While we may have recently covered how fake news expands in the general media, modern gaming media is also just as prone to spreading lies and falsehoods. For this reason we’re going to tackle and debunk prominent gaming-related myths.
There is no need to have you spend extra money or think you need something you can’t have because the industry is trying to sell you a product, after all.
Higher Clock Frequency/Core Count = More Performance!
The chart above shows the increase in clock speeds over the years. It hasn’t been updated for some time, but there still hasn’t been a massive change in CPU clock speeds or CPU core counts because that’s not where the performance increase comes from anymore. People think they need to buy the latest, greatest CPU for their gaming PCs or that a console with an arbitrarily higher or lower clock speed won’t perform as expected.
The only time clock speeds and core counts can be used as an accurate metric of performance is when they’re from the same series and same manufacturer. Otherwise you’re better off using a tool like UserBenchmark to compare actual CPU performance between real processors.
The PS4 Pro Is Playing Games at 4K
Once again, take a look at the chart above. The PS4 Pro and Xbox One S have hit the market advertising “4K” gaming, but as we covered in our article comparing the two, this “4K” isn’t actual 4K.
In the case of the Xbox One S, which doesn’t perform much better than a normal Xbox One, it upscales supported games from FHD to 4K UHD. As you can probably deduce from looking at that chart, 4K is literally four times the size of 1080p, and no matter how good your upscaling is, the image quality between upscaled 1080p and real, native 4K simply do not compare.
The PS4 Pro does this upscaling with most of its games as well, but at least it does it from a higher resolution, usually around 1440p, which is between 1080p and 4K. Even so, claiming that your games are in 4K, when they are actually being upscaled, borders on deceitful practices. If you have an actual 4K TV, you’d be much better served finding a gaming PC with the hardware to actually run games at full 4K.
Console Gaming Is Less Expensive than PC Gaming
This is a popular one. Everyone seems to think that a console is less expensive than a PC of equal performance, but this simply is not true. It used to be, in the era of the PS360 and in the years before, but nowadays one can build performance-oriented gaming at the same price (or lower) as the latest consoles.
Even if consoles were better from a hardware standpoint, they certainly aren’t from a game-pricing standpoint. PC gamers have access to multiple online storefronts which results in fairly competitive pricing. Games rarely, if ever, stay at $60 for long on a platform like Steam, and even when they do they go on massive sales quite frequently. Console gamers, meanwhile, are left with buying from retail (whose idea of sales are laughable in comparison) or downloading from their manufacturers, who have no incentive to lower prices since you can only buy the games from them.
$100 on a console can buy you one new AAA game and a yesteryear AAA game from a year or two back, if you’re lucky. $100 on Steam, especially during the Winter Sale, can buy you recent AAA releases for as low as $30 a pop.
All Free-to-Play Games Are Pay-to-Win
A lot of free-to-play games, and even premium titles, can be pay-to-win. Pay-to-win is a term which means games where users are required to pay microtransactions in order to stay on an even playing field with other players. This is an unfortunate stigma on the genre that keeps people away from otherwise great games.
A few games that aren’t pay-to-win that come to mind are:
- Team Fortress 2. All gameplay-effecting weapons can be earned just by playing, and no weapons are direct upgrades to stock
- DOTA 2, another Valve title, which follows a similar pricing scheme, with money only required for cosmetics that don’t affect gameplay
- Hearthstone, a card game from Blizzard
- Quake Live, a free-to-play, updated version of Quake 3, a classic arena shooter
These are just a few that come to mind, as games I happen to play. There are a lot more out there!
You Have to Spend a Thousand Dollars (or More) to Stay with The Curve
Whether you’re looking at investing in a PS4 Pro to stay with the latest console titles or buying some Alienware PC so you can play 4K in the future, you may be under the mistaken assumption that you need to spend a lot of money to stay in pace with the latest games.
This isn’t true. Even though consoles are getting mid-cycle upgrades, all games on those consoles are required to be playable on both versions of the hardware.
As far as PC gaming goes specifically, you can spend about the same amount on a PS4 Pro as you would on PC parts that, when assembled, perform better or at the same level. The idea that people need to invest in multiple graphics cards and i7s to play their games isn’t based in fact at all. If you’re a PC gamer who wants to stay with the curve without breaking the bank, I recommend taking a look at PCMR’s builds, which are updated regularly.
These gaming myths are a blend of misinformed consumers and deceitful advertising. With any hope, this article has served its purpose: stopping you from buying into that crap and paying for stuff you don’t need.