I cannot express how many gamers I have come across that herald the PC for being the ultimate gaming experience; “the graphics are ten times better than the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 combined, frame rate is off the charts and home console gaming is dead, so better start investing in a PC.” Nevertheless, all I ever hear from the PC front in the media is how just about every other AAA release has major issues which makes the game borderline unplayable. So the question on hand is, is PC truly the end all be all for gaming or are PC fanboys making it out to be bigger and better than it really is? Do home console gamers really have anything to fear from the future?
One of the biggest drawbacks from PC exclusive gaming is unless you strive to save and spend every penny you have to your name (crafting the ultimate gaming PC will include buying parts like a CPU, CPU cooler, RAM, motherboard, SSDs, graphics card, power supply and a case), good luck trying to run any of those games. This is not to say that PC games don’t work or to hate on PC gamers — I understand the draw to PC gaming — but what I don’t understand is the hate PC rains down upon home console gaming.
To start off, wouldn’t it just be easier purchase a $400-600 home console than sinking thousands of dollars to create a tower capable of running these games? Why worry if your thousand-dollar computer will be able to run the latest Rockstar game when you can just pick up a Xbox or PlayStation knowing that when you pop in the game you wont have any major issues that will essentially make the game unplayable? The reason I bring up this question is because in the last year all I have heard in regards to PC gaming is how major AAA releases have been crashing from left to right on the PC while on the home console front everyone is having a blast with minor to no issues. Minor issues as in frame drops and a glitch here and there, but what game doesn’t do that?
Batman: Arkham Knight is the game that first really caught my attention to the complaints attached to PC gaming and how sometimes games released for PC are completely unplayable. When Arkham Knight first launched, it was filled with a mess of glitches, bugs and all sorts of problems and eventually it proved that time doesn’t heal all wounds. The game was taken off the Steam store entirely for a period of about four months. Nevertheless, less than twenty-four hours upon its return, gamers revealed problems such as stuttering, plummeting frame rates and freezing were still tightly embedded in the game. “Even publisher Warner Bros. has acknowledged its failed to fix two of the initial bugs that plagued the game. A blog post warns players of a GPU issue affecting Windows 7 users that crops up after ‘extended gameplay sessions’ and sees a hard drive paging issue occur – in fact it sounds like the hard drive paging issue that originally caused so much trouble with stuttering. To solve this, you need to relaunch the game. The post also advises Windows 10 owners to have ‘at least 12GB of system RAM’ in order to ‘operate without paging and provide a smoother gameplay experience.’ Recommended specs still stand at 8GB of RAM,” an article from IGN states.
Meaning that if you don’t have the recommended RAM or GPU specs indicated if you want to play through your $60 dollar game you’ve purchased, it’s time to invest in a new RAM card and GPU capable of doing so. Batman Arkham Knight is not the only game with such issues on the PC, however. No Man’s Sky is experiencing, stuttering, large frame drops, trouble launching the game due to graphics settings, crashing to desktop and jittering, among other issues. Now this doesn’t go to say that the PS4 version of the game is at all perfect, it’s not. It to is experiencing issues with crashing, however, it is far less frequent than on PC and I know many players who own the PS4 version and are already done and finished with the game while PC gamers struggle to play it for a few hours at a time. There have just been so many stories lately about how the PC versions of games are broken to the degree of un-playability to the point where they are forced to take it off the store because it doesn’t work in any capacity and it makes me wonder why? Why is it so much harder to make a game function on a PC verses a home console?
It’s not like I’m trying to pick on PC or anger its community (which surely this article will accomplish either way), I’m generally curious as to what makes PC gaming so great and home console gaming look eddown upon as an inferior experience? I get that Steam and all its glorious deals and sales makes PC a viable and worthy investment, but if half those games are either un-playable or have frustrating and distracting issues, is it not better to just purchase a console which will always be able to play these games without major game breaking issues? I would rather spend $600 dollars for a new console than spend hand over first for an upgrade on RAM or GPU and other units in order to make my games able to run at all as tech evolves over time. Mainly, what continues to elude me is, I don’t get why smoother frame rates and prettier graphics on the PC are the reason why console gaming is a dead and/or dying breed. I think console gaming looks fine; sure it’s not at the same tier as PC, but at least I can play my games without having to spend more money to upgrade my unit or worry if the game will function at all.