consoles now are close enough to gaming rig standards that the difference from PC to console version is purely cosmetics and control methods, no matter what the PC gaming fanboys will tell you.
O-kay. I am a PC gaming fanboy, and I'm afraid there are some marked differences. While it's true that what you 'see' is very similar on both systems, a lot of advances are behind the scenes - f'r instance, the inclusion of tesselation in DX11/OpenGL 4.4 is something you usually don't notice, but it fleshes out textures beautifully. You can't miss pixels that you've never had, but a console also operates on a fairly low resolution (for the kind of television you might be running it on)
But I'm not going to sit here and argue about graphics, because I really don't give a damn, and you really can't tell the difference these days because everything is brown or grey (See Gears of War/Fallout 3 for details). No, I'm going to explain some other differences.
Sometimes I do envy the simplicity of consoles. I mean, you people have an outside life. You have other things to take care of. You don't want to spend hours fixing things that shouldn't be broken. And that's why I can understand why some people get a console - because you put in the game, it works, and there is no difference from one Xbox to the next.
Now take a look at some AAA titles released on the PC. We had Dead Space - which had the controls ported so badly that you couldn't turn properly while moving. Or maybe GTA4, which steadfastly refused to acknowledge that computers were capable of holding more than 1gb of RAM. Oh yes, and I recently purchased Black Ops for my shiny new i7 computer. Result: The multiplayer game crashes on a completely random basis (but usually within the first ten minutes). This is a dual fault, firstly because manufacturers no longer care about the PC part of their distribution, and secondly because there are millions and millions of computers out there, seldom ever exactly the same. This makes compatibility a nightmare.
But we still have an upper hand in things. I don't care what console gamers say - a keyboard and mouse is the only way to play almost every genre of game - as you say, the 'control method'. The only kind I can think of that doesn't mix with PC controls is racing simulators - and let's face it, driving a car with a controller isn't easy either.
What is it with console gamers and hating mice? Please, get a proper mouse when you start denouncing it, because most standard rubbish will not do. If it came with your PC, it is not suitable. A gaming mouse can pinpoint a pixel, on a texture, on a beer bottle, on the other side of a map. A controller will struggle to hit the chap standing six feet away, or at least it would if the console didn't help you aim. Seriously, how much of the game are you actually playing here?
And then there is the independent side of things. Mods, patches, and updates. Team Fortress 2, brilliant as it is, eventually gets boring on the Xbox because Valve can only ship an update to it every few months, whereas on the PC they are adding stuff every week, most of it made by the vibrant community. Take indie titles, which are often PC-exclusive, like the delicious Minecraft. And what about mods? Without mods, you would have never gotten Counter-Strike - nor DotA, or Desert Combat. The original Team Fortress would have never existed either. Be glad that there are legions of nerds, tinkering away with software engines in their basements, because without them, who knows where you console fanboys would end up?
I understand consoles. If you have one and use it, then you have a good reason for it and that's fine. But every time a controller-wielding maniac starts calling themselves, in a nasal American drawl, a 'hardcore gamer'... I can barely stop myself laughing.
Sorry Danny, but the fanboys defend their own