The PC is the platform of choice for game developers to introduce cutting-edge technology to the market. Anti-aliasing, real-time shadows and realistic water effects were all pioneered on the PC. Now, all the amazing features in the world are useless if the end-user doesn’t have the architecture to run these games, but with the PC, you don’t need a top of the line system to receive a visual treat. A modest price of $1,000 will allow you to experience games like “Half-Life 2” and “Doom 3” in their full glory.

You might say that $1,000 is too much for a gaming system, compared to the relatively cheap price of its console counterparts. However, consoles become obsolete in a matter of years, while PCs are upgradable, not to mention the fact that they are used for much more than gaming. If you want to play the newest and best-looking games on a console, you need to dish out money for a brand new system constantly. Also, with a set-top box, what you get is what you use – there is no customization. The PC community thrives on users getting every mile possible out of their investment. Just a small upgrade here and there, and you are ready to enjoy the visual splendor of the next generation of games.

Taking a look at the software side of this battle, consoles have a clear advantage here, outpacing the PC in terms of quantity of titles on the market and also total revenue. Nevertheless, computer gamers can boast one huge aspect that differentiates the two – modding. User-created modifications to games brings creative, new ideas to games and keeps the market fresh and inventive. “Half-Life” is a great case in point. The original was released back in 1998 and recognized as one of the best PC games of all time.

In addition, the “Half-Life” mod “CounterStrike” has claimed to be the best multiplayer game. Not surprisingly, seven years later, after the team who developed it was contracted by a publisher, it is still the most-played game on the Internet.

Speaking of the Internet, it seems that console developers just found out that gamers might want to play people who aren’t physically in the same room as them and that split-screen is just a little hard to see.

On the other hand, PC gamers have been experiencing the glories of playing against people across the country and even the world since the days of “StarCraft” and before.

Sure, being the first to do something doesn’t automatically make them better, but the experience does pay off. In the case of massively multiplayer games, the PC has a multitude of excellent titles – “World of Warcraft” anyone? – and the consoles have none.

So as you can see, the PC has numerous advantages for the gamer to enjoy and will continue to be at the forefront of technology and innovation for years to come.

Tice can be reached at

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