PCs vs. Consoles

This article was published on 12/12/2014.

As should be evident to anyone that reads this site, I'm a console gamer. I've been a console gamer my entire life. Now, I'm not saying that console gaming is objectively better than PC gaming; it's merely the one I prefer. Both sides have pros and cons, and I simply went with the pros and cons I liked best. I trust everyone else does the same thing. For the purposes of this article, I'll be going into why I prefer one side over the other. If you don't agree with anything I say here, then too bad.

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The main reason I initially became invested in console gaming was the games. I simply enjoyed the games on consoles more than what was available on computers. For many years, console games and PC games were vastly different from each other. PCs had first-person shooters, real-time strategy, massively multiplayer online games, and point-and-click adventure games, all of which I hated. Consoles, on the other hand, had platform games, racing games, side-scrolling shooters, action adventure games, role-playing games, and countless others that I liked. Early PC games, the ones from the late 80s and early 90s, did somewhat fit the description of what I liked, but I didn't own a computer back then. By the time I did get a computer, the PC was almost exclusively dominated by games I had no interest in. Ports were few and far between at the time, and they were usually terrible. The question of which platform I preferred was easily answered by going with whatever had the most games I wanted to play, and for me that was always consoles.

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Eventually, things changed. In recent years, console gaming and PC gaming became largely similar, with both having nearly identical game releases. So why do I still prefer console gaming, even now? Consoles are, quite simply, simple. They're easy to set up and getting a game to work on one is a simple matter of inserting a disc and hitting the power button. Things almost never go awry, and in the rare event that they do, it's never your fault. The best part, though, is that no troubleshooting is ever required, because console issues typically can't be resolved by the end user. If you have a faulty console, you either buy a new one or send it in for repairs. On PCs, errors frequently crop up, and it's always up to you to spend endless hours scouring online forums, figuring out how to fix them. Even when an error is the developer's fault, you still often have to find a workaround yourself, unless you want to wait for a patch. If the error you get isn't popular, the developer won't release a patch for it, leaving you with the unwanted responsibility of fixing it yourself. I don't have the patience for that anymore.

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Power is not one of the reasons I'm on consoles. No matter how you slice it, consoles are vastly inferior to PCs when it comes to raw strength. I will not even attempt to argue otherwise. Anyone that does is just kidding themselves at this point. There once was a period in history when PCs would take some time to catch up with a new console's power, but that time is over. The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One were both surpassed by PCs in a year or less after their release. If you want 1080p and 60 frames per second across the board, then you're going to need a beefy PC. Here's the thing, though; I don't care. I can't tell the difference between 720p and 1080p, and I'm only able to differentiate 30fps from 60fps with side-by-side comparisons. Further, I don't even have a television set or monitor that is capable of displaying 1080p, nor do I currently want one. The graphics, resolution, and frame rate of games on consoles is good enough for me. Keep in mind that I still primarily play 8-bit and 16-bit games, so modern graphics are mind blowing to me, even on the "inferior" consoles.

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Another reason I stick with console gaming is cost. Consoles cost way less than computers, plus computers need to be upgraded way more often. A single console tends to last around five or six years; the previous console generation lasted eight. No matter how great your PC is, it won't last eight years without a single upgrade. Some say that the cost of PC gaming is justified, because the games are cheaper. In fact, there are those that go so far as to imply that PC gaming is actually cheaper than console gaming in the long run, when you take into account all the money saved on games. Perhaps this is true; I haven't crunched the numbers myself, and I have no interest in doing so. However, even if this were the case, the savings would only become apparent if you bought loads of games. I don't buy that many games these days, averaging to around five or so games per year. Considering how rare my game purchases are, I'd spend most of my money constantly upgrading a computer that won't play many games. That just doesn't seem worth it to me.

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Nintendo is the biggest reason why I'm still a heavy console user. The majority of console games are now available on PC, but this is still not the case for Nintendo's games. All their games are always exclusive to their unique consoles, even now. The kinds of games Nintendo creates are exactly the kinds of games I enjoy, so buying their consoles is always a no brainer for me. After all, you can't get the latest Mario, Zelda, and Metroid games anywhere else. While I do find Nintendo's persistent hardware "innovations" annoying, I'm willing to tolerate that to continue playing the games I love. Nintendo is not only a big reason I still play consoles, but also a big reason I'm still into modern gaming at all. If it weren't for them, I might not own any current gen consoles. Games will always be the most important determinant for what platform I go for, and Nintendo helps tip the scales to consoles for me. It'll likely continue that way until the day Nintendo gets out of the hardware market.

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If you were expecting an incendiary article bashing PCs, then I'm sorry to disappoint you. This is nothing more than the irrelevant opinions of an insignificant individual. I didn't write this article with the objective of convincing anyone of anything. My only aim was to shed some light on my personal feelings on the matter. To that end, I have accomplished my goal.

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