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The Five Stages of Griefing: Death of the Consoles

Manufacturer: PC Perspective

Appendix: Cost of Consoles source.

As was stated in the caption below the cost-breakdown image, it is extremely difficult to pin a universal cost as a stereotypical customer really does not exist. The "generic customer" for the console, therefore, has been assumed to purchase: on average one game per month; constant Xbox Live Gold subscription at yearly-renewal (for lowest cost-per-month); and very rare accessories ($150 over four years). The "generic customer" for the PC also has a very solid gaming PC, the "Mid Range System" from the Hardware Leaderboard, upgraded often enough to max out (which is leaps above settings typical for a console) just about every game at true 1080p (not upscaled sub-720p to 1080p as is ridiculously common on the consoles). I also ignored the purchase of multiple consoles (both same as well as competing).

Cost Breakdown, Source

PC Console Notes
~$1000 $400 The cost to bring the unit in the door.
$0 $480 4 years of games (1 per month) that are $10 more expensive than their PC counterpart (license fees)
$0 $240 4 years of Xbox Live fees.
$0 $150 Incompatible Accessories, need to be repurchased
$220 $0 Upgraded videocard approximately 2-2.5 years in.
--- --- Next Generation: Years 5-8.
~$582 $400 New Mobo/Ram/CPU/GPU vs. New Console
$0 $480 4 more years of $10-inflated games.
$0 $240 4 more years Xbox Live fees.
$0 $150 More incompatible accessories, repurchased.
$220 $0 New videocard, 2-2.5 years in.
$2022 $2540 PC Gaming is not more expensive.

 


December 6, 2011 | 10:25 AM - Posted by Justin Bell (not verified)

While I agree with many of your points, the $10 price difference for PC games is quickly eroding.

December 6, 2011 | 01:32 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

Not quite actually.

The $10 price-jack on PC games is done by *publishers*. They are doing it because they feel that price vs. units sold justifies that cost, and they justify it with "to counter-act piracy".

There was a time where many console games, such as Madden, were $10 more expensive than they are now ($70 CDN when every other console game was $60 and PC games were $50). Eventually they found that the reduction of sales warranted dropping the price back down.

The point is that the $10 extra we're getting charged right now is not for an actual cost like it is on the consoles (royalty fees).

If people simply stop buying $60 PC games until they go on sale, or more people use the PC so they can't justify "to compensate for piracy", or whatever -- then it will go back to the way it was for more publishers. It's just their attempt to increase profits per unit sold... just a little bit. I actually addressed this point in an earlier draft of the editorial, but I cut it for reading-flow.

December 6, 2011 | 05:42 PM - Posted by Justin Bell (not verified)

Sure, the prices may be increased by publishers, but the end consumer is still seeing the increased price, so the math stops working.

I agree, I always wait for steam sales or the like, and frankly a steam copy should cost less than the retail copy with box and disc anyway...

December 6, 2011 | 06:52 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

The key point is that we're temporarily seeing the increased price so the publishers can see if they can get away with it. Prices will vary over time, but they can only vary to what would be profitable.

With less money "already spoken for", they are capable of lowering prices further. It's our job as consumers to make them lower it.

December 7, 2011 | 02:58 PM - Posted by Shorty (not verified)

Not for the games I purchase. My games run in the 20-40 range. I dont go anywhere near 60. If it starts high (Skyrim) I wait until it drops. Thanks to Steam I usually get fairly new games dirt cheap.
New Vegas dropped by 40% right after it debuted, during Steams Thanksgiving sale. Most of their games are around 50% of the MSRP. I can get a lot more for less money day to day. And waiting for a sale can save me even more.

December 6, 2011 | 10:42 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Ready for flame bait?

"The PC is better because... it can provide no lesser of an experience than a console."

Until you play online and join a server that has someone cheating (dern BF3 and its knife hax). Happens far less often when I'm playing console games than it does on PC.

Though, if I'm being honest, I STILL have far more fun on PC than I do on the 360.

December 6, 2011 | 01:36 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

I actually have experienced *way* more cheating when I played on Xbox Live than I did on the PC.

I play on dedicated servers with admins... something the consoles do not have.

It is also a better experience, because then you play with the same people over and over again... develop mini-friendships and rivalries over who can knife the heck out of each other the most, etc.

December 6, 2011 | 03:57 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

tl;dr: PC gaming is great. But there are areas it falls short. Saying consoles have no redeeming qualities and PCs are "better" is like saying a Mac has no redeeming qualities and [insert OEM of choice]+Windows is better (or the reverse). Its just not true.

Prepare for a wall of text.

I've been in rooms with people lag switching, but that's about the extent of the (obvious) cheating I've experienced on XBL. On BF3 alone though I've personally experienced at least one aim bot, a guy knifing me from across the map, and another guy who somehow didn't stay dead. Maybe I've just had a bout of bad luck.

Either way, I'll grant you that one. Having dedicated servers is a very valid point. And eventually like every platform, there will be console exploits that are found and...exploited.

However, if the goal of your argument is for PCs are all around better than consoles, and should become more mainstream, where do dedicated servers fit into this? Managing a server list breaks the simplicity of gaming, and if Apple has taught us anything when it comes to consumer electronics, it that you keep it simple.

PCs in my (admittedly limited) experience just don't have the same kind of matchmaking flair. I spent quite literally years playing PGR3 online on an almost nightly basis. NFS Shift 2 came nowhere close to that. Same thing with Halo 3 and BF:BC2.

There are many areas in which PCs are better. I'll admit that one whole heartedly. The fact that I can decide how well I want my game to play, buy a game once and play it in multiple places (desktop and laptop), and with things like Steam and Amazon I gain easy access to buying and managing games with non-suck DRM.

I have the option of using a controller, a mouse and keyboard, a joystick, a flight stick, a steering wheel, a game board, etc. I have options and control.

I have the option to upgrade. With BF3, I drop the cash on a better GPU, and go on about my business, or drop quality settings. With Halo:Reach, when I have ridiculous frame rate drops, I just have to live with it.

If something breaks, I have the option of troubleshooting it myself, becoming a parts swapper, or dropping cash to get it fixed.

These are all things I LIKE about PC gaming, and what will keep me a PC gamer. NOT because I think PC gaming is all around "better".

This is all to say, I hate when people say something is "best". Better in many respects? Sure. But rarely in things of this nature is something "best".

December 6, 2011 | 04:08 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

I want to clarify my point carefully: it is not that the consoles do not have redeeming qualities, it is that every one of those redeeming qualities fit on the PC if it was supported properly and had a large user base AND with the PC there is no baggage to go along with those console benefits.

There are good matchmaking methods on the PC, such as Starcraft 2. For many games, however, the option for a server browser is a better alternative.

As for cheating, the reason why I said dedicated servers with admins is because if someone cheats? They're banned from the server by the owner. Also, if someone griefs? They're banned from the server by the owner. If the server has special rules like "don't waste a vehicle to get another vehicle", violators can be banned from the server by the owner.

On the consoles, you are stuck waiting for the developer or platform owner to step in... if they do.

August 27, 2013 | 08:20 PM - Posted by Penney (not verified)

Today, I went to the beachfront with my children. I found a sea shell and
gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said "You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear." She placed the shell
to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear.
She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is totally off topic but I had to tell someone!

December 6, 2011 | 11:16 AM - Posted by shellscriptz

Good editorial! Why I don't play Xbox/PS3 >>> http://goo.gl/kvoDo

However.... I do own a PS3. Back in 2009 if you bought a HDTV at best buy for black friday, they gave you a 250$ blu ray player. If you were weaselly about it, you could convince the store associates to credit you $250 for a ps3 which cost $299 at the time; therefore $49.00 ps3.

If you're like me, also, you buy console games used. This is an option to anyone within driving distance of a gamestop/video game retailer, and should probably be considered, right?

December 6, 2011 | 02:05 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

Thanks for the compliment.

I know used game sales make the console appear better... but:

1) The PC used to have it before the piracy boogyman made the customers allow publishers to take that away.
2) The consoles are well on their way to losing it too. Sony wanted 25-character CD Keys with games. They're just having a hard time justifying it.
3) The underlying problem is DRM... which we need to address for the platform as a whole.

December 6, 2011 | 04:53 PM - Posted by shellscriptz

especially with game-breaking DRM like Origin which is so invasive that it makes some gamers not want to play their games (including myself).

The point of the comment was not to make consoles appear better or argue for that point, it was just to say maybe the ability for people to sell used console games back to the retailer and vice versa versus the inability for retailers to buy and sell used pc games should be considered in the cost calculation. Even if its only minute, they do offer competitive buyback prices for newer games.

December 6, 2011 | 05:06 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

I acknowledge that doing a cost breakdown is ridiculously complicated and that used game sales (while the publishers will still allow it) can reduce the cost for gamers.

At the same token, I also did not account for the owning of multiple consoles + accessories, purchasing the same console multiple times, etc. So it is not like I approximated favourably to my point... I simply approximated because I couldn't do it precisely.

December 6, 2011 | 11:55 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I love how all the numbers are made to make it look more expensive.

Use the Xbox so you can include Live fees when they don't exist on PS3 as you can still play for free. Exclude the huge used gaming market which doesn't really exist on the PC and you can get games much cheaper than the $10 difference.

It's easy to make the numbers look in your favor and I expected no less.

This is just the typical garbage that gets re-hashed year after year by the PC Elite crowd.

I wonder where PC gaming and the Devs would be without the money they make in the console Market. The last numbers I saw for BF3 were something like 5-8 million sold and out of that 500k were sold on PC.

December 6, 2011 | 02:01 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

There was a time that you could purchase used games on the PC as well. DRM pretty much killed that for retailers.

Here are the two reasons why I did not consider it:

1) The consoles are on their way to losing that as well... they just cannot justify it with piracy (they can't with PC either, but people believe them when they say it there)
2) DRM harasses PC gaming in many other ways... and is one of the key problems that we need to address. The thing is, we *can* address it... "the couple that are valid are completely eliminated by a larger core user-base". It is not an inherent flaw with PC Gaming.

Also, that's 500,000 *reported* PC sales of Battlefield 3. EA's Origin Service... probably the dominant method of purchase for the PC version as it's required even if you did not buy it from there {I believe everyone on my BF3 clan purchased it from Origin except one, who purchased from Direct2Drive which is also not counted}... did not disclose their sales figures so they're not included.

Also, even if you remove Xbox Live fees: it is still on par with PC Gaming. (The PC would still be ~$38 cheaper.) I was also very generous with sales of accessories... a single Kinect or PS Move w/ Navigation controller blows that $150 figure out of the water.

August 23, 2013 | 11:41 PM - Posted by Clarice (not verified)

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Holy Mother of Gynaecology! After this, you know that catnip is ten times
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December 6, 2011 | 11:57 AM - Posted by Multi-Gamer (not verified)

Yet another one sided silly argument on why PC's are superior.

I game on ALL platforms, and have so for years. I am a PC gamer first and have been since the Atari 400. However that doesn't stop me from enjoying both platforms as they were intended to be used. You failed to address the only important factor when it comes to Console vs PC and that is comfort and setup for the average person. Sorry but a Couch/coffee table is in no way equal to a Desk when it comes to a proper place to have your mouse and keyboard. In this respect a PC does not work in most living room setups.

Games that I prefer a mouse and keyboard on (most) get played on my PC at a desk where I have proper ergonomics and with a 24" widescreen get just as good of an experience as sitting across the living room from my 55" lcd. Games that I don't prefer a mouse and keyboard get played on one of my consoles as sometimes it is nice to sit back in the recliner and just play a game with your thumbs.

The PC isn't dieing and neither are consoles. They both have a place and frankly articles like this are getting more than a little tired.

December 6, 2011 | 02:08 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

I did not say consoles will die... I said:

"The concept that consoles are better than PCs, given a fraction of the support that consoles receive, is about to die; console supporters are in various levels of grief."

You can easily put a home-theatre PC in your living room and play on it with a controller. As I shown in "Bargaining", you could get that Home Theatre PC for just as cheap as the consoles all-expenses considered.

The point is simple: it is not an inherent problem with the PC.

December 6, 2011 | 12:05 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Would also like to add there is a a lot that goes into how easy it is to game on a console.

Lets compare BF3, right now, guess what, no easy way to establish VoIP in game without getting everyone on your list on say TS, etc... or through Battlelog, then who knows if they have a microphone hooked up.

I think every xbox these days comes with a microphone so everyone can jump in a game and you can squad up and be talking right away, not so easy on the PC.

Also, like it or not, the PC does require some knowledge to operate and some people just don't want that. They want to come home turn on the console and be online. The consoles make it easy and yes you are giving up some stuff that the PC provides but it's obvious judging by sales that its working.

I game on PC, XBox and PS3. In fact I spent $2500 just to get back into PC gaming and run BF3 maxed at not less than 60FPS because that's what I demand on PC. I am in IT and I have lots of friends who aren't that just don't grasp the idea of gaming on a PC, I don't blame them because at times it can be a PITA.

Is the overall experience better on the PC..? Yes even if only from a graphics standpoint.

Consoles are here and are making a ton of money. If you go the route of hitting the used market, buying Live from eBay or waiting for deals you can cut down the costs a lot.

December 6, 2011 | 02:25 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

There are friends, family, small business computer stores, and larger computer OEMs (who would fit the experience offered by console manufacturers) for hardware support and some software support.

Also, the "PITA" problems are not the fault of PC Gaming as a platform, rather the current state of PC Gaming. I think Jeremy on the podcasts is vocal enough about the current state of the platform, but those problems can be solved; the current and future problems of the consoles simply cannot be.

You could of course say unless people settle on a single, unified, open console. The point I'm making is: that's a PC.

----------

Also, going back to the point I made about the W3C -- the internet used to be complicated to use as well. All the members of the W3C innovated in their own ways... and that barrier to entry reduced a lot (amongst all the other things they did, like compatibility). There's no reason the same cannot happen for PC Gaming.

December 6, 2011 | 10:42 PM - Posted by ThorAxe

I plugged my headset into my PC and that was it, I was talking to my squad in BF3. I also didn't need to pay a subscription to play online....perhaps BF3 on 360 is not so easy after all!

As for sales, the PC is about equal with the 360 once you count digital sales for BF3 and leads all platforms on Skyrim.

December 6, 2011 | 12:59 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

For all the words you put out, someone could have thought you put some actual though into this. The Wii, Xbox360, PS3 and PC serve very different markets. Obviously you havnt actually looked at whats available. Ill admit there is some overlap between consoles and PCs, but you wouldnt play a platform game like Uncharted Drake series on a PC. Youd play it in the living room, in a big environment with others. Go look at whats available. I can but will not ever get a Xbox because they just dont have the types of entertainment i like. Same with Wii. As for PCs, youve got to be kidding. There is always some sort of tweaking necessary even on generic Intel/Nvidia, ie they shipped crap.

The costs dont even make sense. You can always sell your console games or rent them or buy them used.

Article just doesnt make sense. PC platform is for games that need keyboard and mouse to properly navigate their environment. Although you can get console controller for the PC, it loses out on the ease of use of consoles.

Every single $60 game on PC has required me to go through the setting options and change a million archaic graphic and other settings to get it to look and play nice.

December 6, 2011 | 02:20 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

"The costs dont even make sense. You can always sell your console games or rent them or buy them used."

Not if the publishers get their way, you cannot. You used to be able to do that with the PC as well. DRM got in the way. Also, the PC in the figure has a MUCH better experience than the console in the same figure.

Also -- I play platformers on my PC. Often with a controller. I could play it on the couch as well except I actually don't really like the couch personally. When I played on the 360 I actually bought a VGA adapter to play it on a computer monitor. The point is that the PC gives you the choice. You could use "a PC" as a home theatre PC with a controller and a media center interface such as the discussed Steam Big Picture -- configured by a local small business computer store if you desire.

There is nothing that the consoles can do that the PCs cannot -- at least as well, if not better. In the long run, consoles are much worse. Sure you could point to issues *now*... but those issues just need a larger user base and more platform support to be mitigated. For the consoles, I could (and did) point to a huge number of issues that simply are not, and never will be, going away.

December 31, 2011 | 09:08 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

" Go look at whats available. "
i quote you.^
obviously, you can hook up any pc through hdmi or s-video or.. rca--- to a tv. in your living room. 8ft from the couch/recliner. all the materials to do this you already own. if not they are availible. furthermore, let me say that a common end-table or tv-tray makes a great place to put a wireless mouse.

"Every single $60 game on PC has required me to go through the setting options and change a million archaic graphic and other settings to get it to look and play nice. "

pc ALwayS? needs tweaking? you are sitting so much closer to the screen on YOUR pc setup, that all those imperfections u have forgiven on the blurry ol ps3?+hdtv show up More.

id bet if you compared pc to ps3 to 360 to wii. you would find out that they are all computers! the article does a great job explaining the differences in them. dont forget that consoles:gaming as apple:cellphones&tablets. You wanna be associated with the crowd that whines, " it just works!"

a true multimedia pc is a lot of responsibility. it is not for everyone. for someone like me (hundreds of games spread over generations) i have two choices lose my sanity and quit gaming, or, consolidate all my games onto pc, using simple backup techniques and free emulators. there are so many advantages it really makes it tough to understand your argument.

best wishes happy new year. ps. with the discs stored safely away. you dont risk damage. best of all you dont have to get up to change the disk.

December 6, 2011 | 03:19 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Great article! I just wish some console-only titles were available on PC, like Fable 2.

December 6, 2011 | 03:21 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

Thanks. I agree -- but without the proprietary platforms like the consoles, there wouldn't be exclusives at all.

December 6, 2011 | 03:34 PM - Posted by Norm (not verified)

I have been using the PC for...well more years then I like to admit at times. I have also been using consoles for just about as long as computers.

Some points I think that have been touched but not clearly stated are as followed:

Support and Accounts:

Do to service obligations, I find myself deployed. Not using my unnamed console for about two months, I receive a letter stating my account is banned for market place theft. I have been fighting a battle to get it reinstated (which has been proved to be a false claim) for the last 4 months. Now without the used of this account the time and money I have spent are down the drain and have to start over again. The problem lying in separate entities within a company for handling support issues. Not once in 20+ years of PC gaming have I received an email saying I can not use any content for any game I have ever purchased on the PC.

Another issue is the bugs. Now I agree that the PC can have more issues with a game then the console, but the inherit reason behind that, is the multitude of choices of software and hardware that interact on a PC. The freedom of choice does come with some pain, but it is that choice that has given us the ability to do for years what consoles are not starting to let you do.

PC games will usually have a longer life span of fixes for games then Console markets. As stated in the article, user base mods, and other supplements have given PC games a longer life span and greater enjoyment to go back and play years after it is off the shelf.

The big console game that has turned my wife into a hard core gamer is also one of the biggest ones she has pulled her hair out about. Fable 3, was not a bad game, but bugs and glitches dragged it down. My wife would check forums and read news, awaiting for information on when there was a fix coming for many problems. To no avail did it come.

Open Platform:

The ability to have an open platform would be great, but I doubt will ever happen. I think the next best thing would be allowing for software openness on an OS level on consoles. The PS3 did start a good thing when they allowed people to install Linux to be installed on a PS3. For the time when this was allowed, the hacking scene was pretty quite. Piracy was not a concern, people could do more of what they wanted with their console. It gave them the freedom to have almost everything they wanted for a box hooked to the TV. Once Sony end that era of freedom, hacking ensued, and piracy grew.

I was one of the people that enjoyed unlocking my original Xbox for the simple reason of installing XBMC on it. To me that was an answer to my want of having something that could steam my media to my TV and still have the ability to play my purchased games without an issue.
----------------------------------------------------------

I do think both PC and Console systems have their merits, but neither will ever be that full and complete solution to the masses. I think the right and left are to divided to ever find something truly in the middle that will satisfy either party.

When you argue simplicity over function. Expand-ability over Stability, you are always going to but heads, and in the end just comparing apples and oranges.

I think what it will always come down to, is that there is a place for both Consoles and PC in the gaming segment as well as the home entertainment segment.

December 6, 2011 | 04:01 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

Thanks for the great comment.

I disagree that the PC *cannot* satisfy what the consoles do (honestly: if the stars align, but they still can)... but you make great points.

December 6, 2011 | 06:38 PM - Posted by JSL

The PC vs. Console debate is as bad as the Android vs. iOS debate in the mobile industry. Frankly, I believe that PC gaming is still by far the best, regardless of bugs (brought on by shotty console porting and developers that don’t know how to code properly because they don’t really care regardless of how they make you perceive it). People are fed BS by publishers and believe it left right and center (can be considered Sheeple / COD Die Hards).

I wouldn't doubt most pc gamers have an android device. Most of the time, perferring to be in control of their experience, moulding it to what they want.

My pc gaming experience: little to no load times (yay 4ssd array in raid 0), higher quality graphics all around (even if I was using my dated HD4890, or even HD3850), ability to be controlled by an exasperated amount of interface devices (including an Xbox 360 controller of all things).
My now extremely dusty desk ornament known as my PS3: other than the 3 or so titles that I actually enjoyed and the embedded Blu-ray player (which I don’t even use), I can’t be bothered to play on it or spend any more money regarding it or titles for it (even used). The current titles available for it are available on PC and it is much more enjoyable to play them on my pc.
EG: Skyrim (Latest hot topic) - graphics difference by 10x(a little exaggerated) ...even without modifications. What save game loading time waits/slowdowns during play? Even the easily fixed issue of backwards flying dragons with the latest patch (I havent experienced it)... let alone the insane amount of user mods available for it on the PC only (of what I know).

Now other titles which Are awesome: Witcher 2 (yeah, I know, PC only), BF3, Metro 2033, Deus Ex Human Revolution, Rage.... can go further back to Mass Effect 2, AVP (the newest one), DA: Origins (pfft at DAII), Fallout 3, the list goes on...

Other than the glitches caused by developer stupidity in testing and shotty code for the ports, the games are all much more enjoyable on a PC.

The only real argument console users have is the simplicity of plugging it in and generally just playing (even after updates from the disc are installed); they're also probably iOS users with their iPhones - It’s a cult following (no offence Allan) just like console users.

Consoles muddle the difference between the excessive simplicity experiences for mouth breathers (as I generally see console gamers staring at the TV breathing through their mouths as they hang open... not in awe) rather than visually encompassing experience for users that demand quality and a truly awe inspiring moment. I wouldn’t doubt that most users of gaming consoles also stream excessively garbage versions of bootlegged movies off malware riddled 'underground' websites.

Justification for spending money on my PC is offset by everything else that I use it for, Running my personal business and finances, Android development, Image editing, Video Editing, 3d Rendering, CAD, etc... my $300 PS3 + 3 enjoyed games was a waste of ~$480 in my opinion which I could have spent on something else that I would have made more use out of.

Troller's will now probably flame in regards to my comparisons or generalized opinions (since this is an enthusiast site), but for the general public I have no doubt that some of my comments may as well be very factual.

December 6, 2011 | 07:05 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

Yeah, you raise another big point that I had to cut for readability of the editorial: you probably already have a PC.

If it's a laptop, I expect we'll eventually have external videocards at some point -- especially since bus bandwidth for videocards is not a dominant factor for performance and CPU performance is not a dominant factor for gaming these days. A dockable gaming or HTPC makes sense to me over some period of time.

December 6, 2011 | 09:26 PM - Posted by JSL

There have been available niche items for external video card support already... but again, its lack of wide adoption has also been its hinderance. But 'Gaming' laptops are yet another one up over a console... complete portability. One can still connect it to a tv and game that way as well, and still have all the functionality of the home pc all in a mobile unit.

I see the options like this;
A console = one grain of sand, A PC = a vase of sand.

December 27, 2011 | 03:04 AM - Posted by Makaiookami (not verified)

There's plenty of great console exclusives that are worth it. Fact of the matter though if you're someone like me who has a girlfriend and you want to play games with her, the only option is a console. But beyond that it's infinitely easier to convince your friend to buy a 200-300 dollar console (depending on employer discounts and etcetera) than it is to explain to them why they need to upgrade, help them find all the parts, help them with the upgrade, teach them hardware stuff, help them troubleshoot, etcetera.

Poor people, children, and those who don't care about having the greatest and would rather plug in a console are always going to go for consoles.

There are plenty of worthwhile games you just can't get on PC. Demon/Dark Souls, 3D Dot Game Heroes, Infamous 1,2, Festival of Blood, Little Big Planet series, most JRPG, etcetera. Not everyone has the same tastes. It's way easier to do local play on a console than a PC. I can't find any PC games that my girlfriend is willing to play with me but have done so with multiple console games. Even if I find a PC game she's willing to play with me then it becomes the hassle of buying new controllers for the PC and going through all the settings and calibration stuff, or trying to fit 2 sets of hands onto a keyboard, doing hot seat stuff, or building and maintaining 2 PCs.

Compare that to handing her a controller, looking on the back of the case for 1-2 local player support, giving her a kiss, and then jumping into the experience.

For people that are poor, for people sharing the same living space, for people that don't want to deal with the hassle, etcetera there are tons of benefits to a console.

You are an idiot or delusional to think that PC gaming is the end all be all and that there's no reason to own both a PC and a PS3. You are just as delusional to think that owning a PS3 is the end all be all best solution, and you are being fairly redundant to own a PC and a 360 since there's a much larger overlap of the same games between those 2 systems and far less variety than you get with the PS3/PC combo. For just my Disgaea series, the ease of use with my PSP, and Demon's Souls alone I find the console worth the money. I like to run netflix on the PS3, while I game on the PC. Especially when I play MMOs.

At the end of the day. Let's all get along, and if you're a hermit who just likes a few narrow types of games and gameplay than ya a PC is most definitely worth it. But if you like a good deal of variety you can't deny that there are perfectly valid reasons to own a PS3 unless you are a rabid and delusional PC fanboy/console hater.

December 28, 2011 | 09:58 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

The problem is you're sacrificing a lot for those perceived advantages -- which can completely be mapped onto the PC given a fraction of the care and attention as the consoles receive.

The issues with the consoles, however, will forever remain... because it is inherent to what they are.

December 6, 2011 | 05:44 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

You did not factor in the time value of money $1000 for PC and $400 for consoles at the start means you have $600 in your pocket to invest with interest over 8-10 years.

December 6, 2011 | 06:58 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

I don't think that's worth being factored in.

December 6, 2011 | 09:24 PM - Posted by JSL

Why would you want to spend $400 on obsolete hardware in the first place? ... and what would you 'invest' $600 in later... more obsolete hardware? I dont think you would buy a Pentium 4 or an Athlon II64 at the prices that they sold for when they were the latest & greatest available within today's market. But when you buy a 360 or a PS3, thats essentially what you're doing.

When you "invest" in something, you expect a return. Investing in a PC (with Windows, OSX or Linux on it) you're going to have a much greater return for your money than any console would give you.

December 7, 2011 | 01:01 AM - Posted by Norm (not verified)

See the price of consoles do drop over time. Same as computer hardware. For $1000 I could buy a nice mid range PC (with monitor) or I could buy a budget laptop, TV, and new XBOX. The later of the two is what I just did for my son.

I think the idea that most console gamers use iPhones, and most PC gamers use Android devices is a bit off. I prefer my Android phones and devices, but I also enjoy my iDevices as well. I develop for both. My wife on the other hand uses both devices as I do, but refuses to game on a PC (still working on that).

Now please do not think this is a flame or what not. I just think that debates need some good intelligent counter arguments.

December 7, 2011 | 02:38 AM - Posted by JSL

Im all for good intelligent counter arguments. :)

I based my arguments on what I've seen around me. And there's a lot of herp derp Canadians in my area (I'm Canadian as well - south of the GTA) that are console/iphone users and would argue pro both even through the majority of them are technically inept.

Most of the android users who actually root their devices that I've met are like me, and they also pretty adept in the generalized info. tech. field. Most of them perfer to game on their PC rather than on a console when they do have time to game.

December 6, 2011 | 10:45 PM - Posted by ThorAxe

Or $400 for a PC that plays games at consoles resolutions and detail or better.

December 6, 2011 | 10:56 PM - Posted by WubbaWub (not verified)

I am a proponent of the PC for gaming but must ask. Why did you not include the cost of PC games in that breakdown table? It would still be cheaper for me but that table is blatantly misleading.

December 7, 2011 | 12:30 AM - Posted by Scott Michaud

I did include the cost of PC Games in that table. However much the PC Gamer paid for a game... the console player paid $10 more.

The console player didn't pay $480 for games... he OVERPAID $480 for games.

December 7, 2011 | 02:58 AM - Posted by WubbaWub (not verified)

Durp...I see. Thank you for clarifying. Great article!

December 7, 2011 | 03:00 AM - Posted by Scott Michaud

Thanks!

December 7, 2011 | 05:19 AM - Posted by Draconian (not verified)

I'm surprised this wasn't mentioned, but one of the biggest advantages of PC gaming is OnLive. With an internet connection speed of 5 Mbps or greater (which most online gamers have), you can play streamed games on your PC, laptop, TV, tablet, and (eventually) smartphone. You don't have to install the games, you don't have to patch them, and you don't have to download video card drivers. And your saved games follow you.

Cloud gaming has the ability to do away with the major disadvantage of PC gaming, which is having to upgrade your video card every few years.

December 7, 2011 | 02:15 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

Cloud gaming services like OnLive have other disadvantages... if they want you to purchase something new rather than play that old game? It's gone from their library. OnLive specifically states in their policies that after three years from first introduction on the service, they can pull a game from your library without refund; if they do it sooner? Partial (prorated) refund.

OnLive is the epitomy as "content as disposable entertainment" rather than "content as art". Surprisingly they're actually slightly worse than the consoles are when it comes to the "Depression" page.

And they won't be more powerful than the PC... they outright said that at I believe it was GDC2010.

December 7, 2011 | 06:44 AM - Posted by alextorex (not verified)

Most people don't want PCs in their homes. PCs are costly to upgrade and to maintain. They don't fit well in small homes.
Since most people have TVs it is just simpler and cheaper to buy a console.

In the long term both PCs and console will die and only the TV display will remain connected to the cloud.
Later also the TV will die and we'll have contact lenses with display and augmented reality games or mobile phones conected wirelessly to flexible displays or showing holograms.

December 7, 2011 | 02:17 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

PCs appear more expensive, but are not.

Also, people read *way* too much into cloud computing.

December 7, 2011 | 08:09 PM - Posted by Justin (not verified)

Good luck playing games when your ISP goes down.
Good luck choosing what games you play or buy. Will you still be able to play Neverwinter Nights or Baldur's Gate on your cloud attached device?

December 7, 2011 | 08:27 AM - Posted by Aquineas

Great article, though admittedly I am biased, as I strongly prefer my PC to my xBox.

Having said that, I think the PC vs. Console argument is strongest in favor of the console immediately after a new console is released. It is then and only then that a console can match (and even surpass in some cases) what the best PCs can do, from a hardware capability perspective. From the day a console is released onward, each year brings a widening gap between that console's capabilities and what even an average PC can do. This of course is filled with assumptions related to how often one upgrades their pc, etc. This will remain the case until Microsoft, Sony, or Nintendo get smart and build their systems modular enough such that CPU and Graphics components can be upgraded (you know, sort of like how PCs are now).

I also believe an increasingly relevant question going forward will be not be the PC vs. Console question, but instead be wired vs. wireless. On the wired side, you'll have PCs and Consoles in the same bucket, while on the wireless side you'll have smartphones and tablets.

December 7, 2011 | 11:34 AM - Posted by yourbuddypal (not verified)

Making consoles modular is not a solution to this problem. Allowing that kind of ability, while appealing to a subset of owners, would do more harm than good for their business model as it would fragment their user base. Software developers would have a very hard time making titles that require an add-on that only xx% of the install base has.

This is the problem with the adoption of both PS Move (struggling the most) and Kinect, and is why MS will bundle Kinect 2 with the next XBox. Lack of fragmentation and ease of use is THE single biggest appeal of consoles and modular components will never be a possibility for this reason.

December 7, 2011 | 09:43 AM - Posted by Ol'dawg (not verified)

I have several thoughts on this:
1) Sure, PC gaming may be less expensive in the long run, but the console has a lower initial out of pocket expense. And that's all many people can afford.
2) I've gamed on a PC for well over a decade, but use a console, now. It is easier, by far, in my opinion. Updates are applied automatically, no searching for drivers, no editing .ini files, etc. Sure, a PC can be connected to a TV, but it isn't natively set up to do so. And, why would you? After you spend the price of a console on a GPU, why would you connect it to a display that is limited to 1080p?
3) It is easier to deal with a hardware failure on a console and software incompatabilities don't exist. After I installed The Witcher 2 on my Windows 7 PC, Windows would often refuse to start at boot. When I had a hardware failure on my PC I had to mail it back to the reseller. You can't take it to your neighborhood PC shop, and to suggest you can is misleading. It took over a month to get it back. When my console died I mailed it in and got a refurbished model back with a week or two. The long wait was associated with the PC, not the console, as you suggested.
4) You complain about the proprietary nature of consoles, but that makes software development easier, as the hardware configuration is fixed.

December 7, 2011 | 10:22 AM - Posted by Adam (not verified)

I liked the article and generally Agree. Also Console games are jsut about never on sale and cost around $60. While I can often get my PC games for $40 or less. Lately there have been many $50 and $60 AAA titles though. I don;t know why I paid $60 for BF3 on the Pc but its a damn good game.

December 7, 2011 | 11:37 AM - Posted by yourbuddypal (not verified)

I'm a PC supporter and must say that this is simply not true. If you watch the prices of console games, they do drop within a few months of release. Uncharted 3 was already as low was $40 I believe, and thats within about a month of release.

December 7, 2011 | 10:33 AM - Posted by drbaltazar (not verified)

in MY view!the game maker are going at it this way:they dev for console then once that is made they adapt it to pc!ok where is our uber powerfull game like say 64 bit,dx11,24p optimised etc etc etc.the sad truth is aside from very limited situation like wow did patch dx11.game arent optimised for pc they are optimised for console then ported to pc.and when they do start in pc it is always with the idea that it has to be portable to console (again this limit)so tell me what does the pc has the the console dont.hell they have had kinect for a while.they are going to make kinect avail for pc soon.see again ?consolle first then pc.pc come has an aftertaught for them.why because most game maker feel there are too many standard too many stuff to support in consolle you got what 3 consolle at most to support on the whole a lot simpler.

December 7, 2011 | 02:38 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Your excuse whenever something is in favor of consoles is that it doesn't have to be that way, that if only this or that changed, the problem would go away. Shoulda, woulda, coulda. We could give the same excuse for every PC advantage.
Consoles still are easier. With only minor exceptions, they always will be.
I agree PC gamings costs are exaggerated though.
You act as if there are no trade offs between consoles and Windows. I disagree because every difference I see seems constrained by economic realities. A proprietary console is DRM. A Steam like system is the only viable DRM solution for PCs, but that destroys the used game market.
A non proprietary universal console would abandon all the advantages for game producers, so they would turn it into something indistinguishable from a PC anyway.

December 7, 2011 | 05:54 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

That is basically my point... these are the ways we're screwing ourselves. It is not something the consoles can fix, because in order to fix it, they need to become PCs ("indistinguishable from PCs") themselves.

I already said that Windows is not ideal -- it's more open than the consoles, but for art to really flourish we need to run on legally-enforced perpetually-free standards, such as Linux.

The profitability of the consumable model for entertainment is dangerous for us on a cultural level. That is basically the submarine point I wanted to make with this editorial.

December 7, 2011 | 03:06 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

One more thing to add;

I have 3 consoles on my HDTV and a PC with an i5 2500k and a GTX580 on a 2560x1600 display, so I know the greatness of PC gaming.

But I prefer single player games, and I play them once or twice all the way through. For this, Gamefly has no equal on PC. Steam sales are great, and I certainly take advantage, but for $150 I can rent any game I want for a year. That is less than the cost of 3 new PC games. And as a member, I have a discount on buying their used games that still are in great shape and have all the original dlc and codes. I bought DA2 and Crysis 2 for $14 combined a few weeks ago from Gamefly.

Again, trade-offs, not one being better or worse.

December 7, 2011 | 03:17 PM - Posted by John (not verified)

This article's appendix could be a lot better if it were elaborated.

December 8, 2011 | 01:30 AM - Posted by Scott Michaud

Thanks for the feedback. It is a bit anaemic, but the point really was not all to big anyway. It is just to shatter just how sure people are that PC gaming is more expensive, despite fewer pockets being filled.

December 8, 2011 | 05:44 PM - Posted by castlefox (not verified)

I almost never buy games at full price of 60 bucks unless its a game I am really looking forward to. I have never re bought old accessories from when I had my ps2. My ps3 is online service is free. I also have been renting 3 ps3 games from my local library for the last year for free. I would have liked to see other cost comparisons. That did not assume what was assumed in that cost break down.

I personally think the REAL reason why people have been buying a console over a gaming PC in the latest generation is that a console is 400 bucks and a gaming PC you assumed is 1000. Many more people have 400 bucks to splurge on VS. a 1000.

That all being said. I'm greatly looking forward to building a gaming pc and installing linux.

December 8, 2011 | 07:27 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

Kind-of. I'd say more generally: marketing and giftability.

As for the cost comparison, the point was to show "Hey, this is a much better experience with the PC... and it's cheaper. Thus, arguments that the PC is more expensive are simply wrong."

The PC *can* be more expensive than the console... but only in special cases otherwise it wouldn't be worth it for the company to MAKE the console. Example -- if you borrowed all your games from the library, the console manufacturer would make no money... thus they would not sell the console under cost. Obviously on average they're expecting to make profits... which means on average they expect people to throw their money away.

December 8, 2011 | 07:22 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I agree, Over a consoles life span they are much more expensive,

STEAM on PC is king...

GTA4 + DLC = £4
Bioshock 2 + Bioshock 1 for FREE = £7
Oblivion = £4
Crysis + Crysis Warhead = £7

The list goes on, You're talking well over £200 worth of console games for £22. I bought Dead Space 1 &2 in the recent STEAM sale for £8, Again about £60-80's worth if bought on console.

Factor in greatly improved image quality, Higher frame rates, Higher graphic quality, Games that are actually rendered at HD resolutions and not fake up-scaled HD like the consoles.

The last console I owned was a PS2 but never again will I go back to them..

December 9, 2011 | 04:36 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I see this article doesn't factor in actually having friends on the platforms, considering a large amount of people get consoles for their friends do. They'd probably call you bitter, for they're happy and you're not.

December 10, 2011 | 03:37 AM - Posted by Scott Michaud

This article summarizes really well -- which gaming platform to purchase based on your friends.

http://www.theseize.com/?p=81

December 10, 2011 | 12:37 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

good opinions, but i would like to point out a couple issues. First of all, you seem to ignore the way lots of people get games which is borrowing them from their friends. When im done with a game, i can loan it to all my friends who can play for themselves. 10 years ago we could do this with pc games as well, but now with constant connections required to fight piracy, our glorious publishers have decided we dont need that option anymore. It seems the position of the industry is that the physical game is irrelevant, you are purchasing the right to play the game on only one account and can never transfer that when u r done. this is of course utter nonsense similar to the crap the record companies were pushing to kill used cd sales right before napster ate their lunch. Sharing with your friends is good right, not according to steam.
Which brings me to my second point, the constant connection requirement. I can play my console games anywhere in the world where i have power and have the full single player experience i crave. When i got into steam, i thought that offline mode offered the same option, Then my dsl went out for a couple weeks. Try it sometime. Unhook your computer from the series of tubes known as the internet. Try to boot steam, the first thing it does is try to go online for offline mode, then shut itself down when it can't connect. so therefore the only way offline mode is worth anything is if you know before you lose your connection that you are going to lose your connection. How many of the connection problems youve had came with a warning. Therefore you lost your whole steam library. Also, lately all of the ea games on steam wont even play in offline mode without being able to connect to server. So what do i do when i lose connection and threfore every steam (well over 100) ive bought. Play my consoles which work just fine offline. So i guess my point is that each has strengths n weaknesses, but i think you missed a couple huge weaknesses for pc gaming that i have been experiencing lately.

December 10, 2011 | 02:16 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

Consoles are turning into that. Again, it's a problem with nature of the industry turning into consumable entertainment rather than intrinsically valuable art. Consoles are designed for the former nature where PCs are better suited (although not best suited until we get past proprietary platforms altogether) for the latter.

Just don't let publishers use DRM... or at least not after an initial launch window (though that extra control hurts them, publishers are addicted to it, and it's not too damaging if it gets removed very quickly)

December 24, 2011 | 12:41 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

This is already the case on consoles. To play any EA game online (like battlefield 3) you have to have a pass which comes with the game. If you buy used or let someone borrow it, they have to pay $15 for the pass. Soon all games will have this which means that used 3o dollar game just became 45, more than many games cost on steam.

December 11, 2011 | 03:09 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

This be bull. Everyone says the PC is dieing and everyone says console gaming is dead, yet both keep breeking there sales records. So long as theres money in it both arn't going anywhere any time soon.

December 13, 2011 | 09:50 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I wish this was true. I really do. Truth is, at 1080p with giant pixels on flat screens. Most consumers can't tell the difference in quality nor do they care to uses a mouse and keyboard as a means of interface. A nice wireless game controller and DX9 is frankly good enough. Almost all new blockbuster PC games are console ports and this trend has increased and not decreased. And honestly, until we are all able to run games like Crysis 2 and Metro 2033 on sub 500 dollar boxes there will be no change in the trends that show a decline in PC gaming. I am PC enthusiast and I have to admit that its way too much money to build a system that has awesome gaming performance, especially when both AMD and NV are lagging so far behind in giving people enough VRAM on even their most expensive cards. Discreet graphics cards are awesome, I have two in SLI and love them, but they are incredibly over priced compared to every other part of my system.
8G of DDR3 ram @ 1600 cas8 = 80 bucks
i7 2600k @ 5GHz+ = 300 bucks
z68 UD7 mobo = 300 bucks
120g SSD = 150 bucks
A pair of GTX 580s = 1100 dollars?

This is why console gaming has eclipsed PC gaming and will continue to do so until GPU makers can find a way to lower prices drastically.

BTW- a 2600k for 300 bucks with 8g's of nice DDR3 is far more powerful (and better at math) than a couple 580s.

December 13, 2011 | 09:55 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

one last thought- I will be excited when I can buy a motherboard from Gigabyte or EVGA with a socket for my CPU and my GPU. Let me install both chips and decide how to cool them. That is the future of discreet graphics.

December 27, 2011 | 03:14 AM - Posted by Makaiookami (not verified)

really at the end of the day if you swap the 360 out for a PS3, and include decent gaming mice and keyboards for your gaming PC your PC is totally more expensive. The current decline of the 50 dollar PC game and the rise of the 60 dollar PC game offsets the 10 dollars a game savings, and then there are other factors like amazon, trading in old games you'll never play again, etcetera that will further denounce your arguments for the PC.

At the end of the game quit trolling and get a PC and a PS3. There's no reason why both can't subsist and look at console sales during black friday. There's no way you're going to convince all of those parents that they'll save more money for their kids or that it'll be a better use of their time energy and effort to get them a PC instead of a 360.

What REALLY needs to happen is that companies need to give you a steam version with your console version. If they do that, then every argument you've made becomes m00t and pointless. You buy the console version because you get the PC version with it and you make your judgement on which is better without any additional increase in price based on changing your mind.

This article is just a waste of time really. You only make your point in a very narrow circumstance. I doubt you've convinced a single person and worst of all, it's a 1 size fits all solution that is written in a way to demean and demoralize people who have more varied preferences than you do in this realm.

December 28, 2011 | 09:53 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

Actually the largest points I made against the consoles were how they damage art due to their disposable nature. The rest was to disprove that the PC is any worse in any way.

And the consoles will continue to be disposable ad-infinitum. That's their goal. Be a vessel for consumable and disposable entertainment... not timeless art. Because consumables have churn... and make big 2-week sales.

But hey, if you have a PS3 that can play the majority of old games -- great. Better hope it doesn't get serviced otherwise say goodbye to your old collection. Chances are the one you're getting back cannot.

December 31, 2011 | 09:48 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

u mAd?

"At the end of the game quit trolling and get a PC and a PS3. There's no reason why both can't subsist and look at console sales during black friday. There's no way you're going to convince all of those parents that they'll save more money for their kids or that it'll be a better use of their time energy and effort to get them a PC instead of a 360."

since im a parent.. when my 4yr old grows and has gaming needs. he'll always have the family gaming pc. after demonstrating responsible behavior, he'll get my hand me downs! if he wants a console.. well, im sure there's a chore for that.

"This article is just a waste of time really. You only make your point in a very narrow circumstance. I doubt you've convinced a single person and worst of all, it's a 1 size fits all solution that is written in a way to demean and demoralize people who have more varied preferences than you do in this realm."

pc gaming: a difficult thing to explain to people. ive tried. If OP convinced 1 person, then i say thank you to him.

"What REALLY needs to happen is that companies need to give you a steam version with your console version. If they do that, then every argument you've made becomes m00t and pointless. You buy the console version because you get the PC version with it and you make your judgement on which is better without any additional increase in price based on changing your mind."

btw, you are not very persuasive either.

December 31, 2011 | 09:53 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

ps. how do you backup movies and music on a console?.. i know its possible but it seems like it would have to involve an x-86 computer. or maybe you can use the competitors box

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