Video games have become a popular pastime for a wide range of people. From the invested gamer who has been playing for years, to the casual fan who has just picked up their first game, the term "gamer" is used to cover many different types of people: old and young, male and female, skilled and new. Furthermore, as the number of fans and players has increased, the number of genres, game types, and access types has increased as well.
If you're reading this, you probably want to get more into gaming yourself; you might just be jumping into the hobby, or you simply want more information beyond what you already know. No matter what the reasoning for getting deeper into video games, though, all gamers should know about the ongoing debate that can impact how a player gets into games: gaming consoles versus personal computers. The computer or console problem plagues every gamer who isn't satisfied with only playing phone games, and finding an answer for yourself may be slightly more challenging than you realize. In reality, both options have pros and cons that should be considered before making a final decision.
Consoles, such as Nintendo's Wii U, Microsoft's XBox One, or Sony's Playstation Four, have been a popular option for decades, due to the pros they offer. Most consoles are much cheaper than gaming computers, and still have the equipment necessary to run most video games. Similarly, the controllers that come with consoles are designed to be easy to learn and use. Furthermore, most modern consoles also offer Internet access and services like Netflix, which allow friends and family who aren't interested in video games to use them for entertainment, as well. Finally, many companies that make and sell consoles also create agreements with other companies for exclusive games, which means you can have access to games that computer users often won't have.
However, there are cons to buying a console, as well. Consoles are limited in their technology, which means games aren't as powerful or high quality as they might be on a computer. Furthermore, companies do not update their consoles, but instead produce new ones every four to six years. This may not be a concern in the short term, but if you plan on playing video games for longer than six years, you can expect to buy another system whenever the newest one releases to the market. Lastly, exclusive game titles can also be a negative: you might find that you want a video game that is offered only on a console you don't have, and therefore, you might need to buy multiple consoles to complete the game collection you want.
Just as consoles have pros and cons, computers as gaming tools also have them. Computers are widely seen as work tools, but they can be just as powerful when it comes to gaming. Many computer companies, such as Alienware, sell computers built primarily for games. As a result, computers are usually much more powerful than consoles, and can run games with higher speeds and better quality graphics than consoles can. Furthermore, computers can be updated by purchasing new equipment to replace outdated parts, which means investing in a computer lasts much longer than investing in a console.
There are, of course, cons that exist when buying a computer for games, as well. Because of the power and quality of their parts, computers are usually much more expensive than consoles; gaming computers can cost thousands of dollars. Another option, which can be cheaper, is building a computer yourself, but the trade off is time and knowledge, and you might still find yourself spending more than you bargained for. Furthermore, many computers aren't built for gaming: companies like Dell and Macintosh usually sell computers that are either not powerful enough to run many games, or are programmed in a way that makes many games unplayable. As a result, no matter what option you choose when buying a computer, you must do research to save yourself time and trouble.
When choosing between computer or console, different options appeal to different people. The pros and cons listed are a great way to help you pick what is best for you. The important result, though, is that you have fun, and get the chance to play the video games you want, right in your own home.