I already know people are going to jump the gun here and say that anything less than 1080p is garbage, or "too casual", but it's something that generally bugs me about the PC Gaming community that I feel like asking now. Is it really all that bad, especially for casual gamers?
So, let me take a step back for a minute. I'm definitely not a "casual" gamer by even my own standards. I have an expensive rig that I really like with a 4690k and a GTX 970, I'm personally not slouching in the hardware department, but I justify spending over $1,000 on my computer because I find it a fun hobby I can get satisfaction in, I use it for more than just games (I'll be it, not much more), and because I use it so often it was well worth the expenses. What about a more "casual" gamer though, who doesn't like consoles? Or just someone who likes PC Gaming, but their on a really tight budget? Sure everyone wants a 5960X with dual 980 Ti's, but a responsible person with low income isn't gonna blow all their money like that. Yet everyone who talks about PC Gaming really degrades anything less than 1080p, 60fps.
I know that there is a standard as far as the community goes with modern game developers. If you're game can't run on mid range to high end hardware at 1080p 60 FPS, it's either not well optimized or too graphically demanding to be consumer friendly (usually the first one though). I also understand that's the reason consoles get so ragged on is because their terriblely underpowered for today's day in age. The prices have dropped to something much more reasonable, but because the damage has already been done it is still an unappealing purchase for the smart consumer. However I see people taking this standard used by developers, and push it to be a community standard. As in, if you're system doesn't run 1080p, you didn't spend enough money on it, or spent money on certain hardware that didn't improve performance (ex: buy 64gb of ram, but you only got a GTX 960, that's generally not a good decision for part picking). Does it really matter though?
Generally speaking I understand the point in having these high standards from the PC Gaming community. It influences the hardware manufactures and game developers in a positive way by making the hardware more powerful for less cost, or just developing better optimized games.
I guess my real point that I'm trying to get at is would the more casual PC gamer be considered outcasted for owning a rig like this: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/78yT23
No, its not fancy AT ALL. It actually sucks, but it's a capable system for 720p Gaming (or even lower) if all you want to do is play games on your computer and nothing much else. It's not meant to do 1080p 60fps with maxed out settings, but it could still play games, and that's really what matters to some people, and honestly is what deters console gamers from moving over to PC Gaming. The system alone is about the same price as a current "next gen" console, but it can still deliver an experience thats more enjoyable because of the benefits of PC Gaming. People are generally correct when they say that PC Gaming is expensive because that's what everyone keeps making it out to be as. Everyone likes to pull the "but look at this budget PC" argument whenever their talking about the price of PC Gaming, but most of those people (from what I see) own $1,000+ rigs and have never even thought about Gaming at lower resolutions just because it "doesn't look as good".
LinusTechTips actually did a video I remember seeing maybe 2 or 3 years ago where Linus showed the difference in price to performance on the extremely low end side of graphics cards vs something $20-$30 more expensive, which he was in fact correct on his stance when he made the video, but does it really matter all that much? If you're OK with Gaming at lower resolutions, do you really need a GTX 970 then, or even a 960? You could go as low as a 750 Ti and the casual consumer probably won't notice the difference. I really want to know what people think about this. Am I the only one who thinks its ok to own a cheap system and not game at 1080p? Or is the difference really so drastic for some people (maybe because we can actually tell the difference?) that anything less is rubbish?
I guess as a closing statement I'll say that my family owns a 480p television and a 720p television and they can't tell the difference in picture quality between the two. They can see the difference between 60 and 30 FPS, but the differences in resolution don't phase them at all because they just want something "good enough". Even I run videos on my phone at 480p when I'm using 4G service just because I honestly don't see much of a difference between that and 1080p, it just saves me on data usage. I CAN tell the difference, its just not a significant enough one in my opinion to make me enjoy whatever video I'm watching with less satisfaction. This is where I got the thought for this topic from.