PC Gaming On The Rise
There have been plenty of arguments in the past involving consoles and PC, discussions which undoubtedly first emerged as hardware became more sophisticated. During the release of fifth generation hardware, discussions already began as to why the Playstation could surpass anything a Voodoo chip or a Soundblaster card could do.
While PCs were mostly used for working in the mid-90s, gaming on a personal computer was still popular particularly due to the boom of adventure games and what is now termed "Interactive fiction." These once lukewarm discussions have now grown heated, with the "PC Master Race" making claims of superior hardware over "Console Peasants," while console players keep using "Exclusives" as an argument-winner.
The current release of the PS4 and XBox1 has once again put fuel in the fire, and the passionate arguments are resurfacing again more vehement than ever. Many PC gaming websites, though, are absolutely convinced that next-gen PC gaming looks way stronger than what consoles could offer. Some have even gone as far as to claim that it will reign supreme, while the console brigade still claim that "PC gaming sucks." regardless of evidence.
Keep reading to find out why PC Gaming is on the rise and could prove to win the tug-of-war with next-gen consoles in the next few years.
PC Gaming Setup -
Winning Over Console Architecture
The PS4 and Xbox1 are based around octa-core processors by AMD which, logically, use most of the processing juice for games and only 2 cores for the operating system. The micro-architecture employed is based on something called "Jaguar" which is far less optimised for a variety of applications than the "Piledriver" architecture used for desktop computers.
Without delving into complex branch-processing and other details, it is fair to say that both consoles chose AMD due to cost-effectiveness, and that AMD processors are still behind Intel in terms of complexity, consumption and overall architectural features. The new Jaguar architecture could effectively prove problematic for games which put more than four cores to the test, while Intel's Hyper-threading would have no problems.
PC vs Console Graphics
Graphically, next-gen PC gaming can guarantee superior performance for a fraction of the cost. While SLI and Crossfire have had micro-stuttering and other problems in the past, they can more than surpass current consoles for higher FPS (frames-per-second) count and 4k resolution super-HD gaming.
While graphically both consoles vastly improve previous performance, by providing GPUs with up to 1152 cores (the Playstation is still somewhat ahead in terms of processing power), it still means about the power of a Radeon 7xxx generation card, which can cost about £100 ($160 or so) and give you the same performance.
In short, hardware-wise the hardware looks inferior.
PC Gaming's Abundance of Titles
With a new generation of gaming consoles comes the problem of new IPs, or catapulting old franchises into the next generation of games. Titles like Metal gear Solid, Resident Evil, Sonic or Silent Hill may not be as appealing to new fans, and even a game like Final Fantasy will eventually lose appeal over the years.
The PC has a wealth of independent developers and distribution platforms to cater for a wide variety of ages and tastes. Games like "The Binding of Isaac" "Super Meat Boy" or more recently "Papers Please" have broken the monotony of the same old titles seen again and again across a number of platforms.
The exclusives which are seen on consoles may not seem the same, as more and more creative studios are moving onto the PC as their platform of choice, also due to a vast number of distribution methods available.
Modding and Customisation
Being able to mod your games is also a big factor among players, who often wish to customise the experience according to their tastes. Customisation is difficult on consoles and may prove to even be illegal in some cases, as online games can ban players for customising some elements.
Customising RPG is a particularly popular endeavour amongst some players, and this is something which will prove to be immensely difficult on the console platform.
In Conclusion -
PC Gaming Master Race Triumphs
A PC gaming rig is definitely the choice this year and for the near future then, as even Nvidia points out the superiority of the platform compared to the consoles released. More titles, more power, more customisation and overall better performance make PC Gaming the choice for many hardcore and casual gamers, who want to invest in a PC gaming rig which will last for some time.
It is worth mentioning that current console architecture may prove to be outdated once the next generation of processors are released, particularly by Intel. There is also the imminent release of next-gen cards by Nvidia and Radeon which will bring more beef to the PCs already superior graphical performance.
We understand that some may not agree with this analysis of why the PC platform will perform better in every way. Some may put the argument of cost forward, claiming that buying and swapping hardware will be more costly overall.
If you disagree, please feel free to comment below and tell me why you think consoles are still relevant in today's world of video games.