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