Why I Remain a Console Gamer

NESI admit it: the case against console gaming grows every hardware generation. The previous generation saw mandatory installs, online passes, nickel-and-diming, hardware instability, and more expensive games becoming a disturbingly regular occurrence.

I’ve complained in the past about console gaming becoming worse than PC gaming, and when I read that article again today, it still makes sense to me. And yet, I’m still here; I’m still a console gamer.

Make no mistake, I detest what console gaming has become. The games today may be prettier, longer, and more engaging, but many of the industry’s practices has made it more difficult for me to stay.

I do, however, have five compelling reasons why I stick around. Compelling for me, at least. Here they are:

Big-budget console games

There are just too many top-shelf, big-budget games being released exclusively for console systems that I don’t ever want to miss out on. Yes, the PC also has a vast library of exclusive games that can keep me occupied for possibly even longer periods since its quantity rivals all the console exclusives combined.

TheLastofUs

The Last of Us is one of the best reasons to own a PS3. And maybe a PS4.

All the same, the triple-A console-only titles are simply too good to ignore. This is the main reason why I remain a console gamer. Games like The Last of Us, Red Dead Redemption, Metal Gear Solid 4, and Uncharted 2 are what keep me from playing solely on the PC. If it weren’t for these types of games, I wouldn’t bother with console gaming at all.

An emulator may eventually run these games on your PC, but I don’t want to wait that long.

(Most) Console games work out of the box

I say most because today, many console games require installation and/or updates before you can play them, as if they were PC games. There’s also this thing called region lock, which prevents you from running games bought from another region.

But aside from these minor hiccups, consoles require no setup or tweaking to have the games running smoothly. You don’t have to edit .ini files to fine-tune configurations or worry over recommended hardware requirements.

Unless the disc or your console hardware is actually damaged, you know that the game you purchased will work and won’t constantly crash. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for all PC games. I’m looking at you, Fallout: New Vegas.

I do know how to tweak games on my PC, but don’t relish the task. With console gaming, the steps to have a game up and running are so much simpler.

Console hardware is cheaper and easier to buy

If you know your way around PC hardware, then you probably know that you can actually assemble a good gaming computer in the neighborhood of $600 (plus $99.99 for Windows 8.1), which is way cheaper than those branded, pre-built PCs that cost upwards of $1,100.

However, $600 to $700 is still a fairly substantial leap from the PlayStation 4′s $399 and Xbox One’s $499 price tags, which would inevitably be cheaper as the hardware generation progresses.

Buying a console is generally easier too. Each of the past two console generations provide three options: Microsoft, Nintendo, or Sony. While hardware cost is always a consideration, your choice would probably boil down to which games you prefer for each platform.

A PC, on the other hand, is a chore even for the technically inclined. Before you can decide which component to buy, you’ll have to do a substantial amount of research on each. Graphics cards, for instance, have their own set of jargon, which you need to learn so that you’ll understand the specifications.

Each model may also vary in performance, even among those with the same brand and price range. This means you have to look at each graphics card’s benchmarks to see which provides better value for your money. Remember, that’s just for the video card.

There’s also the matter of assembling all the parts into a functional rig, which is easier said than done. Doing this takes a little bit of technical know-how, patience, and some cord management savvy.

So as much as I love PC gaming, the convenience and affordability of console gaming is just too significant to overlook.

Used games and rentals

PC games are pretty cheap, thanks to regular sales and massive discounts offered by content distribution services like Steam, GOG.com, and the Humble Store.

Console game retailers may not provide the same frequent mark-downs, but rental services and buying used games help ease my expenses. By signing up for rental services like GameFly, for example, I can borrow games as frequently as I want for a monthly fee.

The used games are quite affordable too, if you know where to look. Depending on the game’s age, you can get one for as low as $5–as far as I know, in any case.

Without these low-cost options, I probably would’ve abandoned console gaming long ago.

I can easily borrow games from friends

Nefarious Microsoft DRM plans aside, lending console games to friends has always been straightforward: you simply hand over the disc. Because of this, I’ve always been able to borrow games from friends who own the same system, and my only expense is transportation money.

HowToLendPS4Games

Despite the existence of the Steam Family Sharing feature, PC games don’t really have this flexibility. Physical game discs are tied to the user’s corresponding online account so lending isn’t really an option.

At its current state, Steam’s Family Sharing is limited; for it to work, I need to log into my Steam account on my friend’s computer to enable sharing. But unless I’m physically at my friend’s place, I won’t be able to do this, lest I trust my chum with my password, which I’m not willing to do by default.

The difference in lending/sharing games between the two platforms is like night and day.

No clear winner

Despite the pros and cons of either platform, there is no clear winner to me. PC gaming gives me more customization, affordable games, flexibility, and precise controls in certain genres, while console gaming has cheaper hardware and offers a more streamlined experience.

Since the two are very different, I play both so that I can experience everything that the hobby has to offer.

And while console gaming has forced me at one point to temporarily give it up, I grudgingly return to it because of the reasons I’ve outlined above. For now, at least.

What about you? Barring financial limitations, do you prefer a specific gaming platform or would you rather try both? Heck, if I had deep pockets, I’d get all gaming consoles available.

If you’re a console gamer, what are your reasons for sticking with it? Would you be open to experience PC gaming? What’s keeping you from getting into either?

Have you ever gotten to a point where you had to give either up? I would really love to hear what you think. Share it in the comments section below!

  • stezza

    For me its PC gaming. Got sick of my 360s load times, signing in etc… It just took too long. With Steam I don’t need to worry about disc swapping, I can play on my tv with a 360 controller, or mouse and keyboard. The world is my oyster. I do miss the AAA exclusives, but as it is I don’t have time to play through my entire steam library. Oh and I love shopping around / doing research on how I should upgrade, the installing the card and seeing the results… Priceless.

    • http://console-gamer.com/ Console Gamer

      Interesting. I read somewhere once that many people don’t get to play through their entire Steam library as well. I’m guilty of that too.

      I guess you enjoy the act of reading about benchmarks, putting the rig together, and seeing how well it does. The process itself feels like a game for me, which is also one of the things I love about PC gaming.

    • Dakan45

      I really dislike fps without mouse support and without using the fov you want, it causes me a headache. If you die on pc, you are loading the game super fast on consoles you gotta wait foever and now consoles have long install times as well, actually longer than pc. Steam allows me to play games wherever i want on any pc, even if i got to antartica i will be able to play them on a laptop. Consoles need a tv, the console and tons of discs also limited hdd space.

      • http://console-gamer.com/ Console Gamer

        You know, I love Steam too (most of my PC library is in there), but I wish they’d be more like GOG.com, where there’s no DRM.

        Need a TV? Come on, that’s nitpicking. :) I game on a desktop computer and that needs a monitor as well.

        • Dakan45

          what i meant is if i take it somehwere else i am gonna need to set it up, while i can play any game i want on my collection with a laptop no matter how far away from hope i am.

          • http://console-gamer.com/ Console Gamer

            Good point. And Steam has an offline mode, unlike Microsoft’s original vision for the Xbox One (remember the mandatory once-per-24-hours online checks?). This means that yes, you can play pretty much anywhere.

  • Mike

    For me the best situation is console and PC – consoles for exclusives (Last of Us, Metal Gear, etc…) and games that work well with controllers such as FPS and sports games, and PC for strategy and MMO type games. That is why I have a PS4 and a PC and am hugely enjoying both.

    • http://console-gamer.com/ Console Gamer

      Indeed! There’s no reason why we shouldn’t enjoy both console and PC games. Say Mike, have you tried playing an MMO with a controller? I’ve been playing DC Universe Online with my Xbox 360 controller and it’s been quite fun. Chatting requires a keyboard but heck, the combat controls are perfect on the controller.

      Can’t say I agree with FPS working well with controllers though. But hey, each to his own. ;)

  • Dakan45

    thats nice. I think the pc gaming has become better than ever.

    it is now affordable with 750 ti costing 149$ and beating ps4 on bf4. Pc has exlusives imgur.com/tsCq4Qg.png and they are well rated and the steam sales really fix the no renting option.

    I think the biggest thing about consoles is how they fund the development of high budget games this is what pc lacks. Basicly holding games hostages until you buy the console. It is a diffirent market though. Sanctum 2 devs said they made 95% of the revenue through pc and not consoles, they didnt even cover the console version development costs, they say its propably because xbl and psn dont give the same awarness to the game as steam.

    Consoles could attract pc gamers by allowing mouse support, warthunder allows that, why not the exlusives?

    One of the reasons i stay on pc is fee mp and backwards compability. If sony can fix the backwards compability with ps now, that would be better but i doubt it. So you say games work on consoles out of the box but older games dont. Thats the tradeoff. I would buy a next gen console if it was backwards compatable with older games or if it had free mp.

    Another reason is that games are cheaper, in my country pc games are 40 euro, console games are 50-60 and next gen versions are 65-68 euro.

    So ill stick to pc till console gamning becomes more affordable, backwards compatible or has free mp or supports mouse and keyboard.

    • http://console-gamer.com/ Console Gamer

      Ditto! I’m really pleased that the dry spell in PC gaming is over. In fact, the PC has the most number of exclusives, even if you combine the current and previous console generation’s library of exclusive titles.

      68 Euro? Geez. That’s A LOT of money. Funny how affordability is reversed in some corners of the globe. Admittedly, PC gaming is also cheap where I’m from.

      Sadly, mouse/keyboard support is pretty limited on consoles. During the last generation, the only game I remember that supports mouse/keyboard input is Unreal Tournament.

      • Dakan45

        be glad you are not in australia then 100 bucks for a game.

    • Bilal Prince- Ali

      he didnt say ‘good’ exclusives.. the argument is ‘BIG BUDGET AAA EXCLUSIVES’ something the PC sincerely lacks regardless of how you spin it… plain and simple.

      • Dakan45

        Define big budget. Sony and ms exlusives cost less than multiplatform games. Techinically any game costing alot of millions is AAA. Basicly you just ask budget just to ask for it regardless of quality.

        • Bilal Prince- Ali

          once again.. REGARDLESS of the fact they’re multiplat because that means they arent exclusive to Console or PC.. this is a straight cmparison between Console and PC exclusives in terms of big budget games like Red dead which i think cost 100 million which wasnt on PC and mgs4 which i think cost about 65-70 million..?

          • Dakan45

            RDR is not exlusive and it was not realeased on pc because the code was a mess after gta iv they couldnt risk another screwup. However they released la noire and max payne 3 because they could max payne 3 costed 108 million and tomb raider costed 100 million as well.

            Star citizen should be around 65-70 million right now.

          • Bilal Prince- Ali

            how is RDR not exclusive to consoles…? :S if it only realeased on PS3 and 360…? :S and im NOT saying there arent any big budget PC games im saying there are no where near as much as console exclusives thats this whoolllleee argument.. right now you’re just nit picking.. ¬__¬

          • Dakan45

            its not exlusive it is a game that couldnt be released on pc due to techinical reasons.

            So your whole argument is wrong and you are just nipticking.

            “im saying there are no where near as much as console exclusives”

            No but budget does not equal quality pc has higher rated exlusives without the budget.