Now you probably just read that title and thought to yourself: “Why would I want a console? I’m quite happy with a PC.” True, there are quite a number of gamers out there who simply prefer PCs over consoles, and vice-versa. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying different things. Even so, there are a few gamers who have quite the animosity built up for the opposing side. There are also some who simply never bothered to examine what’s on the other side.
Whichever category you may fall in — this article is meant to be a nice persuasive measure. As someone who used to game exclusively on PCs, I never really thought about what was going on in the console space; but after experiencing so many different systems, I finally decided to give in and become a variety-gamer. Honestly, that was an awesome decision.
While PCs are no doubt more powerful than consoles, there’s definitely a few great factors over on the other side. Allow me to highlight a few that I experienced after making the jump:
? EASE OF ACCESS
One thing that every PC gamer knows (especially the ones who are on the shorter end of the stick), is that every game, like a ride at an amusement park, has a ‘height requirement’. Seeing that PC games generally aren’t ‘one size fits all’, this leaves quite a few people either with a really sour gaming experience, or in some cases, not being able to experience the game at all. It’s an unfortunate state of affairs considering not everyone has the means to invest in a proper gaming computer that should be able to handle most of what’s being thrown at it.
This is primarily where consoles tend to exceed.
From the very beginning, consoles were created to be pure gaming machines. As technology advanced, both consoles and PCs proceeded to mature. PCs became more and more capable of performing multiple tasks, and soon, they too had their own gaming-following. Fast-forward to now and we have both sides co-existing in even more harmony than before. While it’s true that PCs overtook consoles in terms of raw power quite some time ago, consoles still offer a completely optimized experience, even if it is at a slightly lower level of visual fidelity.
With PCs, developers are given the challenge of creating games on a fragmented platform. For example, both Tom and Josh live in the same dorm, and they both play PC games very regularly. However, while Tom’s computer can run titles like GTA: V, The Witcher 3, and Project CARS — Josh has to settle with getting by on titles like Just Cause 2, Minecraft and Team Fortress 2. Meanwhile, Jake and Robin who live next door are both heavy console gamers. Jake enjoys playing the PS4, while Robin loves his XBOX One. In the end, they both get access to titles like Need for Speed, Rise of the Tomb Raider and Metal Gear Solid V.
Consoles, despite their differences, are closer than ever before, not just to each other, but also to PCs. Both the PS4 and the XBOX One are running on x86 archictecure, basically making them really optimized PCs. Nintendo even looks to enter this field too with their upcoming NX console. With that in mind, all console gamers have to do is download a title from the eStore, or push in a disc and start playing — no anxiety attached. Let’s also not forget that consoles are a lot less expensive than competent PCs, making them all the more easier to get into.
? EXCITING EXCLUSIVES
Now I must admit, this is one factor that console gamers love to bring up in any heated discussion between the two opposing forces. To be technically correct, it’s actually PCs that have the most amount of exclusives, not to mention superior backwards-compatibility capabilities. Even so, that doesn’t change the fact that each one of the ‘Big 3’ in the console space have some amazing exclusive IPs.
Picking up a console gives you access to not just the same games as PCs, but also the respective exclusive content that comes with it. There are some great games to be found here, and limiting yourself just causes you to lose out.
If you were a gamer in the 90s, chances are you recall sitting around the TV with your buddies on a Saturday, and just going at it in a round of Mario Kart or Goldeneye. While local multiplayer still exists today, there’s no denying that it has decreased in popularity. Gaming as a whole has been pushed more in the direction of a personal experience, however, it has technically become more social through the use of massive networks and implementations such as voice and video chat. Even so, as in most cases, technology doesn’t fully replicate the ‘human factor’.
While it may be great to boot up Call of Duty and head into a match with players from all over, chances are the memories of not talking to your friend for 2 weeks because he beat you in that last round of Super Smash Bros. in the walls of your own home, may be a bit fonder. Consoles (especially Nintendo’s) are still the ideal place for social-oriented gaming. From party titles like Just Dance, to more sophisticated, but still better-with-a-friend games like Mario Kart, NBA 2K and FIFA, consoles are still awesome party drivers.
— WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER —
In the end, while it’s no doubt that some people just honestly prefer PC gaming, that isn’t to say that having a nice balance in variety is a bad thing. Being able to widen your horizons in anything is a good thing, and that includes gaming.
For the most part, consoles offer a very similar experience to that of PCs, except in a more stable environment. Add that to the fact that you also get to indulge in a great selection of exclusive content, and its easy to see why millions are so attracted to it.
No matter which way you look at it, we really are all in this together. Being a ‘real gamer’ has nothing to do with whether or not you have a Gamepad, Dualshock, Elite or mouse in your hands. It has nothing to do with whether or not you’re enjoying Zelda, Halo, Uncharted or World of Warcraft. Being a gamer just means you enjoy playing games, and learning to appreciate each side for what they all have to offer is the number one way to enjoy what gaming really is all about — having fun.