Gaming PC or PS5?
It's a tale as old as time: do you buy a console, or do you build a custom PC? I’ve had this discussion many, many times, and now finally, we want to put some myths to rest. So let’s take a look at the pros and cons of both of these gaming outlets, and assess both sides.
PS5 - pros and cons
Announced all the way back in 2019, the PS5 hit shelves on November 12th 2020. Even now, it hosts some powerful specs:
- 8-core AMD Zen 2 CPU clocked at 3.5 GHz
- AMD RDNA 2 GPU
- 16GB GDDR6 RAM
- 825GB SSD
- 4K Blu-Ray
The PS5 is still very powerful years after release.
The PS5 was built to last until the next generation, and its specs show this. The PS5 will play most games in 4K with Ray Tracing, sometimes capped at 30fps but not always. Without Ray Tracing, fps is often capped at 60, and beyond that, there are games available in 1080p that can be played at 120 FPS. It’s capable of 8k and even supports VR. Gameplay is flawless even in high settings, and is something only a higher end gaming PC would be able to accomplish, for considerably more money too: the current R.R.P. for the PS5 in the UK is currently at £479.99 for the disc model and £389.99 for the digital edition.
PS5 is still a gaming console at the end of the day, and its main focus is still playing games. Of course you can download various apps like YouTube and Netflix, but primarily, it’s a product designed specifically for playing games, and this is where a gaming PC starts to shine.
There are some big cons to the PS5, such as you have to pay for a yearly subscription just to play online games, and with a gaming PC, all you need is the game and what you pay for your internet. Over the years, consoles have realised that they can’t simply charge for online play, and Playstation Plus has improved over the years with free monthly games, discounts and an online archive of their back catalogue to play, but you still have to pay extra.
PC - pros and cons
Even mid-range gaming PCs are capable of playing just about any game you want in 1080 or even 1440p, although graphical downgrades depending on your graphics card may take a hit. Backwards compatibility, a hot topic among console gamers and gaming archivists recently, is also not half the problem it is on the PS5, who have been criticised in the past for not supporting its older catalogue.
Another great feature is that you can build a PC around your needs and budget, whereas with a PS5, you get what you get in regard to the components. For many, this is a plus as they don’t have to worry about the tech because they know it will play the games they want to play, but for those in the know, it can be very important to customise it to get the most from your money. You can personalise ever aspect of a PC fi that’s what you’re after.
Gaming PCs are extremely customisable
A PC is also designed not just for gaming but for multiple applications too, such as word processing and general work. A PC is also fully upgradable, and you can upgrade it as you go even, piece by piece. Ship of Theseus thought experiment aside, it means you could potentially upgrade indefinitely as new hardware is released.
A big con is, of course, that any PS5 exclusives are locked to their system, and even PS4 exclusives are still stuck on consoles. Games such as Demon’s Souls remake, Horizon: Forbidden West, Bloodborne and Returnal are unavailable to PC gamers, so if you want to play these games, the only way is through a PS5. Luckily, the list is fairly small, but still irritating if you want to play these specific games.
The biggest difference between a PS5 and a PC is price. PS5 has come down a lot since its release. No gaming PC can compete with the level of value for the technology you get inside a PS5. At the same price, a gaming PC would struggle to keep up, and would likely have to compromise with a game in low-medium settings depending on the frame rate.
So in other words, it’s really down to what you need when it comes to gaming. If you want a true investment for the future, want to customise it to some specific needs and have a bit of extra cash, then maybe a gaming PC is the way to go. PS5 offers a fantastic deal for the technology you get, but it’s primarily for gaming, and doesn’t offer the freedom a PC does.