Should You Opt For A Console Or A Gaming PC This Year?
In recent weeks I’ve been having quite a few conversations with friends who are either anticipating the next generation of consoles or finally willing to bite the proverbial bullet and pick up a second console now that it’s relatively cheap and affordable as prices continue to drop and a larger library of games becomes available.
One of the recurring questions involves whether or not it’s the right time to start saving up for the next generation of consoles.
I thought I’d share some thoughts on this subject since it has become so relevant to my discussions of late. That way I can at least redirect friends here instead of explaining things to them, effectively saving me time, energy and giving me some page views. Brilliant! Shall we?
By the end of this year I am hoping to build a new gaming PC, mostly from scratch. At the very least, a new chassis (the one I have currently is eight years old and in dire need of sprucing up, even though it has the sweetest dark-blue glow to it) together with the usual story of graphics, CPU, motherboard and RAM. I think it’s about that time I upgraded and going on current technology, I feel as if it’s the best time to upgrade one’s PC.
I would also caution holding off on any next-gen console purchases just for the moment. Yes I know they’re not out yet but I’m saying when they are.
See the thing is, we don’t really know how much the next generation of consoles will retail for. Further, we don’t know what games will be offered as launch titles. And if experience dictates, there will be a lag period where titles will continue to release on the older platform as well as the newer one, while proper exclusives for each console take time to kick into gear.
This effectively means that your PS4 or NextBox will not get many proper new games that justify the purchase for at least a year or so. If experience with the PS3 is anything to go on, possibly even longer than that. Added to this, the cost of games is still entirely up for debate where we could see game prices drop but more likely, we could see game prices rise where a game releases on PS3 for R500 whereas the PS4 version is R650 for no explainable reason other than, ‘lol next gen.’
So even if we get next-gen console releases next year, the adoption rate will be slow and the manufacturers know this, which is why they will attempt to account for that in various ways. Removing backwards compatibility is the one I’m most afraid of, because it would effectively mean that should I acquire an Xbox 720, my Xbox 360 would need to remain and I would still favour it since it contains my larger library of games. Furthermore, publishers will realise this and they hate making losses, hence they will not force gamers onto next-gen consoles just yet. Not while there is still a profit to be made on the current generation.
However while this lag exists, PC gaming will continue as normal, unhindered, perhaps even liberated by the next generation of consoles. Here, in this not-too-distant future, developers are not straight porting games from current to next gen, but rather developing them for a newer platform, a better platform arguably. So it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to port those games over (meaning the PS4 version rather than the PS3 version) to PC, making for a better overall experience on PC than if they were to port the older, less visually impressive version on the inferior console. Or the games mostly look alike anyway and your PC eats those games up instead of you needing to play them at 30FPS on your PS3 with the very real possibility that they won’t work on your PS4.
There are just too many things that lean in favour of a gaming PC right now, and I for one am looking forward to building up mine, come year-end. Now I just have to figure out which games are releasing for PC with achievements…
Are you planning a second console purchase, or saving up for next gen? If so, let us know what your motivations are in the comments.