Recently, gaming has seen a surge in popularity with the rise in broadcasting of professional gaming competitions around the country. With the evolution of Massive Multiplayer Online (MMO) games and the continued success of first-person shooters among other game genres, both PC and console gaming offer a broad spectrum in how players can play.
Many consider gamers as split into two categories: PC gamers and console gamers. PC gamers use large personal computers to play games with high-quality graphics, while console gamers play games on consoles that do not require constant upgrades and upkeep.
The debate amongst gamers between using a PC and using a console involve several arguments. Clayton Allen, a senior majoring in aerospace engineering said PC gaming is the way to go.
“PCs and desktops have a wider variety of hardware than consoles do, so they run better and look better,” Allen said. “PC gaming usually has a higher skill ceiling, and that’s why PC gaming is more competitive and generally more popular.”
Allen plays games on both a PC and a console, but ultimately prefers to use PC, where the graphics and speed are boosted due to increased customization. This customization is one of the root discussions between PC gamers and console gamers.
Many gaming PCs are built to certain specifications by their user, to make the gaming experience optimal. Consoles are pre-constructed and sold in a box direct to consumer. Both sides have benefits for their users, but one sacrifices convenience for quality and the other vice versa.
Forrest Dover, a UA alumnus, weighed on this topic, citing an experience building a PC for his gaming use.
“Building a PC can be intimidating and expensive, but it’s a worthwhile investment if you plan to spend more than a couple of hours a week gaming,” Dover said. “You can use sites that will give you the best deals across the Internet on different parts and makes sure that all of them are compatible.”
Aaron Bonner, a senior majoring in journalism and former CW gaming columnist, discussed the costs of building a computer to use for gaming and recalled a time when he realized how high the costs of PC gaming were. Bonner explained that a new game being released was going to be released on consoles at a later time than on PC, and considered changing from console to PC.
“I saw how much it cost to upgrade,” Bonner said. “I would have to upgrade my case, just to have another HDMI port. I would have to get a new graphics card and a new processor. I would have to upgrade so much that the cost of all that, upwards of a thousand dollars, made me realize that I could just wait the extra month to get those games on Xbox or Playstation.”
Bonner explained that he understands the heightened quality of PC gaming, but still chooses to play on consoles for newer games because he doesn’t care to sacrifice the convenience of his console. Gaming on a PC and a console is not much different in Bonner’s eyes.
Ultimately, Bonner expressed that his reason for using consoles has to do with convenience. He plays Xbox, Playstation, and Nintendo consoles, and enjoys being able to buy new games when they come out while not having to worry about sitting at a desk or having to buy new parts on a consistent basis.
“For me, consoles are more convenient than PCs because you can just go in a store and buy something,” Bonner said. “To me, PC gaming is more something I do on my laptop. I play older, more lightweight games that don’t require a ton performance-wise. Consoles to me are just easier.”
The argument between console gaming and PC gaming boils down to the decision of convenience and cost versus experience quality and customization. Dover, a recent newcomer to the culture of PC gaming, expressed his sentiments on the debate between the two.
“For people not wanting to deal with technicalities and who enjoy the ease of use, a console is perfect,” said Dover. “If you’re looking for a fun gaming device to play with friends on the weekend, a console is the way to go. If you’re looking for better quality and customizability, a PC would be great.”
The great game debate: Gamers talk PC versus console gaming