There are PC gamers and there are console gamers. The console gamers would rather not get involved with PC gaming, while PC gamers look at those who invest and consoles and can’t help but wonder why they would invest in a device that won’t change over a significant period of time.
Years ago, PC gamers and console gamers stayed within their silos and didn’t even consider coming out. After all, to be a PC gamer was a badge of honor. And to play console games was to say that investing in new GPUs and high-end keyboards and mice was a mistake.
But things are changing.
I know quite a few people that would have described themselves as console gamers, and console gamers only, just a few years ago. But now, they’re playing titles on the PC, and they don’t have any desire, it seems, to go back to the hardware they once had.
Such a trend appears to be developing around the world. Nowadays, the barriers to entry are not nearly as high as they once were for those who want to switch from consoles to PCs, and anyone who has an extreme desire for high-quality graphics will find that consoles just won’t stack up.
[aquote]In the console space, you're stuck with what the maker gives you[/aquote]
See, PC gaming has come a long way. For the price of a new console, gamers can build a PC that comes with even better specs than what they’d find in the latest and greatest consoles. Plus, they can remove components whenever they’d like and pop new ones in, effectively giving them a better gaming experience. In the console space, you’re stuck with whatever the hardware-maker gives you.
We should also point out that the jump from consoles to PCs is no longer so great. In fact, users can now use their regular controllers to play titles, and hooking up a PC to a television is a cinch. The ease-of-use with a gaming PC is heads and shoulders over what it used to be.
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But perhaps all of this underscores the bigger issue facing consoles: they’re not really helping keep hardcore gamers in place. The games cost $60 each, while in the PC space, they’re a fraction of that. What’s worse, console makers are trying to stretch out the console cycles to bring in more hardware revenue, but it’s becoming increasingly clear that’s not the best business for the hardcore segment that wants the latest and greatest games to look, well, great.
The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One should help cool off some console gamers from jumping to PCs, but to say that it’ll be the panacea console makers need is a falsehood. In just a little over a year, we’ll find that consoles are well behind PCs again and the total cost of console ownership will continue to rise as we invest in more games, controllers, and digital goods.
The console model was once the best option for hardware makers and gamers. But now, I’m starting to wonder if PCs might actually be the better way to go.