15 Reasons PC Gaming Beats All

7. Consoles go kaplooey, too. I'll see your "blue screen" and raise you a "red ring" or two (or 33 percent of total, if those early estimates were accurate). Leave your pity for PC gamers at the door, because consoles are just as prone to bellying up when something short circuits in quality control. (Because, hate to break it to you, consoles are PCs too!) And memo: Game-breaking creepy-crawlies and PC-style firmware updates and patches have consoles on the hook these days, too.

8. Consoles could vanish tomorrow, but PC gaming is forever. Planning to solve for the unified theory of everything while lounging on your sofa in front of you new 50-inch plasma power-gobbler? Chances are, not so much. Feng Shui your heart out, you still need a place to spread the tree-ware and focus without distractions. Vive la PC! In the end, PC gaming soldiers on in part because the business-to-casual range of our daily activities remains wildly PC-centric. "And it plays games too?" There you go.

9. PC games are stylistically unbounded. It's like the Irving Berlin song: Anything consoles can do, PCs can do better. There's nothing consoles offer that PCs (and PC games) can't, and we're talking strictly one-way negotiation. Anything that requires fast-switch precision movement's out the window on a 360, Wii, or PS3. Real-time strategy games are a tangled mess on consoles, and while certain tactical third-person shooters work well enough, a decent mouse/keyboard gamer will repeatedly roast anyone wielding a pair of comparably clumsy thumb-sticks. Don't get me started on the complete lack of console support for serious simulations and wargames.

10. PCs are the creative heart of video gaming. This is where the grandest, wackiest, coolest, hippest, least predictable stuff in gaming's happening, folks. Hands down and bar none. Don't believe me? Then you need to try more stuff like Crayon Physics, DCS Black Shark, Synaesthete, Fret Nice, and for goodness sake spend some time with Iron Dukes. (Want some more? See my February 2008 feature on "Award Winning Indie Games.")

11. PC games cost less. I'm not saying it makes a lick of sense (it doesn't) but Epic's Gears of War cost 60 bucks when it debuted on the 360. When it hit the PC with brand new content, that price dropped to $50, and that's still the going rate for PC A-listers. A $10 delta may sound trivial if you only buy a few games a year, but even two games a month is pushing $240 -- enough to fund a new Xbox 360 or Nintendo Wii every 365 days.

12. Online PC matchmaking is free. I realize it's only Microsoft dragging its base through the mud here, and analysts claiming Xbox Live offers something unique are simply wrong. Still, it's worth mentioning that online PC matchmaking and multiplayer are, and always have been free. It's not a luxury item, it's not a special service, it's not a value proposition -- it's an entrenched and completely reasonable customer expectation.

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