Why Some Think PC Gamers Should Be Excluded From Cross-Platform Gaming

Is there anything more frustrating than finally getting great at something, only to realize that you can never reach the top because you just aren’t operating with the same material as the ones beating you? This is often how console gamers are left feeling after online matches in a variety of games. Some console gamers even go as far as calling PC gamers “cheaters” for using the PC, but that’s a bit over-the-top. It’s not that PC gamers are cheating their way to the top, it’s just that when an equally skilled PC and console gamer face off in the same game, the PC gamer has a serious advantage.

For starters, using a mouse and a keyboard ups the player’s precision. With a PS4, for example, the player must rely on analog sticks to aim. Yes, you can turn up the sensitivity and get better at aiming more quickly, but that isn’t going to make up for the fact that the analog stick operates on movement over time. In other words, you push the stick to the left, assess when that perfectly reflects in what you want on the screen, and then push the button to make the kill. With a mouse, the player need only see a target and click on it. So, if both players had the exact same skill set, the console player would be outmatched every time.

Furthermore, the PC field of view (FOV) is dramatically better than that of a console. In addition to PC gamers being able to see enemies further away and more clearly, they also have a wider FOV. This can easily cost someone the game, as shown in this footage from a Call of Duty match. It’s clear that, had he been playing on a PC, he would have seen the enemy that was just out of the frame.

These issues have caused some serious tension between console and PC gamers. Some PC gamers have argued that this is really not different than people playing against others who are using a less updated console. The newer console will clearly have the advantage. But while that might be true, it doesn’t change the fact that the actual mechanics are different between consoles and PCs. You can easily tell someone with an older console, “you should upgrade,” because it’s just a newer version of something they already like and are used to. Telling a console player, “you should just switch to PC if you want the benefits” is like telling a professional soccer player that they should just switch to football in order to make more money.

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