Mar 16, 2016

Consoles vs PC, The Bigger Picture

console vs pc

Consoles vs PC, who’s the real winner?

 

The Consoles vs PC debate has been going around for a couple of years and most of the times the arguments that most people raise are dead ends and don’t arrive to a specific conclusion. Here is a simplified version of the debate stating the ups and downs of each platform.

 

Price and Performance

Most people now-a-days are choosing consoles over PCs mainly because of its cheaper price ($400-$500). But many fail to realize that in the long-term consoles are more expensive than PCs; not only games for consoles are generally more expensive than PCs with an average cost of $60 but you also have to pay for online subscription fees too (annually approx. $60). While for PCs only the initial investment is high since you also have to pay for the accessories; headphones, keyboard, mouse, monitor etc.

Graph_consoles vs pc

 Expenses for PC and Consoles Simplified

In the price to performance ratio, consoles are slightly better; let’s face it you aren’t going to get the same performance and experience with a $500 PC compared to a console.  Since the fps (frame per second) is most of the time capped in consoles you’ll have a smooth experience throughout the game regardless of what kind of scenarios you’re encountering; whether it’s tanks firing each other in battlefield or simply just racing in Grid 2.

The same isn’t quite true for a $500 PC. But invest a little more for a PC (approx. $650) you’ll have a gaming machine that not only will surpass consoles by a huge margin in performance but will also be future proof (kind of) for new games.

Expandability and Customization

As time goes by you’ll have to upgrade one of your PCs components whether it’s the GPU, Ram, Hard drive, CPU or even the motherboard. These upgrades will allow your PC to play all the latest games with high settings and smooth gameplay of 60 fps. On the other hand with consoles, the room for expansion is very limited almost none. That means when new games come out, although it will be able to play those games but not as great as PCs and will eventually become obsolete.

Crossdesk_consoles vs pc

L3P’s CrossDesk (Complete Album)

In terms of customization and tweaking, PCs easily overcomes consoles. With consoles you are stuck with a specific type of hardware whether you like it or not, but with PCs you get to choose the type of hardware you need and require. All consoles of the same brand look exactly the same, whereas with PCs you can make it different from others by installing UV reactive fans and cables, water cool the whole system, setup the whole PC within a desk (similar to L3p’s Cross Desk).

Graphics

 

riccochet's build_consoles vs pc

riccochet’s 5×1 Eyefinity Build (Album)

 

It’s a renowned fact that in terms of graphics PCs will always triumph consoles, due to their stronger GPU and compute performance. Moreover consoles have to catch up with the ever growing 4K resolution race, which PCs support out of the box if you have the hardware for it. And unlike consoles PCs aren’t restricted to a single display output but you can connect as many as you like, of course you’ll need multiple display/hdmi ports. Gaming setups such as Nvidia Surround or AMD Eyfinity make the game experience even more immersive and enjoyable, the same cannot be said for consoles however. Also with PCs you can have 3D output provided that you have the appropriate monitor.

 

 

Games

One of the main things that sets consoles and PCs apart from each other is exclusive games. Currently most of the next-gen games are more centered towards the console community e.g Infamous Second Son, Uncharted 4, Forza Horizon 2, Killzone Shadowfall. All of these are only playable to their respective consoles either the PS4 or Xbox One and are not available on PCs. Games which are available on both platforms, consoles and PCs, most of them are ports for consoles so developers these days do not lay a lot of emphasis on writing code for a game specific to PC.
But on the bright side, if you keep on updating you PC hardware it won’t get obsolete like the previous-gen consoles. That means you will be able to play games that are have been launched a few years back and the new ones too. Plus there are multiple emulators available on PC to play the classic ‘90s games. The one thing that PCs have the upper hand is the ability of mod games making the gaming experience more enjoyable by adding new missions/quests and perks. And the PCs would always be the better choice for competitive games for first person shooters, MMORpGs, and real time strategy games.

Ease of use and Setup

Consoles, by nature, work out of the box every single time; no driver installation, don’t have to worry about resolution or graphic settings etc. And they can be setup as easy as a Sunday morning, the exact opposite is for a PC, as horrible as waking up on Monday for work. Setting up consoles is easy as 1 2 3, just plug the HDMI and power cable, insert the game CD and you’re good to go. While on the other hand PC users first have to make sure the every hardware component is working properly, install windows, install appropriate drivers (this can be very cumbersome, I spent almost 2 days setting up AMD drivers as the inbuilt graphic drivers in windows 8.1 would interfere with it.) and then all their games.

Controllers vs. Mouse/Keyboard

mouse/controller_Consoles vs PC

For first person shooting games the mouse and keyboard combo is hands down the better option than controllers in terms of precision and accuracy. But most games now-a-days are developed for use of controllers e.g playing Batman, Assassin’s Creed, Dishonored on mouse/keyboard  combo was a horrible experience for me while controllers just made it too easy.
Sure you can connect a controller to a PC, but you have to keep in mind that developers are more centered towards the PC user. Some games on PC aren’t controller friendly i.e you have to spend time to correctly configure it. Gamers who are transitioning from consoles to PC will have a difficult time adjusting to the mouse and keyboard combo but end result is great nonetheless.

Verdict

Both platforms have their own pros and cons, it depends on what you need. Do you want to be part of a competitive gaming community with no compromise of graphics and precise controls then a PC would be best for you. Otherwise consoles would be best for you; for the new exclusive next-gen games and easy plug-and-play setup.

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