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Video Game Systems

Before you can start running around blowing up things with guns, or roaming the countryside beating up monsters, you’ll need a video game system.  If you’re new to this whole phenomenon and want some tips, you’ve come to the right place.  I’ll discuss how your wants and needs will dictate a particular system for you to play on.  Of course, there will be more details in each system’s specific category so if you’ve already decided what you want or simply want a more in-depth explanation of a system, skip right ahead.


Time is money, time is life, time is limited.  If you’re someone on the move but have a hankering for an hour here and there, then you probably want a console system.  Console games are typically designed to be played in shorter segments, though there are some examples of console games that require several hours at a time to deal with.  PC games tend to require more time per session simply because they go into more detail.  There’s also the matter of installation time.  For a console game, you simply pop in the disc into your system and the game begins immediately.  PC games will generally require a detailed install and set up, and it could be up to an hour before you’ve got it running smoothly.


Working on limited funds?  If you only have a small fraction of money available for spending from month to month, consoles again are the better choice.  That’s because once you buy a console system there won’t be any more major hardware upgrades to purchase.  Console games are usually cheaper than PC games as well.  The average life of a console system is about four to five years, and throughout that time you’ll have access to a gamut of games running out of the same system for all that time.  With a PC, you must continually upgrade your system as the hardware demands are always rising at a dizzying rate.  The average cost of a PC is also in the thousand-dollar range compared to console’s hundred-dollar range.


Hands down, the PC rules supreme in the quality department.  Screen resolutions on the computer monitor are far better compared to a TV screen.  With a PC game you will be able to download patches to improve the quality of the gaming experience as well.  That’s because bugs and gameplay issues can be corrected over time.  Some games aren’t even playable until a major patch comes out.  With a console game, you’re locked into the game forever.  No patches are available and if there are some nagging issues you won’t be able to get rid of them.


If you enjoy the challenge of facing off against other human opponents, then the PC is also the way to go.  Most PCs these days are hooked up to broadband, which is by far the ultimate in multiplayer connections.  Consoles all have a multiplayer aspect but you’ll either have to share the screen with your friends or hook up to a multiplayer network through an optional (or built-in) modem.


Though traditionally the specialty of PC games, the immersion factor of console gaming has increased significantly over the years.  With the advent of the Grand Theft Auto series, immersion has reached levels on the console that are not even available on PC.  This sort of console-only immersion makes console systems more desirable because PC users often have to wait months for a port of their favorite console games to the PC.  Of course, most computer games aren’t even available on console so I’ll have to declare a tie in this category.


Similar to the quality factor, speed is an important decision-making tool.  Most of the modern console games are quite fluid and perform smoothly.  By necessity, most console games are also stripped down of the more advanced visual effects available on modern PC video cards.  When it comes to fluidity, console can guarantee the ideal 30 FPS (frames per second) that is the maximum that your eyes can see.  Unless you own a high-end PC costing several thousand dollars, you may not experience good FPS rates across the board.  Some games may chug along and require you to turn off many visual options.  Other games might run smooth.  It’s that extensive tweaking process that many console gamers are glad to be rid of.


At the moment, console gaming has all of the advantages.  This is reflected in the fact that console spending far outstrips PC game spending.  Of course, many people own both a console system AND a PC.  That’s the curious thing about PCs, though.  You might have one anyway for your work or for school, and chances are that it should be able to run at least some of the games.  A PC is more useful beyond gaming while a console can’t really do anything besides play DVDs and CDs.  Choosing the right video game system is an open-ended problem that will require a bit of research unless you already know what you want.  Continue reading for more information on each of the major systems out there.