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In the gaming face-off between PCs and consoles, the hype seems to be very much around the latter. However, a reality check reveals that the former continues to lead in developing countries.
Both camps have their supporters. The console crowd points out that most consoles now support high definition displays, have online gaming facilities, excellent gameplay options and, best of all, save the user from the hassle of having to upgrade their systems (generally in terms of RAM and graphics cards) almost every time a major new title is released. The PC adherents, on their part, claim that their devices are better at handling online gaming, and what's more, are capable of doing much more than just playing games. While the need to upgrade regularly can be a bit of a hassle, they say that this proves that PC game developers are actually willing to venture beyond the limits of existing hardware - something that console game developers cannot really do, as they have to ensure that all their games play on the same console.
As a clincher, PC gaming supporters point out that PC games end up costing significantly less than their console counterparts; a new PC game generally costs in the vicinity of Rs 1,500 while a new console title can cost almost twice as much. Also, in the long run, PC game prices decline to the point of Rs 199 (some even go sub-Rs 100), while the lowest price one can get for a console game is generally around Rs 450 (for the PlayStation 2, at the moment). Also, PCs have a much bigger gaming library (albeit one with OS-compatibility issues) than consoles do, giving users far more options.
While there is no clear winner globally, it would be safe to say that the PC very much calls the shots in India. Part of the reason is that a person can use a PC for so many other purposes, whereas consoles, notwithstanding all the processing power they pack in, are not really capable of handling tasks such as word processing and even extensive Web browsing. There is also the fact that a PC is a complete package in itself, whereas a console needs to be plugged into a display, which needs to be purchased separately. Yes, most consoles can be connected to television sets too, but then Indian homes generally have a single TV that is watched by the entire family. As Sony and Microsoft (and recently, Nintendo) are finding out, most people are unlikely to surrender their TV viewing rights to let someone play a game.