Unlike a few diehard “PC or nothing” fans, I don’t harbor any innate hatred in the direction of consoles. Heck, my earliest gaming reminiscence is of playing Super Mario Bros.
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Until nighttime, after my dad got here domestic with a Nintendo tucked under his arm once I was five. I loved the Xbox 360 a lot that I burned thru 5 of them. (Stupid Red Ring of Death and disc examine mistakes.) And once in a while—in my darkest hours, when I’ve been struggling with borked drivers or broken PC ports—the streamlined appeal of consoles nevertheless whispers to me.
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“Come, pal,” it hisses in my ear. “Embrace the darkish side! We have sweets, and simplicity, and also you’ll by no means should worry approximately hardware upgrades.” And I ought to admit, the idea sounds damned attractive in the ones bleak times.
[ Further reading: The best free software for your PC ]
But then I boot up XCOM 2 or one of PCWorld’s pinnacle 10 PC games of 2015—few of which made it to consoles—and that temptation instantly dissipates. Sure, consoles have their strong points, but PC gaming gives a lot extra. How do I love thee, PC gaming? Let me count the approaches.
1. Cheap games
Not to be that man, but I’m a circle of relatives man on a budget. The less cash I have to shell out for games, the higher. And PC video games are a long way inexpensive than console video games, for a excellent reason: Consoles are walled gardens, at the same time as game stores at the PC ought to compete to your money.
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The result? Origin’s extremely good “On the House” freebie program, and delectable Humble Bundles, and Green Man Gaming’s perpetual 20 percentage off vouchers, and people glorious, wonderful Steam sales. On the PC, publishers often provide away brilliant older video games to drum up interest in drawing close sequels, as we saw Need for Speed, SOMA, Dragon Age, and Sniper Elite’s builders do currently. It’s amazing!
And before you console lovers say you get unfastened games each month, stop. You don’t. You get video games together with your month-to-month PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live subscriptions, which isn’t the same aspect at all. Speaking of which…
2. You don’t should pay to play multiplayer video games on PCs
Yep, that about sums it up. Yay for competition!
3. More kinds of video games
You’ll also locate a wider variety of recreation kinds on PCs in comparison to consoles. Not to maintain beating the same drum, but the PC’s open nature facilitates here, because the comparative ease with which builders can whip up a recreation has brought about an absolute explosion of indie titles at the platform. (Steam delivered roughly eight new video games in step with day inside the first seven months of 2015, PC Gamer reports.)
Don’t worry about lacking out on large games, either. The days of vast console exclusives are over. Very few of the triple-A video games released lock themselves to consoles now that development fees are so excessive and all 3 large consoles % AMD hardware just like what you’d locate in a (price range) gaming PC. Not releasing a PC version of a triple-A game certainly doesn’t make sense for third-birthday celebration recreation publishers, who don’t have a stake in a selected platform’s dominance.
The wonderful approach game Endless Legend is PC-one of a kind, relies closely on keyboard and mouse controls, and may regularly be found for as little as $10.
But the reasons enlarge beyond the atmosphere on my own. Keyboards and mice offer speed, accuracy, and complexity blessings that controllers truely can’t suit. There’s a reason the Counter-Strike and Civilization series exploded on PCs, but fizzled once they attempted to jump to consoles: Handling them with a controller just isn’t the identical.
The inherent benefits of a keyboard and mouse have led method games and simulations to carve out a gap on PCs. Witness XCOM 2 and Cities: Skylines, amazing current PC exclusives.
Four. Play how you want to play
Which leads me to every other lovely thing of PC gaming: You can play your games however you want to play them. Many PC game enthusiasts swear by using the keyboard and mouse, but you can simply as without problems play many video games with a gamepad if you’d like—sacrilege, I know, but I regularly do just that once typing for work all day. Or you may go clearly nuts and embody committed peripherals like racing wheels and HOTAS setups. (Sims are some other huge PC niche for this very purpose.)
Playing Elite Dangerous with an Oculus Rift VR headset strapped in your face and a flight stick on your hands truely feels like you’ve entered every other universe, however the sport functions KB&M and controller help, too. PC gaming is all approximately preference and flexibility, and desire and versatility are continually extraordinary matters.
Five. As real as you need it to be
That desire and versatility extends to the hardware internal your PC and the gaming experience itself. Pricey multi-GPU rigs with cranked-to-4K resolutions and every putting maxed out snag all the headlines on Reddit—hey, tricked-out PCs are pretty darn horny—but there’s no need to interrupt the bank to be a PC gamer.
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The Xbox One and PlayStation 4 tend to play video games among 720p and 1080p resolution (which makes feel, as most TVs fall in that variety) at 30 to 60 frames per 2nd, with pics akin to medium-to-excessive settings on a PC. You can build a gaming computer that tests all those boxes for more or less $400, albeit sans the fee of Windows. Then once more, Linux gaming is brighter than ever if you don’t need to splurge on an OS—or, in case you evaluate the charge of Windows to the value of Xbox Live or PlayStation Plus, the OS pays for itself in just over a 12 months.
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Or you can cross all-out on four-way SLI portraits cards.
On the flip facet of the coin, you could drop 1000 dollars in your portraits card alone in case you need eye candy that’s borderline existence-like, or create a gloriously sizeable multi-monitor setup, or be barely greater reasonable and build a gaming PC that falls someplace among the extremes. Single-display 2560×1440 gaming at 60fps is the modern-day PC gaming sweet spot, in my view, even though taking pictures-recreation enthusiasts from time to time intention for a 1080p screen capable of 120Hz to 144Hz for quicker response instances—neither of which consoles are capable of.
But that’s what’s so brilliant approximately PC gaming: You can pick any hardware setup you want to fit your choices and finances. If you need to stick to e-sports activities games like Dota 2, League of Legends, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, you may even break out with skipping a discrete pix card in desire of one of AMD’s more powerful APU options, which combine compute processors and Radeon pictures on a unmarried chip.
You can’t play Grand Theft Auto as a demented, fire-loving model of Woody from Toy Story on your Xbox. You can’t revel in the manic joy of Just Cause 2’s multiplayer mod. Nor can you experience all of the care, love, and polish poured into the community-created Half-Life 2 update, or bask within the lots of Skyrim tweaks available.
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Mods make a sport your own, establishing up new adventures and/or solving issues that developers overlook. They’re a large a part of what makes PC gaming remarkable—and the overpowering majority of them are loose. (There’s the beauty of an open platform once more.)
But between the inexpensive video games, hardware flexibility, and mods, the choice is a no brainer for me. I can’t give up you, PC gaming, and I’d in no way want to—even if you do frustrate me on occasion. I love you for higher and for worse.