It’s an age-old dispute. Ever since the console and the PC converged on the industry-defining First-person shooter, the question has been on the minds of PC and console gamers alike, who’s the better gamer? PC gamers or console gamers?
Over the years, it came to be generally accepted, at least among PC gamers, that PC gamers are the better gamer by virtue of loosely related stereotypes. But new information uncovered during the testing of a long-awaited initiative that would allow for cross-platform play, an unanticipated observation was made that may lend some considerable weight to this myth for the first time.
Sood Rahul – president of voodoo games, and an onlooker during the testing of this initiative, made note of the monolithic problem not in any way related to the technology itself. Indirectly he has also provided some insight as to why it’s taken so long to enable cross-platform online, which has long been a subject of speculation, much of which has arisen from the fact that there has not been a substantial structural difference in the PC and Console platforms since the first generation of 3d consoles that appeared in the mid 90’s.
Modern consoles are ultimately just PCs, only perpetually underpowered. Before this revelation, the predominant theory for the delay in this technologies release has been related to the technology itself. But, in Rahul’s blog post, Rahul reveals a much more troublesome and vexing problem that may lengthen the delay of any such technology indefinitely.
During testing, the most skilled console gamers were pitted against mediocre PC gamers in an unnamed FPS game. The Xbox gamers used their XBOX controllers, and the PC gamers used the traditional mouse and Keyboard. This was the outcome…
“The console players got destroyed every time. So much so that it would be embarrassing to the Xbox team, in general, had Microsoft launched this initiative.” Sood attributed this disparity in skill to the superiority of the mouse and keyboard setup. He stated, “you simply don’t get the same level of detail or control as you do with a PC over a console.” Granted, Sood cannot be said to be impartial. He is a manufacturer and seller of PCs. The argument could be made that he is just doing his job – selling PCs by appealing to the gamers’ competitive nature.
Nevertheless, his conclusion makes sense and affirms a long-held belief that solidified itself due to a number of indirect reasons. One such reason given is the salient difference in the social dynamic that the PC community cultivates. The PC community is much more competitive and far less “noob-friendly”, to put it colloquially. It’s highly Darwinian in its social disposition courtesy of its nearly entire player-operated beginnings, at which time there were few moderators, no protection from hacks or scams, and you had to figure out everything for yourself.
Another reason that at least pertains to this Sood’s anecdote is the genre-defining FPS prototype was designed exclusively with the PC (mouse and keyboard) in mind because there were no capable consoles at the time of the first FPS inception. Because of this, every console FPS game since the first has been nothing but a port. While controllers are fine for the average player who’s just looking to have some fun, the increase in accuracy and speed that the mouse and keyboard provides is, while myth prior, now evident.
But Rahul didn’t stop there. He went on to suggest that there is something fundamentally different between the PC and Console Gamer, stating that because consoles tend to be much cheaper, especially considering a generation of consoles tends to last anywhere from three to four years and won’t cost you more than $500, console players tend to be leisure gamers who play around for fun, whereas PC gamers are much more competitive.
To purchase a PC capable of playing such intensive games, not only might a PC cost you upwards of $1000, it requires the buyer to be knowledgeable about PC hardware. These PC also tends to become obsolete within a couple of years. Also, PCs aren’t marketed to the gaming demographic or as utilities necessary designed for gaming at all, suggesting that PC gamers have a niche knowledge and interest related to gaming, suggesting an interest surpassing leisure.
Consider the percentage of Console owners that merely bought the XBOX or PS5 to act as an Omni-functional entertainment system, to be used for net-flix, blue-ray, scene, etc., or the number of people that just picked one because they got a deal so that they can entertain guests. Owning a console has become so commonplace that it’s almost up there with the television on the list of utilities people expect you to have. The majority of console gamers happen to have one.
When someone drops the often required $1500 so he can game, you can count that he’s not dropping that payload to watch YouTube videos all day. When your typical console gamer goes to pick up MW2 or BFBC2, they buy it because they saw a commercial for it and it looked cool because their friends have it; or because it kills time.
These types of gamers may play it for a week and move on to something else. PC gamers tend to be mono-gamers more often. They play one or two games at a time, become really immersed in those games until they master them, and then move on.
So does this end the debate? Not quite. The information is still too limited to draw any solid conclusions. We also can’t expect any new information in the future if this was indeed the reason why cross-platform online gaming has yet to be implemented. But do feel free to use this little anecdote to hold one over your console-gaming buddies. Given that there are already some strong reasons to presuppose that PC gamers might be superior merely because the amount of money they shell out expresses their greater interest in gaming, among other reasons, the evidence substantiates what there is for some time be sufficient reason to believe.
PC gamers are more competitive, more hardcore, and take gaming more seriously.