So you're getting into gaming, eh? Well there are a couple of different flavors to consider before jumping in head first. The age-old question of whether you should game on a console or a PC is a battle that has been ongoing for years. Gaming PCs can be very powerful beasts, expensive at times, but completely customizable. With consoles, we have solid gaming performance packed into a portable box, but there are some compromises here as well. Both can be great choices, but let's try and figure out what's best depending on the situation.
First off, there are sets of questions you need to answer:
How often do you plan on gaming?
If you're the kind of guy who might plan a game once a week, or maybe a few times after a game is released, the console route may be best. Think about it this way, a console is a very inexpensive introduction into the gaming world and if gaming ends up not being of interest to you, the consoles can do more than just gaming such as, streaming movies, music, TV shows, and even working as a TV guide in some cases.
If your heart is set on gaming every day and it's something you're serious about, it may be beneficial to take that next big step. Building or buying a gaming PC is more of a long-term future-proof alternative to gaming. Consoles get updated semi-regularly, so if you don't want to worry about what you've spent $300 to $500 on, building a gaming PC is great because the components can be swapped out when new and better ones are available. It's obviously much more of an investment, but if you plan on being in the gaming scene for a while, there's no denying the benefits of a PC.
How important is the quality of the gaming experience?
Are you a controller person? Prefer using a keyboard and mouse? While these options can be available for both sides of the fence, there are a couple of things that won't be: game titles and graphics. When it comes to consoles, there will be specific game titles that just aren't available everywhere. Some titles are exclusive to that console while others are shared between consoles and PCs.
Along with that, you'll get a much different graphics experience on a console than on a custom PC, depending on how powerful your build is. If you have something beastly on the PC side of things, you'll be able to blow console graphics and performance out of the water. I realize that's not everyone's cup of tea, but a lot of console games out there are streamed at 720p and upscaled to fit your TV resolution. If you care a lot about the quality of the gaming experience, PC gaming may be a better route, but at the end of the day, there are a lot of people out here who wouldn't just mind gaming on a console.
What's your budget?
Here's the thing, if you plan on getting serious about gaming, you'll need to buy the proper gear, right? If you're working on a tight budget, consoles could be the answer, but you'd be surprised how cheap a basic gaming PC can be as well. Consoles will typically run you under $500 while a good gaming PC can be anywhere between $800 and up, and in a lot of cases, thousands of dollars.
In the end, whether or not someone should buy a console or a gaming PC is really based on the individual. It's all personal preference. Just remember, consoles will eventually be outdated while a good PC can always be rebuilt and upgraded.