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Feature Article

If You Haven't Tried PC Gaming, Then It's About Time You Did

Power to the people.

by

Everyone loves to argue whether gaming is better on consoles or PCs, but let's be honest: it really comes down to personal preference. But, if you haven't given PC gaming a chance, you really should. Free from the shackles of brand identity and oversight, the PC, as a platform, creates an ecosystem defined by freedom, first and foremost. It harbors innovation and experimentation, and apart from the associated cost of powerful hardware and the desire for console exclusive games, there's no reason why you shouldn't invest a little cash and take the plunge into the world of PC gaming.

Why, exactly? Allow me to elaborate.

Thousands of Games to Choose From

For starters, there are more games available on PC than there ever will be on a traditional console. PCs are backwards compatible with games that are years, if not decades, old. Granted, it takes know-how to overcome some operating system incompatibility issues, for which the Internet at large is a great resource, but there's nothing stopping you from playing most of the thousands of games released on PCs over the last 30 years or so. You've potentially got a lifetime's supply of games at your fingertips.

At the moment, there are 12,698 PC games available on Steam.

Open Publishing Format

Sure, there are quality-assurance tests to overcome to get your game onto Steam, Valve's digital game sales and distribution service and the most popular among consumers, but based on the variety of games in that catalog alone, it's a welcoming place for offbeat and unusual games. This leaves developers free to create games as they wish; they don't even have to worry about getting them rated by the Entertainment Software Rating Board. The bottom line: There are few bureaucratic concerns for developers when developing games for PC. If they want, developers can also skip the likes of Steam altogether and publish their games completely independently. They might not want to, but the point is, they can. There's no platform that's more open to technical and artistic experimentation than the PC, and as good as that is for developers, the resulting variety of games to choose from ultimately benefits consumers.

Configurable Hardware That's Not as Expensive as you Think

In terms of hardware, consoles are static products. The hardware inside, apart from maybe the hard drive, will never change simply because you want it to. PCs are great because, ultimately, you're in control of how powerful your machine is. Maxing out a PC can be extremely costly if you need to be on the cutting edge, but it's not an all or nothing game. You can upgrade your PC piece by piece, and since the price/performance ratio scales with time, you won't have to drop a huge sum of money in one fell swoop to keep up with rendering techniques and the capabilities of consoles.

Even if you're building a PC from scratch, you can get started without spending much more money than you would on a new console. In April, we tried to build a gaming PC that's comparable in performance to a next-gen console for the same price as an Xbox One with a Kinect, which was the only option at the time. We built one machine based on AMD parts, and another with Nvidia and Intel hardware. Our tests prove that, at the time, a gaming PC running cross-platform games can outperform consoles in most cases, for about the same cost. Again, after a few years, you can throw a little more cash towards new parts, and theoretically topple the rendering capabilities of consoles. Yes, you may spend $200 to $300 on a single upgrade, but that's cheaper than buying a brand new console if/when the next generation arrives, which probably won't happen for a very long time.

PC upgrades are a simple affair once you know what you're doing.

The Potential to Play Games Anywhere, Anyway You Like

One of the great things about hardware technology is that as it improves, it also tends to shrink in size. Therefore, we are now able to have thin laptops that are also powerful, and that means gaming on the go has never been easier or more convenient. Massive gaming laptops still exist, but with the likes of Razer's Blade and Blade Pro, we're beginning to see a shift, and it's possible to carry a device that's more powerful than a console, with its own screen, in your backpack.

It's also worth mentioning that, beyond laptops, PC gaming at home is no longer limited to the desktop. Technically, it never was, but it's now easier than ever to send a video signal to your living room. Again, Valve is leading the way with its in-home streaming application, which allows you to send content from your PC to a cheap and small device connected to a TV with little technical expertise required.

As a PC user, you also have a massive selection of accessories and peripherals to choose from. It's a bit of a wild west situation, in that manufacturers from all corners of the globe are experimenting with new hardware, especially now that virtual reality is a hot commodity, but that just means there's a greater chance you can find a mouse, keyboard, or controller that's perfectly suited to your needs. There are also solutions for people with disabilities, including controllers that work with your feet, eye movement, and gestures of all kinds. In terms of accessibility, the PC is second to none when it comes to gaming.

Game Mods are Easy to Create and Share

It's easier than ever for the player to double as a developer if they want get something new out of an existing game. Want to play Grand Theft Auto IV with the powers of Iron Man? No problem! Had enough of Skyrim's dragons? Swap them out with Macho Man Randy Savage! User-generated content continues to grow in popularity, and developers are getting better at giving people the tools they need to create add-ons and mods for their games, but the ubiquity of said tools, and their potential, is greatest on PC. In a lot of cases, PC games are highly flexible, allowing you to use external tools to create new assets, and alter code to change the behavior of in-game elements. Plus, with Valve's Steam Workshop pipeline, accessing and sharing mods is easier than ever. Mods allow players to explore the extent of their imagination and share it with the world, and for better or worse, anything goes on PC when it comes to mods.

Macho Man Randy Dragon.

Cheap Software and Services

The Steam summer sale just wrapped, and those who dared to open their eyes and their wallets probably ended up buying a few more games than they reasonably needed. Why? Because so many great games were cheap to the point that it would be silly not to buy them. Maybe game X wasn't attractive at $20 because you weren't sold on its premise or gameplay. But when that same game is $5, the risk of investment wanes, and you're more likely to take a chance. The allure of low-risk purchases can lead to a backlog scenario that many PC gamers are all too familiar with, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Who cares if I have 20, 30, or 100 games in my Steam library that I haven't played yet? At least I have them should the day come that I run out of something to play.

To be fair, there are often sales on console games, but there are barriers to accessing those prices. Most of the time, you have to belong to a premium subscription service like PlayStation Plus or Xbox Live Gold to get these discounts, but also, to play games online. Unless you're talking about subscription-based massively multiplayer online games, you're able to play online multiplayer PC games free of charge in nearly every case.

What About Consoles?

I still love console gaming as it exists today, but I appreciate it for different reasons than I do PC gaming. For now, there are reasons to argue for both sides of the PC vs. console debate, but if you've shied away from PCs in the past because they're not immediately user-friendly, consider giving PC gaming a chance for the reasons mentioned above, and you may find yourself pleasantly surprised by everything the platform has to offer.

Discussion

1765 comments
souprice86
souprice86

Main issue with computer upgrade is the cpu and graphic card. to keep up with the latest eyecandy pc games, you will need fast cpu and gpu power. sometimes your motherboard will not support the cpu so that adds up. with the latest graphic card cost well above $500 or even 4 digits, it's very costly. it's best to read reviews and find a graphic card that's a few months old but still well performed.

konsnylten
konsnylten

If you're a somewhat serious gamer you really should have a reasonable gaming PC. It's a myth that it's expensive (unless your e-pen requires you to have a bleeding edge rig).

jim_peterson
jim_peterson

I've been a PC gamer since the Doom days. But I find modern PC somewhat depressing. Nothing but ports of console games (which might have slightly upgraded visuals, depending on your rig, but thats usually negated by all the bugs, performance issues and general lack of care developers give to PC ports), MMORPG crap and indie games that look like they could run on a SNES. What happened to all the AAA titles PC used to get that you couldnt play anywhere else? 

Right now its really only cheap Steam sales that keep me playing on PC. 

xtremeflem2day
xtremeflem2day

I play on consoles. I also bow down to the PC master race, for I am only a simple, yet disposable peasant.

gulinotm
gulinotm

Seriously, why do you people speaking out against PC feel like you have to attack the PC just because you're a console gamer? It makes no sense and none of you make any valid arguments because there shouldn't be any argument. Its not a competition, you're not right or wrong for being a console gamer or a PC gamer and you get no prize for it. Sony isn't going to throw you a party for defending their product against PCs. All this video is doing is saying "hey if you want more options for more gaming experiences and haven't considered PC, now is a great time to consider it."


You can build a gaming PC that will perform as good as a console for as low as $500. Not $1000, not $1500...This is a fact, not an opinion. I've done it. Many of you are already using a desktop to read this website, you can go buy a card for about $150 on eBay and start playing hundreds of different types of games that aren't available on consoles for cheap. More games, that's awesome. Why complain about that? You don't need a bleeding edge PC to do it. You don't need to use your PC to play games that come out on your console. Use it for all the stuff that doesn't come out on consoles which, as a matter of fact, mostly aren't so graphically intensive. Don't want to use a mouse and keyboard and prefer controllers? That's fine, Xbox and PS4 controllers work on PC now. 


Nothing says you HAVE to constantly upgrade your PC. You can just as easily build a PC and keep it for years just like you would buy a console and keep it for years. The point is that you have the option to improve your platform for however much you want whenever you want. This is not a necessary thing but it is a good thing. There is no use arguing that the graphics are as good or comparable on consoles to PC because not every PC is the same, obviously. Some PCs wont be as good as consoles and some PCs will make consoles look archaic. If you've ever played a game in 2560x1440 60fps there's no denying how fantastic it is because it is pretty incredible. I want everyone to see that kind of stuff. Doesn't mean that's what you have to do though.  


The fact that it costs money isn't a reason to attack PC and praise consoles because you have the option to spend as much or a little as you want and THAT'S what makes PC great. Options. Some of us are grown ups with real jobs and enjoy building powerful machines. Its a hobby. It doesn't mean it HAS to be YOUR hobby but the fact remains that you can spend a comparable amount of money on a decent PC and open up a whole new world of gaming and that is a GOOD thing. I enjoy my consoles very much and have nothing bad to say about them. So if you already own a PS4 or an Xbox and you were thinking of getting one of the other consoles why not build a PC instead or throw a gpu in the desktop you probably already have?

dtreatz
dtreatz

All the games people with PCs have (and from what I see, a massive backlog) and instead of playing them, you're here...being an elitist and commenting on something people with half a brain already knows. If you want to argue specifics OR actually help people justify people buying a PC then I'm all for it, but seemingly 90% are just like "PC 4 lyfe! lolz". Calm down, we already know PC is the best platform and potential for any given video game. There are other reasons, mostly obvious, why people buy consoles instead.


You guys need to chill out, how bout actually starting that backlog you're supposed to have instead of being morons.

Shielder7
Shielder7

" If You Haven't Tried PC Gaming, Then It's About Time You Did"

Thanks but I think I'll just keep my 1500

hermitkiller
hermitkiller

I want my PS4 emulator and I want it now damn it!!!

TheRedDeath25
TheRedDeath25

Is gamespot going to give me the amount of money needed to give pc gaming a try? No then I'll stick with my cheaper easy to use console.

Gravity_Slave
Gravity_Slave

"If You Haven't Tried PC Gaming, Then It's About Time You Did"

And spend more than 3 times on a PC that will last half as long as a console?

Um F-no!

20 years ago I would have said yes, because at the time consoles were static little isolated boxes that could only be played on the unit alone.

Everything that the PC once held domain, online MP, patches/updates, DLC etc.. Can now be done on consoles with ease.

Better graphics? Lol more and more games are coming out in native 1080p, which are being played on top of the line HD flat screen TV's bigger than an interstate sign and sound systems that rival movie theaters.

So honestly, why waste the time and money on a PC? The master race just got sacked.

slappy54
slappy54

Worst thing about consoles is they are a heavily corporatized products. If you want to support fat cats in suits, go with consoles. If you want to support creative freedom and innovation, you go with PC.

LordCrash88
LordCrash88

Wow, Gamespot is really pushing this article. I think it's the 10th twitter now for this topic. It seems like they finally acknowledged that PC gaming is as healthy and popular as ever and that concentrating on consoles isn't very reasonable anymore...

Next, Microsoft. Oh wait, probably not... ;)

mcdoubleyou
mcdoubleyou

@souprice86 you don't need to buy a gpu that keeps up with the latest eye candy. Even on medium settings, most games look better on PC than they do on console. My current r9 280x is the most expensive I bought so far at €280 and it runs everything on max settings with 60+ fps (except for games like Metro LL and Crysis 3).

PSYCLOWN185
PSYCLOWN185

@jim_peterson thank you  i feel the same way. I mainly game on consoles and its because i just dont see many pc exclusives anymore. and the sloppy ports dont help either. i follow the games and right now the good exclusives are on consoles in my opinion. 

diggyphelps
diggyphelps

@hermitkiller You're the most pathetically a$$hurt poster I have ever encountered. Get a life, ya weirdo.

k1DBLITZ
k1DBLITZ

@Gravity_Slave My PC monitor IS a 65 inch top of the line Samsung TV. It's also connected to a 5.1 home theater system. (Klipsch F3's, S3's and C3) So your "arguments" are invalid. 


Game over, try again.

santinegrete
santinegrete

@Gravity_Slave  aw man, as always you state your opinion as a fact with misinformed and biased information (or lack of thereof). You're assuming, as always, you're one of the most recurrent naysayers that appeared in feedbackula when it was available. I wouldn't be better if I asume you're on your teens, but you sure make it hard.


Take an advice, I'm not all hatred: if you typed that on a Desktop PC, for a Price of less tan 3 Brand new games you can get install a card that will play Titanfall better than any console current release. Adviced you with a fact :)

dfuknb
dfuknb

@Gravity_Slave Bro... I'm a Console Gamer 1st and a PC gamer 2nd. Your post is so stupid lol. I love my PS3, PS4 plus all my retro games. Yes I dropped a little over $1700 on my PC in Feb because I use it for Pro Tools and Adobe Premier Pro. I said heck with it and decided to try some PC games and fell in love with steam. I ended up building a 2nd PC for $430 for my nephew which shits on my PS4 graphics. Not to mention PC is well past 1080p @ 60 FPS.


Every statement you said is completely inaccurate and your just a moron who doesn't want to put any effort into research lol.

IJONOI
IJONOI

@Gravity_Slave I will never need to upgrade my PC while the PS4 + X1 are around. 


My PC is plugged in to my big ass tele and my surround sound. 


Enjoy your 3 good AAA games a year. I'll enjoy my 100s. 


I also own a PS4 .... Unbiased opinion. 

utterlyotter
utterlyotter

@Gravity_Slave 

Consoles are practical and cheaper than PCs, but they´re very much a one trick pony. In reality they do one thing and one thing only, and that moderately well. Comparing consoles to PCs is like comparing a tepid Big Mac to a huge table laden with different dishes, both old and new, from around the world.


But if you´re happy with those limitations and don´t have high demands and expectations, then consoles are fine. Not even close to being in the same league as PCs though.

Rachit1
Rachit1

@Gravity_Slave And yeah I almost forgot.... as Peter said...PC has the biggest gaming market.... It's like a connection between many gaming generations.....PC has proven to be the most powerful machine in which we can even play the games which were never made for PC (emus) And the Graphics.........Everyone knows who has it better.......(I am going mad now) PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC PC Gaming Master Race

Rachit1
Rachit1

@Gravity_Slave So I guess you were weak at maths at school.... or you just haven't compared the price of PC vs Console games -_-

slappy54
slappy54

@Gravity_Slave


News Flash: consoles are still isolated little boxes where you can't upgrade, and PC gaming is more than fancy graphics. I'm so glad I'm not stuck in the stone age....

Shielder7
Shielder7

@slappy54 Yeah Fin A I'm not going to support the supper Fat cats like Sony and Nintendo I'm going PC Where I'll have to buy Windows and............. Oh wait.

gunnmetal
gunnmetal

@slappy54 what do you mean. microsoft? if microsoft is your operating system then you are a hypocrite 

Gravity_Slave
Gravity_Slave

You obviously know nothing about marketing and business. If you think the few grand you spent on a glorified desktop is going to some mom n' pop little guy shop you're an ldiot.

hermitkiller
hermitkiller

@LordCrash88 PC relevant, since when?

PC gaming died long ago.

If it wasn't for steam or indie games, pc would be dead & buried by now XDDDDD

hermitkiller
hermitkiller

@slappy54 @Gravity_Slave Yet you have to constantly spend money onyuor precious rig to

keep up with the evolution. Consoles can last 10 years without having to uppgrade.

PC graphics compared to consoles are only minimal.

Spend all you want so you can play your lovely indie games XDDD

khankalili
khankalili

@Gravity_Slave You're really stuck on this couple of grand idea... have you ever tried just looking at the prices? You can easily start from scratch and get a decent rig for less than a 1000.... and then you're set for 5-10 years. Hell, you can be set for the next couple of years for close to the price of a console. After that all you need to do is 'upgrade' small parts of the whole. You want a big monitor: plug it in, better graphics: get a new card, etc. 


You lieing to yourself and everyone else isn't going to change fiscal realities.

santinegrete
santinegrete

@hermitkiller @LordCrash88  They've told that in 1985 and 2006, so far they went wrong. Sure, there's always better times than others. I think only 1998 was a great year for a consoles and PC gaming.

lonesamurai1
lonesamurai1

@hermitkiller  Funny console sales are marginal, and the Japanese don't even want the PS4 because they know that it's pretty much PS3 2.0, nothing new at all just more of the same from last gen except the graphics aren't as good as they should be since it is a new console and that the PS3's graphics were great at the time of it's  release.

LordCrash88
LordCrash88

@hermitkiller @LordCrash88 PC gaming never died. 

Also what you say is only blabla. Console gaming would also be dead without Sony or MS investing in it. Where's is the argument here???


santinegrete
santinegrete

@hermitkiller @slappy54  that stopped being true with PS3 YLOD and 360 RROD. Sure there's not a significant upgrade... but you have to shell money for new hardware regardless: a brand new version of a console as potent as the previous one.

hermitkiller
hermitkiller

@lonesamurai1 @hermitkiller Console sales marginal????

Compared to pc sales???

Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't PS4 sales skyrocketing at the moment?

All you pc retards have is steam and is counterparts + indie games.

Without those your über almighty cool rig would be pushing daisies XDDD

mcdoubleyou
mcdoubleyou

@Shielder7 @slappy54 @gunnmetal that's where Steam OS comes in, bet you didn't know about that either huh. They are adding support for huge ammounts of games on Linux because of it. Maybe you should try to follow gaming news instead of only looking at your precious PS or Xbox Live Stores.

IJONOI
IJONOI

@hermitkiller @lonesamurai1 You sir are whats known as a m0ron. 


You can't use 'if it wasn't for steam' as an argument because fact is. We have steam. And it rocks. 

The only downfalls to PC are its more expensive from the off and you miss out on a few exclusives. Maybe requires a bit more tech know how, but to each his own. 


Consoles: 

Outdated technology

You miss 1000s of exclusive. Some AAA some Indie. (Total War, Civ, Star Citizen anyone)

Games $$ are extortionate

Graphics suck in comparison. 

Very limited peripheral choices. 

Little to no sales


..Now, I still own a PS4. But it doesn't take a genius to work out the superior platform. You get what you pay for. 

utterlyotter
utterlyotter

@hermitkiller @lonesamurai1 

Off topic - I´d happily pay for a live pay per view of the obnoxious, ignorant and tacky Jersey Shore bunch being whipped to within an inch of their miserable little lives..;) Seriously.


(In regards to your pic)

Grand Theft Auto IV More Info

First Release on Apr 29, 2008
  • PC
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Grand Theft Auto IV builds on the series' rock solid foundation with an awe inspiring recreation of Liberty City.