Almost every gamer has a video game console, whether it is Xbox, PlayStation or Nintendo. While video game consoles are what most associate with gaming, for those people serious about video games, they often turn to PCs. But when it comes to the great PC vs console for gaming debate, what are the advantages of each over the other?
So what do PCs offer that video game consoles do not?
Opportunity. PCs give the opportunity to play a wide range of games, to customize and change those games, to change the controller or keyboard, and to upgrade the system at its core.
There are many games available on PCs that aren’t available on consoles at all. Massive esports like League of Legends (LoL), Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) and Dota 2 are not available on consoles. Those are only some of the biggest games. However, there are thousands of games available on PC that don’t exist on consoles.
There are some console games that are exclusive to the platform. Two of the biggest titles of the year, Red Dead Redemption 2 and Spiderman are console-exclusive. And the latter is PlayStation-exclusive. Red Dead 2 is expected to come to PCs in 2019, but the official announcement has not been made.
But for esports, the PC vs console for gaming debate overwhelmingly favours PCs. Even the top console-based esports like Call of Duty and FIFA are available on PCs. Generally, games are much more likely to move from console to PC, than they are to move from PC to consoles. Only the largest and most popular titles attempt the latter.
While consoles have been improving, they still can’t match the quality of a high-end gaming PC. At the highest level, any delay can be game breaking and PCs allow players to optimize their connection better than consoles.
The difference between mouse and keyboard and a console controller
Most people think of gamers with a controller in their hand. But in the PC vs console for gaming debate, a mouse and keyboard often offer a more complex and accurate controller set up. For any first person shooter (FPS) title, the mouse gives a much higher degree of accuracy than a controller joystick does. Shooting a player requires just a click of the mouse, which is very precise.
In addition, the keyboard allows for a massive amount of key bindings in a way that controllers do not. Console controllers are limited to the amount of inputs on the controller itself. While some controllers have begun adding “paddles” on the back to add up to four new inputs, they still can’t match the controls on a keyboard.
For games like Call of Duty that have esports play on consoles, players are required to use a controller. Using a mouse and keyboard would give an extra advantage to that player. Still, there are some games where the controller is the preferred choice.
Rocket League is an example of one of those games; the game’s free-flowing nature gives the joystick user better control over the flying cars than WSAD keys do. In Fortnite, most players use a mouse and keyboard, but some controller players have shown that they can compete at the highest level as well.
That is to say, it’s complicated. Both consoles and PCs can use the other controller set up on their devices. From personal experience, I’ve found that a console controller works better on a PC than a mouse and keyboard works on a console. So while this can be easily remedied, the vast majority of players use the intended controller set up for their platform.
PCs allow for customization
This is the real selling point for many dedicated gamers. PCs give a lot more control than consoles do. Players can build their own system and upgrade individual parts of a PC, such as graphics card, memory, and processor. They can even get a fancy case to house it all.
Compared to the rigid nature of video game consoles, PCs give the user a lot more options. And that’s just in the hardware. The software on PCs is another huge selling point. Entire games have been created from the modified version of other games.
That is actually how the Battle Royale genre that comprises Fortnite, PUBG and H1Z1 came to exist. Brendan “PlayerUnknown” Greene was an avid player of Arma 3, a mostly traditional shooter title. He was inspired by a Japanese film Battle Royale from the year 2000 and made a mod for Arma 3 called Day Z: Battle Royale.
His mod became so popular that South Korean developer Bluehole picked it up and got to work developing Player Unknown’s BattleGrounds, better known as PUBG. While Fortnite cut into a lot of the Battle Royale market share, it is still one of the most popular games in the world.
This is just one example of how mods to games can become more popular than the games themselves. While this whole saga was playing out on PC, Bluehole tried to bring PUBG to consoles . Nevertheless, they were unable to capture the same seamless attention to detail that the game achieved on PC.
Skyrim, one of the most popular games of all time on both PCs and consoles, has all but run its course for the latter. On PCs, there is still a very active community thanks to all the absurd modded worlds that now exist in the game.
PC vs Console For Gaming: Both have their place in a home
To wrap it up, the PC vs console for gaming debate is all about the user. Consoles are set in stone, which makes them ideal for people who aren’t super into games. They will often provide everything you might want, and the user interface is much easier to navigate.
Plus with new TV streaming apps and even live TV through mediums like Playstation Vue, they are trying to become the new centerpiece of a living room TV setup. They are the communal gaming devices.
On the other hand, PCs serve a different purpose. They are usually personal and private, hidden away in bedrooms or offices. Through Steam or other online portals, they can be filled with thousands of games in a myriad of genres. With modifications to those games, the possibilities are endless, and usually a lot cheaper than the traditional console disc.
For people truly dedicated to video games, the PC offers more. In the great PC vs console for gaming debate, however, consoles and PCs offer different things. And both are popular for their own reasons.