Fifteen reasons PC gaming beats all

How about an epic PC versus console gaming smackdown, in the tradition of end-of-year numbers lists?

I spent part of 2008 taking polite shots at PC foibles like Microsoft's halfhearted initiative, the that plagued Vista for the better part of 2007 into 2008, PC gaming's dwindling stable of A-list exclusives, and the now impossible to miss short-term-gains mentality that's dropping eggs in low-risk baskets labeled "World of Warcraft" and "The Sims."

So here's my last minute about-face defending the PC as a viable games platform, and a friendly rejoinder to Techradar's

1. PCs are scalable. Sure, it's a glass half-full or half-empty proposition, because component upgrades often vandalize (and scandalize) your wallet. Question is, would you rather have a platform that can play nearly anything, past to present, contingent on do-it-yourself propensity? Or be locked into a restrictively governed molding that's only changed out once every half-decade or so?

2. PC games are endlessly manipulable. Another "your mileage may vary" point, because tinkering's not for everyone, and plenty of people just want something that works. On the other hand, if you've only played on a console, you've been prowling around in visuals that barely shadow the game's tricked-out PC sibling. And while stuff like is accessible on NVIDIA-derivative consoles, don't expect to ever look as gleefully dissolvable on a PS3 or Xbox 360 as its physics-enhanced PC version. Also: Two words = mod scene.

3. PCs ape consoles in emulation. Here's a point often missed. PCs can be nearly any past-tense console, by hook or by crook. Miss stuff like Rare's ? The original tag-team ? ? ? No need to track down a moldering Atari 2600 or original NES or 's original arcade box. Just find and a stack of ROMs, or a Flash or Java site like running scads of these in ostensibly legal emulation (including save-state options!) and you're golden.