Nobody can deny the merits of PC gaming, what with its terafloppies and flapjacks per second. But unfortunately, it cam be pretty hard to get into for a lot of consumers. Are you thinking about being a PC gamer? Let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages.
I’d be doing you a disservice if I didn’t tell you about Steam. Steam is a digital game market created by the people behind Half Life and Left 4 Dead that supports games for Windows, Mac or, if you’re a pain in the ass like my editor, Linux. It has all the basic features like friends lists, but what it’s most known for is its infamous sales. Ah, the Steam Sale, one of the few times when you will feel bad if your wallet isn’t hemorrhaging. The sales are so good that it would be smart to never buy a game unless it was on sale. In addition to the amazing deals on triple A titles Steam makes an effort to showcase indie titles through its Greenlight system, where users vote on games to be put on the market. As great as this sounds, the system is still new and there are some problems that need to be fixed. Steam will also act as your social hub; users can add friends and chat with them by simply pressing 2 keys no matter game they’re playing.
Then we have the game experience itself. The general consensus is that a keyboard and mouse give superior control in shooters and RPGs. If the mouse and keyboard are not your style simply find a controller that is. Most if not all PC versions of games support intricate control options. The main draw though is the community by far, because games have mod support the more talented gamers have the opportunity to finely tune a game to their liking and release it to the public. Skyrim for example has diverse mod support, from new spells, quests and even hours of fan created story content. Have you ever imagined the Dragonborn adventuring through the Mushroom Kingdom? Welcome to mod support.
Now the ugly side of PC gaming. As you can imagine it takes a pretty powerful machine to run games nowadays, and that will cost some serious cash. The more experienced and tech savvy build their own rig, which I do not recommend to newcomers. My editor actually built his first computer last Christmas, and when I asked for his input he swore at me in more than a couple languages. Although building it yourself gives you a better value, if you’re not careful you could end up with a very expensive part (or set of parts) that simply will not work with the rest of your components.
There’s also the crux of the constant updates, mainly hardware. If having the the best possible graphics is something you’re interested you better get to know your parts well. New parts are constantly being created that will give your games that slightly prettier picture. Once again cost is the big con here, a powerful video card alone can set you back anywhere from under two hundred dollars up to six hundred dollars and beyond. It’s important to mention you don’t always need to most powerful and expensive components to produce great graphics.
There you have it, the basic pros and cons of PC gaming. If you’re tired of console gaming or simply looking to get into a more diversive gaming experience then give PC gaming a shot. You don’t need a beast computer to get a taste of what it’s like nor do you need to shell out five hundred plus dollars. The common notion that PC gaming is too expensive is not wrong but not right either, it’s about how much you’re willing to pay.