PC vs Console Gaming

For as long as video games have existed, there has been PC gaming, and there has been console gaming (arcade as well, but few arguments are made concerning arcade). The biggest argument is, of course, which is better PC gaming or console gaming. Don’t get me wrong, I own and play games on a PS3, and I think it is a fine gaming system, especially when hooked up to an HDTV. Indeed, the argument of which has better graphics is a moot point. The latest generation consoles, X-Box 360 and PS3 easily match PC in graphics quality, that argument cannot be made anymore (in times past PC was better, but no more). Controls are debatable, certainly mouse and keyboard are a great combination for first person games, but there are other arguments that can be made for controllers as well. This article, however, will not dwell on controls. No, no, today I want to argue about cost.

In times past PC gaming has always been much more expensive than console gaming. A console might cost around $150.00 and everyone owned a TV so that was the only cost involved, whereas a PC cost around $1000.00, and you needed a monitor, and constant upgrades to keep up with the latest games. Expensive indeed. Now, however, the latest consoles are in the $300.00 range, X-Box 360 being less, and PS3 being more, Wii is not figured in because it is not a latest generation gaming system. Certainly, however, these are still much less expensive than a $1000.00 PC.

Realize, though, that if you really want that latest generation gaming experience, you cannot play a console game on the TV you have owned for years, you need an HDTV, the smallest of which are several hundred, a decent sized 32″ being about $500.00, but if you’re gaming you are going to want a full 1080p with a high response time and a fast refresh rate. Indeed, around $1000.00 is necessary to buy a TV that is going to get you the gaming experience you want. So we are already talking at about $1300.00 for the latest gaming experience. Of course the argument may be made that your HDTV can be used for a lot more than playing games on, but the same argument can be made for the PC as well.

Now what I really want to argue about is the day to day cost of gaming. PS3 and X-Box 360 games sell for $60.00, this seems to be the price that people are willing to pay for a game. PC games are at $50.00, so every game is ten bucks cheaper. If one were to own a modest collection of 20 games they are already saving $200.00 in the cost of the games alone when choosing PC. However, I acknowledge that many choose not to buy new games, and they buy used games instead, but realize this. Console games tend to have a much longer shelf life, a two year old console game will probably be selling for the same $60.00 as when it was released. A PC game on the other hand, of two years old, will probably be selling for $10.00 to $30.00, but certainly not the original $50.00. Used PC games can be found much cheaper than used console games as well.

Ultimately for a serious gamer that owns more than a few games, PC will actually turn out to be a cheaper investment for a gaming career. That said, PS3 and X-Box 360 are fine gaming consoles, and naturally the most serious of gamers would own one of these along with their PC.

1 thought on “PC vs Console Gaming”

  1. I really enjoyed this article Everett. First, Not a lot of people are thinking about cost. Second, you argue overall cost, not just initial cost, which is the one thing that’s on everybody’s mind. I must say, to be a serious gamer, you’ve got to have some serious cash.

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