Back On The Big Box Again

I’m a console gamer. I have been since the decision was made to purchase the original Xbox over a new graphics card for my PC – the prices were the same and I simply could no longer justify paying so much on new hardware every time a new game came out.

I’ve recently returned to the big box though but only for one reason and that is the game I wanted to play does not exist on any console and nor is it ever likely to. I’m talking, of course, about World of Warcraft. In my dark days I used to play Star Wars Galaxies and for a while I really enjoyed being part of that universe, visiting the places featured or mentioned in the movies, meeting the characters and just generally ‘being’ there was enough but then they started messing around with things and I, frankly, got bored and cancelled my subscription with nary a backward glance.

I’ve had a passing interest in WoW for a while as it takes me back to my table-top / D&D days so when I had the opportunity to take part in an ‘exercise’ (more on this to come) I said ‘yeah OK”!

Silesti as she appears in WoW – girl got curves!

The old big-box issues returned pretty quickly – I wanted more kit. At first I thought I’d just ‘make do’ but I was very quickly looking at peripherals and hardware to improve the experience I was getting from the game. And there it was! I was looking at spending some significant cash on new hardware for one game. Everything else I do on the machine (it’s a Mac by the way) is perfectly fine but I immediately wanted the get more performance out of my graphics for this one game.

And it wasn’t just the new graphics card which I’d started to look at, the Logitech G13 controller quickly became a ‘must-have’ and I also started – and then quickly stopped – looking at gaming mice in order to further improve my experience.

The list of kit which is available for gamers on big-boxes (Mac or Windows PCs) is significant and looking at the pre-built ‘gaming systems’ the costs are, frankly, extraordinary! Alright I know that there is a pretty long list of peripherals available for consoles too, but none of them are as significant in cost terms as the in-box stuff which PC gamers have an obligation to purchase.

In digging around I’ve been reading articles about the cost, specifically of graphics cards, and there’s a big deal being made that decent – note here it’s decent not extreme, fantastic or unbelievable – performance can be seen from a card costing “just under £100”.  So that’s the thick end of a ton on hardware which you WILL have to renew, probably in the next 12 months.

And if you do want more than simply “decent” than you’re looking at the thick end of £200 – or twice that if you use a less mainstream rig like a Mac Pro – let me point out here that an Xbox 360 Elite with a couple of games can be had for the same dosh, and it’s possible to spend over £500 if you want the latest / greatest – that’s an Xbox AND and a nice HD TV to go along with it!

Where would you spend £500?
Where would you spend £500?

Me? I’ve done it. I’ve bought a new graphics card – for my Mac Pro – so I can deepen the field of vision, the texture effects, the detail and the experience I’m getting out of WoW (I can also take advantage of the GPU for a better working environment too). I’ve made a commitment and I’m prepared to stick with it. BUT I won’t be switching my gaming to that platform because my consoles are STILL better value for money in the longer term.







Leave a Reply