I did this. I committed The The basic sin among computer game lovers.
I ditched my relatively powerful gaming PC in exchange for the fun console life — and I also threw in a new MacBook Pro while I was at it.
I know what it sounds like, but give me a chance to explain. My reasons won’t work for everyone, but I do really love my life away from my gaming PC, even if it doesn’t last forever.
My Journey into Computer Games
My PC gaming journey began in 2016 with the purchase of the Alienware 15 R3 after 26 years as a strict console gamer. Although it was big and heavy (although shrunken from the previous version), I enjoyed being able to finally get superior frame rates and graphics compared to the Xbox One or PS4. However, the allure of desktop gaming and the ability to switch components instead of discontinuing whatever the laptop was configured for was too much. I needed to build my own computer, and that was where my journey really began.
My first build was modest, but too powerful for 1080p gaming: an AMD Ryzen 5 2600, 16GB of RAM, and an RTX 2060 all in the NZXT H500 case. After spinning around in the world of the small form factor, I steadily upgraded my rig to an AMD Ryzen 7 3700X and 32GB of RAM, and was one of the lucky ones to get an RTX 3070 on launch day.
An upgraded PC allowed me to do everything from record and edit my YouTube videos to delve into old computer games I liked Borderlands 2And the Jade EmpireAnd the half lifeAnd the CS: GOAnd the conquer defeated. I even happily left my console Call of duty Sessions to fully embrace the mouse and keyboard.
So why in the world would I give up my gaming and productivity center and go to the “dark side” of Apple and consoles? In short: simplicity.
Convenience of a gaming console
When I first started playing PC games, I really enjoyed the ability to get higher frame rates and higher resolutions than consoles. However, after purchasing both the PS5 and Xbox Series X, I was able to appreciate the newer features that I can’t get on PC. For example, Quality of Life features like Instant Resume on Xbox Series X make playing longer games more palatable because playing time is very limited. The Xbox Series X has AMD’s FidelityFX Super Resolution upgrade technology that’s well introduced.
Instead of fiddling with several settings to try to get the perfect frame rate, I can just choose Performance Mode on my console. Instead of dealing with unbrushed PC ports, graphics card driver issues, and random issues with games that have to take into account any number of PC configurations, I can play a game that’s built specifically for the console itself.
Since I own both a gaming PC and an Xbox Series X, I can make a direct comparison of Xbox Game Pass titles since they are native to both platforms. I clearly remember playing it Guardians of the Galaxy On my PC only to crash and corrupt my save file. I’ve never had such issues on Xbox. I realize this is one of the stories. Lots of people have enjoyed this game on PC, but this game in particular bothered me – an example of the kind of things that sometimes happen on PC.
Don’t get me started on all the game players required for PC games.
It goes beyond just the typical complaints about computer games. My family and I love playing games together. Recently, my daughter and I finished take two, which is a sweet but surprisingly mature opinion on divorce and its effect on children. You can technically play online with someone else, but I can’t do that with my daughter because she doesn’t have a gaming PC. Playing on the couch together allowed us to bond together and yell at each other as we tried to get past levels that required cooperation.
The PS5 DualSense controller has been a real game-changer in some cases. I played many games like Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart Make use of triggers to fine-tune your shooting or modify some game mechanics that require precision. Most games on PC do not have this level of integration with the DualSense controller, with the possible exception of PC ports for PlayStation exclusive games such as God of War or Horizon Zero Dawn.
Don’t get me started on all the game players required for PC games. Sure, something like GOG Galaxy is a good temporary hiatus, but even that’s not an ideal solution because you still have to install separate launchers. The more I play on Xbox Series X and PS5, the more I realize how much I miss the plug-and-play simplicity of console games.
MacBook Pro power
At this point, you may be asking yourself why I didn’t just buy a gaming laptop. There are certainly plenty of gaming laptops out there, but for my purposes, the current crop of MacBooks with Apple Silicon made more sense. Again, it’s all about simplicity and convenience.
In my previous setup, I split my time between my gaming desktop and iPad Air. I used my desktop to perform heavy, labor-intensive tasks like gaming, video editing, and typing (because typing with a mechanical keyboard is more comfortable than the Magic Keyboard for iPad). My iPad Air was used for everything else like surfing the internet and reading. This setup worked, but since my gaming desktop was in the basement, I always had to go there to do any real work.
MacBook Pro fixes this problem.
My favorite MacBook Pro was the 16-inch version with the M1 Pro. It’s big enough that I wouldn’t necessarily need an external monitor, but it’s still compact enough to carry around. The M1 Pro was more than enough for serious audio/video editing, and it flew through just about any other productivity task I threw at it. Apple finally added all the right ports (including a handy HDMI port) and thanks to the excellent keyboard, typing never seems like a chore.
Best of all, I can take it anywhere I want and still get the same power, even if it’s not plugged in. I couldn’t do it either on my gaming desktop or even on my iPad Air. In a world where remote work is more prevalent than ever, I appreciate the ability to take my work wherever I want.
The MacBook Pro also offers Apple commitment ecosystem benefits.
Having a MacBook Pro also provides the ecosystem benefits of sticking with Apple products. Besides the iPad Air, I also have iPhone 12 Pro, AirPods, Apple TV, and Apple Watch Series 7. My family also uses Apple products. This makes it easy to sync everything together, with the obvious exception of the Windows 11 gaming desktop. Switching to a MacBook Pro allows me to take advantage of the benefits of the ecosystem while having something portable that I can use around the house and on the go.
Unfortunately, between work, family, and other outside commitments, I don’t have the time (or money) to maintain a gaming PC. Having a powerful laptop that works well with the Apple ecosystem, along with the tangible upgrades to the PS5 and Xbox Series X, makes my life simpler and more convenient.
PC build is not finished
Lest I sound like an Apple commercial, the days of building my own PC aren’t quite over. I’m still itchy on the build and I still look forward to CPUs, graphics cards, and cases while I’m in the Micro Center.
In fact, since graphics card prices are finally starting to drop, I’ll probably build another computer this year for my daughter as a birthday or Christmas gift. Will I ever go back to PC games? never say never. But for now, the combination of the MacBook Pro and Xbox makes my setup more adaptable — and for now, I’m not looking back.