Let's consider that I buy the latest and greatest console on day one and it costs $700. For that initial investment, on day one thru day three thousand, six hundred and fifty two, I can buy the latest and greatest game with no additional hardware purchase required. I don't need the latest and greatest CPU. I don't need the latest and greatest GPU. I don't even need to add more memory. The console I bought ten years ago will play any new game I buy for it.
Let's say 10 years ago I bought a PC capable of playing Halo: CE. The top-end PC with a 2.4GHz Pentium 4 w/1GB of RAM, a 200GB HDD, and a GeForce4 Ti4200 w/128MB RAM. It costs me $3,500. 2008 comes around, I really want to play Crysis. Well, my CPU is too small. I might have enough system memory, but I'm at the minimum. I really should have twice that. In addition, my video card is woefully inadequate. The problem is that my motherboard doesn't support the very minimum CPU and my BIOS can't be updated to support it. So, I'm stuck buying a new PC.
So, not only am I out the price for my top of the line in 2002 PC, but there really isn't much I can reuse. Now the good news is that while the top of the line PC is roughly the same price as my top of the line in 2002 PC, I get a LOT more PC for that money. Which is cool! I'm sporting a dual core CPU, 4 GB of RAM, two 250GB SATA HDDs in a RAID 0 array, and a 512MB NVidia GPU. Sweet, now I can play Crysis. Two games, and I'm only out about $6,080.
PC Gaming is making so much sense now. It's so worth it and we haven't even gotten to Skyrim!l!
FUCK!!! I need a Quad Core and and a 1GB GPU just to meet the recommended level? Son of a bitch!
Well, this time we are going to get the creme de la creme. This will last FOREVER. Certainly through Gen8 of the consoles.
I7-3960X OC'd at 4.2GHz, 2-NVidia GTX 680s w/2GB of GDDR memory, 3TBs of SATA3 HDD space, 32GBs Quad Channel DDR3 memory and a Blu-Ray drive...FUCK!!! I GIVE UP!!!! $5200!!! This. This is why console gaming is better than PC gaming.
Regardless of whether your console survives for 5 or 10 years, your initial investment of $700 is the same at the end of that period. There is no need to upgrade the hardware to play a game. The hardware you purchased on day one will play a game you purchase 10 years later. And if a game does require next generation hardware does come out, your initial investment is still cheaper than the top-of-the-line PC.
The value of console gaming cannot be matched by PC gaming. Sure, you get top of the line graphics, but at what cost? I agree and understand that my example is slightly over the top, but the reality is that the prices aren't all that off. And while one might be able to upgrade individual components for less, it still costs money. More money than that initial investment for a console.
PC Gaming is not a cheap endeavor, especially if you want to be able to keep up with the latest games and best level of graphics. Console gaming gives you the most bang for your buck no matter how you factor in the costs, and no matter how you justify your PC purchase.