You have most definitely come across a discussion on this topic somewhere on the Internet. Which is better for gaming, Consoles or PC? Before we answer that, we have to delve a little deeper. All video games are not created equal as far as gaming platforms are concerned; we all take that as gospel fact. Some games perform better than others, while others just bewilder the imagination and perform superbly across all platforms. However, does the hardware really make a difference? As you can see by the title of this article – yes, yes it does.
That’s because PCs generally run on more powerful components than you’ll find in consoles for your TV. As a result, a PC can add more detail in games that you’d never see on the console versions. So why get a console? Consoles, are cheaper to buy and can last for an entire console generation, and are much easier to troubleshoot, but games tend to be more expensive. PCs offer better visuals, a higher number of indie titles, mods, and more affordable games while being substantially more expensive to buy than consoles.
Of course, to run games on the highest graphics settings on PC, you may need a powerful PC that costs a lot more than a console and to be fair, the graphics on both the newest consoles – PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One X are stunning, but not as stunning as they can be on PC. Everything from the speed to the rendering is just far smoother when you are on PC (Insert PC Master Race comment).
Now that we are all on the same page, let us take a quick look at why owning a PC still gives you the edge in the gaming war.
Factoid: Minecraft is the second-best-selling PC game (30 million copies sold)
Minecraft, it should be noted, has quietly been dominating video games this entire time. Back in 2018, over 91 million unique players logged in every month across all platforms. The game has surpassed uber-popular, Fortnite as the most-searched game on YouTube. Minecraft is having a moment again, and it’s reminiscent of one of YouTube’s earliest gaming trends known as the ‘PewDiePie Effect’.
Like all the best indie efforts, this survival, crafting and exploration game started on PC, and it is also where the fullest version is. Sure, the console ports are much more polished, easy-to-run, and have stuff like same-screen co-op included. There is a whole host of skins and mods that are just available on PC, along with all the more mature stuff for Minecraft. A working computer that simulates another computer? On PC.
Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, Xbox One, PS4, iOS, Android
Factoid: Counter-Strike began as a mod atop Half-Life‘ engine GoldSrc.
As shooters go, Valve’s multiplayer shooting game has been the most played game in the world, but only on PC. Over the years, there have been some truly terrible console versions of Counter-Strike – remember that Xbox port? Although it is not all puppy dogs for PC, anyone remembers Counter-Strike: Condition Zero?
Despite all of that, Counter-Strike has almost always been a better experience on PC, from the first release to Counter-Strike: Source. The latest version of Counter-Strike, the terrifyingly famous CS: Global Offensive, is only on PC (for now), which is a pretty big bonus. There is just something natural when aiming is done with a mouse and keyboard; it goes together like a high-powered peanut butter and ultra-responsive jelly. The frame-rate stays high on proper hardware, and finding matches is much easier with Steam’s matchmaking engine.
Platforms: PC, Xbox, Arcade
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Factoid: Voted the best role-playing game at the IGN Best of E3 Awards in 2013 & 2014
Let us run it back. Boot up the Witcher 3 in your Xbox One X or PS4 Pro and you may be completely lost as to why anyone would ever consider this one of the most graphically impressive games of the generation. Start it from your Steam library, however, and you’ll see what we mean when we say consoles hold The Witcher 3 back from achieving its full potential.
With the first two games having been developed for PC and then ported over to consoles, the third title in the series took a detour. With the developer and publisher CD Projekt Red releasing Wild Hunt on all three platforms simultaneously. They even admitted to the visual burden the console versions of the game put on their PC counterpart, asserting that the only reason they were created at all was to secure a sufficient enough budget.
While mods may be rare compared to some of the more playful content contrived from the Skyrim and GTA V communities, there are still many things there to enhance the adventure. There’s even a mod that transforms combat into fan-favourite card game, Gwent to one that replaces the flat tint of the game’s graphics with a more saturated arrangement of tones; there’s a mod for every you and every me.
Platforms: PC, Xbox One, PS4
Factoid: Valve stated that it was the fastest-selling game to date on their Steam platform
While we wait for Skyrim on Xbox One and PS4, the PC version of the game is the only place that looks amazing. Remember that with all its awesome graphics, the Xbox 360 has 512MB of GDDR3 RAM clocked at 700 MHz – which to put into perspective is way less than any modern mobile phone, let alone a modern PC. Hence Skyrim on Xbox 360 are amazing technical accomplishments, but the one-true-version is on PC. If you love open-world fantasy games, PC is your home.
Moreover, we have not even mentioned the thriving mod scene for the Elder Scrolls games on PC. The Steam version has integrated mod support, meaning you can just pick a mod from a vast curated database, including free stuff made by Valve and other professional developers.
Platforms: PC, Xbox 360, PS3
Factoid: First released in 2002 on Microsoft Windows and OS X.
2019’s favourite punching bag. It’s hard to remember now, but the PC was always the mythical home of First-Person Shooters (FPS) – well up until Halo came along, there was an active and vocal community that debated that you could not do an FPS on a console. So, when Battlefield was born on PC in 2002, with Battlefield 1942, Vietnam, landing before Battlefield 2 came out on Xbox 360 just after the console’s launch in 2006. Given the documented flaws of the system (512MB of RAM), it was not exactly a PC killer.
The controls were remarkable, given that the game involves helicopters, tanks and planes. And it has to be said that playing on PC is much more satisfying, given the access to all forms of control – sniping is more precise with a mouse and flying is steadier with a joystick.
Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, Xbox One, PS4
Are there any games we forgot to include? Comment in the section below with your picks for Game Titles that perform better on PC than consoles.