Is A Gaming PC Really More Expensive Than A Console?.
If you want to play video games these days, you never had more choice. You can grab a smartphone or use a game streaming service and start playing in no time. However, for most people playing video games as their main entertainment, there are two options: PC or console.
Consoles are specially designed gaming machines that offer plug-and-play games without having to tinker with game settings. They’re also pretty affordable, at least their starting price.
PCs, on the other hand, offer complete hardware flexibility and, if you spend enough, gaming power that no other console can match. Except, perhaps, when a new generation of consoles is released.
While the PC platform tends to be the home of premium video games, gamers often ditch what counts as a PC gamer. The question is whether this perception is correct. The answer, as we’ll see, depends on how you look at things.
The Hardware Costs
There are no two options. The amount of money you have to give to take your console home is less than what you would pay for an equivalent or better gaming PC. As the lifespan of the console increases, this fact changes. As the console hardware does not change, new PC hardware becomes more powerful at a lower cost. So in the end, for a similar asking price for a console, you get a PC with better specs.
Why are set-top boxes much cheaper? There are several reasons for this. Console manufacturers get preferential hardware prices because they create millions and millions of consoles. Console makers also don’t need to make money on their consoles. They often either break even or suffer losses on each unit.
This is acceptable due to what is known as “attachment speed”. In the case of a console, this refers to the games, services, and accessories that users have to buy in order to get any real use from their machine. Thus, even if the console hardware itself is not profitable, there is instant profit from the sale of the first game, accessory, or subscription.
In the case of PCs, every component has a profit. Individual manufacturers need to return equipment or there would be no point in doing so. The end result of this is that in terms of performance per dollar, PCs are more expensive than consoles. However, this is not all. It would be more accurate to say that PCs are more expensive. But if we look at the cost over the life of a typical console, that picture changes.
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The Software Costs
Since consoles are a closed platform, game developers must pay to release games on this system. This comes in the form of a fee for each copy sold. Instead of lowering your own profits, these costs are passed on to the console player. As such, you will find that console games cost more at launch than the same games on PC.
That’s not all! Since there are several different distributors competing to sell PC games, you are unlikely to ever pay the retail price for a PC game. Whether it’s a pre-order discount or price cuts a few months or even weeks after launch, there are always great deals on PC games. Console games, by contrast, tend to hold their full price for much longer. Plus, when they go on sale, their prices don’t drop nearly as much as they do on PCs.
This is where the main price equalizer for PC and console games comes into play. However, this is clearly highly dependent on how many games you buy.
For the sake of argument, let’s say a console game costs $ 10 more on average than the PC version. If you buy one game per month for five years, that would be $ 10 x 12 months x 5 years. $ 600 worth.
If you were to add that $ 600 to your initial console purchase and buy a $ 1000 PC instead, your total costs would be the same. A pretty decent gaming laptop or desktop can be bought for $ 1,000 these days. However, this is just one area of Ã¢â‚¬â€¹Ã¢â‚¬â€¹hidden cost that console players have to deal with.
Online Services Costs
Since PC offers an open platform, players don’t need to pay a third party for features like multiplayer. On consoles, online multiplayer is usually reserved for a subscription service, which is in addition to any actual game subscriptions you may need to pay.
Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft sweetened the deal with discounts and â€œfreeâ€ digital games. So whether it is worth paying is up to individuals to decide. The bottom line, however, is that if you want to play online at all, the fee is optional.
So the added value aspects don’t really matter. If you add the difference in monthly online multiplayer subscriptions to the average price difference for games, it will further equalize the difference in price between PC and console hardware over the life of the console.
Then we need to factor in the cost of upgrading the PC. First of all, upgrading to a PC while creating the console equivalent is optional . At least when it comes to cross-platform games.
The fairly recent development of consoles is a mid-generation upgrade. That gave us the PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One X. Neither was a significant upgrade, but they did offer a pretty affordable boost in graphics power.
The processors for these middle-generation machines have barely changed. So if you were to do the same with your mid-generation PC and upgrade only the GPU, then you would spend about the same (or less) as on a new, upgraded console. From this point of view, the update has little effect when comparing PC to console.
Do You Need A PC For Other Things?
The next important consideration when calculating comparative cost is whether you need a computer for anything other than gaming. If you need a computer for more than just gaming, then the cost of the console will be in addition to the cost of a non-gaming PC.
In this case, you can add up the costs and get a gaming PC. If you don’t need a computer at all, we may not consider it when comparing costs.
A Different Perspective On Costs
As we have seen, if you look at the total cost of ownership over the life of a typical console, the difference in cost between PC and console is not as significant as anticipated. Sure, high-end computers can be incredibly expensive, but this is not a comparison of extremes.
Again, we mustn’t forget that consoles also have unique advantages. For example, they are intended to be used as general household machines and not as personal ones. In addition, they do not require as much technical knowledge to operate or purchase. From a pure cost standpoint, though, if you can afford the higher up-front price, there is a strong case for a PC.
Is A Gaming PC Really More Expensive Than A Console?
Is A Gaming PC Really More Expensive Than A Console?