In Support of the Console

The current-gen consoles in their original forms.

  When I play games, I treat them like an entertainment experience rather than a mere pastime like browsing Reddit or shopping on Amazon. I turn down the lights, turn on the HDTV and turn up the volume. I want to feel like I’m in the universe that the game takes place in.

That kind of experience can’t really be had hunched over a computer desk or on a park bench with a laptop open. In my opinion, the best way to enjoy a video game is playing from a console and viewing on a television.

Control pads are an advantage that console gamers have over PC gamers. I realize that that statement seems counter intuitive to most people who play games regularly, but I think it’s difficult to get a sense of weight and movement with a keyboard and mouse. Control pads allow game developers to create a visceral sense of motion and body movement so that players can feel what it’s like to be the character in the game. With keyboard and mouse controls every game can be quick and aiming may be more precise, but the feeling of weight behind a character is lost.

Although higher-quality graphics and performance are possible on PCs than on consoles, when you go to put the latest and greatest Xbox 360 game into the disc tray you know that its going to run just as well as it would if you were firing it up on a friend’s console. There’s no need to worry about upgrading to the latest graphics card or keeping your drivers up to date because, in most cases, software upgrades are easy and sometimes automatic on consoles. This fact also cuts down on long-term costs that are associated with upgrades that a PC gamer may have to make a year or two down the road. While it can be said that console gamers have to follow the life cycles of their current-generation consoles, console lifespans are increasing with each generation and, in my opinion, gamers don’t have to worry too much about whether their new system will be obsolete for at least 3 years.

Multiplayer sessions didn’t always involve an internet connection.

Speaking of firing up the latest hit game on a friend’s console, that can’t really be done on a PC. Although it’s prevalence has decline in recent years, split-screen gaming used to be an integral part of console gaming, and is still an important feature for some gamers. While LAN parties are an option for PC gamers who want some human interaction IRL, there’s no comparison to sharing a screen with your best friend(s) and actually, physically interacting with [See: hitting] one another when the game gets frantic. That’s not to say that online gaming is any better on consoles. Most of the time, PC gamers have much more freedom and flexibility in the multiplayer portion of games because of the ability to mod and create custom maps that players on consoles simply don’t have access to. Another downside to console gaming online is subscription fees, which add to the overall cost of ownership of the system, but also help assure that players’ online experiences are of high quality.

These are some of the best reasons I can think of to rationalize my love of console gaming over PC gaming, but, of course, it doesn’t matter how you play the games as long as you enjoy them. I realize that there may be factors such as platform flexibility and ease of use that game developers and even modders/content creators can site in favor of PC gaming over console gaming, but, as I am neither of those things, the aim of this article is to discuss the differences in gaming for the typical consumer.

We here at the Vault would love to hear how you prefer to play games, so post your responses in the comments section below.