Brand loyalty is an odd thing. Brave the comments down below just about any gaming or hardware-related article in the world and you’ll find a torrent of braying proponents for any given piece of hardware, and an equally vociferous bunch spewing vitriol. Something about brand loyalty can get us all feeling like this at some point or another, jumping to the defence of a beloved graphics card or sticking the knife into the latest hardware failure.
The first thing which should be pointed out here is that all brand loyalty is built from passion. The very reason we feel strongly about brands and products is because we have an interest about that particular thing, whether it be gaming hardware, surfboards, or even types of knitwear. Without passion we wouldn’t feel the need to defend or berate, although there is a fine line to tread between passion and rampant fanboyism. I think we can all admit we’ve fell into the latter camp at some point or other.
We read about CPUs, we use them for high-end gaming, we mess around with overclocking them. We quickly build an attachment to the things which work for us, and shun those that don’t. Take graphics cards for example. If you spend $800 on a Gigabyte GTX 1080 and it does everything you ever wanted it to, you will be naturally be predisposed to prefer Gigabyte and Nvidia from that point onwards, at least until they do something to discourage your custom. From there it’s only a short mental leap to begin thinking of other manufacturers as worse, or, in a further step on, think anyone who buys into them is making a grave mistake. People will always support their existing beliefs and find a way to fit this into it.
We all do it occasionally, it’s pretty natural, although I do think there’s a big difference between those who feel passionately about a product and those who actively hate on something.
From my perspective I’m about as neutral as it gets into terms of gaming hardware. I used to prefer Nvidia over ATI back in the day, in truth, but I’ve since seen the light. All I care about now is getting the best performance for the money I put in, regardless of the brand. I certainly have brand loyalty when it comes to my favourite gaming franchises, publishers and developers, but hardware manufacturers is now very much a level playing field.
So this Up For Debate is twofold - are you brand loyal to any specific gaming hardware manufacturers and, perhaps more importantly, why are you loyal to them?