With the release of the PS4 the next generation of gaming is finally upon us - or should I say U.S., as the Sony console will not be released in Europe until the end of the month. If anything though this delay is a blessing to us Brits. Now we have plenty of time to scout the depths of the internet, see what our American cousins are getting out of the new system and ask ourselves - is it worth it?
I should preface this article by stating (proudly) that I am something of a Sony fanboy. I've been playing PlayStation since the original: before Analog, before DualShock, before SixAxis - (how did we ever live without them?) I expect there are many gamers out there weighing up the pros and cons of the next generation of games consoles and asking themselves the same question – Playstation Four or Xbox One? Many will stay in their chosen camps, Sony or Microsoft fans for life. Others will be contemplating a daring switch. As for me, I have no plans to buy either and instead will (fully) convert to the world of PC gaming. Here are five reasons why I’m not buying a next generation console and why I think you should join me and game on your PC:
1.Cost - A fairly obvious one to start with, but it is probably my main reason right now. Playstation Four prices are listed at £350 at the cheapest, not to mention the £40-50 it'll cost to get a couple of decent games on release day. If you want an Xbox One on the other hand, it’s looking like you may have to call your bank manager and remortgage the house. Six years ago I spent £500 on a gaming PC (I know, it's a lot of money), I won't bore you with the spec but, despite his age, he can still run Skyrim on high graphics settings with several mods (yes, my computer is a 'he'). Now, am I going to spend £500 on a brand spanking new gaming PC for this generation? Nope, £150 was enough to upgrade my graphics card and a couple of sticks of RAM for the old boy.
2.Reliability - This ties in nicely with the cost aspect. I am currently on my fourth PS3: one suffered from a broken disc reader and the other got the dreaded “Yellow Light Of Death”. My third PS3 was on its last legs (overheating) so I managed to trade it in and get some money to buy the newer slimline model. I daren't calculate how much it has cost me over the years to simply continue to own a functioning PS3. Meanwhile, my rig has experienced minimal problems and they've always been fixable without adding to the bills. I'm already hearing isolated rumours concerning a Playstation 4 'Blue Light of Death' and given last generation's “Yellow Light Of Death” and “Red Ring Of Death” issues, reliability is definitely something to think about.
3.Bethesda - Bethesda always seem to have issues with their console versions, particularly on the PS3. In truth, glitches and bugs are across all platforms, but at least with PC there has always been a strong community supporting the unofficial patches. Now you might say “Why should I care about Bethesda?” and that would be a fair question. Personally though, I'm a massive fan of the Fallout and Elder Scrolls series and it's always nice when a game doesn't keep crashing because your character went underwater.
4.Mods and Fixes - If you hadn't already guessed I love Bethesda Games, especially Skyrim, and the reason I still love them is thanks to the sheer number of diverse and exciting user-created mods available for these games. Skyrim even came with the Steam Workshop, making it easier to create and share mods with other users, although hardcore players like myself will still be sticking with the Nexus no doubt. Whereas with console gamer have to sit around waiting for downloadable content, these mods keep the game fresh and new, and are only available on PC.
5.Controller Choice - I'll admit, mouse and keyboard is great for most games, but sometimes you just need a control pad - something that will allow for smoother and more controlled movement throughout a game instead of 'walk', 'run', 'sprint' configuration. Well, why have one when you can have both? There are dozens of gamepads you can use easily on your PC and manufacturers are now including these systems in-game to make their use more compatible. Granted, you will miss out on features such as Kinect and Move, but I for one am not too sad about that - I play games to avoid exercise!
Now it's your turn. Are you upgrading your system or switching to a rival console. Or, like me, are you just avoiding the whole thing altogether and opting for a gaming PC instead? Let us know in comments.