I’ll go ahead and start this with a disclaimer.
I’m hoping this actually is read, but most of you wonderful readers are of the reasonable sort, so I’m counting on folks not skipping down to the comments to tell me why I’m an idiot. So here’s a little preface for this opinion of mine:
- This is my personal opinion on gaming, and it in no way affects anyone that doesn’t agree with me.
- The joke is on you if you think I’m an idiot for what I think, because I have had my suspicions that I’m an idiot for years already.
- I understand that not everyone has the same line of thinking as me, so naturally my views are not the end-all-be-all.
That said, I’m certainly open for discussion on this topic, and as always I encourage others to share how they feel.
I’m a simple man, of simple gaming tastes. Actually, that isn’t really true, because I enjoy many different genres of games ranging from racing games to shooters, platformers to strategy titles. There are few types of games that I don’t enjoy, like hack-and-slash games, JRPGs, and visual novels. I have nothing against those genres, they just don’t interest me.
But I digress.
Like my taste in games, my preference in gaming platform is varied. I game on Xbox primarily, though I own a PlayStation 4 and a moderately capable laptop. I’d own a Nintendo Wii U or Switch (or both), but quite frankly, I’m a little broke and Jennifer would probably kill me if I came home with another game system when we’re looking to buy a house.
“But Shelby,” you may be thinking “if you own a PC that can run most games, why bother with an Xbox at all?”
My response to you, hypothetical well-intentioned reader, is that I’m cheap and lazy.
Sometimes You Just Gotta Game
As I’ve said before (probably in another post that I couldn’t be bothered to link back to though far more likely in a comment I’ve made to someone on their own blog), when I want to game, I just want to game as easily as possible.
For example, when The Witcher III: Wild Hunt released, I was able to pop in the disk and play the game on my Xbox One with little hassle. I didn’t have to worry about system specifications or compatibility issues. I knew that if I bought a copy of the game for the Xbox One, it would work on my Xbox One.
At the time, all I had for a PC was a cheap Dell desktop with a crappy integrated GPU, so even playing the game on the lowest settings would be impossible. I still remember getting a Rainbow Six: Siege alpha access code and not being able to participate on even the barest of bones settings because my PC had trouble with rendering textures. I still have that Dell and I use it for light gaming, like playing older titles, but the vast majority of my PC gaming is done on
our Jennifer’s laptop.
Contrast the ease of installing The Witcher III: Wild Hunt with my experience with installing The Elder Scrolls IV: Skyrim on my laptop when it arrived. Jennifer was excited to dive back into Skyrim (it’s her addiction), and it helped me sell her on the idea of letting me buy an $1200 laptop for college instead of a more reasonably priced one. So once I got the laptop set up and we got the basic stuff out of the way, I started installing her game.
Once it was finished, I ran it… and I noticed something odd. A game from 2011 ran like trash on a brand new laptop with a graphics card and processor that should run it easily. It turns out that it was an easy fix, as I just needed to update the graphics card drivers, but had I not known to check for that, I would’ve been rather upset.
Where am I going with this? I don’t know. I kinda lost my train of thought. Oh, right…
My point is that I don’t have to worry about running games on my Xbox One, or even my PS4, because I know that if I buy a game for those systems, it will generally work (barring extraneous circumstances of course). Sure, it won’t run at the highest settings, but I don’t really need my games to. Most gamers are the same way; even (shockingly) PC gamers.
I could invest in a decent gaming rig to be able to play the vast majority of games at higher settings, but that would require the purchase of a decent monitor, a pricey GPU, a hard drive or two, and likely other things that I can’t think of at the moment. It’s something I’ve considered before, but once I start pricing things, I remember that I have other obligations I need to see to, and spending the equivalent of two car payments on a graphics card is not something I’m comfortable doing at the moment.
PC Gaming Is Less Comfortable And More Complicated
I have a pretty nice TV. It’s not the greatest, but it’s pretty nice. It’s a 46″ Samsung display, and it has a good refresh rate and all that jazz. Jennifer has the same model TV. My laptop is minuscule in comparison, sporting a 13″ display. I compromised when shopping for a laptop because getting a larger screen meant spending an additional $200-$400 for the same power. Besides, I have the option of connecting my laptop to my TV anyway.
Actually, as far as I know, there are many PC gamers that do the same thing. Connecting a PC to a large HDTV is actually a good solution to the small screen issue, and it doesn’t require the purchase of a costly monitor.
The problem is that it’s inconvenient and not as comfortable to game that way.
Relax, we’re veering into first-world problems territory. It’s not like I’m talking about getting clean, running water in my house for the first time after all.
It’s just more inconvenient than playing on a console. I have to hook up my laptop to the HDMI cord I have for it, round up my wireless keyboard and mouse, and find something to use my mouse on. Is it the end of the world? Hardly. However, it’s still much easier to plop down in my chair with my controller. Maybe in time I could fashion a way to make it less inconvenient, but for the time being, that isn’t really an option.
Gaming on my desktop isn’t much better either since I need to sit at my desk to use it, and while my chair is fairly comfortable, it gets a tad bit less comfy sitting there for a long period of time, which is a problem since I love my gaming marathons. Sitting at the desk is also a little less desirable since I do that at my university constantly. It’s preferable to me to be able to separate myself from the desk and computer for a while when I’m trying to relax.
Not that I’m in the need of that right now… It’s not like my life is all that stressful at the moment. What little of a point that I’ve made though still remains though!
I guess I could’ve just broken this down into a list…
- It’s arguably cheaper in the long run to play games on consoles while maintaining a decent level of quality
- Sitting on the couch while playing on a console is less of a pain in the ass (both literally and figuratively)
- There’s little hassle with compatibility on consoles compared to PC
- Console gaming is for the lazy gamer, which is what I am
So there it is. This is the gist of why I prefer my console gaming over the PC alternative. Don’t get me wrong, I know that gaming on the PC has its benefits. It’s just that I, like many other gamers, don’t experience those benefits because I haven’t been completely invested in that platform. I also don’t pirate games either, so there’s that.
I’m not implying that all PC gamers pirate games. Boy, do I have stories of the few that do though!
Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Anger-filled rants? Feel free to chip in!
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