Published on February 19th, 2016 | by Muse Shake2
My descent into PC gaming
I am a console gamer. Call me what you will, but it’s what I am, and it’s a badge I wore quite proudly for a long while, after all console gaming is more ‘friendly’. It’s designed for fun, to play with other people on your couch, for games to just work, and as someone who holds a ‘Why not have both’ attitude, relatively without conflict. Sure you get the occasional die-hard fan-person trying to start an argument, or the cries of ‘It’s better on PC’ every time you talk about games, but on the whole it’s a peaceful existence, and I was happy with my life.
I built my rig nearly 3 years ago now. The main reason was for graphic design purposes, so I needed at least some grunt. I also wanted something to game on, I mean, why not have both? As a PC noob I enlisted the help of a friend and approximately $800 later I had a PC that could play any game I wanted and handle graphics software. It was fun, I felt smart and satisfied, and other than loading a few games to test I pretty much ignored it as a gaming machine.
The new generations of consoles rolled out, it’s the first time in my life I’ve had the income to get consoles on launch, so much so that I got all three. After all, why not have… everything? I wasn’t allowed games as a kid, so my adult life is filled with a lot of compensation. I was so excited by all the new features, and the promise of newer and better games, but something kept whispering in my ear ‘it’s better on PC’.
What was worse was when the PC proved it. Not so much the games, to me the games are much the same. I haven’t yet launched into the world of mods so much, and I do like the console guarantee that they will work on the box that I own. It’s the added bits, the things that are trying to be next gen and failing. Features like the addition of streaming, or taking screenshots, or online purchasing that are let down by the proprietary implementation of limited apps. Hardly any games come with split screen capability anymore, the downloadable content is expensive and without competition, and I’ve even found myself using Windows 10 streaming to play my Xbox One on my PC so I can use Twitch on a server that is an acceptable speed. So.. Why have both?
I probably always will, finances willing. I hate the idea of missing out on games that are exclusive, or not being able to play with a friend because their choices are more limited than mine. I still have been making my game purchases on console, but more and more I’m starting to ask myself why. My controller plugs into my PC and works flawlessly, hell the PC even plugs into the TV and actually utilises the 4k monolith to consumerism on my lounge room wall. None of the things I used to cite as validation for my preference seem to exist in this new generation and I’m torn between my console heart and my PC head, and I think I’m scared of joining the choir who once mocked me. Can it really be that much better on PC?
The future looks bleak for a purist console gamer. Nvidia and steam are trying to blur the lines even further with their streaming boxes, and from the other side things like Apple TV and whatever the Ouya was trying to be are knocking at the console door. I wonder if the definition of a gaming console is changing, as the rotating wheels of technology usher in the next generations. The current consoles are really just a small step away from being PCs, just close enough for the difference to be frustrating. Perhaps this is the state of technological evolution, perhaps PC is the final form of consoles as we know it, and that will be the end of the decades of the console wars. I’ll tell my grandchildren of how I supported both sides, they’ll likely call me a coward for that. I’ll then tell them how it was all true, how it really was better on PC.