Video games are one of the fastest growing sectors of the American economy.
Every year, teenagers and adults spend billions of dollars on both new and vintage games from a wide variety of companies. Star developers and franchises have become household names. With all of this attention, the field has grown incredibly complex and seems daunting to new consumers. These consumers have to make several decisions if they want to get into the gaming world. The most essential is whether they will focus on PC vs console gaming. There is, of course, no reason to do both outside of budget. But if one must choose, costs and usability along with upgrading are key factors to consider when deciding which gaming path to go down.
One of the prime factors in considering gaming approaches is cost. The cost of gaming PCs can grow substantially compared to consoles. PCs have to be updated regularly and feature a wide variety of attributes that can be added on. Those attributes have to fit a console and are offered with a dizzying area of custom features.
PC games are also more expensive to buy and use than console games. PC games can be copied more easily than games for consoles and cannot be easily rented. A gaming PC can also be much more expensive than a video game console. There is almost no limit to the ceiling of costs and additions that could tempt the prospective PC gamer.
On the other hand, costs with a video game console are mostly fixed to the cost of games and the console itself. In recent years, there has been the growth of in-game purchases for both PC and console games. But these costs are small relative to the potential additions that one could secure for their PC gaming setup. Console gamers also have to upgrade their consoles whenever a new generation comes out. But once again, the cost spread out over each year is still low compared to the costs of PC gaming over the same period of time.
Another factor to consider is usability. A PC can be used for a wide variety of activities other than gaming. An individual can use their gaming PCs for online banking, social media, and their jobs. More and more people are also streaming television on their PCs. They can use one machine for the vast majority of their digital life. This factor extends to the playing of games from different companies. There are still many games that are only available on specific consoles. Anyone who wants to play games from other consoles has to buy those consoles and spend a considerable sum of money. PC gamers can play games from nearly every console. The PC has almost universal backwards compatibility. They are also future proof for a while, meaning that they will not become obsolete if they are continuously upgraded.
A console, on the other hand, has a limited number of functions. It is almost exclusively useful to play video games and connect to the internet to play video games with other people. This specific purpose of a console is helpful in some ways because it streamlines the game playing process. The peripherals that gamers can buy for their PCs are often not made specifically for the games that they are playing. They may not perform at the highest level and may lead to the game crashing more often.
Upgrades are key to differentiation PC and console gaming. The PC gamer is often much more interested in upgrading their machine in order to take advantage of the latest technology. There are constantly new graphics cards (GPUs), and peripherals (monitors for gaming, keyboards and gaming mouse combos, headphones, etc.) that a PC gamer can buy in order to enhance their experience.
Some of these peripherals are mandatory at different stages of playing the game. Users have to be aware of the status of their machine and how these new parts work together with that machine. They have to know about frame rates and the performance of computers.
A PC gamer has to be an expert in how PCs actually work in order to get the most out of their machines.
What to do
The discerning video game consumer has to weigh multiple pros and cons of PC vs console. They need to decide the importance of cost and when they want to spend their money before they even make a purchase with PC vs console. They also need to consider their free time and how they like to do work. Do they want to spend money frequently on a machine or pay everything up front? Do they have another computer for their daily communication and business needs? Budget may be a primary concern in making a gaming decision.
Next, video game consumers looking at PC vs console have to decide how interested they are in building their gaming machine. Some gamers derive nearly as much fun from building and modifying their machines as they do from playing the games themselves. Others want to buy a console, put in a disk, and start playing. Potential gamers need to consider the amount of time and expertise they can bring to this gaming project before diving in.
Once the decision has been made, a potential gamer needs to start researching different offerings. PC gamers need to set up a basic system with a gaming computer, controller, and potentially a headset and online subscription. A prospective console gamer needs to research which console would be best for them and which games they would want to get started with. It only takes a quick purchase and some easy installation to become immersed in the varied world of video games.
Video games can provide countless hours of entertainment and can help users make friends all over the world. They are a worthwhile hobby that can even lead to new careers in some cases. Deciding between PC gaming vs console is the first step on this journey. By considering cost and the nature of play with both types of systems, a prospective user can make the most out of their gaming purchase.
Here are some additional videos that may help you make a better buying decision, starting with a hilarious VS. by Linus Tech Tips:
Or this more techie vid by The Tech Chap: