A recent debate has heated up two opposing views — and no, I am not talking about the 2016 presidential election, but the more important issue of which gaming platform is the best.
In one corner is the family-oriented, bring-your-friends-over, homely console, with classic exclusives and a couch gaming experience on a big screen. In the other corner is the customizable, overclockable and powerful PC, with countless titles and mods for said titles. Which platform is truly the best?
Now before the article takes off, there is a required disclaimer. As a PC gamer, I tend to offer more bias to my allies. However, as a former console gamer when I was younger, I am able to understand and offer both sides of the argument to the table. This analysis will be purely factual and focus on objective attributes to tally up scores for either side.
First and foremost, we must discuss the issue of performance. As technology progresses, so does the graphics potential of video games. Many players enjoy the aesthetics of a game and value the detailed physics, vibrant colors and realistic character models that next generation games have to offer.
In this category, there is no question that a PC is able to offer the best frame rates and picture quality. Consoles just do not have the graphics processing power to present an equal match.
However, in order to run next generation games such as “Dark Souls III” and “Hitman” at high resolutions with great framerates, one requires a powerful setup. Players need to spend quite a hefty amount if they want the best possible rendering machine, as decent graphics cards are priced at $250 or more and robust processors like the Intel i5 cost more than $200. With this being said, it has been proven multiple times that at the cost of a PS4 or Xbox One you can build a PC that will run games better than both consoles.
Other players don’t care too much about graphics, but focus on the games themselves. It used to be that console games were classics and exclusive to console. Games such as the Halo franchise gained popularity and were released exclusively for consoles. However, with the rise in popularity of PCs and PC gaming, game developers have recognized the growing audience behind the keyboard and have remastered versions of these classics for the PC. Additionally, there are tons of PC games which won’t drop in the console world anytime soon, such as “League of Legends” or “DoTA.”
Now with these two valid points, one might wonder, what IS console gaming good for? Console gaming had its golden ages in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, when PC gaming wasn’t as developed as it was.
Back then, computers were just for tech-savvy people who used it for work or for games too sophisticated for the majority of the player base. Console gaming dominated, as classics such as “Super Smash Bros.” or “Halo” brought attention to in-house, multiplayer games.
This was a time and era where kids played outside with each other, and in order to sell games, creators made games that allowed kids to play with each other in their own houses. As technology progressed, we got devices such as the Gameboy, a single-player handheld game that was portable. These types of portable devices changed the field of gaming so that kids were able to play solo or with friends. Games like “Pokémon” skyrocketed in popularity during this time.
As time passed, the group-gaming experience really died down. Kids wanted to stay inside by themselves, but didn’t want to play alone. Additionally, the demographic for gaming expanded, as the children who grew up on video games were older, but they didn’t lose that interest for gaming. Internet gaming was the answer.
The Nintendo DS offered wi-fi connection, allowing players to interact and play with others far away or next door. Console games also took advantage of this, as Xbox Live and Playstation Network offered a means of communication to play cooperative and competitive games such as “Call of Duty” with a large group of people. This opened the path for PC gaming.
Players took note of the high costs of new games ($60) and the unreliability of the hardware in consoles. PC gaming offered a greater gaming experience at a lower cost, mostly because many households already had a PC, so all you needed was a good graphics card. From that point on, PC gaming began dominating the video game scene.
Now, PC gaming is as popular as ever, as many of the world’s most popular games such as “League of Legends,” “Starcraft II,” “DoTA,” and “Hearthstone” are exclusively designed for the PC. In short, console games established the runway and boarded the passengers, but PC gaming is responsible for taking the world of gaming to flight.
Although PC gaming is dominant in this day and age, there must be acknowledgement given to console gaming’s golden days. Without consoles, there might not have been a platform for PC gaming to thrive and an audience to capture. However, it’s safe to say that console gaming’s time is up, and PC gaming’s time is now.