Throughout Asia the PC is king. PCs are cheaper, multi-functional, and easily upgradeable. Even now games consoles are solely for entertainment purposes and though the prices have come down over the years, they remain an expensive luxury.
In places like China, they remain a luxury far too expensive for the average person. As a result of this, most Asian gamers, excluding the Japanese of course, are much more comfortable with “PC-style” games. RTS, MOBAs, MMORPGs, Crossfire and Counterstrike are way more popular here, and games that take the western world by storm often have little impact in Asia. It never ceases to amaze me how most of my Chinese friends have no idea who Lara Croft is. It’s horrifying.
Logically I know the PC is the way forward. I see how PCs are better value for money, more powerful, and more convenient. With a PC I can use a controller, or a mouse, and keyboard. In a few years I can stick a new graphics card into my tired machine and breathe life into it. I believe this so strongly that last year I dropped a hefty sum of money on my very first gaming PC. Yet in spite of this supercomputer sitting just a foot away from me I almost always find myself playing a game on my consoles.
So why do I, and others like me, remain loyal to our consoles? Why do we cling to a technology that is so obviously limited by its very nature? It is for these reasons.
It’s my natural environment
Most Asian gamers have grown up with a PC. The mouse and keyboard have been inalienably fused with the very concept of gaming, and though these gamers may dabble in other mediums, the PC is always home.
I know this feeling of home; for me, it’s with a controller. I sometimes think I was born with a Dualshock clasped in my pudgy little fingers, because that’s how natural a controller feels to me. Every time I speak to my mum about gaming, she jokingly asks about the health of my thumbs. She once proudly told my PE teacher that though I may be bad at football, hockey, and any other sport they could throw at me, I had the strongest thumbs known to man.
For me, sitting at a PC to game is alien. I do it, because I love gaming in any form, but I always choose a controller over a keyboard if there is an option. For me PCs will always be connected with work, with studying; with spreadsheets and Microsoft Word. Nothing is ever going to change that.
And it’s not something limited to the medium. It’s also the environment. I hate gaming at desks; it feels so formal and so wrong. Desks are work, sofas are for play. Of course this is just me and my own internalized opinions, but these things are impossible to shake, even when you know there are nations full of gamers who disagree.
The alternative sucks
I bought a PC because I live in China and not having a PC would be like gaming without hands. I assumed that once I spent money and built a PC of my very own, I would begin to love it as a gaming platform. Unfortunately, that didn’t work because I hate PCs.
I really, really, hate them and trust me, they hate me too. I rarely go more than week without there being some kind of technological breakdown. Even now, my PC has an error sign every time it turns on and no one has any idea what it means. It doesn’t help that my PC speaks Chinese, but even my Chinese friends are perplexed.
Let’s not even mention the umpteen different programs, protocols, and protective softwares you need to have running just to keep your machine safe from virus attacks. It makes being a PC gamer stressful. You need to learn an entirely different language of specifications, PC parts, and other nonsense. It’s a goddamn nightmare for someone who is only interested in playing games, not building a rocket ship. The arduous process of building my own PC took weeks of research, effort, and questioning to make sure I got what I needed. Some people enjoy this side of gaming, but I’m not one of them. I’m here for the games. Nothing more.
That’s probably the biggest reason why I love my console. With a console, I turn it on, put in the game, and play. Sure sometimes downloading games can be a pain in the ass, but when compared to a PC, life is easy!
This is all beginning to change, though. Hybrids like Steam Machines are beginning to filter in, and I’m certain we can soon look forward to a day where the best of both worlds combine, and we finally all play together. But until then, my PC will have to live with being second choice.
Long live the console. Long live the king!
(Image source: here)