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More id on PC Gaming

GamesIndustry.biz has more quotes on the state of PC gaming, this time from Steve Nix, id Software Director of Business Development. Nix feels some of the hardcore PC gaming audience is shifting to consoles, something id cannot ignore:

"There are plenty of people who are diehard mouse and keyboard guys that may never go to console, and also right now, if you have the highest of high-end PCs, you're generally going to get a better visual experience," Nix said. "There's no console out there that's as powerful as a God machine right now, with a Quad-Core and a GeForce 8800 - it's very hard for any console to compete with that."

"So you still have PC players, and some players are just console guys, but have players moved over? Absolutely. We love PC gaming, and we continue to support PC gaming - but you can't ignore the market realities and the size of the console market these days."

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89. Re: No subject Mar 20, 2008, 22:30 >U
 
The recent surge of publishers and developers all proclaiming the decline of PC gaming at the same time seems like something of a bandwagon to me.
It's not a bandwagon that game industry leaders are blindly jumping on. This has just been the sales trend for awhile and once a couple of developers and publishers spoke out about it, more of their colleagues started sharing their own observations and frustrations concerning it too. Sure some of these people have placed the blame for this trend at the wrong doorstep, but it's still a real trend nonetheless.

They are misleading by not being comprehensive.
No, they are NOT misleading because the reports don't pretend to be comprehensive. They are retail sales figures. Game companies which have significant digital distribution and subscription revenues aren't claiming that the NPD sales figures are their total sales. However, those figures are a good indicator of the sales for those games and companies which don't have any significant digital distribution or subscription sales. For example the public can look at the NPD figures and see that Epic's more recent games are more popular on consoles than on the PC.

They bundle all the consoles together as one platform while the PC is left by its lonesome.
No, all NPD sales figures do NOT combine platforms. NPD sales figures identify each game by its specific platform, and games are collectively compared by platform too, e.g. a list of best selling XBOX 360 games, PS3 games, PC games, etc. Yes, there is an overall sales list which can include games for any platform, but it doesn't group all console games together. People who lump all console sales together aren't doing it because that is the only way that NPD does it.

Whether intentional or not, the NPD statistics are misleading.
No, the figures aren't misleading although like any data, the wrong conclusions can be drawn from them if the scope of the data is not understood. Anyone claiming the PC game sales lag console sales for every genre of game from every company certainly can't use the NPD sales figures to actually prove that. However, for companies who rely primarily or totally on the retail channel for sales of their games, NPD sales figures can justify such claims for those companies and games.

The problem is that console hard drive space won't.
Over time it will as new revisions of console hardware are released. The XBOX 360 and PS3 have already had a few revisions/editions, and there will likely be more. Plus, if console customers started clamoring for more disk space to download games, the manufacturers would certainly provide add-on drives to meet that demand.

Digital distribution of full, new PC games is possible because PC hard drives have potentially unlimited space.
Yes, it is possible, but right now it's still pretty insignificant for many types of PC games due to filesize and bandwidth constraints. That is why casual games with their small file sizes dominate sales in the PC digital download space. AAA games are now routinely over 5GB in size and getting larger. That's why WOW has been such a perennial seller on retail sales charts despite the fact that it would otherwise be the ideal game to be exclusively digitally distributed.

Console HDs don't. With an 80 GB HD, I really don't see how the PS3 could offer viable digital distribution of the latest BluRay games.
Unless Sony starts offering larger hard drives it won't, but I could certainly see Sony and Microsoft offering larger drives to meet users' demands for more storage for game and video downloads.

Sure, Sony and Microsoft could release additional external hard drives but then the convenience that is fundamental to a console's success is taken away.
It would be no more inconvenient that the smaller external hard drives available now for the XBOX 360.

So no, I don't see console digital distribution growing as big as PC digital distribution.
I do, but like on the PC, it probably won't be in the AAA gamespace (at least not for quite awhile), but rather in the casual/retro gamespace.

This comment was edited on Mar 20, 23:35.
 
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