Review by Bobo The Clown
"Lacking As A Gaming Platform"
If we're going on a technical basis, the Windows based personal computer should be able to produce to most quality games. Its specs dwarf anything a console can offer. However, because of several factors, PC gaming just isn't as strong as console gaming. Some genres (RPG, real time strategy, first person shooter, multiplayer) are represented better, but others (sports, action) leave something to desire.
First, what the personal computer does right. It's a multi-functional device. Unlike most consoles, excluding the Playstation 2, it can perform more then just gaming. With a computer, you can also print out documents, surf the internet, and burn your own CD's. Some of these tasks can be performed on a console, but it's a tad bit tricky to surf the web without a keyboard, which is sold seperately.
The game that do come out for the PC usually look like a million bucks. They're comparable to the highest levels that the console can offer. Because a PC offers a hard drive where information can be stored, game makers can often include many more options. Multiplayer gaming is also much better on the PC than on the console. If you're playing a popular game, you can find an opponent at almost any time to play with. Useful if you have a three in the morning yearning for Quake.
There are many quality games out for the PC. Almost every genre has at least one game out for it, and there's been over two thousand games commercially released. This doesn't include the thousands of games that are freeware, shareware, or in development. Some notable games include Half-Life, Quake, Doom, Starcraft, the Unreal games, and Diablo 2.
The disadvantages of the PC are also glaring. It ain't cheap to get into it. Unless you have a steady job, most people don't have the eight to three thousand dollars necessary to straight out buy a PC. A gaming controller isn't included, so that's another twenty to eighty dollars, unless you want to play everything with your keyboard and mouse. The financial burden places the PC out of reach of lower incomes, which includes kids and college students, who buy over fifty percent of the video games produced. If you want to connect to the internet, there's another fifteen to twenty-five dollars a month, unless you go the NetZero route.
The games themself are well-priced, however, they can be VERY buggy coming out of the box. Some games don't even work until you download update patches from a website. There can also be a whole slew of problems with your PC, ranging from video card to incompatible accesories to a weak system. Multiplayer gaming can also be a problem, if your modem or internet service provider is slow.
In direct competition with consoles, the PC really can't hold a candle. It's hard to justify spending over five hundred dollars (at the very least) JUST to play games. The console industry is also becoming more diversified, now offering internet access and network gaming. If you're using it for multiple tasks, then maybe the price can be earned. However, for the money, a console system is a much better choice.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 03/11/01, Updated 03/11/01
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