The comfort of console gaming

by Ben Kirby
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I’ll not lie, since building my first PC for gaming, my Xbox One and PS4 have largely sat collecting dust. Barring the odd PS4 exclusive here and there, I’ve moved on from console gaming.

I haven’t really considered the new generation of consoles either (thanks largely to the scarcity of them!). I have just stopped being bothered. Until the other day, that is, when I realised I might be happier playing Horizon Forbidden West in my living room like I used to.

Why? A few reasons really, which I’ll come to. But I was pretty stunned by my sudden bout of nostalgia for sitting on the sofa playing a game. Something that just isn’t as practical as I’d like with a PC.

Console

PC Gaming – Comfort, but different

Before I sound like I’m whining about some kind of first-world non-problem. It’s fair to say that I’m at a desk, sitting in a comfortable chair and my PC gaming isn’t an uncomfortable experience by any stretch.

Console gaming is different.

I work all day at a computer, in an office chair, sat in front of screens. Again, I’m comfortable, but it’s hardly soft furnishings and blankets. Coming home and essentially doing the same again, can be a little tiresome. I have an inclination to lean on my arms, and with armrests and a desk, I’m continuing the bad habit…

There’s the Steam Link, and I have that all setup, but I never use it. It doesn’t “feel” right. The console gaming and PC experiences are very different. Forget frame rates, resolutions, multi-tasking and a hundred other things I can do at PC, the console is a singular purpose device and that’s arguably a part of the appeal, too.

Without trying to update drivers, chipsets, BIOS, and a million other things. You’re hit with small updates (sometimes big, but the quantity, by comparison, is negligible) on console, but you’re not potentially battling your most recent purchase to make it work well.

I love working with PCs, hell, I work in IT. I just don’t always need everything to be a bloody problem to resolve. I lose time tweaking and changing, and that’s the opposite of the console gaming experience. I love getting things right, but I hate that sometimes I can lose an hour or so trying to do so.

Sanodesk Gaming Chair GC01 in red and black

Console gaming comfort

Lets consider “comfort” as a multi-faceted concept. Yes, I’m talking about being sat in the living room, a blanket, the sofa and just being generally more comfortable.

But look beyond that. The console gaming experience is a streamlined (limited, some might say!) experience. You’re not problem solving or wondering if the latest game is going to work. Your work was done when you switched it on and connected it to the TV.

So there’s the physical comfort of being seated in the cosiest room of the house, there’s the mental comfort of knowing that by and large, things just work. What else?

Screen size baby!! Sure, you can get monster TVs and monitors for a PC, but that’s largely quite impractical. You’re more likely to have a good-sized screen in the living room for your console. In fact, until very recently I wasn’t getting the benefits of the HDR from my Playstation 4 because of needing a better screen for the privilege.

Plug that console in and benefit from a singular purpose. Efficient in getting you from real life, into gaming worlds and letting you be comfortable in doing so.

I miss that sometimes, and I’m making more of an effort to use my consoles to benefit from this.

Console Gaming at its best - Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword Tmeple

PC vs Console gaming

It’s a stupid, old and sad argument. We have pros and cons for both, and I love being able to do both.

Sometimes mood and accessibility will trump the need to do 100 other things at the same time as playing a game, sometimes I’ll want to stream and manage Discord. Who cares?

I’ve gotten over myself with the “my PC is the best way to play”, and I miss the relative comfort of the sofa in the middle of the night, instead of feeling like I’m in an office.

Enjoy yourself, be comfy and play those games!


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