The appearance of new game consoles from Sony and Microsoft in late 2020 for many console gaming fans turned out to be a real disappointment.
The fact is that the new PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S/X are not enough, even for those customers who made pre-orders. And while the subsequent shipments are pending, let’s discuss whether it even makes sense to buy a separate device for gaming, or maybe it’s better to raise the money for an excellent new PC (or to upgrade it)? After all, unlike the PlayStation and Xbox, the PC platform is a workstation and generally more versatile equipment. You can play Indian casino online on PC, but not on console. But who knows what changes are waiting for in the console market soon?
So, which is better – PC or console, PC or PS4 /5 / Xbox? First, let’s make a face-to-face comparison.
The difference between new consoles and PCs
Several technical nuances distinguish gaming consoles from most personal computers, namely:
- The ultra-fast NVME SSD drive. Of course, no one is stopping you from installing a solid-state SSD on your gaming PC (especially since HDD hard drives have long since been scrapped), but not every motherboard has an NVME connector. SATA, with all due respect to this legendary connector, is no longer considered fast, as M.2 NVME speeds can reach 5000MB/s and 700k IOPS (on a PCIe 4.0 x4 interface);
- Hardware-level data decompression. The speed of data transfer to the drive, already lightning-fast, is just fine with the set-top boxes. It has always been the weak point of many desktops;
- The optimized rendering algorithms. For example, Sampler Feedback Streaming technology allows you to compress texture sizes up to 10 times without losing good picture quality. Variable Rate Shading technology, patented by AMD, increases gaming performance from 2% to 9.4% in various scenarios by compressing frames at the level of shading.
- And there are more than one or two of these exclusive technologies for consoles. They lead to more efficient use of RAM, saving CPU resources for other tasks, and increasing the free video memory. The same game on a console and PC may require different amounts of video memory. And PC graphics cards with large amounts of VRAM are notoriously expensive.
The advantage of consoles
Usability plays a significant role for most because not all gamers (techno-bad guys don’t count) enjoy a vast selection of the right video card for their needs and tasks. And in the future, you will also have to fill your head with upgrades. Console players do not need to install various special programs (DirectX, OpenGL, etc.), clients Steam, Origin, and other services. And what a lot of dancing to do when you need to configure a PC gamepad to work with the PC
With consoles, it’s easy. You don’t have to deal with any of the above. Of course, the first time you turn it on, you have to configure the console (rumor has it that the new Xbox is a bit of a fuss), but they’re all more or less understandable, which can not be said about setting up the joystick on the computer. So in terms of ease of use, the question of which is better – PC or PS4 / 5 / Xbox – is not worth it at all. Victory is clearly on the side of the consoles.
Constant work on the feature set
The absence of the need to calibrate the game settings to the video card, the availability of various handy features such as quick screenshots, video recording, and streaming with a few clicks – all this, even if not very significant, still elevates the consoles to the PC. Here, we should also note that sharing or publishing content on a PC is faster and more convenient. Nevertheless, developers at Microsoft and Sony are constantly increasing the number of features and adopting successful solutions from computers.
For example, in the Xbox One, relatively recently appeared support for control using the mouse and keyboard in several games, including Fortnite and Minecraft. And these peripheral gadgets have been released not specifically for the console and in the most ordinary, familiar to the computer user form.
And what the outliers are – a big, big secret. But not for “bakery” fans. And it seems that this problem will haunt desktop owners forever. In addition to the usual crashes from the game, there is also the notorious “blue screen of death,” driver crashes and graphics card overheating (although consoles also heat, no doubt). However, unlike computers, console gameplay is not accompanied by stability problems.
PC games with a split-screen for two (or even for 3, 4 players) – a considerable rarity. Here you are sitting with a friend over a bottle of beer or something non-alcoholic; you do not have much to do that would play something together. And then you remembered that somewhere in the nightstand lying around gamepads—the choice of what to play with two on gamepads on PC – very small. If you find such a game with a high probability, you will face problems with joystick settings. And if you had a console, a vast game world would be at your service!
Local offline multiplayer supports numerous games on PS, Xbox, and Switch. Just connect another gamepad, and you will not be bored anymore. It is especially true for families with several people actively involved in gaming. More detailed information about live games can be found here.
Consoles are cheaper
We will discuss the cost of games for different platforms, but now on the agenda of the paragraph – is the question of the cost of the machines themselves. Here, for example, you want to play the same Red Dead Redemption 2, albeit not at maximum settings, but in 4K. To get the minimum comfortable 30 frames per second in this resolution, you need a sound graphics card, at least Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 (below chart shows FPS of various graphics cards in the game). It costs about 35,000 rubles. The price of the Xbox One X is about 30,000 rubles. And how much more expenses will have to incur to buy all the other components for a personal computer.
So in the question of what is better – a console or computer for gaming in terms of the device’s price, the first option wins with a considerable margin. The console is much cheaper.
Nothing contributes to a good quality product for the end-user like competition from the manufacturer for his wallet. For example, Sony and Microsoft have been fighting for customers for decades. As a result – various expensive exclusives for players, special game services (for example, Game Pass), monthly free games, sales, good discounts, major upgrades for operating systems.
Of course, generous offers come from PC game services, but PC hardware developers have no means of influencing game developers. Especially in reducing the burden on PC hardware and optimizing it for software.
We are speaking of exclusives. It is another undeniable trump up the console’s sleeve. Many good releases like God of War and The Last of Us have passed by the PC platform, and in the future, the situation is unlikely to change in favor of the PC platform fans. Console developers understand that at the expense of a popular exclusive can attract a large audience of customers. Many players buy consoles, in particular PS4, only for the sake of exclusives.