20 years ago gaming was something that you would witness in the arcade section of a mall or the households of a select few, but over the years the aspect of gaming revolutionized to the point where it is no longer just a hobby or a recreational activity but a full-time profession for many.
The gaming industry has risen in both popularity and magnitude at an exponential rate to a point where it has become of the major industries in the world-spanning and gaining reputation in the world of sports, finances, and technology. Gaming is no longer a subcategory but an entire topic of its own.
Why has gaming evolved so rapidly?
The concept of constantly evolving technology applies to everything around us, from the food we eat, the way we communicate to the games we play. The advances in technology have enabled developers to reach new heights on the development of software; the latest generation of graphical units and processors can run games on the latest game engines in a scope incomparable to the generations behind it. When you look at the changes in video games from the start of the last decade, one can notice that some of the best titles from the early 2010s cannot even be put on par with an average game from the year 2020. Games have larger player bases, more reach through social media, and the aspect of online gaming has further boosted its success.
Multiplayer games are now more commonly referred to as Esports. Esports has grown to become a sport that is now included in the Olympics. With events being held that gather crowds as big as the Super Bowl filling up entire arenas and Soccer stadiums, and with online audiences that add up to hundreds of millions of viewers per event, competitive gaming is no longer a pastime but a full-fledged business. With these professional players growing in popularity, younger players and aspiring new gamers look up to them as role models and follow their path to reach the top of the gaming ladder.
Read also: Do it with friends: why games are better IRL
PC vs PlayStation Gaming
For as long as we can remember the battle for being the best has raged between the PC and the PlayStation enterprise. Both these heavyweights have gone toe to toe every year with new releases and exclusives to gain the upper hand in their recurring struggle. The PC has always stood out as the innovative big brother in the world of gaming, bringing out fresh ideas and concepts and constantly pushing the boundaries whereas the Playstation took the role of casualization. The Playstation spends most of its efforts to make the concept of gaming more affordable and simplistic to the casual gamer, bringing in the unit to the living room where it can be played on the comfort of one’s couch.
What is good about the Playstation 5?
The Playstation 5 belongs to the next generation of consoles that fall along in line after the PS4. Expected to come out into stores at the end of 2020, the console caused quite a stir when its specifications and design was initially released to the public. The Playstation 5 for once looked to be in par with what’s provided by the PCs of the time. Here, we will take a moment to ponder over what is new with the Playstation and what makes the Playstation 5 a “ first choice “ for a gamer rather than being a cheaper and a more casual alternative to go with.
Better bang for your buck
The Playstation as always is the most cost-efficient purchase for a gamer that just wants to lay back after a day’s work to enjoy. The PS5 is noted to start at a healthy price of $499 which is pretty affordable for most users. An equivalent PC that holds up to the price of the PS5 would not come cheap. The GPU that is used in the PS5 is equivalent to a 2070 Super or even better as it has more teraflops than the latter, its CPU would be comparable to a Ryzen 3700x all of which does not come cheap and is not achievable on a PC that has a build budget of $499.
Specifications for the PS5
- AMD Zen 2-based CPU that has 8 cores with a rating of 3.5 GHz
- 16GB of DDR6 memory
- A customized RDNA 2 AMD GPU that rivals the 2070 super with 0.28 TFLOPs of processing power
Probably the biggest selling point of the PS5 till now is its support for 4K graphics. The PS5 notably can run games that support 4k visuals comfortably with an impressive 60 frames per second. This is pretty significant as the PS4 barely supported 60 FPS on most titles and ran others at 45 to 30 frames per second.
The PS5 is one of the more prominent consoles in the market which means every gaming title for the next 5 years to come will most likely get a PS5 release. This means in the context of gaming you are pretty much set for a comfortable time before an upgrade is considered necessary.
Optimized and Exclusive games
Every game that gets released for the PS5 is always optimized by the developer to run on the hardware without any complications. Unlike PC builds that are uncountable in combinations, there are only a few select models when it comes to the Playstation, which makes it easier for developers to tailor a game to match its specific hardware configurations. If you buy a title for the Playstation you can run it with little to no tweaks required.
Certain games are exclusives for the Playstation and do not get released for other platforms. If you are someone that is looking forward to these titles then it may be of your best interest to own a PS5.
Availability of hard copy or game disks
Game disks are a massive advantage for console users as it means that one does not have to painstakingly download huge loads of data to install a game. Gamers can get the base game off a local store or order online, minimizing the amount of downloading required. This is a big relief for gamers in more rural areas or for one’s in developing countries that do not have high download speeds or massive data plans.
HDMI 2.1 support
The new PS5 supports HDMI 2.1, which may go unnoticed by many who look into the model but is in fact a very big deal. HDMI 2.1 essentially means that the console can pump out 48 gigabits per second when it is paired with an Ultra-high-speed HDMI cable, this is a notable increase as the HDMI 2.0 can go only as high as 18 gigabits. With the HDMI 2.1 port, the console can make maximum use of its power and easily support 120 frames per second on the newer televisions that have a 120Hz refresh rate. HDMI 2.1 essentially means users can get up to 120fps on titles that support it and lower latency on screens because of the higher bandwidth provided.
The two versions of PS5
Playstation has famously released two separate versions for its console, one known as the Digital version and another known as a Non-Digital version. The only major difference between the two is that the Digital version lacks a Disk drive, which means it can not run media through the 4K UHD Blu-ray disc drive. This essentially means that any Playstation disks(PS4 and earlier) you may have or may receive might have to be discarded as it cannot be run on the newer console due to it lacking a disk. However, it does not mean that it is not backward compatible; all games can be downloaded through its store to run on its internal memory.
Why go with a PC build?
The PC is known as the father of modern gaming for a big reason, it is, without doubt, the most powerful and versatile platform to date. The PC offers its users something much more than a platform to play games on; with a powerful build, the limits are endless. The PC is the platform of choice for most streamers, and if you are someone that likes certain Esports titles such as League of Legends, Dota, Valorant, and CSGO, then having a PC is pretty much a necessity rather than being a choice. Here we will look at the pros of owning a PC build to play your video games at the start of the decade;
The biggest selling point when it comes to PC gaming and without doubt the most important one. A PC completely upgradeable, when a newer and better upgrade comes for the PC users can just replace the specific part of the PC that got an upgrade( Considering the build supports a generation upgrade) instead of replacing the entire thing.
This was experienced by PC users when Nvidia released its latest 3000 series. The 3000 series is what many would call a generation leap, as it provided almost double the power for almost half the price. The 3000 series includes 3 RTX cards namely the 3070, 3080, and 3090 which are the second generation of RTX graphics cards. The cheapest of the 3000 series is the 3070 which starts at $500, but before we call it cheap, the 3070 is equivalent to the 2080 Ti; which is priced at a whopping $1500 and was considered the most high-end card for a gamer. The massive 3090 GPU is an overkill for a gamer, as it is capable of running games at resolutions as high as 8K with a godlike frame rate of 60.
This alone shows how much has changed in the world of PC gaming in the span of a single generation of GPUs. To be fair, the release of the Nvidia 3000 series almost made the PS5’s buy point in terms of power almost obsolete.
Sheer volume of games
This is debatable but at the point of this article’s birth, the PC holds supreme in this aspect. The PC has thousands and thousands of games to date which can all be run with a little bit of tweaking considering that you have a sufficiently powerful build. From stores such as Steam, Epic games to origin, the choices are plenty and abundant.
Owning a PC means that everything is fully customizable to your liking. You can plan out a budget with parts that add up to meet your expectations, downgrading where necessary instead of investing unnecessarily. PC users can easily tweak their games to make it match their build and for them to get the performance they need; some prefer have 240 Fps with mid-level graphics whereas others might like 144FPS with more detail while the rest might want 60 FPS with brilliant effects, it is all do-able when you are on a PC.
No downgrades on games
As the console ages, it will have difficulty running the newest titles which are being released. Since the console cannot be upgraded, developers have to frequently downgrade games in terms of graphics and quality and even put a cap on the frame rate to make it playable. These issues do not occur on the PC as long as you have a build that supports the game, and if it does not, users can always upgrade their rigs without difficulty.
Most competitive gaming titles such as CSGO, League of Legends, Valorant and countless more are exclusive for the PC. If you are interested in the competitive aspect of gaming and hoping to go professional then an investment on a PC might be a worthy choice.
Cons of modern-day gaming
Now that we have looked at the pros and advantages of going with either a PS5 or a PC build, we can look at the cons and the difficulties users have to face when opting to go with either of these gaming platforms.
1. Expensive builds
PC or PS5, gaming is expensive. A good PC build that can fully utilize the RTX aspects of the newer generation graphic cards does not come cheap nor does a good setup that can fully give the gamer the immersive experience of the PS5.
- A standard RTX build starts at around $1500 to date, and can even go as high as $2500 to 3000 depending on the extent of features you are not willing to give up.
- A good Playstation setup, which includes a good-sized 4k UHD TV would come to be around $700 minimum. Not to mention the monthly subscription for PS live adds up over time.
2. Slow internet speeds/ Small data plans
Not everyone has fiber or high download speeds, so if you are someone who is affected by this then heavy downloads are going to be a major issue. This does not affect console users to a certain degree as they have the option of picking a hardcopy of a game from a local store but PC gamers no longer have the liberty of doing this as hardcopies of PC games are no longer around.
PC gamers have to get their games through online stores such as battle.net, steam, Epic Games, and Origin, which ultimately means they have to download massive game files over the internet; for reference, Call of Duty Warzone is over 200GB and requires a download of almost 120GB.
3. Region Locks
Certain third world countries may not have access to games that need to be purchased/downloaded online through the internet. This may be due to region locks(China) or political issues(North Korea).
This sums up our article on the heated debate that has been going since the dawn of 2020, which is better: the PS5 or PC? A topic that is quite volatile, as the world of gaming and technology advances and changes at a rapid rate; what is feasible today might not be so tomorrow. So it is best to keep a close eye on it before making a decision.