A Matter Of PC Vs Console

Consoles Vs PCForget the console wars.
Many have fallen over the years, and some are refusing to die quietly.
I’m not concerned with them. I’m more interested in the age old battle of PC against console.

If you had asked me a couple of months ago which I felt was better then I would have said the PC without any hesitation.
The superior processing power and constantly evolving technology pushes the capabilities of the PC way beyond the limitations of the current generation of consoles.

I’m sure that will be addressed to a certain extent in the next generation of consoles, but the fact remains that they are a fixed piece of kit. You can’t upgrade them, aside from OS updates, so PC’s will always have that extra power available.

The reverse of that coin is that PC users will always need to open their wallet and occasionally remortgage to get the very best kit as and when it comes out. Just depends on the level of quality they want to achieve and their dependence on having the latest technology as it hits the market. I would place myself as mid to semi-high level user. It’s not the very latest kit in my rig, but it tends to spank most set-ups.
There is also the added bonus that when you buy a game for a console it will simply work without needing to update any graphics drivers or upgrade key components.

Recently I’ve acquired an Xbox360 which has changed my view on things and has certainly expanded the number of games available at my finger tips. Firstly, having come from being a PC user (and occasional Wii abuser) I will probably never play a first-person shooter, or possibly even third, without a keyboard and mouse. That service I reserve purely for the PC until, and if, I buy the related kit for the Xbox. I simply can’t do free-look on a pad. It’s not happening. Uh-uh!
The mouse allows me to be as free as my cracking neck allows me to be in real life, whereas the pad just seems too linear in it’s motion.
I’m sure many will argue that I need practice, but I can guarantee that I can whip an equally skilled opponent who is using a pad. It’s just quicker for me.

That said, there are times where a pad is simply the only choice.
Platformers and puzzle games are a no brainer. Can’t imagine playing Braid or Limbo any other way, and the same goes for driving games. I purposely bought an Xbox controller for the PC to accommodate because in this instance a keyboard sucks.
I think I’d be crippled by now if I had continued to play BurnOut Paradise with the keys the way they were.

Now that I have the 360 in my life I’ll put serious consideration in to buying driving games and platformers for that rather than the PC. Depends on how good I need the graphics to be, and will also depend how social I want the experience to be. If everyone else is buying a game on a particular platform then I’ll probably head for that one.

The game that has drawn my attention to the Xbox is Trials Evolution after an on-and-off bout of Trials HD. I know this title will generate a review from one of the other AMOLAG members soon. Probably once the blood has stopped dripping from their thumbs and they can type again.
To say the least it’s addictive, but that seems to the way with the Xbox Live Arcade titles that I’ve seen/bought.

In my rush to get up to speed with all things Xbox I decided to plunge in to XBLA with my first 5000-odd points.

Warp is an excellently sinister puzzle and shoot-em-up title with playful graphics and addictive nature. For the more mature audience I can recommend this title and will review it once I’ve completed it.

Shadow Complex, kindly recommended by Ben, is now three years old but hasn’t failed to impress me. Such a small team has delivered such a beautiful experience that it had me searching for every item and lifting every stone (or rather blowing them up) to find hidden areas. I can guarantee my money to any sequel if there were to ever be one. I simply had to ignore the wife and complete this game.

The last title that I shall briefly mention, because I am 99% sure that Ben will write a review about it, is Fez.
No spoilers here, but it a completely unique concept that pushes gameplay over fancy graphics. It’s a homage to the days of old consoles and has had a mass of time invested in getting the puzzles and feeling perfect. A game I will no doubt complete soon and revisit to 100% it and find all the hidden features. It’s too much fun not to.

It’s these recent experiences that get me excited about XBLA and the quality it holds as a delivery platform. I used to think Steam was ‘the’ only method for distributing games but I think I will be more inclined to visit XBLA if I know that the game in question is of a certain type. Steam and, to a lesser extent, Origin will continue to be my delivery systems for the first person shooters and high-end quality thrill rides (aside from Trials!). I can’t see myself playing Borderlands 2 on anything else other than a PC. The visceral quality that I want from that experience has to be perfect so I need the rendering power of my custom rig.

To ask my opinion now over which is better I will answer that there is a balance, at least in my eyes there is.
I know there will continue to be school kids raving about how one console has multiple cores and another has better graphics pipelines etc.
I’m not worried about that. In fact it bores me to think of the arguments I used to have over the SEGA Mega Drive pitted against the Super Nintendo.

PC or console, they both have their pros and cons, just be happy that you’re a gamer in what appears to be a golden era of gaming development.

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