Here at GameOnDaily, we are hating on everything at the moment. We’ve discussed things we hate about the Playstation 4 and soon we’ll turn our eyes on the Xbox One and the Wii U. Now we turn our entitled gamer eyes on the gaming PC in typical British whinging fashion.
Unlike consoles, PCs are open and flexible, allowing the gamer to customise their hardware and software to suit their tastes. But there are some problems that you just can’t dodge, and I will attempt to retain my composure as I think them up and commit them to text. But… they… make me… so… ARGH!
5. The (in)convenience of a couch
One of the best things about the hobby is kicking back on the couch with your favourite beverage, grabbing a controller, firing up a console at the touch of a button, and getting your gaming on. Of course it is entirely possible to set your PC beside the TV, get Steam booting straight into Big Picture mode, and replicate that console experience pretty closely. But you’re a PC gamer, and some games are just outright better with a keyboard and mouse. Good luck getting that setup on the couch without compromising that comfort and convenience.
4. Disjointed platforms
When you fire up a console you have everything you need in one place. You can see which of your friends are playing, fire out messages, check your trophies and gamerscores, browse the shop, watch a video, or just fall asleep on that comfortable couch you settled on.
On the PC you can do all of those things (perhaps excluding the last one)… 6 times over! Which is bad. You have friends and profiles on Steam, Origin, Battlenet, and whatever other gaming platforms you have signed up to. Even U-Play probably has a friends list, though obviously you don’t use that for social functionality.
These competing platforms are a large part of the reason that PC games are so cheap, but there is some comfort to be had with the simplicity of a unified system.
Things break. I’m not saying PCs are less reliable than any other platform. Consoles break too. But there is a lot to be said for being able to pick up a phone, speak to Sony/Microsoft/Nintendo, and get the support you need to repair or replace it.
When your custom-built super rig starts misbehaving you are typically entering a world of hurt, regardless of how tech-savvy you think you are. Do you have the spare parts necessary to swap in so that you can identify which graphics card or stick of RAM is causing the problem? Maybe it’s the motherboard? Even if all your components are within warranty, you can find yourself facing charges from retailers as you mistakenly send back your faulty graphics card, only to later find out that the real problem was the PCI-Express slot on the motherboard.
For the gamer that cares about performance, the PC is a blessing and a curse. With the right investment you know you can smash the output of any console…. but are you getting the most out of your own PC? Could it look better if you reduced the resolution and notched up the texture detail? Are those Ultra shadows worth the 10 frames per second performance hit? And worse, are those perfectly optimised settings going to hold up when you actually get into the thick of the action?
The potential to adjust your own visual quality and performance introduces a nagging doubt that you could squeeze out a bit more performance, and you can easily end up spending as much time tweaking settings as actually playing the game.
1. Lack of AAA high budget exclusives
Yes, the PC has the biggest catalogue of games out there. Yes, it gets the most new games released. Yes, it can provide the best experience on those multiplatform AAA titles, and yes, it has quality exclusives all of it’s own.
But admit it PC gamers; There are console exclusives that you wish you could play. You wish you could play Uncharted 4, Halo 5, Blood Borne, Crackdown, and the wealth of other heavily endorsed platform exclusives that you are going to keep hearing about for the year. You could play them at such resolutions and framerates that your eyes would bleed! Except you can’t, because your PC can’t play those games at all. Nobody has any real interest in funding AAA exclusives to push your platform to it’s fullest. Put on a brave face and pretend it doesn’t hurt, or embrace console gaming as well.