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Op Ed

Follow-ups to to this. Thanks Joao.

Ars Technica - Sorry to say it, but keyboard and mouse are losing the FPS market.
Let's start with the current best-selling franchise in all of gaming: Call of Duty. The best console-specific data I could find for the series of late was first-month sales statistics for Black Ops released by NPD back in 2010. Apparently the game sold 8 million copies on the PS3 and Xbox 360 combined and less than 400,000 on the PC. Even if the unreported digital sales on the PC were ten times as strong as those at retail, and assuming that PC piracy added another 50 percent on top of legitimate downloads, that would still mean there were roughly four console players using a controller for every three playing the PC version in the game's first month. That adds up to a deficit of millions of people for the mouse-and-keyboard crowd, and one that's likely compounded by other Call of Duty games.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - Mouse & Keyboard Still A Major Player In FPS Market.
Obviously Orlandís maths here is entirely fictional. But letís play long with it. Itís critical to understand that the stated 400,000 really is just those sold at retail, into a PC market in the US and UK thatís strongly dominated by online sales (either by design or necessity, since finding a PC copy of a game in a shop is quite the trial). Itís reasonable to imagine it represents just a fraction of the real sales, so letís go along with the guesses. Without piracy, weíve got the PC representing, er, half the sales of the consoles combined. So that would be a roughly even split, a third each. (Iím sure thatís not realistic, but hey, these are the numbers being used to prove the PC is irrelevant to shooters!) Tack on our piracy and weíve now got a huge majority of FPS players choosing the PC over either the 360 or the PS3. Even allow the two consoles to be added together, to truly get a representation of the methods of controls, and the estimate here is that 3 out of every 7 players is on mouse/keyboard. 43%. Almost half. And thatís despite everything mentioned above regarding the mainstream explosion of the console. Good grief, the PC is a massive force in FPS, and the Bungie comments couldnít be more wrong! Iíd say with this information, itís pretty damned hard not to argue with Jones.

Gamasutra - What are video game previews for?
Preview culture is of dubious merit to the games industry, too. These events are expensive. Publishers pay for venues, travel, accommodation, food, fancy USB keys full of assets, pens, messenger bags, swag. I don't believe the common complaint that this stuff sways writers -- we often get so much of it that we don't care to have any more, have been doing this long enough that a branded squeak toy isn't going to make us feel unduly positive.

But is all that cost worthwhile to the publisher as budgets skyrocket and staff cuts are everywhere? Is the lost time worthwhile, for devs who are tasked with frantically cobbling together stable pockets of preview build, pre-rendered trailers, media rehearsal, when they might rather be making their game?

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52. Re: Op Ed Feb 19, 2013, 20:12 Beamer
Jivaro wrote on Feb 19, 2013, 18:53:
It's simple ergonomics and technology.

In order to use a mouse, you need a good mousing surface. A soft, cushy, fluffy couch does not work well. You could put something on it, but in most cases you're mousing either down by your ass, if you put it on the cushion, or slightly higher, if you put it on the armrest. In both cases your wrist is at a terrible angle, and in the armrest case you likely have too little space.

The solution is to buy one of those tables that comes up, or a couch desk. Both are big and ugly.

Beamer, that is just ridiculous. I have a very comfortable setup that isn't big, ugly, awkward, or any less ergonomic then my office desk. In addition to that I have a fantastic oak coffee table with a glass top that stores all of my electronics. I am going to go ahead and assume, based on what you just said, that you haven't spent much more then a few minutes shopping around for modern living room furniture or accessories anytime in the last decade. The "ergonomic" frenzy, combined with a rigorous mainstream interest in working from home, that has been going on for the last 20 years is responsible for me being able to use a keyboard and mouse in my living room. The concept that somehow I am limited to big, awkward, and ugly options is...uninformed. My wife wouldn't let me have it in the living room, let alone actually use it with guests present, if it was some big and ugly thing.

My point was that most people simply don't take the time or spend the money to find out whether an alternative option would be better for their usage. The concept that somehow they shouldn't bother because it's all just awkward and big is ridiculous. The options are out there. There has been a growing market focused on it for some time and lapdesks aren't even scratching the surface as to all the possibilities. I do own a small lapdesk or two because it allows me to use it with my toddler grandchildren and their games, but that is something else all together. One of my buddies, who has no children, has this positively futuristic coffee table and reclining chair that straight up transforms from classy & traditional to a gaming cockpit of awesomeness.

Every friend or family member that comes to my place asks me about my setup as if I must either be rich or some kind of engineer. (and they know I am neither) Most of them don't game like I do, but the few that do have all gone and bought similar setups when they find out how easy and cheap it can actually be.

Have you really tried to use a mouse down by your ass? Seriously? lol...

So you mouse on a coffee table? Is it one of those ones that stretches up, or are you hunched over?

You realize a lot of gamers don't have the luxury of buying something just for gaming? Maybe they're married and the wife picked out the coffeee table.

You mention right there - time and money. No, many people have neither. More than those that want to use a mouse.

Listen: if you want to use a mouse fine. You can use your PC. You can hook a PC up to your TV. But don't expect it with consoles. You will be in the minority, and you will ruin the balance.

I don't get why this is so damned hard for you guys. You're all the absolute first to push and shove your way to the "OMG CONSOLES ARE DUMBED DOWN I CAN KICK ANYONE WITH A CONTROLLERS' ASS SO EASILY!" Yeah, this is true. Accept it. That's why you can't use it. No one wants you to ruin the curve, so to speak. This is why smart kids are encouraged to go to Harvard, not Community College. Yeah, the As may be far easier to get, but you ruin it for everyone else.
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