When it comes to gaming capabilities of the current gen consoles and PCs, the gap in performance has narrowed quite a bit. The debate whether consoles or PCs are better for gaming doesn’t appear to be as prominent as before as most PC gamers tend to have a console and virtually all console owners still own a PC.
Regardless, there are still things that a gaming PC can do that consoles still can’t do well, or at all.
Unlocked Frame rates
Unlike the last gen consoles, where our framerates were locked at 30 fps, the new gen consoles have upped the framerates to 60 fps. And if you’re console-only gamer, that’s sort of it. Although many newer (and older) games have unlocked framerates, only PC gamers can truly utilise this feature as the FPS on the new gen consoles is locked at 60 fps.
For some this may not be a big deal, but for others, 120 fps and full utilisations of a game’s graphic capabilities is an integral part of their gaming experience and such can currently only be achieved on the PC.
If you ever feel nostalgic for an old N64 game, classic arcades or want to go back to the original Metal Gear Solid, emulators are the way to go, and they can be installed and played on your PC (because what can’t these days). It is impossible to play a Nintendo game on any other console except Nintendo unless such a game has been ported for another console.
When it comes to really old games, you will likely need to have the console they were originally released on, or you need an emulator, which you can easily download on your PC. Not only old console games, but you can use emulators on your PC, such as BlueStacks, to play mobile games. These features are not available on the console so you will not be able to download or use emulators.
Do note however, that there are unofficial ways to install certain emulators onto a PS4, however this is complex, isn’t officially supported by Sony and isn’t worth it.
On the PC, there are also emulators for Xbox 360 and PS3, so you can essentially play newer console games on your PC.
Consoles, unlike the PCs, are a closed system, meaning that the standard architecture, hardware and software are pre-set and aren’t adjustable. This is not the case for the PC, though some casual gamers may not know the extent of customisation that is available to the PC gamers.
When it comes to upgrading your gaming PC, you can upgrade components, or the whole rig. Every single component of the PC is customisable and upgradable (provided you know how), so your PC can be uniquely yours. You can choose what you want to use your PC for and how much of its power you want to allocate to work, gaming or surfing the web.
Such customisations aren’t yet possible for the consoles and remain in the domain of the PC gamers.
If you’ve never played a modded version of your favourite games, you’re really missing out. Modding in general is extremely fun, as it can add new content, can improve graphics, and add even more replayability to a game.
Some mods (probably many mods), are ridiculous and hilarious, making the game even more fun and funny.
And some insane mods for Red Dead Redemption 2.
Modding isn’t just limited to breaking the game or going God mode, though God Mode option is available in Fallout 4, for example, for console players as well. For some games, modding can improve graphics or even emulate HDR if you do not have a monitor that supports it.
This is to say nothing of mods that can make your character, or other NPCs look a certain way, changes in weather or even adding entirely new, community created content. Some mods for Dragon Age: Origins, for example, allow for a whole new content, voiced and designed by the community!
No matter how replayable the game is on a console, a mod can make it even more so on a PC.
Online play for free
Although online lobbies for PC are not quite as well optimised as those for the consoles, they do not require you to have a subscription to play with other people. In other words, any game that has a multiplayer option can be played without any additional software or payment.
On consoles, gaming online, multiplayer co-op, as well as PvP, require a subscription to your console’s service. On the PC, multiplayer is open to you and for free as long as it’s supported by the game you’re playing.
Massive Library of games
There really are no shortages of games when it comes to PC. In addition to a massive Steam library, there are many other existing and emerging desktop gaming clients that house thousands of games, many exclusive to that client.
While Steam is a main one, not all games can be found there and other gaming clients such as Uplay, Origin, Battle.net, Epic Games Store and others have found their foothold in desktop gaming. For the consoles, the choice of games is mostly limited to their console’s library which will not have games from other consoles or those exclusive to PC. With the integration of Xbox Game Pass into Windows, PC gaming library on the other hand, just got even bigger.
Gaming PC can do everything any other computer can, plus gaming
Although this one is obvious (and often quoted as a facetious response) we thought to include it into the list because, all jokes aside, it is true. If you build yourself a gaming PC, you aren’t just limited to merely gaming with it. Sure, it may not be optimised for other things, such as processor-demanding workloads that you might find in a high-end workstation, but most PC tasks can be performed exceptionally well.
Your PC is your gaming, entertainment, and workstation, while your console can only essentially for gaming and not much else.