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Console Wars

Console Wars comic – click to enlarge

Explaining the joke. by Vaughn Smith

Young people today are a fiercely competitive group who - if YouTube has proven anything - will do any insane stunt just because someone dared them to do it and there is a video camera available to catch it. So what if the game consoles had that same streak of bravado? What would they do? Naturally the PS2 would boast that it could stand upright and dare the Xbox to do the same.

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At the time this strip was created, the Xbox 360 was shrouded in mystery, so it wasn't known whether it would be an upright system or not. Of course, the Xbox is a proud American product, built by the largest software company in the world - surely his creators would have tossed in that kind of functionality. After all, he's a Microsoft product!

It's important to note that the Xbox does manage to execute this insane stunt on sheer willpower alone. This is a nod to Microsoft's ability to infiltrate the gaming market and deliver upon their promises, most of which they kept (at least in terms of providing entertaining software and delivering an incredible online model).

Actually this strip is a thinly veiled look at Microsoft's turbulent times infiltrating the Japanese market. It tries its best but it really just can't compete with Sony, who is built in and can't be toppled in Japan. But you can't say Microsoft didn't try their best. And you thought this was just a comic about a system trying to stand up on it's edge....

Things to note:

  • The Xbox is named Sam, after the superior Samsung drive, which replaced the horribly defective Thompson drive and better-but-not-great Phillips drive.
  • The Xbox likes to curse. It's a very American thing to do.
  • In the original version of this strip, the F sharp was included and not cutely bleeped. When I decided to run the comics on CCC, I cleaned them up for everyone, which is too bad. I like it the original way better. There is something right about game systems using obscenities.

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