Gaming on a PC vs. on a Console in 2016

In 2016, PC gaming is cheaper than ever, but the same could be said for consoles. Personally, I use a PC for day to day work and gaming, but I have a Wii U and PS4 in my home. With this comparison, I will try to be as unbiased as possible and state facts to not hurt my credibility.

Both the PS4 and Xbox One are not underpowered or overpriced for what they do. Games preform better on a $300 console than a prebuilt $300 PC in almost every case, and the latest GPU may run the newest game in 2016 far better than a console, but in 5 years, the console will outperform the GPU on a game released in 2021. Because consoles must be supported for such a long time, optimization for them allows the significantly weaker GPU inside to run the game better than a GPU that technically outperforms it, which can hurt the longevity of a custom built PC.

Here are the pros and cons of both as of May 2016, and I expect it to hold true for years to come:

PC Gaming:

  • Can be used as a PC (Work, school, programs, editing, etc.)
  • Games are typically cheaper and have a large variety of markets (Steam, Origin, Humble Bundle, G2A, etc.)
  • Games from 20+ years ago still are compatible (VMWare, DOS Box, Mini vMac)
  • Run unapproved games and software
  • Free online access and services
  • Choose your own pieces (can be self-repaired)
  • Can run Linux, Windows, and sometimes OS X* (*if you’re willing to do some work)
  • Run any resolution (720p, 1080p, 1440p, 4K) 
    • Recommendations (as of May 2016) :
      • 720p 60 FPS (Intel Pentium G3258+, GTX 950 or 960, 4GB of RAM)
      • 1080p 60 FPS (Intel i5-4460, GTX 960 or 970, 8GB of RAM)
      • 1440p 60 FPS (Intel i5-4460+, GTX 1070 or 1080, 8GB of RAM)
      • 4K 45 FPS (Intel i5-4460+, GTX 1080, 8GB+ of RAM)
  • Mod or hack games
  • Get both console’s exclusives (eventually)
  • Huge variety of free titles and indie games 
  • Expensive (~450 USD for the PC minimum)
  • Require a basic understanding of computers
  • Outdated within 3-4 years with the latest mid-tier GPU
  • Local split-screen multiplayer is rare.
  • Must buy a keyboard, mouse, and display
  • Cannot resell games

Console Gaming:

  • Console optimization (Games that struggle on a much more powerful PC run well on consoles because the developers know exactly what the specifications of the console they are developing for are)
  • Affordable (~350 USD with a controller)
  • Console exclusive titles
  • Free games once a month with premium services (Games with Gold, PS Plus)
  • Standardized controllers
  • Good smart TV hub with Netflix, Hulu, Amazon (Xbox One and PS4, sorry Wii U)
  • Voice control options
  • No prior knowledge of computing
  • Lasts for another 5-7 years (PS4 and Xbox One) or 2 more years (Wii U)
  • Solid 30 FPS in most games
  • No DRM management to worry about
  • Pick up and play
  • Very few hacks available
  • No drivers to manage
  • Games can be physical and resalable

  • Must own a TV
  • Little to no modding
  • Games do not look as good as on PC in many cases
  • One source for online games
  • Cannot be self-serviced if broken easily
  • Paid online memberships
  • Rare backwards compatibility, nonexistent past 5 years
  • Cannot do actual work


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