Jesse Harford from Gametalkcentral weighs up the pros and cons of PC Gaming versus Console Gaming.
We all love the feeling of opening a brand new game and popping that newly obtained piece of digital entertainment into our dedicated console or PC. Whether it’s your birthday, or it’s Christmas; Hanukah or Thanksgiving. We feel like jumping in the air full of excitement and happiness, holding that game in the air, while a familiar jingle plays in the background. The feeling of savagely tearing apart that shrink wrapped case is extremely satisfying. However, finding out that my Pixel Shader 2.0, Graphics Engine thingamabob isn’t compatible, is a bit of a downer. It totally marrs the whole experience of getting that game in the first place. But it isn’t the end of the world. Apparently, there are these handy little machines called “consoles”, which allow us to play all sorts of games without the need of purchasing anything other than the console itself. Genius! Read on and discover the pros and cons of both PC gaming and console gaming.
Pros of PC Gaming
Massively Multiplayer Online Game Time
PC gamers have a plethora of massively multiplayer online games to choose from. Whether it’s an online shooter or an MMORPG, PC gamers simply have the one up over console gamers when it comes to playing online games. PC gamers can competively or cooperatively play against/alongside eachother with more than just 24 players in a game. A much larger, friendlier community gives gamers a much more enjoyable social experience when playing online, especially with the types of games that are available on PC. Games that you wouldn’t be able to get on home consoles. PC gamers are getting a much more “live” orientated experience that console gamers won’t be getting for a few years to come.
MODS and User Generated Content
Being able to manipulate and change the game that YOU are playing is a gratifying experience. Can you see that long, familiar looking “pylon” with two giant football’s resting at bottom over there? I made that! Showing off your creations to the world and allowing people to see how creative, or sick, you can be is a great feeling. Hearing somebody go “Man this map is awesome!” Or “This should have been in the main game!” certainly warms your heart. A great example of being able to create virtually anything with a near limitless tool set, is Garry’s Mod. Within this game, you can just go nuts with your imagination! Words can’t describe what crazy contraptions and landscapes you build within this game, see it for yourself! But mods aren’t just here to lets us create awesome looking maps and objects, they can fix games. A lot of PC classics which have dated tremendously have been given slick new mods to give them updated textures and up-to-date contols to make them feel like a fresh experience. This sort of thing just isn’t possible on consoles due to restrictivness of console manufacturers and the lack of a keyboard to perform various complex tasks. Although games like Halo have shown gamers that a certain level of creativity is possible on consoles.
Being Ahead of the Curve
Owning a PC means that you can always upgrade and refine what you’ve got, meaning you’ll always be entitled to an even more enjoyable experience. Have you been playing Rage at low spec for the last few days? Never fear! Here are a list of components which will end your low specification game playing days forever! (Or until the next high spec demanding game comes out.) Knowing that your only one screw away from being able to play the latest game at the highest specification available is a welcome one, because when playing games, we all want to experience it in the most entertaining and pleasureable ways imaginable. And it’s not just being able to play these extremely demanding games which gives us that gleeful smile, it’s knowing that YOU made this PC yourself. That YOU put this PC together and that YOU are the one who’s benefiting because of what YOU have done. You feel proud because of the effort and time you’ve put into creating your ultimate gaming experience. And why shouldn’t you be?
Freedom of choice is brilliant right? We all like to do our own thing and play in our own way. This is the luxury PC gamers get to quite a degree. In particular being able to completely change the contol scheme of a game to suit YOUR playstyle. It may not seem like much, but to most PC gamers this is a big thing. Why should we play the way developer’s want us to play? Do I look like the type of guy who uses “Control Scheme B?” Hell no! It makes gaming feel a little bit more natural and more like our own experience. A little customisation never hurt anyone.
Games are also significantly cheaper, (around £10-£20 cheaper) than buying a game on consoles. This is strictly due to publisher’s having to pay to have their own game on the console in the first place. Sounds crazy right, but it’s just business guys.
Pros of Console Gaming
Easy as pie!
Maintaining and just simply owning a games console is easier than a PC. It doesn’t take an hour for an Xbox or PS3 to boot up and you’re free to play most top tier games without the fear of having to buy a new graphics card or RAM upgrade. There is also far less hassle when it comes to actually playing the game. There’s no annoying DRM, grrr, or long installs. Just pop the disc in and play. As the title says, it’s “easy as pie.”
Back to the ease of use thing, it’s also very straight forward when it comes to communicating with your friends. Xbox Live has one of the most easiest, slickiest party systems known to man. You’re always a few button presses away from speaking to your mates or adding a new friend on Live. In addition to this hopping into an online game is also extremely easy. You can actually get into a game online, on Xbox Live, by only pressing one button*. Now that is what I call ease of use!
Now I like to chillax when playing some Xbox, maybe lay down on my bed or if I’m really in the mood, pose like a Roman God on my couch while being fed grapes from a woman painted in gold. Unfortunately, PC gamers can’t really do this, unless they invest in a separate control pad which would compromise being able to customise your keyboard’s control scheme or buy a wireless keyboard. But to be honest, I doubt any PC gamer is going to want to play Shogun: Total War 2 laying down on a couch like a beached whale. It’s not right.
Cons of PC Gaming
Control me a river
Now despite being able to customize your control set to your heart’s content, getting into these game can prove quite difficult. Especially for those new to the PC gaming scene. Certain types of PC games come with a lot of complex controls that you’ll have to learn and sometimes controls that you WON’T be able to customise, along with those long and tedious tutorials that will make you want to cry. Cry for an Xbox controller.
Why is my wallet so empty?
Being able to play triple A titles at full spec is a luxury that all PC gamers should feel grateful for. We’ve just come out of a recession and most of us are feeling the pinch and a lot of people cannot afford an £800 gaming PC or £1000 gaming laptop. Console gaming is by far the most cheap and effective way of getting your gaming fix, without making your wallet unhappy. Furthermore, in order to stay ahead of that curve I mentioned ealier, you’re going to have to buy PC components. Parts which are no doubt going to cost you quite a bit of money and if technology keeps on evolving at the rate it is now, you are going to broke before you know it. Or before your PC knows it at least.
Ahhh! A virus!
Viruses, hacking’s, malicious programmes, spyware, FBI agents and all sorts of things which go beep in the night are all on PC. Now consoles are definitely not immune to hacking’s or breakdowns of any sort, PC’s are just more susceptible to it. And usually if a console’s online service does get hacked, the issue is usually resolved fairly quickly, despite a few cases quite recently *cough Sony*. When it comes to irradicating an issue which isn’t in-game, PC gamers are on their own. They have to fend for themselves and make sure that they are being protected by whatever PC software is going to keep their PC’s in tip top condition.
Cons of Console Gaming
Nobody puts baby in the corner.
We’ve seen a lot being pushed out of our current gen consoles so far and it’s amazing that they can produce blindingly amazing looking games and still feel fresh. Some devs say that there’s still some power in these old war machines! But that’s only some. We don’t want some. We want more! What’s new and what looks the best. We all say graphics don’t really matter so much and that it’s “all about gameplay,” but that’s not what you’re really thinking when you’re playing Unreal Tournament 3 are you? The point is, console gamers can’t upgrade their platforms with the latest hardware because they’re not technically allowed to, although some still do it. PC gamers have the opportunity to do that though, which leaves console gamers in the corner.
The lack of MMOs on consoles is a right downer, considering how insanely popular they are and how many people play them. Strict certifications processes coupled with, console limitations, lack of a keyboard and issues regading “who’s going to be paid what?” Stops MMOs from reaching out to a completely different audience and from taking any of our money! Oops, that was a good thing.
What the people had to say?
So now that you’ve heard what I’ve had to say, why don’t we hear what the great people of Twitter and Facebook have to say?
“Tough one! I used to love PC gaming but my computer got old & can’t run them like it used to. Alas, I’ll go with console.” @gearsofsteph
“PC for FPS games, keyboard and mouse or die! Consoles for fighting, driving, and sports games 😀 controller on FPS sucks.” @RedskullSS
“ Console-Social Gamer. PC-Hardcore Gamer. It’s that simple.” @Cheekytweeter
“PC Gaming. Or OnLive.” @icecolddemon
“PC Gaming. Nothing beats a mouse & keyboard for shooting someone in the face with.” @MerseyMal
“PCs have more buttons, consoles can be relied upon to run any game you buy for them. So, consoles it is then.” @CrispyFloyd
“PC gaming is better. Better graphics, more room for better gameplay, really precise input devices. (Mouse and keyboard) etc.” @xPreatorianx
“PC better everything and lower long term costs and to top it off you can surf the net when you’re done gaming.” @Pud_NZ
“PC but console gaming is more about the socialising if you like whereas pc is more hardcore” Naz.
“Well obviously I’m going to be biased because I’m a console gamer, and I’ve never done PC gaming” Jabril.
“Ooh personally, either XD.” Charlotte.
“PC Gaming: Cons: Too much effort and set up rubbish and more problems. Console Gaming Cons: Lack of customisability in certain games and graphics can get outdated in a few years. Console Gaming Pros: Great accessibility to ‘plug-and-play; no hassle no technical stuff to worry about, more common and easier to connect with friends. PC Gaming Pros: Great potential for high-end graphics if the PC can support it, meaning the graphics won’t get outdated as easier. Good PC Community for mods etc and better servers on most games. Can connect controller / wheel etc. if necessary.” Preet.
“PC. Better graphics more communities can vary how much you wanna spend.” Ravi.
From what people are saying here PC gaming seems to be the way forward. But there’s no right or wrong answer, only your opinion should matter. As long as a constant stream of spectacular games like Rage, Dark Souls and Batman Arkham City keep appearing on our dedicated gaming platforms, we have nothing to worry about.
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