Why your next generation console should be a PC | PCGamesN

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
Try these free to play games
?

These are affiliate links - clicking them and playing the games directly supports PCGamesN

Spotlight
?

Our Spotlight units plug content our journalists have made, that our advertisers want to promote. Sometimes the promotion is paid for, but the content they go to is always independent with no client oversight or approval.

Alienware - Game VictoriousTurtle Beach
How Magic Duels: Origins is adapting to the evolution of the digital CCG

Magic Duels

How Magic Duels: Origins is adapting to the evolution of the digital CCG

Star Citizen's executive producer has left Cloud Imperium

Star Citizen's executive producer has left Cloud Imperium

Smite's World Championship prize pool has been capped at $1 million

Smite's World Championship prize pool has been capped at $1 million

Watch Consortium: The Tower Prophecy's striking gameplay teaser

Watch Consortium: The Tower Prophecy's striking gameplay teaser

Ubisoft’s Yves Guillemot: “we learned from the Watch Dogs experience”

Ubisoft’s Yves Guillemot: “we learned from the Watch Dogs experience”

Cloud Imperium Games opens new Frankfurt office for further Star Citizen development

Cloud Imperium Games opens new Frankfurt office for further Star Citizen development

Hai's return to Cloud9 can't stop team's slide as League of Legends team falls to 3-9

League of Legends

Hai's return to Cloud9 can't stop team's slide as League of Legends team falls to 3-9

Dean Hall’s Ion is EVE Online meets Minecraft,  has a “solid road map”

Dean Hall’s Ion is EVE Online meets Minecraft, has a “solid road map”

New EVE Online characters could start with 1-2 months worth of skills already learnt

New EVE Online characters could start with 1-2 months worth of skills already learnt

The Fallout 4 modding scene has already started

The Fallout 4 modding scene has already started

Warhammer: End Times - Vermintide burns fur with its mage class

Warhammer: End Times - Vermintide burns fur with its mage class

Flying Cafe for Semianimals finally has a release date for Cradle; launches July 24th

Flying Cafe for Semianimals finally has a release date for Cradle; launches July 24th

Scary games! The best horror games on PC

Condemned

Scary games! The best horror games on PC

Dawn of War 3 website domain registered by Sega; Relic seemingly involved

Dawn of War 3 website domain registered by Sega; Relic seemingly involved

Microsoft announce Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition; free to all existing PC owners

Microsoft announce Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition; free to all existing PC owners

Telltale preview Minecraft: Story Mode with creeper filled trailer

Telltale preview Minecraft: Story Mode with creeper filled trailer

Weekend Deal Dump: American Freedom Fireworks Day Edition

Weekend Deal Dump: American Freedom Fireworks Day Edition

Sword Coast Legends gameplay: watch a deadly dungeon get built and played through

Sword Coast Legends gameplay: watch a deadly dungeon get built and played through

Making it in Unreal: play as a self-delivering parcel in Unbox

Unbox

Making it in Unreal: play as a self-delivering parcel in Unbox

Find out what The Division's Dark Zone is all about in this story trailer

Find out what The Division's Dark Zone is all about in this story trailer

Dying Light's getting lots of summer events to take your mind off the heat

Dying Light's getting lots of summer events to take your mind off the heat

Slain! is a gothic action platformer that looks like a heavy metal album cover

Slain! is a gothic action platformer that looks like a heavy metal album cover

Card Hunter is on its way to Steam, along with a new expansion and co-op

Card Hunter is on its way to Steam, along with a new expansion and co-op