This is probably what scares away most gamers from trying out gaming PCs. Compared to a game console like the Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, or PS4, gaming computers can be astronomically more expensive. But why do gaming computers drive such a high price tag if both a Playstation and a custom gaming PC can play the same games like Red Dead Redemption or Doom Eternal? Well, there are more than a few reasons.
Gaming Computers Have a More Expensive Supply Chain
Consoles are manufactured on the scale of hundreds of thousands, with robots automating much of the work that needs to be done for them. They have very few configurations, with the only differentiator between models typically being the storage size or game bundle. The CPU and GPU are combined into a single component, as well as there is only one set of shared RAM. This allows for a very refined manufacturing process in which gaming consoles can be produced the most efficient way possible. Game consoles are also built with significantly cheaper parts. They don’t need to spend money on silk screening the motherboard to label everything, nor do they have to spend extra on raw metal because they’re largely made of plastic on the exterior. Additionally, the Xbox and PS4 use hard drives rather than SSDs while the Nintendo Switch uses cheap flash memory, which drives costs down for storage considerably. Furthermore, the product only needs to transfer from the manufacturer to the retailer before you are able to buy it, with maybe a distributor in between, but most retailers like Amazon and Best Buy will get their supply directly from Sony or Microsoft.
Comparatively, PCs are significantly more complex in both construction and manufacturing, as well as general distribution. While CPUs are made on the scale of thousands like consoles, the CPU manufacturer is only responsible for that single part. There are several different manufacturers that produce discrete graphics cards (GPUs), motherboards, RAM, SSDs and Hard Drives, Power Supplies, sound cards, and cases and other accessories like fans and RGB lights. Companies like Apex have to acquire all the different parts individually. This is helped by distributors maintaining a stock of these parts, but this adds additional cost as there are more companies middle-man companies that need to make a profit, as it is not feasible for every computer building company to order thousands of computer parts at a time. Building a computer is also a very manual process, requiring human workers rather than automated machines to build computers, which also adds to the cost. Then, of course, Windows has to be bought and installed on the PC.
Gaming PCs have a leg up over consoles in terms of quality and performance. Computer engineers specifically design modern computer processors to be at the cutting edge, using the newest technologies and architectures. Game consoles usually use cheaper processors to keep costs down. The CPU and GPU on a gaming PC are often triple the power of a gaming console, if not significantly more. This allows gaming PCs to push out higher fidelity graphics (with both integrated & dedicated GPUs), higher resolutions, and higher frames per second. This power though requires more electricity and generates heat, so gaming PCs require significantly more cooling than a console. It is more than possible to cool and power these high powered processors, though it requires a much bigger heatsink and fan array. The computer case itself will also be made of tempered glass and steel or aluminum, which looks and feels more robust. This is different than HP’s or Dell’s standard computers, which are largely made of plastic and similarly use cheap CPUs and GPUs. Gaming PCs can also be equipped with RGB lights, which can add flair and personality to your computer.
The hardware of a gaming PC from Apex Gaming is much more powerful than a console as well as much more customizable, but that power and freedom come at the cost of manufacturing and distribution. Simply, Apex does not sell as many computers as Sony sells consoles, but Apex does ensure that each PC is given the same level of care and attention when building them.
Game Consoles Subsidize Their Costs with Game Sales
A gaming PC can purchase games from many different marketplaces. There is Steam, Epic Games, Uplay, and Origin as well as the resellers like Humble Bundle and GOG. Since there is so much competition in this space, there are many sales throughout the year to promote their stores to get more people to buy games from their marketplaces. This allows for more freedom and more choice than consoles.
Consoles, on the other hand, are typically sold at a very slim profit, if not at a small loss. While this seems illogical, there are only two ways to buy games for a console, from their digital marketplace or buy a game CD from a retailer like Best Buy or Amazon. For every game sale, Sony and Microsoft will take a percentage of it as a licensing fee to allow the game to be played on their respective console. That means that for every game that you buy, approximately $12 of that $60 is going back to Sony or Microsoft, and that is how they make extra profit on their consoles. The PC marketplaces have similar pricing schemes in place, with Epic Games being the most controversial yet enticing because they will only take 12% of the games’ sale, rather than 20-30% like other market places.
Because gaming PCs have such an open market, companies like Apex have to earn all the profit, labor costs, and marketing from the PC itself, while gaming consoles will make money continually as you buy more and more games.
Benefits of PC Gaming Over Console
Gaming PCs have many benefits over consoles though for their extra cost. Just because a computer was built with gaming in mind does not mean that it is incapable of doing other tasks. Also, as you probably are aware, there are many ways to build a gaming computer.
PCs, and by extension gaming PCs, can be used for almost anything. They can write documents, edit videos, watch movies, program websites, design bridges and buildings, and play video games. For many college students, buying a gaming computer is a great idea as you can write your essays and study during the day, and game the night away once you’re done. Gaming PCs are also the choice of many photo and video editors because they are so powerful. Without a lot of clever hacking and modding, it’s almost impossible to even get a different operating system onto a console. There are many people who buy gaming consoles because of their 4K Blu-ray drives, but 4K Blu-ray drives also exist for PCs too.
Maybe you like controllers better than mouse and keyboard? Well, gaming PCs can easily hook up to almost every modern controller: Xbox One controllers, Playstation Dualshock controllers, Nintendo Switch joy-cons and pro controllers, and VR peripherals. They’re all pretty much plug and play with Windows 10. Good luck trying to play with a mouse and keyboard on console, as most games don’t support that feature.
While there are special edition game consoles, gaming PCs easily sweep the field in terms of customization. There are thousands of different computer cases and models of computers that you can buy. You can also customize them to have RGB fans or whisper-silent fans. Maybe you’re looking for something extra special, so you opt for custom water-cooling to make your PC stand out even more. Looking for a better GPU? Simply swap out the cards. Need more storage space in your gaming PC? Just add another hard drive. Every Apex Gaming PC comes with a lifetime labor warranty, meaning if you ever want to change or upgrade your prebuilt PC, you just have to pay for the parts. Apex will handle the rest.
As it was mentioned before, gaming PCs are much better than consoles in terms of performance. Many consoles will lock their games to a constant 30 frames per second, which is fine for single-player games but makes the game feel sluggish when trying to play fast-paced multiplayer games. In comparison, many gaming PCs will crank out 60 FPS in the same cinematic single-player games, while 144 FPS or even 240 FPS is quite common for multiplayer games and E-Sports titles.
Gaming PCs also allow you to crank up the quality of the textures and lighting effects so that your game looks as beautiful as they can. A 4K gaming PC means you get a more immersive gaming experience with high-resolution settings. In comparison, many games on console are plagued with low-resolution textures and models noticeably popping into view.
Benefits of Buying a PC from Apex rather than DIY Building
Ready to switch over to the world of PC gaming?
Well, definitely look into Apex Gaming PCs and the many different models of PCs that can suit almost any budget. While it might be slightly cheaper to build it yourself, Apex’s fantastic warranty and support are here to help if you ever run into any issues with your Apex Gaming PC. And, with Apex Gaming's gaming PC financing options, you'll find easy and affordable payment plans for your order.
When building yourself, you have the sole responsibility of troubleshooting all the potential problems, as well as dealing with the much more restrictive manufacturer warranties. Buying from Apex Gaming not only guarantees you an amazing gaming PC, but also the knowledge and expertise of the entire staff. So what are you waiting for? Get your gaming PC today.
Written By Davis Ranney
Edited By William Wilson