It has been two weeks now since I built my very first gaming rig. After months of research and years of anticipation I was finally in a position to join the PC master race, and it feels good.
In these weeks of tinkering with internals (hey now) and testing my new rig on various games and programs I have learned that there are many distinct advantages to PC gaming, in fact I have managed to narrow it down to five.
Straight off the bat I would say the major reason to delve into the world of PC gaming is the massive performance boost. Obviously this depends on what components you put into your system but even with a budget rig like mine running a GTX 960 I can still play Shadow Of Mordor with high textures and it gets better frames per second than on my Xbox One. The beauty of having your own fully customisable machine is that when your graphics card begins to be outdated, you can upgrade just that component, whereas consoles are fixed systems and so as they age so does the internal hardware. In five years’ time the Xbox One and PS4 will be showing their age, which brings me to my second reason to be a PC gamer.
Everyone kind of lost their shit when it was announced that neither Xbox One or PS4 were going to be backwards compatible, I know I did. I’m a big fan of going back to replay old games and so was blown away when I never actually realised that with this new PC I could replay most of those older console games, although with vastly improved graphics. I immediately downloaded Bioshock Infinite and Skyrim and couldn’t believe how different they were. Playing two of my favourite games again with all settings on ultra was on par with playing a HD remastered version.
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Changing the various graphical settings and having that customisability over your gaming device gives you more of an insight to how it all works. Seeing the effects of Anti-Aliasing, adjusting the games texture detail or pushing up the frame rate all have such massive results and after gaming for years on a preconfigured device it’s both exciting and interesting to see the changes that can be made.
Choice of control Schemes
Speaking of customisability, with most games released cross platform games bought for PC tend to incorporate various control schemes. Although the mouse and keyboard have obvious game changing advantages over a typical controller, I still prefer to use a controller for the majority of the games I play and I was blown away when I used a micro USB cable o plug my Xbox One controller into my PC and the game immediately recognised the controller and changed all key prompts from keyboard keys to Xbox buttons. This means that you can adjust your weapon of choice based on the game you choose to play, which is a definite plus.
Okay probably my favourite thing about PC gaming is how cheap the games are! Of course initially building the PC is more expensive than buying any console but the amount you save on games makes up for it in this writer’s humble opinion. Listing the games I’ve purchased since building the system:
Bioshock Infinite – £ 6
Shadow Of Mordor -£11
Goat Simulator -£2.50 (because, why not?)
Deus Ex: HR Directors Cut – £1.99
I remember when I thought the Xbox Live game sales were good value as they reduced games from £50 to £38, now I’ve seen TRUE value for money and will be hard pushed spending over £20 for a game ever again. This also encourages experimenting with games you wouldn’t usually purchase, with prices so low it’s not so much of a gamble.
There you have it, five reasons to start saving up for that gaming rig you’ve always considered building, it’s pretty much a win-win situation, if I had to choose five reasons to remain a console gamer however…
5 Reasons to be a console Gamer
Sometimes you just want to watch some Netflix, on the Xbox it’s one click of a button, on my PC right now I have to: power on the pc, enter my password, turn my fan speed down so it’s quieter, open steam and pause my downloads, (I have shitty internet) then open Netflix. So it’s not a big reason but I still use my consoles for streaming.
More socially acceptable and understood
Pretty much everyone knows what an Xbox is, and many have an opinion on whether they prefer Playstation, Xbox or Nintendo, especially with the release of the latest console generation. However, not as many people you typically meet (in RL) are PC gamers, it’s an expensive and consuming hobby and so meeting people that talk about it is rarer.
Becomes more familiar
Similar to the nature of your mobile phone your console becomes familiar, it’s simpler to use and you can find the brand you like and stick to it over time, buying any games or equipment for it is easier and requires little to no research.
The reason I haven’t flogged my Xbox One in order to buy a new GPU to run alongside my current GPU via SLI is… Halo 5, (also the undying hope of the eventual release of ‘The Marcus Fenix Collection’). Console exclusives aren’t going anywhere because it’s how they remain competitive in this increasingly saturated market. There are some games that just won’t come to PC no matter how many tears are shed (looking at you Bloodborne) and so depending on how dedicated you are to these particular games, you don’t have much choice.
Cheaper initial cost
Current gen consoles are now much more affordable than they were at launch and so are initially less expensive. It’s also easier to convince a partner to let you buy a PS4 this payday rather than a CPU, GPU, Motherboard, RAM, Power Supply, Heat Sink, Mouse, Keyboard, Fans and a Tower Case… Trust me.
In the end there are positives and negatives to both sides, though if you think yourself a serious gamer and still primarily use consoles I would say look into building yourself a PC, it’s fun, relatively easy and although you’ll spend more initially than on a console the long term benefits definitely outweigh the initial difficulties both in price and performance.
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Currently living in a tiny Village in North Yorkshire with the Missus and our two cats, Knuckles and Snape. I've been into gaming ever since having to decide between the Sega Mega Drive or a SNES at age two, (Sonic won me over in the end) and I'm a collector of all things Zelda. Mistook my adoration of Videogames and ended up doing a Bachelors in Film production, then ended up living in America for a short while and then Vancouver, Canada for 2 years. Now I'm back home, living in the middle of no-where ready to live the dream and write about Video games!