I have been a casual gamer since I got my first Sega system. I played that for hundreds of hours, and it became an addictive hobby. I found myself buying every new gaming console as they came out, and I currently own each current generation system. However, there is one type of video gaming that I’ve never done, and that’s PC gaming. As I put more in more time into researching it, PC gaming looks better and better. I’m about to order by first gaming computer, and here’s why.
1. Consoles Are Limited By Their Hardware
We all know that computers are constantly getting better and better hardware. Consoles, however, only update their hardware every few years or more. The Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 are both using hardware that’s over 5 years old, and game developers are not able to do as much because they are limited by that ancient hardware. Computers are a different story. Now sure, game developers won’t completely redesign their game to optimize modern computers hardware, but games still perform and look better on their PC equivalent because developers are able to do more.
Now when hardware gets outdated on a computer, it’s not necessary to buy a completely new system. One can simply replace an old part for a modern equivalent and save a lot of money. Additionally, on a computer, one can replace their parts at will. However, opening up your Xbox will void its warranty and if it gets broken, you have to try to fix it yourself which is challenging, or buy a completely new system. Replacing a single failing part is not an option.
2. Games Are Easier To Modify
To fully modify a game on a current gen console, you need to have either a jailbroken ps3, a softmodded wii, or a j-tagged Xbox. Doing this to any of these systems can be a long and hard process, not to mention doing so is against the respective company’s terms of service, meaning you can’t play online with any of these systems legally. (Note that doing any of this to your system though is NOT illegal.)
On PCs, offline modding is not only easy, it’s even encouraged by some developers. Some developers even create whole APIs dedicated to modding their game. Game modifications can add new content to the game, users can create patches for the game to unofficially fix bugs, and just improve the game experience overall.
Think about how consoles handle multiplayer. Each console has their own respective multiplayer platform, while PC gaming is not tied to one platform. That means that no single company can charge you for all online multiplayer gaming you do. Additionally, some games (such as Battlefield 3) have dedicated servers, which does not only make multiplayer gaming smoother, it also increases the capabilities of the online multiplayer. For example, on Battlefield 3 for PC, games can have up to 64 people, however on consoles, games are limited to 24 player slots.
4. Games Are Cheaper On PC
When a game comes out on consoles, it costs more. This is because the companies that make the systems charge the game development companies money in order to allow them to produce a game for their system. In fact, companies like Microsoft actually lose a small amount of money when they sell a system, but they make it up by these licensing fees that they charge. However, when a company produces a game for the computer, they don’t have to pay any licensing fees. They can sell games for any price they choose to sell it for, unlike on a console where the set standard is $60 regardless of the quality or length of the game.
Games also drop in price quicker on the computer. An example of this would be the game Duke Nukem Forever, which was originally released at retail price. A few months later it dropped down to $20, and then a month later, its price dropped in half, down to $10. Steam is also well known for having game sales from time to time, during those times you could get multiple games, for the price of one console game new.
5. Old Games Are Still Available
I mentioned in the beginning of this article that I have been a gamer for a very long time. A lot of the games I played in my early days are no longer available to play on any modern system (most do not have backwards compatibility) and are not sold in stores anymore. However, extremely old PC games are still playable and able to be bought for PC. Playing these old games brings back a ton of memories from when I was younger, and being able to relive those experiences is something I just can’t do with modern consoles.