There has been a war going on between consoles and PC enthusiasts. Both sides think their platform is better. Now I am not an elitist I have consoles and a gaming computer. I can also see the benefits of both. So here is an in depth look at what you get when you switch over from console to PC and why you might want to.
Hands down computers are capable of better graphics and frame rate than their console counterparts. This is because you can put top of the line hardware into your computer, but with the console you are either locked into the graphics or you are forced to buy the more advanced version of the console to get better graphics.
What is great about consoles is you can always upgrade your graphics card and get better graphics and this normally in the long run costs less than keeping up with new consoles that are released.
Selection Of Games
There immensely more games for PCs than most consoles combined. There are indie developers who are producing games at a fever pace, and not to mention just PC exclusives. You will have far more options than any console ever can offer.
Now this can be a good thing and a bad thing. With so many games there are always bad cash grabs so it is wise to always look at the game and the reviews the users are submitting and then decide to buy a game.
I love mods I only wish I had found them sooner. Now consoles do have mods now, but with PC game mods you get more and the community is far more active than most console mod communities. You can find more about mods in my article here.
There are mods for certain PC games that make the game a whole new experience. If you have a console you normally are missing out on these wonderful fan made experiences.
With console mods you get what the console developer want you to get and they have to go through a long and arduous approval process. Not so with PC mods, this can be for the good and for the bad there are some broken mods out there but they normally get fixed very quickly.
With a console you have to buy a newer console if you want the height of technology, where as with computers all you normally have to do is get a new graphics card and install it. This is normally much cheaper than buying a whole new console.
Now this is not always the case, sometimes you need to upgrade more than just your Graphics card, but normally these upgrades last a lot longer than a console cycle.
Does More Than Play Games
I should have to elaborate too much on this but your computer can do so much more than a console ever dreamed of.
You can edit video, surf the web, do expansive number crunching, and many more tasks with your PC. For the most part a console is just a game device, yes they sometimes throw other features on like play movies, have a limited web feature, and allow streaming, but for the tasks you can do on a console you can do so much more on a PC.
Can Be A Console
Did you know your computer can play XBox One Games. It is true there is a feature called Xbox Play Anywhere if you link your Xbox One to your computer then you can then play your library on your computer as well at no additional cost. Sadly Sony has not adopted this model.
The other way your computer can become a console is via emulators. Now this may not be a route some people want to take because it can be a legal gray area. If you own the game then you can flash your console bios on to the emulator and then put the disk in your computer and then your computer acts just like the console.
For others you can download the game ISO’s and play the games on your computer as if you had the disk. Now this is not a legal gray area, this is illegal. You do what you want, I don’t judge, just know that you are accepting the risk if you do.
Controls Are Better
Ah the debate about game pads vs keyboard and mouse. Well most game pads for consoles work with your computer just plug it in and you are ready to go no more hassle than that.
The other thing is you have far more options than just game pads. You have your keyboard and mouse, joysticks, and race wheels (I know there are race wheels for your console as well).
Now some people will try and convince you that keyboard and mouse are the way to go for almost every game. I do not believe this. There are certain games that a game pad is just better at than a keyboard and mouse. One such game is the third person game like Onimusha and Devil May Cry. These games would suck trying to work them on a keyboard and mouse. Fighter games also I have tried playing mortal combat on a keyboard and have to say it is almost impossible.
With that said, certain games benefit from a keyboard and mouse far more. First person shooters are far better with a keyboard and mouse. With a controller they normally have to implement an auto aim feature just to help with aiming since controllers are so imprecise. The other games that benefit from a mouse and keyboard are strategy games. They have release games like Dune 2000 on consoles and I have to say having played both the console and the PC version the PC version is far better because of the controls.
As said before you can get what ever control you want for your PC so you can always have the best tool for the job this is normally not the case with consoles, so I prefer the option rather than being locked in to just using a game pad.
Better Backwards Compatibility
Now in a previous article I decried the fact that Windows has not embraced backwards compatibility much. Instead they have chosen to just forget about it. Now some games work natively in the newer windows because the programmers programmed them well, but for the most part most games don’t
With all that said at least there are options for PC gamers that console gamers do not have. You either get backwards compatibility or not that is it. With PC games there are fans working all the time on updating games, and not to mention Gog.com that has made an entire business model on this very thing.
So backwards compatibility is more up to the user base than the console creator, and this normally leads to more games being updated than for consoles.
Now some console developers have adopted a model of charging twice for a game like Sony and Nintendo. They now provide a service where you have to pay for the game again just to use it, even if you have the old game. I cannot support this strategy since if I already own the game why should I have to pay for it again just to play it.
Steam sales are something of legend now. Their deep discounts have set the market standard, with games going sometimes as low as 90%. Most console sales do not get this good and the reason why is competition.
There are many digital store fronts that sell digital games. To compete the prices are lowered to the lowest that they can go without losing money on the game. This is not the case with consoles you are locked in to the digital store for most games and you get what they give you for sales. This normally doesn’t go as low as other stores for PC games mainly because there is no competition in the market you are a captive audience.
Now here are some of the disadvantages of switching from console to PC.
Price Of Entry
Now most consoles are much cheaper than a good computer, I will admit this but the games normally are more expensive and so are the peripherals. A new controller is a pricey endeavor and so are any other peripherals you want to get for your console, but the base unit is normally sold much cheaper than a comparable computer is at the time.
The cost normally is in the long run where computers normally win out.
Ease Of Use
The learning curve for consoles is much less steep. You do not have to worry about viruses and downloading other programs to secure your console. You just turn it on and play (after downloading tons of updates).
For the most part though consoles are just easier and less of a head ache than a PC.
I already mentioned Viruses in the previous remark but it bears repeating here. With most viruses there is little worry about viruses. You can play your games confident in that fact.
Where as with a computer this is always a constant concern since your PC can do so much more there are far more points of entry for viruses to get in to your system and destroy it.
You Are Your Own IT Department
Problem with your console then call up the developer and get a solution. Hopefully an easy process. Where as with a computer if there is a problem then normally it is you who has to fix it. This leads to you spending sleepless nights combing through forum after forum trying to find someone who has had the same problem you have, and hoping they found the solution.
To be honest I actually kind of like this, there is nothing like the feeling of conquering a problem. This is not for everyone though and I understand most people just want to sit down and play a game and not spend an entire night trying to solve one little problem
Higher Learning Curve
With greater complexity comes more of a learning curve, and that is where computers lie. With a console they have take most of your control away. They do most everything behind the scenes so all you have to do is just sit down and play.
With a computer though you have to learn how to set up your video card, and manage your system resources, select what graphics setting will not melt down your machine, and many other points of consideration. This may not be appealing to some, and I get it.
There are many games you cannot play on your computer no matter how much you want to. These are console exclusives. Like the new, as of this writing, God Of War game. I would love to play this game but I do not want to pay for a PS4 just to play one game. With computers you sometimes miss out on the new console exclusives.
With that said there are far more PC exclusives than console exclusives so I guess it balances out in a way.
Better Vetting Of Games
There have been games released for the PC that are wholly unplayable, take the game Batman: Arkham Night it was released in June 2015 and it is still unplayable on the PC. Where as on the consoles it is completely playable and bug free.
This seems to be the cost of PC playing there are not as tight of standards so developers feel like they can release a broken mess and suffer little consequences. Don’t ask me why they feel like this but it seems to happen all to often where as with console games the games are released in a much better state and if they are broken then they get patched up quickly.
I love PC gaming though I can see the benefits of consoles as well. I own the PS1 through the PS3 just because I like consoles, but my primary love is of computer games because there is so much more on offer with a PC. Now it does come with its downsides but I feel they are far outweighed by the benefits that playing on a PC offer.