No, this isn’t an article designed to stoke the fires of the console/PC wars, but rather it’s designed as a different way of adopting a console-like experience through a PC. Whether by looping your standard PC through a TV screen, or creating a dedicated PC as a game provider, using a PC like a console is now a realistic goal. Here, we want to explain exactly what we mean by this, what advantages can be found, and what potential adopters of this tech need to keep in mind.
By a console-like experience, we mean primarily a form of PC gaming which can be played from your regular TV and couch, with your controller of choice in hand. It also means that's we're going to want to target as many console games as possible to run through the PC, to get as similar an experience as feasible.
Why take this route?
There are a few advantages that can be found through this method, but the most fundamental relates to the flexibility of choice. There is no arguing that the current generations of consoles have enormous libraries, but these all pale in comparison to that of the PC. What we do need to keep in mind, however, is input for older PC games can be problematic with gamepad devices.
Most modern games have no issue on this front, where multiplatform releases support the likes of the Xbox and PlayStation controllers with little or no tweaking. Games from 2010-2015 will usually require more work, while pre-2010 games can occasionally cause significant difficulties. This can be overcome, however, by the simple inclusion of a wireless mouse and keyboard.
In this way, not only will a whole range of traditional video games become open to the user, but related avenues in gaming will become equally accessible. For example, online casino games are extremely popular, with titles like roulette, poker, slots, craps, and more, but play with a controller can be near impossible. A simple wireless solution can allow contemporary games like this, and many older traditional games, to run smoothly, and without frustration.
Should you choose this method, it should also be noted that not all console games are necessarily out of reach. For example. Sony’s PSNow service allows PC’s to play many PlayStation games through their streaming service, as will Microsoft with their games via Project xCloud. Neither of these is perfect, especially given latency issues, but they are possible avenues of engagement for those games which are not multiplatform releases.
Another popular method could be to emulate older systems with a program like RetroArch. Acting as a frontend for many of the most popular emulators in the world, this one program can be a godsend for essentially gaining access to dozens of different consoles from one central computer. These can emulate some recent systems as well, with PS2, Gamecube, and Nintendo DS systems all working incredibly well with thousands of potential games.
An idea to keep in mind
Going for this method is quite simple, with basic cords and wireless solutions being enough to enable access for well under €100. In our personal experience, such an idea properly implemented can be enough not only to keep dedicated modern gamers entertained but also to drag in those who haven’t been playing for years.
You should also remember that, in the case of emulation, you often don’t need an especially powerful PC to accomplish fantastic results. Whether looking to avoid purchasing a new console or just trying to revisit some old favourites with friends and family, making your PC turn out a console-like experience is easier than you might think.