Occasionally, being the PC fanboy that I am, I have conversations with my friends who are just considered console gamers. I often ask them "Why not just get yourself a gaming computer so you don't miss out on the console games that are better on PC?" Their response? The typical "I don't have 2 Grand to drop on a gaming PC" or "I don't want something that is going to cost me a lot of money to fix when I can get a console that doesn't have problems."
But now in the present it doesn't seem like that argument is very viableÖ
Let me create a little hypothetical scenario here. I probably dropped over $2000 on my computer in the past two years. I spent about $500 buying my friends old rig, bought a new heat sink and memory and a sexy Radeon 2900 Pro and some other accessories. Itís a lot of money I know but bear with me.
So along the course of two years I have had no problems. Like most PC gamers I make sure to keep the inside of my rig dust free, defragment and clean up my HDD often, check my temperature levels to make sure my memory, GPU and CPU aren't overheating and virus checks. My computer is immaculate.
Now lets look at Jonny 360 player. He bought his 360 for $500 dollars around when it first came out. He takes pretty good care of it because he spent a lot of money on it so he wants it to last of course. Well one day he goes to play and he gets the Red Ring of Death. He did everything right and still is console is fucked. So now he has to send it back to Microsoft to get it fixed. Too bad for Jonny.
Of course this may be a bit exaggerated but hopefully you get the point. With consoles growing in power almost (big emphasis on almost) rivaling a PC, you're going to start to run into PC problems: Overheating, bad memory, Hard Disk Failure and so on. Only difference between PCs and Consoles is that the PC gamer can optimize and take care of their Rig much better than a console gamer can take care of their console. I am aware that there are people out there who are intimidated by the thought of gutting and cleaning their PC but everyone this day and age has to have some sort of a tech friend that can help out with those sorts of things.
So what though? It still doesn't justify dropping $2000 on a gaming PC. Well for one most gaming PCs can be built around the $1000 mark and run exceptionally well. And yes for now it might not justify buying a gaming PC but if trends continue and consoles get more powerful will Sony and Microsoft know how to make a console thatís efficient and cost effective? We've seen what has happened with RROD and I have read rumors of PS3 Hard Drives going bad (although I read only one instance of that). How will it feel when you drop even more money on the next next gen console only for it to fry on you or the HDD go bad?
This is where Microsoft and Sony fail in my opinion. Console gamers should not have to worry about these issues. PC gamers, especially those who build their own rig, know of the consequences that happen when running a high powered machine. And if something fries its usually our fault and we go get the parts we need and fix it ourselves.
Console gamers can't do that and are not supposed to worry about such things. They buy consoles so they can pop in a game and play it, no worries at all. Now they have to worry about consoles overheating and other hard ware issues that most of the time have nothing to do with the gamer but the manufacturer.
But back to the point on hand, sure PCs can and usually do cost a lot more than consoles but we get the option of repairing and maintaining our high performance rigs. Console gamers on the other hand just have to rely on the quality of the manufacturer. Although I am sure despite this gamers will still prefer consoles over PCs but Microsoft and Sony should realize this for the sake of Console gamers. For the price kids are dropping on these things nowadays they shouldn't have to worry about "breakdowns."
And until both companies allow gamers to buy parts like HDDs and such to fix and replace their consoles (LOL) they are dependant on the corporate machines and their reliability.
So are PCs still that unreasonable to buy?