Are gaming PCs really more expensive than PS5, Xbox and Switch? The answer is complicated

Gretchenfrage (fast) aller Gamer: Do I buy an expensive gaming PC – or rather a comparatively cheap console? Often followed by the follow-up question: Why are game consoles actually cheaper than gaming computers?

This text aims to achieve two things: On the one hand, to offer a superficial but compact overview of the price difference between gaming PCs and consoles. On the other hand, give a mental impetus as to which factors are useful for your own purchase decision.

Let’s go straight into the proverbial gaming machine park.

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The obvious reasons

If you buy a game console, you usually don’t have to worry about additional equipment. Because controllers are included, and most customers will already have a TV in their living room. However, console customers will then also not have to pay fees for online services such as the Xbox Network.

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On the other hand, if you buy a gaming PC virginally, for that additional purchases often add up – because it needs: a monitor, gaming keyboard and mouse, and possibly even a suitable desk with chairs. Of course, if you are already equipped and have a work computer at home, for example, there are no cost items such as a monitor or desk.

Since gaming is mostly a sedentary hobby, choosing the right seating can be crucial. One of many offers is the Interstuhl.

The devil is in the production detail

To put it very simply: A console always consists of the same components. This allows manufacturers to mass produce, which in turn keeps production costs low.

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On the other hand, a gaming computer, to put it simply, is more like a construction kit in which different components are thrown together again and again. This tends to push up production costs.

Where are you more at home: With a beautiful bling-bling RGB inferno and hand-picked hardware, or with low-threshold console gaming on the living room couch?

What does this mean for buyers?

Fiscal fact for the end user: if you use gaming hardware, you end up paying twice. First the actual production price – then a profit margin for manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers.

The situation is different when buying a console: Here the console manufacturer bucks the costs proportionately. You wonder why console manufacturers do this? Certainly also to remain competitive, to offer you as gamers an incentive to buy.

A tech trend that is not mentioned in this article is VR glasses – which have also recently found their way into the gaming sector.

Console Manufacturers Earn!

Many will be aware that console manufacturers such as Sony or Microsoft enrich themselves with game sales. Yes, enrich is a bad word, but it is like that.

Because: If you buy a title for the Playstation, for example, it is not the developer behind the game that makes a profit – but Sony itself. In contrast to this, PC manufacturers: they usually don’t get a euro cent when you get a game.

With the money raised at this point, Sony and the like can in turn keep the estimated purchase price for the games console low.

The secret weapon from Kisarazu

What many do not know: Sony in particular has a secret weapon up its sleeve when it comes to production – and it is located on the outskirts of Kisarazu. It is a Japanese industrial and commercial city where Sony Global Manufacturing & Operations has its seat.

Sony’s game consoles are manufactured fully automatically in the factory – so, for example a PlayStation 4 at that time within slim 30 seconds was produced. Ergo: With its factory in Kisarazu, Sony has a proverbial ace up its sleeve – and thanks to automation, it gains a speed advantage over its competitors.

The colleagues at Tech Daze know how to report that the production of a new games console does not always go smoothly, especially in times of chip shortages.

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Gigantic production volume

Here, too, console manufacturers have a clear advantage, because players like Microsoft and Sony can negotiate enormous quotas for the production of hardware.

To put it simply: When it comes to new game consoles from major suppliers, it can usually be assumed that there will be a correspondingly high demand – and a corresponding sale afterwards. Put even more simply: The production of many, many units means low cost of production of these many, many units.

Thanks to good capacity utilization, the factories can keep production costs low – which has a positive effect on customers afterwards. Say: Due to the high production volume, the actual console can also be put on the sales shelf at a lower price afterwards.

On the other hand: The production of processors and graphics cards for home computers is associated with a greater economic risk. Here manufacturers have to consider: How many units should I produce? The next question in the minds of manufacturers is: How many units can I actually sell?

If, for example, a graphics card produced lags behind the forecast sales, the manufacturer is stuck with his product. If the product sells better than expected, the production machinery has to be restarted – which again entails costs for the manufacturer.

Patrick You can

Ultimately, it is an impossibility to make a blanket purchase recommendation. As is often the case in consumer electronics, it depends on the individual needs of the customer.

If you’re a graphics fetishist, and keen to consistently play the most graphically impressive triple-A titles at maximum settings, then you’ll dig deeper into your wallet more regularly.

If, on the other hand, you belong more to the camp of PC gamers who prefer to pick up an indie gem on Steam but shrug your shoulders indifferently in the face of graphical marvels: then the purchase of a new mid-range gaming PC will make you happy.

Another factor that cannot be ignored is: time.

Are you willing to read up on the world of GPUs, CPUs, and RAM to make an informed purchasing decision? When it comes to hardware, are you enthusiastic enough to grapple with parameters such as price history, tech terminology, and performance charts?

In other words: Is the intensive examination of tech stuff good for you?

If not, but you’re still after blockbuster titles, it may be worth making friends with the console offering. After all, not only are finances and one’s own needs a factor – but above all the question is relevant: Do I feel like dealing with the odds and ends?

And if you don’t just want to play around with your new gaming acquisition, but also want to dive into the wonderful world of tax returns using Excel spreadsheets, or create snazzy text documents with Word, you’ll be impressed by the – Warning: understatement! – be disappointed by the lack of office suitability of an XBox.

In general: It is important to reflect on your own likes, dislikes and habits.

Do you find this topic interesting or this brief outline helpful? Do you agree with the truism that consoles are generally cheaper to buy than gaming PCs? What experiences have you had in this regard in your personal gamer biography? Feel free to swap ideas in our comments!

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