Digital games from the basic of Tetris, Super Mario, ping-pong and other flash-based games to massively multiplayer online role-playing games can be played for free or after paying some membership fees on both specialized consoles and on your good old PC. Since gaming consoles have developed web capabilities between August and December of 2002, the debate on which option is better has gained steam.
Given the enormous popularity of gaming consoles such as PlayStation and Xbox, some industry analysts have suggested that PC gaming has seen its day and that consoles will be dominating force in future. But PC gamers have seen such claims biting dust since the days of Nintendo. This article discusses the advantages and disadvantages of gaming consoles.
Cost Advantage: Good PCs cost much more than the consoles. The Xbox currently sells for around $200, often with a couple of games in the bundle, while it’s easy to spend that much or more on a quality PC video card alone.
No Fuss: With consoles, just plug it in and start playing. No operating systems, drivers to deal with and to top it all, there is no more heartburn of finding a game incompatible with your system after buying it with much anticipation.
Multiplayer gaming made easy: Just connect your console to the Internet through a DSL or Cable Internet connection and get into a multiplayer game.
Play where you want to: Play it on the couch, your bedroom, even bathroom with a gaming console. No more sitting on the dedicated table.
Easily get games: since consoles don’t have copying ability, the console games are more readily rented and returned to the retailer than PC games which are easy to copy.
Easy learning: Console games tend to have a relatively low learning curve. You might need fast thumbs, but you certainly won’t need to spend hours in a tutorial trying to learn how to operate basic game functions.
Difficult upgrading: If some of the components inside the box become dated, the whole console needs to be replaced to keep playing newer games. No remedies for that. This way you need to invest quite a hefty amount with each turn in technology. No such problems with PCs.
Lack of versatility: Computers can do the whole lot of things besides supporting online games. On the other hand, consoles perform only one task really well. Some console manufacturers may try to make them a little more flexible, but it’s unlikely they will ever support near the selection of applications that is available for PCs.
Lack of inter-connectivity: It is the biggest grouse against gaming consoles. There is a clear lack of inter-connectivity between the different console brands because of commercial compulsions.
When it comes to the online play of flash-based games or multiplayer strategy games for free, players can pit against each other only on a specific network of people playing on same types of consoles. There is no way for console gamers to jump into a fray on one of the countless servers available. The PS2 has made some progress in this area, forging the way for cross-platform gaming between PS2 and PC users, but only one or two titles support this now.
Of course, there are many things to consider before deciding on a gaming platform. Foremost among these is deciding which games you want to play, how much money you want to spend, and whether or not you need a PC for other purposes. Go for a good computer if you want to do multitasking, but for a die-hard gamer nothing less than the latest console would do, would it?