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Gears of War PC?

Though Gears of War has only been announced for the Xbox 360, Microsoft's J Allard on Xbox 360 on Eurogamer (thanks Tiscali Games) seems to let the cat out of the bag with the Xbox chief's answer to one question about Epic's upcoming action game:

Eurogamer: But is that exclusive to Xbox?

J Allard: It's Xbox and PC.

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76 Replies. 4 pages. Viewing page 1.
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76. Re: No subject May 27, 2005, 14:48 Creston
 
2) PC games can do inhouse multiplayer. Granted not many, but a few do offer the ability to have either a "hot seat" function or a split screen. Virtually all PC games offer online playability to, and considering most people do have some form of internet connection that is adequate to play online, there's no excuse for "But PC games can't do multiplayer".

That's not what I said. I specifically said IN HOUSE multiplayer. Sure, there may be two or three games that do that, whooptidoo.
If you're sitting there with four buddies, what are you going to do? Fire up the old PC, or turn on the old console?


3) You can rent PC games. Fewer places are doing it now because there's not as much demand as there was back a few years ago, but you can still rent games.

This is illegal. Period. Or at least, it was in Holland, and I think it's illegal here in the US too. PC game EULA's prevent them from being rented, and in Holland there is an actual law against it.
Not sure about the UK, you'd be in a better position to judge than me. So, as you can see, when it comes to renting, the PC isn't even sniffing the consoles' league.

Your 2 points are good (although I had already mentioned one), but I do think you're drastically underestimating the effect of price.
A current day console here costs 150 bucks. A PC will cost you 500 at minimum, and if you try to play games on those pieces of shit, you're in for a rather large disappointment.

150 dollars is something people would consider giving for Xmas. 500 dollars is way too much.

Creston

This comment was edited on May 27, 14:49.
 
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75. Re: No subject May 27, 2005, 06:57 L0cky
 
The Revolution will be the last console by Nintendo

I've a suspicion that if the Revolution only made them $1 of profit, they'd still keep making box consoles.

 
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74. Re: No subject May 26, 2005, 13:27 Tango
 
Malakai: Add 3) You can play on your sofa in front of a big TV with your mates. PC gaming, for all its qualities, doesn't offer that out of the box.

 
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73. Re: No subject May 26, 2005, 10:20 Malakai
 
The majority of the console demographic would never buy a PC anyways.
1) Too expensive
2) Can't do in house multiplayer
3) Can't rent games

I believe all those points are invalid, at least for here in the UK anyway.

1) I've seen a brand new PC (obviously not top of the range, but near enough) for sale for about 400 including monitor, keyboard etc etc. Next gen consoles will retail for close to 300. Games on top of that would be 35-40 a pop, so you would still spend about 400 on a console. And thats without buying an extra controller for those multiplayer games.

2) PC games can do inhouse multiplayer. Granted not many, but a few do offer the ability to have either a "hot seat" function or a split screen. Virtually all PC games offer online playability to, and considering most people do have some form of internet connection that is adequate to play online, there's no excuse for "But PC games can't do multiplayer".

3) You can rent PC games. Fewer places are doing it now because there's not as much demand as there was back a few years ago, but you can still rent games.

I still firmly believe that two of the main reasons why people are buying/playing so many consoles/console games is because:

1) It's easy. Theres no need to update drivers on the console, there's no need to pull it apart or send it in to get fixed, and there's no need to buy expensive OS's.

2) Marketing. They market the Xbox and PS2 as being party pieces and great fun for everyone, and as such most people conceive PCs to be a loner type thing. Also how many PC games do you see being advertised? There wasn't a SINGLE Doom 3 PC advert when it came out. As soon as the console version was about to be released, there was a huge marketing campaign.

Although i don't like it, i know the consoles will eventually push out the PC into the realms of totally niche games. There are very very few good driving simulators and RTS on a console, even fewer flight sims, and as such people will turn to the PC as a niche system. Even a decent FPS is hard to find (due to the controls) on a console, but then again it's the same for the PC....just for different reasons.

 
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72. Re: No subject May 26, 2005, 09:23 Creston
 
But with AAA titles now costing well over ten million dollars to make, publishers have to sell huge quantities to make money (so they say). The console market offers those volumes. The PC market does not, and PC game development is really going to suffer going forward. We will probably see very few exclusive AAA PC titles with most AAA PC games being ports of previously released console games.

Sadly, yes, but I fail to see what anyone can do about it. To be honest, I'm sorta glad the REALLY good PC games have become few and far between, since I've stopped buying as many games.

And I mean, even in the days when PC gaming was considered to be "on top", the great titles didn't sell more than they do today. I think PC gaming is simply at its peak, and it's never going to get higher than this, whether there would be consoles or not.

The majority of the console demographic would never buy a PC anyways.
1) Too expensive
2) Can't do in house multiplayer
3) Can't rent games

That's a lot of customers you're missing out on because of those three (I'm sure I could think up a few more reasons, such as that you need a Phd in computers to get some games to run nowadays).

I say, be happy with what we've got for the PC, the 4 or 5 really good / great titles that come out for it a year, buy those, support the devs that make them, and for the rest, well, get a console and rent games.

Creston


 
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71. Re: No subject May 25, 2005, 20:38 Riley Pizt
 
What I really wonder though is what the pc gaming market is worth compared to the console market.
These numbers floored me when I saw them at E3, but they came from the Entertainment Software Association so I trust them.

In 2003 52.8 million computer games were sold. In 2004, 45 million were sold. So, there was a 15% drop in sales* from one year to the next, i.e. a declining market. In contrast, in 2003 186.4 million console video games were sold. In 2004, 203 million console games were sold. So, not only do console game sales dwarf PC game sales, but they are increasing in marketshare as well.

The bottom line is if this trend continues (and I expect it will and even accelerate with the release of the next generation of consoles), PC game development is in trouble.

*By the way, when I wrote 9% below I meant in dollar amount not units. PC games sold 15% fewer units but only 9% fewer dollars which means the games cost more in 2004 than 2003 (which is also not a good trend).

This comment was edited on May 25, 20:46.
 
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70. Re: No subject May 25, 2005, 20:26 Riley Pizt
 
If the PC market keeps growing, it's not dying...I'm not really sure why everyone keeps comparing the two anyways...I fail to see why the marketshare issue is even that important.
If the PC's marketshare is shrinking, it's dying because developers and publishers put their focus where the big money is. For low budget games, a successful title can have a low sales volume (a few hundred thousand units) and still make money because it didn't cost much to make. But with AAA titles now costing well over ten million dollars to make, publishers have to sell huge quantities to make money (so they say). The console market offers those volumes. The PC market does not, and PC game development is really going to suffer going forward. We will probably see very few exclusive AAA PC titles with most AAA PC games being ports of previously released console games.

This comment was edited on May 25, 20:48.
 
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69. Re: No subject May 25, 2005, 17:31 MacD
 
Deus Ex actually sold quite well for the time...3 to 500.000 copies, off the top of my head, which was quite a lot for the time.

As for the console vs. pc sales, I think you got it right with the renting thing, Creston. That is a mayor chunk of sales which the pc misses out on (but something which the dev's are happy for, as they don't see a cent for rented games except the onetime purchase).

However, marketshare is a significant issue; the larger the installed base, the more potential custumors there are. When you're deciding which platform to make your game for, would you choose PS2 or Saturn? Thing is, as I noted before (and one of the reasons HL2 did so well, I expect), the pc has the largest installed base of them all. It's virtually in every home, much more so than the console, even though the specs on most pc's aren't that good.

What I really wonder though is what the pc gaming market is worth compared to the console market. We get lots of cute figures about consoles (so many sold, so much revenue, so many games sold), but funnily enough I haven't seen much data on pc's; hell, we and all the publishers and dev's might be making a hell of a wrong assumption here that the pc market is smaller than the console market. I do know that installed base, the pc >> all consoles. If that's the case for games...it's real odd that I don't know that...I just know what the marketing hype has been putting out...but that's one-sided data/hype concerning consoles.

 
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68. Re: No subject May 25, 2005, 16:39 Creston
 
It is also irrelevant. The drop is what matters. If PC game sales increased versus the prior year, it just made the drop in overall marketshare a little less severe. Console games are becoming more dominant, and it is hurting the development and release of new PC games. I personally don't want to see it continue, but as the next-gen consoles start to deliver more of what PC gaming offers, I fear the trend will accelerate.

I don't agree. It's irrelevant viewed against the argument that "consoles are continuing to get a bigger share of the market." but is that really NEWS to anyone?

Compared to a view that "the PC market is dying", it's actually VERY relevant. If the PC market keeps growing, it's not dying. You don't have to be top dog in order to make a good living for yourself. *shrug*

We've been hearing doomsday scenarios about PC gaming since the early 90s. It's still here, and still going strong.

Btw, I agree that those titles I mentioned were the exceptions, but when you look at console sales, you see that the consoles also only have a few great selling titles (that then do sell about 10 times more copies than the best pc games do), but the reason their market share is so big is that they have far more games that sell a few hundred thousand copies simply because of their massive user base.

All in all, I think PC Gaming had a terrific year. Maybe not compared to consoles, but I'm not really sure why everyone keeps comparing the two anyways. How much market share do you think PC games lose because of the fact that you can't rent them? Blockbuster and Hollywood video etc buy a SHITLOAD of console games to rent out.

I fail to see why the marketshare issue is even that important. Consoles sell more games, whoopee.

Creston


 
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67. Re: No subject May 25, 2005, 15:37 Malakai
 
Out of everyone i know that owns a computer and is my age (19)i can think of 3 other people that know how to, and thus have, a custom built PC. Everyone else i know has either a laptop or some per-built PC such as a Dell or HP.

 
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66. Re: No subject May 25, 2005, 15:18 Riley Pizt
 
It's altogether possible that the PC market actually did better in sales than the year before (thus growing their own percentage), but dropped in the overall market because of far greater growth in the console markets.
It is also irrelevant. The drop is what matters. If PC game sales increased versus the prior year, it just made the drop in overall marketshare a little less severe. Console games are becoming more dominant, and it is hurting the development and release of new PC games. I personally don't want to see it continue, but as the next-gen consoles start to deliver more of what PC gaming offers, I fear the trend will accelerate.

This comment was edited on May 25, 15:20.
 
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65. Re: No subject May 25, 2005, 15:15 Riley Pizt
 
All came out within "the last year or so", and sold absolutely insane amounts of copies.
Yes, but those games were the exceptions. Take out those few blockbusters, and you see the real problem. The PC game market can't continue to be carried by just a few titles. That is why the PC's portion of the video game market is shrinking.

 
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64. Re: hmmmm May 25, 2005, 13:37 Teddy
 
Between designing a game for a buttload of variables in terms of each person's computer setup, to software piracy it's no wonder so many are turning to the console market.

It constantly amazes me that people talk about software piracy killing the PC game business and act as though consoles are somehow safe from it. If you actually look, pirated copies of x-box and PS2 games outnumber the amount of pirated PC games on the internet.

Just as you can get any PC game illegally, you can get any console game you want illegally as well.

I also have to agree with Shataan on the system variations when it comes to programming. There are only two video card makers that both have unified driver solutions and both of those use D3D, so they really only have to program for D3D and debug for 2 drivers, not for each individual card.

There's really only one sound card company out there (however much I wish there were more), the rest are onboard solutions that all use essentially the same chipsets and instructions. There's been very little advancement in PC sound reproduction in the last couple years and I doubt that will change any time soon.

There are only two CPU manufacturers to take into account and neither requires that you implement their proprietary special features to work.

Beyond those, everything else is standardized. There's nothing special you have to do for different motherboards, hard disks, dvd-rom's, etc. to get them working.

There are only three areas that I've seen common problems with in PC game development and only one of them has anything to do with game programming.

1) Users that don't know how to properly maintain their systems. (Spyware/adware/virii/driver updates)

2) Poorly made or hard-coded routers that interfere with online games. (Largely from Linksys' lower end line in my experience)

3) Constantly advancing copy protection schemes that cause more problems than they solve.

 
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63. Re: No subject May 25, 2005, 10:42 Creston
 
Frankly, you could list a load of topselling titles here

Deus Ex


We wish...

Btw, the "average" gamer thinks of The Sims and other such cookie cutter franchises, I would reckon.

Creston

Edit : Infact, most PC gamers always go for the best tried and true rigs they can to get utmost performance

That's not true. I think a large part of PC Gamers actually play on POS Dells, Gateways, Compaqs etc. The State of the Art crowd is really a quite small percentage.


This comment was edited on May 25, 10:45.
 
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62. Re: No subject May 25, 2005, 10:39 Creston
 
According to the ESA, PC game shipments as a percentage of the overall market FELL 9% last year

There are two ways to look at that.

1) PC games sold 9% less.

2) The market grew by xx%, and the PC share in that new total market was now 9% less.

I'm FIRMLY convinced that it's option number two, which doesn't mean shit about the health and stability of the PC market. It's altogether possible that the PC market actually did better in sales than the year before (thus growing their own percentage), but dropped in the overall market because of far greater growth in the console markets.

Oh, and I'm sorry, but anyone who believes that consoles are going to "die out" needs a reality check. Consoles have been around since the birth of gaming, and they'll NEVER go away. EVER.

Creston

 
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61. Re: No subject May 25, 2005, 10:29 Creston
 
and PC game sales have significantly dropped in the last year or so.

Errr...
Half Life 2
Doom 3
Sims 2
WoW

All came out within "the last year or so", and sold absolutely insane amounts of copies.
Is this something you just dreamed up, or do you have a source on this?

Not saying you're wrong, perse, but it would seem to me that with those four titles selling millions, the PC market didn't really "dropped a lot in sales".
Just wondering if you got that from a source somewhere.

Creston

Edit : ...the entire next gen flopping is possible in the same way that a black hole spontaneously opening up next to the Earth and swallowing it whole is possible.

Oh my God!

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/055329024X/davidbrinsoff-20/002-1480592-9724038

The next consoles WILL fail...

This comment was edited on May 25, 10:33.
 
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60. hmmmm May 25, 2005, 09:30 Shataan
 
"And PC Gaming as we know it is shrinking. From a developer standpoint I can easily understand why. Between designing a game for a buttload of variables in terms of each person's computer setup, to software piracy it's no wonder so many are turning to the console market. The last time I went into a EB or Gamestop the PC sections are getting smaller and smaller, and the pre-owned console section is getting bigger and bigger."

I totally disagree. There are not so many different PC config variables, that designing for the PC is just not worth the time/effort/investment. Infact, most PC gamers always go for the best tried and true rigs they can to get utmost performance.

ALOT of dough is from hardware sales. We have 2=TWO major vid card makers. So there are not too many vid cards for the devs to make sure the games will work with them.
As for software piracy, the only way to get rid of that would be to just not make software anymore.

I believe the reason PC games are coming in as a trickle these days is because of the rising costs of game design. All the small Indy designers can`t afford to make competitive product anymore. and I am sad to see this happen. Now we have way less choice at the store counters. It is pretty sad.

Now the big companies wow us with visuals from the new expensive engines. But when most games come, we will be hit with really beautiful visuals, but shallow regurged gameplay. That further suxors with the fact that now devs feel they just gotta spend 4 to 6 years delivering on the hype they threw at us. WTF wants to wait thru 4 to 6 years of hype after every new game announcement?? Not me. This may be another reason why some may turn to consoles.

As for console games? They are basically a fast cheap way to deliver LESS, and still make the same profit. Those used console game areas are getting bigger, because the games are sucking even worse. Why would you trade a game that rocked after all? IMHO console games biggest market is rentals. And IMHO the PC market is not shrinking as badly as you might imagine. And if it ever does go the way of the Dinos, it won`t be cause of lack of interest, but more cause the game Devs themselves are killing it.

Lastly.... there are ALOT of Clans/Regiments out there. Do you really think they will all just drop the PC and head to console land??? Not likely. But if.... IF the new consoles offered the EXACT same experience as PCs do, then maybe. Mouse Key configs, voice com. HUGE mp experiences just like the PC offers. When the console can deliver the SAME EXACT total experience that the PC offers, then consoles might be the way to go.

 
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59. Re: keyboard and mouse anyone May 25, 2005, 08:42 Riley Pizt
 
Pssst.....headset anyone?
Yes I know about the headset, but Microsoft demo'd the new XBOX Live with quite a few text messages as well.

 
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58. Re: keyboard and mouse anyone May 25, 2005, 07:26 The Half Elf
 
A couple of things...

Most of the playable 360 demo's at e3 were running on the development G5's. It's been posted by serveral websites in their E3 review stuff just look around.

Also the it has been stated by Microsoft that the 360 controller would work on your 360 and PC. Also stated in the torrent of E3 info.

And PC Gaming as we know it is shrinking. From a developer standpoint I can easily understand why. Between designing a game for a buttload of variables in terms of each person's computer setup, to software piracy it's no wonder so many are turning to the console market. The last time I went into a EB or Gamestop the PC sections are getting smaller and smaller, and the pre-owned console section is getting bigger and bigger.

And if you want to talk about sheer number of console titles sales to pc game sales it's insane. And I'm just talking about specific titles. And what's worse is you have alot of people who are hardcore console gamers but don't know much about the PC. Example was playing Doom 3 on Xbox. The game was consolized, and it really shows. But the only people who will ever notice the diffrence are the PC gamers. All the 'big' games that were released on the PC within the last year, the majority of them are heading to console or already there.

The only major genre's the PC has over the console are MMORPG's RTS's and die hard Sims (ala Flight or Racing).

I just hope and pray with the USB support of the 360 that it allows mouse and keyboard support for it's games.

 
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"I've never seen a feature like this before. It warms your ass. It's wonderful" -Walter Bishop
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57. Re: keyboard and mouse anyone May 25, 2005, 00:26 UttiniDaKilrJawa
 
With XBOX Live now prominently integrated into XBOX360, I can't believe that Microsoft would expect users to type all those message they are supposed to send to one another using XBOX Live with a gamepad.

Pssst.....headset anyone?

 
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