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A Beginner's Guide to Get Started on Gaming — Part 1: Consoles vs Computers

A Beginner's Guide to Get Started on Gaming — Part 1: Consoles vs Computers

Gaming has become a surprisingly complex hobby to get into in recent years — if you didn't grow up with them, it could be a jarring task to get started. Genres, ratings, consoles, exclusivities, and even controls have grown increasingly complex and making this a very beginner-unfriendly environment. With that in mind, I wanted to write a bit of a beginner's guide for any who want to start but have not been able to get into it; or those who are struggling to who have already begun. The first question I want to answer might be the most controversial: consoles vs computers.

What's the difference?

All Logos PC Nintendo PlayStation Xbox Which One To Choose

There are two different ways you can get into gaming: consoles, such as the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and the Nintendo Switch, or PCs. Although I'm not unbiased in the war of consoles — as I personally very much lean to PC as the superior gaming medium — I will be the first to admit that there are benefits to both that are undeniable.

Choosing the right way to start video gaming isn't as clear-cut as picking one and going for it, as this decision will drastically affect the complexity of your gaming alongside the availability that you have regarding titles. I will lay out the pros and cons of both ways to play videogames and give some tips in order to help you make the most informed decision you can. Starting with…


Which Console to Select Xbox PlayStation Nintendo Logo2

Consoles are split into three different competitors: the Nintendo console, with the current generation being the Nintendo Switch; the Sony console, with the current generation being the PlayStation 5; and the Microsoft console, with the current generation being the Xbox Series X|S. The types and quality of games you will get from the three consoles are wildly varying, and it makes this category a bit more complex than its dominant competitor, PC.

Consoles are the more "accessible" way to enter gaming when it comes to a price tag. We are seeing the trend of last-generation consoles being supported for a long time growing over the last years, meaning that if you aren't keen on playing some modern titles, you'll be able to get away with buying something released years ago at a smaller price.

Although consoles are a great way to get into gaming cheaply, this isn't necessarily the best way to ensure you'll have the top-notch gaming experience you can have. The limited selection that each console has when it comes to which videogames you can play can be limiting and not inviting to someone that is just getting to know their style of gaming. Despite being the accessible approach, you pay dearly in terms of experience when it comes to entering gaming in consoles, though it isn't something immediately noticeable to a newcomer.



Computers are something that a lot of households have handy nowadays — with 47.1% of the global populace having a computer, according to Statista's 2019 report. If you have a computer in your house, you have a gaming device available to start your brand-new hobby... except it's not that easy.

Hardware-savvy readers will know that not every computer can run just about any game, and it brings me to the first issue with PC gaming — it is a fair bit pricier than its competitor. Being able to have a computer that can run a game will be a simple task (with accessible fan favourites like Old School RuneScape still roaming the internet), but that depends heavily on what type of game you'll want to play. Newer, more modern titles (dubbed AAA) will be far more difficult for just anything to run.

Thankfully, PCs can also be an accessible point of entry due to the ability to tweak most games to run on many machines, even the low-spec laptop you got a couple of Christmases ago gathering dust in the closet — I see you.

Alien Ware Laptop Image

Although it is a bit pricier to get into the prestigious PC Master Race and join the ranks of the high-spec gamers, PC has — by a substantial margin — a lot more games to play than any modern console... or all combined. According to Wikipedia, the Nintendo Switch has 4,474 games, the Xbox Series X|S has 389 games, and the PlayStation 5 has 552 games. With all of the current-gen console games added, you have a total selection of 5,415 games to play. Hell, adding in the last generation increases that number to 10,996 total titles across all five consoles (with the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One adding 3,287 and 2,994, respectively), and those numbers are still stomped by Steam, PC's main gaming website, which has already surpassed it's 50,000 game milestone. And these are only the games available there, which ignores all sorts of other launchers.

Now, obviously, you won't need over 50,000 games to play, but the reason this is important is that not only does PC have a wider array of choices for you to find your favourite genre and niche, but it also has some of the previously-exclusive titles to consoles. While you won't be jumping around as Mario anytime soon, Sony has been slowly opening the exclusivity doors to PC, allowing new games to release on the platform and giving even more fantastic titles that you could only previously enjoy on PlayStation consoles.

Best of all is that PC, although more expensive at entry-level, can be far less so once you’ve started up and made the initial investment, as you will start being able to save your money due to various sales that happen throughout the year and in various storefronts — a rare occurrence in consoles. This means that you can save upwards of 75% on older AAA titles, and even enjoy indie games for just a few bucks each, while consoles will often ask full price for all games, with sales being an extremely rare occurrence.

Which one is better?

Steam Deck Image

Again, I'm not going to pretend to be unbiased: I severely lean towards PC on this aspect, but that does not mean that it is the end-all for a lot of gamers. That being said, although most of the arguments for consoles have been in terms of accessibility monetary-wise, a new contender — Valve's Steam Deck — comes to mind. This handheld console became a gamer favourite in months due to its accessibility and capability to run most games available on Steam.

Considering the entry of the console’s latest hybrid competitor, the Steam Deck, and the addition of sales for PC, I — personally — think it’s a no-brainer to start your gaming journey by going to PC. Although you’ll miss out on some fantastic titles that are console exclusive, you’d also miss out on some of the internet’s beloved titles by going to a console, such as World of WarcraftLeague of Legends, and a vast range of indie titles only available to PC.

If you're torn between the two, then I'd suggest giving the Steam Deck a try first — this has become the perfect middle ground to be able to both enjoy the massive library that PC offers whilst having the accessibility that consoles have. Or, if you already have a computer at your house, then it's worth giving your old machine a shot and seeing which games it can run — it might just surprise you.

If you have any questions about this topic, feel free to leave them in the comments and I will answer them to the best of my knowledge!

Artura Dawn

Artura Dawn

Staff Writer

Writes in her sleep, can you tell?

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Steve - 03:55pm, 5th April 2023

You left out the reason I went with console over PC. I work from home on my computer. I already have enough trouble keeping work and life from bleeding into one another. As a small step toward enforcing that, I want my gaming in a different room (the living room vs. the office) with a different interface (handheld controller vs. keyboard and mouse). For me, choosing console over PC was a no-brainern it was just a matter of choosing which. I've had my console for four years now, and while I've occasionally felt some yearning for a title that will likely never release on my platform (something PC players are not immune to), I've never been short of interesting, engaging games I want to play. And I've put in a lot of hours over these past 4 years, playing over 75 single-player games (which I prefer) through rolling end credits. 

Artura Dawn
Artura Dawn - 04:05pm, 5th April 2023 Author

Hi Steve!

This is actually a great comment, and I thank you for that! In my experience, I haven't had that particular issue of my hobby and work getting intertwined, so it wasn't something I took into account! But it's definitely an interesting point of view I did not consider.

As I said in the article, these sorts of things are always controversial, with everyone having different arguments for their preference, and I appreciate that you gave a new viewpoint and did so concisely and (most importantly) calmly! As in the article, I do suggest you one day consider the possibility of a Steam Deck, as I hope that'll satiate your yearning for titles that won't leave the platform! ????