Is the Merging of Console and PC a Good Thing?


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Lately, many games have been breaking down the barrier between PC and console exclusive games.

Since their creation, video games have had multiple platforms for players to choose from, such as Microsoft’s Xbox and Sony’s Playstation. However, the most dominant platform has been standard gaming PCs, which tend to be the best systems for games across the board due to gameplay advantages and their overall performance. To solve the problem of PCs having an upperhand in their gameplay, most games have a platform barrier, which prevents console players from playing with anyone outside of their respective gaming system. Lately though, many games have been breaking down this barrier between PC and console; this change has many positives and negatives to look at before I can decide whether it’s a good decision.

First, the most obvious, and perhaps the only, positive to making consoles cross-platform is so games can survive without a split player base. For example, a standard console/PC game is divided into three or more communities (usually for PC, Playstation and Xbox). This can cause many problems because Xbox could be struggling with not having enough players while the PS4 or PC populations could be thriving. With a merge, the threat of one player base dying is eliminated because there will always be another platform that can provide players.

However, an obvious consequence of merging the different platforms would be the skill disparity between the console and PC players. With a personal computer, playing with a mouse and keyboard is objectively easier than playing with a controller. With a mouse and keyboard, you don’t have to struggle with clunky joysticks, like people who use controllers, and you can generally be more precise. This is a massive issue in games such as “Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege” which relies heavily on the individual player’s aim. PC players can consistently topple over console players with little to no challenge because of their more agile controls. They have an easier time being more accurate and they can consistently land more critical blows to the enemy team. As a result, the skill of a console player has to be far higher than the average PC player’s skill if they’re to stand a chance against them in most games.

Unfair gameplay brings more than just skill disparity to the table, however. If not handled carefully, it could also destroy your console player base’s population entirely. This is evident in the previously mentioned “Rainbow Six Siege” which recently merged PC and consoles and is seeing a traumatic spike in the loss of its console players, due to many of them not enjoying the unfair advantage that PC players have. If the console players leave, it contradicts the entire point of merging the player bases to begin with because the whole point of the merge was to maintain the population that your games already have.

In my opinion, the merging of PC and consoles is not a good decision unless a video game is on the verge of dying, and it should only be used as a last resort. If you put your console players at a disadvantage it will do more harm than good. Sure, your game’s player base may seem bigger in the short term, but after the PC players dominate the game, it can take away multiple platforms that previously thrived.