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Console vs PC Gaming
Are Consoles or PCs Better for Gaming?
Gamers have been debating the merits of PC gaming vs. console gaming for years. Both sides have their pros and cons, and both have their fair share of rabid fanboys (not to mention the division between Xbox and PlayStation camps).
My purpose with this page is to provide an unbiased (I hope) PC vs console comparison in regards to games, controls and price; to publish the best arguments for each platform from the visitors; and to collect anonymous votes about the most popular gaming system to see which one people prefer.
Scroll down below to read about PC vs console games, features and other details, vote in the poll, and see what other gamers have to say. You are more than welcome to participate in the discussion yourself (no login required), or just leave us a regular comment with your thoughts.
How a PC is Better Than a Console
Here are some areas where PCs are superior to consoles like Xbox One and Playstation 4:
- Better graphics: a high-end gaming rig will have better graphics than a console. The downside is that a top of the line computer will cost more, and you will also need to upgrade it at least every few years to keep up with the ever-increasing system requirements of new PC games. On the other hand, console hardware stays the same until a new version is released, whereas computer parts keep improving.
- Cheaper games: the standard price for a new PC game is $50, while a new Xbox 360 or PS3 game usually costs $60. This is not all: digital PC game distribution services like Steam often have sales where older titles can be bought for as little as $5.
- Superior controls (for certain types games): this is an arguable point that not everyone will agree with. However, I do believe that a mouse provides better precision and is superior to a controller in FPS games. The fact that almost all console shooters have built-in auto-aim (or just aim assist) serves to prove my point.
This is even more apparent when it comes to strategy games (both real-time and turn-based) and MMORPGs. Console controllers simply do not have enough buttons to map all the functions of popular RTS and MMORPGs, and these games would have to be simplified (dumbed down, even) to work properly on consoles.
- More freedom: you can upgrade and customize your computer with thousands of different components; you have access to game mods, unofficial patches and hacks, and level making tools; you can play creative indie games which are unlikely to be released on consoles due to licensing costs and other issues. You are not tied to a single online service (PSN / Xbox Live), either.
How a Console is Better Than a PC
There are plenty of reasons why consoles can be considered superior to PCs for gaming, too:
- More affordable: when you buy a console, it will last you for a good part of the decade, until a new generation of gaming devices is released. It's a one-time cost, and unlike with gaming PCs, you won't have to worry about yearly upgrades or your game not running due to your system not being powerful enough.
- Easier setup: using a console requires much less technical knowledge than using a PC - it's much more simple and straightforward. You won't have to worry about conflicting software, incompatible driver versions, or wrong internet settings.
- Rent and trade: while console games are more expensive than their PC counterparts (usually $10 more), this is easily offset by the fact that you can rent your games cheap, and trade-in games you purchased previously for store credit.
- Superior controls (for certain genres): most people will agree that a console controller is much easier and more fun to use for fighting, action, jRPG, and platformer games. The only genres console owners will miss out on are strategy and MMORPG.
- Split-screen: consoles are much better for local co-op and competitive multiplayer games since you can just sit down with your friends (up to 4 people) and play on the same Xbox or Playstation console together.
I might have missed some important points in this overview, so please add your thoughts to the discussion below!
Consoles Versus PC Discussion
Which gaming platform do you think is superior?