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LONG BLOG

Let's clear up the console wars, shall we?

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Alright fellas, this topic is as old as I am: which platform is the best to game on? This battle has raged on ever since people had choices regarding gaming and I want to go a bit into it, objectively, to answer that question. Not in regards of consoles against each other, but in regards to the good old PC vs. Console topic. Now before anyone wants to accuse me of fanboyism: I consider myself a gamer and not a company fanboy. I have a dozen consoles from all the players, besides a PC, in my house. Back in the day for example my grandma had a Sega Mega Drive (fuck you calling it Genesis), I had a Super Nintendo, and we traded back and forth. I have an X-Box and X360, I also have a PS3 and WiiU. Fuck, I'm even one of the 12 people in Europe who own both the PSP and Vita. So as you can see, I'm particularly in favor of any company, but I get the console I want to game on.
Now that this is out of the way, let's get to it.


Hardware
This is one where consoles are clearly legging behind. The reason is simple: you can't upgrade a console. It gets done at point X in history and usually it has pretty nice specs for the time it releases. However, then begins the decay. Hardware is moving forwards incredibly fast and if you really want to count in high class configurations, chances are that PC hardware has run past the consoles within a few months, easily.
The problem is you can't upgrade a console. Stuff like the N64 RAM Packs were attempts at it, but really not common anymore. On the other hand you can incrementally upgrade a computer. Just put another RAM bank in it, and bam (this goes, of course, for desktop computers, not Laptops). You don't have to buy a whole new computer to keep with the times (even though that is something I prefer, to be honest, instead of just upgrading it piece by piece).

No matter how you twist and turn it, this is a victory for the computer - the fact aside that a game doesn't have to have high end graphics to be fun. Usually devs learn over time to tickle a bit more out of a console, but that doesn't change the fact that console basically stands still in the regards of hardware.




Innovational hardware
Console manufacturers seem to be more daring here. Stuff like camera controlled games, games like the Rock Band stuff with plastic instruments, the controls of the Wii and the WiiU pad, Kinect and Playstation Move... that is all stuff you don't see too much on PC. Oh sure, we have Oculus Rift and there are obscure projects going on. But the PC somehow didn't manage to push things on the user like consoles. That is, of course, most likely too due the fact that if you buy a console, you have to deal with that controls. You can't just plug in a keyboard and mouse. Which is a pity, both ways around. I always wanted to play a lot of consoles games with keyboard and mouse and I would love to have something like the WiiU tablet for my PC.

This point goes clearly to the consoles. I'm sure the PC would offer options for the same things, but the problem is someone has to develop, make and get them to the customers and supported (what good would something like PS Move do, when no game supports it?).


Functionality
This'll be a short one: decisive victory for the PC. While the consoles did gain more and more features over time, it's a simple matter of fact that the PC can simply do more, because it was build with that intent.



Money (Software)
Now this is something I can only tell from a german perspective, because I get in other countries there are different prices. Building on that however you have more ways to save with PC games and thus safe more money there. Since a few years keydealers and cheap Bundles are blooming businesses. The big players of course try to prevent people from getting games in countries like Russia because they are way cheaper there, but they rarely go through much hassle with it. Worst case scenario for me was that I needed someone to gift a game to me - but that was no real problem. The absolute worst case would be that I have to run a proxy while gaming, but games that go so far are rare.
I can get a game at release on PC for easily 35~40€ (~41-47USD). Normal new games cost between 55-60€. And no, that is no typo: we do pay more than you on games, generally speaking. There are many established sites dealing with games in their digital form. And since all you get today is a disc with a bit of activation code on it, because you need one of the prevalent game plttforms (Steam, Origin etc.), which is a problem for another point, you don't really lose anything by not buying the retail version anymore. Once you used the content of the box it's useless. So you don't lose anything by buying online.

Victory for the PC. You surely can save a good bit on consoles games by using sales or shop in Asia, but the amount you save and that it's a bit easier on PC just tipped the odds here.

Money (Hardware)
Now this is a bit of a tricky one. If you want a PC that is worth something you have to spend around 1200-1400€ (or your local currency etc.). You get a machine for this that will take a few years until you have to scale down the graphics for something to run well. A new gen console will cost, even at release, less than that. But as elaborated before, the console "stand still" in regards to it's power, while you can keep a PC afloat easily with little spendings.

This one is a draw, actually. The reason for this is that if you see it from as a current investment the consoles would easily win here. No debate. However, as a long term investment the PC has the upper hand.


Game reusability
This is something where both platforms where on the same height once and then STEAM happened. Over last decade physical games for PC games have become more and more obsolete. Often times you find only a disc with some sort of activation stuff on it or even just a piece of paper with an activation code. The collector inside of me really weeps over this, as I'd love to have a large collection of PC games in my shelf to present. But why would I bother with it when I can get the exact same thing for less money online? I mean, seriously. The contents of the retail box become useless once used.
Now Microsoft tried to pull some shit with the XBone but fell flat on it's fucking face with it. To this generation you can simply rent out a disc to a friend or resell it. You have customer freedom on consoles that just doesn't exist on the PC anymore in that form. Sure, there are exceptions from the rule. The Witcher games for example you can get DRM free, not bound to any platform like STEAM. But those are just that: exceptions. The consoles tipped their toe in that pond already last gen by adding DLC tokens instead of putting it on the fucking disc.

But speaking from a current standpoint the consoles just win here. The developments of PC in this regard over the last few years were pretty shitty for us collectors.


Controls
What you like to game with is pretty much personal preference. Putting the innovative hardware I mentioned before aside here for a moment though the PC simply offers a wider variety. There are of course mouse and keyboard which are for certain genres almost considered essential (strategy and Management games to mind). On consoles you are stuck with what the manufacturer gives you. As I said before I wanted to plugin a keyboard and mouse on certain games I played on my consoles. I prefer keyboard and mouse for almost every genre. If I had wanted to do that though I'd have to get a ~70€ adapter for it (which was said to allow for actually keybinding and all that, but I never knew if it was true because I didn't pony up that cash for something that shouldn't be problem when the console has USB ports anyway). And controllers are no problem on PC. If you don't like the X360 one for some reason (never heard anyone say anything bad about) reason there is a wiii~de variety, including special controllers like for flight sims.

This point has to go to the PC as long as the console guys don't start to open up their systems just a little bit in this regard. I'm actually surprised they didn't do it, seeing how enabling play with keyboard and mouse could bring genres that are basically nonexistent on consoles to them.


Downward Compability
This is another strength of the PC. Now let me get out of the way one thing: there sure as hell are a lot of old games on PC that won't run properly on new PCs anymore. Or games that are a hassle to start up. But you also can't slam a SNES game in the WiiU.
To get old games on newer consoles you have to buy them through the digital shop, as most consoles offer it now. Which boils down to a simple fact: on console you have to put money on the table, no matter what (and I actually found the WiiU shop classic games so ridicously expensive that I will most likely never buy one of them). If I want to put my old Baldur's Gate discs in the computer, I can do that without trouble. DOSBox is a free tool allows you to run a lot of old games just fine and there are even shops that specialize on making old games compatible again. Of course you have to pay money in those store too.

This point goes to the PC. It simply offers at least a free possibility, while I have to pay if I want to play Terranigma on my console again. Not only that, but these digital stores just offer a limited amount of games, so maybe the game I really want isn't even available if I were willing to spent 6 bucks on it.
... and let's not talk about Sony's dickmove of removing downward compability.


Bugs/Patches/Mods
The big momma. Why? Because bugs can render games unplayable/unbeatable, patches have become essential (especially in games with multiplayer components) and Mods can extend the lifespan/time you have fun with a game by x amount of time. The mods are the easiest part, because it's very simple: there are no Mods on consoles. This is a downside of a closed system, it's just not doable. And one of the upsides of Steam is that they make mods applicable really easy. All the installation goes through Steam. And even if you have a game/mod that isn't installed through Steam I found modding has become a simple matter of adding/replacing files through the explorer these days. It sure as hell has become a lot easier.

Bugs and patches are somewhat a tragedy no matter where you look. Games are pretty equally fucked up on both sides of the river. About a decade ago, that was one of the things console users could gloat about. There was no way to patch games on consoles or anything like that, so the games had to run well on release. Of course there were black sheep around then too, but they were pretty rare. And the big games always ran fine, especially on all the consoles before the PS2. Back then, the consoles clearly were the better option in this regard.
However, while the tables haven't turned, it has stopped in the middle. Worst case scenario is that the console version doesn't even get properly patched. Team Fortress 2 never got a patch on consoles and is still on Version 1 there (which is one of the reasons it's dead for many years). I also remember that Payday 2 basically never got really patched, which means a lot of content and balancing is missing. Granted, those are two extreme examples. But it doesn't negate the fact that the quality of console games in this regard has gone done signifacantly. PCs on the other hand have become MUCH better. Actually in the last 7 1/2 years I had two bluescreens. Two. Games rarely crashed or glitched out on me (fuck, I even played Assassin's Creed Unity and Far Cry 4 without too many hiccups). The old cliché, where the fucking mouse driver fucks up the graphics of your new game because of compability issues, just isn't contemporary anymore.

So this ends up in a draw again. Over the last years consoles have fallen down the hill while the PC climbed it up and now they've met in the middle. A few years back the consoles were the clear winner, but those times are over. As are the times where every game was a risk game with the hardware.

Conclusion
And the final result is... 8:4 for the PC. You're welcome.

Having grown up primarily on consoles it kinda hurt me to make this list. I really love consoles, but I feel they have gone astray as of late. They become more multifunctional and multimedia centers, and apparently people forget a console is supposed to be a dedicated gaming machine (to be fair: Bill Gates said from the beginning on he envisions the X-Box as a media center, so the path they went was what they always had in mind). And PC gaming has become so much better over the last few years too. I don't know if I'm just the luckiest gamer ever, but I almost never have crashes of any sort. And I do/game a lot with my computer.

But in the end it's the games that make the customer. I bought the X360 solely for Dead Rising. I saw this game and knew I had to have one of those and I didn't regret the buy one second. It was a great a console and I still have it for a reason. Now I could have of course gone over the topic of exclusives and multiplatform releases, but that is something that is up to the developers and publishers and has less to do with the console itself. Same thing goes for bad ports (then again, I'm apparently the only person that doesn't consider it a "bad port" when it's simply on par with the console version *shrug*).


I can only repeat what I said in the beginning: I consider myself a gamer, thus I game on everything I want to. I'm not loyal to a company, I'm loyal to my hobby. And if you are really loyal to a single company just because - get the fuck out of here, I don't want you on my porch. People who do that have lost the control over their fucking lives. In a perfect world there would be comradrie over this. "I just bought a PS4." - "Awww sheeeeit dude, let's grab something to game on that. Next week at my house, I'll get my WiiU till then." I mean, god damnit, we have the same fucking hobby you idiots. Which is giving our hard earned cash to companies for expensive elctric toys. So, you know... don't be a fucking cunt.
I never understood why people would shit on each other for this - but then again I also don't understand how you can be in absolute denial over what is the better platform.

Salida

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About OpiumHerzone of us since 3:54 AM on 04.10.2013

German Blogger, writing the series "The worst thing about censorship is ███████ " (go check it out!) since I like to write about that topic and am invested in it a whole lot. Also writes some other stuff sometimes. Likes to listen to very strange bands and has the ultimate goal in life to taste every soft drink there is at least once.
Pure Gonzo - and while I thank god for Jim Sterling sometimes, I thank god for Hunter S. Thompson every day.




I'm a bastard. Don't trust me. Always keep asking, don let yourself get fed bullshit - not even by me.

I like good games. Yes, that's quite general, but I don't really like confining myself to certain genres. I like interesting approaches, invention and creativity. But I can enjoy a straight-up shooter as much as a "Bastion". It just has to be done well and appeal to me on some level.

Want to know anything else? Just leave a comment under a blog or write a message. Same goes for corrections (please), as English isn't my native language and thus isn't nearly perfect.


Censorship Blogs so far:
001: The System (Part 1)
002: The System (Part 2)
003: The stupid publishers
004: How Germans get uncensored games
005: Bioshock Infinite
006: Call Of Duty
007: Grand Theft Auto
008: Dead Space
009: Manhunt
010: Sniper Elite V2 (again)
011: Fallout
012: Various Games #1
013: Nazis
014: Mortal Kombat 9 on Steam
015: Contra
016: Halo
017: Saints Row
018: All the other stuff
019: Command & Conquer
020: The Lanzarote Convention
021: Various Games #2
022: Half-Life
023: The Legend Of Zelda
024: Various Games #3
025: Various Games #4

---
026: What system would you prefer
027: South Park - The Stick Of Truth
028: South Park - The Stick Of Truth (Part 2)
029: Various Games #5
030: Wolfenstein
031: Resident Evil (main series)
032: Resident Evil (spin offs)
033: Various Games #6
034: Turning Point: Fall Of Liberty
035: Blacks and women
036: Pokemon
037: Left 4 Dead
038: Left 4 Dead 2

---
039: 2015 Predictions
040: Dying Light
041: Coca-Cola
042: Pillars of Eternity
043: The Order: 1886
044: Mortal Kombat X


Stuff I also wrote and you should read:
~HOW TO MAKE THE C-BLOGS A BETTER PLACE

~ Punish the individuals - not the scene they move in
~ My consoles don't fight each other - what's your excuse?
~ But what about the men?
~ Fake gamer girls and the damage they do
~ The Raid On Castle DToid
~ My little guide to german music (NVGR)
~ You should buy Goat Simulator - no, seriously...
~ Gravelord Nito, I love you more than Vanilla Coke
~ Let's clear up the console wars, shall we?




... und Pan spielt die Fl�te.