Custom Gaming PC VS Console. Which One Should You Buy?

 Photo by kilovega on  deviantart

Photo by kilovega on deviantart

So, you have some cash and are ready to get a new state of the art console or build your own custom personal gaming computer. Which one do you go with? I am not going to tell you whether to buy an Xbox One X, PS4 Pro or the Nintendo Switch, but I will use the PS4 Pro in comparison to building a custom gaming computer.

First off, you need to look at pricing. The cost of a PS4 Pro before buying games is $500 plus tax, which comes to about $565. This is just for the console with no games and extra accessories. Also, the assumption is you already own a TV. The cost of a game will be about $30 to $80, so let’s round the starting cost of buying a console to $600. Next, let’s look at the price of a custom gaming computer and why you should choose individual parts rather than buying a pre-made assembled computer.

Building a custom machine vs a pre-built requires you to have knowledge of what parts to pick out and how to assemble the computer. For inexperienced people it involves research and tutorials, but this process can save you a couple hundred dollars. Typically the cost will be at least $1,200, (though you can spend a lot more,) and this does not include the cost of a monitor, mouse, and keyboard. But let’s assume you already own these components. (If you don’t, you will have to spend several hundred dollars more.) The entry cost for a gaming machine is about double the cost of a console, but there are other pros and cons.

 credit to sony interactive entertainment

credit to sony interactive entertainment

The more money that is put into a custom gaming computer, the more superior it will be to a console. This is mainly due to the graphics card you buy. You can spend anywhere from $200 to $1,000 on a graphics card alone. Comparing a PS4 Pro to a custom gaming computer in terms of bang for buck, the PS4 Pro wins for sure. But if you have a lot of cash, you can well surpass the PS4 Pro in graphics quality.

You’re not spending all this money just to look at an expensive machine. You want games! What platform is better for games, factoring in cost and exclusivity? Console games generally cost a lot more money to buy than buying PC games online. The price of console games goes down a lot slower than on PC, and this is mainly due to the PC gaming platform Steam.

Steam is a gamer’s paradise.

They always have games on sale to buy digitally, and they have huge deals. At certain times of the year, most games are on sale. If you have the patience to wait for better prices and choose to buy games that are on sale, you can typically get them for up to 75 per cent off. Steam has almost every game that has been released in the PC platform. When there is a big sale, you can buy games cheap and stockpile them to play later. It is by far the cheapest place to buy games.

Consoles will have exclusive games, though, but at a higher cost of purchase. The PS4 Pro has exclusive games that are top notch AAA games that are worth playing (like the new God of War or Uncharted 4.) You can’t get these games on Steam, and if they ever do end up on Steam it’ll take a long time to happen. Another point of comparison is the cost to play online. PlayStation Plus costs $70 a year to play games online. Playing a Steam game online is free unless you are paying a direct subscription to an MMO like World of Warcraft.

The PS4 Pro and other consoles win when it comes to entry cost and having decent graphics at an affordable price. But the best bang-for-buck when buying games is definitely purchasing through Steam on PC and, if you have the money and are willing, you can spend the savings to have a higher-end machine. This makes it a better option than owning a console.

Click here to see an awesome beginners guide on building a custom PC.

Click here to see the awesomeness of Steam.


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Evan McKinley

Evan McKinley is a 2nd year professional writing student that aspires to be a novel writer in the genre of fantasy. Favorite books and movies include The Lord of The Rings, Neverwhere and The Alchemist.