The next generation of video game consoles is nearly upon us, despite the tumultuous, pandemic-stricken year we’re having.
At the same time, Nvidia has released a new series of RTX graphic cards which incidentally signify the biggest leap in raw performance power yet. Naturally, the doomsayers are out in droves again, touting the end of the console market as we know it. Year after year these Harbingers of Console Death, be they everyday Joes or loudmouthed TechTubers, use the same tired arguments to support their hyperbolic thesis.
PC graphical fidelity is always the best. It doesn’t make sense to pay for an underpowered box with limited capabilities. Console gamers end up paying more because of online play subscriptions. Playing certain games with a controller is an inferior experience. There’s more but I’ve got a word count threshold here . . . and I’m lazy.
The fact of the matter is, the PC Master Race’s support points aren’t wrong. The issue is that there’s never been a real debate about PC vs. console, to begin with.
Consoles and gaming PCs cater to two different markets that want different things, rendering any sort of debate null and void. Indeed, it takes every ounce of strength I have to not scream at yet another view-baiting tech creator that doesn’t understand the console market as much as they think.
As a long-standing console gamer with hundreds of dollars currently earmarked to buy a PS5 and several next-gen titles as soon as the pre-order gods will it, I can tell you why I stick to my beloved “pleb boxes”.
Javik, Mass Effect 3
“Stand in the ashes of a trillion dead souls, and asks the ghosts if honor matters. The silence is your answer.”
Consoles are convenient to use. All you need to do is plug it in, pop in a disc or download a digital copy and you’re off to the races. There are no settings to adjust. No drivers to fiddle with. No Vsyncs and N’Syncs to question your sanity over. The boxes produced by MS, Sony and Nintendo just work and that’s what the majority of console gamers want. There’s no worry about whether a game will run. As long as you’ve bought your game for the correct box, it will run. PC gaming is a bona fide hobby in of itself. Granted, it’s easier than ever to build a PC that will run most games for a long while, but the reality is that issues inevitably crop up.
Consoles are cheaper to buy compared to PCs. Even with next-gen coming in at about $100 pricier, buying a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X is still a cheaper investment, even with the online subscription.
Budget gaming PCs, of course, can be built but let me ask this: what’s the point? A low-cost gaming PC will struggle to play games at high graphics settings within a couple of years which then brings them in line with consoles. All you’ve ended up buying was a multi-purpose device that will more than likely run into more and more issues playing the latest titles.
Mod support. Keyboard/mouse controls. A bajillion FPS. These are all fluff to my ears. All I want to do is play games, not maximize my gaming experience. A PC person may enjoy playing Skyrim for the umpteenth time while running a Hello Kitty Super Sparkle mod that allows them to shoot ice cream and sprinkles at unicorns. Console gamers just want to play Skyrim once, maybe a few more times for challenges then move on.
Even in competitive mode, multiplayer gaming isn’t something we partake in to become the very best like no one ever was. We just want to have a bit of fun without worrying that our set up is suboptimal. This is it, really, in a nutshell. Console gamers and PC gamers have different aspects that matter to their experience.
Gaming is gaming at the end of the day. Trying to raise an issue where there isn’t one only serves the need for some to stroke their digital egos while for others its a source of ad revenue. If you enjoy building beastly rigs that can run the most demanding title at Beyond Ultra Settings, then that’s good for you. Keep on trucking. Don’t worry if my version of the game looks worse.
I’m happy just playing.
If you haven’t read our latest article on the future of VR as Virtual Stories, be sure to check it out.
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Yannis is a veteran gamer with over 25 years of experience across the spectrum of genres. He enjoys spending time with his family, livestreaming on Twitch and occasionally dishing out unsolicited dad advice. Also catch him on IG.