Gaming consoles are a picture in time. They’re great for a while, but over time the technology within a gaming console becomes obsolete and your gaming experience can suffer as a result. Here is why your next gaming console shouldn’t be a gaming console; it should be a gaming PC.
The 8 major cons of gaming consoles
If you are thinking of either upgrading or buying a new gaming console, think again. Here are just 8 of the major cons of game consoles and why PC gaming makes more sense for each:
- Inferior graphics capabilities
- Less powerful performance
- More expensive games and having to pay for multiplayer games
- Lack of games
- Limited gameplay options
- Obsolescence and lack of upgradability or customizability
- Lack of interconnectivity and cross-platform compatibility
- No other uses or functionality aside from gaming
1. Inferior graphics capabilities
While it’s true that some of the best video game consoles can display Ultra High Definition (UHD) or 4K resolutions with high-dynamic range (HDR) color technology, gaming PCs offer better graphics capabilities as a general rule.
Because the hardware inside gaming PCs
enables them to outperform those within gaming consoles such as the PlayStation 4 (PS4) and Xbox One, you can play games with graphics settings set to higher levels.
This lets you enhance your gameplay with faster frame rates, for instance, compared to playing on a console. And there are more options and control over features such as ambient lighting, mapping textures, rendering polygons, and more - giving you the potential for stunning graphics.
Unlike gaming consoles, you can also update your gaming PC with new and more powerful hardware that gives you better graphics capabilities as your budget allows or as the technology emerges.
For example, you can always upgrade your graphics proficiencies by installing a new graphics card. And, conveniently, prices continue to decrease on older models of GPUs that are still significantly more powerful than what you’ll find in consoles.
The NVIDIA® Pascal-architected GeForce® GTX 1060, for instance, will play most games at Full High-Definition (FHD) - or 1080p gaming - resolutions, as well as some in Quad High Definition (QHD) resolutions (1440p). So you’re almost guaranteed to reach at least 60 frames per second (fps) in most games at 1080p. This budget-range card
retails in the price range of approximately $200 to $250.
On the AMD side, the AMD® Radeon RX 580 is also a solid pick for 1080p gaming at high settings and 1440p at lower settings, along with 8GB of GDDR5 memory. This card sells for a reasonable $200 or so.
Compared to console gaming, the monitor options for PC gaming can’t be beat. Many gaming monitors
offer features that you wouldn’t be able to take advantage of on a gaming console.
For instance, the HP OMEN X 35 curved display
provides a much wider viewing surface with a curved 35-inch diagonal display at a 21:9 aspect ratio and running a Wide Quad High Definition (WQHD or 3440 x 1440) resolution. This is more than one-third increase in the amount of space compared to the 16:9 aspect ratio of a traditional TV, giving you more realistic and immersive fields of vision for playing your triple-A (AAA) games.
Other monitors provide high refresh rates of up to 144 Hz, which result in crisper images and smoother gameplay. The HP OMEN 25 display,
for example, offers 144 Hz refresh rates and an incredibly fast 1ms response time to reduce input lag on games. Its 22-inch screen isn’t the largest size, but it does feature AMD FreeSync™
technology, which ensures that your monitor and graphics card are refreshing simultaneously and therefore reduces glitches like input lag, stutters, and screen tearing.
2. Less powerful performance
Gaming consoles start to become obsolete as soon as they’ve been developed. Gaming PCs
, on the other hand, are built for upgrades and customization and are therefore on the cutting edge of performance-enhancing technology developments on an ongoing basis.
Even if a gaming console does offer high-end technology when it’s released, it simply cannot keep up with the speedy pace of hardware advancements that gaming computers are, by nature, meant to capitalize on.
Upgrades are built into the PC ecosystem
Gaming PCs can perform better than gaming consoles thanks to the ability to buy or build a powerful gaming system with multi-core central processing units (CPUs), graphics processing units (GPUs or graphics cards), hard drives (HDD), storage, random access memory (RAM), and high-resolution displays.
For instance, The HP OMEN 15t gaming laptop
has an 8th Generation Intel® Core™ i7-8750H processor, one of Intel’s fastest processors, up to a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070, a 1TB HDD, and 8GB of RAM, which is more than enough for virtual reality (VR) gaming.
Another powerful computer is the HP OMEN X desktop PC
, which is a 4K gaming tower with an Intel Core i7 quad-core processor, a high-performing NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti 8GB graphics card, up to 1TB HDD storage, and up to 64GB of memory.
3. More expensive games
Games for consoles are usually more expensive than those for gaming computers. Consoles have exclusive games, for instance, that either are not or will not be available for gaming PCs. PC games are not only plentiful, but they’re also available at prices that are often competitive at release then discounted even further once they’ve been out for a while.
On the other hand, console games tend to remain at higher prices for longer periods of time, rarely going on sale.
Steam leads the way for deep discounts
The Steam platform, which lets you search for, buy, and launch games, is comparatively better for games and availability than the stores for PlayStation and Xbox One. There are far more options to pick up older games on sale, for instance, and Steam often provides deep discounts on recently released AAA games.
In addition to Steam, there are other storefronts regularly offering a plethora of discounted games, including Battle.net, GamersGate, Amazon, GOG.com, Epic Games Store, and more.
Compared with game consoles, PC gaming offers plenty of free-to-play games
as well. These include some of the most popular and beloved titles, including Apex Legends
, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
, Dota 2
, and much, much more.
In fact, to play some of these multiplayer games on a gaming console, you would need to sign up and pay for a service such as PlayStation Network Services or Xbox Live. These membership fees can easily add up to hundreds of dollars over a few years. Gaming on a PC, conversely, doesn’t require these same types of fee-based services for online game-playing.
4. Lack of games
Games for consoles are not as abundant as they are for PC gaming. As mentioned previously, the Steam platform and other stores like Epic Games Store, GamersGate, Amazon, and more offer a ton of games.
There are huge databases - measuring in the tens of thousands - of older, favorite titles from both big-budget developers and indie developers, as well as exciting, newer releases across genres.
MMO abundance for PC
One genre in particular that has copious options is the massively multiplayer online games (MMOs), most of which have been designed for gaming PCs. Games like World of Warcraft (WoW), Grand Theft Auto V, League of Legends, EVE Online, and many more are easily available for playing on your gaming computer.
Catalogues of games 40 years in the making
It’s almost hard to believe, but gaming on the PC has a history that goes back decades - more than 40 years to be specific. And, if you’re playing on your computer, that glorious history is available to you in the form of access to nearly any game from your past.
Feeling nostalgic for the 90s? You can play popular games from that time period like the adventure horror point-and-click, cinematic-footage-filled Phantasmagoria
or the interestingly immersive, yet ethereally cool, story-driven adventure puzzler Myst
, or the classic first-person shooter (FPS) Doom.
Have a hankering to travel even further into the past? MS-DOS-based games of the 1980s like action-adventure shooter Castle Wolfenstein or fantasy platformer Prince of Persia are there for your playing pleasure - and a pleasant trip down memory lane.
Conversely, libraries of game titles on the Xbox One and PS4 don't go back that far in time. Furthermore, in part due to costs, many indie and mid-level development studios don’t even release certain titles for console gaming.
5. Limited gameplay options
Gaming on consoles is mostly restricted to using specific controllers only, while gaming on PCs offers nearly unrestricted controller and accessories options. In contrast to console gaming, you can play games on the PC using peripherals of your choice - including mouse, keyboard, monitor, headset, speakers, controllers, and more.
Some of these peripherals even offer a distinct advantage during gameplay. For instance, a good gaming keyboard and mouse are particularly helpful in certain open world, adventure, role-playing games (RPG),
and FPS games that require the stealth, control, and accuracy that joysticks and console controllers just don’t provide.
PCs battle stations that you design
The beauty of gaming on the PC is being able to upgrade or add to the components of your battle station both internally and externally. An important piece of your gaming rig is your keyboard, for instance, as you will arguably use this peripheral more than any other. The extended hours of gameplay and continuous pressing make mechanical keyboards
particularly well-suited for competitive gaming on the PC.
Keyboards built for battle
The HP OMEN keyboard 1100
is one such mechanical keyboard that is built for competitive gameplay. It has a 50-million keystroke lifespan with ultra-responsive blue mechanical switches that detect and illuminate every key press with a dedicated LED.
The HP OMEN Sequencer keyboard
is another that’s perfect for high-performance gaming. It has a huge 70 million-click lifetime, and enables an incredibly fast 0.2 ms response time, which is 10 times faster than traditional mechanical switches.
The perfect mouse
On the gaming mouse front, the HP OMEN Reactor mouse
also offers a competitive 0.2 ms click response time thanks to industry-leading optical-mechanical switch technology and light beam detection.
While the HP OMEN mouse 600
lets you fine-tune your accuracy with precision movement and easily adjustable settings, giving you gameplay advantage with removable weights that let you customize the center of gravity.
Headsets for hearing the enemy approach
Gaming on the PC is not complete without the right headset. The HP Pavilion gaming headset 600
, in particular, has 7.1 Virtual surround sound for immersive and life-like acoustics.
And the HP OMEN Mindframe headset
was designed for competitive gaming. The world’s first headset with active cooling earcup technology, this innovative headset was designed with quality and comfort in mind with moisture-wicking fabric to improve overall breathability. It includes on-headset and easily adjustable audio controls.
6. Obsolescence and lack of upgradability or customizability
As we mentioned earlier, gaming consoles begin to become outdated soon after release, while gaming PCs are perfectly made to upgrade and customize.
Gaming consoles are very limited in terms of upgradability and customization options. For example, you can upgrade storage but they can only handle 2.5-inch HDDs, which are slower and more expensive compared with the 3.5-inch HDDs that gaming PCs can take.
Besides storage, however, all of the other internal components of gaming consoles cannot be replaced and in fact will void your warranty if you attempt it.
There is no option to prolong the life of most gaming consoles with necessary upgrades; you’ll need to replace your gaming console if and when it becomes outmoded. In direct contrast, you can upgrade, add to, repair, and even build your own gaming PC choosing the right components for your needs.
Upgrades ad infinitum
With a gaming PC, you can upgrade or buy a new processor, graphics card, motherboard, RAM, storage, and more. You can even upgrade your case or chassis.
For instance, the HP OMEN X desktop
has a full tower case with an innovative chassis supporting micro-ATX motherboard builds, so you can upgrade with most aftermarket parts.
And the HP OMEN X laptop
is an exception to the majority of gaming laptops, providing easy upgradability and customizability with a unique see-through panel to access internal components.
Better value with an upgradable gaming PC
It’s a commonly held idea that gaming PCs are too expensive when compared to gaming consoles. We’re here to dispel that notion. While PCs are certainly more expensive in terms of initial costs, it’s also true that upgradability is easier and can be less expensive in the long run.
For instance, you will most likely be able to use the same CPU and GPU for a number of years. And if you do need to upgrade those components in the future, hardware costs are constantly coming down as technology improves.
Components such as power supplies, hard drives, RAM, and more are especially easy to find at reasonable prices if you shop around. Spending a few hundred dollars more on a gaming PC that is upgradable and will last for years versus a gaming console that will quickly be outdated makes budgetary sense (gaming-wise, that is).
7. Lack of interconnectivity and cross-platform compatibility
Gaming consoles lack interconnectivity both intergenerationally between versions and among competing consoles, and the games that are available for one console are not always available for the other. Online games, as well, are limited to each console’s respective network, inhibiting cross-platform gameplay.
Gaming PCs on the other hand are not hindered by proprietary software or fee-based services, enabling a multitude of gaming options, especially through online gaming. It doesn’t matter which operating system is running or which internal and external components your gaming PC is using; most of them can coexist and easily communicate across platforms while playing online.
8. No other uses/functionality
The gaming console is used solely for gaming. That’s about it. Gaming PCs, however, have many functions beyond gaming. Besides playing video games, computers that are used for gaming can also be used for video or photo editing, crunching huge amounts of data, or for less resources-heavy tasks like email, writing school papers, and streaming Netflix binge-watching marathons.
You can even use it to watch other gamers or YouTube tutorials to enhance your gameplay. Work and entertainment applications for your computer are virtually limitless.
Although we touched on just 8 cons of buying a new gaming console compared to a gaming PC, there are others that you may think of as you make your purchasing decision.
But even so, there are pros to owning a console when it meets your specific needs. One key consideration is when your co-op gaming friends all play a certain game on a certain system and you want to join in. Maybe you need to convince them to switch to PC gaming too.
It’s also true that the two - consoles and PCs - are not mutually exclusive, and in fact, happily cohabitate within the residences of many gamers.