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Darth_Tyrranus Blog

Why I Moved to PC Gaming

Most of my life, I have been a die-hard Nintendo fan. With the last generation of Nintendo products, the Wii and DS, I probably spent $1000 -$2000 on games and accessories, and I was also one of the people who spent many hours waiting outside the store just to get my hands on a Wii on launch day on November 19, 2006. I really love the characters of the Nintendo universe, and I do believe that Nintendo is probably the most original game company out there. However, nearly three years ago I got a Steam account and started gaming on PCs, and now I'm never going back. While I'm not saying that PC gaming is definitively better than other forms of gaming, here are several of the reasons why PC gaming worked better for me.

The cost: It's undeniable. The difference in cost between games for PCs and games for consoles is huge. In the last steam sale, I got 15 games all for under $100. Some of these games were triple A titles. Console games typically run for $60 unless they are older, so with $100, I would have been lucky to have been able to buy two games. I am also regularly able to get games for free on Steam. I think I average about one a week. And lest you think it is all shovelware, just a couple months ago, I got Amnesia: The Dark Descent for free. To top it all off, online multiplayer on Steam is free, unlike Microsoft and Sony's consoles.

Mobility: When I lived in Japan for three years from 2012 to 2015, I made the decision to bring over my Wii. While I don't necessarily regret my decision, the hassle of transporting the console and games across the world was a huge pain. A huge pain as in it cost $1000+ to ship all my things back to the US. I'm planning to move back to Japan next year for work, and I have no intention of going through this hassle again. When I go back, I'm just going to bring my laptop, which I need for work anyway, and a couple controllers. This should save me a LOT of space. (One of the other wastes of space I had returning to the US was books - I had about 80 that I purchased and read in Japan. I also plan to stop buying physical books and just buy a Kindle when I go back.)

Region locking: This one was huge for me. I was able to play through ポケモンプラスノブナガの野望 (Pokemon Conquest), ヨッシーアイランド (Yoshi's Island) and 二ノ国 (Ni no Kuni) on my American DS lite, but unfortunately, the 3DS and Wii U are both region locked. This is the main reason I did not end up buying them. I feel comfortable playing many games in Japanese, but some games, especially RPGs, I want to play in English. Nintendo's current systems make this impossible. I should not have to buy two of the same game system just to play games in the language that I want. I have heard that Sony no longer region locks their systems, so that is great, but PC games are also region free. A lot of the games on Steam can be played in multiple languages, and changing the language is a simple process. This saves me a ton of time and money since I don't have to import games with the language that I want.

The huge game library: Compared to the consoles, PC has the largest game library by far. There are a lot more choices when it comes to purchasing games, and unlike consoles sometimes, you are never waiting around until the next good game is released. I have so many games in my library, I think about half of them are still unplayed. Furthermore, console exclusive games are decreasing, and games are increasingly being released on both one of the consoles and PC. The only exception for this is Nintendo's games. They don't like sharing, because if they did, Nintendo would have to drop out of the console market.

Mods: Having the ability to use mods in games is a wonderful thing, and is something that console players are unable to take advantage of. Mods add hours and hours of playtime to games, and honestly, I can't imagine playing Skyrim without at least the mods that patch up all the bugs in the game.

Backwards compatibility is a non-issue: Consoles typically have a 5 year lifespan. The question everyone always has when a new system is released is, "Is it backwards compatible with the previous generation games?" With PC gaming, this is almost never an issue. I will still be able to play the games I am playing right now 10 years from now.

Graphics: PC games almost always have better graphics than games on consoles, especially when the game is cross-platform. Personally, this is not as big of an issue for me because I play on a laptop, so I'm not looking for hyper-realistic graphics, but it is a factor for some people, so I thought I would add it in here.

I think that about sums up my list. Like I said, I'm not trying to argue why PC gaming is better than console gaming. Many of my reasons are specifically relevant to the situation I am in since I am moving between countries. You may have other reasons why PC is or isn't a better choice. I just hope that someone might read this and find this helpful to them in the future. To wrap things up, I still love Nintendo, but I've moved on. From now on, I will be enjoying games on my PC.

Which is the Better Buy: Xbox 360 or PS3?

Before I begin with this analysis, let me give you a little background information. Currently, the only console I own is the Wii, and I have no intention of changing that anytime soon. Personally, the games on the Wii just appeal to me more. So I think it is pretty fair to say that I have been impartial between the Xbox 360 and PS3. However, over the past few months, I have decided as to which of the two consoles I think is better.

On face value, both consoles look very similar. Sure both consoles have a few exclusives, but for the most part, they both share the same games and run them with approximately equivalent quality. Sony's system is usually $100 more than the Xbox 360, but it also includes a Blu-Ray player. (However,I'm really not keen on this point due to the fact that Blu-ray discs are almost always $10 more than their DVD counterparts.)

One of the most important things you should look at when making a large purchase, be it a car or electronics, is the lifespan of your purchase. How long is it going to last you? 10 years? 6 months? Any micro-economics teacher will heavily stress this point. About six months ago, Game Informer magazine conducted a poll of 5000 of its members to find out the failure rates among the three consoles. The results were astounding. The poll found that 54.2% of people had their Xbox 360s fail a least one time, 5 times PS3's 10.6% failure rate.

A second poll taken just a month later found that over just a two year period, 23.7% of Xbox 360s failed as opposed to PS3s 10%.;1

Then, yet a third poll was conducted in the UK that found that 60% people had their xbox 360's fail as opposed to PS3's 16%.

Have you been noticing a trend here? In all three surveys, the Xbox 360 failure rates was SIGNIFICANTLY higher than PS3s. Such high numbers really cause me to question whether Microsoft performs any quality control at all. I believe this to be absolutely despicable on Microsoft's part, and certainly inexcusable. The worst part about the situation is that once you have bought games for the system, you are effectively locked into replacing your system when it dies, or else you will lose out on all your game investments. Furthermore, Microsoft has never admitted to Xbox 360 failures being a widespread problem and has repeatedly ignored requests to release their own numbers on the failure rates. And yet they keep reassuring us that "The new Xbox's have much better quality!" Due to such poor quality control, I have serious doubts as to the demand for Xbox 360's successor.

By now, I think it's abundantly clear. PS3 is just a better value system. Why would any sane person make a significant investment on a device that has a such a short lifespan?! A significant investment should entail a reasonable lifespan.

Think about it.

The Failings of Democracy

While the following quotation is often accredited to Alexander Tyler, its true origins are unknown and was most likely written by several authors over a span of many years. Nevertheless, this bit of wisdom has been around for over 100 years and I believe it still holds true in our societies today. Enjoy.

"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the public treasure. From that moment on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most money from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy followed by a dictatorship.

The average age of the world's great civilizations has been two hundred years.

These nations have progressed through the following sequence: from bondage to spiritual faith, from spiritual faith to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependency, from dependency back to bondage."