Console vs. PC Gaming

Platform feud meets facts and experience

Cody Bennett, Assistant Striv Producer

Waking up on a cold, early 2008 Saturday morning, I used to go downstairs and press the big green button on the front of the Xbox 360. For hours I’d play Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and Black Ops. Some of the memories and friends I’ve made still stick with me to this day. Now in the present, I’ve moved on from the console scene of gaming, I saved up some of my expenses over the month and built a $1,300 gaming PC (Personal Computer).

Over the past couple of years, the “console wars” have raged amongst the gaming community. Microsoft’s Xbox vs. Sony’s PlayStation. One variable that hasn’t really been mentioned is the computer in all of this commotion since it is mostly seen as more superior to the “weaker consoles.”

For some background information, the Xbox One, Day 1, cost around $500 for one controller, 500 GB (Gigabytes) of storage and a Kinect sensor. With my computer, all of the parts that actually run the computer cost over $1,100. Add the cost of the monitor, keyboard, and mouse, plus the windows program, all totaled to around $1,300. A major price differential for those looking to have a decent experience.

Price isn’t everything and another positive for the console community would be the number of games available for sale and download. Consoles have their own Microsoft Store and PlayStation Store which gives a huge variety to choose from. PC games are primarily dominated by a game shop called Steam. Most games are sold off of there, with the exception of million dollar companies like Blizzard or Ubisoft. Games come out of Steam, not the companies who own the games. Consoles also may have exclusive access to different games and in-game items. Red Dead Redemption 2 was only released to consoles and not to PC, much to the dismay of PC-only gamers not having a console to buy and play the game on.

Although consoles have a lot of pros, they also have some major flaws compared to a PC.

For starters, consoles have a very small internal hard drive (the application that holds different games and apps). The day 1 Xbox holds exactly 500 GB on the hard drive. Red Dead Redemption 2 takes up 99 GB alone. One-fifth of the entire storage goes to one game. Another example would be the Destiny franchise created by Bungie. Destiny 2 is to hold up to 104 GB of space with all of the planned DLC (Downloadable Content) to be added, which is another one-fifth of the storage gone for only two games.

Another flaw would be in the controller design. PS4 controllers are known to wear down with minimal use on the rubberized thumbsticks, as well as being very awkward to hold with hands and thumbs. Also, if game developers and companies do decide to export a computer game onto a console, some controls and abilities would be lost due to the lack of buttons and ability or movement activators.

But do the PC’s really live up to the hype and glory that has been stowed upon it?

Expensive and cheap computers can both look equally as flashy, but the one rule is the buyer gets what they pay for. If you decide to cheap out and not spend a surplus of money, then it won’t perform as well as the buyer may have liked. One enjoyable aspect was to learn how to build a computer from complete scratch. Seeing the things that actually run behind the scenes, the wiring and set up all of it was fascinating and a good skill to have as well.

The games look absolutely astonishing. The comparison between console and PC here is unquestionable. Graphics card for PC’s are one of the most expensive items to buy for the setup, but are the most worth in my experience. My computer has a GTX 1060, one of the newer models, and more lenient on the price but makes the picture and video look sharp and smooth nonetheless.

Depending on the parts you get, PC parts are compatible. Graphics card, processor or hard drive, they can all be upgraded so you don’t need to cough up another $1,000 for another computer, unlike the Xbox One S and PS4 Pro where to get a better picture and frame rate you’d have to buy another console.

As the pros are plentiful, PC’s also have downsides.

If adapting to new things isn’t a strong suit for the buyer, PC’s are a whole other world. The building process took hours of matriculate placement and tinkering with the massive box that holds the parts. I still learn different abilities and activities to do with a computer to this day, months after I first started it up.

Compared to the console, transportability is a big struggle and con for the PC. I can fit my Xbox and all the cords and controllers in a backpack I used in the 8th grade. While the PC took up the entire front passenger seat going back home to finalize the building process.

The price is the biggest downside to the PC. As I stated earlier, you do get your money’s worth while building a computer. But with high school wages, hours and jobs, I can see why many high school students and young adults turn to the way cheaper consoles. Some of the newer “20” models of the graphics cards cost more than an Xbox One S, but are sometimes worth as it makes the picture look like cutting butter with a hot knife.

All platforms have many pros and minimal cons. PC with the power of money and compatibility with parts and the consoles with cheap, actual affordable prices at the cost of quality.