This Is How Much It Would Cost You To Build A PC To Rival The PS5, Xbox Series X

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This Is How Much It Would Cost You To Build A PC To Rival The PS5, Xbox Series X

The PS5 and Xbox Series X have finally landed in Australia at $749 a piece — and they’re offering an awful lot for that price. So if you wanted to enjoy that same quality experience on PC, just how much would it cost?

Before we begin, there’s a few caveats we need to highlight. Games on aren’t built to take advantage of NVMe drives the same way they’re benefiting on consoles, so even on the fastest PCI-e 4.0 drive today you won’t get substantially better loading times than, say, a regular SSD. Price is also a major factor, so top-tier PC GPUs like the RTX 3090, RTX 3080 — they’re totally out of the question.

I’m also going to discount the cost of a keyboard and a mouse in the PC build. Those are accessories the majority of people generally already have on hand — or can acquire from a friend for nothing in a pinch. Similarly, the cost of a monitor won’t be counted. This one’s pretty straightforward: we don’t factor in the cost of a TV when buying a console, and so it makes sense not to add the premium into a PC build either.

However, I will be adding the cost of Windows 10 Home into the mix. You could use a PC without it if you really wanted to, but that’s like saying you shouldn’t buy PlayStation Plus or Xbox Game Pass Ultimate/Xbox Live on the consoles — it’s really not the same experience without it. However, if you’re capable of bringing your Windows 10 license over to a new rig, that’s a factor that should be considered.

Speaking of the subscriptions, I’ll also be calculating them over the course of three years. I’ll explain why in the following sections. And games will be covered too, although I’m not incorporating them into the price of each individual build.

As a final note: for the portion of international readers on Kotaku Australia, please note that all prices below are in Australian dollars. This isn’t something I usually earmark up front, but components pricing in Australia is significantly different than what’s available in the United States. The Australia Tax is still very real.

Cost of the PS5, Xbox Series X in Australia

Image: Kotaku Australia

Both the Xbox Series X and PS5 cost $749 in Australia, but the total end price is different after their respective subscriptions are factored in.

For the PS5, PlayStation Plus costs or $11.95/month or $79.95/year. So over three years, if you don’t buy any additional games, you’re looking at an extra $239.85, or $989.80 with the console included. 

For Xbox Series X, you’ll need Xbox Game Pass Ultimate — which costs $15.95/month. The first month is always $1, so over the course of one year you’ll pay $176.45, and $559.25 over three years ($15.95 * 35 months + $1). 

In total, that brings the Xbox Series X cost over three years to $1308.25. And while that doesn’t include the cost of games, Xbox Game Pass has a lot more titles, EA Play access, and exclusives like Halo: Infinite and future Bethesda games will be added to the service for free. So that’s something.

Cost of building a PC in Australia

pc ps5 xbox
Image: Kotaku Australia

Building a PC that can accomplish the same as the PS5 and Xbox Series X is a bit complicated, and there’s a couple of reasons why.

Firstly, consoles are traditionally sold at a loss. That doesn’t mean retailers like JB Hi-Fi are losing money on the consoles, but Sony and Microsoft famously sell them at a loss to recoup more money on games, services and these days, microtransactions. That doesn’t happen in the PC world, so there’s a higher margin on every individual piece of tech.

So to do this fairly, I’m going to spec out a couple of systems. The first is a PC matching how much you would spend on the Xbox Series X or the PS5 over three years. You could just build a PC around the upfront cost, but part of the PC platform is bearing an upfront cost for a longer-term benefit, so I think it’s fairer and more realistic to build it out that way.

The second PC will be one that can match the current capabilities of the new consoles. For this, I’m targeting something that can hit 1440p/120FPS or 4K/120 FPS in esports titles (like Dota 2, League of Legends, Rainbow 6: Siege, Counter-Strike and so on). This also matches the reality for the PS5 and Xbox Series X: they don’t hit a locked 120 FPS at 4K anyway, but it’s also still very early days for developers.

Building a PC for the cost of an PS5 or Xbox Series X

ryzen 3900x
Image: Alex Walker (Kotaku)

As nice as the new AMD CPUs are, we’ll want to grab something cheaper for this build. The new consoles are equipped with 8-core CPUs, but from a PC perspective that’s built entirely around gaming, the Ryzen 5 3600 is still a great bang-for-buck offering.

There are cheaper options: the Ryzen 3 3300X would be great, but it’s supremely difficult to grab because of stock limitations. Also, it’s unlikely to age well as games start to be developed around the stronger hardware in the PS5 and Xbox Series X. The 3300X might do fine today, but will it hold up in 2 years? Probably not.

The 3600 ships with its own cooler, so we’ll stick with that to save on price. A B450 motherboard is sufficient, and we won’t be overclocking. There are slightly cheaper boards, but the ASRock B450 Pro4 offers what we need with storage. (Cheaper motherboards will disable the SATA ports if the M.2 drive is filled, which is problematic down the road.)

16GB RAM should cover the needs of next-gen games, as well as people’s terrible habits when they never close their Chrome tabs. The Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB DDR4-3200 CL16 kit is cheap and performs well, but

Storage is the tricky part. You can either go all out on a single NVMe stick or go for a cheap SSD (for Windows) and a main drive (for your games). In normal circumstances I’d recommend just a regular SSD, but the Crucial P1 M.2 1TB costs the same, if not cheaper, than many 1TB SSDs. So you might as well grab that.

The GPU is gonna be costly, and the best we can manage here is going to be a Radeon RX 580. A Thermaltake Smart 500W 80+ power supply will do the job, even though it’ll be an ugly bastard while doing it. And we still need something house all of it in. It’s not a hefty unit, so a Deepcool Tesseract ATX Mid Tower for $49 will do just fine.

Don’t forget: we still need Windows. So that’s another $129 on top.

Here’s the total price list so far:

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600 3.6 GHz 6-Core Processor ($319.00 @ Centre Com)
  • Motherboard: ASRock B450 Pro4 ATX AM4 Motherboard ($133.00 @ Kogan)
  • Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3200 CL16 Memory ($109.00 @ Centre Com)
  • Storage: Crucial P1 1 TB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive ($145.00 @ Mwave Australia)
  • Video Card: Asus Radeon RX 580 8 GB DUAL Video Card ($219.00 @ PC Byte)
  • Case: Deepcool TESSERACT BF ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.00 @ PCCaseGear)
  • Power Supply: Thermaltake Smart 500 W 80+ Certified ATX Power Supply ($68.20 @ Newegg Australia)
  • OS: Microsoft Windows 10 Home Full 32/64-bit ($129.00 @ Amazon Australia)

Total: $1171.20

Not really quite around the $989 mark. If you’re happy to halve the RAM to 8GB, the G.Skill Aegis 8GB 3200MHz stick is available for $49. That brings the price down to $1121.20. If you halve the storage, and convert down to a regular 2.5-inch SSD, the Seagate BarraCuda 120 500GB SSD is only $69.

At that point you’re looking at $1045.20 for the whole system. There’s a kicker though: you’ll notice that the cost of the parts above is all from separate retailers, which means the price will skyrocket due to all the extra shipping fees.

So to limit that, most people generally buy all their PC parts from the same retailer, or two retailers at most. And when you do that, the prices can wildly change. (One other caveat though: Windows 10 keys are digital, so there’s no need to pay extra for a Windows license from a certain store — just order it from the cheapest place possible.)

I’ve used Mwave as an example here of what happens when you just buy all the parts from the same place. But you can swap that for whatever your local PC retailer is.

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600 3.6 GHz 6-Core Processor ($319.00 @ Mwave Australia)
  • Motherboard: ASRock B450 Pro4 ATX AM4 Motherboard ($139.00 @ Mwave Australia)
  • Memory: G.Skill Aegis 8 GB (1 x 8 GB) DDR4-3200 CL16 Memory ($69.00 @ Mwave Australia)
  • Storage: Crucial BX500 480 GB 2.5″ Solid State Drive ($67.00 @ Mwave Australia)
  • Video Card: Asus Radeon RX 580 8 GB DUAL Video Card ($269.00 @ Mwave Australia)
  • Case: Deepcool TESSERACT BF ATX Mid Tower Case ($65.00 @ Mwave Australia)
  • Power Supply: Corsair CV 450 W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($69.00 @ Mwave Australia)

Add on the $129 for the Windows 10 licence from Amazon (because it’s $219 from Mwave for the exact same product) and you’re looking at $1126 total. That’s in between what the PS5 and Xbox Series X would cost, but if you added a bigger (or second) drive to beef up the storage, then the system’s total cost would be closer to that $1300 mark.

rtx 3080
Image: Kotaku Australia

The problem with the system above is, clearly, it’s not going to accomplish any of the high frame rates that the next-gen consoles can do. Sure: most games on the PS5 or Xbox Series X will be running at 60 FPS or 30 FPS with ray tracing.

But with the system above, forget about ray tracing. The GPUs literally can’t support it, and to buy one that can (like the RTX 3000 series above, or the upcoming Radeon RX 6000 GPUs from AMD) is almost equivalent to the cost of the console itself. I’m personally expecting AMD to be a bit more price competitive with their new GPUs, but that’s still going to cost around $600-700 given where the RTX 3070 sits in the Australian market.

Our RX 580 build above will get good frame rates in games like Counter-Strike or Dota 2, but not at 4K. And you’ll be able to get around 120 FPS in more modern games at something like 1080p, but you might have to sacrifice some image quality — using High or Medium instead of Highest/Ultra presets — to get there.

So what would it take to build a PC that can match the consoles in terms of image quality, has support for ray tracing (but only at 30 FPS — we’re not aiming for 4K/60 FPS with this) and has storage that better mirrors what the PS5 and Xbox Series X can do?

Let’s find out.

Building a PC that can match the PS5, Xbox Series X in Australia

nvme deals
Image: Kotaku / Alex Walker

That means we’re going to need some serious upgrades. I’d love to include the new Radeon RX GPUs for fairness, but AMD hasn’t released Australian pricing yet, so the $809 RTX 3070 will have to be a mandatory inclusion. It gives us the best chance of hitting those higher frame rates at 1440p (like DiRT 5 does on the Xbox) while also supporting ray tracing at 4K, if that’s something you want to dabble in. The DLSS support means you should have no issues getting near 4K / 60 FPS in existing titles, which means a locked 4K/30 is guaranteed.

But to also match the consoles we need better storage. Slow NVMe drives are out of the question; we need ones that better utilise PCI-e 4.0. That’ll cost, so we’ll need a better motherboard. A new power supply will be mandatory too, and we’ll want an 8-core CPU to match the consoles. That’ll help the system not fall behind over the next few years too, as developers build their games around the CPU cores in the next-gen consoles.

The cheapest 8-core CPU with stock at the time of writing was the Intel i7-9700F, but I don’t think that’s much of a starter. You’ll lose PCI-e 4.0 support because of the older motherboard platform. It doesn’t have the architectural benefits, and the 9700F’s threads are disabled … so it’s really a non-starter option.

The best alternative here for now will be the Ryzen 5600X at $469. It’ll come with a box cooler as well, which should be sufficient since overclocking isn’t a factor in this build. There’s an argument for paying a bit extra and going for an 8-core CPU as well — the 3700X offers some more cores for about the same price, but it doesn’t do as well in games. It also won’t have extra benefits coming to the Ryzen 5000 series, so for practicality’s sake we’re sticking with the 5600X.

Motherboards start from around the $200 mark for what we need; I’m picking the ASRock B550 Pro4. The Corsair RAM from previously will do just fine here, so that slots right in. Storage wise, we need something that can at least get close to the PS5’s 5.5GB/s speeds. That’s not quite possible yet, but the Samsung 980 Pro does get 5GB/s sequential write speeds (and even faster for sequential read). So that’s our best pick for now at $369. We’ll also want a smaller SSD just for the Windows installation. The Crucial P1 NVMe 500GB at $79.50 is very well priced, however, and the NVMe speeds are a nice bonus bonus.

The GPU is going to be the biggest problem. The closest models to the Nvidia Founders Edition MSRP is the Inno3D RTX 3070 line, but the cheapest ones are out of stock with no pre order. So $869 is the cheapest we can pay for now.

A fully modular 650W Seasonic 80+ Gold power supply will juice everything we need. A NZXT H510i has plenty of room for an ATX Mid Tower and is easy to work with, and $129 on top gives us the Windows license we need.

All in all, this is what we’re looking at:

Image: Kotaku Australia
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 5600X 3.7 GHz 6-Core Processor ($469)
  • GPU: Inno3D RTX 3070 Twin 2X OC 8GB ($869 @ Umart Australia)
  • Motherboard: ASRock B550 Pro4 ATX AM4 Motherboard ($209.00 @ Mwave Australia)
  • Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3200 CL16 Memory ($115.00 @ Mwave Australia)
  • Storage: Crucial P1 500 GB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive ($86.00 @ Mwave Australia), Samsung 980 Pro 1 TB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive ($369)
  • Case: NZXT H510i ATX Mid Tower Case ($195.00 @ Mwave Australia)
  • Power Supply: SeaSonic FOCUS Plus Gold 650 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply ($159.00 @ Mwave Australia)
  • OS: Windows 10 Home ($129 @ Amazon Australia)

Total: $2600

That’s quite a bit away from $749. And if you are the kind of person who can’t extract the cost of a monitor from their PC, then you’ve got several hundred dollars to wack on top of that. And you’re not getting any HDR benefits either; PC monitors at that price point just can’t handle HDR properly, as good as they are for gaming. But even discounting that, I can imagine people would want to look at a new keyboard, mouse and maybe a headset too.

If you wanted to cut down the price further, you could go a couple of routes with the storage. Cutting out the PCI-e 4.0 NVMe drive lops almost $400 off the price immediately, but you’d want to pay a little bit extra to have the Crucial P1 1TB drive instead of the 500GB model. That’s still around $2230, although you’ve got a decently capable system that should have no qualms running any next-gen game you can throw at it for the next little while. I don’t know that the system would hold up after 7 or 8 years, but if there’s a mid-gen console refresh with the PS5 and Xbox Series X, this rig should comfortably hold its own until that time.

So the price can really add up fast, and we haven’t even touched on the games yet. Another note with the build above is that some parts — like the consoles — simply aren’t in stock locally. The Ryzen 5000 CPUs have been super popular, as have the RTX 30-series graphics cards. Stock of anything good is just really, really hard to come by these days.

Cost of games on PC vs. PS5, Xbox Series X

Image: Cyberpunk 2077

One area where PC has a longer-term advantage is that discounts generally tend to be much steeper and more frequent on the PC. That’s helped by healthier competition across platforms, and while there’s no automatic freebies as a result of owning a PC (given that we’re not factoring in, say, the cost of Game Pass on PC) you can access games that become free to own on Steam or Epic Games when they’re available. And generally, they’re pretty damn good.

For instance, one of the more recent PlayStation sales had Death Stranding for $42, Crash Bandicoot at $24.95, Civilization VI for $40, Control for $30 and Hitman 2 for $22.95. First-party games like Horizon: Zero Dawn or God of War tend to drop a little further in price than third-party games too: Death Stranding has only even fallen as far as $46 on PC, but you can frequently get Civilization VI for a lot cheaper.

AAA games can vary too. GreenManGaming has Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War for $91.95 on PC, and that gets you everything. On consoles, the version of Black Ops Cold War that’s optimised for the Xbox Series X / PS5 will set you back $109.95. You can get the current-gen version for $79, but don’t expect nicer frame rates or any of that jazz.

So it’s really hard to say whether you’d save more in the long-term buying games on PC vs. the PS5 or Xbox Series X. It comes down to what games you’re actually buying, and whether you’re happy to wait to play a few months to play them. The PC can be a lot better for indie titles and AA games that are discounted more frequently than on the consoles, but the consoles also have the benefit of super aggressive discounting by the likes of JB Hi-Fi, Big W and so on. (There’s also the Xbox Game Pass factor: what happens to things like the next FalloutElder Scrolls, Starfield or DOOM when you can access them via a $1/month special deal?)


ps+
Image: Sony

What the comparison really makes clear is just how much the consoles are sold at a loss. When you look at how much a lot of the individual components cost, it’s hard not to appreciate the upfront value for the customer when thinking about the availability of future technologies like ray tracing or the superfast SSDs.

This doesn’t mean all the platforms are equal or that the value is equivalent from a purely gaming perspective — because PCs, of course, are capable of doing much more than playing games. Some games just aren’t, and won’t be, accessible on consoles. A lot of good MMOs, free-to-play games and indie titles aren’t available on consoles.

You can’t get something like Command & Conquer: Remastered Collection, one of the best games this year, or the AOE 3 remaster on consoles. Microsoft Flight Simulator is still a PC only game. And I haven’t spoken about the power of the modding community, and the difference that makes to older games (which can be a cost-saving of its own).

So there’s a lot of caveats and asterisks with all of this. But even factoring that in, if you’re wondering whether the consoles are worth the price — honestly? For what they can do, and the fact that PC upgrades come around a lot more frequently than console generations, $749 is a bloody good deal.

Comments

  • Great article. Perhaps the real question is “How much does it cost to build a PC… that will be noticeably better (performance-wise) than a next gen console?”

    • I think when building a PC it would be a bad idea to try and totally exceed a console’s performance across the board this year. At leaast for the next year or so. Storage in particular is pretty borked, to ‘match’ speeds you’re paying a stupid amount, when most people would probably be fine just using a 2.5″ SATA SSD (4TB~$600) given the advantage in storage space and the potential savings on the required mobo.

      That said just a 3070 alone will likely have quite a bit more horsepower than the GPUs in the consoles – but without the hardware specific optimisations for each game comparing performance directly becomes difficult to parse. Same with the CPU.

      Generally speaking I think if you’re speccing out a PC I think you should do it for your other needs / interests first, and then add a little for games. If you only use a PC for games the value proposition is a bit off, but as soon as you use it for work, photo / video editing etc. then PCs offer (imo) great value. Games are way cheaper if you don’t buy at launch (and sometimes even when you do), your potential library is insanely large and the options you have to tweak performance to exactly your tastes is a big advantage (gaining a few frames with low res shadows, dropping a few for greater draw distance etc.).

      If you are just comparing raw performance from the new consoles to a potential PC I’m sure the PC would come up short every time, but that’s always been a strange comparison to me, the sorts of value both offer are just different.

  • A fascinating read, Alex. In addition to the losses Sony and Microsoft must make on the hardware (at least for the first 12–24 months of its lifespan), they do have a massive advantage over building your own PC: economies of scale. They can order a zillion of a given component at the absolute lowest price to minimise their losses. In the case of a PC home build, every component manufacturer will likely be making a profit from each part. I’m mainly a PC-guy myself, but I reckon this generation of consoles in particular represent excellent value for money.

  • My main reasons for continuing with PC gaming is:
    Backlog – The games tend to work forever (sometimes with modding required), so there’s no need to repurchase. You can generally always play the same game as consoles but with the best possible fidelity (if your system is up to scratch).
    Ultra Wide… Not all games support it, but outside of VR it is the most immersive way to game.

  • This is almost like a false dichotomy – there are almost infinitely more uses you can put a decent PC to, not just to be a mouth-breathing couch cretin! :).
    Case in point, my $1000 box from 5 years ago still allows me to play all of the many games I want to; I’ve WFH on it daily all year during this C-19 pandemic; I run a Linux VM slurpbox on it; it serves a Plex home media server 24×7; I can browse the web without limit (including Pornhub! :); I can install almost any application (Windows or Nix) to try-b4-I-buy (same with PC games :). Also, I can still use a controller if I really want to (only ever had one game needed it for Steam remote play that I actually bought a PS4 dual-shock for) OR the much preferred and infinitely better for most fps/OTS/mmo style games – keyboard & mouse! (yes, they are top end gamer peripherals, but money clearly isn’t the only or even most important concern for *most* even semi-hardcore PC gamers). And good luck with a full 3-monitor HOTAS/rudder pedal flight-sim setup on any console lol! I almost went down this path for Elite:D, but even SW:Squadrons or something like Star Citzen, vapourware that it is, will benefit hugely from proper flight sim set up immersion.

    Perhaps the key, most critical factor of all: there are far more Windows games I want to play that require a PC, than anything PS/XB exclusive. In fact, the only game I ever *almost* bought a PS4 for was Journey…and looky looky here, a couple years of patience & it’s available on PC! 🙂

    • I think the point of the article “As per the headline” was to see what it would cost to build a PC with the same graphical capability as the next gen consoles. Like if you tried to build your own PS5. No one is disputing the added versatility of a PC.

      • Sure, but then who in their right mind would spend only as much on a PC just because that’s the threshold for a console and THEN only ever use the PC to play games & for absolutely nothing else? Hence my intro comment about this being a ‘false dichotomy’ in comparison terms. In other words, the exercise has no practical value whatsoever in anything resembling most ppl’s reality ;).

        Perhaps a better exercise would have been to see how much you need to add onto a console to make it anywhere near as versatile or flexible/multi-purpose as even a midrange PC ;-p. The cost of even a half-decent 4K TV with a high refresh (not the Kogan crap we have :), would add somewhere between $1-2K to the equation alone (3-4 times a decent 4K monitor mind you). Granted, no one is going to buy an expensive 4K tv just to play console games on, but there you have it, potato/potato, tomato/tomato.

        • If you were to build a PC for all the capability it has, but you wanted it to have the same gaming related specs as a PS5, this article would tell you how much you’d need to spend at a minimum. I think that’s the point of it, and while not intended to be a guide, it’s an interesting thing to ponder.

        • People buying a console just for games would probably only be buying a PC instead, just for games.

          Even if they weren’t, you can just get a decent laptop PLUS the console and still pay $500 less

  • Hmm no. The second build is NOT how you build a gaming PC.

    I like your first machine, but lets just swap that 580 out for a NVIDIA 2060.

    Thats only 200$ more. With a total of $1300 + the ability up upgrade cheaply in a few years if you want.

    That way now you get DLSS + Raytracing, and comparable performance to those consoles normally, with better performance when the titles is a DLSS one.

    • Sure, but then you’re paying more for a PC than the Xbox Series X upfront and that’s not even leaving any headroom for, say, a cheap keyboard and mouse. So you’re kind of going against the whole proposition of the exercise there.

      But that’s why I wanted to go down this little thought experiment in the first place. There’s going to be families or people who just have hard caps on their budgets. Paying $300 or $400 extra for a PC – which they might need for school work or the home or whatever reason – might be the absolute stretch as is. Going even further to add the 2060 into the mix may just not be possible.

      Anyway, it’s fun to crunch the numbers and see how everything shakes out locally. Naturally, everyone’s needs are different.

  • Great article. What you cannot put a price on of course is the amount of effort and agony (and satisfaction too) that comes from building a PC and troubleshooting hardware and software. The last rig I built was set up for 3D (~2009) and was amazing, but it all just got too much: the cost was ridiculous, the sheer amount of time trying to get things optimised or just working. I’ve been a console gamer since playing Skyrim on the couch in 2011…
    The thing is though – so far this console generation feels just like a PC upgrade. Everything is backwards compatible, we’re waiting on patches to take full advantage of the new hardware for most games – and like any PC upgrade it feels great but also not that essential. Quick resume though on series X – is glorious and nothing in PC land comes close.

  • Great article! As a casual observer it seems like PC gaming has dramatically gone up in price, has there always been a 2-3x difference in price between a console and it’s rough equivalent PC?

    My take on the caveats – if you put game pass ultimate on xbox as an essential, then you could include game pass on the PC build too. So it’s either $750 vs $2300 hardware, $1324 vs $2700 with 3 years of game pass or $1710 vs $2957 with 5 years.

    I’d say it’s reasonable to assume a typical gamer has a 4K TV but not a 4K monitor, so that could be considered an additional cost too ($1710 vs $3357)

    However most console gamers probably own a PC too, you could factor in the cost of non-gaming PC ownership, maybe $1000 every 5 years? That takes it to about $1700 for 5 years of console vs $2300 for 5 years of PC, not too much difference really.

    The biggest problem with the two comparisons is the PC case! It makes the PS5 look like a Series S in size!

    • Maybe. But I don’t think XGP is essential on PC because that also ties you into the Xbox ecosystem — people might prefer to be playing on Steam, where more friends and a wider range of games are. Or you’ve got things like GOG. And then there’s exclusives which only become available on PC through Epic.

      So it’s a bit more complicated on that front. Similarly with the monitor – a good 1440p screen makes a lot of sense vs a 4K model, and those can often be for around half the price.

      Console gamers owning a PC isn’t something that I think I’d want to factor into the equation because that might not be true: they might own a Macbook for study, or just a leftover from doing uni assignments, or an actual PC they do other work on. But that opens up a different can of worms because it’s no longer a straight gaming comparison, and that’s why I didn’t go down that road — there’s just too many variables, and too many changes in circumstance.

  • I think you need the cost of a monitor or TV that will take advantage of the frame rates factored into the three year cost as well. 4k TVs have been standard for about 3-4 years now, but how often are people buying new TVs? A significant number of people would still be on 1080p TVs and the same goes for PC monitors, or if they are on 1440p plus they certainly wouldn’t be variable refresh rates if they haven’t upgraded for the three to five plus years that seems to be the sensible upgrade cycle on PC at the moment.

  • Great read.

    Another thing to consider is the cost of the games. I usually grab one of each console + have my gaming pc & laptop. And every generation I end up buying most of my games on PC simply because their price point is significantly less, and there is much heavier / consistent discounting.

    Some of the PS store discounts ended being good at the end of this gen – but now they are tiering prices up for next gen games…I’m not sold yet.

    Plus you can easily get more than 600gb storage on PC lol. That was the main thing that has held me back from early purchase in this gen. Bet they’ll both release larger storage versions within the year.

    • I feel bad for the money conscious people who fell for the trap of buying a digital only version of a next gen console, in an effort to save some money. Being locked into buying exclusively from the PS Store is going to be costly long term.

      • Actually for a family who will use the PS+ membership and nothing else, it’s a really cheap way of accumulating lots of decent titles.

        I really wouldn’t waste time feeling bad for them.

        • Heh, not actually feeling bad, but you get what I mean.
          It’s been a few years since I had a PS+ membership, but I recall then the offerings were mostly crap games. They’ve gotten a lot better now? I may need to renew!

      • I can’t understand buying a digital only console. The $100 you saved will be gobbled up in a few games with the extra cost. And they take years to go down (unless it’s a shite game)

        Although a nice thing about PC is you don’t have to pay for DLC. I’m not saying people should pirate things like proper expansions. But the shit in the new AC games. Go for it. Double the launch price of the game just in MTX. Wtf

  • I’ve traditionally been a pc gamer but this generation I’ve switched to consoles for gaming (at least for a the next 2 years). The main reasons are the heavy discounting on the hardware and the crazy value of game pass both now and what’s coming down the pipe from all the studios Microsoft bought. $750 for an xsx is crazy given what it has inside it. It’s been many generations since the price/performance ratio of a console on launch was this good, I’m just guessing but it may have been as far back as n64 and ps1?

    It’s also worth noting that for the $2600 you priced up you could buy an XBOX series X, a PS5, a switch and a low/mid tier PC. This strategy gives you access to all exclusives and a PC for non-gaming tasks, the only thing you’d miss out on is any PC game exclusive that required high end hardware to run (I don’t think they are that common, many pc exclusives are indie titles and mmos and such).

    Alternatively get an xsx and an OLED instead of a high end pc. Enjoy your 4k 60fps HDR SSD almost silent fan gaming on a display that most pc gamers have yet to experience.

    • OLEDs look awesome. Just don’t leave it on 1 screen for too long, since they suffer from burn in.

      Was just looking for a TV for the new consoles. For anyone else looking, this is what I found:

      OLED is top: suffers from burn in, but new models are better, QLED: is slightly cheaper, but not quite as good as OLED.

      After that it’s the other “special” screens like ULED or the Hisense Dual-Nano tech.

      OLED starts around $1800 for a decent size and as with everything – goes up for bigger and better screens.

      I got a Hisense Q8 for about $1450, which looks great. Doesn’t do 120hz for gaming but still does 4k60fps with HDR10 or Dolby Vision (new Xboxs will support DV). It seemed to be the best value TV for $1600 and under.

      As always. Spend more if you want a better product

  • I had to replace my GPU this year and a 2070 Super (thankfully I dodged the manufacturing problems with the 30s) was basically the cost of a Series X or PS5 on its own *after* it had a price mark down. There is no way you can build a PC with the same performance as either console for the same cost. A competent GPU alone is the cost of a Series X/PS5. Had a friend who didn’t believe me until I showed them the receipt for the 2070. Some people live in ignorant bliss.

  • I wonder how much the PS5 and Series X actually cost?

    Its no secret that consoles in the first couple of years always sell for a loss but Sony and Microsoft are both massive enough companies they can absorb the loss through other avenues.

  • Two interesting alternatives would have been.

    A: Follow console specs as closely as possible (so Zen3 8 Core, 16GB RAM, 1TB PCIE-4 drive, 6800 (until a 6700 rears its head anyway).

    B: Build it into a console like chassis like the RVZ.

    • The 6800 pricing wasn’t out at that stage, although it’s not too far off what the 3080 is anyway, maybe a couple of $200. And the other PC specs with the 5600X and the 980 Pro (which surpassed the XSX’s raw throughput) matches, although you can’t get something that *quite* matches the PS5’s speeds yet. But it’s pretty close.

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