PC vs Console?

15 replies [Last post]
Joined: 05/20/2006
My preference is for consoles

My preference is for consoles due to not having to spend hours getting them to work properly.

Joined: 01/21/2009
I'm firmly on the PC side of

I'm firmly on the PC side of this argument (err discussion :) ) it used to be that PC prices and upgrades where horribly skewed compared to consoles. But nowdays consoles are $4-500 when released, and you can get a PC at Dell for $300, and add a $100 video card and its a far better machine then a Console In my opinion, it plays game at higher res, loads faster (once installed) and can do other things (work ... but who wants to do that?). I do agree its doubtfull a PC will last 5 years and play current games at full res, but it most likley will play games with less details and res (which will likely still be more detail then a console). So i dont think the PC costs more argument works, In the end its about the same price and can do more than a console.

BUT, as a pure gameing machine i would have to tip my hat to consoles. There are MANY games that will never be on a PC that are on consoles, many good games. As mentioned it used ot be a game was made for the PC and ported to consoles, its the other way around now, alot of games play better (button maps and such) on consoles. The ability to tether your Xbox controler to a PC solves some of that, but only if you prefer the gamepad over mouse and keyboard. Consoles can be much cheaper if you dont mind waiting 1 to 2 years for the prices to drop. I myslef like my office chair, but I know most prefer an easy chair or couch, so for most people consoles win that too (but I also have a PC hooked to my bigscreen, more common nowdays then it was). Also the livingroom is a much better place for some split screen gameing then a PC in an office or bedroom.

Thre are so many pro's and con's for both. As i said I'm very firmly planted on the PC side, but do see the consoles attraction. And presonaly i would say 75% or more of my friends perfer consoles over PC's, in fact many dont have PC's or do not think of them as game machines. Consoles are getting to the "do all" stage, they can browse the web, stream movies, play games, and you can shop on them (console related) so they have bridged the gap to the utility of a PC. I would really say the biggest Pupside for consoles is game selection, they are where the PC was 10 years ago, they get the exclusives, they get basicly everything, while the PC is the afterthought. But there is one of the weaknesses too at least price wise. The exclusives come on 3 different systems, so to play them all you are shelling out $1250 (release day prices) for the 3 consoles. That kind of cash would get you the top of line PC that would hang in for that 5 year stretch (be a bit long in tooth in end of it, but should hang in there). Also console games are normally $10 more each at least (actually right now almost all PC games are $20 unless they are AA titles, but console game prices are pretty much set in stone no matter if they are AA titles or shovel ware), 5 games is $50 more and you start adding that up and a few PC upgrades are pretty easy to do for the same cash spent. Now keep in mind most of my figures are based on buying consoles when they are released and games too. One could argue waiting till prices dropped could change things. But not really, PC games get cheaper way faster then Console ones.

But the really big one "consoles just work" I cant really beat that one, PC are almost always more work. OS's have gotten better (but thats a $200 upgrade, the price of a Wii nowdays) and game installs and problems are less, but they havent gone away, a pc will always take more "work'.

Some of the really big negatives i see in consoles, once its dead (product cycle), its dead, time to buy the next new one. Of course you can keep the old beast around ( i think most of us do) but 20 consoles sitting under your TV is not an option for anybody with a wife :) hehe (well most wives). The PC will almost for sure (with somtimes more work then its worth) play that old PC stuff, in fact in a couple years it will most likely play that old Console stuff too, all in one singel box. And with USB nowdays the one big negative to PC emulation was the controls, nowdasy you can buy the same controls and plug um in USB.

I really think for somebody who likes to just plug in and go, prefers the couch, doenst do much web surfing, etc.. the Console cant be beat. But if you do work, websurfing, play old games and new, i cant see the PC being beat.

And as said above, its nice to have the option of more then one. I spend 90% of my time on the PC, but still own a Wii, 360 and PS3, i prefer the PS3 as its a quiet machine, and I like the Controler (i spent more time on a PSone and PS2 then any console, so i like the controler). But the 360 (IMHO) has the best game library. Though I know i spent more time with Demons Souls then any game on any console.

The never ending debate, PC ruled till about 5-10 years ago gamewise, but console are King now.

Rob Daviau
Rob Daviau's picture
Joined: 05/19/2006
Oh not again.

After all this time I try not to think of it as a "VS" situation anymore because to me that implies that one should win over the other. I see it more as what is better for the individual. It always seems to be the same old points made for both sides. PC= Better control / Cheaper games / more flexible. Console= Easier / Set standards / Availability. Of course there are still MANY MANY more for and against each side. For myself personally it has changed back and forth. At a time my only need was NES but once I got an Amiga I could of certainly gotten by with nothing else. Currently, while I would LIKE to say PC I actually play the most on my PS2/Dreamcast and more recently Gamecube lol! Yes I do agree with some of the points against PC these days such as DRM, I think we all agree that while we understand companies wanting to protect their IP we are getting very sick of their methods of copy protections that are often intrusive, annoying and in some cases making even those of us who want to support PC gaming tempted to just give it all up. At the same time I get pulled back to PC gaming because of the flexibility and fun of not only the quality of Free games (I mean Freeware, emulation etc) plus MODS allowing one to enjoy previously finished games once again, this has always been a strong point on PC. While not a lot of people would agree for me personally I do not own any of the current gen consoles because they are becoming more PC like, they are losing some of the very reasons one would choose a console like the simplicity, once the need to go online with a console started I knew what was going to happen, patches for console games? Pathetic! Sure DLC may be appealing for some but how much of it is just a cash in for further profit on an already released title? In my opinion the only reason a console should go online is for multiplayer, not DLC, not patches and certainly not to obtain content that should of already been included on the disc. Yeah an old way of thinking to be sure but I cannot help but feel the line between PC and Consoles has become to blurred, only the lack of applications and running Windows separate them today. The only other point I will address, the opinion that PC's cost so much. Well I do not look at it this way, I mean most people who have any console today have a PC. Sure to play any real PC games you would need a half decent CPU and a dedicated graphics card but I suggest that those two very items that you require for true PC gaming will also greatly enhance EVERYTHING you do on your PC including video editing, CAD, multitasking etc. So really if you subtract the price of any current console, accessories, games etc and put that towards the upgrades required for your PC to run real games then your going to not only be able to play PC games but also enjoy every PC activity more. In the end though I stick to what I said at the start, it's not PC vs Consoles but simply which is best for the individual at any given time. The best answer for me is BOTH and switching between the two as the mood strikes me.

Matt Barton
Matt Barton's picture
Joined: 01/16/2006

I'll always be a PC gamer first and foremost, but I'm with Bill on the convenience of consoles. It's really not a fault of PCs, but rather the publishers who insist on so many idiotic DRM schemes. All these schemes do is hurt the loyal customer (the pirates will always be totally unaffected by them!). The very idea of these "always on" DRM schemes makes me feel sick. Steam is bad enough, pretty much eliminating the used games market and sounding the death knell for collecting PC games. I'm sure that consoles will soon follow, with always-on DRM systems. Only a matter of time before discs are gone and everything is just streamed or downloaded online as well.

The big problem I have with most consoles, though, is that they are walled gardens (or amusement parks). The idea is, come in and play, but NO OUTSIDE FOOD OR BEVERAGES. Once you're in, it's their way or get the hell out. The console is like the ticket that gets you through the gate; after that, you need to buy everything directly from them and their partners.

Now, contrast that to PCs, where it's pretty much total freedom. That also includes the freedom to download torrents and whatever, so it's left to the publishers (instead of the console maker) to deal with the piracy issue. They aren't unified enough to force consumers into a gated community, though they are trying. The only problem is you end up with MANY such communities, and it's a nightmare on the consumer end. Imagine your PC trying to constantly authenticate with hundreds of such servers all over the world; it's pretty much a guaranteed exploit opportunity for the REALLY bad guys. Plus, PC gamers tend to be more knowledgeable about such things than console gamers (who don't have to be). I know a lot of people are refusing to buy Settlers 7 just because of Ubisoft's always on DRM. On top of all that, the DRM is often flaky, refusing to run even when you have the legit disc. This has happened to me on numerous occasions, and I've ended up downloading a crack just to play a game that *I bought new*. I kid you not, I've even been brought to such crack files from the developer's own site, because they often had no say so over the DRM introduced by the publisher and are even more upset than the gamers over it!

So, anyway, just to clarify, there's no reason why it HAS to be like this. But we vote with our dollars on this stuff. If people continue to buy games with DRM, publishers will continue to release them. Same with consoles. If people continue to buy consoles and console games instead of PC, that's where the developers will go. It's just common sense.

On a side note, PCs are still the place to go for the games I prefer (adventure, strategy, and to a lesser extent RPGs). I think the reason for that is the lower development/publishing costs, as well as the fact that PC gamers tend to sit very close to their screens and have keyboards and mice. It's be hard to play something like Settlers, for instance, using a controller and sitting far back from the screen.

Bill Loguidice
Bill Loguidice's picture
Joined: 12/31/1969
I have the wireless adapter

I have the wireless adapter for the PC so I can use my 360 gamepad wirelessly. Yeah, my own preference has been console for a number of years mostly for convenience, but also because consoles tend to be the lead development platform anyway. There are other factors of course, like my TV and sound system being bigger and better than my PC's. With that said, there are certain genres that are still better on PC. I still hate strategy-like games with tiny objects on my HDTV console versus my PC. It's meant to be played on a monitor that's closer to your face.

While it's not necessarily hugely expensive to maintain a good gaming PC, it's still more expensive than a console you could get at launch that could last five, six or more years without doing a single thing to it in terms of upgrades. The same can never be said of a PC. It's highly unlikely you'll be able to run 100% of all games for as long as the PC continues to function. The other major issue is as you say, one of DRM. Big hassle. Of course as usual, I will temper my comments that if you can only own ONE system, the PC HAS to be it for its extraordinary versatility and openness. Luckily, most people can own multiple systems for multiple situations.


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