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Can We Please Stop Trying to Compare Consoles to PCs?

AKR|1463d ago |Blog Post|11|

When Sony announced back in February that the PS4 would feature a new PC-like architecture; the fanboys were out in full-swing. Boy were they happy. After the fans launched the first wave of cheers, devs followed right behind, continuing to lavish the PS4's hardware.

It wasn't long before things like: "The PS4 version of 'game XYZ', will look like the PC version on high settings." After these reports started rolling in, the hype-meter was thrown into full-swing by the PS-fans. It was like an angel came down from heaven and declared that the world was now a perfect utopia.

Fast-forward to today and the discussion has now turned into an all-out war. While PS-fans are flaunting their system's power around as the "Most powerful system ever!", PC-fans are responding with taunts like: "My 2 year old rig, with [insert spec-sheet here], is more 'next-gen' than your measly PS4." Just go on to popular gaming sites like IGN or N4G, you'll see what I'm talking about.

Even with this back and forth brawl going on; I'm on the fence with both sides. Yes, PS4 is powerful, it's not just the most powerful console in existence right now; it's the most powerful console ever created. It's power is almost 4x the amount of its predecessor and considering that the PS3 had games like The Last of Us, for example, it should be a real treat to see what Naughty Dog and other devs can do with the PS4's hardware. So no, I'm not saying that it isn't powerful.

What I am saying is that consoles and PCs simply cannot be compared. Why? Because they're two different kinds of machines. Even gaming-PCs and video game consoles are two different machines. How so? Because even though they're built with the same intention in mind (to play video games) - they handle that objective differently.

PCs are open. Just as you can with a car; you can pop open the hood of your computer and make the necessary upgrades. You can add more RAM, put in a new GPU, install a new processor, etc. Consoles on the other hand, are closed. When a new system is released, it's specifications don't change all that much. A new model may be released with a new cooling system, exterior design, size, and hard-drive space ~ but the core specifications of the system do not change. You're going to have to wait for it's successor before you get a fresh breath of new specs.

On top of the fact that consoles are not upgradable; their usually optimized for their main priority - which is to play games. So then, it's inner systems are gauged correctly and they have a streamlined OS to make sure that correctly optimized games will perform their best. When devs develop for that console, their not going to have to worry about developing for a whole legion of different machines - they have one specific model in front of them, so they can design according to it's specifications.

PCs on the other hand need that extra power. They're running several different processes at once, as well as a full-scale OS on top of that. So there's a reason why newer titles are requiring such advanced GPUs and large amounts of RAM in order to run smoothly.

Think of it like Apple devices and Android devices. They can both run apps, and play games. But, there's a difference in the way developers create those games and apps. With Apple devices, developers basically have one specific model their developing for, so they can optimize their application to run smoothly on the device. Apple devices are much more closed than Android devices, like consoles. Android devices on the other hand, are fragmented. They're all over the place. You have different devices running different versions of the OS, all with different specs. So then, when developers create their programs to run on the Android OS, they have to try and balance it out as best they can, so that the most amount of people can run their app ~ that's the same thing PC-devs have to worry about.

Personally, I think the whole war against consoles vs. PCs is overrated and rather pointless. Making comparisons between the two just doesn't make sense. These machines are like night-&-day. While similar in some areas, they're still almost polar opposites. You can make the comparisons all you want, but at the end of the day, PCs will always have the edge. Consoles change over long periods of time - PCs on the other hand are changing now more than ever.

Back in the days of the first 3D consoles, more or less the 5th-generation, consoles had the advantage. The advancement in PC-tech was moving at a slower pace. Speeding up to modern day times, when the PS3 and 360 were released, they were almost equal to the PCs of that time, but now, they're obviously showing their age. The difference between the PC versions of games compared to the PS3/360 versions is pretty noticeable - and that isn't necessarily expected to change even with the new generation upon us. Reason being, as stated throughout this article, PCs can be upgraded - and with new parts coming out every few months - they're CONSTANTLY being upgraded. Consoles remain the same until they are succeeded.

Now then, I've rambled enough, share your thoughts in the comments below.

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lex-10201462d ago

Excellent Blog. I like that you used the example of Android vs IOS was spot on. It's all about optimization. With the switch from Cell architecture to x84 architecture the new consoles basically are computers. But they are meant for very different purposes. They are computers with a Custom operating system build for sole purpose of gaming. Where my PC is meant for so much more than gaming.

lex-10201461d ago

My apologies. Wasn't sure if x86 or x84. The point is still the same even with the number slightly wrong.

caseh1460d ago

'They are computers with a Custom operating system build for sole purpose of gaming.'

That used to be true, not so much anymore. The OS now has a bunch of other crap to assist with such as the intergration of social networking etc. No doubt it won't be long before apps become a commmon theme with consoles.

With each iteration of consoles, the lines are becoming blurred. Instead of it being a straight forward gaming experience, it's quickly becoming multimedia kit capable of a lot more. Xbox One and the plans Microsoft unveiled (TV box) show how much ther focus is shifting.

TopDudeMan1461d ago (Edited 1461d ago )

Exactly. It's a pointless argument. Consoles are good for a certain kind of people and PCs are also good, depending on what you're doing.

Personally, I would recommend consoles for people that like doing lots of multiplayer stuff with their friends because they're more mainstream (the consoles) and like the comfort of sitting on their couch (the players). PCs are more for people who aren't as bothered about that stuff and just want that flexibility of being able to fine-tune and customise your gaming experience.

Octo11461d ago

Excellent read. You wrote what I wanted to write a long time ago. It is in fact silly to compare PC to consoles.

EXVirtual1460d ago

Thank you for this blog. It's such a pointless argument.

Zizi1459d ago

Comparisons mean that we know which one is better than the other. However, these comparisons do not literally mean that we can curse one thing over another.

Therefore, comparisons should be viewed only as a piece of information.

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