Comparing the Xbox One to a gaming PC is kind of odd, seeing as how they’re both similar in scope. Unlike the PS4, Microsoft’s (NASDAQ: MSFT) next-gen console offers gaming and multimedia–just like a PC.
In almost universal practicality, a PC can easily trump the Xbox One in terms of overall performance. But what makes the console a contender isn’t raw power, but its vast suite of innovative console-exclusive features powered by Microsoft’s expansive framework.
Xbox LIVE is an example of this. While PC has Steam and MMORPG’s like World of Warcraft to fill this gap, the Xbox’s online service fuels social console gaming, which is one of the core principles of the platform itself.
On the surface we see even more similarities between the two. Xbox One’s Snap Mode emulates a computer’s basic multitasking capabilities, and also features a Media Player that supports a swath of codecs and filetypes–just like VLC Player, for example.
And soon Xbox Ones will be able to interact with PC’s via DLNA streaming, which allows users to share their pictures, video and music from their computer across the system. It seems that the console was meant to compliment a PC, not actually compete against it–and that appears to have been a smart move.
Xbox One vs PC: What’s the biggest difference?
The major distinction between the two is that one is a console and the other is a modular conjunction of hardware. The Xbox One is frozen in time in terms of hardware–it’ll never be able to be updated or changed or configured, whereas the PC can be modified and updated on a whim.
This basically ensures that the Xbox One is outdated despite its multi-functionality and gaming performance, the latter of which hasn’t been able to stand up to the PS4.
Even with the system’s exclusive games–The Halo Master Chief Collection, Sunset Overdrive, etc–the PC still conquers thanks to Steam’s huge library. This discrepancy is largely due to the fact that the Xbox One isn’t backwards compatible, whereas the a decent gaming PC can play pretty much every game released across the last two decades.
But the Xbox One has that convenience factor that all consoles possess; you don’t have to be a tech whiz, mount a CPU, or hook up any SATA cables to get it going. Just hook it up and play.
In a sense the Xbox One is a mini-PC that costs about as much as a lower-end budget PC. If gamers are willing to spend a two hundred or so more dollars they can scout out some really great deals across sites like Newegg.com and assemble a gaming rig that trounces the Xbox One in power.
Xbox One vs PC: Which is better for you?
However Microsoft has temporarily amended the console’s price tag. For the holiday season every Xbox One will be $50 cheaper in the U.S. This marks the Assassin’s Creed: Unity console bundle–which includes AC: Black Flag and Unity–down to just $349. This marks the second price drop since Microsoft shipped the Kinect-less Xbox One for $399.
PC’s are the indisputable kings of gaming in terms of raw power, speed and fidelity, but they are cumbersome and lack the specific nature of consoles.
With the Xbox One gamers can get a sort of consolidated PC-like experience, ranging from gaming to mulitmedia playback and device inter-connectivity.
In many ways it depends on what you’re willing to spend. Consoles cost less time and effort, but they don’t always cost less money, and can’t deliver the strong gaming performance that PC’s can.
PC’s are a more open platform that lacks the targeted experience that’s helped shape gaming as a whole, and depending on what kind of gamer you are, this can be a good or bad thing.