Playing video and online games - whether they be for fun, real money or bitcoin - is, for some people, a casual experience. For others, however, it’s serious business and it requires serious decision-making at every turn.
One question that many gamers have is whether they should rely on a PC for their gaming activities or invest in a console – and if so, which one. Every device has its pros and cons including adaptability to new tech, ability to support heavy software, ability to integrate with other systems, etc.
Gamers discuss the suitability of one over the other endlessly. They weigh in on the cost of each, what upgrades are necessary, which system offers the best visuals and what’s preferable for multi-player competitions. It’s also necessary to consider the gamer’s budget, his/her technical skills and the ability to upgrade as needed.
Regardless of whether you’re just starting out on your gaming adventure or you are planning to move to a different stage in your gaming efforts you need to consider all the different elements of the question before you make your decision.
PCs and Consoles for Gamers
PC and console gamers are both looking for the device that’s going to give them the best gaming experience for their investment but it’s measured differently for each group. PC gamers can actually build their own computers and create the kind of gaming device that suits their needs. Console gamers are ready to go after they purchase the console, games, extra controllers and, if needed, online multiplayer passes.
These differences in perceived value make it impossible to say whether a PC or a console is the most cost-efficient option. It is completely dependent on the gamer him/herself and the level of performance and customization that s/he wants as well as the size of his/her budget.
If you choose to play games on a PC you should be prepared with technical skills that will allow you to install sequels or updates of the game. These are skills that console players don’t need. It’s important to have a general concept of how the PC operates so s/he can do things like upgrading hardware components and installing new drivers for those components. Minimal skill is needed to do the same with a console.
The main advantages that consoles have over PCs is that they are easy to use, are generally cheaper, allow for simple multi-player with others who have consoles, use wireless controllers that deliver a more active experience and don’t require upgrades.
Consoles are designed for easy set up and simple maintenance. You don’t need to put anything together or do anything too technical. The lower cost of consoles as opposed to PCs is also a plus along with the advantage of being able to use the consoles to stream TV shows, music and movies.
Additionally, there’s no need to upgrade the hardware which you will be required to do periodically if you’re using a PC. Console hardware doesn’t become obsolete because the console manufacturer build the consoles complete with the necessary system requirements.
It’s true that old consoles don’t support new games but a console can take you through years of gaming until you need to consider whether or not to upgrade when a new system is released. It is worth considering that the upgrades might be necessary if you want to play games that were released for previous generation consoles or you come across the need for backwards compatibility.
Console gamers often find that they are collecting multiple consoles so that they can play games across systems.
Multiplayer games are almost always built with consoles in mind. Groups of friends generally have matching consoles and those consoles support the multiplayer games.
Since few consoles and games support cross-platform capability, it’s important to consider which system the people with whom you want to play will be playing on as well as which games they will be playing -- not all consoles offer the same range of games.
Finally, the best wireless controllers are those that are supported by consoles. The newer consoles have games that force you to use those wireless controls in ways that increase your physical activity.
If you do indeed have tech skills you may want to consider using a PC. PC gaming gives you the opportunity to customize the PC and, if you want, create a high-end computer with superior accuracy with peripherals, modified games, hotkeys and more lifelike and sharper visuals. Everything depends on how much you want to invest in your PC and your abilities to modify it to your needs.
The main investments and upgrades include:
- Memory (RAM) which can range from a minimum of 4GB/8GB up to 16GB/32GB for the newer games.
- Solid State Drive (SSD) which is better than a hard drive because you get greater speed, reduced power consumption and long term durability than with a hard drive.
- A graphics card or GPU (Graphics Process Unit) that provides the data that creates the video or imagery that is seen on the screen. With a GPU or a graphics card you can keep the visuals sharp, even while gaming on multiple screens simultaneously.
When you play with a PC you have a wide variety of mice and controllers from which to choose. If wireless controllers such, joysticks and wheels aren’t important to you, and if you’re focusing on precision, you can use a gaming mouse when you play on a PC for accuracy and precision control that you don’t get from console controllers.
PC players can modify the gameplay in order to modify the game – adding new maps, switching character skins, etc.
Finally, while building a PC may cost most than buying a console, PC games generally cost less than the identical console-specific versions.
In summary, the battle over whether console or PC gaming is better won’t be decided anytime soon. There are many elements to consider when making the decision over whether to use a console or a PC including budget, tech level and gaming preferences.