Why You Shouldn’t Buy a Game Console This Holiday Season

by Travis Pizel · 65 comments

“Under no circumstances are you to buy me an Xbox One or a PS4 for Christmas.”

That was my teenage son’s response when I asked him what he wanted for Christmas. His reply astonished me, because he spends much of his free time playing video games. With two new consoles released this holiday season, I thought he’d be carefully reviewing the specifications of both, deciding which one to ask for.

With my curiosity piqued, I asked him to explain his statement. I was completely unprepared for the logical, yet frugal answer he gave:

  • Game consoles are expensive: The Xbox One costs $499, and the PS4 $399. That’s a lot of cash for something he’d only use to play games, and in the case of the PS4, maybe watch movies.
  • Game consoles are under-powered: Game developers like to create, and gamers like to play games that push the current technology to the edge. The hardware in the new consoles lag behind the computer industry’s latest technology.
  • Game consoles can’t be upgraded: Upgrading to the next generation gaming console requires complete replacement, which is expensive. Plus, you either go through the hassle of trying to sell your old console, or it collects dust on your shelf.

I then asked him what his plan was to keep up with his gaming hobby. He smiled, cocked his head, and pointed his eyes at the PC sitting on his desk (that he’d recently purchased with his own savings). He went on to explain how his PC is better than a game console:

  • PCs are multipurpose: His PC cost a little more than the Xbox One ($600, not including a monitor we already owned), but he can use it to play games, do schoolwork, check email, interact on social media, plus infinite other activities.
  • PCs last longer: He purposely bought a PC with a fairly powerful processor — but even more important to his gaming, the graphics card is upgradable. As the requirements of new games increase over time, he can keep up for quite a while by upgrading just the graphics card.
  • PC games are cheaper: He purchases most of his games from a website called Steam. Games can commonly be found there on sale much cheaper than video games for consoles.

My son’s PC will provide him with a better gaming environment for a longer period of time. Between not having to ditch the whole gaming system as often, and games being less expensive, he’ll also save money in the long run.

After our conversation, I put him in a head lock, patted him on the back, and told him I was proud of him. I honestly think it’s the first time I’d ever heard him talk about saving money.

Maybe video games can teach you something.

Are you planning on buying a video game console this holiday season? Or do you prefer computers as well?

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{ 65 comments… read them below or add one }

Clinton Blackburn December 12, 2013 at 5:27 am

What you said is, of course, true. Another reason not to buy a console is the fact that the costs don’t stop with the console and games. You have to buy additional controllers and other accessories, and pay subscription fees to play multiplayer (e.g. Xbox Live).

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Travis @debtchronicles December 12, 2013 at 8:58 am

Some of those extra costs do carry over to the PC as well, Clinton, but it is important to keep these costs in mind regardless of what platform you’re doing your gaming on. This might be a great idea for a followup post – which fees would a gamer incur on the PC vs Console, and what (if any) is the price difference. Thanks for commenting, and for the idea! :)

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Carlos December 13, 2013 at 10:50 am

Online shops such Steam, Origin, or Amazon have staggeringly amazing deals in the common range of 50 to 80 percent off the normal MSRP. Another big feature to this cost area is the pricing of bundles. Sites such as Humblebundle.com offer great games at whatever price you can afford. It mainly goes to help charity and does a good job of it too.

The option to also build a small compact gaming machine, such as a “Steam Machine”, adds a console like feel to the experience is one would be so inclined. Where services such as Xbox Live or PS Plus respectively charge you around $50 a year for online service, the PC has no restriction in that capacity. Going past that most console controllers now work on PC with native settings. As for that graphics angle, there is no contest on that end, nor will there ever be. PC has it in the bag.

Overall, a gaming PC will cost a bit more out of the gate, but will save mountains for an avid gamer. Check out my “savings” list here. http://imgur.com/gallery/yZfFTIC

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Nathan December 13, 2013 at 1:38 pm

For context and comparison … here’s the dollar value of the games you get for free with your $30 – $50 PS+ subscription on the Playstation.

http://www.gamerevolution.com/news/year-one-of-playstation-plus-value-in-free-games-185486-20143

$1,854.86

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andy December 14, 2013 at 11:12 am

Sorry but many of those games are hardly worth full price. Bioshock 2 worth 59.99? Insane. Same for Steam sale games, actual worth is much lower than these comparison charts make them out to be. Also with PS plus you dont actually own the games,they are provided until you stop paying, then they are not yours

Phil December 12, 2013 at 6:20 am

THANK YOU! Great article.

We were thinking of getting the PS4 this Christmas, but the price shocked us. What I think others may be missing also is that it only comes with ONE remote! You have to pay another another $60 for two people to play! Same with the more expensive Xbox.

I will explore using a computer as a gaming platform. My one one concern is that I don’t know where to put it. Next to the TV? Have it also be my office computer, and then kick the kids off every time I need to use it? And the Medusa of extra cords coming out of it doesn’t appeal to me as well. And there is no way an internet-enable computer is going in my kids room.

Any other comments/suggestions greatly appreciated.

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Gabe December 12, 2013 at 7:17 am

There is something called Wire Straps, I use them in my gaming PC… $680 and I can ULTRA graphics any game at maximum resolution…. And about the kids…… Just diable the interent wheneve they want to play. You can still play games without interent in Steam Offline Mode. Why wouldn’t you want an internet enabled computer in your kid’s room though?

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Ian Pettit October 5, 2014 at 8:35 pm

I don’t think you can raise a child in the information age without an internet enabled computer without doing them a disservice but if the usage is not going to be monitored then your asking for trouble. I’m not the type to pass judgement and because of this people tell me things they probably wouldn’t dump on anyone else. A lot of my friends who have some pretty unhealthy fetishes started numbing themselves with internet porn when they were surprisingly young . They were raised in loving environments with lots of parental involvement but their parents didn’t recognize the threat unfettered access to media presented. I’m just saying, there are perfectly sane reasons for a parent to want internet enabled computers to be in common areas.

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Travis @Debtchronicles October 6, 2014 at 8:18 am

I understand that concern, Ian – but I do checkin on him from time to time, check his history, etc, etc. I know there are ways to get around those things, but I figure that if I’m talking to him enough, checking in on him enough, if he’s doing something he shouldn’t eventually I’ll catch him. At the moment, he’s given me no reason not to trust him.

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Travis @debtchronicles December 12, 2013 at 9:06 am

My son does have his internet enabled computer in his room….but I wouldn’t allow it if I didn’t trust him. I do check his history every now and then (yes, it can be cleared), but I also do random room checks where I knock on the door and walk in immediately. First thing I do is look on his screen….I haven’t caught him doing much more than some inappropriate language. I think that’s a decision every parent needs to make for themselves. I have some neighbors that put all their computers in a common area. Each family member has their own workstation, but it’s at the end of their basement rec room.

Just some thoughts….

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Bryan Logan December 12, 2013 at 2:35 pm

And most routers let you see current activity on the router itself. So you could do spotchecks without even setting foot in his room. And he would never know when you did one.

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Travis @debtchronicles December 12, 2013 at 3:53 pm

Huh, I didn’t know that, Bryan….I’ll be checking into that feature!

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David December 13, 2013 at 12:59 am

For the PC placement, try building (or buying, depending on your preference, but building’s usually cheaper.) a PC that has a mATX or mITX sized outer case.

That’ll make it easier to store, much like a games console.

Here’s a list of cases that would be optimal for a living room.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007583%20600006318&IsNodeId=1&bop=And&cm_sp=CompCase9-_-VisNav-_-MiniITXTower&Order=PRICE&PageSize=20

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Travis Pizel December 14, 2013 at 8:43 am

that’s cool, David..I’ve never seen those before! Thanks for the pointer!

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John S @ Frugal Rules December 12, 2013 at 7:43 am

That’s awesome Travis! While I don’t play a whole lot of video games (I do have a PS3 but I won that at my old job, so no cost on my end) :) it’s just not worth the money in my opinion. Your son was dead on about computers, especially when he can do so many other things on it. That’s also not to mention the fact that if you wait a year or so they’ll drop some in price. Gotta love those proud Dad moments!

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Travis @debtchronicles December 12, 2013 at 9:10 am

The biggest positives for him are a.) the ability to just download games from Steam and b.) the multipurpose usage of the PC.

I do believe you can do some game downloads on the Xbox, but not sure what the selection is.

It was a proud Dad moment that he at least put some thought into where his money was best spent….thanks for following me over here to MoneyNing and reading, John!

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Carlos December 13, 2013 at 10:55 am

You can download games on teh Xbox Live service, however the pricing is laughable when compared to the PC options. Case in point, I recently purchased the new Tomb Raider game for my PC for only $8.99 along with all of the extra content that came out for it. The lowest you could do that for either console was a sale on the PlayStation store for around $25.00, (not including additional content).

Your son is a bright one. Wear that dad smile proud buddy.

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Travis Pizel December 14, 2013 at 8:44 am

Thanks for the comparison, Carlos, and the kind words. My kids always make me smile!

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adele December 12, 2013 at 7:45 am

You have a good kid!

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Travis @debtchronicles December 12, 2013 at 9:11 am

Thanks so much, adele! He’s a pretty easy kid…..quiet, does what we ask him to do, gets good grades, and respectful. We had some listening problems when he was younger, but honestly, I’m just waiting for him to hit “full teenager” mode….is it possible he may skip that?? :)

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Nathan December 12, 2013 at 7:53 am

I guess I’ll provide a counter argument, of sorts …

1. The last console generation lasted nearly 9 years. Don’t get the impression that you’ll be upgrading a console every couple of years.

2. Consoles don’t need to be “upgradable”. The game developers realize that the hardware constraints of developing on a console require them to be creative in the way they make games, to extract every last bit of processing power from the console from day 1, ’til the generation ends. The difference between XBOX 360 launch titles and, say, Halo 4 (released 2012) is night and day … all without having to spend a single dollar upgrading anything.

3. Game consoles ARE expensive … right now. So maybe you should hold off on buying one at the moment. They’ll probably each be $50 cheaper this time next year. But let’s not pretend PCs are an inexpensive alternative.

4. Upgrading your graphics card is expensive. Anywhere from $100 to $400, depending on how “bleeding edge” you want to be.

5. Console games aren’t expensive. Well, no more expensive than PC games, when you buy things as soon as they come out. Wait a bit, buy games on craigslist or used from a game store, and you can find good deals on console games too. Plus, if you and a friend have the same console, you can swap games all the time … essentially doubling your game library for free.

6. You can sell your console games when you’re done playing them. You won’t get a LOT of money for them, but if you never plan on playing a game again, trading it in can help reduce the cost of any new games you want to play.

7. Playstation has a service called “Playstation Plus” which costs $50/year (but there are discounts even on this … it was $30 on black friday) … and you get MULTIPLE free games every month for PS3, PS4, and PS Vita. XBOX has a similar program with their XBOX Live Gold subscription, but it is more expensive and they’re not nearly as generous with the free games.

8. Most importantly, graphics don’t matter that much. The only real question you should ask yourself, if you’re a gamer, is “where do the best games get released?”

The answer to that is … consoles. That’s not to say that *good* games don’t get released on PC. They do. But the best of the best … the games that consistently win Game of the Year (with rare exceptions) are only released on consoles. To me, pushing the graphics to the absolute limit is no substitute for not being able to play Mario, The Last of Us, Journey, Zelda, Red Dead Redemption, etc.

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Genz December 12, 2013 at 8:18 am

Don’t tell me you’re really trying to defend consoles Nathan. If you’ve played games on an ACTUAL rig, you’ll notice that 30fps with terrible texture filtering, motion blur, and horrid draw distance is NOT something you enjoy. The new generation of Consoles may be good for the sheep plug and play ability, but for true enjoyability, Spend maybe $700 TOTAL, and have a rig WITH a 1440p monitor. Something that can easily keep up with the current generation of consoles. And guess what? If you dont seem to like 1440p at 60 fps, go out (or stay in on Newegg rather) And buy an upgrade! Unlike consoles, I can choose to make the game play more smoothly AND look better, and not be forced to deal with the console shite because there isnt an “upgradable” version of any console. And for your console exclusives… *cough* Emulation *cough*
Oh and as for getting “free” games with the PURCHASE of XBL or PS+, Not really free if it requires a purchase to acquire is it?

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Nathan December 12, 2013 at 8:48 am

I just don’t understand this logic. Games were awesome long before we approached the uncanny valley, and they’re still awesome. Graphics are just not that important. Portal is no better an experience on the PC on ultra settings than it is on a console.

Do I enjoy shiny new graphics? Sure. It’s a novelty. But it’s not worth the extra cost of a “killer rig” or the lack of games.

And emulation of the 360/PS3 is years away, possibly more. It currently requires a hefty CPU/GPU just to emulate PS2 games.

Playstation Plus is still an excellent deal. For december, PS+ has 5 free games for members. This is fairly normal, but let’s say they only give you 4 free games per month. that’s 48 free games per year, including many AAA games (this month, Borderlands 2) for $30 (membership on sale).

I’m not saying don’t get a PC. For goodness say, if graphics are THAT important to you, by all means … go for it. But it gets old hearing a vocal minority dump on consoles, especially with inaccuracies.

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Dareck December 12, 2013 at 11:50 am

It’s not about, “oh look at the grass and birds! The detail is amazing!” We live in a time where graphics AND gameplay have to be amazing. We the consumers want quality games. Every game has its own form of graphics; be it realistic ie forza, cartoon ie borderlands, to simple yet detailed ie minecraft. To me a game has to have both because then I know the developer truly worked to their very best on the game. Consoles can’t show off true works of art because they are always 5 years behind. Consoles are barely hitting true 1080 right now and yet, pc have been hitting 4k for years. If you truly know steam, you would know you can get new games for $30 off when it comes to their fall sales, winter sales, spring sales, and summer sales. Also with steam, you can play free games. No subscription needed, and they are AAA games too. As the fellow pc gamer said, fps can make or break a game. Games that I have played on the 360 are brand new games on the pc due to the fact that 60fps makes it actually fun and doesn’t drive my brain crazy with the chopping. Btw, he was vocal about the facts of consoles. That’s what we pc gamers give out. Facts. We want console gamers to open up their eyes and see what pc gaming is really about. Consoles have absolutely no advantage over pcs besides their exclusives, but then again, pc has thousands upon thousands more exclusives then consoles. I really have tried to find ONE advantage over pc. ONE. Can’t find one. Why spend thousands of dollars on consoles then? Oh that’s right. Just to say you have one.

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Nathan December 12, 2013 at 6:41 pm

1. You might say that it’s not about the “oh, shiny!” factor … but invariably when someone does a comparison between PC and console versions of games it’s like “would you look at that grass! just look at it! you won’t find grass that looks that good on any console.” Again, if that is your thing, by all means, enjoy those graphics. It really doesn’t bother me that people like PC gaming.

2. Differences between 1080p and 720p are barely noticeable if you’re not comparing one directly to the other. But even if they were noticeable, when I’m in the middle of a game, I’m not the least bit concerned with those differences. I’m focused on the gameplay and story.

3. If you can play The Last of Us and complain about the graphics, I’d say you’re just nit-picking.

4. 60 fps is only necessary for twitch shooters, all of which hit 60fps even on the consoles.

5. Exclusives: look, if you think PC exclusives are awesome, I’m not going to criticize that. To each his own. But to me, console exclusives are far more compelling.

6. Steam sales: patience and bargain shopping is just as effective on consoles as it is on Steam. Sony offers deep discounts (in addition to the free games) via PS+, if you don’t mind digital downloads.

For me, console gaming is a far more satisfying experience. I have more games on my shelf than I could ever play, and I didn’t pay very much for those games at all. I can borrow games from my friends. I pay $30/yr for PS+ and have a stream of free games for my PS3/PS4/Vita, plus deep discounts on others. I get to play excellent games that will never (or not any time soon) be released for PC. And I don’t have to pay hundreds of dollars more for the actual hardware, and be tempted to spend yet more hundreds of dollars every few years on new hardware chasing monster settings. So for me, it’s a no brainer to stick with my console.

Martin December 12, 2013 at 12:24 pm

The one thing you are right on is the emulation. It always lags a generation(and a half, so to speak) behind.

However(brace yourselves).

1. PS+/XBL, really? So you are telling me they charge you for online and give you free games? Something that is free on PC. Let’s look at it from this point – your online experience is free, but it’s like they’re using it as a HOOK to FORCE you to buy game-bundles. This still makes it ONE LESS CHOICE you get. One I get to make for myself on a PC.

2. Graphics are only as important as you make them out to be. Any graphics argument on console(which I’ve seen a lot of) can be trumped by PC. ANY one.

3. You mentioned games. And boy, is there a lot to talk about.
a.) For all the amount of exclusives you mentioned, there are orders of magnitude more on PC. Heck, entire genres are almost exclusive – the RTS for example.
And exclusives exist on console for the one reason that publishers choose to hold them hostage. And this is still a fault of consoles – driving sales of your system, by holding games HOSTAGE instead of putting out quality content. I’m not even ruling out the possibility that it’s because they realize people would go for the superior PC experience given a choice. So they simply deny them the choice(admittedly speculation, but you never know).
To me, being able to play Mario, The Last of Us, Journey, Zelda, Red Dead Redemption, etc. is no substitute for not being able to play some of my favourite RTSs, RPGs and 4Xs. Sorry, but given the choice between the small amount of interesting exclusive games on console and the mountain of PC exclusives… well, it’s a no-brainer.

b.) Backwards compatibility until the DAWN OF TIME. Including with all up to the previous generation of consoles. How compatible is the new generation?

c.) Price. Your games on PC are SUBSTANTIALLY cheaper than on console. There are regular sales on individual titles and incredible sales bananzas occasionally. The steam autumn sale was a couple weeks back, with MOST titles receiving a sizeable discount – 50/75% off was the norm, with a lot also up to 80-90%. The Christmas sale is upcoming. That makes one console game worth 10 PC games. Quite a steep difference if you ask me.
And don’t come on with console bargains. Due to the strangle-hold on the ecosystem, companies can still force you to shell out even on bargain and second-hand titles.

4. Longevity. Consoles last 9 years. Sorry but how is this an argument again?
This is not whiskey we are talking about that gets better with age. It’s technology. That gets OBSOLETE with age.
And you are telling me that forcing you to stay on the same platform for nine years is a PLUS for consoles?
Again – one less choice you get! Yea, no thanks, I prefer to keep up with tech as best I can and not live in the past. Whenever I so choose I can further upgrade my system, obtaining the “next-gen” when my fancy strikes, not when some corporation decides “oh, I guess it’s time for next gen”.

5. Limitations. The constraints game devs have to cope with are just unnecessary limitations, forced on by the rigidity of the system. And I BET you every single dev, on every larger game has at one point been frustrated by those limitations. That’s a bet I’d stake my life on!

6. Overall costs.
a.) So consoles will be 50 bucks cheaper this time next year. Sorry but this sounds almost like a JOKE.
A PC you buy now will also be 50 cheaper this time next year… 50 PERCENT I mean. That’s HALF.

b.) I can now buy a PC for the price of a console that will even top them slightly. But why would I settle for console quality?
Through the magic of FORESIGHT I can ascertain that a larger up-front investment in my PC will provide me with an ungodly advantage over consoles, and these additional expenses will be recouped in time by the cheaper games and software. And the free online experience.
As for upgrading – nobody forces you to shell out cash for that. The PC you buy now will be every bit as better as the consoles down the road. Only why not make it EVEN better when you get the chance.

And now onto stuff that didn’t come up, but has been done to death by others.
7. The “everything immediately works out the box” experience.
Oh really? Tell me then, which do you choose – the buggy game you get immediately or the 5-hour long patch?
How about the ungodly loading times? How many times can you read over the hints they present while loading?
But you see, PC gamers also have that problem. Sometimes they put interesting facts in these loading hints. Trouble is, our games load so fast, we don’t see them anymore…

8. The couch experience.
But what’s stopping you from doing it? Go get a joystick and an HDMI cable and go wild!

9. E-sports.
Almost exclusive to PC, and for a reason. Also, while on the subject – controls. Ever wondered why there are no mixed console/PC online gaming servers?

10. MODDING.
This is the ultimate COUP-DE-GRACE.
A console game(just like its hardware counterpart) will stay the same forever.
However just as PC’s evolve, so do games. Have you seen how Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind(a game from 2002) looks in 2013? Go look up what mods can do.
Entire genres regularly trace their origins to mods. One of the biggest e-sports games – League of Legends began as a custom map for a strategy game.
Mods move the industry forward and help older games retain their charm and replayability for decades.

</End of rant

The take-away is pretty clear – console offers you no choice in your experience whatsoever!
Honestly, companies take away as much choice as they can and then brain-wash you to worship them for it!

Lastly, a personal opinion: I feel as if console gaming is like handing your balls to the companies to hold hostage, while pointing a gun to your head.
Thank you, but I am a thinking human being, fully capable of making my own decisions.

You may feel free to try and debunk any of the above, but stick to facts and logic, not opinions.

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Travis @debtchronicles December 12, 2013 at 4:01 pm

Your detailed response also makes me think of the “tinker” factor. Many people like to research new graphics card technology, experiment with settings, and pull the covers off their PC to upgrade the hardware. It’s also a hobby – one that I’m very happy my son is getting into (I’m an engineer by day). Again, that may not be the right answer for everyone – a large number of people just want to plug in a console and play.

Nathan December 12, 2013 at 7:28 pm

I’ll never understand why PC gamers have to be so hostile toward console gamers. I’m not on here saying “console gaming is the best! PC gaming SUCKS!”. I’m only trying to give a little insight as to why console gaming is more satisfying *to me*.

Anyway …

1. Yes, I pay $30 per year for access to multiplayer (which I never use) and a bunch of free games (probably 40-50 per year) and deep discounts on others. But I don’t have to. There are plenty of sales and deals to be had at big box and online retailers on physical copies of games too.

Either way, PC gamers seem to be under the impression that console gamers are all overpaying for games. It’s just not so. Not 3 months ago, I got Tomb Raider and Far Cry 3 for $50 and got a $50 gift card for free.

On the flip side, Steam users have their own overpaying problem.

2. Yes, we’ve established that a high end PC is able to out-perform a console in pure graphical output. It just doesn’t matter to me.

3. PC gamers do tend to be fans of RTSs. I’m not a fan. I’m not knocking them, I just don’t enjoy them. So if that’s what you’re into, I get why you go with the PC. But it should also help inform you as to why I go with consoles.

4. When the console hardware is a fixed medium, if provides me with the luxury of knowing I don’t have to upgrade my hardware to get prettier games. The developers are responsible for utilizing the potential in the hardware. I save money and get better and better graphics over time.

I’m not saying that this is some sort of trump card benefit of console gaming … I’m saying that it’s not the explosive negative that PC gamers would have people believe.

5. Of course the limitations frustrate developers. But consider the fact that games like GTA5 were developed on the PC, and yet we still don’t have a GTA5 port for the PC. It’s not as if releasing games for PC is without its frustrations.

6. I’m skeptical about this. It took the i7 a LONG time to drop in price, and RAM prices have mostly stabilized. If anything, they’re going up. And many components are fairly price stable (chassis, power supply, HDD).

And I’ve already mentioned that the savings PC users think they’re getting with Steam … isn’t unique to Steam. It’s silly to include imaginary savings in a long term cost analysis.

Granted, if you 1) don’t mind missing out on the console exclusives 2) need a PC anyway for work or school, and 3) don’t mind a fairly low end spec PC ($500-$700) … then yeah, PCs are probably a better value for your dollar.

7a. Game patches aren’t unique to consoles. Neither are bugs.

7b. This is largely a remnant of the previous generation. But yeah, load times aren’t fun. Not a deal breaker, though.

8. If you want the couch experience on a PC, you need a controller. Which costs $$$. And you kinda give up on the idea of using the PC for anything but gaming, unless you buy a really long HDMI cable. Which, again, costs more $$$.

9. I much prefer a controller over a mouse/keyboard. But then again, I’m not a fan of RTS games, and I’m not a twitch shooter bro-gamer.

10. Yes, believe it or not, you haven’t shocked me with the revelation that there are such things as “game mods”, so I don’t need to look anything up. I’m just not interested in playing modded games, for many reasons.

Your last 3 paragraphs are just insulting and hostile. Seriously, it doesn’t bother me AT ALL that you prefer PC gaming. But for goodness sake, cool it with the hyperbole and dismissive rhetoric.

Arttu December 12, 2013 at 2:40 pm

Don’t forget that new consoles use normal pc hardware what makes them easy to emulate.
I would make bet that those consoles are cracked and emulated year from now.

Graphic are huge part of game experiemce, would you play lets say BF4 in DOOM quality?

And about ps+ games
“You can only play Free PS Plus games as long as you are subscribed to PS Plus. After your subscription ends you can no longer play the games.”
So you are totaly hooked in if you wan’t to play your “free” games.

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Josh December 12, 2013 at 3:12 pm

RTS, Flight Sims, hardcore military sims(ArmA), and on and on

Also about upgrading, I built a $1000 PC in 2007, it JUST now is starting to show it’s age where it can’t play games at a decent frame rate w/o settings on low. I havent upgraded it at all(unless you count going from vista to 7) most people would have bought 2-3 computers in that time frame because most consumer level PCs don’t last very long, in the mean time I had a PC that is only now being surpassed by consoles and even then, *just* barely.

Travis @debtchronicles December 12, 2013 at 3:56 pm

Good info to know on PS Plus, Arttu!

Nathan December 12, 2013 at 7:38 pm

Don’t forget that new consoles use normal pc hardware what makes them easy to emulate.

I wouldn’t count on it.

Graphic are huge part of game experiemce, would you play lets say BF4 in DOOM quality?

That’s a silly analogy. But to be more realistic, people DID play Portal 2 (2011) in Half Life 2 (2004) quality. And they loved it. Nobody screams about how great Portal 2 looked. It was about gameplay and story.

But you’re also ignoring the diminishing returns that come with PC advancements. Higher poly counts, longer draw distances, higher resolution textures … these things have limits to their ability to impress. The jump between PS1 and PS2 was substantial. The jump from PS2 to PS3 was too, but mainly because of the jump to HDTVs. The jump from PS3 to PS4 isn’t nearly as impressive, and the difference between PS4 and a high end PC to an average person is virtually undetectable.

Carlos December 13, 2013 at 11:05 am

Nathan, I can agree with you on one point. Graphics are NOT the reason you choose a game or the system you play on. It comes down to the content. That said, I am currently using dual GTX 690 graphics cards in my PC so that speaks for itself, (they are rather powerful).

PS Plus, if you have a Playstation is great deal too, no argument there at all.

But the cost issue of the games the PC just blows that right out of the water. You just cannot fight those price facts. Now as a PC gamer who also owns a PS3, (and used to own a 360), I have missed only one or 2 games by not having them on PC. Not to mention mod support on a lot of games are just amazing!

Add in the free games PC owners enjoy too and you have a hefty arena to play in.

Also I got Borderlands 2 with ALL DLC for only $14.00. Just saying, there are a lot of inaccuracies in your own comments too. PC just fits better in a cost environment with all the other options available. Not that one makes it better than the other for gaming, because hey, lets be honest…were going to play what we want how we want and as long as we have fun, who really cares?

BUT….for a lot of reasons, I find PC gaming to just be much, much more superior for my needs in gaming. Hell, modding taught me enough coding skills to prepare for a lot of college work.

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Nathan December 13, 2013 at 12:31 pm

Also I got Borderlands 2 with ALL DLC for only $14.00.

Borderlands 2 is currently free for me on PS+.

;-)

andy December 14, 2013 at 11:23 am

Borderlands 2 is “free” on ps plus. In 720p, low settings and sub 30 fps. PC version has physX, mods, settings of choice, high fps and more

Travis @debtchronicles December 12, 2013 at 9:18 am

You make a lot of good points, Nathan. On the upgrade question…yes the xbox360 lasted 8.5 years…..but…..that’s not to say that the xbox360 you get today is the same one you would of bought in 2005 (remember the red ring of death?) I know the hard drive capacity has definitely increased, I have to believe that other componentry (like the processor) has also been updated in 8.5 years as well – but I admit I don’t know that for sure.

I think the net is, it all depends upon what your needs are. For my son, the titles he wants are available on the PC, he can download them from Steam when he finds them on sale (without paying a monthly game subscription fee), and it’s a multi-use box.

For his needs, the PC is the best value for his money. Even if he bought a new game console, he would still want/need a PC for other things, so instead of dropping another $400 on a game console, he’d rather just make sure his PC has the power under the hood to do it all.

My point wasn’t to say that a PC is the right solution for everyone…only that my son had figured out it was the best solution for him. Thank you for your counter points….as readers can read both arguments, and then make the right choice for their unique situation!

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Jimbo December 12, 2013 at 11:43 pm

1. The computational power of the Xbox 360 and PS3 was way higher in comparison to PC’s at release and led to a 9-year lifespan. They were also sold at a massive loss which neither MS or Sony are willing to do again. You can already build a stronger pc than either with +-$500. The consoles may last a decade again, but they will a; hold back gaming (as ports become abysmal) and b; look dated in comparison to PC only exclusives.

2. I don’t know many people who bought a Day 1 Xbox 360 or PS3 and have it last the entire generation. Our PS3 magically did, but we used it very little. So although you won’t be upgrading, you will probably be replacing. This entire point however is a negative, as it is being touted as the Steambox benefit (an upgradeable SteamOS console). On your point about the look of the games. Ryse already has insane download/loading times that will only increase over the life of the console, on top of that- the way in which developers get around the technical limitations with things like blurring, low-res textures and draw distances will become readily apparent.

3. Granted. PC’s are not cheap. But they can be built piece by piece.

4. See above.

5. PC Games are cheaper than console games inherently. And Digital Distribution in the PC game market has recognised the additional revenue made by cutting out manufacturing and middlemen and actually passed that cost-saving down to the consumer. Digital Distribution for consoles are somehow MORE expensive than their physical counterparts. Steam right now is actually the worst offender, offering amazing sales, yet charging full price on launch. There are far more alternatives including Amazon, GoG, Gamersgate etc. There is also far more competition in PC distribution outside of the consoles ‘closed walls’ to encourage price dropping.

6. The trade-in system will not get you the kind of money that you’d save on a digital distribution sale (simply because there is a middleman who needs some money). Steam also recently implemented their game sharing system which I have not used, but others might clarify.

7. The problem with Playstation Plus and Xbox Live is that you’re paying $50 a year for old games. This is $4+ a month for a wait-and-see-what-comes game. And this is all hidden behind the ridiculous notion that you have to pay to play online because all servers need to be hosted by the parent companies of developers. WHICH also means that, say, you wanted to jam a 2014 game online in 2016. Good luck. Whereas CS 1.6 players have been playing for free online on dedicated servers (the true meaning of dedicated) for over a decade.

8. Graphics do matter. One cannot go from ‘touting the graphical prowess of the 360 and PS3, and then do a 360 when it comes to the latest consoles and say ‘it doesn’t matter’. Of course it matters. It may not matter as much anymore but 1080p resolution should be the industry minimum at this point, which these consoles struggle to achieve. Gaming is already jumping to 1440 and 4K on the horizon as soon as Monitors are less expensive. The fact is Witcher 3 on PC will undoubtedly be a more enthralling experience on the PC simply because graphics do matter. OF course this doesn’t apply to indie titles using lower resolutions as part of the aesthetic.

The games that ‘Win the game of the year’ (and you need to understand that these games aren’t ‘GOOD’, they are ‘HYPED’ because they are on consoles) that you’re talking about are all exclusive. Exclusives are BAD for the industry and they are the last thing consoles have to hold hostage with a gun to their heads to force you to buy them. Other than that, every Journey has a FTL. Every Red Dead Redemption has Just Cause 2 Multiplayer. Every Last of Us has Star Citizen.

On top of this, these games are STRICTLY bound to avoid innovation. The Last of Us, while amazing, is a cover-stealth shooter where the most interesting thing you do is prop wood so you can climb. These massive AAA titles cannot afford to innovate in case they bomb. This is not good either.

To close. Nintendo is the only console that has followed through with the goal of being a console, a living room device that innovates in ways that the PC cannot replicate effectively. The Xbox and PS4 are, in the end, underpowered PC’s that you didn’t have to know anything about to buy. Ignorance is never a benefit in my opinion, and the more Xbox and PS4 try to emulate PC’s (ineffectively), the more the PC and possibly innovations from Nintendo will continue to outshine them.

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Nathan December 13, 2013 at 10:15 am

1. More hyperbole. Seriously, it’s not necessary to exaggerate your point. It’s been established that PCs have better graphics. That doesn’t mean that PS4/XBONE looks “abysmal”. They look fantastic. Are we going to start criticizing $600 PCs for not having graphics that look as good as a $1200 PC next?

2. First of all, it’s not entirely true that consoles aren’t upgradeable. They each have the ability to upgrade hard drives fairly easily. But it’s also untrue that the console hardware isn’t built well enough to span the entire generation. This has, in fact, never been true. If you don’t throw it around or wrap it in a blanket while it’s on, you’ll likely never have major hardware issues. Kids can be just as hard on a PC as they can be on a console.

3. I’m not sure how building an expensive piece of equipment “piece by piece” helps with the expense. A house can be built “piece by piece” too. But it’s still expensive.

4. OK

5. It’s true that digital distribution is cheaper than physical. But that doesn’t mean that the PC consumer sees that savings to any greater degree than a console gamer. As I’ve said ad nauseam, physical console games can be purchased insanely cheaply as well. The deals aren’t that hard to find. And for digital games, it’s even better, especially on PS+ (free + discounted games).

6. That statement just isn’t true. Just like you have to do with Steam, you have to wait for the right deal. Match a Gamestop trade in + trade in bonus specials (30-40% depending on the deal) + a preowned copy of a new game and you’ve got a killer deal.

Personally, I don’t sell my games. I like to keep my entire library. And I still don’t overpay for games.

(This is an odd conversational line … I care infinitely more about my money than you could care about my money, and yet you seem convinced that I’m not getting a good deal on games, despite the fact that I’m insisting that I do. Strange.)

7. First of all, there’s no need to pay full price for PS+. Second of all, your reasoning of “you hope they give you good discounts and free games” can easily be said about Steam too. Except, my investment is $30 and yours is hundreds (the price difference between PS4 and PC). We’re both *hoping* that our initial investment nets us good deals, but neither of us *knows* this will be the case. But our respective histories with these services makes us both reasonably sure we will come out better for it.

8. No, really, they don’t. As an example, early in the last generation, it was clear that the PS3 was capable of better graphics than the 360. It wasn’t disputed. Yet month after month the 360 outsold the PS3. Why? Because the 360 had better games and a better online community infrastructure. It’s a deficit that Sony is still trying to recuperate from. There is SO much more to gaming than whose rig can push the most polygons.

9. The issue of what games are good is completely subjective. I’m not going to criticize you if you think that the games you mentioned are just as good as their console exclusive counterparts. It’s a matter of taste. Our tastes just differ. By a lot, probably.

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Carlos December 13, 2013 at 11:20 am

Just wanted to clarify, I think the piece by piece argument was meant to state that each piece can be replaced under warranty most of the time for free or at least very cheap cost.

Also, while I do not like exclusives and the like, I cannot find an argument against The Last of Us…just loved it.

Though on pricing again….no..Gamestop just CANNOT really give you a better deal than something like a Steam sale can.

Say I bought a game for $60. I buy the same game on Steam for $10. Gamestop gives me say $15 or such for the game and a bit more for power up rewards and such.

I still own my game AND still paid less than the Gamestop route by using Steam. I am a console owner too, and when I look at the bottom line, PC gaming always hits so much cheaper than any of my consoles EVER have. Even with dirt cheap GameStop games too. The games just go on such a deeper discount earlier on PC then they ever do on console.

As for the online issues with Sony…they still need to recover from that. However from those PS4 sales topics, they are well on the way to another PS2 style era. Anyone else looking forward to a PS4 God of War?

In the end you are right, it comes to taste and preference in a lot of things. Graphics dont make the game, Ryse: Son of Rome for Xbox 1 seems to show that well. It looks great…but gameplay just feels dull.

But once you game on a real rig with great options at your disposal, it’s somewhat hard to simply settle for the limitations of a console. Just look at the modded Skyrim or Fallout games for inspiration. Modding is so basic now a days anyone can do it, and the results…just wow.

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Nathan December 13, 2013 at 12:29 pm

Say I bought a game for $60. I buy the same game on Steam for $10. Gamestop gives me say $15 or such for the game and a bit more for power up rewards and such.

Let’s use a more real world example. I’m not aware of a single mainstream game that is currently $60 that is also $10 on Steam right now.

Since $60 indicates the game just recently came out … let’s say Call of Duty: Ghosts … it’s $60 on console or on Steam. Actually, Walmart had it for $40 on black friday, with guaranteed stock. So physical already wins on price. But let’s assume they both cost the same thing. Gamestop is currently running a $30 minimum trade on that game, so I trade it in. But I can take advantage of their 30% trade in bonus, too, which gets me another ~$10 or so. I’ve fully recuped my original purchase price. So, I sit on my $40 of credit, and wait for a buy 2 get 1 free preowned special, or use one of the coupons they send out regularly. I can buy 3 $20 games and only pay $40, which I happen to have in store credit.

So, starting with the assumption that I’m paying $60 for a game doesn’t bode well for the Steam user.

It’s harder to do a “rock bottom” comparison, since you’ll no doubt say that the Autumn sale isn’t as good as the Christmas sale. But I do generally look at Steam sales when they come up. I’m either a) unfamiliar with the game (very PC games like RTS) b) unimpressed with $1 games from 10 years ago or c) initially impressed with the sticker price, until I realize that bargain hunting for console games usually gets me a similar, if not better, price.

It’s understandable that PC users aren’t terribly familiar with how to find deals on console games, since they’re not console gamers. So I don’t blame you for that. But it really is a misnomer that console gamers will spend SO much more on games than PC gamers.

Remember, I have the option of buying new, new and on sale, preowned from Gamestop or Best Buy, preowned specials at both places, plus I get loyalty points to redeem for more discounts, price matching, Amazon’s marketplace, AND Craigslist, flea markets, and garage sales. People sell perfectly good, nearly new copies of AAA titles on craigslist a week after release for $30-$40. And these deals are available to me all year long. I’m not waiting for a 4x annual sale.

As I said, it’s hard to do a 1:1 comparison. As I look on my shelf and try to remember what I paid for games, a lot of them are exclusives that aren’t even available on Steam, so it may not even be realistic to compare prices. There are just too many variables.

But in the end, it’s a matter of deciding what platform gives you the best experience for your money. For me, that’s a console. For you, it might be a PC. I’m totally OK with that.

andy December 14, 2013 at 11:30 am

I would like this debate better if Nathan actually had any kind of experience with a good PC. Anyone saying “graphics dont matter that much” is used to the same crap 720p/30fps over and over.

Carlos December 13, 2013 at 12:41 pm

Nathan….you are a blast. It’s rare that I find an actual person online that I can debate issues of gaming with that do not resort to totally hostility. Just wanted to say that. I have read all your post here and they always bring good points across without the usual bashing that we see everywhere. I bet if we knew each other outside the random net land, we would be good friends.

Cheers man.

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Nathan December 13, 2013 at 1:20 pm

Haha, no doubt! I don’t think PC and Console gamers have to be at odds. We’re all just looking to have a good time playing games we love without spending a fortune.

I think we’re all on the same team, but a lot of folks never got the memo :-D

Travis Pizel December 14, 2013 at 8:46 am

I have to say that I’m rather enjoying the back and forth here. Lots of great opinions and points on both sides. I’m glad we’re keeping it relatively civil as well….I love a great discussion!

Brad Chaffee December 12, 2013 at 8:17 am

I am partial to playing games on consoles but back when we were getting out of debt my attitude about how much to spend on everything changed drastically. Travis, you know my story so you know about me selling my beloved XBOX360 and big screen television to help us pay off debt.

Before that, I spent an insane amount of money on video games and everything that comes with that. I used to have a stack of games and was always willing to buy more. So much money wasted.

Nowadays, I have a PS3 but waited until the price came down to buy one. I think I spent $200 which is only a hundred more than I would spend on a bluray player. The extra controller thing does stink but I bought mine used at Gamestop and try to play extra games using Gamefly (like Netflix for Games) instead of buying new.

I think it is awesome that your son not only bought his own computer but also came to his own conclusion about the expense and practicality of buying a system. He based his decision on overall value (to him) and found the same value with a cheaper more practical option.

All I can say about that is, he has a great role model. No doubt he will grow up to become a financially responsible adult!

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Travis @debtchronicles December 12, 2013 at 9:21 am

You’ve hit the nail on the head, my friend. My son determined that the PC was the best choice for him. That doesn’t mean it’s the right choice for everyone, but for him it’s the best use of his money. The real underlying lesson here (which you pointed out) is that people should become informed as to all their choices, compare them to their needs, and see which choice is the best value for their money. Whether it’s game consoles, cars, mortgages or whatever – the lesson applies.

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Marc December 13, 2013 at 7:09 am

These aren’t reasons for why you shouldn’t buy a game console this holiday season…these are reasons for why you should choose a PC over a game console…this article is clearly just a PC is better argument using your son as your supposed conclusion….consoles are a different experience from PCs for the most part…in recent times they’ve become more about graphics, but no one cares about graphics when you’re played 2d sidescrollers and puzzle games…regular PCs cost about the same as consoles while gaming PCs cost considerably more than consoles and no one cares about longevity as that only applies for graphics…graphics become dated, but consoles do not become obsolete…I still have my dreamcast and play my fighters on that, I still have my PS2 and play my RPGs on that, and discover games that I never knew years ago for it…who DOESN’T own a PC/laptop in 2013? This isn’t about PCs being more useful, this is about PC gaming being better…if PC users can wait a year to get GTA V or so, then if they like console games, they can wait until the price goes down by $50-100…but then you should write articles on reasons to get smartphones and not to buy tablets, don’t buy digital cameras, don’t get cable subscriptions, radios, or anything else that can be found in an ALL in ONE device

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Travis Pizel December 13, 2013 at 7:28 am

With all due respect, Marc, you’ve missed the points I was trying to make with my article, which are:

There are two new consoles out this season, and people are rushing to buy them because they are new and shiny. The point of the article is to make people really think about whether the new consoles are worth the value of their hefty price tag. My 14 year old came to the conclusion that to him they are not.

There is a great debate going on in the comments about PC vs Console that I’m really enjoying, but in the end whether you use a PC or a Console for your gaming, it’s really a personal choice based upon what you as an individual have as gaming needs. If a DreamCast fits your needs, then maybe you don’t need either one and your answer is the same as my son’s.

BTW, my son bought an entry level gaming PC for $550 – which is only slightly higher than a new Xbox one.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Marc…love the discussion!

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Tim December 12, 2013 at 3:30 pm

Awesome, I’m glad to see kids today are getting into PC gaming! :-).

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Travis @debtchronicles December 12, 2013 at 3:58 pm

I remember back in college my friends getting together and hooking into a common network to play Doom. Things sure have come a long way from that time. My son can be found online late into the night on weekends playing online with his friends, and they don’t have to be in the same location. I’m not sure if that’s necessarily a good thing all the time, though. :)

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Trace @ Independence Investor December 12, 2013 at 7:04 pm

My son has asked for a desktop PC to play his video games. He already has a laptop and PS3. I’m very concerned his OCD behavior with gaming is impacting other parts of his life. So, we have communicated to him our concerns and hope to see a slow down in the addiction. We plan to buy him a nice bike and some other gifts instead.

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Travis @debtchronicles December 12, 2013 at 7:16 pm

You’re a good parent to be concerned about your son’s screen time. My son admittedly spends a lot of time in front of his computer….but I’m not concerned simply due to the fact that if I ask him to do something else with me he always locks up the computer and says, “Yes.” I figure, as long as he’s willing to hang out with dad whenever I ask him to, we’re doing alright. :)

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Trace @ Independence Investor December 13, 2013 at 6:15 pm

Good Point! He will hang out with me if I ask.

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KM December 12, 2013 at 8:50 pm

There are some games you just can’t play on a console. I have more favorites on a PC than I do on a console (Diablo, Civilization, WoW, EVE, etc. vs….Halo) that it’s more logical for me to choose the PC since I don’t want to have both. Besides, consoles don’t have that “magic” about them that they used to when I was younger – the original PS and Xbox, now those were the days.

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Travis Pizel December 13, 2013 at 5:33 am

There are games that are unique and/or better to each platform. I’m a Diablo fan myself…although I never did get the latest one. :) Thanks for your thoughts, KM!

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shobhna December 12, 2013 at 9:29 pm

Proud Dad ! something we all want to teach our kids as parents, value of money.
Its not money that is important, its the value, how you plan the savings and spending !!

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Travis Pizel December 13, 2013 at 5:35 am

I am very proud of my son for saving up and purchasing his own computer, and knowing what he wants and why. I may even have him read all the PC vs. Console and get this thoughts though….I think that would be interesting! Thanks for reading and commenting, glad you found me over here! :)

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shobhna December 12, 2013 at 9:36 pm

I see lot of comments about console vs PC, as I understand this article is not about it. This is about how kids can decide their priorities, how can they take their decisions on what is important for them. The choice could change after 5 years and the kid might buy a console depending on the choices at that time. so kudos to him for not following the trend and talking logically on what he prefers.

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Travis Pizel December 13, 2013 at 5:37 am

Although one of the messages I wanted to get across was my son recognizing what gave HIM the most value, there certainly is some conversation on the pc vs console subject. It’s been fun to watch passionate people weigh in with their thoughts!

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dojo December 13, 2013 at 6:47 am

Never bought a gaming console and will never waste money on one. If I wanted to play a game, my PC was good enough. If not, I’d upgrade it and not replace the entire console.

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Travis Pizel December 13, 2013 at 7:36 am

Sounds like you’ve determined what is the right decision for you, dojo!

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E.M. December 13, 2013 at 9:42 am

While I did grow up playing video games on both, later in life I started leaning toward using my PC to play them. My dad did as well, so I guess I kind of followed in his path. To me, the controls were just easier on a keyboard, plus I had more games on the PC than I enjoyed on our Xbox.

My boyfriend likes the consoles, though. I still have my Xbox 360, PS2 and Wii as I can’t fathom spending that much money on the new ones. There’s still new games to discover on the old consoles if you don’t get games as soon as they come out. We started playing Assassin’s Creed last year, which has been out for years.

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Travis Pizel December 14, 2013 at 8:48 am

You make a good point that has been briefly touched on….sometimes it’s not the graphics and the speed of the machine that matters. A great game is a great game. One of my all time favorites is Asteroids – which is probably one of the most simplistic games ever made – but I could play that game for hours!

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bort December 14, 2013 at 2:02 am

One of the disadvantages you listed for consoles is actually an advantage that’s made game consoles a successful business for decades, and another is just totally incorrect.

– Game consoles are not underpowered: it wasn’t until the 21st century that PCs were actually on par with game consoles at the time they were released. The whole reason the NES was so successful was because it could run games better than any PC on the market or any PC that could be built without a blank check. That they are less powerful than a comparably-priced PC is something that still hasn’t actually happened: a PC with hardware comparable to the PS4 will cost more than $400. It will also be more than the $500 cost of an Xbox One. Both consoles are literally modern PCs built specifically to play games and it’s going to be several years before any developer decides to make a game that can’t run on less than 16 gigs of RAM.

– The whole point (the whole advantage!) of having a game console is that the hardware is static. Game developers just have to build the game for known hardware configurations instead of preparing their game to be played on thousands of possibilities. They don’t have to weigh the cost of development time versus the cost of lost sales when deciding the lowest possible settings that a game can be played with. They know what the hardware can do and can make a game that uses that hardware as best as it can be used instead of making a game that works really well on some computers and really badly on others. The lower cost of PC games only matters if you save enough money buying tons of games to offset the cost of a video card every few years (modern video cards by themselves have basically always cost as much as consoles).

If he spends $300 on a video card (which is a reasonable cost for a high-end video card; the only kind that would matter in a console/PC comparison) every few years and the stereotypical cost difference remains static ($50 for PC and $60 for console), he would have to save $300 on the cost of games to actually save money and therefore justify buying the video card. That means he has to buy thirty games. Thirty games at $50 is $1500. Your son would have to spend $1500 on PC games before he would save the $300 he spent on the video card. If he splurges for the top-of-the-line $500 video card, he has to buy fifty games for a total cost of $2500 before he saves the $500 he spent on the video card. To actually save money on PC games as compared to console games, your son would have to buy games that aren’t actually hardware-intensive enough to justify having or buying modern computer hardware, which defeats the whole purpose of buying a PC as a replacement for a modern console.

But let’s say your son isn’t buying mainstream games at launch for either of those prices: he buys them when they’re on sale several months after launch. Which would mean they’re the same price so nobody’s saving any amount of money either way. You will not save money buying a PC for games over buying a console for games. The cost of either one is entirely dependent on whether or not the person paying for whatever choice is made is smart enough to do math.

Additionally, PCs don’t last longer. Any piece of technology lasts as long as you keep it, which is an entirely subjective decision. I own an NES game published last year and an Atari 2600 game from the year before. I still have Windows XP installed on an old computer because my up-to-date computer with a modern Windows 8 install won’t play games from ten years ago. There is no set period of time after which any piece of technology is automatically useless and there’s nothing to do but throw it away, and it’s ridiculous to assume that an inconsequential difference in the amount of money spent in this single purchase is going to have an effect on the amount of money spent on every related purchase for the next decade.

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Carlos December 14, 2013 at 2:45 am

Bort, some of those comments dont really add up to me. Allow me to counter your post from my own viewpoint.

You stated this, “To actually save money on PC games as compared to console games, your son would have to buy games that aren’t actually hardware-intensive enough to justify having or buying modern computer hardware”

I am sorry, but that is just not the case. I had a PC built for around $580 a few years back that still racked up with and above the consoles for quite some time, and I paid so little for my games that the savings were a definite. Also I did not have to wait a long time to get them either, normally I was playing most new releases within months at least at half the price. Check out my savings list at this imgur page.

http://imgur.com/yZfFTIC

Note that in only roughly 5-6 months I saved over $1500 in the cost of games alone. And those are AAA releases too, not just mountains of cheap Indy games.

I love consoles too though.

The Last of Us was great and I enjoyed every minute of it.

All I am saying is that you perhaps dont have a first hand experience with PC gaming on a whole as some of your comments dont add up. When you say that PC dont last, are you stating that in comparison to a console? Proper maintenance of both will allow them to last fine for quite some time. There is not argument there. One is not more prone to failure than the other. Although I did have 2 red ring 360’s while I owned one, but that was more of a production issue on MS end.

The APU in the PS4 is a special blend. It pairs an 8-core Jaguar CPU with, what would be Radeon HD 7850 GPU. I have yet to see any APUs out there that can match that, also the memory peak on the PS4 is quite nice for the build. That said, I could build a PC at about (being honest) $100-$160 more that would be better in specs in a lot of ways, (inlcuding mouse, keyboard, and OS). (I choose the PS4 on this as it seems to beat the Xbox one out in the hardware arena).

The thing is, if you HAVE to run out and upgrade that much, then your system has some faults. The PC gamers are not in danger of being in any GPU upgrade crisis. Most of the people who tell you that are honestly not PC gamers and/or dont know their way around a gaming PC.

Check out Tom’s Hardware page for buying a video card, (GPU). You can spend anywhere from (being honest again) $100 to $250 on a decent card, or even $1000 for a monster. But you DON’T have too. It’s an option.

But hey, we are gamers, no? So while I know that my rigs graphics power will never be touched by the hardware of any console, that is not my reason for buying PC games over console games. It’s the OVERALL WORTH, that really gets it. I can do more with my PC then a console will ever provide and it never hurts to get games at such cheaper prices too.

To each their own though, cheers to you.

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