Review by icenine0

"The Superior Gaming Platform"

While the PC lacks the simplicity and ease of use of its console counterparts, it outshines them in every other aspect.

First, computers are either technologically superior to a new console, or surpass the console extremely quickly. The best graphics and highest frame rates always appear on the PC because new hardware comes out constantly. CPU speed seems to double every year, and new video cards and technologies, like hardware transform and lighting, push visuals to new levels. Consoles simply cannot compete with this rapid advancement, the equivalent of a company producing a new platform every three months. Add to this the rapidly declining prices of hardware, and you have a winning combination. Today's computer aficionado can acquire a serviceable computer for six hundred dollars or less.

Second, the Internet, while costly, opens up a universe currently unreachable through a Playstation 2 or Nintendo 64. While some gaming platforms have preliminary online support, it cannot compare to the glorious online experience achievable through computers. At any moment, there are hundreds of thousands of players engaging in tens of thousands of games, any of which a PC user can connect to for no additional charge. A round of Counter-Strike with twelve cunning human opponents triumphs over any boring console battle with easily outwitted AI. The Playstation, Nintendo 64, and Dreamcast allow for only four players.

Third, a PC user can customize his machine. Components and settings can be mixed and matched to a user's personal preferences. Massive hard drives allow any user to create custom maps and store nearly unlimited save games, BIOS and registry settings can be tweaked for optimal performance, a huge number of peripherals give users many advantages, like the ability to print a log or map, and in-game settings allow the achievement of balance between visual quality and speed. Currently, no console fields more than a fraction of these features. Plus, the keyboard and mouse still hold the throne as the ultimate control setup.

Finally, the argument is moot, because the console era has passed. Gaming platforms will soon come with many PC-like capabilities, such as large storage capacity, Internet access, USB ports, and additional peripherals, such as keyboards and mice. What differentiates these new consoles from PCs? A PS2 or X-BOX with a hard drive and Internet access is no different from a Windows computer with the same traits.

PCs are, and will continue to be, the superior gaming platform.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 06/23/01, Updated 06/23/01

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