The console war is one war that will never be won. There will be victories and defeats, but there will never be a true winner to end all of this digital mayhem. And in this case, a never-ending war is the best thing gaming could ever hope for since competition fuels the need for innovation. Without an enemy to face, we would have never gotten some of the amazing things we've seen in our generation.
Of course, we also wouldn't be able to laugh at the war torn history left behind by those many console giants from the past, present and future as well. And really, that's way more important than any amazing game changing innovations we might have seen in the last thirty years. So why don't you join me for an awkward look back at the world of video game rivalry?
Pikachu Really Hates Sony
I've mentioned Hey You, Pikachu! a number of times in a few of my past articles due to it's microphone capabilities; an extremely underused feature that I love seeing in games. The reason I'm mentioning this less-than-well-received Nintendo 64 title is thanks to an easter egg hidden in the game's long list of many phrases that Pikachu would react to.
Back up, what did you just say to me?
Among words such as Pikachu, apple, and lightning bolt was the extremely out of place "Sony." Now why would a rival's company be among the list of words that Pikachu responded to? Well, as we all know, Nintendo and Sony have been rivals since the very beginning of the Playstation's launch. As a way of taking a shot at Sony, Nintendo included the name of the company in Hey You, Pikachu! as an extremely negative word.
If you so much as hinted to Pikachu that you were about to say the word Sony, your pokemon companion would absolutely flip out. He would stop listening to you, start electrocuting everything in his general area and drop whatever he was holding in his hands. The mere mention of Sony was enough to send him into a waking night terror with no escape.
Microsoft Has A Naval Battle With Sony
The Xbox 360 exploded out onto the market nearly a year ahead of its competition. Sony had finally released the Playstation 3 in America, and it was gearing up to release globally. Excited gamers in France began to stand in line as they eagerly awaited the release of the PS3... and then things got crazy.
Does the X in the O stand for hugs and kisses?
As the legions of French fans stood out in the cold waiting for the official launch of the PS3, a large boat adorned with Microsoft and Xbox symbols slowly came into view of the store's line of customers. In large white letters was the phrase "XBOX 360 YOU". Microsoft had pulled the proverbial boombox in the rain on this poor group of frozen gamers... and it was kind of funny.
The only thing that would have made it better was if a Sony boat pulled into view and attacked the Xbox boat. It was a silly idea that did manage to get Microsoft some free advertising at Sony's expense, but I suggest they try using blimps to advertise during the PS4 launch. They're much harder to ignore because honestly, who can say no to looking at a blimp?
Sonic Takes A Jab At Mario; Totally Beefs It
Have you ever heard of the Sonic title, Sonic X-Treme? I'm going to guess you haven't, seeing as it was cancelled after constant game delays and massive problems during production. Many programmers slaved over the game working 16 hour days only to see their troubled game get flushed down the toilet, never to be seen again by anyone ever. But not before they got this juicy little advertisement out.
How could something like this fail?
Mario and his apparent henchmen are unable to bring down that pesky hedgehog no matter how hard they try because he has made the jump to the 3D world and left them in their 2D dust to rot into obscurity. The ad itself is what makes this so funny. Shortly after the game was cancelled, Mario entered the 3D realm with Super Mario 64 and ended up leaving Sonic to rot in his 2D dust while his franchise became bigger than ever.
Square Enix Attacks... Themselves?
Alright Square Enix, I don't think you understand the point to all of this. It's supposed to make your enemies look bad. You aren't supposed to take shots at your customers. In the PSP game, Dissidia: Final Fantasy, Square Enix did just that. In the Battle Tips section of the game, you can see what Final Fantasy XII's Penelo has to say about each character.
I bite the hand that feeds me, teehee!
Most of them are just funny little things or observations about the characters. When you get to Cloud and Sephiroth, however, things take a turn. With Cloud, she says all he does is mope around and is therefore an uninteresting character. She then goes on to say Sephiroth is supposed to be pretty popular, but he really isn't that attractive.
While these are more or less just funny little things they threw in the game to spice things up a bit, you have to remember the people who are constantly voting for Cloud and Sephiroth in character polls. They're called fangirls and fanboys, and they don't understand jokes in the slightest. Any attack on their husbandos is an attack on them, and they will write about it in their Livejournals for the whole world to not care about.
Nintendo Is All Up In Sony's 3D Venture
The Nintendo 3DS was a revolution in 3D technology. It was now no longer necessary to spend upwards of $60 just for a pair of glasses to see the 3D image being projected from a screen, and you didn't have to burn your eyes out like with Nintendo's first 3D venture, the Virtual Boy. Its a pretty neat gimmick for the system because when it works well, it works really well. But we're not here to discuss systems. We're hear to talk about wicked sick jabs at rival companies.
"Just eat it."
And this jab took place at the absolute greatest E3 ever, E3 2010. While a lot of disses and slams were being thrown around in each E3 presentation, the one that sticks out for me was Nintendo's 3DS conference. They constantly brought up the fact that expensive 3D glasses were going the way of the dinosaurs and anyone who used them were going to get left in the dust in the coming years. The very next day Sony held a conference that was almost entirely based around expensive 3D glasses.
While I have no way of proving Nintendo set up their 3DS conference that way on purpose just to get Sony's goat, it seems pretty obvious that was what they were aiming for. How do you follow with your multimillion dollar project announcement right after your competition just thrashed you for a solid hour with their glasses free 3D? Well, I would say something along the lines of Sony's split screen 3D technology, but nobody uses that.
The reason I love quips like these is because every time I see or hear one, I imagine someone being dunked on by a basketball player. Totally unrelated, I know. But its why I love them so much. Can you think of any other types of marketing slams that have happened over the years? Why not discuss them in the comments below? As always, thanks for reading.