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"Are consoles really the cheapest gaming platform? Not really."

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 "Are consoles really the cheapest gaming platform? Not really."
Unread 11-21-2013, 12:12 AMJoined Jul 2005 - away - #1
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Are consoles really the cheapest gaming platform? Not really...
by David Hollingworth | Tuesday 19 November 2013 | 16 Comments
Are consoles really the cheapest gaming platform? Not really...
On the eve of the Xbox One launch, and the entire 'next generation' of gaming, we ponder the price of modern gaming, and whether PC has the ultimate advantage.
So, we’re on the dawn of a new age of gaming. The next generation of consoles is almost (in fact, in some countries, it already is) upon us. Oh, what wonders will the mighty PlayStation 4 and Xbox One bring us?!

Well... not much. In fact, it’s kinda massively underwhelming from where we’re sitting, and mainly it’s because of the immense outlay that console systems continue to demand.

Now, if you’re reading that and thinking I’m insane, consoles are of course cheaper than your average gaming PC... well, you’re right. But a console is still going to cost a lot of gamers a tonne more in the long run.

At a loss
Creating a console is a huge investment. The research, the hardware, the production processes, the design, and the marketing, is a giant drain even on giants like Sony and Microsoft. But they can wear that cost in the short term, because the hardware is only a part of the puzzle.

Consoles don’t actually make anyone money, you see. That comes from game sales, and licensing fees. That money comes from the fact that the games industry is currently working off a sales model that effectively grants big companies huge, interest free cash loans from millions of gamers – pre-orders, in other words. It’s money that takes years to recoup, but the big players are patient, and can rest safe in the fact that they can start to make the money back before product is even on shelves.

And even then, it’s a walled garden. If you want a game for the Xbox One that you’re picking up tomorrow, having obediently pre-ordered it months ago (consume!), your options are limited. Sure, there are some import services that might let you get around the stupid-high prices we have to pay here in Australia, but you’re still paying a premium for the privilege.

You can get a range of Xbox One titles from Ozgamesshop.com, for $65-75, which isn’t bad, but if you’re buying at normal retail you can expect to pay more, and if you insist on keeping EB Games afloat, then your little plastic packet of fun is going to be more expensive again. Forza 5, for instance, costs $66.99 at Ozgamesshop, and $89.95 at EB.

Though, of course, there are the ubiquitous trade-in deals that lower prices even further.

But what are similar games going to cost you on PC?

Well, if you insist on being a first-day player, it’s still going to cost you. The comparisons between a.ssassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag and Battlefield 4, for instance, are negligible. But soon enough prices drop, sales happen, and pioneering web stores like Green Man Gaming and now the Humble Store offer amazing value.

Sure, you’re not getting pre-order bling, but it’s about the games, right?

Both console makers have made a lot of noise – and rightly so – about working with indie game makers, too, but I still think there’s a lot more choice on PC, and even better value again. Just a quick peek at the Humble Store reveals nearly a dozen games, for less than $10, that are just fantastic. In fact, I’ve already picked up FTL when it came out, and that was a damn well-spent $10!

There are also a tonne of intangibles to take into account. Skyrim, though not a ‘next gen’ game per se, has a huge advantage on PC, and even if it is ever ported to Xbone or PS4, it’s one that cannot be matched – community mods. Mods are like the difference between light and day when it comes to comparing games such as Skyrim on PC and console. And the amazing thing is, they’re free. Spend time picking the right mods from the Steam Workshop and you’ll be kept in new content, in a visually unmatched world, almost indefinitely.

Though, really, you only need to look at the impact of a mod like DayZ, a whole new way to play a game, and game that many believe was very much the game of the year when it came out, and it all comes down to a level of community engagement that console will likely never attain. And through that engagement, there is immense value.

Real, dollar value.

So, really, the matter of which gaming platform is cheapest is vastly more complex than it appears at first blush. You can choose to save now, pay later on console, or you can choose to make a heavier investment up front, and reap the benefits down the track.

It’s your call.
Are consoles really the cheapest gaming platform? Not really... - PC & Tech Authority

With steam boxes about to blow, along with the new valve controller. I think it will be the better and cheaper way to go. image

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12 comments for ""Are consoles really the cheapest gaming platform? Not really.""

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Unread 11-21-2013, 12:14 AMJoined Mar 2012 - away - #2
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stfu, PC doesn't have any good exclusives.
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Unread 11-21-2013, 12:33 AMJoined Jan 2004 - away - #3
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Originally Posted by Austin Foyt
stfu, PC doesn't have any good exclusives.
Dota2.







[spoiler - click to view]

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Unread 11-21-2013, 12:35 AMJoined Jan 2012 - on now - #4
PseuDEEnym 4 heat pts space
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guess we're not cheap peasants after all
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Unread 11-21-2013, 12:36 AMJoined Mar 2012 - away - #5
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Originally Posted by Willbeatz
Dota2.







[spoiler - click to view]

god dammit, that doesn't count.


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Unread 11-21-2013, 12:38 AMJoined Jan 2004 - away - #6
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Originally Posted by Austin Foyt
god dammit, that doesn't count.


Gotcha.


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Unread 11-21-2013, 12:45 AMJoined Jun 2012 - on now - #7
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can a n*gga get cliffs?
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Unread 11-21-2013, 12:46 AMJoined Jan 2004 - away - #8
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Originally Posted by grapedrank
can a n*gga get cliffs?

consoles are of course cheaper than your average gaming PC... well, you’re right. But a console is still going to cost a lot of gamers a tonne more in the long run.


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Unread 11-21-2013, 07:02 AMJoined May 2005 - on now - #9
DanBootleg 127 heat pts127 space
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Why do you care what people spend their money on?
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Unread 11-21-2013, 07:37 AMJoined Jan 2012 - away - #10
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Originally Posted by DanBootleg
Why do you care what people spend their money on?
theres nothing to play on PC and he dont have friends
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Unread 11-21-2013, 07:44 AMJoined Aug 2008 - on now - #11
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Originally Posted by Pleasure Boy
theres nothing to play on PC and he dont have friends

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Unread 11-21-2013, 07:52 AMJoined Jan 2007 - on now - #12
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Originally Posted by RokkyRok

That 1080p 60fps life!
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Unread 11-21-2013, 08:20 AMJoined Jan 2012 - on now - #13
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