Let’s look at some obvious, and not so obvious, pros and cons of getting a gaming PC over a console.
1) Highly customisable and flexible
Unlike your console, which is a closed system, you can make your gaming PC exactly the way you want it. You can tweak it, overclock it, change or upgrade components at will, and even make it look as stylish as you’d like.
Due to the customisation and the ease of upgrading, you won’t need to change your graphics card every time you want to play a new game, unlike on the console, where you might not even be able to play super old games as they’re not supported by the new system. Although most PC games have soft and hard lower-end requirements, most of the time you will be able to play very old games on your PC. This, however, is not an option for the next gen consoles. While backward compatibility is something Xbox was first to implement to any reasonable degree, PlayStation is also catching up. But even still, if you want to play a game from PS3 or Xbox 360 gen, you will not be able to do so on a new gen console. On the PC however, you can pick up some of the old classics like Red Dead Redemption 1, or Mass Effect 1 (though since the Legendary Edition, new gen console players can experience the whole trilogy now).
In addition, consoles are very limited in what they can do. If you’re not gaming on the PC, you can be surfing the web or working, while your console is only your gaming station, and that’s it. While Microsoft attempted to make the last gen Xbox into an ‘’entertainment system’’, people were not really sold on it. With PC, while it may be a bit pricier to get initially, it has multitude of uses.
When it comes to customising how you play games, PCs are not in the same boat as consoles. The settings at which you want to game are less restricted to PC players. Sure, you need to understand what your rig can handle, but you can customise it on a PC a lot more than you can on the console. For example, you can decide how sensitive your mouse is for a much better accuracy.
2) Cheaper and more extensive selection of games, Steam Library, and indie titles
While both consoles have their own dedicated subscription services for games, none of them can really beat Steam in terms of availability and variety of games. It has something for everyone. Given, Steam is not a subscription service, so many games are paid, but the choice of the games cannot be really compared with PS Now or Xbox Game Pass. There are also many indie games and hidden gems that aren’t available to console players or have a very niche fan base. Games have generally (and historically) been much cheaper to buy for the PC than they were for the consoles.
But even more importantly, PC gamers do not have to pay for the upgrades as the new games come out, an issue that has been a bit of a hot topic with console gamers lately. As the new gen console stock has been an issue, many gamers have opted to purchase and play newer games on the last gen consoles like PS4 and Xbox One. For some of those games, players will need to pay an additional fee to upgrade it for the new gen console of their choice, while PC players will not.
There is also a lot more to discover on Steam that players may not have otherwise had the chance to do on a console. Also, buying games for the PC has historically been much cheaper than on the consoles.
PC gamers get a lot more discounts and flexibility when it comes to their games, and once they’ve purchased a game, they have it forever. By contrast, console players will see the game on their dedicated subscriptions services rotate quite often. For example, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has been taken off the Game Pass (we suspect it might something to do with the remaster that’s coming late this year), so Xbox players who wish to play the game again must either purchase it, or wait for it to return to the Xbox Game Pass.
And remember, there are far more games that cannot be played on the console than vice versa. Even mobile games can be played on a PC via an emulator such as BlueStacks. The choice of games and the types of games on PC is unparalleled.
3) Free online lobbies and modding
Unlike on the consoles where a yearly or monthly subscription to their service is required in order to play games, on PC online lobbies are always free. That means when you buy a game that has a multiplayer you’re not obliged, yet again, to pay for a subscription in order to play with other people. Although PC multiplayer isn’t as optimised as the console ones are, especially when it comes to hacking and cheating, the online experiencing is constantly improving.
In addition, more and more games are becoming cross-play, with immensely popular Destiny 2 finally being cross play as of June 2021.
Unlike on the console, where you do not have any access to any game files, on PC you do. This allows you to mod your game, create your own mods if you’re savvy-enough to do so, and share them with others. Although changing game files in games that are played competitively or online will result in a VAC ban (most likely), changing your game files and modding single player games can be extremely fun.
4) Superior graphics and performance
Although new gen consoles are a vast improvement when compared to PCs now, vs the last gen consoles when compared to the PCs then, PC still carry a much better performance.
1) Can be extremely pricey and you need to have some tech knowledge
Building your own gaming PC, or even getting a pre-built one can be confusing if you’re not really sure of what you’re looking for. A good prebuilt PC can go into thousands of pounds, and if you don’t know anything about specs you need or want, you’re really going into it blind. Consoles do not have this issue as they’re all running on the same hardware and the same software.
You might also want to think that if you’re getting a PC, you will also need to get the entire rig with it, such as a monitor, a desk, a chair, keyboard, mouse, headphones…etc. Setting up a gaming PC may prove rather pricey versus a console.
2) Can’t co-op with people in the same room
If you live with people who also game or if you ever want to play co-op in the same room, it will prove very difficult with a PC. Consoles facilitate co-op play, in front of the TV, and just like consoles themselves, it’s mostly plug and play.
PC gaming for a family isn’t going to be ideal unless you’re wanting to spend thousands of pounds on several gaming rigs.
3) Cheaper PC set ups may need an upgrade more often
Consoles are a lot more future proof than the PCs, as the games for consoles will keep being made for a single, standard spec of the console. Each PC gamer however has a different set up, so games aren’t made for one machine only. If you have an older PC, you might need to upgrade your components a lot sooner than someone who has a console due to the games being better and better each year. No games will be incompatible for a console gamer, at least not until the next gen,