December 21, 2008

Head to Head: PC vs. Console Gaming

In this first installment of Head to Head, where Doegab and I battle it out about which thing is superior, we tackle PC versus Console gaming.

PC Gaming: Why is still has the edge over the console gaming

Yes, as of late PC exclusive titles have gotten thin, the market has shrunk, and ultimately console games have gotten stronger. Yet I still feel that PCs have undeniable advantage over their clunky console predecessors. For all of you who disagree with me, I'm sure I can help you see the light, and finally understand why PC gaming is still the best type of gaming. =P

To start off I'm not one of those crazy PC gamer elitist that nerd rages at the thought of someone owning a console system. I own an Xbox 360 myself and love playing it. However, when it comes down to it, if I want to play a great RTS like Medival Total War 2, it is simply impossible to transition over to a console system. Don't get me wrong, it's still possible to play SOME RTS games on a console system (Command and Conquer comes to mind). However it is simply easier to use a mouse and key board combination to play certain types of games.

Which brings me to my next point: they key board and mouse combination. In my opinion the keyboard and mouse combo is simply superior to the controller, in any type of game. As I mentioned before, it is superior in RTS games for micro managing, but it is also superior in FPS games for quicker and more accurate gun fire. Not to mention if I want to play an MMO or RPG that has a large number of spells or attacks, where key bindings is almost necessary. Although simple mouse clicking will also work just as well and still more efficient than a controller.

Xbox live is nice I guess, but online PC games are nicer. The online service for most PC games is free and highly customizable. It's also entirely possible to use microphones to communicate with PC gaming as well by using free programs like Ventrilo or Skype. Also for the record, PC gaming mics are about half the price of the console game mics, and the more expensive PC gaming mics are much more comfortable than the console mics as well.

But the absolute best thing about PC games are the mods. Vanilla games are always nice, but mods make them better. Some mods even fix problems that where implemented when the game was released. Mods can also increase the replability of games by adding more features to them....for free! But that's okay, keep going on your Xbox market place and buying extra features for games, like the Oblivion Horse armor! You do that while I hop on my Oblivion character that has wings and is a werewolf thanks to the Oblivion mods I just downloaded for free.

While graphics on the gaming consoles have improved, the PC still is, and always will have better graphics than the console systems. If you truly want to have the prettiest looking games, you go with a PC not a console.

And while nowadays both the consoles and PCs share a variety of games, why would you buy the same PC game on a console. On the PC, the game is not only 10$ cheaper, but can also be modded. Ultimately, while the console systems do have some exclusive titles, the PC still has more exclusive titles especially in the RTS and MMO area of gaming.

Also why would you pay to download retro games on your consoles and play them. Just get an emulator on your PC and download all the free retro games you want. You can also get an emulator for basically any gaming console or handheld system, with the exception of the most recent ones.

Yes PCs do need to be upgraded, but if you take GOOD care of your PC, it should last at least 5-7 years. Around that time you where going to upgrade your console system any way right? Well spend a little bit of extra dough on a PC and in the end it will save you more money and pay it self back.


Console Gaming: The Reason Why PCs are Still for Porn

While my friend here makes a few good points, I still think playing games on a console is more worth it than playing PC games. Let's take a look, shall we?

I will admit that some types of games play better on the PC because, well, that's what they were originally designed for. It's always interesting to see how a game plays on an interface it wasn't designed for. Yes, a lot of genres were born on the PC, but have you ever tried playing a platformer on a computer? Not optimal. That's why games like Halo Wars, EndWar, and Stormrise have me excited. They're trying to break the PC mold and deliver an adequate experience for console players in a new, unique way. No, they won't play the same, but who's to say that's a bad thing? MMOs never quite worked on a console but that's what games like Champions Online hope to change. It was designed first and foremost with console control in mind and looks absolutely stellar. And I realize the main reason MMOs were not made to run on consoles is mostly because console controllers don't have enough buttons. For me, that's a negative of PC gaming. The controls are so utterly massive and confusing because they can utilize every single key on the keyboard if they wanted to. They even made a special Doom keyboard for Doom 3 just so you can remember what keys to press. I like to think that console gaming simplifies games in a good way. It makes developers away that they have to pull off all of their gameplay mechanics using fewer buttons, thus making games the same amount of fun but more enjoyable to play. If I ever did want to play a PC game like Crysis, I'd just plug in my Xbox 360 controller and be done with it. Oh, that's right the game won't play right because it was designed for 150 buttons.

Playing games on consoles is a different experience. Instead of sitting at my desk staring at my 20" computer screen (unless you're a real nerd with some kind of ungodly setup), I'm sitting on my couch in front of my HD home theater system chillin with my pals over Xbox Live. Yes, there is online play on the PC and it's free but you're missing out on the experience. Hell, as long as you have an internet connection you can still get the experience (minus the playing online of course). Does your PC have the XBL Arcade? I don't think so. You go ahead and play your ROMS while I play games like Castle Crashers and Braid. The main reason why games from 20 years ago are re-released is because they're re-released better with more features. Can your emulator play Street Fighter 2 online? I didn't think so. And guess what? While you're paying $13 a month to play your MMOs, I'm paying $50 a year to play anything in the Xbox 360 catalog. And, as long as you have an internet connection, your getting constant updates for your games. Some free, like the excellent Crackdown title update that added several new modes and the Burnout Paradise update that added new challenges and motorcycles (!), some not free. Guess what though? If you want the Shivering Isles you're going to have to pay just as much as I did. And if you don't, well then you're involved in some sort of illegal activity and should be arrested.

And what happens if I want to play something like MGS4? Nothing. Nothing at all because I can't. It's not so much a problem for Xbox games because of Microsoft, but if your a Sony fanboy you're out of luck. It does irk me that PC games are usually $10 cheaper than console games but that's alright because by the time you're playing Gears of War or Halo 2, I've already played it six times and spoiled the ending.

Most of all, if you buy a PC to play games, you better be damn well sure you can afford it. Nowadays you can pay $200 for an Xbox which will always play Xbox games, or you can play $1,000+ for a gaming PC that has to be constantly upgraded to make sure it still runs your games smoothly. With the money I save on that I can afford to pay for Xbox Live and horse armor. Unless you own a PS3, of course, then you can play 60 player deathmatch on Resistance 2 for free.



  1. Yeah, and then there's the Wii... in a class of its own...

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