I spent this past weekend doing something I have a serious love/hate relationship with: managing my “gaming station.” I have what I would call a “franken’puter,” meaning it is a mess of parts from all over the place. Some new, some old, some that were gifts. I managed my cables, tying them down. I ended up smashing my thumb.
…I was supposed to be talking about the good things here, wasn’t I?…
I have spent many years managing my own PC. I’ve had a desktop PC since I was 10 (minus my college days, I only had space for a laptop), and I’ve been “doctoring” my computer ever since. There has been many a late night getting my computer up and running … again.
But, to the point: dismissing the reputation of the “master race,” PC gaming is a wonderful space and has many advantages. The first of which is upgradability. You can put whatever components you’d like in a desktop to fit whatever budget you have. When I first built my current computer, I didn’t even put in a graphics card. I picked that up later, for a steal, off Amazon during Cyber Monday.
The second greatest advantage is cost. Before you say it, I know that consoles are cheaper, but once you build a computer, it tends to last. And, again, you can upgrade it at your pace. I’d also argue that consoles are moving towards a more PC-like structure. What even is the PlayStation 4 Pro, anyway? Games are also cheaper on PC in general, which will make up the difference over time.
A third advantage of PC gaming would be options. Thanks to the vast indie scene (Undertale, anyone?), you have so many more choices of what to play on PC. Some of my favorite games will probably never make it to console.
The fourth advantage is productivity. After you have a PC powerful enough to game on, it’s going to be powerful enough to do nearly anything else on. PCs have always been about productivity, and that doesn’t change because you downloaded a few games.
Also, as a sort of honorable mention, form factor is also an advantage of PCs. While laptops do tend to be more expensive, you will be able to take your whole gaming setup with you should you choose a laptop over a desktop.
To finalize, it’s hard work. Maintenance can be a pain in the neck, but honestly, it’s worth it. I’ve had my current computer for nearly a year and have loved every moment of it. Upgrading it from time to time has been a rewarding experience. It feels personal, like a piece of myself.
That’s not to say that console gaming doesn’t also have its merits. I have a PlayStation 4 for a reason. Even so, I think I’m a permanent member of the master race now.