Spend enough time in online gaming circles and you’ll eventually run into an utterly cringeworthy term: PC master race.
The PCMR crowd asserts that no matter what gaming console you use, you’re doing it wrong—PC gaming is the only way to go.
Though I’ve always despised that term, for many years I was a PC-first gamer. I had a few gaming consoles to play exclusives, but if it was available on PC, that’s usually where I played it.
But not anymore. I’ve quit PC gaming and here’s why.
1. Moving Hardware Goalposts
If you’ve ever built a gaming PC, you know the process:
You spend weeks poring over benchmarks, planning the build, and buying the parts. After everything arrives, you put it all together, fire it up, and hope everything actually works.
After installing Windows, you install a few of your favorite games—or maybe buy new ones. It screams! This is the fastest computer you’ve ever had. It’s the perfect gaming machine.
For a few months.
Eventually, new CPUs and GPUs arrive on scene and you notice your PC no longer matches or exceeds the recommended specs for newer games. It’s all downhill from there. Month after month, your computer only looks worse and worse.
Sure, you don’t need a cutting-edge system to enjoy PC games, especially if you’re a “patient gamer.” But that nagging feeling of an inadequate PC will always be there. It’s hard to escape.
Not to mention that brand-new hardware components depreciate insanely fast. Today’s cutting-edge PC can be built at a fraction of the price in two years. That’s the premium you pay to be a front-line PC gamer, and I’m not willing to pay it anymore.
With a gaming console, you pay your $500 up front and you’re good to go for several years at least.
2. Half-Hearted Ports
This is getting better these days, but for a long time, most game developers had a console-first approach with PC ports seemingly thrown together at the last minute.
PC gamers have gotten plenty of great ports over the years, I’m not denying that. But even if a game runs fine on most PCs, ports usually have issues on some hardware configurations.
And that’s just the nature of PC gaming. Developers simply can’t test their games on every single combination of PC hardware on the market, especially legacy builds.
With gaming consoles, developers only need to test on one, two, or possibly three versions of the hardware. That makes it easier to ensure a great gaming experience for everyone.
3. Console Exclusives
There are many games that are PC-only, particularly in the strategy game and indie game genres.
But for a non-strategy gamer, the exclusives on a gaming console are usually more interesting than any PC exclusive.
At least, that’s what I’ve found to be true for me. Console gaming exclusives are the types of game I prefer. If you play nothing but real-time strategy and point-and-click adventure games, the PC gaming landscape may have all you need.
But I like Mario games, and for that you’ll need a Nintendo console. There’s no way around it. And there are so many great games on the Nintendo Switch, I can be a satisfied gamer without my PC.
4. Maintenance Hassles
PCs can malfunction. Gaming consoles can malfunction. Any electronic device can run into issues and require troubleshooting.
But when a gaming console has issues, the manufacturer can guide you towards fixing it, or take it in and fix it themselves, or just replace it altogether. I’ve never had to reinstall the entire operating system of a gaming console just to get a game working.
I’ve had to do that plenty of times with my PC, though.
For years, I’ve made a living as a tech writer, showing people how to fix their issues with computers and other hardware. After spending all week solving tech problems, the last thing I want to do in my free time is solve my own tech problems.
And given that gaming PCs need to run Windows, and given that Windows is prone to all kinds of issues, I just don’t have the energy to deal with that anymore.
5. I Prefer Mac Over Windows
Despite everything I said above, I actually think Windows 10 is the best version of the operating system in a very long time. Recent updates have made it even better, and I have no doubt that it’s only going to improve with every year.
But when it comes to getting work done, I’m a Mac guy. Before that, I was a Linux guy. Neither are great for gaming.
I just can’t use Windows as my primary OS. Because of this, a Windows PC has always been just a gaming PC for me—and it’s hard to justify the cost of a PC that’s basically a “gaming PC console” when I could just stick with an actual gaming console.
Don’t Give Up on Great Games
I still have my gaming PC—it’s not like I tossed it out for no reason—so I can still hop on when there’s a PC game I want to play. But I won’t be building new gaming PCs anymore, and I prefer to grab games on my gaming consoles when available.
Truthfully, there are some great games on PC and I would only be robbing myself to ignore them out of some sense of principle.
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Of course, without a hearty gaming PC, the number of great games is quite limited… But if you know where to look, there are excellent games that can run on weaker PCs: