Can you build a comparable PC for the cost of an Xbox One or PS4?

MrDeVil909 wrote:

Game prices and Steam sales are a pro for the PC, but rentals are a pro for the consoles.

Not a good comparison. If you pay $5 (or whatever the deeply discounted price) for a game during a Steam sale, it's yours forever. If you rent a console game, it's only in your possession for a few days.

MrDeVil909 wrote:

A PC needs a mouse, keyboard and controller, a console comes with at least one controller. To watch Blu-rays on a PC you (obvs) need a Blu-ray drive and paid software.

If you have mouse & keyboard, you don't actually need a controller. Also, you don't need a Blu-ray drive if you don't watch movies on Blu-ray. I haven't watched a movie on a disc in years, thanks to Netflix.

EriktheRed wrote:

Do the new consoles require fees to play online like Xbox live? Monthly fees really start to add up over the lifetime of a console. That is definitely a point in favor of PC.

Yep. PS4 requires a subscription to PS+ for multiplayer, just like Xbox requires XBL. So if you buy a new console and are interested in multiplayer at all, that's an extra $50/year. If you plan to use a new console for 6 years, that bumps the total cost of ownership from $400/$500 to $700/$800.

MrDeVil909 wrote:

Total cost of ownership really should be the metric people are using.

Indeed.

EriktheRed wrote:

Do the new consoles require fees to play online like Xbox live? Monthly fees really start to add up over the lifetime of a console. That is definitely a point in favor of PC.

MMOs.

Edit: Which is to say limit this already problematic exercise to just the machine and controller—what you would get if you walked out of the store with a console box. No games, no sales, no subs, no hypothetical spending habits or TCO or any other speculation.

Gravey wrote:
EriktheRed wrote:

Do the new consoles require fees to play online like Xbox live? Monthly fees really start to add up over the lifetime of a console. That is definitely a point in favor of PC.

MMOs.

AFAIK subscription-based MMOs charge the same monthly fee regardless of the platform you choose to play them on.

MeatMan wrote:
MrDeVil909 wrote:

Game prices and Steam sales are a pro for the PC, but rentals are a pro for the consoles.

Not a good comparison. If you pay $5 (or whatever the deeply discounted price) for a game during a Steam sale, it's yours forever. If you rent a console game, it's only in your possession for a few days.

But there are great sales on console games too, you can buy used, and you can even sell the games you don't like. I think the point is that including a stores sales in the cost of ownership is just silly.

Edit: Also the $60 yearly cost of PSN and XBLive is not an empty fee (they can usually both be found for 35 though). You get an easy to use unified multi-player & social interface that includes downloadable monthly games. Yes it adds to the cost of ownership but is valuable to many. And a $600 PC is not going to last you 6 years of current games so are you going to include upgrades in the cost of ownership?

The whole argument is silly...they provide some similar experiences but have their own unique strengths that make a simple $ comparison worthless.

MeatMan wrote:
MrDeVil909 wrote:

Game prices and Steam sales are a pro for the PC, but rentals are a pro for the consoles.

Not a good comparison. If you pay $5 (or whatever the deeply discounted price) for a game during a Steam sale, it's yours forever. If you rent a console game, it's only in your possession for a few days.

Sure, and if it's a game you'll replay then you benefit from owning the game, but I have more games than time so I very seldom replay a game. Since I last owned a 360 and now there are more rental outlets for games here. It's very much a case of finding what works for you specifically.

MeatMan wrote:
MrDeVil909 wrote:

A PC needs a mouse, keyboard and controller, a console comes with at least one controller. To watch Blu-rays on a PC you (obvs) need a Blu-ray drive and paid software.

If you have mouse & keyboard, you don't actually need a controller. Also, you don't need a Blu-ray drive if you don't watch movies on Blu-ray. I haven't watched a movie on a disc in years, thanks to Netflix.

If someone is playing from the couch they will probably want a controller. I sit at my PC at a desk and still consider a controller essential for most games, for ergonomics if nothing else. Blu-ray is another thing that some may or may not see as desirable, I would like the option from my under the TV box, and when you're trying to make a case for a PC going up directly against the consoles it's tough to justify leaving it out.

Gravey wrote:
EriktheRed wrote:

Do the new consoles require fees to play online like Xbox live? Monthly fees really start to add up over the lifetime of a console. That is definitely a point in favor of PC.

MMOs.

But that's for a specific game. On a console you need to pay for access to multiplayer on the entire service, it's not a congruent comparison.

Gravey wrote:

Edit: Which is to say limit this already problematic exercise to just the machine and controller—what you would get if you walked out of the store with a console box. No games, no sales, no subs, no hypothetical spending habits or TCO or any other speculation.

I think we've moved away from this because, basically, nobody thinks you can build a reasonable gaming PC for a comparative price. Even Fang's bare-bones machine, without Windows, is over $600 with either a controller or mouse.

I think the TCO idea is an interesting discussion, even if speculative, although there probably isn't a middle ground because the people on each side have different use cases for their gaming machines.

If I do get around to getting a console again it will be an XBOne as an exercise machine, occasional blu-ray player and occasional gaming machine for the few that don't get to PC, probably rented.

A $950 computer with a new $150 GPU every 2-3 years will probably be pretty level pegging with XBOne over 5 years (assuming it doesn't die, consumer electronics are not what they used to be) with a Gold subscription and the more expensive games, in terms of value for money.

No, you can't build a good gaming PC for $500, but you don't need to spend $2000 every 2 years like some people seem to think. It also isn't as complicated as it used to be, although not as simple as consoles usually are. Although, let's be honest, consoles are not as simple as they used to be thanks to patches and the like.

But ultimately it's really all about what you want to play where.

TheGameguru wrote:

The whole argument is silly...they provide some similar experiences but have their own unique strengths that make a simple $ comparison worthless.

If you're viewing it as an argument, then yes it is silly. I think it's an interesting discussion, even if ultimately I agree with you completely here.

The problem with these threads is they tend to turn into stealth versions of "PC's are so much better than stupid consoles" or "PC's are super expensive and take forever to tinker with"

Gumbie wrote:

The problem with these threads is they tend to turn into stealth versions of "PC's are so much better than stupid consoles" or "PC's are super expensive and take forever to tinker with" :lol:

Heh, yeah true. I usually just see them as interesting chats that get people's backs up for reasons I can never quite grasp.

Maybe that's my PC privilege talking

It actually is a bit funny though. GWJ has gone more heavily PC in the last few years, but when I joined it was definitely a 360 forum, hell I got peer pressured into buying one. I'm sure in a year or so it will be either a PS4/XB1 forum, depending how the systems and the community shakes out. Then 3 years after that the PC will rise again.

I definitely agree that much of the cost speculation comes down to your current situation and how you prefer to game. Do you buy lots of AAA games at launch or do you wait? Do you play multiplayer games or not? Do you prefer to own games or do you play things once and never come back to them? Do you already have a computer you can upgrade or cannibalize parts (mouse, keyboard, etc) from?

One interesting point to consider with PC gaming is that there are a ton of great free and free to play games out there right now. You could completely fill all of your gaming time with there games and not spend a cent: DOTA2, TF2, Path of Exile, Planetside 2, Hawken, Firefall, Warframe, Mechwarrior Online, and on and on. And that doesn't even touch on all the F2P MMOs and traditional free games (lord knows I've spent countless hours on Dwarf Fortress and roguelikes).

MrDeVil909 wrote:
Gravey wrote:

Edit: Which is to say limit this already problematic exercise to just the machine and controller—what you would get if you walked out of the store with a console box. No games, no sales, no subs, no hypothetical spending habits or TCO or any other speculation.

I think we've moved away from this because, basically, nobody thinks you can build a reasonable gaming PC for a comparative price. Even Fang's bare-bones machine, without Windows, is over $600 with either a controller or mouse.

Fair enough. Like you say, it's not a congruent comparison, so if the question has concluded with "No" and evolved to more speculative conversation, that's cool.

MrDeVil909 wrote:
Gumbie wrote:

The problem with these threads is they tend to turn into stealth versions of "PC's are so much better than stupid consoles" or "PC's are super expensive and take forever to tinker with" :lol:

Heh, yeah true. I usually just see them as interesting chats that get people's backs up for reasons I can never quite grasp.

Maybe that's my PC privilege talking

It actually is a bit funny though. GWJ has gone more heavily PC in the last few years, but when I joined it was definitely a 360 forum, hell I got peer pressured into buying one. I'm sure in a year or so it will be either a PS4/XB1 forum, depending how the systems and the community shakes out. Then 3 years after that the PC will rise again.

I kind of go back and forth. Lately I have been sinking tons of time in my PC but last year a lot more went to the 360. It mostly has to do with the type of games I currently digging and where my friends are playing. The reason I jumped in on this thread in the first place is because I am the guy who ends up building friends PCs. It usually starts off cheaper but ends up being 800-1100 depending on how much we can recycle to get a quality rig built (with the wonderful Newegg / Amazon / Microcenter combo).

zeroKFE wrote:

Ideally, I'd have things things continue to be all in one box, which essentially means I need to build a Hackintosh, but a Mac Mini paired with a dedicated gaming PC might end up being a decent solution as well.

Do the latter. The way of the Hackintosh is fraught with tears. It will never be the elegant all-in-one solution you want it to be.

I have a PC + Mac Mini on one desk setup, each one powering my triple-monitor configuration. It's great. I have a KVM for switching my keyboard and mouse, and then I just flip the monitors between DVI and HDMI to toggle between displaying the PC's output and the Mac Mini's.

Gumbie wrote:

The problem with these threads is they tend to turn into stealth versions of "PC's are so much better than stupid consoles" or "PC's are super expensive and take forever to tinker with" :lol:

Both are true.

*Legion* wrote:
zeroKFE wrote:

Ideally, I'd have things things continue to be all in one box, which essentially means I need to build a Hackintosh, but a Mac Mini paired with a dedicated gaming PC might end up being a decent solution as well.

Do the latter. The way of the Hackintosh is fraught with tears. It will never be the elegant all-in-one solution you want it to be.

I have a PC + Mac Mini on one desk setup, each one powering my triple-monitor configuration. It's great. I have a KVM for switching my keyboard and mouse, and then I just flip the monitors between DVI and HDMI to toggle between displaying the PC's output and the Mac Mini's.

Yeah -- when the time comes I'll definitely do some more in depth research on the state of Hackintoshes, but given that one of the major requirements is that the Mac side of things should have all the benefits of, well, being a Mac, such as just working, I think you probably have the right of it. While in theory the single box Hackintosh solution should be cheaper and more convenient, ultimately the hidden cost of frustration in building and maintaining the setup would probably be great enough to tilt the scales.

Mostly, it just makes me all that much more upset that Apple just isn't making a computer that does what I want anymore.