The Five Stages of Griefing: Death of the Consoles
Acceptance: PC gaming is the most viable platform
There might be a time when you pass through your console ideals and see that there are very few points to be made against PC gaming. The PC has a number of inherent advantages and simply does not have a bunch of persistent troubles that occur with more proprietary platforms. Any currently valid disadvantages can be nullified more easily than the fundamental problems which exist on the consoles. Once you remove the crutch of billions of dollars in marketing and development that prop up consoles you are left with a maguffin to provide the experience of a PC, a PC with deliberate restrictions that are neither cheaper nor more beneficial than if they simply did not exist.
Theys’a no pills for you thees time.
The PC is better because... it can provide no lesser of an experience than a console.
Whether you desire to play on your couch, you prefer a controller, or you want support: the console is nothing special. I argue that service from a reputable local small business computer store will exceed service provided by the console vendors all without impeding your ability to support yourself; still, failing a decent store nearby, there will be plenty of larger companies such as Dell, MSI, and ASUS who will be on par at the least with the service the console vendors could provide. The console will certainly not provide any better experience if the PC flourishes.
The PC is better because... it is currently the only platform that can be shared.
When you have legal hurdles that lock you in to a platform you are immediately either segregating the market or allowing an entity to abuse their monopolistic position. There is no reason why our standards cannot follow the open consortium model to allow competition between parties without breaking compatibility and preventing sharing between competitors. After all, that is the intent of copyrights and patenting which make these platforms proprietary in the first place: encouraging sharing of ideas while supporting each contributor’s ability to derive value from said idea.
The PC is better because... consoles are exorbitantly priced for what they deliver.
The upfront cost of a platform is not necessarily the cost that you pay for it. When you sum up each platform’s expenses on luring you to their system it makes it clear that you are giving away more than they are giving you in return. Cutting out the middle man will spare you however much they derive from you and let you put it towards value, not removed value. While it is likely possible to imagine conditions where a console would cost you less than a PC that delivers a comparable experience, for almost every case it will cost you more all expenses considered and deliver less; it would not be financially worth it for the owner to make a console platform otherwise.
The PC is better because... consoles get in the way of art.
Art is not designed to be disposable, consoles are. While there is much value to be had in time-consuming entertainment, there is as much or more cultural value to be had in expressive art. While attempts have been made to increase the mod-ability of console platforms and I would be insane to say Nintendo did not have cultural impact, the fundamental design of the platforms are not sustainable for art. Permanence is a virtue with PC gaming that is not legally enforceable on consoles, and that will harm our society as a whole.
If I were forced to boil down the entire debate into a single point I would have to state that lack of choice is the most damaging aspect of console gaming. Because you are such a loyal customer to a company that values your patronage so dearly, you are restricted in how you are able to use your device and legally threatened if you violate the boundaries of the box you paid to reside in. Just because your content or your input method or your simplicity appear to be stuck inside the box with you does not mean you must be shackled inside; the box is artificial, there are other vessels for your content.
The PC is better because... there is no one between your choices, your experiences -- and you.
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