Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Is console more expensive than PC?

Hudson posted this comment on one of my blog posts....

"I realized console games get boring and cost too much money"

So, I have tried to figure this out in respects to play time, play style, and overall costs involved.

Lets look at a few items that sat in the back of my mind...

It is a known issue that console games are shorter in time span than most online games or even some PC games (due to high productions with cut scenes, voice over work, etc...). So, this is a toss up. I usually get a better story than an MMO (a sore point for MMO's right now..."Story? What story?" is more like it) and better production (awesome intros, in between cutscenes).

This is a tie...

If I do not like a console game, I can at least return it for some credit toward another game (and if I wait for a sale within the first month, I can get a bonus 10-20% upgrade on that trade in).
Also, I can rent a game for my console for a monthly fee through Gamefly.
Try to do that with a PC game?

Console Wins!

But, here is the number one reason I think console games work.


Meaning less prevalent in console titles (though not gone by any measure), but the fact you can "put in the game" and have it work. This is to me a better value.

Also, throw in the fact that video cards cost almost as much as an Xbox 360 Arcade right now, the cost to run the game is exponentially lower.

PC's also run the risk of incompatibility issues which cause more bugs than is normal.

It is hard to say why some may like PC games compared to Console games, but I would argue cost is not one of them.


Hudson said...

This is true if you take it from the context of ALL GAMES. However I do not play games like Crysis and Farcry 2, I am not a big shooter guy really.

But for a fella like me that is playing WoW which can run on even the crappiest on board chip video laptop, $15.99 a month is chicken feed compared to a 60 dollar title that ends after 12 hours played and resells for about $2-13 at Gamestop.

BUT, I already argued this back last year against myself. I too had the console addiction for a short while. I just prefer PC versions of all games over console. Mouse and keyboard guy and all.

Openedge1 said...

I look at it this way also...

I could play WoW every day..

Be kinda like watching Evil Dead II every day for 2 hours at a time.

I think I would get bored of the same world, same setting, same...everything.

Variety is key here as well, and getting a bunch of MMO's could be REAL expensive.

Hudson said...

Very true to that. Now THAT I have fallen victim too. That one month when I reactivated a ton of accounts. OUCH.

WoW isn't cheap right now either since I'm two boxing. But I just have a limited budget anyway right now so I have to pick the lesser of two gaming evils. However even if I got Fallout 3 it would be for the PC. Same as Mass Effect.

Melf_Himself said...

I think console is definitely cheaper if you exclude MMO's. That new PC that you have to get every few years costs as much as, what, 4 of the most current console options? With the games costing the same, I'd say console definitely wins.

However, MMO's give you more bang for your buck. But you've got to trade that off against the fact that, after a certain amount of time playing, you're really not having as much fun each night as if you just went and picked up a new game.

No offense to people who live to raid 24/7.

Hudson said...

Speaking of Evil Dead, you just gave me an idea!


Tesh said...

I always suggest comparing MMORPGs to offline RPGs. I can spend $25 or so on FFX and play it for a hundred or so hours, but with my casual playtime (less than 5 hours a week), that would mean 20 weeks or about 5 months of WoW... for $75. WoW is three times as expensive as FFX just for that time period. If I keep playing, it gets more imbalanced, because I never have to pay for FFX again. It's mine, and there's no service charge to play it. Even something like Tiger Woods has plenty of game hours in it, and as time goes on WoW loses out in the cost race.

Sure, if you're playing 40 hours a week, it's going to come out differently, but for me, a player with very limited time, console games (or even Guild Wars, to some degree) beat out any subscription game, hands down.

There's also that whole "ownership" concept, too. I could resell FFX for $10 or so, reducing my cost even more over the time I played it. Reselling stuff in WoW isn't nearly so... legal.

That's just the business side, though. If we're looking at game design, I think that each platform has its strengths. I enjoy the complexity that can be introduced to the PC because of the input of mouse and keyboard. I'm an old school 4X gamer, and consoles just aren't ever going to touch the PC's ability to make things like Master of Orion or Civ playable. "It's the UI" in other words.

That said, I have played FFVII on the PC and the Playstation, and I far prefer the console version (except for the limited save slots). Valkyrie Profile isn't even available on the PC. Neither are the Star Ocean games. (Unemulated and legal, anyway.) Septerra Core, a PC FFish RPG, just doesn't have the same sort of play experience as a good Enix or Squaresoft game. Even Neverwinter Nights didn't really work for me as well as a good console RPG. (Though that's more because of style than UI.)

Looking forward, as ihaspc's Chris suggests, I see PC games moving more to the "online all the time" mentality, whether it's subscription or just a riff on DRM verification, as a way to combat piracy. The more that shift happens, the more I lean back to consoles. They are plug and play, and I own the games. That's pretty big in my book.

Scott said...

If you're out buying every console game that comes out, sure at $60 a pop that adds up quick. Also consider Hudson isn't buying every PC game that hits the shelves, and I don't get the impression he's buying into every MMO that rolls down the pike either. So sure, to him he's already paid for WoW (twice) and is only looking at $15/month (twice so $30/month) and he's done. If he drops $60 on a console game and beats it that first month and never wants to replay it, he's just doubled his monthly expenditure for something with no additional value. (Does it have to be a console game? Single player PC games can be beat quickly too...)

I'm a gamer. Consoles were around looooooong before PC's and some types of games are *for me* more natural on the console. I may have a nice desk with a nice widescreen monitor but ya know... sometimes I would rather relax on the couch instead of at my desk. The PC version of Tomb Raider may have a higher graphic resolution, but it "feels" better to me with a console controller. It's more organic with that type of game. If I enjoyed the racing genre (I don't, but just an example) I'd have no choice but to look at a console; the genre has all but died on the PC platform.

As much of a mouse and keyboard shooter as I am, there are some like the Rainbow Six: Vegas series that for whatever reason I can't put my finger on just flow better on the console, even with controller aiming. I suck at controller aiming, and if I didn't get so pissed off I'd have to laugh (actually I do that too) when I can shoot a perfectly outlined silhouette around my target without actually hitting him. But just like with the mouse and keyboard shooters, it's all player skills so when some little 8-year-old shithead punk kid headshots me, it's because he was better at it than me. And I'll headshot him right back and teabag his ass on a mouse and keyboard PC shooter...

Openedge1 said...

If you're out buying every console game that comes out, sure at $60 a pop that adds up quick.

Thank goodness for Gamefly to alleviate this issue in the US market.

As far as PC games, I really think purchasing a PC game boils down to longevity.
I would never buy a short lived console game on a PC as I cannot return it for cash and the latest piracy schemes make the software hard to work with.

Entertainment wise, either is viable actually...
I think the argument of the Console being more expensive should not be an issue, as it can be weighed easily for both alternatives..

Guess it is a draw in that respect.