I loved the Xbox 360 for the wrong reasons. Not for the games, the exclusives or the Free with Gold games. Don't get me wrong, it's a quality system where a lot of my more important moments in gaming took place. New Vegas, Mass Effect 2, the (at least) hundred hours I put into the custom games of Halo Reach with my friends, they're all things I distinctly remember, and look back on fondly whenever I think about playing a game. With my friends. Now those are the key words here.
To backtrack a moment, my first real gaming experience was on the Xbox. All of my friends had one, everyone in my circle of friends had an Xbox. There were no PS3's or PC's. I can remember in the 6th grade when I got my first Xbox I came home from school the following day with a list of fifty gamertags. Everyone from the school bullies who dealt pot behind the Health classroom window behind school to the kids already prepping for Harvard had one. I think among young men the Xbox 360 was more popular a method of communication than Facebook or even Cellphones, I can remember a conversation with a friend of mine recently who graduated a year or two ahead of me who told me that after school he would fill an entire Modern Warfare 2 lobby with his friends and they would pick teams like in gym class.
Now let me be blunt, the games on the PC are better. Having spent time off and on the 360 and the PC and now the Xbox 1 I can tell you that PC gaming is where it's at in terms of content and game quality. But the one area that the PC would consistently flunk out on was the social aspect, the PC multiplayer experience has always been the embodiment of its worst stereotypes whenever I've gotten on the mic or in-game chat in a lobby whereas on the Xbox the worst thing you've got to deal with is the occasional middle schooler who'll rage on you. On the PC I can distinctly recall several times when I was threatened to have my computer hacked and a virus loaded onto it, once someone threatened to track my IP and murder my family, and generally things that run along that vein. The Xbox 360 (or the One) has its fair share of ragers and squeakers, but it doesn't have any of those issues I've found. Sure it'll be a bit harder to find a group of players but it's certainly a much more casual and relaxed experience whereas the most relaxed gaming PC experiences I've had have been in single player.
Now it should be obvious that this isn't a biased article, I'm a biased man and time and time and time again the PC has been proven to provide the superior gaming experience. But when I think of gaming, when I sit down to play a video game I don't really think about how I can replace the dragons in Skyrim with Thomas the train, or how many frames per second. I ask myself, am I having fun? And while the answer is yes, yes I am having fun, I am not having as much fun as I used to playing on the Xbox as we all laughed and tried to speed run whatever game we were playing that week on max difficulty.
The one field that the PC looses out on that I believe to be critical to the modern gaming experience is that its just not as fun as the Xbox multiplayer is. And while that's entirely a subjective opinion and I welcome different thoughts and disagreement, let me leave you with one final question. If the PC was truly superior in every single way (and remember, cheap yet sturdy gaming PC's go for about as much as a Xbox One now) then why do people even buy Xbox's or Wii's or Play Stations?