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Is this the decade PC gaming bounces back?

Posted on 26th Jan 2010 at 10:25 by Antony Leather with 41 comments

Antony Leather
I noticed a rather interesting trend in the uptake of the latest generation of consoles over the last few weeks. I don’t usually take much notice of them to be honest. I haven’t bought a new console since PC upgrades started being affordable to me, and it’s been that way since the N64 started showing its age.

However, the majority of ‘what was great in 2009' and general 'over the shoulder glance' articles about the previous decade's tech meant I couldn’t really avoid reading about the PS3 or Xbox 360. What I read lead me to an interesting idea.

Having read a good handful of these articles, what I found was that there’s a longer and longer gap between console releases with more and more money being spent on them with a longer period needed for companies - especially Sony - to so much as break even.

This means that for console gamers, there’s now up to a staggering decade between releases of new hardware. What does this mean for the PC gaming industry competition, with users upgrading their entire PCs several times in the same period?

The main argument for Console vs PC is that consoles don’t need to be upgraded. They're easy. You buy the thing for probably the same cost as a good graphics card and processor then you only pay a premium on games. The fact that console releases are now so few and far between, with manufacturers needing many years to break even after all those R&D bills, means that consoles are becoming ever more futureproof.

Is this the decade PC gaming bounces back? Is the new decade a critical time for PC gaming?
It seems the PS3 and XBox 360 are going to be flagship consoles for many years to come

So does this mean that buying a PC and upgrading it will become significantly less popular in future, as people switch to consoles where they’re guaranteed a decade of use from their one-off purchases?

Console fans might smell blood here but the issue with this is that people like to buy things and get a boost in graphics and gameplay. Part of the reason behind Project Natal for the Xbox 360 is that Microsoft, according to an article I read in The Guardian recently, doesn’t think the 360 has even reached the mid-point in its lifecycle.

That’s a pretty amazing statement considering it’s already in its fifth year of sales. The PS3 is still a way off breaking even although production costs are finally getting close to selling prices. If this is true then, while it's nothing new that a decent gaming rig is built with hardware that is superior to current consoles, this gap will become much bigger than ever before. The question is: How will the consumer respond when the likes of Microsoft is only able to offer owners something new in the form of games and add-ons like Natal?

Is this the decade PC gaming bounces back? Is the new decade a critical time for PC gaming?
If people start migrating to the PC because there are no new consoles, upgrades could become more popular.

Graphics are already far superior on the PC with current hardware and in five year’s time, things will be even more in the PC’s favour with things like 3D gaming already a reality. If we’re not likely to see a new console until 2015, this could see many people return to the PC to get a visually better experience amongst other things.

Unless projects like Natal for the 360 can really hold on to the user base by providing new and exciting times, coupled with the ever-popular Windows 7, the 'teens' could see the PC gain some significant market share.

If no new consoles appeared for another five years, would you be more likely to upgrade your PC? Would you make the migration to it for a majority of your game time if it offered a much better gaming experience? Let us know in the comments.

41 Comments

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BLC 26th January 2010, 12:02 Quote
I think there's still quite a bit of stigma attached to PC gaming, and always has been. Back in school I was raving about my forays into online gaming with Quake, how multiplayer gaming over the internet is the future and how it will revolutionise gaming, while everyone else was talking about Resident Evil or Wipeout on their new Playstation. Guess who looked nerdier? :D

I think the same thing still exists today. With a console, you pop the disc in and you're off. Occasionally you're forced into a system update to play the newest games, but on the whole it's not very intrusive. There's no worry about installing the game, having the latest drivers, having hardware beefy enough, etc. Graphics have got to the point where, for most people, it doesn't really need to get much better (of course, this is anathema to most PC gamers). And, once you've bought the hardware that's all you need - you don't need to worry about the possibility of having to shell out for a new graphics card or more memory to be able to run a game well.

Even I get a little frustrated by PC games these days. I recently installed GTAIV, UT2004 and Mass Effect having bought them from Steam; each one has had some kind of additional set up program that needs to run. Whether it's Visual C++ redistributables, Direct X updates, etc, I haven't been able to just install it and jump straight in. You don't need to do that on a console, it's far more accessible. Even Steam, which - along with other digital download services - has done wonders for PC gaming, requires an always-on internet connection. Consoles don't always need that; many system updates are included on game discs, magazine cover discs, direct from manufacturer, etc. Of course not to mention the DRM that gets lumbered in with many big game titles; DRM is there on most consoles too (in the form of firmware), but it's more subtle - it doesn't make itself so utterly apparent as some PC systems do.

PC gaming has got a bit of an image problem IMO. But you will never match the experience you get on a PC with a console. For a while, PC gaming fell out of my favour; as soon as I played Fallout 3 on decent PC hardware my flag was firmly back in the PC camp, where it should have always stayed. Even the precision of using the simple mouse & keyboard combo for FPS games is still unrivaled - gamepads are getting better, but they're still a long way from being the best.

Regardless of whether PC gaming "bounces back" to the "mainstream", it will always be my mainstream.
DarkBanana 26th January 2010, 12:22 Quote
Actually, I wonder if computer gaming is actually cheaper than console gaming.

If you consider that everyone need a computer. Fact. I can't imagine anyone who plays any sort of digital game who doesn't need one (unless that person is 6 and then, it's debatable)

Assuming a computer costs £400 minimum, if you add the cost of a PS3, say, you get a budget of £600. Which you can build a pretty decent system with.

After all, most games don't require the 'latest' in technology and most games will run fine on a sub-£100 graphics card and CPU. You can then buy a console controller for your PC and viola, it can do anything a console can. And the games are cheaper :D
Jenny_Y8S 26th January 2010, 12:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkBanana
If you consider that everyone need a computer. Fact.

Sorry to point this out, but it's not a fact that "everyone" needs a computer. I "want" a computer (Which is why I have many) but everything I "need" to do, I can do from my iPhone. There's an alternative to everything else (Phone banking etc)

Can anyone name something which everyone needs a PC for?

Could I live without a PC? Yes, of course, but I don't need to, and I like my computers :)
StoneyMahoney 26th January 2010, 12:39 Quote
PC gaming is a bit of upgrade treadmill. For some people that's half the fun - building your own gaming rig is not only a right of passage but something to take pride in - which is lost when consoles are homogenized packages.

However, consoles are cheaper, and constantly flashier graphics are not the be-all and end-all of gaming. On top of that, people have less spare money to spend on new consoles, so the current generation will definitely be around a lot longer than usual.

I guess the challenge is for console games to remain interesting without relying on an up-coming hardware refresh to inject new eye candy into the same old franchise. We could actually see some innovation this decade!
rollo 26th January 2010, 12:43 Quote
problem with no upgrades to consoles for 5 years is it affects the pc market graphics wise as well

you wont see a crysis type game been released if theres no market for it. Mw2 will run on intergrated graphics to some extent if your willing to accept low settings. Even to run it on high only requires a 4850 if you keep the resolution within normal.

Assuming you run every game in full hd. Will you really need more than 5870 in 2 years time to do it. I just cant see how the pc market will be pushed.

Im playing at 1920 by 1080 on a 5870 i cant see my buying another graphics card for 2-3 years if nothing pushes it to do it.

game companys are pushing sequels more than anything else using a small updated engine ( see mass effect 2 )

no real point to push the boat out if its not needed
runadumb 26th January 2010, 12:56 Quote
i think this article was written in cuckoo land by the worlds greatest optimist. i really felt last year was a make or break year for pc gaming so i bought as many pc games as i could afford and just rented on my ps3. things looked good for a while with EA coming good on drm but then things went right down hill again. GFWL has almost destroyed my faith in pc gaming future along with "ports" that fail to utizlise any of the extra oompth a pc has even though they came out 6 months after the consoles. red faction and empire total war are 2 recent examples of why pc gaming is and may never be mainstream. talk about bugs! i deem Red faction unplayable with its screaming sound effects. whys it doing this? because of surround sound, something that ive been using to play games for 10 years. now with all this bioshock2 drm nonsense im back to feeling i could never recommend pc gaming to my console gaming friends.

ps if there isnt a new generation of consoles out by 2013 i'll eat my 260gtx
Xir 26th January 2010, 13:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenny_Y8S
... everything I "need" to do, I can do from my iPhone....

Well, the IPhone can probably be considered a computer :D (as far as the Internet is considered)
I'd like to see you work exclusively on an IPhone's office suite though.

Isn't this the same as with every console generation? The first years they're ahead, the last years they're behind.

Also, it's a question of resolution.
For gaming on a PAL CRT, the XBOX or PS2 are sufficient.
For gaming on HD-TV, the XBOX360 or PS§ is sufficient.
For gaming at higher resolutions (or 3D-gaming*) Next-Next-Gen consoles or current PC :D

Xir

*not that I believe in 3D gaming as such...tried it in the nineties, it sucked, not trying again.
And yes, 3D-gaming has been possible at least since the first generation GeForce256 ;)
1ad7 26th January 2010, 13:24 Quote
I hate to say this but pc gaming was saved by the MMO's. It kept me here for a few years when consoles were ultra appealing. With a 10 year gap hopefully at the least it will advance pc gaming tech. Im ok with a smaller market if the people in that market create products to cater to its needs, very specific and varied needs. Which seems to be the direction were headed, with things like 3d displays, eyefinity, track ir, and force feedback vest its looking good!
Narishma 26th January 2010, 13:59 Quote
I think you got that backwards. I stopped upgrading my PC because there are no new consoles in sight. Since the majority of big games are now made for consoles primarily, my 8800GT is sufficient to run pretty much any game I throw at it. And I doubt we'll see big PC exclusive games anytime soon. The last one was Crysis which was released in 2007...
memeroot 26th January 2010, 14:13 Quote
I think for those who want to have 3d now, have top spec graphics now then pc gaming is the only possible route.

however I dont know how many people there are or indeed how many there are that dont simply pirate the games....
PureSilver 26th January 2010, 14:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenny_Y8S
Can anyone name something which everyone needs a PC for?

I think you'll find that a home computer is now either absolutely needed for kids' homework, Facebook and e-mail etc at a non-headache-inducing screen size, or it's only "wanted" but is considered a pretty basic "want." I could shower under the garden hose, crap in a hole in the back yard, do all of my washing and washing up by hand and walk to a phonebox to use the phone, but I don't think you'll find many people that do. Lots of life's 'necessities' are only luxuries when you get right down to it, but most people own a home computer because it would be a severe inconvenience not to.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1ad7
I hate to say this but pc gaming was saved by the MMO's. It kept me here for a few years when consoles were ultra appealing.

This man, he speaks the truth! PC gaming has been saved in part at least by my least-liked genre of games, the mass-market MMO. If it wasn't for Warcraft there would be millions of people that didn't know about gaming on their PCs. It shows that people do still do it and that means we still have games made for our platform. That said...
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1ad7
Im ok with a smaller market if the people in that market create products to cater to its needs, very specific and varied needs.

...Sometimes I'm happy that PC gaming is a small market. If I got the hostility playing CS:S that I do playing Halo's variants I wouldn't play much. If PC gaming's bounce back, as implied, only involves a shift of console players to their computers, I'm not sure I want in. If it's 3D games that are great to play and look brilliant (and are exclusives, screw you consoles) I'm up for that. I'm happy to pay a premium for GPUs and the like in exchange for bleeding-edge technology, and if the PC can continue to provide that, I'll stick with it.
Mister_X 26th January 2010, 14:36 Quote
Its all cyclical, consoles, pc whatever in and out of fashion every few years.
Combatus 26th January 2010, 14:53 Quote
[QUOTE=PureSilver]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenny_Y8S
Can anyone name something which everyone needs a PC for?

I can think of a list as long as your arm of tasks that I would by far and away prefer to do on a PC most of which can only be done on a PC. Does everyone do them? Maybe not, I'm talking about photo editing, web browsing with countless addons to firefox, a bit of web design here and there and lots of work stuff. I guess maybe everyone does some word processing from time to time and the PC has to be the best medium to do this.
daniel_owen_uk 26th January 2010, 15:01 Quote
Is this like a football managers vote of confidence?

The amount of times I hear the state of PC gaming being talked about, it makes you wonder why there is so much concern.

If a console such as the PS3 brought out a mouse and keypad to use on FPS how do you think it would effect sales of a PC game with the same title.
amacieli 26th January 2010, 15:10 Quote
can someone tell me why it's so hard to add a keyboard and mouse to a console, and to get games to start using them? why are these idiotically user-unfriendly joystick gamepad things the only way of controlling the console? btw, can you imagine playing something like sins of a solar empire on a console controller! no way.....
smc8788 26th January 2010, 15:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by amacieli
can someone tell me why it's so hard to add a keyboard and mouse to a console, and to get games to start using them? why are these idiotically user-unfriendly joystick gamepad things the only way of controlling the console? btw, can you imagine playing something like sins of a solar empire on a console controller! no way.....

Because most games have multiplayer modes these days and it would make them ridiculously unbalanced (more often than not, the guy with a keyboard and mouse is going to win).
BLC 26th January 2010, 16:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by daniel_owen_uk
If a console such as the PS3 brought out a mouse and keypad to use on FPS how do you think it would effect sales of a PC game with the same title.

They did do this - on the PS2 and, to a lesser extent, the PSX (PS1, PSOne, whatever). Barely any games supported it and fell by the wayside. There was even, if I remember correctly, a mouse and keyboard released for the original Xbox; the controllers use a USB port which, while being physically modified, are signal compatible with standard USB protocols. That was hardly supported by games either. Besides, consoles aren't really suited to mouse & keyboard control; I did try it way back on the PS2 - I believe it may have been Red Faction, though I could be wrong - as it supported standard USB keyboards/mice. I had to put my TV, PS2 and the keyboard and mouse on the same desk as the PC in order to use the mouse & keyboard properly. This was a bit of a farce when you consider that all I had to do to use the gamepad was slump on my bed in front of the TV - no moving stuff around. Also, this particular game didn't let you remap the keys - so if you don't like the standard control layout then tough. If a PC developer did this they would be slaughtered for it (some have, but that's not my point).

It's still possible to plug in a mouse & keyboard to a PS3 - how do you think people run Linux on it? (Linux that is sanctioned by Sony and not hacked, I hasten to add) The hardware clearly supports it, it's just the software (i.e. games) that need to be programmed to accept it. I have no basis in experience or fact for this, but I would also imagine that it puts extra pressure on developers to support a feature that hardly anyone will use - this means more time and more money. Why spend money coding a non-standard control scheme from a different system when you've got a perfectly good one right there?


EDIT: It was a Red Faction game I tried mouse & keyboard on PS2.... Red Faction 2, specifically.
paisa666 26th January 2010, 17:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenny_Y8S
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkBanana
If you consider that everyone need a computer. Fact.

Sorry to point this out, but it's not a fact that "everyone" needs a computer. I "want" a computer (Which is why I have many) but everything I "need" to do, I can do from my iPhone. There's an alternative to everything else (Phone banking etc)

Can anyone name something which everyone needs a PC for?

Could I live without a PC? Yes, of course, but I don't need to, and I like my computers :)

Hmmm.. dear friend. your iPhone is a computer

Internet access?... check

mail access?... check

instant messaging?... check

Photo sharing?... check

Music, Movie playback?... check

SDK's for custom app's?... check

I dont mean to be rude or anything, but honestly i cant see how is possible that aperson who visits this kind of sites can ask something like "name something which everyone needs a PC for?" now days.
nukeman8 26th January 2010, 17:15 Quote
has the state of pc gaming ever changed?
Its not risen to being extremely popular but its never exactly died away either.
Personally i dont think it needs to bounce back from anything because it never went anywhere.
tron 26th January 2010, 17:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by nukeman8
has the state of pc gaming ever changed?
Its not risen to being extremely popular but its never exactly died away either.
Personally i dont think it needs to bounce back from anything because it never went anywhere.

+1

I was just about to post the same thing :)

Also, if PC gaming is to get MASS attention by the mass public, then it needs proper advertizing to the masses and not just small bits of ads directed to existing PC gamers.

Just the other day, I spoke to an old friend and he discovered that I played AAA games on the PC. He said to me that he didn't know it was possible to play xbox games on a PC, and he wanted to know how he can put his own xbox games on his PC. Then I introduced him to the fact that there are Games For Windows.

To cut the story short, I have found hundreds more people over the years who are not aware that AAA level PC gaming exists than people who know about it but prefer consoles.
smc8788 26th January 2010, 18:01 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by tron
Just the other day, I spoke to an old friend and he discovered that I played AAA games on the PC. He said to me that he didn't know it was possible to play xbox games on a PC, and he wanted to know how he can put his own xbox games on his PC. Then I introduced him to the fact that there are Games For Windows.

To cut the story short, I have found hundreds more people over the years who are not aware that AAA level PC gaming exists than people who know about it but prefer consoles.

This is so true. I used to be a predominantly console gamer back when the PS2 was first released (mainly because I didn't have my own PC so had to share it with the rest of the family), but now whenever someone asks me whether I play on Xbox or PS3 and I say (usually hesitantly and slightly embarrassed) that I play on PC, I either get total silence and looks of bemusement or hushed gasps followed closely by personal ridicule. But then I think how awesome PC gaming is and I feel all smug again :D

Sometimes I try to explain PC gaming to people who's first gaming experiences have been on the current or last generation of consoles if I think they have the cranial capacity for it, and have successfully converted a couple of people (at least partly), but most people just don't want to know and see it as being too 'geeky'.
l3v1ck 26th January 2010, 18:07 Quote
Maybe PC gaming will get more popular (assuming we don't just get low quality ports with terrible graphics), at least until the next consoles come out in five or six years. Then PC gaming may well take a massive nose dive for a few years until PC hardware takes a lead again.
do_it_anyway 26th January 2010, 19:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by paisa666


Hmmm.. dear friend. your iPhone is a computer

Internet access?... check

mail access?... check

instant messaging?... check

Photo sharing?... check

Music, Movie playback?... check

SDK's for custom app's?... check

I dont mean to be rude or anything, but honestly i cant see how is possible that aperson who visits this kind of sites can ask something like "name something which everyone needs a PC for?" now days.

My daughter bought an iphone on sunday.
She had to bring it round to my house.

Have you tried getting a new iphone recently? It will only make emergancy calls until it is registered. Which you do on a PC.
You have to make an account for the Appstore and itunes store, which you do on a PC.
If you have music on a CD that you want on your iphone you have to rip the CD...ON A PC!!!

Honestly! Its like saying that if you lived on the moon you wouldn't need space travel! An iphone is useless without a pc.

Back on topic for a sec, I think the point about most households owning a (probably poor) pc and a gaming console is a good one. If people put the console money and PC money together, they would get a decent PC.

Why do I think PC gaming is not as popular as console?
Ignorance.
If you buy a mid range PC from Dell these days the motherboard is usually poor. And its often a small form factor. Which all means that if people wanted to play games on their PC's and buy a GPU, it doesn't fit. Even if it did the PSU wouldn't have the 12v rail (or PCI-E power plugs) to support it.

Imagine you know nothing about PC's for a sec and you are buying one for your house.

Deal 1) 2.8Ghz quad core with 4gb ram and 1TB HDD and 1gb "dedicated graphics"................. £400
Deal 2) 2.8Ghz i5 with 4gb DDR3 ram and 1TB Samsung F3 HDD and 1GB HD5850 Graphics ............£600

The specs are the same. Deal 2 is the PC I would want. Deal 1 is the PC everyone who knows little about the hardware wants. It looks the same for less. Bargain!!!!!
tron 26th January 2010, 20:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by smc8788
This is so true. I used to be a predominantly console gamer back when the PS2 was first released (mainly because I didn't have my own PC so had to share it with the rest of the family), but now whenever someone asks me whether I play on Xbox or PS3 and I say (usually hesitantly and slightly embarrassed) that I play on PC, I either get total silence and looks of bemusement or hushed gasps followed closely by personal ridicule. But then I think how awesome PC gaming is and I feel all smug again :D

Sometimes I try to explain PC gaming to people who's first gaming experiences have been on the current or last generation of consoles if I think they have the cranial capacity for it, and have successfully converted a couple of people (at least partly), but most people just don't want to know and see it as being too 'geeky'.

In my personal experience, the best way to introduce people to PC gaming is to show them your system.

I have found the general response to be incredibly positive - once people see it with their own eyes.

On the other hand, trying to explain AAA level PC gaming to the average person brings up blank faces; strange faces; alien faces; along with too many misconceptions, myths and strange questions, such as: "How can you play it on a big screen HDTV?" or "How can you play a racing car game with a keyboard?". Then I have to explain that you don't, you play it with a steering wheel or dual analog gamepad.

For quite a few of my console friends who have gamed on my system, I have since gone on to build them their own gaming PCs. These are people who previously only knew about console gaming.

In my opinion, contrary to what a lot of existing PC gamers think, PC gaming can be very attractive to the mass console public if only it was properly advertized to these people like console and console game TV ads.
Gonzalo-Gonads 26th January 2010, 21:18 Quote
[QUOTE=do_it_anyway]
Quote:
Originally Posted by paisa666

Deal 1) 2.8Ghz quad core with 4gb ram and 1TB HDD and 1gb "dedicated graphics"................. £400
Deal 2) 2.8Ghz i5 with 4gb DDR3 ram and 1TB Samsung F3 HDD and 1GB HD5850 Graphics ............£600

The specs are the same. Deal 2 is the PC I would want. Deal 1 is the PC everyone who knows little about the hardware wants. It looks the same for less. Bargain!!!!!

So true! and so sad.... :( I blame PC vendors for not properly educating consumers and giving all the info.
wuyanxu 26th January 2010, 21:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gonzalo-Gonads


So true! and so sad.... :( I blame PC vendors for not properly educating consumers and giving all the info.
agree, the problem is not the games or the piracy. it's the bad impression general public gets when buying a PC that ends up can't actually do anything.

also, there's the laptop, "gaming laptop" means a brick that can't play any game at reasonable setting at all.
tad2008 27th January 2010, 00:42 Quote
I think that for PC gaming to really take off for the majority, the game titles themselves whether they are digitally distributed or served from optical media will need to include the game and nothing else.

Let the PC do what it needs to do in the form of updates for hardware, drivers, C++ and DirectX et al and simply let the game ask the system to check for appropriate software, driver versions etc and then let the PC itself go and get them if it needs them.

The end result will be something more console like and more immediately playable, a little less time spent installing and more time spent playing the games we enjoy.

On the flip side, it could be that the consoles themselves start to become upgradeable with some possible new hardware options becoming available to further increase their lifespan.
MSHunter 27th January 2010, 08:12 Quote
The real reason no one needs a new pc for the past 3 years is that there has not been a real advancment in graphics since the 8800GTX. I use a 8800GS superclocked for the past 3 years and refuse to upgrade befor Fermi cards. as to DX10, 10.1 and 11 there is not anything new in them that I miss having. its all water effects. The real laugh though is still ATI. All the new cards and they still cant pull ahead more then 2-5 fps then much older Nvidia cards. (look at the test scores here its amazing).
mi1ez 27th January 2010, 09:55 Quote
Natal is a USB device, right? How long before some clever bugger cobbles together PC support?
smc8788 27th January 2010, 11:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by MSHunter
The real reason no one needs a new pc for the past 3 years is that there has not been a real advancment in graphics since the 8800GTX. I use a 8800GS superclocked for the past 3 years and refuse to upgrade befor Fermi cards. as to DX10, 10.1 and 11 there is not anything new in them that I miss having. its all water effects. The real laugh though is still ATI. All the new cards and they still cant pull ahead more then 2-5 fps then much older Nvidia cards. (look at the test scores here its amazing).

Not too sure where you're looking, but it's certainly more than 2-5FPS, especially at higher resolutions where the 8800 is starting to show its age:

http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/graphics/2009/10/01/autumn-2009-graphics-card-buyers-guide/1

That's more than a 100% improvement in all games at today's standard resolution of ~1920x1200. and the less said about the Crysis performance the better.
Cyberpower-UK 27th January 2010, 14:08 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by daniel_owen_uk
If a console such as the PS3 brought out a mouse and keypad to use on FPS how do you think it would effect sales of a PC game with the same title.
What, like the FragNStein?
frontline 27th January 2010, 19:39 Quote
The only hope is developers who will take a bit of care when doing cross platform titles and try and optimise the PC code for the latest hardware, as well as making the game scaleable on older hardware. First person shooters will always find a home on the PC (hopefully), as well as MMO's and games with more strategy type elements.
dire_wolf 28th January 2010, 23:55 Quote
It's sad, I saw articles in Amiga Format when PC gaming was outpacing the Amiga, look what happened to that. Lets pray that consoles don't have the same effect on our beloved PC in a decades time.
Boogle 29th January 2010, 00:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by dire_wolf
It's sad, I saw articles in Amiga Format when PC gaming was outpacing the Amiga, look what happened to that. Lets pray that consoles don't have the same effect on our beloved PC in a decades time.

Fortunately the Amiga was kind of a direct competitor to the PC. Amiga / PC is similar to Xbox 360 / PS3.

PC gaming can never die simply because people will always have a general purpose PC. With a market that large, at the very least there will be a casual gaming market. PCs don't have licensing fees which further adds to the charm for devs just starting out.

This is why I think consoles like the Wii have their days numbered. When TVs have built-in internet connections and the ability to play games - then it would make for the ideal casual platform. The question is - where will the enthusiast market go to. Will consoles house the hardcore gamers, or the PC?
AshT 29th January 2010, 22:30 Quote
Steam Realizes Extraordinary Growth in 2009
JANUARY 29, 2010, 9:31 AM - VALVE - PRESS RELEASE

Leading Platform for PC Games Now Serving Over 25 Million Accounts

January 29, 2010 — Valve® today announced extraordinary 2009 growth data for Steam, a leading platform for PC games and digital entertainment, with major increases in accounts, concurrent players, unit sales and more. The year also marked tremendous adoption of the Steamworks suite of publishing services in the tangible and electronic versions of many of the year's biggest releases.

During the last calendar year the platform surpassed 25 million active accounts, up 25% from the prior year. Of the 25 million accounts, over 10 million of those have profiles in the Steam Community.

In addition to the millions of new accounts created during the year, the peak number of concurrent users eclipsed the 2.5 million mark during the month of December, pushing Steam's average monthly player minutes to more than 13 billion.

Meanwhile, Steam now offers over 1,000 games from over 100 developers and publishers around the world. Unit sales for 2009 increased by more than 205%, marking the fifth straight year the platform has realized over 100% year-over-year growth in unit sales.

2009 also delivered a wave of titles supported by Steamworks, in tangible and electronic versions, including Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Dawn of War II, and Empire: Total War. Empire also used Steamworks for the delivery and management of its paid downloadable content releases.

“Steam turned five years old in March 2009,” said Gabe Newell, president of Valve. “With the introduction of each new platform feature released over the years — such as the Steam Community, Steam Cloud, and Steamworks — we've seen corresponding growth in account numbers, concurrent player numbers and developer support for the platform. As such, we plan to continue to expand and grow the platform to better serve the developers supporting the open platform and millions of gamers logging in each day.”

THE LINK
Elton 30th January 2010, 03:21 Quote
If it had cross-platform support so we could pitch PC players against PS3'ers and 360 ers...

Man that would be the day.
jonmcc33 31st January 2010, 22:10 Quote
Please stop comparing PC to the console! Without COD4 Modern Warfare's success there would NEVER have been a Modern Warfare 2 for the console. Consoles are using 3D graphics that are 2 generations old!

I won't even think of a console at this point because all I ever read about is how the games have framerate issues on either the PS3 or Xbox 360. Obviously developers aren't coding the games for the consoles and just expecting them to keep up.
Chocobollz 1st February 2010, 10:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenny_Y8S
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkBanana
If you consider that everyone need a computer. Fact.

Sorry to point this out, but it's not a fact that "everyone" needs a computer. I "want" a computer (Which is why I have many) but everything I "need" to do, I can do from my iPhone. There's an alternative to everything else (Phone banking etc)

Sorry but I'd call that a BS. As for the iPhone, if by "everything I need" means browsing the internet, chatting, social networking, even my $99 Samsung SGH-J200 could do that; you don't need an overpriced "ai-ai" phone for all that things (that's includes all sort of things that start with an "i" in front of it ;-).

And like the others have said, your iPhone is a computer too (albeit a limited one). It have a memory, processor, OS, and a power-supply, so can you say it once more that you don't need a computer? ;-)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenny_Y8S
Can anyone name something which everyone needs a PC for?

Easy. Doing spreadsheet in Excel, doing anything [insert your company name here] need you to do, playing an MMO, downloading (and playing) your usual p0rn videos, writing a software, etc. There's a lot of things that NEEDS a PC to accomplish.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenny_Y8S
Could I live without a PC? Yes, of course, but I don't need to, and I like my computers :)

Another BS. In this day and age, you can't live without a PC, unless if you're a caveman living in the Amazon jungle, LOL. There's so many things needs to be done in a PC, especially for those who are working.
kornedbeefy 3rd February 2010, 21:47 Quote
I myself have noticed posts in gaming or PC hardware forums where someone who went console when the 360 came out are now interested in building a new gaming PC because they are returning to PC gaming for whatever reason.

Heres one recent example.

http://www.hardforums.com/showthread.php?t=1491848

So I'd say YES! PC gaming is on the upswing again. Not that it ever left. I've personally never lost a step. There are aways more great PC games to play than I have the time to play. I am serious backlogged to the 90s. :)
nukeman8 5th February 2010, 10:34 Quote
No one needs a pc just like no one needs a car.
It would just be the hugest pain in the rear end ever.
Sloth 19th February 2010, 22:32 Quote
People may not NEED a PC, but people also don't NEED a console. Yet plenty have both. The meaning behind the post was that if you're going to have both it will be more equally or more expensive to buy a decent work computer and a console than it would be to just buy a gaming PC that does both.

Take your basic premade system from Best Buy that a modern person will have. It'll probably be some sort of i3/5 with your basic smattering of 4GB RAM and integrated graphics. For the price of buying a PS3 you could slap a 5770 and Blu-ray player in your PC and have a nice gaming rig of quality equal to or greater than your PS3 with all of the same functionality plus the expandability of a PC should you decide to grow with the times. Or if you don't you'll still be equal to/greater than the PS3 which also doesn't change.

Call it a cycle if you want, but at the moment PC gaming is as affordable as console gaming for the modern lifestyle.
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