You have decided you want to pick up a game and play. Maybe you missed out when games first started up or possibly you want to game with a loved one. Whatever the reason, you want to game, but are unsure where to begin. Keep reading and I will help you get started.
First, decide your budget and choose a platform:
Console - This may be XBOX, PlayStation, or Nintendo
Personal Computer or PC
NOTE: If choosing to play with someone in particular, you generally will need to be on the same platform as them.
Cheaper than PC
Geared specifically for gaming
Great for parties/get-togethers
Have to purchase new console to upgrade
Limited to how it may be used (video, music, and gaming)
Limited ability to add “mods” or game modifications (more on mods later)
More customization options
Able to upgrade
May have multiple monitors (this is handy especially if you decide to stream)
May be used for other functions and projects outside of gaming and entertainment
Able to add gaming modifications
Can get pricey
Not as mobile
Hookup and set-up may be more complicated
My videos and examples will mostly be with the PC, however, I do own consoles and enjoy them as well. It depends what kind of mood I’m in and whether or not I want to sit up in a chair or get some hot tea and blankets and game on the couch. When my husband and I first decided to purchase something specifically for gaming, we started with a console due to the low cost and it could also sub as a Blu-ray player (this was in 2002).
“Okay! I want to start with console, which should I get then? There are so many choices!”
Take a look online and figure out what games you really want to try out. Some games are exclusive on some consoles and not others. Also, some games will release on one console a month or so before the others. Some examples of exclusives include the Gears of War series (XBOX only), God of War (PlayStation Only), or Zelda (Nintendo Only). If you are buying for small children to play too, Nintendo is known for their family friendly choices. If you really want to go nuts with the research, check out the following magazines for great game reviews and their platforms (there may be lots more, but these are the ones I’m familiar with):
PNM (Pure Nintendo Magazine)
“Okay! I want to start with PC, which should I get then? There are so many choices!”
Some people enjoy putting together a custom made PC and there are quite a few videos out there on how to do that. Others prefer to buy PCs already put together or hire someone to build a PC for them. To name a few great places to purchase PCs or PC Pieces online, there are Amazon.com, Newegg.com, and TigerDirect.com.
If the sky is the limit for budget, it is simplest to just purchase any of the ready-made Gaming PCs. There is usually a “Gaming Computers” or “PC Gaming” subcategory when browsing PCs.
If you are feeling bold and want to purchase something simpler and possibly upgrade bits, you can do a little research and figure out what’s best for you by looking up a few games you want to try out and then check out what system requirements that game needs to work properly and then make sure you have those specs (specifications) in your newly purchased PC. I will usually make sure the PC specs are a step above the minimum requirements at least. However way you wish to go about it, here is how to check out those details:
For example, let’s say I decided I want to start out with an MMO RPG (massive multiplayer online role playing game) because my daughter plays and is going to college soon and it would be nice to stay in touch through a game. We decide we will play Elder Scrolls Online on PC (when she is not studying of course). To find the requirements for that game, I would do the follwoing:
Go to the Elder Scrolls Online website
Then to the Store
Pick out which version of the game I wish to start with
Scroll to the bottom to find “System Requirements”
If you decide to purchase a game through Steam, Epic Games or another digital game marketplace, you typically find System Requirements for a game by going to the “Store” of that application and then search for the game you want. Once you pull up that game, there usually is a short trailer for that game, much like you find for movies, and then details about the game. You may have to scroll down a bit to find “System Requirements.”
Once you find the System Requirements, compare what is required to what is listed for the PC “System Details” or “Specs.” The big 2 I pay close attention to when reviewing System Specs are:
NOTE: It is also advisable to review if there are any extras needed for the game of your choice. For example, if you want to play Beat Saber, you will need virtual reality hardware.
Once you make your purchase, then all that is left is to hook it up and install or load your game. For how to hook-up everything, refer to YouTube. There are tons of tutorials out there for your specific PC/Console. Have fun shopping!