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Carmack on PC Gaming

id Software's John Carmack and Marty Stratton Talk Quake Live, PC Gaming, and More on Shacknews offers a Q&A with id Software. Topics include the accessibility being built into Quake Live (or QUAKE LIVE, as the case may unfortunately be), Carmack's regrets that id "didn't have the manpower to do something that would be what we would consider our best foot forward" for the new iPhone (wtf?), Rage, community support, and more. Of particular interest are Mr. Carmack's reflections on a changing landscape for PC gaming:

Yeah, I think that the PC definitely can't.. we can't go on making PC games like we used to. The combination of the dominance of the consoles, as far as market forces there, and piracy.. the traditional AAA, media-heavy boxed game that sells for a bunch of money, and goes out on the PC for a single player experience--it's just not happening. Even if we look at something that had such a push like Crysis, it didn't really do all that well.

While at id Software we're still certainly doing those types of AAA titles on [the PC platform], we have to look at it from a cross-platform product perspective on there, rather than being PC-focused like we used to be. I mean, all the way up to our last major title, which was Doom 3, we were a PC company. We made PC games, and we gave some thought to how they might be deployed on consoles, but that wasn't what we were fundamentally doing. And that has changed with this generation.

But still, there are some things that the PC does fundamentally better than the console. I mean, the internet interaction, as far as displaying and navigating large amounts of information on a website--while you have web browsers on consoles, they suck, you know, they're just not good. It's not like what you've got on the PC.

And from a first person shooter perspective, the keyboard/mouse interface is still just a lot better than a console interface. It's a much more direct position vs. integrating over time.. it's just plain better, and that's one of the things we want to cater to.

So there are strengths that the PC has, and we think Quake Live is very much playing to them. While given infinite resources, yeah, it'd be great to go ahead and do another technology showcase on the PC, because you've got a couple times the power in a modern high-end system than you do in a current generation console.

But it's just not feasible for us as a company to continue taking that route. So we are branching out into some different areas and diversifying a little bit, where we've got our id Tech 5, cross-platform, high-end stuff that we are pushing, and we've also got Quake Live and our mobile products.

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