Console Vs PC Gaming: Who Is The Winner?
by Brad Whitcroft on Nov 20, 2021
One of the most common questions people ask is if console gaming is better than PC gaming or vice versa.
While the industry may be heating up with the console wars between Sony and Microsoft, the chip shortage, consequently console shortage, means that finding a console is easier said than done.
So, the follow-up question is: is PC gaming better then?
Well, it depends. If you already have a pretty beefy gaming PC with a GTX 3080, odds are you already have the answer to that question.
To determine which is better for you, we've broken down how consoles and PC gaming match up in terms of budget, technical skills, availability of exclusive titles, and graphical fidelity.
Which is More Budget-Friendly?
When we say "budget," what we really mean a device that delivers the most gaming for the buck.
Now, if you are a console gamer, the cost is mostly limited to buying the console, maybe an extra controller, and the games you want to play. If you play multiplayer online, then you'll need to buy passes
On the other hand, PC gamers are spoilt for choice. The more money you have, the better your PC gaming experience.
Since the sky is the limit in terms of pricing for PC gaming, it's hard to make an apples-to-apples comparison.
However, if you were to match current console prices like for the PS5 and assemble an equivalently priced Gaming PC, your experience on the PS5 is arguably going to be better.
Not to mention you have access to exclusive titles. That said, if you like tweaking settings, and optimizing how well games run, then a gaming PC will be the right choice.
PC gamers need to have more technical skills than console gamers.
Regardless of if you game on an Xbox, PS5, or both, the fact is that doesn't require you to know how much RAM you have, if your system meets the minimum requirements of the game or if you should turn off or on Antialiasing to improve performance.
In most cases, you either download the game to your console and start playing or insert a DVD / Bluray disc.
When it comes to updates, most consoles will download updates automatically, and you don't have to worry about much. If you are a PC gamer, most times, you need to update the game manually.
You'd also need to know much more than just how to run the game. That said isn't rocket science, but some see it as a hassle.
Consoles are pretty limited when it comes to upgradability. You can maybe upgrade the hard drive in them, but other than that, it is a closed system. If you want a better experience, wait for the next upgraded console to be released, and buy that one.
On a gaming PC, most if not all hardware components can be upgraded. Everything from the processor to the RAM and graphics card can be upgraded to experience higher frame rates and higher resolution gaming.
If you are comfortable opening up your gaming PC to upgrade it, PC gaming may be more your thing. If you don't want to bother with the internals of your computer, then a console is a better, hassle-free option.
In terms of repairability, PC gamers are at a clear advantage. Since each component can be purchased, you can swap out a malfunctioning motherboard or replace a faulty RAM. Most of all it isn't all that expensive.
Most of the latest consoles aren't easy to repair. Repairing them often requires a professional who has experience repairing consoles, and even then, it is hit or miss. That's why most console gamers assume that they need to buy a new unit if their existing one is thought to be "fried."
Unlike maybe a decade ago, console gaming has undoubtedly caught up with PC gaming in the graphics department. The graphical fidelity of the PS5, for instance, running a game at 4k 30FPS, is the same as it running on a PC.
However, the difference with PC gaming is that you can easily bump up the resolution to 4k 60FPS if your hardware supports it. Furthermore, you can turn on raytracing for better lighting effects on a high-end RTX card, something you can't do in a console.
However, to be fair, gaming PCs that allow you to run the latest titles at 4k 60FPS and 4k 120 FPS cost almost three times as much as a console.
Furthermore, you are responsible for ensuring that your hardware is compatible with the game you are running. Some games are optimized for AMD cards, but the majority are optimized for NVIDIA cards.
If you want to measure graphical quality by every gaming buck spent, we will give it to the console. You can experience better graphics for less playing on a console than an equally priced gaming PC.
The PC gets very few PC-only exclusive titles. However, there are exclusive titles for gaming consoles, like Last of US for the PlayStation isn't available for any other gaming console or PC.
The same goes for Microsoft's Halo series, exclusive to the Xbox brand of consoles. If there is an exclusive title that you want to play, there is no other choice than to buy the respective console. After all, that's one of the reasons why many gamers own consoles in addition to a gaming PC.
The decision to buy a gaming console versus a gaming PC all boils down to what you prefer. Trust us when we tell you that there is no wrong or right choice, just what works for you.
If you want to get the best of both worlds, then own both a gaming PC and a console.
Though if you're not as technically inclined, a console will work best. In fact, most people will find that a console is a lot more convenient to pick up and start gaming on in their living room compared to a gaming PC.