It’s nice to remind ourselves from time to time that video games in any form have only been around for about 50 years. The explosive growth in consumer electronics over the past half century has spawned several amazing platforms, from the Atari VCS and Colecovision to the NES, PlayStation 2, and Nintendo Switch. But one of them towers over them as “the best equipment of all time” presented at the Golden Joystick Awards – of course, this is an honorable, immortal, boyar PC.
The other platforms in the top five – PlayStation, PS4, Super NES, and PlayStation 2 – are all worthy contenders, but let’s face it, PC is both ahead and ahead of them all. Seeing the PC as a single unified device is a bit of a hoax, yes, because modern PCs have about as much in common with the revolutionary IBM machine of 1982 as they have with a table lamp, but the basic, important nature of the experience is that I have a keyboard, I have I have a monitor, I have a big blinking box that works wonders – this is the common thread of a legacy that has passed from then until now, tying it all together.
The award was accepted by Valve boss Gabe Newell: “Gamers and developers have benefited immensely from the relentless innovation in PC gaming hardware,” Newell said in his very short welcome speech.
It is true, and it is a fact that is starting to manifest itself in very interesting ways. The PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X represent “the most PC-like console generation we’ve ever seen,” especially as Sony and Xbox continue to release more of their previous Steam exclusives. These blurring platform boundaries and the growing simplicity of PC gaming (when was the last time you had to edit a .ini file to run a game?) Mean that the “plug and play” advantage consoles used to enjoy has largely evaporated. Rejoice, boyars, the PC really won the consoles war.