"A console monkey joins the PC Master Race.":
I have always been a console gamer, since the days of the 2600. I have had every console for the last 3 generations, and a fair few of the ones prior to that. I still own all of them, in working order. My 360 has been my constant gaming hub this gen, though the others have certainly had enough time spent on them to justify the purchases. I even have half a toe in the next gen, with my early Wii U purchase. I have had every DS iteration, PSP, Vita, a Bandai Wonderswan and a NeoGeo Pocket Colour.
I could never get into PC gaming. Oh, there were things that drew my attention from time to time, like occasional C&C binges and the summer that I spent playing the Dune 2 RTS that was basically C&C in the sand. I remember putting some time into the first GTA on a PC, and of course, my Wing Commander and Freespace 1 & 2 addictions. On the whole, however, these periods in my gaming life were restricted to the days when I lived with parents, and couldn't sit on a comfy sofa to play. I had to lurk in my bedroom, like a barely present troglogdyte.
When I was living in halls at Uni, I had my SNES, N64 and a PC that my loving parents had bought to let me work in peace. It was not a gaming machine, but had the capacity to become so. I started to save, but then discovered the joy of playing games whilst watching TV or a movie. When I had enough for the extra RAM and graphics card, I bought a Playstation instead.
Since then, the PC has been a tool for work, downloading stuff, and, in recent years, managing increasingly unwieldy iTunes installs. When I got my first laptop, it was not capable of gaming. My next one was not a netbook, but not a gaming machine either; I wanted something small and portable, When iPads appeared in my life, the laptop became a fixture on my coffee table.
Desktops have not fared much better. I got a quad core beast a few years ago, when such things were new, with impressive specs to go alongside the processor. I bought some games, installed this "Steam" thing that everyone was on about, but soon got fed up of playing on it. It still runs just fine, but I just can't get comfortable sitting on an office chair in front of a monitor. I do that all day.
Around Christmas, my lil' laptop started to fail on me. I priced up some more RAM and planned a fresh and clean install, but I had a feeling that it was more than just that. Sure enough, I was right. I could not be bothered to spend a lot of time on working out what was wrong with a 4 year old 350 quid laptop, so I started to price up a replacement. Since the desktop is getting a bit long in the tooth as well, I wanted something with some power, for converting video and the like. And while I was at it, why not something with some gaming power too?
After a good dig about, and a question to the GWJ hive mind, I decided to go for a Lenovo Ideapad Y580, which packs an i7 chip, 8 gig of RAM, a terabyte drive, and a GTX 650M, on top of the Intel integrated chipset.
Now, let me tell you, after years of hovering around the periphery of the PC world, I am very happy with this new toy. Everything it does is incredibly fast, and slick. It has HDMI out, so 42" 1080p gaming remains possible.
Being a gamer with a job, in the last week or two, my Steam library has gone from 4 titles to 18. I dusted off my ancient wired 360 controller. I played some Portal 2 to get my K&M skills from "Practically non-existent" to "horribly poor". I got Dragon Age, since I could always see that the 360 version that I put a few hours into was deficient in many ways.
And, inevitably, I hit roadblocks. Many, many roadblocks.
I intend to update this thread with my progress in the coming weeks and months, until I either a) become addicted to PC gaming and see the light and beauty, or b) get so horribly fed up that I just go back to consoles again. I genuinely have no idea which way this is going to go.