PC Gaming vs Console Gaming
I will be arguing that PC Gaming is better than Console Gaming. My opponent vice versa. Burden of Proof is shared.
Post any questions in the comments.
R4: More Rebuttals and Conclusions
3 days to post argument
10 Days Voting Period
Thank you voxprojectus for accepting this debate. In this round I will present my arguments as to why I believe PC Gaming is better than Console Gaming.
The biggest myth surrounding the aspects of PC Gaming would be its price. Most people believe that they need to shell out thousands of dollars to get a reasonable PC, and that a Console is just much cheaper and easier to go with.
However, PC Gaming is actually just about as expensive as Console Gaming in the long run, and includes many more benefits than Consoles.
In this first argument, I’m going to show that the Price of PC Gaming is very close to that of Console Gaming, and from there, I will illustrate the superior performance that one will get for the same price.
Here we go:
The first thing to make note of is that just because you can spend a lot of money on a PC doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of money on a PC. You can shell out $5,000 for a PC, but is that necessary? No. Of course at the same time, spending $300 would be too less, and you wouldn’t get much performance.
Alright, so now I will pose a hypothetical scenario to show that PC Gaming is cheaper, while keeping the performance level:
PC: $1,000 (For this price, you can get a PC that will max out most games with 60 fps)
Xbox One: $350
Yes, at first glance it seems like going with the PC is idiotic. But in order to play games online with a Console, a subscription fee is required. For PS4, its $50 a year; Xbox One: $60. I think it’s safe to assume that it will take around 6 years for the new Consoles to come out. So after 6 years:
PC: $1,000 (Playing online with PC is free)
Xbox One: $710
Ok. Doesn’t seem like that big of a margin now, though there is definitely some gap. Let’s say that you’re going to buy 5 games a year, until the next generation of Consoles. Each Console game is $60. I’m going to assume that the average PC game is $40. The price of PC games vary a lot, and there’s many sales and stuff, so I think that $40 per game is a fair assumption. So after 6 years:
Xbox One: $2,510
So at the end of 6 years, you’ll see that you are actually saving money with the PC, even though it did cost more in the beginning.
The 1,000 dollar initial cost was for the PC only. But, since you’re going to save $300 anyway, you could buy a $200 monitor, and a keyboard and mouse for $60, and some speakers for $40. Of course, if you include the cost of a T.V. for the Consoles, then that would raise their price up like crazy, but I won’t do that.
At the end, a PC is going to be around the same expense of a Console, if not cheaper.
Argument 2: Performance
The performance of a 1,000 Dollar PC is going to be better than a Console, and I really don’t think I need to expand this. I think it’s obvious. This alone should be enough to be a PC gamer. If the price is the same and you get much better performance, it’s a no-brainer really. If my opponent would like to challenge me, feel free.
Argument 3: Backwards Compatibility
New Console comes out? Well, looks like the games you have can’t be played on the new machine. On a PC you can play any games that you’ve bought on any machine. Even some game released 10 years ago.
Argument 4: E-Sports
Competetive Gaming? PC is the way to go. With games like League of Legends and DOTA 2, the best teams around the world earn millions of dollars every year. Competitive gaming is just a much better experience on PC.
Argument 5: Exclusives
Console players like to brag about their exclusive games, but PC has more exclusives. Pretty much every MMORPG, MOBA, and 4k Strategy game is on PC. And even with the games that came onto console from PC ports, the PC versions are just better (i.e. Minecraft)
Argument 6: Mods
Mods add tons of hours of content to your games, and make one’s experience much more enjoyable. Consoles don’t even have mods, so this is a clear win for PC.
You get so much more on a PC for the same price. Why would you want to spend more for a machine that gives you less? With all of the pluses of PC, there’s no need to get a Console.
1. Stability: it is my position that the more integrated Platform offered by console systems is of great benefit. Consoles do not experience hardware or software conflicts, console online networks are not as prone to disruption from protocol conflicts or background programs, and console game installation is often either brief or unnecessary entirely.
2. Blurred lines: As we move into the future, computers and consoles are essentially gradually becoming the same device. As pc's are bridging some of the gaps in stability, consoles have long since caught up to pc's as media platforms, Web browsers, and countless other things relegated to the realm of pc in previous generations.
3. The market has spoken: We've all watched as the pc section of games in stores has shrunk and shrunk. While online purchasing platforms such as steam do offset this, the reality is that console games outsell pc games by a factor of 5 to 1 or more. This means developers are far more focused on console markets first, and much of what you get with pc games are clumsy ports of games designed for console play, often months or even years after initial release for the intended systems.
(my apologies for my brevity, I'm tapping this out on a phone. For my upcoming and much longer rebuttal round, I'll be sure to be at a keyboard for the pc or console depending on my mood.)
In terms of stability, I do agree that a Console is easy to setup. It's plug and play, so you don't have to worry about your hardware or software. In terms of online networks, however, I think both Steam and Xbox Live/PSN+ are pretty easy to handle, and they both shut down from time to time for maintanence and other things.
However, the biggest problem with Consoles is that if something goes worong, you can't tamper with the system. You have to buy a new system unless you have a warranty, and there are so many ypeople who have their Xbox's breaking down all the time.
Compared this to the PC, and it's different. If something isn't working, you can just replace the individual part. Furthermore, if you really don't want to tamper with the system, you can go to a computer repair shop, which isn't that hard to find.
Plus, PC is making improvements to increase stability (which is acknowledged by my opponent in his second argument)
My opponent states, "consoles have long since caught up to pc's as media platforms, Web browsers, and countless other things relegated to the realm of pc in previous generations"
I agree that you can browse the web, watch youtube videos, watch netflix, etc. on a console. But do you think that browsing the web on a Console is as fluid as a PC? Nope. Fact is that Consoles are no where near the level of PC's in terms of what they can do. PC's, along wth being able to play games, can do so many more other things like Photo/Video editing, Coding, Recording Videos, etc. And while a lot of the things the PC can do are exclusive, a lot of things that Consoles can do, the PC can simply do better.
If Consoles truly have bridged the gap, why do people that own Consoles normally also own a laptop? It's because you can't do everything necessary for work and games on a Console, while you can ceratainly do that on a PC.
3. The market has spoken
Interestingly my opponent states that the PC market has decreased, while the Console market has increased. Allow me to present an infographic:
As can be seen here, since last year, the game software revenue earned in the PC market has actually grown slightly higher than the Console Market.
The next point my opponent brings up does require some consideration. He says that there are lot of games coming out on Console first, and then to PC as crappy ports.
I agree, this is happening. But, consider all of the PC exclusives for a moment. And think of some of the popular Console games that actually started off as PC games. One that comes to mind is Minecraft (which is insanely popular on Consoles), yet the PC version is WAY better. What about MMORPG games? What about MOBA games? Games MILLIONS of players across the world play, and they are only available on PC. GTA 5, CoD, BF4, and some other games are extremely popular only on the Console and not on PC. But there are so many games on PC that don't make it to the Consoles that are still amazing.
I will post a couple of more infograpics about the amount and quality of exclusives, and I think it's quite clear PC wins:
I think it's clear that PC exclusives are of better quality and are in abundance.
Please vote Pro!
I would like to state appreciation for my opponent for honestly mentioning that to have a PC which will match most consoles in performance, one will need a minimum of $1000 dollars.
Despite alarmist predictions to the contrary, X-Box One and PS4 will both function without a subscription service. but, this will require that one purchase hard copies of games, and be content without achievements or online play, so in the spirit of intellectual displayed by my opponent, I won't defend this option as particularly viable, but still choose to mention it for the sake of complete accuracy.
While pro is correct that paying more to have access to online functionality may seem like an unnecessary spike in cost for the console market, this price does reflect the superior stability and speed that a brand-specific network has to offer. Even then, my opponent has nearly doubled the cost of X-Box live to make his case. Current yearly subscriptions are $32, not 60. If for some strange reason a gamer wishes to commit to a console, yet wishes to buy the X-box live membership month-to-month, it might be closer to my opponents estimate, but we can already knock the reasonable estimate for the 6 year life-cycle down to maybe $542, still demonstrably superior in price there.
As for the games themselves, it's unreasonable an inaccurate to state that PC games are flat out cheaper. That may be true by some sort of averaging of all available games (many PC games are as little as five bucks) but new releases, regardless of console, all debut around the same price. Older console games are no more expensive than older PC games, and depending on where you shop, you can beat Steam for new-ish titles. Stores have sales too, these are not exclusive to PC games.
Then there are the additional benefits of the subscriptions themselves. X-Box has taken to offering a selection of high-quality free games monthly for gold subscribers. If I were to value those games at the prices you suggest above, or allow their use in lieu of purchased games per-year, X-Box begins to look like an insane bargain, allowing $5000 dollars worth of console and games for the mere $542 you'll be paying. While there are free games for PC, they tend to be small indy projects, low in production value and graphical quality. This is another reason it would be absurd to go with a month-to-month membership.
I hate to refute this one along the blurred-lines angle, but with consoles driving the primary game development market when it comes to big graphical/physics engine works that require demanding hardware, the reality is that hardware itself has simply outstripped what people can reasonably code for.
In the 90's, you might have been right that you could buy a new game for a maxed out PC and it would look intensely better than what you will get for any console, but when the PC retail market died out , developers stopped worrying about making games that were intended for the highest performance machines. If nothing else, the development cycle of a game doesn't allow for it. Doom 3 is a notable example of a game where the coders set out to make a game so graphically advanced, everyone would have to go out and buy a new graphics card in order to support the next-level insanity they were aiming for.
But reality kicked it in the butt. By the time the game actually made it to market, Moore's Law had brought processing power far ahead again and nothing about the game was really utilizing what the top end PC's had to offer. In effect, the pure PC gamer is shelling out extra money for extra processing power that no game in the life of the machine will actually need or even be improved by. So while I will fully concede that a computer can certainly be tricked out and modded to out-perform any console on the market in a given development cycle, the argument is irrelevant because the games themselves simply don't demand it.
3. Backwards Compatibility
I'll admit, I thought it was neat when PS3 came out and could play pS2 games... but when I really reflect back, I didn't utilize this capacity at all. Retrograde technology is pointless in a market that is constantly driven by new releases and games being revised into new forms. This is to say nothing of the fact that if one really wants to play old games, one can simply pull out one's older consoles. Ironically, if I want to play some of the oldest games available for PC, I have to resort t to elaborate patches and tricks just to get my computer to slow down enough. Nothing more hilarious than putting in Apogee's "Lord of the Rings" title and watching Frodo starve to death in seconds because the day-night cycle of the game was linked to system clock cycles.
I guess I don't really understand the metric you're using here. Because there are two titles that have broad-base support among particular communities PC gaming is better? I don't really see the connection. There's nothing physically stopping console developers from trying to launch similarly competitive products, and from even the most cursory google search I can see for-cash tournaments popping up like crazy for console games.
5. Exclusive Titles
If you want quantity over quality, by all means settle for the exclusive titles offered by PC. There are a few that in terms of graphics and game-play can hang with the big studios developing for consoles, but while all console releases are made with humongous design teams and an eye on getting the best out of the console they are designing for, PC "exclusives" are largely just incidental, not because they are doing things that consoles couldn't (or ultimately won't) do. The one area I would grant that PC's tend to shine is in the MMORPG experience, but these have supplemental costs to subsidize the infrastructure needed to support them. While Console MMORPG's are lesser in number (and generally scope, granted) the cost to play them is rolled into the subscription price.
Oh yes, let's take the charming instability PC's offer to begin with and create an option to make it much worse! In all seriousness, some game mods are absolutely awesome (Max Payne Kung Fu II was possibly better than the original game) gamers really interested in modding can do so on consoles, albeit with considerably more effort. I suppose I may have to simply let this one go, but I will leave you with the Linux dilemma.
We've known for years that Linux systems offer greater customization, security and power than competing operating systems. On top of all that, the damn thing is free. Yet Linux does not command the indomitable market share of operating systems that it should. Why? Because people want a thing that works, works well, and doesn't need a high level of expertise. For most gamers, PC's, and by extension modding, represent exactly that.
Defensive Rebuttal time!
7. Consoles virtually all come with warranties (if we're talking older or used, then we can knock your price argument down another few notches) and rarely malfunction. Sure, if you want the fun of unscrewing your case and slotting in new RAM or coolant systems every few months, a top of the line PC is the way to go, but why should you, the end user be stuck with having to do your own repairs? That's a bug my friend, not a feature. Going with the option less likely to fail to begin with seems like a much stronger play there.
But when I bring up stability, I'm not only thinking of online experience or repair, computer games have so many developers with so many different system requirements and unique potential problems. No X-Box game is going to crash because your X-box happens to have a sound-card driver not right for the game. No PS4-Title is rendered useless until a patch comes out for your particular OS flavor. With consoles, as you say, you plug the damn thing in, set it up, and it just works, forever, like a small efficient foreign automobile. And sure, there have been isolated runs of manufacturing defects, but those tend to get addressed early and for no money.
8. I agree with my opponent whole-heartedly , but would remind him that the lines are blurring still. In under five years we've gone from Consoles having no capability outside of gaming to most of the essential functions of PC's. I can only begin to imagine what everything will look like in another five, but I doubt innovation in consoles is going to stop in that time. Even as we speak an increasing number of people are relying on the combination of their phone and console to handle most of their media needs, http://www.gartner.com... (My apologies for the browser paste, I'm not good at links) reports a decline of 5% in PC sales over all in the first quarter of 2015.
9. I did a little digging on the research behind the chart you've shared. For one thing, it's global. Consoles don't even have penetration in a wide variety of foreign markets, while PC's are ubiquitous in some form or another. If you're counting many small purchases being made by casual gamers and families, sure, it looks like the PC market is dominant, but if we limit our scope to where consoles actually exist (which is only fair, I think you'll concede) the gap increases substantially. The other thing I notice the abstract released by DFC Intelligence (the ones who put together your graph) is that they are counting "mobile devices" so sure, if we count every tablet and smart phone, "pc's" by that metric are easily the most successful. But again, not actually a fair comparison. Look at the numbers for individual titles.
The chart above shows that despite the fact that this game is available across all platforms, console is still king in sales for the big titles.
SnapDragonFizzle forfeited this round.
voxprojectus forfeited this round.