Update: I was unfortunately not aware of Shamus Young's severe criticism of Fallout 3 available here to link in the original piece and I regret that. It dovetails rather nicely with what I've written and it's much better executed than my piece. I strongly recommend anyone...
HomeFeatures 2012 Is A Great Time To Start PC Gaming And This Is Why
2012 Is A Great Time To Start PC Gaming And This Is Why
You've probably been hearing for a few years now that PC gaming is floating dead in the water, but I'll be the first to tell you that it isn't. As a matter of fact, it's on the rise, and if trends continue, we'll be seeing it as a dominant platform like it was earlier in the century. That's a pretty strong statement, but there are several reasons that gamers are looking to the personal computer for their entertainment solution, and we've decided to compile a concise list of reasons that you should seriously consider getting into PC gaming.
Less Money, Mo' Hardware
Prices are lower than ever before, especially with technology being as advanced as it is along with simple economics playing in favor of the consumer. You don't have to sell a kidney anymore to buy a powerful PC. As detailed in my recent article, PC Gaming is Cheaper Than You Think, you can get yourself a considerably potent computer for less than $600. New technology has not only increased performance, but efficiency as well. It's feasible to play games on laptops and smaller form factor PCs that put out very little heat and provide a stimulating visual experience that consoles simply can't compete with right now.
A Game Library That Counts
A new StarCraft II expansion will be arriving this year alongside another massive World of Warcraft expansion which is sure to trigger another epidemic of people taking days off school and work to play video games. Diablo III will be joining them soon, and while that will also be on consoles, Guild Wars 2 and Dota 2 won't. There are some extremely attractive games arriving on PC this year, including but certainly not limited to multi-platform blockbusters such as Mass Effect 3, Bioshock Infinite, Borderlands 2, and Hitman: Absolution. Needless to say, you have a lot of options, and being able to plug in your Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 controller means you can play games from an extensive library the way you want.
Consoles Are Showing Their Age
512 megabytes of memory? That's so last century. It's hard to believe that the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 have been able to last so long with severe limitations, but they have. However, their time is limited, and at this point they're simply limping along with osteoporosis. We haven't seen a new console announced from either camp yet, so chances are that the new generation will begin in 2013 at the soonest. What that means is that not only are PCs currently more than 10 times as powerful, but that number will continue to grow leaving a massive disparity.
If you recall, Battlefield 3 only supports 24 players on consoles, while the PC version has a range of up to 64 players, and in a game where the goal is to simulate a war, numbers matter. That's just one of many examples of how hardware affects you directly. Spare yourself the heartache and get ahead with a PC that'll last you well into the future.
Who Needs Real Life?
Playing on Xbox Live and PlayStation Network is satisfactory, but PCs have social gaming in the bag. Playing games like World of Warcraft, Diablo III, and StarCraft II with the ability to type to everyone and use voice communciation software for teamwork without the fear of group size limitations or Xbox Live fees can't be emphasized enough. Nearly every online game that allows more than 32 players to play together is PC exclusive, so if you're into socializing in your video games and meeting people, PCs are your best bet.
Mods Are The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread
Not many people know this but virtually every PC game available can be modded one way or another. What this does is allow you to customize the game in any way imaginable. With games like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, this is a huge deal. The mod community is huge and shopping for mods to tweak your game is like going to your local game shop with a $200 gift card you found. It's practically free content, and adds value to every game you play.
So there you have it, just a few reasons why you should join the fray and either build a PC or upgrade the one you already have. You're probably content with sitting on your comfortable couch while playing Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball, but you'd be surprised how much you're really missing out on. If you decide that you're ready to make the jump but have no idea what to buy, check out our PC build guide to get an idea of what's hot, and what you need to get started.