PC gaming is it worth the investment?

PC gamers are always claiming that the their environment is just an investment that you will recover from buying games at ridiculous low prices. But many console owners can’t justify spending almost twice as much for a similar system. So who is right or wrong?

Now let’s set some facts straight before we continue.

  • First we are only listing pre-built system from MAJOR retailers, average Joe who is 47 knows about the companies buried deep in the PC gaming culture such as Falcon NorthWest, OriginPC, Maingear, etc and neither that he have the time or ability to build his own system
  • Second, we are considering the average Lifespan of a console 5-6 years.
  • Third, we will be considering basic functions such as online playing, Voice Chat, backward compatibility among others.
  • Fourth Terms will be kept on legal terms; Piracy will not be encouraged in this report.
  • Finally the system must have similar specs.

The computer:


As stated earlier we will be using a PC you can walk in an order in a major retailer, yes we all know that if you can build it yourself or get a friend to do it you will have a way better system for the same amount of cash but we are not considering that variable for now. The system we will be using is an Ibuypower prebuilt system from BestBuy. At the moment of this report it has a price tag of $599.99. To be fair we will need to adjust the price of the system of what it might cost close to the new consoles release date. I was able to find this same model with the same part while using archive.org from a date of February 2013 for a price tag of $659.99. In other words the systems price got reduced by $59.99 in 5 months, after adjusting tthe system for a future price we can assume a price of $540.00. We will also need to buy peripherals, consider a laser gaming mouse $11.40 and a mechanical keyboard $44.11 from monoprice.com. Assuming you do not currently possess a monitor a decent 23″ with 1080p resolution will set you back an extra $140, after including Shipping and handling we can estimate the total value close to $740.00


IbuyPower: Gamer Extreme BB631D3
AMD Quad-Core FX-4100 Zambezi Processor
500GB Serial ATA II hard drive (7200 rpm)
AMD Radeon HD 7770 graphics

The Science behind the numbers:

As you can see the difference between the devices is a mere $340and $240 between the PS4 and Xbox One respectively. We will have many variables here, and will refer to many sites and applications, especially for PC gaming. And all the data must be tractable and reliable. What you won’t see in this section is the time factor and features. Also “trade- ins” will not be considered for this analysis. We will counter the free games from Sony and Microsoft with the PC’s Free to Play mode such as Hawken and LOL. You can always consult: http://www.F2p Gamelist.com to see the list of free games in PC/consoles and a review form several users.

Lowest game price for games:PriceComparisonChart
* Note Witcher 2 is not a PS3 title but friends requested to add it, we price match xbox.

Price comparisonWe can obtain from the data acquired that the average cost of a Xbox 360 games are 34.46% higher and the PS3’s are 32.09% compared to PC, Remember this are estimates and a much precise number can be obtained if more titles are input. Also remember that this are the lowest price recorded in history between all sources. Now keep in mind this does not include Bundles (often seen in PC such as Border Lands 2 + Season pass for $13.49), nor coupons gotten from stores or special sales. Your best bet to get games at this prices is to follow major retailers on Facebook and twitter to see when they have sales. Also currently all systems have voice communication available for free, in PC you have several options these include: Steam party chat, Razer Comms, and Raidcall.

Whats the right choice?

You have basically seen lot of numbers graphs and way to many paragraphs. But there’s one variable I have not mentioned and that is online playing cost. PC gaming online is free (unless you play an MMO) vs $50 a year that next gen consoles will be charging (except for several Free to play titles such as Warframe that confirm that it will be free). If we add up the cost of 5 years of online play ($250) the Xbox one will already be a price match for the system just considering that variable and the PS4 will need to match a 15 titles in savings to match that difference. So essentially we end up paying the same amount of money for the systems in in 5 years due to this we can safely say “In the long rung PC gaming is worth every penny”, but the problem here is possessing the “pennies” (approximately between 138-167 pounds of pennies depending on their composition).

Also remember that this calculations are based on games weeks/months after they are release, if you are the kind of person that loves buying game son day 1 you might not be able to recover your investment.

Price with online

The decision ends in your hands, Would you rather pay more up front and are you patient with game releases? Do you only want a system to play offline? Will you be buying only AAA titles on day one? Answering these question will determine what system is the proper for you.

I personally have a triple monitor desktop setup with a NVidia GTX 680 ($400 card). Yet I also have expect to buy a PS4 in the future. I enjoy both platforms and at the end it depends on what type of game I want to play and if I rather play alone or with my wife.

Sources: camelcamelcamel.com (amazon database), Gamestop, Bestbuy, Steam, is thereanydeal.com, enhancedsteam app, GOG, CAG, Greenmangaming, Gamers Gate.

  1. David Davenport said:

    This is ridiculous, first off PS4 is only $400, second off the processor in the PS4 is a Semi-custom 8-core AMD x86-64 CPU, it has GDDR5 based memory, and a Bluray drive…all at a cheaper price. It comes with a controller and a headset, and pretty much everyone has an HDTV at this point. Also, those numbers are inaccurate when it comes to how much those games cost, just off the top of my head Battlefield 3 is free now on PS+. So overall this makes no sense, not to mention the constant tweaking, fixing, and updating you have to deal with on PCs(which Sony claims will be next to nonexistent on PS4).

    • 1- I have the ps4 at 400 and the one at 500 .

      2- yes the ps4 and xbox have eightcores but at half the speed of this quadcore plus atm no games trully use eightcores, since most intel cpus are quad cores.

      3- if you read the post it says the psplus and xbox gold games will be countered with the giant library of free to play on pc (over 2,000 titles). Not all suck . Theres promising games that are already recognized as sports by the is goverment. Such as league of legends.

      Also i said those are lowest pricepoint of games on history this includes sales and used games by the way.

      4-yes every one has hdtvs but some pc gamers hate tvs for playing due to pixel density even know steam big picture helps.

      5- you are right about the bluray sadly theres no prebuilt systems with bluray in the price range. An pc blueray will set you back $40. Yet i wouldnt recommend watching blurays in pc nor consoles due tu high wattage consumption vs a deficated bluray.

      6-one of the reasons i selected a prebuilt is due to the fact of not dealing with components. Yet if something does go wrong and your not an expert nor have a friend that is that will set you back more than rma an xbox or ps4

      7- I do agree theres more bang for your buck in consoles since they have a loss in initial months. We are talking 700 vs 400 and if you only buy triple AAA on first week release you most likely never recover this investment. Most of the friends i grew up with will have no benefit on pc gaming.

      Again this are just numbers not personal experience.

      And btw im not a console hater, curiosity of this topic appeared and i decided to write about it.

      I was expecting more savings of the pc to be honest.

      Also i do have a ps4 preorder and paid in full. Consoles are better for when you play with the family (multiple ppl in one tv).

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