How-To Geek

Ask the Readers: Do You Prefer Computers, Game Consoles, or Other Devices for Your Gaming Needs?

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Nearly everyone who has access to a computer will play games on it at some point, but many people also use a separate game platform as well. What we would like to know this week is if you prefer using a computer, game consoles, or other devices for your gaming needs.


Photo of Faith and Kate Connors from Mirror’s Edge by Tamahikari Tammas.

Video games are a perfect way to relax and have fun at home (or at work if you can sneak in some game time!). The increasing variety of devices available with each passing year are making it easier to have access to a gaming platform to suit your needs or “darkest gaming desires”. For many people their computers are the perfect platform…they can play Flash-based games in their browsers, use the default set of games that come with their system, and install any extras that catch their eyes. The added benefit is that when game time is over they can drop right into their browsing, e-mail, personal projects, or work without having to switch hardware. The convenience of the “all-in-one” platform is certainly appealing!

Perhaps you prefer to use your computer for other activities outside of gaming and own one or more separate game consoles. You might have chosen an Xbox, Playstation, or Nintendo for example. Maybe a hand-held is preferable for its’ size and portability. Then there are mobile phones and the iPad… With so many options it may feel hard to choose the right platform(s) without a good bit of research regarding display, availability of games for a particular platform, how long before the platform starts to become “obsolete”, etc.

What we would like to know this week is which gaming platform you prefer. Is there only one that you choose to use or do you use multiple platforms for gaming? Is there a particular reason such as convenience for your choices? You may even be keeping an older platform around just for a certain game (or games) made for it. Are there any recommendations or advice that you would like to share with your fellow readers? Let us know in the comments!

[polldaddy poll=”4377359″]

Akemi Iwaya is a devoted Mozilla Firefox user who enjoys working with multiple browsers and occasionally dabbling with Linux. She also loves reading fantasy and sci-fi stories as well as playing "old school" role-playing games. You can visit her on Twitter and .

  • Published 01/12/11

Comments (44)

  1. Asian Angel

    I prefer to use a computer for playing video games, but I do have a Nintendo N64 that I keep just for the original Perfect Dark game. ^_^

  2. Stevens

    Got a ps3 & a pc exclusively for gaming (got a laptop for everything else).
    but there’s also the ipod touch that replaced the nds.

  3. ReynaldoRiv

    60GB PS3 for regular gaming (gotta love its support for 3 major libraries)
    Hp Envy 13 laptop for casual gaming (mostly from the Humble Indie Bundles/Popcap/Free indie games)

    PS3 also serves as an excellent Media Center while the PC is a lovely portable work station. It really is a great one-two knockout punch in terms of bang-for-your-buck power and utility.

  4. matt

    I’ve moved from preferring my PS3 to my PC for gaming. It’s more convenient, mostly. I made a 1 time investment of $1000 (including monitor, case, etc) 2 years ago on a decent (not even super high end!) PC, and it’s been completely worth it. I’ve yet to run across a game I can’t run on high or very high. PC gaming used to be a hassle with the constant upgrade cycle, but it seems like hardware demand has reach a plateau.

    I also use my Droid for gaming, but it’s a pain to find good info on gaming on Android. Virtually everything I see is about iOS. Info on Android gaming would be very valuable to me. (Hint hint, market research team! :P)

  5. Brodiemac

    M$ did a test study a while back that allowed PC games to compete directly with XBox users to see if it was a feasable endeavor. The XBox users not only were beat consistently, the were pwned on every aspect of the games. There was such a discrepancy between the two formats that M$ abandoned the project.

    PC all the way.

  6. Hatryst

    My PC works really good for games :)

    But Angry birds is something awesome on the iPhone !!

  7. Akshay Bilolikar

    Some games simply need a computer to be good – the Sims 3, SimCity, Spore, etc. Some games need a console, likewise – Black Ops, GTA IV, etc. Some games are best on the iOS devices – like Angry Birds and Doodle Jump. So I use all three.

  8. C_3PO

    Xbox, Wii, and last but not least my PS 1&2, the PS1 is around 10 years old, Crash bandicoot is just class on it :-p, a mixture of PS1 games I play. I’m not a real Wii fan although it has some fab games, but my fix for now is Halo Reach, just the best! I don’t play games on any of my machines as I like to relax when gaming and besides I spend loads of work time using my Windows PC’s.

  9. Enzer Milliard

    PC is what’s the best in my opinion. I can mod my games, I can use it for things that aren’t games, I can do multiple things at the same time, I can hook up multiple monitors, I can use it as a phone if I wanted to, and while the other systems need to be completely replaced to play next generation games, a PC can just be updated to work with them, a PC can do a lot more things for the price of a brand new console (unless the PC is a Macintosh or the console is a Wii lol). Also there’s probably a lot more. but I’m too busy watching hulu for that.

  10. ADWheeler Photography


  11. Anonymous

    I don’t know too much about devoted game machines (like XBox, Play Station, Wii, etc.) since I usually hate playing games where I have to take hours just to LEARN how to play. And with most games, there appears to be a learning curve before any sort of play becomes fun. Look at nearly any modern flight simulator if you want an example. Therefore, I pretty much stick to my PC. However, I do occasionally try out an emulator or two.

    As far as emulators go, I do have a PS2 emulator that appears to work. My only problem is there doesn’t seem to be a place to plug in a PS2 or even a PS3 controller to my PC (and no one at any of the game stores seem to know what I am talking about when I ask for a PS2 to USB adapter either). Still, it’s no big deal since I seem to prefer to play cards, simple critter-n-dot stuff, and occasionally a Java based apps anyway.

    Now, as far as gaming “machines” go, I absolutely refuse to pay Microsoft any more money especially when it comes to unnecessary gaming. I personally boycott Microsoft whenever I can primarily for not bringing the cost of their flagship product Windows down. I mean, do you think prices on their games would be any different if they were the worlds only gaming system?! And let’s face it, $400 for one copy of any OS is ridiculous. So I say XBox is nothing but highway robbery.

    Don’t get me wrong! I also don’t like the idea of paying Sony any money either. I mean, if it weren’t for Sony we might all have avoided much of the DRM issues we have all had to deal with – that is, UNTIL NOW! Thankfully, our U.S. government saw that it was reasonable (and therefore, legal) to make “fair use” copies of media that we have already purchased. Problem is Sony has always disagreed. In fact, Sony was right there at the head of the crowd trying to ram it down our collective throats and charge us again and again for media we might have already purchased. So in some ways I see this as being worse than Microsoft! Either way though I don’t think I’ll be purchasing a PS3 any time soon.

    So I suppose about the only gaming system I might even consider these days would be a Wii. Problem is, I’M NOT TWELVE YEARS OLD! Same goes for just about any hand held rig you can show me too.

    So for now, I think I’ll stick with Linux and whatever games they have.

  12. Urichhai

    Keyboard and mouse for me. I hate game pads with the exception of my Satek Wireless pad when I was playing Mech Warrior. The games I play are BF2\BF2BC and Guilds wars. I have a Xbox but thats for my kid to play on yet lately she even has turned back to her PC. All my PCs are custom built by me so we have no problem and around the holidays it has become a tradition for all 4 PCs and both laptops to be running a lan Unreal Tourney GOTY. Drives my wife nuts when we all jump on.

  13. Asgaro

    PC and PS3!

    PC mostly for shooters, like Battlefield Bad Company 2.

    PS3 mostly for third person games, like Red Dead Redemption and Assassin’s Creed II.
    And for racing games.

  14. Michael

    Depends on the game ;)

    While I have enjoyed playing Burnout Paradise on my brother’s XBox 360 for example, or Lego Harry Potter on PS3, the only games I play consistently are on PC, Wii, or DS.

  15. Ko0lHaNDLuKe

    A while ago it would definitely have been a PC. But my Xbox 360 is just so much more convenient and comfortable way to game. I can just sit back in my sofa and shoot some bad guys!

  16. Mike B.

    This depends, if money is a factor, PC rules the gaming world for me. I own an Xbox 360 but paying $60 for a new game every two months plus the $50 fee per year is just way too much. I have invested around $700 into my PC and playing games at max settings has never looked smoother. Steam for the PC allows for cheap access to hundreds of entertaining games straight to my PC. I don’t think I’ve ever bought anything above $30, whether it be Bad Company 2 ($15), Minecraft ($15), or Counter-Strke: Source/Garrys Mod ($15).

  17. Zach

    I have some games I play on the computer, but the majority of games I play are console based.

  18. TJ Fadness

    Seeing as I just got my replacement PSU from newegg(the one I got on christmas morning was faulty), and played hours of Dead Rising 2 on PC…

    PC. And this is coming from a person who has sunk countless hours of gaming into my Xbox, and will continue doing so.

  19. john

    i am disabled and i do have a WII but mostly use my PC due to controller issues that’s why i bought a WII with motion sensors my disability is not in the way.


  20. MIke Versteeg

    I’d have voted that I never play (PC/console) games at all, but that option was missing :)

  21. MSwales

    No Major preference,
    But. I have PC (desk and lap) for Strategic multiplayer (C&C {hey, I like older games, im an older player} )
    An Xbox for newer games (I’m a Fallout adict) and Band games (the kids insisted) and a Wii for family game nights. PC and Xbox are just not providing for family friendly gaming.
    Occaisionally an old Paystaion 1 is dragged out for the many/many games we bought for it and of course we can still play Gamecube stuff on the Wii. Which is nice….

    If I had the cash for a couple of high end PC’s though they would probably take precedence. but as I don’t… the 2nd hand xbox is probably played with the most.

  22. Ja5087

    Wii and PC

  23. Ghost

    Wow @Anonymous; time stamp 12 JAN 2011 5:27PM for boring us all with an over-inflated response that had nothing to do with gaming… overall! I prefer PC to console, just because of functionality, but don’t think I don’t own a PS3,PS2,N64,Xbox360 and a killer Desktop replacement Laptop. Gaming is my favorite hobbie just wish I could do it more. Specforghost is my exclusive tag

  24. Santo

    Computer or mobile gaming I loose interest after some time and I stop playing it for ever. One fine day I go ahead uninstall them. Install something new and play few days and the cycle continues. It has been more than two years since I had played any game in my computer!!

  25. SunyiNyufi

    I was a PC exclusive player since my childhood, mostly cos consoles were pretty expensive here while I was a kid (and my dad could always bring home a laptop from work, so that was basically free). Now I have an old PS2 to go along with it, and I don’t really plan to buy any other console, ‘cos I still prefer playing on my not-so-expensive-but-overclocked PC. Really, nothing can beat the mouse + keyboard controling.

    However I like racing and fighting games on the console, since those don’t really need me to move the camera with my mouse, so they are perfect for a controller. And also most of these games are best to play with friends sitting on the same couch as you (so you can point and laugh at them when they lose).

  26. Andre Nascentes

    As I play only racing simulators (rFactir, GTR2, NetkarPro,…) and FPS, I prefer PCs.

  27. Dardan

    when i play a single player game like war games ex. Call of Duty i prefer PC(it’s more fun with mouse) , but i play a lot in Playstation 3 football games like PES 2011 (perfect game by the way)

  28. Jon


    I don’t play games, but have 14 computers I take to church once a month for the kids to play Call Of Duty. I have some newer ones that will play the newest games, and about half are older ones that only play Call of Duty 2. I take a 24 port switch, all the cat-5 cables, power cords, and ALL the other stuff needed to set up the network. If there is a way to have the kids play the games without taking all the stuff, I sure would like to know. Even with this being the only thing these computers are used for, it seems to take a lot of maintenance and updates to stay on top of it. I have a projector which will take feed from a computer, but then it is only good for one person so I doubt that is any help. They do not want the other kids to see their screen anyhow. I would buy an X-Box or WII if it would help.

  29. MK

    Have 360 PS3 Wii iPad Nexus but my gaming beast PC trumps them all

  30. Alan

    I prefer using a pc for games especially Sniper games including Ghost Recon and Call of Duty.

  31. Monicoj

    I don’t have gaming needs. In my very personal opinion it’s a waste of time.
    But I can not say that I don’t have any games. There are few games on my iPhone which I play only when there is absolutely no other more productive thing I might be doing at that time.
    I don’t understand how people can become addicted to games.

  32. Mastermind

    Besides a PC I’ve also got a Playstation 3 Slim (320 GB), an iPod Touch, a Nintento DS Lite (white), an old Atari, Commodore, Chess computer, gameboy, tennis computer.

  33. `gene

    PC for all the great (and not so great but still fun) FOSS games

  34. tbw

    i play every thing on PC, FPS, TPS, RGP. and am realy happy with.

  35. Celly

    I play retro systems and arcade games on my MAME cabinet. I do have an XBOX 360 and Wii that I tink around on here and there.

  36. Jon

    FPS games just don’t do well on a console so I play them on the PC. Everything else is pretty much console.

  37. T2Rs

    PS2, PS3, Xbox 360, DS Lite (now only used for movies while waiting for appointments or flights) and a Wii. Why use a small monitor (comparatively speaking) when I can use my big screen tv very easily with the consoles. Besides as bad as I suck at the console games its not worth the investment for an all out gaming pc.

  38. thorstenmz

    How about German Board Games?

  39. Jami

    Xbox 360 console and computer with emulators for all of the other consoles :)

  40. Omar Hafiz

    Computer and PS. Mainly my computer because I can just minimize the game and check e-mails, write an essay or homework then back to the game again. Also the fact that it’s easily upgradable, and with me working in the computer and programing field, I can get VGA cards and other hardware for half the price or sometimes less.

  41. Eric

    Asian Angel keeps the N64 around for the same game I do! Perfect Dark for the 64 rocks so hard, I even bought the prequel that no-one likes.

    Whole list, though, for me is: NES 2, N64, NDS, PSP 3000, Windows 7 PC, Xbox 360. I have PS 1 and 2 games, but no PlayStation. And I would never game on a phone if there was an NDS or PSP version.

  42. Asian Angel

    @Eric – Perfect Dark for N64 definitely rules and it is so wonderful to see another fan of it pop in here! ^_^

  43. delukze

    if it plays games i have it!!!! lol
    i once had a video camera that had games

  44. Pablo Dami

    I think that depends of the game. The PC is great to mod and update hardware to get the ultimate generation of games playing with great graphics. But regarding consoles, like PS3 has many exclusive titles that you need this console to play it (uncharted saga, metal gear, god of war 3, Gran turismo 5, etc). So, if I can play a game in PC with better graphics and smoother (like Mass Effect 2) I prefer the PC. If I like to play an exclusive game of a particular console, like Metal Gear 4, I must use PS3 (there’s no emulator available…)


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