I prefer, when possible, to play all games from a series on one platform and I don't really know why.
By bigsocrates 14 Comments
When I was a kid gaming was a lot more compartmentalized than it is today. You had your Nintendo games, your Sega games, and your PC games and while there were a fair number of games that did come to multiple platforms there was generally one lead platform that the game "belonged" on. You could play Sim City on your Super Nintendo but everyone knew it was really a PC franchise.
This mostly held true through my teenage years. Yes games started coming out on more and more platforms over time and a lot of third party games started coming out on multiple platforms by the PS1/Saturn/N64 era but, again, a lot of them felt like inferior ports made for people who only had one system. Nobody would play Tony Hawk's Pro Skater on the N64 if you could play it on the PlayStation and Rayman 2 was clearly better on N64 (though Dreamcast was best of all.)
By the time the Xbox/Gamecube/PS2 generation came along there were fewer exclusives than ever and the differences between different versions were also smaller than ever. Some games ran better on Xbox (or even Gamecube) but for the most part PS2 was the lead platform and the majority of ports were pretty good. This trajectory continued (bad PS3 ports in the early 7th gen notwithstanding) and at this point most games come out on everything and most console versions are so similar that reviews don't even bother to talk about comparisons unless there are significant differences. Yes the PC version of most games runs better than console versions (and sometimes has added effects like ray tracing or other stuff but for the most part the content is the same across platforms and the experience is very similar. Cross platform multiplayer is even getting more popular with developers as there is a tacit acknowledgment that all these systems are essentially variations on PC hardware and can play very nicely together. Sony and Microsoft have even taken to putting their "exclusive" games out on PC, making that more than ever the true master platform.
The thing is, I can't quite get over my old habits of thinking that certain games "belong" on certain platforms. Sometimes this makes some kind of sense. The Ori games are published by Microsoft so even though they're available on Switch they "feel" like Xbox games to me. Devil May Cry has always been a PlayStation franchise so that's where it feels like it belongs to me.
Sometimes it's just a function of where I started playing a particular series. I first played Shadow of Mordor on Xbox so that feels like an Xbox series to me, even though the PS4 game was technically superior and the PC version better than both. Part of it is just getting muscle memory with a particular controller and part of it is just an old way of thinking. It just feels strange to me to play part 1 on one system and part 2 on another. This is especially true regarding trophies and achievements, where it's nice to have a record of your time with a whole series all in one place.
This preference is not, of course, insurmountable. If a game is much cheaper on one system than another or if it has extra content I can handle jumping across. I played most of the Assassin's Creed games on Xbox but played Syndicate on PS4 because of the extra missions. Likewise for a huge performance difference I will jump ship. Final Fantasy is a PlayStation series for me (though obviously it started on Nintendo, and that platform jump caused a LOT of kerfuffle when it happened in the '90s) but Xbox Series X is a much better place to play FF XIII (to the extent that there is a good way to play that game). So it's not that I HAVE to play all games on one platform, it's just a preference.
I don't fully understand why I care about this at all. As with Final Fantasy there were certainly series that jumped in the past and I moved along with them. But it's definitely something that influences where I buy and play games. If I can keep it all on one platform without spending much more or sacrificing quality I will. I don't know if it's a unique preference or common, but it's there.