The "Gaming World" has long been divided into two major factions; Console gamers ("Console Peasants" as some PC guys refer to them), and PC gamers (the "PC Master Race"; a name they have given to themselves). These worlds are made up of two vastly different groups of people, but the transition from console to PC is relatively easy. There are many common misconceptions of both types of entertainment platforms. I will try to cover some of them here.
A major difference between the two platforms is cost. Most console gamers believe that a console gives them more bang for their buck. The average cost of a console is around $350 or so starting out. The average cost of a PC ranges widely with the type of setup you want. You can easily get a starter (low end) gaming PC that can match or beat the video game consoles specs for around the same price. You won’t be able to get the frame rate of one of the higher end PCs but we will get to that later. Games cost roughly the same with most console and PC game manufacturers offering to all platforms. The next major cost difference is displays. Console gamers usually rely on their TVs for gaming displays, whereas PC gamers rely on LCD / LED monitors (or if you really want to spend the money a high end TV). Consoles are limited to single displays whereas most PC video cards support multiple monitors.
The consoles are limited to no higher than 1080p and 60fps. This is determined on a game by game basis by the game developer. Some console games only run at 780p and 30fps. The PC’s only limitation is based on the video card you choose. The PC gives the player the freedom to adjust individual video settings to their own preferences. The console has only a very limited adjustability factor to the same games.
This is where a PC has a slight disadvantage. When I say slight I mean slight. Consoles do offer a compact gaming experience. PCs can offer a similar compact design, but this would mean a PC that would perform at or better than a console in terms of processing power and visuals, and would be a canned offering from one of the major companies. Most PCs can be built into a relatively functional size case.
As a former console gamer I feel the console gamer’s pain who is trying to crossover. The thing I struggled with was converting from controller to keyboard and mouse. I found an item called a Z Board (here) which allowed me to make the gaming specific keys bigger for my clumsy controller fingers. This helped with the transition. There are other methods of gradually coming over to a keyboard and mouse. If you are an xBox360 player, they do make a controller that will function with the PC. This is a good tool but you will still be at a disadvantage to a person with a keyboard and mouse. The best advice I can give is just to go with a cheap keyboard and mouse until you feel comfortable enough to work up to a higher dollar mouse. Game speed is another major difference. Games just seem to be faster on the PC. I am sure it is due to higher processor speeds and better graphics cards. With the better CPUs and graphics cards come better overall players. Keep in mind a lot of people having been playing their whole life on the PC and are extremely good. Do not let constant deaths discourage you from the switch. If you can make the change, then keep practicing, soon the deaths will change to victories. The last difference is that there is no aim assist with a keyboard and mouse. The previous statement was assuming that you don’t like to cheat. Controllers by default have a built in aim assist that pull the targeting to a hit box when it is near one. In the last couple of years this has become an option in some console games that you can turn off. I don’t know of many console gamers who do this though.
I began gaming on a console when I was around 6. I had a Nintendo and progressed through all versions of it until I got an xBox. It was around this time that a friend of mine (Jordo636) introduced me to the wonderful world of PC gaming. I did what any good console gamer would do. I found a canned PC capable of playing the games I wanted to play (CS and CS Source). This lasted me all of one Lan party before I figured out that I needed to build a better computer. Soon thereafter I built my first computer. This was done with help from my friend (let’s face it Jordo basically built the whole damn thing, explaining how things worked together as he built it and we drank beer). Since then I have balanced console and PC gaming with the majority of my gaming (95%) being on the PC. I still stick to my console roots when none of my friends are online but I am part of the PC master race through and through.