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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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61 Replies. 4 pages. Viewing page 3.
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21. Re: More Big Picture Details Feb 19, 2013, 12:13 ASeven
 
That Ars article is amongst the worst pieces of crap I've ever read and the RPS article is smart in using the same baseless speculation of the Ars article and turn it against itself.

It's scary to see the amount of dumb, the amount of idiots in this industry. And it's more scary to see how many people defend those same idiots.

Only in the gaming industry.
 
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20. Re: More Big Picture Details Feb 19, 2013, 11:26 Beamer
 
HorrorScope wrote on Feb 19, 2013, 10:19:
Take all players in all pc games that allow mouse-look. That is the comparative # vs those playing 3rd person/1rst person on consoles. And whatever the result, it would just show which is more popular. To me mouselook goes well beyond shooters.

But now this is starting to sound like a MS backed agenda here, instead of giving users (at least a good #) a choice of mouse on a console, they force you to a pad. Then instead of adding a mouse, they give you Kinect. On the pc, they are trying to make us go touch, even though we aren't complaining about the mouse. What in gods name is your issues with Mice MS? The damn things just work very intuitively.

The best devices are one's that feel natural and you don't need to feel handicapped using. The gamepad is general purpose but in many games for me it brings input frustration.

They can't add a mouse. Sony allowed it and no one did it.

Do you know why? Because few people will use the mouse (again, it's an impossibility on a couch without either ruining your wrist or buying additional furniture), and even just 1 person on a server using a mouse against everyone else using a pad will ruin the fun for everyone.

Why would you cater to the few? It drives me nuts when people say "you're dumb for not letting me use a mouse!" No. That's like organizing a bike race and then allowing someone to bring a motorcycle. Yeah, the guy that prefers his motorcycle is happy but all the bikers are angry and won't come back the next year.
 
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http://www.hydrahead.com
http://www.painkillerrecords.com
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19. Re: Op Ed Feb 19, 2013, 11:04 Creston
 
Ars Technica: Balls Deep in Bungie since February 2013!

Creston
 
Avatar 15604
 
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18. Re: More Big Picture Details Feb 19, 2013, 11:01 Raptor
 
Buyers guide of the 21st century:

Gamepad:
Pro's: Can be used on a couch
Cons: Bungie said it's good

Mouse & Keyboard:
Pro's: You are not a fat person
Cons: Needs furniture ($$$)
 
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17. Re: More Big Picture Details Feb 19, 2013, 10:59 Axis
 
I'm almost annoyed by the sheer amount of imbecile in the gaming industry, almost.

Feel comfortable writing this weekly's chitchatfad "M&K IS DEAD" completely off -- it's even more worthless than the old "PC GAMING IS DEAD".

Which is why I only buy and promote games that are non-imbecile... what else can a gamer do?
 
Avatar 57462
 
Yours truly,

Axis
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16. Re: Op Ed Feb 19, 2013, 10:58 Fibrocyte
 
Go Blue! You really know how to rile up your readers.  
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15. Re: More Big Picture Details Feb 19, 2013, 10:19 HorrorScope
 
Take all players in all pc games that allow mouse-look. That is the comparative # vs those playing 3rd person/1rst person on consoles. And whatever the result, it would just show which is more popular. To me mouselook goes well beyond shooters.

But now this is starting to sound like a MS backed agenda here, instead of giving users (at least a good #) a choice of mouse on a console, they force you to a pad. Then instead of adding a mouse, they give you Kinect. On the pc, they are trying to make us go touch, even though we aren't complaining about the mouse. What in gods name is your issues with Mice MS? The damn things just work very intuitively.

The best devices are one's that feel natural and you don't need to feel handicapped using. The gamepad is general purpose but in many games for me it brings input frustration.

This comment was edited on Feb 19, 2013, 10:30.
 
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14. Re: Op Ed Feb 19, 2013, 10:14 Mr. Tact
 
wtf_man wrote on Feb 19, 2013, 09:04:
I don't own one Call of Duty, Medal of Honor, nor Battlefield game... and I have a ton of FPS's in my collection.... Far Cry 3 being the most recent.
You missed out then, the original game and COD2 were both excellent.
 
Truth is brutal. Prepare for pain.
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13. Re: Op Ed Feb 19, 2013, 10:12 Axis
 
Sorry to say it, but Ars Technica is irrelevant...  
Avatar 57462
 
Yours truly,

Axis
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12. Re: Op Ed Feb 19, 2013, 09:54 NewMaxx
 
Bhruic wrote on Feb 19, 2013, 09:15:
Well, it's really hard to argue since he never made that fucking point. "We made the game run without a mouse and keyboard. And now nobody plays shooters the way they used to play them before Halo 'cause nobody wants to." That's the quote. There's nothing in there about how important markets are. It's all about how Halo supposedly changed how everyone plays games to the point where no one wants to play games the way they existed pre-Halo. Which is a ridiculously absurd point, and Ars trying to defend it (and completely changing the meaning of the statement in the process) is just idiotic.

Bingo. There should never be an argument made to support lazier gameplaying, which is what console FPS is: auto-aim, horizontal/vertical polling (straight lines), etc. It has very little to do with what people want or how they like to play, and more to do with leveling the playing field by reducing variation in input. Anybody remember pong? It was fun because it was simple and every player had a limited range of motion. That in no way, shape, or form made it the superior way to play, it just made it easier to learn.

That's fine when you're trying to introduce a new concept to a wider audience. After that you need to innovate quite a bit. Except in this case, it wasn't a new concept, it was a lazy one, because quite frankly it had been done admirably years earlier with Goldeneye on the N64. That had intelligent multiplayer design before Halo development even started and mapped it to decent game controls that made sense. How we got from that to a canned series with a statement like this is downright baffling.

Actually, I'll re-use your words: it's ridiculously absurd, and the point is idiotic.
 
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11. Re: Op Ed Feb 19, 2013, 09:30 Tim Collins
 
Speak the truth brotha, speak!

Cutter wrote on Feb 19, 2013, 09:21:
Yeah and MS tried integrating gamepad and M/KB FPS gameplay for the 360 and PC and the console people got utterly destroyed repeatedly so they shitcanned the idea. I'd love to play that asshole bungie dev with him on his gamepad and no auto-aim versus me on the M/KB. I would fucking crush him like the shitheel he is.
 
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10. Re: Op Ed Feb 19, 2013, 09:28 Tim Collins
 
FACT

Mouse and Keyboard are the direct evolution of the gamepad controller......people are idiots.

and FYI if you own just a ps3/xbox u have no say in this conversation because you don't know what your talking about.
 
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9. Re: Op Ed Feb 19, 2013, 09:21 Cutter
 
Yeah and MS tried integrating gamepad and M/KB FPS gameplay for the 360 and PC and the console people got utterly destroyed repeatedly so they shitcanned the idea. I'd love to play that asshole bungie dev with him on his gamepad and no auto-aim versus me on the M/KB. I would fucking crush him like the shitheel he is.
 
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"The South will boogie again!" - Disco Stu
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8. Re: Op Ed Feb 19, 2013, 09:20 Beamer
 
I don't think a single person that's used both substantially would ever say the controller is better.

There are advantages to a controller though. To a minor degree, almost everyone has the same controller so there are fewer people with a serious competitive advantage from more expensive hardware. But that's a tiny, tiny thing.

Realistically, the big advantage is just that it works on a couch. A mouse and keyboard does not. Not even a tiny bit. You need additional furniture to do that.

Many people, I think, are choosing consoles, couches and HDTVs, and accepting that controllers come with that choice. Others grew up like that and never did the mouse/keyboard combo.

Quite frankly I think a lot of the complaints people here have about controllers are somewhat wrong. You can still circle strafe, possibly better, you can still jump and twist and kill like Thresh did to blow everyone's minds. But you can't turn quickly. And aiming becomes more difficult, to the point that there's always auto-aim (which Quake had blown our minds by removing.)
So while I don't think they're the skilless pieces of crap many here do, they certainly don't let your skills shine like a mouse and keyboard do. Don't think you can deny that they're not as precise, responsive, quick, but sometimes it's worth trading that off.
 
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Music for the discerning:
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http://www.hydrahead.com
http://www.painkillerrecords.com
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7. Re: Op Ed Feb 19, 2013, 09:15 Bhruic
 
But Jones' general point is clear: keyboard-and-mouse players are getting less and less important, from a business perspective, in the console-dominated first-person shooter market that Halo spawned. On this point, it's really hard to argue with Jones.

Well, it's really hard to argue since he never made that fucking point. "We made the game run without a mouse and keyboard. And now nobody plays shooters the way they used to play them before Halo 'cause nobody wants to." That's the quote. There's nothing in there about how important markets are. It's all about how Halo supposedly changed how everyone plays games to the point where no one wants to play games the way they existed pre-Halo. Which is a ridiculously absurd point, and Ars trying to defend it (and completely changing the meaning of the statement in the process) is just idiotic.
 
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6. Re: Op Ed Feb 19, 2013, 09:14 Dr. D. Schreber
 
Whoops, double post.  
Avatar 51686
 
NOT THE BEES! NOT THE BEES THEY'RE IN MY EYES AARRGRHGHGGAFHGHFGHFG!
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5. Re: Op Ed Feb 19, 2013, 09:08 Dr. D. Schreber
 
Verno wrote on Feb 19, 2013, 08:47:
Maybe the PC crowd isn't as interested in yearly COD updates? I think the last COD game I enjoyed playing online was World at War, every year brings reduced features and a higher cost of entry. The FPS market these days is pretty limited but I see plenty of people playing TF2, CSS, CS:GO and more PC centric FPS games.


It's also only one genre, but I guess since it's the genre CoD belongs to it's the only one that matters. Some hard-hitting garme jernalizm there, Ars

It's also not even news. The leap from "more console players" (which everyone has known is true for years upon years) to "more players using controllers" is like something Glenn Beck would arrive at making pretentious doodles on his chalkboard.

Also, do we have to go back ten years and start having conversations about the publisher making a fuckton more money from a PC sale than a console sale on account of not having to pay Sony/Microsoft their crazy licensing fees?


wtf_man wrote on Feb 19, 2013, 09:04:

Maybe they aren't interested in cruddy console ports, which is what they all are nowadays.


Everyone can say what they want about CoD (and this being a Blues comment thread, I'm sure everyone will,) but they're some of, if not the best ports released, and I suspect this is a major reason why many PC gamers stick with it.

This comment was edited on Feb 19, 2013, 09:18.
 
Avatar 51686
 
NOT THE BEES! NOT THE BEES THEY'RE IN MY EYES AARRGRHGHGGAFHGHFGHFG!
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4. Re: Op Ed Feb 19, 2013, 09:04 wtf_man
 
Verno wrote on Feb 19, 2013, 08:47:
Maybe the PC crowd isn't as interested in yearly COD updates?

Maybe they aren't interested in cruddy console ports, which is what they all are nowadays.

I don't own one Call of Duty, Medal of Honor, nor Battlefield game... and I have a ton of FPS's in my collection.... Far Cry 3 being the most recent. (Well, I do have Battlefield 1942, but I never could get into it)
 
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3. Re: Op Ed Feb 19, 2013, 09:02 Bhruic
 
CJ_Parker wrote on Feb 19, 2013, 08:59:
What a load of BS from RPS. If arguing numbers then at least have some facts to bring to the table. But countering speculation with even more speculation is plain weak.

True. But since that didn't happen, what's your problem? They didn't counter the speculation, they used the exact same speculation.
 
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2. Re: Op Ed Feb 19, 2013, 08:59 CJ_Parker
 
What a load of BS from RPS. If arguing numbers then at least have some facts to bring to the table. But countering speculation with even more speculation is plain weak.
It's all fairly pointless anyway. The catering to consoles and the crap treatment of the PC is more than proof enough that the PC is obviously bordering on insignificant for publishers.
 
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61 Replies. 4 pages. Viewing page 3.
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