Although video game consoles have been around since the days of “Pong” a few decades ago, they have truly revolutionized the gaming industry this century. Consoles like Xbox, PlayStation, and the Wii all provide unique gameplay options. But many gamers still choose what’s been a staple of gameplay for years, the PC. PC gaming offers a few advantages that console gaming does not.
PC Gaming v. Console Gaming
In a way, consoles like the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 have developed into computers in their own right. The hardware in these computers essentially makes them complex gaming PCs, which in and of itself ends up proving one the biggest differences between PC gaming and console gaming.
When gaming on a console, you are limited to the specs of your console of choice. It’s not easy, and sometimes not even possible, to alter consoles like an Xbox or PlayStation. At the very least, if you do figure out how to alter the device’s configuration, you’ll end up voiding the device warranty. But for the most part, everyone gaming on a console paid the same price for the same unit.
PC gaming, however, provides options for the ultimate design. Gamers can build their own machines with any specs that they desire. The only two constraints are room and budget. Some gaming PCs can take up a fair amount of space depending on the hardware used. And, adding to the PC can become expensive over time, although a gaming PC with basic specs costs about the same as a console.
There are a few other noticeable differences between PC gaming and console gaming.
While many assume that gaming on a PC requires the use of a mouse and keyboard, they are mistaken. Many controllers can be plugged into a PC by using a USB port. In fact, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 controller functions exactly the same on a PC as it does in its native console. Of course, that’s not to say that it’s not possible to use a mouse and keyboard for gaming.
Some gamers prefer to use a mouse and keyboard for certain games like first-person shooters. Using a mouse provides much more accuracy than a joystick. But consoles do not have this option. When using a console, you are limited to the controller. PC gaming allows users to choose which input method they’d like to use.
Those that game on a PC are treated to better graphics than those that game on consoles. PCs feature better graphics cards and more powerful hardware. And, they’ll end up getting everything a game offers as a result.
Games are often designed to be used on both PCs and consoles. When they are run on consoles, there are graphics, and perhaps even gameplay options, that are limited. However, playing a game on a PC will almost certainly allow you to play the game as the developers intended, without any limitations.
One of the reasons consoles are so expensive is because of the games. Console games do not offer backward compatibility. This means that games intended to be played on prior versions of the console cannot be played on the updated version.
For example, say you wanted to play the original Halo, released on Xbox, but you currently operate an Xbox 360. You could not pop the old Halo disc into your Xbox 360 and play it. You’d have to dig out the original Xbox, find the wires, and hook it up to play the one game. And that’s assuming you still have all of the hardware necessary for the old Xbox to function!
Because of this, all of the old games are now sunk costs. When purchasing a new console, you’ll have to purchase new versions of all of your favorite games to match the console’s compatibility. At roughly $60 for each game, you’ll have spent a lot of money that you’ll never end up seeing again once a console becomes obsolete.
However, PC computer games offer backward compatibility. This means that PC gamers have access to a significantly larger library of games, as they can play any game dating back 20 years ago. It’s worth noting that some games require a patch to work on a newer PC. Or, you may have to purchase a new version from a company like GOG, which specializes in retooling old games to fit modern PCs.
Regardless, PC gamers can rest assured that their favorite games will always be available no matter what hardware specs they are running, something that console gamers cannot claim.
As mentioned, there are gaming computers specifically designed to maximize the gameplay experience. They are different from your grab-and-go work laptop that is used to run Microsoft Office and stream a movie every now and then. Gaming computers feature high-tech processors and graphics cards that make for an amazing gameplay experience.
If you’re interested in purchasing a gaming computer, start by looking into the two computers listed below.
Velocity Micro Raptor Z95
The Velocity Mirco Raptor Z95, available for $1,899, excels when used for gaming and multimedia. It features an Intel Core i9-7900X processor that runs at an incredible 4.5 GHz. The computer also features 32 GB of Tam and a massive 3.5 TB of storage capacity. There’s no other way to put it – this gaming computer is a monster.
The Micro Raptor also features a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti graphics card and operates with a DVD +/-RW primary optical drive.
The Origin Neuron, available for a more modest $964, is designed primarily as a gaming computer. It features an Intel Core i7-7700K processor for a lightning-fast 5 GHz of processor speed. This is faster than the Velocity model listed above. However, you’ll be making other sacrifices, so there is a tradeoff.
The Neuron features a more modest 16 GB of RAM and 2.5TB of storage. 2.5TB is still a tremendous amount of storage, but far less than the Velocity. The Neuron runs on a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Graphics card with an external primary optical drive. It also features a Windows 10 OS.
There are thousands of computer games available. Practically all PC games are now available as downloads and do not require a physical disc drive to operate. You can also choose to play online. While some games, such as World of Warcraft, charge a monthly subscription to play online, most do not.
Most PC gamers choose to purchase their games from Valve’s Steam. Games featured here are the same games available on consoles but for a fraction of the cost. A game that costs $60 on a console may only cost $10 on Steam a few months after it’s released. The games may be even cheaper if they are purchased as part of a bundle.
Steam does not have a monopoly over the PC gaming world though. Games can be found at popular sites like Amazon or at a specific game’s storefront. For example, EA offers their full library of games through their store.
Whether you are just getting started gaming on a computer or are an experienced gamer looking to try something new, consider trying some of these computer games.
Free Computer Games
If you’re looking to begin gaming on your PC, try one of these popular free computer games out first.
Planetside 2 is a game that many users cannot believe is free. The game is played in the first-person, where you’ll work with others to continually fight the enemy. Many users purchase a few of the in-game add-ons that are available.
Dota is a game that got its roots from Warcraft 3 but has developed into its own game with its second version. The game is a top-down battle game that keeps gamers engaged and active. If you master the free version, consider entering a tournament, where there are often multi-million-dollar prizes featured.
Online Computer Games
Online computer games offer two main benefits over traditional PC games. First, they do not take up as much space on a computer. Whereas traditional games need to be downloaded, taking up a lot of computer space and memory, online games take up minimal storage space.
Second, online computer games enhance the gamer experience by allowing them to play with other gamers. Gamers will need to have a stable internet connection in order to do this, just as is the case when playing a console game online. Whether you compete on a team with your friends or play against them for bragging rights, online gameplay can truly make for a better gaming experience.
Consider checking out these online computer games.
Overwatch is one of the most popular games played by PC gamers. The game takes popular elements from games like Team Fortress 2 and League of Legends, blending them together for a remarkable multiplayer experience. Recently, the game just received an enormous update that featured a new map and over 100 new items.
This game is perfect for those into racing, sports, or both. Rocket League is like football and soccer, played with cars that are constantly crashing into each other. Once you learn how to pass, shoot, and score you’ll find yourself in front of your PC for hours. The game boasts over 19 million online users.