Back in the day, comparing PC and console gaming was like comparing apples and polar bears. Trying to get a PC game to run on your obscure 16mb graphics card was half the fun, and console gaming wouldn't have been the same without having to blow into a cartridge until you pass out before enjoying your next session.
However these days the comparisons are rather similar. With most of the PC world now running on a stable operating environment, along with simplistic digital distribution services such as Steam, most people with limited computing knowledge can download and enjoy a game in no time.
All of a sudden console gaming has lost considerable ground when it comes to the accessibility argument. PC gaming will always look better on the surface; increased performance and the ability to customise and upgrade graphical components ensures this, however the gap between PC and console is considerably tighter than in previous generations.
Why am I bothering to make these comparisons? Because everyone seems to be talking about entering the next generation of video games. Coming from a timing standpoint it does make sense; the Xbox 360 is definitely getting old, and Nintendo needed to upgrade their Wii system if they wanted to remain competitive at all.
However entering this next generation isn't going to yield the amazing leap we saw when the Xbox 360 first launched. The updates are going to be fairly minor, particularly when these new consoles launch, leaving gamers with a burning hole in their wallets that will surely leave some wondering "why did I bother?"
When you look at games like Uncharted 3, The Last of Us, Borderlands 2 and Aliens: Colonial Marines, can you really envision the next generation of consoles being THAT much better?
If you can, then you must have some kind of crystal ball that I'd like to borrow for the weekend.
I may be a PC gamer first and foremost, but I'll admit that I love my console gaming too. I'm excited to pickup a Wii U at launch, but that's simply because I'm a Nintendo fanboy. The possibility of a PS4 and Xbox 720 aren't really appealing to me at all, and I'm guessing for the financially conservative gamer out there, they are worrying you a little too.
But I have the answer people, and it's been here all along.
Build a PC.
Chances are you have PC of some kind at home that you can simply upgrade and get the latest games running well, but even if you start from scratch you could build a decent gaming right for a great price.
Then just ride this generation out, and open yourself up to the opportunities that PC gaming truly offers. Embrace the indie scene and experience a nearly endless supply of games that Steam and Origin will be throwing at you every week.
Then when the next, next generation launches, you will have a reason to hand over your cash for something truly unique and worthy.
By Stephen Heller - Bio