PC VS Console – No Winner

PCMasterLittle premise: I’m a panstational gamer. I have a PC, which is only the last of a long dinasty. I have all the consoles Sony ever made. I have from GBA to 3DSXL. I have from Nintendo 64 to WiiU. I always played all sides. I’ve come to known the strength and weaknesses of each one. And between the many, right now? I prefer playing on my PC. And so, in this day after easter, I want to come out say:

Could some PC Gamers please stop moaning and bitching about how ‘consoles are holding gaming back’?

Let’s go right to where some people are going to immediately go: hey, PCs are more powerful than consoles! They give better graphical options, better FPS, better everything! That’s true… But only partially. That’s not a feature of every PC in existence.

mPn62A high end PC is an investment. To start with, because be it you build it yourself or not, the turnover of PC components is incredibly quick. Which means that very soon you’ll have to replace it or suffer drops in performance for softwares of various intensities.

And the single pieces ain’t cheap. I bought a new graphic card for my PC in december. Very powerful, one of the best out right now… It cost me around 350 Euros. That’s only the graphic card. My PS4 cost me 389 Euros at launch (Thanks, Amazon!).

So, from a budgeting PoV, Consoles are the obvious choice. For the simple fact that while PC Gamers are forced to upgrade their machines to meet the demands of new software, it’s the opposite when it comes to consoles. A console owner will never have to buy an upgrade that costs as much as the console to play new games… Unless you’re into Nintendo handhelds.

dragon_age_screenshot_15This has indeed caused some Developers to fuck up on multiplatform release. To keep it console friendly they botched up the PC release… But that’s not console gamers’ fault. That’s on the devs.

I remember how each version of Dragon Age Origins was perfectly calibrated and adapted to the platform it was on. And of course, it looked and played better on PC, as it should be. So if Bioware could do it almost a decade ago, it’s not impossible. It all comes down to devs being lazy and wanting to cut down on development time.

Moving on, there’s also the fact that consoles and PCs give two very different kind of gaming experiences. Starting from their setup and position in the house. I always love unboxing a new console, but very few things come close to build up your own PC from the pieces you chose.

playstation-plus-instp3sdmConsoles are kings of the living room, couches and sofas. PCs require their own little angle for all their pieces, and gaming chairs are now a market of their own. And once upon a time Consoles didn’t require installation… I miss those days.

Also, consoles nowadays come with added additional optional services, like Sony’s Playstation Plus. Sucks to have to pay further money just to be able to play online, which doesn’t happen on PC -most of the time-. But the three/four free games a month which if you download stay in your library forever are a pretty nice value for 60 bucks a year!

steam-autumn-sale-100154589-origOn the other hand, though, PC Gaming now has Steam and GoG! Shopping for videogames have never been so easy… And so prone to impulse buying. Stories of games bought on sales but never played are a dime a dozen.

You’ll never do that on consoles marketplaces, if only because there’s not that much offer of indies. The barriers at the entrance are much more restrictive which, depending on the PoV, can be good or bad. Less games to choose from, but so. Much. Crap and shovelware.

I could go on for hours but the point is: please stop acting like one way of gaming is superior to the other. PC gaming has the potential to be the better way, but until a high end gaming pc will be affordable by everyone and will be able to provide the same gaming experience as a console on top of the pc one? That’s an Utopia.

sony-e3-2013There’s also the fact that brands like Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft have a history, a value that goes beyond what their machines can do. That value that right now Nintendo and Microsoft are squandering with each new bad anticustomer decision (Nintendo in particular).

I agree that I’d prefer if I could have the same engine power and graphics on consoles that I have on PC, but until then? Try not to blame people who prefer or can only afford consoles for things that are a dev’s or publisher’s responsibility.

Or if your problem is that consoles have exclusives? Well, now you know how Mac users felt for decades. As long as this will be a free market driven by competition, those are going to exist.

About Meinos Kaen

Meinos Kaen is the secret author identity of one Simone Simeone, born and raised in Italy since anno domini 1988. You’ll never find a person with a harder accent to pin to a precise geographical location, be it Italian or English he’s speaking. God help us all if he ever manages to actually learn Japanese.
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