PC and Console Gaming, a beautiful medley

For three+ decades I was primarily a computer gamer (I say “computer” rather than “PC” since the first machine I gamed on was an Atari 400). Then I abruptly made the switch to pretty much exclusively console gaming for half a decade or so. Recently I switched back again and for a few months the consoles sat idle as I re-immersed myself in PC game.

My gaming pendulum has now settled into a happy medium and I find for me, some experiences are best on PC, others best on console. I thought I’d share some of my findings. As you read this, please understand all of this is what works FOR ME. Some PC gamers can get prickly whenever someone prefers consoles, for some reason.

I’ve found that I enjoy single player AAA titles more on console. Yeah, the PC can play them at higher graphics settings but for me that’s the only advantage PCs have for these games. I find that playing on console I get more out of these games. There are fewer distractions and I tend to play for longer sessions which also helps with immersion (and greatly increases the chance I’ll actually FINISH a game).

On the PC I’m constantly distracting myself with FOMO around Twitter or Discord. I run with 2 monitors and always have social media up on monitor two and constantly scan it. Because of this I just don’t “sink in” to a game quite as much; my attention is always divided.

Perfect example, this weekend I was playing Far Cry New Dawn on PC, and Shadow of the Tomb Raider on Xbox. I actually spent more time working “around” New Dawn than playing it; mostly tweaking graphics settings to try to maximize frame rate in between jumping over to social media to see what else was going on. Over the course of the weekend I finally made it out of the tutorial. Contrast that with Tomb Raider on Xbox, however, where I got about 25% of the way through the game because I’d boot it up, start playing and keep playing, focusing just on the game.

This “single player is better on console” rule breaks down for older games. Older single player games are better on PC because of mods. If a game is good enough to still be worth playing 5-10 years after release, the community has probably modded it to make it better than it was at launch. Example: Vampire the Masquerade is STILL being patched by the community on PC, LONG after the developers walked away from it.

Then there are indie/niche games. The PC excels here. Sure there are some indie games on console but not nearly as many as on PC and whole genres (the various “Simulator” games) are virtually non-existent on consoles.

While we have some MMOs on console, I feel like they are best experienced on PC thanks to everyone having a keyboard at hand. There are console MMOs with text-chat support but balancing a keyboard on your lap while playing from the couch isn’t ideal.

MP games like The Division 2 or Anthem are a tougher call. I still can’t decide where I like them best. On PC I get a higher frame rate and (for TD2 anyway) text chat, but on consoles I tend to play them for longer sessions without getting distracted so often advance quicker. In this category I NEED to make a decision though, because I can’t afford to keep buying two copies of this kind of game!

I don’t really play a lot of strategy games these days, but if I did I’d play them on PC. I am very comfortable using a controller, but when you’ve got a ton of boxes, buttons and units to click on or select, mouse and keyboard is the way to go.

Driving games, though.. console for me. There’s something about lounging back on the couch driving around that just feels right. I wish to heck Euro Truck Simulator would come to console!

Anyway, no real point to this post other than to talk about how happy I am where my “gaming life” is right now. It’s nice to have the choice of where to play and what to play. Heck I didn’t even touch on the Switch and what works best for me on handheld. That’s another post, I guess.