Why I won't be a PC gamer
Posted on Thursday, November 29 2007 @ 17:24:48 PST
People often ask me why I don't play games on PC... well, they don't, that was a lie but if I spent more time around PC gamers I'm sure they would ask me that. They would ask me that because I don't do it, don't get me wrong I've tried, I even played Halo on PC before Xbox (not a glowing reference to the PC gaming world) but as hard as I've tried in the past I've never been what I'd call a 'PC gamer' and there are several reasons for this.
Hardware - back home I have a PC with a Radeon 9600 Pro graphics card, 2.2Ghz AMD Athlon processor, 1GB RAM, 80gig hard drive and 5.1 surround sound. It has a flat screen 17" monitor, a DVD drive and a CD rewriter. None of these specs sound all that impressive, especially not in today's world of quad core processors and dual GPUs but back when I bought the PC it was pretty decent and I upgraded a couple of components to what it is now. Problem is, the PC world moves fast... damn fast. When I got my computer to the state it's in it didn't take long for PCI-Express to make its debut, DDR2 RAM to pick up and 64bit processors to arrive meaning that if I wanted to upgrade I'd need to change to PCI-E meaning a new motherboard, meaning a change in RAM, meaning a change in processor, meaning I may as well just buy a whole new PC. PC aficionados would say it's worth the time, effort and expense of upgrading every year or so (or more often if they're '1337') to be on the cutting edge of graphics, physics and sound but that brings me to my other points.
Controls - First Person Shooters and Real Time Strategies work great with a keyboard and mouse but forget about using that combo for pretty much anything else, of course there are pads available but that means mapping the buttons yourself and, although that's a pretty good solution, it means you have to spend time before even starting the game thinking about how you want to control it, something I prefer to be dealt with beforehand.
Games - the amount of FPS and RTS games available on PC is staggering but what if you're a gamer that only likes one of those genres? Or worse, neither? Personally I love almost all FPS but RTS don't appeal to me so straight away that's a huge slice of the PC market that isn't applicable to me. I've tried the genre, I've given time to Red Alert, Generals (again, mistake), Rome: Total War, Medieval: Total War and so on but I never felt the same enjoyment as I have when playing other genres.
Convenience - when I buy a game I like to get it home, whack it in and start playing. That's not to say I don't like deep games because I do, I love them, I have since Metal Gear Solid, right through the Knights of the Old Republic games through to present day Bioshock but even though these games have a depth to them I can put the disc in and instantly start playing, the depth comes after that, not before. Consoles offer the simplicity I desire, I buy the console, I buy the game and in almost every case that's enough to get going.
Updates - this is less of a dividing point here since with the new generation of consoles hard drives come in preparation for updates but when it was more of a contentious point I found it quite tiresome that I had to buy a game only to spend much of my precious time updating either my system or the game (or both) just to be able to play the damn thing as advertised.
So consoles are simpler, it's not that I don't understand PCs, I do. Admittedly not to the degree of many other people but certainly enough to equip a computer with the hardware required to play modern game. But I don't want to, In much the same way as the majority of people want to buy a car to drive places, I want to buy a console to play games, I love the idea of high performance but I'm not going to sacrifice my time or money to get it. Simple.