How A PC Gamer Learned To Love the PS4

Rachel Kaser 05-01-2015

When the time came for me to upgrade my gaming rig, a console was the most viable option. But could I make the transition from keyboard to controller Switching From Console to PC Gaming: 8 Big Differences Explained Thinking about switching from console to PC? Here are some of the biggest differences between gaming on PC and console. Read More ? Let the comedy of errors begin.


Financial Incentives

I’m a PC gamer, and have been for over a decade. I live my gaming life hunched over at my desk. I can’t be pulled away when the Steam holiday sales start. I’m not satisfied with an RPG until I’ve modded it beyond all recognition 4 Skyrim Mods Guaranteed To Breathe New Life Into The Game If you've put in what you feel is enough to be done with Skyrim, but feel like a hole is missing in your life by not playing, you should really jump in and enjoy some... Read More .

But the downside of PC gaming, for me, is that the demands of changing technology have outstripped my unchanging wallet. Without massive upgrades, I can’t play new games. If I try, my computer goes into sudden attacks of terror and crashes. I definitely wouldn’t be able to afford to build a new gaming rig, at least not one with any staying power. But I could afford a console.

There were a few advantages to the idea: Eighth-generation consoles double as media centers and it would be fun to be able to play my games on my television. I’d be able to join new communities and make new friends. Also, my PC wasn’t going anywhere, and it would definitely be able to handle the indie and adventure games I wanted to play which wouldn’t be available on consoles.

The solution was to become a renaissance gamer, using both a PC and a console. The transition was going to be difficult.

Keyboard Fingers On Controller


Powerful Machine

I slunk into my local electronics shop in a wig and sunglasses, then cringed when I realized I’d have to pay with a credit card. Everyone would know my shame. Or my credit card company would. Or maybe just Steve, the customer service guy I always seem to get when I call the number on the back of my card. Okay, based on my previous calls, Steve already knows plenty about my shame.

I wrapped my new toy in my coat and scurried back to my house, locking the door behind me. I set the box down on the floor and stared at it. I circled it a couple of times muttering, “Just you and me now. What do I do with you?” I cut the tape and eased the lid of the box open, leaning back lest my face start melting off when I saw what was inside.

The moment I laid my eyes on my console of choice, the PlayStation 4 PS4 vs Xbox One: 5 Reasons To Buy The PS4 E3 2013 marked the moment when the next-generation truly began, with all three contenders -- the PlayStation 4 (PS4), Xbox One, and Wii U -- revealed in full. The Wii U is already on the... Read More , I was intrigued and intimidated by its sleek lines and sharp edges. I picked it up and held it in front of me. Despite my console misgivings, I was amazed by how powerful it looked. Could I retask satellites with this? Could it tell what I was thinking? I wanted to crack it open and find out what was inside.

I also picked the controller up and held it. I’d used an Xbox 360 controller on some of my PC games, and the feeling was much the same. Using the controller felt more comfortable and natural than pecking away on my keyboard. I spent a little time depressing all the buttons, getting used to the differences between the triggers and shoulder buttons. It was surprisingly easy to pick up.


Fingers Trying to Force Open PlayStation 4

Technical Difficulties

There were only a few wires in the box, and I pulled them all out and laid them next to each other. “I guess these go onto the back of my television or something,” I said. After I turned the TV around and stopped sneezing from the dust bunnies, I found a bunch of little holes back there. “Yes!” I thought, triumphant. I had no idea what went where, but it was a start.

The diagrams that came with the PlayStation were very simple and easy-to-follow. I managed to get everything into the right hole,and press the power button. Silence. I immediately panicked and tapped the button again and again, only to get no response. According to the diagrams, I’d done everything correctly. Walking backwards to get a better look, I stepped on something sharp. I’d forgotten to plug the power cable in.

Still, I was pleased that the power cable was all I was missing. It would have taken me a while to build my gaming PC and my impatience won out over my PC fervor in that moment. I’d bought a small stack of games to try out, so I was in a hurry to get started.


Then I’d made it. The welcome screen graced my HDTV, and it was so crisp and clear that I was smiling. I was so happy because I was finally done. Wasn’t I?

Cross-Eyed Looking into PS4 Controller Light

Dysfunctional Love

The PlayStation immediately set the tone of the relationship by playing soothing music and demanding my account information. Having never used the PlayStation Network, it took me two hours because I agonized over my PSN name, knowing I’d never be able to change it. Everything I suggested with the words “pirate” and “ninja” in it had already been taken. Really?

Then the interface came up, and it was all laid out for me. So simple and so easy. I put in my first game and, after an update that lasted thirty seconds, I was allowed to play. No hours-long installation, no fiddling with graphics to ensure smooth running, no nail-biting wait for the inevitable crash… just gaming.


Admittedly, I don’t feel the same freedoms on the console which I feel on my PC. The experience of playing one is different from the other, though not radically so. My hand-eye coordination is about as good to one as it is to the other. The communities are both very active and helpful.

The games are also very different. Playing Destiny or The Last of Us is one thing, as I’d never play those without a console. But it was a bit of a switch playing Dragon Age: Inquisition on the PS4 after playing the previous two games on PC. Once I got used to it, the feeling of playing them was just the same.

I’m now in a comfortable relationship with my new friend. It can be a little dramatic: For example, every single time I turn it on, I’m reminded that the Health & Safety Warnings are in the options menu. But I can live with it. If you had asked me a few months ago, I wouldn’t have willingly traded being hunched over at my desk for being hunched over in front of my TV. But maybe there’s room in my heart for both.

Image Credits: Thinking and wondering Via Shutterstock

Related topics: Gaming Culture, PlayStation 4.

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  1. Atul
    January 20, 2019 at 9:59 am

    I've been a PC gamer for over 2 decades, from Quake (1) to Mass Effect: Andromeda. That's when I just couldn't keep up with upgarding and putting together a new PC every 3-4 years. That, and also because I was really keen on playing RDR 2. So I got a PS4 in 2018. And now, I'm wondering if that was the right decision after all. I'm having my ass kicked soundly all over the place in the 3 games that I've tried on PS4 yet - RDR 2, ME:Andromeda and Doom. I just can't seem to be able to make the transition from mouse-keyboard to controller. Aim assist and fiddling with controller sensitivity notwithstanding. Perhaps I'm too old and lost the mental plasticity for my fingers to unlearn kb-mouse and learn controller. It's too damned frustrating trying to aim and shoot with a controller; makes me want to cry. People tell me to practice and I'll improve but playing like that feels more like a chore than fun. And I think of the nice graphics card I could've purchased with the money spent on PS4. Will try few more games on PS4 though; for one, I've no money left to spare for upgrading PC, having spent that for a PS4 :(

  2. urmom
    April 1, 2018 at 1:23 pm

    Hell no pc is better

  3. Jason Bird
    July 4, 2017 at 9:34 pm

    Rachel I was like you in that I was primarily a PC gamer and I got myself a PS4 initially for The Last of Us Remastered, so I went for the C Chassis revision model with the 1 TB hard drive from Computer Exchange here in Birmingham, UK as well as The Last of Us Remastered game. I still use the PC for video gaming but it's better I think to have the option of gaming on a PS4 or whichever current generation console you have as well as gaming on a PC.

  4. smogs
    October 11, 2016 at 6:35 am

    In this quandry now myself, my gaming laptop still chews through recent titles but I now have 4 kids so am pretty much stuck playing it on my armchair, short of dragging it from room to room to whatever tv is available at the time.

    I also dont really have the time to play MMO's which was my genre of choice for the last 18 years. The thought of a PS4 with a PSTV on the multiple tv's in the house is very appealing being able to just pick up a controller and head to whatever TV is free at the time is very appealing.

    My 2 year old is also autistic and like to destroy things and rather violent not having a £1.5k laptop sat in the living room within reach is very appealing.

    That and the rise of hacking/cheating being unpunished on PC titles meaning the little time you do get to play is oft ruined by douchebags which yes console isnt totally free of but at least its a lot lot less.

    After 20+ years of PC gaming making that jump is a very big decision as ultimately the PC needs to be sold to fund the console so its not a decision that can be made lightly.

    • Rachel Kaser
      October 26, 2016 at 6:49 am

      I can understand your dilemma, and if you'd like to make sure that your console is relatively safe from damage (and you get a little extra money from the sale of the PC), this company sells some pretty sturdy-looking cases:

      I also know of several decent MMOs that have been doing well on consoles, so I hope you'll be able to enjoy your favorite genre again if you decide to take the plunge!

    • Colin McDonell
      November 22, 2016 at 11:28 pm

      I am the owner of Secure Entertainment. We make the security cases that Rachel mentioned. I would love to help get one out to you if you are interested. We will pick up the tab on this one. There have been a few other gamers that have been in the same situation as you that have bought our cases for that reason. Contact us through the site if you would like and we will set it up.

    • Colin
      November 22, 2016 at 11:37 pm

      I am the owner of Secure Entertainment. We make the cases that Rachel mentioned below. We would love to help you out and get a case sent out to you. We will pick up the tab on this one. We have had some other gaming families in the same situation as you that have purchased cases. Contact us through our website if you are interested.

  5. Anindya Biswas
    August 5, 2016 at 10:55 am

    I'm an avid PC gamer. For the past 12 years PC games has provided me with immense joy. It is extremely easy to play FPS games using keyboard and mouse. Last year I bought a PS4 bundled with The Last Of Us Remastered. Excellent game. Initially I found it a bit difficult to play using a controller but eventually got hold of it and was able to finish the game in normal mode. Being excited, I bought Battlefield 4 to play in my PS4. Extremely difficult to play FPS games in PS. Bought the same game in PC and works miracle. Maximum head shots can only be achieved while playing in keyboard and mouse. While slow paced games or stealth games (The last of us, Lara Croft, Hitman etc.) where you get ample time to decide can be played easily with consoles(PS or XBOX). So I ultimately sold my PS4 and upgraded my PC. Yes, it is costly indeed but playing in PC has been a great fun and always will be for future gamers too.

  6. Romit Chatterjee
    April 12, 2016 at 9:33 am

    Very nice article and very entertaining :). Good work! I might also make the switch to PS4. The cost of keeping the PC hardware up to date is really getting out of my league now.

  7. rinsewind
    March 9, 2016 at 5:34 pm

    I am deciding whether or not to build a new gaming PC(no salvaging my 2009 one at this point) when I already have an XBox one. Looking at the games that I can't play on either my older gaming PC or the XBox one, that doesn't leave a very substantial "cross-section" of games that would require a gaming PC. I won't save the cost of a $1K PC in steam sales, I just don't buy quite that many games. And I care if a game's playable, not necessarily whether or not it gets 60fps @ 1080p. I don't feel going from 30fps @ 720p(XBox One) to 60fps @ 1080p($1K gaming PC) is worth $1K.
    HOWEVER, PC's are just so much cooler(subjective), and so much more flexible(objective),. And the games do just look better for the most part. Plus, I love the keyboard and mouse. While modern games seem to find ways around the difference to some degree, there is still no comparison. Especially in a game where I can grab the controller for driving, and then the mouse and keyboard for shooting.
    I guess when it comes down to it, when I have a new-gen console and a somewhat older gaming PC, a new gaming PC isn't QUITE worth the cost. But that will probably change in a year.

  8. Anonymous
    June 10, 2015 at 1:38 pm

    Like many others I am in the same boat...I was once a hardcore PC gaming loyalist. I wouldn't be seen touching a filthy console. But I got tired of having to keep up with the PC hardware and CTD's. Witcher 2 was actually the last straw for me. I own the game for an entire month without ever getting to play it. The game kept crashing to desktop or freezing even though my specs were FAR greater than the recommended specs. I was disgusted. So, decided to buy a PS4 and found the graphics were not all that different for various games compared to their PC counterparts. Best of all...I could download or pop in a disc and instantly play. No settings to screw with and waste time on, no CTD's, no errors. Just pop it in (or as I games) and play. So simple, so easy.

    I've now gotten to the point where I don't even know if I want to spend money to upgrade my PC (which is now out of date again). I may just save the money and use it on games on my PS4. Don't get me wrong...I still enjoy my PC for the very few exclusives that interest me. Mainly smaller strategy titles. But for the majority of titles...i'm more than happy with playing my PS4 in the comfort of my living room, reclining and gaming.

  9. GoreMaster666
    January 21, 2015 at 10:08 pm

    What is this cancerous article? Members of our gracefoul master race falling to pesantry? I say burn it before it spraids any further

  10. mikelmanson
    January 7, 2015 at 4:21 pm

    You are not a Gamer! A true games doesn't claim a platform nor a type of game! A true Gamer plays in all platforms all types of games!

    I don't buy a platform because of the hardware, or the brand, or any other claim of relative superiority . I buy it for the games I can play on it!

    Who will ever say "I bought this nintendo system because it has the best hardware on the market." No one! Nintendo has the weakest hardware platforms on the market, but we buy it anyway. We buy it for the games! Because that is the only platform where you can play the nintendo games like zelda and super mario. Sure you can always emulate everything after a wile in computers, it is just a matter of time. But you can also put any console inside a computer case and call it "a gaming pc" if that makes you feel happy.

    A true Gamer wants to play games! People who want to have feuds with others over what is the best platform are just unhappy people that are missing out on many great games that they can't play (or refuse to play because they are too stubborn).

    Be a Gamer, play GAMES , play them ALL!

  11. Duncan McNeil
    January 6, 2015 at 11:34 pm


  12. Doc
    January 6, 2015 at 8:51 pm

    "...intimidated by it’s sleek lines..." *Its* - "it's" always means "it is" or "it has."

    • Rachel K.
      January 7, 2015 at 3:26 am

      That's nothing! A few days ago I messed up my Top 5 of 2014 list and called Amanda Ripley by her mother's name.

  13. McFuzz
    January 6, 2015 at 4:20 am

    I like that none of the reasons you're impressed by the PS4 are the actual videogames. PS4 is still too starved for titles to really compete with the millions of exclusives on PC. I'm sure when Bloodborne, Uncharted, Order 1866, No Man's Sky, etc comes out I'll change my tune, but how powerful your console is doesn't matter when you've got no games to play on it.

    "Oh but we have The Last of Us and Grand Theft Auto and Destiny!" So does the PS3. All of which can be purchased cheaper, in fact. And they all look and run beautifully on the PS3. And when I'm remembering a game fondly, I'm not remembering each indivudual pixel or noticable jaggy. I remember the experience.

  14. McFuzz
    January 6, 2015 at 3:48 am

    I like that none of the reasons you're impressed by the PS4 are the actual videogames. PS4 is still too starved for titles to really compete with the millions of exclusives on PC. I'm sure when Bloodborne, Uncharted, Order 1866, No Man's Sky, etc comes out I'll change my tune, but how powerful your console is doesn't matter when you've got no games to play on it.

    "Oh but we have The Last of Us and Grand Theft Auto and Destiny!" So does the PS3. All of which can be purchased cheaper, in fact. And they all look and run beautifully on the PS3. And when I'm remembering a game fondly, I'm not remembering each indivudual pixel or noticable jaggy. I remember the experience.

  15. Master
    January 6, 2015 at 1:51 am

    The less mentally handicapped on PC, the better.

  16. PC
    January 6, 2015 at 1:13 am

    PC master race!

  17. Mike
    January 6, 2015 at 12:32 am

    Built a PC 4 years ago (~$1000) that kept with the times. Upgraded the GPU once ($200). Just got done building a new PC only because i had some disposable money (~$1000), gave the gf my old pc which she loves.

    ~$2200 over 8 years (hoping this rig will last another 4). It isn't expensive at all, and i can max out setting an actually play my games 1080p @ 60fps

  18. Glorious PC Master Race
    January 6, 2015 at 12:21 am

    Dirty console peasant :P

  19. Bobby Crosby
    January 5, 2015 at 10:34 pm

    Here's how it actually works you liar.

    1. Turn on PS4.
    2. There is an update for the PS4, if you do not update you will be signed out of PSN. Update now?
    3. Select yes, wait 30 minutes while it downloads the update.
    4. When it hits 99% get excited, then wait another 30 minutes for it to install.
    5. Finally get logged in. Put your game in.
    6. There is an update for this game, if you do not update you will be signed out of PSN. Update now?
    7. Select yes, wait 30 minutes while it downloads the update.
    8. When it hits 99% get excited, then wait another 30 minutes for it to install.
    9. Finally get in the game. No hassle at all!

    • QURebel
      January 5, 2015 at 11:45 pm

      I have a ps4 and it was as easy for me too, maybe you just had a faulty console. Downloading updates or games depend on your internet provider and service. Installs never take that long and dont require internet.

    • Anonymous
      June 10, 2015 at 1:42 pm

      Here's what happened when I bought Witcher 3 digitally on PS4

      1) Pre-Ordered game
      2) Game pre-loaded 3 days before release while system was in standby mode.
      3) Turned on PS4, Witcher 3 downloaded a huge day-1 patch (which took 10 mins)
      4) Jumped into the game right away and played for hours.

  20. Jeyven
    January 5, 2015 at 9:48 pm

    You know that spending the same money that you have spent on your PS4 you could have bought a new gaming PC ORR bought new GPU? With the PS4 price you can buy GTX 970, the nº 2 best GPU.

  21. Jeyven
    January 5, 2015 at 9:48 pm

    You know that spending the same money that you have spent on your PS4 you could have bought a new gaming PC ORR bought new GPU? With the PS4 price you can buy GTX 970, the nº 2 best GPU.

  22. Ratex
    January 5, 2015 at 9:21 pm

    You don't need to upgrade your PC to play the newest games ffs, just tune down some settings and you'll be fine. I've had this PC for about 5 years now and I can still play most games on max settings even running a dual monitor. My rig cost me about 500.

    • Jon
      January 5, 2015 at 10:16 pm

      LOL, my BS sensor tingled so much on your comment. $500 or £500, you cant build a PC that will run games for 5 years at max settings. 5 years ago, processors weren't really fast, graphics cards were just slightly better than the PS3/360 and technology back then were very expensive. We bought a PC with really good graphics card and processor back in 2008 (cost: £730) can it couldn't run any games after 3-4 years later. Unless we tweak the settings to almost minimum.

    • Me
      January 6, 2015 at 3:09 am

      Hail GabeN

    • Christian
      February 2, 2015 at 8:56 am

      @Jon I agree with most of your post except for the graphics card part. 5 years ago (2010) the there were cards that are capable of running most modern games at near max settings. I will even kick it up a notch and use a 6 year old gpu as an example. The 5970 (released in late 2009) is a dual gpu that is capable of running most modern games at max settings. Up until recently, when I still owned a 5970, I was able to throw just about everything at it. However, its age was starting to show, and would start stuttering, or just in general have low framerates, on some games (Metro Light Light) on max settings. To get to the point, there were gpus at the time that greatly exceeded the graphics performance of the PS3/360, even if they were expensive at the time.

      P.S. Here's the specs of my rig at the time that I was still using the 5970, (mid-late 2014)

      CPU: AMD Phenom II x6 1090T
      GPU: ATI 5970
      Motherboard: ASUS Crosshair Formula IV
      RAM: 8GB DDR3 Mushkin Redline
      Storage: Western Digital Green 500GB/ Mushkin Chronos 240 GB SSD

  23. Victor
    January 5, 2015 at 8:54 pm

    What are really fun article! It's nice to see your experiences! Keep on writing!

    • Duncan McNeil
      January 6, 2015 at 11:36 pm

      Are you being serious?

  24. GabeNlove
    January 5, 2015 at 8:16 pm

    Praise GabeN

  25. Riley Mullins
    January 5, 2015 at 6:48 pm

    I had the same feelings with the PS3, I have been installing a few PC games onto Windows 7 that were mostly XP installs and they need tweaking, with video mostly. The biggest adjustment is using the controller when you are so used to a keyboard and mouse. Other than that the PS systems are worth every penny.

    • PC
      January 6, 2015 at 12:54 am

      You can use an xbox 360 controller via usb slot without any drivers or anything.

  26. Praise GabeN
    January 5, 2015 at 5:52 pm

    Filthy peasant.

    January 5, 2015 at 5:09 pm

    PRAISE GABEN!!!!!!!!!

    • likefunbutnot
      January 5, 2015 at 6:31 pm

      I think PC Gaming's over-reliance on Steam has created a monoculture that represents a single point of failure for PC gaming in general. But I don't like Steam and I see more down-sides than ups.

      That being said, I don't believe that modern PC gaming is particularly more burdensome than the purchase of a modern console. An i3 or high end AMD rig with 8GB RAM, a modest SSD and a $130 mainstream video card could be assembled for $500 and will have performance that's comparable or slightly better than any current console machine. Between the overall incompetence of online service administrators and the drawbacks of the under-specified console hardware, I think the PC is clearly a better place to invest than the substandard options Sony and Microsoft are selling at the moment.

    • Gaben
      January 5, 2015 at 6:48 pm

      this gave me cancer. Thank god someone like you isn't on PC anymore

    • Steam Cloud
      January 5, 2015 at 11:17 pm

      No longer will you ascend unto me, but will be remembered as a potato forevermore.