With the anticipated arrival of more next-generation consoles in either 2013 or 2014, much hype has been heaped onto these consoles and questions of who will bring the more powerful console or the better performance for price has been thrown around on many websites. All the while though, the PC community knows that next-generation consoles still won’t touch current medium-high PC setups. For the past seven years, the PC has slowly but surely pulled itself away from consoles in terms of power that even a new generation of consoles will unlikely challenge the platform.
One of the reasons for this is the popularity of the Wii. The Wii is the best selling console of the current/last generation, and it did so with the least amount of power compared to the Xbox 360 and PS3. In doing so, it brought in many casual gamers that Sony and Microsoft now want a piece of the casual pie too. They will likely sacrifice power for casual gimmicks, think of more Kinect and PSMove games. These kind of games don’t need a powerful system, and to entice casual gamers, consoles can’t be sold at a high price either. Both of these aspects will mean that next-generation consoles won’t pack as much power as a medium-high PC setup. This is already evident with the Wii U.
Another reason why PC gaming is superior is the amount of variety in games available for the system. Sure, the PC will miss out on console exclusive titles, but everyone knows those games are a kind of pity call as they’re exclusive simply to help sell consoles, rather than because it could not work on PCs. Even better, the PC is becoming a great place for indie game developers to showcase their talents and creations. The PC community is more than willing to try these indie games, and word travels fast when a good game comes around. Variety isn’t just there in games either, variety comes from control input too. A gamer can easily choose between the typical gamepad or the traditional mouse and keyboard. Variety also comes in how you prefer to communicate in-game, whether through specific game services like in Steam, or just through Skype. The PC is the epitome of variety.
PC games are also much cheaper than console games. The high entry point for a high-end PC becomes nullified the more games you are likely to play. This is especially true given that console gamers will most likely have a computer or laptop to accompany their console anyway. Thus, it’s likely that by 10-15 games, you’ll have broken even with console gamers. And that’s not counting online paid services like Xbox Live or PS+. All that comes free on a PC platform. The various sales that are available from PC services like Steam or GreenManGaming also help to lessen the wallet burden.
PC gaming is becoming a lot more accessible than console gaming too. Console gaming still relies heavily on retail sales. With digital outlets like Steam, GreenManGaming and even Amazon online catering to direct download of gaming content, PC gaming hasn’t been easier. There’s generally no real wait time either, although your ability to quickly download games does depend on your connection. Console games still rely heavily on retail purchases though. Digital distribution for console games is leagues behind the PC version and generally costs more than retail prices anyway. That said, even if you do prefer a physical copy of your games, you can still obtain physical copies of PC games too. It’s that word again that’s synonymous with PC gaming: Variety.
These are just some simple examples of how PC gaming is superior to console gaming. Of course, some peoples preferences may make them prefer console gaming, but that doesn’t really change the superior abilities of the PC platform. That said, the ‘Steambox’ being planned by Valve could lead the way for console gamers to become more accustomed to PC gaming and allow them a more acceptable entry point into PC gaming. It’s definitely an interesting venture.