Console vs. PC... are you kidding me?
by, 17th June 2011 at 11:14 PM (531 Views)
So I was talking with a friend of mine about video games and he mentioned a thread he saw on /v/ (excuse me while I go take a bath in holy water to cleanse myself) about PC vs. Console gaming, feeling the need to share a clever analogy that he came up with. This led us into a full on discussion, and I feel the need to share my utter annoyance with both his semi-fanatical "PC IS AWESOME CONSOLES SUCK" viewpoint as well as the opposing view. Both sides have equally valid points going for them. Observe, as I demonstrate the power of reason!
The main selling point point of PC gaming often used is the power. Graphics and engine capabilities on PC games are generally much higher than on a console. This does make a lot of sense, as console hardware is typically stagnant, not changing much over the course of a console's lifetime except to fix problems like the infamous Red Ring of Death, streamline the shape of the console, or improve memory. PCs, on the other hand, aren't nearly so limited. There is a reason why generation turnover happens with such regularity, because otherwise the consoles just become obsolete. That being said, what PC gamers fail to take into account when they push this is that not everybody is willing to shell out the big bucks required for a machine capable of running those graphics. Now, I'm an avid gamer, always have been and always will be. And I like my games to look good. Which is why I'm currently saving up to buy a powerful desktop that can run games I like now, and the games that are inevitably to come. The graphics card alone is going to cost more than if I were to go out and buy a brand new 360 with Kinect. The total cost, more than my current 360, my PS3, and my school laptop combined. None but us truly hardcore gamers are willing to spend that much money on a computer, meaning that most of these games aren't going to have their amazing graphics shown off when people switch to low, medium if they're lucky, as technology marches on. In other words, this so-called advantage of PC gaming only applies if you're willing to take it the extra mile, and by the extra mile I mean fork over your wallet.
So what about console gaming? Well the main benefit to console gaming, aside from being somewhat cheaper, is that it's much more streamlined. That's actually what I like about it. I prefer my first person shooters on console because I don't have to multi-task with both my hands, delegating precise mouse movements to one while the other tries desperately to run keyboard duty despite my knowledge of where everything is being thrown off by virtually constant movements. On a console's controller, you have your hands firmly secured in two positions, your fingers never needing to move more than a centimeters in any given direction and easily allowed to return where they started once they're done. Not to mention that instead of allocating things your mouse does to one hand and things your keyboard does to another, there's a far better distribution of labor. Your index fingers deal with trigger/shoulder buttons, your left thumb handles movement, your right looking around and occasionally the face buttons. Of course, as my friend so brightly pointed out, he's seen numerous people start out with console FPS games, then switch to PC, and suddenly find that the console controllers aren't enough for them. It's the sign of a better organized mind than mine, plus they can probably pet their head and rub their tummy at the same time. I can't. My mother can't use either system, hence why she loves her Wii and why I plan to get her a Kinect for Christmas. It's simply a difference of preference and comfort.
There are, of course, numerous smaller arguments that are made when discussing this whole "war" but in the end they all boil down to the personal preference thing. Some people prefer PC gaming. Some prefer console gaming. Some like pointless little dollar games and free flash games that some dude like me whipped up in his spare time. And there are some like me, who enjoy all of the above. It can't be said that any one is objectively better, any more than it can be said that Chicago deep dish is better than New York style.
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