For at least five years now, the media has been sounding the death knell of the console. Every new generation of Xbox is, we are reliably told, the last, and PC and mobile gaming will send consoles into the same pit of obsolescence that has all but consumed handhelds. But to paraphrase Mark Twain, the reports of the console’s death have been greatly exaggerated.
Back when the first consoles came out, they were aimed at the same under-18 demographic as the handhelds, and if that was still the case, they might well have gone the same way. But today, people of all ages enjoy console gaming, and adult gamers are as likely to play FIFA on their Xbox as to check out popular casino games or brain-teasing puzzles on their smartphones. There is room for multiple platforms, and for many games, the console represents a better choice than anything else.
The best multiplayer experience
Have you tried sitting around a PC playing a game with friends? It’s possible, but with a single keyboard, a limited number of USB ports and hardware issues getting everything to work, it doesn’t make for the best experience. There’s also the question of physical comfort when you are all trying to get a good view of the screen – but of course that also applies to single person gaming, which brings us on to the next point.
Playing from your sofa
It’s often said that gaming is as popular a pastime as watching a movie or catching a boxset on Netflix. When you do the latter, it’s typically in a comfortable seat, curled up on the sofa with a drink and snacks to hand. Who wants to sit gaming at a desk or hunched over a phone screen? Console gaming lets you sit back in comfort with the controller and relax, and if you are playing with others, everyone has the best seat in the house.
Better game control
OK so there is a degree of subjectivity here, and some people swear by keyboard controls for certain games. It’s safe to say they are in the minority, though, and the Xbox controller is ergonomically designed for ease of use. It is certainly far more intuitive for those who are new to a game and want to get up to speed without having to learn a dozen keyboard shortcuts first. There are even special controllers that can open up the world of gaming to those with limited mobility.
It’s cheaper as well as better
If you are still not convinced, there are basic financial reasons to choose console gaming over PC. You’ll still get change out of $300 for a new Xbox One, and with Christmas coming, expect to see some special deals from the big retailers that will make it even cheaper. They will also throw in a couple of games to get you started. A decent gaming PC will cost more than twice that – and that’s before you’ve invested in peripherals to cobble together some sort of multi-player functionality.