PC vs Console?

15 replies [Last post]
Mark Vergeer
Mark Vergeer's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/16/2006

The PC is a lot more flexible when it comes to gaming. First person shooters in my opinion are best played with the mouse and keyboard. But gaming PCs are expensive to maintain if you want to continue to play the latest games as they were intended.

In the past DOS systems needed endless HIMEM.SYS and EMM386.EXE NOEMS EMS switches and configurations to play the games and later on on the early 16/32 bit Windows a game installation could totally crap up your configuration. So PCs needed a lot of tweaking and tinkering with drivers to get the games up and running properly. Consoles don't - what do you think?

One thing that still causes a lot of problems is rootkits and DRM/Copy protection schemes that actually make it harder to run the original game from the original disc than running a bootleg copy. That is just ridiculous.

Today with Windows 7 - which is a very stable Windows OS - connect a 360 (wired) gamepad and the experience is equal to that on the 360--almost. Apart from the fact that the 360 you only need to pop in a disc and you're ready to play without any hassles... Or so it would be in the past. Today with the PS3 and the 360 one does need to get updates and patches for games just like one would have to do on the PC, but at least the process is automated and for the most part fail safe...

Consoles from the years gone by seem to have better build quality. If I take out my Atari 2600Jr or Saturn it just works and continues to work after all these years but tons of people have already experienced their 360s or PS3s crapping out on them. I'm still on my first two consoles. The 360 is a launch day PAL machine (my gamer score is still in 4 digits so perhaps that figures) and the PS3 is a slim model. Perhaps I'm gaming on borrowed time here ;)

I have a preference for consoles over PCs but I do keep a more or less up to date dedicated PC gaming machine around...

n/a
Chris Kennedy
Chris Kennedy's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/31/2008
My take

Hey guys -

Late to the party! It's an ongoing theme for me.

I've switched back and forth on the PC vs. console debate over the years. While I had fun gaming on computers in the 80s, the NES was a welcome addition to gaming. It was simplistic and had a good library of games that were fun to play. It certainly couldn't dethrone the PC as far as things like adventure games were concerned. It couldn't do much about flight simulators either. Errr...strategy games were - PC. Card games (at the time) were....PC....

So while the NES added and other consoles made things simple in the 80s, the PC (or computer gaming) still had the upper hand.

For the decade of the 1990s, the PC ruled. Hands down. There were certainly some GREAT games released for consoles in the 90s, but you cannot ignore the PC's evolution.

The console kingdom struggled into 3D as the 90s moved forward. There were a ton of failures. It took about half of the decade for console systems to get 3D right. Even after the PSX and N64 took the reins, the systems' graphics were terrible. The N64 didn't even have a soundchip (after the SNES & its great chip), and the PSX didn't have a good synth either. You could only lean on redbook audio for so many games.

The end of the pure 2D era closed with great games on the SNES. The Playstation certainly had a large library of games for that second half of the 90s. I'll take nothing away from the pure volume of console games in the 90s, but you have to look at PC. While consoles were producing graphics rehashes of genres such as the side scroller, vertical shooter, and JRPGs, PCs were giving birth to genres! Look at the evolution of the FPS, RTS, and (unfortunately ill-fated) adventure game. Wolfenstein, DOOM, Warcraft, Command and Conquer, Monkey Island, LOOM, numerous Sierra games, Wing Commander, Diablo, X-Wing, Syndicate. The list continues.

If you ported console games to PCs in the 90s and ported PC games to consoles in the 90s, one platform would make the games practically unplayable. They tried porting a few of the games I listed above to consoles of the 90s, and the results were laughable.

All of this said, I gradually turned to consoles in the 2000s. Adventure games died, and I quickly tired of FPS and even RTS. The very things I would use as ammunition to argue for my PC gaming addiction of the 90s get tossed to the wind in favor of consoles. It became easier to relax on the couch and play a game on the TV. Graphics and sound capabilities for consoles pushed toward being acceptable, and spending $300 on a graphics card only to replace it within a year was ridiculous.

---

PC gaming for me always hinged on the letter P - Personal. Playing games on a monitor seemed to absorb me much more than a console game. In this last decade, portable gaming as surged. Has it taken the place of PCs when it comes to presenting gaming on a personal level? Possibly.

All of my gaming today comes from either a portable or a console. I can't remember the last time I bought a PC game. Will that change with Diablo III? I don't know just yet.

I will say this though - Consoles may be my platform of choice today, but I think that PCs have history and innovation on their side. After my long rant, I choose PC.

n/a
Catatonic
Offline
Joined: 05/20/2006
If you're looking for a

If you're looking for a general purpose Twitter client, I like both Tweetie (which has been bought by Twitter and will become free in the near future) and Echofon Pro (which lets you get a push notification when someone on Twitter replies to you - no more checking Twitter just to see if you got a reply or mention).

Catatonic
Offline
Joined: 05/20/2006
OK. My app is a bit different

OK. My app is a bit different - here is the link: (iTunes link). I have a new version approved, not visible in the store yet, so I have to wait for them to catch up before I can generate promo codes.

Bill Loguidice
Bill Loguidice's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
Twitter iPhone app
Catatonic wrote:

BTW do any of you use Twitter on the iPhone? Bill? I've made a new app & would be happy to give out some free copies.

Yes, I use Twitterific, which is passable, so I'd be happy to try a new one. Thanks.

n/a
Catatonic
Offline
Joined: 05/20/2006
BTW do any of you use Twitter

BTW do any of you use Twitter on the iPhone? Bill? I've made a new app & would be happy to give out some free copies.

Catatonic
Offline
Joined: 05/20/2006
Yeah there is no contract for

Yeah there is no contract for AT&T 3G on the iPad, you can buy one month at a time if that's all you need.

Personally I don't have much use for an iPad but if I did want one, I wouldn't worry too much about the 1st generation thing, since resale value should be plenty. I have bought iPod touches that only cost 50 bucks after selling it the next year. Even broken ones have more resale value than some generic mp3 players, haha.

Bill Loguidice
Bill Loguidice's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
Seriously, Matt, if you're

Seriously, Matt, if you're able, I'd wait for the next revision of the iPad. Surely that revision will have two cameras for video conferencing and other improvements. Never buy the first version of an Apple product, be it iPod, iPhone, or iPad, because you know a better version is right around the corner, and usually cheaper. The one nice thing about owning any of those Apple devices though is that whatever you have in iTunes generally transfers over to the next device, so you don't lose out. The only downside is that you're locked into Apple indefinitely unless you want to start purchasing content anew. I know it's unlikely I'll ever switch off the iPhone line as my phone for that reason.

I agree about the 3G thing. I pay enough monthly access bills. With that said, that's actually not a bad price for unlimited 3G, plus there's no contract which is always a plus.

n/a
Matt Barton
Matt Barton's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/16/2006
I heard Leo Laporte talking

I heard Leo Laporte talking about them (he LOVES iPad), and that made me consider one after dismissing it off hand. But he's right; it would be nice to have a device like that, not as a desktop or laptop replacement, but as a media consumption device. It'd be nice to have lying around in case your PC is busy and you just want to check something quick, or if you want something to read while you're in the bathroom. I could also see using it extensively in the classroom, when the main PC is being projected. And gaming certainly has possibilities--it'd take the "click" right out of point and click! :) I'd probably end up using a lot, especially for minor tasks, such as checking email, reading blogs, etc.

The only thing really holding me back is the price and the 3G costs. I really don't need another monthly bill. It's currently $30 a month for unlimited 3G on this thing. Of course, you could just stick with wifi or whatever you have downloaded, but space is limited. I don't travel much, but I'd like to think I could get some of use out of it when I do. I'm also sick of the contract shenanigans companies pull with this stuff. It'd be one thing if I could just easily buy 3G for the time of my trip and not get beholden to any contracts.

n/a
Bill Loguidice
Bill Loguidice's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
Don't agree with one point of differentiation

I will disagree with one thing from one of the earlier comments. It's NOT a resolution thing as far as I'm concerned. If you're talking games on the 360 or PS3, you're talking 1280x720p to 1920x1080p, with upscaling for most titles to the 1920x1080p mode if they're not native. Even today, that's not something that most PC's can easily handle. So it's not a resolution thing, it's not a polygon thing, it's not a performance thing. Consoles are more than a match for PC's in that regard, and will be for the remainder of whatever is left in this generation of systems, which could be quite a few more years. And no, even buying one of the consoles at launch prices, you'd still not be able to get an equivalent PC for the same price.

However, again, with all that said, it's not either/or, it's not which one is better. The PC IS the ultimate everything machine and always will be, but that does come with some gotchas (not the least of which it's also our work/e-mail/productivity machines). It doesn't mean it's a suitable replacement for a console in most cases, though. It also doesn't mean that some games simply don't work as well on consoles. Some don't. But for all practical purposes, you're getting a closed system you don't have to worry about with a console versus an open system you do with a PC. Costs are more on the hardware side for the PC, but software prices are typically cheaper, so even that is a wash if you're an active gamer.

By the way, I too am coveting an iPad, though I will NOT be buying one for this current iteration, which is too costly and too limited. Second generation, I can definitely see myself getting one as a good e-Reader/PDF reader, and that's with me getting whatever the latest generation iPhone will be in December.

n/a
Matt Barton
Matt Barton's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/16/2006
Great comments, guys. I can

Great comments, guys. I can tell we're all on the same page with this one.

I think any serious gamer would prefer to have it all, even if you prefer one to the other. If I had plenty of cash, of course I'd have all the modern consoles and at least try out the "big ones" for each platform. Again, it's very similar to amusement parks. If you could afford it (and distance wasn't an issue), wouldn't you want to try them all? Unfortunately, the reality is that most of us can only afford one or the other, or, at best, one console and one reasonably powered PC. I don't think you need a high-end PC anymore. I don't know of any games that don't have good scaling, although you might have to crank it down to minimum. That's fine by me, because a game should be fun without all the fancy visuals. If it's not, no graphics card will make up the difference.

Anyway, I think that consoles are where CompuServe, GEnie, AOL, and so on were back in the early 90s. This is *their* time to rule the industry. Most people out there think "gaming" *means* consoles. The very idea of gaming on their PC is alien to them (beyond solitaire, of course). Also, like these commercial networks, the consoles each have great exclusives, communities, and (hopefully) dedicated support. Try to imagine a noob back in the 90s trying to decide between AOL and a local "ISP," with little knowledge of what that entailed. Of course, it'd be easier just to go with AOL, pay the monthly fee, and get that sanitized, gated experience. Hell, I remember how many people thought "the internet" *was* AOL. They just didn't grasp that you didn't need AOL to surf the net. Indeed, I bet a lot of them never actually left AOL's gated community!

What is the future? Almost certainly a PC-like experience, without the gates. The console age will end. Rob pointed out that it's already blurring, with DLC. How much longer until there are no discs and consoles come with mice and keyboards (or whatever tech will allow easy surfing and such?) Hell, the future might be touch for all I know. But anyway, eventually it will become painfully obvious to everyone that life is better outside the gates, and, again, the industry will go where the money is.

What killed AOL? Knowledge. People learned that they didn't need AOL anymore, and they left. What will kill consoles? Knowledge. People will learn they don't need Nintendo, Sony, or Microsoft to play games, and they will leave. Is that time here? Certainly not. But it is only a matter of time.

I actually have my eye very closely on the iPad. Not because I like it (Apple is just another gated community), but the form factor and simplicity bodes well, and other companies are getting into it. It seems like something like it will be the future of PCs; nice, portable, sturdy, easy. But I digress.

n/a

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.