Advertising
Advertising

What’s better for gaming, PCs or consoles? Find out here.

What’s better for gaming, PCs or consoles? Find out here.

So you want to be a gamer. How do you go about becoming one? The answer to that question is more difficult to answer than you might expect. Traditionally, those entering the gaming world usually buy a console, which today would mean picking up either an Xbox One or PS4. While those are both great devices, most are unaware that there is another option: PC gaming.

People shy away from PC gaming for a number of reasons, the primary one usually being the high initial cost. But what most never come to realize is that what lies beyond that initial barrier is a near infinite amount of gaming potential. That’s not to say, however, that consoles don’t have their benefits.

Below, I’ll break down the PC vs console debate into several categories, and you’ll be able to make the decision for yourself.

1. Cost

SteamSaleCost1

    There’s no question that consoles are, initially, the cheaper option. The PS4 and Xbox One are both priced around $350-$400, while your average gaming PC might cost upwards of $800 (less if you build your own PC using a site like newegg.com). If you opt for a gaming laptop, you could be paying even more upfront.

    Advertising

    What is important to remember, however, is that there are long term costs you need to be aware of as well. Console games traditionally cost much more than PC games. This is mainly because PC gamers have access to services like Steam, where games that are $60 on consoles regularly go on sale for 50-75% off. During Steam’s famous summer sales, you can often purchase five or six awesome games for the price of one console game.

    As a PC gamer, you tend to recoup your initial losses over time, especially since online multiplayer is free on PCs, whereas it’s an additional $50-60 a year cost on the consoles. That’s not to say consoles don’t have the edge in some instances, such as if you only buy a handful of games a year, and aren’t too fond of online multiplayer experiences.

    And lastly, what you also need to consider is if you use a PC or laptop for school or work. If so, buying a gaming PC or laptop is probably more cost-effective than buying a work PC or laptop and a console.

    2. Performance

    TitanPerformance2
      Just one of these GTX Titan graphics cards are worth several consoles in terms of computing power.

      There’s no getting around it: consoles are weak by modern computing standards. Indeed, any decent gaming PC from around 2010-2011 will likely be more powerful than the Xbox One or PS4. That is how they are able to sell the platforms at such a low price — the hardware inside of them just isn’t close to being bleeding edge.

      Even the most average gaming PCs of 2015 are ahead of the consoles by leaps and bounds, something that is definitely evident in the games you play. More power means higher resolution, smoother framerates, better looking graphics, and faster load times. The question you have to ask yourself is whether these bells and whistles are worth the extra cost to you. If yes, then PC gaming is truly your only option. If you are someone who doesn’t really care about the particulars of a game’s graphics and performance and just wants to enjoy good gameplay, consoles will probably work just fine for you.

      Advertising

      3. Exclusives

      LichKingExclusive3

        As a fan of the Halo series, and a part-time PC gamer, I often find myself in a bit of a conundrum. Do I buy the Xbox One for Halo 5? Or do I wait, since buying an entire platform for one game is a bit of a waste? It’s a question many PC gamers find themselves asking, as consoles often have the best exclusive games. While PCs have exclusives of their own, none are as high profile as Halo, Gears of War, and Uncharted.

        I will say however that PCs do win in one major department, and that’s in massively multiplayer online games, like World of Warcraft, Guild Wars 2, and Mount and Blade: Warband. These games simply wouldn’t work on consoles, due to both their control schemes and their network requirements.

        Whichever way you go, you’ll be missing out on something. What you need to decide is which batch of exclusives you want to play more. Are you more Halo, or World of Warcraft?

        4. Controls and Ergonomics

        Advertising

        ControllerErgonomics4

          I often hear the argument that console gaming is better because you can sit on your couch, use a controller, and play on a big fifty inch plasma TV. While that’s true, you can also use an Xbox controller with your gaming PC, giving you the exact same experience you would get on a console. You can also connect your PC to an HDTV using an HDMI cord, allowing you to game on your couch in front of a big TV if that’s what you prefer.

          It is true however that consoles streamline this process, allowing you to essentially plug them in and play. Also, not all PC games (like the Mass Effect trilogy for instance) have gamepad support, so in those instances I would say that consoles win out in terms of controls. The mouse and keyboard control scheme works incredibly well for most games, but in some, it falls a bit short.

          5. Customization

          BuildPCcustomization5redux

            As far as customization goes, the PC is king. You can open them up, tear them apart, buy new parts, and rebuild them from the ground up if you want to. With consoles, you are stuck with the same machine until Microsoft of Sony releases the next version five years down the road. With PCs, you upgrade when you want to upgrade. Of course, the cost of this freedom is your hard-earned money. Most PC gamers I know upgrade their machine every two years, though recently that gap has been growing as computing hardware has hit something of a wall of diminishing returns. Indeed, a great gaming PC from 2012 can still hold its own incredibly well even today.

            But customization goes far beyond mere hardware. PC games are also far more customizable in terms of in-game options. You can tune your games to look exactly how you want them to look visually, and tweak a number of other settings that aren’t available to console users. Additionally, PC gamers have access to mods, which are essentially player-developed downloadable content that can add loads more to your gaming experience.

            Advertising

            One game where modding works incredibly well is Skyrim. I’ve added about one hundred mods to my version of the game, and thus it’s nearly unrecognizable compared to the version I used to play on my trusty old Xbox 360. Some mods are so vast that they can add several hours of content, keeping your game fresh far beyond its natural expiration date. Even better, most modding communities stay active for years, even decades sometimes, meaning you can expect something new for your copy of Skyrim until at least 2020.

            Closing Thoughts

            As someone who has been both an avid PC and console gamer, I can say that your platform of choice will depend mostly on how you play. If you are a hardcore gamer who enjoys customization, modding, increased computing power, and massively multiplayer online games, then the PC is likely for you. If you are a casual gamer who wants to experience games in the comfort of their own living room, and values plug-and-play gameplay and AAA exclusives over customization and visual bells and whistles, then consoles are probably for you.

            In the end, you can’t go too wrong with either choice, as either way you’ll have access to some great content. Of course, you always have the option to splurge and enjoy the best of both worlds by buying both a gaming PC and a console. But of course, that would be cheating…

            Featured photo credit: Day One/Steve Petrucelli via flic.kr

            More by this author

            5 Life Lessons I Learned From Dean Winchester 10 Best Online Shopping Sites I Wish I Knew Earlier 10 Reasons Why Dogs Are Man’s Best Friend 30 Incredible Things Your iPhone Can Do 10 Things Only Detail-Oriented People Do

            Trending in Technology

            1 25 Essential Windows Keyboard Shortcuts You Need to Know Now 2 7 Clever Goal Tracker Apps to Keep You on Track in 2020 3 10 Tools to Start an Online Business without Breaking the Bank 4 11 Meeting Scheduler Apps to Boost Your Productivity This Year 5 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track in 2020

            Read Next

            Advertising
            Advertising
            Advertising

            Last Updated on May 18, 2020

            25 Essential Windows Keyboard Shortcuts You Need to Know Now

            25 Essential Windows Keyboard Shortcuts You Need to Know Now

            If you are using Windows regularly, using these Windows keyboard shortcuts will definitely increase your productivity. Compiled below is an exclusive list of shortcuts that will help you breeze through your daily work.

            You might know some of them, but there are certainly some hidden gems that you wouldn’t have heard of before. Once you start using them, you will notice how easy navigating and operating on Windows has become.

            Basic Windows Keyboard Shortcuts

            These are the most basic shortcuts and ones you’ll likely have heard of. They are key in moving through your work quickly and easily.

            1. Ctrl+Z : Undo

            shortcut

              Irrespective of what you are doing, or where you are doing it, Ctrl + Z is a lifesaver. One possibly can’t survive without this function.

              Whatever program you’re running, this function helps you get back to your last input. So don’t worry about all the mistakes as this particular shortcut will save you every time.

              2. Ctrl + A : Select All

              Nordam: – Sig Nordal, Jr.

                Again, irrespective of which program you are running, this shortcut key selects all of the text, files, folders, or elements in any given program or page.

                Instead of spending your time dragging your mouse all over the page, use this to grab everything in one go.

                3. Ctrl + C : Copy

                shortcut

                  You’ve selected what you wanted to. Now you’d like to copy it.

                  This is probably one of the top shortcut keys people use when working on their Windows system. Easily copy whatever you like, and it stays with you until you are ready to paste it.

                  4. Ctrl + V : Paste

                  shortcut

                    Easily paste all that you have copied. It could be a text, file, image, or folder. In any case, this is a very useful feature to bring everything together.

                    Advertising

                    If you would like to paste plain, simple text without original formatting, just add Shift to it, i.e. Ctrl + Shift + V.

                    5. Ctrl + X : Cut

                    shortcut

                      Don’t want a piece of text/table/image/file in a particular place?

                      Simply select it and use the shortcut Ctrl + X. The piece gets removed and copied. Then, use the paste shortcut to paste it anywhere you like.

                      6. Alt + Tab : Switch Screen/Tabs

                      shortcut

                        This one has been around for a while and has been enhanced with upgrades in the Windows OS. Simply press Alt and then the Tab key, and you will switch to the next tab/screen.

                        Holding down the Alt button and tapping on Tab let’s you move and choose between multiple screens. Talk about multi-tasking!

                        7. Ctrl + Alt + Del : Start Task Manager

                        shortcut

                          What happens when an application starts to lag or stops responding, or your windows OS stands still and you can’t move a thing? You summon Ctrl + Alt + Del! When you press them together, a magical box called the task manager opens up.

                          You can then check out which programs/apps were making your PC slow and shut them down from the task manager itself, bringing your PC back to life.

                          8. Alt + F4 : Close App

                          ALT + F4 | Media Literacy at OSU Newark Spring 2017

                            This shortcut has been around for decades now! Simply press Alt plus the function F4 key and the application you’re using will close.

                            However, it is smart enough to ask you to save your work before it shuts down. It also works almost on anything right from your browser to games and custom applications.

                            9. Ctrl + F : Find

                            Advertising

                            How to Do Basic Keyboard Shortcut in Windows

                              You know you just wrote that sentence, and now you can’t find it! Or you really need to find a particular keyword in a document or a browser? Ctrl + F is the handy shortcut that will open a quick bar where you can type in the keyword, and it will show you all the results in the document matching your request.

                              10. Ctrl +H : Find and Replace

                              Chromebook Shortcuts You'll Use Everyday (With Pictures)

                                You just finished your essay, and you realize you’ve been spelling the name of that scientist wrong the whole time! Now you not only need to find the keyword but replace all uses of it with something else. Not a problem at all. The Ctrl + H shortcut comes in handy here.

                                Just hit the keys and a box will open. You can simply type in the word that you need to find and replace. This works for most document types.

                                11. Ctrl + E : Select the Search Box

                                Google Forms: Control E - Teacher Tech

                                   

                                  Whether you are in your file explorer or browser, pressing Ctrl+E will select your search/navigation bar, and you can directly start typing into it. This will make your life easier when you need quick search.

                                  12. Ctrl + N : Open a New Window

                                  shortcut

                                    Pressing Ctrl+N together will open up a new file or a window depending on if you are working in your browser or offline. This Windows keyboard shortcut works well with most offline applications and online browsers made for Windows.

                                    13. Ctrl + Mouse Scroll Wheel : Zoom In/Out

                                    HP PCs - Adjust the Text Size and Zoom In or Out (Windows) | HP ...

                                       

                                      Text too small? Want to see the details more clearly? Viewing an infographic that requires zooming in? This shortcut provides exactly that.

                                      If you are in a document, this command will make your files and folders appear larger, and if you are on your browser, it will simply zoom in on the page. Talk about attention to detail!

                                      Advanced Windows Keyboard Shortcuts

                                      14. Win + L: Lock Screen

                                      Advertising

                                      These Short Keys are Going to Make Your Life So Much More Productive

                                        Stepping away, but don’t want to shut down or put your system to sleep? Win + L is a great shortcut. It helps you lock down your screen, and unless you re-enter your password nobody can open it (assuming you have a password set for your system).

                                        15. Win + D : Show Desktop

                                        3 Ways to Quickly Get Back to the Desktop in Windows 10

                                          This is actually a quick minimize option. No matter how many tabs/windows are open, this shortcut quickly minimizes all of them and shows you the desktop, allowing you to access files or an application in a couple of clicks.

                                          16. Win + Tab (+ Shift) : Toggle Task View

                                          Awesome Windows Shortcut Keys – SVEN TECHNOLOGY

                                             

                                            This shortcut is very similar to what Alt + Tab does, but it is a more advanced level Windows app navigator. When you press it, you will see tiles of all the open programs and most used programs.

                                            You can scroll or jump between them by additionally pressing the shift key with the Win + Tab command.

                                            17. Win + C : Opens Cortana

                                            These Short Keys are Going to Make Your Life So Much More Productive

                                               

                                              Are you a fan of voice control or like using Cortana to get things done quickly? You can summon her by using the Win + C shortcut. She’ll then be available to grant your every request.

                                              18. Win + Prt Sc : Save Screenshot

                                              Cómo tomar una captura de pantalla en una computadora portátil sin ...

                                                While Prt Sc allows you to take a screenshot, pressing the Windows button at the same time allows you to automatically save the screenshot. There is a folder named “screenshot” in your pictures destination, where PNG files of the screenshot will get saved. No need to add another screenshot tool!

                                                19. Win + I : Open Settings

                                                Cómo degradar Windows 10 y reinstalar Windows 7 | Guias y Tutoriales

                                                  Need to quickly open the settings tab? Now, you don’t need to browse through 3-4 destinations to reach the settings tab. Just hit Win + I to open up the settings menu for Windows.

                                                  Advertising

                                                  20. Win + S : Search for Windows

                                                  10 Great Keyboard Shortcuts to Make Life Easy

                                                    You will always have that file or application that you can’t find on your PC. For this, Windows introduced the search bar.

                                                    You can easily open it by pressing Win + S and typing in the file name you want to look up. Additionally, since Cortana is integrated with the search function, you can use it to ask additional questions as well.

                                                    21. Fn + F2 : Rename

                                                    Tom's Tutorials For Excel: Toggling a formula for relative or ...

                                                      Depending on the hardware manufacturer, F2 keys perform various tasks, like volume up/down or turn Wifi off/on. However, using the Fn + F2, you can quickly use the Rename file option when a file/folder is selected. Say goodbye to the right click.

                                                      22. Fn + F5 : Refresh

                                                      6 Methods to Fix Toshiba Laptop Black Screen on Startup

                                                         

                                                        Your PC stuck is stuck and the processor can’t keep up. Refresh is a good method to get things moving. Pressing Fn + F5 can refresh Windows, or if you are working on your browser, it can refresh that, too.

                                                        23. Win + X : Hidden Menu

                                                        Simple questions: What is the WinX menu and how to open it ...

                                                          Did you know that windows had a hidden menu? Press Win + X and see it pop-up. It will give you access to all the essential areas of the system.

                                                          24. Win + V : Navigate Through Notifications

                                                          Tip: Win+V is the clipboard history shortcut you did not know you ...

                                                            If you have configured notifications and alerts on your systems, this shortcut will help you easily toggle through all of them. It’s extremely useful for people who are especially popular or busy.

                                                            25. Win + Ctrl + B : Open App That Displayed a Notification

                                                              You’re working, and a notification pops up that needs your attention. Use Win + Ctrl + B, and the explorer will switch to the application that sent you the notification. Swift.

                                                              The Bottom Line

                                                              You might be excited to start using all of these Windows keyboard shortcuts right away. While I advise you to try them all out, it entirely depends on how you engage with your system and what work you do. Any number of them can be generally useful. Start experimenting today.

                                                              More Tips on Using Windows

                                                              Featured photo credit: freestocks.org via unsplash.com

                                                              Read Next