Not too long ago were computers the only place to turn to, to play games online. One of the first consoles to get online capability was the Sega Dreamcast, which then paved the way for other consoles. The Dreamcast unfortunately was not successful and the company went out of business, because it could no longer support it. In 2002, PlayStation 2, Xbox, and GameCube where among the first to introduce online abilities. With the popularity, the developers knew that online capability was what gamers wanted and consoles were being made with online capability and it became a successful system.
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Online games are very common in the gaming world, with Microsoft’s Xbox Live service leading the way with 23 million registered users. Sony has some tricks up there sleeve, and has big plans for the PlayStation 3, consoles are starting to get game downloads only available on the PC. A few titles can now be played across systems, Final Fantasy XI uses this system and people with PS2, PC, and Xbox 360 can all explore the same world simultaneously.
However, Computers still have the largest selection of online games. Some of the most popular games in the world are exclusive to the PC only. Games such as World of Warcraft and Counter Strike Source make up 40% of online PC gamers. There are many things to think about before deciding which device you want to buy. You have to decide what type of games you want to play, and how much money you are willing to spend, and if you need a computer for other things besides gaming. Preferably, we would all have a PC and a console, but unless you’re bill gates, then a comparison of the two is needed.
Multiplayer gaming has been made easy with Sony and Microsoft offering online services for their products. The PS3, and Xbox comes equipped with a network card right out of the box, making it a simple hook up to High Speed Internet connection to get into multiplayer games on Xbox Live. With Xbox Live players are able to play with people around the country rather than having to play the AI, or have to go through the hassle of inviting friends over to play. You are able to trash talk your opponents if they you where in the same room. These things are possible on a computer, but consoles are built for this right out of the box.
The biggest reason PC gaming isn’t bigger than console gaming is mainly the cost. Most consoles today sell for less than $500 unless it’s within the first couple months of release, often with a couple games included. A PC around the same graphical power as an Xbox 360, or a PS3 can cost double the price of the console. On the PC, you have a very large range of often options everywhere you look. . Prices for a high-end PCs can get expensive very quickly “A desktop can start at anywhere from $1,500 to $1,700. Not that you have to spend that much but, if you’re going to spend time gaming on a PC, shouldn’t you make the experience worthwhile? And, that startup cost presents a serious drawback for a lot of people” (Charlie Deitch, Cityweekly.net). Everything in a PC is customizable to fit the gamers’ needs. You can pick and chose what you want to be in your computer, and when newer technology comes out you have the power to upgrade your computer if you want to.
The second most obvious advantage is simplicity. PC Gaming can be a nightmare when trying to install games. People with Xboxes or PS3’s can take their newly purchased game home and be playing within a matter of minutes. There are no graphics cards to set up or motherboard drivers to update, you have the assurance that your game will work on your system unlike a computer.
Console games are rented out more frequently than PC games, and more easily returned if you do not like them. It is hard to return computer games because they are easy to copy, and resale. The other problem with renting PC games they run off a CD/DVD with a serial code only working one time, so it’s not possible to Rent these games or return them. You have to take this into consideration when looking at the games available for both platforms. You will be able to rent games you don’t want to buy, and if you do indeed buy the game you are able to return it and get something else if you are not satisfied. With the PC your return will just be simply rejected.
Although sealing everything in one unit does seem like a good idea, when some of the components inside the box become out-dated there is no way to upgrade your console, or even repair your system without voiding a warranty. If you void your warranty by opening your system to try and upgrade or repair yourself then you can no longer send your Xbox in for repair meaning you have to buy a new one if you can’t fix it yourself. The only safe choice you have to repairing your system is sending it back to the manufacture and waiting 4-6 weeks to get your system back.
Consoles perform only one task really well; while PCs can be a wide variety of things. Some manufactures are trying to make consoles more flexible, but it is clear that it will be a long time before consoles will be able to run applications like the PC does. Keyboards use many more keys to do the same tasks you can do on a controller, but PCs offer a lot more control of the game, but it comes at a cost of hours of tutorials and practicing at the game.
There is an obvious lack of connectivity between the different consoles. A lot of the games are only available to a specific type of system, which means you can only play other people who own the same system as you. This means that if you have an Xbox and your friend has a PS3 it will not be possible for you to play with each other, another example is that there is no way for a person with a PS3 to jump the countless PC World of Warcraft servers available. The PS3 has made some progress in this area, paving the way for multi platform gaming between PS3, Xbox and PC users, but there are only a couple of titles that support this, and there done very poorly.
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The PS3 and Xbox both have online potential and online connection is needed for these systems. But for a good effect while most people purchase a PS3 is because the online play is for free of charge. On the other hand Xbox games and or the online play are charged to the owner monthly, or yearly. These monthly charges abide from 1 month, 3 months, or a 12 month value. PC does hold many more games than console games because PC can come at a less cheap price. Also, the games do not cost as much to make as in a console game.
Another big advantage PCs have over consoles is that you can use them for other things besides playing games; you can edit and create your own maps for the playing field that you want to play on. But according to the gaming magazines PCs remain ahead of the gaming world browsing from better graphics, pictures, and making more ability to have the game literally in the palm of your hand. Computer monitors are found with high promise and the most recent include for a processors powerful game system. Though when a game is released, it’s impossible for a company to go back and alter this game and make it better.
Online gaming helps people connect to people all from around the world and interact with different variety of individuals. Different brands of computers and software generally communicated pretty well with each other. This differs from services like Xbox Live, and PS3 online. It is your only option if you want to play online, and you must have that system to play online, it is closed to everyone else that doesn’t own the system you have.
As your PC ages, you have the power to extend its gaming life, you can add new graphics cards, new processors, or more memory. This is not possible on a console giving the PC a huge advantage. Even though PCs prices have come down in the recent years, they are still a lot more expensive to even the most expensive console. There are ways to cut the cost on a PC, like building it yourself or ordering a gaming computer through 3rd party companies rather than Dell or Gateway; even then the prices of a PC are a lot more than a console. PCs are becoming a little less confusing, coming with more tutorials, but eventually the gamer will come upon some type of complication that interferes with their games, be it a video card driver that needs updating or components that are to new or old for games.
The fact of the matter is, you aren’t 100% sure that a game will run perfect on your system like you can count on with a console. You never have the assurance that your game is going to run smoothly until you’re actually playing the game you can no longer return, and even then you have to worry about the game crashing or choppy game play.
Unlike many console games, PC games have the capability to get extremely difficult. While this can give a game depth, it can also result in many various arrays of keyboard commands and overly lengthy tutorials which one must complete in order to play the game. PC games are usually not ideal for playing on the couch, especially when the mouse and keyboard are the preferred over console controllers for first person shooting games
The most recent release of consoles has a lot to offer online gamers, and if you’re into sports games and racing games, then a console would be your best option. If you like playing with hundreds of other people exploring one world simultaneously or first person shooting games, then there is a great deal more to choose from on the computer. Everyday Xbox Live and PS3 are getting better, but monthly fees and service charges are still very evident, and this is very unattractive to customers. Mostly PCs are still the leading option for online gaming, and it seems as if that will continue in the future.