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Games have long since become one of the mainstream entertainment industries. With their help, the authors talk about pressing problems or about worlds without them. They can both open the doors of escapism away from everyday worries, and teach you something useful. Nowadays, everyone can find a game to their liking, on the topic that is interesting to them.
At the same time, we are constantly witnessing an "arms race": PlayStation and Xbox are releasing consoles at the same time, Sony exclusives do not go anywhere else, computer strategies are not ported from the PC, and Nintendo continues to simmer in its own juice. Naturally, the choice in favor of one platform or another is made according to one’s personal priorities, and in the esports world, this choice most often falls on personal computers. This text is not intended to persuade anyone to join either side but rather is created in order to provide food for thought and assessment of priorities before the possible purchase of one of the consoles.
Reason #1: Price
Let's start with the most controversial point — price. The new Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 consoles are undeniably expensive: five hundred dollars for a highly specialized device. However, if you approach the issue from the side of it being an alternative to expensive gaming PCs, the price ceases to be offensive. You need to keep in mind that for $500 (or even less, if you take into account the “lite” versions of these new devices), players receive a console that is guaranteed to support all the games throughout the entire generation. For example, it has been seven years since the release of the PlayStation 4. Nowadays, the performance comparable to the new generation of gaming consoles is provided only by the top-end computers, and they are not priced diplomatically. Naturally, eventually, the PC market will catch up and overtake the consoles. It will be possible to get a similar performance point on the medium to low-end machines by the standards of the future, but at the moment, PS5 and XSX are far ahead in terms of the price/quality ratio.
Reason #2: Entertainment services
Naturally, a PC is a much more versatile device, but gamers hardly buy powerful computers for the opportunity to chat on Discord. But consoles are no longer purely a gaming thing either, as it was in the past. With the help of the official apps, you can watch the entertainment content of your favorite service, be it Netflix, Amazon Prime or Crunchyroll, aww at the kitten videos on YouTube or follow WePlay Esports' broadcasts on Twitch. PlayStation 4 has a built-in video player that even supports streaming content from a media server. Plus, you can listen to music on Spotify even while you're playing. Of course, it is unlikely that all this is the primary reason for anyone to buy a console — it is much easier to purchase a Smart TV, which also does it all. However, the myth about the lack of versatility of consoles should be dispelled — they are more of media entertainment machines than just boxes with games.
Reason #3: Esports and multiplayer
There is an existing annoying misconception that esports is something exclusive to personal computers. Yes, the three most popular disciplines - Dota 2, League of Legends, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive — are PC games. Still, titles like Apex Legends, Rainbow Six: Siege, Rocket League, and Fortnite are available and thriving on consoles. Moreover, the official Call of Duty world tour took place on the PlayStation 4, not on computers. Nintendo also has its own competitive games: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Mario Kart 8, ARMS, Splatoon 2. And this is all the variety without even taking into account the huge amount of fighting games available on different consoles. Players can also immerse themselves in a large number of other online games: MMOs (Final Fantasy XIV supports crossplay between all devices), space-sims (Elite: Dangerous), multiplayer modes of single-player games (GTAV Online, RDR2 Online, DOOM Eternal, and so on)/ For those who love games primarily for the competitive element, there is a huge assortment to pick from.
Reason #4: Subscriptions
The generation change of the game consoles also brings us some bad news — the price for games will rise. For the first time in fourteen years, games will become more expensive and jump from $59.99 to $69.99, and in Europe — even up to €80. Not all publishers have followed this immediately, but global changes seem inevitable. Subscription services can save us from such expenses. Microsoft offers Game Pass on Xbox and PC for a reasonable price. Naturally, it does not include all the games in the world, but the catalog is constantly updated, and often even includes completely new games. Sony does not have a similar model, but the PlayStation+ online subscription users get a few free games every month, and for PS5 owners there is a large catalog of legacy games that they can play on the new console. Nintendo can't boast of the generosity of its subscriptions, but users of the paid online feature on the Switch console still get a nice bonus — a library of games from NES and SNES.
Reason #5: Exclusives
Microsoft has long since changed its approach to game exclusivity — they all end up on the PC sooner or later — so this doesn't really apply to Xbox, but PlayStation and Nintendo exclusives are often the so-called “system sellers” which sell people on buying the respective devices. Two Japanese corporations went their separate ways: Sony has narrative, cinematic, high-budget blockbusters, AAA-games among AAA ones. God of War, The Last of Us, Horizon Zero Dawn, now also Ghost of Tsushima are highly regarded and favored projects both by the media and the players, for the sake of possible sequels to which people will gather in kilometer-long lines to buy PS5.
Nintendo's de-facto motto is "Games should be fun," and the corporation follows it all the time. Even if they don't have heavy plots with a million intricacies, fans will still buy their games simply because they are fun to play. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild showed the world how to really make an open world map, Super Mario Odyssey adapted the beloved plumber with the modern possibilities, and even the last game of the Pokémon series, which has a lot of problems, sold like hotcakes. All these interesting projects cannot be played anywhere, except for the consoles on which they came out for exclusively.
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Platform wars are constantly going on on the Internet, in which supporters of different consoles ridicule others’ failures, and PC gamers sarcastically thank the console players for the beta test after another former exclusive is released on Steam. We simply advise you to stop playing the platforms and start playing interesting games instead, regardless of who created them and what console they came out for.