While we recently created a few more members of the PC gaming family here at Horrible Night, making the switch from consoles still has some very real hurdles. Nicole Zeckner of the culture blog, Pure Geekery took a long hard look at purchasing a gaming PC and ultimately decided against it and here is why:
After a very long hiatus, I’ve recently remembered how much I love playing video games. And as I played more and more a little voice in the back of my head started nagging me. “This game would look so much better on PC.” Or, “Look at all these games on Steam and Humble Bundle.” Seeing deals like $30.00 credit on the preorder of BioShock Infinite on Amazon, makes it even more tempting. But there are parts of the console experience that are important to me that cannot be duplicated on PC.
Living Room Experience
I don’t like playing games with a mouse and a keyboard. I know it’s much more accurate and responsive, but it reminds me too much of “work.” After sitting in front of a PC all day, I want to lounge on my couch with a controller in front of my TV to game. Since my gaming setup is in my family room, any gaming PC would need to blend in well with my home theatre and be roughly the size of a console to fit into my TV stand. A gaming laptop would be ideal , but it’s expensive and difficult to upgrade. The poor airflow in my IKEA TV stand makes a desktop PC a risky choice. Even with my PS3 and Xbox 360 slim, the top of the stand is pretty warm to the touch after a few hours of gaming.
Difficulty and Cost
Computer hardware is not my forte. I haven’t kept up with components, or what is coming down the line. The last several computers I’ve bought have been mid-range refurbished machines from Woot! My single requirement was that it ran Visual Studio smoothly. So I’d rather not build my own machine, but rather buy something like the Alienware X51. I’d want the high end model, after all performance is one of the reasons I’m interested, which runs around $1,500. With the PS4 rumored to be anywhere from $400-$600 it’s hard to justify this extra cost. Assuming the new Xbox would be around the same price point I could buy one of each, plus some games, and still come out ahead.
The Xbox 360 was released in 2005. They’re announcing the next generation in May of this year. That’s a minimum of eight years between system upgrades. However, the original Xbox was still supported through 2007. Assuming there’d be a similar support cycle, you could go ten years before an upgrade. The games would keep looking better over that time span as well. I played the Mass Effect Trilogy over a couple of months, and I couldn’t believe how much more the developers were able to get out of the same hardware every year. To keep the awesome graphics on PC, you have to upgrade components. Again, adding to the cost of the machine.
I press the power button on my Xbox, and it’s on by the time I sit back down. A few swipes of the joystick, and I’m playing. It’s simple, and I like simple. If I had a gaming PC, I’d have to wait for Windows to boot up and get the keyboard and mouse out to navigate to the game. I know it’s the definition of first world problems, but I just don’t want to deal with it. I just want to play.
It’s not to say I’ll never buy a gaming PC. I was tempted when Woot! had an Alienware over the weekend (ended up not being a killer deal when I looked into it). And I’ll probably download some old games I’d like to play on my laptop and hook it to the TV. But right now PC gaming just doesn’t fit my gaming style, or my budget for that matter.
Headed into this next generation of gaming, what platforms are getting love from your living room?
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