This year even though was a difficult one but has been an exciting one for all gamers around the world with Sony, Microsoft, Nvidia, and AMD all announcing new gaming hardware. In this video, I don’t want to get into the specifics and all for that there are many videos out there for that.
Consoles have been the easiest for an individual to get into gaming without getting into much hardware complexity when you compare it to PC as it is plug and play and you get all the peripherals right inside the box.
And this time both the PS5 and Xbox Series X have seen a major leap compared to their prior generations with real-time Ray tracing support, super-fast SSD’s to reduce the loading times in-game, support for 8K video, 4K up to 120hertz with the help of HDMI 2.1 which is very new and is found in very few T.V’s nowadays.
Sony has even re-engineered its controller and with a new Taptic Vibration Motor and Adaptive sense triggers that can adjust its pressure based on the game scenario. Most people will probably just turn this feature off after a few days.
Even though PC’s have had this for years, but this year the new GPU’s launched by Nvidia especially the RTX 3090 can run 8K games at a smooth 60fps with the help of DLSS which is their supersampling technology with ray tracing which pushes the GPU to its limits. AMD also with their new RDNA 2 GPU or Big Navi with their first-generation Ray Tracing are facing the same issue as Nvidia during their first generation of Raytracing meaning that their GPU’s after a long is very capable and can easily compete with Nvidia, but when we turn raytracing on the GPU struggles to maintain 60fps which similar top what Nvidia faced with their first generation of ray tracing.
But the upside of a PC is that you are not stuck at a 120hertz if your GPU can handle it you can use get up to 340 hertz as your refresh rate and even in-game to get an advantage over others. And you can also hook up multiple displays, or even an ultra-wide monitor on the same computer to get the most immersive experience.
All these companies also have software to support their Hardware devices, well at least some do like Microsoft with the Xbox Game Pass Subscription Service which has more than 200 games and allows its subscribers to play these games on all platforms i.e., Mobile (with the help of X-Cloud), PC as well as Xbox Consoles to play games from a large library with both new and old games, it can be called as a Netflix for games and is called as the secret weapon for Microsoft as it is an important feature for their significantly inexpensive console i.e. The Xbox Series S which is all digital and packs in almost all the power of next generation. And game pass does not stream games it downloads them directly to your PC or Consoles Hard Drive/SSD to ensure they can be played even if you don’t have a Wi-Fi connection. But does require a Wi-Fi connection to play on mobile as it involves streaming and a stable connection is a must.
Nvidia also has a lot of software features up their sleeve which mostly uses AI to improve the user’s experience like Nvidia Broadcast that offers better Mic Quality by reducing or removing the background noise and only focusing on the user’s voice, Camera features that use AI to find the difference between you and the background and make changes to the background without the use of a green screen, and it even works with speakers which analyzes the sound coming through and then removes the unnecessary noise from it for a smooth sound. Nvidia also has its DLSS technology that analyzes the scene in-game and renders it at a lower quality to provide a higher amount of frame rate to the player and believe me it just works.
AMD and Sony currently don’t have such software to compete with their competitors but have plans to do it in the future.
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Now the part which all of you have been waiting for what about the games; well, that is a very good thing to consider when you are buying a new gaming rig as every single platform has something to offer in that regard.
Starting with the PS5, Sony has a lot of exclusives like God of War, The Last of Us, Ghost of Tsushima, etc. and with the launch of the PS5, Sony has announced a whole lot more like Demon Souls, Ratchet & Clank Rift Apart, Returnal, Operation Allstars, God of War Ragnarök, etc. which are launching within the first 6 months of the console making buying the PS5 very appealing.
Then comes Xbox Series X, Microsoft does have a lot of good exclusives like Halo, Gears of War, Forza, etc. and with the launch of the Series X, they announced a whole lot more of them like The Medium, Halo Infinite, Fable, Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II, Crossfire X, etc. But Xbox has other benefits as well like Game Pass about which I have talked briefly earlier, but here is a quick summary; it is a subscription service that allows the subscriber to play a large amount of new and old games on their Console, Mobile (via X-Cloud) or even their PC.
Finally, we come to PC, from my experience PC has the largest amount of game pool even if we combine the games from both the consoles as they can run both new as well as old games without any optimizations. And if you plan to be a competitive gamer then PC is the best way to go as the experience is unparalleled. PC has a lot of games and all the famous Xbox exclusives can be played on a PC as well and now even Sony has released some of their exclusives on PC like Horizon Zero Dawn, Death Stranding, etc. and it has been rumored seeing the success of these 2 games Sony is planning to release even more. Also, it is known that the PC is best for Multiplayer games since there is no additional cost present. PC also has a few exclusives which are not on either of the two consoles like Valorant, Counter-Strike, Half-Life Alyx, Age of Empires, etc.
There are always those tiny little things that annoy everyone while using any of the following devices.
Starting with the consoles. Both Sony and Microsoft with their exclusives make it difficult for the customer to choose between the two, and then for playing online you must buy a separate subscription which makes it more annoying since it is free on PC. Cleaning of consoles when the time has passed, and dust has been collected is a tedious task compared to a PC.
But PC also has its downsides like there is a learning curve when you are switching from a console to a PC getting used to a keyboard and Mouse could get annoying, then not everyone is a big fan of Windows, but most if not, all games play best on Windows. There is also another thing the abundance of stores that you must download for game purchases. RAM is also another annoying factor you have to make sure you have sufficient RAM to run all the games and applications on your computer which can often get expensive.
Now finally we come to the long-term cost of these devices:
Consoles are the cheapest way to get into gaming but when you see the costs that are present after buying these consoles you might just get skeptical like the subscription cost i.e., $60 US or Rs. 3000 for 12 months on both PlayStation and Xbox, buying every new game that you want to play for USD 70 or Rs. 5000. And a lot of times to play previous generation games on your shiny new consoles you would have to buy them again as they would not be optimized for those consoles. And to get the full power of these new consoles you will also have to buy a new T.V. that supports HDMI 2.1.
PC’s range from all price ranges and can get expensive when building it for the first time but can be customized to best suit your needs. The only downside is a lot of wiring and fragile component handling. If you have never built a PC, the easiest way to get in is with Pre-Built PCs. I have provided a few links in the description for the same. PC games only must be purchased once and then can be played for their entire lifetime and even after they have been upgraded with new hardware without any optimization. PC gaming has so much competition with multiple game purchasing stores that each store tries to make a sale by providing some offer or the other on the same game. Sales of games on PC are much more common than on consoles. And the best part is that there is no additional monthly/yearly fee to pay for multiplayer games.
The one thing that both the consoles as well as PC have in common i.e., annoying and will add to the cost is Storage. Even though PC storage can be upgraded through Hard drives and SSD’s the cost does pile up as you get more storage. And in these new generations of consoles, the same is the case the PS5 has an 825GB SSD with around 600 usable and the Series X having 1TB with around 800GB usable, and Series S having 512GB with around 400GB usable these drives will fill up fast with the increase in the game sizes to around 100GB or more nowadays, and the recommended way to upgrade the storage drive by Sony and Microsoft is very expensive as well Sony has said that their console will only support internal drives that have been suggested by them and meet their standards which at the time of recording are none, and Microsoft has introduced a 1TB storage expansion card which contacts the Series X/S internal SSD to maintain the speed, but that small expansion card is costly for Rs. 49000 as on Amazon.
So, to conclude I would say that the main deciding factor should be your budget and how much space you have in that regard. Since a PC tends to take more space than consoles and maintaining the PC can be a hassle for many people.
The benefit of choosing a PC is that all the costs are upfront and you do not have to worry about any subscription service to play multiplayer games and can also use your PC for other work making it a multipurpose machine.
Consoles also must be given credit where it is due, the way the manufacturers pack in so much power in such a small form factor is commendable. The subscription service to play multiplayer games is annoying and since these consoles especially the digital ones have only one store from where you can purchase games and that also at a very high price makes console gaming expensive in the long run. But, Console gaming like I have been saying is the easiest way to get into gaming without much hassle.