Console games and PC games both have their dedicated fan bases. Whenever a long-awaited new game comes out, it seems like everyone gets involved in debating the quality of the graphics or some other element of gameplay.
Recently, PC gaming has been innovating at a quicker rate, leading to a gap developing between PC and console games. This begs the question, will console gaming be able to keep up with the constant PC gaming innovations?
Graphics and processing power
According to the experts, PCs perform better than consoles where it really counts — graphics and processing power. As tech writer Devin Pickell notes, the average PC tends to be on the same level as the newest range of consoles. This means that any PC that has better than average components will perform noticeably better than a similarly-aged console. High-end gaming PCs have the ability to run games at frame rates nearly double that of consoles, resulting in clearer, more detailed images and smoother gameplay.
One other innovation possible in PC gaming is modified games. Since PCs are open systems, and consoles are closed ones, there is an opportunity for players and fans of games to create mods that change the gameplay or graphics. These can contribute to gameplay or just be silly fun, like turning all the zombies in Left 4 Dead 2 into nightmarish Teletubbies or adding Owen Wilson saying “wow” to the game’s soundtrack. These mods might not require hypermodern technology, but they are an enjoyable innovation that console games lack.
Virtual reality is one area where console gaming and PC gaming are relatively equal. This is largely due to the fact that VR technology is being developed separately from either system, and then made compatible with them. The growth in VR options is intriguing. As many expected, there are a lot of more traditional first-person shooter and adventure games with VR interactivity, but there are also some more unusual options. TRIPP, for example, is an online psychedelic platform that “immerses users into alternate realities that promote emotional wellbeing and transformative states”. It will be interesting to see how unusual developments like these progress, and whether or not PC or console users are more interested in taking advantage of them.
Especially over the course of the last year, we have come to realise how good video games are for providing human interaction. Console games suffer in this area, not because of technological issues, but because of the unhealthy communities that have developed around many games. Discord and other chat apps have contributed to making PC gaming a more enjoyable place to chat, as there is more control over who is on a server and able to join in the conversation.
Live dealer casino games offer another form of human interaction within a game setting. Live dealer casino games are the result of an impressive combination of technological advances. Not only are the dealers live streamed around the world, but Optical Character Recognition technology allows everything happening at the dealer’s table to be translated into data and sent to the player’s computer, so that the player can interact with what is happening on the table. Take a look at some of the live casino games offered at SkyCity online casino and you will see how these technologies come together to create a seamless online experience.
One of the important things to consider when trying to assess whether or not console gaming can keep pace with PC gaming innovations is that the two operate on different time scales. PC gaming can be constantly making small improvements and updates, while consoles are updated every few years, allowing them to make much bigger developments. Let’s take the PlayStation consoles as an example. There has been roughly seven years between each PlayStation release since the original was launched in 1990 and the launch of the PS5 in 2020. Each version has resulted in a huge jump in the size of the hard drive, the processing power of the CPU — from 33.3MHz to 3.2 GHz between the original and the PS5 — and more playback options. Each of these releases is a huge improvement when it happens, but often leads to a system feeling dated in the year or two prior to a new release.
Since they can be endlessly customised, PCs will often have the technological edge over console systems. However, console games will always have their loyal fans who prefer the style and gameplay of their systems. In the end, it largely comes down to personal preference.