PC vs. Console

One question…

How many of you have played games on a console but not on your PC? Alternatively, how many of you play games on your PC but haven’t bothered to buy a console, or have one collecting dust somewhere?

I’ll comment more after I see what the responses are like.

End part one….

26 thoughts on “PC vs. Console”

  1. I’ve played Halo 1 on both PC and Xbox, and I greatly prefer PC. But then I grew up doing FPSes on a PC, not a console, so I find the mouse much more natural to aim with.

    Alternatively, I dont think I’d like doing Halo 2 as much on a PC, just because the dual triggers are much too intuitive for dual wielding for the PC to match.

    Otherwise, I don’t do consoles at all. It’s all about the PC for me.

  2. I’ve always been a computer gamer since forever, and never owned any console. I played console games many, many times at friends’ houses or the friendly neighborhood EB or whatever, but never owned one.

    Many reasons for that. Let’s see:

    – Way back when, when I started playing with games, it was my dad who bought me the computer, and later on the games for it every once in a while. According to the social and economical realities of the time and place, with us technically living in ‘the third world’, it was possible to afford a small computer and just get games however (no, piracy did not start with the Internet, kids), than to get a console and no possibility of getting games for it that didn’t involve pawning an extremity.

    – Later on, when I finally started to earn my own money and started to get some massive acquisition power (ha!), yeah all that is nice, but I was still living in ‘the third world’, and at the time I was there there simply was no way of getting games legally (console or pc, didn’t matter). The internet was still nowhere to be seen, nobody imported games legally, so screw it. The decision to remain with the computer as only platform was easy, because I could not afford to own two systems at the same time. And even if I could, I sure as hell could not afford having to feed two systems at the same time, pirated software or not.

    – Nowadays, I hardly buy any games, but on the other hand I play probably a fraction of the games I played in years past (no kidding. I was pretty compulsive about it). I stay with the PC now for a number of reasons, chief of all that it plays the kind of games I like to play: Online games, FPSs, RPG/strategy titles and the ocassional flight sim.

    Another reason: I know that, if the devs permitted it, games that I get on the PC are usually expandable, moddable, changeable and fixeable if needed be much more comfortably than their console equivalent.

    Another reason: Every once in a while I like to support independent devs and basement programmers, of which there are practically none in console land.

    Another reason: Inertia of over two decades of playing games on a computer. Won’t deny it.

    All that said, I considering at some point getting a console for the kids, since some of the games I’ve seen can really be pretty fun. Can’t beat consoles for quick, 2-3 people together dumb fun. Which I think is great.

  3. I have a number of consoles which lie sleepily in the area beneath my television, waking only occasionally to provide a rousing game of Wii golf or a little nostalgia from Tactics or Disgaea. My Xbox 360 has less than 2 hours of play time logged and I’ve had it for months.

    My PC, on the other hand, is like a work horse. It must be exhausted.

  4. I have a PS2 and an Xbox360, and a laptop, which I use for gaming. (It’s one of those huge widescreen laptops that’s not portable ;)

    I play single player on the console, and use the laptop for MMOs. So at the moment it’s Bioshock on the 360 and LOTRO on the laptop.

  5. I get a console every 12 years, whether I need one or not. I had an Atari 2600 in 1977 that began to collect dust when I got an Apple ][ .

    In 1992 I got a Sega Genesis as part of a bonus for a project. It gathered dust after only a month and I eventually sold it to a co-worker.

    This year I got a Wii to have a family friendly console so my daughter and I could play games. But I view that as recreation and family time.

    Gaming happens on my computer. Rare is the console game that has the depth and content to hook me for anything like the long term.

  6. I have an xbox (original flavour) and I mostly use it for media related activities. It also gets some use for the limited co-op games available when I have 3 friends over.

    If I can get a game for console or PC, I would also go with the PC option. Its more convenient, its more flexible, generally it is just better. It could just be that the games that I like (RPGs, MMOs, FPS) work better on the PC (and no I don’t count Final Fantasy type games as RPGs, they are adventure games with a battle system).

  7. I’ve a certain distaste for consoles because I absolutely hate the controller. The keyboard and mouse is just so much easier and flexible.

    I had the original Playstation but didn’t play very much on it. Mario cart was all I played. As for the Xbox, it’s clocked less than 48 hours of play time and I’ve converted it to a media center cum storage device.

    Other reasons are similar to what Julian has mentioned.

  8. I have both and play both. Each has it’s own lil niche to fill in my gaming Nirvana. My PC is used mostly for MMO’s (WoW and EVE active, trials of various others) followed by my RTS games, and then some FPS (Half Life 2 and Vampire The Masquerade Bloodlines taking most of that time atm).

    My consoles run the gamut from RPG’s, to action/platformer titles (GTA3 all version, God of War 1 &2). It’s not just about controls in games, I really love the story in games like God of War or the Halo series and think any true gamer could appreciate the story of either.

    I think limiting myself to just one platform is well silly really. One is not inherently better than the other. This whole “snobbish” attitude a lot of PC only players (not the ones posting here..yet :P )have just irks me. Somehow because I like to play console games it somehow makes me a mouthbreathing idiot who doesn’t deserve to play “their” games. Gimme a break.

    I think the main thing I like about my consoles is that 4 yrs down the line a game released for it will run perfectly fine on it, whereas odds are good that unless I had a bleeding edge PC to start with, 4yrs down the line my PC isn’t going to run much of anything at a respectable graphical quality or frame rate.

  9. I played consoles for a long time mainly because the total cost of ownership seemed so much lower. With PCs, since I could never buy the “best”, I was always behind, games never looked good, etc. But with a console it would last 4-5 years and used to cost much less to begin with.

    But MMOs changed all that. Now I splurged a few months ago and got a nice pc just for gaming so I put my plans to buy a console on hold. If I buy a console anytime soon it would be the Wii.

  10. I have played Bio Shock and the Dynasty Warrior series on console only.

    I find action games to be best played on a console

  11. I’ve always owned both and played on both frequently.

    If a game is released on both platforms, the deciding factor for me is usually which control scheme makes more sense for that particular game. I bought Oblivion for my 360, but Battle for Middle Earth 2 for my PC.

    One reason I buy consoles is probably exclusive games. After that, perhaps reliability. I don’t have to worry about software compatibility problems or the game not being optimized for my individual hardware setup. At least, that used to be the case, though the Darkness and Strangehold demos have frozen my 360 every time.

    Anyway, there are multiple benefits to each platform, but I don’t see anytime soon that I’ll stop buying consoles.

  12. I’ve played games on both, but due to time and $$$ constraints, only one had to take centre stage in priority. That would be my PC.

    The xbox (original) is collecting dust, though I keep wishing that I could find time enough to at least finish the games I have. All the hot new PC games (MMOs and FPSes and RTSes) are putting a serious crimp into that plan though.

    I actually like the console controller system for certain games, action-oriented ones especially, and I have a USB gamepad for console games ported over to the PC.

    As for reasons for prioritizing PC over console, a fully upgraded PC has prettier resolutions and more flexibility than a console. Especially if your TV is crap (lack of $) and your desktop monitor is higher in quality. A number of good console games also end up ported to the PC eventually, even if one has to wait 2-3 years for them.

    And in my country at least, console games cost a little significantly more than a PC game, so I would be burning a larger hole in my wallet buying the same number of console games versus PC games.

    The war of the three new consoles is causing me some serious drool factor, but the investment cost of choosing between one of them, getting games for them, then finding time to play them is just prohibitive at the moment.

    Ah, if only there was a RL cheat code for unlimited time and money! :)

  13. I started out as a console gamer. My dad introduced me to Atari and Intellivision before I could really understand what it was. From there, we eventually moved on to Nintendo. And we had that for a long time. We couldn’t afford a computer but yet we made do with the NES. And the SNES.

    And then we got a computer – but because I needed to use it more for school. And I met the likes of Sid Meier’s Civilization and it was over from there.

    Since then, I’ve been transformed into a PC gamer primarily, although we did get a Wii and I have gotten my husband to get used to console gaming (since he was solely a PC gamer and didn’t have consoles growing up).

    So here’s to being on both sides of the fence. And here’s to PC gaming!

    Jeromai: There is no MLI (Wolfenstein cheat code), no Konami code (yay for consoles) IRL. Ah how we can wish though ;)

  14. 90% of my gaming is on the PC. Scratch that. 95%.

    I have had consoles in the past, but the PC just cuts it for my gaming style. Every game that I have played on a console, and then tried it on the PC, the PC version outperforms. (I have a PS3 – like controller, on top of the old keyboard and mouse.)

    Now, the console that kicks serious Rat-Tail, is the Wii. My *wife* bought it because she played it at a “girls night out” party (I know, she’s wild, can barely contain her.)She is *not* a gamer by any sense of the word, either.

    I love the Wii. I play the most basic games (Wii Sports, for example) but it is an absolute blast. Friends come over and everyone can participate. My 2 year old son started by hitting baseballs on the Wii, has now moved to Golf on the Wii, and it has actually trained him how to use them in real life. He has a t-ball set, but could never figure it out, and a little plastic golf set. After playing on the Wii the past few weeks, he now drives 200 yards and one putts. (That last part is an exaggeration. He does, however, hit the little plastic golf ball with his little plastic card around the yard, where before he would try to eat it.)

    We recently picked up Zelda for the Wii, and the controls are SO much fun. You swing the Wii controller like a sword when fighting. I will never leave my PC for my “hardcore” gaming sessions, but truth be told, every game I play now I dream up how it would, could, or should play with the Wii-mote.

  15. I primarily play only MMO and FPS (I did play a number of FPS titles on my Dreamcast, but I bought the Sega mouse and keyboard to do so) games on the pc and all else I play is on the consoles or handhelds.
    My Wii and PS2 may not see as much play-time as my PC on average (thanks grindfest developers from Korea), but when I pick up a new solo game like Final Fantasy or Zelda, I play it like a heroin addict for story-driven gaming, typically finishing the often 80 hour main story in a week or so, followed by a more leisurely second helping for the side-quests. I’ll sometimes pick up a platform/action stye.. but they get finished in a few days and typically are sold to the 2nd hand store for the next console game purchase. Guitar Hero on the PS2 manages to get some attention on a daily basis, generally for a half hour or so before I get the rest of my day started.
    The Wii particularly, has been a fantastic purchase for me.. My mom will sometimes join me for a few games of bowling, my nephew gets a real kick out of games with real world motions (Zelda’s sword-slashing, steering wheel controls of racers, and the obvious sports games), and the multi-player modes in Rayman, Wario-Ware and Mario Party make for a great night when I have a small party of say 10 people around (no matter how many of them consider themselves “gamers” of any kind.)
    I also do tech support-type work, often involving countless hours of compiling, file-copying, Windows installs and so on.. As a result my first DS spent so much time on and was re-charged so often I had to replace the battery pack, and eventually replaced the unit with a DSlite a few months back. Animal Crossing, Nintendogs, Pokemon (RPG-lite appeals to me when faced with the prospect of watching 3 hour progress meters on a dozen monitors at once) and Brain Age all have several hundred hours logged on them, with fair helpings of time spent on the GBA versions of older SNES titles as well.
    If some bizarre situation came up, the handheld would be the system I’d chose were I allowed only one for games, but I’d certainly miss the MMOs.

  16. I’ll take the PC over a console any day. The PC allows me to multitask much better (chatting/browsing/etc) while playing games, and has finer controls and a better modding community. I’ll pick up a console of each generation for console-exclusive games (usually of the Sony brand because it has more RPGs than all other consoles and the PC combined).

  17. oh well… i started to play on a pc… i had a lot of games spread from a C=64 to a pentium4. Then last years i’ve bought a nintendo Gamecube Xbox Ps2 and i’ve left my pc in the dust.

    That period last more or less 2 years.

    Then i have discovered the mmorpg and it’s more or less one year and an half i don’t play a game on a console (well only one: guitar Hero I & II). What a game console lack is the community of people you know day by day and grows with you doing the same things, sharing the suggestions, and so on. Or at least i missed it.

  18. I had a PC since I was ten – and a C64 before that – but about a year ago, I gave it away and got myself a Wii. I don’t relly play PC games anymore (WoW was the big exception… good thing that runs my Mac) since I just don’t have the time anymore, and that’s where the Wii comes in. It’s just much more suitable to the casual gaming I’m doing nowadays. Of course, there are a lot of games that won’t work on a console, mainly because of the input devices, but what I really like about the Wii: You turn it on, it boots in seconds (come to think of it, kinda like the Commodore), you don’t have to install drivers or patches or do any of that arcane hocus pocus that is required for many, many PC games, and since patches are pretty much out on the Wii, the developers must have good QA, and it usually shows. Bugs on console games are very, very rare, and I always wonder why PC developers can’t do that.

    However, I really like Age of Conan, so I might get a new PC after all… we’ll see.

  19. I have owned or currently own the following consoles:

    Sega Genesis
    Playstation 2
    Nintendo 64
    Sega Dreamcast

    I have maintained a ‘gaming PC’ since the early 90s when I started playing NeverWinter Nights on AOL.

    I don’t really play or buy consoles anymore, mostly because the games they produce just aren’t my style anymore and the cost is prohibitive to the total enjoyment I get out of a game. At one point in College we had 5 consoles hooked up to our TV with close to 500 games to chose from, and we played the hell out of Tony Hawk 2, Twisted Metal II (PS), Goldeneye (N64), FFIII, Zelda, Rock&Roll Racing (N)

    Most console games lack consistant replayability. I mean the 4-5 hours a day for weeks or months on end type of replayability, that I derive from MMOs. True exceptions to that were Tony Hawk and Twisted Metal. We probably logged 1000 hours on those two games…

  20. i’ve never owned a console in my life (if you exclude the atari knock off my parents bought for me 25 years ago); although i *have* bought games to play on other people’s consoles – and not bought the subsequent PC version when it became available.

    all of my ~45 hours per week gaming is done on a PC – i swear i’ll get around to buying a console one day, but then i’ve been saying that since the SNES was released.

  21. I play on both. I owned all of the last generation of consoles, and out of the current one, I’m only missing the PS3. Adn given the price cut on the 60G model, I might be getting one of those when Heavenly Sword comes out. Or it might wait another year. Regardless, I’m sure that I will own one. I also play on the PC, and I keep it fairly well upgraded. It’s at or above the price/performance break most of the time.

    I will say that I’ve changed which genres I’m willing to play on each. The big change for me is the FPS. Even 3 years ago, I wouldn’t play an FPS or even a third person shooter on a console. Now, unless I’m expecting solid mods to come out for them, I tend to prefer my FPSes there. Part of that is having a much nicer setup, in terms of screen size and sound, on the consoles. Part of it is that I can spend some time cuddled up on the couch with my wife enjoying the storylines as they unfold, as with Bioshock. If the Marvel MMO on the 360 is any good, I may start playing MMOs there as well.

  22. I’ve got a 46″ Sony HDTV, Xbox360 and short of a few demo’s or video trailers I never play the damn thing.

    Typically I find that even if I do find a game I like on the console I don’t enjoy playing it with the gamepad and wait to get it on the PC so I can use a keyboard/mouse (I’m a diehard WASD user).

    So for more it really comes down the the controls, and the fact the majority of game genres like FPS’s, RTS’s, and MMO’s are pretty much exclusive to PC’s for my tastes.

    This hasn’t been a recent thing either, I’ve done it before buying the original XBOX and that collected quite a bit of dust too.

  23. I have an Xbox and PS2 and two “moderate” gaming PC’s for the missus and I. My console games are largely gamefly rentals and “bargain bin” purchases… though I did fork out for Guitar Hero II.

  24. While I do the majority of my gaming these days on the PC, that’s because the majority of my gaming these days are MMOs. I do have a 360 (actually my original Xbox too) and I play that quite a bit as well, but I’m hooked on MMOs. Both platforms have pros and cons, and I’m not going to put my nose in the air and prance around like an elitist PC-only gamer.

    Bottom line: I am a GAMER, not a PC Gamer or a Console Gamer. I can appreciate both, and I especially appreciate when developers don’t cater to the “consoles are for kids” mentality and actually put out some console games with depth.

    Otherwise, sometimes I just don’t feel like sitting at my desk in front of a monitor with my hands on a keyboard and mouse. It’s nice to stretch out on the couch with a widescreen HDTV, wireless controls, and get some game on. Certain types of games lend themselves to consoles as well. Tomb Raider for example just feels more natural with a gamepad and is not the type of experience I’d care to have at my desk. I cut my teeth on FPS starting with Duke3D then Quake on til now with BF2142, but I can also appreciate how the console controls work, especially after Halo. BioShock, again, I’d rather do it on the console since it’s not a fast-paced run-n-gun shooter. It’s slower and tells a story, and for that I’d rather have it on the big screen. (Bonus: I get to avoid its nasty copy protection)

    I game for the experience, and I like to have all types of experiences, and a single platform can’t yet give me all of them.

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