You're a Mac, He's a PC...Console Gaming, Yeah That's Me.
Recently everyone has been talking up a storm on PC gaming. We have had multiple articles on the subject. The always energetic DocSeuss, wrote up a extensive article on PC gaming. Ericralph asked you all to help decide on what computer to buy. As well BreadKnight is to looking for a gaming laptop with Rio_GTi gearing up to build his own machine. And yes I too have asked about the “all glorious PC” for gaming. Now we have made counter points in the comment sections and debated over which is best yadda yadda. While I’m still waiting to here from someone to post on the intricacies of PC gaming (building your own vs pre built, what parts work best, mother boards, cases, power, what GPUs are, how they work in relations to everything else, yes I’m a little slow) I’ll have to settle for the talks we’ve previously had. But now I feel like talking about why consoles have always been my go to and will more than likely always be.
Before I start I just want to say, I have decided to hold off on buying a PC gaming machine. I’ve been running BootCamp on my Mac for the past few weeks and have decided to stick with this for a bit longer. Test the waters. All in all it’s not so bad, and I can see this working out for a few games here and there. Only time will tell at this point.
What makes console gaming popular, and why do people do it? While that question might be different depending on whom you talk to I can tell you why it works for me. The simplest comparison I can think of would be the iPhone vs Android debate. One is a simple to use and fairly easy to work device. The other serves the same functions but also give you a better control over your device. The same came be said for console/PC that my friend is the key. Think of it this way, sure I can configure this device to do everything “I” want it to, so that it works best for me, but doing so requires a bit of knowledge or experimentation when the other just works. There is no need for me to do this that and the third for it to function better It does what it needs to do with the simplest of ease. I might have limited function over it, but then I’m not looking to control the universe here. I just want to check make a phone call, send a text, check my email and surf the web. As I would play a game, watch a movie, or listen to some tunes.
The reason I enjoy consoles is because they are easy, simple to use machines. I know the same can be said for a PC, but for me the trick with a PC is that, there is always something that can always go wrong with a PC. Now I’m not talking drastic or sever, but simple issues that can be a pain to troubleshoot. Games or drivers being installed incorrectly or not updated properly. Not all of the problems are human error things just happen. Trying to figure out what the issue was and correct it is always or can be a pain in the ass. On a console, it’s usually the disc, or the machine, and either can be replaced with out me having to lift to many fingers. Simplicity is what always wins me over, and most consumers. No need to run programs for viruses, spy-ware, or drivers. If I am connected to the Internet it happens when I turn it on, if I do not then it’s on the game disc I just bought. Simple. I don’t need specific controllers (K/M), no need for speakers, or a new display, my home entertainment unit works fine. Just like an iPhone it's a simple set up and you are go to go.
Now if you talk hardware prices tend to be different from person to person. I can spend $1500 on a PC rig that is and utter beast, or $800 on a competitive system that could outshine consoles. But that’s just a machine. Most of the time we don't account for other things(if I don’t connect to my TV) I'll need chair, monitor and desk. So in reality I can spend anywhere from $1000-$2000 on a PC with upgrades costing me about $200 every 5-7. Not bad for and initial investment and upgrades through out. If I decide to to anything other than game I've paid for something I will get a nice use out of. As for a console, it is a simple investment every 5-7 years of $400-$600. The real cost, or lack of comes from the media purchased.
I prefer having physical media as some of you out there do. Now for some of you that might not be an issue, but I rather much prefer to have the game in hand as well as being able to play it when I want. I play Diablo 3 from time to time, but I’m bound by the Internet to play that game. This might fall into the digital vs. physical debate, but the PC platform is more in line with an all-digital form than consoles. Which means I am tied into the game companies for my gaming. My biggest complaint comes from the prices. Yes it is true that some PC games run cheaper and Steam offers insane discounts on games from time to time so do retail outlets. The difference is the return, something that does not happen very much on the PC. So once you buy a game, you ARE stuck with it. If you don’t believe me, go check Steam’s service terms under section 4. They do not offer refunds on any game sold. The same goes for Amazon, Gamestop, although EA offers a better policy digital games are a no go and if you don't claim a refund from GoG with in the allotted time the sale is finale. So while the prices might be cheaper outright, I’m stuck with a game. What if I don’t like the game? How about I end up playing it once and never coming back? I can’t trade it in for another game; I can’t give it away to a friend so he can enjoy it. Nope it’s mine and I’m stuck with it money lost. That can add up over time. While I might be saving on hardware, I'm just giving away cash and blowing money on games in the long run. I recently gave up about 25 games I had that was of no use to me, I was never going to play them again, nor was it important for me to keep them. I received about $150 in store credit from Gamestop (which is how my Halo, Borderlands, and RE6 got paid for). Some people might not like the used market but it value of re-selling/trading a game to buy more games is one thing that consoles have a upper hand on.
In truth the main reason I prefer the all-simple and trusty console is comfort. As I said before price is different depending on the person, usage and ease of use varies, but the most important thing we all must nor forget is comfort. Yes PC’s are superior when it comes to hardware, and consoles are a more simplistic design, but no matter what you have to be comfortable when playing a game. It is why I use consoles. While Steam and PC makers are working toward better ways for you to navigate, if you so choose to PC game from a couch, for the moment you need a mouse and keyboard. My PS3, and 360 both have remotes that I use or my controller. I can lay back on my couch in my bed and burn a whole season on Netflix, then hop into a game of Halo or BF3, all with three button presses. That’s really all there is to it, you might be ok sitting at a desk with a screen 3 feet from your face, I prefer to stretch out in my boxers on my sofa.
That's why I keep to my console, it's simple enough, cheap enough, and it's more comforting. This is not to say I won't PC game, the trial runs I'm having now are fun and it's new. It's just more ways for me to game. But that console made by Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft, is where my heart lies.