Major game consoles are released about once a decade, so it goes unsaid that the hardware on board these devices need to be future-proof. No wonder then, that the specs of most game consoles seem to resemble that of some alien supercomputer. More often than not, the hardware on these consoles seems like an overkill. Having said that though, there is no such thing as ‘too much power’ in the gaming industry. Your options, however, are limited as there are only a handful of major players in this industry. Besides, apart from the hard drive, regular users don’t have the option to upgrade the hardware on board.
With computers, there seems to be a newer version hitting the markets every other week. PCs are available in varying configurations, right from the beastly supercomputers to the very basic ones. The hardware on board the more capable computers is very comparable to that on game consoles, and even beats them in certain areas. Perhaps, the biggest factor with computers is their flexibility when it comes to choosing the internal components, and the option to upgrade them as and when desired.
Game consoles usually come preassembled, and all you need to do is plug in the components together, power on the unit, set up your account, pop in your favorite game, and you’re good to go. You might need an Internet connection for the initial setup and to download the latest firmware. You would also need to install some game files on to your console.
Computers too, these days, come ready to use, and all you need to do is power it on, install your favorite game, and get cracking! While the operating system itself comes preinstalled, unless you opt to set one up yourself (in which case you will need to install the OS yourself), you would either need to download, or pop in the CD/DVD of your game, install the game files before you get started.
Game consoles have their own controller that come bundled along. These usually are specifically designed and are perfect for gaming. Their controls are fairly simple, yet extremely intuitive. The downside to this is, they aren’t the most comfortable when navigating through the game’s interface or surfing the Internet on the console. Certain consoles, like the Microsoft Xbox One and the Sony PlayStation 4, offer additional motion-controlled sensors which make the gaming experience even better.
Computers do not come with a dedicated gaming controller. However, the markets are flooded with game controllers for PCs. In fact, the controllers of some game consoles work seamlessly with computers. An added advantage of having a computer is that you can plug in some controllers like gaming steering wheels, an option not available for game consoles.
Being dedicated gaming platforms, game consoles have a plethora of game titles on offer. Some of the exclusive titles offer a gaming experience like none other. Console games run with no hiccups whatsoever on compatible systems, as they are developed specifically for that particular console. The dedicated online game servers of major consoles (PlayStation Network, Xbox Live) are the main USPs of their respective brands.
Most game studios release games for all major platforms including PCs. Computers, however, miss out on the exclusive games for consoles, most of which are extremely popular and engaging. As computers are available in various configurations, some PC games may not work on regular computers.
Most next-gen consoles can easily replace your home’s multimedia center. They let you surf the Internet, make video calls, play HD movies, listen to music, and even have TV-streaming. Having said that, we would like to mention that as great these sound, these are add-on features with limited functionality. Although consoles have on-screen keyboards, they simply are way too cumbersome to use.
There simply is no beating the humble personal computer when it comes to versatility. Computers are perfect when it comes to surfing the web, computing data, and they make for fantastic entertainment systems. Additional accessories can help transform your computer into a TV, or you could simply install a software, and enjoy loads of online TV content. The computer’s keyboard makes inputting information an absolute breeze.
Perhaps, the biggest discerning factor between these two platforms is the price. You can get a good gaming computer for a fraction of the cost of the next-gen consoles in the market. If you are a hardcore gamer, nothing quite matches up to the gaming experience on a game console. For most gamers though, a gaming computer should suit them perfectly. The battle of game consoles and PCs rages on as neither can truly replace the other. At the end of the day, it all boils down to personal choice. So, take a pick and set sail for gaming paradise. Cheers.
Many are fascinated by space. They are hardcore fans of Star Wars, Star Trek, and the like. Add some strategy-building abilities to this fascination, and be ready to be entertained for hours together, by some of the best space strategy games available.
Space-based Strategy Games for PC
Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri
This turn-based game has been developed by Firaxis Games. It belongs to the 4X genre. In this genre, players need to expand, explore, exploit, and exterminate an empire. The plot is futuristic and set in the 22nd century. The gameplay is from a third-person perspective, and it has been directed by Sid Meier. The strategies in the game revolve around the idea of colonization of space. Players can choose to be the leader of any one of the seven available factions. This game is a spin-off of the civilization series. It was released in 1999, and is compatible with Linux, MAC OS, and Windows platforms.
Sins of a Solar Empire
This game has been developed by Ironclad Games. It is a real-time game and belongs to the 4X strategy genre. Here, players can choose to be the leader of any one of the three races – Trader Emergency Coalition (TEC), Advent, and Vasari. Leaders have control of their space empires. The goal here is to conquer different star systems. There are four packages of the game that have been released so far. The first was Entrenchment, followed by Diplomacy. The third package was Trinity. Rebellion was as the fourth stand-alone package of this game. This game was released in 2008, and is compatible with the Windows platform.
Star Wars: Empire at War
This game has been developed by Petroglyph Games. The showdown in this game is mainly between Empire and Rebels. Players can choose from three available game modes. These are Campaign, Galactic Conquest, and Skirmish. In this game, at times, there are land battles along with space battles. It is a real-time strategy game, which was released in 2006. Later, in the same year, an expansion pack was released for the game. This was titled Star Wars: Empire at War: Forces of Corruption. This game is compatible with Windows and MAC OS platforms.
This is another turn-based strategy game, which has been developed by Stardock. The plot of this game is based in the 23rd century. Players are only assigned the human race. The player becomes the leader of the human race, and the goal to be achieved in this game is of galactic domination through colonization of the space. This game does not support multiplayer gameplay. The player has to play against AI (Artificial Intelligence) opponents. He can choose from various civilizations, which are Terran Alliance, Drengin Empire, Altarian Resistance, Arcean Empire, Yor Collective, Torian Confederation, Dominion of the Korx, and Drath Legion. This game was released in 2003, and is compatible with the Windows platform.
Lords of the Black Sun
This game was previously titled Star Lords. It is a turn-based game of the 4X strategy genre. You can play this game with multiple players along with AI. Players have eight races to choose from, and they are assigned as the leader of the race they choose. These leaders rule their empire, where the goal is to achieve space colonization. The game has been developed by Arkavi Studios. It was released in 2014, and is compatible with the Windows platform.
Master of Orion
This again is a turn-based game, and belongs to the 4X genre of mystery games. It has been developed by Simtex. Like most other games on this list, the goal here is to develop colonies in space. This game has its focus on colonization of the star systems. There are ten races available for the player to choose from. This is not one of the multiplayer space strategy games for PC. It is a single-player game, and players are pitted against AI. This game was first released in 1993, and is compatible with MS-DOS, Apple Macintosh, and Commodore Amiga.
Sword of the Star
This game is also from the 4X strategy genre. It has been developed by Kerberos Productions. Players get to choose to play from the various races, and the goal is to colonize the star systems. This is also a multiplayer game, besides providing an option to pit a single player against AI. Its sequel was released in 2011, while the game was originally released in 2006. It is compatible with the Windows platform.
This game has been developed by Relic Entertainment. It is the first 3D game in the real-time strategy (RTS) category. There are two races to choose from – Kushan and Taiidan. Players are provided with the option of playing individually against AI or in a group. The game was released in 1999, and is compatible with the Windows platform.
One more game in the category of 4X strategy genre, this is a turn-based game, which has been developed by Amplitude Studios. This game has options for multiple players to play the same game, as well for a single player to take on AI. The plot takes place in 3000 A.D., where players are the leaders of their interstellar empires. Here, they can create their own civilizations, and one of the ways to achieve victory is by universal colonization. The battle scenes in this game take place in long-range combat, medium-range combat, and combat at close quarters. The game was released in 2012, and is compatible with the MAC OS and Windows platform.
This is a real-time strategy (RTS) game, and has been developed by Uber Entertainment. Players are provided with a map consisting of various planets and asteroids. They have to capture these planets, which can also be annihilated by other planets. A player loses on losing the last commander of the fleet. This game draws heavy resemblance to Total Annihilation. It was released in 2014, and is compatible wit the MAC OS, Windows, and Linux platforms.
These were some of the top space strategy games for PCs, that provide a balanced mix of best of both the worlds, or should I say, many other worlds.