Console Vs. PC- Beating a Dead Horse (by Nick Cruse)

Always a hot topic in gaming, the PC vs Console debate has raged on for decades, however I believe there is no reason to buy a console as a main gaming platform as PC component prices have plummeted, you can run Windows 10 for free*, a better PC can be built for the same price or less of a new console, and PC has more games and exclusives for less money.

When the 6th and 7th generation gaming consoles (XBOX, PS2 and XBOX 360, PS3) released they had hardware, features, and graphics that modern PC’s of the time couldn’t match for even double the price for up to 2 years.

However, the 8th generation of consoles (Xbox One, PS4, Wii U) and their slight updates (PS4 pro) came out woefully underpowered compared to an average gaming PC. To make the problem even worse, for the original price ($400-$500) the PS4, Xbox One, and PS4 pro could be easily be outmatched hardware-wise by buying used PC parts or matched with new PC parts. The promise of 1920X1080 60 fps gameplay was a pipedream as more and more titles were released being up scaled from a 1600X900 or a lower rendered image up to 1080p to achieve a playable framerate and titles that were released at native 1080p ran poorly leaving a lot of fans unhappy with the results. A lot of console gamers make the argument when poor console performance is pointed out that gaming PC’s are too expensive then cited overpriced pre-built brands such as Alienware, Razer, and iBUYPOWER as examples when the fact of the matter is you can build a comparable PC around the same price as a new console and achieve better graphics and performance in most cases.

Another major point of contention is exclusive game titles. In previous generations of consoles there were lots of console exclusive games that were very popular and console sellers such as Uncharted, Little Big Planet, Halo, and for 2 years Grand Theft Auto V, however since the new consoles have been released there have been fewer exclusives compared to previous generations with a mass majority of the most popular games on console also being available on the PC at much higher graphical settings and framerates. While console fanboys boast about their exclusives PC has enjoyed exclusive titles for decades such as Civilization, Age of Empires, Counterstrike, Overwatch, DOTA 2, Planetside, Diablo, and the Sims. If we don’t count exclusives and just talk about average game prices, PC games are almost always less expensive and on sale. Every summer and winter the online game platform Steam has its Summer and Winter sales where you can buy AAA games for less than $10 and occasionally Steam will have a free weekend if a game is on sale that lets you try before buying it. In addition to Steam there is Humblebundle where you can pay what you want from $1 and can get multiple games and their DLC for less than the cost of just one. There is also the Humblestore where games are often 50% off. So even though people might say a gaming capable PC costs more, the games on PC are much cheaper on average compared to the $20, $40, $60, $80 game price model that consoles use. On top of the cost of games you need to use PlayStation Plus or Xbox Live to play games online or use services such as Netflix if using a console costing $70/year.

Because of the lacking hardware of new consoles compared to previous generations and lack of exclusive and affordable games, I consider gaming consoles to be no longer a viable gaming platform if the end user wants the best value or experience when compared to previous console generations and current computer hardware. While I understand not everyone has the knowledge to build a computer, but if you buy your PC parts from ncix.com they will build it for you with a 1 year warranty for $50 and you can price match parts from other websites. So, there is no excuse to buy a console if you are looking for the best experience or value.

*Windows 10 will have an opaque watermark telling you to activate Windows, this does not affect functionality.

Sources:

Hoffman, Chris. “All the Ways You Can Still Get Windows 10 for Free.” How-To Geek. How-To Geek, 02 Mar. 2017. Web. 14 Mar. 2017. https://www.howtogeek.com/272201/all-the-ways-you-can-still-get-windows-10-for-free.

“PCPartPicker.” Pick Parts, Build Your PC, Compare and Share – PCPartPicker Canada. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Mar. 2017. http://ca.pcpartpicker.com/.

“PS4 Pro 4K – Digital Foundry.” YouTube. YouTube, n.d. Web. 14 Mar. 2017. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLRBV-BLuv5JfEhNy_QpO-N09ADPuZ4BN6

PeanutButterGetMonEy. “PS4 Pro vs $400 Budget Gaming PC 4K (w/ Benchmarks).” YouTube. YouTube, 03 Feb. 2017. Web. 14 Mar. 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5yJUNyOS95o

Cruse, Nicholas. “PCPartPicker.” $500 CAD PC Build. N.p., 14 Mar. 2017. Web. 14 Mar. 2017. https://ca.pcpartpicker.com/list/hks8Cy

“Top 10 Best-Selling Xbox One Games in 2016.” VGChartz. N.p., 08 Feb. 2017. Web. 14 Mar. 2017. http://www.vgchartz.com/article/267371/top-10-best-selling-xbox-one-games-in-2016.

D’Angelo, William. “Top 10 Best-Selling PlayStation 4 Games in 2016.” VGChartz. N.p., 02 Feb. 2017. Web. 14 Mar. 2017. http://www.vgchartz.com/article/267288/top-10-best-selling-playstation-4-games-in-2016

“HumbleBundle.” Humble Bundle. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Mar. 2017. https://www.humblebundle.com/

 

 

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7 thoughts on “Console Vs. PC- Beating a Dead Horse (by Nick Cruse)

  1. I’m a PC player. Not always though, I had my PS3 until I had saved up enough cash working at a Tim Horton’s to stick some parts into a box and get it running. I agree that the 6th and 7th gen. consoles offered a considerable performance bump over your same dollars being spent on a PC. Graphics card manufaturers (NVIDIA & AMD) have continually outdone their maximum performance cards each year, and this exponential growth has left consoles behind, with 5 years or more between each generation of console being released.
    Nevermind all that though. Putting performance aside, when comparing the two you should consider what you will do with your system in 5 years when the industry has moved beyond your PC’s or console’s capabilities. Consoles are locked down, and very difficult to load any 3rd-party software on, so a PS3 might only be useful as a streaming device for Netflix or Blu-ray discs. PCs are upgradeable, and older parts may still be worth something to someone, so there is second-hand value, and huge resources on alternate uses for an older PC.
    Yes, I am a fanboy for PCs, but only because it makes sense for most people. For the right person, a console may still make sense. Do you want pure simplicity, with little to no concern of the system crashing? Consoles offer that. Are you not the most accurate or competitive gamer? Consoles only use game controllers, much less accurate than a mouse where you can get hit by a sniper in Battlefield at a distance of 300 yards. So I think there is still room for both in the modern market of games.

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  2. I agree with you on most of what you said – PC’s are cheaper in terms of hardware that can run games. At first I was a Console gamer for the simple fact that a controller was easier to get used to and that the systems were (still are) easy to use and functional. PC gaming is new to me as I switched to PC in 2014. Since then I have broadened my knowledge with gaming as you learn a lot more with PCs over Consoles. I still believe console gaming is great and that not everyone cares solely on getting 60FPS or higher to enjoy a game.

    PC gaming gives you the ability to fully maximize you experience to your liking because you can change all your quality settings on games, and change it to your experience and liking. On the other hand, to a younger kid who doesn’t understand PCs or how to build one would rather buy a gaming console as the targeted audience for companies are for the younger generation because of ease of use and affordability.

    A lot fo this argument is based up people being biased as to which is better because what their current system may be is the only one they have tried. A lot of Xbox biased people have only ever owned an Xbox, and the same goes for PlayStation owners. At the end of the day it totally depends on what you want to pay for and what makes sense for you. I still use an Xbox 360 and Xbox One, but PC is mainly what I game on now just for the experience and control I have in game with a keyboard over a controller.

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    1. I agree with you here. Sure PC gaming allows for the potential of the best gaming can be, but that comes with a cost. Most people myself included ether don’t have the knowledge or patience to build a bargain computer so they end up going with a console. Sure you can build a computer for $400, but how well will it run AAA games? For myself I would have to invest around $3,000 to get the performance I want out of PC gaming. In addition, your choice on system is also reliant on what your friends are playing on. Most of my friends play on PS4 so I have little intensive to set up a proper gaming system. I will consed that mouse and keyboard is way more accurate for shooter games though, as I have experienced the frustration of using a controller and the influence of aim assist.

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  3. I prefer console to PC games. Consoles are marketed to the causal gamer and I find it easier to take shots by pressing the buttons that make my game character perform. I don’t play games that often however the few times I play I find that I’m more flexible with a console. I love and enjoy the feel of it in my hand and when it vibrates from the PlayStation platform.

    I find that PC gamers are more wholeheartedly dedicated to the game than console users.
    PC hardware players would say using a keyboard or mouse is much better than console, but also console First person shooter (FPS) usually have aim assist to make it easier with a joystick. Because of this, there is also a larger skill gap with in the realm of PC, whereas console controllers, seem a bit more balanced from player to player.

    PC games has more flexibility and it is also another plus that it’s cheaper and more affordable for the gaming audience/ users. It is also more communicative for players; they use their mic piece to communicate which makes the gaming experience more interactive.

    I prefer consoles because I find it easier to use and I find the functions more straightforward. The response of the console each time a move is made gives a vibrating reaction and makes my experience feel like my hand are actually doing something, if it’s even for a brief moment I feel the effect of my weapon. I find the experience a lot smoother than having to remember which letter on the keyboard operates my character’s function in the game.

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  4. I agree wholeheartedly with your conclusion that console gaming has become obsolete in the face of better, cheaper PC components. I come from a heavy background of console gaming, starting with the Nintendo 64 and Gamecube until Microsoft stole my heart with the Xbox lineup. So naturally you would expect me to have an affinity towards consoles, however most of the console experience comes from the controller which is now commonly as USB device that can be used with a PC. Apart from the controller, all the console has left to offer is the interface which in all honesty is incomparable to the diversity of a PC desktop.

    There are some who will argue that if you use a console controller with a PC then you are not a “true” PC gamer, but i disagree. I find that for the majority of people who are shifting from consoles to computers due to the falling cost of high tech components and the consoles lack to keep up, have found a way to take the best of both worlds. Basically, if I can play with the latest hardware and software, as well as my preferred console controller than I am a happy man.

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  5. I think that the debate between PC and consoles is determined a lot more around what one is looking for. You have many valid points, especially in regards to the performance potential of computer hardware now days and the cost of those compared to consoles. On the other hand, and as it was previously mentioned in the comments, consoles do offer a “simpler” set up.
    It can be considered easy to a reasonable person to buy a console, plug in the equipment to a TV, grab a controller that is standard for all equipment like that and already comes in the same package, put in a disc that is specifically made for that console and follow instruction on the screen to start playing a game.
    Computers demand a little more thinking, and therefore a more sophisticated customer. The same history told above would look more like this: one would need to go trough the process of choosing among several different sorts of parts (motherboards, processors, graphics cards, etc.) or ready to buy computers with many different kinds of specifications, browse for a game and make sure that the computer owned ir capable of supporting that game’s system requirements, go through an installation process, choose the best way to play it (Keyboard? Mouse? Should buy a controller? What kind?) and many other variables.
    I understand how it could look simple for most of us, with certain gaming and life experience, to make the computer process simple and very efficient. Although, the vision that I want to bring is that none of us started this way. When kids, no one knows any system requirements details. In fact, the very first video games we played were most likely bought by our parents or other adults. Most parents, especially 10, 15 years ago, had little to no idea of how a game would need to work in a computer, but it was much easier to buy the “ready to go” kit that is the consoles.
    So, in conclusion, I think that computers can offer a great cost benefit to the right user but, the video game industry as a whole would suffer without consoles. I see them as a gateway into a gaming world, and easy enough to be market to parents who make the final purchase decision.

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  6. As an avid PC builder, I have a strong bias towards PC. I have built 3 PC’s for myself and others in the last 3 years, and it is a lot of fun. With that being said, I can see how people are hesitant to jump in for several reasons. I did own an xbox 360 and there are a few stark differences between the two that are so different it is nearly impossible to compare them on even ground, Building PC’s is easy, to be honest. You can’t really do it wrong because the plugs just don’t fit. It isn’t possible to plug something in the wrong way. That being said, it is still a very overwhelming task to try and make the parts compatible when ordering, and it is also overwhelming to look at all these parts and ask yourself: “Where the heck do I begin?” If you do it once, you can do it a million times, but sometimes that first hurdle just seems high enough to deter people from even trying. One nice thing about xbox (or consoles in general) is that it takes a much longer time for hackers and cheaters to plague the online world than it does on PC, but that’s just obvious.

    As a couple stated above, console is much easier to plug and play. That’s one of its main draws. They are strong enough to produce what I could call mediocre graphics, but aren’t really awful, while being (ideally) something you can take out of the box and have running within a couple of hours at most, updates included. I love the “replace the parts” idea with PC’s, but unless it’s the same company that you are replacing the hardware with, it likely will require some other replacements too. Most of the problems occur taking the step up from AMD to Intel on the processor side of things, because that means a whole new motherboard, and therefore at that point you may as well start from scratch other than the graphics card.

    Being a PC builder, like I said, is very easy once you’ve done it once. I for one, totally think that the cost of it was totally worth it, and I will be custom building PC’s for gaming for the rest of my life, but I think that for the average, more timid or more casual gamer who is just looking to sit down on the couch for a couple hours every so often, it is a big time and money investment to get yourself into PC building. Likely more of a commitment than it is truly worth unless you really throw yourself into it!

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