There is a commonly reported idea in modern gaming that consoles are abandoning their roots as they essentially turn to small computers. This is a concept that has been increasingly espoused since the launch of the 8th generation of consoles with the PS4 and Xbox One, and seeing a resurgence with the newly released details of the ninth-gen systems.
While such an overarching and fairly simplistic outright comparison might be dismissed out of hand, looking at the details reveals how this gap might be shrinking, yet never bridged completely.
Closed Nature and Gaming
The most essential difference between consoles and PCs comes from the consoles’ nature as closed systems. Effectively, by keeping high-level controls on what goes in and out of a system, and where it can be modified, consoles mitigate or eliminate issues like malware, user error, and piracy. While this is great for stability, it can also generate limits for fan-made content.
On PCs, the open architecture allows gamers access to the widest library of games by a wide margin. Consoles, while slowly embracing a more indie focus, are hamstrung in this regard. There are, however, growing exceptions when it comes to browser gaming.
Online casinos are popular new examples of this, where console users can turn to the inbuilt browsers for a complete experience. From collecting something like an initial Ruby Fortune Casino bonus deposit match to navigating to the casino platform itself and playing the hundreds of games available, this one area is the primary exception to console gaming limitation’s rule in the sense of offering an all-encompassing GUI on a PC.
The other major distinctive component which is likely to remain unchanged is that of paid online play. Generally, playing online for PCs is free, while online play for consoles requires a paid monthly subscription, which is a significant turnoff for many PC gamers looking to make the leap.
A Reaching Hand
Starting in the 7th generation, and taking off in the 8th, it’s the use of consoles as entertainment hubs that has perhaps best captured the PC spirit. Using licensed apps, consoles now allow players access to the likes of Netflix, YouTube, Spotify, and many other systems formerly confined to the desktop space. Increasingly, this is including actual tools – which, aided by growing mouse and keyboard support, as Android Central has covered, are beginning to show the first real signs of mainstream business and communication viability for such applications of console hardware.
On an interior level, it should also be noted that console hardware has slowly been edging growing closer to PC ideals. Far from the disparate nature of systems like the PS2 and PS3, later generations of consoles have become far less obtuse, explained Cory Bloyd to GamingBolt. This not only makes for an easier time in developing new games but also leads to a reduction in difficulty when porting games to and from other systems – leading to increased potential for cross-platform online play, which we’re beginning to see a trend for.
The Spirit of Cooperation
Taking all different components into account, we can’t help but come to the conclusion that while some ideas are borrowed, the ideals of both sets of systems – PCs and consoles – mean the two cannot truly meet. But, in the end, they have never really had to. PC and console gaming are two arms of the same entertainment body, and both fulfill different roles in our gaming lives.
Each of these is getting better with each passing year, and each shows no signs of slowing down. In the end, no matter what platform you prefer, isn’t being able to play great games the only thing that really matters?