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Op Ed

IndustryGamers - EA in 'Best Position,' Activision Has 'Challenging' Road Ahead.
"I think [the traditional games] industry is up for pretty significant changes. The companies that are not doing a good job of managing the transition will find themselves in a really difficult place. I think of all of the companies, Electronic Arts is doing the best job of managing the transition and I think other incumbents like Take Two/Rockstar, or Activision, or THQ, are doing a much, much worse job," Young noted.

Bitmob - Game journalists are not progressive in how they cover social gaming.
Let me ask you a few questions: When have you seen a mobile- or social-network game on the cover of a major game magazine? How many reviews or previews of said games do these magazines you read include? Lastly, how many articles have you read positing over the impact social-network and mobile games may have on the industry?

I would bet good money that the last question was the easiest to answer because it seems like every month in every issue of every game magazine there is the familiar "will mobile and social games kill the industry?" piece. It had been the subject of numerous sessions at gaming and developer conferences, and it appears on almost every gaming website with the regularity of the sun rising in the morning.

Doombreed - The death of the PC gaming scene by the Xbox 720 & PS4 generation.
Let me be clear. The PC is not dead. If you read that into this article then shame on you. You cannot replace the experience one receives on a personal computer with a console, yet. What you can arguably do is provide a better gaming experience. If the consoles continue on with their UI improvements, feature enhancements, content delivery systems, exclusive releases, massive generational hardware improvements, and maybe even incorporate a few of the features PC gamers keep holding onto for dear lifeÖ then I find myself in the position of questioning my PC gaming addiction when the console will likely provide even more at a smaller price.

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62. Re: Op Ed Mar 24, 2011, 00:08 Doombreed
 
Jerykk wrote on Mar 23, 2011, 23:24:
I see no reason why any of this would change for the next generation of consoles.

While I could continue to go back and forth on different points, I have to admit that what you've brought up in this last post is just solid. Well stated.

There do not appear to be any holes in the thoughts, and to be honest you've given me some good stuff to think about going forward.

Writing this article has definitely opened me up to a lot of ideas that I wasn't able to come up with on my own, despite my best attempts to cover all angles. Clearly I wrote this from a bitter and jaded PC gamers stance, and that was not beneficial to my objective. I still intend to follow this up with another, however I'll not publish quite so quickly this next time. Thanks for the responses and discussion.
 
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61. Re: Op Ed Mar 23, 2011, 23:24 Jerykk
 
Actually it was run at 1200p in Dx10 at maximum preset visuals using real world multiplayer, not some canned benchmark crap. I'm not going to get into a pissing match about this, as it impacts no one but myself. If you really want a video, then i'll do one with r_displayinfo enabled and you can see for yourself.

Are the multiplayer maps smaller than the single-player maps? Do they have any trees?

In any case, when I speak of Crysis being demanding, I'm talking about high resolutions (1080p+), high AA and Enthusiast detail settings. At those settings, even the top-end cards can't manage to get 60 FPS in the benchmark, which likely gives a more accurate depiction of single-player performance (which is no less valid than multiplayer).

Yes, this certainly discredits the authenticity of the link from a long standing site hosted off Bungie's own servers. /sarcasm

Um, the fact that the list was compiled 5 years ago means it isn't exactly reliable anymore. A lot of games have been released since then and digital distribution has gained quite a foothold in the PC market. Since the link to the actual list is dead, we don't know how they got their figures either. Was it solely through NPD reports? If so, no digital or international sales were accounted for. If you can come up with some actual sales figures for Halo PC, please do.

EDIT: I did some more research and actually found a working link for that NextGen/Edge list ( http://tinyurl.com/4wj2ftn ). Apparently Halo PC sold 670,00 units, which is a lot more than I thought it did. That said, the list also claims that WoW had only sold 1.4 million units by 2006, which seems rather questionable The list also excludes any games released before January 2000, which basically leaves out the golden age of PC gaming. In any case, even if the Halo figures are accurate, it's still not enough to make it into the top 20 according to the more reliable Wikipedia list: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_best-selling_PC_video_games. All the figures there are linked to sources in case you want to verify.

You really do have a natrual gift for contorting peoples words to fit your argument. Where did I state that "only PC-exclusives matter"? I didn't. What I did say was that the PC is receiving crappy ports.

Firstly, your definition of "crappy port" is derived from a comparison to big-budget PC-exclusives, which obviously have better graphics and more PC-centric features than most ports. The truth is, most ports are not crappy by port standards. Most ports are solid, if unremarkable. They still look and play better than their console equivalents, which makes them far from crappy in my book. If you want to see examples of genuinely crappy ports, play Saints Row 2 or Resident Evil 4 on PC. Thankfully, such lousy ports are rare.

Secondly, you explicitly cited the lack of big-budget PC exclusives as one of the reasons why console gaming is more appealing. That suggests that you do consider PC exclusives to be far more significant than ports and that ports alone are not enough to sustain the platform.

The corrected sentance now reads:

If the next generation of consoles experience the radical improvement in computing, networking, and social resources that the current console generation did, then I find it very likely the PC gaming development community (save but for a very few developers) will leave those grounds for the vast expanse of opportunity that will be the console world.

The problem with the revised sentence is that it's old news. PC developers started making the transition to consoles with the first Xbox. Bungie, Bioware and Lionhead come to mind. With the Xbox 360, Epic, id, Raven, Splash Damage, Bethesda and almost every other former PC developer is now a console developer. The only exceptions are Valve and Blizzard, though Valve is still making multiplatform games. So the community you're referring to has already jumped over to consoles. That said, they're still releasing games on PC and those games tend to be a lot better than their console versions. I see no reason why any of this would change for the next generation of consoles.

If you had written your article in 2005, it would have been a lot more convincing. Unfortunately, almost everything you describe has already happened during this generation and yet PC gaming still lives.

This comment was edited on Mar 24, 2011, 00:02.
 
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60. Re: Op Ed Mar 23, 2011, 23:20 reisub
 
Now that SLI has seen a resurgence there is no way that a newly released console could compete with the PC high end. The constraints of such a small box under the TV would never allow it. At most it may offer double the performance of the best single GPU setup.

Whether the PC high end is relevant any more though...

This comment was edited on Mar 24, 2011, 08:38.
 
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59. Re: Op Ed Mar 23, 2011, 17:10 Doombreed
 
Jerykk wrote on Mar 23, 2011, 16:20:
Are you playing on medium detail settings and 720p or something? These benchmarks barely manage 30 FPS with 0xAA

Actually it was run at 1200p in Dx10 at maximum preset visuals using real world multiplayer, not some canned benchmark crap. I'm not going to get into a pissing match about this, as it impacts no one but myself. If you really want a video, then i'll do one with r_displayinfo enabled and you can see for yourself.

Since the link to the actual NextGen list was dead, we don't actually know what the sales numbers were for Halo PC. The list was compiled in 2006 as well.q]

Yes, this certainly discredits the authenticity of the link from a long standing site hosted off Bungie's own servers. /sarcasm

You're currently arguing that ports are crap and only PC-exclusives matter.

You really do have a natrual gift for contorting peoples words to fit your argument. Where did I state that "only PC-exclusives matter"? I didn't. What I did say was that the PC is receiving crappy ports.

You really need to go back and read your own article.

Indeed you are correct. The details within the parenthesis should have given the insight into the sentance, however I was in too much of a rush and gramatically screwed up the sentance. Thank you for pointing it out.

The corrected sentance now reads:

If the next generation of consoles experience the radical improvement in computing, networking, and social resources that the current console generation did, then I find it very likely the PC gaming development community (save but for a very few developers) will leave those grounds for the vast expanse of opportunity that will be the console world.

That is a change from:

If the next generation of consoles experience the radical improvement in computing, networking, and social resources that the current console generation did, then I find it very likely the PC gaming community (maybe but for a few very developers) will leave those grounds for the vast expanse of possibilities that is the console world.

The key change is a much stronger focus on the development side of things and not the player base side of things. That was the intention of the sentance to begin with, which I still believe is visible. I did not catch this in proof, and I owe you thanks for the tip.

 
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58. Re: Op Ed Mar 23, 2011, 16:20 Jerykk
 
Considering I just played Crysis Wars last night at 8xQ AA at 72fps consistently on a single gpu GTX 580, I somehow think you've fudged your numbers.

Are you playing on medium detail settings and 720p or something? These benchmarks barely manage 30 FPS with 0xAA: http://www.legionhardware.com/articles_pages/inno3d_geforce_gtx_580_oc,7.html

So now you are substituing sales numbers for review scores? Also, keep in mind that you cannot measure the "quality" of some of the PCs best and exclusive releases against the best and exclusive console releases. Let's make sure we're comparing apples with apples.

Since the link to the actual NextGen list was dead, we don't actually know what the sales numbers were for Halo PC. The list was compiled in 2006 as well.

Yes, we absolutely are talking about the PC as a leading platform. Even more specifically we're addressing concerns that the once leading PC platform has become overshadowed by the lesser performing console counterparts. Well, you might not be, but the article and the commentary up to this point have been. The PC was most assuredly the leading platform of recent memory, especially in the context of FPS, RPG, Racing, MMO, etc. The fact that the console is slowly becoming the dominate platform for these genres does not speak well for the PC as a leading platform.

I hate to break it to you but PC stopped being the dominant platform for those genres years ago. About 5 years ago, to be exact. Last I checked, PC gaming isn't dead yet. Also, your position still doesn't make any sense. Your article argues that the next generation of consoles will kill PC gaming by stealing its audience. You're currently arguing that ports are crap and only PC-exclusives matter. However, if someone hates console ports, why would they ever become a console gamer? You'd be playing the same games, just with crappier graphics, performance and controls. Now, if you were arguing that PC gamers would just stop gaming entirely, your stance would make more sense.

What? I never stated anything about the flocking of PC gamers. I especially didn't say it would be due to something as trivial as a few exclusive releases. The fact is, the PC was the leading platform and its a far cry from that now.

You really need to go back and read your own article. Everything in that article is explaining why PC gamers will become console gamers once the next generation of consoles arrive. That = flocking.

Here's the closing paragraph from your article:

If the next generation of consoles experience the radical improvement in computing, networking, and social resources that the current console generation did, then I find it very likely the PC gaming community (maybe but for a few very developers) will leave those grounds for the vast expanse of possibilities that is the console world. Itís a very sad thought, but one I believe is inevitable. Are we merely now in the heyday of the PCís demise?
 
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57. Re: Op Ed Mar 23, 2011, 12:57 Doombreed
 
Jerykk wrote on Mar 23, 2011, 12:32:
It's not that foolish. As I mentioned earlier, consoles have always skimped on memory. The X360 and PS3 have 512MB of total memory. That's 256MB of system memory and 256MB of video memory if you split it evenly. PC's had far more memory than that in late 2005 and 2006 when the current gen consoles were released. You're also forgetting that achieving 1080p with 8XAA at 60 FPS isn't that easy to obtain in games that are actually demanding, like Crysis and Metro 20333. It requires some heavy duty hardware, like dual GPU videocards.

Considering I just played Crysis Wars last night at 8xQ AA at 72fps consistently on a single gpu GTX 580, I somehow think you've fudged your numbers. A framebuffer of 1GB is sufficient for 1920x1080 at 4X MSAA and more if developers use a proprietary AA format.


Really. http://www.metacritic.com/search/all/halo/results. Notice how the scores for the Xbox versions of Halo and Halo 2 are significantly higher than the PC versions?

So now you are substituing sales numbers for review scores? Also, keep in mind that you cannot measure the "quality" of some of the PCs best and exclusive releases against the best and exclusive console releases. Let's make sure we're comparing apples with apples.

We're not talking about PC as the leading platform because it isn't the leading platform for about 99% of multiplatform games.

Yes, we absolutely are talking about the PC as a leading platform. Even more specifically we're addressing concerns that the once leading PC platform has become overshadowed by the lesser performing console counterparts. Well, you might not be, but the article and the commentary up to this point have been. The PC was most assuredly the leading platform of recent memory, especially in the context of FPS, RPG, Racing, MMO, etc. The fact that the console is slowly becoming the dominate platform for these genres does not speak well for the PC as a leading platform.

Your article states that PC gamers will flock to the next generation of consoles because, among other reasons, the PC won't have as many big-budget exclusives. ... Sure, PC isn't the lead platform for 99% of those but that doesn't stop the PC versions from generally being the best.

What? I never stated anything about the flocking of PC gamers. I especially didn't say it would be due to something as trivial as a few exclusive releases. The fact is, the PC was the leading platform and its a far cry from that now. I won't try to dispute your appreciation of the current quality level of PC published multi-platform releases, however I will say that it does not meet mine.

Another very respected site has similiar feelings towards the state of modern PC releases:

http://www.hardocp.com/news/2011/03/23/crysis_2_pretty_much_sucks_sloppy

http://www.hardocp.com/news/2011/03/23/how_crytek_doomed_crysis_2_for_pc

 
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56. Re: Op Ed Mar 23, 2011, 12:32 Jerykk
 
That said, I do believe the next gen won't really have much of an issue pushing the 1080 standard at 60fps. It would be foolish to believe that going forward with technology we wouldn't have the ability to do what is already available in the present.

It's not that foolish. As I mentioned earlier, consoles have always skimped on memory. The X360 and PS3 have 512MB of total memory. That's 256MB of system memory and 256MB of video memory if you split it evenly. PC's had far more memory than that in late 2005 and 2006 when the current gen consoles were released. You're also forgetting that achieving 1080p with 8XAA at 60 FPS isn't that easy to obtain in games that are actually demanding, like Crysis and Metro 20333. It requires some heavy duty hardware, like dual GPU videocards.

Really? http://halo.bungie.org/news.html?item=16611

Really. http://www.metacritic.com/search/all/halo/results. Notice how the scores for the Xbox versions of Halo and Halo 2 are significantly higher than the PC versions?

These are the features I'm looking for from "ports". Giving me the standard thoroughfare of AA, AF, resolution and the like is kinda par for the course don't you think? I'd like to look beyond those basics when we're talking about the PC as a leading platform.

We're not talking about PC as the leading platform because it isn't the leading platform for about 99% of multiplatform games. When judging ports, I simply ask "Is it better than the console versions?" If the answer is yes (and it almost always is), I have no reason to switch to consoles where I'd just be playing inferior versions of the same games.

Thats exactly what I'm worried about when we're talking about leading platforms for game development.

I'm not really sure where you argument is going. Your article states that PC gamers will flock to the next generation of consoles because, among other reasons, the PC won't have as many big-budget exclusives. The problem with that statement is that the PC already lacks the amount of big-budget exclusives that consoles get. However, there are still plenty of PC gamers who haven't jumped to consoles. The vast majority of games these days are multiplatform and the majority of those are released for PC. Sure, PC isn't the lead platform for 99% of those but that doesn't stop the PC versions from generally being the best.

 
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55. Re: Op Ed Mar 23, 2011, 12:06 Verno
 
I don't think anyone cares about that, most of us were responding to your assertion about the performance which seemed to imply Xbox 360's were outperforming PCs in games at launch. Direct hardware comparisons are difficult given the differences between the platforms anyway but I think its fair to generalize that most PCs still clean consoles clocks in real world performance even close to release. I can think of few exceptions to that even.

tl;dr - the Xbox didn't "take" anything at launch. Theoretical performance is just that.

This comment was edited on Mar 23, 2011, 12:19.
 
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54. Re: Op Ed Mar 23, 2011, 11:57 Beamer
 
Console development often takes years for the developers to really hit the systems limitations as an aside. In fact many launch and early generation titles are pretty rough around the edges, especially third party stuff.

Yes, but it was more powerful than PCs.

Again, this should surprise no one and offend no one. Simple fact: it had more powerful hardware. 5 months later it didn't. 6 years later it certainly doesn't.

I don't get the controversy here.
 
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53. Re: Op Ed Mar 23, 2011, 11:46 Verno
 
That doesn't seem to jive with your earlier comment though. They still weren't outperforming modern PCs at the time in actual real world usage. Console development often takes years for the developers to really hit the systems limitations as an aside. In fact many launch and early generation titles are pretty rough around the edges, especially third party stuff.  
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52. Re: Op Ed Mar 23, 2011, 11:13 Beamer
 
What does "could take" mean? The Xbox 360 at launch could not compete at the same resolutions high end PCs were doing at that time.

The 360 launched in 2005 with 3 CPUs offering 6 threads, at a time when PCs were single core with one thread, and with the GPU equivalent of a more advanced x1900, even though the x1900 didn't launch until 2006.

At launch it was state of the art.
 
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51. Re: Op Ed Mar 23, 2011, 10:44 Doombreed
 
Jerykk wrote on Mar 23, 2011, 02:08:

How can you be sure they were lured away by Xbox LIVE? I find it more probable that their priorities just changed and that consoles in general provided a more convenient experience.

Indeed, how can either of us be sure? We are stating opinions and nothing more. Inevitably we are both correct given the right case study.

MS and Sony already technically support mouse and keyboard with current gen consoles. However, that's not the issue. The issue is whether or not developers will support them. Since UT3 is the only game to actually do so since the PS3 and X360 were launched, I think it's safe to assume that developers will not adopt mouse and keyboard for console games anytime soon. Not only does it introduce balancing and UI issues but it undermines the whole point of console gaming: convenience and accessibility. Console gamers want to sit on their couch and casually play games as a means of relaxation. Mouse and keyboard are not as ergonomic as a gamepad and it's much more awkward using them while sitting on a couch.

Your points are well received. well stated.

I wouldn't be so certain. Developers are struggling to get 30 FPS at sub-720p resolutions with no AA as it is. The first batch of next gen games may play at 1080p with 8xAA at a constant 60 FPS but inevitably, developers will struggle to maintain that standard, just like they have with current consoles. Unlike consoles, PCs continually evolve and will have no issue maintaining graphical fidelity and performance as time goes on.

There is no dispute over the advantages of the PC as a platform for hardware innovation. Also, I never stated that going forward a console would keep pace with a continually upgraded PC so don't put those connotations into play. That said, I do believe the next gen won't really have much of an issue pushing the 1080 standard at 60fps. It would be foolish to believe that going forward with technology we wouldn't have the ability to do what is already available in the present. Couple that with die shrinks and better thermal management and the heat issues become less of an issue. Even the current consoles have revised themselves to help address these concerns.

I don't really see your point. You're arguing that the next generation of consoles will offer performance and visuals matching the PC at a fraction of the cost.

No, I said matching the current state of PC hardware. Again, you glossed over the details in the article. Why do I mention the current state of PC hardware? Because we've just now really come to the point where 1080p at 60fps with AA has become viable.

It's easy to claim that PC gamers are dying to play Killzone 3 or Uncharted 3 but until those games are actually released on PC, there is no statistical evidence to support that theory.

Really? http://halo.bungie.org/news.html?item=16611

You still get higher resolutions, higher framerates, higher AA, higher AF, better controls, mods, etc.

All these things you have mentioned are trivial to implement on a PC save for mod support. Mod support is, at this point, PC exclusive and I'm not really sure I see that ever changing. That said, the other items you mentioned don't have much of anything to do with allowing the PC to be the lead platform. Look to Battlefield 3 with dramatically increased player counts, dedicated servers, improved physics, better lighting engines, and shader programming that would be impossible on current consoles. Couple that with what should be marked improvements in draw distance, LOD detail, model complexity, etc. These are the features I'm looking for from "ports". Giving me the standard thoroughfare of AA, AF, resolution and the like is kinda par for the course don't you think? I'd like to look beyond those basics when we're talking about the PC as a leading platform.

Your reasoning doesn't really make any sense. You complain that the PC gets too many console ports so you decide that playing consoles is the better option, even though you'll be playing the same games with inferior graphics, performance and usually controls? Why would any PC gamer want to downgrade to an inferior experience?

No, I complain that the PC gets inferior ports to what should be released on the PC. The quantity of multi-platform games is mentioned no where. The reason is that multi-platform game publishing is now the norm. Given another generation and I've no doubt multi-platform will be standard procedure. Will the subpar ports continue as a result?

Simply put, the appeal of consoles is convenience and accessibility. That's it.q]

Thats exactly what I'm worried about when we're talking about leading platforms for game development.

Unless consoles suddenly become open systems in which you can upgrade the hardware, install unofficial mods, customize and tweak your game settings, choose from a wide variety of control schemes and play games that have not been licensed by MS or Sony or approved by the ESRB, PC gaming is safe. PC gaming has always been about choice, while consoles have been the exact opposite. This is not going to change.

It appears that you are satisfied with the current state of PC gaming and do not believe any consoles will pose a serious threat. I believe something quite the opposite based upon what I'm seeing in the industry over the last few years.

 
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50. Re: Op Ed Mar 23, 2011, 02:23 Sepharo
 
But consoles is going to get good graphics and mouse and keyboard support and I heard you can play games online on them too.  
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49. Re: Op Ed Mar 23, 2011, 02:08 Jerykk
 
Xbox live has already lured away PC gamers, myself *not* among them.

How can you be sure they were lured away by Xbox LIVE? I find it more probable that their priorities just changed and that consoles in general provided a more convenient experience.

Who are you to say that Microsoft and Sony will not support a mouse and keyboard with a generation of hardware we know next to nothing about? Are you actually trying to base your authoritative opinion on a game published over 3 years ago? I am merely pointing out what would need to take place for gamers to consider migrating from PCs as their primary gaming platform to a console. You appear to have read more into it than I wrote.

MS and Sony already technically support mouse and keyboard with current gen consoles. However, that's not the issue. The issue is whether or not developers will support them. Since UT3 is the only game to actually do so since the PS3 and X360 were launched, I think it's safe to assume that developers will not adopt mouse and keyboard for console games anytime soon. Not only does it introduce balancing and UI issues but it undermines the whole point of console gaming: convenience and accessibility. Console gamers want to sit on their couch and casually play games as a means of relaxation. Mouse and keyboard are not as ergonomic as a gamepad and it's much more awkward using them while sitting on a couch.

That said, I believe the framebuffer requirements to provide that level of graphic fidelity will not be much of an issue for the 1080p resolution that is certain to still be the industry standard in the coming years.

I wouldn't be so certain. Developers are struggling to get 30 FPS at sub-720p resolutions with no AA as it is. The first batch of next gen games may play at 1080p with 8xAA at a constant 60 FPS but inevitably, developers will struggle to maintain that standard, just like they have with current consoles. Unlike consoles, PCs continually evolve and will have no issue maintaining graphical fidelity and performance as time goes on.

I specifically mentioned in the article that when looking back, the original price of the 360 was $399. The success of consoles are based upon software attachment rates. Sony is unbelievable proof of this, as they took a loss on their PS3 for over 3 years to gain the market basket of their software attachment rate. I highly doubt they will try that model again, but time will tell. In either case, try not to put words in my mouth in an attempt to ascertain an advantageous argumentative position.

I don't really see your point. You're arguing that the next generation of consoles will offer performance and visuals matching the PC at a fraction of the cost. Given the hardware necessary to achieve such performance, it's very likely that the consoles will cost more than $399 at launch. I wouldn't be surprised to see them at $600-800, which is pretty close to the $1000 needed to build a great PC that can both play games and do a multitude of other things that consoles cannot.

Last I checked "fun" was still a term people cared about when gaming and those multi-million selling exclusives would certainly be "fun" for the PC audience too, eh?

Halo, Fable and Gears of War sold millions on the Xbox. They did not sell millions on PC. Yes, they were delayed and I'm sure that was a factor. However, the reviews and general reception of these games wasn't even close to the reception they received on Xbox. Why? PC gamers have different standards. Shooters have been a staple of PC gaming since Wolfenstein. Halo, while great by console standards, was pretty mediocre by PC standards. Fable might have been considered an awesome RPG by console standards but when compared to classics like Fallout, Planescape: Torment, Baldur's Gate, etc, it was pretty underwhelming. As for non-MS exclusives, I can't really offer any objective comparison because those haven't been released on PC. It's easy to claim that PC gamers are dying to play Killzone 3 or Uncharted 3 but until those games are actually released on PC, there is no statistical evidence to support that theory.

As for generation Y, I agree that they're more likely to flock to consoles. But that's always been the case. PC gaming has always had a higher barrier to entry and younger gamers have always focused on consoles as a result. This would occur with or without big-budget console exclusives.

Let me help you set the record straight. Forums all over the internet are filled with people fed the frack up with developers releasing craptastic ports of console games onto the PC. Hell, Homefront and Crysis 2 just proved this point, again!

You'll need to elaborate on what qualifies as a craptastic port. If the PC version is superior to the console versions, I don't consider that as craptastic. The ports of Homefront and Crysis 2 may pale in comparison to the best PC exclusives but the ports are still better than the console versions. You still get higher resolutions, higher framerates, higher AA, higher AF, better controls, mods, etc. Homefront actually offers a lot of PC-exclusive features in addition to the usual benefits. Check them out here: http://www.neoseeker.com/news/15695-full-list-of-homefront-pc-features-is-extensive/

Your reasoning doesn't really make any sense. You complain that the PC gets too many console ports so you decide that playing consoles is the better option, even though you'll be playing the same games with inferior graphics, performance and usually controls? Why would any PC gamer want to downgrade to an inferior experience?

Simply put, the appeal of consoles is convenience and accessibility. That's it. If a PC gamer finds that he's become less passionate about gaming and has greater priorities in life, it's unsurprising that he would choose to migrate to consoles. Console gaming is more convenient when you have a family. It's also more conducive to social gaming when friends are over. But that has been true in every generation, not just this one or the next.

However, whether you choose to believe it or not, the current generation of consoles have come a staggering distance towards the PC as a gaming platform. I am very concerned that distance will close to a striking range for the next generation.

Unless consoles suddenly become open systems in which you can upgrade the hardware, install unofficial mods, customize and tweak your game settings, choose from a wide variety of control schemes and play games that have not been licensed by MS or Sony or approved by the ESRB, PC gaming is safe. PC gaming has always been about choice, while consoles have been the exact opposite. This is not going to change.

This comment was edited on Mar 23, 2011, 02:20.
 
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48. Re: Op Ed Mar 23, 2011, 01:28 Doombreed
 
Jerykk wrote on Mar 23, 2011, 00:06:
Oh dear. What a terrible article. So many stupid points, I don't know where to begin.

1) Xbox LIVE is not going to lure PC gamers away from PC gaming. GfWL was MS's attempt to bring LIVE to the PC and it has failed horribly. PC gamers enjoy the freedom and flexibility that the platform offers and Xbox LIVE/GfWL represents the antithesis of those things. Also, PC gamers don't like paying for functionality that was previously and should always be free (like the ability to play games online).

2) The next batch of consoles will not support mouse and keyboard because developers won't want to deal with the balancing issues. The X360 and PS3 both support M/KB, yet UT3 was the only game to actually support it as well. There's absolutely no reason why this would change in the future.

3) The X720/PS4 will likely match or even surpass PC hardware at launch. However, that will only last for about six months before PC hardware regains the lead. The author claims that next generation games will all have AA but that very same claim was made about the current generation as well. In fact, Microsoft initially required that all X360 games run at 1280x720 and at least 2X MSAA. However, they eventually dropped those requirements because the hardware couldn't keep up. I expect no different from the next generation of consoles. Even if the consoles ship with powerful GPUs and CPUs, they will very likely skimp on the memory, as that has been the trend since... well, since forever. AA takes a lot of video memory so when developers inevitably start running into memory issues, AA will be the first thing to go.

4) The author seems to believe that next gen consoles will cost the same as current-gen consoles. That's highly unlikely, especially if they'll be as powerful as the author suggests.

5) PC gamers generally don't care about big-budget console exclusives. Halo, Fable and Gears of War all eventually came to PC and received little to no fanfare. This is because pretty much every big-budget exclusive is overrated and overhyped by platform fanboys. In addition, this generation of consoles saw tremendous growth in multiplatform development. The vast majority of games are multiplatform these days and the vast majority of those also appear on PC. In fact, the number of console games being ported to PC is far greater than it was 10 years ago and the quality of said ports has improved substantially.

The author of the article could have saved a lot of time by just saying that he's become more complacent in recent years and has put quality, performance and flexibility below convenience.

I have to admit, you present a very strong argument against the article. You have also taken several things out of context, so allow me to re-inform of you the points.

1) Xbox live has already lured away PC gamers, myself *not* among them. I've already stated I own all the consoles and yet still regularly game on my PC. I agree wholeheartedly that GfWL is a horrid piece of crap, and I make no attempt to try and adopt that garbage. I also agree with your stance on gamers not wanting to pay for features and flexibility of a PC. If you noticed, thats why I stated that the PC is not dead. Even Blue caught that one in the caption.

2) Who are you to say that Microsoft and Sony will not support a mouse and keyboard with a generation of hardware we know next to nothing about? Are you actually trying to base your authoritative opinion on a game published over 3 years ago? I am merely pointing out what would need to take place for gamers to consider migrating from PCs as their primary gaming platform to a console. You appear to have read more into it than I wrote.

3) Are you aware of the fact that when this generation of consoles was released, the majority of the US did not yet own an HD TV. Clearly, the hardware required to push 1080p with AA was not at the forefront of either Microsoft or Sony. That said, I believe the framebuffer requirements to provide that level of graphic fidelity will not be much of an issue for the 1080p resolution that is certain to still be the industry standard in the coming years.

4) I specifically mentioned in the article that when looking back, the original price of the 360 was $399. The success of consoles are based upon software attachment rates. Sony is unbelievable proof of this, as they took a loss on their PS3 for over 3 years to gain the market basket of their software attachment rate. I highly doubt they will try that model again, but time will tell. In either case, try not to put words in my mouth in an attempt to ascertain an advantageous argumentative position.

5) So you've cast a PC wide net across the community saying gamers don't care about big budget console exclusives based on three games that were all released to PC after massive delays? Congrats on only selecting Microsoft titles as well. You actually believe that "every big-budget exclusive is overrated and overhyped by platform fanboys?" Last I checked "fun" was still a term people cared about when gaming and those multi-million selling exclusives would certainly be "fun" for the PC audience too, eh? You also fail to reference the importance of those exclusives to the gen Y of our time. Those games will be the titles they want to see brought forward. I suspect MS and Sony also feel that way.

Let me help you set the record straight. Forums all over the internet are filled with people fed the frack up with developers releasing craptastic ports of console games onto the PC. Hell, Homefront and Crysis 2 just proved this point, again! If a console port is something you feel is qualified to be on the PC as a major release, then more power to you. As a PC gamer who DOES give a care, I want titles that innovate from the past, not ports of the past. To be quite blunt, despite the overwhelming hardware advantage the PC has, developers continue to treat it as a port to, instead of innovate from platform. That sends a fairly clear message.

I also find it difficult to believe you have the insight necessary to sum up my feelings towards the PC in a single sentence. You didn't even comprehend the subject material I laid out, so how on Earth could you adequately speak of my thoughts and feelings towards the platform that I continue to champion and support? The article wasn't written so that a bunch of console gamers could cheer. Hopefully you can understand why I asked Blue to post this at one of the most hardest and PC centric sites on the net. Many good comments and thoughts have been voiced here because of the article. Honestly, you should feel a sense of pride about the PC community, not condemnation for the article author.

However, whether you choose to believe it or not, the current generation of consoles have come a staggering distance towards the PC as a gaming platform. I am very concerned that distance will close to a striking range for the next generation.

Thats why I wrote the article.
 
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47. Re: Op Ed Mar 23, 2011, 00:30 Draugr
 
Verno wrote on Mar 22, 2011, 19:42:
Beamer wrote on Mar 22, 2011, 18:52:

The Xbox could take virtually any PC when it was launched. I don't see why anyone would deny this. It's not a very meaningful bit of information because they're built to last 5 years.

What does "could take" mean? The Xbox 360 at launch could not compete at the same resolutions high end PCs were doing at that time.

Dragur, I believe Nintendo claimed the Wii was profitable from day one. As for it being sustainable or not, Nintendo sustained it for quite a long time so I see the issue being more a question of could anyone else actually replicate that?

It was profitable, and certainly sustainable, my point was one of the reasons it was profitable from the get go was hardware... I don't think others would be willing to make that sacrifice.
 
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46. Re: Op Ed Mar 23, 2011, 00:06 Jerykk
 
Oh dear. What a terrible article. So many stupid points, I don't know where to begin.

1) Xbox LIVE is not going to lure PC gamers away from PC gaming. GfWL was MS's attempt to bring LIVE to the PC and it has failed horribly. PC gamers enjoy the freedom and flexibility that the platform offers and Xbox LIVE/GfWL represents the antithesis of those things. Also, PC gamers don't like paying for functionality that was previously and should always be free (like the ability to play games online).

2) The next batch of consoles will not support mouse and keyboard because developers won't want to deal with the balancing issues. The X360 and PS3 both support M/KB, yet UT3 was the only game to actually support it as well. There's absolutely no reason why this would change in the future.

3) The X720/PS4 will likely match or even surpass PC hardware at launch. However, that will only last for about six months before PC hardware regains the lead. The author claims that next generation games will all have AA but that very same claim was made about the current generation as well. In fact, Microsoft initially required that all X360 games run at 1280x720 and at least 2X MSAA. However, they eventually dropped those requirements because the hardware couldn't keep up. I expect no different from the next generation of consoles. Even if the consoles ship with powerful GPUs and CPUs, they will very likely skimp on the memory, as that has been the trend since... well, since forever. AA takes a lot of video memory so when developers inevitably start running into memory issues, AA will be the first thing to go.

4) The author seems to believe that next gen consoles will cost the same as current-gen consoles. That's highly unlikely, especially if they'll be as powerful as the author suggests.

5) PC gamers generally don't care about big-budget console exclusives. Halo, Fable and Gears of War all eventually came to PC and received little to no fanfare. This is because pretty much every big-budget exclusive is overrated and overhyped by platform fanboys. In addition, this generation of consoles saw tremendous growth in multiplatform development. The vast majority of games are multiplatform these days and the vast majority of those also appear on PC. In fact, the number of console games being ported to PC is far greater than it was 10 years ago and the quality of said ports has improved substantially.

The author of the article could have saved a lot of time by just saying that he's become more complacent in recent years and has put quality, performance and flexibility below convenience.
 
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45. Re: Op Ed Mar 22, 2011, 20:17 PHJF
 
The Xbox could take virtually any PC when it was launched.

No it couldn't.
 
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44. Re: Op Ed Mar 22, 2011, 19:42 Verno
 
Beamer wrote on Mar 22, 2011, 18:52:

The Xbox could take virtually any PC when it was launched. I don't see why anyone would deny this. It's not a very meaningful bit of information because they're built to last 5 years.

What does "could take" mean? The Xbox 360 at launch could not compete at the same resolutions high end PCs were doing at that time.

Dragur, I believe Nintendo claimed the Wii was profitable from day one. As for it being sustainable or not, Nintendo sustained it for quite a long time so I see the issue being more a question of could anyone else actually replicate that?
 
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Playing: Divinity Original Sin, Destiny, Fire Emblem
Watching: Continuum, Star Trek TNG, Haunt
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43. Re: Op Ed Mar 22, 2011, 19:06 Draugr
 
Beamer wrote on Mar 22, 2011, 18:52:
I'm not saying the next Xbox will be over $400, I'm saying the parts will be.


Also, the whole memory argument isn't a strong one. Consoles are far more efficient with memory, which makes sense as they're only doing one thing.

The Xbox could take virtually any PC when it was launched. I don't see why anyone would deny this. It's not a very meaningful bit of information because they're built to last 5 years.

I would agree that the 360 was healthily competitive, but dominant? That feels like a stretch

You make a good point about price though, I can't think of any consoles manufacturers that weren't taking a hit in the wallet for a couple years after release, so they could get rid of units more easily, which of course in theory pays off in the end.
I guess I wouldn't be surprised to see the Wii being the exception to this though, given how dated the hardware in it was.
 
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