Are you thinking about upgrading your gaming gear and asking yourself, “Should I buy a gaming PC?” The reality is that gaming PCs used to have the upper hand, but nowadays in the never-ending boxing battle between consoles and PCs, they don’t more quite as much weight. In the mid-2000s, I owned two gaming systems: a Nintendo Wii and a mid-range gaming PC. My PC got a lot of attention back then, and the first time I played games like Batman Arkham Asylum, BioShock, portal and so many others were on the PC.
It was my gateway to a world beyond what Nintendo had to offer. That momentum has carried me through the last decade, and in 2019 I upgraded to a newer PC with an RTX 2060 Super GPU powering the RGB carnival that sat on my desk. It was nice and quick and one of my favorite statement pieces to show off when people would come over. And then… things started to change.
The line between a PC and Xbox/PS5 has never been so blurred
In 2020 I bought a PlayStation 5 at launch and a little over a year later I managed to find an Xbox Series X available at a local Target. All of a sudden, games that were only available to me once on my PC could now be played from the comfort of my couch with a controller, without having to worry about system compatibility or digging through countless video settings to make sure I was running the game at its best .
With these consoles now in rotation, my gaming PC, which is less than three years old, started collecting dust. I still turn it on from time to time, especially to play online with friends, but even with the Xbox crossplay capability that became less of a need. My consoles took up the lion’s share of my time, and that’s okay.
Since the latest in gaming hardware, the line between a home console and a gaming computer has never been thinner. Yes, gaming PCs still offer a variety of performance improvements that you can’t find on a home console, but if you just want to play and enjoy the latest games, an Xbox or PS5 will give you everything you’re looking for.
Interested in third-person adventures with strong narratives? Sony spent years developing the PlayStation as a the point of contact for such games. Microsoft, on the other hand, is more interested in attracting a larger install base with a variety of indie and AAA titles on Game Pass. On a PlayStation 5, subscribing to one of the higher PS Plus tiers gives you access to hundreds of games pretty much instantly. PC has some comparable offerings like its own Game Pass tier, but in terms of value, especially over time, console will be the best bang for your buck.
Are there advantages for a PC over a console?
Today, gaming on a PC is almost more of a personality statement than an actual preference. A niche market that really cares about the fastest frame rates and highest resolutions will want a powerful build, but literally at what price? I can respect someone who wants to spend thousands of dollars and many hours building the perfect rig so they can show off their RGB light show and be amazed at how gorgeous their Minecraft world looks in 4K HDR, but want for the same people I just do it ask: Are you happy?
Some describe building a PC as similar to playing with adult LEGO, while others (some of whom are part of the TechRaptor team) insist it’s much, much more complicated. Isn’t it easier to just pick up a relatively affordable $500 PlayStation 5 and just plug it in? The thing about consoles is that they just work, regardless of the Xbox 360’s red rings of death. Wouldn’t you rather just plug in a system and go for it? God of War Ragnarok without worrying if your GPU needs to be overclocked to run properly? I know I would.
Can a console replace a gaming PC?
If you’re just looking for a system to play games, do some research on what games you love or what upcoming releases you’re looking forward to. First-person shooter gamers might be better off on an Xbox, while fans of third-person adventure stories will find plenty to play on PS5. Those lucky enough to own multiple systems can worry less about what’s available on a given console and instead decide where to play a particular game. Regardless of which current-gen console you choose, you’ll love the fast loading times and current-gen features available on a PS5 or Xbox.
Current price points still make this an investment for most people, but it’s still cheaper and easier than investing in a high-end PC. The best financial advice I’ve ever received is to spend my money where I spend my time, and I spend a lot of time gaming. From a cost-benefit perspective, nothing can replace the value I get from my home video game consoles.
For most people who just want to enjoy a wide variety of games, any console can be a good investment over a PC, and they don’t have to feel like they’re getting a lesser experience than their PC gamer counterparts. After all, the goal is to have fun, and when it comes to fun, the PS5 and Xbox certainly deliver.
Gaming PCs are not as necessary as they used to be. I’m excited that more people can enjoy games they love simply by buying a box of electronics and plugging them into their wall. Whether you should buy an Xbox or a PS5? That’s an argument for another time.