This seems to be a hot topic when it comes to gaming. Console gamers hate PC gamers and PC gamers hate console gamers. It seems to be a full circle of hate and misery. Why?
Because for some reason, price has driven a wedge between gamers. Console gaming has always been seen as the cheap alternative to PC gaming, no upgrades needed over the machines lifetime and the games run better due to normalized hardware.
Where as PC gaming has been seen as the top end of the gaming tree, best graphics in all games, easy to develop for alongside cheaper games.
Every-bodies argument against PC gaming is that its expensive, and so only done by those lucky few who can afford it. Others say console games are a watered down version due to old hardware.
I’m here to say, Bollocks to that!
I love both sides. Console for shooters and some damn fine exclusives, while PC is for everyday gaming and those brilliant indie & strategy games I can’t get anywhere else.
But I was thinking on this expense thing, with the new consoles coming out, I thought it a good chance to see if people are right or not about the big difference between console & PC gaming, being price.
My research and experience bore fruit.
My gaming rig is blazing past its fourth birthday, fifth next January. All the games in the world run on it, whether its Battlefield 4, Dragon Age, Crysis 3 or Witcher 2. Not at full specs of course but neither does a 4-5 year old console compared to the next gen’s. And I thought it funny, this idea that being a PC gamer costs me more than just being a console gamer. In fact, it doesn’t. Being a PC gamer is not just cheaper, literally, but also more advantageous on most grounds.
Let me run through the numbers in my head, before some fanboy quotes me and says how much shit I must accept up my arse each night due to my undeniable envy over consoles.
Let’s take the last generation of consoles and compare it to an average PC, like mine. My PC cost me £450 to build from scratch, that doesn’t include monitors as I use a TV, as would any console.
Now, my consoles at the time of replacement, cost me £250 for my slim 360 with kinect and £200 for my 250GB ps3. Considering the slim was replacing my original 360, which died of red ring and we’ve now replaced the 60GB with a slim 250GB PS3 due to yellow light of death that had been fixed three times, I think we’ll have to at least add £200 for my original 360 and the original PS3 cost me £300. That makes the 360 so far, £450 and the PS3 £500. Ouch.
Oh but I ain’t finished yet. Games, yes those wonderful discs of joy that we all love. Games on PC, brand new on release day cost on average a tenner less than consoles. Say the average gamer buys at least eight new games a year. That’s a whooping £80 difference on PC compared to console in one year. Compare that to an average PC and console life cycle of five years and you’re looking at an extra £400 if your buying those games on console.
Some of you are probably shouting, what about second-hand games! Again, I would shout back, STEAM!
Yes, Steam is a wonderful little platform that so far no competitor has come close to beating. The offers are unbelievably good, service is top-notch and its had features like updating games automatically for years now, something that consoles have just started to get. PS+ is the next best thing with a yearly subscription equal to a AAA game that nets you a bag full of goodies while Xbox Live is the worst service I’ve seen in years, compared to what get in return for what you pay for it.
Shall I tally up the total so far?
PC, for five years with eight main games bought each year and for fanboy’s sake I’m going to add in £50 on top encase of repairs = £1700
PS3 with the same five-year lifespan, the same main games with a replaced console half way through its life = £2100
Xbox 360 with the same eight games each year, a replacement unit and five-year life = £2050
That’s not taking into account the deals you can get on bundle packs, Steam holiday discounts or numerous other advantages like mod’s for PC’s while I’m not also including the price of live for Xbox, just so you can play online, which on PC is free anyway, oh and I can watch BBC iPlayer free too…
Even for those of you saying I’ve cheated due to the fact a PS3 & Xbox have had to be replaced during a five-year life span, take the same price of a new console off that final figure to even it up in your own heads, for those lucky enough not to have console failure. It still makes the PC better in price. Let’s face it, unless your console lasts the full ten-year life span promised, you don’t get better value for money. You actually pay more to be a console gamer on average than a PC gamer.
Of course this is looking at an average gamer. If your someone who only ever buys the new COD each year and that is the only thing you ever play, than maybe, just about, you’ll save a few bucks. But for the rest of us, please stop griping about cost. Consoles have always cost a large amount, and while some people may say my machine isn’t a real gaming PC as it didn’t cost £800-£900, I’m going to say, why the hell should it? My machine can still play each and every game out today, it may be on the low setting but it runs smooth at 40-60 frames a second. That’s all I care about.
PC gaming is not this huge expensive beast. It’s cheap and cheerful, an experience that anyone can have by using the internet and some common sense. Hope you’ve enjoyed the read and you’re welcome to discuss your own opinions down below.
Image thanks to www.pcadvisor.co.uk