The debate as to who is “top dog” in the gaming world has been going on for ages. In the year of 2016, the choice has become even harder because consoles used to be cheaper than purchasing a high-end gaming PC, but game streaming services such as Sony PlayStation Now allow even lower-end computers to play recent, graphic-intensive games.
PC – Pros
Gaming computers will almost always provide the best looking graphics. Computer users can upgrade to the newest video cards, add more RAM, and increase storage space rather than be restricted to pre-defined specifications. Laptops can also become gaming powerhouses when built correctly, allowing PC gamers to enjoy their favourite hobby almost anywhere. Also, low-end PCs can still be a great choice without any stream services because many developers are creating modern games with lower-end PCs in mind. In addition, although there can initially be a large price tag attached, upgrading different parts of a computer can be much cheaper than having to buy a new system altogether like a console. Often times, there are bundles available that commonly package the PC with a decent keyboard and mouse, at the very least. You’re also not just restricted to a keyboard and mouse because the best console controllers are available to use with PC as well.
PC – Cons
As previously mentioned, PC gaming can be incredibly expensive. Many of the better gaming PCs cost around $800, at a minimum. On top of that, a monitor, keyboard, mouse, and speakers will also need to be purchased in order to even use the PC if a bundle is not available. On top of that, a sturdy desk is required and a proper chair too. Moreover, different computer parts all have different life expectancies. A power supply is typically good for 3 to 5 years, while a budget video card may only last 2 years before it needs to be replaced. This can be overwhelming for some people and console gaming can be a much simpler, less confusing experience for these users.
Console – Pros
The Sony PlayStation, Xbox One, and Nintendo Wii U all come with a system and at least one controller. Often times, there are bundles available that will come with a game or two as well. With the right TV, a console user doesn’t need to purchase extras like speakers and will very rarely ever need a keyboard. There also aren’t different components that need to be addressed. There are modifications that some users make to their consoles, such as adding external hard drives or adding more RAM (at the risk of voiding their warranty). However, mods are not a requirement in order to get a great gaming experience from a modern console. Additionally, consoles like the PS4 and Xbox One provide breath-taking visuals without the high-cost of a top-notch GPU. Plus, what could be better than kicking back on a relaxing couch after a hard day at work instead of having to play in the home office?
Console – Cons
A console can often equate to restrictions and when people try to bypass those restrictions, it often means the console will no longer be under warranty. For example, Microsoft states that simply opening up an Xbox One will mean that the warranty will no longer be honoured. Therefore, if you upgrade or replace a part yourself, you may need to purchase an entirely new system when something breaks down completely. Depending on the console, there may also be restrictions on what accessories can be used. For instance, a normal SD card can not be used with a Sony device and only Sony-branded memory cards can be used with those gaming devices. To top things off, there are console-only exclusives for certain brands that cannot be played until the specific console is purchased. Such is the case with PlayStation games such as The Last of Us and Until Dawn.
As you can see, gaming on either a PC or console will have its perks and drawbacks. The genre of games in your library will also need to be taken into account. Some of the more competitive shooters are better played on a PC than with a controller because a reaction time with a mouse is much quicker. Meanwhile, theatrical-quality games like Until Dawn are best enjoyed sitting comfortably in front of a TV screen because these games feel as if you are playing through an interactive movie. Whichever the choice, an immersive, entertaining gaming experience can be had.