To Console, or Not to Console: That is the Question

Author: JD  //  Category: Articles

(Quick answer: Not to!)


People debate between PC gaming and console gaming with an almost religous zeal. While there are those brave ones among us who use both systems to play their games, even those will usually lean one way or another. As I have stated up-front, I am a PC gamer all the way, and don’t even consider getting a console. And while I recognize that this will leave me out of playing many great games, I am usually okay with that, because there is plenty enough for me to digest on my computer, and many games do eventually get a PC port, for better or worse.


One strong argument in favor of the PC is that you can open it up and upgrade parts. While this is totally true and a very valid point, this doesn’t mean very much to me because I rarely will run out to get the latest graphics card. They are wildly expensive, and while I agree that a good graphics card makes a world of difference, I am usually okay with a cheaper model that was all the rave a year ago. Much more cost effective, and the games still look fine to me. I never saw much of a difference between, lets say, 56 FPS and 60 FPS. But, to each his own.


One of the biggest reasons I greatly prefer PC games is that because while I was growing up in the 80’s, computer games seemed just much more fun than console games. Now don’t get me wrong, at this time it was mostly the C64 against the NES, and the NES was hugely popular. Super Mario Bros. by itself took the world by storm, and I admit that it was (still is) a great game. However, even at a young age I could tell that the computer, while maybe lacking in graphics and sound, had a much more possible depth.


As an example, I will go back to the game I wrote about previously: Ultima 4, Quest of the Avatar. U4 had almost everything I could ask for in a game. Were the graphics as pretty as in Super Mario Bros.? No, but U4 didn’t need to look shiny. It’s look perfectly fit the dungeon-esque genre is was aimed at. And Ultima 4 just could NOT be played on the NES. Of course, I am well aware that U4 was ported over to the Nintendo, but it was just a different game. It might have looked better, but nothing else about it topped the C64’s version.


Another reason that I will stay with computers is very simple, and yet it surprises me how much this is debated. Consolers, face it and lets be done with it: a controller is just simply inferior to a mouse! Case closed. No? Sigh. Okay, fine. Please riddle me this: if a controller was better then why do ALL computers use a mouse? If it was better computers would come controller sticks, and a mouse would have died long ago. I just don’t understand how players could play a FPS after using a mouse. Of course, the benefits of having a keyboard can pretty much go without saying as well.


I guess a controller could be interesting if puzzling over what button does what is fun for you. I never found that worth dedicating brain cells to.


So, given just these few arguments, it’s clear that consoles, while very good at what they do, are inferior in these aspects to a PC. So, why would a serious gamer want something inferior?


At least, back in the NES days, consoles were instant. You pop a cartridge in, turn on the console, and boom, you were playing. But these days the load times on consoles are pretty high. And while load times are on area that PCs may be slightly lacking, it’s not a big deal. But, if I have to give consoles an edge in anything, this would be it.


I will also readily acknowledge that the Wii is changing gaming, and I give it full credit for accomplishing that.


Aside from that, though, I will say thanks, but no thanks to console gaming.



One Response to “To Console, or Not to Console: That is the Question”

  1. qbertaddict1 Says:

    I cant get into console gaming much either. I usually buy an new console when the homebrew scene starts on it. I learn how it works, mod it, and end up playing games from the 80’s on it ;) I then sell the system and trade up to the next one when homebrew is available on it. I also agree about the controller/mouse debate. I can’t play the seemingly thousands of FPS’s on the consoles with a joystick. It just doesn’t work for me. I will admit that I’m not that good with a mouse either though ;)

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