Question Console vs PC lifecycles

Dec 21, 2020
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Why is it that consoles life cycles last like 6-8 years but when people ask about future-proofing pc parts, the answer is always something like only several years? I want to buy a gaming pc that includes "top of the line" parts, but that will also last me as long as a console's life-cycle? Will a "top of the line" pc last me that same amount of time if the trade-off is that I will have to run games at much lower settings in the distant future?
 
Why is it that consoles life cycles last like 6-8 years but when people ask about future-proofing pc parts, the answer is always something like only several years? I want to buy a gaming pc that includes "top of the line" parts, but that will also last me as long as a console's life-cycle? Will a "top of the line" pc last me that same amount of time if the trade-off is that I will have to run games at much lower settings in the distant future?
PC's do last a long time in truth - however PC gamers tend to have quite high demands (and are often enthusiasts like myself who enjoy getting new parts to play around with). When you get comments of about PC's being 'out of date' after 2 years - that is usually on the basis that the machine can no longer run all the games maxed out, at whatever frame rate that specific user deems 'playable'. There have been conversations on this forum with people complaining bitterly about 'low fps' on their gaming rigs only to find that they are getting over 100 fps, at max settings but thought all games should be running at 200+... Then at the other end of the spectrum you get players like myself who grew up with games on early PC's and are happy with a steady 30 fps most of the time. To be fair it does somewhat come down to what types of games you are talking about, personally I've always been a fan of RTS / simulation games primarily which don't need very high fps to be enjoyable. The gamers into competitive fast paced shooters do benefit from higher frame rates as it improves reaction times.

When it comes to consoles - the hardware is fixed so games are made to work on it until the new model comes out. This means that the quality / performance of games on console tend to get worse compared to the PC version the later in the console life span you get (usually when just released the two are similar, however consoles have to either shoot for lower fps targets, like 30 fps or much reduced graphics settings near the end whilst the PC version of the same game can be turned up much higher). If you are prepared to drop the settings to match the console version then a similarly aged gaming PC should still be able to play the same titles. There are reviews on youtube looking at using older PC's for gaming and first gen i7's (e.g. like the i7 920) can still run all the latest titles when paired with a mid range graphics card, albeit at low settings. That is impressive considering that cpu came out in 2009. I would note though that in these cases the machines have usually had some upgrades over the spec they would have been back then (for example more memory and a more up to date graphics card).
 
Similar to above I would say it’s down to expectations and a lot of pc gamers demanding more and more. Those who don’t demand so much will get a much longer life out of their pc. My last pc system lasted about 5 years (4670k & 780) for gaming at 1080p 60Hz and not caring about settings. However I have now got higher expectations and moving to 1440p 144Hz and starting to demand high settings and high fps I know upgrades will be required far more frequently. I’ve already upgraded from a 2080S to 3080 as I was underwhelmed with the 2080S performance.

Comparing the COD BO & MW and also Gears 5 between pc and Xbox Series X it is clear the PC looks better, it’s no contest. However the XBox really impresses me with what it achieves for the price, it is far better than a pc of similar price for just gaming performance. The other benefit is the pc I can tweak settings, in BO I am currently getting between 170-200 FPS depending on the map and this is a sweat spot for me as it’s so smooth. Those gaming on console don’t have the option to try and demand 150+ FPS and without a direct comparison in front of them they probably don’t realise the difference in game detail already between console and high end pc.
 

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Why is it that consoles life cycles last like 6-8 years but when people ask about future-proofing pc parts, the answer is always something like only several years? I want to buy a gaming pc that includes "top of the line" parts, but that will also last me as long as a console's life-cycle? Will a "top of the line" pc last me that same amount of time if the trade-off is that I will have to run games at much lower settings in the distant future?
In 2027, a new playstation game will be written to work with playstation (PS5) hardware that is from 2020.
A new PC game will be written to work with PC hardware that is common in 2026 or 2027.
 

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