Who loves procrastination? We, as college students, do.

For the majority of us, procrastination comes in the form of television or video games. Thanksgiving is coming up, and after Thanksgiving is Black Friday, every shopper’s favorite holiday. With Black Friday comes amazing deals on great tech, including video games. So this week, we’ll be taking a look at video games.

There’s a lot of competition out there, so it may be hard to narrow down which one you want to buy. Do you go with Microsoft’s Xbox One or Sony’s PlayStation 4 (PS4)? What about this SteamBox we’ve been hearing about lately? Or, should you take the plunge and get a gaming PC, which is the correct answer according to many heavy gamers?

Among console gamers, the age-old question has been Xbox or PlayStation? Though the PlayStation lineage is longer, the two systems have been competitors since the introduction of the Xbox in 2001. Things really heated up when the Xbox 360 was announced to compete with the PlayStation 3 (PS3). Both came with their respective exclusive games and specifications, and thus began one of the most polarizing debates in video game’s not-very-long history .

It really is difficult to choose between the two, and often, the decision comes down to which console has the exclusive games you like, not to mention brand loyalty. I began console gaming with a PlayStation 2 back in 2001 and would be hard-pressed to change to an Xbox now. That doesn’t mean the Xbox is completely out of the decision pool, though.

Each console has its own pros that fight for it. For example, the Xbox has had much better controllers throughout its time on the market, especially with the latest Xbox One. The controller has a nice heft to it and feels at home in your hands. The PS4 controller feels almost too long; and, though I prefer the button layout of the former, things just don’t feel as refined as with the Xbox controller.

Looking at the actual system, the PlayStation family usually has the upper hand. With each generation of consoles, Sony has made sure to pack their consoles full of fantastic hardware. It was rumored that the full potential of the last generation PS3 was never fully tapped, while the Xbox 360 was certainly showing its age.

If you enjoy playing online with people across the globe, the Xbox may be the better system for you. Though Microsoft’s online network is pay-to-access, it is markedly the better of the two networks, featuring higher player volumes, more stability and better features. Sony has a free-to-access online network; but, to access all the features, you need to pay for PlayStation Plus, a system that is nice but still not very competitive with Xbox Live.

Now, if you prefer a PC for your gaming, then you just read the above paragraph and thought, why would I limit myself like that? Having never owned a gaming PC, I have certainly asked this question multiple times. It seems that there are so many more games available for the PC, you aren’t locked into any sort of hardware and you can pick whatever controller you like.

Many gamers prefer to build their own computers. This gives them the freedom to not only build according to their budget, but to put in elements into their computers that do what they want. For the same price as an Apple iMac, you could build your own computer with advanced graphical processors and efficient cooling systems, buy a nice monitor and make it all look amazing. If any of the parts in your computer start to get outdated, you can change them. Don’t feel like using a mouse and keyboard? That’s weird, but fine. You can use a third-party controller.

Here’s the best part: Feel like you’re getting tired of a game as it is? There are plenty of modifications, or mods, you can buy or download for PC games that can refresh games that feel tired. Have you ever seen GIFs out there from Grand Theft Auto where ridiculous things keep happening? Probably mods. See the Skyrim mods with Thomas the Train instead of a dragon? Very weird but interesting and definitely a mod. It doesn’t matter what game you’re playing—there are amazing things you can do with it.

If you’re looking for the abilities of a PC with the price and convenience of a console, there has been a recent trend that might just help you out. Valve, the awesome company behind games like the Portal series and Counter-Strike, has released a sort of operating system that allows other companies develop for what will be called to be called Steam Machines. These are console-like machines that run Valve’s Steam software, allowing users to play PC games on a console, almost like the best of both worlds. Currently, a few companies, such as Dell’s Alienware branch and Orion, have similar consoles out.

I know that this can all get confusing. Consider all your options and get ready. Sales season is heading our way, and it’s as good a time as any to either step into the video game world or to upgrade the system you’ve already got. Happy gaming!

Lotfi is a member of the class of 2016.



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