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Gaming Gossip: Episode 13 - Is PC gaming still the best way to play?

We discuss whether the PC platform is still the predominant and best way to game, and share our personal experiences and opinions about where PC and console gaming outshine the other.

Audio transcription

"Hello everyone and welcome back to I think this is our 13th, maybe 14th episode of the Gaming Gossip Show.
Today we're going to pick up on something we specifically mentioned we were going to talk about last week, which is the whole discussion about the very volatile idea of the PC master race."

"Is it still real? Is it still the thing? We're going to discuss that more.
As per usual, it's the Gaming Gossip Gang in full today, both Dabs here and Alex.
How are we all? Are we excited to talk this topic?
The bad boys."

"Yeah, the bad boys.
Yeah, we're going to be talking the PC master race.
Now, I know, Alex, this is a topic that you are very passionate about.
Why? Because I love the master race in general?
I didn't insinuate anything."

"But no, tell us. You can start then, right?
So is the PC master race, is it still alive and well?
Or is this something that people just say to lord it over console players?
I think it's pretty legit."

"I'll start out controversial.
I think it's pretty legit, the fact that you get access to so many more games than a console player.
That has changed over recent years.
But I think the most pointless console to own today is an Xbox, because you can just get a PC that gets all the Xbox games."

"And also with the whole Xbox thing as well, pushing to Nintendo and PlayStation, it really is pointless to own one.
PlayStation are also pushing their stuff to PC.
PC, admittedly, has had some big hits in terms of the graphics cards are way more expensive than they used to be."

"And, you know, with crypto mining and stuff, that price can just go straight up out of nowhere.
So it kind of sucks if you want to build one, if you want to build like a top of the range one.
But if you just want to like game, then it's pretty good.
The only thing is, is that nowadays a lot of AAA games are just choosing not to really optimize for PC, which isn't really PC players' fault."

"They're just getting dealt a bad hand.
But yeah, I think if you want to game, why not?
It's free online. You don't have to pay for anything.
It is true."

"I mean, I mean, I'm older than you guys.
So I gamed in the past on PC.
For the GameCube era, I don't know if you know this, but the GameCube was a little console, but, you know, manufactured by Nintendo in the early 2000s."

"Right. So I don't know if you were born already, but at that time I was playing console on the GameCube and then PC for all the other games that I couldn't get on console.
And that gave me like a decent generation, so to speak.
I think that combination is interesting for many players where you can, like you choose one console and then you play else on PC."

"But there is one little thing that isn't mentioned as often when we talk PC Master Race, which is how comfortable you are playing.
So for us that are, you know, we spend so many hours in front of a computer monitor.
I really don't feel like sitting on a computer monitor to play and to enjoy myself.
So what I do is I prefer to sit on the couch and to play console and to and to share with it with family and friends."

"And normally I wouldn't be playing even even though, you know, gaming laptops today are fantastic.
I really don't feel like playing on PC.
There are many other reasons that you guys mentioned with optimization and how you can't run.
You're supposed to have the best machine, but you can't run many games proper."

"But that's one thing I wanted to bring up today.
No, I would agree. That is to me the primary reason why I don't PC game as much as I did.
I went through a phase for about three years from a few years back, actually.
Well, like all I did was exclusively play on my PC and it suited me."

"I think it was mainly I think it was during COVID actually that when I started really getting into it, I wasn't going anywhere.
So it didn't I wasn't like missing out anything by not being in front of my PC or anything.
So it kind of suited me then. But no, I agree today.
I you know, you work all day in front of your computer and then you think like, oh, yeah."

"Time to enjoy myself. You know, it's time to spend some time, do the things I want to do.
So let me just like, you know, instead of going anywhere, let me just open up the game that's on the thing that I'm sitting in front of anyway.
I just I can't get behind it. So, yeah, I am the same as you.
I like to I like to if I'm as much as I can not game on a PC."

"Right. That being said, right. There are certain games that I absolutely prioritize playing on PCs.
So a big one for me, actually, is Destiny. Now, I've played Destiny.
I started playing Destiny back in like 2014 or whatever it was on Xbox.
And then I made the jump to PC back in like 2018 or something."

"And now I can't go back to console. But at the same time, I don't want to play on PC.
I don't want to devote all my time to Destiny in front of my PC.
So I spend all day working for my PC and then spend all my evenings playing Destiny in front of a PC.
I just can't do this. I mean, it's like love hate relationship with both the platform and the game of it."

"Yeah. And that's that's kind of where I am as well with it. And, you know, I find it difficult enough as it is.
I mean, this is me just sort of whinging about the state of games journalism a little bit.
But I find it difficult as it is to spend time in my personal time to play video games.
I want to play because I already dedicate so much of my time to."

"We're talking about the backlog now. Don't talk about it. Don't bring up the backlog.
No, that's that's that's a spoiler for the next next episode of gaming gossip.
We're going to talk about the back never ending backlog.
So it is true. And it's like, you know, you finish work and then it's like, do you want to go and play a video game?
Maybe. But can I do it in front of a TV? Like, no."

"Well, then I'm probably not going to play it. That's kind of my sort of mindset with it these days.
So. But, yeah, I don't know. The PC master is it's more than just comfort.
And I think the one thing that's, you know, Alex, you touched on it a minute ago.
It's not just it's not just the platform being open and allowing you to do a lot of different things that consoles can't."

"Right. It's it's the to me, it's the price tags like, you know, you could you can buy a console and then pick up a cheap monitor and then you're pretty much ready to go.
Or alternatively, you could buy a really expensive TV and play it and get a better experience.
But for a computer, for a PC, like you have to get like, I don't want to say like a decent, you have to get like a generally modern computer."

"And then you have to support it with the right gear because, you know, PC monitors are very different to televisions.
Like you can buy a decent television that does HD, maybe even 4K and it won't break the bank per se.
But to get like a quality PC monitor, these things, they go, they go really, they become really expensive really quickly.
And it's another sort of area that you have to sort of figure out how to cross with the PC side of gaming."

"I've been through it myself. When you start to get into it and you start adding it all up and it can get to multiple thousands of pounds to do a decent setup, which is just what console gaming doesn't do.
I mean, if you want to play a Nintendo Switch, you can buy a Nintendo Switch and that's it.
Lovely speech Ben, two words, skill issue.
I think a lot of people don't want to like, you know, building a PC I found was like really fun."

"Although, as Ben knows, there are multiple times when I'm like, yeah, PC is just deciding not to work today.
So it's slower with some stuff and it's decided to explode on me.
But that is very me thing. I want to point out me and technology, despite how much I use it, we don't get on.
There are things that specifically happened to me that happened to no one else."

"For example, my computer just decided that my Windows access was no longer working.
Wait a second. That same thing yesterday?
Yeah.
That's very thing. That same thing happened to Alberto earlier this morning at the office."

"I can call Alberto and, you know, and switch places, but it happened to him as well.
So don't feel alone in this fight.
I've always thought me and Alberto were kindred spirits.
But yeah, I think there's a lot of things like PC is more expensive, but then again, the sales."

"How much stuff can you get for PC for free?
I reckon I've probably got about 2000 pounds worth of games in my Epic library alone.
And how many did you play?
The last time you played Euro Truck Simulator, Alex."

"Don't talk about the backlog, please.
It's not backlog. It's the front log. It's the things that I put there.
Well, my genius plan is to sell my Epic account one day and sell it for a very high price.
Because I think the only thing I've bought on Epic is Hades, which I got for a fiver when it came out."

"Because Epic had a little coupon thing going on.
And Borderlands 3, which was full price, unfortunately.
But everything else, however many games I've got on there, entirely free.
Same with GOG, Amazon Prime, which everyone has already."

"You can, but you don't have, you know.
For people who want to just get games.
And then there's a lot of people as well who PC game who don't necessarily have the monitor and the big setup.
The elitist, I think, pushing towards the people who have the 4070."

"Most people, I think, on PCs, if you look at the Valve statistics, are still rocking five-year-old hardware.
At a sheer minimum, if not older.
And they just play Dota, Counter-Strike, and that's it.
Fortnite, LoL, yeah."

"That's your everyman. That's your grassroots PC gaming.
So I think we should push away from Master Race and just, you know.
The everyman is a PC gamer, I think.
Are we about to make a comparison here between the PC everyman, who plays League of Legends and Dota and all that, to the console everyman, who plays Call of Duty and FIFA?
They have to buy that. They have to spend their hard-earned money."

"And they both play Fortnite anyway.
And Minecraft, and you don't need it, of course.
But there are some specific uses.
I think, Ben, you mentioned something like this before."

"For example, sim racing.
So I, of course, am a PC gamer when it comes to sim racing and to some genres, right?
But for that, it's not only about the tower thing plus the monitor.
Then you go deeper into the rabbit hole and then you get the whole rig, the wheel."

"Three monitors, for example.
And then some of the most popular games that are releasing are really tricky to set up for them to perform properly on a gaming PC.
Let alone if you talk about sim racing.
So many things can go wrong."

"So many little tweaks.
So many things talking to each other for it to work properly.
So I think it's addictive to try and make it work.
You start with games and regular things like having your Windows account work on a regular PC."

"And then you go deeper and deeper.
And it's a challenge for many people to, hey, I made this work.
We should be working by default, but it doesn't.
It really doesn't."

"You buy three monitors and then you go, okay, I'm going to race on three monitors because my peripheral view is going to be fantastic and I'm going to race better.
And then it's a nightmare to make it work for every single game is different.
And I think this happens with many PC games from the scratch.
So I don't know if you guys feel like that with other releases or specific genres."

"Civ V.
I've been playing Civ V with my friends for over a decade.
And we will still not work half the time.
You'll play an hour and it'll all be going well."

"And then suddenly the game goes, oh, someone needs to leave, actually.
I don't like that connection.
Someone's got to go.
And you don't know who it is."

"The game just says, oh, there's someone here.
The vibe's really off.
So you have to kick out all of your friends at once and then try and come back.
And then because it doesn't really work unless you start a new game, you probably have to re-sync about four or five times."

"But games like that, they're just, you know, it's all part of the process.
And there'll be some of your favorite games as well.
And then it'll just decide, not really feeling it today, guys.
There's the other hurdle as well of sort of like the third-party software where, you know, like everyone talks about Steam and being sort of the premier sort of PC gaming platform."

"But there's also, again, as you talked about earlier, Epic Games, Alex, and there's Battle.net and all these different things.
And Ubisoft Connecting, like, oh, today I want to boot up Rainbow Six Siege.
Did I buy it on Epic or was it Steam or was it on Ubisoft Connect?
You have to boot up all three platforms."

"Oh, it's on that one there.
Oh, yeah, great.
Fantastic.
And then they send you to the other one.
Ubisoft does that."

"Yeah.
And then on top of that, there's the communication platforms, right?
Where, like, you want to talk to someone.
Okay, how are you going to do it?
Well, no one's going to use a video chat platform like Skype or something or Google."

"No.
Because that's just not how they do it.
So it's going to be like probably Discord.
Yeah.
Great."

"Okay, Discord's pretty cool.
Yeah, cool.
It's also quite a frustrating experience to use sometimes.
It's not as straightforward as a lot of other sort of IM services."

"Totally.
I despise Discord sometimes.
Same here.
Are we the only three in the world?
I mean, I think Rafa, who is behind the camera here, I think he loves it."

"But I completely loathe Discord.
Out of my room, Rafa.
I can't use Discord.
I understand that they wanted to.
We can dedicate a whole episode to this."

"I understand that they wanted to go their own way.
I understand that.
And they wanted to be logical and intuitive for many people and for new audiences.
And I really dig the idea."

"But I can't make my way around the freaking software.
And if you close this, then the whole program closes.
Yeah.
I hate when it's not ready and doesn't tell you that it closes."

"And the thing I also hate about Discord, which is sort of the non-actual working thing of it, is when it's loading up and it's like, oh, hoogie-woogie hamster.
Yeah, yeah.
This is loading up for you."

"I'm like, ugh.
I didn't want that on my computer.
Yeah.
And two-factor authentication.
Why?
I told you yesterday, I'm here."

"It's me.
By the way, this show is being run on Discord for better quality.
Thank you, Discord.
Thank you so much.
Thank you for the quality of your servers."

"I dig that.
I dig that.
I think it is a vital point, though, isn't it?
To me, right, PC gaming is the souls born of platforms, right?
There's so much to appreciate with PC gaming, but it's also the one platform that you go like, my God, this makes me so angry sometimes."

"It makes me so frustrated.
Yeah.
But at the same time, I really appreciate what it does.
And that's kind of where it stands, I think."

"Console gaming, you cannot deny the fact that it is so intuitive as a user experience, even though there's differing sort of qualities of that, right?
I think Nintendo, they clearly struggle with the social side of things in regards to how they do things there.
Probably a platform specific thing, but maybe the Switch 2 will fix some of that."

"And, you know, Xbox has generally always had some of the better UIs in gaming, in console gaming, even if no one plays Xboxes or uses them.
But no, it's like they clearly have sort of like the user experience more sort of refined and sorted there.
But again, it's because it's a closed platform."

"You know, there's so many different ways you can use a PC.
Even if you go, you know, you bring it back to the most core sort of components.
Do you want to be an Intel or AMD sort of GPU?
You know, do you want to, which side of things are you going to go there?
And you have to sort of figure out how they run the specific things and the right drivers and all that."

"And it gets all so complicated.
And yeah, you know, you can build your own PC.
But I think for a lot of people, even the concept of it is just beyond them.
Yeah."

"Just the idea of even undertaking it.
What if it slightly went wrong?
Yeah, you could buy the components and get someone else to assemble it.
But I don't know."

"That's to me the main issue with PC games.
I just I find it a needless hassle sometimes.
And that's why I like my consoles.
Because they take away all the frustrations."

"You know, I want to play a video game.
Press the button.
I'm on. Gone. Done.
That's it. No issues.
That's what suits me with it."

"And, you know, I get to sit on a comfy chair, move away from the desk that I've been sat at for 10 hours.
Happy days.
What more could I want?
At the same time, they are all converging to the same thing in a way."

"Consoles were way more different before in the past.
And now for the past two generations, more so with the current one with PS5 and the series, they look and spec wise are read more as gaming PCs.
And, you know, people who are into the Master Race, they understand what consoles are about nowadays."

"And at the same time, we're seeing gaming PCs getting smaller and smaller and imitating the success of the Switch.
Like being handheld little gaming computers.
So I think the way they converge, we're going to see it more.
And that's good for developers."

"And we haven't talked about developers at all.
But I think for them to speak to systems that are more similar in the way they are built is fantastic.
But to counter that, there are many of them.
So there's always that balance that's never going to happen."

"I do always find it strange how a developer manages to get a game out there on PC.
But then it always takes so many extra hurdles to get it, not just on one console, but to get it on multiple consoles.
Like I know that there's obviously the dev kit question there, which costs money to bring in a dev kit to be able to use that and develop a game for a console and all that."

"But surely, from a sheer development standpoint, trying to get a game to run, not just on one PC, but on someone else's PC, that's slightly different and thousands of other PCs are all slightly different, must be so much of a hassle at times.
Whereas compared to like, I'm going to make a game for Xbox Series X, Xbox Series consoles.
It needs to run this architecture this way."

"Surely it must be a more sort of simplistic sort of style and effort to work towards.
Again, not too sure about that. Just speculation, just a question. I was just curious about most of it.
Oh, go on Alex.
I was just going to say, slight point on that. The consoles, they're not flawless."

"No, no, no.
You know, Red Ring of Death, your cat might throw up in the bit of your Xbox One that allows the exhaust.
Not a personal story at all, but if your cat does that, then your Xbox will slowly die over the course of about three months.
And there's nothing you can do. It's quite tragic, you know, just sort of the powerlessness."

"On that point, consoles are a nightmare to clean.
You can easily clean a PC, just rip the side panel off, bang.
Blow, you know, use your air canister, blow the dust out and all that.
But consoles, you try taking one of them bad boys apart, they're not going back together."

"It's like an iPod, isn't it?
They're meant to stay as a unit, but you take them apart.
I mean, granted, the PlayStation 5 is a little bit different these days with the side panels and all that.
But again, at the same time, the PlayStation 5 is kind of a bit of an anomaly in that regard, which is unusual to say because it's 25 years or whatever of development of PlayStation consoles."

"Only one of them has really had that sort of ability to have customization elements to it.
Coming from very drastic situations with both the PSX and the PS2, like there's this meme going around that the PS2 made so many millions because many households had to buy two consoles during the generation."

"And that is not happening anymore, I would like to think, when you had to buy the same console all over again.
It happened a lot with the PSX.
The PSX, the CD reader, I've seen people playing the original PSX vertically for it to work."

"I don't know the reason behind that, but yeah.
And the PS2 had a lot of problems with that.
And of course, the Xbox.
Oh yeah, let's not even start with the Xbox."

"My God, that's a nightmare.
I never had a red ring of death, though.
Never had one.
I was a very lucky young man."

"Neither did I, but I had the slim version of it, so perhaps some things were fixed.
I had the classic white bulky thing, never had a red ring.
And then, to be fair, whenever Halo 4 came out, I bought the Halo 4 Xbox.
I say I bought it, my parents bought me the Halo 4 Xbox because it was shiny and new."

"And I didn't think new consoles were going to be a thing, to be honest.
I thought, well, this is it.
We've surely peaked.
You've seen the graphics on Skyrim, we've surely peaked."

"Yeah, this can't be better than this.
Can't get better.
But no, I think it's an interesting discussion.
And I'm assuming that many people who watch this are going to have very vocal opinions on it as well."

"There'll be lots of different people sharing different things.
So I think it's definitely something worth telling us about.
We'd love to hear your thoughts.
Maybe we'll pick up on it next episode when we talk about the backlog, which is kind of tuned to this, I guess, in a way."

"But no, this has been episode, again, I think 13, maybe 14.
I'm not too sure about that.
You have to quote me on it.
Someone has to tell me about it."

"Of gaming gossip.
Dav, as usual, pleasure.
Alex, as usual, a pleasure.
And we'll be back next week for another discussion."

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