Gaming Lifestyle: Why I’m Not Getting a Gaming PC

While we recently created a few more members of the PC gaming family here at Horrible Night, making the switch from consoles still has some very real hurdles. Nicole Zeckner of the culture blog, Pure Geekery took a long hard look at purchasing a gaming PC and ultimately decided against it and here is why:

After a very long hiatus, I’ve recently remembered how much I love playing video games. And as I played more and more a little voice in the back of my head started nagging me. “This game would look so much better on PC.” Or, “Look at all these games on Steam and Humble Bundle.” Seeing deals like $30.00 credit on the preorder of BioShock Infinite on Amazon, makes it even more tempting. But there are parts of the console experience that are important to me that cannot be duplicated on PC.

Living Room Experience

I don’t like playing games with a mouse and a keyboard. I know it’s much more accurate and responsive, but it reminds me too much of “work.” After sitting in front of a PC all day, I want to lounge on my couch with a controller in front of my TV to game. Since my gaming setup is in my family room, any gaming PC would need to blend in well with my home theatre and be roughly the size of a console to fit into my TV stand. A gaming laptop would be ideal , but it’s expensive and difficult to upgrade. The poor airflow in my IKEA TV stand makes a desktop PC a risky choice. Even with my PS3 and Xbox 360 slim, the top of the stand is pretty warm to the touch after a few hours of gaming.

Living Room

Only fits a power house of a certain size.

Difficulty and Cost

Computer hardware is not my forte. I haven’t kept up with components, or what is coming down the line. The last several computers I’ve bought have been mid-range refurbished machines from Woot! My single requirement was that it ran Visual Studio smoothly. So I’d rather not build my own machine, but rather buy something like the Alienware X51. I’d want the high end model, after all performance is one of the reasons I’m interested, which runs around $1,500. With the PS4 rumored to be anywhere from $400-$600 it’s hard to justify this extra cost. Assuming the new Xbox would be around the same price point I could buy one of each, plus some games, and still come out ahead.

Console Lifespan

The Xbox 360 was released in 2005. They’re announcing the next generation in May of this year. That’s a minimum of eight years between system upgrades. However, the original Xbox was still supported through 2007. Assuming there’d be a similar support cycle, you could go ten years before an upgrade. The games would keep looking better over that time span as well. I played the Mass Effect Trilogy over a couple of months, and I couldn’t believe how much more the developers were able to get out of the same hardware every year. To keep the awesome graphics on PC, you have to upgrade components. Again, adding to the cost of the machine.

Alienware x51

It’s not that I don’t think that you are good looking…

Instant On

I press the power button on my Xbox, and it’s on by the time I sit back down. A few swipes of the joystick, and I’m playing. It’s simple, and I like simple. If I had a gaming PC, I’d have to wait for Windows to boot up and get the keyboard and mouse out to navigate to the game. I know it’s the definition of first world problems, but I just don’t want to deal with it. I just want to play.

Never Ever?

It’s not to say I’ll never buy a gaming PC. I was tempted when Woot! had an Alienware over the weekend (ended up not being a killer deal when I looked into it). And I’ll probably download some old games I’d like to play on my laptop and hook it to the TV. But right now PC gaming just doesn’t fit my gaming style, or my budget for that matter.

Headed into this next generation of gaming, what platforms are getting love from your living room?

Gaming Lifestyle – The true stories of how we play video games and how it can affect our daily lives.

This article was submitted by Nicole Zeckner and promoted by a member of the Horrible Night staff. If you’d like to submit your own article for consideration contact us.

4 Comments Gaming Lifestyle: Why I’m Not Getting a Gaming PC

  1. NeuroMan42

    Unfortunately the “Instant On” is going away with both new Consoles. That is the main reason that I do not own any Consoles. If I have to have patches, updates, and installs I will go with a PC with a much larger and graphically impressive game. Plus it is really easy to have the living room experience with a PC now. Mine is in another room yet with an XBox controller and a couple taps on the remote I can sit and play in the living room, even if I need a wireless keyboard/mouse combo. ;) I also built my PC for under $500 and the graphics and power blows the PS3 and XBox out of the water and that is with a 5 year old system. Anyone that says you need to drop $1000 to get PS3/XBox quality is selling you something. LOL. The Console vs. PC debate will always continue… same with the Apple vs. PC, or Apple vs. Android, or Godzilla vs. King Kong. The best thing is we have more CHOICES that before, but much LESS quality of games. Blame the EAs of this world. ;)

  2. moses5885

    I agree with Neuroman42. I am in the process of building a PC and everything that comes with the PC destroys a console. The nice thing about a PC is that can continue to buy the next gen version of itself. Its basically like buying an Xbox 360, then xbox 520, then 760, then 800 (because i only added a little bit of ram). The ability to increase graphics continually and then at the same time add modifications from other fans is a huge plus.

    I do understand the ease of having consoles because i have been only using consoles for 10 years. Not everyone needs to build or buy a PC but i would love to see other console users look into it because they may change their mind like myself.

  3. Andrew Cooper

    I can definitely agree and disagree with a lot of points here. I’m a PC gamer, converted console, converted back to PC. I can totally relate with the living room gaming experience. The battle of working a pc into your living room setup is tricky, but is a minor hurdle you can overcome. My gaming rig is the size of a small refrigerator, so I ran 50′ of HDMI and USB cable under my house to connect it to my tv. My gaming experience is fan noise free, with space to spare in my tv stand. I use a bluetooth Logitech diNovo mini keyboard to control the pc with a wireless xbox controller to game.

    Cost isn’t as much of a factor as you might think because you still own at least a $500 PC, and if you buy a $500 console, you could just dump $1000 on a pc that excels for both. If you aren’t addicted to playing games on release day you save a ridiculous amount of money on games, and even on new releases, most of the time you don’t have to pay full price for them if you want Amazon and Green Man Gaming.

    Consoles still win however with ease of use. And for a lot of people that just trumps everything. Games usually don’t crash, and graphics do continue to get better the longer you own the console, they just get further behind what’s possible. It’s tough to beat the fact that any game you buy for a console will work and look the best that it was intended without any upgrade. I love my PC setup, but I’d be lying if I didn’t still have frustrating moments with a game randomly not starting, or trying to figure out why my sound is only outputting stereo and not 5.1 surround. I think those of us who game on PC are just use to the little glitches so they don’t stand out to us as much.

  4. Justin Gifford

    We tweeted back and forth about this and I definitely understand the attraction of PC games, particularly my affinity for strategy games – no matter how well put together the interface of a strategy game is on a console (Halo Wars is the only one that comes to mind), it’s not going to match up to PC. The cost argument isn’t a great one, either since with Josh Lee’s help, I put together a decent gaming rig for about $700. Still, I consider myself to be a console gamer at heart…although Coop running HDMI and USB does sound like something I’d do, so maybe we’ll see me doing living-room PC gaming in the future, especially since I have to run the damned Cat 5 anyway.

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