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Gaming Is PC gaming dying?

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Sifter3000, 1 Sep 2009.

  1. tron

    tron New Member

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    Comparing the cost of PCs to consoles is like comparing apples to oranges. You can only begin to get a slightly meaningful comparison if you are buying a PC 'only' for gaming. Hardly anyone buys a PC only to play games. So it's pointless comparing the costs of a PC to a console that only plays games and has one or two extra (but rather limited) media applications.

    Look at the value you get with a PC:

    Life without borders. Forget about playing a blu ray or playing a media extender on a console. On a PC you have the option of getting a blu-ray 'recorder', not just a player. You can hook the PC up to your HDTV and get a Windows remote controller, and use as a true limitless media centre. No worrying about whether the console supports more than one or two media formats, but a PC can potentially support every media format on earth. Record hours of TV externally or via a built-in TV or satellite card. Make DVDs, including blu-rays. Type a Word document or design a website with Sharepoint Designer. You can't make money with a console, but individuals and companies get rich via the use of PCs. Even the console games were designed and created on PC. The point I am making is to show that a PC is a whole lot more value for money than a console. The only way you can have a console being more value for money than a PC is if a particular PC is strictly going to be used for gaming only. Even in that unlikely situation, I would always choose the PC for reasons such as the following:

    The widest choice of gamepads. Consoles have failed to gain certain sales, in the past, because someone didn't like it's controller. You don't have that issue with a PC. If you don't like a particular style of controller, then you can choose another. Most people are aware of the keyboard and mouse benefits as well.

    If I want to record some game footage on my consoles, then I usually resort to pointing a camcorder at the screen to get a poor quality video of my gaming session. I then need to connect the camcorder to my PC and transfer the footage. The better option, by far, is to game on the PC in the first place, in true high def. Then record the game, in true high def with FRAPS within the same PC. Then due to the fact that everything is within the realm of the 'life without borders' PC environment, I can do whatever I want with that footage: I can edit it with a movie editor, then email it to a friend or even burn it onto a disc if I want. I can enjoy true HD resolutions of my liking. Not worry about being forced to play an upscaled console version or play a 720p game which may not even be true 1280 x 720, but a cheating 580 x 720. If I really wanted to, I even have the freedom to play certain games on much higher resolutions than 1080p.

    Framerate benefits: I can choose, for example, to play Race Driver: GRID on the PS3 at 30 frames max per second or on the PC at an even smoother 60 to 100 frames per second.

    Buy games at up to half the price of the console versions.

    Jaggies: I can choose to play most games on the consoles with 0xAA, 2xAA or (some games at 4xAA) or I can truly attack jagged objects and smooth them out with 16xQAA. Only with a PC's horsepower.

    Load times: Nothing compares to a decent PC for lightning fast load times. Game loading (and saving) times on the consoles, especially PS3 are exreeeemely sloowww. Even when you install a PS3 game, it's still slow. On a PC, all games are installed on the hard drive and a PC doesn't suffer from an 'Extreme' lack of RAM like the PS3.

    Distance draw: Generally, you can see a significant difference in the speed at which a console compared to a decent PC draws graphic objects in the distance. You can go from seeing absolutely no 'distance draw effect' on some PC games to seeing, on the consoles, blatant trees and other objects being added to the screen.

    No DVD required: Option to play games without putting in DVDs, just press the button and load the game for the ultimate convenience. These are just some of the reasons why I would still prefer PC gaming in a situation where I am only using the PC for gaming and comparing the cost to console gaming.

    On the question about whether PC gaming is dying: A good article, but PC gaming will never die for as long as people are still using PCs. There will always be a market for games, even with piracy (or the exaggerated piracy figures and the claim that each pirate copy = a loss of a legit sale)

    One of the main, if not the biggest, factors why console gaming is more popular in the UK, is that there is almost zero advertising of PC games by the publishers. Multiplatform games will be advertised on the TV as an XBOX game or a PS3 game. Then you will see the console being shown at the end of the advert with a price. So 99 percent of the public watching it will think that (apart from the Wii) these AAA gaming experiences are only available on the Xbox and PS3. Even most PC exclusives are never advertised to the general public, such as Crysis.

    Most people who know about Crysis, found out via word of mouth or 'finding' it on the internet. This is a fact: Ask 100 PS3 gamers if they have heard of Crysis and the vast majority will say no. Or they will ask you if you are talking about the console game 'TimeCrisis'. They are only recently starting to hear about Crysis from the console ads for Crysis 2. On the other hand, ask 100 PC gamers if they have heard of Killzone on the PS3 and most will have seen the recent TV ads. The point is that the servere lack of public awareness about PC gaming and the resuling ignorance is the biggest factor involved with people choosing console over PC. Ask the average consumer who walks out of a high street store after just purchasing a PS3, 'why did you choose the PS3 over PC?'. You will discover that he/she did not even know that he PC was an option for AAA gaming on a TV. Most console-only gamers don't even know that the same games they are playing are available as PC versions. If you tell them, they may say something ignorant like PC games don't have good graphics [because they have only ever seen solitaire type of games on the PC]. Or you can't play it with a controller. Or you can't play it from a couch.

    The console manufacturers, including Microsoft do not want people aware of the PC AAA gaming option. The only reason that consoles are not selling in Asia is because the consoles there are overpriced for their public. On the other hand, in the US and UK, there is a desperate effort by the loss-making console makers to actively push consoles into every living room and even convert the PC gamers into half console gamers or full console gamers. They lose so much money on the console hardware that it will be unlikely that we will see the next generation of consoles for at least 5 years from now. Some analysts believe the current 'console business model' cannot continue, because the more powerful the consoles become, is the more initial financial losses that will take place. We may even see the mass migration to PC gaming in the future.
     
  2. kornedbeefy

    kornedbeefy New Member

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    If its dying all those games I've bought over the past couple years must be an illusion. ;)

    Seriously, hasn't PC gaming always been a nich market? I recall the SNES and Genesis being more popular back in the day. Even during the Atari/Colecovision days. The only difference now is we have the traitor Microsoft against it and even with that it still survives. Hardcore gamers realize the PC provides the best gaming experience.

    PC gaming will be fine. I feel its on the upswing again. It received a couple black eyes when consoles got HDTV and about the same time the disaster that is Windows Vista was released. Those consoles are becoming long in the tooth and Windows 7 is removing the Vista taint.

    Big corporations are the biggest issue with all gaming. Crossplatform games are affecting all platforms not just the PC. Corps want big returns on little effort thats why we are seeing rehashed gameplay over and over.

    PC gaming just needs a couple of devs to take a chance on it like ID and Epic did back in the day and bring us new gaming experiences with current hardware. It'll happen. Someone out there wants my money. :)
     
  3. sandys

    sandys Well-Known Member

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    For me it feels as though PC gaming is dying, there's been nothing to warrant turning my hardware on really, it was only on recently because two games I could of got on console had Physx support on PC and look better for it other than that I'll take the convenience of a console, in fact I tried to turn my PC into a console with a 360 pad and hooking it into my HDTV, but its just not geared up for it really, shame as I have good hardware just not much new I want to play on it, lots on my PS3 though.

    Hoping that changes to justify the hardware but by the time it does I'll probably need new hardware :roll:
     
  4. thEcat

    thEcat New Member

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    Excellent article Joe, thank you.

    Excellent thread too guys, so much I could quote, so many posts worthy of comment. That said I'll restrict myself to this one link. It's well worth repeating in case anyone missed it on first pass.

    The console cycle is as interesting as it is true and this time around perhaps more interesting than ever. The rate of technological progress continues to accelerate, no matter how far sighted the console designers they are constrained by having to finalise the design around the realistic expectations that exist two or maybe three years before the console release date. The potential problem is obvious, when the final boxes hit the shelves that which was fantastical two years before, may be matched by commonly available PC hardware and totally eclipsed by the time the console reaches end of life. The solutions to this problem are many fold and include: exclusive releases; exclusive dlc; other tie ins; the spread of FUD; bribes to media and developers; the deliberate sabotage of the competing technology...

    My first experience of a cross-platform release was Oblivion, an XBox360 release title if I remember correctly. Installed on my reasonable but not outstanding 939 + 7800GT PC it was running quite well but the interface HAD to go. While looking for mods I came across a number of texture updates. What do you know? The 360 hardware was already hobbling the graphics potential of the game on the PC (1). Yes, I had to accept a drop in frame rates but that was acceptable, Oblivion after all is an RPG ;) A big bonus of PC gaming and usage in general, for the most part, YOU are in control.

    Console ports. Certainly in the case of ports from the 360 and leaving all possible politics aside. The ease, costs and final quality, from a technical standpoint at least, are determined by the tools the big M makes available. In the above example a qualified tool chain that re-samples textures dependant on target platform would a be a no brainer.

    Comparability. I'm often lucky when it comes to a lack problems running games on my PC. I'll not dwell on my good fortune but I will point out that the single most important requirement of an operating system is provide a robust layer between user run software and the the underlying hardware. That's it, no bells, no whistles, no multitude of additional apps or services. While perhaps not an easy task given the vast array of possible hardware configurations given sufficient priority and a rigorous driver qualification program this should be possible to achieve. I must admit things are much improved over the early days of 95 and 98 but still I wonder if Microsoft may have a conflict of interest :worried:

    Exclusive this. Exclusive that. OK, I know all about the basic commercial aspects but at the risk of Microsoft bashing it starting to become obvious that the big M are using the PC as a pawn in the battle for market domination. I see a number of releases where the PC gets all the 360 goodies when the game supports three platforms yet, for no apparent reason the goodies are 360 only when a game is dual platform.

    Dumbing down. It's amusing to point out that while graphics spiral ever more towards the realistic, the perceived ability of gamers to accept the realities of life spirals ever more towards the farcical. You will face disappointments, you will get lost, there are times you will fail, you will not be able to experience every thing first time through ;), you will die and shock horror, you will have to read - "but it's only a game", in that case why are you so hung up on realistic graphics? Like wise the advancements made in game AI appear to be inversely proportional to the expected intelligence of the target markets.

    Casual games vs casual gamers. AKA another of my soap boxes. Casual games are easy to pick up, easy to play and provide instant gratification. Casual gamers are, in my opinion, people who cannot or will not spend more than 20 minutes at a sitting. Come on, an hour at least, maybe 5? "But it doesn't fit in with my lifestyle", then face the facts, accept reality (see above). You made your choices and you are a casual gamer.

    Closed platforms. Something I rarely see mentioned. PC's are open, you are mostly in control of what you watch, what you listen to and what you play. Say no to closed platforms and for the sake of the kittens I have in this sack, say no to anything that looks or smells like 'Cloud computing'

    Piracy. By now I've heard all the excuses and from all I see and hear none of them wash. Just say no.

    (1) It is often stated, correctly as it happens, that it takes a while for developers to learn how to fully utilise console hardware. One possible way of avoiding technological release embarrassment would be to get the development tools and hardware to the devs as soon as possible. This raises its own problems, extra cost and/or fixng the final design even sooner.

    tl;dr ?

    The odds are stacked against PC gamers, at times by Microsoft, often by publishers and at times by the very gamers themselves. The advantages of PC gaming outweigh the drawbacks, don't give in :)

    Edit:
    It's late. Two things we DON'T need: better graphics and better physics. Why oh why do reviewers keep banging one about them?
     
  5. s1n1s

    s1n1s New Member

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    I started out gaming on a console and have literally just come to pc gaming and I fond most pc gamers snobs they say games are being dumbed down and game play being rubbish and graphics not as good because of consoles, and also say graphics is not everything but then say that the console hardware is out dated graphics on pc are far superior.

    I disagree that games are being dumbed down I just think it’s because you’ve played too many games even when I was a console gamer I used to play RTS games on my pc at pretty much low spec I’ve probably played all the major RTS games there and now fine that no matter what RTS game I play I’m pretty good at it and get bored after the single player campaign.

    Multiplayer on the pc seems a bit boring to me your either your really really good or you might not as well play I mean it’s just way to competitive over the top (a friend who has been a pc gamer for years is really good but is really competitive in most games he plays although not as much now since has played on the console with me and my other friends seems to have chilled out a bit)
    When it comes down to it, it seems that pc gamers want it every which way possible which if you think about it is impossible.

    Before you say that yes pc gaming is being dumbed down because of consoles, is stupid because I’ve played games on pc which are hard and easy and same goes for consoles it just comes down to the fact that practice makes perfect what I mean by that is if you play a lot of games over years you naturally know what to in a new game (to certain extent) I’ve been playing old pc games and find them just as easy as the new games on both consoles and pc . It’s the same with everything really.

    so not dying just needs a new generation of players to appreciate it I think. and tbh I don't think you can compare gaming of old and gaming of new as they are two different things.
     
    Last edited: 2 Sep 2009
  6. Saivert

    Saivert New Member

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    Also consoles is not really about the amazing hardware. Each new generation they brag about the new graphics capabilities of a console, but that's just to get gamers on board. Then they work to increase the margins and reduce manufacturing costs. Sony does this now with PS3 Slim, and Microsoft has shrinked the manufacturing process once already.
    Game developers are happy with the fixed hardware as it's cheaper to develop games for it and they know it will run well.

    I love PCs for pushing the boundaries all the time and giving me new breath taking visuals and physics, but all in all it doesn't matter much. Many people say Crysis has really bad gameplay and people only play it for the graphics. This is valid criticism against the PC platform as a whole.
     
  7. Altron

    Altron Well-Known Member

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    Some good points. However, there is a notable price difference between a normal PC and an all out gaming PC. A gaming PC has the same functionality as a regular PC, but costs more. A console has little non-gaming functionality, but costs less. Again, it's cheaper to have a gaming console and a basic PC than it is to have a cutting-edge gaming PC, and you retain the same functionality. Let's be honest - if you're typing up a document or making a spread sheet, you can do it just as well on a 2GHz Pentium 4 from like 2004 as you could on a brand new $$$ i7 from 2009. That's like saying that your Ferrari is a great value because you can drive it to the grocery store. You could do the same thing in a '92 Geo Metro.

    I think a threat to PC gaming is definitely being presented by the newest consoles, which are now integrating more multimedia functions like being able to watch and store music/movies/TV on them. I wouldn't be surprised if the next generation of consoles offers a DVR application. The console is trying to "grow up" from something that teens play to your home "entertainment center" with gaming, television, music, and movies.

    An area where I think PCs will continue to shine is flexibility of the user interface. The keyboard and mouse are by nature a much more precise and versatile input device than the simple handheld controller. Racing games, IMO, are probably better on consoles, because the thumbstick and trigger throttles are more natural (unless you buy a steering wheel and pedal). FPS games are a toss-up. I can't play console FPS, but I know other people who can't play PC FPS. RTS games and RPGs, however, are massively better with a keyboard and mouse. With the USB interface, there is so much more flexibility, because you can add controllers, joysticks, steering wheels, keyboards, mice, whatever you want.

    Another thing that makes PC gaming more appealing is the new low prices on LCD monitors. With 1680x1050 22" LCDs now dipping well below $150, it's becoming a whole lot cheaper to get high-resolution PC displays than it is to get high-definition TVs.
     
  8. choupolo

    choupolo New Member

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    I'm a PC gamer that is increasingly buying console games - my PC is getting old and there are fewer incentives to upgrade these days (no new 'half-life's coming out :( ) and much less time for me to devote to tweaking games and hardware to their limit. Consoles are just easier.

    That said the PC will always have two distinct advantages that will never be copied by consoles - upgradability/customisation and being a 'free' platform for developers. This allows for more experimental, more interesting and more mature games. A game like this would be lost in the sea of mindless clones and sequels on a console.

    The gaming environment is changing and different markets will have to adapt. The PC I'd say is adapting very well, with steam its biggest advocate imo.
     
  9. Itbay

    Itbay New Member

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    PC GAMING...

    The reason Consoles are getting more market is mainly for gamer friendly surroundings and one day may be the console will take over the market of PC gaming..:waah:
     
  10. dreamhunk

    dreamhunk New Member

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    pc gaming and pc gamers made these companies what they are today. If they want to leave pc gaming let them. We don't need publishers or game devs in fact interplay midway are now gone because of consoles. High production costs in a recession will wipe more games devs as the cost of games go up to.

    there is always a game devs and another publisker who is ready and willing to take your place.

    pc gaming is never going to die, let me show you something a nice link

    http://www.gamingdaily.co.uk/2009/independent-gaming/

    On top of that we are in a recssion, the game devs and pub;ishers that will make it will be those who have a strong fanbase. You want to know why actvision did not fall part like EA did when the markets was crashing. it was because of blizzard.

    Blizzard saved pretty much the entire gaming market. Pc gaming will be fine. It's console gaming that will die. Microsoft and sony have already lost billions.

    Game devs are paying a high price when they flirt with greed they are going bankuprt On consoles. You only need to take a look at my eariler links.


    there is no point in buying any new hardware until next year when all the cutting edge games like project offset is goming

    here is a list of cutting edge game coming to the pc


    project offset
    operation flash point
    alanwake (maybe if it’s not dumb down)
    thief 4
    Deus Ex 3
    stalker clear skies the new one
    Doom3
    the new half life 2 episode 3
    crysis 2

    that new mech game

    I am sure I miss a few more too as well

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCkWKBmUCTQ

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkoi6WCCJHY

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yote...mes-coming-pc-pc.html&feature=player_embedded


    oh i forgot one more high end game avator looks hot for pc

    http://pc.ign.com/dor/objects/802862/james-cameron-project-880/videos/gcom09_avatar_trl_us.html

    not sure what system specs are going to be, it might be cutting edge for pc.


    no ofense to any one but pc gamers own the gaming market. If pc gaming dies all of gaming dies.

    It's not hard for pc gamers to kill consoles. All they have to do is boycott AMD. AMD has what is 80% of it's hardware in consoles. Pc gamers are on top of the food chain in the gaming world.


    good times are coming I just want to see how consoles are going to compete with this

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larrabee_(GPU)


    take a good look at japan they are so far behide the west it's not funny, you want to know why because they were not on pc platform making games.


    I could go on and on, but I think people get the point.
     
    Last edited: 2 Sep 2009
  11. tron

    tron New Member

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    The analogy of driving a Ferrari to the local grocery store doesn't fully work in the PC environment. For example: Your Ferrari is still limited on the road by the traffic and the national or local speed limits. On the other hand, you don't have any speed limitations when going from a budget PC to a 'gaming' PC. If you spec a brand new PC with the aim of having plenty of horsepower to annihilate the latest games, you will witness a 'spill-over' in terms of the high end components giving you better performance in your general computing tasks, such as:

    If I look at your '2004 Pentium 4 (2Ghz) compared to Core i7' comparison, you will witness an incredible difference in system responsiveness:

    GPU speed benefits now (not even looking at the future of general computing applications making use of the massively parallel GPUs). Video rendering speeds or watching a HD YouTube video. Especially compared to a 2004 PC with an integrated GPU and a budget motherboard and low bandwidth chipset.

    Try to transfer 30+ Gb of video or music between drives on an average Pentium 4 (2Ghz) compared to Core i7 (especially with VelociRaptor drives) and watch the difference. You may be transfering music and see a 30 minute wait reduced to just 10 minutes on a new system. Also, you can still continue to open more files during the transfer without the system slowing down.

    Try to run an antivirus full in-depth system scan on the Pentium (2Ghz) system. Then open another application. Not only will the scan take longer on the old machine, but multitasking will grind the system to a halt. Don't even think of AAA gaming at the same time. The Core i7 can spread the antivirus processes over two cores while gaming on another two cores, for example.
     
  12. azrael-

    azrael- I'm special...

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    I read about (the deat of) adventures and there's finger pointing towards LucasArts as the reason. How about Infocom? There was a time waaay before LucasArts when adventure games were pretty much synonymous with Infocom. The Zork series, Planetfall, Leather Godesses of Phobos to mention but a few. :)
     
  13. B1GBUD

    B1GBUD ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Accidentally Funny

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    I've been playing PC games for over 20 years. I've seen consoles come and go. I've even owned a few of them, (NES, Megadrive, N64, PS1 and Xbox... even a PS3) but I'll still go back to the trusty PC.

    When pooly ported games reach the PC it annoys me, but I'll vote with my feet. I won't buy the game nor will I pirate it... I'll just fire up an old classic and remind myself why PC exlusive games are the greatest.

    The only thing that concerns me is what happens to all my Steam games when/if Valve goes bust? are we to expect Valve will unlock them willingly? they're under no obligation to. So what happens then?
     
  14. wuyanxu

    wuyanxu still wants Homeworld 3

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    well, Endwar wasn't very inspiring in voice command, it was fun, but in the end, mouse clicking is still the best because the front-line (point of conflict) is not always at a capture point.



    in terms of pricing of PC gaming. i think the most important point PC industry need to get across is the need for upgrade. it's different to consoles, with a console, you buy one for ~5 years and never have to upgrade (well, now, may be the hard drive) with PC gaming, most mainstream user buys one, sits on top of it for 2 years and say "i spent a lot on this, it must be able to play any modern game"

    the solution is for manufacturers to continue to support their product, not only in drivers, but in offering upgrades and trade-ins.

    as always, i blame the "death" of PC exclusive AAA title such as Crysis on the PC manufacturers such as Alienware who offers really expensive hardware and want the user to buy their new product every year, making PC gaming seem expensive.
     
  15. CardJoe

    CardJoe Freelance Journalist

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    I would just point out that Project Offset has been in development for so long it's largely considered vapourware. Alan Wake may not be coming out on PC and is Xbox 360 as lead platform, Thief 4 isn't really confirmed properly and nothing is known about it (certainly nothing to make anyone believably claim that it's cutting edge). The new Stalker uses the same X-Ray Engine as the old ones (which is good, but hardly cutting edge), Doom 4 will use the ID Tech 5 engine, which has been optimised for consoles for games like Rage. Crysis 2 is using the new version of the CryEngine which is also optimised for consoles and Episode 3 will be using the Source Engine with a few improvements - again, good and lovely, but it's an old engine now.

    Not that there aren't plenty of cutting edge games on the PC - just that the examples you use are either cited baselessly, don't have a release date even provisionally attached, or have been heavily optimised for consoles. It's also worth pointing out that all but two of those games (OpFla and Offset) are confirmed for or are expected to launch on consoles at the same time/first.
     
  16. CardJoe

    CardJoe Freelance Journalist

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    EndWar was a pile of crap yes, but linguistically it was also the closest we can hope to get to a voice controlled RTS for a while yet. The phoneme detection systems available to devs just aren't good enough to work without that very set, predictable structure about what words you can use and the AI isn't yet clever enough to cope with anything else.
     
  17. javaman

    javaman May irritate Eyes

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    Yourt starting to see that with this gen consoles. Its intersting how the 360 is a gaming console that can be used for media purposes while the PS3 marketed itself as a blu-ray player that can happen to play games, or least thats the impression I got from it.
     
  18. B1GBUD

    B1GBUD ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Accidentally Funny

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    Agreed, consoles are a childs play thing... give a 3 year old a PC and let them actually learn something
     
  19. El Rando

    El Rando I know what a dremel is

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    I've read everyone's reply so far on this and this is probably the best. 100% agreed

     
  20. kornedbeefy

    kornedbeefy New Member

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    You sound like a console gamer trying to smack down PC gaming, no? You say you literally just came to PC gaming BUT then say you've played pretty much all the major RTS games. So did you just start PC gaming or not? There are a ton of major PC RTS games. Thats a lot of PC gaming. I love the part how your PC gaming friend found a sedative over his PC competativeness when playing multiplayer on console instead. ROFL

    Gaming with your thumbs is dumbed down is it not?

    Anyway,

    Just because someone says games are being dumbed down, graphics are worse on console and games are better on PC DOES NOT MAKE THEM A SNOB!. I've been console/PC gaming since the 70s and these statements are a FACT. I own a gaming PC/360/PS3 and Wii. I've come to realize gaming on the PC provides a better gaming experience. In fact I'm planning on ignoring the next generation of console when they are released because of it. My current consoles gather dust and have been a waste of money (except for the Blue Ray feature on PS3 ;) ). I don't find it fun gaming on consoles anymore.
     
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