Ultimate gaming experience? Still on PC

Want 4K graphics, the biggest selection of games and virtual reality? Chuck your console and pick up a PC, says Tom Parsons
Next gen consoles are great, but the ultimate gaming experience is still on PC

If you ask me, both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are pretty brilliant.

They’ve both already got loads of cracking games, really good online services and superb controllers. And they do a whole load of things besides games, with apps up the ying-yang.

But here’s the thing: both consoles are made to a very tight cost. Sure, £350 might seem like a lot of money, but it still limits the kind of components that Sony and Microsoft can cram in there. The reasoning is obvious  both companies want everyone to own their console, and they see that price point as being the one that can make that happen.

But you’re not everyone, are you? You’re special. You’re a proper gamer, and you want the very best gaming experience known to man. That’s why you need a PC.

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Let’s start with the basics: graphics. We were expecting 4K from the new consoles, but not only can neither the PS4 or Xbox One output a 4K signal at all, many games (especially on Xbox One) can’t even hit the Full HD 1080p level.

Meanwhile, in PC land, buy a decent graphics card and you’ll comfortably get 4K. Not enough for you? Add more graphics cards, run them in tandem, and you can have three 4K displays side-by-side. Sound crazy? I’ve played Project Gotham Racing on a triple-4K setup and it’s mindblowingly brilliant, with the three displays combining to create the feeling you’re genuinely looking through a car windscreen.

Of course, PCs have always been capable of better graphics than their console counterparts. What’s been missing in the past is a friendly console-like experience suitable for the regular lounge-dweller rather than the home office nerd. Now you can have that, too, thanks to Steam.

Once a simple download store for PC games, Steam is now effectively a platform of its own. Its Big Picture Mode is designed to deliver a console-like experience to a TV, rather than a monitor, and it’s way, way nicer than the Xbox One dashboard. You can even set your computer to boot directly to Steam Big Picture Mode, so your senses aren’t affronted by Windows at all. The next step is SteamOS, which you install instead of Windows.

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