What is the best platform for gaming What is the best platform for gaming

Gaming has fast become one of the most popular pastimes of the 21st century. It’s certainly not new as the first commercial video games began appearing in the 1970s, but they remained a fairly niche medium until the early 2000s. Then along came Nintendo with its DS and Wii consoles, showing that people of all ages could play games and even enjoy them together in front of the TV, just like they would a movie or a TV show.

Nintendo’s reign as the great equalizer of gaming didn’t last long though. Apple released the first iPhone in 2007 and, within a couple of years, smartphones had established themselves as a popular platform for playing on.

This completely disrupted the two-horse race between consoles and PCs, a topic that enthusiasts had debated fiercely for years.

Today, gamers can choose between mobile devices, one of the three main consoles, or a gaming computer, or even a recent newcomer – streaming. It’s hard to say that one is a clear winner over the others, but each one has its pros and cons.

1. PC Gaming

Computers were the first devices to play video games. In fact, the first-ever title was Spacewar! and it was developed for the PDP-1 machine in April 1962. It’s fairly primitive compared to modern standards, but it was revolutionary for the time.

It is this long history that makes computers the most versatile platform for gaming. Through careful preservation of content, emulation tools, and remastering, you can play almost every video game ever released on a modern computer. Even Spacewar! is available to play within your browser.

It isn’t the oldest game that can be played on a PC though. Traditional casino games are much older, and iGaming companies have made them available on modern machines. Most of them date back centuries, though the oldest is blackjack which first appeared in its modern form in the mid-18th century.

As well as the huge amount of choice, PC gaming offers a lot of flexibility, both in terms of being able to play on a laptop that will allow you to enjoy titles anywhere, and in the ability to upgrade your hardware without replacing the entire machine.

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2. Console Gaming

Console gaming is much more restricted in terms of the titles you have available. The PlayStation 2 had just under 4,000 games released during its lifetime, the PS3 and PS4 had less than 3,000 each. If you buy a PS5 today, you’ll have access to a library of many of these older titles, plus the 3,000 or so that will likely be released before it’s succeeded by the PS6.

Consoles are generally cheaper than a high-end gaming PC and you don’t need to worry about virus protection or compatibility. You can also just plug it in and switch it on, without the long-winded rigmarole of setting it up.

Mobile gaming

3. Mobile Gaming

Mobile gaming is more akin to the PC than consoles, though it does share some similarities. For example, smartphones that were bought within the last few years will run just about all the games available in app stores.

However, there are way more mobile games. Both Apple and Google have around 1 million titles for players to download, meaning there is something for almost everyone.

Playing games on a smartphone is typically cheaper as you can buy a relatively cheap handset (or use the one you already own), and download games for free. If you prefer a physical controller, then you can also connect one to your phone while still benefiting from the portability of a smartphone.

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4. Streaming

Streaming is the latest format for gaming and it promises a lot. The most well-known platform is Google Stadia, which offloads all the heavy lifting that video games require and places it on Google’s own servers.

This allows you to play AAA titles on a smartphone, television, or budget laptop. The only things you need are an internet connection and a Chrome browser, though there are some other peripherals available to improve the experience.

While it isn’t without bugs and flaws at present, streaming promises to combine the best of all worlds. The simplicity of console gaming with the portability of smartphones and flexibility of computer gaming.

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