Gaming Wars: PC vs. Console
by Branden Hart
For almost two decades, since the release of the original Nintendo Entertainment System, fanboys have been entrenched in one of the most dazzling confrontations since the Fans for Fonzie Alliance took on the producers of Joni Loves Chachi. Which is better for gaming: consoles, or PCs?
There have been times when each faction had significant advantages over the other. When DOOM came out in 1993, it marked one of several resurgences of the suffering PC gaming market. Soon, Super Nintendos and Sega Genesis machines the world over were collecting dust as gamers stepped into the most revolutionary first-person shooter to date. For awhile, it looked like PC gaming would rise to the top, with the only substantial next generation console offering found in the pathetic 3DO. But then, Sony stepped on the scene, and soon, the Playstation was the golden boy of gaming.
Since then, PC games and consoles have grown together as much as they have grown apart. Both factions seek out power to display the phenomenal games out there: PC gamers by constantly upgrading memory and video cards, consolers by shelling out six hundred dollars for the PS3. Looking at modern games on any system, you can see how far graphics have come in only four or five years: beautiful textures, never-ending horizons, and faces, bodies, and movement that are almost too human.
Aside from sharing titles available on consoles, that's where the similarities end. PC gaming, in general, is drastically different from consoles. Browse the respective game aisles in any store, and you'll see that PC games center primarily around strategy, while console games are all about action. In a PC game, you might go through hours of tutorials to learn how to move troops around the environment, build structures to get more troops, and accumulate the funds you need to build the structures to get more troops.
But consoles are all about letting you drop right into the gaming experience. Don't get me wrong—the lines have definitely blurred on many of the next generation consoles, but for the most part, you have a learning curve of less than half an hour before you can effectively explore and manipulate the environment. As such, there are many more strategy titles for the PC, titles which would have a very difficult time translating to their console brethren.
The truth of the matter is, neither the console or the PC are superior over the other. They are systems that allow us to see the natural evolution of electronic entertainment. When given different peripherals (mouse and keyboard vs. controller) such evolution is to be expected. And for years, gamers with their eyes on the horizon have wondered when a new advent in controller technology would drop into gaming's primordial ooze and completely reorganize gaming as we know it.
Fortunately, about six months ago, the ooze was infiltrated.
Next week: the Wii vs. Everything Else.
Uber spends many evenings playing with his joystick