There’s always been console wars raged between Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo fanboys. With the rise of PC gaming, it’s only natural that a fourth combatant would enter the Mortal Kombat tournament of fanboys.
Oftentimes All of the time, these comment section arguments are full of negativity and vitriol. Instead of just enjoying games, gamers instead feel compelled to defend their purchases of plastic. To push back against all of this negativity, I want to shed some positivity on all current platforms of gaming outside of mobile. I’m just going to list advantages that each platform has, so leave your Wii U jokes for another comment section. In alphabetical order:
PC Gaming —
- Everybody knows that games can look the best on high-end PCs. If you want all your games in 60 frames per second with 1080p resolution or, shit, even 4K resolution then PC gaming is for you. Hardware available for PCs keeps getting better and better making it so that video games keep looking more beautiful on PC.
- PCs have a vast gaming library and the myth that they don’t have exclusives is nonsense. Steam is full of tons of games and a lot of them are exclusive to the platform. Steam is also a haven for indie developers as plenty of indie games are just a few clicks away. A lot of these indie games are exclusive to PC or they come to console after a delay.
- PC is the home of MOBAs and MMOs. Sure, some games from these genres are trying to find success on consoles (and some have), but PC is where they play best and where the majority of players are.
- Mods are often what make games have long life cycles by keeping players coming back to test out a new mod or just fool around with one. They also add more variety (companions, armor, weapons, etc.) and may even let the user play as a previously unplayable character.
- The biggest advantage to PC gaming is the cheap game prices. If you looked around the internet a bit, you could have easily found cheap keys for games like The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt or Batman: Arkham Knight. Why pay $60 day one when you can pay $36? Also, Steam sales basically make PC gamers say R.I.P. to their bank accounts. Seriously, dem sales! Hide yo’ wallet!
PlayStation 4 —
- This point is going to come up for all platforms, but the PlayStation 4 has some of the best exclusives right now. It has The Last of Us Remastered, giving players that crossed over from Xbox 360 to PS4 a chance to play one of the greatest games ever. inFAMOUS Second Son and The Order: 1886 are both gorgeous games that are fun to play, despite their lengths. Lastly, Bloodborne is probably my favorite game of this console generation — I’ve put in over 55 hours and still haven’t finished. I also think future PS4 exclusives are notable, such as Uncharted 4, Ratchet & Clank, and The Last Guardian.
- The dualshock 4 controller does not require batteries — it’s rechargeable! I also like the touchpad on the dualshock 4, but I don’t think it’s been utilized to its full potential yet.
- PlayStation Vue is something that I think might actually be the ultimate “cord-cutter,” if you will. This service is an alternative to cable and allows users to purchase what channels they want to watch in an a la carte fashion. I still think there are issues holding this service back; namely that there’s not a true a la carte option (you can select from three packages but not individual channels), the price seems a bit high, and it doesn’t have the Disney networks yet (ESPN, ABC, Disney channel). We’re still young in the PlayStation 4’s life cycle and I think a few years down the road PlayStation Vue will be something that can actually rival cable.
- Sony has partnered with Activision to bring all Call of Duty DLC to PlayStation hardware before it arrives on other platforms, a deal that Microsoft used to have with Activision. This probably isn’t a big deal for many people, but for those avid CoD fans (and there are plenty — the series consistently has great sales), this matters. Not a big advantage, but still notable.
- The Share Play feature lets PSN friends play games together as if they were sitting on the couch next to one another. It requires a PS+ membership, so say you are a PS+ member but your friend is not. You two live hours away and want to play Mortal Kombat X together, a game that your friend does not own but you do. Using Share Play, you can invite your friend to play, basically, local multiplayer together for a 60 minute game session (and then start a new session right after). Share Play also allows a friend to take over your controller, so it can be useful if you get stuck and need a little help.
Xbox One —
- Like all platforms, the Xbox One has an array of exclusive games. The Halo series is Microsoft’s flagship franchise and only the first two games have seen PC releases. Likewise, Gears of War is something that has been only on Xbox consoles and will only be venturing to PC in the form of the first game remastered. Sunset Overdrive could be the start of a fun franchise. In the future, Xbox One owners can look forward to Scalebound, Quantum Break, Crackdown, Rise of the Tomb Raider (timed) and, of course, Halo 5: Guardians.
- Minecraft! Yes, the game is available for basically anything with a screen, but now that Microsoft owns the property, who knows what the future will be like for the series. While Microsoft has plans to keep the series multiplat, Microsoft executives could always one day make future releases/DLC Microsoft exclusive or even Xbox One exclusive if Microsoft thinks it could help boost X1 sales or whatever console Microsoft release next. Not to mention how well Microsoft is recreating the Minecraft experience with their augmented reality headset HoloLens. I don’t think Microsoft owning Minecraft is a big deal right now, but down the road, it could become one.
- Very cheap bundles. If you’ve ever wanted to buy an Xbox One, do it when you can get a crazy good deal. The X1 used to be the most expensive console on the market when it first launched. The “necessary” Kinect that was bundled with the X1 made it so that the console cost $500 at first, but nowadays, if you play your cards right, you can find a Halo: Master Chief Collection bundled with any Xbox One for free, often with other free games or maybe another controller, for anywhere from $350 to $400.
- The Xbox One provides a lot of opportunities for consumers to “cut the cord.” During the Xbox One reveal, Microsoft focused a lot on things outside of video games and their point was clear — the Xbox One is more than just a video game console. I don’t know if they have actually delivered on that goal, but it is possible that in a few years you might only need the Xbox One in your living room and not a cable box.
- The Xbox One is backward compatible! Much to the delight of X1 owners, Microsoft revealed that they would be making some Xbox 360 games playable on the Xbox One. Not every 360 game will be playable as it is up to the publishers, but this is still a step in the right direction for a feature that should have been included with the PS4 and X1 from day one.
Wii U —
- Needless to say, Nintendo has a crazy amount of exclusives. Characters like Pikachu, Link, Fox McCloud, Samus, and Mario will never see the light of day on other platforms. Honestly, Nintendo’s exclusives are the main reason that fans keep buying the company’s hardware. These characters have been around for literally decades and only continue to rise in popularity. You could argue that Nintendo relies too much on their first-party characters, and you wouldn’t be wrong, but those characters were major factors that propelled the Wii U’s predecessor to sell more units than both the Xbox 360 and PS3.
- Super Smash Bros. is almost reason enough to get a Wii U. The Super Smash Bros. series has long been an exciting and fun series that needs to be played with others. It brings all your favorite Nintendo characters together and allows you to duke it out with friends as Bowser, Charizard, Zelda, Yoshi, and many, MANY, others. Super Smash Bros. is the epitome of fun and can make a non-Wii U owner jealous.
- The Wii U’s games are meant to be played together and that is something very appealing to families. This may not apply to “hardcore” gamers that frequent this website, but Nintendo has always been family friendly and is a great way to introduce kids to video games at a young age and a way to show parents that not all games include violence and gore. Come on, you know in your early days of gaming you owned some kind of Nintendo hardware. For me, it was the Game Boy Advance and for kids nowadays, the Wii U might be their gateway drug into gaming.
- The Wii U is the cheapest console on the market at $300 and bundles with new games (like Wii U exclusive Splatoon) can be usually be found for $25 or $30 off. The Wii U is definitely a great buy at $275 for a secondary gaming platform.
- This is something that applies to both the PS4 and Xbox One — it seems like developers are prioritizing console development over PC. Just look at a couple of recent Warner Bros. releases — Mortal Kombat X and Batman: Arkham Knight. MKX had many issues at launch and one patch for the PC version started deleting save data. You’ve definitely heard of the Arkham Knight PC fiasco by now, which is so bad that the game still isn’t available to purchase on Steam yet.
- Another point that applies to all consoles — physical games. While digital games are certainly growing in popularity, physical games will always offer advantages in my opinion. The price of physical copies is always decreasing compared to digital prices (MKX has been at just over $40 for a little while now and it’s only been three months since launch), they can be shared very easily among an endless amount of people, they are easily resold (eBay, used games), and can be traded in to help pay for your next purchase. Sure, we all know how jokingly little Gamestop can offer, but getting even a couple bucks for a game you no longer play is better than it just sitting on a shelf collecting dust or on your hard drive wasting space.
As you can see, there are reasons that every gaming platform available to us is great in its own right. To me, it’s all about the exclusives, but to you it might be all about graphics, and to the parent who’s reading this right now it might be all about what’s cheapest. Everybody has their own preference and nobody makes a wrong choice when buying one console over another. So the next time someone insults your gaming platform and you feel the need to defend your plastic, just realize it doesn’t matter and enjoy your games. Chill out and remember — if it don’t apply, let it fly.
Austin is in his final year at the University of Florida studying English. He enjoys binge watching on Shark Tank, winning the Mortal Kombat, and occasionally stepping in for Batman when necessary.