About a year ago,I was quiet content sitting in front of my tv, controller in hand ,head set on ,playing Call of Duty and raging at the little bastards that were casually murdering both my character and my self respect.Then, something changed. One day I realised that I didn't want to play my Xbox any more.I had become bored of all the FPS games I had loved for years and after sinking over 200+ hours into Skyrim ,I couldn't face starting off another character let alone bicker with some self righteous Viking fuck. I went searching for some new game to fill the void and returned empty handed. I was sure this was the end and then I discovered The Witcher 2. The brilliance of the game on the xbox made me curious about how it was different on the PC and what the first in the series was like. The more investigating I did the more I came across other PC titles that tickled my interest. My mind was made up. The Xbox had become a place for games I no longer really cared about, it was a vessel for younger gamers to explore and dominate, not an old cynical asshole like me.I was going to get a dedicated gaming PC.
Don't get me wrong. I loved playing consoles as far back as the Sega Master
System and I am far from an arrogant PC gaming snob that thinks PC's are far superior to consoles.It's just that I want something different from my gaming experiences that consoles can't provide.After 30 years of gaming on various platforms its only natural that I should get bored and let my eyes wander.
I had always wanted to get a dedicated PC gaming rig but the usual myths always deterred me from taking the splash and doing so. I believed that it was too expensive, too complicated and there wasn't as much of a selection of decent games available on the PC. Consoles seemed like a cheaper better option for me. I was wrong.
About 6 months ago I built an entry level gaming PC for under £500.It plays most games on the higher settings and the few it won't, operate smoothly on medium.If I was to wait for the next gen consoles to come out, I'd probably end up spending similar money on them but wouldn't have access to the massive back catalogue available on the PC. It may have been the case years ago that it was difficult to set up games on the PC for old idiots like myself ,but thanks to platforms like Steam it has become as easy as turning on the Xbox and clicking the play button. The variety,competetive price and sheer amount of games available for the PC is stunning. There is a massive back catalogue of games I never played before just waiting for me. Also, thanks to the likes of Steam and GOG the price of PC games has dramatically dropped . With the money I could spend on three new Xbox titles I could buy maybe twenty games for the PC that I was genuinely interested in.
Not only have I found PC gaming to be actually cheaper in the long term, but I have discovered that games, that would die after a few months ,on consoles have a longer life span on the PC.The ability to mod games is one of the reasons for this.Games like Left for Dead 2 have a fairly substantial modding community creating new game modes and maps which rejuvenate the game. The DayZ , for Arma 2,is a perfect example of a mod extending the life of an older game.After the release of The DayZ , Arma sold more copies than it had in the two years since its launch.
It was only after discovering mods that I realised how much I was being robbed on consoles. Constantly console players are forced to pay for add ons just to slightly extend their enjoyment of an already expensive purchase. While this also happens on the PC , its not as frequent.Alot of the time, if a company allows it, modders will create content for free that is often just as good if not better. Why pay for old Call of Duty map packs when some one has already created them and released them for free. Along with being charged for content that should be free, Xbox users pay a subscription just to play online. While it could be argued that a good service is provided for the price compared to the poor quality of PSN, the same quality of service (and usually better) is available on the PC for free.
With out overly bashing consoles or coming across as a fanatical New Born PC Gamer, I can safely say that I have found my gaming platform of choice. Part of me is sad that I didn't arrive at this point sooner but I'm also glad that I spent so much time one consoles. Compared to PC gaming, consoles are more community based and its easier to arrange games and make new gaming buddies. While not impossible on the PC, a bit more work is involved.I made a lot of friends on the Xbox and have some wonderful and truly horrifying memories of gaming on it for almost 5 years, however that time is gone, and I am ready for a new stage in my gaming life. Hail Hordak....