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If you’re into gaming, this question has probably crossed your mind more than once. It can be a difficult decision to make considering both have their own perks and downsides. In this article, we are going to look at some of the factors to consider when making this decision.
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Picking between a gaming PC and a console can be a tough decision to make. They are different in their own ways and offer different gaming experiences. Depending on your needs, we can say that neither is better than the other and it all depends on what you want, personal taste and budget. PCs have come a long way and with the quickly advancing technology, PC gaming which was once viewed as an expensive affair is now affordable.
There are three main operating systems a computer can run on: Windows, Mac and Linux. A gaming PC mainly runs on Windows OS as it is far much popular and compatible than the rest.
All games released are compatible with Windows but the same cannot be said for Mac and Linux operating systems. These days, more and more games are released for the Mac and Linux although still quite limited.
With a gaming PC, there is also the question of whether you want a PC or laptop. However, gaming laptops are far too expensive than PCs and rely on an external graphics card. Even with this, a gaming laptop really doesn’t offer the same value as a desktop and their performance is expected to deteriorate over time due to external factors.
Over time, PC gaming as grown more affordable. This is not to say that a gaming PC is cheaper than a console. With quickly advancing technology, standard base PCs have become cheaper and this has reduced the price of PCs all round.
As far as consoles go, there is a wider variety to choose from. Consoles are made with the main purpose of gaming. Technology improvements over time have made consoles these days have additional features such as internet connection and streaming, apps and programs in consoles and ability to read a wider range of discs.
The most common consoles, also called mainstream consoles, are the PlayStation and Xbox by Microsoft. For a long time, these two have been competing as they were one of the first digital gaming platforms created.
The PlayStation has a smaller variation known as the PS Vita. This was released as a standalone handheld console but evolved over time into what looks like a PS4.
Apart from this two, there are less popular consoles such as the older Nintendo Wii (now obsolete) and the newer Switch. In this article, we are going to compare gaming PCs and consoles, specifically the PS and Xbox.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Between Gaming PC and Console
Other than personal taste, there are a few other things to consider when choosing between a gaming PC and console. It is not an easy choice to make. In this section, we are going to look at the factors that will help you choose which is better for you.
Your budget has to be the most important factor when choosing between the two. Both of them cost quite a bit of money. Consoles paved the way for mainstream/mass gaming worldwide. This means they have existed for a long time, even before gaming PCs were a concept. Because of this, consoles are much cheaper than a gaming PC.
A PlayStation 4 Pro, which is arguably the best console in the market, goes for about $400 which is quite cheap considering its high gaming capabilities. An Xbox One X, the main PS4 Pro competitor sells for $100 more. Both these prices are quite low compared to a gaming PC with equal gaming capabilities.
As for gaming PCs, there is no set standard for them. This is because a lot of different components that control performance go into making a gaming PC. These components include: processor, RAM, storage (HDD or SDD) and the power supply or battery. PCs are divided into three levels based on performance: entry level, mid-range level and high end PCs. Entry level PCs are the same price as the cheapest consoles, around $200. They may offer the same performance as a console but they get obsolete very quickly.
Mid-level PCs go for anywhere between $500 and $800. They offer full HD display and can take on 2K resolution. They can last several years without becoming obsolete.
High level gaming PCs start from $800 and go up to $2000. They can run 4K resolutions flawlessly and even run virtual reality smoothly. They will die of wear and tear before they become obsolete.
Performance and Graphics
Here is where the PC gives consoles a run for their money. High level and some mid-level and gaming PCs offer very crisp and rich graphics. Once you taste these displays, it is difficult to want anything less. This factor is however heavily dependent on your budget. For these crisp 2K and 4K resolution displays, you will have to cough up around $1000. For heavy gamers, this can be worth the investment but otherwise, a console may be much better for you.
Every game released for a console will work seamlessly on the console regardless of whether it is outdated or not. This is not true for PCs as they differ in hardware properties. There is also the fact that poorly optimized games will not run well no matter how powerful the PC is.
Backward compatibility is also important to consider. For PCs, you will be able to run any game regardless of when it was released. This is not the case for some consoles. While the Xbox One is compatible with old releases, the PS4 is not. This means that a PS4 game only works on PS4 and cannot work in any of its predecessors.
Some of the best games are only released for consoles. These are known as ‘exclusives’. There’s also the fact that console games are released way earlier than their PC versions. This means someone with a gaming PC has to wait a long time before playing the same game on their PC. However, this happens mostly for PlayStation games. For Xbox, Microsoft tends to release both version almost the same time since they own Windows too.
PCs also get games that are not available for consoles. The problem is, these games are usually from third party and indie developers who are still in development. They are not as good as first party exclusives that consoles offer.
There are two major ways to acquire games for consoles: from the internet (over the console’s network such as PSN) and buying physical copies in form of discs. For PCs however, there is a larger pool of selection. In addition to the above, there are many sites that sell games. There are also grey markets that serve as platforms for resellers making the games cheaper.
Sitting Preference and Play Style
Consoles are designed to be played from the comfort of your couch or bed. They offer more mobility than PCs. You can play in a relaxed position. To do this in a gaming PC, you will need additional components to achieve it which basically means, the total buying price increases. Otherwise, PC gaming means that you will have to sit up at a desk. A PC also means that you have to get accustomed to playing with a mouse and keyboard which many people find difficult.
In summary, there is no definitive answer to which is better of the two. A suggestion is that if you’re new to gaming or on a budget, a console would be a better choice whereas if you want to get into serious gaming or gaming reviews, a PC will do for you. Consider the factors above to make the smart and appropriate decision for yourself.