Why your next generation console should be a PC | PCGamesN

Spooky Races: Project CARS gets a Halloween trailer

First blood in the World of Warcraft Arena World Championship will be shed next week

Dark Souls 2 is the Golden Joystick Awards' Game of the Year

Why your next generation console should be a PC

Join usssss. The skyboxes really are this blue.

There are some new boxes of electronics coming that sit under your TV and claim to play games. They’re also television cable boxes and will watch you sleep/kiss your partner/touch yourself.

Instead of buying one of those, you should buy a PC. Here’s why.

It’s not a monoculture

The gradual erosion of consumer rights that’s taken place since the advent of broadband has not been pleasant. Gamers are worse off than they were ten years ago. This is true on PC and console.

What’s taking place with the XBox One and PS4 is that the console manufacturers are catching up to the digital rights licensing that PC gamers have been coming to terms with since Steam debuted. The details of what Microsoft have proposed (and I believe Sony will have a similar schemes) is different - better in some ways, worse in others - but it’s broadly the same. You have permission to play your game if you buy a copy of it. That permission is granted unless we decide it isn’t. We’ll grant you access on our terms. And while we’ll try and give you a fair stab at reselling your games, it’s not entirely aligned with our business, so it’s probably best you just accept that it’s not going to happen because we’ll be able to withdraw that feature when we feel like it.

But there’s a difference between Steam and the consoles: Steam is a closed system on an open platform. Steam’s platform dominance isn’t complete. Steam has to compete with other services for your custom. Steam isn’t the only game shop in town. 

Game prices are driven downwards as retailers compete. And alternatives spring up: Good Old Games offers DRM free games for sale. Humble delivers astonishing deals on a weekly basis. There are very, very big games that won’t touch Valve’s platform, like League of Legends, Minecraft, World of Warcraft and World of Tanks. 

What’s clear is that many of the consumer rights we as gamers take for granted will fall away as publishers, manufacturers and developers dream up new ways to control access to their product. Government and enforcement cannot keep pace, and has shown zero interest in reinforcing those rights. The only mechanism to have an effect is through consumer choice. 

There is no choice on an Xbox One or a PS4. There is choice on PC.

Backwards compatibility comes as standard

If you’d have bought your third party games on PC, not only would you be able to play them on your new PC, they’d be better. It’s not just backwards compatibility: think of the side compatibility benefits. Your game library can exist over multiple machines and form factors. You can have a PC in an office, bedroom or den, or under a television, and a laptop, and in a few years time, an affordable Haswell powered tablet with broadly the same specifications as an Xbox One. Your game library is guaranteed to work across all these machines. And any future machines you buy. 

Imagine that: being able to buy a game, and then play it forever.

Login or Register
Alienware - Game VictoriousNvidia Shield - Titanfall
Guild Wars 2: Tyria prepares for war with the return of the Living World Season 2

Guild Wars 2

Guild Wars 2: Tyria prepares for war with the return of the Living World Season 2

Spooky Races: Project CARS gets a Halloween trailer

Spooky Races: Project CARS gets a Halloween trailer

First blood in the World of Warcraft Arena World Championship will be shed next week

First blood in the World of Warcraft Arena World Championship will be shed next week

Dark Souls 2 is the Golden Joystick Awards' Game of the Year

Dark Souls 2 is the Golden Joystick Awards' Game of the Year

League of Legends is close to making $1 billion from microtransactions this year

League of Legends is close to making $1 billion from microtransactions this year

Outlast 2 is in development; stock up on clean underwear

Outlast 2 is in development; stock up on clean underwear

Stockholm Syndrome: Why Scandinavia loves DreamHack

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

Stockholm Syndrome: Why Scandinavia loves DreamHack

Those crazy system requirements for Assassin's Creed Unity have been confirmed by Ubisoft

Those crazy system requirements for Assassin's Creed Unity have been confirmed by Ubisoft

The Witcher 3's opening cinematic shows why you don't get into staring contests with crows

The Witcher 3's opening cinematic shows why you don't get into staring contests with crows

Football Manager 2014 has been played for 23,000 years, and that’s not including the pirates

Football Manager 2014 has been played for 23,000 years, and that’s not including the pirates

Phonopath turns you into an audio codebreaker

Phonopath turns you into an audio codebreaker

Shelter 2 trailer makes survival look gorgeous while being totally harrowing

Shelter 2 trailer makes survival look gorgeous while being totally harrowing

Civilization: Beyond Earth review

Civilization: Beyond Earth

Civilization: Beyond Earth review

Flak in the USSR: World of Warplanes 1.6 introduces new Russian jets, more airspace

Flak in the USSR: World of Warplanes 1.6 introduces new Russian jets, more airspace

Codemasters' Toybox Turbos offers kitchen table careening in the mode of Micro Machines

Codemasters' Toybox Turbos offers kitchen table careening in the mode of Micro Machines

Riot chase down League of Legends hackers;

Riot chase down League of Legends hackers; "Every player to trigger this exploit will be punished"

Blizzard to deploy Australian servers for World of Warcraft ahead of Warlords of Draenor

Blizzard to deploy Australian servers for World of Warcraft ahead of Warlords of Draenor

What to do in Assassin's Creed Unity's Paris: Murder, stealing and a bit of detective work

What to do in Assassin's Creed Unity's Paris: Murder, stealing and a bit of detective work

Warframe Archwing update turns you into a rocket-powered space ninja

Warframe

Warframe Archwing update turns you into a rocket-powered space ninja

Take a free weekend break in Arma 3

Take a free weekend break in Arma 3

WildStar's Carbine Studios loses over 60 staff in NCSoft

WildStar's Carbine Studios loses over 60 staff in NCSoft "restructuring"

Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty will come to PC

Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty will come to PC "as soon as possible", and a beta is being considered

Look at Dark Souls 2 through new eyes with the first-person mod

Look at Dark Souls 2 through new eyes with the first-person mod

3D Realms rises from the grave with a 32-game anthology

3D Realms rises from the grave with a 32-game anthology