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.