Last Updated on January 24, 2015
So you may be asking yourself, is PC really better than consoles? I’d like to share my opinion on this matter and shed some light on the truth about this exact question.
Ever since the release date of consoles there has been the debate of PC vs Consoles. For my view on this I don’t wish to include Nintendo’s Wii simply because I don’t think it’s comparable to the current gen Xbox One, PS4 and PC hardware capabilities.
Let’s start by listing the pros and cons of today’s consoles and modern day gaming PCs.
Pros of Consoles:
- Instant gaming – put the CD in and you’re ready to play.
- Easy to play with family/friends locally.
- Fun exclusive games for both Xbox and PlayStation.
- Extra things to use such as the Kinect for Xbox or the touch screen feature with the PlayStation controller.
- Easily portable and can bring it wherever.
- Easy to download system updates/drivers.
Cons of Consoles:
- No modifications of your favorite games.
- Harder to browse the internet.
- There aren’t really many free DLCs.
- Online services have a monthly cost.
- As time goes on, consoles don’t get more powerful.
- Can’t upgrade the hardware.
- Some games won’t run at full HD 1080p resolution and most games are locked at 30 frames per second. Basically, the games don’t run as smooth as they were made to be.
- Graphics with the textures aren’t at the highest quality that they were meant to be shown.
- If your disk gets really scratched, the game can become laggy or just not playable.
I was a die hard Xbox 360 gamer a few years back and loved every moment of it. The things I loved most about console gaming was the fact that I could have friends over to play together locally and to have the online community as well. The only thing I didn’t like about playing online was the lower aged players that I had to play with sometimes and the fact that at the time I was paying $50 a year for the online services. I had never even thought of jumping into computer gaming but after doing some research I started to want to start playing on a PC. Now through my personal experience, I would never want to go back to console gaming! 🙂
The Xbox One has a user interface that is kind of similar to the Windows 8 PC screen with all of the apps and such. There are different menus to navigate to the Xbox store and other pages. One feature of the UI that I particularity like is being able to pause your game and enter the home screen seamlessly. There is no wait time, just hit the center Xbox logo on the controller and you’re back to your home screen.
The following video walks you through the details of the user interface.
Here are some of the game exclusives for Xbox One:
- Sunset Overdrive
Halo: The Master Chief Collection
- Killer Instinct
- Forza Motorsport 5
- Quantum Break
- Kinect Sports
Microsoft has managed to get a pretty awesome game line up for their launch. Sunset Overdrive seems like a very unique kind of game and it’s one that I wish I could play but I unfortunately only game on my PC now! I know I would also enjoy Kinect Sports. I have played on a friends Kinect with the Xbox 360 and I have to say it’s quite a fun experience.
In my opinion as far as consoles go, the Xbox One has better exclusives for their system when comparing them to the PlayStation 4 exclusives.
The Xbox One controller is a little more bulky than the Xbox 360 controller but it still has a very comfortable feel and the thumb sticks have an awesome texture to them. There really isn’t much of a weight difference at all, and the most noticeable difference between the two controllers would be the buttons. On the Xbox One controller you will be able to easily click any button without having any sort of response issue, such as the D-pad on the 360 controller. The D-pad on the Xbox One controller is very responsive and has more of a Nintendo D-pad feel.
Now for the hardware
Let’s take a look and see what the power is like inside of the Xbox One.
As for a processor the Xbox One has an 8 Core AMD custom CPU with a frequency of 1.75 GHz. This console will have some pretty fast processing speeds! There is 8GB worth of RAM inside as well and this will definitely ensure a smooth console while browsing the interface or gaming in general. The GPU is equivalent to an AMD Radon HD 7770 or 7790 which really isn’t all that impressive in my opinion. I picked up a Radeon HD 7770 video card for my PC back in 2011 and I’m up to par with the next gen consoles already? With this kind of hardware it makes me interested how long these next gen consoles will actually be able to last…
All in all the Xbox One wouldn’t be that bad of a console to own. Sure it could have used some more power like the PS4 but the fun gaming experience is still there.
The PlayStation 4 is the better console when comparing the two, at least in my opinion. There are better exclusives and the hardware is better. Almost every game will run at 1080p resolution and a lot of the games that run on the PS4 will also run at 60 frames per second.
The PS4 user interface allows users to scroll through a horizontal menu that gives access to games, music, movies and more. I like the ambient blue background and just the general feel of this interface is cool.
The video below is the Vice President of Sony entertainment walking through the user interface of the PS4.
Here are some of the game exclusives for PlayStation 4:
- Deep Down
- The Order 1886
- Infamous: Second Son
- Uncharted 4: A Thief’s Son
- Everyone’s Gone To The Rapture
- Killzone: Shadow Fall
There are many more exciting games coming out for the PlayStation 4 in 2015, but most of the launch titles that are available today are not exclusive games. Most of the games I have listed above will be coming out in 2015.
The PlayStation 4 controller is a very unique controller with a change up in controller design – there is a touch screen right on the controller! Free-to-play co-op shooter Warframe uses the touch pad by using four cardinal directional swipes to activate your powers (with no additional button press needed). Just a quick flick can send out a massive blast or fireball, for example.
When compared to the PlayStation 3 controller you’ll see that there really isn’t too much of a difference. The first difference you see is obviously the touch screen, but the sticks are also different. The PS3 sticks really weren’t that high of quality. The PS4 changes that by adding super high quality sticks. The start and select buttons are no longer present with the PS4 controller. This has been the norm for PlayStation consoles ever since the first console. But with a new generation of gaming comes a next generation controller with impressive functionality.
Now for the hardware
Let’s take a look at the power behind the PlayStation 4.
The PS4 has an 8-core AMD processor that has a frequency of 1.6GHz. Though slightly slower than the frequency of the Xbox One’s CPU, there really shouldn’t be any difference in game performance. As for the PS4’s GPU – it is equivalent to a HD 7870. This is a notch up from the HD 7770 that is inside of the Xbox One, and that is why the PlayStation 4 is able to run most games at full HD 1080p resolution and 60 frames per second. Don’t get me wrong, the PS4 is still going to have games that run at 30 frames per second but it all depends on the developers and how well they will be able to optimize their games for these next-gen consoles.
Today’s consoles pack a punch, but I wonder how long they will actually last..?
Now to answer your question…
Is PC actually better than these next gen consoles? If so, then how?
Let’s list some pros and cons of having a gaming PC.
Pros of PC gaming:
- PC hardware is cheaper.
- Works with any TV or monitor.
- Works with any gaming controller. There are also unique controller specifically designed for PC gamers.
- PC has native resolution, meaning all games have a clearer image. Some games even with today’s consoles won’t run at 1080p/60FPS. And if your computer can handle it, PCs can go above and beyond 1080p resolution. Google 4K monitors. 😉
- Free online services! (Steam, Desura, Origin, etc.) This is where you can play online multiplayer and make digital purchases of your favorite games.
- PCs are good for work, education, and entertainment. There are many uses for a computer so why not make it a gaming machine on top of it?
- Modern-day PCs are Faster than a PS4 or Xbox One.
- Cheaper games. (Steam, GOG, Humble Bundle) Steam always has sales, especially on the holidays, up to 90% off some titles. Humble Bundle allows people to buy a pack of games for whatever amount you wish, even just $1. If you love buying games, then PC is the way to go.
- Better-rated games. (by Metascore)
- Free game mods and enhancements. This one is a biggie. Modding a game like Skyrim makes the game new again and always gives the players a new experience. Modding games on consoles is extremely hard to do and frowned upon by the developers. With PC you have the freedom to do as you wish with your games.
- A LOT more games than consoles.
- More PC exclusives than Xbox or PS4 exclusives.
- Awesome independent developers make awesome PC indie games. Steam Greenlight is full of independent developers that have created some of the best PC games.
- Lots of FREE games. Seriously. A ton.
- No punishments for repairing.
- Can be upgraded if desired.
- Steam’s “Big Picture” mode for couch gaming.
- Better price-performance than consoles. More bang for your buck, especially with today’s consoles.
- High resolutions and higher graphic detail.
Cons of PC gaming:
- Sometimes it is harder to travel with unless you get a case with some handles on it or a smaller, more compact case to go with your build. Though PC SteamOS consoles are starting to coming out soon and that will diminish this problem! 🙂
- You have to download your games via internet first then install it onto your hard drive. The length of this process depends on your internet connection and hard drive. You could also buy CD copies of some games to avoid the download, but Steam is an awesome community and the wait is worth it.
- When building a PC there is a learning curve as to how everything works especially if you’ve never really used a computer before. This isn’t really that difficult, if you’re interested in seeing a step by step tutorial on how to build a computer from scratch then this would be the video for you.
- Once your computer is built or if you just went out and bought a complete one then there is also a slight learning curve on making sure you have all of the latest drivers for your hardware. This isn’t really difficult either, just do your research in Google how to get your drivers. It depends on which brand of GPU/CPU you get. For example if your computer had an AMD graphics card in it then you would do a Google search for AMD drivers.
- You have to use your mouse and keyboard for some of your games. Keep in mind that the mouse and keyboard are a lot more precise than the controllers. All of your first person shooters are going to be easier once you get used to a mouse and keyboard control scheme. Third person games and other titles go great with a controller so I would still recommend picking up a game pad for an awesome gaming experience. Most titles, especially AAA titles, have controller support though so if you’re worried about that no need to worry as much! If you are interested in picking up a gaming controller for your PC build then you should check out my top 5 epic picks.
- Although PC comes with a TON of exclusives, you’ll be missing out on the Xbox One and PS4 exclusives.
Services such as Steam, Desura, and Origin give PC players a unique experience with communities, mods and more. With PC, you’re able to have the interface of a desktop computer with free gaming services that are available on the internet. Many games are fully unlocked to their potential with many modifications to choose from to enhance your gaming experience. Mods are easy to install especially with Steam’s Workshop. Steam Workshop is a modding community made for and by players. Mods are a one-click install and then a short download time for it to be in your game.
There are over 20,000+ submissions in the workshop for Skyrim alone. There are a lot of mods available for more monsters, more areas to explore, more weapons, more armor and much more. The Skyrim experience is an endless adventure on PC. 🙂
Steam is full of other features such as it’s huge and engaging community, it’s store that has weekly sales and super holiday sales and it can keep all of your games in one safe library to ensure you always have access to all of your top games. Steam can be used online or offline so if your internet has to be down for a bit don’t worry about not being able to game on your PC. As long as it’s not a full multiplayer game you’ll be good to go. Steam also cannot check for software updates while it is in offline mode.
In my opinion, Steam is by far has the most innovative and creative user interface that has ever been created for gaming. They listen to their feedback and make decisions based on what their fans love.
Steam also has a feature called “Big Picture” mode. If you’re into sitting on the couch with a controller in hand while playing then you’d love Big Picture. It has an innovative menu specifically designed for a controller, but if you’d prefer to use a mouse and keyboard while using Big Picture then feel free to do so. This kind of integration is starting to create an evolution as to how PC gaming will be done. It’s exciting! 😀
Here is an intro video to the Big Picture mode. This video was released back in 2012 when Big Picture first launched.
Here are some of the game exclusives for PC:
- Sid Meier’s Civilization®: Beyond Earth
- DOTA 2 (Free)
- League of Legends (Free)
- Arma III
- Starcraft II
- Company of Heroes 2
- Total War: Rome II
- The Dead Linger
- Project Zomboid
- The Forest
- Loadout (Free)
- Warframe (Free)
- World of Warcraft
- Amnesia: The Dark Descent
- Garry’s Mod
- And 1,000’s more….literally.
On Steam there is an abundant selection of free games for after your gaming PC investment. These games will ensure that you stay entertained as you save up to get some of your favorite games or maybe to upgrade a component inside of your gaming machine. I highly recommend trying out Team Fortress 2, Warframe, Loadout and HAWKEN. There are loads of game in on Steam that you can browse through. Visit store.steampowered.com to view all of the games available through Steam. There are millions of PC gamers always online through the Steam servers so if you like multiplayer games then you would love how Steam handles that side of games! 🙂
If you are curious about how to begin PC gaming on a budget then I suggest you navigate through our budgets at the top of the screen by highlighting “Build Your PC” in the nav link. If you’re looking to have an epic experience towards the near future of next gen PC gaming then I recommend picking up the $500 budget build I currently have listed. This build is full of power and is sure to put you in awe when you see the graphical power behind it! 😀
There are many pros that come with PC gaming. But as with anything in the world, it also has its cons. In my opinion, the pros heavily outweigh the cons of PC gaming and it makes sense to hop on a PC gaming venture while its in its prime time of growth especially within the gaming industry!
Through my personal experience of the past 4 years of gaming on a PC I have to say that I don’t regret the change up at all. Sure it took a little bit of time getting used to the new feel of a keyboard and mouse while for gaming but after taking the time to learn I could see that it was definitely worth it. A mouse is much more precise than a game pad and I’m able to better aim at my enemies due to the high DPI setting on my mouse.
The way you use your computer is entirely up to you. Want to use the last-gen familiar feel of Windows 7 or the modern day Windows 8 both of which have unlimited gaming and document writing potential? Go for it. Or would you rather go with a free open source operating system such as Linux? That is entirely up to you. SteamOS is looking to be released with some Steam machines sometime in 2015. Steam machines is a Linux based evolution of gaming and the company behind the revolution – Valve – is starting to speed things up a bit. Steam machines are supposedly designed to give a living room experience while also keeping the personal benefits of a computer all in one. The only way computers can go now is up so in my opinion PC is the way to go, especially if you want to have some amazing experiences in the future of gaming that is to come. 😉
*cough* (Virtual Reality.) *cough*
Computers are way ahead of today’s consoles as far as hardware goes. There is so much more power available to a computer versus a console. The mere fact that over time consoles don’t get any better but PCs get stronger makes PC the most sought out choice when it comes to gaming. So yes, at least in my humble opinion, PCs are better than consoles. Especially looking forward towards the next generation of gaming…
So, in your opinion, is PC really better than consoles? Would you rather build a custom gaming PC how you see fit or have the comfortable, familiar-feel of today’s gaming consoles?
Let me know in the comments below! 😀
Hey there! 👋 I’m Colton, founder of PC Builds On A Budget.
Whether you need help putting your PC together, finding a great pre-built rig, or want some help finding awesome peripherals – I’ve got you covered!
I share my experiences of anything and everything related to gaming PCs with you here. 👍