The Free Market Is A Cruel Mistress

Updated: Oct 6, 2020

By Oliver James Pike

Forget debates about Brexit or Trump. The real issue that will come to define the future of western civilisation is PlayStation vs XBOX. Nintendo, having decided to solely cater to man-children and depressed wine mums, have completely bowed out of the race leaving the two titans of the console scene to battle it out.

Videogames have always been a perfect example of the free market in action. Graphics and hardware get better while both companies play off each other's mistakes and successes. The result until now has always been lots of great experiences for consumers. However, Microsoft having had a less than impressive generation having been massively outsold by the PS4 has decided to go nuclear on Sony. Microsoft recently announced the £7.5 billion acquisition of ZeniMax entertainment the parent company responsible for Bethesda a hugely popular developer that has made some of the biggest and best games going including the elder scrolls and fallout series. If these franchises were to become Microsoft exclusive Sony could find itself in real trouble. Of course back when the Xbox One and PS4 were announced Sony adopted scorched earth tactics by deliberately and markedly doing the opposite of Microsoft where consumers had been upset. These companies hold no punches and Sony will likely take advantage of the COVID recession to scoop up some exclusive development teams of its own. The end result of all this capitalism is that I will now have to spend close to £1000 on items that share 60% of their DNA with toys while simultaneously trying to vaguely pretend to have fully entered adulthood.

But as with all things, capitalism is a two-sided coin. While consumers may now have tough or bank-breaking choices to make when these machines. Exclusive games have always been of higher quality in both platforms and some hot competition can only work out for the best in the long run in terms of console pricing and quality. This situation does inevitably prove that capitalism is not perfect but also that the process of free-market forces regulating our consumer decisions is ultimately the best thing we've got. It should be noted that the alternative would be far worse than this mere inconvenience. If game consoles existed in Stalin's Russia there would be only one produced by the state. It would have been heavy, loud, ugly and heavily censored. At least capitalism lets us have fun while it extracts every ounce of cash from our wallets.

I applaud this business move and wait in anticipation to see how Sony responds. What those who follow this kind of stuff will come to realise is that they are witnessing an epic clash on the stage of capitalism akin to Pepsi vs Coke. In the long run, this sort of capitalism is fantastic for the industry, economy and consumer unfortunately this time it will also mean I have to buy yet another glorified DVD player just so I can rip a dragon's head off while in my underwear and shoot xxurMumDestroyerz420xx with a sniper rifle at 3 am.