Consoles vs PC vs Mobile…

One thing that’s changed for me over the past few years is the amount of free time I have to play MMOs has taken a nosedive. Yes, this is a problem everyone faces; I know I’m not unique.

It’s more accurate to say my available time for concentrated gaming has diminished, and separately, other forms of entertainment allow more flexible play styles and hours. As far as things to do while I’m at home, which is largely where MMO gaming occurs at least for me, I’m only able to carve out a ~2-3 hour block of time about once a week these days.

MMOs are demanding in that it is hard to pause or take a break, or even jump in and out of the game quickly. Grouping is likewise tricky. And being out of town for a weekend a month, give or take, also forces the issue.

So I’ve gravitated towards games that let me do that: mobile games, other console games, or single-player computer games where I can stop/pause arbitrarily.

While I do enjoy group content and raids/dungeons or what have you, if I mostly play an MMO like a single player game (RPG with a storyline), why not actually play a single player game (RPG with a storyline) specifically designed that way?

Now that I’ve given console and mobile gaming a chance, I’ve found they offer some nice benefits over PC gaming. I’m not trying to start a flame war between platforms, I’ve just noticed a change in what fits my reality.

One nice advantage of console gaming is couch coop gaming. As in, sitting in the same room/couch with your friend and tackling a game together, competitive or coop. So many console games are designed for this form of multiplayer gaming. I enjoy going over to a friend’s house and bringing a game and extra controller along and that’s it, we can play without a lot of futzing around.

Nobody I know has a gaming PC connected to their TV, nobody has their gaming PC configured/ready for multiplayer or even across-the-room access via remote. I’m not saying it is impossible, it’s just everyone I know that games on a PC does it by themselves, at a desk in front of the screen, where multiplayer means online and not in-person. Including me.

There is another advantage of consoles – renting games from a local Redbox. I’ve done this several times to try out a game before making a purchase decision.

Console games go on sale too, although not as deeply as the sales on Steam. Still, I’ve bought a bunch of console games for $20 or less by just waiting for seasonal sales. I’m also a Playstation Plus member and get two free games a month, some of them are actually pretty good. 😉

One of the consoles I have, the Nintendo Switch is portable, which is a killer feature when traveling. Yeah I can get a gaming notebook, but I’m not excited about spending a fortune for one… I owned one previously and it was a bit cumbersome.

My gaming PC is 6-7 years old at this point, but still runs pretty well. From the original build, I added a 1 TB SSD, and later, swapped to a GeForce 970. I spec and price out replacement systems all the time but I’m not thrilled with spending ~$1000 for a newer system just to move pixels faster. If my gaming box dies, I’m going to have to think hard about whether or not I’ll replace it. My desktop computer is a NUC running Ubuntu 18, so if my gaming PC dies, I won’t be computer-less. It’s more “are the games that need high performance graphics on Windows worth the cost of a new gaming PC?” when I can run many strategy, puzzle, roguelikes, RPGs and so on just fine on Linux. Plus of course just play games on consoles.

One disadvantage of consoles is it is more work on get pics off the console and onto a computer. The PS4 isn’t much work since it has USB, but the Nintendo Switch requires removing the SD card which adds to the inconvenience. I might create a fake Twitter account since the path of least resistance is to take a pic and then share/post to a social media account.

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