The Rise of PC Gaming and The Shrinking Lifespans of Consoles

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    Recent years saw the release of Falcom’s Legend of Heroes and Bandai Namco’s Tales as well Ni no Kuni II on Steam. These are huge JRPGs that used to be limited to consoles, mostly just the PS3/4, but the fact that they were released on PC, the same day as their console counterparts makes it clear that trends are truly changing.

    Many Eastern publishers like Square Enix and Bandai Namco have had a long-standing relationship with Sony’s Playstation consoles, but not so much with the Xbox or PC. The reason? Lack of PC gamers back home and a dearth of JRPG fans on the platforms in the West. Times are changing though and the recent release of Final Fantasy XV’s Windows Edition marked this shift.

    JRPGs aren’t the only games that have traditionally shied away from the pixel rich world of PC gaming. Take 2’s Red Dead Redemption was a massively popular game that didn’t release on PC, ever. Some PC gamers regret that to this day. Once more, at the time of writing, a PC version of Red Dead Redemption 2 hasn’t been confirmed but we’re confident that Take 2’s wild west adventure will eventually have the pleasure of running at 4K ultra. GTA V (also from T2) saw a delayed release on PC, although when it did come out together with the PS4/XB1 versions, it was reasonably polished.

    Bungie’s Destiny is yet another cult classic that didn’t come to PC. It’s much anticipated sequel however embraced the platform and was so well received that it became Activision’s most sold PC game. The port was developed in collaboration with NVIDIA and runs superbly on a wide range of systems.

    One of the core arguments that often comes up in these discussions involves exclusives. While Sony’s much acclaimed FPX will probably never make their way to other platforms, third party developers like Sega have been working for quite some time to bring their older titles to Steam and other PC platforms. Microsoft has also been trying to merge Xbox and Windows into a unified eco-system to leverage the benefits of modern PCs. Although most PC gamers are wary of the Xbox Live Store, one benefit it does bring along with it is the arrival of Xbox exclusives on Windows. They may be few for the time being but that will possibly change in the future.

    The other side of this age old discussion is the shrinking lifespans of consoles. Traditionally the average viability of popular game consoles (like Sony’s PS and Microsoft’s Xbox) has been 6 years. This extended duration justified the high prices of AAA games on consoles compared to Steam and other PC platforms. But by releasing the Xbox One X and PS4 Pro a mere four years after the PS4 and XB1, Sony and MS have discarded this long running cycle.

    So does this render the older PS4 and Xbox One obsolete? No, but as the resolution race heads towards 4K+ screens, these consoles are merely limited to 1080p and even sub-1080p resolutions and that too, often with an FPS cap of 30. The new, more powerful versions of existing consoles is for gamers wanting to climb up the resolution ladder or simply desiring better frame-rates. However this defeats the main purpose of consoles, as PC gamers also tend to upgrade their rigs every 2-3 years.

    As hardware keeps on getting more and more powerful, consoles will eventually become obsolete. For the time being though, we’ll probably see multiple consoles with varying configurations released across a single generation to keep up with the rapid strides on the hardware side.

    In the end, gamers want different things from their gaming machines and it would be fair to say that many prefer smoother frame rates and better visuals, and are willing to pay the extra bucks for it. Then again isn’t that what PCs are for? Sure, you won’t get those mega-exclusives, but do a handful of exclusives justify spending $500 on a console? The answers to all these questions will vary from person to person, but it’ll be interesting to see how the majority (of gamers) feels about it. What are your thoughts on this?


    1. You make some good points but the PS4 just passed 80 million in sales so obviously there is a huge market for consoles and I would say yes a handful of exclusives are worth the cost of a console. I recently purchased a base model PS4 for $270 just to play God of War and it was worth every penny. I agree with you in that hardware advances so quickly that it seems like the longer console life cycle of previous generations is no more but its still up to the consumer where they want to invest there money and the more choices we all have in regards to video games I believe the better. God bless everyone!!

    2. Consoles are like the Minecraft survival mode,and PCs are the Creative mode!
      Consoles are like “This one plays ps3 games,this one plays ps4 games.” and PCs are like “This plays ps3 games,ps4 games,and with a slight upgrade it’ll also support ps5 games without a problem”
      Consoles are like gTa V with 4K HD graphics, and PCs are like 4K HD natural photorealistic graphics (MODSSSS….!!!)
      Consoles are like “Damn! That game too expensive for me,how imma buy that shit with very little allowance!?” and PCs are like ” This game is too expensive for me,but one of my frnds must be having it,so I’ll go and take a FREE copy of the game on my hard drive.
      Consoles are like “This joystick has precision but it’s slow” and PCs are like “There goes one,and another and another and another! My Gaming mouse is so precise and fast! No problems!”
      I think I’ve told ya enough to convince to sell that so called PRO,and buy a machine that is actually a PRO but doesn’t show off!!!

    3. It’s painfully obvious by now that the best games available are on the PS4. I’d rather choose the games I want to play than games I am not even interested in. And consoles are for casual gamers who don’t want to tinker around with the settings and waste time on the best possible way to get the best performance. I value my time and console gaming is easier in that regard, just plug and play. And consoles are far from obsolete. You don’t seem to understand what a console lifecycle is.

    4. And yet my 2 980ti cards cant max out any modern game at perfect 60fps on 3440×1440 resolution, while my ps4 pro has games that look better than anything you can find on PC and the GPU is a modified version of a 7 year old GPU. Thanks but no thanks, next gen ill be getting a ps5 and selling my pc soon.

    5. I can’t take this article seriously. Take 2’s Red Dead Redemption?!?! Bruh at least do some research and destiny being called a “cult classic” ok… I’d rather play games on Consoles just so I don’t turn into a brainwashed PC slave like whoever wrote this. Games > Graphics!!! And Consoles have something PC will never have, their FPX. If anyone thinks graphics>games then you’re not really a gamer are you…

    6. Well I have been a long time pc gamer and
      I recently got a PS4 just to play GOW and a few other titles like Horizon . What I realized is, a Ps4 can be truly immersive and fun and it cost very less compared to my PC so no graphics card upgrade till PS 5 comes out and then if I have extra cash I’ll upgrade my PC .Only downside is, I am terrible at shooters with a joystick and Damm PS+ subscription … even though it may seem that the console life span has decreased the same applies to PC parts so I don’t believe the consoles will go away any time soon or in the near future . It’s like comparing a convertible to a SUV or a Pickup truck . All have their own pros and cons and all are here to stay .At the end games are what matters and which ever platform has the best games I am sticking to that .

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