PAX East Panel Bullish on PC Gaming

Ars Technica recaps a PAX East panel where Tom Petersen, Chris Roberts, and Matt Higby discuss PC gaming, with Ars' takeaway being that the platform isn't just surviving, but is in fact dominant. Here's a bit:
Robert expanded on Higby's point: the PC has always been the biggest and best platform for developers and for gamers—it just hasn't always grabbed the biggest headlines. The "PC as a platform"—a phrase echoed by Petersen—is an absolutely massive market, but it's not always realized as such because it's fragmented between different OEMs and home-built rigs without a singular marketing effort.

Higby also spoke extremely candidly about game piracy, saying things I've heard echoed on forums before but never out of the mouth of a developer. Piracy, he said, is an availability and distribution problem. The more games are crowdfunded and digitally delivered and the less a "store" figures into buying games, the less of a problem piracy becomes. Roberts was quick to agree, and he noted that the shift to digital distribution also helps the developers make more money—they ostensibly don't have everyone along the way from retailers to publishers to distributors taking their cut from the sale.

Oculus' Palmer Lucky agreed that piracy is a problem that can be solved not through more restrictions, but through fewer—the way to kill piracy is to make it more convenient to simply download a game legitimately than to go through the rigamarole of pirating it. Higby chimed in to agree—it's more annoying to download a pirated version of a game than to download via a trusted digital delivery service.

Petersen said that the total yearly industry-wide revenue for PC games (not video games in general, but PC games specifically) is $24 billion—a number that includes initial sales, in-game transactions, free-to-play microtransactions, digital downloads, and everything else. That's a huge amount of revenue to chase, and the panel members all agreed that the money will go to the developers and publishers and makers who produce what PC gamers want, as long as they let players buy games however they want to buy them.
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25.
 
Re: Into the Black
Apr 13, 2014, 23:08
25.
Re: Into the Black Apr 13, 2014, 23:08
Apr 13, 2014, 23:08
 
I played Tie Fighter with a Gravis Gamepad back in the day.

"He's a witch! Burn him!"

The 360 pad is the most commonly used gaming peripheral on the PC. I wouldn't be surprised if they're using it just to show gamers they don't need a HOTAS setup to enjoy the game. They've promised proper joystick support (among the many other promises) so until they show otherwise it isn't a problem in my eyes. Though if the DFM comes out with only 360 pad support I'll understand the interweb meltdown that occurs.
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24.
 
Re: PAX East Panel Bullish on PC Gaming
Apr 13, 2014, 11:14
Tom
24.
Re: PAX East Panel Bullish on PC Gaming Apr 13, 2014, 11:14
Apr 13, 2014, 11:14
Tom
 
I agree, it's really annoying to see CR always using a controller. Maybe he would like to demo it with a joystick, but it isn't working well enough yet. Or he doesn't want to scare off the masses who are where the $$$ is at. Or there's some stupid business issue with hardware vendors that prevents him from doing it. Or he just sucks at piloting with a stick in general and doesn't want to show that off to millions of people.

Until we get the actual game and try it for ourselves, all we can do is speculate on how good its joystick support is. I'm guessing for all those millions of $$$ they can have at least one developer work on making it good. But hey, maybe not, you never know. Time will tell.

Thankfully in the meantime, if you're truly hardcore, you can put your money where your mouth is and be playing Elite: Dangerous with a stick, throttle, rudder pedals, and TrackIR... right now! Only $300.
23.
 
Re: PAX East Panel Bullish on PC Gaming
Apr 13, 2014, 10:17
23.
Re: PAX East Panel Bullish on PC Gaming Apr 13, 2014, 10:17
Apr 13, 2014, 10:17
 
StaTik wrote on Apr 13, 2014, 09:54:
As games get larger in size I think the demand for the good old disk base game will make a come back. With games like Titanfall tipping the scales at 50gigs there are people that don't have the bandwidth or ISP limit to handle that kind of download. Games will only get larger in size and I don't see ISP's upping there caps or bandwidth any time soon. The average speed for US connections is just 7.4Mbps. At that rate Titanfall would take over 20hrs to download. With typical ISP caps that would be 1/4 of the monthly allowance. I know Titanfall is the exception now, but now that they have gotten away with the huge file size with little to no complaints there will be others.

I could see companies just doing pre-load type releases though. Download it slow over a week or two if you want it on release day.

I'm one that would also like to see CR play his damn game with a joystick and hit a keyboard every once in awhile. It's just me wanting to feel like I'm "flying" my space ship and not just doodle around on a video game controller. Silly in the grand scheme of things I admit but that's how I feel.

I also generally feel that developers/video game reviewers just don't get it when I see them working/reviewing games with a controller. I can't help but wonder how they can accurately get a feel for the input that most of us PC gamers will be using on their game if they never use them/review games with them. I almost instantly feel they won't be able to understand what I'm looking for in a game.

It's the old man in me. Now GET OFF MY LAWN!
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22.
 
Re: PAX East Panel Bullish on PC Gaming
Apr 13, 2014, 09:54
22.
Re: PAX East Panel Bullish on PC Gaming Apr 13, 2014, 09:54
Apr 13, 2014, 09:54
 
As games get larger in size I think the demand for the good old disk base game will make a come back. With games like Titanfall tipping the scales at 50gigs there are people that don't have the bandwidth or ISP limit to handle that kind of download. Games will only get larger in size and I don't see ISP's upping there caps or bandwidth any time soon. The average speed for US connections is just 7.4Mbps. At that rate Titanfall would take over 20hrs to download. With typical ISP caps that would be 1/4 of the monthly allowance. I know Titanfall is the exception now, but now that they have gotten away with the huge file size with little to no complaints there will be others.
21.
 
Re: PAX East Panel Bullish on PC Gaming
Apr 13, 2014, 06:03
21.
Re: PAX East Panel Bullish on PC Gaming Apr 13, 2014, 06:03
Apr 13, 2014, 06:03
 
El Pit wrote on Apr 13, 2014, 04:18:
Orogogus wrote on Apr 12, 2014, 21:30:
The ships in Wing Commander 1 & 2 and Privateer had giant set angles of rotation (i.e., tap the keyboard and you would turn exactly the same number of degrees every time), making it more precise and easier to play with the keyboard. Playing them with a stick was kind of like playing a shoddy port, it was always kind of janky.

Played them all with joystick without any problems. IIRC all you had to do was configure the deadzone correctly, and it worked like a charm. But m/kb worked great, too.

You can play them fine with a gamepad, too. It's just not the best way. It's not a sensitivity or deadzone issue, it's that you turn in discrete steps that are fairly large, and the keyboard gives you the most precision in nudging just one or two of those steps. It's the same thing as in Star Control 1, where there were only 16 facings. Whatever finesse you're bringing to the table with a stick is only going to be a percentage of what you get with the KB.

If the reason you think flight sticks are the way to play these games is something like sticks rule and consoles drool rah rah rah then, well, whatever, but there are definable reasons why the stick is an inferior choice in WC1/2/Privateer/Academy/Armada.
20.
 
Re: PAX East Panel Bullish on PC Gaming
Apr 13, 2014, 04:18
El Pit
 
20.
Re: PAX East Panel Bullish on PC Gaming Apr 13, 2014, 04:18
Apr 13, 2014, 04:18
 El Pit
 
Orogogus wrote on Apr 12, 2014, 21:30:
The ships in Wing Commander 1 & 2 and Privateer had giant set angles of rotation (i.e., tap the keyboard and you would turn exactly the same number of degrees every time), making it more precise and easier to play with the keyboard. Playing them with a stick was kind of like playing a shoddy port, it was always kind of janky.

Played them all with joystick without any problems. IIRC all you had to do was configure the deadzone correctly, and it worked like a charm. But m/kb worked great, too.

TIE-Fighter and X-Wing were great with a good flightstick. Great games. A friend of mine played Falcon 4.0 with rudder pedals, that was AMAZING.
"There is no right life in the wrong one." (Theodor W. Adorno, philosopher)
"Only a Sith deals in absolutes." (Obi-Wan Kenobi, Jedi)
19.
 
Re: PAX East Panel Bullish on PC Gaming
Apr 12, 2014, 21:30
19.
Re: PAX East Panel Bullish on PC Gaming Apr 12, 2014, 21:30
Apr 12, 2014, 21:30
 
El Pit wrote on Apr 12, 2014, 17:54:
Flight stick. That's the way to play this on a pc. That was the way to play Wing Commander, X-Wing, TIE Fighter, Privateer...

The ships in Wing Commander 1 & 2 and Privateer had giant set angles of rotation (i.e., tap the keyboard and you would turn exactly the same number of degrees every time), making it more precise and easier to play with the keyboard. Playing them with a stick was kind of like playing a shoddy port, it was always kind of janky.

Starting from WC3 and its 3D engine turning was a smooth traverse and a stick became a lot more feasible. Same for the X-Wing games, I found them all but impossible with KBAM.
18.
 
Re: PAX East Panel Bullish on PC Gaming
Apr 12, 2014, 20:33
Tom
18.
Re: PAX East Panel Bullish on PC Gaming Apr 12, 2014, 20:33
Apr 12, 2014, 20:33
Tom
 
jacobvandy wrote on Apr 12, 2014, 20:02:
From what I could sit through of that gameplay footage, I did catch one guy in the audience yell pretty clearly "You'd be able to hit him if you used a mouse!" or something like that. Best part of the video IMO.
Those were some rowdy folks in the audience. My favorite was the guy who yelled "Attach a debugger and USE THOSE SYMBOLS!!!" Absolutely priceless.
17.
 
Re: PAX East Panel Bullish on PC Gaming
Apr 12, 2014, 20:02
17.
Re: PAX East Panel Bullish on PC Gaming Apr 12, 2014, 20:02
Apr 12, 2014, 20:02
 
CJ_Parker wrote on Apr 12, 2014, 15:43:
I know. That was really insulting to a thoroughbred PC gamer, too. But back then with the extremely limited functionality (I mean the weapons were just for show so all he needed was up/down/left/right/accelerate/decelerate) it was at least somewhat understandable that maybe he grabbed the closest peripheral he had lying around.

But now with a game that is supposedly pretty complex in the space avionics department and given the fact that CIG have been heavily advertising for Saitek in recent weeks, you'd think he'd at least have the decency to grab that X55 Rhino to show shit off.

I mean what kind of "space sim enthusiast" would seriously play any fucking space sim with a fucking console controller?
That's just going full retard, man. It's like going to a Harley Davidson con without a bimbo in the back seat and riding a fucking Honda.

From what I could sit through of that gameplay footage, I did catch one guy in the audience yell pretty clearly "You'd be able to hit him if you used a mouse!" or something like that. Best part of the video IMO.
16.
 
Re: PAX East Panel Bullish on PC Gaming
Apr 12, 2014, 18:59
16.
Re: PAX East Panel Bullish on PC Gaming Apr 12, 2014, 18:59
Apr 12, 2014, 18:59
 
ViRGE wrote on Apr 12, 2014, 16:02:
Although I don't consider the state of PC gaming to be all woe and dreariness, I have to wonder if the answer isn't going to depend on who is asking the question. These guys discuss how revenue is greater, but don't broach the issue of unit sales.

The PC is by var the more versatile platform, which is why it has MMOs and other kinds of games that can't easily be done on consoles. But when it comes to traditional AAA game releases consoles move more units, consoles get more exclusives, and consoles form the lowest common denominator. It's this schism that allows the panel to say that PC gaming is doing great, while at the same time allowing players to lament the lack of games for the PC.

The reality is big AAA games are just too massive and costly to produce (aka, making a good one that has depth is too hard for most devs).

This is why when game dev team sizes and costs were in the 'sweet spot' we got things like Quake 2/3, Unreal tournament, Civilization 1/2/3, Alpha centauri, etc.

Most "new games" are merely movies with a side dish of really oversimplified gameplay to cater to the reflexless masses.
15.
 
Re: PAX East Panel Bullish on PC Gaming
Apr 12, 2014, 18:47
15.
Re: PAX East Panel Bullish on PC Gaming Apr 12, 2014, 18:47
Apr 12, 2014, 18:47
 
[VG]Reagle wrote on Apr 12, 2014, 18:29:
nin wrote on Apr 12, 2014, 13:13:
HorrorScope wrote on Apr 12, 2014, 13:06:
Not to mention that hardware has semi plateaued, and you don't have to necessarily swap your video card or proc every 6 months to run the latest and greatest at an acceptable level.

<--------This is the truth.

There is zero reason why the new generation of consoles exist. The old ones were good enough. This is the real reason gaming is returning to the PC.

One reason.... 8 gigs of ram, this will pay off when all the big games are made for current gen/pc.
Avatar 17232
14.
 
Re: PAX East Panel Bullish on PC Gaming
Apr 12, 2014, 18:29
14.
Re: PAX East Panel Bullish on PC Gaming Apr 12, 2014, 18:29
Apr 12, 2014, 18:29
 
nin wrote on Apr 12, 2014, 13:13:
HorrorScope wrote on Apr 12, 2014, 13:06:
Not to mention that hardware has semi plateaued, and you don't have to necessarily swap your video card or proc every 6 months to run the latest and greatest at an acceptable level.

<--------This is the truth.

There is zero reason why the new generation of consoles exist. The old ones were good enough. This is the real reason gaming is returning to the PC.
DON'T LIKE MY COMMENTS?!? THEN STOP RELEASING GARBAGE.
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13.
 
Re: PAX East Panel Bullish on PC Gaming
Apr 12, 2014, 18:28
13.
Re: PAX East Panel Bullish on PC Gaming Apr 12, 2014, 18:28
Apr 12, 2014, 18:28
 
nin wrote on Apr 12, 2014, 13:13:
Not to mention that hardware has semi plateaued, and you don't have to necessarily swap your video card or proc every 6 months to run the latest and greatest at an acceptable level.

Well, when most PC games are developed for consoles as well...
But, you're right. Back in the day, it wasn't long before a new PC game came out that drove me to upgrade something, or just build a new PC. Although I recently built a new system after 4-5 years on the old one, it uses dual, relatively ancient 5870s that STILL run everything I throw at it without any problems. I mean, I'm getting 1100-1300fps on Quake (DarkPlaces mod) now with everything maxxed. I'm guessing Quake3 will run pretty sweet as well. Don't even get me started about Minecraft. Gooooorgeous! I guess if you don't upgrade your games, you don't really need to upgrade your hardware.
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12.
 
Re: PAX East Panel Bullish on PC Gaming
Apr 12, 2014, 17:54
El Pit
 
12.
Re: PAX East Panel Bullish on PC Gaming Apr 12, 2014, 17:54
Apr 12, 2014, 17:54
 El Pit
 
Flight stick. That's the way to play this on a pc. That was the way to play Wing Commander, X-Wing, TIE Fighter, Privateer...
"There is no right life in the wrong one." (Theodor W. Adorno, philosopher)
"Only a Sith deals in absolutes." (Obi-Wan Kenobi, Jedi)
11.
 
Re: PAX East Panel Bullish on PC Gaming
Apr 12, 2014, 17:17
nin
 
11.
Re: PAX East Panel Bullish on PC Gaming Apr 12, 2014, 17:17
Apr 12, 2014, 17:17
 nin
 
El Pit wrote on Apr 12, 2014, 15:39:
nin wrote on Apr 12, 2014, 15:13:
CJ_Parker wrote on Apr 12, 2014, 14:50:
What irritates the fuck out of me is that Chris Roberts is on a panel like this, making a PC exclusive space sim that has "play me with a 24 axes, 200 buttons HOTAS" written all over it, and then this dude demos his own freakin game with a fucking Xbox controller at that totally incompetent PAX event. Seriously... Que el fucko?!?

Which is exactly what he did in the initial KS video, over a year and a half ago.

Yes, and it felt wrong even back then.

Two different analog sticks, 10 buttons (two more if you count stick clicks), and a D pad that can be used for at least 4 more commands? It's fine. That's assuming the player can't let go of one side for half a second to whack a keyboard key.

If THAT'S the biggest problem SC has, it'll be epic.


10.
 
Re: PAX East Panel Bullish on PC Gaming
Apr 12, 2014, 16:37
10.
Re: PAX East Panel Bullish on PC Gaming Apr 12, 2014, 16:37
Apr 12, 2014, 16:37
 
:-cheer-: :-applause-: Woohoo

etc
Avatar 15604
9.
 
Re: PAX East Panel Bullish on PC Gaming
Apr 12, 2014, 16:02
9.
Re: PAX East Panel Bullish on PC Gaming Apr 12, 2014, 16:02
Apr 12, 2014, 16:02
 
Although I don't consider the state of PC gaming to be all woe and dreariness, I have to wonder if the answer isn't going to depend on who is asking the question. These guys discuss how revenue is greater, but don't broach the issue of unit sales.

The PC is by var the more versatile platform, which is why it has MMOs and other kinds of games that can't easily be done on consoles. But when it comes to traditional AAA game releases consoles move more units, consoles get more exclusives, and consoles form the lowest common denominator. It's this schism that allows the panel to say that PC gaming is doing great, while at the same time allowing players to lament the lack of games for the PC.
8.
 
Re: PAX East Panel Bullish on PC Gaming
Apr 12, 2014, 15:43
8.
Re: PAX East Panel Bullish on PC Gaming Apr 12, 2014, 15:43
Apr 12, 2014, 15:43
 
nin wrote on Apr 12, 2014, 15:13:
CJ_Parker wrote on Apr 12, 2014, 14:50:
What irritates the fuck out of me is that Chris Roberts is on a panel like this, making a PC exclusive space sim that has "play me with a 24 axes, 200 buttons HOTAS" written all over it, and then this dude demos his own freakin game with a fucking Xbox controller at that totally incompetent PAX event. Seriously... Que el fucko?!?

Which is exactly what he did in the initial KS video, over a year and a half ago.

I know. That was really insulting to a thoroughbred PC gamer, too. But back then with the extremely limited functionality (I mean the weapons were just for show so all he needed was up/down/left/right/accelerate/decelerate) it was at least somewhat understandable that maybe he grabbed the closest peripheral he had lying around.

But now with a game that is supposedly pretty complex in the space avionics department and given the fact that CIG have been heavily advertising for Saitek in recent weeks, you'd think he'd at least have the decency to grab that X55 Rhino to show shit off.

I mean what kind of "space sim enthusiast" would seriously play any fucking space sim with a fucking console controller?
That's just going full retard, man. It's like going to a Harley Davidson con without a bimbo in the back seat and riding a fucking Honda.
7.
 
Re: PAX East Panel Bullish on PC Gaming
Apr 12, 2014, 15:39
El Pit
 
7.
Re: PAX East Panel Bullish on PC Gaming Apr 12, 2014, 15:39
Apr 12, 2014, 15:39
 El Pit
 
nin wrote on Apr 12, 2014, 15:13:
CJ_Parker wrote on Apr 12, 2014, 14:50:
What irritates the fuck out of me is that Chris Roberts is on a panel like this, making a PC exclusive space sim that has "play me with a 24 axes, 200 buttons HOTAS" written all over it, and then this dude demos his own freakin game with a fucking Xbox controller at that totally incompetent PAX event. Seriously... Que el fucko?!?

Which is exactly what he did in the initial KS video, over a year and a half ago.

Yes, and it felt wrong even back then.
"There is no right life in the wrong one." (Theodor W. Adorno, philosopher)
"Only a Sith deals in absolutes." (Obi-Wan Kenobi, Jedi)
6.
 
Re: PAX East Panel Bullish on PC Gaming
Apr 12, 2014, 15:13
nin
 
6.
Re: PAX East Panel Bullish on PC Gaming Apr 12, 2014, 15:13
Apr 12, 2014, 15:13
 nin
 
CJ_Parker wrote on Apr 12, 2014, 14:50:
What irritates the fuck out of me is that Chris Roberts is on a panel like this, making a PC exclusive space sim that has "play me with a 24 axes, 200 buttons HOTAS" written all over it, and then this dude demos his own freakin game with a fucking Xbox controller at that totally incompetent PAX event. Seriously... Que el fucko?!?

Which is exactly what he did in the initial KS video, over a year and a half ago.
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