There are many videos, articles, and debates on which is better, PC gaming or console gaming. Unfortunately many are the inflated opinions of fan boys with little detail or explanation as to why they feel the way they do. I hope to break the mold and to give detailed facts as to which is actually better.
In order to be as objective as possible, I have to look what a video game actually is.
What is a video game? A video game is nothing more than interactive software, albeit complex, expensive software, that is developed and tested, then released to the public to be used on hardware, which is either a console or a PC. Think about it. You install software. You run software. You interact with the software. You also do the same things with a video game, whether you run it on a console or a PC. (On a console, you don’t install the software. I’ll cover that later.)
What is a console? A console is a device used for a specific purpose. In the case of this article, it is used specifically for playing video games. A console game consists of just placing the cartridge or disc into the drive and turning it on and you can play it without time-consuming or complex installation. Console games are usually less complex, mainly due to memory constraints, as game developers are forced to develop games within the console limitations. This meant that it had poorer sound and graphics quality and limited gameplay length. As technology increased, however, console games could become more complicated with better graphics and sound, even to the point of rivaling PC graphics, sound, and complexity. Console games are considered to be more user-friendly due to the lack of requirements for installation and the quick start-up. Just turn on the game and start playing.
What is PC gaming? PCs are far more complex than consoles, as they can be used for a wide variety of things, due to its expansive memory and storage capabilities. Even early PCs could be used for a variety of tasks, including playing video games. While early PCs were not as advanced as today’s personal computers, they still could be used to play video games. The very early personal computers may not have required installation as they were cartridge (not disk) based, they still offered more complexity, clearer sound, and more detailed graphics than their console counterparts at the time, largely due to their larger memory and storage capacity. During the very early days of gaming, where console and PC games intermixed, PC games had the edge due to the hardware they were run on when compared to the seemingly primitive technology used by consoles of the time. Today, PC gaming allows for more features than any console. Mods are not available on consoles, but are the backbone for longevity in PC games as modders can add to or modify any existing game to get more mileage out of it. PC games often have better graphics and sound, and not only that, these features can be adjusted depending on the capabilities of the PC the game is being run on.
The major disadvantage to PC gaming is that each game requires the PC be powerful enough to run it. Some casual gamers or console gamers new to PC gaming may not realize this and actually end up purchasing a game that their PC cannot run. Console games do not have this disadvantage as developers make console games within the limits of the console they are developing for; PC game developers make games according to the most powerful PC on the market. Not all gamers have or can afford the most powerful PC on the market and must be sure their PC can run the game they wish to play.
So, which is better? The answer. Neither.
Both have their advantages and disadvantages. I also goes down to personal opinion. Casual gamers and gamers who just want to play their games without the hassle of installations will go with console gaming. Consoles do not require the software to be installed on the system (though with today’s consoles, doing so may improve gameplay), additionally, the games are always developed with the consoles limits in mind, so there is no ‘system requirements’ notice on console games. This one can be seen as an advantage in that the games are guaranteed to work, but at the same time, it can be seen as a disadvantage in that there is no way to improve graphics or frame rate beyond what is already displayed.
PC gamers have more options in their games. PC games can be modified to increase their lifespan, many are more complex in design. Plus, certain games, such as RTS (Real-Time Strategy) are made especially for keyboard and mouse. PC gamers who like online or multiplayer gameplay have more options and a better chance to find matches due to a larger online community, though console games do have a modest community. Additionally, PC gamers can have the most advanced sound, graphics, and graphical features (rag dolls, shadows, water reflections, etc.) provided they have a powerful enough PC with a good graphics card. Another thing of note is that PCs can be upgraded with newer graphics cards to improve game graphics and graphical features without sacrificing frame rate.
No matter what kind of gamer you are, there is something for everyone. Some people will like Console Gaming, while others will choose PC Gaming. Both kinds are viable and acceptable and will provide casual, as well as hardcore gamers hours of entertainment.