Alienware argues consoles are becoming more and more like PCs

By on June 27, 2013, 3:30 PM
sony, microsoft, pcs, alienware, gaming, playstation 4, gaming console, xbox one

The announcement of next generation consoles from Microsoft and Sony has already helped reignite a gaming industry that has been stagnant for some time. Gamers around the globe are looking forward to what the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 can deliver in terms of graphical performance and innovation but according to Alienware general manager Frank Azon, these new consoles aren’t exactly reinventing the wheel.

In fact, upcoming systems from Microsoft and Sony are simply becoming more like another established gaming platform: the PC. Azon implied that the PC is the ultimate gaming platform and that the two console makers are simply borrowing concepts from the PC and putting them into a package for the living room.

He backs up this theory by pointing out that next generation consoles have PC internals like an AMD CPU, AMD graphics and even a standard desktop hard drive. Digital downloads and the ability to stream television shows and movies are all ideas that were implemented on the PC years ago.

All of Azon’s sticking points are valid, but perhaps he is overlooking one key factor that has led to the success of consoles thus far. That metric, of course, is price. With a next generation console purchase, you’re ensured years of gameplay for your $400-$500 investment but with a PC, you’re looking at somewhere around $600 on the budget side just to get started with moderate graphics.

If you want the full visual experience, be prepared to pay at least that much just for a graphics card. Oh, and note that your setup will pretty much be obsolete within a few years at which time you’ll need to shell out even more money just to keep pace with the Joneses.




User Comments: 31

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1 person liked this | soldier1969 soldier1969 said:

Which isn't a problem keeping up with the Joneses for us PC gamers because we are adults and have jobs and spend what it takes to keep up with the graphics and games to run them at high settings. Consoles to me are always outdated the day of release, they work for the kids but not for me. I game at 2560 x 1600 max settings there is no substitute for that.

SirGCal SirGCal said:

Well, DUH... They should have been all along. The last versions were glorified PCs, just specialized versions of said. But I have totally reasonable gaming rigs for the console prices. Then again my big gaming rig no console for the next decade could dream of coming close to...

1 person liked this | MilwaukeeMike said:

With a next generation console purchase, you?re ensured years of gameplay for your $400-$500 investment but with a PC, you?re looking at somewhere around $600 on the budget side just to get started with moderate graphics.

Sure PCs can cost more but you get more too. With a console you get 1920x1080 resolution and that's it. You don't have to spend $600 on a card to get great performance on a monitor with that resolution. If you spend $600 you're probably using 3 monitors or at least 1440 lines of resolution. I bought a GTX 260 years ago and it still serves me just fine... because I don't have a high res monitor.

Oh, and note that your setup will pretty much be obsolete within a few years at which time you?ll need to shell out even more money just to keep pace with the Joneses.
. Only if you want to. It's your choice to upgrade, and it's a choice not available to console gamers. I wouldn't call this a problem with PCs, I'd call it a benefit.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I didn't realize there were grounds for arguments. Anyone can see consoles are more PC oriented now, than they were the generation before.

SirGCal SirGCal said:

Well, DUH... They should have been all along. The last versions were glorified PCs, just specialized versions of said. But I have totally reasonable gaming rigs for the console prices. Then again my big gaming rig no console for the next decade could dream of coming close to...

I mean the 360 itself was basically a powerPC. They are all 'PCs' in some flavor. Keep it simpler for the developers and keep it easier and make the games better. That's what I say. instead of this damn game stagnation we've seen so much of lately.

spydercanopus spydercanopus said:

Just add a mouse.

m4a4 m4a4 said:

Yup. And because they use standardized hardware and do not become obsolete nearly as soon as an equivalent PC, they will continue to have appeal. They can be more convenient and have the games optimized for them (which for PC they have to take into account too many hardware configurations to optimize anything).

1 person liked this | St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

(which for PC they have to take into account too many hardware configurations to optimize anything).

Wrong. It's just developers being lazy.

Oh, we managed to get this software running on a PC? GOOD ENOUGH!

1 person liked this | MrAnderson said:

Each kind of platform has its own merits. I PC game... I console game.

If Valve would adopt a version of Linux as a basis for a Steam OS with a OpenGL stack and partner with Google and-or Mozilla for a pure HTML5 and related technologies web experience... they could probably do something interesting in this transitioning PC in the living room market. The only obstacle would be convincing big publishers to port games over, build new IP on the platform, and perhaps Valve not having enough engineers with expertise in OS development for a gaming console.

I'm sure if such a platform is kept open, indie devs would come running. They could be the Amazon of games and perhaps even other content. ::end dream sequence :: =P

VrsTech VrsTech said:

This is just another path to marge everything together in the future.. one day everything will be in one box next to your water heater, will you can do it now actually wireless keyboard,mouse and HDMI boxes, it will be like a small cloud in your home it will be streaming everything to one unit.. Graphic and speed will hit a limit and the next big thing is VR..

jeffz6 said:

Im just sick on over sized crosshairs, huds and text to compensate for the lounge room tv. Im seeing this more on pc games.

St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

Im just sick on over sized crosshairs, huds and text to compensate for the lounge room tv. Im seeing this more on pc games.

Heh, just wait until you game on 2560x1600. A lot of HUDs don't scale.

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

Which isn't a problem keeping up with the Joneses for us PC gamers because we are adults and have jobs and spend what it takes to keep up with the graphics and games to run them at high settings. Consoles to me are always outdated the day of release, they work for the kids but not for me. I game at 2560 x 1600 max settings there is no substitute for that.

Speak for yourself. I've got more important things to spend money on apart from upgrading my rig every 20 minutes (would be nice though). No. I'm not a console person and I won't buy one but I am a PC gamer and I just that I can't justify throwing heaps of cash at something that'll be obsolete by lunchtime today.

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

I can't see what the all the fuss is about. This is essentially becoming a PC vs console thread again. I'm exclusively a PC gamer but to the vast majority of the worlds population the console is the answer and I reluctantly have to agree with them so consoles being x86 PC based seems logical in many ways.

Guest said:

I play games both on consoles and my PC. If a game came out for both the console and PC, odds are that I'm going to buy it on the PC because of the better graphics and usually cheaper price. However, consoles are still a good thing because there will always be games that come out for them that never reach the PC e.g., Uncharted, Halo, Gears of War, God of War.

Better graphics does not equal a better game and that seems to be the only big argument I hear from the PC only crowd. As PC gamers, we should be happy that the new consoles are coming out and are modeled after a pretty strong rig. This will push the developers to do more and maybe in this new generation, the games that come out for both will finally be able to take advantage of the powerful graphics cards we all bought and installed in our PCs.

It's a good thing.

insect said:

Umm. The Atari was a computer... By definition all consoles ever (and arcade games) are computers. They all have contained some sort of input, output, processor, and storage medium.

The difference between a PC and a console is still there though: On a PC, I start it up and it does what I tell it to, no matter what that 'it' is (regardless of it's gaming ability - a raspberry pi can be a PC). With a console, you start it up and it does what it wants to do. The only 'control' you have over it is whatever disk you put into it or what the developers allow you to do with it. If you decide to crack the console and load custom software, now you have a PC again.

Consoles won't be consoles when they let users do whatever they want to them. Until then, they are mid-level PC hardware limited by software 'for the masses' (read: it's easier than a PC and so long as you are ignorant of the limits placed on you, you are happy).

JC713 JC713 said:

Well, there really is nothing consoles can do to advance other than becoming a PC xD.

Guest said:

Speak for yourself. I've got more important things to spend money on apart from upgrading my rig every 20 minutes (would be nice though). No. I'm not a console person and I won't buy one but I am a PC gamer and I just that I can't justify throwing heaps of cash at something that'll be obsolete by lunchtime today.

You serious? "next-gen" consoles were obsolete by lunchtime 3 yeas ago!

Spykezxp Spykezxp said:

I play nothing but PC games now, but I still have consoles hooked up in my house. I would much rather spend a couple hundred dollars every couple years to ensure that I can do what I want with my computer. This gives me the option of selecting the hardware that I want, to get the the performance that I crave. If Sony and Microsoft opened up their consoles with the ability to upgrade hardware, then I may go back. But that is almost guaranteed not to happen.

cmbjive said:

But...console gaming has always been loosely based on PC gaming. The first home games came out on PCs.

I still prefer console gaming. I've never gotten used to using a keyboard, whatever its advantages, and controlling everything on one controller fits my preferences.

1 person liked this | treetops treetops said:

Pcs need to become more like consoles in the sense they need to add split screen multiplayer so you can play with a friend, pc gaming is to anti social

Hammayon Hammayon said:

You pay $600 for two Nvidia 660 ti or Two AMD/ATI 7950 in SLI or Crossfire setup, it won't be absolute in a few years. Yes in a few years the PC graphics performance will practically will double, but the games that will come out with be desigend to utilize the power of PS4 and XBOX one (most pc games being ports). So Techspot you are totally wrong. Because the new consoles are under powered by PC standards, the games will be optimized to be used on these systems, thus PC's wont be fully utilized (except the PC only games).

Building a decent PC rig with the above dual card setup is around $1500 tops (with an SSD, DDR3 RAM, nice case, powersupply etc). But you will have a high end system that will run circles around existing consoles for 10 years. CIRCLES!!!!!!!!!!

But yes, consoles are indeed a poor man's PC. You get good value.

IN THE END, it's really the amount of effort game developers put into their games. not just visual flare, graphical fidelity, but artwork.

And of course, the fun factor. A 6 month in development VS a 2-3 year in development game makes a difference in final product quality.

Guest said:

The main difference between a PC & a console is the amount of players that can be played locally. I think a lot of people with consoles enjoy having a console to play with friends/family in the same room. Most who prefer a PC over a console tend to play with friends online or at a LAN party. A lan party isn't something you just call your buddy over to play for a few hours.

While the console has taken up a lot of features from the PC and the lines have started to get blurred, until there's an easy way to convert your PC to a console-like configuration (hook up to the tv with multiple local controllers), there will always be a valid reason for both to be in the market.

1 person liked this | Guest said:

Computer parts don't become obsolete as often as you think. That's just a state of mind. You believe that because of all the hype that is being passed around by the manufacturers and the media. How often do you upgrade or replace perfectly good working parts on a PC? Isn't the duration between "upgrading" parts the same as the lifespan of a console's generation (remember, upgrade because you have to and not just because you want the latest and greatest)? This article seems to imply that consoles magically get better without any hardware upgrades. The PS4 today will be the same PS4 3-4 years down the road until they come out with a newer revision (It will be a hardware change by the way, sounds familiar to PC?). The reason PCs are considered "obsolete or outdated" is because game manufacturers are pushing their capabilities to the limits. If game manufacturers practice the same methods of designing games for the consoles, then PCs will never have to be upgraded (In case you don't know, console manufacturers have strict performance standards that need to be met in order to issue approval).

1 person liked this | GhostRyder GhostRyder said:

Yea, I didnt feel needs to upgrade unti lrecently when BF3 suffered so hard on my Last machine, I finally upgraded and made a whole new system and bought hte parts in bursts. I did go overboard in some areas, but I dont see needing more than I have for along time. If your happy with the way your machine performs, you should not get pushed into upgrading just because someone tells you to.

Guest said:

If games for consoles can dynamically be better (graphically mainly), then you may have a valid point. Can you imagine buying a console game just to find out that your hardware can't handle the high intensity and you can't do anything about it because you don't have the option to upgrade to better hardware? But... oh yea...you can do that on a PC! Yey!!!

Guest said:

Can't wait for the return of the golden age of PC gaming

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I wish there were a larger selection of single player RPG PC titles with incredible graphics. I'm not a FPS type of gamer, and I've been waiting a long time for a PC game title that really draws my attention.

Guest said:

To those who say consoles are valid because they support for more local controllers... Well, PC has joysticks too. And most PCs have a decent amount of USB ports.

avoidz avoidz said:

Maybe. But console don't get used like PCs.

MrAnderson said:

Im just sick on over sized crosshairs, huds and text to compensate for the lounge room tv. Im seeing this more on pc games.

This is actually what I want! I mean, not something that is statically so... but I think PC developers should provide configuration to change Font size and UI for easier viewing on large screens. To be honest most of my 3rd person action games on my PC I'd rather play console style in my living room. Sometimes even my FPS, I'll play with a wireless mouse and keyboard from my coffee table with my home theater surround sound.

Sometimes I cannot see the text on my PC screen and my vision is pretty good. So, I'm just saying with all they other wonderful configurations offered on PC... Accessibility options should start to become a consideration for developers. This is something that could even be standardized. More and more games use less UI anyway, but when displaying text in a UI or menu... I just say come on! give some options for size at least.

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