PC Gaming Vs. Console Gaming – Which One Is Better
Consoles are no longer the only contending gaming platforms in the arena.Every gamer must now choose between gaming PCs, consoles, or both. And they each have their benefits and shortcomings.
In bygone years, every gamer was looking to get involved in the Console Wars between top gaming manufacturers such as Nintendo, Sega, and Sony.
Fast forward to the current gaming generation and you’ll find the Console Wars have evolved into something closer to a tug of war between Microsoft and Sony, with Nintendo shifting its focus to providing unique experiences.
Consoles are no longer the only contending gaming platforms in the arena.
Every gamer must now choose between gaming PCs, Consoles, or both.
And they each have their benefits and shortcomings.
While trying to decide on which system performs better during gameplay, you must consider a few factors like which is more affordable, has the best graphics or serves up the finest multiplayer competition?!
If you need to choose between buying a gaming PC and a console, you’ve come to the right place with the info to help you make such decisions.
We will provide you with the details of the key components each gaming platform has to help you work out the best option for your specific needs.
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Types of Consoles & PCs
For desktop computers and laptops, there are 3 primary operating systems that you can run with: Windows, the macOS, and Linux.
The Windows OS has dominated so far in terms of popularity and even on the subject of “PC gaming”; a Windows desktop is still the platform of choice.
Plenty of successful game titles have also been released on the macOS and Linux, but due to their limited availability, Windows remains the better option.
For your hardware, you have to choose between a desktop PC and a laptop, even though gaming laptops are quite costly unless you want to use an external GPU.
However, a gaming laptop simply cannot offer the same entertainment value that a gaming desktop can since its performance levels will likely fall behind that of the more robust desktop CPU.
There exists a wider variety of gaming consoles for you to choose from.
First, you have the “mainstream” gaming consoles which include powerhouses like the PlayStation from Sony as well as Microsoft’s Xbox.
Own any one of them, and you can enjoy the most popular game titles.
Own both, and you have the largest game collection on the planet to select from.
There are also other console models such as the PlayStation Vita platform which initially hit the market as a separate handheld gaming console and was eventually modified into a kind of companion device for the PlayStation4.
Besides those, there are also “casual” gaming consoles that were developed to provide friendly family entertainment by employing more imaginative controls and design.
Nintendo undoubtedly paved the way for these types of consoles, with platforms like the handheld 3DS, Switch, along with, Wii & DS (from the previous gaming generation) selling more than 100 million units between them.
Also, the type of audience that all these consoles are designed for is quite obvious, making it easier for gamers to know exactly which one they prefer.
And there are even PC versions for the majority of their game titles.
For Consoles: The fact is, consoles heralded the mainstream gaming activities we enjoy today.
They achieved this feat by being more affordable and handy than gaming PCs.
The price range of the latest generation of gaming consoles is listed below:
- Nintendo 3DS – 200 USD
- Nintendo Switch – 300 USD
- Xbox One – 200 USD
- Xbox One X – 500 USD
- PlayStation Vita – 200 USD
- PlayStation 4 – 300 USD
- PlayStation 4 Pro – 400 USD
Apart from being affordable, all these consoles can also represent good value for money eventually.
As long as you take proper care of your console it can last for more than 5 years – right until another generation of consoles is launched.
Furthermore, you can play every single game title that was released for your console without worrying about compatibility problems or your hardware becoming obsolete.
From the prices listed above, you can also see that each gaming console from the current generation is reasonably priced, except for the Xbox One X and the PS 4 Pro which have been enhanced to support 4K resolution gaming and streaming.
For PCs: With gaming PCs, there is no set standard like you have with gaming consoles.
Every individual PC is made up of different components that ultimately influence its performance and pricing.
You’ll need a processor, a motherboard, a graphics card, RAM, the SSD & HDD, along with a steady power supply to keep the entire system functioning.
Based on their performance levels, gaming PCs generally fall under the following price categories:
- Entry-level PCs have approximately the same price value as the cheapest gaming consoles and serve up similar performance levels but they will probably become obsolete after a brief period.
- Budget PCs are slight improvements on entry-level computers in terms of their performance.
These are more likely to be the ideal value gaming PC since they aim to strike a balance between hardware and software components, even though they are far from futuristic.
- Mid-range PCs have prices ranging between 500 USD to 800 USD.
These computers can offer remarkable Full HD performance as well as running 2K resolutions seamlessly.
They can endure for many years without becoming outdated
- The prices of High-end PCs start from 800 USD but can rise to well over 2,000 USD.
These are future-proof gaming CPUs designed to master 2K resolution gaming.
The more robust ones can even run games flawlessly in 4K resolution.
Also, the individual components will last for a very long time before becoming obsolete.
Yet another noteworthy advantage of gaming PCs is the freedom to upgrade at any time.
However, the abundance of replaceable parts can sometimes make troubleshooting difficult.
Moreover, besides the PC itself, there are also peripheral components to acquire and manage such as the keyboard & mouse, monitor, headset, and quite possibly the speakers also.
All of these individual components make for a significant increase in the total price of the average gaming PC.
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Selection: Most game titles were initially developed for consoles.
The PC versions were usually released afterward.
Since consoles had the largest number of platforms in the gaming market.
Nowadays, however, the release dates of a games’ PC version often correspond with those of the consoles, but there are still some cases where the release dates are timed.
But console-exclusive games are still being developed, even if the only ones that are truly worthwhile and may influence your decision presently are the first-party titles from Sony.
The PC, on the other hand, will enable you to access much more highly developed indie gaming content.
For consoles, there are 2 ways to obtain games: you can acquire them via the online network for the consoles (Xbox Live & PSN) or purchase physical copies at retail outlets.
You can even get used to physical game copies at reduced rates.
Alternatively, the PC user has many more options.
Besides physical game CDs and online gaming platforms such as EA’s Origin or Valve’s Steam, there are also several other websites and shops that deal in PC games; Humble Bundle is the trendiest.
Apart from that, there exist some supposed “grey markets” which function as platforms for resellers; Kinguin or G2A are the most popular.
All games released for a particular console will work seamlessly on that console, in spite of which generation it was launched into the market.
The same does not apply to PC games.
Because of the vast selection of hardware available, PC games often encounter problems whenever they try to run on an incompatible piece of hardware.
Apart from that, there are also cases of games that are inadequately optimized; hence they won’t run properly in spite of the hardware’s processing power.
Backward compatibility is also something that you should consider.
PC users can run almost any game, regardless of the release date; although, you may have to tweak the CPU a bit.
For consoles, backward compatibility can be a tricky issue.
While the older releases on Xbox are fully compatible with Xbox One, the same doesn’t apply to the PS 4 platform.
However, this situation might still change in the near future, so it remains unpredictable at best.
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Here ends our take on the gaming PC versus gaming console debate. Hopefully, we have succeeded in clearing up all grey areas for you on the matter.