Gamer Gives up PS3 for High End PC

Dennis Faas's picture

It's no secret that the PC gaming market has been losing ground to video game consoles for years. Standalone game systems are significantly cheaper and they're incredibly easy to get up and running -- simply plug and play.

Let's face it: playing games on a computer can be a pain. Addled users who just want to twiddle their joysticks for a couple of hours (or tap on their keyboard and mouse, as the case may be) suddenly have to worry about whether they have the right graphics card and sound chip, enough speed and memory, or any other number of frustrating variables.

Perhaps that is what PC Gamer Magazine had in mind when it set out on a brave quest to the Sony Metreon in San Francisco, California. Masses of people were lined up there hoping to score a new Sony PlayStation 3 on its launch date. The publication's mission: to convince one future PS3 gamer to give up his system for a high-end PC.

Of course, the PC periodical was smart enough to know that they couldn't possibly convince someone to ditch the PS3 and BUY a new computer. Instead, Christmas came early for one gamer, Neil, who agreed to forgo his PS3 purchase for a free 7,500 dollar custom-built Falcon PC -- and "a better gaming experience," according to PC Gamer.

From the PC Gamer website: "This 'PC on steroids' was specifically designed to play the latest and greatest gaming titles, and with its 30" LCD monitor the Falcon can run games at DOUBLE the resolution of a Playstation 3 running on even the best 1080p HDTV sets!"

PC Gamer first said that Neil would "never" be able to buy a PS3. However, the legal documents tell a slightly different story.

Here is the magazine's official explanation of the terms:

  • Neal cannot own a PS3 for 3 years. This includes buying one himself or having someone buy one for him as a gift. This doesn't mean he can't play the PS3 -- he just can't be the owner of one.
  • Neal must retain ownership of the Falcon Northwest system for 3 years, and cannot sell it or its components. The system is under a 3 year warranty in case he has any problems or wants to upgrade.
  • If Neal violates any of the terms, he has to pay the price of the system to Falcon Northwest.
  • We're allowed to visit him twice a year at his home to make sure he's abiding by the contract. (Source: - 1 and 2)

It goes without saying that this is pretty much an obvious publicity stunt on PC Gamer's part.

The magazine didn't necessarily convert Neil, because taking a top of the line rig for zero dollars seems like a no-brainer. Then again, he could fall in love with his new Falcon computer and become a PC diehard for life. Maybe that's what PC Gamer is banking on? In any case, this certainly makes for a cool little event and a nice bit of food for thought.

What would YOU do in the same situation?

For pictures of the official contract, click here. For photos of the PS3 lineup and Neil accepting PC Gamer's offer, check this out. And to see what other gamers would do, take a look at:,, and

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