When buying a console , users are led to believe that buying one instead of a PC is a cheap way to enjoy gaming for a number of years. It is the attention of this article to clearly perceive all the ins and outs of each console and their price/performance ratio as well as a comparison between consoles and a PC for gaming. We believe that many mistakes are being made when PC gaming is compared to console gaming, neglecting unique features . At the end of the day theres a much bigger difference than anyone has realized. But let’s first deal with the console wars…
PS4 vs Xbox One
Microsoft with its Xbox One policies and restrictions were on there way to achieve one of the greatest disasters in console history (before E3 one of the biggest gaming events of the year). Microsoft CEO’s sitting calmly (in the manner Luis the XVI and his wife Marie Antoinette did), even though people were furious caused an even bigger effect even for the Xbox fans.
When we look back at the results that followed the recent E3, with PS4 preorders being around 5-6 times more compared to Xbox One, Microsoft’s new born seems to be going to have a hard time . Horrible PR which to be perfectly honest didn’t have anything to work with, ongoing restrictions about used games, sharing games and a 24/7 connection to the internet or else you get a useless brick, doubts of Kinect spying abilities, region locks, PS4 having better hardware, and the Xbox overall being $100 more, made Microsoft’s presentation at the end look pitiful. Microsoft’s Entertainment CEO, Don Mattrick when asked how the people who are offline will play the
Xbox games responded:
“Fortunately we have a product for people that aren’t able to get some form of connectivity: it’s called Xbox 360.”
PR next generation marketing at its best….
Like that wasn’t bad enough, Sony started trolling on Microsoft, showing how games are shared and will continue to be shared on their platforms.
Another embarrassment followed, when someone found out those games at Microsoft’s booth were running on high end PC’s (with gtx 780′s) and not a PC similar to the one in the Xbox One.
Microsoft didn’t even trust its most recent release (Windows 8) that it could do the job, so it used Windows 7, and to make things even worse Microsoft didn’t obviously trust its engineers that they could put together a computer, so they used HP’s PC’s. All that was accompanied with games failing to load and crashing during the Xbox One presentation and the crashing kept going later at the Microsoft booth.
The Xbox One was getting hit from all sides and the PS4 preorders were just rising .Sony has had a field day and was enjoying there sweet victory while Microsoft was rolling in the dirt coughing on its own blood.
The Xbox One Resurrection
It will remain a mystery how Microsofts CEO finally realized that this wasn’t the way to go. Don Mattrick, announced that spread like fire on the Internet: “Microsoft Is removing Xbox One DRM, no region locks!”. But was it too late?
Judging by the preorders on Amazon, it wasn’t, in fact it was the last train and Microsoft managed to grab it. The Xbox One came up first with preorders, but it can’t be said that it’s better than the Ps4 simply because it’s selling in bundles with certain games. When you put all that in one place, Sony is still better and will have a hard time delivering the PS4 to all of its customers on the launch date. Currently Sony has disabled preorders on Amazon.
Microsoft and the Xbox One have lived to fight another day, but has anyone in Redmond learned anything from this?
With all that DRM, Kinect and trolling during the E3 and later, no one has had the time to look at the consoles specifications more closely and say which one is better at the moment. We must mention the rumors about Microsoft having trouble cooling down its CPU, which might result in the Xbox One having 1.3 GHz instead of 1.6 GHz. But we must wait and see about that…
Ps4 vs Xbox One Spec Chart
CPU’s and GPU’s are made by AMD, altogether they make an APU (Accelerated Processing Unit), a CPU with an integrated GPU. CPU’s like this can’t be found in stores especially with such strong GPU’s, since graphic cards on desktops and laptops (using APU’s) are considerably slower.
Even to those who don’t know anything about computer hardware, it will be clear that the PS4 will have better performance. PS4 gpu cores outnumber the Xbox’s One’s by a considerable margin, which result can be clearly seen when it comes to Peak Shader Throughput, where PS4 outperforms the Xbox One by 50%.
Same can be said about ram, DDR5 ram is twice as fast as DDR3, which makes the PS4 overall system memory bandwidth almost three times faster than Xbox One’s. APU’s graphic cards use system memory, the faster the memory, the faster and better GPU performance, which in a long run makes PS4 a better console, especially if you take into account all those massive MP games that are coming to next gen consoles which will squeeze every last drop of your console’s hardware when it comes to performance, and it’s no brainer which console will perform better on that field. At the end of the day consumers will probably disregard this and will buy the console based on personal preference, just because of certain exclusives that are unique to each platform.
What Microsoft and Sony are selling now (some better-some worse) is a story. Sony’s story looks much more polished, it has some unclarities but nothing too big. Microsoft on the other hand has some big problems when it comes to trust, preorders are going well for now, but I am not sure that the bosses in Redmond are satisfied the way things are going. All those conglomerates are big companies who at the end of the day are here to make money. Lots, and lots of money. They are not your friends. Their business philosophies are different but that doesn’t mean that one is good and the other one bad.What we see now is all subject to change, especially when it comes to the price.
The Xbox One creators should think about lowering the price of their console if the sales don’t meet there expectations , and honestly at this point the Xbox One is not worth $500. Leveling the price with Sony would be the way to go and it would make the Xbox more competitive on the market and might even push Sony to lower PS4 prices even further. The one, who wins the price war, will win the console war. But who knows when people at Microsoft will actually understand this.
The Xbox One and Ps4 Consoles vs a Gaming PC
PC’s require occasional upgrades depending on your previous hardware , but let’s just say that an average user upgrades his PC every 2-3 years which raises the cost of using PC as a gaming platform. Also with a console you get a controller, and when it comes to a PC a keyboard and mouse is required, if you want a good gaming mouse and a good gaming keyboard you will need to put in some extra cash. When it comes to monitors you do not really need one for PC or a console if you already have a Full HD TV, so monitors will not be considered in this comparison.
When you look at the consoles these kind of problems do not exist : there are no upgrades, no software and OS changes, no driver installation problems… When you buy a console you are pretty much sure that you are covered when it comes to gaming for the next 5-6 years and if the developer decides to support your console after the new “next gen” it could last even longer and it could prolong to 6-8 years. And all that for just 400 bucks… How can the PC be cheaper than that?
However there are hidden costs when it comes to consoles which no one has taken into account so far which raise the prices drastically.
Consoles require paying around $50 per year in order for you to go online and play multiplayer games. Multiply those $50 dollars by 7 years (average manufacturer’s support period including the time after the next gen release) thats $350. PC platform do not require you to pay yearly fees just to be able to play MP games.
Console games are more expensive. Today the price difference between console and PC games comes out to around 10 dollars. If an average console gamer buys one game per month, every year for the next seven, he will spend $980 more than if he would buy those games for the PC platform (we are not talking about exclusives here). Add $350 from above and you get 1330 price difference in total when it comes to games. These calculation have been taken from the present prices for the current gen consoles however will those prices stay the same is another matter.
The United Kingdom based retail outlet, GAME, has verified that the price of next-gen titles from Electronic Arts for the PlayStation 4 (and presumably the Xbox One) will be raised from £39.99 to £54.99 due to increased development cost. The news comes courtesy of GAME themselves in a Q&A about the next generation of home console gaming.
”At present, the only publisher to confirm costs of their next generation games are EA, attaching a price of £54.99. No other game prices have been confirmed. We will of course update our listings as and when this happens. And if the price changes before release day, you will always pay the lowest price.”
If you convert those 55 British pounds you roughly get 84 dollars which is a significant amount of money for just one game. There are no confirmations that PC games will get higher price tags and it is not likely due to big competition in the PC games market. It is hard to estimate if the rest of the game publishers go down the same road and increase their prices for the next gen console titles, it wouldn’t be much of a surprise though. If you include these possible future prices for console games with expected future prices for PC games you will get an unbelievable difference of $2856! Since (84-50)*12*7= 2856. This blows consoles as a cheaper ticket for gaming right out of the water. However don’t take this information lightly, lots of things might change and let’s focus on what we know and those are current prices. We will compare the price of today’s PC built with hardware similar to next generation consoles , also we will be taking into account yearly fees and overall game cost for consoles, as well as a (gaming) mouse and keyboard for PC.
For the CPU we have chosen AMD’s FX 8350, it has 8 cores also but it has 2x the frequency which will be very beneficial for present as well as future games. For the motherboard you can buy any (if you will not overclock) that will support this CPU just make sure it has enough Ram slots for future upgrade. Speaking of Ram, buy any 2 x 4 GB ram that runs at 1600 MHz, ram speed in this case makes no difference ( this memory is not being shared with the graphics card, as the GPU has enough ram on its own). In the graphic card department we use AMD’s HD 7870 as its an excellent choice when it comes to raw power as you can see in the charts. When it comes to a gard drive pick any hard drive that has 7200rpm and a good warranty. For the PSU we recommend any decent PSU with 650W real power, if you need more information please take a closer look at our PSU guide . Make sure the case that you buy at least one fan at the front and one fan at the rear to improve air flow and make your system cooler and more stable. As for the Operating system we recommend Windows 7 64-bit.
When you look at the numbers it all gets a bit clearer now doesn’t it? With a PC platform you actually save around $900 which is enough to build a new computer in a few years or for a decent upgrade. And yes, you can use hacked Windows and cracked games and save even more money, however we recommend that you buy the software you actualy enjoy in order to support the developer and encourage him to make more of those titles you loved.
Even if you do not decide to upgrade you can be sure that this system will be able to handle anything that a console can. We will mention one more time that the prices of games for the next gen consoles will be much higher in which case a gaming pc is the only way to go.