If you ask a console gamer why they don’t own a PC, they’ll probably say something like “PC gaming is too expensive”.
We’ve heard this complaint a lot here at FixMyPCFree.com. And we have a big problem with it: it’s simply not true!
Don’t believe us? Today, we’re giving you 6 good reasons why PC gaming is surprisingly cheaper than console gaming:
6) Steam Sales and Other Sales
Want to pay $60 to $80 for every game you play? Consoles are the place for you, my friend. Meanwhile, if you want to enjoy those same games at 50% to 90% discounts, you’ll need a PC. Steam Sales, Amazon sales, GOG sales, and even EA’s Origin sales have all made it significantly cheaper to be a PC gamer.
Let’s say you buy 5 games per year. That’s $350 on consoles, assuming you’re paying $70 for each game. On PCs, that could be as little as $70 total – if not less.
5) An Initial Investment Takes You a Long Way
There’s no getting around the fact that the entry price is cheaper for consoles. A PS4 and Xbox One are priced at around $300 to $400 these days. Even a PC on a really tight budget is $500 to $700.
The important thing to recognize here is that your PC investment goes a longer way. When you buy a good monitor, keyboard, mouse, and other parts today, you’ll be able to continue using those parts for years into the future. Yes, you’re going to spend more on those parts today, but you’ll be able to use them for 10 to 15 years into the future.
Compare that to a console, and you don’t really have an upgrade plan. Microsoft’s Project Scorpio system is going to try to change that in 2017 – but we’re not likely to ever see a PC-like upgrade plan on consoles.
With consoles, you can expect to pay $400 to $500 to upgrade every 4 to 5 years. With PC, your costs after an initial investment go down.
4) Console Exclusives Are a Thing of the Past
Serious console gamers can’t just own an Xbox One or PS4. They need to own both. That’s because both consoles have exclusive titles that will never appear on the other system.
PCWorld.com actually dived into this issue and found that a number of Xbox and PS4-exclusives are easily available on PC. Here’s what they uncovered in their research:
“Tonight I could pop open Steam and play Street Fighter V. I could also play Dead Rising 3, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Axiom Verge, Talos Principle, Killing Floor 2, Darkest Dungeon, No Man’s Sky, Downwell, SOMA, Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, Transistor, Grow Home, Hotline Miami 2, N++, Volume, and so many others. The video below is of Tekken 7 running at 4K resolution on a PC.”
All of the above titles are exclusive to either the Xbox One or the PlayStation 4 (on consoles; they’re obviously available on PC).
If you’re buying two consoles at a total price of $700 to $800, your PC gaming rig doesn’t look so expensive anymore.
3) There Are Still Plenty of PC Exclusives
Console exclusives may be a thing of the past – but PC exclusives continue to be a major point of distinction between PCs and consoles.
We’re not just talking about small indie games launching on PC: we’re talking about big-name titles played by millions around the world. There are almost too many PC exclusives to name, including most MMORPGs (World of Warcraft), strategy (Civilization and pretty much every RTS game except Halo Wars), and MOBAs (League of Legends, DotA, etc.)
2) Endless Backwards Compatibility
One of the craziest things about consoles is that backwards compatibility isn’t a thing. Want to play one of your old PlayStation games from the 90s? Good luck sliding that thing into your PlayStation 4. Meanwhile, most of my PC games from the 1990s still work.
Obviously, consoles are getting a little better about this. They’re opening up digital gaming libraries filled with classics, and a growing number of games are backwards compatible. Still, the fact that this has to be advertised as a “feature” on consoles is worrying.
1) Monthly Fees
Many people forget about monthly console fees. Consoles are virtually unusable without an online subscription. Without Xbox Live, you can’t connect with friends or play any games online.
Meanwhile, online PC gaming has always been a free service (assuming you have an internet connection, something you also need for console gaming). Unless you’re playing MMORPGs with monthly fees, online PC gaming doesn’t charge you $5 to $10 per month to play.
It’s easier than ever to build a cheap PC. Thanks to websites like PCPartPicker.com, you can create gaming builds ranging from budget to premium – so whether you want to spend $400 or $4,000, you’ll find a build that works for you. Oh, and that $400 PC is going to be more powerful (and more multifunctional) than a $400 console.