In the world of gaming, there is no bigger debate than what’s better – PC or console gaming? Everyone has their preferences, so opinions will differ slightly based on what you like and dislike. Therefore, it’s hard to come to a definitive decision. It’s not as if someone can tell you that you’re wrong!
Still, there are general specifications that massively impact the user experience, and they apply across the board. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a PlayStation type of guy or an Xbox fan because they’ll affect you. And, when it comes to these attributes, the personal computer comes out on top.
Yes, there’s no denying that Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony have created popular products that have revolutionized the market. Also, it’s hard to argue that they don’t compete with PCs – they do. It’s just that, when you evaluate the overall features, the personal computer is a giant of gaming. So, if you’re thinking about getting into iGaming or want to switch consoles, you should keep this in mind.
Oh, and don’t forget the reasons why PC gaming is superior to console gaming. You can find six of them underneath, and these are only the tip of the iceberg!
It’s impossible to ignore the expensive elephant in the room. Regardless of which generation console that you purchase, you’ll have to spend a couple of hundred dollars for the privilege to own a PS4 or Xbox One. That’s without mentioning the latest next-gen consoles which have recently been released.
For the lucky few you can get their hands on a PS5 or Xbox Series X – there’s currently a shortage – you can expect to pay around $500. It’s a lot of money, especially for a product that will be out of date within a few years when the newest PlayStation or Xbox hits the shelves and you suffer from FOMO.
Sure, a gaming PC costs around the same after you factor in the add-ons and labor. However, you get more bang for your buck from a personal computer because it’s an all-rounder. One minute you’re wandering through the GTA Online map and the next you’re shopping for Christmas presents as it’s nearly the big day and you forgot. Whoops!
You might use your PC for gaming purposes, but you’ll be surprised by how much it comes in handy for other things, particularly if you work in an office or are still studying. Let’s face it – you can’t write a 10,000-word thesis on a PS5. It’s good, but it ain’t that good.
What really sets a PC apart from a gaming perspective is the accessibility that it offers. While Sony and Microsoft aren’t Apple and don’t restrict users to a basic operating system, they aren’t flexible suppliers. In short, what you see is what you get when you unwrap the box and plug it in for the first time.
That’s cool since you did your research and you’re happy with the graphics and processor, and everything else it offers. However, are you only content because your console is the best of a bad bunch? Compared to a personal computer, a PlayStation or Xbox is incredibly restrictive and not geared for gaming.
For example, you can buy a new graphics card and boost the definition on your screen. Also, PC users can add more RAM, boosting storage and power at the same time for a better gaming experience. If you know what you’re doing, you can crack open your computer and install a bespoke GPU.
Sadly, none of these upgrades are feasible with traditional consoles as they aren’t wired the same way. To hijack a PS4 or Xbox One X is not only challenging – not many people do it – but it’s risky since the hundreds of dollars you spent could instantly end up in the drain.
Gamers live in a world where add-ons and extra are essential, yet where manufacturers and developers are cutting back on the freebies. Take mobile gaming. It’s a huge industry now, and it’s growing by the minute, but the infrastructure is less inclusive than ever before. Laptops with no disc-drives highlight this the best.
It’s worth noting there are loopholes that allow you to use a modern mobile device, such as a laptop, as a gaming medium. A bootable pendrive is by far the easiest and most effective tool on the market because pretty much every laptop or tablet has a USB drive.
However, it’s not simple. If you have to reinstall an operating system, you should be able to do it the old-fashioned way as it takes five minutes. With a PC, you get the luxury of knowing that, whatever happens, you have the features to level-up or fix issues as soon as possible. From USB ports to disc-drives and HDMI connectors, you shouldn’t take them for granted.
Aside from peace of mind, they also ensure that you get your money’s worth, which is a big consideration as devices become costlier and include fewer components.
PCs have exclusives, which is an excellent start. Everybody knows or has met people who claim this isn’t the case. Apparently, only Sony and Microsoft have the foresight to restrict compatibility to their consoles. Of course, it isn’t true as the PC has an entire genre of games that are pretty much exclusive to personal computers.
When was the last time you played Disco Elysium or Crusader Kings 2 on a console? Never, because they aren’t available. The thinking behind the denial is that they are titles people don’t want to play, yet the buying and engagement figures prove otherwise. From The Witcher to Doom and World of Warcraft, they have some of the biggest numbers going.
On the flip side, console exclusives are seemingly becoming things of the past. Why? It’s due to the fact that Microsoft is opting for a feature it calls the “Game Pass.” Anyone who has a pass can access the latest releases and titles without having to pay extortionate amounts for a disc or the download rights.
As a result, you should expect to see more games available across different platforms, especially if Sony follows suit and adopts the same strategy.
Once you own a PC game, you own it for life. Yes, you have to buy a physical disc or download it from Valve’s Steam platform, similar to a console. However, that’s where the similarities end due to the new technology that console manufacturers install in their products and services for new releases.
They class them as selling points, but the reality is that they are stumbling blocks for the average gamer. After all, you’ll have a favorite title, and it might not be available on the PS4 due to the different OS. So, all it does is encourage you to buy a gaming unit that costs more in the long run and inhibits the user experience.
PCs aren’t as sneaky as they have pretty much kept the same operating system since they became popular in the 90s and early 2000s. Sure, there are new features and components that ensure they don’t get left behind, but the foundation is the same. What does this mean for gamers? It means that every title you purchase, online or in-store, will continue to play on your personal computer, whether you keep your old device or swap it for something better.
Sony has only caught on to this trick with the PS5, whereas PCs have been doing it for decades.
It’s wrong to say that PCs are the only free gaming experience in town now that mobile devices are in on the act. In many ways, cells and smartphones provide a UX that is impossible to create, which is why the titles’ popularity is through the roof.
Still, personal computers have, and will continue to invest in the free game market, and that’s something for gaming fans to admire. The fact is that some of the world’s most loved and biggest games are classed as free-to-play, so it’s right to factor them into your decision. After all, you don’t get the option with a PlayStation or Xbox.
Plus, even when free games aren’t your bag, you can rely on regular sales to afford the titles you crave. Unlike console games, which never seem to lose their value, PC titles are often cheaper due to sales and promotions from online providers and platforms. By six months, a big PC release could fall to $20-$25.
You don’t necessarily have to spend another cent again, not with free-to-play options on PCs. However, if you want to, the ubiquitous sales should offer you the perfect chance to land your favorites and bag a bargain.
Do PCs beat consoles? They do if you’re searching for a cheaper alternative that is powerful and easier to upgrade. Also, they are better if you prefer a gaming unit that is accessible and inclusive, regardless of your habits.
The final decision is yours, yet you could do a lot worse than investing in a gaming PC!