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PCGA To "Take Up the Challenge of Piracy"

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the work-cut-out-for-you dept.

Games 134

Ars Technica reports that the PC Gaming Alliance has declared themselves the "guardians of PC gaming," which includes finding ways to help gamers decide on gaming hardware, and to make progress on the issues of piracy and DRM. "[PCGA President Randy Stude said,] 'The PCGA will take up the challenge of piracy, not to assume the responsibility that the ESA has taken on... rather the PCGA would like to address the methodology that publishers might be able to take to solve, or to do a better job trying to solve, the piracy challenge for their substantial investments in content.' The PCGA won't give a standard approach to publishers, saying it is much more likely it will release a series of recommendations to publishers, and track piracy on an annual basis to see if the problem is growing or shrinking. The PCGA is also working on methods for members to track how effective their antipiracy measures are once a game has been released."

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134 comments

Bleh (4, Insightful)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#25716843)

Members [wikipedia.org] include Microsoft and WildTangent.
I think I'm gonna be sick.

I'd prefer to have Penny-Arcade as the "Guardians of PC Gaming"

Re:Bleh (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 5 years ago | (#25716881)

Isn't that the spyware bunch? I know I recently had to remove WildTangent software from my Dad's PC,and he has never played a PC game in his life. So all I can figure is he got zapped in a bundle or something,because WildTangent was running on his PC and slowing his PC and net connection down bad. Just the fact that Spybot detected them is enough for me to label them crapware,although someone here may know more about whether they are adware or spyware. I know I have been seeing it more and more on older folks PCs,and come to think of it they all had AT&T DSL. Does anyone know if this crap is being bundled with AT&T software?

Re:Bleh (1)

rts008 (812749) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717007)

It usually comes as a 'helper' (adware) app in some software discs for peripherals. I have seen this installed as part of a digital camera install, but I cannot remember which one. (Kodak, I think?)

You might check to see when it (WildTangent) was 'last modified', then do a file search for 'modified on that same date-time' to see what else came in at the same time.

I doubt it came from AT&T, but I guess anything may be possible anymore.

Most likely a camera, digital picture frame, etc...

Anyone with current experience with Windows may want to chime in here and help this guy out...my info/memory just is not current for Windows anymore.

Re:Bleh (1)

Simon Brooke (45012) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717839)

Isn't that the spyware bunch? I know I recently had to remove WildTangent software from my Dad's PC,and he has never played a PC game in his life. So all I can figure is he got zapped in a bundle or something,because WildTangent was running on his PC and slowing his PC and net connection down bad. Just the fact that Spybot detected them is enough for me to label them crapware,although someone here may know more about whether they are adware or spyware. I know I have been seeing it more and more on older folks PCs,and come to think of it they all had AT&T DSL. Does anyone know if this crap is being bundled with AT&T software?

According to Decrapifier [pcdecrapifier.com] it comes bundled with 70% of HP/Compaq PCs

Tubal-Cain is a wikibastard (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25716897)

You are a fucking loser for linking to Wikipedia.

Did you know that "654", is a variant on "69", which is used by the editor Raul654.

Only losers use Wikipedia. I hope that you get kicked out of college for citing it.

This message brought to you by Spacebirdy and Antandurus

Re:Tubal-Cain is a wikibastard (2, Funny)

Killjoy_NL (719667) | more than 5 years ago | (#25718399)

"Did you know that "654", is a variant on "69", which is used by the editor Raul654."

Citation needed ^_^

Re:Bleh (1)

polymerousgeek (1196703) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717109)

...to make progress on the issues of piracy and DRM.

Let's see... Microsoft is making progress on DRM.

I'm so glad Microsoft is finally looking out for it's users.

I don't see what the problem is (5, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 5 years ago | (#25716847)

With simply needing a legit key to play online. Because even the primarily single player games you'll still want to play online for the occasional frag. But the DRM has gotten so nasty lately that I'm afraid to buy any games for fear it'll bone my PC. So hopefully they'll address the issue of DRM making the pirate version so much better than the retail. While I don't pirate I'd be afraid to play Spore or C&C 3 simply because the DRM is so nasty. So in those cases the pirates win because I'm afraid to buy them and the pirates get the game for free. So sorry EA,but the DRM is just too nasty to have your product anywhere near my PC.

Re:I don't see what the problem is (2, Insightful)

Sentry21 (8183) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717057)

But the DRM has gotten so nasty lately that I'm afraid to buy any games for fear it'll bone my PC.

And ironically, the best way around it while still staying legal is to download the cracked version from BT or usenet, and then buy the boxed game and toss it in the closet.

Guess which step most people these days leave out?

Re:I don't see what the problem is (2, Informative)

RuBLed (995686) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717097)

Hey! I live in the closet you insensitive clod.

Re:I don't see what the problem is (2, Informative)

Arivia (783328) | more than 5 years ago | (#25718223)

A house near me (I live in a university town) does actually rent out two large closets as living spaces, $100 a month. This is the kind of house where 2/9 rooms are hotboxed at any given moment and there's a concert in the basement every week. YMMV, but I think it might be pretty fun.

Re:I don't see what the problem is (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719883)

Hey, I actually lived in a closet(3'x7') for a year you insensitive cliche!

Re:I don't see what the problem is (2, Insightful)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 5 years ago | (#25718323)

I don't see what the problem is with simply needing a legit key to play online.

The problem is in the act of deciding if a key is legit or not.

Pay-per-month games (ex: World Of Warcraft, Eve Online, ..) don't have much of a problem here because even illegitimate keys must pay. Games which are not pay-per-month (ex: CounterStrike, Diablo, ..) do have a serious problem with key validation.

I don't know what solution is acceptable here, however the latest DRM schemes seem to address a different issue entirely (that of removing First Sale rights from the consumer.)

Don't waste your money on Wikipedia (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25716853)

Why do people keep donating to this unreliable source, especially when there are deletionist assholes like TTN [wikipedia.org] and abusive administrators like Antandurus and Spacebirdy.

You can get [britannica.com] the Encyclopedia Britannica for just $39.95 which is not full of assholes and is not subject to editwares, "citation needed" and the number of elephants has tripled in the last six months.

Like Linux, it is only "free" if your time is worthless.

This PSA brought to you by Willy on Wheels and Grawp.

Re:Don't waste your money on Wikipedia (1)

isBandGeek() (1369017) | more than 5 years ago | (#25716919)

I'd mod you down as flamebait but I'll humor you with a response (even though we're not supposed to feed the trolls). Wikipedia is not necessarily as reliable as another print source, but printed encyclopedias are susceptible to errors as well (and often contain more of them than Wikipedia itself) and are not as up-to-date.

Re:Don't waste your money on Wikipedia (3, Insightful)

crossmr (957846) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717163)

the difference here is if there was a mistake on a wikipedia page you see the fix now. If you stumble across an old magazine that had a print error you don't necessarily have the page 400 font size 3 correction printed 6 issues later laying beside it..

Stop treating the customer like a criminal. (5, Insightful)

Yoozer (1055188) | more than 5 years ago | (#25716895)

Pirated games win over legal ones because of:
  • they don't treat the customer like a criminal (why do I get an anti-piracy warning when I've bought or rented a DVD, but not when I've downloaded a movie?)
  • removing pretty much all of the hassle of proving you're a paying customer (in terms of installation and stability)
  • availability (for abandonware) and convenience
  • cost

If you can beat the pirates on the first 3 points, people are generally a lot more willing to pay.

Re:Stop treating the customer like a criminal. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25716937)

Let me add more to this. The software industry is one of the few industries that get away with selling complete bug ridden crap, and stuff that will stop working one day as computers and operating systems advance with no recourse to support.

I have an old copy of FF7 for the PC which just barely works, but it took a lot of hunting around the net to do so. This could be cured by forcing old games source to be opened so that the games themselves could be maintained as newer hardware and OS's are released. You'd never tolerate a car that couldn't be fixed, the fact this happens with software is a tragedy. There has to be some way that users can force companies to give up the source after the sales period has ended so that they can fix and update their games.

Re:Stop treating the customer like a criminal. (5, Insightful)

Splab (574204) | more than 5 years ago | (#25716951)

Not only do you get the piracy thing, but also lately quite a lot of DVDs I've bought came with commercials for other movies. With the anti piracy (don't steal this movie) and FBI warning (smart one to show in Denmark) and absurd long menu sequence and commercials for other movies (skip able) it took almost 4 minutes before I got to see my movie - and you have to sit through it every bloody time you want to watch it. Next time I'm downloading!

Re:Stop treating the customer like a criminal. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25717021)

I just rip it myself, and take out the crap like that.

However, I do like that the Futurama DVD I have has one of the copyright warnings in an alien alphabet.

On the other hand, it shows these warnings after each episode watched, even on "View all". That's when skipping to menu while the credits are rolling helps.

Re:Stop treating the customer like a criminal. (4, Informative)

Sentry21 (8183) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717069)

The best way around that crap is to stick the disc in your computer, and use various software to rip out the garbage. Optionally, use Handbrake, encode to h.264, and stream it to a set-top-box/game console instead.

Re:Stop treating the customer like a criminal. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25717811)

At that point it's faster and easier to just find a torrent and download the movie.

Re:Stop treating the customer like a criminal. (1)

wild_quinine (998562) | more than 5 years ago | (#25718957)

The best way around that crap is to stick the disc in your computer, and use various software to rip out the garbage. Optionally, use Handbrake, encode to h.264, and stream it to a set-top-box/game console instead.

Yeah, that takes less than four minutes. Thanks, champ.

Re:Stop treating the customer like a criminal. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25719049)

It would still be less hassle to just download it.

Re:Stop treating the customer like a criminal. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25717443)

At least you get the skippable promo's. Disney movies were(and probably still are...) notorious for having ten minutes of unskippable "Coming soon" promos in front of their movies. I'll put up with having unskippable promo's in a movie theater but not on my own home theater.

Re:Stop treating the customer like a criminal. (1)

Pvt_Ryan (1102363) | more than 5 years ago | (#25718053)

At least you get the skippable promo's. Disney movies were(and probably still are...) notorious for having ten minutes of unskippable "Coming soon" promos in front of their movies. I'll put up with having unskippable promo's in a movie theater but not on my own home theater.

I have to agree, I got a film the other day on DVD and it did this to me. The only way to skip was to jump chapters.

If they want to advertise on the dvd to me then they should discount the dvd.

Re:Stop treating the customer like a criminal. (1)

Splab (574204) | more than 5 years ago | (#25718155)

Usually you can skip it, but you have to hit menu at the right time (there is a 1-2 second flashing with something like: "hit menu now to skip trailers").

Free bits, not pirated (1, Insightful)

bboxman (1342573) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717045)

Claiming to lay property to a sequence of bits is hillarious. There is nothing wrong with creating yet another copy of computer game.

Re:Free bits, not pirated (2, Insightful)

cliffski (65094) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717315)

...says someone who still no doubt expects to get paid for HIS job, although you are clearly delusional enough to expect you have the right to take the fruits of other peoples work for free.
Fucking bullshit. You are just rationalising being a cheap-ass.

Re:Free bits, not pirated (2, Interesting)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717975)

...says someone who still no doubt expects to get paid for HIS job [...] take the fruits of other peoples work for free.

Canonical pays money to developers in return for them making the software better. The software that they give away.

Consider that for a while.

Re:Free bits, not pirated (2, Interesting)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719307)

And Canonical is losing money on the proposition, as we discussed recently.

Consider that for a while.

Re:Free bits, not pirated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25718273)

Oh I'll pay money to purchase a product, be it a game or a movie, I even go to the theatres when I think the movie is worth it.

But what I won't do is pay money for a crippled product that may or may not work for me a year from now. I won't pay for a profit hungry group to install extra crap on my system thats hard or next to impossible to get rid of, and I sure as fuck won't pay to 'licence' my computer games. I bought it, its mine now, fuck off.

The thing software makers seem to forget is that they are not entitled to profits, if you make a shit product full of extra crap nobody wants when people don't buy it it's not piracy's fault, its your fault for marketing a shit product. Loading your product with yet more crap unrelated to it just furthers the problem and encourages people to turn to piracy in order to get the product they want.

Bottom line? I'll happily pay for a good product, and I'll happily tell you to shove it if your pushing something bad.

Re:Free bits, not pirated (0, Flamebait)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 5 years ago | (#25720653)

>>>There is nothing wrong with creating yet another copy of computer game.

Similarly there is nothing wrong if your employer decides to copy your creation, but not give you a paycheck. What's that? You object??? Huh. Well guess what? I object to having my game creations stolen too yu asshoel!!!!

Re:Stop treating the customer like a criminal. (1)

Blueskied (1061208) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717767)

If you can beat the pirates on the first 3 points, people are generally a lot more willing to pay, but still decide to download the game cause point 4 is so enticing. That's just natural. People love free stuff.

Re:Stop treating the customer like a criminal. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25717871)

If you can beat the pirates on the first 3 points, people are generally a lot more willing to pay, but a minority still decide to download the game cause point 4 is so enticing.

There, fixed that for you.

Believe it or not, most people are actually quite honest, and can tell the difference between "free stuff" and "stuff that costs money but can be had for free if you break the law". There are, of course, quite a lot of children who see things like shoplifting and software piracy as justifiable, but most people grow out of that once they get a regular income.

The PCGA? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25717019)

Isn't that the standard body for chimp golfing?

consoles are the key (3, Interesting)

socsoc (1116769) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717031)

Why do people still use PCs for gaming? PCs are business tools... Consoles are better for gaming because the game development company can rely upon a specific hardware configuration.

This isn't a troll, but an honest observation.

obvious answer (1)

Digitus1337 (671442) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717071)

Keyboards and mice!

Re:obvious answer (2, Interesting)

penguinchris (1020961) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717703)

I bought Unreal Tournament 3 recently for my ps3 (which I bought primarily to watch blu-ray movies on) for three reasons:

1. It's $20, brand new
2. I saw that the company put up map packs for download on the playstation store, for FREE - unlike every other game that charges you up to $10-15 for a couple extra maps
3. You can use a USB or bluetooth keyboard and mouse to play the game, on the ps3!

I've only played it for a few minutes (I've got other things, like being a grad student and browsing slashdot, to do) but it worked flawlessly and it could have fooled me into thinking I was playing on a computer if someone else had set it up (it helps of course that I don't have a TV and connect the ps3 to my computer monitor.)

If other console games supported that, I would be much happier to pay the ridiculous prices they want for them.

Re:obvious answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25719427)

PS2 and PS3 - can use standard usb keyboard and mouse (in PS2 - used for FF XI MMORPG, in PS3 keyboard and mouse are part of firmware - usable for browsing, menu navigation ...)

Re:consoles are the key (1)

Barny (103770) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717199)

Consoles are worse for gaming because the game development company is stuck relying on a specific hardware configuration no matter how how many years old.

Re:consoles are the key (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25718021)

How is this worse?

Re:consoles are the key (1)

Crumplecorn (904797) | more than 5 years ago | (#25718935)

When one has bought hardware upgrade after hardware upgrade year after year for nothing more than slightly nicer graphics, one has to justify the fact that console games/gamers get by without this by ingraining the idea in one's head that game quality can be equated with graphics quality.

Re:consoles are the key (1)

Barny (103770) | more than 5 years ago | (#25720579)

slightly nicer graphics

Yeah, and I will keep paying for the better graphics, because *gasp* I like better graphics.

Now someone please tell valve to release L4D a week early so I can smoosh zombies on more than just 2 maps.

Re:consoles are the key (1)

Crumplecorn (904797) | more than 5 years ago | (#25721237)

I will keep paying for the better graphics, because *gasp* I like better graphics.

As will I, but minus the aforementioned rationalisation.

Re:consoles are the key (1)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 5 years ago | (#25720701)

My PS2 and Gamecube might be ~5 years old, but I still have a hell of a lot of fun playing them.

Of course, I also still enjoy playing an Atari and a Super Nintendo (8 and 16 bit), so maybe I'm not the best example of what casual gamers prefer.

Re:consoles are the key (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25721421)

Actually, I see this as a good thing. For two reasons: 1) you don't have wonder if game 'x' will play on your machine. 2) having the same hardware over an extended period allows the developers to actually make better use of it over time.

I love my PC gaming but consoles do provide some nice benefits.

Re:consoles are the key (1)

Adam Jorgensen (1302989) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717203)

5 years ago I would have disagreed. No longer. The herculean efforts involved in PC gaming simply no longer appeal, most likely because I'm no longer a student and have to work for a living.

Re:consoles are the key (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719335)

The herculean efforts involved in PC gaming...

All I can say is you must be doing it wrong. I game on the PC, and there are no herculean efforts involved.

... I'm no longer a student and have to work for a living.

Me too. That doesn't preclude gaming on the PC in the least. Again, I have no idea what you might be doing wrong, but this just screams "you're doing it wrong" to me.

Re:consoles are the key (1)

theM_xl (760570) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717761)

Because console games are dumbed down to fit "no keyboard and mouse". It's impossible to control a game with the complexity of, say, Master of Orion. Just because some people are incapable of the mental processing required to do more than basic FPS doesn't mean we all suffer from the same lack of brains.

Re:consoles are the key (1)

Crumplecorn (904797) | more than 5 years ago | (#25718955)

I'd be interested to know how games which have no use for such a control interface were 'dumbed down' due to the lack of it?

Re:consoles are the key (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25719717)

I rather think you missed the point, while simultaneously demonstrating just how valid it is. Sure, most individual games haven't been dumbed down. But that's because the only games that see release are the ones that are already dumb. By deliberately constraining console releases to those that are well suited to the consoles' simplistic control scheme, you're basically discouraging development of a whole range of more complex (and arguably more interesting) games. And even if you wish to argue that some of these more complex games can be made to work with console controls, that is accomplished at the expense of the game's complexity, i.e. some games are indeed dumbed down. For example, compare CivRev to any of the other games in the Civ series. Don't get me wrong, it's great fun, but it has nowhere near the depth that you'd expect from a real Civ game, and it suffers as a result. You can't deny that example of a game that was designed dumbed down just for consoles.

Four keyboards and four mice? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#25721041)

Because console games are dumbed down to fit "no keyboard and mouse".

I don't know of one game for Windows that recognizes extra keyboards and extra mice plugged into a USB hub. The working class usually can't afford to keep additional PCs around for guests in the home (such as the children that I babysit), and packing up a desktop PC, monitor, keyboard, mouse, and speakers for a LAN party is a pain. Games that recognize gamepads have the advantage of working in a social gaming environment.

Re:Four keyboards and four mice? (1)

theM_xl (760570) | more than 5 years ago | (#25721175)

Which actually SUPPORTS my dumbed down point since social games have to be easily understood. The gamepad simply can't handle anything beyond imprecise movement and twitch gaming. Even Sudoku would be a pain to play with a gamepad.

Re:consoles are the key (1)

Goldberg's Pants (139800) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717785)

The sort of games I like (sports sims. As in PROPER sims like Out of the Park Baseball) just don't work on a console.

And FPS and RTS only work well with mouse and keyboard, and if you're hooking them to your console to play them... You may as well just buy a PC.

Not to mention the PC is open. I write a game, I can release it, dead easy. I want to release it for a console I have official hoops I have to jump through.

And finally, I can still play Sensible World of Soccer and Cannon Fodder on my PC. (To name but two classics.) Can't do that on the consoles.

Re:consoles are the key (1)

iainl (136759) | more than 5 years ago | (#25718173)

I can play SWOS on my 360, complete with tarted up HD graphics by the guy who did the originals. It's great.

What I can't do is get the PC one to run under Vista. But then, the PC version was always junk - that's why I've got an Amiga in a cupboard.

Re:consoles are the key (1)

Goldberg's Pants (139800) | more than 5 years ago | (#25718373)

No, you are playing a REMAKE of a game. NOT the original. Any SWOS fan I know has no interest in that cheap cash-in on a legend. It's the original game we want. Not some watered down remake. (Just like I'd rather see the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre than the remake.)

And as for Vista... Well all I can say is there is a lovely DOSBOX version packed up with multiple configurations, team options etc... You can download for the PC, and gamepads work just fine with it and it's awesome.

And having played both the PC and Amiga versions, except for the opening music, the PC version is easily as good as the Amiga version.

Re:consoles are the key (1)

iainl (136759) | more than 5 years ago | (#25722309)

You DO know that the "remake" has the very same Amiga source code running under the hood, don't you? The enhanced graphics are entirely optional (although I find the greater field of view in HD better). In my experience, it certainly plays closer to the Amiga version than a DOSBOXed PC one does. That latter isn't bad, just different.

Re:consoles are the key (1)

powerspike (729889) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717807)

but i can't play my console on the bus :( (well unless your a mad sciencest!)

A DS goes where laptops can't. (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#25721077)

but i can't play my console on the bus :(

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'd bet that a lot more people game on a Nintendo DS (84 million and counting) than on a notebook computer.

Re:consoles are the key (1)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 5 years ago | (#25718037)

"This isn't a troll." Yeah, and she said she was 18. Still, I'll give you one (of countless) reasons: have you tried Alt-tabbing to Visual Studio on any of the consoles?

Re:consoles are the key (2, Interesting)

Kneo24 (688412) | more than 5 years ago | (#25718171)

Keyboard and Mice support, modding support, better graphical capabilities, easier to customize a setup (i.e. more options to do so), certain types of games work better with keyboard and mice, I can still play my games from 10 years ago on a new PC if I want to do a small amount of work...

Oh, there's reasons if you choose to not ignore them.

Don't kid yourself here. Even with the same hardware configurations, developers for consoles are still making buggy games. Recent ones are Fable II and Fallout 3.

Re:consoles are the key (3, Interesting)

oceanclub (654183) | more than 5 years ago | (#25718629)

Sorry, but you do actually sound a little like a troll. :) But I'll assume you're sincere.

"Consoles are better for gaming because the game development company can rely upon a specific hardware configuration."

Why does that make it better for the person who matter - the gamer? It's better for the development company, sure. Though if you're developing for XBox 360, publishing for the PC as well is relatively simple.

I have a gaming PC, a gaming laptop and a Wii. Of the three, the Wii gets by far the least use, gathering dust bunnies. Why do I game on the PC primarily?

1. Graphics: after gaming on a PC, looking at the Wii's Resident Evil 4 is like having sandpaper applied to my eyes; the pixels look the size of planets. One great thing about PC gaming is not just that new games look great - even older games can look better. After loving Oblivion, I've gone back to play Morrowind. If I was playing this on the XBox, it would only look as good as it did back in 2003. On the PC, I can take advantage of graphics cards upgrades and user-created mods such as the Morrowind Graphics Extender (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXEhlyqlzU0) so that the game looks far better than it did back in 2003. Which leads me to...

2. Mods & Community: Being a console owner is essentially a passive consumer experience. Sure, there are the beginnings of allowing user-created content on consoles, but this is still in its infancy and will _always_ be tightly controlled. For the PC, it's a collaborative experience; even a non-coder like me has been able to get involved, working on the unofficial Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines patch.
Just one example; look at the amount of mods and tweaks available for the PC version of Oblivion; you can customise it to your heart's content.

3. Meeces: I just can't play FPSs on gamepads. Have tried and failed. Same with strategy games. The mouse just seems to fit these games a lot better. Gamepads are fine for driving games but since I don't really like those, I don't them much. I actually have one anyway - the XBox controller works great with the PC wireless dongle - but those times I occasionally use one.

Oh, and I don't get the supposed "benefit" of consoles that you can slouch on the couch while playing them. If I'm playing a shooter online, I want to sit up alert in a nice comfy desk chair.

4. Portability: I can play the same games on both my desktop and my laptop, and using Microsoft's FolderShare (http://www.foldershare.com/) I can seamless and invisibly have my savegame files synchronised between the machines.

5. Cheaper games: People often point out that PCs cost a lot more than consoles. Very true. But, I'd be buying a PC anyway for non-gaming functions. OK, sure, I have to pay a bit more for a gaming PC over a normal PC. But new PC game releases cost around 20 less than the console equivalent. So, if you you're say buying 2 new releases a month, that adds up to almost 500 a year saved, which is easily enough to keep on the upgrade path.

P.

Re:consoles are the key (1)

Crumplecorn (904797) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719007)

Why does that make it better for the person who matter - the gamer?

Because any issues related to compatibility or meeting required specs or even just having a random system crash are almost completely mitigated.

Console multiplayer is much cheaper (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#25721223)

3. Meeces [...] 5. Cheaper games: People often point out that PCs cost a lot more than consoles. Very true. But, I'd be buying a PC anyway for non-gaming functions.

But would you buy four PCs: one for you, two for the kids, and one for their play date? That's what you would need for a four-player keyboard-and-mouse game. And even if your family is rich enough to buy a gaming PC for each player, compare one copy of a $60 console game to four copies of a $40 game. Games designed for gamepads, on the other hand, let four players use one PC, one larger monitor (such as an HDTV), and one copy of the game. It's too bad that virtually no major games designed for multiple gamepads ever make it to the PC.

Re:Console multiplayer is much cheaper (1)

oceanclub (654183) | more than 5 years ago | (#25721389)

"But would you buy four PCs: one for you, two for the kids, and one for their play date?"

Well, no, because I've no kids. :)

But you have a valid point of course; I'm not saying that gaming PCs are ideal for everyone or every situation. As you say, they have an advantage for same-room multiplayer as you point out.

But even in this case, I can see where the kids would have a console and Dad would have his gaming PC where he can frag undisturbed (that's what I intend to do one day!).

P.

Re:consoles are the key (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25718757)

Because most people prefer not buying one extra device sometimes for in excess of $1000 that takes up a lot of space?

Re:consoles are the key (1)

Crumplecorn (904797) | more than 5 years ago | (#25718911)

PCs are better for some types of game, Consoles are for others. If you play on only one platform, you are missing out on some areas (areas which you may not have any interest in though). The primary reason is controls, however there are types of game which favour complete control by the developer over appearance, and others which benefit from actively turning over access to the game's innards to the end-user.

And, if all you want to do is play shootan' games, why would you bother to buy another platform when you can install one on your 'business tool'?

Re:consoles are the key (1)

Vexorian (959249) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719695)

Sorry but it is so easy to justify the purchase of a purchase and so hard to justify purchasing a new gen console... If game companies would stick to consoles they would simply lose market. Besides a console doesn't really stop piracy that much, ever since they began using CDs as well...

Re:consoles are the key (1)

Vortran (253538) | more than 5 years ago | (#25720231)

Because my 2 CPU quad core 3 GHz machine with 8 GB of DDR and dual SLI GeForce BGX 1024 MB 8800GTX is pretty screamin' fast. I can pretty much play anything I want on it and I can emulate consoles.

When the console can emulate other consoles, let me know. I can also burn DVD while compiling code while recording TV and play Half Life 2 at the SAME TIME - and what's more, I can play at 2560 x 1600 on my $1,000 monitor without spending $$$ for an HDTV plasma (much less Mitsubishi LaserVue) screen that can't do even half that resolution.

Vortran Out

How do you dump roms? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#25721341)

my 2 CPU quad core 3 GHz machine with 8 GB of DDR and dual SLI GeForce BGX 1024 MB 8800GTX is pretty screamin' fast.

Seriously, 8 GB of DDR? How long would it take you to play through that much DDR [stepmania.com]?

I can pretty much play anything I want on it and I can emulate consoles.

How do you copy console game cartridges into your PC to run them in an emulator?

When the console can emulate other consoles, let me know.

Wii owners can download emulated games at $5 to $10 a piece in Wii Shop Channel.

and what's more, I can play at 2560 x 1600 on my $1,000 monitor without spending $$$ for an HDTV plasma (much less Mitsubishi LaserVue) screen that can't do even half that resolution.

But how many people can play on your PC at once? I babysit, and I don't want to have to buy a separate PC per child.

Re:consoles are the key (1)

Peeteriz (821290) | more than 5 years ago | (#25720473)

I need a PC at home for business needs, and there is a big bonus at not needing to maintain, buy and worry about another electronic device. It does everything I need, including games as well, so a consle would offer no value to me - getting some games (like GTA) a few months earlier would be a small advantage, but it's not worth enough even to spend the effort to investigate and decide which of the current consoles to choose.

Re:consoles are the key (1)

Draek (916851) | more than 5 years ago | (#25720613)

First, because for most people buying a nice, low-end GPU is easier and cheaper than buying a full-blown console. Yeah, not gonna be playing Crysis on that, but Team Fortress 2 and Guild Wars aren't a problem even in an "ancient" FX5200.

Second, because for MMOs, RTSs and FPSs, controllers suck. Sorry, that's just a fact of life. And while yes, you can often connect a keyboard+mouse combo to a console, finding a place to put them is troublesome (whereas in a computer those problems are already solved).

And third, because there's a much, much, *MUCH* bigger indie dev scene in PC than on consoles. Apparently, free SDK > consistent hardware for most devs, who would've thought.

Re:consoles are the key (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25721383)

Consoles always have the dumbed down version of the game.

bigger menus. fewer choices. no customization. every version of a console game looks and plays exactly the same.

and hey its not the pc version of shooters that come with 'auto aim' enabled by default.

Re:consoles are the key (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 5 years ago | (#25721991)

I'd like to see you play MMOGs on consoles. 3D FPS and RTS without mices on console too. Oh and it doesn't help me when I can't use complex game controllers with four fingers and no thumbs. :(

Re:consoles are the key (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25722057)

Just because you are deformed doesn't mean that consoles are more reliable and require less upgrades when compared to conventional PCs

Who put them in charge? (3, Interesting)

appleprophet (233330) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717979)

My brother and I recently started an independent video game company and I had seen the PCGA covered on Slashdot a few times before. Looking for resources to help us, I called them up asking what they could do for us as a Mac, Windows, and Linux video game developer. They basically straight up said, "well... nothing". To be 100% honest, I do not really know what they do. If I had not seen them on Slashdot, I would not have known they existed.

I look forward to the day when they can do something for us, but until then as a PC game developer, albeit small, I can let you guys know that these guys don't represent us in any way shape or form. However, I wish them luck on their anti-piracy endeavor.

Meanwhile, on our end, we are going to lay off the invasive DRM and instead rely on creating high quality downloadable content and other online features like multiplayer which provide a clear incentive to purchase our game.

Re:Who put them in charge? (0, Troll)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 5 years ago | (#25718253)

I look forward to torrenting your games.

Re:Who put them in charge? (2, Insightful)

Draek (916851) | more than 5 years ago | (#25720797)

"I have gained this from philosophy: that I do without being commanded what others do only from fear of the law" -- Aristotle

Some of us don't need DRM to keep us honest. You'd be wise to do the same.

Re:Who put them in charge? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25721917)

"I have gained this from philosophy: that I do without being commanded what others do only from fear of the law" -- Aristotle

Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison.
- Henry David Thoreau

Re:Who put them in charge? (1)

appleprophet (233330) | more than 5 years ago | (#25721157)

Have fun by yourself in the single player campaign. Good luck torrenting our multiplayer servers.

They'll never learn! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25718141)

Until games start coming with dongles, they will keep being released (cracked, for those not in the know) before even their street dates.
SafeDisc, LaserLock, SecuROM? Don't make me laugh. StarForce? You bet.
The less money a company invests in the scheme, the less money is wasted.

For comparison, a completely new dongle scheme like the ones seen in the 3D/CAD & audio industries could hold perhaps a week, two at max. Yet it doesn't change a thing for the sales of software.

It's like the XKCD comic says... (4, Informative)

ZekoMal (1404259) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719139)

http://www.xkcd.com/488/ [xkcd.com]
Steal it, and you're a criminal. Get the DRM locked media, something happens with technology that makes you have to try and remove the DRM lock just to use what you bought, and you're a criminal too.
Piracy will be way more popular now that every company is scrambling to DRM-lock their products (sort of like the Sony 'rootkit' happy fun time, companies have decided when we pay for something, they can stick whatever they want in their product and let us sort out the mess leftover).

wild tangent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25719439)

wild tangent comes "pre-installed" on a lot of OEM machines (e.g. compaq, dell, hp)

i have cleaned it off many new machines, right after i took them out of the packaging.

i think its funny that wild tangent (freeware/spyware) would care about piracy as they get installed by default on a lot of machines.

Aw how things change. (2, Informative)

Vexorian (959249) | more than 5 years ago | (#25719823)

Of course, DOOM II is a trademark of id Software,
copyright 1994-95, so don't mess with it. Remember, if you
are playing a pirated copy of DOOM II you are going to HELL.
Buy it and avoid an eternity with all the other freeloaders.
If you have any problems playing DOOM II, please call our
technical support line at (212) 686-9432.

This is all the copy protection Doom2 needed - And it was a heck of a money factory, in fact people still buy the doom collector's edition today because the wads can be used on the many ports (BTW id software GPLing the engine didn't stop them from profiting this way)

Well, I tend to miss those times...

There HAS BEEN NO PROGRESS on DRM! (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#25720933)

People decided they hated it 20 years ago! Nothing has changed there. DRM as a technology has continued to fail... just as it did 20 years ago.

DRM is nothing but a technological joke that costs consumers billions of dollars every year.

Let me coin a new saying, like "Git 'Er Done" or "Just Do It": "Just Get Rid Of It".

Actually, the existing "Defective By Design" is even better.

It is easy to reduce piracy... (1)

mahsah (1340539) | more than 5 years ago | (#25721903)

...make buying the game easier then pirating it.

Look at Steam for example. You can preload the game and have it the minute it releases instead of messing around with cracks, and if you ever want to play the game in the future you can redownload it with a click. With the new "Steam Cloud" feature you will even still have your savegames available.

Or you can go with a 0 drm system but many companies are not willing to do that. Still, Steam is better then Securom with its limited activations.

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