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PC vs Games Console: Which to Play

This is a debate, and one that has very embattled views on either side, that has been going on for decades. So which side of it is right? PC or consoles for gaming? Well, here we intend to look at the reasons for and against the choice to use one or the other to help you choose which is best for you. 

What do you Already Have?

It could be as simple as which do you already own? Not only does using the system that is already in your house prevent the need to go out and have to purchase an expensive new machine. It would not just be the cost of the computer or console as you would have to repurchase any games you want to play regularly as well as the controllers or other devices such as motion capture devices such as the Xbox Kinnect or PlayStation Move. So unless you have a real burning desire to change maybe it’s best to stick with what you have.

Are the Same Games Available?

The simple answer to this is no. Certain games are exclusive to one of the consoles or PC only. So what does this mean for your decision? Well, the fact is that, more often than not, PC exclusives are for technical reasons, namely that the developers do not want to be restricted by the tech specs of the consoles. Console exclusives are more often made so for commercial reasons. For this reason, PC wins for cost considerations.

What is the Cost Involved?

The costs are fairly set for console gamers, there is a retail price set for the machine and although you can shop around for different reasons the price is going to be broadly similar no matter where you buy it. For PC gamer giving a cost for an average gaming PC is akin to the how long is a piece of string question? You can go as expensive as you like, here is the alleged most expensive gaming PC coming in at $43,000, and sooner or later every machine will need updating due to games requiring higher specs. Consoles do need updating eventually as well but this is only when a new version comes out and the current ones have been the same for almost a decade right now. If cost is your deciding factor then consoles give you a fixed cost that is also lower, a definite winner here.

Where do you Play Online?

Almost all gamers play online these days so where and how you do this is a considering factor. For the console players you are obliged to play through an official Xbox Live or PlayStation Plus membership, which can be fine if you are happy doing so, and the cost you. PC is a much more free-market and some games require their own subscriptions and some are free to play the online version. One added perk is that not being tied into Sony or Microsoft memberships means you can easily trade and even sell your online characters and accounts via something like the LoL account marketplace.  This perk gives PC the edge in this area,

Are Your Friends on the Same Platform?

Gaming is a social activity these days, and if we are being honest it always has been, multiplayer has long been a feature of gameplay. The untrue, and certainly unfair, the stereotype of the nerdy loner gaming fan is a thing of the past. So whether your friends are on the same platform as you is a reasonable consideration when deciding where you should do the majority of your gaming? 

Performance  

Many will argue over the virtues of a dedicated gaming machine vs playing on a PC and which delivers better performance? Well, like many things, the answer to this is very much an, it depends answer. What it depends on is the spec of your PC, we know that an Xbox One or a PlayStation 4 game will work on your console, no questions asked. But a PC could have a far greater spec than a gaming console or could be very basic and struggle with a lot of games, check the system requirements before buying any PC game. As we can see here in this review of the game Watchdogs the opinion is that on a good PC the performance is better than on a console.

Other Options

PC or console are not the only options these days and mobile and tablet gaming should not be neglected either.