I, like many people, have had friends that have tried to convince me that PC gaming is the best way to play games. While there are some definite advantages to playing PC games, my short lived experience with PC gaming has convinced me that it is just not the way I want to experience games. While Steam Summer Sales are cool and graphically there is no better option, I can’t help but feel empty playing PC games and I have a feeling I am not the only one.
This article is in no way intended to bash PC gaming or to convince people that consoles are better. This article is just merely how I feel about the subject and why it is hard for me to ever consider trading in my PS4 or Xbox One for a top of the line gaming rig.
PC Or Not To Be
When one of my best friends made the switch to PC gaming, it became the only thing he ever talked about, “The games are so cheap, the graphics are insane, man you have to get into PC gaming.” Naturally, his excitement was very infectious because he was one of my best gaming buddies at the time. I really felt like maybe I was missing out and that maybe I should see just what the fuss is all about.
The first hindrance for myself was actually building a rig. My friend was very tech savvy and for him part of the appeal to the PC world was taking pride in the customization and work of actually building his rig. That has never really been my thing. One thing I love about console gaming is being able to take it straight out of the box, plug it in, and immediately start gaming. Now it was making sense to me why so many people like the PC format more than others. It is so customizable and unique for every gamer depending on their preferences. For me I have never been one for customization, having so many choices stresses me out and I don’t keep up with technology enough to know what the best components are. And since technology is always evolving its hard to keep up with the best components to make a good rig.
Too Much Of Anything Is Too Much
I think that it is some of the things that most people would consider the best parts of PC gaming that just don’t do it for myself. I recently wrote an article on physical vs. digital games where I proclaimed my love for the physical format. However, with PC physical is pretty much nonexistent. It makes sense as to why given games are downloaded onto your PC, but it just gives me no feeling of ownership over any of the games in my library. And when the Steam summer sale happens I would watch as my friend would download game after game to only have it sit on his computer and become forgotten. While its great to buy cheap games, it feels digital only games can become out of sight out of mind.
The amount of different control schemes can be overwhelming as well. Even for my brief period of time playing games on PC I could never find comfort with a mouse and keyboard. So I would always opt for a controller when given the chance, but setting up the controller for each game I wanna play is a chore more so than a luxury. I get that being able to customize your button layout is to the gamer’s advantage, but when I want to play a game the last thing I want to do is worry about setting up my controller. I just want to jump in the game and play it the way the developer designed it to be played.
In fact it is a very similar thing for me with mods. I get why they are great, but its not something I would ever use. When I play games I tend to play straight through the campaign and move on to the next one. It’s a similar reason that I have always preferred movies to television shows. I like to watch something and quickly move on to the next without being stuck on it for long amounts of time. Its one reason I would never bother with mods because I want to experience a game as it was intended and move on to the next experience. I appreciate having the option and I enjoy watching streamers play around with mods and break the game, but personally it has never appealed to me as a gamer.
Content With Console
I also feel like there is a complete lack of community when it comes to PC gaming. Not that there aren’t communities around PC games themselves, but unlike a Sony or a Microsoft there is nothing really binding together all PC gamer’s as a whole. When watching this years E3 it was so much fun for me to talk with my Nintendo buddies about all the great games coming exclusively to the Switch, and the same for the PlayStation and the Xbox. With PC gaming though it seems like the community is very split into different demographics. There are the communities that get into the MOBA’s, the shooters, and the indies, but it doesn’t feel like there is one roof that they all call home. It seems somewhat divided and one of my favorite things about games is the fandoms. I love being able to chat about PlayStation and all the brands you associate with them to another hardcore Sony fan, but with PC it doesn’t feel as close knit of a community.
Nothing about PC gaming is bad. For many people, it is everything they could possibly want. For me though, it is just too much. There is something to the simplicity of console gaming and knowing that I will receive the same experience with my PS4 game as everyone else will. You could give me all the freedom to alter and change games however I wanted, but I would still not be willing to trade in my Dual Shock controller. If consoles ever do fade away only to be replaced by PC gaming than yes I may have no choice, but for as long as I have the option I will always be a proud console gamer.