If you want to start streaming on Twitch or Mixer, the first decision you have to make is whether or not you want to dive in with console streaming or stream from your PC. First, we want to say there is no right or wrong answer and one is definitely not better than the other. It’s simply that one option may be better for you than the other.
The Pros and Cons of Streaming from a PC
The benefits to PC streaming
The number one “pro” to streaming from your PC is that you can constantly upgrade. You can start off with a simple laptop or a “budget” PC and, as your stream grows, you can update and upgrade to a better webcam, mic, graphics card, etc. and really customize your setup gradually.
PC streaming generally provides a much higher quality experience for both you and your viewers. You have more freedom to customize your stream using both your PC and your preferred streaming software.
You aren’t limited to only playing on PC. Using a capture card, you can connect your console to your PC and stream at a much higher quality (thanks to all the customization options in your PC and streaming software) while still playing your favorite console-specific games. This is the option that many pro streamers use who play on a console but don’t want to sacrifice quality.
The downsides to PC streaming
The biggest struggle for new streamers who are using a PC is that the setup can be confusing or complicated. Yes, you have near-endless customization and upgrading options, but if you’re new to streaming, it can all get overwhelming pretty quick.
The good news is the new Twitch Studio, their all-in-one streaming app, was designed to make it easier for beginners to have a successful Twitch stream. Plus, there are plenty of resources for learning how to stream on PC with Twitch or Mixer.
Additional things you want to factor in regarding PC streaming include:
- Cost – Yes, you can upgrade your PC as your stream grows, but it can add up. However, if you are generally excited about upgrading your PC, streaming can be a great way to fund it!
- Crashes – While a crash can (and does!) happen to everyone, it’s more likely to happen if you’re overtaxing your PC. And when a crash does happen on a PC, not only does it lock up your game, it kills your stream. Streaming from a console means even if your game crashes, you can engage with your viewers while you’re restarting your console.
The Pros and Cons of Console Streaming
The benefits of console streaming
The number one benefit to console streaming is that it’s easy. All you have to do is download the Twitch or Mixer app, and you’re ready to go live. Because this is all you need to do, you have everything you need, so there’s little to no out of pocket costs.
The simplicity and minimal cost of a console streaming setup means this is great for someone just starting out who isn’t sure if streaming is for you. Maybe you’ll try it and realize it’s not your thing, and if that’s the case, you’re not out anything.
The downsides of console streaming
Not surprisingly, what makes console streaming great (ease of use) is also its downside – it’s fairly limited in what you can do, and the customization options are minimal, especially in comparison to what you can do with a PC.
Also, the quality from a console, even if you use a high-end USB mic and a better webcam, just doesn’t offer the level that comes from a PC. However, there is a lot of community support within console streaming (especially for XBox), and viewers are more likely to overlook a less polished quality.
The Bottom Line Of PC and Console Streaming
The number one thing to keep in mind when you’re choosing whether to stream from a console or a PC is which one you’re more comfortable with. There are tons of resources available to help you get started on Twitch or your preferred platform, no matter what option you choose, and you can always update, upgrade, and change direction.
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