Opinion: PC vs. Consoles – who really wins?
Ever since gaming consoles were invented (I’m guessing because I wasn’t even a foetus at that point) people have argued over gaming supremacy.
“But, but PC is obviously better? Don’t you play on a $6000 custom-rigged desktop too?”
“No wait, consoles are definitely better, they are designed to play games and they are so much more immersive – your PC screen is nowhere as good as my 50 inch flat screen!”
But the more I hear about it the more I wonder, who really wins? If at the end of the day, exhausted and dripping blood, I put down my controller with a heavy sigh and pick up a keyboard while being whipped by my PC overlords will that make PC gaming any better?
Before you answer “Obviously – No more console onlys or terrible console ports!” take a second to think about it. Not everyone has a computer for gaming like they do a console, sometimes families don’t see a direct correlation between a business tool and a recreation device. But, understandably, without consoles maybe those people would buy a game oriented PC – I hear you there.
The flaw in that argument is the assumption that these two sides of the industry have a doubly-parasitic relationship. They both suck some of the fun (or games or graphics or whatever) away from their counterpart and without one the other would be infinitely healthier.
Instead I propose that they have a symbiotic (or mutually beneficial) relationship. While consoles may take some games away from PC, there are just as many games which were designed with a controller in mind that became a completely different immersive experience once ported to the PC. Equally, without the popularity (or even the capital) that PC’s generate a lot of console games wouldn’t exist either.
Particularly if you compare the independent developing community for both you can see that Xbox Live and Playstation Network provide much larger exposure (through only allowing a certain amount of submissions) for new game developers than computers do. While you can find millions of minigames on the internet, rarely will one get the recognition it deserves. Compare this to games like Limbo which have achieved international recognition solely from their existence on the console market and then get ported to PC for everyone to enjoy.
While there are always going to be zealots in each party, foaming at the mouth and smashing their hands on their favoured devices til they bleed, I think a community which encourages games – regardless of system – is the best alternative we can hope for. At the end of the day there are much more important things to argue about.
Like Playstation 3 vs. Xbox 360.