f there is one major pivot of passion, debate and fan boy exposure within the video game industry it would have to be the never ending “battle” between PC and consoles.
On and on it goes, the wheel of life spins bringing around it a perpetual cycle of name calling and arguing. There are the console lovers, claiming to be content with the added convenience and simplicity of play and management, and then there are the PC lovers, espousing the near limitless level and customization, independence and graphical power. Despite these talking points, rarely is there ever a general consensus between parties as to which is better, regardless of the specific topic or context at hand.
At least, that is until someone decides to bring out the big question: which one costs more?
This question can be considered the biggest because, in all honesty, practically every other arguing point is subjective and therefore moot. Actual numbers, statistics and prices can be deemed as immutable fact, as truly objective fodder which cannot be refuted.
While this is where the biggest truths behind the argument can be found, it is also where the biggest lies also reside.
The absolute biggest lie perpetuated in all of this is that it is expensive to get involved in PC gaming.
Then again, part of this argument depends on what exactly considers the “real” price in all of this. We’ll get back to that later on, however.
What is interesting is seeing the argument made against PC gaming (mostly by console gamers themselves):
- Consoles are convenient.
- If something goes wrong I can just send it back to the company to get it fixed.
- Console exclusives.
- Building a gaming PC is difficult/time consuming/super expensive (Lies, all of them.).
- It is cheaper (Lies I tell you, lies!).
I have previously discussed many of the reasons for which brand loyalty and personal self-esteem unfortunately play a large part in why many consumers will feverishly attach themselves to certain brands and companies. Also never mind the fact that consoles and their games are first and foremost made on/with computers and that nowadays are practically considered low-end PCs themselves. Beyond that though, what do you notice about each of the main arguments presented above? What do they all have in common?
Nearly every single one presented is basically a way of excusing consumer laziness. That’s why convenience and warranties and customer support are always considered major talking points in these discussions. This doesn’t apply to just the video game market, but all people. People often make the mistake of thinking that a price always has to do with money, but that is far from the case.
Time is the most expensive and valuable resource of all. Not money, not food, not labor, but time.
It is the one resource that everyone has, and that no one can reproduce. We can use it any way we want, and often the single biggest difference between one person and another is how they both manage and spend their time. This is the true basis behind the argument of “convenience” in regards to the consoles and any hesitance for building a gaming PC. Most people would rather spend those few extra hours playing a video game or relaxing than to exert themselves producing something, no matter the long-term value of said production.
That’s the funny thing about technology, however; it is a constantly changing and evolving mechanism for instilling true equalization in all things, whether we want them or not. Technology has advanced so far and beyond that at least 1/3 of the world’s population has access to a computer and internet, two things that would be considered godly and divine in previous eras, and resources that not even the richest of kings could ever dream of possessing.
Most people do not pay much attention to these kinds of changes though, which leads to the overall ignorance behind many of the arguments against PC gaming.
The fact of the matter is that a legitimate gaming PC can be built for a very low price. In some cases even as low as $350 can net you a great starting point, especially for further upgrading in the future.
So if pricing as a roadblock is no longer part of the equation, then what other price could be left? Oh yes, that of time. There is still the stigma that “technology is hard” and that “building a gaming PC is time consuming!”
This is also false. The internet is rife with detailed guides and descriptions on how to put together and manage computers of all kinds, and of course YouTube offers some of the best visual guides out there.
So, yet again another major roadblock has been removed, what else is there? Other than a few subjective preferences and arguments (such as preferring console exclusives to PC exclusives, wanting a particular gaminf “feel,” etc.), there is only one real aspect behind it all; admitting one’s ignorance and self-esteem.
Again, there has been plenty of research put into the idea of brand loyalty, consumer hubris and self-esteem. Even more importantly, in order to avoid the idea of this as an attempt to present myself in a light higher than everyone else, let me say that I was just as bad not too long ago.
The first laptop I ever bought (and my first computer ever) cost me $866.66, and it was mostly garbage. The second laptop I ever bought for myself (and the one I currently own now) cost me approximately $750, and is only slightly less garbage. Both of these computers could play some games relatively well, such as The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim and Fallout New Vegas, but overall they have been seriously lacking. It doesn’t help that just a few months ago I bought a $414.14 ASUS laptop for a friend of mine that currently outperforms both of my own laptops.
Personal foolishness aside, many people will still find the idea daunting. More than anything this is perhaps the biggest hurdle against PC gaming, which is an overall negative, or at least inconvenient stigma. People like the idea of being able to just toss a few extra dollars away and have their wants and needs filled on the spot. Even after surpassing infancy, people love to be spoon fed. It is just a matter of life and will probably not be changing any time soon.
Still, it helps to logically go over the truth every now and then, to get this much needed information and perspective spread around so that at least a few more people can potentially have their horizons broadened. Such is the purpose of information sharing and the internet in general.