As of November 2020 – now more than two months ago and, in gaming terms, lightyears behind us – the rumoured ‘next generation’ of video game consoles are now available for the most up-to-the-minute gamers to invest into.
Or, they could be, if only stock was anywhere near sufficient to meet the demands of gaming communities scattered across the globe.
Ever since the seminal release of the Xbox Series X and the PlayStation 5 on November 10th and November 12th respectively, countless gamers have been airing their woes on- and offline over the devastatingly ephemeral availability of these devices. Digital and physical shopfronts have been advertising their stock levels and, in moments, shrinking back from the limelight as their stores are run dry by speedy shoppers and purpose-built scalper bots once again.
All this, in spite of the fact that the long drawn out build up to the consoles’ releases should have offered more than enough insight to Microsoft and Sony into the level of demand they would be facing toward the close of the year.
So, will the demand for restocks continue indefinitely, or will gamers across the world feel tempted to reconsider their position within the community, and invest their funds into the widely accessible gaming PC? Read more below.
PCs Offer Best of Both Worlds
In terms of the games on offer, the PC manages to remain largely immune to the battles for exclusivity. What’s more, a wide range of titles not available on console represent significant draws for players who remain on the fence between console and PC gaming.
From the online casinos that enable gamers to play risk free and, of course, transfer gameplay between PC and mobile, to a long list of Tiple-A titles released solely on PC, gamers using their computers are not only able to get the most out of titles released onto console, but also titles that were never designed for the Xbox or PlayStation.
PCs will Allow Players to Regain Control Over the Cost of Gaming
If you were following the hype surrounding the announcements and releases for the next-gen Xbox and PlayStation, you will likely remember the palpable sense of relief and excitement that was garnered following the news that both consoles would feature a price tag below $500.
Console gamers are tied to market prices in a way PC gamers can eschew. The PC camp can take a more personal approach to constructing their gaming rig, while console gamers are simply resigned to shelf price – or, if they’re patient, the second-hand market.
But even this area comes with its own pitfalls. While PC gamers can adjust their build to suit their budget, console gamers are tied into demand and supply for a single product. The latest Xbox and PlayStation, for instance, are currently being resold for two to three times their ticket price.
Custom PCs Represent a Hobby in Their Own Right
Building a PC does take more time than purchasing and unboxing a readymade console – unless, of course, you have to wait six months to purchase said console. There is, however, a reason why so many continue to take the more long-winded route – it is incredibly rewarding and, even before a single game is played, enriching.
PC builders can delve as deep into the complex world of customisation and modification as they want. They can invest hundreds – even thousands – into it, but only if they have the interest and the means to do so. Even the most basic builds still offer notable benefits over the console, both in terms of performance and practicality.
Anyone with an interest in gaming or, more broadly speaking, tech in general will find PC customisation to be a rewarding experience, and that is something that the big name consoles are unable to offer to players.