly buy one brand or another.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I do wish platform exclusive games weren’t a thing so gamers can enjoy whatever they want on their preferred platform, you know? I totally get the solid business case for the practice, though. Gotta sell those latest greatest systems!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m primarily a playstation player and they are my favourite consoles but I do own nearly every major console I wouldn’t want to miss out on the great games that were on other consoles because of some bias to one system I understand not everybody can afford multiple consoles so they have to settle on one but the hating another console cos it’s a rival is a waste of time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for chiming in! Like so many others, you have a good point about not wanting to miss out on games just because they are on another console. I play primarily on Playstation, as well, but usually because I can’t afford to buy more than one current generation console and Playstation has, so far, had the exclusives that I want on it, so I see no reason to learn a whole new controller (haha). I agree that the rivalry/Console War is a complete waste of time.

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  5. I have as well! I have a 360 because it has a lot of great RPGs that are exclusive to it, names Lost Odyssey, which I really want to play. Granted I haven’t fired it up yet, but I haven’t really played my PS4 either. I can’t seem to pry my hands off my Switch, so Nintendo has been winning my own personal console war lol.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s ONLY one the 360, which is what started my quest to obtain that system…which I’ve yet to play hehe. It has a Final Fantasy-esque quality to it…at least the cover of it does and what I’ve read about it. I wish they’d port it to other systems though.

        Liked by 1 person

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