Should You Buy: PC, PS5/Xbox, or Steam Deck?

Should You Buy A PC? 3
Credit: Valve

Should You Buy A PC? 3
Credit: Valve

So, you're a gamer. You like video games, us too. But you're looking for an upgrade, for your next big thing, and you don't know what you should get. Should you pick up one of those next-gen consoles now that they're a little easier and a little cheaper, or should you just take the plunge and buy a PC? Or, maybe, you should try out the Steam Deck and get a portable system and a home console all in one device.

Not to worry, because we're here to help. Read on to learn everything you need to know about whether you should buy a PC, PS5/Xbox, or Steam Deck.

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Should You Buy A PC?

Should You Buy A PC?
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Credit: Alienware

The biggest factor out there when it comes to buying a PC is price, especially so in recent memory with ongoing chip shortages continuing to keep PC prices relatively high. However, it's not as it was just a few years back.

For example, you can routinely find pre-built computers outfitted with modern Intel and Ryzen processors, 16GBs of RAM, SSDs, and anywhere from 2060 to 3060 GPU for around $1000 with included peripherals like a mouse and keyboard. A system of that caliber will be more than capable of playing games at high graphics settings and framerates anywhere between 1080p and 4K, depending on the game and your settings.

Not only can a PC of that caliber outperform a next-gen console, but you'll get significantly more control over your gaming experience and get to pick and choose whether you want more frames or prettier games. Not to mention a world of modding will open up for you on PC. Plus, of course, you'll get instant access to decades worth of video games.

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You'll also be able to choose whether or not you play on controller or with mouse and keyboard, and with a lot of games, you'll still be able to play with your friends on console thanks to crossplay. However, you will have to purchase a monitor if you don't have one, and you will, inevitably, have to spend more time with settings and tweaking your experience vs the plug-and-play setup you get on console.

Put simply, a relatively powerful, modern PC is going to cost you more than a next-gen console, and it's going to require more time and effort to get it exactly where you want it as opposed to a console.

Should You Buy A PS5/Xbox Series X?

Should You Buy A PC? 2
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Credit: Sony

Next-gen consoles like PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X are powerful machines capable of outputting at 4K/60FPS and even 120FPS in certain instances. Graphically, these machines are capable of huge leaps over last-generation consoles like PS4 and Xbox One, too.

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Depending on which console you pick up, you'll get to enjoy exclusive experiences on your console of choice, as well, though most Xbox games are also on PC. Plus, if you're looking for a cheaper option, these next-gen consoles will run you about $500, so even if you pick up a 4K TV alongside one, you'll usually be able to get out for less than you would a gaming PC that's designed for 4K gaming.

Consoles, also, are extremely plug-and-play devices, meaning very little setup is necessary. Plus, just like with PC, you can oftentimes play with your friends on other consoles (or on PC) thanks to crossplay, and mouse and keyboard support on console is only getting stronger by the day.

Ultimately, a console is going to support fewer games than PC and offer up lower framerates and less pretty graphics, as compared to a nicer PC, and you won't get fun extras like access to modding, for example.

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Should You Buy A Steam Deck?

Should You Buy A PC? 3
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Credit: Valve

What if you want a gaming machine you can use when you're out and about but also rely on at home? And what if you aren't happy with the power of the Switch or aren't the biggest fan of Nintendo games?

Well, you can consider picking up a Steam Deck. They start off at just $400, making a Deck just about the cheapest option of the three, and you won't even need an external display if you don't want. However, it's also the lowest-powered option here, coming in at more powerful than a PS4 and significantly less powerful than a PS5.

Though, considering that the Deck isn't trying to output at a resolution like 4K, it can usually manage relatively impressive graphics settings and framerates, depending on the game. With Deck you'll get access to Steam's enormous library of PC games, but not every game will work out of the box with Deck. Some will definitely require tweaking to get to work, and ultimately, you will have access to far fewer games than a traditional PC.

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However, you can bring your Deck with you out into the world, which is more than you can say for PS5/Series X and even more than you can say with a laptop. While a Deck may not offer up as much flexibility as a traditional PC, you can connect various peripherals to it, like mouse and keyboard, and you can connect it to TVs and monitors for a home console experience as well as upgrade its internal storage.

If you're looking to save money and bring your gaming with you, a Deck may well be the right fit.

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