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The student news source of Iowa City West High

West Side Story

The student news source of Iowa City West High

West Side Story

The student news source of Iowa City West High

West Side Story

The PC advantage

When comparing the countless flaws of consoles to the constant success of PCs, there is only one real option.
When+making+a+decision+about+which+route+to+go+down%2C+it+needs+to+be+known+the+differences.
Erinn Varga
When making a decision about which route to go down, it needs to be known the differences.

The classic console versus Personal Computer (PC) debate has divided the gamer community ever since the creation of the two devices. Console brands like Playstation and Xbox rival computer brands like Alienware and Asus. Nonetheless, PCs are superior because they have better graphics and game modifications, and they’re more fun to play on. 

Consoles have some advantages, mainly price; they are significantly cheaper than computers. At Best Buy, the newest consoles cost around $500, almost half the price of the average computer build of up to $1,400. Consoles also use split screen, which allows multiple people to play on the same device simultaneously so that you can play with your friends right next to you. Unlike PCs, consoles require almost no setup. After you buy one and plug it into a TV, you can immediately start playing.

However, on a console, modifying (or modding) and customization are very difficult; downloading content not supported by the device is virtually impossible. Graphics aren’t that great on consoles, either. Even while using split screen, consoles can only be played by a maximum of four players for most games. If you want to play with more than four friends, you have to be on different devices.  That maximum is too small for some groups, whereas computers allow many more people to play most games. There are also the console wars. The 18 all-time top-selling consoles are all made by Xbox, Playstation and Nintendo. Having only these options drives up prices and causes some games only to be able to be played on certain consoles. 

There are also issues with game mechanics in consoles, such as physics, lighting and aim. Many games, like Skyrim, have bad physics on the console (some objects end up inside walls) but are fine on the computer. It is also difficult to aim on consoles because you don’t have a mouse. To combat this, most 3D games have aim assist, where your crosshair, the center of your screen, locks on to a close target. However, the crosshair is moved by a joystick, which means you can’t achieve the precision or the speed of a computer’s mouse. The aim assist in the console makes skill in aiming a nonfactor and is terrible compared to the smooth movement on a computer. When you play on a computer, you can move your mouse very slowly for a slow turn or very fast for a quick turn. These motions also look much better on a computer, with smoother graphics.

The most common critiques of computers are cost and setup, but they aren’t as punishing as they seem. Only one of these two issues is applicable because you can either buy a PC or laptop, which would be expensive but easy to set up or build your own. Even modern phones can be more expensive than modern computers if they are not prebuilt. It can cost as little as $650 to build your own computer if you are willing to sacrifice the capabilities. However, building your own requires a great deal of research, time and effort, which is the issue with setup.

These reasons compel me to say computer gaming is better than the console. Although there is more local playability on consoles, there are too many limitations in options. One such limitation is buttons. The average console remote has four buttons and four triggers — two rarely used due to their uncomfortable positions — and two joysticks. The options are horrendous. A standard computer keyboard, which includes the number pad on the right side, has 101 keys, all available for any purpose. Take a look at Minecraft, where on a controller, there are six frequently used buttons in addition to the two joysticks. On a computer, there are about 11 in addition to mouse movement.

Imagine playing a game where you were kidnapped and put in a dungeon, and after having solved hours’ worth of puzzles and defeating enemies to get out, you turn around to see a blocky body. You see a face made out of three pixels swaying halfway through a wall. This guy, who is supposed to be the final boss, starts attacking you. Because of the controls, your counterattacks make your character look drunk. The most important factor for a good gaming experience are game mechanics, which are much better when on a PC. That is why consoles will always pale in comparison to PCs.

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About the Contributors
Carter Birch Houchins-Witt
(He/him) Carter is a sophomore at West High and this is his first year on staff. He is a reporter. In his free time, he likes to get into arguments about extremely unimportant things such as whether the plural of octopus is octopi or octopuses.
Erinn Varga
Erinn Varga, Print Design and Opinion Editor
(she/her) Erinn is a senior at West and this is her second year on staff. She is the design editor and opinion editor for the print publication. If she's not currently running, you can find her drawing, listening to music or consuming media.
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