Since the release of the Xbox One and the Playstation 4, I’ve heard numerous arguments about which one is the best. We all seem to be so concerned with consoles at the moment that we have forgotten which platform is still the reigning champ of gaming performance. Yes, it’s the PC.
If you take a closer look at all the improvements made in these new consoles you will see that they are mimicking the build of a PC. To me, this says a lot. It is as if the makers of consoles acknowledge that their creations will only ever become as good as a PC. And that, is still a long way from happening.
Understandably, consoles and PCs are from two different worlds. But when a gamer’s funds are limited and they need to go one way or the other, a console seems like more of luxury, whereas a PC can double as both a means of work and entertainment. Most console owners most likely own a PC because there are just some things that it can perform that consoles don’t, or can’t. A PC has the ability to run a variety of powerful programs and you can easily navigate between several operations at once, a freedom a console still can’t cope with (despite the Xbox One having multitask options).
A long-term investment
I would say the main difference between PCs and consoles are that the former is a long term-investment where as the latter is a short-term one. If you’re willing to add a little more money to the amount you would on a console you will have graphically superior gaming platform that would run AAA titles for some time to come, lasting you a considerable while without needing any upgrades.
Now here’s where another big difference comes in. With PCs you have options. You are able to customise your hardware to your desire. A PC can be upgraded as time passes, with a console you’re stuck with that specs until the next release. It has been about eight years since the release of the PS3 and Xbox 360 and game developers, stuck with hardware that ages the moment the console launches, are forced to work with limited hardware resources. Whereas games were once built for PC then ported to console, it’s now mostly in the reverse. This means that when GTA V eventually comes to PC, it’ll release with the limitations of the Xbox 360 and PS3. This happened recently with the Dark Souls PC port, which was locked to 30FPS and low resolution. PC modders quickly stepped in to correct this though.
The PC is still the best gaming platform available to date. If you have the finances, you can get your hands on a level of setup that consoles can’t reach, as PCs have already eclipsed the next-gen consoles in specs alone. The gaming experience on consoles won’t change unless the consoles themselves change. But games designed for PCs can constantly be pushed to the limits as the hardware is already available to run them. Upgrading a PC is also a far easier process then it used to be, and PC owners are only a few hundred dollars away from upgrading their systems every year or so. In a word: future-proof.
With PCs you are able to stay at the technological frontlines of gaming. For example, Xbox One and PS4 run their content at 1080p with 60FPS. PCs have been doing this for years.
With the Xbox and PlayStation there are annoyances such as backwards compatibility where most of your older titles won’t work on the new console. A PC on the other hand is not limited by this aspect. I’m still able to relive my earliest gaming memories my fuzzy mind can conjure up right through to the latest AAA-releases. I don’t need to sit with two consoles so that I’m able to play older games. For non-gamers it will also be easier to transition into the gaming world through a PC because the chances are it is a much more familiar platform to them than a console.
And then there’s digital distribution services available for PC games, such as Steam. You are able to get gaming titles at a fraction of its retail or console counterpart’s price. There is also an abundance of sales and deals available, not to mention a massive world of indie games to explore. Consoles may have their exclusive titles, and therefore still retain a certain edge, but is it enough to keep one from the pleasures of a PC? Ultimately, many console exclusives eventually end up on PC. The PC gaming world also has its own exclusive titles such as the massively enjoyed Dota 2 and StarCraft 2. PC gaming is simply just more evolved than console gaming, if by virtue of mouse and keyboard control alone.
I admit that consoles (and handhelds like the Nintendo 3DS) have their place in the world and that it is the quickest way to get a gaming fix. What makes a PC so much more appealing than consoles is that it provides so much more. If you’re looking for the greatest gaming performance possible, the PC is undoubtedly your answer. Looking beyond gaming, PCs are able to play movies, music and run a massive variety of programs. It doubles as a work and play station (pun not intended) and effortlessly ascends the limits of consoles. PC’s are the center of our entire lives. The future is unpredictable for the competing consoles, but for now the PC remains the ruler of high quality gaming.
Image via Flickr by Visual Volicity PC