Opinion XBOX

Why a long-time PC gamer switched to the Xbox One

PC to Xbox One opinion.jpg

I’ve been a PC gamer for over two decades without so much as trying a console, apart from Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) back in the day. A gaming PC’s clear power advantage coupled with the mouse and keyboard combination resulted in a mental block regarding consoles for me, there was no doubt in my mind that the PC is the superior gaming device.

That hasn’t changed completely. I still think the PC is superior in many ways. Even so, I took the console plunge on Black Friday and purchased an Xbox One and Gears of War 4 bundle from South African online retailer Takealot.  Before you ask, my walls being green as you can see in the image above, is just a coincidence…

After playing for hours on end with my new toy, I realized that I really enjoyed console gaming. Both the PC and the Xbox One has clear advantages and disadvantages, and I won’t bore you with things like a controller versus mouse and keyboard debate (which has been argued to death over the years) or ease of use, setup and more. All the above-mentioned points and more are matters of preference and each person will have a slightly different opinion on it.

Of course, you can have both, and the argument about PC versus console isn’t the topic of this discussion, but rather why a long-time PC gaming enthusiast like myself shouldn’t be afraid to make the leap to a current-gen console. There are two massive benefits of the Xbox One that really lean towards a console as my preferred gaming device; and I don’t regret it for one second.

Backwards Compatibility breaks the stalemate

One of the best parts about PC gaming is that you can play any old game. Heck, I recently reinstalled the first Diablo that was released back in 1996. As most of you already know by now, consoles, be it a PlayStation or an Xbox, have had a massive number of exclusives over the past several years, amazing titles that PC gamers never had the chance to experience. The Xbox One has a Backwards Compatibility feature, and it is one of the biggest reasons for a PC gamer to get an Xbox One.

The feature has allowed me to experience console exclusives I missed over the years; and so far, it has been one fantastic experience, starting with the first Gears of War and of course, Red Dead Redemption, a game so longed for by PC gamers that they started a petition to bring RDR2 to PC shortly after the official announcement of the sequel earlier this year.  

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My games library so far, filled with mostly 360 titles

The image above shows my installed games, but I’ve also purchased Halo: The Master Chief Collection to, for the first time, experience Halo the way it was meant to be played…on a Xbox. It’s not just me, or other first-time console owners who use Backwards Compatibility either. Xbox’s head honcho, Phil Spencer, recently announced that that on Twitter that: “Now over 300 back compat titles. Nearly 50% of XB1 owners playing BC games is great to see. Thanks for supporting the program.” - Source

Nearly 50% of Xbox One owners! That’s an amazing number, seeing as I find it impossible to believe that almost 50% of Xbox One owners never had an Xbox 360. Further, the Backwards Compatibility library continues to grow, which means there is a plethora of games available that PC gamers might have never had the chance to experience and there could be more to come in the future.

Since I purchased the Xbox One, I’ve only been playing Xbox 360 games, with the exception of Dead Rising 4, which I recently reviewed. That in itself is a testament to how fantastic a feature Backwards Compatibility is, but that’s not the only reason I switched from PC to Xbox One.

A true sense of gaming

I write about games for a living, on the same PC I play games on. Even if you aren’t someone who writes about games, I’m sure a lot of you use a PC in some form while at work. That’s why, at least in my opinion, gaming on a PC gave me that feeling that I am still at work. After a long day of work, there is nothing I would love to do more than play a couple of games, but sitting down at my PC just didn’t feel like I was really, truly gaming. Instead, I kept thinking about work, paused a game to check emails or even prepare for the next day. Console gaming changed all that.

A console is, as I assume everyone knows, a machine built for gaming; relaxed gaming from your couch to be exact. That’s the one thing that made my shiny new Xbox One really give me a true sense of gaming. Instead of sitting at my office chair, I could lounge on the couch playing Red Dead Redemption and simply enjoying the experience.

Sure, one can argue that you can set an extra PC up with Steam’s Big Picture mode, purchase a controller and wireless PC adaptor and then still get the same experience. That might be the case, but let’s face it, building a whole new gaming PC is quite the expensive undertaking. 

Without a doubt my experience with the Xbox One has opened my eyes to the world of console gaming. Sure, a console might not be as powerful as a gaming PC nor is the controller’s accuracy as good as that of a mouse, but I simply don’t care. It’s not about which is best, but rather about the amazing exclusives on offer coupled with the feeling that, on a console, the only thing I’m going to do is enjoy a game and have a relaxed time doing so.

Do you prefer gaming on console or PC and do you agree or disagree with the points raised in this article? Let us know in the comment section below.

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