What Do You Need to Know About Console Gaming vs PC Gaming?

Console gaming used to be the ugly, red-headed stepchild of games. Let’s just get that out of the way.  

In the video game world, for the longest time, the name of the game was the PC format. It’s easy to understand why. 

When you buy a PC, you have on your hands a piece of hardware that can do a million things and then some. It is designed that way from the chip on up.  

It has better capabilities. It has more memory. It had everything.  

This has been the upward trajectory of PCs ever since they became commercialized in the early 1980s. In fact, if you were to look at the speed of a typical CPU, it’s nothing but mind-blowing because it seems to double after so many years, and it seems so unstoppable.  

On the other hand, there were the Atari or early video game consoles, and they weren’t looking too good.  

First, the graphics suck, and the sound quality wasn’t all that good. Plus, the computing power of early consoles was nothing to write home about.  

It seemed that PC gaming was just blowing console games out of the water. If you’re serious about gaming back then, you bought a PC and got down to business. 

Well, things have changed.  

Console Gaming Has Leveled Up  

If you were to get a PlayStation 5, you would be blown away by just how different it is from earlier Nintendo sets as well as earlier versions of the Xbox and PlayStation. Not only is today’s console gaming superior in terms of graphics capabilities, but it also provides a very powerful computation platform. 

Put simply, since a video game console is a computer that only has one job, it can devote all of its resources and firepower to getting a limited range of tasks done excellently.  

This, of course, puts the PC at a disadvantage. Since a PC — gaming computer or not — can be used to do a ton of other things besides gaming, it has to be more versatile. It also has to allocate resources instead of restricting them to one specific use.   

How the times have changed! 

Console Gaming’s Trump Card 

What makes console gaming so popular among casual and hardcore gamers is that it offers a happy compromise between value and performance.  

The great thing about specialization is that when a factory just does one thing and one thing alone, it tends to get good at it. It also produces an economy of scale. 

And it’s no surprise that console gaming is the first thing that comes to people’s minds when you tell them that you’re into gaming. They would ask you in an instant which platform you’re on. Are you on the Xbox or the PlayStation? It almost goes without question.  

Well, this is due to the fact that console gaming hardware is so specialized that each console can be sold at a fairly affordable price while delivering top-notch hardware performance.  

You’re getting a specialized computer. You’re not getting a video game console, which is just a stripped-down, second-rate piece of hardware.  

Back in the 1980s, that’s what people had to settle for when they bought an Atari console. The Nintendo console that become all the rage in the mid-1980s was not all that better.  

But times have changed drastically. Now, when you buy a PlayStation 5, you’re buying a top-notch computer but with a twist. Its job is to deliver the best video game playing experience.  

And the best part? It knocks the ball out of the park every single time.  

The Advantages of Console Gaming 

The advantages of console gaming boil down to specialization. Since this unit only has one job, it is very easy to use, it’s plug-and-play, and it is very versatile when it comes to your gaming needs. 

Most importantly, you don’t need a technical degree or to become some sort of brain surgeon to figure out how to set it up, install new games, and make sure that the games are working. 

Another amazing and relatively new advantage of console gaming is that it won’t become obsolete. It is now upgradable to a point.  

Compare this with older consoles where you basically are stuck with the state of technology at the time it was released. That Atari box that you have from five years ago is going to be inferior to newer versions that are released, and you have to buy each new version. 

Another great thing about console gaming is that it has enabled a lot of gamers to collect games. When you buy a package that contains the game, you can collect it. And it doesn’t matter what system you are on. 

Gaming consoles are also up-to-date with hardware technology. They have amazing wireless connectivity. They are also designed to work with high-speed data connections.  

Finally, gaming consoles are very social. A lot of games out there plug into a network so you could play with other players located all over the world. You can easily do that from the comfort and convenience of your living room, thanks to your PlayStation or Xbox.  

The Downside of Console Gaming 

I don’t mean to give you the impression that console gaming is bullet-proof. It does have two key drawbacks.  

First is its backward compatibility. You’re only as good as the latest version of your hardware platform. While it can be upgraded up to a certain point, once a newer version comes out, video games that exist today may not be playable on that new platform.  

The other disadvantage is the fact that PCs when fully upgraded, will always be able to perform at a higher level than console games.  

Please understand that console games only have one job. An upgraded PC, on the other hand, can be split between high-performance video editing work as well as a tremendous amount of number crunching.  

When properly upgraded, a PC blows a video game console out of the water every single time. But when it comes to gaming performance, you have to get a console or a gaming PC.  

If you’re just going to compare a gaming console with a regular PC that you use for spreadsheets, it’s a no-brainer. Go with the console.  

PC Gaming 

Make no mistake. PC gaming hasn’t stayed in place ever since it got overtaken by gaming consoles in the gaming space.  

The main advantage of a PC is that you get to customize your hardware for maximum performance.  

Indeed, a basic PC configuration can’t hold a candle to the gaming performance of a video game console. But if you were to take that basic PC structure and upgrade its memory and graphics processing unit as well as its hard drive, you will easily beat any video game console. 

The downside to this is that these high-end peripherals are very expensive. You also need to make sure that the main motherboard you’re upgrading can be optimized for gaming specialization. At this point, the amount of money you spent on your PC would be way more than if you had just gone out and bought a video game console.  

Another great advantage of PC gaming is that the graphics are better. In fact, a lot of the new video games coming out are so graphics intensive that the only real way to fully savor the technical wizardry behind such games is to play that game on a PC.  

You’re given so much control with a PC than with a console. You can adjust and control the sharpness of the graphics. You can upgrade the graphics card to meet the maximum requirements of the developer of the game you are going to play. Of course, the graphics card can be very expensive. 

Also, a lot of graphics cards are upgradable so you can keep slapping on more memory to these cards to maximize visual quality.  

Another great advantage of PC gaming is that you can customize them in so many ways. You can customize the headsets, the accessories like joysticks, control wheels, wireless controllers, wireless mouse, or keyboards. There are just so many directions you could take.    

Also, for each of those peripherals, there is a wide range of manufacturers with their own specific twists and design specialties.  

One of the main advantages of PC gaming is that the games themselves cost less than console-based games. While there are some indications that consoles will be able to download directly from the Internet, this has not been widely adopted. This is far from the standard.  

The good news is that this has been the standard with PCs for a long time. So, a lot of PC games cost way less because they don’t have to go through the manufacturing process. You can just download them off Steam and other game networks. 

Since a lot of PC games are found on online libraries like Steam, you have access to a wide selection of games. You don’t have to go to GameStop to physically pick up a game for your console.  

The main disadvantage of PC gaming is that it is very expensive. Let’s just get that out of the way. This is especially true if you have a standard PC and you upgrade it. 

Also, if you buy a “budget” gaming PC with some elements stripped down, you best believe that it’s not going to be future-proof. It will easily be obsolete after a few years.