Common PC Gaming Misconceptions You Should Be Aware Of

PC Gaming's Common Misconceptions

As part of the console wars, especially in recent times, console gamers and other sources have started to spread some misconceptions around PC gaming. If you aren’t familiar with the platform, you likely think that PC gaming is more expensive or that it’s only for people who use mice and keyboards. Fortunately for the PC gaming community, you’re wrong. And fortunately for you, this article is here to let you know the truth behind some of the common PC gaming misconceptions.

pc gaming misconceptions - dota2

Now, when you think “exclusives,” you probably think of Mario, right? It’s true that PC gaming does not have the latest first party titles from console manufacturers, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its own great exclusives. Let’s name some of them:

  • Dota 2, one of the most popular MOBAs in the world. It’s also a huge record-breaker in eSports, with an $11.4 million prize pot for The International in 2015. League of Legends, its close rival, is also a PC exclusive, and while the third of the big three MOBAs, Smite, is seeing a port to consoles, this port is coming a full three years too late.
  • Star Citizen may still be in alpha, but the graphical prowess and the sheer size of the game is something said to be unprecedented. It’s a game that takes true advantage of the PC platform and all it has to offer.

pc gaming misconceptions - starcitizen

  • ARMA 2 and 3 are hallmarks of military sim games due to their real-world accuracy to modern combat and their advanced engine. The real reason these games are in the spotlight, however, is for titles like DayZ, fan-made mods that spawned from them and revolutionized the survival genre.
  • Golden indie titles, like UndertaleThe Stanley ParableA Hat In Time, and many more!

A lot of major multi-platform titles either made their name on PC or are better on PC. The Witcher series started on PC, only moving to consoles with the second and third games which can still be pushed further on the PC than on consoles. Two major multiplayer titles, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Team Fortress 2, are actually multi-platform, too. However, both of these games are still regularly receiving major content updates from Valve … content updates that their console counterparts don’t receive.

Even for multi-platforms, PC is generally the best platform to be playing the games on, for more performance, prettier graphics and more features. The hottest new titles, especially in eSports, tend to get their start on PC, and PC has no shortage of availability of classic games, like the original Half-Life, games that changed the industry for good.

pc gaming misconceptions - controllers

Another popular misconception is that PC games are only good for using mouse and keyboard. While it’s true that mouse and keyboard is the most dominant input method on PC games, especially for strategy titles and first-person shooters, games that greatly benefit from the control scheme, mouse and keyboard is far from the only supported control method on the PC platform.

In fact, this might surprise you, but just about every gamepad you can think of is supported on PC. Xbox 360 and One controllers are supported right out of the box, with most PC titles released in the past decade supporting them. Other gamepads, such as a PlayStation 3 pad or a GameCube controller, can be made to work with a PC, too, as long as you’re willing to install the necessary drivers and buy the necessary USB adapters for the pads. I have two controllers hooked up to my PC – a 360 pad for most controller games and a GameCube pad for Gamecube and Wii game emulation.

pc gaming misconceptions - couch gaming

Actually, it totally can. You can use a device like the Steam Link or a modest HTPC to stream content from a big PC into the living room, or simply bring that PC into a living room and hook it up to the TV with an HDMI cable. There are various solutions available for navigating a desktop environment from the comfort of your couch should you want to. If you don’t, you can use something like Steam Big Picture to bypass the desktop interface entirely, interacting with your PC only through a controller-friendly method!

Now, I’ll admit that this does take a few extra loops that you wouldn’t otherwise be jumping with a console. But let’s face it: you’re bringing PC-level power and customization to your living room TV and couch. Isn’t that sick?

pc gaming misconceptions - console killer

You see that image above? It could come cheaper if I chose to cut out the operating system (you’re more than welcome to run a Linux distribution instead), but there you go. That build has components that perform better than both the PS4 and Xbox One right in the same price range. Here’s a link.

Okay, then. That’s the hardware and the OS. What about the games?

There’s plenty of competition in online storefronts on PC. Prominent choices include Steam, GOG, Origin and more. These stores competing with one another on the same platform means that the sales on PC are very regular and very major, featuring huge price cuts on even the latest software.

pc gaming misconceptions - witchersale

That’s just a random sale, by the way. Winter and Summer Sales are legendary on the PC platform for discounting games anywhere from 50 to a whopping 95 percent. They aren’t just random indie titles either! A few years back, I purchased “Batman: Arkham Asylum” and “Arkham City”, at the time $60 each, for less than $10, with all of the DLC for both games.

Yeah.

While they aren’t accurate now, in the past a lot of these arguments rang true. Prior to the release of the Xbox 360, PC gaming did not have a force like the 360 controller to really solidify the gamepad’s place on PC, which is why some earlier titles require adjustments to be played with them. When the PS3 released, it had hardware much more powerful than what was available in even the best PCs at the time – its infamous launching price even had Sony taking losses from every unit sold. PC hardware was much more expensive back then, and the online storefronts that are so prevalent today weren’t around to keep the price of PC games significantly lower than their console brethren. With time, however, these things have changed.

Exclusives are plentiful on the PC platform, though they always have been. In the past decade, the PC’s weakness in controller support and hardware pricing have been alleviated, and with the rise of in-home streaming solutions and home theater PCs, PC gaming is finally making meaningful strides toward the couch, a domain previously dominated by the console. The above misconceptions still exist due to the new debates around framerate and resolution (thanks to the new console’s relatively low power in comparison to mid-range PCs), and these misconceptions aren’t helped at all by the deceitful marketing around pre-release game footage and prebuilt PCs.

That being said, it should all be clear now. Is there anything you feel I missed or that I should cover in the future?

As always, leave a comment and let me know what you think.

7 comments

  1. How about an article on MAC gaming? Or perhaps an article concerning how current PC games (post 2009 probably) are console PORTS, and therefore all of the things that I for one LOVE about games from the prior decade (circa 2001 to 2009) are MISSING; these things would include aspects such as in game saving (with the F6 button), cheat codes, and mods as a quick example. An article such as the one I described would actually be a logical follow up to the article you just published in my opinion…

    • First of all, if you bought a Mac for Gaming you have chosen the wrong System. Second, if you are talking about AAA Titles like for example AC Syndicate you are not wrong, but a majority of games are made for Pc. Only a fraction of the released Games are actual Console Ports. Third: What game are we talking about, that is missing quick save, cheat codes or mods. for example, if we talk about Fallout 4, there are already tons of mods for this game and that is just one of the games which has mods. So your overall comment is generalized and sometimes plain wrong.

      P.S. Whoever finds grammatical errors can keep them.

  2. Hopefully, well really I could care less but “hopefully” it will at least educate these closed minded tweeners that have it in their pea brains that PC is dead. Hence the tag line of Star Citizen and if you don’t know it I encourage anyone with the desire to witness the birth of a truly ground breaking game to go check it out! Of course the song goes far beyond that, the fact is while rudimentary gaming began on the console, the Odyssey comes to mind (anyone old enough to remember Pong?). It did not become a real thing until PC. It was the PC that forces console to take this industry seriously and in their haste they have yet to match the power and flexibility of the PC and honestly they NEVER will!

    The end of the argument really is that PC can do anything any console can do and will do it better than any console ever will and in the event there is some freak event where that is not true I know for fact I can update, upgrade or hack up my PC to solve the problem, and that is something that is explicitly IMPOSSIBLE to do with a console. As designed a console was designed for one purpose, to suck the life out of your bank account and trap you into a disposable platform that will be obsolete in less time than it takes to get a real education!

    Thanks for the article Chris, these young fools need to be educated as to what a PC really is and if they had the knowledge it would be the death of console and as far as I am concerned it would be a death easily forgotten!

  3. I only had a PlayStation 1 before guys at work got me into Quake III: Arena. All of our friends ran Windows PCs, so we got to LAN Rainbow 6, Quake III, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit, and Serious Sam among other games that we could NEVER have done on such a limited platform as a console of that era.

    Before ‘discovering’ PC platform games, I swore Diablo (1) was great on my PS1. Boy, did my friends look at me funny, and with good reason. The Windows version was so much easier to control (because of the mouse/keyboard) and cooperative multiplayer was great.

    I now run Ubuntu Linux on my PC, and I still have way more games to play (thanks to Steam) than I have time for. As in the article, LoL, DOtA 2, Strife, and of course EVERY game by Valve is now available on a superior platform that is more flexible, moddable, streamable, and cheaper to purchase games on than any console short of a Steambox.

  4. I think you guys are being a bit unfair to non-Windows game platforms. The Mac has improved a lot since Apple dropped their original software, and later their hardware, to become PCs–so no wonder there are many more games available now for Mac, and they might catch up next decade.

    Similarly, the 2 main consoles have become a lot more like PCs in their newest versions, so I can see them closing the gap also in time. No harm there, it would be great for consoles to become more capable gaming devices, and for console owners to get access to the huge amount of PC games already out there.

    There will always be a market for products backed by serious corporate marketing–Apple, consoles and elections prove that time and again. But a general trend towards moving those lesser gaming platforms towards the advantages enjoyed by PC gaming and gamers can only be a good thing for the general gaming population.

    Apart from the much superior interface and graphics, the big pluses of PC gaming for me are price and mods. Great games retain so much playability when the better mods become available, and of course the great sales mean I can try out 10 games for the same price as one console game.

  5. I teach Computer Repair and Networking to High School students and we participate in a LAN gaming convention every year where we teach the student to configure and run games on a LAN. Most if not all of my students are console gamers and have never really looked at a PC as a gaming platform. I convert many of them to PC after and most never go back to console. I also recently purchased Star Wars Battlefront for the PC and it is amazing. I have a 3 screen PC setup at home and it is much easier to control the shooting portion of the game with a mouse and keyboard. I also connected it to my 4K TV and it is amazing. I am re-gifting my XBOX 1 to my son and will just be using my PC from now on.

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