Games Inbox: Is a gaming PC better than a console? –

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Gaming PC
Better than a console?

The Monday Inbox looks forward to a surprisingly busy summer of new game releases, as one reader is pleased to see the return of Moss.

To join in with the discussions yourself email

Going PC
I really found it interesting the other day about now being the time to get a PC and I agree.

Now, not trying to start a debate or anything here. I have had many, many consoles over the years. I grew up with the Mega Drive/SNES, I have had most consoles you can think of, and I never dreamed I’d get into PCs. I was always a console guy till I turned 21 and got my first PC. I’m 38 now and I’ve had about four PCs over that time. Bit like Trigger’s broom, same casing, different hardware inside!

Yes, building it can cost a bit but to be honest if you just want a solid frame rate and not 4L, etc., which I am not fussed about, I built my upgraded system for about £700 with a Ryzen 7 32GB RAM and GeForce GTX 1660 Super, and Creative Z soundcard – does the job no problem. Also, as stated before, PC games are so cheap now it’s insane. GOG are giving away the original Witcher for free this week and Steam always have sales.

Yes, Steam is DRM and so is Origin, Epic, etc. but other sites aren’t and I have amassed over 600+ games so far. Now I known, you’re thinking they’re all digital, yes, but unlike consoles half of them are DRM free so that means I can burn them to disk and move them on to my next PC, etc.

I never thought I would be a PC gamer back in the day of PlayStation 1 and 2 but now that’s all I have, apart from my old Xbox 360 and 3DS.

Of course, there are pros and cons on both sides. One of the pros with PC is modding, just look up the Thomas the Tank Engine Skyrim dragon on YouTube, one of the funniest videos and there so many indie games too.

Okay now I’ll explain a couple of cons just to balance the argument: cheating is easier due to hacking and modding, Windows can be restrictive, Steam and Epic Games aren’t DRM free, and hardware at present is costly.

But there is pros and cons everywhere. I have played some amazing titles on PC lately and a lot are very small developers. A couple of examples: Stardrew Valley (Full of mods and the creator encourages it), Bleeding Moon, Haven, and Graveyard Keeper.

My point is PCs are great way to play and save money in the long term!

The spice of life
I’ve had a Game Pass subscription for a while so that is sitting happily on it and there’s a lot of games available to me… which is great. What’s different, and it is down to people mentioning the Microsoft Rewards system in the Inbox, is the variety of games I’m playing. As part of the daily/weekly/monthly reward points available you have to do things like log in to the Game Pass app, download games from the app, play a certain number of games per week/month, etc.

So that combined with your reviews (of course) have pointed me in the right direction of some great games I may not have otherwise played (I’ve been playing Destiny 2 recently, almost exclusively as the drop-in and play for ½ hour suits the time I have available with work and family).

It’s allowed me to play some great indie games (Ori And The Will Of the Wisps, Carrion, Unravel, and Limbo have all been great… although Limbo does love to kill you a little too much at times!), as well as the bigger budget games (Outriders, Battlefield 5, Doom Eternal, and Forza Horizon 4). Even have a few games queued up on there for when they are released (Psychonauts 2). It’s been great for showing the graphical quality of what this new generation can produce… as well as dipping in to play some older games.

Anyway… I’m enjoying the variety rather than getting stuck in a rut playing just one or two games on loop…

Late summer
Lots coming out through July/August that looks interesting.

Starts on the 20th of July with Death’s Door. The combat and world so far look great but I wasn’t a fan of Acid Nerve’s Titan Souls, so the jury is out. Will GC be reviewing it?

Seven days later Microsoft Flight Simulator for Xbpx Series X/S arrives. It looks stunning and offers up something completely different to the normal things I play. Can’t wait.

Two days after that The Ascent is out, which I hope will scratch that cyberpunk itch Cyberpunk 2077 didn’t quite reach.

There’s also Hades on Xbox/PlayStation 4, 12 Minutes, Psychonauts 2, No More Heroes 3, Zelda: Skyward Sword HD, and Kena: Bridge Of Spirits. Looks like a good couple of months.

GC: It certainly is hotting up. But we’re a bit worried that Kena wasn’t part of the State of Play last week.

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Palette cleanser
So I’ve been a bit bogged down gaming wise recently, as in juggling three Japanese role-playing games at once – not a good situation. So I decided to reinstall Doom Eternal as a sort of palette cleanser, but the story, platform segments, and endless upgrades have put me off, just like it did the first time unfortunately.

So I decided to reinstall Earth Defense Force 5 as it’s just pure cathartic pleasure, nothing beats shooting a rocket into a mass of giant ants converging on your position. Makes me wish a remake of Global Defence Force would happen: shorter missions, no story, the giant city sprawling centipede which I’m surprised they never brought back… I’d love to play that game with no frame rate issues!

Last chance
So having succumbed to the ‘dreaded’ black screen of death (had actually never heard of it) on my Xbox One after the last update and been forced to restore everything back to factory settings, I’ve had to jump through every conceivable hoop you can think of trying to restore my account. Now, having reset my password before, and it been relatively easy, I thought no trouble, but this time, this time… oh no, now you gotta answer such questions as ‘What email address has this email address being used to send an email to?’ or ‘What was the heading of said email?’

Bearing in mind this was set up on my sister’s old email address at the start of the Xbox 360 era, so only around 20 years ago! Long story short, three unsuccessful attempts to reset the password later and I’ve been locked out of the account for 24 hours, an account that holds all my digital games and my subscriptions.

A long slog to get a call back off the helpline didn’t help much either… sigh! I’ll try again on Monday and if that still doesn’t work it will be getting restored to factory settings once again, packed up and flogged! And I’ll stick with picking up what I’ve missed last gen on the PlayStation 4, from Horizon Zero Dawn to God Of War to Ghost Of Tsushima. And if I think of upgrading in the future, I may well just pick myself a PlayStation 5.
big boy bent (no longer my gamertag)

GC: We’ve never heard of that one either.

Welcome back Quill
Mostly due to all the rumours about it getting a remake/reboot, I’ve been thinking about Dead Space a lot recently. The original was genuinely the first thing I saw or played during the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 era that made we want to get myself a second console. Up until then, I’d pretty much been strictly Nintendo only, but a couple of sessions on my mate’s PlayStation 3 and I was sold. Even though by today’s standards it was a pretty drab and brownish grey affair, I thought the graphics and general atmosphere were superb.

After the tank-like control system of the still undeniably classic Resident Evil 4, the move and shoot mechanics felt like a revelation and both it and its first, super glossy, sequel were amongst my all-time favourites of that generation. I wasn’t as keen on the third entry for a variety of reasons, but then I don’t think that’s a particularly controversial view to hold. It had some nice ideas, but felt rushed; the action was far too focused on turning everything into a straight shooting gallery and I didn’t like the way they restricted the single-player experience.

In theory, the prospect of a full blown remake of the first entry in the style of Resident Evil 2 or a franchise reboot should really excite me. But I’ve got this nagging feeling that if it’s just a straight remake, I won’t enjoy it as much the second time around, no matter how snazzy its new coat of paint is. If they’re going to do it, I’d rather see a full reboot, preferably involving some of the concepts I’ve seen talked about for where Visceral wanted to go had there been a fourth entry, like expanding on the space scavenging concept from the third game and the idea of a constantly advancing and evolving Necromorph threat, meaning that you couldn’t stay in one place for too long.

They’d better keep the second and third game’s free moving zero-G elements though. The first one’s ‘point and line-of-sight leap only’ system was rubbish.

Until the rumours are confirmed and greatly elaborated on, I’m almost inclined to say that I’m more interested in finding out more about the spiritual follow-up, The Calisto Protocol, than I am in EA confirming a return of Dead Space though.

Whilst I’m on the subject of games that sold me on systems and games that are coming back: I pretty much bought a PlayStation VR to play Moss and absolutely loved it. The revelation that the sequel is, at the very least, well under way brings me genuine joy. It’s obviously being touted as a PSVR title, but I’m assuming that that means it’s coming to PlayStation 4, rather than them somehow making it a PlayStation 5 exclusive and hoping everyone with a PSVR headset manages to get hold of one of the necessary adapter widgets?

Much as I love the art style, the graphics in that trailer hardly look like they need the latest hardware to run.

GC: It’s a PlayStation 4 game.

Maybe he’ll grow into it
Watching The Tomorrow War on Amazon Prime, I felt like I was watching Nathan Drake on screen. I’ve always thought Chris Pratt was the perfect choice and tends to play similar characters, but during this movie in particular, he literally was Nathan Drake.

I like Tom Holland as an actor, but I’ll take Star-Lord over Spider-Man for the role of Nathan Drake any day. I still find it a strange choice from Sony.

Long-standing rivalry
May I say thank you for the excellent job that you have, and still are continuing to do, with your reviews, topics, and interviews over the years. I’ve suggested this Hot Topic because I think that it is something that your readers need to get off their chests once and for all!

In this age of new tech, with PlayStation 5s, Xbox Series X and fancy superfast gaming PCs… I would like to know which is best? Consoles or PCs?
Although Microsoft and Sony are constantly bickering between each other I think that there is an even bigger war going on and their can only be one winner consoles vs. PCs.

PC gamers are now playing (old gen) console games on their PCs (Horizon Zero Dawn, etc.) which years ago would have been frowned upon. But here we are and sales of console games on PCs are on the rise.

I’ve never been a PC Gamer as I’ve always owned consoles. My question for my Hot Topic is do you think that there is now a shift in power between consoles and PCs? Do you think PCs are now lagging behind consoles?

PC owners, are you secretly seething about what you are now seeing on consoles? Especially with all of this talk of best graphics ever/60fps/VR/rumble features, etc.

Console owners, do you believe that consoles have finally beaten PCs in terms of raw power?

PC Gamers, have you been too smug in the past and are now thinking about ditching your PC for a console? Or do you still have the attitude that consoles will never be up to the standard of PCs?

Console Gamers, are you finally satisfied and content with what you are now seeing on consoles, e.g. super-fast SSDs, ray-tracing, Xbox Game Pass, graphics, etc. Are you happy how far consoles have come or do you think that PCs are still leading the way? Are you happy about console games appearing on PCs?

And finally, to everyone, do you think there is a bigger rivalry when you cross-play against a console verses PC gamer? Or is it no different than when you play against PC verses PC or console verses console gamer? Keep up the good work GC!
dangermarkxx (gamertag)

GC: Thanks, but we had a similar Hot Topic back in March.

Inbox also-rans
Thanks for giving all the information about the gaming PC, it was so useful and informative, from motherboard till the each and every single chip used (even if I cannot afford it due to financial problems).

I’m pretty certain the Switch OLED is aimed at people that don’t have one already, not as an upgrade for those that do. That’s why I’ll be one this this Christmas.

This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was inspired by reader Grackle, who asks what one feature would you add to the next sequel in your favourite franchise.

It doesn’t matter whether the sequel has been announced already, or how likely it is, but we want to know what you’d do to improve your favourite game. It can be something small, like a change to the control system, or something like a change of perspective from third to first person. Or perhaps a change of art style, story, or combat system.

Is your choice something relatively trivial, that’s only meant as a bit of fine tuning, or something that will fundamentally change the nature of the franchise? How likely do you think it is that your idea will make it into a future game?

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The small print
New Inbox updates appear every weekday morning, with special Hot Topic Inboxes at the weekend. Readers’ letters are used on merit and may be edited for length and content.

You can also submit your own 500 to 600-word Reader’s Feature at any time, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot.

You can also leave your comments below and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter.

MORE : Weekend Hot Topic, part 1: Next gen sequels

MORE : Games Inbox: PS5 six month appraisal, Nintendo Switch OLED Joy-Con drift, and Resident Evil 9 co-op

MORE : Games Inbox: Assassin’s Creed Infinity setting, GTA 6 single-player, and Nintendo Switch OLED positivity

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