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You don't need an Xbox Live Gold subscription for single-player or local multiplayer.
Except I get global multipulti for free on PC, as well as local LAN and for some games split-screen.
It'd have to be a really deep Steam sale for four copies of a PC game supporting LAN play but not shared-screen to be cheaper than one used $30 copy of an Xbox 360 game supporting up to four Xbox controllers.
Sometimes they are, but with Steam, you end up with four copies. At the end of the day, everyone gets a copy and can play on their own or with others.
If you prefer a laptop as your working PC, the difference between a working laptop and a gaming laptop can pile up even faster.
That depends if you intend to game on your laptop as well, which defeats the point of having a gaming rig.