PC and consoles are by far the most successful gaming platforms, especially for those who like to take gaming seriously. In this article we’ll present the main advantages and disadvantages of each gaming platform so you decide which one works best for you.
An update to this article based on some interesting developments we’ve observed first hand in the past few years. let us know what you think in the comments.
1. The PC will die out entirely
Unless you are a target client for Massive Dynamics’ elite “Orcs Upgrades” custom-build, PC gaming might not be much of a viable option for gamers by 2021, but 2019 marks the first chance that some of this will be reversed with a bigger focus on PC prices and pushing PC as a gaming hub, rather than a gaming platform. However, most don’t see much of a business model to the PC without a massive focus on the game itself (think: Battlefield 1 vs PC growth in the early 2000s).
2. Casual gamers will stop buying the games they love
The gaming industry needs to compete with HBO Go/Netflix or PlayStation Now to differentiate itself and this will mean some of the cash cows of the last few years will start losing money. While there are occasional compendium releases from the industry giants, for an example of the kind of game that will stay profitable over the next few years, just look at the big Mickey Mouse expansion pack: in the PC version, it’s the very same game as the console one. Xbox and PS gamers will suddenly realize that they don’t have to spend money on “casual” games, with perfectly reasonable PC porting to play.
3. The gap between console and PC hardware prices will narrow
To see some real progress in this respect, the console price gap would have to be closed before 2019 would be a good time to buy a new Xbox or PlayStation. This puts 2019 as the year when a truly PC-dominant PC gaming sector will see gaming pricing drop again. This is probably for the best, as the current generation of games machines has left us with an ever-growing library of games with not enough people available to make console hardware pricing competitive with the usual PC stuff that is happening on PCs.
A computer may cost more than a console, but by buying a good PC you kill multiple birds with one stone. You have access to the Internet, you can work, you can entertain yourself, you can shop online, you can store your files, and of course, you can play video games.
Updating your gaming platform
Desktop computers can easily be updated with new hardware to provide more power and better graphics, while consoles maintain the same configuration without users being able to update them.
When consoles are released, they are already outdated. On the other hand, PCs allow you to stay relevant in terms of graphics – just buy a good graphics card and you can beat the best console on the market.
Saving physical space
A computer allows you to have multiple devices for different functions in just one product, and one of those functions is playing video games. With PC gaming you don’t have one extra item in your home to contribute to the general clutter.
The game library is huge
There are more than 10,000 titles for PC gaming, while console exclusives are become more and more rare. No matter what kind of video games you prefer, you can play most of the titles in different genres on your personal computer.
Easy access to the history of video games
PC gaming has a history of more than 40 years, and you can have access to almost any game you used to play as a kid or that your parents used to play when they were children! If you can’t find the original game, there must be a copy available.
Increased control flexibility
Computer controls like mouse, keyboard, gamepads, and joysticks are more precise and easy to understand by new gamers than console controllers. However, if you still prefer controllers, you should know that most games support controllers on the PC – they can be wired via Bluetooth.
Gaming PCs can be very expensive
A PC used for general purposes like accessing the Internet, processing text, and storing files is very affordable, but a gaming PC that will allow you to play at a professional level can cost thousands of dollars. Consoles may deliver better performance for the same money as long as they are up to date.
PCs allow you to play video games which were originally designed for consoles, but at times users may deal with bugs and graphical problems – for instance one of the installments of Mortal Kombat and Batman: Arkham Knight had such issues.
Reduced game immersion
Playing video games on a PC means you can juggle between multiple windows and not pay too much attention to the game you are playing. However, not letting yourself distracted by Facebook or a chat window depends on you after all.
Playing console exclusive games
There are some video games that can only be played on a console – titles such as Gravity Rush 2 and Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue are not available on PC.
The used game and rental market
If you are not too interested in playing just the most recent games, you will be happy to spend just a few dollars on a second-hand copy of a successful video game.
Games are optimized for the configuration of the console
The most important games of the moment are developed specifically for the configuration of its corresponding console. You don’t need to waste time doing all kinds of settings to the game and to your PC to enjoy the best gaming experience.
Let’s say you play a video game at home and then you go to a friend’s house and want to play the same game. On consoles, control pads are standardized and you won’t have to get used to different controls set up by a different person.
Not paying for new hardware
A console will last at least 5 years without you needing to repair it or update it, while damaging one of your PC’s components will leave you unable to play your favorite game until you repair it or replace it with a new one.
You know which games you can play
Whenever a new A-list video game is being launched, PC gamers need to find out the specifications needed to run the game and eventually meet them if their system is not able to support that specific title. With consoles, a game is simply supported by your hardware or not, and there is less trouble with meeting requirements. This makes console gaming more suitable for casual gamers who don’t have time for intricacies and research in the field.
No possibility to update your console
Once a console is being developed, it already starts to become outdated. You won’t feel that until a couple of years after its release, but even if a console will still work after 10 years of use, at that time you won’t be able to play the latest games on your old console. This obviously means you will need to buy a new console every few years.
The need to buy a new console every few years means you will become a “better” consumer, who constantly pays money on new products, including consoles and games. If you are against this trend, a PC you can upgrade and which discourages you from buying an extra item every once in a while is probably a better choice.
Both PC and console gaming have their strengths and weaknesses – and they will continue to co-exist as long as one doesn’t become much better than the other. One fact will not change, though – computers are owned by most people anyway and they are less likely to be ignored by gamers, while consoles are discontinued after several years in retail. PC gaming is definitely here to stay, and consoles will have to provide excellent gaming experiences and advantages to remain relevant.