Something I’ve consistently seen in the gaming industry is that a few people are starting to wonder when the next generation of Console Gaming is going to come. That is of course if we get another generation of consoles in the future. Consoles, as we know them, are starting to lose their overall value.
Now, before you get angry at me for mentioning that consoles have lost their touch because of the games we play. That’s hardly the case I’m trying to make. The games themselves have become more and more of a reason to hate the current console lineup because they are more often than not, inadequate compared to modern gaming PCs. I want to just download/play the games I play, no matter how pretty or how much of a resolution they can hold. I primarily use a WiiU Pro Controller hooked up to my PC to play said games, however. I have seen how consoles are struggling to do just that.
Console Gaming isn’t PC Gaming.
The very first problem that arises as soon as you bring up gaming. Nowadays, the issue is that games require themselves to be installed on the consoles before you can even play them. You’re forced to wait minutes or hours before you can play the game instead of having it immediately available to you. Otherwise, you will be faced with more loading times and other kinds of issues because how dare you want to have fun immediately after returning home and putting in your disc.
It’s even more pointless once you think about downloading them digitally. Because for some reason those digital goods need to be downloaded, installed on the hard drive. Then when the game is executed. They have to be installed AGAIN because what you downloaded was the compressed package of the game you initially wanted to play. Depending on the bandwidth the mere process of downloading a game can pretty much be a simple 2-hour wait for both processes. Or two days for people with low connections.
Now, that’s the problem with the installation. Let’s talk about what I dread this article’s comment section is going to be about: graphics. Apparently, 4K gaming is important to some people and I’m supposed to talk about it, so here we go. 4K has been a subject we have been discussing since the PlayStation 4 Pro (then code-named NEO) was close to being announced. However, some of the faults in the consoles we have seen are that they simply can’t handle high-quality graphics when PC’s already got them seamlessly. In fact, the Intel Core i9 series is basically supposed to do that without the need of a graphics card.
Image by LockerDome
Exclusives? What Exclusives?
One of the biggest issues PC used to have according to console gamers was the lack of exclusives. Nowadays, however, it seems like games are just going to come to every console indiscriminately. Sure, we have multiple games with crossplay across all platforms due to the fact that the production values are high and companies need to recuperate their development fees. But whatever the reason might be, Console gaming has been seeing less and less reason to exist because of it. Sure, we can blame the companies for not going exclusively for the PS4/Xbox One/Switch. But even nowadays the latest rumors are about which games get ported to which system, most of which end up on PC sooner or later.
Say that there are exclusive ports of games that you find on the store of your choosing, that doesn’t mean a thing because there are times when you don’t have enough storage to download a huge game. In other words, you’ll be spending time erasing the data from your hard drive, putting the game on the console. Wait for it to install/download and then starting freaking playing it. Not to mention, changing a disk drive on your PC tends to be just buying the HDD and putting it in your computer. While in regards to Consoles, you have to either buy a system with 1TB of storage or, if you bought an inferior version. You have to buy a separate disk drive and hook that up to the console. And I have seen those, and it really is far from comfortable
I have heard that there is nothing like using a controller instead of your mouse and keyboard but Keyboard and Mouse tend to be hated for no reason, more often than not gamers who use controllers end up getting accustomed to that combination and preferring it due to the versatility and perks it offers. Thanks to features like Steam’s Big Picture we’re allowed to emulate full controller support without needing a driver. And nowadays you can play with a WiiU Pro Controller by just getting a 2.99 Bluetooth Dongle and installing some programs, which means it’s accessible. No matter the user.
I am not saying that PC’s are without their share of faults. Some of the worst ports of games I have ever seen in my life are the ones for PC. Namely Final Fantasy XIII, XIII-2 and Lightning Returns which all have to be tweaked with in regards to graphics performance just to get to play the games, to begin with. There are many other examples I can mention of dismal ports of other IP’s for the PC like the glitched to the wall Silent Hill: Homecoming, but you can see where I’m going with this.
Thumbnail by Top hats and Champagne’s video on PC gaming misconceptions
The Price point debacle
Now, PC gaming used to have this stigma about how inaccessible it is for the gamer who wants to shell out 500 dollars. But the problem is that, while this was true in 2012, it’s certainly not now. The most basic cards you can get already can run games at high resolutions at 60 FPS. All the while, consoles are starting to cost more and more for less performance and various hiccups in regards to graphics.
People have already made memes about the Xbox One X and how it can’t really run the supposed to be amazing game Crackdown 3 at 4K 60 FPS but rather at 4K 30 FPS. Or how the PS4 Pro doesn’t really manage to be that different from its predecessor. And while that’s acceptable complaints, they are incredibly costly. With the Xbox One X reaching a price point of $499.00 and the PS4 Pro is $399.99. Impressive, but Youtube channel ReviewtechUSA already got those two consoles trumped by what he called the GabeNstation, which is a computer capable of 4K gaming which costs the same price as an Xbox One X.
Consoles need to be its own thing
However, a lot of people may have noticed that I haven’t talked about the Nintendo Switch. And that’s where the beginning of the arguments against PC gaming can begin to surface. The Nintendo Switch is a portable/home console designed to be taken out of its down and keep the player on their game. Which really, it’s something that already trumps PC’s by quite a long shot, since gaming laptops usually have the high price points and also have very lacking batteries as well as graphic cards that cannot be updated.
Sure, the Switch presents problems on its own, however. It also shows the probable route Console Gaming should be taking from now on if it wants to stay relevant in the market. Again, the games are good. Some of them are even excellent, but the problem lies on the device that’s used to play them. I know I didn’t really gather all the knowledge I have about console gaming/PC gaming, so if I missed a few aspects, feel free to tell me about them in the comments. I would love to hear and respond to what you have to say.