Indeed, the gaming industry is one which is bursting with opinions. Considering how diverse the scene is, types of games and types of gamers clash to create quite the constellation. Anyways, one point of contention has always been that regarding the so-called ‘Platform Wars’. Specifically, the topic of PC vs Console Gaming is still up in the air – in this featured article we’ll be evaluating some of the more salient arguments!
Painting the Picture
Naturally, before we dive into the meat of the topic, we need to set some definitions straight. First of all, within the gaming industry, there are three platforms.
For those unaware, a ‘platform’ refers to the medium through which an individual games – here they are:
- PC Gaming – short for Personal Computer, any laptop or computer running Windows, Mac or Linux can be used for a degree of PC Gaming
- Console Gaming – computer systems designed exclusively for playing video games which typically need to be connected to a television or monitor. The three giants here are Xbox, Playstation and Nintendo.
- Mobile Gaming – although a dwarf in comparison to the other, it must be mentioned that any mobile phone, Apple or Android or Windows, may be used for mobile gaming.
All platforms have their merits. However, knowing the internet, there have been both humorous and serious attempts to figure out which is best, involving two chapters.
#1 – The Console Wars
Taking place before the PC vs Console Gaming debacle, consoles have historically always been at each other’s necks.
Naturally, competing for the same living room sofa, the term ‘console war’ was coined in the late 1980s to describe the competition between Sega and Nintendo in the West.
Since then, especially in the past 20 years, the main competition has stood between Microsoft’s Xbox and Sony’s Playstation, with Nintendo quietly doing their own thing.
Overall, these ‘wars’ would involve generations of consoles being compared to one another across multiple criteria:
- Console Hardware – which is more powerful, capable of higher frame rates, more innovative
- Console Exclusive Titles – which console offers best exclusive titles
- Console Total Game Library – apart from exclusives, the gross number of games available
- Other features – game passes, online subscriptions and whatnot
For those unaware, the console war has mainly been dominated by Playstation and Nintendo depending on the region, with Xbox competing well with Playstation at times.
Anyways, when did PC Gaming become involved?
#2 – ‘PC Gaming Master Race’ vs ‘Console Peasants’
Yes, the above title outlines two of the common phrases used in the arguments between PC Gamers and Console Gamers. Moreover, it outlines that PC Gamers are often viewed and act as elitists.
Somewhere in the past decade, roughly between 2013-15, discussion were ongoing as to which platform is superior to the other. Do note though, that as time has passed, each generation of consoles has tried to close the gap between PC and console.
The argument involved comparisons and contrasts as outlined below.
PC vs Console Gaming – Salient Points
So, let’s first discuss the advantages of PC Gaming in comparison to consoles:
- The option of building your own rig – an exciting venture which creates a stronger understanding of how it all works without needing an IT degree
- Freedom of build – depending on your budget, you may select whatever graphics card, CPU, RAM, cooling system and peripherals you like
- Ease of upgrade – going along with the above point, upgrading is as easy as switching parts in and out
- Higher ceiling of performance – considering an endless budget, a high-specification PC system will always outperform a console system
- Diverse input systems – happily select between mouse and keyboard, controller or others such as steering wheels and joysticks
- Game Availability – multiple stores such as Steam, Epic Games and so much more means that every game is available except for console exclusive titles
- Title Support – more mod support, and the majority of titles are free to play online
- Non-gaming – apart from gaming, a PC can be used for productivity and every-day use
- Disadvantages: not portable, relative cost, more prevalent cheating in online games, no access to console exclusives
So, how does console compare:
- A complete package – no assembly or upgrades needed when you simply buy the latest generation console, simply plug in and maybe consider an upgrade with the next generatio
- Reliable performance – oftentimes, considering the nature of assembly, technical issues are less common
- Multiplayer and comfort – gamepads and sofas are the perfect environment for cinematic and multiplayer gaming experiences
- Cost – getting the same performance from a PC and console often proves that consoles are cheaper considering the lack of peripherals needed, with included controllers usually
- Game availability – certain console exclusives may sell a console for you depending on whether you enjoy God of War, Halo or Mario. Still, less variety than PC.
- Portability – easily disconnect and setup at a friend’s house or in a different room.
- Disadvantages: exclusive gaming devices, less mod support, paying for online gaming
Is there one particular way to say that one is ‘better’ than the other?
PC vs Console Gaming – One United Community
No, not really. While yes, we could argue the technical specifications all day, both are great options depending on your particular needs and in my opinion, is a celebration of the versatility of the gaming industry.
In my opinion, it trully depends on your situation. Personally, growing up as a kid with siblings, I couldn’t imaging a childhood without console gaming. Yet now, as an adult, PC Gaming is definitley my preferred means as I favour competitive gaming.
Notably, the competitive gaming industry, ‘esports’ makes use of all gaming platforms. In addition, modern initiatives in gaming are celebrating what is known as ‘cross-platform gaming’ where gamers on PC and console (sometimes even mobile) can compete in the same lobbies – exemplified by titles such as Fortnite and Rocket League. Who knows, perhaps one day all platforms will be united?
Regardless, we’re one united gaming community who all agree on one thing – we love games and we love gaming.
So no, there is no overall ‘best’ platform, but there definitely is one which is best suited to fit your needs compared to the others depending on who you are – which is awesome.
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