PCs Vs Consoles: Why I'm A Console Gamer

With the release of every new console, I always have to ask myself: is this the year I return to PC gaming and stop buying consoles? The answer, every time, is a resounding no. Here's why.

This is one of our point/counterpoint articles, where two Lifehacker writers duke it out in two articles over a specific topic. If you want to see the counterpoint to this post, check out Why I'm a PC Gamer.

I used to be a PC gamer. Back in the '90s, I spent the bulk of my time talking with my friend Andy about PC builds and LucasArts games and not talking to girls. We'd get into heated, long debates about different Warcraft build orders, but I'd barely be able to finish my maths homework. But at some point, that changed, and I switched over to consoles exclusively midway through university. There are a lot of myths out there about console games — whether it's our absurd fanboyism or that we're all a little dumber than our PC master race counterparts — so I'd like to lay down why I prefer a console, even when I know why PC gaming is so often better.

Console games work out of the box, every time

Why I'm a Console Gamer

Let's start with some honesty: I'm too lazy these days to be a PC gamer. I realise that things have likely improved since the '90s, but that doesn't mean I want to spend any time whatsoever setting up a game to play it. What I like about console gaming is that you don't need to worry about resolution, colours, vsync or — if we were time-travelling back to the '90s — which Sound Blaster driver to use.

I realise this comes at the sacrifice of customisation, but I'm not the type to really customise anyway. I'd prefer my entertainment to come out of the box ready to go so I don't have to spend time worrying about how I can make it work. I'd also rather upgrade my system once every six or seven years with a single bulk purchase than worry about and waste time shopping for individual parts every two years.

Consoles aren't computers, and that's a good thing

I spend 40-50 hours a week in front of a computer for work, and I'm sure most of you do too. The last thing I want to do is spend my leisure hours there as well. Console gaming gets me away from my PC, out of my computer chair (or in the case of mobile gaming, out of my house completely) and away from work. Plus you get to kick back on the couch, which is a great way to take a load off at the end of a long day.

Console games are made for controllers

Why I'm a Console Gamer

Here's the thing about the controller versus keyboard-and-mouse debate: I'm not huge into twitchy first person shooters, so I couldn't care less about precision. I'll play (and enjoy) the occasional slow shooter like the upcoming Fallout 4, but you typically won't find me playing Battlefield or Call of Duty. So, that whole "mouse and keyboard is the best and most precise control scheme" just doesn't do it for me.

For as many keyboard-centric games there are on PC, there are just as many games that are best played with a controller because they're made that way. Dark Souls sounds horrible with a keyboard and mouse, as does Batman, Dead Space or Hotline Miami. I actually like the loose analogue controls of the twin sticks and pressure-sensitive buttons more than the precision of a keyboard-and-mouse. Hell, I've dumped 100 hours into XCOM on a console and you'd think that game wouldn't even work on anything but a PC.

Consoles get more exclusives

Why I'm a Console Gamer

It's pretty rare that a big-name PC game is released exclusively for PC. At some point, many of them come to consoles (strategy games are usually an exception, as are many indie games). But console exclusives stay exclusive, and when it boils down to it, the games are the only thing that matter. That's why we're even having this discussion, right?

Nintendo is still one of the best developers out there, and they make games exclusively for their own systems. Naughty Dog has released some of the best action-adventure games of the last 10 years, and they're exclusive to PlayStation. You can't play Demon's Souls, Mario Galaxy, Last of Us, Trials HD, Valkyria Chronicles or Journey on a PC. Some of those are my favourite games, and they keep me coming back. Unless you're huge into strategy games, PC games don't even come close with quality exclusives.

They're different beasts

Let's face it: PC gaming and console game are two different things. Both have their strengths and weaknesses. Honestly, I'd argue they're so different that they're almost impossible to compare. Both attract a different kind of person entirely, but that doesn't make one better than the other. Sure, maybe us console gamers are a bit lazy, but that doesn't make us stupid. We crave intelligent, hard, and complicated gaming experiences. You just have to trust us more.

Images by snorks (Shutterstock), odolphie, docpi, Michel Ngilen, The World According to Marty.

This story has been revised and updated since its original publication.


Comments

    PC gets way more exclusives and you can use any controller you want.
    seems to me that you don't like options, resolution and graphics ect are usually automatically set based on hardware scanning. Consoles are like computers especially now, they are literally PC's with a different operating system.
    more complicated? is that why crysis was dumbed down and COD is so basic, name me one game that is on console that is complex.
    the only game that didn't work when I got it was crysis because it was outdated and all it took was to go on google and look for a 3rd party patch and I was done
    you can setup a controller and connect a PC to a TV, if you didn't know PC's also have hdmi ports too so you can couch game with a PC
    nothing about this article is true at all

    Consoles are better just because you don't experience all troubles with drivers and updates. Just one click and the game is on. Perfect gaming experience.

    This article is so wrong it hurts. I just had to create an account to create a response to this.

    Let's start with some honesty: I'm too lazy these days to be a PC gamer.

    Well okay then. You could have just ended your entire argument here.

    What I like about console gaming is that you don't need to worry about resolution, colours, vsync or

    You don't need to do that on a PC either. You can just leave the settings at their default. But at least you can change things around on PC and prioritize the performance over everything else. It's the most important thing for a game after all.

    Plus you get to kick back on the couch, which is a great way to take a load off at the end of a long day.

    Oh god this argument again. Step 1 : Take an HDMI cable. Step 2 : Plug the HDMI cable into your PC. Step 3 : Plug the HDMI cable into your TV. DONE. If your argument is that your PC is in another room, get a $50 Steam link and you're done. Couch gaming is not a console exclusive feature!

    So, that whole "mouse and keyboard is the best and most precise control scheme"

    Well, at least you can recognize that. And even in those "slow-paced" shooters, a mouse and keyboard is still vastly better than the total lack of precision of a controller.

    But even if you prefer a controller, you can literally use any controller you want on PC. Many controllers you can use in ways you can't even do on the console they came with. I use a Dualshock 4. I can switch button commands, control the lighting of the LED, use the touchpad as a mouse or set it up to use macros, create unique profiles on a game-per-game basis, and so on.

    Consoles get more exclusives

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    PC has more exclusives than all consoles combined. It's not even a contest.

    It's pretty rare that a big-name PC game is released exclusively for PC.

    Ooooh, I get it. You're talking about triple A games. Because in the minds of you people, a big budget automatically means that games are better somehow. When the reality is that the majority of that money is spent on shiny graphics, not better gameplay. The triple A gaming space has become stale. Shallow gameplay and rehashed ideas. Games are losing their depth and becoming the "press A for awesome" shit. It's 90% 3rd person action adventures, first person shooters, sports games and racing games.

    You can't play Demon's Souls, Mario Galaxy, Last of Us, Trials HD, Valkyria Chronicles or Journey on a PC.

    You can't play Demon's Souls or trials HD on PC, you're right about that. But the Last of Us and Journey are available through PS Now, Mario Galaxy is available through emulation, and Valkyria Chronicles has an official PC port.

    But console exclusives stay exclusive

    Are you serious? GTA, Final Fantasy, the Tales series, Metal Gear Solid, and so on have all come to PC. Microsoft is publishing all their titles on Windows 10. And eventually console games are available through emulation. Console exclusives are less common than they ever were.

    Unless you're huge into strategy games, PC games don't even come close with quality exclusives.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    If by quality you mean high production value that's mostly spent on shiny graphics, then sure. There's countless of other genres too.

    Both have their strengths and weaknesses.

    But it's mostly strengths for PC and mostly weaknesses for console.

    We crave intelligent, hard, and complicated gaming experiences. You just have to trust us more.

    Then why the snarf do you play on console?

    Sorry, but I found this Image which has won this argument both ways. If lore friendly is your thing, this will promote consoles.

    This is 3 screenshots from Skyrim (probably all done on PC, but the message is clear)

    It is not nude, but it does belong in a Victoria's Secret catalog.

    https://images-cdn.9gag.com/photo/aoZwDgm_700b.jpg

    I give into my inner pervert, so PC for me all the way.

    My main console is the Xbox One X. I recently bought the PS4 Pro, my first ever PlayStation. I made an expensive Gaming PC once and ended up selling it because I hate Steam.

    Society is mostly made up of narcissists these days. Nearly every friend suggestion I see on Xbox is a narcissist, I can tell by their picture. Therefore, Xbox is most popular among the 'normal' people of society.

    Most PC gamers are assholes. Steam is a cesspool, a breeding ground for assholes with rat-like qualities. Puffed-up, shit-eating, butthurt fat fucks.

    I don't know much about PlayStation players. The community seems alright. PlayStation players are not narcissistic assholes. On the other hand, a lot of PlayStation fans are liberal, democrat, bleeding heart Americans who think they're nice but love to hate. They hate the evil American Microsoft and see them all as republican conservatives. They love the good Japanese PlayStation and Nintendo. They love the orchestrators of the Pearl Harbor attack. They secretly hate themselves for being white. These are the innocent victims, the nice and loving people who love to spread worse hate than the people they hate, on social media. They would fiercely kill the people they hate, if given the chance. And then go right back to loving animals and killing human babies.

    I am not Liberal, Democrat, Conservative or Republican. I despise all politics. I just observe.

    Games look and perform so much better on PC. But they're also less reliable. PC games crash all the time. Some don't even save your game to the cloud. Games rarely crash on console and you will never lose your save data. Don't trust PlayStation though, they make you pay to save your data to the cloud.

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