Console gaming has become the most iconic image when people think about video games in our modern era. This is largely thanks to the massive marketing campaigns done by each respective company, but it seems like every day our video game consoles are trying to emulate PCs. It’s no surprise that PC gaming has been slightly obscured by its louder and flashier sibling, but that hasn’t stopped it from growing. In fact PC gaming has a larger audience and broader range of titles for users to enjoy.
Yet it’s become fairly clear over the past few weeks that both the Xbox Scorpio and PS4 Pro are not only taking shots at each other, but aiming for the PC market as well. For anyone embedded in gaming culture, they know that there is no love lost between the gaming and PC communities. Jokes and memes have sprouted up over the years mainly due to the PC’s ability to completely outperform any console that is currently on the market. However, that seems to all be changing, as Sony’s PS4 Pro is trying to bridge the gap between these two very different machines, but will it work?
In order to understand if a PS4 Pro can even stack up to a PC, we need to look what makes a PC a far more desirable gaming platform than say a home console. The first (and most obvious) has to do with the actual hardware that is involved with a PC. Given that most high-end computers can run some of the most expansive, chaotic, and gorgeous games with little to no effort, it’s clear that visually PCs have always had an edge. However, the PS4 Pro will be offering 4K for not just television and movies, but video games as well. This is a massive jump and is arguably the first instance that a console can stand toe to toe with a moderate gaming PC. While it’s still outmatched by the higher-end models, if only slightly, it’s still quite impressive how far we’ve come with our console growth. There are also the factors of speed, storage capacity, and general mechanical attributes wrapped around a gaming computer, which has long been one of the biggest selling points.
One of the biggest factors in choosing to play on PC over console has always been the different sizes in libraries that they offer. Computer gaming has always offered a wealth of titles, both large and small, to those who are looking to pick up a variety of new games to play. Some of the quality for titles that pass through Steam Greenlight are hit or miss, but on the whole, PC has always offered more to gamers. That isn’t to say consoles are obsolete, as some of the very best games in recent memory have been exclusives to these platforms.
A title like Bloodborne or Uncharted 4 is justification enough to purchase one of these home consoles. However, much of the time, if a game is offered across both a console or PC, you’re better off going with the PC. This is for a variety of reasons, but one of the main ones is that general support from developers have been far better on computers than consoles. That’s not to say that some PC ports haven’t been utter disasters, but this is not very common. Playing on PC allows developers to quickly address problems that are plaguing their game and fix them as fast as possible for the consumer, while it can take a week or more for a patch to pass through Sony’s approval system.
However, this idea of the developers being hands on actually extends to the community as a whole. No one is going to deny that the modding scene on PC is far bigger and better than it is on consoles, and with the recent falling out between Bethesda and Sony, it’s hard to say if we will get mods anytime soon. Competitive gaming is also far bigger and broader on computers than it is on consoles thanks to the focus on precision aiming and faster gameplay. Yes, Halo and Call of Duty are some of the most noteworthy esports titles on consoles, but this is partially due to them being console first games. Titles that are released on both platforms at the same time, such as Overwatch, clearly have a bigger fanbase on the PC.
Finally, we have to consider that, in the end, a gaming PC is just that: a PC. It can do more than just gaming and offers the user far more features, applications, and ultimately functions than a console could ever hope too. Now there’s nothing wrong with that, but when it comes down to it a PS4 Pro is a Gaming PC emulator and a damn good one at that. It offers far better accessibility and, to many, is easier to use thanks to streamlined designs.
A PS4 Pro is not about to replace a top tier gaming PC, but that hardly disqualifies it as a must have for any serious user. This is an impressive feat of engineering and it only makes one wonder where we will be in a few more years.