Lets beat a dead horse one more time

Console Vs. PC

Title pretty much explains it. The biggest controversial topic on the forums would be Console Vs. PC

However I really feel that I have a somewhat different point of view that might bring a little more clarity to this topic. It will probably be a lot to read so please bare with me and refrain from commenting unless you read my entire post.

Introduction

After playing Gears of War on console since 2006 with their first title debuting on Xbox 360 I never pictured myself or the community branching off to a different platform (PC). Although Gears of War was released on PC during its first installment into the franchise it wasn’t near as popular as on Xbox. This left the PC community high and dry with lack luster updates and an almost dead community upon release. But to be fair Microsoft was persuaded by Epic studios to increase the Xbox 360’s hardware for the sole purpose to have Gears of War run better on their newly developed console. Later on the rest of the titles were exclusive to Xbox up until their current release (Gears 4). Former head studios developer Cliff Belizinki was against releasing Gears of War on PC due to pirating reasons; he kept a close arm around Xbox with his game. Needless to say Gears of War has been babied by Xbox up until now.

The Controversy

Since Their most recent title being released on Console and PC with Xbox pushing their new Cross-Play system Gears 4 is able to connect both platforms together. This struck a massive polarization within the community. Even some tribalism behavior has risen from this newly adopted way to play. As someone who loves the franchise through thick and thin I would much rather put this to rest and truly see if Console Vs. PC was a bad decision.

My Experience

Playing Gears on Console since 2006 using a controller feels more than natural. However times change and I wanted more out of gaming in general so I built my first gaming PC not too far around the release of Gears 4 (2016). Gears 4 being available on PC for the first time in a decade had no influence on my decision to switch platforms. In fact I played Gears a lot less since I became a PC gamer. It wasn’t until around a full year in its life cycle did I start playing Gears again. I was heavily disappointed with its almost full cross-play feature. Given that Competitive play was strictly on a platform basis along with the ability to turn cross-play off in all other areas left an already dead PC player base basically washed up. In all honesty it’s not that bad but still very disappointing.

Meanwhile my skills as a Gears player went down heavily. Gears felt the most foreign when switching to PC gaming than any other game I played. It truly felt like it was made around an Xbox controller. That’s not to suggest a M/KB isn’t adequate to play fiercely because it most definitely is, but there is something about using a controller that just feels right. Whereas M/KB feels more forced. After a solid year and lots of time adjusting I felt very comfortable playing Gears on PC. The increased resolution and frame-rate makes going back to Xbox impossible until it does…

Having to match-make for upwards of 10, 20, and even 30 minutes to find a ranked match was far too grueling. And more often than not Competitive play was impossible. Fortunately during prime hours of the day there were enough Console Players who still have their cross-play feature turned on (Bless their hearts). Out of curiosity I dusted off my old Xbox and booted up Gears to see how instant match-making felt. I wasn’t disappointed at all. However, despite my joy I was left with a horrible taste in my mouth. Playing at 60 FPS (Frames Per Second) was very bothersome. I also felt as if my input had some sort of slight delay as I would actuate buttons on my controller. It was strange because I never felt this before…ever.

I easily felt comfortable using a controller but the system settings just weren’t right. The low frame-rate, input lag, and overall fidelity wasn’t great. I switched back to PC and it immediately felt normal. Well, by normal I mean God-Like. But in all fairness Gears looks fantastic on the Xbox-X. It’s mostly the slight delay in response that bothered me the most. I actually enjoyed playing Gears on controller again. I almost even prefer it. The joy-sticks made the movement feel much more fluid than M/KB. After a while I started to cave in and understand why Console Players choose to leave cross-play off. Who would want to play with other people who don’t suffer from these arguably insufferable differences. At first my opinion remained strong that PC gaming granted a slight advantage over console players mainly because if input lag-response time, however way you want to refer to it. Some other arguable difference like FOV sliders and M/KB accuracy I found to be more than negligible when it comes to “advantages”. Call it anecdotal but I simply didn’t find myself performing any better playing with my FOV slider. More nauseating than anything to be honest. My controller skills were more than fine. Rotation speed wasn’t an issue. Accuracy wasn’t an issue. The game favors movement over anything else. When it comes to frame-rate it was more of an eye candy than an “advantage” I replicated 60 FPS on PC and as long as V-sync was turned off the response was as fast as I would ever need it to be which made 60FPS a lot better to game at. Which leaves me one last headache I had to face. That damn input delay. The only solid concern I had while gaming on Xbox was narrowed down to input lag. Once I replicated my xbox’s graphical settings on PC everything became totally fine once V-sync was off. After this I had some sympathy for console users and didn’t intervene against the ones who preferred to play with cross-play off.

I just want to be clear that most of this is on a very competitive and technical level. I can easily see a casual gamer not being affected by this at all. And even with this annoying input lag it wasn’t the end of the world and the game was most certainly playable. Fast forward a few months and due to hardware issues my PC was out of commission which left me to play my games on Xbox. And this is where my experience gets interesting. Of course I felt plagued by low hardware capabilities but after a few days of playing I started to notice the game seemingly coming together. As if my brain was adjusting differently. The lower resolution and frame-rate began to look normal. It was as if my head forgot what I was used to playing at and adjusted to something different. A short week went by and I didn’t even notice that input delay. This sort of made sense because while I was exclusively gaming on console I never noticed it before. Only when I switched to PC and then back to console was it apparent. But all this means nothing to me if I can’t play as well. That’s all I cared about. Surprisingly I was playing just as well on console as I do on PC.

During this experience I played with numerous PC and Consoles players and never found a repeatable mark or some sort of trend that would distinguish PC gamers from Console gamers. In fact, the best Gears players were not only on console but there were many more of them on console as well. This would make sense being a mainly console dominated game. Just like how high schools with a larger student count generally have better sport records due to the increased selection of students. I also failed to update my game through windows store and was left to match-make against only PC players and I was annoyed by how terrible they were. Not just a few bad lobbies but for numerous days.

So my personal conclusion suggests that PC gaming has many features and benefits but I never found many of them to actually boost my skills in gaming (Strictly referring to Gears). I did have some input lag concerns but that miraculously fixed itself. My only guess would be that my reflexes must have compensated to any sort of delay I was noticing. On top of all that I never became a better or worse player on either platform. Given that most of the better or best Gears players cream PC players I found it really hard to say that PC players have advantages and or Cross-Play shouldn’t be implemented. To be honest my feelings were pretty conclusive. I really wanted cross-play to be mandated. This would make Gears on PC so much more alive and with the newly founded assurance that PC players are more likely to get spanked by console players I never felt like I didn’t deserve a kill or a win that I owned.

I understand that most of this could be reflected by personal experience but this was years in the making. I truly believe that when it comes down to it, Skill will always beat platform. And this was my sole experience.

1 Like

Didn’t read this whole thing. I think you’re underestimating the Gears community. I’ve seen more live threads about Kaits hands than this controversial issue.

How about controller vs keyboard and mouse?

Keyboard and mouse on Xbox vs controller on PC.

TLDR: Just like OP, I play on both PC and Xbox, this is my experience.

Interesting story, took a while to read it but it was totally worth it. I’ll try to keep my answer simple (some will be directed at you, others at the community):

  1. Your experience is based on playing on BOTH platforms so in my opinion it adds to your credibility. I frequently read or hear complaints about PC advantages from people that has never ever played Gears on PC.

  2. Most of those “advantages” (most as in more than a few but not all of them) come from personal preferences. In my opinion I find unrestricted FOV to be an advantage simply because you get to see who’s flanking you, I never used it because it looked “weird” and for you it was “nauseating”. Our reasons are different but we both play without it. On the other hand I have a friend who plays with the FOV slider all the way, he always said it was great and questioned why I never used it, just personal preference.

  3. The extra FPS and graphical settings are just eye candy and nothing else. 1ms monitor refresh and whatever else you can think of? they all work with the xbox just fine. I don’t see much difference if at all when it comes to hardware (better explained later on).

  4. “PC gives you better aiming”: with a laser 1million dpi sensor it sure goes fast, but can you control it? I’ve found several PC players who use a controller and I use a trackball (it is made for precision but most definitely NOT for speed). At the end of the day the most skilled will win most of the time.

  5. “PC players are cheaters”: TC failed miserably to control cheating in G4 so that made the few PC players that were actually cheating “infect” the ones who were not. I never played as much versus as I’d like due to low population but I never encountered more than one or two cheaters. It seems things will change in G5.

  6. “The Downgrade”: Hoping to actually play more versus than horde this time I bough an X for Gears 5 and to my surprise the game is still alive (Brazil region here). I’ve been playing for a few days and I can say that: the colors are wrong (I’m using the same monitor I use for PC), the loading times are hideous, (buying an X instead of the regular One was a good idea) I’m terrible with a controller and this so called “input delay” everyone complains about comes from playing with a wireless controller (unless it also happens with a wired controller in which case it clearly is something that needs to be fixed).

  7. To all console players: console has freaking aim assist!!! I’m baffled at how easy is to land headshots with the markza or boltok, something I could never figure out while playing on PC. It’s there by default, unless something is clearly wrong where I suck at aiming with the gnasher but I land headshots across the map easily? nononono ladies and gentleman, that is called Aim Assist and is without a doubt an advantage for Console Players. The ones that are really F**ed are the ones playing on PC with a controller.

TLDR: Just like OP, I play on both PC and Xbox, this is my experience.

2 Likes

Great post!

1 Like

Interesting post. Thanks for sharing. I did read all of it. I appreciate what seems like honesty. And no insults or condescending tone. How refreshing. It’s amazing how quickly things turn sour during these discussions.

The input delay in my opinion is the only real advantage. FPS, M&K, etc don’t matter IMO.

The question is how much of advantage is it and when does the advantage matter? Probably slim and seldom, But I do believe it’ has potential to be the deciding factor in SOME cases. Being 3 frames ahead in this game can tip the scales in your favor when everything else is pretty well dead even.

I would love for them to give us the option to disable V Sync for the One X and deal with any subsequent graphical downgrades that result. Very curious how the console would handle it.

2 Likes

If I remember correctly, there is no aim assist in comp settings.

Not every pc player plays at high dpi ,but there is no denying kbm has the advantage over controllers when it comes to aim. Thats a fact. You dont need to have crazy movements to be good at this game. If you hit shots and play smart, you’ll be a god.

@Kitten_Britchez

I think I read somewhere that Gears UE didn’t suffer from a noticeable input delay as much as Gears 4
Not sure what’s going on there

@Jared_xz

It’s interesting because I was trying to find some evidence to confirm that M/KB was better than a controller but it was really difficult to bring up some obvious proof. I didn’t want to mention anything if it wasn’t a solid argument. After getting adjusted to either peripherals I would generally out play people I knew I was better than on both platforms and get beat by players that were better than me on both platforms.

I’m not taking a stance in favor or against it but I couldn’t determine if one was better or not. And I think that just might have some value in itself. Overall my skills translated pretty equal across both platforms and I think that’s more important.

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Definitely going to need a TLDR on this post. But I briefly skimmed it and saw this:

I’ll give my thoughts on this too, because I think it’s actually really easy to distinguish KB+M players from controller players (not necessarily PC vs console though).

  • Controller players back A a lot
  • KB+M players botwalk a lot
  • KB+M players peek corners a lot and take quick shots
  • KB+M players generally use less of the abusive mechanics and play more principled (holding ground and just shooting their gun). Console players use the abuse of mechanics like back As, reaction shots and slapshots.
  • Controller players often do this thing where they run just past the enemy on a corner (not looking at them) and then whip their analog stick back to kill them. I see it constantly on boxes. Example: https://streamable.com/squpb

I think it’s pretty easy to understand why there are these play style differences - the analog stick movement explains the console play style; the mouse aim explains the KB+M play style.

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All of that is very true. But I meant more so performance differences. Like something that a PC player does that’s just not possible on console and vice versa

Yeah I probably lacked context with my response

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Are you playing the tech test tomorrow

Of course!