I would say that, on the whole, this has been a pretty great generation of consoles.

A lot of that has to do with the sheer length of time the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 have been on the market. More than six years! I you had told me back in 2006 that I’d still be picking up new Xbox 360 games well into 2013, I probably would have looked at you funny. Because you’d be a time traveler, or psychic or something.

We’re just hearing the death knell of the Playstation 2, with Sony shutting down production. So long shelf lives aren’t without precedent… though they may soon be a thing of the past.

As I enjoy the last bit of newness left on my 360, I can’t shake the feeling that the all the bullshit that crept in this past generation will be even worse in the next. I picture a dedicated Windows 8 machine with Kinect integration… or, y’know, a PC.

The increasing PC-ification of consoles has me wondering: what’s keeping me from making the switch to PC gaming? I’ve always been a console man, due to personal preferance and space/budget constraints. But every day, something comes along to knock those excuses down.

But it’s expensive!

I’ve calculated how much I’ve spent on hardware (at least 2 Xbox 360s paid in full), games new and used, peripherals, and DLC. Do you really want to know?

But I want to pop a disc in and just have it work! PC games always have patches and shit!

For the most part, they can have problems addressed a lot faster than it takes to pass Microsoft’s certification system. And if they don’t, there are communities of enterprising nerds who’ll cook up their own solutions.

But DRM! Accounts!

And you don’t have that on consoles? Let’s look at, I dunno, anything EA or Ubisoft you’ve purchased. Remember those slips of paper that practically scream “Fuck you, used game market!”?

But I want to play on the couch in front of my TV!

There are cables for that.

But I like using a controller!

A friend looks up from “Far Cry 3” on his PC, controller in hand. “Dude, what? Lots of games support controllers, and work great with them.”

But my friends! I can’t abandon them!

Oh, you mean the friends who spend more time on their PCs? And how many will make the jump to the next console generation?

But you can’t get used games for PC!

I dunno about that, but you can already get new games cheaper than console games at retail. And there are sales ALL the time. And free content, indie games, browser games… shall I continue?

But I don’t have space for a rig! And what about that Macbook Pro you’ve been eyeing? Can’t have it all, big guy!

Hmm, I have a point there. I’m sure we can work something out, though. Just think, not having to look at ads before starting a game! Heck, you could IM and look up FAQs WHILE PLAYING THE GAME! Wouldn’t that be swell?

Sorry for internal monologue, I think I’ve edited way too many of Tyler’s articles and he’s rubbing off on me.

In any case, this debate still rages in my head. On the one hand, there’s my intense hatred of being fucked over by Microsoft and the frustrations of modern consoles. On the other is fear of the unknown: becoming one of “those guys”, the sneering PC Elite Master Race of Gaming.

It’s not too dissimilar to my “conversion” to Apple products over the past three years. In truth, I’m bipartisan; coworkers assume that, because my family and I have used DOS and Windows-based machines our whole lives, we’re automatically opposed to anything else. It really just boils down to personal needs and preferences… and consoles aren’t meeting them anymore.

I think I’m ready to put down roots outside of the walled garden of console gaming. The PC gaming market has blossomed… OK, screw the plant metaphors. I’m just tired of console bullshit… if I’m going to be hassled, I might as well do it for a platform with more freedom.

Any advice all y’all have for a PC gaming noob, I’d appreciate. Leave a comment or shoot me an email.