For decades, the debate has raged about which is better: PC gaming or console gaming? From the outside looking in, this rivalry might not seem like a huge deal. After all, now that many games are released for PC and console, there’s less division between these formats than ever before. At least, in theory.
For the most part, PC and console gaming are simply distinct—meaning one isn’t better than the other. As new setups enter the industry, gamers will drift toward whichever suits their needs. This now includes handhelds like the Switch and Steam Deck, along with a myriad of new VR headsets and subscriptions. Toss in incoming projects related to AR and XR, and there will be plenty of fodder for these types of debates in the future.
For now, let’s zero in on PC gaming. Here are five of the most important reasons it’s better than console gaming on the PlayStation or Xbox. First up: gaming freedom.
PC Games… Plus, Whatever Else Fits
A gaming PC is a computer with a few unique gaming capabilities, which means it can be used beyond the realm of playing Civ VI or Rust. In fact, this opens up PC gamers to be able to play tons of other types of content, from browser games to downloadable software.
Let’s provide an example of the latter. One popular reason gamers download specialized software is to play games like poker. After downloading the PokerStars platform or a similar brand, players can immediately start competing against other remote players. Though it’s not clumped with standard video games, millions of gamers worldwide play poker every year. That’s because, just like many beloved PC titles, poker is a game that demands mental dexterity, quick decision-making, and tactical thinking.
To put it simply, having a PC setup can make it easier to try out new experiences like Texas Hold’em and Omaha poker. PCs are also geared toward players who want to compete with other remote players, whether a MOBA game or a poker tournament. And while poker isn’t a PC game, those with a PC setup can start taking advantage of these types of non-traditional gaming opportunities more readily than others.
Peripherals Include Console Controllers—and Even Steering Wheels
Let’s face it… keyboards and mice aren’t for everyone. In fact, learning how to use a keyboard to game is usually pretty tough for newcomers to learn—especially those switching from a console. However, PC setups now include dozens of controller options. Most are designed to mimic PlayStation and Xbox controllers.
But, once again, PC gaming offers quite a bit of variety. Let’s cover one unique example from racing. Platforms such as iRacing enable players to create a highly realistic racing setup, including pedals, steering wheels, and even gear shifters. Another great example is Microsoft Flight Simulator, which allows players to connect a pilot’s ‘center stick’, which controls the flight path.
Change the Game With a Mod
PC gamers wield great control over their controller setup—but certain PC buffs can even rewrite games. In the PC gaming world, a mod is a modification made to a game in order to change the rules, appearance, or other elements of the title. If you think you’ve never heard of a mod, think again. One of the world’s most popular games, Counter-Strike, began as a mod of the original Half-Life release. The same goes for Dota 2, which began as a Warcraft III mod.
A Sense of Esteem
As laid out by the reasons above, it’s no surprise that PC gamers are often considered the nerdiest in the industry. Not only are they able to rewrite games, build highly realistic setups, and explore different gaming genres, but they’ll also be running on some of the world’s most streamlined gaming hardware.
PC games tend to run faster than their counterparts. Many use an ethernet cable to achieve this near-perfect internet connection. This alone doesn’t necessarily make PC gaming better, but it has helped bridge eSports and PC gaming. Thanks to faster processors and better graphics cards, MOBA and RTS games have taken off in the eSports space. This isn’t going to change anytime soon, making PC gaming the focus for any eSports competitors.
Old Game, Same System
Lastly, let’s point out one huge reason that PCs stand out from their counterparts (handhelds, consoles, and mobile devices included). PC games typically don’t phase out over time. In other words, because releases aren’t tied to a specific generation of console or handheld, a PC gamer can theoretically download and start playing a game released decades ago. As long as they can find the original game, they’re able to load it up and start playing immediately.