- Why PC?
- Console gamers are not the common enemy. Modern consoles are.
- In summary, why should I choose a PC over a console? What can it possibly offer?
- "Why do you care what others buy and play games on?"
- "Current consoles are acceptable or relevant because of the experiences previous consoles provided."
- "Isn't PC gaming more expensive than console gaming?"
- Optimization: As time goes on, consoles don't get stronger and PCs don't get weaker
- In addition to increased value, the PC also has a higher performance & quality ceiling
- You get more online functionality for free than a paid console user
- PC games are so much cheaper that they alone can allow even a high-end PC to undercut a console within a single year
- The PC is better equipped for online play than a console
- PC games can be modded. Console games (legally and logically) cannot
- You don't have to build a PC to fully experience PC gaming
- Building a PC doesn't require extensive training or a degree
- Mac OSX and Linux can be installed and configured to run perfectly on a laptop or desktop PC
- The Virtual Reality revolution is being led by the PC
- The ESports revolution is being led by the PC
- "I was told that PCs have compatibility problems"
- A PC is much better at making your gaming experience sharable
- A PC is more family friendly than a console
- A PC is better than a console for media consumption
- PCs support couch and local multiplayer gaming
- PCs come in many shapes and sizes
- A Personal Computer can be used as a tax write-off, whereas a gaming console cannot
- The human eye can see far beyond a measly 30 or 60FPS
- Anything with a framerate below 46FPS could strain the human eye
- The human eye can see the difference between 60 FOV and 90 FOV
- Academic studies have proven that higher framerates increase player performance
- After your PC loses its luster 3-4 years down the road, overclocking can bring it back
- You can share your Steam games with others
- The games you buy on PC are yours forever
- PCs are better for couch, TV, and livingroom gaming than consoles
- PCs are capable of much more than gaming, such as content creation
- You can put your console budget toward your existing or upcoming desktop PC.
- Both the PS4 and XBox One consoles are still behind mid-range gaming PCs of today
- Console gaming was (at one point) far better than anything PCs had to offer
- PCs can be legally opened for cleaning, upgrades, and repairs
- PC parts have longer warranties and the warranties are on a per-part basis; not per-device!
- You can experience beautiful studio-quality voice communication for free using a PC
- All platforms have their own exclusives but PC has thousands more than any other
- You can use any controller with your PC, not just one single model like with consoles
- PC is the king of legacy game and software support
- You can turn one PC into many and multiply its value by "terminalizing" it
- With a capture card, you can pull video output from another PC or console into a display or window on your main PC
- A PC can be used to donate spare computational power toward the betterment of mankind... or your wallet
- PC gaming is strong and growing, and it's not going anywhere for the foreseeable future
- Consoles are no longer the industry innovation leaders
- Hardware companies and game companies make more money from PCs than they do consoles
- Used game sales are more destructive to the industry than piracy and sales
- Piracy is actually more of a problem on consoles than it is on the PC
- Most of the screenshots and gameplay you see on "next-gen" advertisements are actually from a PC
- Further reading at Wikipedia
- Sharing the guide with others
- Reader Response
- Other quotes
- Other language translations
- To-Do List
- Special Thanks
- AutoModerator Calls
The first thing people ask when they hear about the "PC Master Race" or begin reading this article is, "Is this a real community?". The answer is yes, absolutely. One thing we specialize in as a group is education and facts, and this page is the physical embodiment of just that. So... Why PC? What's the big deal with PC gaming? What's wrong with console gaming? Is PC gaming actually superior? Are consoles really hurting the game industry? Everything will be answered in greater detail, but yes: PC gaming is wholly and objectively superior to console gaming. It can fill absolutely any and every need that consoles can. Any and all limitations or restrictions holding the PC back are entirely artificial and fabricated by console manufacturers, console developers, and console journalists (essentially, the "console industry") to prolong their relevance and profit. Long has the PC dealt with slander, misrepresentation, console marketing lies, FUD, and hostageware from the console industry. That's partially what triggered the creation of this subreddit and formation of our ideology in the first place! Before the rise of the "PC Master Race" communities and ideology, there wasn't any unified group present to fight console industry slander, FUD, hostageware, and marketing lies. This has now changed. PC gaming is no longer a force to be messed with, and there's an army of 500k+ people who have united for the very purpose of making sure PC gaming is properly represented and no longer mistreated. As users of a free, open, and decentralized platform, it's our responsibility as PC gamers to take the place of the support, management, port testing, and other essential duties that a console manufacturer would otherwise handle for its users and its developers. The page you're about to read is the product of several years of hard work from individuals who believe in the PC, who have done all of this for no other reason than to ensure the console industry's damage is limited, and that the truth still has the ability to directly reach you regardless of how much they attempt to bury the truth in marketing lies and negative associations. Strap yourself in, little Timmy. Get some food, water, and music, because this ride doesn't end.
Forget everything you thought you knew about PC gaming. This article has two goals: to teach readers how to get into PC gaming and take advantage of all its current offerings, and to dispel the myths about PC gaming that the console industry has been spinning up in an attempt to remain on top despite declining relevance. It's 2016 and PC gaming has never been this inexpensive, easy to get into, free of restriction, or more widespread than it is today. Largely to thank for this massive PC growth, consoles have never been as ethically and technologically worse than they are today - and a lot of people are switching. Yes, this is the first time in gaming history where PCs have surpassed consoles in every conceivable way for less money (however, consoles continue to sell due to dishonest marketing, abuse of money and power of their creators, and traditional beliefs held by many gamers). This following page will explain (in detail) how and why the PC is the unquestionably and objectively superior choice (cheaper, faster, better, more versatile, and more compatible) compared to underpowered and industry-harming PS4 and XBox One "PC imitators". It's also non-linear and can be read in any order that you prefer. This is a very PC-oriented community, so you may be expecting unjustified or illogical fanboyism... however, a large driving force behind the PC movement is because of what it offers. In other words, we chose it because it's awesome - not it's awesome because we chose it.
The past seven years of surging growth, competition, and innovation in the industry have improved the PC in almost every regard, largely due to the mobile hardware and efficiency revolution, as well as things like Steam, Humble Bundle, and Good Old Games. PC gaming is now cheaper than ever, and console gaming continues to get more and more expensive as the PlayStation & XBox divisions continue to push prices (and their own business operation costs) higher every year. Reading this guide will cost you exactly $0, whereas, in comparison, buying a console and paying for all the extended costs of everything it requires could easily exceed $2,000 in just a few years (not to mention, consoles offer a considerably worse gaming experience)! Honestly, what could it really hurt to read this? Bookmark this, read it thoroughly, check all the sources, share the link with your friends, and enjoy!
Console gamers are not the common enemy. Modern consoles are.
I feel it's important to include this information in the article as soon as possible, since a lot of people get the wrong impression going in and don't take information to heart until they realize they're being educated rather than scolded... I should also point out that it's well-known that past consoles outperformed PCs, but that was the past. This is now. Things are different. The openness of the PC was bound to be taken advantage of eventually, and what triggered it is the stagnation of the console market. And, now that the console market has stagnated and the PC is a viable alternative, it's very possible that traditional consoles with total control under a single corporation is entirely going to vanish.
Sony and Microsoft give you an inferior system, charge you a lot of extra money for it, and make you hold on to the pieces of junk for 8 years before they give you the option of (measly) upgrades. By selling you these systems, they lock you into their overpriced ecosystem, helping them further the cycle with their ill-acquired money. They don't let you play with friends unless you pay. They don't let you play with friends that bought the other systems at all. They don't let developers directly sell you the game - they charge for dev kits and include royalties, which massively decreases their profits over that of the PC version. When you take into account the business strategy of these companies, you'll find that it's all just one big greedy systematic ripoff of uneducated consumers. They're holding your favorite games hostage on their closed platforms because they know you'll buy into it. If everyone went with a PC and disregarded this disgusting behavior, these developers wouldn't be so easily convinced to support these "next-gen" consoles. So, do yourself and the industry a favor and go with a PC. PC exists because it's an excellent platform and for no other reason than that. Nobody's advertising it. Nobody's cutting deals with Frito Lay to get it stamped on Dorito bags. Nobody's running a 'PC booth' at gaming festivals. PC exists and thrives simply because it is freaking glorious. XBox and PlayStation consoles exist because their parent corporations hijack developers (and games) that people love and cancel ports to competing platforms (other consoles as well as PC), and force fans of these games to pay a 'hardware ransom' to play it. The PC is open, cheap, customizable, and powerful. Your best interests are always at hand, no matter how arrogant some PC gamers may seem when they speak negatively of the "anti-gamer" consoles. For anyone that's offended, I am truly sorry... but if you're going to get offended over this guide then you probably had no intention of giving PC a chance in the first place. Just remember: PC gaming is superior to console gaming, but the gamers themselves are neither superior or inferior to one another: they're just people with varying degrees of understanding. Fight the misinformation, fight the false advertising, and fight the anti-gaming console monopoly. Long live freedom, long live affordable and beautiful gaming, and long live the Glorious PC Gaming Master Race!
In summary, why should I choose a PC over a console? What can it possibly offer?
PCs are awesome machines for gaming, work, and entertainment alike for many reasons. This includes, but is not limited to, the following reasons listed below. The sources that follow each bullet point should link to sections within this page, which in turn contain all the sources you'll probably want to see.
- PC gaming as a whole is much cheaper than console gaming. Especially in the long run, it can be less than half of what a console will cost you. Hidden fees, price hikes, and royalties are abundant for gamers AND developers in the console industry. 
- PC hardware offers better bang-for-buck & value than console hardware (same performance for less money, more performance for the same money, or much more performance for a bit more money). 
- PCs have the freedom to upgrade whenever YOU decide to, not when Sony or Microsoft decide to. If you just got a big paycheck and wanted to sell your R7 260 to a friend for $50 and buy an R9 380 for $150 tomorrow, you could do it.
- PCs give you full internal and external control over the graphical fidelity triangle. Consoles can control neither.
- PCs easily work with TVs and monitors, and even multiple of each.
- PCs can play nearly every old PC and console game ever made, thanks to its tremendous legacy support, emulator availability, and GOG.
- PCs can use nearly every console controller ever made, modern ones (PS3/PS4/X360/XO) work without even needing a USB adapter. 
- PC games offer a clearer image thanks to native resolution and its ability to adjust to any display its plugged into. Console games don't allow resolution adjustments, and will lock to whatever the developer arbitrarily chose. This means that lower resolution displays offer no performance benefit like they do on PCs, because the resolution is never lowered to spare some workload on the GPU (which, on a PC, would mean it could render frames faster). 
- Gaming services and "social services" on the PC are completely free, even with online play (Steam, Galaxy, Desura, Mumble, etc)
- Gaming services on the PC offer more functionality than what you pay for on a console
- PCs have better better multiplayer support (LAN, 16x local multiplayer on the same machine with softXpand)
- Using a modern budget GPU yields around 60 frames per second during gameplay with recent game releases. Consoles can barely reach 30FPS most of the time.
- Not only can PC's be used for education, entertainment, gaming, and content creation... they're the best at all of these things.
- PCs are much more powerful than the PS4 or XBox One at the same (traditionally believe to be affordable!) price point
- More exclusives than all the current-gen consoles combined
- More highly-rated exclusives
- PC games have free modifications and enhancements available. Old games and new games alike have player-made content, graphical enhancements, and additions available for free. Even Minecraft. 
- More games, much larger library
- More exclusive games
- Healthy independent developer scene
- Lots of free games
- Free abandonware titles
- PCs can emulate almost any handheld and stationary console games using freely available emulators. Sometimes even at higher framerates, detail levels, and with better input than the original console permitted! 
- Increasingly cheaper hardware for the price as new GPUs are released
- Big Picture mode for couch gaming
- Easier to repair and highly modular
- Backward and forward hardware compatibility of ~2 years
- No punishments for repairing
- Can be upgraded if desired
- Easier to upgrade
- Better price-performance than consoles
- Higher framerates (smoother)
- Higher resolutions than consoles (such as 1080p, 1440p, 1600p, 4k, and 8k!) if your display supports it and you have GPU power you're willing to spare. Consoles struggle, even at 720-900p!
- Higher graphical details (lighting, textures, foliage, particles, shading, weather)
- You're probably going to own some sort of PC anyways, why not pay a bit more on top to make it a gaming machine? That alone makes it cheaper than a console.
The Personal Computer is a constantly evolving platform. It grows in power, capability, and value every single year. It's also free of the control of any single entity, which are why many of these advantages now exist. Rather than being regulated by a single company, control and improvement influence over the PC belongs to everyone equally. Even you, the consumers, have the full freedom to create or sell software, games, and hardware for it. It's being constantly improved by competing companies and individuals all over the spectrum, and all of them are trying to offer you (and potential developers) the best experience possible. Just keep reading!
"Why do you care what others buy and play games on?"
That's a great question. We (the PC gamers) love gaming and the game industry with a burning passion. Unfortunately for the industry, modern consoles are sucking it dry. No, that's not to say every console manufacturer is responsible for this, and it's also not to say the ones that are responsible are doing it all the time, but it's still harmful. Consoles are directly harming developers, gamers, and the PC platform with their petty exclusivity and dishonest marketing wars.
Nowadays, the console business is no longer about satisfying gamers and developers; it's about building a monopoly so they can forcefully attract and monetarily drain developers to the point where they can't afford to develop a quality game on a competing platform (Sony has been known to starve developers to the point where they may opt to skip competing game platforms) (hence, bad ports). It's about bribing them if they can't attract them through marketshare (paid exclusivity). It's about doing whatever it takes to lock up as many franchises as possible to your own platform so the competition has none left, which leaves you with more market share (and consequently, power). They've focused so much on killing competing platforms that they have no money left to make the consumers a product that makes them happy. You, as a gamer, should be pissed at what they're doing to you and your favorite games. If you understand this and continue to defend what they're doing simply because of brand loyalty, you really need to reconsider your reasoning. Consoles take away WAY more than they give, and that's all the justification anyone should ever need when they try showing someone better alternatives.
Consoles hurt: PC gamers, console gamers, and game creators.
Consoles help: The manufacturers that created and fiercely market them, developers that were purchased by a console manufacturer, and "journalists" that side with them. That's it.
In comparison: The PC helps all of the following:
- Hardware manufacturers (Asus, AMD, Gigabyte, XFX, EVGA, Intel, Seagate, etc)
- Software companies (Unity Technologies, Adobe, Mozilla, CD Projekt Red, Google, Dropbox)
- Game creators (Blizzard, Gearbox Software, Crytek, Valve, CD Projekt Red, id Software, Rockstar, Devolver Digital)
- PC gamers
- Console gamers (by giving console manufacturers a standard to aspire for, unfortunately they just use marketing to justify shooting for the bottom of the bin)
and finally, PC hurts all of the following:
- Profit margins of console manufacturers
- Developers that signed away their rights or entire existence over to console manufacturers
- "Journalists" that rely on pro-console and anti-PC FUD to pay their bills 
It's a well thought-out systematic scam that's hurting everyone, including you. Consoles are no longer a 'cool and innovative' thing that developers intentionally choose based on compatibility with their artistic vision (as was the case in the 1980s-1990s before the 'new age' of PC graphics). They're something developers have to work with and water their games down to be compatible with (because they're either a subsidiary of Sony or Microsoft, or they have no other choice), something that many gamers have to buy (because of marketing lies and forced/bribed exclusivity), and that PC gamers have to deal with (because so many people got tricked into buying them and developers prioritize that large and weak-hardwared demographic over the PC). Sony and Microsoft entered the turf of the PC gamer when they attacked our games, our developers, and our industry. Console manufacturers aren't your friends. They're made by conglomerates that know nothing of the game industry and see nothing more than a cash cow when they look at gamers. They don't care about giving you good hardware, good games, or good experiences. They care about making the industry THEIRS and locking everyone in to their deadly cycle and they'll put out any marketing lies they need to to get people to fight for them (they know the psychology, and they know they have the power to trick people into defending them). So, if you care about the game industry and innovation, understand this: They're draining the industry dry and putting their "dirty money" in absolutely no places that benefit you or the industry. A world of gaming without consoles holding it back would be an amazing one. The next time you see someone arguing against consoles, just remember this before you confront them: Sony and Microsoft picked the fight, not us.
It can never be this way because literally all of the platforms except PC are owned by single companies who created said platform(s) primarily to act as middlemen. Every choice made is done to make the most money, and that includes buying up whole game studios and timed/permanent exclusivity of games and services in order to make their's more appealing than the others. PC isn't even vaguely similar because of the fragmentation of manufacturers, service providers, and creators, allows considerable freedom of choice for the consumer, and doesn't really allow or call for paid exclusivity of certain titles.
If you think of the characters as the companies who own them, all the consoles despise each-other and would do anything to win any competition between them. If you think of them as the consumers that play them, everyone making a different choice forces exclusivity and anyone not wealthy enough to own all platforms and all the games they want, is getting screwed by that system. You can appreciate people who have similar interests, but it's hard to just say "let's all just have fun" when 1. you literally cannot with huge numbers of people because of lack of cross platform multiplayer, and 2. people supporting other platforms allows their greedy existence in the first place, which lessens your own experience as a result because of wasted dev time and paid exclusivity. And even if you own all of them, you still get screwed because the most competent, versatile, and potentially powerful platform you own isn't getting dozens of games you want, and many of the ones it does get aren't anywhere near as amazing as they could have been if the other lesser platforms didn't have so much market/mind-share. So with all the platforms, most of the games that aren't PC exclusive out of necessity in the first place, are likely lesser than they could have been.
Here's another, from /u/snaynay
Consoles are bleeding this dry, especially in the big-budget gaming department. Ultimately what happens is hoards of kids put up a brick wall of ignorance and stupidity over a lack of a long-term gaming background, defend consoles, accept bullshit and let console manufactures and their associated developers castrate this industry.
Its not wrong to own or prefer consoles. I thoroughly understand demographics. Hell, the notion of choice is what PC gamers live by. What I care about is this social engineering and phenomena to systematically reject the that PC platform that is the beating heart of the gaming industry. Its not competing with their precious little gaming boxes, its their support. Kids today are actively segregating their big-money AAA gaming as a separate entity to the open gaming scene found on PC.
- Crysis developers: Consoles are holding PC gaming back - Coming directly from the developers of one of the greatest PC exclusives of all time, which has yet to be beat by any of their other console releases 8 years later.
- 12 Ways Consoles Are Hurting PC Gaming - This re-iterates a lot of what was already said here. It's not being made up.
- A Call to End the Console Exclusive Arms Race - Blocking fans from the games they love is willful dissatisfaction, and puts a cap on sales potential.
- Why Game Exclusives Hurt Gamers - They hurt everyone that didn't buy that specific brand of console. Not just PC gamers. If you want to play it, they know you now have to re-buy a clone of the hardware you already own (but with a different logo on the front) in order to play the game you love.
"Current consoles are acceptable or relevant because of the experiences previous consoles provided."
Arguments justifying current-gen consoles because of something a past console has provided is the textbook definition of an appeal to tradition logical fallacy. Sony and Microsoft are piggybacking off of the successes of past consoles to make their current ones seem relevant, and they'll always have some degree of success there. Appealing to emotions or nostalgia is and always will be a popular marketing tool. Don't let it work on you. Besides, you can run all of these old console games in emulators on your PC. Anyways, back to the good stuff!
"Isn't PC gaming more expensive than console gaming?"
Whoever told you that is either misinformed or intentionally lying. So no, absolutely not. Especially if you only plan to target console performance! There are already graphics cards available on the market for $120 that surpass the PS4 and XBox One in terms of framerate, resolution, detail, value, and power draw. Console gaming isn't exactly cheap, either. A lot of people incorrectly believe that you have to spend upwards of $750-$1000 to get a PC fully capable of handling games. This simply isn't true! These inaccuracies can be attributed partially to the highly vocal and misinformed masses, and to the availability (and mainstream hype) of the expensive PC hardware we see advertised a lot. You see it more because it's advertised more. Why is it advertised more? Because the companies make more money from selling it as opposed to their mainstream and value offerings. The mainstream/budget parts are the ones you should be looking at; not the $2000+ enthusiast gear. We're not living the 90's any more. PC hardware is cheaper today than it has ever been! When taking a look at the measly selection of replaceable and upgradable hardware that some consoles offer, you'll always find a cheaper and better alternative for your PC. In fact, you can build a PC right now that will outperform "next-gen" consoles for pretty much the exact same price. After all, the "next-gen" consoles are really just watered-down PCs with crippled operating systems. Plus, if you only want to target 30 frames-per-second and only 720p, you're going to save a lot of money. In fact, it's actually hard to find a minimum-range graphics card that can even perform that badly these days. If you only want to match console performance, you essentially cut your GPU budget in half. See TekSyndicate's own explanation and build and this rough explanation for more information. If you're looking to get parts even cheaper than in the example videos, PCPartPicker and /r/BuildaPCSales are great places to get discount hardware for your PC. The next time someone reminds you that 'It's not all about graphics', remind them that they're in luck, because that means they'll be spending almost nothing on their graphics card to achieve the performance they deemed adequate.
Here's a simplified example of a modern mid-range computer with new parts that match or exceed every aspect of the PS4 or XBox One:
|CPU - Athlon X4 or Core i3||$80-$100|
|GPU - AMD R9 270 or NVidia GeForce 750Ti||$100-$120|
|Motherboard - Same socket as CPU||$50-$80|
|RAM - 4GB or 8GB highest-end DDR3||$20-$60|
|Storage - 1TB HDD or 128GB SSD||$40-$60|
|Case - Whatever you want||$10-$80|
|PSU - 420W or more||$20-$40|
It also has immediate benefits: No online fees, tons of free-to-play games, free emulators, free abandonware games, much cheaper games thanks to Steam and GOG, re-use old hardware (controller, mouse, keyboard), won't need to upgrade until games start to struggle like they do on consoles (30FPS, low, 900p).
Optimization: As time goes on, consoles don't get stronger and PCs don't get weaker
Some people claim that consoles get better over time due to "optimization" and that PCs (on the opposite end) get slower and need to be upgraded to keep up with these "optimizations". This is a lie. Some say it intentionally, and some repeat it because they simply don't know any better. Yes, there is a gradual increase in developer hardware and SDK familiarity after new consoles (or hardware in general) launches. Especially with the XBox 360 and PS3, due to their hardware being exotic and hard to master. These "optimizations" are not exclusive to the consoles, either! The same optimizations are also taken advantage of on the PC when they receive large hardware revisions as well - just take a look at what DirectX 12 and Vulkan are doing for PC gamers! The leading cause of this "console optimization" misconception is likely due to the state of hardware during the launch of the XBox 360 and PS3. When the XBox 360 and PS3 launched, they had entirely new types and mixtures of hardware that the industry was very unfamiliar with. The XBox One and PS4 simply will not have a similar developer learning curve that the 360 and PS3 had because both new consoles use x86-based processors (which is also used by PCs!). As for the second part of the argument, loss of value with PC hardware (in comparison to console hardware) doesn't happen at a faster rate. Let's break this down: First off, the 360 and PS3 were sold at a loss when they launched. Times have changed! The Xbox One and PS4 are both being sold at a profit after their first game/online purchases (even at $400/$500). Secondly, the performance-per-dollar of desktop GPUs now is noticeably better than it was at the time. Even while taking this into account, a GPU in 2006 (during the 360 and PS3 launch) priced similar to the build price of those consoles is still very much usable today. The best GPU for this demonstration is NVidia's 8800 series. Not only are they still getting driver updates today, but they're also getting support from game developers. Here's an example of a modern PC game being played on a high-end desktop PC graphics card from 2006. If you look close, you'll notice it looks and runs exactly like the PS3 and Xbox 360.
In addition to increased value, the PC also has a higher performance & quality ceiling
If you're the kind of person that wants to go all-out and buy a multi-thousand dollar setup with multiple monitors and graphics cards, you have the freedom to do so. Game developers know that a small fraction of the PC gaming market does this, so they add more demanding graphics options for you to make sure that extra hardware doesn't go to waste. A lot of people think that simply because these settings exist, they absolutely need to buy the latest and greatest 'RadForce MegaGigaJiggaFlexx 95-billion Elite Zombie Slayer Edition' graphics card to meet these settings with an acceptable framerate, or 'FPS'. The highest/ultra settings generally aren't created with the majority in mind. Even at low and medium settings, you'll be getting higher resolutions, smoother framerates, better lighting, higher resolution textures, and more detailed scenes than a comparably priced console. The fact of the matter is, both the hardware and software companies know exactly what graphics hardware the average consumer is going to buy and use, and they build their games and hardware accordingly. They're not here to build a game so demanding that you can't play it, and anyone who says so isn't telling you the whole truth. Game developers want sales, and if their game only run on the aforementioned minority enthusiast sector of PCs, they're going to get minority sales to go along with it. It's almost exclusively the graphical mods that push the game's minimum GPU cost to $1,000 or more.
|Battlefield 3 rendered across multiple displays using EyeFinity. Here's a video of it in action(2012).|
You get more online functionality for free than a paid console user
Steam is a very heavily integrated gaming suite. For example: you can trade coupons, games, items, and cards with another Steam user right from within Steam (no need to be in-game and meet them). You can see what games and servers your friends are currently playing and join the server with the click of a button (and vice versa, you can invite them to yours). You can trade on the Community Market without ever having to hunt someone down that has or wants certain goods. Steam also has an integrated software store, developer store, Workshop (for easier modding), Greenlight, and Big Picture mode for couch gamers. Steam will also automatically sync your saved games and settings to the Steam Cloud. Your in-game Steam panel is pretty awesome, too. It lets you chat, trade, browse the web for walkthroughs and whatnot, track achievements, and much more.
PC games are so much cheaper that they alone can allow even a high-end PC to undercut a console within a single year
All year round, PC games are being sold at extreme discounts thanks to Good Old Games, Humble Bundles and Steam sales. Even brand new titles that have yet to be released can occasionally get a pre-order discount or otherwise drop below the traditional console release price of $59.99. There's also the occasional franchise or "studio" bundles that can save you around 25-50%. Summer and winter Steam sales offer the largest discounts, with single titles going as much as 75% off with entire franchises and bundle discounts stacking onto the discount Valve already added to it. Yes, it's true that you may sometimes get games that you don't want from a bundle, but you have to be trying pretty hard when you try to label that as a disadvantage. The games are yours forever, and there's a pretty good chance that someone may want to "borrow" it from you and try it out even if you don't. Over the course of 3-4 years, some people have saved over $3000 by using Steam. All those discounts, and developers still earn more on the PC.
The PC is better equipped for online play than a console
Since PCs have more processing power and faster networking (as well as modular networking, you can add a faster 10-gigabit ethernet card if you want one). This means (you have the option of) more enemies, more players, more action, much quicker and clearer voice communication, lower game latency, and much more. Developers and hobbyist server hosts have made great leaps with the PC in recent years; some PC servers can support up to 10,000 players in a single FPS match! Imagine the intensity of 10,000 players compared to a measly 64 player match(which even the latest and greatest consoles have trouble reaching at all).
PC games can be modded. Console games (legally and logically) cannot
Have you ever beat a game and felt that rush of depression when the last cut-scene finishes and you are sent back to the main menu and the music starts? Probably. Fortunately for PC gamers, there are a plethora of mods available for our games that can be easily installed. Mods can change gameplay logic, add maps or characters, greatly improve graphical quality, introduce new game modes, and even create entirely new games altogether. Consoles simply cannot do this. The easiest way you could play a modded console game would be to buy or burn a modded disc image of the game and modify your firmware to accept it, rendering it incapable of online play and possibly even facing legal trouble for tinkering with it. Not to mention, mod support is tremendously helpful to gamers, games, and developers. Plus, thanks to modding communities, PC games essentially age in reverse. Meaning, they get even better looking as time goes on. Take a look at GTA IV as of January 2014 if you don't believe it.
|How generous! Consoles don't even delete your saves if you pay them for a free mod.|
You don't have to build a PC to fully experience PC gaming
First of all, don't ever buy a "gaming" desktop. EVER. It's either going to be tremendously expensive (Alienware) or severely underpowered for what you pay (CyberPowerPC, iBuyPower, iMac). Most of the time, they toss in a completely unnecessary i7 along with some crappy $50 card and your games run like crap. Second of all, you can put your newly-purchased hardware in any full-size desktop. As long as your PC is relatively decent and you add a ~$100 graphics card to it, you will be able to run modern titles very well. Although, building is still the best choice because it will last much longer and offer better customizability and value.
If you don't want to build one(which is weird, because even a 5 year old can build a PC these days), my recommendation to you is to buy a full-size decent non-gaming desktop from a retailer, buy a graphics card, and insert it into the PC yourself. It's no more difficult than upgrading the hard drive on a console or replacing a home air