Are Console Gamers Becoming PC Gamers?

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With the announcements of all these new consoles, the Nvidia Shield, the Ouya, the Game Stick, bringing small form factor gaming to the living room, console gaming is certainly feeling the winds of change. Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo are all pushing for lower power usage, lower startup costs for their next-gen hardware and they've been adding media features for years. Netflix, Youtube, LoveFilm, iPlayer – so much so, that we've ended up using our consoles more for their media functions than we have for gaming.

This got me wondering, will the age old PC gamers vs console gamers war come to an end soon? Are console gamers assimilating to become more like us as time goes on?

Now you could argue that just because consoles are adding more functions, doesn't make them PC gamers. They can't do a lot of things we can do – though the Ouya is getting a Firefox browser – but we certainly aren't PC gamers because we have a glorified type writer built into our gaming platform, we're PC gamers because we choose to play on an open platform, one that doesn't restrict us, lets us use the fantastic mouse/keyboard combo, upgrade our hardware, install whatever OS we want: it gives us choices.

What a PC is, what the PC really is, is freedom. [10 MegaGames points for those of you that get that reference without Googling]

While the next-gen Xbox is hardly likely to hike up its skirts and let us tinker away with its undercarriage, we've heard rumours of possible upgrades for the next generation. We've got increased media functions, browser capabilities on smaller systems – we have an increasingly competitive market place with different controller types.

Hell we have PCs in the lounge through Steam's Big Picture and we have hardware from other companies designed to make that a reality. What exactly is the difference between that and a gaming machine? And if there's no difference between that and a console, what's the difference between that and the PC?

Am I making sense yet, or just asking lots and lots of questions?

My point is, when I can sit in my lounge and switch between mouse and keyboard to game controller on the same platform – say the new Steam Box – or surf the internet on my Ouya with a fully functioning browser, where's the line drawn between a PC and a console gamer?

Another way to look at it all however could be to see a further deepening on that line. As consoles take over the media functions performed by HTPCs, will that mean that our personal computers go back to being dedicated working or gaming machines? A lot of people browse the internet on their phone or tablets. Do people still use a laptop or desktop to look at Youtube any more?

The many uses of the PC are actually being farmed off to other devices, so perhaps the PC will become more specialised while consoles become more generalised.

There really were a lot of questions in this piece but I think that's the interesting part, we don't know where this is going, all we can do is speculate. What does the Megagames audience think? You're PC gamers through and through, let's hear it.

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Comments

Glorified DVD system

I support Console gaming quite a bit being a original PC gamer for a good two decades under the belt. So when I first got the a gaming console and the hook-ups were simple as cake to set oneself next to the tv like a dvd player with a very user friendly controller it just made gaming a woot. Plus being able to talk to friends & play at the same time without having to deal with VOIP like ventrilo or teamspeak, than fight over port forwarding etc, etc, etc to just finally get a game working with you're broskis was just a huge ache especially with every new update that might pop your nvidia or amd graphics card needing a new update or the game wouldnt function right? Yea that whole mess was never a issue on a console. Not to mention a gaming console cost about the price of a CPU+GPU when they first come out on the market, but you don't have to deal with all the extra weight to get right into gameplay, and most of the games run a smoothish 30fps. It's almost paradise, and! the big one for me was 99% of people online didn't have access to aim-bots and hacks to their leisure to screw everyone playing fairish.

So honestly you can't say

So honestly you can't say folks that grew up on a console will ever get the joy of being real PC gamers due to the one major fact that console games lack, and thats MOD support. Being able to have additional community options like player made mods to make one game last even longer, sometimes mods as big as entire expansion packs to a game would likely ruin console gaming because people would stick to one game far longer than go out and buy the very next title at $65+tax when most of the time the PC counterpart has always been around $55+tax or less. In the end you could say the same to people who use Tablets to play games on, or mobile devices like PSP/DS or their smart phones, they will never be true PC gamers either.

"In the end you could say the

"In the end you could say the same to people who use Tablets to play games on, or mobile devices like PSP/DS or their smart phones, they will never be true PC gamers either." I'm sorry, I've been a PC gamer for far longer than you've been alive (probably) and I have to say I love my vita, it's a great way to kill time while commuting to work, I used my smartphone before getting a vita and that was acceptable as well. Yet I know the joys of modding all too well, I have even made a few simple mods myself.

Nope, they're still consoles.

Nope, they're still consoles. Anyone with more than basic knowledge of technology knows that. The architecture and components under the hood are extremely different from PCs, even for the 360 which was once called a pc with gamepads. That might change come next-gen, but so far that's how things are.

your intelligence is below average.

the xbox is still a computer. the PC is still a computer. MAC's are still computers. smartphones are still computers. they are all different computing platforms, with operating systems designed for different uses. thats it. you are only lying to yourself if you try to argue anything different. have you ever heard of the xim3? why dont you think microsoft manufactures KB+M adapters themselves?

A calculator is a computer...

A calculator is a computer, does that mean if a play a game on my calculator that I am now a PC gamer? The same concept applies to consoles, just because they are technically computers and use similar hardware to PC's does not mean that those who play consoles are "PC Gamers". "PC" stands for "Personal Computer", therefor one who plays games on a "Personal Computer" is a PC gamer... Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, etc, are not "Personal Computers". Its actually pretty simple, a "Video Game Console" is not a "Personal Computer", even if it does SOME of the things that a "PC" can do and runs on SIMILAR hardware, and YOU are lying to yourself if you try to argue any different.

yes it does. PC's, or any

yes it does. PC's, or any computer, is just a big calculators. the term "PC" was used by IBM to market their 1st generation of OEM computers in the 1980's. if you strip the term "PC" of its corporate heritage...then everything is a PC, because said devices are 1.) personal property 2.) highly advanced machines designed to compute massive amounts of data as fast as possible. ask texas instruments, bill patterson or gary kildall. the only difference is the language that is used to decipher information. JUST LIKE HUMAN BEINGS...keep using the labels corporate america gives their product...theyve done a great job brainwashing you. and keep playing games on your Personal Gaming Computer aka your Console.

PC Desktop any time every time.

Personally I prefer PC over consoles and I do own all the consoles (not the ancient ones). Very few games I seen that crash all the time on PC and when I called some of those companies they would say that "well we cant test the game with all PC part combinations". I have a high-end system that I went overboard with, why the game crashes because the game companies wore to cheep to test it. Much cheaper to make for consoles because there is only one fixed set. I lost my self on what I was whining about..........O yea also would be nice if they can make it for PC all games so that a person can log-in to xbox live or PS3 network of their choosing if they want achievements of trophies.

Pc Gamer

I always prefer pc gaming, well I do have nothing against consoles, but pc is really the freedom, you can buy games from steam or uplay or anything else, and you can use xbox control or ps2, ps3 control or any other control that you might have, and we can´t forget, the mouse and keyboard kit... To put this in the simple way, pc is the true freedom to choose and always will be.

Cost

I've been PC Gaming since the mid '80s, when Digger was still the cool thing to play on a green monochrome screen! I've had SEGA, Nintendo, GameBoy and other things, but one thing that I've always had is my PC. Only last year I finally bought a gaming laptop so I could take it with me wherever in the world I was, and now the poor desktop is sitting in a corner. Then I got fast internet, discovered Steam and Humble Bundle and now I refuse to pay more than $4.99 for a game. I then go to a store to look at PS3 games or Xbox...$50, or $60 and I say what??? Who the heck can afford this?! Oh you can buy second hand games, well by the sounds of things (thanks to Sony) that won't be around for much longer either. What I'm saying is, PC games are so cheap these days, it's not even a joke. I have so many right now. People having major problems with drivers, come on, put a little effort in, download the latest driver from the manufacturer website and fix the problem. If your car's tyre keeps deflating, fix the puncture. Don't go buy a horse just because it's cheaper and won't ever get a flat. And no, consoles are not always easier. My brother brought his PS3 home for the holidays and we tried to hook it up to our old SONY CRT (that's that big heavy square box, not your fancy Samsung HD flatscreen!) and I could not get it to work. Eventually gave up and went back to my PC! Buy a new TV you say? No thanks, in my country you have to pay a TV License which I refuse to. So - after all that, I guess I'm saying just be happy with what you have and can afford, as there are many out there who would love to own whatever gadget you have but can't afford it. Yes, my captcha is "goody two shoes"!

Uhhh

"$50, or $60 and I say what??? Who the heck can afford this?! Oh you can buy second hand games, well by the sounds of things (thanks to Sony) that won't be around for much longer either. What I'm saying is, PC games are so cheap these days, it's not even a joke." Some PC games cost around that area too, you know.

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