Counter-arguments to arguments of PC gaming vs. console gaming

Counter-arguments+to+arguments+of+PC+gaming+vs.+console+gaming

Edward Barrera, Staff Writer

PC vs console. It’s a “battle” that’s been going on ever since they’ve been getting the same games. People have their reasons why they prefer one over the other. That’s no different for consoles and PCs. However, some claims are invalid. I’ll be addressing some of those arguments with a counter-argument of some sort.

1. PC gaming is too expensive.

This is a common claim, which is false. For only $28 more, you can order parts for a PC that is better than the PS4 (the XBOX One is weaker than the PS4). Unless you’re constantly doing extremely stressful tasks on your computer, it won’t need to be upgraded every 2-3 years like others say. It does need maintenance, but that isn’t hard at all.

(If you’re interested in the PC that is capable of providing this, head to www.reddit.com/r/pcmasterrace/wiki/builds and find “The Next-Gen Crusher”.)

Along with that, Valve Corporation’s Steam software offers daily deals on hundreds of games! In the summer and winter, many popular game titles get discounted.

For example, I bought the Far Cry Franchise Pack (Far Cry 1-3 + Blood Dragon) for $10. Buying each individual game outside the bundle would have cost $65.

Another example is Valkyria Chronicles. It was recently ported from PS3 to PC. The PS3 version, like mostly all other games ever, was released at $60. The game also had Downloadable Content (DLC) that could be purchased. When it was ported to PC, it was released for $20 (no discount) and included all DLC.

With that said, some people say that paying these prices for games kills the gaming industry. It doesn’t, actually. If the price is affordable, more people will buy it. If it’s not affordable, you’ll at least get more money from the people who do end up buying.

2. PC gaming is dead.

Is it? Steam, a digital distribution and social networking platform (sells games, has friend interaction) created by Valve Corporation (similar to Microsoft’s XBOX Live and Sony’s PlayStation Network), had 65 million users as of the end of 2013. XBL had 45 million users. Although PSN had 110 million users, Steam is catching up to PSN. PC gaming is not dead. It’s steadily growing just like XBL and PSN is.

Of course, if you still don’t believe that PC gaming is not dead, then consider looking into the Steam Machine being made by Valve. It runs Linux yet acts as a console. So, is it a console or a PC? That’s up to you.

3. PC isn’t user friendly.

Honestly, the only hard thing to PC is building the computer itself (if you even consider doing that). A computer isn’t hard to just use and Windows 8 has made it more user-friendly by giving the user tutorials on how to use the computer while you set up an account for the first time.

I normally wouldn’t have included this, but this is an actual complaint from some people. More specifically, the complaint is “PC is too complex”. Then they’d say that consoles are just plug-and-play, which they are… But PC isn’t hard to pick up at all.

4. Digital distribution is worse than physical distribution.

This one is a toughie. It boils down to personal preference, really. I honestly prefer digital distribution over physical because if you move computers or switch hard drives you can re-download your games. Some like to have discs to represent all the games they have, which I suppose is nice too. Once you break or lose them, though, it’s totally gone. Games distributed via “the cloud” (internet) are much safer to own in the sense that they can’t be lost forever like physical copies.

5. PC gamers pirate video games more than console gamers.

True and false at the same time. Yes, you need a computer to pirate. But not everyone pirate games on PC! Either way, is piracy completely bad for PC games? No! If you can’t play offline in a game that is totally capable of doing so, like SimCity, then pirating is okay as long as you bought said game or product. Otherwise, it is NOT okay.

6. PC is more unstable than a console.

Unless you are absolutely gullible and install every program known to man on your computer, you should not be encountering any problems on a computer. Even if a computer does get an error, it normally gives a simple-enough reason as to why it did. With consoles, you normally get an error code that you have to look up on a PC. Why not just state the reason of the error there?

If you maintain your PC well enough (it’s not hard at all), you most likely won’t run into issues.

Now, if you want to randomly bash computers, I can also bash at the fact that the XBOX One disc readers did not work on launch day (grinding noises were all that you could hear) or the fact that PlayStation Network went down for nearly a year at one point. Talk about unstable, hm?

7. PC’s graphics are bad (or are the same as consoles).

This is arguably the worst claim. At least, for me. Graphics look almost the same on all platforms (PC, most of the time, has added enhancements) because the PS4 and XBOX One hold PC back. Like I saw somewhere online (I believe it was reddit?), it’s like telling Usain Bolt to slow down for the rest of a high school track team so they don’t feel bad.

A YouTube user commented this on a Crysis 3 graphics comparison video:

“I do respect consoles, I own a PS3 myself. But at the same time, I can’t respect them… Just imagine where graphics, physics, lighting and other effects would be without the consoles holding the PC back. Once in a while, there comes a game which really shows what the PC can do, but 90% of the games are made so that consoles can handle the heat at barely 720p (30fps).“

He’s right. Recently released games on the XBOX 360 and PS3 are usually running at 720p and 30 FPS. Not only that, but settings are already lowered to run that fast. If you tried to set everything to its highest graphics fidelity, you’d expect serious framerate issues on the consoles. Luckily, the PS4 and XBOX One can handle much more.

If you want to know what PC is very capable of doing, look at these rendered in real-time (not pre-rendered):

Unreal Engine 4 Tech Demo: Living Room
Unreal Engine 4 Tech Demo: Living Room
Unreal Engine 4 Tech Demo: Ruins
Unreal Engine 4 Tech Demo: Ruins

But something’s not right; consoles don’t have a tech demo like this released yet (if that’s even planned). So, let’s compare head tech demos with PC, PS4, and XBOX One.

Tech demo released by Sony
PS4’s tech demo released by Quantic Dream.
NVIDIA PC Tech Demo
PC’s tech demo (NVIDIA Faceworks) released by NVIDIA.
Head demo for the XBOX One released by Infinity Ward.
XBOX One’s “tech demo” released by Infinity Ward for Call of Duty: Ghosts. This isn’t an official demo by Microsoft, so take this one lightly I suppose.

The PS4 and PC come very close to realism. Infinity Ward’s tech demo isn’t convincing enough for realism, but it’s getting there.

You don’t care about heads and want to see actual gameplay? Try some photos of Crytek’s Crysis 3 (thanks to YouTube user “PC Games” for these comparison photos):

A scene in Crysis 3 comparing PC (min. & max. settings), XBOX 360, and PS3.
A scene in Crysis 3 comparing PC (min. & max. settings), XBOX 360, and PS3.

What’s wrong here? Even with PC’s minimum graphics settings, it’s still clearer than PS3 and XBOX 360. Why? Because the XBOX 360 and PS3 run Crysis 3 at a lower resolution than supported by the console. That is done so the game is able to run in at least 30 FPS.

Another scene being compared between the three platforms.
Another scene being compared between the three platforms.

If the blurred scene wasn’t obvious in the previous comparison, this makes it even more so.

8. Framerate (FPS) doesn’t matter (also something along the lines of “no need to get a PC for a better framerate”)

For a fast-paced game like Call of Duty, it definitely does. Someone who plays at 30 FPS is at a great disadvantage because the hardware on their system won’t show incoming objects or players as fast as a system playing in 60 FPS can. With that said, if the game isn’t fast paced it is fine in my book if it is not 30 FPS.

Also, claiming the human eye cannot tell the difference in framerates above 30 FPS is an ignorant claim. 30 FPS being cinematic is also not a very good excuse for having it, either. Not to me.

9. Keyboard & Mouse is more uncomfortable than a controller

You can connect a controller to a PC via USB cable or Bluetooth.

10. PC can’t be used for couch gaming (plug-in to TV, play with controller)

As of recently, yes you can! Steam had a feature released called Big Picture. This makes the whole interface of steam explorable with a controller instead of mouse & keyboard. Thanks to that, it can feel like a console if you like that. All you need to do is set up a wireless controller for your PC, then plug in your PC to your TV with an HDMI cable.

11. Exclusives are available on [console] and PC doesn’t have it.

This is true, but some games can be emulated on PC. For example, Wii games can be emulated with a free software called Dolphin Emulator, or Gameboy games with Visual Boy Advance.

Of course, you must legally own the game before you download it off the internet, but that statement is debatable too.

Do I have a problem with consoles themselves? No. I think consoles are alright if you just want something that you plug in and play right off the bat. Of course, because consoles are made to be easy to use, some features are removed from them. PC gets those features though because there are so many kinds of computers out there that can handle whatever you throw at people. Why not take advantage of it?

Except for Ubisoft, because they don’t bother with that. Far Cry 4 and Assassin’s Creed: Unity are fine examples of it. If you don’t believe me, look up “far cry 4 PC” or “assassin’s creed unity PC”. You’re going to find articles about the several issues in them, but here’s the greatest issue with Assassin’s Creed: Unity:

Assassin's Creed: Unity Face Glitch