I've grown up playing video games. Managing to get a PSOne the Christmas they came out from Game, then called Games Boutique, I was playing Colin McCrae Rally and Crash Bandicoot 3 for hours. Never being particularly amazing at them I enjoyed it all the same. Any time I could join my friend when he was down from London on his N64 playing Goldeneye I'd be round there pretty much all day solid. I even used to spend hours playing everyone's favourite 'game' as a kid - Microsoft Paint. I seem to remember us having a couple of games on the PC but I have no idea where they came from or how to actually launch them, understandably so, as they were Doom and Duke Nukem 3D and I was probably 8 at the time. Though, at some points I did find how to play them, then either forgot or the launch passwords were changed so that I couldn't do that any more.

A console is far cheaper than a fully fledged PC, with decent quality peripherals, their lives aren't too short either, looking at the Xbox 360, which was released in November 2005 and it's still very much going strong today, however. It's far behind modern PCs. Even though developers have been pushing hard to eek out as much power and performance that they can with the systems, be it through optimisations or sneaky short cuts they've managed to really do the system justice. However, arguably it has held the quality of graphics back on the PC as games are developed for both PC and console release, while generally PC graphics quality is better, it's not always the best that the hardware is capable of due to the need to support the lower powered consoles.

Controls are what really set the two gaming machine types apart from one another. The way that we use consoles nowadays, though changing, is predominantly through game pads. PC games have increasing support for gamepads, such as the Microsoft Xbox 360 controller, but most games and gamers tend towards mouse and keyboard for specific types of games, for example RTS or FPS.  I found this particularly difficult to get used to coming from gamepads where everything is in easy reach and they're ergonomically designed. Chiefly the difficulty has been aiming in FPS, the movement and action buttons have been rather quick to pick up, but the level of precision and speed made available through the use of a gaming mouse far outstrips the levels through a gamepad, where the only way to achieve something close is to ramp up the sensitivity to almost maximum. From experience with playing with friends PC gamers may sometimes struggle with the aiming and movement through the use of a controller.

Consoles aren't just about playing games any more. They're the hub of entertainment from the home, you can sit on your sofa, and now talk to your Xbox through kinect or use a wireless controller to choose what to watch on On Demand TV, Netflix, and a wide variety of other services, including music streaming. The Kinect can add a party-like atmosphere and so can other games like Rock band or dancing games. The PC still seems to me to be a solitary entertainment source. Despite being able to chat more easily via typing, or by using voice chat, it's still not comparable to having someone playing the same game with you whilst they're in the same room.