PC Vs Console: Who Will Win the Gaming War?

Online gaming has, in the past, been strictly the domain of the PC gamer. This generation, with the PlayStation 3, Xbox Live and the Nintendo Wii, is really making a dent in online gaming for console owners, but in the past, it wasn't until the Dreamcast was released with games like Phantasy Star Online that we started to see online gaming take off on consoles, and even then, those early steps into the world of multiplayer were a bit klutzy at best.

Simply put, the framework wasn't there, yet. The hardware, software and communication technology of mainstream consumers had some catching up to do. If you had the money for cable internet in the late nineties, if you had the money for a top of the line gaming computer, then maybe you could play Quake or Unreal against friends from around the world, but if all you had was a gaming console and a little bit of cash to buy the game? Forget it.

Today, if you want online gaming, you can take your pick. PC and console both have their strong points and their weak points, but both do offer some form of online gaming.

With a PC, even an inexpensive Sony laptop can at least play most recent releases. In the past, you needed a real gaming laptop to do any gaming with it. Now, you can take any old refurbished computers you use for work or at home and load up Half Life 2 or Team Fortress on them. You may have to tweak the performance configuration to get a decent frame rate going, but today's computers have made it so that, for the first time, high speed PC gaming is available to the masses.

On PC, that a game comes with online features is essentially a given. On console, online playability is typically seen as more of a "bonus". A game like Team Fortress 2 or Left 4 Dead, then, which are meant only to be played online rather than solo, are the kind of things that are definitely of the PC gaming scene.

Multiplayer games released primarily for PC are typically a lot better designed in terms of their playability as competitive games. A game like, say, Stranglehold, which is primarily single player, features a multiplayer mode which is severely unbalanced, allowing the first player to grab the biggest power-up Godlike abilities, regardless of skill. A game like Counter Strike, on the other hand, which is designed as a multiplayer PC game, is geared towards serious, fair, competitive play. If you stink at Counter Strike, no power up will save you.

Console gaming offers you an all-in-one package. No upgrades necessary. PC gaming, on the other hand, offers a much more robust and complete approach to multiplayer.

Steve is crazy about computers and gaming! If you want info/advice before purchasing a Nintendo Wii a Sony laptop or if you're more interested in refurbished computers, Steve is the man!

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