So it's like this, I've been a console gamer all my life. From atari on up to this Gen. which I own a 360 now and I will get a PS3 sooner or later. Back in highschool I played some doom but didn't like the Kb/M. Played some FFXI online. But when it comes down to price, experience, user friendly, and controls consoles win hands down!
First I will start with price! I have heard it said time and time again on how if you by all 3 console systems it closes the gap on the compared price to PC rigs. The first thing this argument fails at is most 3rd party gaming developers are going multiplat. Games like FFXIII which the jaw dropping announcment was made at E3 in 2008. RE5 was a big "Sony" only title, another would be Devil May Cry series didn't hit MS until 360 came around! So it can be said one can completely experience this Gen only owning one System. The only games that you won't experience if you own one system is the First Party Devlopers, Games like Gears of War 2 which is strictly on 360, or God of War 3 which is strictly Sony or even Zelda which in Nintendo only! You get the point.
So with this being said I decided to do some research on this argument. I gave PC gamers the benifit of the doubt. I went on one website to layout prices to make it fair. The website I chose was gamestop.com since it's pretty popular amoung gamers to purchase things there. I used a "Pro Xbox 360" and a "80GB HD PS3" and the "Nintendo Wii" and compared it to the hardware they sell for PC gaming which is "Alienware". Prices and links go as follows...
New Xbox 360 Pro 299.99
New Sony PS3 80GB HD 399.99
Nintendo's Wii 249.99
TOTAL OF ALL THREE SYSTEMS= 949.97
Now lets look at setting up a PC Gaming rigs!
Alienwares Aurora model
The cheapest Rig which is an Aurora model (from alienware) starts out at 999.00 and goes up from there...
Alienwares Area51 750i model
The Area51 750i model starts out at 1,049.00 and goes up from there...
Alienwares Area 51 x58 model
Under "Standard" rigs(Alienware Area 51 X58 Model) the price "starts" at 1,649.00
Alienware Area 51 X58 Gaming model is 3,129.00 without monitor I may add. with a monitor it was 4,028.00. The monitor I chose was a 27" 2709WFP 1920x1200.
Under "High-Performance Gaming" the price starts at 5,229.00
So in the end even if you get the cheapest rig there is, PC gaming is more expensive! Standard and High-Performance rig I did not include monitors. This was all done from Gamestop.com
All purchased new and from the same place (Gamestop.com) PC is WAY more expensive!
That was a mid performance rig tower they broke up into 3 categorys. "Standard"; "Gaming"; and "High-Performance"
A High-Performance rig was far more expensive from the start it went as follows...
Alienwares ALX X58 model
ALX X58 the "Standard" starts at 3,799.00, then "Gaming" version is 4,929.00 and the "High-Performance" is 6,629.00!
*EDIT* You can also go to Dell.com and check out their XPS and XPS Gaming models :) And you could also check out Gateway.com and check out the price of their FX Series Gaming Rigs ;) Cyberpowerpc.com has a varity of price ranges to check out, but most don't include monitor or operating system, and some do include it.
Only one Rig did I include a monitor the rest I did not add the cost of a monitor and none of these include the cost of sofware needed!
I also did not include HDTV's because it's a house hold purchase item. TV's are purchased seperate from consoles they are not linked together as a monitor is to a PC!!
To be fair these are some of the best gaming rigs on the market but it's been said you can piece together a Gaming Rig for far cheaper. Well here is the major issue with that! If your buying 20 different parts from different places for cheaper = no warranty! And if the seperate parts do have a warranty you have to keep track of them and they can be for different lengths of coverage! If you purchase a pre-built rig you get a warranty as you would with a console. So you "can" make it a "little cheaper" but you take the chance with the parts being faulty or not. In the end Console gaming is WAY cheaper!! And i forgot to mention the upgrades you need every two or three years which can be anywhere from 200 to 400 dollars depending!
Next is ease of use! Consoles win by far with this! You buy a game from the store you bring it home put it in and play! No hassles! Pc games you have to download which is not "hard" but can be annoying! The hassel can be if the PC Gaming Rig you own is not up to specs with what the game needs to run properly. If not you have Frame rate drop problems, Freeze up issues, Bugs, even crashes. Not saying the ol console games can't freeze every so often but it's a bigger issue with PC games.
Controller vs Kb/M. Controller is easier to use it doesn't have 30 buttons to push as the Kb/M. Yes when games are developed they make all those buttons useful but it can be complex and annoying. The ol "Mouse is quicker than the analog" is an argument I don't buy. Until it is put to study and proven. Consoles were designed for entertainment and the controller was designed for gaming. PC's are used for work, home, tasks, it was not designed for gaming only. PC was designed more for making the game and testing the game.
Online is no longer an issue for Console gamers. XBL, PSHome, Wii Network. It's all a community of gamers. Multiplayer games are becoming more and more a factor every Gen. Now with the NXE came Community Games which is a place for Devs who are just starting out to try their games out and share them with the gaming community. PC's have Mods, Consoles in part have DLC. Most downloadable content is only 10 bucks to add whatever content has come out extra for the game.
In the end Console gaming wins all. Sales and other things can prove this point. PC gaming will always have it's fans, but is more of a niche, than a dominate platform which it is made out to be!