February 10, 2013

Why PC Gaming Isn’t For You (Part 4)

You better believe it! We’re now on part four in a series of reasons that you shouldn’t bother with the difficulties of PC gaming. While in some cases PC gaming is as simple as typing in the credentials for building a rig, the commitment that gamers must make to this platform can be quite demanding. I mean this both emotionally and in practice.

I pointed out in a previous post that another serious issue with PC gaming is the lack of simplicity. (You can read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 if you need to get caught up.)

The absence of the same level of simplicity as console gaming isn’t as apparent as you might think. While I do think that sticking to legitimate game purchases (I’m looking at you, Pirates) will ensure you a comfy experience, I don’t think that that same comfort is guaranteed with every game you play. But let’s not dwell on past rants, shall we?

Here’s my fourth reason that you shouldn’t feel pressured about gaming on PC.

4) Price

This is a very important one. I speak on behalf of the average gamer, because it’s the average gamers that push the industry to success. To the guys with over $3,000 locked away in your vault just waiting to throw down your cash: this isn’t for you.

Not everyone can afford $1,000+ gaming rigs. Of course, 1,000 dollars isn’t the minimum price range for a PC, but if you’re shooting for a system that will last, then you’ll want at least $750 worth. The average gamer spends about $25-$50 a month on gaming in general, and we know that most of you don’t have that kind of money.

To beat price, saving could be your best friend. My advice for anyone trying to push the $1,000 barrier is to put aside five percent of your paycheck a week. Let six months fly by and eventually you’ll have as much money as you need.

This isn’t the best plan. Most of us have rent mortgages, and girlfriends. All of these require money and a little bit of your soul to maintain.

The money aspect can stop right after you build your machine, or the entire process can become an obsession. With the right parts, a computer can last you for the next ten years. However, the gaming industry is consistently improving. Developers are making larger and larger leaps in Direct X with every year that gaming exists.

You must think of the consoles as a safety box in terms of hardware and money. After the original schematics of the console have been set in stone, it will stay like that for at least five years. In the case of the HD consoles, it would be eight years.

Think back to the first time the Xbox 360 hit the market. One of the first exclusives to arrive was Gears of War. By today’s standards, Gears of War looks like crap. But back in 2006, we all thought it was the greatest thing to bless the gaming industry. For the next five years that the trilogy existed, Epic Games was able to develop and ship two sequels with the same hardware of the console.

They never had to worry about new processors or new graphics cards being released for Xbox because the hardware was already set.

Every year, hundreds of graphics cards and processors are released for PC. This means that virtually no gamer has the same specs as the guy next to him. The result is that the games that are developed for PC often have many complaints from gamers about incompatible hardware.

This is not to be mistaken for developers simply porting console code over to PC to save production costs on a platform that is plagued by the consumers for piracy. For some of us, upgrading can be an obsession due to the amount of customization. Quite literally this is a good situation turned into a chore.

With a console you pay one time for hardware, and need not worry about that aspect until the next generation of that console is released.

Valve’s new Steam Box is making promises to budget gamers to supply an affordable PC, with PC exclusive titles in mind. The problem with this is that affordable hardware usually means less than applicable settings for maxed out game play.

Maxed settings aren’t the only thing great about PC games, but I’d be lying if I said they weren’t one of the best things about it, which will bring me to my final point in the next post.

In the meantime, I’d love to hear your thought on the price of PC gaming as it stands today!

Image Credit: IMAGE LAGOON / Shutterstock

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