Bang for the Buck: The Playstation 4 vs. the PC

Console gaming vs. PC gaming — It’s a rivalry that runs as deep as Apple and Android. PC gamers say console technology holds back the industry and caters to the lowest common denominator. Console gamers say their rivals are pretentious gamers who overspend on their machines and care more about lighting and cable management than a good experience.

Middle Eastern countries will likely find peace before we have give a win to the better machine — both come with so many pros and cons. But Sony’s next-gen Playstation 4 claims both power and affordability. So, pound for pound, how does it stack up against its PC counterpart.PlayStation_Four

Price

Let’s just get this one out of the way now — consoles are cheaper than PCs. You can argue specs all day, but it really comes down to mass production. Companies like Sony and Microsoft get away with murder in their hardware contracts with manufacturers. After Microsoft announced the Xbox One would cost $499 on launch day, Sony one-upped them and slapped a $399 price tag on the PS4 (for comparison, the PS3 was $499 when it launched in 2006). So a $1,000 gaming PC, which is a modest price for high graphics settings, seems even more outrageous in comparison.

Processor

The PS4 will feature an 8-cord AMD processor clocked at 2.75 Ghz (1.6 Ghz base clock). The processor, code-named “Jaguar,” was designed specifically for the console, but a comparable AMD chip retails for a little more than $400 online. This already puts the Playstation at a huge advantage concerning value for cost.

Graphics

PCs will always have the biggest, baddest graphics capabilities in the market. Nvidia’s GeForce GTX Titan, for example, is an absolute beast of a graphics card. It boasts a 6.0 Gbps memory clock speed and 4K support for up to four displays (you can also SLI these bad boys and play on eight screens). It costs about $1,000.

The PS4 will have a Radeon-based GPU that carries about the same amount of power as the Radeon 7870 XT. It’s certainly no Titan, but it’s 50 percent faster at peak performance than the Xbox One. It also holds weight against lower-priced gaming PCs.

Hard Drive & Memory

No solid state for the PS4, which is a shame considering the shift towards locally stored games on the hard drive. The Playstation will have a 500GB hard drive and a modest 8GB of RAM. That’s enough for now, but it could run into limitations down the road if Sony wants the PS4 to keep the same shelf life as the PS3.

This is where PC’s have Sony beat. RAM costs next to nothing (16GB costs less than $200), and solid state drives are quickly coming down in price. If consoles are serious about their online stores, a SSD would have been a great option.

Software

With all respects to Steam, it’s hard to beat the console’s online experience. Services like Xbox Live and Playstation Plus carry an active user base the PC envies. And now that consoles brand themselves as media centers, consumers who bundle TV and Internet now have a machine that does more for less.

Windows 8 is also receiving harsh criticism that Microsoft is still trying to sort out, according to CNET. Sony has a chance to move the PS4 software ahead of Windows while 8 sets in with gamers.

The Winner

Are you a millionaire? Great, go nuts and build the ultimate gaming machine. Are you crazed with cutting-edge graphics above all else? The PC is still for you. But if you’re a gamer on a budget who enjoys playing online with friends, the console is still for you. The only difference is the PS4 finally closes some of the gaps between consoles and PCs.

The Playstation 4 will launch in the U.S. and Canada on November 15. Check out IGN’s rundown for a full list of the console’s specifications.

(Photo: http://en.wikipedia.org)

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