Over the past few years, suggestions of the death of both PC and console gaming have flooded the internet on separate occasions. If one were to search this topic at this point, one would find many articles on the subject providing a multitude of reasons as to why the suggestion being made is indeed the truth.
While the exact reason as to why people like predicting the death of one particular platform is unknown (as very often stats are subjectively used to back up these points), it does often get a lot of people thinking about the nature of the gaming industry at a particular point in time and how exactly people like to consume gaming media.
In the lead-up to the release of the Xbox One X, I have noticed quite a few statements being made against console gaming overall. The idea of the PC Master Race has been a bit of an internet joke for quite some time, but there is no denying the truth in the sentiment that modern gaming PCs are objectively more powerful than consoles and tend to run most games better.
This situation has had me thinking about why some people do still choose to buy consoles over PCs, when PCs are clearly able to outperform consoles.
In answering this question, I decided to discuss six of the most commonly stated reasons gamers tend to provide when explaining why they still choose to buy consoles over PCs (or sometimes as a second device.)
The ‘plug-in and play’ design of consoles is an attribute that is exceedingly attractive to many people.
Basically, if you buy a game for console, all you should need to do is install it and it will work. There is no need to worry about whether the hardware in your device is compatible with the game as console hardware is standardised.
However with PC gaming, there are at times situations where one may own a low-end or mid-range PC and settings need to be modified in order to get a newly released game to work properly. This may not be the case for all, but the suggestion that one may have to perform such activities may be viewed as a hassle to many.
Sure, if you have a high-end PC, you shouldn’t really have a problem with running any games at all for quite some time, but it is important to keep in mind that you are paying for this privilege as high-end gaming PCs don’t often come at a cheap price.
Recently, some have suggested that consoles are becoming more like PCs, in turn, eliminating this convenience and that more affordable mid-range PCs often are able to run most games without a hitch, but the relation between console and convenience is still there.
2. Perhaps, It Is Cheaper?
This is a point that has stirred up quite a debate within the gaming community for quite some time and for several different reasons.
Firstly, it is possible to get a PC that is able to run games better than a console at the same price as a console (refer to The Potato Masher.)
Admittedly, this may not be true for all situations (in some countries, PC parts may be extremely expensive), but one cannot really say whether this is the case more often than not.
Another argument often placed against building a budget PC is that one does not know how long said PC will still be able to run new releases. If you have to upgrade it after two years, buying a console would have been cheaper as you would not have to spend money upgrading it so soon.
Some think that the idea of having to upgrade a mid-range PC after two years is ludicrous, but some people probably have had to in the past; the question here again is whether this is an often enough occurrence to consider it fact or just bad build decisions by the owner.
Secondly, PC games as a whole are much cheaper.
Some believe that even if you have to upgrade your PC after a short period, it shouldn’t really matter because you would have saved enough money on games to be able to do so with Steam sales.
The point is debatable as it also depends on whether the person in question does in fact buy a load of games. If you only buy two or three games each year, is it really worth it?
I don’t know if there are any clear cut answers in this particular area, but I will say that it seems that a lot of console owners tend to display a belief of “if I can’t own a PC that can run games at 8K, then I’d rather just own a console” when discussing this idea and this is fine.
Ultimately, exclusive content may be one of the determining factors in why one may choose to buy a particular device.
I don’t think that there are a lot of people out there who can honestly suggest that they have never even been interested in a particular PC or console exclusive when they owned the opposite device.
In an ideal world, every gamer would own every platform or there would only be one platform, but this is not an ideal world, so we sometimes make the decision on the basis of what games we would like to play and where they are available.
If most of the games you want to play are exclusives on a particular console and you are not too bothered about graphics, what use is buying a PC if it won’t allow you to play the games you are most interested in?
4. Consoles Are Sometimes Perceived To Be More Sociable Devices
Despite the fact that one can play couch co-op games on a single PC, more often than not, when most people think of such a gaming situation, they probably think of playing on some PlayStation or Nintendo console.
Regardless of whether this is due in some part to nostalgia or sometimes even misinformation, there are quite a few people who still associate the whole idea of couch co-op solely with consoles.
It is important to note that a lot of people do buy gaming devices for social situations as they serve as a good means for a group people to interact with each other in a fun manner and sometimes people just feel that consoles seem to be the better choice for these activities.
5. Bad PC Ports
There’s a lot of people who believe that if any gaming platform is going to receive a bad port of a multiplatform game, then it will probably be PC.
There is no denying that over the past few years that there have been some very notable terrible PC versions of highly-anticipated games, such as Batman: Arkham Knight, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, No Man’s Sky and Dishonored 2, but one should really never assume these situations to be fully representative of the nature of PC gaming.
Although I definitely do not feel that this is a regular enough occurrence to warrant staying away from the medium, some people do list it as a reason they tend to prefer console over PC.
6. Separating Work And Play Devices
A common argument for why people should invest in PCs is that it is a device that allows you to perform multiple activities for both work and leisure. A lot of people may find it hard to find fault with this argument (as quite simply it is true) but that hasn’t stopped people from trying.
There is a certain belief that it is more productive to separate work and play devices/areas as it supposedly allows one to better give the desired activity the level of focus that is required.
It is suggested that if one consistently does the same task in a similar setting, state-dependent learning or memory is more likely to occur.
While it can be argued whether state-dependent learning is actually applicable to this particular scenario, there is no faulting wanting to separate work and play.
It is completely possible to do it by owning two separate PCs, but this sort of kills the previously suggested argument of buying a PC for all your needs.
Is Buying A Console Worth It?
At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter which gaming device you choose as long as you enjoy the time spent using it.
Some people may look at these reasons and suggest that they do not really provide enough reason to pick a console over a PC and that’s fine because it is their decision (just as it is a console owner’s decision to play on console.)
Personally, I own multiple gaming devices that I use at different times and for different games, so I don’t really hold a particular disdain for any sort of #platform.
Until one device is eliminated, there will always be some people who prefer to play on one device or the other for their own reasons – there is literally nothing to be gained from spreading hate about one particular platform, regardless of what it is (even mobile.)
Whatever one’s views on matter is, it is always important to remember the aim of playing video games is to have fun and this can be done without berating another gamer’s hardware.
What are your reasons for buying a playing on PC or console? Please share in the comments down below.