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Console versus Computer gaming

Saturday, 5 November 2011

There's been battle between computer and console games even since late 80's when PC as we know today started taking shape and Sega along Nintendo released their first consoles. Applications and technology has advanced since then. So which one do you prefer, playing with your console or computer?

Personally I think it's matter of game at one point that decides which is better option. For games that do not focus solely on graphics but have large game content and complex interface behind them computer will offer better platform for them. I mean just think about it, if you're required to for instance write or use complicated key combos to execute actions of character - or just have several different actions which require usage of several keys - keyboard will surely handle this more smooth than for example Xbox360 controller which is a bit limited to complicated stuff.

Comfort Zone

Less focus on graphics also doesn't scream for a big screen like those games with very advanced graphics. Top down strategy games for example are these kind of games you just don't feel like "I wish I had bigger screen to play this game". Games like Fallout, Jagged Alliance - why not upcoming Diablo III also? But when you've a game with high resolution 3D that looks great, surely it's better viewed on a big screen TV than on 20" computer screen.

Other thing is comfort. I for instance have started to appreciate to sit comfortable on a sofa staring large screen than sitting on chair in front of a computer for long. It's not a big deal but if I had to choose it's no question I'll pick "sofa potato" option. (Console +1 for more comfortable playing)

Game quality

How about actual games? Well in the past when multi-platforming wasn't as common as nowadays - meaning same game is designed and published to be out on both computer and console - PC had overall much better games in my personal opinion. It had varying different types of games that some were quite complex while others were simplified like most console games. For instance we haven't seen that many good strategy games on consoles. It's just hard for developer to make working interface and controls of a strategy game for console.

PC had also better role-playing games in general. Sure there has been some RPG and adventure classics on console side too like Chrono Trigger (SNES), Zelda series, Secret of Mana (SNES), Final Fantasies, first Dragon Age and so on. But if we compare this list to matching games on PC like Fallout series, Baldur's Gate series, Icewind Dale series, gold box RPG games, Might & Magic series and PLENTY of more old classics, console doesn't get even close. Best MMORPG's also have been on PC while not common on consoles. (Computer +1 for better games overall - especially in the past)

Console in terms of games of all times is equal only in genres of Action/Simulation/Sports/Beat'em Up style games and perhaps some Shooters. However in games of these genres console has advantage. These days you can play games online with both PC and consoles (which wasn't the case with some older consoles - this is actually quite new thing). But split-screen action viewed with big screen while sitting on sofa with some buddies is still fun as ever - even at online-game times like this. Playing games with friends in same room never gets old - and this is bit awkward with PC while on consoles it's awesome in games like NHL, Forza Motorsport, Street Fighter, Soul Calibur and so on. So split screen rocks on consoles, how about online gaming? Well PC has more online games to offer and gaming experience might be better since interaction is easier with keyboard and between different online communities like squads. (Console +1 for playing games face to face)

PC versus console games diversity and quality is evening out these days though. PC is no longer superior by far in terms of quality games and it's evening out for a awkward reason. Every year more and more games are developed multi-platform only. Meaning smaller projects and PC only games which offer more complex interface are getting more rare than ever before. Multi-platform projects usually are designed by bigger game companies and their goal is to please every platform gamer equally. Since game has to be as playable on console than on PC, the complexity of game system usually then needs to be toned down. Also console games are usually made accessible for wider audience and perhaps younger audience even than many PC only releases. Some PC releases clearly were developed for people between ages of ~18-40 while console games in my opinion often aim for ~10-25. This means multi-platforming might well be destroying many games aimed adults only.

Upgrading Your Gaming System

Upgrading is one of the advantages of PC though. These days if you've decent processor then upgrading just graphics card or perhaps adding memory will grant years more lifetime to your PC. When console is old on the other hand, you're forced to buy whole new generation console to be able to even play new games. (Computer +1 for being more upgradeable)

Bottom Line

Bottom line - it's a matter of preferation. Depends what type of a gamer you are. If you're all around games like me then you'd better buy both - PC and console - but for different games. I use to play PC mostly for bit older games - some of the best RPG and strategy games ever released for instance. I couldn't imagine playing X-Com series on console really. I tend to play graphically more advanced games on Xbox360 since in those games it's just overall better experience to sit on sofa and watch the game from big LED-TV screen with decent audio system. More relaxing.

If you're more into Sports/simulation/Beat'em up games and occasionally play shooters like Modern Warfare Series or Battlefield 3 then console might be for you. But if you focus more on RPG/Adventure/Strategy and love retro games and still want to have chance to play some great Shooters and driving games then get PC.

Console 2 - Computer 2 (it's even score nowaways, depends what you're looking for)


  1. Really best collection. I love to play most of the action,adventure and fighting games. Eventually i having best collection of fighting and racing game like Forza, Tekken.

  2. There are always some comparisons between console gaming and PC gaming. I think consoles are better platform for gaming but PC gaming is also not a bad option. All top games running wonderful on PC.