The thoughts, opinions, happenings, and just plain ramblings of a seemingly boring person.

Turning Off PC Gaming?

Console vs PCIf there is one thing in which by purchasing the Nintendo Wii has changed my opinion on gaming (other than the Wii being totally cool), it is how much simpler and easier console gaming is compared to PC gaming.

It's always been that way, but historically i've always been more of a PC gamer than a console one. I totally skipped the previous generation of consoles (PS2, Gamecube, XBox), but continued playing games on my computer.

However now that i'm a responsible self-subsisting adult who has reacquainted himself with console gaming, I can see so many more advantages that console gaming has over PC gaming. Let me first state however that i'm not one of those doomsayers who predicts that with this new generation of game consoles (Wii, XBox 360, PS3) that PC gaming is a thing of the past. That always gets repeated with every generation of consoles, and it just plain won't happen.

So below i'll lost a few things in which I believe are console gaming's advantages over PC gaming.

Price - this is a major factor, especially for me now that I have to personally pay for everything since I have moved out of home. Console gaming is generally so much cheaper than PC gaming. A decent gaming computer will set you back $2000-$3000, whilst the newest generation consoles will cost between $400 (for the Wii) and $1000 (for the super-expensive Playstation 3).

Lastability - With consoles you're guaranteed that nearly everything will play fine on it up until the next generation of consoles come out, which is generally every 3-5 years. With PC gaming, every few months new games come out which push the envelope in terms of system requirements, which means that even a year after buying a 'beast' machine you won't be able to to play the new games on high settings. You'll probably need to upgrade something to get it back to that state (see 'price' again). Which brings me to my next point.

Simplicity - With console gaming as long as you've got the console and a controller, you just insert a game disk and you're playing it in seconds. With PC gaming, you've got to run through installers, DirectX upgrades, tweaking the graphics settings so that it doesn't lag, memory issues, etc. This is probably the biggest factor if you discount money: on a console you don't have to worry about system requirements (graphics cards, memory, hard drive space, etc). You know it will work, and will work well.

That being said, there are some advantages that PC has generally had over console gaming. Without going too far into it:
Connectivity: multiplayer over internet has historically been more available and easier on PCs, although with the latest generation of consoles this is less so.
Graphics: historically PC games have been better with graphics, but again, the latest generation of console's games look amazing.

However there are a few reasons which means that I won't be totally forsaking PC gaming. Firstly is first-person shooters (FPS). These type of games, despite awesome graphics on the latest consoles, just weren't meant to be played with a gamepad. A keyboard and mouse is the only way you can play these games properly (although the Wii is a little different).

Secondly, are Real Time Strategy (RTS) games. Again, you need a keyboard and a mouse, there is just no way that you can play these types of games on a console, and also you need to be fairly close to a display because of all the detail involved.

Unfortunately, FPS and RTS just happen to be two of my favourite game genres, and that means that I'll still be playing at least those games on a PC for a while.

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