One of the most common arguments between gamers is the perennial question of which is better – Console or PC? In light of the impending release of the next generation consoles it’s a subject worth pondering on. I’ve experienced both worlds. I was an avid PC gamer for many years and moved to a Xbox 360 a couple of years ago. Undoubtedly there are people from both camps who’ll claim that their choice is the way to go. But which is really better?
Let’s start with the PC. The PC could quite easily be described as a gaming behemoth. You’ll find all genres of game available for the platform and the options for hardware and software are plentiful. There are gaming rigs out there that boggle the mind. The sheer power and flexibility they offer is second to none. To experience a game to its full potential the best option would undoubtedly be to use a PC. This goes both for graphics, sound and raw processing power. The problem here is that this comes at a cost, and quite a substantial one too. In order to have a top of the line gaming rig you’re going to be spending thousands of Euros. But it doesn’t end there either. It’s not sufficient to buy the rig, if you want to keep that machine cutting edge you’re going to need to keep on spending the pennies, lots of them. While you can keep on playing new releases on your rig without upgrading the hardware, each new game will challenge it more and eventually you’re going to have to start lowering the quality settings to achieve decent performance. I may sound like I’m exaggerating here, but I think most hard core gamers would agree that, if you don’t want to compromise on game quality, you’re looking at roughly a 6 month upgrade cycle.
What about the console? They offer the advantage of a stable platform which is guaranteed to remain constant for somewhere in the region of 5 years, the current generation having extended this closer to 7 years. Since game developers have a specific hardware configuration to target and tailor their games for, the gamer has the peace of mind that whatever game he or she buys will work at maximum quality and performance. Intended to have a home in the living room it’s also designed specifically to be hooked up to a TV. Despite many attempts, the PC has never managed to make the same transition and tends to be consigned to the bedroom. That’s quite an advantage. Would you prefer playing on a 50 inch HDTV or 20 inch Monitor? Price too is a point in favour of the console. The current generation are very cheap to buy while the next generation are going to sell for about €500. However, what is a strength for the console, also becomes its weakness. Since the hardware remains effectively the same throughout the life of the console, it can’t take advantage of any leaps in technology. It will remain locked to that hardware architecture and configuration for its entire lifetime. The end result? During the life cycle of the console game quality will become noticeably inferior to that of the same game on PC hardware. Certain genres aren’t really suited for the platform either, a typical example being real time strategy titles.
So which is better? Such a loaded question! Such repercussions! Any answer could result in a death threat or three turning up in the mail. Hmmm, shall I go the diplomatic way and say they both have their pros and cons? Nah, that’s not my style at all! Nope, my answer is the console is the better choice. I know, I know, you can blub all you like about how the PC is superior, renders games like no console ever could and rains manna from heaven! Sorry, that’s my answer to this dilema – the console is the way to go. What’s the rationale? Well think about it, the console gives you the best of both worlds, has decent longevity and you wont need to take out a mortgage to buy one. The PC has its place and fills a niche in the gaming scene, me, I’ll enjoy playing Halo on my HDTV!
Don’t agree with my thoughts? Use the comments box, let’s discuss!
Till next time !