PC Gaming Is Expensive and a Hassle, But I’m Lovin’ It

CrysisSo Paul’s latest comparison between PC and console gaming has created quite the firestorm. His financial analysis shows that console gaming is, in fact, cheaper even if plenty of commenters take issue with his assumptions.

But an important piece is missing from his analysis, which swings the vote even more so toward the console side: PC gaming is a huge hassle. This can’t easily be measured in dollars (hence the reason it’s left out of a financial analysis), but here’s my latest ridiculous example:

I play Crysis and think it’s both the most beautiful game I’ve seen plus one of the most fun games I’ve played in the last couple years (well worth the $45). Having said that, it’s still a love/hate relationship. You see, like many PC games, a patch was released a few months after the game was released. I didn’t find out about it until weeks after its release, of course, because no one told me. And I’m not actively browsing gaming sites daily in hopes for a patch release.

But it gets worse. I install the patch since it’s supposed to fix some bugs and better optimize the gaming experience. It seems to do so until about half way through the game. All of a sudden, it starts taking 5 minutes for any game saving (which you can do at anytime and which happens automatically at every checkpoint). The game become unplayable. Even not saving the game manually (just saving at the automatic checkpoints), I was waiting more than playing.

So that got old really fast, and I started browsing online game forums for clues. I found two forums with hundreds of gamers frustrated by this same issue. In fact, one of the forums is an official EA forum (publisher of the game) but has still seen no response by any moderators. After reading through the comments, I did find a solution. Here’s how it works:

The issue I was experiencing apparently had something to do with the new patch. The fix entails uninstalling the game, then reinstalling it, and finally downloading and using someone else’s saved games to pick up in the part of the game you left off. You can’t backup and use your saved games, you see, because they’re corrupted. And, of course, the most important part is that of NOT installing the patch that the publisher recommends for “better performance,” ironically.

So there you have it. A few hours of my life wasted on something that would have never happened with a console game. It’s 2008, why don’t PC games download and install patches automatically (when they become available) from within the game? Why is it acceptable for patches to break the game and the developer to simply ignore it?

At least this time I was able to find a solution to the problem. My previous gaming problem with Gears of War still has me with a $50 gaming paperweight. But I’ll say again what I said the first time around:

PC gaming is more fun for me. I enjoy being on the cutting (bleeding?) edge with the best possible graphics and games. I prefer the precision of the keyboard and mouse to the clunkiness of the console controller. But in terms of price and the “hassle” factor, it’s no wonder PC gaming has seen a decline in popularity recently. PC gaming is for fools, but I’m lovin’ it… when it works, that is.

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  • Paul Ellis

    Bob, they don’t automatically download the patches because they screw up your game duh…. :)

  • Tom

    no kidding.. I am still addicted to pc gaming.. yet I spend every session fighting with graphic card drivers trying to get playable frame rates.. one forceware works with 1 game.. but not another.. and vice versa. It is annoying as shite. eventually I just have to live with one or two games getting absolute shite frame rates so I can play the others

  • Andy

    Well, World of Warcraft downloads patched automatically. Call of Duty 4 doesn’t download them automatically, but a button appears on the main menu when there is one.

    I think part of the reason they don’t update automatically is because of issues like the one you had. Imagine instead of a few pages of users with patch problems, everyone who bought the game had those problems.

    On another note, the Wii is my only ‘next gen’ console, mostly for the family fun aspect of it. I have a problem with buying a console that will just play games. It’s mainly a one-use tool. Sure, you can load media onto the 360, but why screw around with a controller to play a video file? I also can’t browse the internet very effectively with a console, because even HDTV can’t pull off web content very nicely. Even if I could see pages correctly, what about flash and java? Good luck with getting those to work on your console.

    I agree that console controllers are pretty clunky. The fact that most shooters have to have some sort of ‘auto aim’ feature just to make up for the shortcomings of whatever controller they are using attests to that fact.

    Will I ever buy a console again? Undoubtedly. Will it be whatever comes after the 360 or PS3? Probably not. The days of the standard game controller should come to an end.

  • http://www.rustylime.com Michael Ott

    Amen. My bro has a 360 and the same games I play on the PC have been dumbed down for the console. Very uninspiring and less challenging. That’s why I always say consoles are the ‘arcade’ equivalent of PC games.

    PC trumps consoles every time for performance and future proofing.

    The other thing to consider is that console owners upgrade just like PC gamers, and in fact can cost more. Here’s what I mean.

    Did you own a PS2, and now own a PS3? That’s technically upgrading. The only way you can play the new generation games is by buying the new generation of console. The money I spent upgrading my PC to be able to play Crysis in all it’s glory was cheaper than the cost of a brand new PS3. So who’s spending the real money here?

  • The Watcher

    PC games FTW!!!!

  • Soviet Spartan

    Bob, I know how to solve your gears of war issue.

    If you look online you can look for a patch called

    GoW_Hamachi Fix. you wont be able to play on windows live (the culprit) but you will be able to at least enjoy the singleplayer.

    This worked for me, since it replaces the wlive application which crashes upon starting the game or a minute into it.

  • Life

    I wonder if any of you guys actually have me.

  • http://Boring-Games.com Mike Wilson

    Wow. So you had one bad experience with a patch, and that leads you to ‘report’ that all computer games have these issues.
    Amazing reporting job, you couldn’t be anymore ignorant on the entire subject.

  • http://www.yourfirstcreditcard.com Derrick

    Well I had much more issues trying to patch halflife 1 back in the days when the internet was on a dialup. The version numbers were very confusing.

  • OJ

    I’m glad the PC gaming alliance was formed. So far they have done a great job of fighting misinformation spread by sites like this. PC gaming on the decline? Industry professionals say otherwise:

    “So does PC gaming need saving? The PCGA doesn’t think so. Citing statistics from leading research firm DFC Intelligence PCGA President Randy Stude – who is also the Director of Gaming Strategy at Intel – evangelized the business of PC gaming. Stude’s figures stated that PC gaming revenue was worth approximately $2.76 billion in 2007, a 12% increase year-over-year from 2006. The forecast for 2008 is an estimated 14% increase over the 2007 revenue. From the look of the numbers the PC gaming business is growing not shrinking, and the 263 million PC gamers online at the end of 2007 will only grow substantially through 2008.”

    Bam:
    http://www.tomsgames.com/us/2008/02/20/gdc_long_live_pc_gaming/

    LONG LIVE PC GAMING. The bane of retards who have trouble installing patches

  • Papau

    Well let me just say there are very strong points to this topic “EA” is the biggest criminal when it comes to allowing gamers to suffer for a patch or support but like others that have done this it will catch up with them. As for the dwindle in PC game front I have to say my worries are Microsoft and the forced up grade game they are playing all the new PC games are being pushed with the new direct x 10 I don’t mind hardware updates but this is a direct slap in the face of XP users because direct x 10 only works on Vista and thats the pinch point they are trying to kill XP …there own product and If you want to play Xbox 360 games on line with your PC friend well they better have Vista . I hate being forced this way.

  • OJ

    I’d also like to mention the $300 paperweight I have in my room thanks to the Xbox 360 and it’s infamous Red ring of death. At least if that were a computer I could open and replace whatever part had gone bad but now i’m forced to stare at the thing I bought just 6 months ago while it whirls around making funny noises while it flashes it’s newly acquired red rings.

    Also a little funny story. Over my buddies house a week ago. Opened his new ps3. First think it does is install a firmware update. He throws in DMC4 and he cant play until a 20 minute install is complete. Time from opening box to playing game….a cool 40-50 minutes. So much for convienient

  • bitbucket

    Let me get this straight–you’re panning PC gaming because one game publisher produced a retarded patch and was further retarded by not notifying you the patch was out there?

    Oh wait there’s a complaint about gears of war too. Interesting the thread you linked from your article complaining about GoW attributes the primary problem you described in your other article to 3rd party software running on your PC, which brings up an interesting point. If you’re going to build a PC for gaming and compare it to console games, you shouldn’t be doing anything else with it. No web browsing, no taxes or file sharing, no downloading of ‘naughtily portman’ videos (reference used without permission, sorry User Friendly) or ripping music. Care to tell us what else you use that PC for? I have two PCs, one for gaming, one for ‘daily driving’ (browsing the web, e-mail, etc). The daily driver is a non-microsoft based OS, so it’s relatively safe to click around to unknown sites. The other is a lean, mean, gaming machine. I don’t mess around on the web with it, and it stays clean of the detritus so frequently picked up over time flogging the info highway with your browser. It has no antivirus, antispyware, and benchmarks show it behaving the same now as the day I built it last spring if not slightly better (yay firmware patches and software updates). If people would treat their gaming PCs like consoles and -only- game on them, I suspect they would have a better result.

    Now, to address the thrust of this article:

    I have yet to play a recent console title that didn’t have a patch available within the first 5 weeks. Has your experience differed? I can say the same for PC titles. Did you miss the PS3 Assassin’s Creed threads? How about the Orange Box ones, both 360 and PS3? Don’t get me wrong, I’m a 2-generation quad-fecta (nintendo/sony/microsoft/pc) gamer. Each platform has its own benefits and deficiencies. But–before these last few generations, it wasn’t even possible to patch a console game. At that time, yeah, I could see your argument being valid about PC vs. Consoles inasmuch as the console games ‘just work’, or they were recalled. Not anymore though, both sides release ‘Beta 0.9′ and then patch post-release to get to market as fast as possible. With the introduction of ‘live’ (online) elements to console gaming, and the birth of the console game update, the playing field has leveled out in this aspect.

    And think about the gargantuan task of creating a PC port. Console ports require knowing one (count ‘em UNO) platform. PC ports have to basically guess what type of hardware the consumer is going to be using, and try like hell to make it run as well as possible on as many combinations as possible. No small task, to be sure. So, given the fact that you home-built your PC and it doesn’t seem to be faring that well, it might be more journalistic to try a few other builds before making blanket statements about the state of PC gaming? Yeah, I know you read the forums about bunches of people that are having the same problems you do, but again, are these people objective about their own rigs, or are they letting their kids use the PC in the afternoons hosing it up with every free click-me offer that pops up? I can’t tell from the posts on the links you supplied, can you?

    My point is that I think it’s pretty unfair to cast PC gaming in that kind of light without taking a more comprehensive look at the factors involved. Even without doing that, being able to quote at least as many examples of buggy or flat-out non-functional console games at release as you’ve listed as examples to support your ‘PC games are fun but frustrating’ angle here really doesn’t make for a very compelling argument.

    I just think you’re pointing out a tree in the middle of the a forest then screaming about the fact that it has leaves, Bob.

    P.S.
    Also–backups? You don’t copy your game saves to a different location before you patch? If I know my console (or PC) is going to patch I dump all my game saves I care about to removable media before I let it go. I think it’s awfully thin to completely blame anyone else when a few moments of prevention on your part could have prevented any loss of gameplay. That said, it’s just as dumb that a patch doesn’t back up game saves before patching. That leaves both you and the manufacturer wearing the same egg on your face, doesn’t it?

  • http://www.techconsumer.com Bob Caswell

    bitbucket-

    1) More than one game publisher. Sure, this is an anecdotal experience, but it happened twice in a row for me. But I never claimed this to be some sort of statistical analysis.

    2) I do have a separate gaming PC. And I don’t run much of anything on it. Remember that I read all those forums too. So I’ve already tried the “make sure other software isn’t in the way” solution, which, by the way, is a cop out of an answer.

    3) I did backup my saved games, but they were unusable. The point is that the game only works (for me and hundreds of others) without the patch installed. But the problem persists if you uninstall then reinstall without patch but use your saved games from when the patch was installed. The only solution is play unpatched with only saved games NOT created from a patched version.

  • bitbucket

    Bob,

    In response to Rebuttal #1:
    “But I never claimed this to be some sort of statistical analysis.”
    Right, but you’re using this experience, supported by references to pages of forum threads to give a nod toward console gaming as a less hassle-free experience. What about my comments about recent console game release fiascos like Assassin’s Creed and Orange Box? These are two games I can think of instantly to counter your claim about hassle-free console gaming.

    To Rebuttal #2:
    “So I’ve already tried the “make sure other software isn’t in the way” solution, which, by the way, is a cop out of an answer.”

    I was trying to point out -gently- that a huge percentage of problems with PCs are rooted in the actions at some point of a user. I’ve built identical machines, one for myself, one for a close friend, over many generations. After 3-6 months, he starts having problems–disconnects, lockups, etc etc, while my version of identically built hardware/software keeps on performing day-in, day-out. This is a theme that repeats from the 486 days. It illustrates the point I was trying to make, not just in PC gaming, but PC support in general. I support hundreds of PCs and servers. I feel I can speak with some authority.

    How about shouldering some responsibility for fact that your build may just not be the most compatible build out there? I didn’t see you posting your specs, only how much you spent. In your GoW article you reference THE main hardware forum with its 68 pages of GoW issues saying, “I’m not alone” (now up to 119 pages btw), but the issues range greatly from “It won’t run from autorun” to “my PC blue screens when I run on max settings”. Neither of these particular problems for instance are related to problems with the game vs. the machine and operating system, and are a huge chunk of what the forums are filled with.

    Again, my point is you’re using a broad brush (discussion forums) to point to your narrow problems as evidence of a poor PC gaming experience (twice). Do you think this is a sound way to support your argument?

    What I’m hearing is, “I’m tired of game developers shipping beta products in a rush to market. Then I got a patch with unpleasant side affects, and I didn’t prepare properly for it”, and “I got a sloppy port of a console game”. Is this the platform’s fault? I think not.

    To your rebuttal #3:
    So let me see if I have this straight.
    You say you backed up your saves before patching.
    You say that you had to go to an unpatched version of the game because the patch was broken.
    Patched game saves don’t work on the unpatched version.
    You uninstalled and reinstalled the game.
    I’m not seeing the problem here. What happened to your pre-patch game saves? The egg’s still there Bob, unless you can clarify this some more.

    Closing:
    You’ve written two articles and referenced a 3rd party’s about how PC gaming is more expensive and more of a hassle to enjoy, contrasting that with the console market.

    You’ve blamed the platform for:
    -Sloppy port work (Game manufacturers)
    -Bad patch practices (Game manufacturers)
    -Failure on your part to adequately back up before patching (I’m willing to retract this, but the way you describe it here you’re still on the hook)
    -Poor release practices (Game manufacturers)
    -Hundreds of pages of forum postings, a huge percentage (I’d say over 50%) of which are neither the fault of the platform or the game. (Hundreds of pages of unique and unrelated problems to yours and PC builds and users).

    I’m pointing out that your experiences, and the supporting information you supply are not the fault of the platform–indeed it’s highly probable its’ anything but. The PC platform is by definition as unique as a snowflake, especially after the user gets their hands on it, regardless of the hardware, and especially because control is unlocked vs. consoles.

    What’s more, in the age of internet update/patching for console games, these problems are far from unique to the PC platform, yet you seem unwilling to acknowledge this fact, and are arguing to the contrary.

  • Paul Ellis

    Bitbucket, what issues are you talking about with Orange Box or Assassin’s Creed? I haven’t played AC, but OB works great on my 360, and I haven’t heard of any problems with it. Are the issues on PS3?

    2. The reason it is a cop out is the fact that a user can have a software installed that will screw things up. That is the hassle. Have you ever heard of a console gamer having issues playing game Y because they have played game X? Me neither…

    3. The fact that you have to do all those steps just to be safe for a patch illustrates the hassle. Some people complain that it can take a week or two for patches to get through Xbox Live’s certification because they get it two weeks later. Personally, I love it, they always work.

  • http://www.techconsumer.com Bob Caswell

    bitbucket-

    Here goes again:

    “What about my comments about recent console game release fiascos like Assassin’s Creed and Orange Box?”

    Point taken. Consoles have at least two screw ups too. BUT, you say something later that has a side effect of working in my favor, ironically:

    “[Y]our build may just not be the most compatible build out there?”

    Actually, I put a lot of time and research into my build and have four years experience working in a computer store. It’s not like I just bought random part and hoped they worked.

    But that’s beside the larger point: Do consoles have a nearly infinite number of configurations? Is the compatibility different for every single game? Answer: No. But the same questions asked for computer games? Nightmare.

    Now, granted, that’s not completely the fault of the developer (though I’d argue the developer shares plenty of the blame). It’s part of how gaming has evolved. Computer gaming is very open and console gaming is very closed (in terms of hardware & OS). By definition, which do you think has more problems? You [sort of] already answered this:

    “The PC platform is by definition as unique as a snowflake, especially after the user gets their hands on it, regardless of the hardware, and especially because control is unlocked vs. consoles.”

    I don’t disagree. And I’m willing to admit consoles can have problems (so far, I’ve heard of two, the ones you gave me). But keep in mind that I’ve owned about four different consoles in my lifetime and haven’t had one single problem. With computer games? I’ve had dozens of problems at least (only mentioned two).

    The funny thing is that I’m way more of a PC gamer. My original point was in response to Paul’s financial analysis showing that PC gaming is more expensive than console gaming. I agreed and pointed out that it’s more expensive in non-financial ways as well (i.e., the HASSLE factor is higher in PC gaming than in console gaming).

    We may disagree who is to blame for what problem and to what to degree. But, to me, that’s a miniscul sideline discussion. Again, the point is in the title: PC gaming is more expensive and more of a hassle than console gaming (by definition ala the “open” vs. “closed” nature). Do you disagree? If so, what would you say to refute this point?

    But again, I have plenty of reasons why I still prefer PC gaming to console gaming, higher expense and hassle notwithstanding.

    Lastly, to answer this question: “What happened to your pre-patch game saves?”

    I had hardly any. You see, I installed the patch early on in my Crysis gaming experience. The nature of the problem (caused by the patch) doesn’t present itself until half way through the game. So I had several hours of gameplay (and subsequently dozens of post- patch saved games) without seeing the problem. So even though I DID backup ALL my saved games, only the first few were useful. But then, I’d have to replay several hours of the game. I elected to use someone else’s pre- patched saved games to pick up where I left off. Making sense yet?

  • Paul Ellis

    Speaking about compatibility, I have to mention that Bob’s computer is a single nVidia 8800GTS, an Intel Core 2 Duo in an Intel Motherboard (not just chipset), and nothing is overclocked. That sounds like a compatibility nightmare…

  • Daniel

    Hopefully you still check the comments on your thread about the gears of war problem. I just posted my solution to it. Took me two months to finally figure out what was wrong. I hope it works for you too.

  • bitbucket

    Paul, Bob:

    Assassin’s creed buggy PS3 release:
    http://kotaku.com/gaming/buyer-beware/assassins-creed-for-ps3-seeing-lock-ups-white-screen-of-death-323895.php

    360 and PS3 Orange Box complaints:
    http://kotaku.com/gaming/update/xbox-360-orange-box-update-315864.php
    http://www.neowin.net/forum/index.php?showtopic=606189

    A few GoW 360 complaints:
    http://forum.teamxbox.com/showthread.php?t=484167

    Overlord 360:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overlord_(2007_video_game) (see Reception section or search page for ‘crashing’)

    Here’s a beaut: Crackdown for 360 patch erases game saves–sound familiar?
    http://news.teamxbox.com/xbox/13486/Crackdown-Erased-Saved-Games-Bug-and-Solution/

    That’s a list of noted crashing and patching bugs for every game I threw into Google in less than 5 minutes. All this evidence aside, here’s the point that causes so much umbrage with your article:

    I don’t see console games crashing UNDULY more than PC games or vice versa. That’s my biggest beef with what Bob is saying–he’s attributing the instability of the genere (games) to a specific platform, which is at best thinly supported. Bob has shown in his article no evident effort to explore whether console games in their current iteration are any better, except his own admittedly narrow experience. (“I’ve heard of two, the ones you gave me” he says, and “I’ve owned about four different consoles in my lifetime”.)

    How about the RRoD (Red Ring of Death) on the Xbox 360? Estimates go up to 30% failure rate for that generation of the 360. That’s not just being able to play a game, that’s complete platform failure. Don’t say that this type of failure isn’t germane to the conversation either, it’s evidence of extra, colossal hassle. How about not even being able to find a Wii in the stores for 6 months out of every year? If we’re going to compare the hassles involved with gaming we shouldn’t leave this out.

    “2. The reason it is a cop out is the fact that a user can have a software installed that will screw things up.”
    I’ll agree that’s the problem but I’ll disagree it’s a cop out. In fact, it’s my exact point that you can’t blame the platform for what the user does to it. Take modified Xboxes for example. Lots of people have done it, but do they ‘just work’ anymore? Nope, they’re buggy and error prone, but hardly means the platform is at fault or more of a hassle, wouldn’t you agree? Even so, I think I’ve provided a reasonable enough sampling in the links above to argue that consoles are just as bug-prone vs. what Bob has used to state the opposing case without modification or blaming the user.

    “3. The fact that you have to do all those steps just to be safe for a patch illustrates the hassle.”
    You build a custom system. The equivalent of going to the store of buying a bunch of parts and building frankenstein’s car–a corvette block with a charger intake/fuel injector and exhaust by M.C. Escher, because by golly the parts bolt together. Who better to know what you need to do to keep it working than you? The parts manufacturer? the builders of the road? That’s really what you’re doing here, blaming your driving experience on a car that you built. By building it yourself you have to assume responsibility for how it drives, and its daily maintenance. If it’s not second nature, or if you’re out of your depth, you’re going to reap what you sew. If you don’t back up your work on any computer: console, pc, server, even PDA before you go patching, you’re at risk to kiss your work goodbye. You just can’t blame the platform for your lack of caution.

    I stand by my statement that the largest portion of the problems PCs have are the users (and in this case builders). That doesn’t make the platform more of a hassle, if the users of the platform build and care for their systems as they should. The problem is that most hobbyists don’t do this. Like the hobbyist’s car, their hot rod projects are doomed to see a few days of sunshine a year but spend the rest of their time in the garage because the owner lacks the drive, discipline, and the expertise to make sure things stay healthy under the hood. Just having a supercharged 454 under there doesn’t mean you’ll be able to drive more than a few very fast miles before you need to do some serious tear-down and maintenance. Maybe I’m saying that PC gaming is for more advanced users than the console crowd. Does that make them more of a hassle? No, it just takes a better class of driver/pit crew to make them perform as they should.

    Jumping Bob’s comment to Paul’s follow-up about compatibility:
    “That sounds like a compatibility nightmare…”
    Operating system–Vista or Xp? 32 or 64-bit? Version? Patch level? Board and graphics card BIOS up to date? I found several problems online with the three pieces of generic hardware you listed, from not able to load an OS to 25 fps rates in F.E.A.R.:
    http://tinyurl.com/3xqffc
    http://tinyurl.com/2wny94
    None of the links provided blame the cpu/gpu/board combination, but again, the first stone has been cast without disclosure of the rest of the rig, which is most frequently where the problems are. Compatibility encompasses everything on a running pc, not just 3 components of the hardware. Moving on…

    Whew. Now on to Bob:

    “Actually, I put a lot of time and research into my build and have four years experience working in a computer store. It’s not like I just bought random part and hoped they worked.”
    So you admit that your experience is limited to XP and Vista, and hardware all the way back to the 32-bit Athlon/Sempron processors and Intel 32-bit P4 with hyperthreading? And I bet people bring you their PCs to get them fixed too, right? Try working on & supporting PCs and servers in a business-class environment (over twenty simultaneously, actually) for 8 years to begin to match my depth in the field. Not an attack mind you, but since we’re putting credentials on the table…

    “But keep in mind that I’ve owned about four different consoles in my lifetime and haven’t had one single problem.” I’ve been using consoles since the Atari 2600, my friend. I’ve owned 10 consoles to your four: Atari 2600, NES, SNES, Sega Genesis, and two generations of the most recent–that is, gamecube/wii, Xbox/360, PS2/PS3, and I’ve played hours and hours on at least 5 more, all the while playing games on general purpose computers. They ALL have had lockups and lost saves and buggy code. Lockup on a Sega Genesis? You just lost your entire game (no saves and limited continues, that’s hardcore my friend).

    So setting credentials and experience aside, let’s get back to the points you are making in the article.

    “Again, the point is in the title: PC gaming is more expensive and more of a hassle than console gaming (by definition ala the “open” vs. “closed” nature).”
    Exactly, but my point is you’ve produced very little evidence and exhibited very little research, and are just posting–as an authority–about your own mediocre experience as if it’s a broadly accepted fact. To which I have already posted numerous rebuttals and counterpoints, and disassembled your references, and provided explicit examples to the contrary. All the while, noting that a large sampling of the pages you point out talk about problems that are clearly not the fault of the game manufacturer or the platform in general.

    As for the expense, I was avoiding your reference to Paul’s article because it’s not your work, and I didn’t think it was fair since all you did was point out the controversy involved. Paul’s article was sufficiently dissected in the comments section. I won’t muddy the waters here with all of its suspect suppositions and preconditions to make his numbers compelling. My argument is with the hassle aspect of your article vs. consoles, not the price.

    With your last clarification about backups, I’ll concede that the conditions around the Crysis bug you experienced would have made it unlikely that you would have had useful pre-patch saves.

    But again, you’re using this as ammunition to paint the platform with a wide brush. I’ve listed at least one console example of the exact same thing, (it references a workaround, not a solution just like the Crysis problem) along with numerous additional references of problems with console games across multiple manufacturers.

    Are you still standing by your statements that PC gaming is more hassle in light of this new evidence? Surely you can see that–in the field of ‘hassle’–, the platform playing field is at least equal.

  • http://www.techconsumer.com Bob Caswell

    bitbucket-

    “I don’t see console games crashing UNDULY more than PC games or vice versa.”

    And where’s your evidence of this? Your anecdotal experience of seeing a fair share of screw ups on consoles and PCs? If my experience doesn’t count, neither does yours… So you need to back up the above statement. Basically, answer this question:

    Why would PC games NOT have more problems than console games given their more open nature?

    And about the Red Ring of Death… Last I checked, Microsoft is taking responsibility big time. Where’s the PC equivalent of taking responsibility for the (you think equal, I think more) screw ups?

    “You build a custom system.”

    But all computers are custom systems, not just mine. It’s not like there’s some universal perfect computer that works with all games flawlessly, and I opted out of using it. This is the point you still haven’t addressed. Again, leaving blame aside, how could PC games possibly NOT have more problems given this?

    “Operating system–Vista or Xp? 32 or 64-bit? Version? Patch level? Board and graphics card BIOS up to date?”

    Wow. Remind me again how not having the perfect combination (which is different depending on the game, btw) of the above is somehow the user’s [my] fault?

    “Try working on & supporting PCs and servers in a business-class environment (over twenty simultaneously, actually) for 8 years to begin to match my depth in the field.”

    I agree that this isn’t that relevant, but, uh, next time don’t assume your experience is superior to whoever you’re talking to. It could be, I suppose, but that’s neither here nor there. For the record, I have supported servers in a business-class environment for about the same number of years as you in addition to my four years in a computer store.

    You apparently do have more in-depth experience with consoles, though. And I must have some seriously good luck, since your bad experiences with consoles seem to trump my near perfect experiences with them. Your experience must be the norm while mine is the exception. Oh wait, I thought you didn’t like it when personal experience is used as a basis for a point? Or are you exempt from that policy you’ve brought to the discussion?

    “…noting that a large sampling of the pages you point out talk about problems that are clearly not the fault of the game manufacturer or the platform in general.”

    First of all, again, I’m not sure how the answer to “who is to blame” changes the hassle factor in question. I mean, regardless of where the volume of computer gaming problems come from doesn’t change the fact that they exist.

    Secondly, who’s to blame then? Oh right, the user of the computer that somehow didn’t get the right combination of updates for bios / OS / firmware / patches. Stupid users, that’s just simply common knowledge, apparently (which again, could easily be different depending on the game, but shame on users for not keeping track of that better).

    “Are you still standing by your statements that PC gaming is more hassle in light of this new evidence?”

    Yes. And, by the way, remember that I’m actually more a fan of PC gaming than console gaming, despite this.

  • bitbucket

    Bob,

    You pulled out the experience bag–but neglected to describe all of your credentials, that’s on you not me. I rebutted as you escalated the topic, that’s all.

    I didn’t make the claim that having owned 4 consoles makes me qualified to comment on the genere as a whole, I rebutted as you escalated the topic, that’s all.

    You insist on talking about personal experience. Again, I’m just rebutting that with my own. But what I offered as evidence was not even related to my own experience at all.

    I’m sorry you feel that keeping your systems up to date is not your responsibility. I contend it absolutely is.

    I’m also not saying it’s a miracle to find a working combination, but arguably your rig isn’t doing so well percentage wise on some very big games, so I’m just pointing out the most likely reason.

    RRoD: Yes, props to MS for owning up to the problem, but your article was about hassle, which it certainly is going 6 weeks without your console for refurbishing, after going 13 months with your 360 hard locking after a few hours’ play. That’s some pretty serious hassle for 30% of gen 1 360 owners.

    To clarify, I didn’t say that I experienced all of the links I listed, I’m saying exactly that using one’s own experiences as evidence of a trend is insufficient, and your sources cited as evidence were about the same as the types/frequency of complaints for any major title/platform combination I casually googled in 5 minutes.

    What your article is lacking is examination to the contrary of your own position, or even admitting that another point of view exists. It’s one of the tenets of good journalistic practice to at least give a cursory nod to the other side.

    It seems where we’re breaking down at is the definition of hassle. We differ fundamentally about what that means, and whether the carbon-based (human) element is relevant to the equation. Without that common ground, it’s going to be difficult to have a constructive discussion. I can respect that you differ from my own point of view, but in the face of at least an equal amount of evidence to the contrary to that view, you aren’t willing to discuss the possibility that your article might be light on facts, and heavy on opinion. With no common ground and a lack of objectivity, there’s little point in discussing things further.

    Best of luck to you Bob. We do agree on one thing. We both like PC gaming better, but our experiences certainly do differ.

  • Paul Ellis

    Bitbucket, about the console games you listed by far most of the issues were PS3-related and I will say it has had some quality control issues on games, mostly cross-platform releases (which account for a lot of games these days). However, you throw a link in for Orange Box on the 360 and it doesn’t reference any user problems, just a patch they released to fix some bugs. If you are going to say that any game that gets a patch is buggy then literally all games on consoles and PCs produced today are buggy. The rest of the issues you listed were much more minor than Bob’s instances of not being able to even play the game.

    As for you experience, who cares? I built my first computer when I was 10, and have worked in an environment that had thousands of computers with tens of thousands of users at my site; it doesn’t matter. In fact you are pointing out exactly the problem. Should anyone have to have my level of experience to play video games on a PC? If PC gaming was how I think it should be, anyone would be able to buy a Dell/HP/Gateway computer that is marketing for gaming and play games on it without any IT experience. The fact of the matter is that isn’t how it is.

    Lastly, one thing has happened to me since reading the comments for this post and my financial analysis post that preceded it. I have lost any remaining respect I had for PC gamers. It could just be the vocal set that responded, but you guys are delusional. See Bob can fess up that he has problems, but he still loves PC gaming, and that’s fine. But when you ignore every problem and act like things are perfect and that everyone that doesn’t agree is an idiot, then you get into a delusional fanboy state of mind. I think PC gamers have surpassed Apple Zealots as my least favorite fanboy group. Face it, it is a fact that PC gamers have more technical issues than console gamers.

  • http://www.techconsumer.com Bob Caswell

    “I’m sorry you feel that keeping your systems up to date is not your responsibility. I contend it absolutely is.”

    Again, wherever the responsibility lies does NOT change the hassle factor. With most consoles nowadays, they inform you when there is an update. PCs? Nope. Leaving aside my apparent responsibility to bookmark and check frequently every manufacturer website of every piece of hardware in my system, most of the games themselves don’t do me the favor of telling when there’s an update. This topic alone, on the aggregate, is HUGE evidence in favor of the idea that PC gamers face more hassle than console gamers.

    “What your article is lacking is examination to the contrary of your own position, or even admitting that another point of view exists. It’s one of the tenets of good journalistic practice to at least give a cursory nod to the other side.”

    So where does leaving an article publicly open for comments line up in good journalistic practice? My “cursory nod” I think is more powerful ala this discussion we’re having more so than a token one liner of “it’s possible console gaming is more of a hassle.”

    “It seems where we’re breaking down at is the definition of hassle. We differ fundamentally about what that means, and whether the carbon-based (human) element is relevant to the equation.”

    The way I see it, the only difference is that you think who is responsible somehow negates a huge chunk of hassle. That’s a very unique definition. Tell me if I’m misinterpreting your take, but it seems like you believe that “hassle is only hassle if it’s not my [the user's] fault.” Again, I haven’t heard an explanation as to how/why responsibility/blame can negate hassle.

    In any event, thanks for the discussion.

  • http://www.techconsumer.com Bob Caswell

    By the way, Daniel’s fix mentioned above did fix my problem with Gears of War. Check out the updated post for the details.

  • alpha

    I have played a bunch of games, and only rarely have had any issues with crashing or such (9 out of 10 times it is user error)

    But Occasionally the error is in the software – this happens on consoles as well. That is why if you have a problem you seek the answer out on the forums first, and usually within minutes you will have solved the problem.

    I am not sure how you can take one bad experience and translate it into “PC’s are more of a Hassle”. It is more like Crysis on PC was a Hassle. You don’t even mention the thousands of other games that are typically hassle free. Here is a short list of games I have played recently that installed with no problems, and ran with no problems. Medieval 2 TW – Half life 2 – CS – DOD – Red Orchestra – COD4 -WOW – Oblivion(errors galore on console) – Madden 2008 – Witcher – Battlefield 2 – BF 2142 Ghost Recon Advanced Fighter -and the list goes on and on.. no hassles, no errors, no problems.

    Taking into account all my gaming experiences over the past 28 years, I cannot agree that PC’s are more of a hassle. To me consoles are a waste of money, when you can get something better and faster for nearly the same price – There seems to be no logic here. ( Currently playing COD4 on High – 1280×960 @40-60fps with my newly built $700 total cost computer -monitor/OS included) And yes I built it and saved about $300 in doing so…

  • alpha

    Your running vista?

  • Paul Ellis

    Wait, “something better and faster for nearly the same price” plays CoD4 at about the same resolution as my Xbox 360 which would cost $350? Oh wait, your “newly built” computer cost you $700. That isn’t “nearly the same price” it is double the price.

  • alpha

    Wait, “something better and faster for nearly the same price” plays CoD4 at about the same resolution as my Xbox 360 which would cost $350? Oh wait, your “newly built” computer cost you $700. That isn’t “nearly the same price” it is double the price.

    Yes you get what you pay for, and for twice the price, the PC gives you a lot more. But if you want a pc with the same console specs, you can build one for under $400-$500 and plug it into your TV.
    Of course you won’t be able to find a 10mb ati card – You will have go with at least 128mb

    You won’t find a triple core either – but a dual core will be very comparable in speed.

    512 ram ddr3

    20gb hd – You will most likely end up with at least 40-80gb HD on PC.

    All these and you will have a PC that not only outperforms the comparable console – But it also doubles as a PC! The console doubles as a DVD player – whoopity doo – so does my PC.

  • alpha

    For arguments sake here is the closest comparison to a Xbox I could find – This was done in 5 mins so I haven’t check for full compatibility. All prices are current on Newegg.

    ATRIX CSCI-L8029-C34 Black/ Silver SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 480W Power Supply – Retail
    Model #: CSCI-L8029-C34
    $38.99 -$6.00 Instant $32.99

    ASUS M2N-MX SE Plus AM2+/AM2 NVIDIA GeForce 6100 Micro ATX AMD Motherboard – Retail
    Model #: M2N-MX SE Plus
    $52.99 $52.99

    SAPPHIRE 100192L Radeon X1050 256MB 64-bit DDR PCI Express x16 Video Card – Retail
    Model #: 100192L
    $29.99 -$5.00 Instant $24.99

    AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ Windsor 2.0GHz Socket AM2 65W Dual-Core Processor Model ADO3800IAA5CU – OEM
    Model #: ADO3800IAA5CU
    $49.99 $49.99

    Kingston 1GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 667 (PC2 5300) Desktop Memory Model KVR667D2/1GR – Retail
    Model #: KVR667D2/1GR
    $39.99 -$20.00 Instant $19.99

    Maxtor STM380215AS 80GB 7200 RPM SATA-300 Hard Drive – OEM
    Model #: STM380215AS

    $37.99 $37.99

    SpecResearch KB-558BB/P Black PS/2 Standard Keyboard Mouse Included – Retail
    Model #: KB-558BB/P
    $9.99 $9.99

    LITE-ON Black SATA Blu-ray DVD-ROM Drive Model DH-4O1S-11 – OEM
    Model #: DH-4O1S-11

    $139.99 -$10.00 Instant $129.99

    PPA 1431 5.1 Channels PCI Interface Sound Card – Retail
    Model #: 1431
    $11.99

    Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 w/SP2B – OEM
    Model #: M93-00294
    $114.99 $114.99

    DCT Factory OG-560 30watts 5.1 Speaker – Retail
    Model #: OG-560
    $39.99 -$10.00 Instant $29.99

    Subtotal: $515.89

    The xbox 360 has a slightly faster cpu and ram speeds. The PC cpu has more cache, and more ram (some for the OS) and for $20 more you can quadruple the ram the 360 has. And go with a dual channel for more speed.

    The video card has 256 memory – compared to 360′s 10mb. Over 20x more video ram.

    The Hard drive is 4x larger. 80gb vs 20gb

    Speakers are not included with console – I have included them with PC costs.

    I subbed keyboard/mouse combo for controller.

    Blu-ray – 360 uses the HD DVD afaik – blu ray is an additional add on (and HD DVD is on its way out) HD DVD was $99 but will be outdated technology in 2-3 years or sooner.

    If you spend some time researching you can get most of these with free shipping – But for arguments sake lets bring the total to $600 for a Blu-ray Home Theater System that plays new games on Med-high. Most gamers will spend another $100-$200 for a better PSU, Video Card, and more ram. But even at a measly $200 over the Xbox 360 – You have doubled your speeds and power. Additionally you have a home theater system/PC/Game machine wrapped into one unit. I could save more money by buying windows xp home edition – and used parts (not even an option for consoles)

    I put this together in a few minutes, with a few hours research I suppose I could fair much better in terms of components and price.

    This system will plug into your tv, you can have as many controllers as you have USB ports (upgrade as needed) So you can in fact run it just like a console.

    I am not trying to put consoles down, they have come quite a ways since atari 2600. But is completely unlogical to say that a console will outperform a pc – side by side for an extra $200 you get so much more. It isn’t even a fair comparison.

  • alpha

    “Face it, it is a fact that PC gamers have more technical issues than console gamers.”

    Please provide that fact for all to see -

  • Paul Ellis

    Well, all I can say is you don’t understand anything about computer architectures. Do you really think that your $500 computer will do graphics as well as the Xbox 360 with a $25 video card? That $25 only has 6 pixel/vertex shader pipelines (4 and 2 respectively) and the Xbox 360 GPU has 48! Yeah 800% times as many. And it was the first implementation of a unified shader configuration.

    Nevermind the fact that it is still >$150 more than the 360, and it is built with the cheapest/lowest quality components you could find. Also keep in mind that you can go to the store and buy the Xbox 360 ASSEMBLED. You have to put you gaming rig together…lol. Yeah, that’s not a hassle. Don’t forget that your rig also won’t do component HDTV (you know the connector EVERY HDTV has).

    You could maybe build a computer that would output comparable graphics of an Xbox 360 at 720p (1280×720) for about $800. The video card would have to cost at least $200. It is a fact that PC gaming costs more and is more of a hassle. Whether you enjoy it more is up to you, and I don’t care. But facts are facts.

  • Paul Ellis

    I forgot to mention that you should try and build anything with an 8800GT or higher for less than $1000 at Dell.

    One more thing, the 360 has a 3.0Ghz triple core CPU where each core can simultaneously execute two commands (similar to HyperThreading). So it can execute 6 threads simultaneously at 3Ghz vs 2 threads at 2Ghz. Even with the differences in architectures (apples and oranges) the 360 CPU is faster.

  • http://www.techconsumer.com Bob Caswell

    alpha-

    Did you read all the comments up until now? Basically, no one has been able to refute the point made in the following question:

    “Why would PC games NOT have more problems than console games given their more open nature?”

  • alpha

    “Well, all I can say is you don’t understand anything about computer architectures. Do you really think that your $500 computer will do graphics as well as the Xbox 360 with a $25 video card? That $25 only has 6 pixel/vertex shader pipelines (4 and 2 respectively) and the Xbox 360 GPU has 48! Yeah 800% times as many. And it was the first implementation of a unified shader configuration.

    Nevermind the fact that it is still >$150 more than the 360, and it is built with the cheapest/lowest quality components you could find. Also keep in mind that you can go to the store and buy the Xbox 360 ASSEMBLED. You have to put you gaming rig together…lol. Yeah, that’s not a hassle. Don’t forget that your rig also won’t do component HDTV (you know the connector EVERY HDTV has).”

    You are absolutely correct – I did this too fast and there is no 10mb ati video card that is comparable. So sub this card that will do what the xbox does.

    HIS Hightech H260PRFS512DDN-R Radeon HD 2600PRO 512MB 128-bit GDDR2 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready Video Card – Retail
    Model #: H260PRFS512DDN-R
    $74.99 -$5.00 Instant $69.99

    or perhaps this card for 32 pipes

    EVGA 256-P2-N751-TR GeForce 8600GT 256MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 SLI Supported Video Card – Retail
    Model #: 256-P2-N751-TR
    $109.99 -$10.00 Instant $99.99

    There is a reason that there are no video cards with 48 pipes, it is because it is unnecessary overkill for a PC video card. I propose that either of these video cards will outperform the xbox regardless of the loss of pipes.

    And I stand corrected, it is virtually impossible to match the price of a console with a PC for initial costs. Over long term that changes considerably if you include Xbox live fees, and extra costs incurred for xbox only games. Not to mention that a PC that costs 2x as much will do 100x more. If you already have a PC then a console is just a luxury item.

    Yes the CPU is faster, I already stated that.

    As we all know Xbox sells at a loss, then is because costs incurred over time more then make up for that loss.

    “Why would PC games NOT have more problems than console games given their more open nature?”
    10 years ago this was 100% true, today it is not. Humans make mistakes whether or not its programming for PC or Console – As bitbucket has pointed out, consoles are not error free. When I was playing Oblivion the tech area was literally flooded with problems, glitches, and broken quests for the Xbox version. The Pc version had some errors too, and I even found a broken quest while playing that stopped the storyline. But because I was on PC I was able to locate a user fix within a few minutes and continue playing. The xboxers had to wait. This was an obvious error on the company that built that game – but it happened to both consoles and PC users, the only difference was that PC users could fix it in a few minutes. For me it was no hassle, just aggravating – for Xbox users it was game stopping. Which is more of a hassle to you, 5-15 mins fixing the problem, or waiting weeks or more.

    While you can contend PC games have more problems then console games, I would contend that the difference is that PC users can usually fix their errors with a few minutes of researching. While Console users are just stuck waiting for a new patch to fix their game which may be completely unplayable at that point.
    There are a lot more PC’s out there then Consoles as well. If you factor in that roughly 90% of the errors are user errors for PC, then I honestly cannot see how PC’s are more error prone then consoles. Today Plug and play actually works, the OS updates itself. If you use steam your games will automatically update as well. There are have been major steps taken to prevent user errors, and bring about a more compatible environment. But as long as their are users, there will be errors.

    Until you have factual information we can only argue this point to no end.

  • http://www.techconsumer.com Bob Caswell

    “While Console users are just stuck waiting for a new patch to fix their game which may be completely unplayable at that point.”

    So far the only confirmed example of a “completely unplayable” game during this entire discussion has been my PC gaming experience with Gears of War.

    “If you factor in that roughly 90% of the errors are user errors for PC…”

    That may or may not be true. And coming to an understanding as to what constitutes “user errors” would be difficult (I’m sure we’d disagree).

    But for millionth time, my point was that PC gaming is generally more hassle. Again, who is to blame for the hassle is irrelevant to the original point. The hassle is there either way.

  • Paul Ellis

    “You are absolutely correct – I did this too fast and there is no 10mb ati video card that is comparable. So sub this card that will do what the xbox does.” The 10MB of eDRAM is ONLY for the frame buffer. The 360 has a unified memory architecture (a major distinction between it and the PS3) for the 512MB of system RAM.

    “There is a reason that there are no video cards with 48 pipes, it is because it is unnecessary overkill for a PC video card. I propose that either of these video cards will outperform the xbox regardless of the loss of pipes” Actually there are video cards with greater than 48 shader units. The lowest end cards with greater than 48 units are 8800GT or a 9600GT. The higher end ATI R600-based units have greater than 48 units as well.

    “While you can contend PC games have more problems then console games, I would contend that the difference is that PC users can usually fix their errors with a few minutes of researching.” I agree that no software, on any platform is perfect, but consoles have less problems. nVidia’s video card release notes are proof enough that there are constantly problems with each and every game. I’d (warning: my preference) rather have a 1 in 100 chance of an issue that I’d have to wait for a slick official fix for, that a 1 in 3 chance of having a problem but I could fix it with 5 hours of work.

    “For me it was no hassle, just aggravating” Wow, in my world, things that aggravate me because I have to fix them usually fall under the category of “hassle”. Must be why I’m not a PC gamer.

    “Over long term that changes considerably if you include Xbox live fees, and extra costs incurred for xbox only games.” Again, my analysis does take into account the Xbox Live fees and the fact that Xbox games cost about 20% more than PC games.

  • Paul Ellis

    Oh, I forgot to throw in this link from TomsHardware entitled “Dell XPS 630 Review: Affordable PC Gaming?”. They (unintentionally) highlight what we have been ignoring. If you don’t build your own computer, it gets MUCH, MUCH, more expensive.

    “It’s been a while since we’ve seen a complete performance system for less than $1500, and we simply couldn’t find another system to pit the XPS 630 against. But in addition to its respectable gaming performance, other components put the XPS 630 in the same performance league as our own reference system.

    The fact that we have no other similarly-price performance system to compare the XPS 630 to bodes well for Dell’s efforts. In fact, because we had no similar system by which to compare it, we priced out a system comparable to the XPS 630 base model. With OEM software and similar quality components, it cost $1136, minus keyboard, mouse, and security software.. For a price difference of less than $150, Dell builds and warranties its system, offers 24-hour technical support, and provides a 15-month subscription to McAfee Internet Security Suit, in addition to the keyboard and mouse which we really didn’t know how to price.”

    That isn’t a super system either, 2GB of RAM, 8800GT video card.

  • alpha

    “Actually there are video cards with greater than 48 shader units. The lowest end cards with greater than 48 units are 8800GT or a 9600GT. The higher end ATI R600-based units have greater than 48 units as well.”

    Actually there aren’t any cards with more then 32 pixel pipelines currently on the market. The reason is because there is a newer technology and it is now measured as “Streaming Processors” The X360 is already behind in technology.

    “That isn’t a super system either, 2GB of RAM, 8800GT video card.”
    But for the price of $1500 plus a $250 card upgrade, we are still around the price of a console for 5-6 years. And no “Techconsumer” will be buying a pre-built computer.

    I think your article lacks depth. Two bad gaming experiences out of the 1000′s of games on the market doesn’t equate to more then a personal preference or experience. Obviously this isn’t enough to support your premise. And as I have already pointed out time and time again, Over time PC’s are more cost effective then consoles, but obviously not as convenient or easy as a console – but both have had problems, PC obviously has had more because there are more PC’s , and more game titles for PC. But I would love to see factual information, research, or anything that isn’t personal experience and preference only.

  • Paul Ellis

    “Actually there aren’t any cards with more then 32 pixel pipelines currently on the market. The reason is because there is a newer technology and it is now measured as ‘Streaming Processors’ The X360 is already behind in technology.”

    Stream Processors is just the name that they have started to use for a unified shader architecture, of which the Xbox 360 Xenos was the first GPU to have. On the Xenos they aren’t “pixel pipelines”; I said “shader units”.

    See this Wikipedia entry. “The R600 uses 64 superscalar unified shader clusters, each consisting of 5 stream processing units for a total of 320 stream processing units.” (link)
    Another Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radeon_R600#Radeon_HD_3800

    “no “Techconsumer” will be buying a pre-built computer.”

    Really? What if you just want to game without having to build your own system? Did you build your own car? How about your furniture? You know with some training you could learn how to build them yourself. Some people (even PC gamers) may have things they’d rather do with their time than build their computer.

    It is a cop out to say that it would be dumb to use a pre-built computer. The fact that pre-built systems cost more (although if you read the article they said it was only ~$150 more than they could build it for) is a perfectly salient aspect to a discussion of how PC gaming is more expensive.

    Lastly, “And as I have already pointed out time and time again, Over time PC’s are more cost effective then consoles”.

    Well, you have said that, but you haven’t proved it. I am the only one who has done a real financial analysis of this. I decided to run one more scenario. Only one computer over 7 years, video card replaced every 2 for $250, and I took out the anti-virus costs because you could use AVG Free. I also fixed the Xbox 360 so it is the list price from when it came out $400 (vs $350). The results (NPV): Xbox 360 = $1,804, PC = $2873. So it is still $1,000 more expensive. Keep in mind that this is includes games (for both systems) over the 7 years.

    So even with your scenario it is way more expensive. And I even assumed that a PC would last 7 years with only video card upgrades; which is impossible. Face it, even over time it is not cheaper. The reason why is that the initial purchase price is a lot higher than the console, and a $250 video card costs as much as a console (Wii or almost an Xbox 360 Arcade) and you keep buying it over and over.

  • S.G.

    Hi Bob, I’d say that you are entirely correct. When PC gaming works, it’ll be a better and more addicting experience than a console. But that’s not really a good thing unless you are a hardcore gamer. I like stuff in moderation, a console is great for that. And you gotta admit that nothing beats sitting around on a couch with a few friends playing a split screen game. It’s a real fun and social experience, I’ve had plenty of good memories.

    I think PC gaming is indeed going down. I grew up solely on the PC, so the nostalgic aspect has been my main problem with switching to consoles. But at the same time I also grew up playing Nintendo with others, so it really isn’t that foreign.

    There’s something really elegant about a console and the way it just works that I like about it. Kind of like vinyl records.

  • http://www.techconsumer.com Bob Caswell

    S.G.-

    Great comment, thanks for sharing!

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