With the launch of the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 around the corner, gamers are asking if they should buy another home console or take a step to the PC. But Microsoft and Sony are throwing a wrench in the regular console at the PC dynamics with low prices and monthly service plans like the Xbox Game Pass. So, how are you going to spend the next generation of games?
Consoles are affordable, simple and reliable
Technical outlets and gamers like to compare the latest PlayStation and Xbox with gaming computers, thanks in part to the amazing features of the consoles and well-known graphics processors. But next-generation consoles offer an experience that is clearer and more affordable than PC games. And thanks to fundamental changes in the gaming landscape, there is even less reason to take the leap to a computer this year.
Some of this year’s PlayStation and Xbox benefits are well advertised and hard to overlook. Both consoles support 4K 120Hz games, but still cost less than the cheapest 4K-compatible PC graphics cards. They are both backwards compatible and they come with hundreds of games via the Xbox Game Pass and PlayStation Now programs. Sony is also offering a 15-game PlayStation Plus Collection to PlayStation Plus customers with a PS5, and it’s on top of the two titles that Plus subscribers receive for free each month.
And so are the small qualities of life. New games like Rocket league, Fortniteand Call of Duty support multiplayer across multiple platforms, so you can buy cheap Xbox Series S and still enjoy gaming with your PC or PlayStation friends. The new consoles also have 4K Blu-Ray devices and work just as much as streaming machines, and of course they do not need the same assembly and troubleshooting as a computer.
But while consoles make it easy to get started, they lack the power, upgradeability, customization and flexibility of gaming computers. For many, it’s time to build a gaming PC and leave behind the limitations of living room consoles.
Computers are multifunctional, upgradeable and powerful
Spend enough money on a gaming PC and it blows new Xbox and PlayStation out of the water. This is a good enough reason for most people to go for a gaming PC, even if it really is not the only reason. Computers are much more modular, customizable and versatile than gaming consoles, and in the long run they are often a cheaper investment than the constantly rotating drawer in your living room.
Wait, aren’t game consoles cheaper than computers? Console manufacturers often face their low prices by selling hardware at a loss and compensating through software sales and subscriptions. Therefore, Microsoft can sell the Xbox Series X for $ 500, while a comparable gaming PC would easily exceed $ 1,000. The problem is that the average console player over time pays hundreds of dollars in subscription services and may even charge an additional $ 500 for the “pro” or “narrow” version of their console.
PC players do not have to pay $ 10 a month (or $ 120 per year) to play multiplayer with their friends. And while PC hardware is absolutely too expensive, it’s not like you have to replace your entire rig to do incremental upgrades. You just replace your GPU and sell the old one to a friend, or add RAM and storage that you think fits.
Once you have assembled that game PC, everything else falls into place. You can fine-tune and customize things to your heart’s content, or paste a lot of RGB stuff to impress your friends. And because computers are versatile, you can use the great looking system as a reliable work, school or hobby machine. Yes, computers are a bit temperamental and require a bit of troubleshooting, but it’s a lot less work than you expect, especially if you build something with popular compatible components.
If you want to install a gaming PC today but do not have $ 1,000 left (or do not care about all 4K stuff), then follow one of the modest gaming buildings on PCPartPicker and worry about upgrades later. A $ 700 building is a great place to start (especially if you can find parts for sale), and there are plenty of resources on YouTube and How-To Geek to help you assemble everything properly.
A new option: Xbox Game Pass Lifestyle
Everyone likes to argue about console games and PC games. The thing is, both platforms are kicking ass. They both have their benefits, and preferably you can use both a console and a PC without worrying about which platform to buy the latest games on.
Maybe it’s the generation you play for both teams. With the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate program, you can play hundreds of games, including brand new blockbusters, on your console or computer at no extra cost. You can start building a decent gaming PC today while there are not many next generation games and wait to buy the $ 300 Xbox Series S in a few months or a year from now (save the money you would normally spend on new games) . Before you know it, you have the console and PC gaming experience together in your home.
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate also lets you stream games to your Android phone or tablet, giving you just one reason to live the Game Pass lifestyle. Sure, Microsoft can ruin the party one day by raising the Game Pass monthly fee to an unreasonable amount, but it’s without a doubt the best gaming deal to come in 2021.