Today, we take a look at a somewhat controversial topic among gamers – PC versus console gaming. While both platforms most definitely offer their own set of strengths and weaknesses for video gaming, I personally believe that PC gaming is far superior to console gaming for a multitude of reasons.
Why do you ask? Below you will find a list of 10 reasons why pc gaming is better than console gaming that highlight why I believe you will have a much better gaming experience if you elect to go with a PC or a gaming laptop for your game system compared to any of the leading consoles that are currently available on the market. But before we look at these reasons, let’s examine a little more closely consoles and the debate the currently rages among gamers.
Consoles Aren’t All Bad
One thing this post is not is a let’s bash console gaming post. On the contrary, I believe consoles can offer up something unique to the gaming world as well and I own consoles myself. Still, PC gaming can provide you with some of the best gaming experiences you will have simply because of the many benefits using a PC for gaming can provide. Whether it is your controls, your ability to play old games or the flexibility the modding community can provide, you will find something to love about PC gaming no matter who you are.
Still, consoles all provide a great way to enjoy your games and today’s modern consoles have come a long way from the early days to provide a compelling user experience along with a host of other media tools to make them all in one entertainment devices, not just console gaming machines.
Never Ending Debate
I don’t expect that the reasons I give today to be some magic bullet that will end the debate once and for all. The fact is both PC’s and consoles provide a unique user experience and they are all great gaming devices. Heck, I own every console there is as well. Still I find that I always go back and spend more of my game time on PC games than I do on my consoles. But I wouldn’t want to do without my consoles altogether.
Remember, before you get mad at me for this post and sound off in the comments, there is room for all the different types of gaming systems in this world and room for everyone who thinks that consoles are better as well. Still, it is my belief that overall PC’s can provide you with the best gaming experience and provide you with the tools to enjoy your video games much more compared to the console systems.
10 Reasons PC Gaming Is Just…Better
Let’s take a quick look at 10 reasons PC gaming is better than console gaming so you can begin to see the advantages of using a PC as your gaming rig instead of one of the leading consoles that are currently on the market.
1. Better Controller Support
There is nothing better for controlling video games than a traditional PC and a mouse. If you want to add a gamepad or other controlling device, all you have to do is plug one in. Still, you can play all your games using your keyboard and mouse giving you some of the most accurate controls available when compared to the analog sticks found on gamepads today. To be fair, most of the console makers have begun releasing keyboards and mice for their games, but the compatibility with the console games is hit and miss at best. If you want the best control over your characters in game, you will want to use a PC. In the end, you simply can’t go wrong with the simple, yet flexible and powerful controls offered by a good gaming keyboard and mouse.
2. Higher Resolution Capabilities
While Xbox and Sony do, in fact, have Full HD gaming today and many of the games on the consoles do look quite impressive, PC’s have had this ability for quite some time now. The software has taken awhile to catch up to the hardware capabilities but it has been there for years. This just underscores how much more flexible and powerful PC gaming hardware can be and, if used correctly, can deliver a much more engaging experience for users pushing some of the best graphics and audio that you will find in a game today.
3. Upgradeable Hardware
One of the biggest advantages that PC’s have is the ability to upgrade the hardware without having to buy a brand new machine every time your computer can’t handle the latest game to be released. Admittedly, if you are gaming on a laptop, you are somewhat more limited, but even still you have the ability to make a few upgrades here and there to improve your gaming experience. On consoles, however, you are locked into a set of hardware specs that will be used for years. This means that as gaming development evolves, they will be limited by the hardware since console manufacturers only release new hardware every few years.
4. Multiple Online Services
One of the best parts of using a PC for gaming is the freedom that comes with it. On consoles, you are locked into using the online services they provide, and in the case of Xbox Live, that comes with an added cost. On a PC, you are free to roam the Internet and find the best online services you can for the games you enjoy. Often these are available completely for free and often provide a better user experience overall. Of course, the best part is, if you don’t like one community, you can just go somewhere else, instead of being stuck in one single community like you are on your favorite consoles.
5. More Storage Space
On the Xbox and the PS4, games are restricted to the size of the discs that they use and are often forced to download extras onto the relatively small hard drives that are included with the consoles. This limits your gaming potential as well as how many games you can store. Hard Drives on most PC’s these days have gotten huge, giving you the ability to store as many games and saved files as you want. If you run out of space, you can always add a bigger drive or a secondary drive as well, giving you almost limitless potential for how many games you have in your collection.
6. Classic Gaming
There is nothing better than firing up an old game that was made almost 20 years ago and reliving some of your past gaming experiences. For younger gamers, it can provide valuable insight into how games were made and how they have evolved over time as well. It is also just plain fun. Consoles, however, limit your ability to do this unless you want to keep the older consoles connected as well. Of course, some console makers such as Nintendo have recognized this demand and have begun releasing their older games on their newer consoles, but these come with an additional cost. Often you can find old games for PC available for free and you can even download the tools to run them on modern machines at no charge as well, making classic gaming a much easier and cheaper experience compared to the consoles.
7. Free Mods
Hands down one my favorite aspects of PC gaming is the ability to mod the games to alter the gameplay in some form or fashion. Whether it is adding in a host of new items, altering the graphics, or even adding additional levels to play through, the modding community has been hard at work altering games for decades now creating unique gameplay objectives that were not even considered by the original developer teams. This gives you hours upon hours of added playtime to a game meaning you get a lot more for your money compared to a console game. On console games, you are locked into what the developers want you to do. While some games have added some basic modding abilities on the consoles, they are nothing when compared to what designers and developers can do with the code on the PC. If you enjoy modding your games, PC gaming is the way you need to go.
8. Cheaper Games
Expensive licensing fees and added development time to ensure that the game performs well on each specific console often drives up the cost of console games. Even older used games often seem more expensive compared to the PC alternatives. Admittedly, this isn’t always the case, and sometimes you will get sticker shock when checking out the latest new game that is available. But, in general, your gaming budget will be much more wallet friendly if you game on a PC.
9. Unofficial Fixes for Games
Let’s face it, not all games are released exactly how we wanted them. Often times the game developers never get around to fixing that one thing that you wish was different about the game. Enter again the modding community. On older PC games, modders have often taken the time to patch and fix the games themselves so they run and perform better and sometimes they even squash some of the most annoying bugs that crop up during game play. You won’t find these kinds of options on console games, as you simply don’t have the ability to make mods and fixes yourself all that easily.
10. Easy Migration of Games
Time to get a new rig? No problem. Simply back up your saved game files and reinstall the game on your new machine. Once you finish you can pick up right where you left off in your favorite game. That doesn’t always work out so well on consoles. In some cases, older games for previous consoles simply won’t work at all forcing you to keep that one connected to your television if you still want to play that one game you have yet to finish.
Let the Flame War Begin
I’m sure there are many of you out there that disagree with me, and some of you maybe even passionately. I bet some of you are reading this and are so mad at me right now your face has turned three or four shades of red. That’s ok. You are entitled to your opinion, and I welcome it. If you agree or even if you disagree, feel free to sound off in the comments and let me know what you think makes the very best gaming experience. I would especially enjoy hearing from console fans who think their console is the very best there is and ever will be. Remember, though, in the end we are all gamers. We all love the thrill of loading up and playing our favorite game and we rejoice during our successes in game and wallow in our failures. We gamers are a passionate bunch, and I would never discourage differing opinions on the matter. So let me know and maybe we can get a good discussion going about what makes the best gaming experience – PC or console.
There is little doubt in my mind that PC gaming is hands down the very best medium for enjoying your favorite video games. By using a PC, you gain access to literally thousands of games and a huge community of gamers for each and every one of them. Add to that the impressive ability and flexibility a PC can provide along with amazing groups of modders that alter the games you play giving you an entirely new play experience, I believe you will find that your overall enjoyment of your games is much better compared to what you can experience on the latest consoles. Do you agree or disagree? Sound off in the comments and let me know what you think.
About the author
Matt is an IT professional with over fifteen years experience supporting network infrastructure and computers. An avid gamer, Matt enjoys his time playing and writing about his experiences both in the IT world and in the gaming communities. You can find more of his writing for LaptopNinja where he enjoys talking about everything tech.