Console vs PC Gaming
It’s a classic debate that has occurred in living room couches and in front of desktop keyboards and given it’s prevalence among gaming forums it’s inevitable that sooner or later I would talk about it. It’s a very simple question: Which is better, Console gaming or PC gaming? For the purposes of this argument, Console gaming applies to all video games played from a home console ie: PS3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, etc. PC gaming applies to video games played on a computer after some sort of download or mandatory install, therefore Farmville does not count as PC gaming but Plants vs. Zombies does. I’m not so much going to say which I prefer but instead I’ll look at both arguments and see which one makes a better point.
Console gamers have argued that the spirit of video gaming has always lived on a couch in front of a TV screen with a controller in hand. While video games were first created on home computers, the video game industry would not be what it is today without the success of the NES and the Atari 2600. Ultimately, the overwhelming financial success of video games is because of the competition between Nintendo and Sega in the 1990s pushed both companies to make better games and better consoles to play them on. Which eventually led to Sony and Microsoft joining in with the Playstation and Xbox. Think of all the things that the Playstation and Xbox have done for the industry. This type of competition does not exist with PC gaming, therefore it can be said that PC gaming doesn’t strengthen the industry as much as console gaming. Add to this that console game sales are higher than PC game sales and the most popular and well-received franchises in video gaming are available only on consoles.
On the other hand, PC games while less prevalent than console games have a lot of features unavailable on home consoles. The most commonly brought up fact it that PCs games have better graphics than console games and this is undeniably true. In almost all comparisons between games on multiple platforms, the “best” version of a game is the PC version. Then there are the mods, user patches and custom-made content that can breathe new life into old games. Titles like Skyrim, Fallout: New Vegas, GTA IV, Team Fortress 2 and Left 4 Dead have a huge advantage on the PC because of the thousands of mods available. While applying these mods requires a bit of learning curve, it isn’t too difficult to install mods in games like Team Fortress 2. PCs games can even be played with console controllers and it’s even possible to play PC games on a TV. So it would seem that PC games are infinitely superior to console games.
There is a very simple fact that all PC gamers seem to forget and it’s the very reason why this entire argument is completely pointless. It is true that PC games have more features and better graphics than their console counterparts, but these things aren’t what make games sell. Video games sell because of quality and availability and as I said before, some of the most popular and successful franchises in video game history are only available on consoles. If you are a fan of the Zelda, Halo, Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts, Mario or Metal Gear Solid franchises, PC gaming isn’t going to help you, even if the graphics are one thousand times better on games like Skyrim and Battlefield 3. If a person buys a console chances are they are going to commit to it by buying more games for that console, even if they are better on the PC.
So ultimately there is no “right” answer to this argument. It all comes down to what kind of games you prefer. Ultimately, video games should never boil down to graphics, load-times and processing power, but instead the quality and nostalgia of games that have stood the test of time. That is the true “spirit” of video games, whether it’s on a couch or behind a keyboard.
Posted on July 18, 2013, in Game Design and tagged atari 2600, classic debate, Console Gaming, desktop keyboards, Game industry, gaming, nintendo wii, PC Gaming, PC vs Consoles, popular franchises, video game industry. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.