Published on October 20th, 2011 | by Coyle Permetter, Editor

The Ultimate Showdown: PC vs Console gaming

Pre-Fight: The Weigh-in

There is an ongoing battle of the gaming platforms. In one corner we have the timeless PC. Ever-vigilant and continuously advancing, this fighter does not know the meaning of the word “retire.” The PC has come back this year with a surplus of new components that ascend it’s contention into the elite. In the opposite corner we have the six year veteran-the Xbox 360, and five year pro-the PlayStation 3. Definitely dated, and on the verge of retiring, however these systems still pack a big punch, and are hands down the easiest to setup.

Refereeing your fight will be Coyle Permetter, a PC enthusiast, as well as Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 owner.

We are approaching what is about to be one of the most exciting winters in terms of title releases. As so many new titles flood into the marketplace it leaves us to ask the question, “Which platform should I be playing these games on?” Many would tell you that PC gaming is dead, when it is actually quite the opposite. Through extensive research, I have laid out my best overview of consumers options when it comes to gaming.

Round 1: Price

The first and most important thing to 99% of consumers purchasing a new gaming system-is the price in terms of the value of the system they are getting. Notice how I didn’t say the cost in dollars, as this works in interesting ways on consumers’ perceptions of possible product. I’m going to compare the upper end setups of each product.

Xbox 360 S 300$
PS3 300$
PC 1000$

The PC is more expensive, hands down. However, the line does become blurred as time goes by. A “nice” gaming-PC will cost you about USD $1000-1300.. This will give you the crème-de-la-crème of hardware (including OS, cables, and headsets) your machine will be able to eat orphaned children and piss excellence. This however does not mean the fight is over. Games for consoles are now reaching an excess of USD 60, truly closer to USD 70 after taxes. PC games are about USD 10 cheaper, which definitely reduces the total costs to the consumer after a certain amount of time.

Consoles also require substantial gadgets to keep up to pace. Want your Xbox games in HD? Tack on the cost of a $30 HDMI cable, $50-60 controllers, $100+ headsets-$60/year Xbox live subscriptions, and the list continues on. Basically, there are hidden implicit costs on consoles that most consumers are aware of, and they definitely need to be factored into the price. So, the accessories plus the extra $10 a game you are spending a year (let’s say you purchase 10 games a year) closes the margin to around only USD $450. Not really that much of a nuisance when consumers were purchasing $600 PlayStation consoles a few short years back.

This also works in the opposite direction. There are a multitude of consumers who want to be able to spend extra money to completely customize their gaming station. With the PC, everything from solid state hard drives, to liquid cooled gaming machines can be created. The ability to continuously upgrade your system is a definite advantage for those willing to spend the money. So, essentially you will spend a lot of money with the ability to consistently upgrade every few years without ever having to spend that initial $1000 again. You simply replace parts as they become dated. With a console, you pay the initial cost and you are locked into that hardware. No upgrading, little customization, and very minimal future-proofing.



Results of Round 1: Console by a split decision (Hardcore gamers/enthusiast Judges for PC)



Round 2: Hardware

System Xbox360 PS3 PC
CPU 3.2 GHz PowerPC Tri-core Xenon 3.2 GHz Cell Broadband Engine Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz 3.8GHz Turbo Boost)
Storage Capacity 250 GB 250 GB 4TB+
Memory 512 MB of GDDR3 Ram 512 MB of GDDR3 Ram 8GB+ of DDR 3 Ram
Graphics 500 MHz ATI Xenos 550 MHz NVIDIA/SCEI RSX ‘Reality Synthesizer’ Radeon HD 6990 4GB 256-bit GDDR5


If you are tech savvy, you can see the difference. If not, these pictures/video show that there is no comparison between the PC and Console.




Results of Round 2: PC wins! Unanimous Decision


Round 3: User Interface

This is where things start to take a huge swing in the other direction. If today I wanted to go buy a PlayStation 3 and play Batman: Arkham City I could drive 20 minutes to the store, drive home, and delve into Arkham City for 2-3 hours that night. With PC, this unfortunately just isn’t the case. I can’t tell you how many horror stories I’ve personally experienced with setting up a PC, upgrading a PC, or just simply installing a game to get down to business that same day. Owning a PC means you are going to be learning a lot about your PC. You will be constantly fiddling, upgrading, and tweaking different things. While for some (me included) this is a huge bonus. However, for the average gamer, this is an unnecessary and ultimately negative aspect to owning a PC.


Results of Round 3: Console Wins! Unanimous decision!


Round 4: Game Variety

There are console titles that are exclusive to a specific manufacturer such as Heavy Rain is only on PS3. Whereas Halo Reach is only on Xbox only title. However, games such as these are also mutually exclusive to each other, so you can’t have both. And to make things even more confusing for the consumer, there are PC titles which do not exist on consoles such as Starcraft II.

So, from here, it’s based on more of a preference. Consumers are faced with the choice of which specific titles that become available are they going to play.


Results of Round 4: Draw



Results of Fight: Console wins by split decision (2 votes for console, 1 vote for pc, 1 draw)

It was an incredible bout, with both fighters bringing incredible things to the ring. PC components have gotten considerably cheaper in recent years making the gap between console and PC draw ever so close. The Achilles heel of computer gaming is still- price. To really reap the benefits of a PC one must spend at least a few hundred more than a loaded console.

Unfortunately, as this is being written, we are in the later stages of a recession, and most of us don’t have an extra USD $700 to spend on computer gaming hardware. However, if you already have a computer dedicated to this, or if you just recently built one, the costs for upgrading are considerably cheaper than getting a new console/accessories. So, the advantage is really only for those who do not have any PC hardware to start with, or for those who aren’t willing to get their hands dirty putting a rig together. Price aside, consoles are lacking so much from a technological standpoint- that they are almost a rip-off to consumers.

For those who want the best, and who don’t mind spending money, PC gaming is the absolute best way to experience any game.

Troll Gate:

Here, I will take the time to address and disprove many of the rumors floating around concerning PC/Console comparisons.

1.) Consoles have so much more games! Simply not true. The number of exclusive titles have dropped considerably since the Xbox/PS2 days, as more and more publishers are realizing that they can capitalize on multi-platform endeavors. Even Massive Multiplayer Online Game’s (MMOG’s), once PC exclusive, are begging to become cross-platform. It’s only a matter of time until the number of “exclusives” dwindles away to a few mere titles that no one will go and buy a system over.

2.) PC Gaming is dead. This is the worst and most over-exaggerated rumor. PC gaming is actually increasing. Activision makes several billion dollars a year on World of Warcraft. The residual income of subscription based games has dramatically increased over the past decade. Publishers will continue to try and branch into this market so long as the world keeps spending the GDP of Spain on subscriptions. Also the popularity of competitive gaming is also becoming increasingly popular as of late (MLG and such). Most of these competitions are played on pc because pc offers the most competitive environment known to gaming. (sorry no auto-lock for FPS’ kids!)

3.) Consoles are for kids! What!? Nothing is more fun than having people over to play Madden, or jumping into your favorite console game while relaxing on a couch. The ease and comfort at which consoles deliver the gaming experience will never be matched. All ages and all types of people can and do enjoy console gaming.


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31 Responses to The Ultimate Showdown: PC vs Console gaming

  1. Angelo Vila says:

    Console is definitely the best way to go if you just want to play games.  If you want to spend countless hours doing something OTHER than playing your games (IE: tweaking adjustments, keeping your OS in check) then PC is the best way to spend more money and less time playing games.

    • CnetExecutive says:

      PC Gaming is the best experience possible. I have a PS3 and 360 and they are only good when I play racing or NBA Games. Other games just suck on a PS3 or 360. Sadly Console gamers don’t realize that your hardware is shitty and your hdmi cable does not do shit.

    • Riayde1 says:

      stfu pc gaming is the best

    • RandomDude says:

      Maybe you should get balls and build a fat beast for once. Or maybe go outside and tan in the sun a little bit, because true pc gamers do that now and then, chillax in the sun rather than on the couch.

      It’s not that I hate consoles, in fact I would buy one if it was for more than just 2 titles, or if the games would last longer than just a few hours, because face it, multiplay shooters remain better on PC even though there are more hackers, if you have MW3Server Admin and frequently are host than you rarely get any hackers in your game or bullshitting kids, or rage whiners.

      PC Would be so much more appreciated if the console fan community would open up their eyes.

      • RandomDude says:

        And face it, Strategy is not even any where close of being on a console ever. Perhaps if they would put real mouse and keyboard support to games, then maybe. But seeing developers arse to do this, there will never be a strategy game as in StarCraft2 on the console market ever, period.

      • TrueRandomDude says:

        amen brother, well said. Maybe we should start campaign on the internet about educating stupid retard console fans

    • dafuq says:

      stupid macfag

  2. Riayde1 says:

    PC is the best gaming source you could ever try for example the graphics are fucking amazing

  3. Jony says:

    pc gaming sucks, they are for fat retard with no balls

    • Kristopher Baran says:

      Im a PC gamer. I also just finished my contract with the Marine Corps and served 2 Iraqi tours while in. I can guarantee you that I am not fat and as far as my balls go, well Im sure they’re bigger than yours.

    • Dangbry12 says:


  4. Yobobjm says:

    I love pc gaming and all the tweaking and stuff angelo talked about doesn’t really happen,  I haven’t had to adjust anything on my pc for years,  and also if you buy smartly you can get a very good gaming pc for 500 dollars and the graphics are worth it.  I think most console gamers just don’t understand pc gaming at all as they have never tried it.

  5. geoff butler says:

    they forgot to factor in when people go out and but a console they will also have a $500 – $800 pc also just so they can surf the net

    • RandomDude says:

      Yea they seem not to know that some upgrades, like a better graphics card is a better solution than buying a 149(wii) to something 200something or more console which is outdated already before it’s even on the market. I know a lot of people which has stopped PC gaming because it was under performing in some games, I told them to change gfxcard and huzza they could play at least 2 -3years more on that same old rig (if it wasn’t too old of course)

      • RandomDude says:

        Decent mid to high range gfxcard are only 150 euro or more. And could last for 3 years or maybe longer if your demands and needs aren’t all too high, seeing most here are console players, their demands shouldn’t be high, with a platform like those.

        • RandomDude says:

          But all in all I don’t really hate consoles, just hate the people who brutally stand for just one platform and that’s pathetic. Only one platform can be superior and that’s PC, your games are made on it anyways.

  6. Ghost-GTX says:

    1st. you dont have to sit in that old chair playing a pc game… you can plug most updated systems into a flatscreen (HDMI) and play it on the couch… along with the xbox 360 controller… simple stuff guys… its not hard… just has to be done right :3

    • RandomDude says:

      Who says you need to sit on an old chair on some stubbery desk. With a little bit creativity you can still easily sit on the couch, or just buy a real good chair like I have ;). I bet you find my vibrating chair on wheels with extra soft leather very relaxing.

    • RandomDude says:

      By the way, did you even know that the HDMI You are using isn’t even native resolution.

      You can do this with PC on your super tight flatscreen, you just need a little bit more expense an HDMI to DVI adapter, or if you’re lucky there is mini HDMI in your gfxcard. And you can set the NATIVE resolution of your flatscreen.. rather than a stretched out what is it ?? 720p or 1080p.. while your flatscreen can probably do 2550×1600 something? get real josé

    • RandomDude says:

      Also you forget how many franchise xbox title also come for PC, except for some titles of course, but most xbox titles (as it is microsoft) will come for pc or will come for it later. These games OFTEN have controller support, so you can still easily setup your rig in your favorite living room and play like you play on xbox, a lot of these games that also come for pc even have multiplayer and splitscreen support.

      Its not hard, just has to be done right <3

      • RandomDude says:

        And last but not least because I forget, if you have a cable xboxcontroller it’s 100% sure it works on the PC also, these controllers are also in a PC edition and only like 20 euro (is like 23-25 dollar?) Not really that expensive or you can just buy a wireless receiver for the pc, but that can be a little bit expensive.

  7. Kristopher Baran says:

    So if you’re tech savy you can see a difference, if not then its all made up. Right?

  8. TRIKIS59 says:


  9. a logical man says:

    please do better reasarch on both topiics if you’re going to make something like this. PC should win hands down

  10. Person says:

    You are so full of shit. Most people doing these comparisons don’t really play pc games. I started on consoles and as I grew up I moved to PC. It’s naturally better hands down. You completely misunderstand what a computer is if you think a console can compete, all a console really is essentially is an over priced very limited non up-gradable computer that only plays 1 or 2 generation of games, never being compatible with jack shit form before. Every little thing costs money.

    First, you are forgetting that PC does everything that ever came before. So when you say things like, PC requires constant updates to stay to play the latest games. No, usually games will work in a range of computers from bellow average all the way up to the best at the time of release. Naturally developers want to satisfy pc enthusiasts. This is like complaining that a road crew built the autoban to handle the most expensive fastest cars. STFU

    When people compare the number of PC game releases in a year they don’t count any of the old or indie games or updated older games available on gog or steam. My PC has hundreds of thousands of games. I cannot play them all in my lifetime. That’s how many fucking games I have. It runs many console games better than a console can dream of, on multiple monitors, with better sound and I can plug in controllers for virtually any console system NES, SNES, GENESIS, 360, and PS3 are all controllers I can use on my PC on a big screen TV. Then I have some awesome joysticks. ..And it all costs me less. Controllers or mice I bought years ago still work fine. I haven’t bought a joystick in years and I only need 1 of each controller.

    Second, people act like PC gamers are alone. I play PC games mostly because of how much less it costs, and second, because I can join my friends so easily. I hardly ever play a game unless I am joining friends from real life on skype or vent. Moreover, we meet up and just bring out laptops and play in public places like starbucks or a friend’s house that has a good internet. My experience with console gamers was that they are the ones they play alone in dark quiet rooms cursing with some headset on. Before you criticize pc gamers on social aspects, remember that most cheap laptops today outperform any console and are many times more portable.

    Third, you left out the price of a TV. A $1000 Skyrim ulting PC is only $1000 if you include a really good monitor/TV about 30 inches or more. So include it on the consoles too. Suddenly PC is not hands down the most expensive thing. Putting together a good PC from scratch including monitor = $1000 but who doesn’t already have a PC? You can reuse the case, Keyboard, heat sinks, fans, mouse, monitor, cables, power supply.. Really a PC only requires about $500 every 4-5 years to always stay about 2x superior to the best console.

    Fourth, we win for mobility, cost, graphics, # of games, social aspects, but what else? Of course! variety of games! On a console you can only buy major developer’s crap. Nothing is free to play, nothing is pay as you go, nothing is pay what you want, and nothing is from independent developers. You get all of that on a PC. Free to play is a lot of fun. I’ve tried Savage 2, Vindictus, Star Treck, Blacklight Retribution, IWBTG, Champions online, League of Legends, Tribes Ascend. All for close to no cost.

    Then for paid games you have all kinds of crazy things. Star Craft 1-2, Age of Empires, Civilization 1-whatever, Shogun total war,, WOW, Everquest, EVE online, City of Heroes, Guild Wars, Guild Wars 2, Diablo 1,2,3,Titan’s Quest, Sins of a Solar Empire, Homeworld, Dawn of War, Farcry, Crysis.

    Then there are Indie and small dev games like Terraria, Amnesia, Psychonauts, Super Meat boy, Ultima, Thief, Torchlite, Trine, Magica,

    Then there are old classics remade on gog, like Descent 1-3, Baldurs Gate 1-2, Master of Orion 1-3, Duke Nukem, Freespace, Mantis, Alien vs Predator 2.

    Then there are a ton of great PC originals that migrated to console for marketing purposes and ended up being huge hits there. You might recognize some. The Elder Scrolls (Morrowind, Oblivion, Skyrim), Minecraft, Fallout 1-NV, Half Life 1-2.

    Then there are emulators for pretty much all old console games. I’ve got Super Mario Brothers 1-3 and Super Mario World, Castlevanie SOTN/Aria of sorrow/, Super Mario 64, Perfect Dark, Goldeneye, Final Fantasy 1-9, Tales of Destiny 2, Valkyrie Profile, Turok 1-3, Zelda OOT, Contra, Metal Slug.

    Yeah.. I just feel like I am missing so much by not having a modern console. I mean, another mario cart?! another smash brothers?!! another identical Zelda OOT clone?!!! another Halo clone!? … your unique games suck and are just reiterations of old classics. PC actually has unique games and it’s driving the whole market’s creativity right now.

  11. FaizanAliNaqvi says:


  12. FaizanAliNaqvi says:

    1000 $ WTF that is just way out……WAY OUT.

  13. james braselton says:

    hi there yes pc have lots of ultra fast storage solid state drives up too 2.8 gb/s read write speed hybride drives 220 mb/s read 200 mb/s write speed 10,000 rpm voloci-raptors or 15,000 rpm cheeta hard drives

  14. RighteousGen says:

    Lol r u shittin me or just ur self

  15. hiimawesome says:

    i agree.hands down.
    Pc is dead.pc is forgotten.
    Wii U is love,Wii u is splatoon.

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