PC gaming vs console gaming: What are the advantages of each?

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The PS4 feature that I like the most is the rest mode. With a tight schedule from work and daily live, I have less time to play games than ever; so being able to suspend the game anywhere, and continue it the next day exactly where I left it without having to go through all the loading screens and corporation logos is a time saver that I appreciate a lot. This feature on PC games isn't as reliable.

PCs
- Cheaper in the long run (frequent sales, no pay2play online subscriptions - outside of MMOs)
- Can be used as a work station
- UI familiar to just about everyone
- Infinitely backwards compatible
- Complete customisation of your system
- Can use any peripheral
- Play a game the way you want to
- Emulation
- Much wider modding scene
- Wider variety of games

Consoles
- Cheaper short-term
- Plug in and play
- More beginner friendly
- Fantastic first-party exclusives
- Couch co-op
- Super small form factor
- Reselling games, and buying used ones

I primarily game on PC and I try push my colleagues to switch over to PC's. One of them told me that they are resistant to the switch is because turning on PC makes them feel like they're at work. He sits at his computer for majority of his work day. After work, he prefers turning on his console to play games because of how it makes him feel.

Now, this doesn't apply to me all that much but having similar work routine as him I can certainly understand where he's coming from.

For me...

Consoles:
Local multi-player
Every other fucker I know plays on console.

PC:
Modding
Most of the games I'm interested in don't come out on console.
Keyboard and mouse for 1st person
Utility for work or similar things (not really related to PC gaming but I feel it's relevant for me)
Compatibility. I can play my old PSX games on PC if I want, let alone my old PC games.

Bear in mind I haven't had a console since the PS2 era and even that didn't get much use, but if I had a bunch of mates that were into the local multiplayer couch co op thing I would absolutely buy one for that.

Seth Carter:

BabyfartsMcgeezaks:
An example is GreenManGaming, they always sell new games 15-25% cheaper than places like Steam, Origin, Uplay etc etc

Admittedly, not the greatest time period to put this to the test as we're in the post-christmas dearth of new games.

But their current discounts on their new page are limited to Dynasty Warriors 9, Metal Gear Survive, and the Secret of Mana remake (and a sailing game to which there is no console comparison). And the Far Cry 5 preorder at 10% off, which is the same deal on PS4.

Metal Gear Survive is the same price on Amazon for its console disc variations, as is Dynasty Warriors 9. They do beat the Secret of Mana price by a $10 chunk (though that did have a pre-order sale of its own too).

The other new full price title on the store is Kingdom Come Deliverance, which is sitting at the full $60.

GMG often have vouchers, at the moment they have 20% off of Kingdom Come Deliverance which makes it about 15 yuros cheaper than it is on steam (€49.99 on steam and €36 on GMG), they also have 20% off the new CIV6 expansion. I can assure you that Far Cry 5 will get a voucher/discount closer to release as well.

Rangaman:
Console gaming, it's far more expensive in the long term. Also, $60 new releases forever.

B-Cell:
The reason why im not a console gamer because

5. Cheaper games

How is PC gaming cheaper in the long run? If you do a bit of future proofing when buying/building your PC, you're going to be at least at a price of $500. I know you can build a "potato masher" PC for around $350 or so but that won't be very future proofed at all. You can easily wait for consoles to be at the $250 price point as there's rarely good reasons to buy one in their 1st year or two, so you can spend $500 ($250 + $250) for 2 whole gens of gaming at probably at least 12 years of gaming. Is that $500+ PC going to last over 12 years? Where is this long-term savings at?

PC games being cheaper is just plain wrong because you can't sell them. I can buy a game whenever I want to play it whether it's release day or later (I don't need to wait for sales) and the most I'll ever spend on it is probably like $20 at max (after it's all said and done). Hell, I bought Dishonored Death of an Outsider at Best Buy for $15 on Black Friday and traded it in at Best Buy for $10 when I bought Monster Hunter. Also, if you do the Best Buy or Amazon thing, new games are 20% off so I never pay $60 for a game.

votemarvel:
When I look at the daily tasks I do on my PC, I realise there are in fact very few things that I couldn't also do on my Xbox One S. I can browse the web on my console, do word processing through OneDrive's online version of Office. Watch YouTube, Amazon, Netflix etc. Of course also play games.

I genuinely think that the other console makers need to look to Nintendo and start taking back the advantages they used to have with plug & play and/or near instant loading from cartridges. They need to stop chasing the PC dragon and get back to being games consoles again.

Who actually watches streaming services on PC anyways? I wouldn't be surprised if most Youtube watching is also done on devices that aren't PCs. I watch most of my Youtube content on my phone in Firefox instead of the app because it blocks the ads. Sure, you have an ever-so-slightly faster search function on PC because of the keyboard, but outside of that, how is Netflix or Youtube better on a PC than any other device? Plus, you can, you know, not use Netflix or Youtube on a console. I don't even have those apps installed on my PS4. It's nice to have them available vs not available like I occasionally use the PS4 browser if my phone is out of reach to look up some game thing super quick.

PS4 is really just a game console. When it launched, the PS4 couldn't even play MP3s. Adding some optional apps doesn't make it less of a game console nor is it trying to be a PC, the optional apps just allow it do what every other device can do, TVs have apps now.

BabyfartsMcgeezaks:

hanselthecaretaker:

Unless you?re talking about twitch shooters or the like, that sounds like more of a personal preference thing than an objective impossibility.

Of course it's personal preference, try to play 95% of your games at 60fps or even 144fps (If you have a 144hz monitor like me) and then jump into a game running at 25-30fps. It's very jarring to me.

I could see having the preference visually for 60+fps but just gameplay-wise, it doesn't make playing games any better. I played The Last of Us on PS4 at 60fps and then for a few hours just lowered it to 30fps and the difference is visually noticeable but it didn't alter the gameplay whatsoever.

Xsjadoblayde:
Though to be honest I only ever remember these people exist when I go online and see them complaining, and then the thought returns; "oh yeah, I'm ruining an entire art form somehow again, aren't i? Awesome!" as it's never brought up in the rest of day-to-day life. Just doing me part for the community, sir! :p

Haha, there was a poster here that legitimately blamed consoles for ruining the art-form that is video games.

CritialGaming:
The difference is the storage capability and the data transfer/download rate. Yes games are big now, which also goes to ask the question why so much has to be installed on the console instead of reading from the disc, I would rather have longer loading times, then only being able to have five games on my playstation at any given time. If they wanted to install a portion of the game into the HDD to reduce load times but not clog the HDD with 86GB of space, then fine. Whatever they need to do, I feel a trade-off is in order.

The speed and the ease of using a console should come at the console of load times or whatever. I dunno what playstation you have but I have never been able to play a game within moments of popping the disc in. I think the fastest game install was Persona 5 and that took 20 minutes. Additionally playing without updates has many times ruined my save file because of the version change, so I do not play until all updates are installed (at least initial updates).

Again it comes down to speed on PC. Sure I have to download an entire 30-80GB file from steam. But my internet connection will take care of that in little more than an hour. Which might be ironic because I don't want to wait for PS4 to install from a disc. The difference here is that, there is no physical media option on PC anymore. A disc should be faster, a disc should be easier, and physical games shouldn't eat up 20% of my HDD space. Not to mention that my PC can easily have several HDD's swapped in and out of it for storage of as many games as I want without the need of uninstall/install replacement time.

Look I love my PLaystation for the exclusives on that console. However it is only an exclusive machine because the PC is better than it in every single way. Consoles are trying too hard to be "everything" machines, and need to go back to just being great game machines. Frankly as much as I do not like Nintendo the Switch is by far the best Game Machine on the market. No installs, no fuss, no muss, just plug in your cartridge and you are playing in seconds.

I have the base 500GB original model PS4 and I have 26 games on the system right now with 7 of them being "AAA" games and the rest being PSN games like Telltale's Batman season 2 that is taking up 26GBs with still one episode to be released. Most of those PSN games do take up around 2GBs each like Journey, Abzu, Sexy Brutale, Edith Finch, but the sizes do vary. Monster Hunter World is only taking up 15GBs and The Last Guardian is only 13GBs whereas Battleborn is at 39GBs (currently eating up the most space of any game I have installed) so AAA games vary greatly as well. And, with those 26 games installed, I'm only using up 264GBs of the available 406GBs on the hard drive so even 500GB PS4s can store far more than FIVE games. You can replace the PS4 HD if you want, Sony makes it pretty simple to swap them (compared Microsoft and Xbox), and I believe you can use an external HD even if you want with PS4.

I remember Watch Dogs having a really quick initial install and you could play in literally only a couple of minutes. I just deleted and reinstalled Monster Hunter World, which didn't have the ability to play while installing most of the game, but it literally took 8 minutes to install the game while even downloading all the updates again during the 8 minute install time. Anyway you cut it, the disc is still faster because installing off a disc is faster than downloading the entire game. Numerous people do have data caps to think about too (I personally don't).

The PS4 was literally marketed as only a game machine, it couldn't even play MP3s at launch. And, PS4 fixed all the downfalls of the PS3. Remember, the PS3 couldn't download updates in the background, that was so very annoying. What's the harm in adding apps to any device? It's the user's option to use the PS4 to stream video if they want (if they don't have a smart TV, Fire Stick, Roku, or any other device that allows streaming). I'd rather have the option vs not having the option. How is the Switch the best console when you need to buy a SD card to play some games because the game cartridges and internal storage both aren't big enough?

Edit:
Oh, I forgot about the game save thing. I recall the only issue you should have with saves is when you try to play with a lower version of the game. Like if you played v1.10 last time you saved, deleted the game for some reason, and then went to continue playing, you will need to update the game to at least v1.10 to use the save. You should never get an issue playing v1.00 and then updating to v1.10 as the devs have to expect players to have saves at lower versions obviously. At worst the game should say your save is incompatible vs corrupting the save itself (which I've had happen when going back to games without them being up-to-date). But random bugs and whatnot do happen. I even remember there was a PS2 demo disc where the Viewtiful Joe 2 demo would completely wipe your memory card.

Phoenixmgs:

I could see having the preference visually for 60+fps but just gameplay-wise, it doesn't make playing games any better. I played The Last of Us on PS4 at 60fps and then for a few hours just lowered it to 30fps and the difference is visually noticeable but it didn't alter the gameplay whatsoever.

For me, it makes the gameplay a lot better because there are more clear and fluid motions going on. It makes things easier to see and it just makes the game more fluid, there's a reason why competitive games on PC (CSGO, Overwatch etc etc) are played at +144fps by esporters and a lot of gamers. Also why plenty of console games plays at 30fps in singleplayer but 60fps in multiplayer, some examples are Gears of War 4 and Uncharted 4.

Well, I can get a console for less than the cost of a decent GPU these days, then I just plug it into the tv and go.

So that's a plus.

Also, no worries about a hardware gap when playing multiplayer.

BabyfartsMcgeezaks:

Phoenixmgs:

I could see having the preference visually for 60+fps but just gameplay-wise, it doesn't make playing games any better. I played The Last of Us on PS4 at 60fps and then for a few hours just lowered it to 30fps and the difference is visually noticeable but it didn't alter the gameplay whatsoever.

For me, it makes the gameplay a lot better because there are more clear and fluid motions going on. It makes things easier to see and it just makes the game more fluid, there's a reason why competitive games on PC (CSGO, Overwatch etc etc) are played at +144fps by esporters and a lot of gamers. Also why plenty of console games plays at 30fps in singleplayer but 60fps in multiplayer, some examples are Gears of War 4 and Uncharted 4.

Obviously competitive games you want the smoothest possible experience and I've heard of people playing online shooters with the graphics turned way down for 100s of frames/second. On PC, you can obviously swing the camera faster and with more precision than a controller so I'm sure higher fps helps even more there. Overall, when not playing competitively and not playing a super fast-paced game, I can't see the higher framerates making much of difference in gameplay. Naughty Dog's games in particular I can't see being helped much by 60fps because the camera is so sluggish and slow that you can't turn it nearly as fast as other games. Uncharted 4 is literally the only Uncharted that allows you to change the camera sensitivity to not be slow as fuck (and then the motion blur when I played it was really annoying and stuff like that usually doesn't annoy me), and TLOU doesn't allow for changing camera sensitivity either.

If one can afford it then there's no reason to choose one over the other. Myself, I have both a PC and PS4 and enjoy them both ( albeit I prefer the PC).

I've never understood the whole stigma attached to PC gaming re: ease of use, in my experience it's just like a console where I simply click on the icon and away I go. A few years ago perhaps, I definitely did encounter quite a bit of mostly driver issues ( or where the game simply refused to work) but that's in the far past. Even making a custom pc is far easier nowadays than ever.

Consoles do have the exclusives to attract people, and really if you like Halo/Uncharted/Gears then you pretty much have to get a console ( well, except for some that eventually get ported to pc) and that's why I got a PS4. I also like to just sit on my recliner and relax while I game at times, and that's pretty much the only time I use my tv too.

I do prefer gaming on my pc though, besides all the reasons listed it's just cheaper for me ( here in canada) where a new console game is close to $100 with taxes, whereas it's about $40-50 on pc. Mind you, most games I do buy are already 2-3 years old so it's closer to $10-20 when I actually buy it whereas it's about $40-50 for console. That's one of the things I always highlight when friends ask me about console/pc gaming, that and what is their gaming budget is. I think for families with kids a console is a smarter choice.

Long story short, get both if money is no issue and get a pc if no exclusives hold your interest. I'll be frank, if not for Bloodborne and Uncharted 4 I wouldn't have bought a PS4 ( loved the former, disappointed in the latter ).

Rangaman:
It's very simple: PC gaming is objectively better in almost every way, except for the lack of pre-owned games, the high entry cost (though that balances out over time) and the occasional "fuck you for not generating as much money as the console market" lousy port.

Console gaming, objectively, isn't as good. It's far more expensive in the long term, you always get the lowest quality...everything (except for when the PC version is a rushed out cash-grab) and you have to buy an entirely new box every 5-6 years that might play the games from your last box. Also, $60 new releases forever. Oh, and you must partake in the console wars, the second-stupidest conflict of the 21st Century (right behind Iraq).

The big selling point for consoles these days is exclusives, hence my usage of the term objective. Or, to put it another way, people willingly spent 420-450USD on a new Mario and a new Zelda last year.

What I'm trying to say is that if you want to play Horizon: Zero Dawn, buy a PS4. If absolutely none of the current gen exclusives interest you, buy a PC. As far as I'm concerned, the only console that has anything to it besides exclusives is the Switch, which works quite well as a handheld indie games machine. Sort of like the OUYA, if it were developed by people with brains.

Pretty much this.

Let's be honest with ourselves, people. PC, as a gaming platform, is just objectively better than consoles in virtually every single way. You have more options. More control. More variety. More games. Easier access to communities, options, and services. Zero cost to play online, save for MMO subs like WoW. The ability to utilize your machine for things other than gaming, instead of relegating it to some pointless hunk of plastic and metal that sits in the corner waiting to be used again. It's all around easier and cheaper to build a library of games, and play them on-and-offline. The ability to buy physical and digital, and create backups of your games for safe keeping. You don't have to worry about losing the ability to play your vast, old library of games, as 'backwards compatibility' is just inherent to the ecosystem, whether it be through official or community support or through emulation.

It's just simply better. Even the last few points of contention people still bring like "but I like playing with a controller!" or "I prefer to play on my couch!" are completely moot. You aren't stuck with the predefined controller(s) the console manufacturer decides you're supposed to use. You can use literally any controller ever made. Likewise, there are no good reasons not to hook up your PC to your living room TV. In fact, with the advent of things like Steam Big Picture, the Steam Link, and other network streaming devices (some of which now come standard in TVs), you don't even have to have the PC in the same fucking room as the TV.

Outside of quality exclusives, consoles have lost any advantages they used to have. But, even then, PC tends to have more exclusives than consoles. (though, whether any single person is interested in such things is entirely subjective) And much of that is the fault of the console makers trying to adapt their console-centric ecosystems to those of the PC without embracing the freedom and advantages of the PC ecosystem.

You could potentially argue that (some) consoles have tighter curation of the titles that get released on their platforms, but even that isn't true anymore. With the number of half-baked, half-finished Triple-A games we see released nowadays, and the influx of asset-flip 'indie' games to the various console e-stores, it's hard to argue that the console makers still hold to the standards of quality they once held. Of which used to be one of their biggest advantages of PC.

You can still, to some degree, resell games and buy used ones, but even that's becoming a dying feature on modern consoles. Which is yet another of the biggest advantages consoles have that's being actively undermined by the console makers and game publishers.

However, having said all of that, I still regularly play on consoles. In fact, I still have almost every console I've ever owned either in my living room entertainment system or tucked away for safe keeping in a closet, ready to be pulled out when a fit of nostalgia hits. I make regular use of my PS4 and Switch, and am about to order Mario Odyssey and pre-order Kirby Star Allies off of Amazon.

So, yes, PC, as a gaming platform, is objectively better than consoles in almost every way. That does NOT, however, diminish or invalidate the enjoyment I and millions of other players get from our consoles. We have just as much fun as any PC player.

So, can we drop the petty, school-yard bullshit and just enjoy our games without feeling the need to have a pissing contest about who's better? I just wanna ride my robot horse in Horizon, get a multi-kill streak in Dota 2, and watch my girlfriend get super salty when I hit her with a red shell in Mario Kart 8 for the umpteenth time.

Phoenixmgs:

How is PC gaming cheaper in the long run? If you do a bit of future proofing when buying/building your PC, you're going to be at least at a price of $500. I know you can build a "potato masher" PC for around $350 or so but that won't be very future proofed at all. You can easily wait for consoles to be at the $250 price point as there's rarely good reasons to buy one in their 1st year or two, so you can spend $500 ($250 + $250) for 2 whole gens of gaming at probably at least 12 years of gaming. Is that $500+ PC going to last over 12 years? Where is this long-term savings at?

Yeah, thing is you aren't accounting for the additional costs. Online play, new games, controllers...not only do those things add up, they always cost more than the system(s) they're designed for. It's how consoles make their money back (the console itself is almost always sold at a loss).

PC games being cheaper is just plain wrong because you can't sell them. I can buy a game whenever I want to play it whether it's release day or later (I don't need to wait for sales) and the most I'll ever spend on it is probably like $20 at max (after it's all said and done). Hell, I bought Dishonored Death of an Outsider at Best Buy for $15 on Black Friday and traded it in at Best Buy for $10 when I bought Monster Hunter. Also, if you do the Best Buy or Amazon thing, new games are 20% off so I never pay $60 for a game.

Well that involves being reliant on Best Buy and Amazon, which a good chunk of Planet Earth can't use. Also, no. Just...no. Unless you chop and change games on a weekly or possibly monthly basis, you're never going to offset the costs of console gaming enough. Besides that, you constantly have to resell older games for that to work. I can fucking guarantee you have several older games that you never want to sell because of how much you love them. Or hell, several recent games you really like and don't want to sell.

Rangaman:
Yeah, thing is you aren't accounting for the additional costs. Online play, new games, controllers...not only do those things add up, they always cost more than the system(s) they're designed for. It's how consoles make their money back (the console itself is almost always sold at a loss).

Well that involves being reliant on Best Buy and Amazon, which a good chunk of Planet Earth can't use. Also, no. Just...no. Unless you chop and change games on a weekly or possibly monthly basis, you're never going to offset the costs of console gaming enough. Besides that, you constantly have to resell older games for that to work. I can fucking guarantee you have several older games that you never want to sell because of how much you love them. Or hell, several recent games you really like and don't want to sell.

Props for the fancy table. But you're not accounting for all the savings one can get from console gaming. Why are you putting in controller costs when a controller comes with the system? I haven't bought a new PS4 controller as I still use the one that came with the system. Sure, wear and tear means you probably need to get one or two new ones a gen possibly, but same for wearing out controllers playing PC games. Plus, some gaming keyboards and mice get pretty pricey, not that you need one but maybe you do if you get really competitive (I wouldn't know). The online service fee, which I'm not a fan of, isn't just for online; on PSN, you get free games and discounts. I played Rime a couple weeks back for free for example. Plus, you can find sales on one year of PS+ (probably for Live too) and the most I've ever paid for a year of PS+ is $40 and I had PS+ on PS3 because it was really worth it. On PS4, the free games and stuff haven't been as good IMO (as they don't have to make PS+ as good with the online paywall) but you still get some nice games. So if you just wait on indies on PS4, they will probably popup as freebies at some point for PS+. And you failed to include the savings from selling games when you're done. I'll compile a list of AAA games that I've bought (via my trophy list), and I don't keep many of them. My PSN is my username if you wanna double-check for any reason.

So out of the 25 AAA games I bought, I sold all but 5 of them (and soon to be 4 and even 3). Although, I won't get much at all for Shadow Warrior because it's too old. So I've kept less than 20% of the games I bought, not many games are good enough to keep and replay. I love having the flexibility to be able to basically get a game any time and not feel like I'm actually paying full price for it, I don't have to wait for sales to get some new game that I really want to play because I know I'll recoup at least half of my money. Right now, I'm playing my 1st Monster Hunter, and I wouldn't have got it so soon if I couldn't resell it if I ended up not liking it.

I'm sure lots of people have access to some store that has similar discounts (as Best Buy or Amazon) or of course, you can just buy used to save a few extra bucks. Last-gen, it was K-mart of all places that had amazing release day discounts like $20 off new games, not 20%.

Vigormortis:
Outside of quality exclusives, consoles have lost any advantages they used to have. But, even then, PC tends to have more exclusives than consoles. (though, whether any single person is interested in such things is entirely subjective) And much of that is the fault of the console makers trying to adapt their console-centric ecosystems to those of the PC without embracing the freedom and advantages of the PC ecosystem.

You can still, to some degree, resell games and buy used ones, but even that's becoming a dying feature on modern consoles. Which is yet another of the biggest advantages consoles have that's being actively undermined by the console makers and game publishers.

So, yes, PC, as a gaming platform, is objectively better than consoles in almost every way. That does NOT, however, diminish or invalidate the enjoyment I and millions of other players get from our consoles. We have just as much fun as any PC player.

So, can we drop the petty, school-yard bullshit and just enjoy our games without feeling the need to have a pissing contest about who's better? I just wanna ride my robot horse in Horizon, get a multi-kill streak in Dota 2, and watch my girlfriend get super salty when I hit her with a red shell in Mario Kart 8 for the umpteenth time.

Firstly, I fully agree with your sentiments at the end. It's not really a big deal which platform anyone chooses even more so each and every passing generation. However, consoles still have their advantages over the PC. On a console, you just buy a game and you know it'll work plus it's a single box that conveniently plugs into your living room TV and sound system. Yeah, I know with PC it's pretty easy to do the same but the average person is gonna prefer the console's ease of use and convenience; I do and I'm a freaking PC tech. Plus, less and less people need actual PCs now with the way mobile devices have taken over so it's becoming less of "I'll just stick a video card into the PC I already have to game" vs buying a PC for only gaming or a console. The PC is just now basically catching up in several areas. Starting this gen, there were no Steam returns for example, and the general gamer might not even know it's a thing for PC gaming. Just last-gen, I had to download some Japanese drivers to get my Dualshock 3 to work with a PC game. This gen, I plugged in my Dualshock 4 for Divinity Original Sin and it just worked, that's new to PC gaming and again most probably don't know that. I think consoles edge out PC with exclusives because most games that are known for being "PC games" like the aforementioned Divinity, Pillars of Eternity, Cities: Skylines, Shadow Tactics, and many more have console releases now to the point only RTSs are exclusive to the PC basically. I bought Divinity on PC because I thought that was a game that would never see a PS4 release, I'm waiting for Divinity 2 release on PS4 now. The same can be said for console games getting more and more PC releases like Monster Hunter. And with consoles offering higher tier models that allow for higher resolutions or framerates, the line between both is getting pretty blurred to point you can get extremely similar experiences and games on both console and PC now.

How is selling games on consoles becoming a dying feature? Sure, publishers will push digital as much as possible but it is still far from going away due to the poor Internet infrastructure of the US, data caps, and probably a few other factors. You even can buy lots of indie/PSN/Live games on disc like say Rime if you so want to.

altnameJag:
Well, I can get a console for less than the cost of a decent GPU these days, then I just plug it into the tv and go wait 3 - 4 hours for console and game updates to download and install

There! Fixed it for you. ;)

CaitSeith:

altnameJag:
Well, I can get a console for less than the cost of a decent GPU these days, then I just plug it into the tv and go wait 3 - 4 hours for console and game updates to download and install

There! Fixed it for you. ;)

Or you can play the game while the game and system updates download...

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