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Why a console?

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  • Why a console?

    I'm confused . . . or maybe just ignorant.

    Why do people buy game consoles like the Xbox and Wii when most games can be played on any PC?

    I've ended up with a console of sorts -- the Nintendo DS. But that's because it's so compact and thus serves a different purpose than a full-size system. I find I don't use a PDA or most features on my cell phone; aside from the phone itself, I only play games, and I like the flexibility of being able to play anywhere anytime.

    Now, I also have a PC system in my den at home, and I use it only for games. It's an older computer (I inherited it when we upgraded our main family computer system), so I can't run the latest games. It's too weak to even run something like TOAW. I can play Civ III but not Civ IV. No way can it handle anything with 3D graphics or much animation.

    So, is a game console something I should consider as a replacement for my den computer? Or are consoles just for fans of graphics-intensive real-time games?

    Just wondering.
    --Patrick Carroll


    "Do all you have agreed to do, and do not encroach on other persons or their property." (Richard Maybury)

  • #2
    2 reasons that I know of.
    1) generally better graphics then a PC.
    2) fewer games are being released for PC's since it requries the game to work with so many different OS's while a console game is designed for only one or two.
    Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedy. -- Ernest Benn

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    • #3
      Originally posted by tsar View Post
      2 reasons that I know of.
      1) generally better graphics then a PC.
      2) fewer games are being released for PC's since it requries the game to work with so many different OS's while a console game is designed for only one or two.
      Another reason, I just discovered, is cost. I did a little online research just now, and it looks like consoles are pretty affordable (except that I guess I'd have to add the price of a TV to make the comparison fair).

      Earlier this year, I was about to get a new PC to replace the old one up in my den. My wife looked into getting me a laptop, but it was beyond our budget, so we dropped the idea.

      Meanwhile, I realized I'm not using the upstairs computer for anything except game playing. I don't need a word processor, spreadsheets, or even an Internet connection (since I play only solo games anyhow). That's what got me wondering about game consoles.

      Now it looks like a decent option, since they're a fraction of the cost of a PC system.

      However, I'd never touch 99 out of 100 games released for consoles. I don't like sports games, fighting games, action games, arcade games, or most sims and shooters. Don't even care for real-time strategy games much. I'm more a TBS guy, and I still like traditional board and card games a lot.

      Actually, I own a handheld console -- a Nintendo DS. I use it quite a bit, and there are just enough strategy and traditional games for it to make it worth my while. Only problem is that it takes both hands and has that small screen. I like to lean back with a drink in one hand and a mouse in the other, and while away a couple hours playing Civilization or something on the PC.

      So, something like a Wii wouldn't do me any good. I'd never be waving a game controller around, much less getting up and moving around to what's going on on the computer screen. I do not look forward to the holodeck. I'm more likely to look back fondly on pre-computer days when people played games on boards or with cards or dominoes.

      Thinking it through, I guess the computer I've got is doing what I want to do with it. Can't run Civ IV, but I can still play Civ III and a dozen other games. I'm not crazy about 3D graphics and stuff anyhow.
      --Patrick Carroll


      "Do all you have agreed to do, and do not encroach on other persons or their property." (Richard Maybury)

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      • #4
        Originally posted by tsar View Post
        2 reasons that I know of.
        1) generally better graphics then a PC.
        2) fewer games are being released for PC's since it requries the game to work with so many different OS's while a console game is designed for only one or two.
        Actually, #1 isn't really true. You're not going to get Crysis level graphics on a console.

        Reasons for consoles:

        1. Avoiding the whole driver issues that plague most pc users
        2. There are actually some games that are better played on a gamepad than a mouse-keyboard.
        3. The latest gen consoles have superb multiplayer matchup services
        4. Drastically reduced need for patches
        5. Reduces development costs by eliminating the need for testing on wildly differing target computer configurations and operating systems

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