This week I want to encourage people to try something different. Something initially frightening and intimidating. Something uncool, potentially costly and a bit awkward in places.
And no, I'm not talking about wandering into a biker bar dressed as a lady. I'm on about PC gaming!
I admit I have had my games delivered to my face via consoles for the majority of my life so far, and that's fine. I'm not here to rubbish consoles or throw damp bricks at the chaps that play on them, nor am I going to claim that PC users are genetic supermen, intellectually superior with six-packs like cobbled streets, gleaming white teeth and strong hairlines. No.
I'm going to explain why PC gaming is something you should consider as the next-gen of consoles appear on the horizon, like two hunched tramps wafting their buttocks at you suggestively.
As you read this garbage I DEMAND you remember that I am as far from technically adept as a human being can possibly be (whilst still alive and in possession of all default limbs & senses). I am a bumbling fool, barely able to mash together the words needed for this electronic newspaper you are reading. Honestly, I am the mental equivalent of a brain-damaged chimp.
And even I have successfully built a few PC systems! Stick that in your pipe and eat it!
So I'm going to have a quick look at the things that used to turn me away from PC, and the actual reality of it all. I won't lie, dress-up anything or conceal any pitfalls from you, Sir. It'll be a genuine casuals view of making the lurch to PC gaming. Go!
1: It all costs so much, man!Yes, at first it does. No denying it. Don't lie. You're looking at an initial outlay of about £600, and the more you spend the better. Type into Google 'gaming PC for £600' and you'll get loads of results, so many in fact that your head will ache with boredom. And you'll start to feel overwhelmed with all the jargon being spurted all over your blazer. But worry not!
See, the thing is lots of PC types actually want the world of PC to be intimidating and impenetrable, to make themselves feel better about choosing the 'uncool' gaming platform. There's lots of silly, silly posturing involved, and lots of 'what, you can't afford it? LOL' style things, but ignore it man!
For every one of those self-congratulating, rude, boastful tools there are ten genuine guys that will steer you in the right direction. Good guys live in every major forum, so go get 'em!*
And, importantly, the games for the next wave of consoles are expected to be £50 a throw. PC games are usually miles cheaper, so if you're the sort of cute gaming beauty that regularly buys lots of games then you'll quickly recover the loss you incur upon your initial PC buy! Massive sense, baby!
2: But I'm too thick to put it all together!!No you're not, you fat oaf! This bit is easy to type up (thank Dog) and allows the use of a couple of pics to illustrate my point. Firstly, unfriendly PC angries want you to think assembling your own PC is like this:
|WARNING: EXTREMELY COMPLEX INSTRUCTIONS REQUIRING YEARS OF EXPERIENCE AHEAD.|
No. No. Just no. PC's are so widespread and popular nowadays that it would just not make an ounce of sense to have it so cripplingly difficult to assemble/upgrade/smash for a prank.
Once you've bought your components, assembling your own gaming PC is more like this:
|VISUAL METAPHOR FOR SOMETHING REALLY SIMPLE.|
3: Ah there, look, you said it! 'Upgrade'. I'll have to upgrade every 7 minutes to stay equal!Wrong again, King of thumbs. The PC gamers with penis envy issues will tell you that you have to have the highest spec, most expensive parts at all times, or you will be subjected to withering abuse every time you fire-up Skyrim. Pigeon kidneys! Do not listen, my precious friend.
You will need to upgrade only when you wish to. If you are prone to the towering claims of wealth made by bored liars in gaming forums then you will feel pressure forever, until paranoia drives you into your psychosis-lined coffin. You don't need the best equipment to have a blast on PC.
Plus, the cost of PC bits is constantly dropping due to the constant advancement. So biding your time and keeping your lipstick dry will yield awesome results. The top spec stuff is always overkill for the games available at the time anyway, you silly sausage! What's the point in worrying over nothing?
4: Right, that seems unconvincing. But what about the games? Exclusives man, exclusives.Oh right, yeah, all those innovative exclusives like Racing Car Game 7 or Ghetto Marine 4?
PC has infinite amounts of exclusivity. Endless genres. Limitless diversity to be explored, Son.
But there is something about PC gaming that cannot be found on consoles. Communities.
Groups of gorgeous people gather around games and stay. They don't flock off as soon as a new title comes along, they stay around the games they invest in and make them....home. They add to their beloved games with mods, and brilliant user-made content that consoles have never and will never offer.
I'm not talking in-built level designers a la LittleBigPlanet. I'm talking creativity that, in some cases, often exceeds the developers! I'm tearing up right now!
PC gamers tend to stick around in my experience. It's ace to see petitions and protests going on when companies attempt to shut down servers for old games, and it's even more ace when people fork out their hard-earned to keep servers running for the games they adore so hard. The Beautiful PC!
5: Anything else then? I'm not convinced. I like my joypad and my couch & TV combo.Keyboard & mouse is the interface of the Gods. Why do you think there is a desperation to get them onto the next gen consoles? Coincidence?! I think not, pal. You know joypads are clumsy things.
Couch & TV convenience? Heard of 'Big Picture' mode on Steam? Aware that the majority of newer PC games have Joypad support programmed in nowadays, just for yawners like you that can't be arsed learning something new? It's all true. As far as I know. Which isn't very far!
And as for parties and voice communication, the PC has loads of options, all free, all great!
6: Ok thanks, but I'll stick with my console. I'm bored and you're getting a bit aggressive.Alright look, in the interests of balance I'll offer some of the downsides to PC:
- If you plump for a desktop you'll need a dedicated area in your home, which is too much of a pain in the tail-bone for some people, particularly if they don't have a lot of room to begin with.
- You may end up having to buy FURNITURE, which is about as far away from fun as it gets, unless you're my wife and you are obsessed beyond reason with lamps and chairs.
- You might have to wait ages for that console port you're dying for, and it may be poorly done.
- You will have to accept that virtually nobody plays beat 'em ups or 'illiterate overly-privileged anti-social millionaire potential sex-threat simulator '14' (Those FIFA games).
- None of your friends will have one until you convince them otherwise.
- You will starve to death as a result of you becoming addicted to Team Fortress 2.
Even I'm bored now. I should leave this sort of thing alone in future.
To conclude this biblical epic, I'd like to reiterate that consoles are fine. Honestly, they are. But if you want to really immerse yourself in the world of modern gaming then you really need to consider PC.
You'll meet some amazing people and live inside some hollowed-out games for years. You may even BUILD something for one of those games, thus cutting out an intimate part of yourself and smearing it publicly across something you love. Imagine that!
So yeah, don't buy a next gen console. Come and try something a bit new, a little bit challenging, but a huge amount of lovely. Come and find a community, meet people that are unashamed to say they love games just as much as you do. Get yourself on PC.
Even casuals like me can find a home here!
GL & HF!
Disclaimer: Sensible advice for first time buyers/builders can be found online. Do a wee bit of research, Son.
*Lots of PC build advice types are available on the internet, but there's a bloke called Chico that can be summoned via goat sacrifice here, and he's part of a knowledgeable gang of chaps in a place called MordorHQ, which is a community consisting of 50% nice guys and 50% angry nutcases. Jump in, Sir.