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Forums - Gaming Discussion - Is it unusual to game on multiple consoles in a gen?


Do you game on more than 1 system per Gen?

Yes, I game on more than ... 31 44.29%
No, I only buy 1 console each Gen 14 20.00%
I buy more than 1 console... 23 32.86%
I buy 1 console, and also... 1 1.43%
The Atari 2600 is still my main console 0 0%
View Results 1 1.43%

I keep hearing statistics about how many Switch owners also owned a PS4 or an Xbox One.  And, how many Wii owners also owned a Xbox 360 or a PS3.  But, is this really unusual?  Should a "gamer" only have 1 console?  Anyone who does is guaranteed to miss out on some kind of content.  But, that's not the narrative going around.  Instead, it's that Nintendo isn't good enough to be a primary gaming system, so it has to be secondary to whatever else Sony or Microsoft have on offer.  However, the PS4 and Xbox One were out for over 3 years before the Nintendo Switch.  Of course someone buying a Switch is likely to already have had 1 of those consoles.  Nintendo has already sold over 32 million Switches in less than 2 years, so this goes well beyond the 15m-22m who some people have suggested are "Nintendo's core" (sales Nintendo can rely on in any given gen no matter what their console is).  So, naturally there is going  to be overlap with gamers owning other systems.  

What I really don't understand is why there is a need for this to be twisted into "Nintendo Switch is the secondary console for whoever purchases it".  For me specifically, it doesn't match up at all.  In 2012 I purchased a Wii U.  In 2014, I purchased an Xbox One.  By chronological order, the Xbox One would be viewed as my "secondary console".  But if you really want to twist things, I must not have been happy with my Wii U to have gone out and purchases another system 2 years later.  However, if you go by time spent gaming on the 2 systems, I was using them both pretty evenly.  For all the flack that the Wii U go, I enjoyed the hell out of mine and loved the Gamepad.  From it's immersive uses in Lego City Undercover where characters not on screen would appear on the Gamepad as "Video calls", to being able to literally draw my own "Hot Routes" and "Blitz Packages" in Madden 13; these were unique experiences I couldn't get anywhere else.  When "Shadow of Mordor" and "Dragon Age:  Inquisition" came out though, I had an itch to play those games.  So, I did go out and get an Xbox One.  But, that didn't make the Wii U my secondary console.  I divided my time between the different games on the 2 systems pretty evenly to be honest.

Fast forward to March 2017 when I got my Nintendo Switch on launch day.  The system is so versatile due to its portability, that I can now play a game from start to finish before getting side-tracked and moving onto another game.  As I've gotten older, my attention span and time for games has shortened.  So even though I've played a bunch of Xbox One games, and sunk significant time into a bunch of them, I've only actually completed "Ryse", "Lords of the Fallen", and the "Wolf Among Us", "Game of Thrones", "Batman", "Guardians of the Galaxy", and "Batman: The Enemy Within" TellTale Games.  Wii U wasn't much different for me, completing "New Super Mario Bros U", "Super Mario 3D World", "NES Remix", "NES Remix 2", "Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker", and "Madden 13".  Now compare that to my Nintendo Switch games completion list:  "The Legend of Zelda:  Breath of the Wild", "Fate/Extella:  The Umbral Star", "Nights of Azure 2: Bride of the New Moon", "Shovel Night:  Treasure Trove (Shovel of Hope, Plague of Shadows, and Specter of Torment)", "Super Mario Odyssey", "Fire Emblem Warriors", "The Fallen Legion", "The Lost Child", "NBA 2K18", "I Am Setsuna", "Valkyria Chronicles", "Tiny Metal", "Puyo Puyo Tetris", "Golf Story", and "Oceanhorn:  Monster of Uncharted Seas".  That exceeds my completion rate of Wii U and Xbox One combined now that I continue a game even when I'm not at home.  So, yes, I am one of those people who owns both an Xbox One and a Nintendo Switch.  But, no, the Switch is not my secondary console.  (Not to say that I am done with my Xbox One.  I just recently started Star Wars Battlefront II, The Council, and Pillars of the Earth.  And, I have yet to get Red Dead Redemption 2 and now Kingdom Hearts III.)

Different systems will always have different games.  So, no matter which one you own, you are missing out on some kind of content somewhere.  If you own a PS4 and not an Xbox One, then you aren't playing Gears of War, Halo, Forza, etc.  If you own an Xbox One and not a PS4, then you aren't playing Uncharted, God of War, Spiderman, etc.  That 50% of Switch owners already owned a PS4, or 40% already owned a Xbox One doesn't prove a narrative that the Switch is a "secondary" or "complimentary" console unless you want to completely take it out of a gaming context.  

Here are the consoles I have owned by console generation:

Second Generation:
ColecoVision Expansion Module 1 (this was a peripheral that was basically an Atari 2600 you could attach to your ColecoVision.  So, I include it here, because it gave my family access to a whole other system’s video game library)


Third Generation:
Atari 7800

Nintendo Entertainment System

Fourth Generation:
Super Nintendo

Sega Genesis
Sega CD (a peripheral with its own library of games)

Fifth Generation:
Nintendo 64

Sony PlayStation
Sega Saturn

Sixth Generation:

Seventh Generation:
XBox 360

Eighth Generation:
Wii U
XBox One
Nintendo Switch

I listed the systems in chronological order of purchase to the best of my recollection.  So, I owned more than 1 system in every console generation.  In some cases, I owned every major system at the time.  And I played the games of the varied libraries of each console significantly each generation.  (The only 1 I dumped out of quickly was the 7800, because of how much the NES absolutely blew it away.)  So, is this abnormal to spend significant amount of time divided between more than 1 console in a given gen?  I see so many people on this site say things like “I bought System X and it just sits there collecting dust”.  That never made sense to me.   There are always different games on every system.  In the 6th gen, I would space out my multiplat purchases among the different systems to get the most use out of all 3.  If you purchase a system and end up using it as an expensive paperweight, you really have no one to fault besides your own gaming purchase habits.  Another thing I find funny is when people complain about third party games not coming to Switch.  But the ones that do, I always hear the same people say “I don’t know why anyone would buy that on Switch when they can play it on PS4 which is soooo much better.”  If that’s the case, why do you care whether it comes to Switch or not, when you have no intention of buying it for that system regardless?

Anyway, my point is that I have always bought multiple systems per generation.  And, I always managed to get the most out of them more often than not.  So, I was just curious if that holds true for many others.  Do you stick to 1 main console?  Do you buy a second console but only use it on occasion for 1st party titles with no overlap between the two?


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"Just for comparison Uncharted 4 was 20x bigger than Splatoon 2. This shows the huge difference between Sony's first-party games and Nintendo's first-party games."

That was a very long post to ask about something that you should know of: Fanboyism.

Legend11 correctly predicted that GTA IV (360+PS3) would outsell SSBB. I was wrong.

A Biased Review Reloaded / Open Your Eyes / Switch Shipments

Not really. Inefficient? Maybe, but if you have time and money for two different libraries, there is no problem. Many people have a console + PC combo, or a console + handheld combo.

You know it deserves the GOTY.

Come join The 2018 Obscure Game Monthly Review Thread.

I'd say it's unusual not to!

Gen 5: PS1, N64 & Gameboy
Gen 6: PS2 & Xbox
Gen 7: PS3, PSP, X360, Wii & DS
Gen 8: PS4, Vita, X One, Wii U & 3DS.
+PC for gens 6-8 as well

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Sort of. I should play my Xbox One again some time.

I get the console all my friends have first then I get a Nintendo console and handheld.

For those of us in this forum, it's pretty normal. The rest of the people in the real world only need their smartphones to satiate their gaming cravings. Most of them don't understand why someone would buy more than one gaming platform.

I generally play my PS4 and my Switch kinda evenly. My xbox gets a little left out to be honest, but when a game I really want comes out for it, at least I have the option.

From generation 2 all the way to generation 6 I never owned more than one home console at a time.  However, I had owned a PC from 1993 and onward, and I did a lot of PC gaming up until generation 7.  So I think I usually had two platforms, but my second platform was really the PC.  

Somewhere around generation 7, I decided I was through with PC gaming, so I got a PS3.  It had almost no games.  So I bought a Wii and it had a lot of fun games.  By the time I was tired of my Wii, the PS3 had a lot of fun games.  Then I got a Wii U.  It was ok, but not nearly as good as the Wii.  Then I got a PS4.  It was the most disappointing home console I've had yet.  Somewhere in there I also got a 3DS which was the most disappointing handheld console I've had yet. 

Then I got a Switch at launch.  It had a few dry spells the first year, but now the games I want are coming out faster than I can play them.  That is a good problem to have.   I don't foresee myself buying a new console anytime soon, because there are still tons of games I want on the Switch.

In the end I think that is what it comes down to, "Do I have enough games to play on my current consoles?"  If not, then people will get another console.  For some people 1 console will be more than enough.  For others, they might need all 3 and a PC too.  It just depends on if people feel they have enough games for themselves to play.

Last edited by The_Liquid_Laser - on 01 February 2019