I’m done with PC gaming. Or, that’s at least what I keep telling myself. Having just experienced my ninth Deus Ex: Human Revolution - Director’s Cut crash, I think I’m finally ready to give it up. While this post is certainly inspired by this NeoGAF thread, I’ve been planning this move for a long time.
This is happening much in the same way that I phased out dedicated mobile gaming (the last being Metroid Prime Hunters on a DS Lite) in favor of gaming on the devices I already have with me. To be honest, this transition was pretty tough. I never really enjoyed playing games on my smartphone (or at least not as much as Mega Man Battle Network 6 on my GBA SP) until Bastion was released and really showed me the power of the little device I had in my pocket. But, all of this is neither here nor there because this post is about consoles, Macs, and PCs.
This plan was set in motion when the Xbox One was revealed. Although I’ve been a die hard PC gamer for the last 16 years, this generation of consoles was the first that I felt could finally match my PC in graphical fidelity. Don’t get me wrong though, I had an OG PlayStation, as well as the first Xbox and its successor. I loved the former two, mainly because they offered many diverse experiences that weren’t available on PC (Crash Bandicoot, anyone?), but wasn’t super enamored by the Xbox 360. Sure it was great to see the continuation of Master Chief’s story, but I was never really behind that console as much as many of my friends. Much of this was probably because of my dedication to World of Warcraft which I started playing just a few short months before the 360 was released. That game definitely kept me tied to a PC much longer than I probably would have otherwise been.
So, now that a console can match the 60FPS HD output I’ve come to love on my PC, the first barrier has been surpassed. The second barrier is my desire to finally make my daily driver some sort of Apple computer. Windows (7) is great and all, but the experience is so unbelievably inconsistent compared to the experience of using a Mac. I wake up my MacBook every day and everything just works. As corny as that sounds, I’ve turned on my PC too many times to multiple BSODs or failed boots. I’m just getting tired of it. Whether I end up using my MBP and simply connecting it to my monitors, or just buying an iMac, the graphical prowess of next-gen consoles and my faith in their ability to offer the games I want to play, mean I can finally put my PC on the back burner without too much hesitation. Plus, Mac gaming support is increasing every day, now that League of Legends has a Mac client, what else do I really need?
The straw that broke the camel’s back, however, goes along with the content of that earlier NeoGAF link. PC gaming is just a janky experience. Whether it’s dealing with driver updates, editing config files to get things to work, or having to deal with stupid programs like Origin, it’s never as easy on the PC to just play games. Although Steam has been a major boon to the platform, and SteamOS will likely alleviate many of my issues, it’s never just as simple as putting in the disc and hitting play as with a console.
Also, the online experience on PCs is not nearly as fleshed out as Xbox Live, for instance. Sure, you avoid many of the 12-year-old CoD players who think they’re the bee’s knees by playing PC multiplayer, but you also miss out on a lot of the matchmaking prowess that has developed as consoles grew in popularity. This isn’t to say that PC matchmaking isn’t good across the board - many games, like SC2 and LoL, do it well. In fact, some of the best multiplayer experiences I’ve had were in Crysis 2 for PC, but even that was often buggy/crashy.
So, this will all culminate in a pretty big move for me. The PC is coming off of my desk, and likely moving towards the television. I’ll definitely keep it around, because there are sure to be games I’ll still want to play on the PC (Elder Scrolls Online, perhaps), but I’m not going to be waking up to Windows everyday anymore. I will probably only retire the behemoth (my PC’s case is just too big for my own good) when Steam Machines become mainstream.
This means that I’m either going to find a dock for the MacBook, or put another Mac in the place of my PC. And finally, the Xbox One will take my 360’s place underneath my TV, and will hopefully get a lot more use than the 360 did.
Can’t wait for Titanfall, can’t wait for Destiny, can’t wait for Battlefield 4, can’t wait for Halo 5, and I can’t wait to change the way I game.