Video games have come a long way since the likes of Atari’s “Pong”, a kind of two-dimensional table-tennis game that at the time seemed like an incredible innovation. In the next decade of the 1980s, video games really took off, with titles such as Pac-Man and Donkey Kong becoming household names. These could be played at home on a personal computer, or played on a dedicated games console. In the 70s and 80s such consoles didn’t attract the audiences they have today, although 1977’s Atari 2600 and 1983’s Nintendo Entertainment System were proof for the industry that indeed these machines could be a mainstay in any house. But some people it seems won’t touch a games console.
Why is that? That’s what we’ll find out today, in this episode of the Infographics Show, PC Gamers vs Console Gamers. First of all, we are not saying it’s a matter of if you prefer one to the other and don’t crossover from time to time, but it does seem that gamers to an extent have a preference.
Let’s take a look at some statistics. The global video games market in 2018 is said to be worth in the region of 82.44 billion dollars. It’s expected to go over 90 billion by the time 2020 comes around. This was according to the website Statistica.
A Global Games Market Report shared different results, stating that the entire global games market by 2020 would reach $143.5 billion. The mobile games market alone in 2017 was said to be worth just over $50 billion. As for the PC market and the console market, they were almost neck and neck, with expected revenues for the former being $32.3 billion and the latter $33.3 billion.
Such high growth in the industry was mainly down to the Chinese, U.S. and Japanese markets. According to the same report, which was widely cited, it seems PC gaming – including a small part of people playing in the browser – and console gaming will stay neck and neck in terms of market share for the next few years to come. It’s anyone’s guess exactly how many gamers there are in the world. Are we counting someone who bought a console and hardly ever played it, or someone who is glued to their PC day and night.
For that reason, it’s difficult to say how many gamers there are out there. We can find some industry statistics that tell us in 2016 there were 1.8 billion active gamers in the world. The 2017 Global Games Market Report tells us that it was 2.2 billion active gamers that year, with the lion’s share of players using mobile and tablet. Again, statistics differ, but it’s thought that more people play games on a PC than a dedicated console. It’s said to be around 62% of gamers use a PC, while 56% use a console. This is not a split.
It just means 62% of gamers in the world play on a PC, and some of those will also play games on a console. But why do more people prefer PC-gaming? Well, there are a whole host of reasons we can find.
We’ll give you a short rundown: The main reason, and it seems this is the reason why most hardcore gamers prefer the PC, is the power of the machine. Your PC packs a punch in terms of hardware, and this means better graphics and smoother playing. This, however, comes at a cost, and is likely the reason many players are content with what their console provides. Still, you can save some money playing on the PC, too, as you might have to pay extra when using a console to play multiplayer games. It all adds up.
Another main reason people prefer the PC, and another way you can save money after paying for your powerful and expensive machine, is by getting your hands on cheaper games. The Steam platform, for instance, regularly has sales that are much more enticing than console game sales. Not only that, but you have a much wider selection of games to buy. The one feather in the console hat here is that some games for, say Playstation, are exclusive to the console so you can’t get them for PC. These games are often very popular. We might also add here that there are PC-only games, too.
There are also a bunch of other reasons, such as you can control games on the PC in all kinds of ways. For some games it might be easier to play with a mouse, and if it’s not then just connect your controller. At the same time, when you have a PC you might be able to modify the game, which could mean enhancing graphics or adding special content. Now, let’s look at these super-powerful consoles out there. Yes, we know they are being called the best ever made, but you know full well that not long from now another best ever made will appear on the market and your old console will end up online for sale.
That’s not the same with your PC, because it’s easy to upgrade and won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Your PC has staying power. So, in the end all that money you saved buying a console may not be such a good thing when you take all this into account. Over time, especially if you are a dedicated gamer, spending big on a PC might not be such a bad idea.
But now let’s take a look at some forums and see what you thought about this. Browsing through various threads where this question was asked, it seems players mirrored much of what we have just said. Most people prefer PC for the freedom of control you have, backwards compatibility, better graphics, modifications, and some say the fact their PC is just more accessible. As for the few that chose console, they said the exclusives for their machine were things they just couldn’t live without. A few other respondents we found said they just liked the simplicity of a console.
Another respondent that didn’t really add to the debate, but we like his answer, said, “Started on consoles, grew up on consoles, now getting older on consoles, will die on consoles.” Actually, we could find quite a few people that said they started on consoles but have since moved to PC…and that they would never go back. In fact, it doesn’t matter where you look, it seems PC gaming aficionados give pretty much the same reasons. Perhaps one of the more original points someone made was that he said the PC online gaming community was more mature and less annoying than the often younger players that use consoles.
Another person added that the PC community was thriving, welcoming and kind. Just to turn that around, one supporter of console gaming said on PC there are way too many “elitists”. There is actually a big debate out there as to who is the more skilled and mature gamer, with PC gamers seeming to say they take that prize. Some people divide gamers between elites and peasants, but that seems more of a joke.
Still, some gamers take it seriously. The best thing we can do now is turn this over to you and get your thoughts on the matter. Which do you prefer? PC games or console games? Let us know in the comments. Also, be sure to check out our other video called Minecraft vs Roblox!
Thanks for watching, and, as always, don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe. See you next time!