Gamers today have a huge range of options when it comes to choosing the types of titles they want to play.
Firstly, there are all the AAA blockbusters released for current and previous generations of consoles, the PC-exclusive games, and the seemingly endless options in the back catalogues of most major platforms.
On top of that, most major online casinos offer their players thousands of different video slot games covering every imaginable theme and genre.
To extend this choice further, many of these casinos also run generous promotions in the form of free spins and deposit matches to increase the value players can receive.
But the huge amount of choice that modern gamers have is not restricted to the titles they get to select from. There’s also an incredibly diverse range of hardware that they can play this content on.
Consoles and computers have been around for decades, getting bigger and more powerful over time, but they’ve also been joined by smartphones, tablets, and virtual reality headsets as popular ways to enjoy gaming content.
If you’re just getting into gaming or you’re wondering whether the grass might be greener on the other side, here’s a look at what gaming is like in 2023 on each of the main platforms.
Computers were the first way for people to enjoy video gaming content at home and have remained one of the most popular devices ever since.
There are many benefits to playing on a PC, with the biggest being the flexibility that it offers.
PC gamers, of course, have access to many of the most recent titles. For a while, especially in the 2000s and early 2010s, the number of AAA games that made it to consoles but not computers began to increase.
Since then, Microsoft has worked hard to bring parity to the Xbox and Windows platforms.
Through the company’s streaming service, Microsoft Cloud Gaming, and Sony’s equivalent, computer users can even access the games that wouldn’t normally be available on PC.
That’s still not all either, because PC gamers have access to thousands of titles through online casinos, including many video slots, traditional table games, and more modern innovations like live dealer titles.
These can usually be accessed without the need to download any special software thanks to the flexibility of HTML5, making it possible to play games directly through a web browser.
Browser-based gaming is more than just for casino gaming too. Social media sites like Facebook, ecommerce platforms like AliExpress, and dedicated browser-based gaming sites like Armor Games all use this HTML5 technology.
Computer gaming is also more flexible in the sense that you can choose the type of hardware you use. Hardcore gamers choose to build their own machines so they can handpick all of the components themselves.
In doing so, they can ensure they get the best performance, fastest load times, and clearest graphics on the market.
Laptops also offer a degree of portability, but not to the extent of smartphones and tablets, but this is a tradeoff that many players are happy to make.
The only other downside to consider is that the most powerful hardware also comes with a hefty price tag that can make PC gaming several times more expensive than any other format. But if you’re someone who wants the best, it’s a price worth paying.
Consoles have, traditionally, been a way for gaming companies to capture more of the market for themselves.
By optimizing lower-powered hardware specifically for playing games, they could sell consoles with little to no profit and then make their money back from the games themselves.
While this business model remains in place today (albeit modified and augmented), the idea of consoles being ‘underpowered’ is long gone. Today’s PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X use high-end components that would work in a PC
While consoles may not be low-powered, they are still much cheaper than buying an equivalent gaming PC, at least in terms of the upfront cost of the hardware. This can make console gaming a much more attractive prospect for many players.
On top of that, consoles ‘just work’ right out of the box. You plug them in, connect a TV, switch them on, and you’re ready to play games.
In comparison, a PC gamer needs to go through a lot of configuration when they first get a new computer. They must also take care of virus scanning, driver management, and other regular maintenance.
Mobile devices like smartphones and tablets are another popular option for gaming, with three key factors driving many players to prefer this portable form.
Firstly, being able to play games from just about anywhere is a big winner for many people. It allows them to take their hobby with them, no matter where they go.
Of course, this often requires an internet connection, but there are few places on Earth today where that is still a problem.
Mobile gaming is also often cheaper. You almost certainly already own a smartphone that can handle most contemporary games.
Therefore, there’s no need to splash out on pricy hardware. Moreover, mobile games are typically much cheaper, or even free, making it much more affordable.
Thirdly, mobile gaming is often easier. Casual titles don’t require gamers to commit huge lengths of time to their hobby, unlike PC and console games.
This makes smartphones and tablets great for busy people who still want to enjoy this type of content.
Virtual reality has become a very popular talking point for much of the last decade, but it is only now becoming a viable platform for an average user.
It’s a little more complicated than mobile gaming but isn’t as complex as playing on a computer, making it accessible to a sizable demographic.
On top of that, VR gaming has become cheaper in recent years, thanks to headsets like the Quest 2 making it affordable to try out virtual reality without having to break the bank.
The types of games available is very varied, though the market isn’t anywhere near as diverse as on any other platform.
It’s also not as easy to play these games, since you generally need to be at home and have a reasonable amount of clear space around you so that you don’t accidentally run into anything.
It is very fun, but it is unlikely many people will use a VR headset as their primary playing platform. Instead, it’s more of an additional way to enjoy gaming.