The cost of developing a console game is much less than that of a computer game. This has led to the idea that consoles are cheaper, but this isn’t true. PC games are often cheaper because they’re more customizable and have better graphics.

The why are pcs so expensive right now is a question that has been asked time and time again. However, the answer to this question can be found by looking at how much consoles cost compared to PCs.

In this post, we’ll delve into the realm of gaming consoles and examine why they’re less expensive than conventional desktop computers–soup to nuts.

Consoles vary from typical PCs in that they do not operate on conventional operating systems like macOS or normal Windows versions. Aside from that, compared to a desktop or laptop, they have extremely limited capabilities.

When it comes to addressing the issue of why consoles are cheaper than PCs, there’s a lot more to consider than simply the cost of the console and the peripherals that come with it–take let’s a look.

But first, if you’re seeking for a quick response, we’ll simply say: it depends.

Isn’t it annoying?

How much does a console cost on average?

We’d naturally look at the Playstation 5 and the Xbox Series X if we were looking at the newest and best generation of gaming console hardware.

Each of the two comes with two models: a standard model and a ‘digital version.’ This version of the newest model is available on both the Playstation and the Xbox.

The Bluray reader is included in the Playstation 5 basic model, however it may be removed in the Playstation 5 Digital edition, which does not have this function. The same can be stated about the Xbox Series X basic model, which has a Bluray connector and is also available in a lighter version called the Xbox X Digital for the same reason–no Bluray drive.

For others, this may not seem like much of a compromise since the bulk of consumers buy and download their games digitally across the board. Instead, it may seem to be an advantage, given that the ‘digital’ versions of both the Playstation and the Xbox have a value-based MSRP of $399.99, while both ‘base’ models have an MSRP of $499.99.

Customers who want to view HDR material on Bluray may be disappointed to learn that this function is only available on the more costly model. The number of robust specs and features you receive for the basic model’s pricing, on the other hand, is well worth the additional hundred dollars.

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What is the average price of a gaming computer?

A custom-built gaming PC costs on average… It’s all up to you.

That response may not please you, but keep in mind that custom-built gaming PCs are just that–custom! Enthusiasts who want to construct their own computer will discover that, after studying the market and the hardware available, graphics cards and CPUs, among many other computer components, are available at a variety of costs.

If you want the latest Intel i9 CPU, you’ll have to spend the same amount as a whole console. A Ryzen 3600 CPU may be purchased for less than $200.00 USD if you want something affordable and capable of 1440p gaming. It all depends on your objectives.

With that stated, the typical cost of a custom-built gaming PC is between $800 and $1200, but you may easily spend $400 or less or $5,000 or more. This is why putting a price tag on the typical cost of a bespoke setup is difficult since the components you select are completely depending on your budget and what you want to accomplish with the computer.


Is it true that consoles are less expensive?


Remember how we mentioned that the average price of a gaming console is higher than the device’s pricing? We weren’t joking when we said this.

You know, video games on PC platforms may be a lot less expensive than on console systems. This is owing to the business model and approach used by Microsoft and Playstation, which was originally created by the inventor of Gillette razors. We’ll talk about this more later, so stay tuned.

For the time being, most AAA games on both platforms will start at $59.99, with add-ons and versions (deluxe editions, extra downloadable content, ‘silver’ edition, etc.) pushing the price up to $100.

AAA games will likewise launch at the same price on PC, but platforms like Steam, Origin, and G2A, among others, will provide discounts and cheaper options to acquire the exact same version of the game in question over time.

The most significant difference between PCs and consoles is that, in addition to the fact that console games are usually more costly, you must also pay a monthly membership fee simply to have access to multiplayer capabilities.

A recurrent monthly or annual fee may be a psychological turnoff for many customers who simply want to enjoy games with their pals.

Another example: if you want the Playstation-branded headset as well as an extra controller in case one of them breaks or the battery runs out in the middle of a game, both will set you back $59.99.

Consider the cost of a Playstation 5 basic model with an additional controller, a name-brand headset, a year’s membership to Playstation Plus, and the above-average cost of six AAA titles (both new and dated). You’ll discover that the total cost of owning one is about $1040–or a near approximation of that, since that figure does not include local taxes.

Given that you can put up a value-based gaming PC with a handful of AAA titles for around $600, the popular belief that “gaming consoles are much cheaper” just does not hold water.

A recent DFC Intelligence research backs this up, claiming that console users spend the most money per user.

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So, How Do Manufacturers Manage This?

Playstation and Xbox have a completely different economic model from businesses that manufacture PC components, build laptops, and sell pre-built systems.

It all began with the Gillette razor business in 1908, when they created the primary product, the razor, and sold it at a loss–meaning it cost them more to produce than the money they received for selling it–but earned money selling the blades. Give the handle away and sell the sharps that go inside.

Companies like Microsoft and Playstation have been able to capitalize on a very lucrative market by creating and selling a device that generates no profit on its own but sells products that are required to use the device–this being digital or hard copies of games–by creating and selling a device that generates no profit on its own but sells products that are required to use the device–this being digital or hard copies of games.

Because gaming consoles have a lengthy shelf life, such as the Playstation 4, which lasted a respectable 5-years, the continuously expanding industry of video games provides a “spring of youth” niche that console makers may continue to exploit. Although just one system is required, the number of video games available continues to grow.

In addition to consistently selling a large number of games, this business model is particularly beneficial when creators produce console-exclusive videogames–games that can only be bought, downloaded, and played on a single console–or when the same titles are released every year. Sports games like FIFA, NBA2K, and MLB The Show are just a few examples.


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What Are Microsoft’s and Playstation’s Profit Models?

While this economic strategy may seem perplexing at first, keep in mind that the number of video games sold, as well as other equipment like controllers and headphones, vastly outnumbers the number of consoles sold.

Take a look at your game collection–say you bought 18 titles over the course of two years, as well as six separate months of Playstation Plus the first year and a full year the second.

So, what does this mean? It shows that you spent $400 on a console but about $1200 on games and multiplayer subscriptions.

Microsoft and Playstation are able to earn a profit from the constant and consistent sale of games and other apps on their proprietary store, which considerably outweighs the profit made, if any, from the device itself.

Furthermore, many Playstation and Xbox enthusiasts are repeat buyers when new devices are released, which is why the Xbox Series X and Playstation 5 are still difficult to come by.

Movies and other media consumables are being bought straight from the two companies’ own shops as a result of creating excitement and providing new features such as Bluray and HDR compatibility, which has now provided another business channel.

Finally, because of the way the consoles are built, Microsoft and Playstation are able to gobble up this negative profit margin. Mass-producing proprietary hardware that is expressly intended to operate with a particular system, form factor, and OS is less expensive.

Meanwhile, manufacturers of individual desktop components must invest more time, money, and research to ensure that their products are compatible with a broad range of operating systems, case types, and hardware combinations.

Which is more valuable: gaming PCs or gaming consoles?

This is when things start to get tricky.

Since PC and console gaming reached their all-time highs, there has been a lot of debate between the two camps over which is superior–one side claiming this, the other claiming that.

The primary point of contention is whether device provides greater value–a decision that can only be made by each person based on how they use their gadget.

Given that you can construct a custom-built gaming PC for almost any budget you want, as well as buy videogames that are tailored to your PC’s specs, the issue of which is the best value seems to be ambiguous…

…until you recall that one is a console with a restricted operating system that depends on customers using it for gaming-heavy workloads rather than straight media consumption, and the other is a full-fledged desktop with all the capabilities and usability of any other full-OS device on the market.

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What Is Your Usability Experience Like?

The apparent winner is owning a desktop PC that can run games just as well (if not better) than consoles at a lower or even similar price. You can also do things like surf the web, watch any kind of media, edit and create video material, send emails, and so on–basically everything you’d expect to be able to do on a computer.

If you have an aftermarket gaming controller and set up your desktop to be played from the couch using third-party software like SteamOS and the like, you can give yourself a console experience.

At the end of the day, we can only say that it boils down to the user experience that each customer desires, since no two people are alike!

Some individuals will buy consoles since many of their friends use the same platform to play their games, so it makes sense to join in on the fun as well. Other consumers, who are equally respectable, seek a simplified and portable experience that can only be found in a console.

On the other hand, as previously said, the majority of PC gamers also use their computers as their daily vehicles for other purposes. When you want to do more than simply play video games, having a strong and flexible computer is essential, particularly if you want a clean and sleek experience.


Final Thoughts

Overall, gaming consoles may be less expensive than gaming PCs, but this is dependent on the budget you set up for them. To answer the issue of which platform is more valuable, it all depends on what you want to do with it!

There is no incorrect way to go since today’s computer components and consoles are so technologically sophisticated, powerful, and feature-packed that whatever option you choose is the perfect one.

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The why are gaming pcs so expensive 2021 is a question that has been asked before. There are many reasons why consoles may be cheaper than PCs, but the main reason is because they don’t need to be as powerful or have as much RAM.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why consoles are cheaper than PC?

Are PCs actually better than consoles?

Is it cheaper to play on PC or console?

This is a difficult question to answer, because the cost of gaming varies depending on what you are playing. PC games tend to be cheaper than console games, but this is not always the case.


Holly is the smartest person you will ever know (Or so she tells us lol). She's a gamer by heart, and an author by soul. Writing for the website g15tools is a dream come true for her - she loves being able to share her thoughts and insights with others who love gaming as much as she does. When she's not writing or gaming, Holly can be found spending time with her friends and family.