Is PC gaming more expensive than console? That’s the question many gamers ask. The answer to that question is diverse and depends on the type of gamer you are. In a normal sense, the answer would be yes. However, there is more to the answer than a simple yes or no because it is a diverse question. There is a common myth that PC gaming is expensive than console gaming. Analyzing the cost would bring anyone to the same conclusion. I mean sure if you are making a high-end PC and want to be on the top of the line. Then PC gaming is expensive but if you just want a low end or mid-end PC then it’s not.
In the past PC gaming was expensive because consoles were a one-time investment. Now, if you want to keep up with gaming, you have to upgrade your console. The release of PS 4 Pro and Xbox One X changed the perception regarding the cost-effectiveness of consoles. As I said before the answer to the question “Is PC gaming more expensive than console?” depends on the type of gamer. Any gamers who want to have the latest version of a console would also find PC gaming expensive to some extent.
PC Gaming was Expensive but Now it’s Going In Par with Consoles
Till 7th gen consoles, all consoles were a one-time investment. You can keep using the same console until the release of the next-gen console. There were no major upgrades to overshadow the initial models of a console. The GPU and CPU would remain the same with little to no changes. All that changed in the 8th generation consoles with the release of PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One X. These consoles were improved versions of PS4 and Xbox One. PS 4 Pro and Xbox One X run games at 30 FPS 4K resolution or 60FPS on 1080 resolution. Xbox One X can run some games at 4K 60 FPS but the amount of such games is not that high. So what do you think now, Is PC gaming more expensive than console?
With the release on a new console in the midlife of 8th gen consoles cost would become double. In a PC, you can swipe one part with a new one for a better gaming experience. In a console, you will need to buy new consoles or else you will be stuck with what you have. For such an upgrade, you need to combine the cost of PS 4 or Xbox One with PS4 Pro and Xbox One X. The combined price of the two consoles will be the total price of your setup. If you are sticking with your old PS4 then the price of that PS4 would be the same as a PC with the same power. The price of a PC would depend on its specs. You can build a PC for the same or less amount of price tag that could compete with Xbox One X.
There is A little Price Difference Between A Console and PC of Same Specs
It all depends on your demands. If you want to keep using the PC that offers the same power as a PS4 or Xbox One than the cost would remain the same. The cost of a PC will depend on the upgrades you make not the overall cost. You can make a powerful PC at the same price as an Xbox One X or PS 4 pro. The cost will increase if you make a Threadripper PC and then compare it with a console. Of course, a high spec PC would cost more. Imagine the same hardware in a console, its price would increase too.
At the time of Xbox One X and PS4 pro release their price was amazing for what they were offering. You couldn’t build a PC with the same specs at the same price at that time. Fast forward to now, you can make a PC with better specs at the same price of these consoles. In the initial days of release, consoles are cheaper but they get expensive during their life cycle. Consoles would sell you outdated hardware at the same price as new hardware. Consoles were cheaper when there was only a single type in each but two different types of consoles in each generation. 9th gen consoles could follow the same footsteps. If you are sticking to the original version of a console then they are cheaper. Is PC gaming more expensive than console? according to your demands.
Is Pc Gaming More Expensive Than Console Even With Flexibility?
PC offers more flexibility due to its neutrality in the console war. Every platform has its exclusives. Microsoft exclusives are available on PC and Xbox while some of the PS4 exclusives are available on PC but not Xbox. There are also Steam exclusive games, making the PC game catalog bigger than any other platform. On top of that backward compatibility is not an issue for PC gaming.
You can use even the cheapest mouse, keyboard or any other device with a PC. Mods are another perk that PC offers in gaming. PC is more flexible than any other platform. There is no such thing as compatibility in PC because it’s not just for gaming. The electricity cost of a PC is always higher than a console. However, the resolution of PC games is also higher. Console won’t give you 1080 or full 4k resolution on new games. On a PC you can keep resolution constant in different graphical settings.
Depending on Consumer Console Gaming Can Be Expensive or Cheaper
There are three types of gamers with different perceptions and teste regarding video games. Some gamers just want to play games at a decent quality. Some gamers would want to play games at the highest setting possible. They would want a 4K or 8K resolution with everything tune-up to the maximum. Now, some gamers want the highest frame rate possible at decent settings. Such demand would drastically increase the cost of hardware. Base gamers, hardcore gamers, and pro gamers are my terms so don’t take it for granted. What type of gamer are you? Is PC gaming more expensive than console for you?
For gamers who want decent gameplay with no extraordinary expectations, the base console is usually the way to go. Most gamers would use the base model of a console because this was their first next-gen console. For such gamers, PC gaming is expensive as I mentioned before. There are no physical copies or resales. For such gamers, consoles are definitely a cheaper way to play games.
Some gamers want the best quality of games regardless of the platform. Such gamers have no problem spending money on gaming equipment. Buying a new console or PC is something that they would want to do anyway. They want the best that gaming has to offer. Quality is more important for them than performance. They will go for graphics and resolution over the fame rate. Some hardcore gamers would want to spend a little but not too much. PC gaming is not expensive for such players too.
Most streamers use PC due to its higher FPS and refresh rate of monitors. FPS is very important in competitive games. At best, a console can only reach 60 FPS. A high-end PC can go higher than 220 FPS even in the most demanding game. Streamers would need a high-end PC to get maximum FPS. Some gamers don’t stream but still prefer higher FPS.
PC Offers Multiple Game Stores
On any console, there is only a single store because the store is their main source of income. No matter how much price they offer you on the digital game store you have to buy games. You can always go for a physical copy but the price could be even more than the digital copy. The cost of games on these stores is high even if the console is cheap. Not many people realize the fact but PC game stores offer games at a lower price. You will also need to pay a subscription to play online games on consoles. There are two free games in the subscription but you might have already played these games. The free games are useless most of the time due to their nature or age.
There are many game stores on PC which can help a person buy cheaper games than any other platform. If you want to buy a game then you can check different stores and select the best deal. You won’t be stuck with a single store like consoles. It’s like going to market and buying an item from the store that is offering you the best deal. Buying PC games is like online shopping where you have the choice of multiple stores. Just browse games on a browser like a normal web search.
Digital versions are the only type of games you can buy on PC. There are no physical copies. If you are the type of person that likes physical copies then PC gaming is not for you. Some gamers would sell physical copy back once they complete the game. Games are cheap on PC but there is no physical copy which can make them expensive for some people. Is PC gaming more expensive than console for you now?
The amount of money you spend on a PC will depend on the type of gamer you are. It also depends on your requirements and perception regarding video games. 9th gen consoles are blurring the line when it comes to sheer raw power. If there is a more powerful version of the console during its midlife cycle then the cost of PC and Console will be equal. In general, consoles are cheaper but console gaming is not cheaper. Buying a new version of consoles and expensive games can have an impact on the price of a gaming PC. A PC gamer would constantly upgrade PC which makes it expensive. The power of PC will decide its cost. Having PC with the specs of that generation of consoles makes its price similar to a console.
The short version of the answer to the question Is PC gaming more expensive than console? is yes. The long answer is no. It all depends on the type of gamer a person is. A high-end PC would always be expensive than a console. Constant upgrades to PC would make it even more expensive. Keeping up with the console can make PC gaming cheaper or the same as console gaming.