Gaming PCs vs consoles

Consoles including the PS4, Xbox One and Wii U are making their respective waves in the gaming market but PCs are still much better for getting that headshot, beating the boss or setting fastest lap time.

Every few years we get a new raft of gaming consoles and these days is Microsoft vs Sony vs Nintendo with the Xbox One, PS4 and Wii U. In many ways they're great bits of kit but long live the PC because it still pwns the lot on numerous levels.

Read: Should I buy a next-gen console: Is the PS4 and Xbox One worth it?

PCs vs Consoles: Upgradability

The so called next-gen consoles are powerful, with the PS4 and Xbox One wielding almost identical and respectful hardware line-ups. But you can't upgrade a certain piece as time, and more importantly, technology moves on. With a PC, you have the freedom of easily swapping parts when new and better ones come along; whether that's a CPU, memory module, graphics card or something else. I haven't upgraded my rig in a good couple of years but it's still flying. See all gaming PC reviews.

Graphics card upgrade

PCs vs Consoles: Flexibility

Consoles have some great apps with which to access content like Netflix or BBC iPlayer but it's always a case of being limited to what's on offer – there're always going to be apps you want but can't get.

Is this the case if you're gaming on a PC? No. Open your web browser and the possibilities are endless. What the heck, why not get a second monitor and watch the latest episode of Game of Thrones while you game?

Yes, consoles have web browsers but they're still slow, clunky and frustratingly difficult to use with a controller.

Xbox One and PS4 consoles

What's more is that you don't get charged for the privilege of accessing this content. Consoles may be cheaper than a decent gaming rig but who wants to pay an annual fee for Xbox Live Gold or Playstation Plus - £40 per year. In Microsoft's example, you'll need to pay just to play online multiplayer.

If you're not gaming or watching catch-up TV on your PC then there's plenty more it can do. You don't need me to tell you that you can get your work done, edit photos and video and check your email.

99 percent of the time, I prefer gaming with a mouse and keyboard but if you're not like me PCs still have the option of alternatives with a massive range of third party peripherals and accessories. They're typically cheaper than their console counterparts too.

Who can be bothered to change a disc these days anyway and let's add another couple of word into the mix: backwards compatibility. See also: How to play PS3 games on PS4: Is it possible?

PCs vs Consoles: Cheaper games

Not only can you pretty much guarantee that a game is going to be released on PC – cross-platform launches will rarely leave out Windows – but the games are also a great deal cheaper. Read: Xbox One vs PS4 comparison.

Games have gradually got more expensive over the years and we've reached a point where buying a game on launch day or shortly afterwards means you're bank balance is going to take a £50 hit. Of course, some games are cheaper but we're talking big titles which you'll want to get your hands-on.

For example, Watch_Dogs which is set to be a hit for Ubisoft is £47.99 on consoles and a comparatively cheap £30 for PC gamers. Another example is Wolfenstein: The New Order which is £26 on PC but you'll have to pay £37 for old consoles and £47 for next-gen.

PC games are cheaper

Furthermore, some games are as much as half price or better on PC against consoles with the freshly launched Lego The Hobbit a prime example. It's £37.99 on Xbox One but just £16 on PC. I could go on but hopefully I've made the point.

Not only are the games cheaper but there are many great games which are free to play including titles such as Team Fortress 2 and Heroes of Newerth.

I own multiple consoles and while I love them (I can't wait to get Mario Kart 8), the PC just still can't be beaten overall.