How Next-Gen Consoles Could Lose Ground to PCs

This topic is a bit of an odd one, because really, PCs are losing a lot of the marketshare that they used to have a stranglehold on for years. When you think about it, what else would you use to browse the internet, check your bank account, read your email and check your Facebook on? Analysts everywhere are predicting that personal computers will continue to decline in sales as smartphones and namely tablets continue to become more and more popular. Sure, we’ve heard about the death of the PC for a very long time and it has endured, but it does indeed feel that there is a major paradigm shift coming and that PCs might only have a real home when it comes to productivity.

Well, productivity and gaming.

Gaming on the PC goes way back to the beginning of PCs and the beginning of commercial videogames. In fact, they go together hand-in-hand quite nicely. There are a lot of gamers who either play games on a PC as well as a console or play them exclusively on a PC. Steam’s Big Picture Mode is one of those giant leaps for PC gaming that has come along and has shown that you can take a PC, put it next to your television and get the best of both worlds; the comfort of gaming from your couch on your television and the power of a PC. It is this that I see giving the next generation of consoles some problems.

The next generation of consoles is due out by the end of this year to early next year, where we will see Microsoft and Sony strut their stuff once again. If the launch of their last gen of consoles was any indication, expect to be paying a hefty price to pick these up. The Xbox 360 launched at a staggering $399 price point or $299 without a hard drive. The PlayStation 3 launched for anywhere between $399 to $599, varying on hard drive size. This means that chances are that we’ll see the new Sony and Microsoft consoles fall within the range of $399 – $599, due to updated hardware and how historically game consoles sell for a bit higher price at launch.

The thing is, PCs are losing ground in the market right now and prices on components are beginning to drop and look like they will continue to drop throughout the year. Right now the cost of putting together a mid-range gaming PC is between $400 and $600, with a higher-end PC costing in the range of $1,000 – $1,200. Chances are that by the end of the year, when Microsoft and Sony have released their new systems, that putting together such a gaming PC might even cost less than it does now and will easily be comparable to both systems. On top of that, as long as you buy decent enough components, upgrading your system over time will be easy and allow you to keep up with the PC gaming world and Steam’s Big Picture mode means you won’t miss sitting on your couch with a controller in your hand.

So I guess my question is; do either system have enough exclusives to keep you loyal to them, or does the jump to gaming on a PC just seem too sweet right now?