With the PS4 and Xbox One being announced recently, it is a good time to revisit the age old debate of consoles vs PCs, compare the similarities and differences between the two, and discuss making the move from console to PC.
I started out gaming many moons ago on PC, then switched to consoles (I had a Super Nintendo Entertainment System, a PlayStation, an Xbox, and an Xbox 360), and have recently made the switch back to PC, but refuse to give up the lounge room gaming experience, along with my Xbox 360 controller.
I find that gaming can be a very personal experience, in that everyone is different and has different expectations, and the games you like and how you like to play them can dictate the platform of choice.
Consoles just work. They are simple, quick and easy to use, and have the advantage of having physical copies of games, meaning you can easily lend them to friends or sell them or trade them in once you are finished playing them (the strict Digital Rights Management on the PC means even DVD copies of games cannot be borrowed or sold on). Some say they are superior for playing with friends, and are more family friendly too (my wife loves the fitness games on Kinect). The new Xbox One and PS4 look to be retailing at around $550 at launch, with ways to find cheaper deals already - see here. You can buy a PC that is equivalent spec-wise to the new gen consoles for around $600, but for arguments sake, let’s say it is $700, making it about $150 more than a new console.
So why would you spend nearly 30% more on a PC?
Well, the PC has some unique features that can make it easy to justify...games are significantly cheaper (even when factoring in the inability to on-sell), there is free online gaming with multiple online servers, virtually unlimited storage, incredible flexibility, and additional content such as mods, texture packs, and graphics overhauls that can breathe life back into an old game. The cost for my new PC was around $600. It happily resides under the TV in the lounge room, and can play any current game, and will likely play any games on maximum settings (or near max) for the next three or four years, and on medium settings for a lot longer after that.
The case blends in with my TV cabinet (using a SilverStone Home Theater Personal Computer chassis), and I can use my Xbox 360 controller natively with almost every game (I use Xpadder software to emulate a mouse and keyboard with the controller if not natively supported). My PC is also multi-purpose - it is a HTPC with dual HD TV tuners, a media server, and a torrent box, and it is virtually silent. Steam has recently come to the party with Big Picture Mode ("a 10-foot user interface, optimising the display of Steam to work on high-definition televisions, allowing the user to control Steam via a gamepad or through keyboard and mouse"), and when coupled with the ability to use your Xbox or PS3 controller, the transition from console to PC is almost seamless.
The only limitation I have personally found on the PC is with online multiplayer of First Person Shooter games. The aim assist that is found on consoles is generally banned on PC, so you will stand no chance of using your controller against gamers using a keyboard and mouse.
The lines between console and PC are blending, and with the power being packed into these machines now, you are guaranteed mind-blowing graphics and sound whatever platform you choose!
(For the latest gaming deals at Buckscoop across all platforms - click here)