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Confessions Of A PC Lover

Tamsin Oxford

The console can never, ever compete against the majesty of the PC.

Confessions Of A PC Lover

Yes, you console lovers out there, I mean it. The console just doesn’t count as real gaming and frankly it never should.  The PC is the true master. This wonderfully demanding, complicated and expensive creation has been the heart of gaming ever since the first game was created on the first computer way back in 1952.

Gaming is not for sissies

From the very first, the PC has asked the gamer to learn complicated controls and get personally involved with hardware issues and fiddly upgrades.  These lovely machines are difficult, sensitive and expensive - often you’ll spend the entire night waiting for your game to crash for no good reason.

Confessions Of A PC Lover

PCs will shun you, argue with you and then they’ll blow your mind with smoking graphics, rocking fps rates and gameplay smoother than a baby’s bum.

That, dear console user, is why gaming is not for sissies.

It’s about getting your hands dirty.

Every hard bitten, old-school gamer has spent hours beneath their desk, covered in dust, muttering about graphics or motherboard blowouts. Dedicated, addicted aficionados whose single most identifying characteristic is the thermal paste on their jeans. This is how PC gamers earned the right to control the moves of Duke Nukem or kick ass in Quake.

Even pixellated heroes have standards...

Speaking of moves

I will grudgingly accept that fighting and racing games can actually be more fun on a console. That’s ok. I’m not asking for any form of intellectual or story-driven stimulation when I smack someone about the face or hurtle my car across rapidly changing terrain.

Confessions Of A PC Lover

It’s when I pick up an FPS that I shudder at the thought of playing it on a console. Ghastly. How can you compare the hundreds of different keyboard controls and delicate manipulation of the mouse to a plastic gizmo that has a couple of buttons you can press?

I also object to the idea of playing a game that developers have spent hours perfecting, while sitting on the sofa. It’s almost offensive. I don’t begrudge you your creature comforts but show a little respect.

What about the games?

PCs get all the great games and all of the consoles’ too, neatly ported for our voracious all-rounders. For console fans, disappointment is all too common an occurrence. Many games are released exclusively for one platform or another leaving the console with far less choice.  While this is rapidly changing, you generally have to own all three consoles if you want to play every game your heart desires.

When it comes to the games themselves, those designed for the PC have great replay value and demand far more skill from a gamer.  While titles like Halo, GoldenEye and Metroid are beacons of brilliance in the realm of the console, they still feel hollow, empty and unrealistic to the PC gamer.

PC Games have had a lot more effort invested into them by the developers. Gameplay is longer, richer and far more detailed with strong stories and great characters.Confessions Of A PC Lover

Let’s face it, console games feel as if they’ve had the soul sucked out of them. Made to appeal to a wider market, console games are a bit like a damp and fluffy towel – it works but it isn’t very satisfying. Adding even more weight to the PCs scales is the fact that two extremely popular and brilliant genres, namely strategy games and MMOs, don’t work on consoles.

Oh, the interweb

So it is, then, that in the world of online gaming the PC continues to rule the roost.

There’s a distinct lack of inter-connectivity between the different consoles and when it comes to online gaming you’re generally restricted to your own network.

I, on the other hand, can skip gaily from one online game to the next, waving happily at my PC friends as they join me wherever we decide to go.

Confessions Of A PC LoverWhile I grudgingly acknowledge that consoles are inching towards becoming more adaptable, it will be quite some time before they can enjoy the vast number of applications that the PC does. There is nothing on the scale of World of Warcraft for the console. Besides, WoW on a PS3? You’ve got to be kidding me. The moment that door opens you just know there’s about to be a stampede of snot-nosed junior know-it-alls pressing the jump button at every opportunity.

Thank all that’s holy it’s easy to mute annoying idiots on voice chat when you’re playing multiplayer on the PC.

Harder on a console...

Before you sputter about graphics

I know, there are two sides to every story and the console does have some advantages over the PC but we still win - you can’t upgrade. Consoles are stuck with the same technology, the same limitations, for at least four years but PC owners can quickly improve that graphics card after a five minute jaunt to the nearest shop.Confessions Of A PC Lover

If our PC breaks down we can generally fix it ourselves. None of this sending off the precious ickle console to a special place where it disappears for weeks at a time.

Which brings me neatly to my next point...Can you do work, word processing, modding and printing with your console?

No, you can’t.

Now excuse me, I need to go home and fire up my beautiful baby with her stunning red modded chassis that I spent hours making. I want to spend some time with her word processing capabilities and craft my novel. Then I think, after an hour or two, I’ll saunter with the confidence of an old-time gamer into my latest FPS that asks far more of me than just falling sideways onto a couch with a controller wibbling on my belly.

P.S. I win.

Add a comment9 comments
John  Sep. 18, 2009 at 14:27

Could have been a good article a few years back but feels seriously outdated now, you claim the PC gets all the great games and the consoles as well (which are usually shoddy ports), what are all these great games? Depressingly genuine PC releases are very thin on the ground these days leaving PC gamers to be more focussed on playing the same game over and over again hence MMORPGs and L4D/TF2 being so popular.

As for PCs breaking down and generally being able to fix it yourself, that's just total nonsense - PCs have been suffering the likes of the thermal problems the current generation of consoles now do for years, if you're running a high end PC you're more than likely to experience the joy of a blown graphics card. Even in the lower end, thanks to manufacturing flaws Nvidia produced massive batches of faulty graphics cards. When Rock, one of the mains suppliers of performance laptops in the UK were having problems some people were without their entire PC for many months at a time. Dell offer onsite warranties on their performance machines (as well as many of their others) however you're at the mercy for collect and return for most other machines.

As for console games being soul-less if I didn't know otherwise I'd suggest you didn't have a clue about the current console market but I realise you're just being deliberately controversial to incite responses which admittedly does work.

I am a genuine PC gamer and it's hard not to be frustrated with the current state of the market, I remember the days when the PC market was where much of the innovation was and used the flexibility of the platform extremely well. Pretending everything is fine in the PC market and better than ever is just wrong to me but I guess denial works for some.

Gunn  Sep. 18, 2009 at 14:27

While I was reading that, all the reason's you gave for preferring the PC is why I prefer a console lol investing in a console that won't go out of date the moment I take it out the box is great, I will be able to play games in 4/5 years time without having to fork out for upgrade parts.

While I don't need it myself you can have Linux on a PS3 (certain models only). But the thing is the problem I have with this argument is that it sounds like people have to make a choice between a console and a PC, nowadays most people will have a PC in the house, now while it might not be the top spec gaming machine it will still be able to play most games. So I can have my PS3/Xbox/Wii etc but still play PC games, I don't have to miss out.

Lydia Low  Sep. 18, 2009 at 14:59

"just falling sideways onto a couch with a controller wibbling on my belly"

No wonder you're not so keen on console games if this is how you try to play them! ;O)

Shadow  Sep. 18, 2009 at 15:31

Consoles are just a level playing field.

Only real advantage of a PC is mouse / keyboard

ZedEx  Sep. 18, 2009 at 16:03

I was a PC Gamer of many years (10+) , but since being convinced by my non-PC freindly mates :) , i bought a PS3. I was surprised at how well FPS played on a console and using a pad, i never thought i would get anywhere near my counterstrike accuracy using a analouge stick yet after a few months of console gaming i would say they are almost on par.

The choice of games on the console far out does the PC now in terms of the latest releases and big name games. I found that games would be ported to the PC rather than the otherway round and that the release date was much later than that for the Consoles on alot of occasions causing me to become frustrated waiting for games to come out on the PC.

As mentioned above the console is no longer just a games machines, the PS3 now has downloadble content equal to the pc, has an internet browser, BBC iPlayer so i can watch tv threw that in bed or while relaxing on sofa , also as mentioned the ability to install an OS such as Linux and following fairly easy to follow instructions online Windows XP can also be made to run on a PS3. All these new functions an abilitys mean that the PS3 and presumably the Xbox (dont have one so cant be sure) are now very much on par with a PC in most respects.

The upgrades you mention for the PC also cost money, when playing couterstrike etc i used to upgrade my card at the very least once a year at roughly £100 a pop, over 4-5 years the life of a £200 console, £400-£500 on graphics cards alone without any other upgrades such as RAM, HHD's, Gaming Mice etc kind of puts things into prepective.

If you have given console gaming a serious go and didnt like it for whatever reason fair enough, but from the article i would presume you haven't. Dont fight it like i did for so long and get out of your PC orientated gaming world and broaden your horizons, you may well get a nice surprise.

Raptor309  Sep. 18, 2009 at 20:51

U are right .There is nothing like play a game on a PC.I don`t give a shit if it costs money I work hard to buy the things I want ,and play CRYSIS on my quad core tri sli 285 rig with the most beautiful graphics ever made for a video game . I bought my 10 year old son a x360 and u no what , I hate it .And there is a big difference between a pc gamer and a console gamer .Console gamers like exclusives, PC Gamers like to play games.

UberBoY  Sep. 18, 2009 at 22:28

Awesome article,

1. Yes you get your hands dirty, I love it, open console, void warrenty (fail)
2. Quote 'Console on par with PC" WTF, Console = low res, frame rate, particles, textures. PC = Graphical perfection. (Yes it cost a bit more but WOW look at that game now! HOLT S#!T)
3. Control, an anologue stick is way off being able to aim with a mouse with adjustable DPI and incremental aiming, with console they almost always have Auto aim whether you have it turned on or not its alway on, just not super auto aim, PC = all skill perfect aiming. Headshot all the time, not by fluke.
4. Games, all the games are made on PCs and those made for PC & Console always look better on the PC with out argument. So what does that say. The performance off a console graphics card is the same as a very low end GPU, like a HD4650 approximatley, that is just not very good. On a PC all the grphic settings would be very low to play same games on Console, especially Xbox360. PS3 at least has some balls.

I own PS3 for fun family style and casual games, all awesome on it, but never would I attempt to play a real decent game on it ever again. FPS = Fail on console (such low end graphics) Halo struggles with view distance and is less than 720p.

Marius Goubert  Sep. 19, 2009 at 10:33

I agree, PC rules

Paul K  Sep. 19, 2009 at 14:09

I was a pc gamer for many years until I realised i was spending more time faffing about tweaking for optimum performance than i was actually playing games. Theres always that nagging feeling at the back of your mind with a pc that the experience could be better if only you can squeeze a few more fps out of it. With a console you can just chill and play.
One thing I was shocked at when i first bought a 360 though was the live experience, i was like "wheres the dedicated servers?" Could not believe they are charging a subscription for basically nothing. Don't play online now cos they insist on connecting you to a host thats 3000 miles away most of the time so it kind of ruins it.
So yeah pc deffo wins online.


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