Review by RIPr1fl3m4n
"It's a PC, Enough Said"
Console versus the good 'ol PC. Since this topic causes flame wars all over the internet, I will be basing my review on the qualities of the PC and the competing qualities of current consoles (Wii, xBox 360, and the PS3)
Graphics - (10 / 10)
No matter what any console fanboy says, the PC will always have the upper hand in this category. With the current trend in PC technology, PC graphics will far surpass anything a PS3 or a xBox 360 can do within 3-4 months with the release of the Nvidia Geforce 98xx series. With the introduction of DX10, PC's can render ultra realistic objects and lighting effects. Also, with the introduction of DX10, today's consoles are officially last gen technology.
Sound - (10 / 10)
With the correct sound card and speaker configuration, the sound of any movie, game or song will blow away most of which a console configuration has to offer.
Gameplay / Controls - (10 / 10)
The immersion factor with PC games are second to none. With high end graphics and above average speaker / headphone config, you'll be sweating during an intense firefight in Call of Duty 2 and will be cowering in fear when playing, well, FEAR. Most of this has to do with the "hands-on" effect with the keyboard and mouse. With ridiculous accuracy and dozens of buttons, killing orcs in World of Warcraft or fragging counter-terrorists in Counter Strike Source has never been easier. even with games that are awkward with the keyboard and mouse (Need for Speed, MVP Baseball 2005, and NBA Live 07), you can easily hook up a xBox 360 controller and have all the joystick love there is.
Online Multiplayer - (9 / 10)
Have to give the console a few props here. With a console, you can plug and play, the beauty of the systems and with the online matchmaking programs (ex, Halo2), connecting with you buddies or other online players has never been easier. With the PC, it's slightly more complicated, entering a cd-key and dealing with certain bugs is never fun. Plus, having your cd-key taken due to a key generator is a negligible, yet possible problem.
Customization - (10 / 10)
This isn't even a close category; the PC takes the lead. Everything on the PC is customizable. The amount of RAM, speed of the CPU, type of GPU, the size of the Hard Drives, the amount of Optical Drives, and many more aspects can be changed. Plus, as building your own PC become more and more popular, customization becomes the name of the game. With consoles, only minute changes can be made. Case color, fan configuration, and HDD size are the only practical changes.
Troubleshooting - (6 / 10)
Viruses, Ad-ware, Spy-ware, Pop-ups, Trojans, Worms, Rootkits, Blue Screens of Death, Driver incompatibility, unstable Overclocks, and DRM's are only the tip of the iceberg of the list of problems with PC software. Consoles usually have 2 or 3 typical problems (Red Ring of Death, etc) while the PC can have literally thousands upon thousands of possible problems. Of course, avoiding malware can be as easy as not downloading from a questionable site or not clicking on the ads that appear on every website. The headaches caused by software problems can make a gamer go absolutely insane.
Price - (9 / 10)
Although price could possibly be a weak point for a PC, it usually isn't. To fully get the graphical prowess of a game, say, BioShock, a gamer would need to spend about $1,200 on the computer itself and another $550 or so for a 21" Monitor, Keyboard, Mouse, and Speaker / Headphones. You can get a top-of-the-line rig for a mere $1,750. Compare that to a xBox 360. The core system costs $350, an xBox live subscription costs $50, a 20GB HDD costs $80, and a 42" HDTV costs $1,000, totaling up to $1,430, roughly only $320 cheaper than the decked out PC. Plus, that $1,200 PC can wipe the floor in terms of graphical power, processing power, and flexibility.
I have missed a couple topics, but the PC fares very well in every category. The graphical power of any decent PC can compete and ever completely surpass anything the xBox 360 or the PS3 has to offer. Also, the benefits to building your own computer is the added benefit of actually learning how the machine everyone uses everyday works. The knowledge of how to fix a BSoD or fixing a hardware mix up can have many practical uses.
Although consoles supposed to be "game-only" machines, they have become more and more PC-esque. With the added options to surf the internet, download and watch movies, and chat with others, the consoles are only becoming small form-factor Personal Computers.
The final nail in the coffin of the consoles is the simple upgrade options of the PC. Hardware getting old while games are becoming too much for your PC? You can swap out your graphics card, add more ram, and Overclock your CPU for about 300-400 dollars max. With consoles, you're stuck with the same 'ol, same 'ol. No hardware changes are available for consoles.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 09/04/07
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