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Will Consoles Merge Back Into PCs?

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the it's-a-definite-possibility dept.

PC Games (Games) 356

GamePolitics is running an interview with Randy Stude, president of the PC Gaming Alliance, discussing the future of gaming on the PC and the console. Stude has some interesting thoughts regarding the long-term viability of stand-alone consoles: "The guts of every console should tell you that the capability is there for the PC to act as the central point for all the consoles. If you bought a PC and as part of that equation you said, Okay, when you're on the phone with Dell, 'Hey, Dell, on this PC, this new notebook I'm buying, can you make sure it has the PlayStation 4 option built into it?' Well, why not? Why shouldn't that be the case? [Sony is] certainly not making any money on the hardware. I mean, can't they create a stable enough environment to specify that if Dell's going to sell that notebook and say that it's PlayStation 4 [compatible] that it must have certain ingredients and it must meet certain criteria? Absolutely they could [do] that. Are they going to do it? I don't know. I predict that they will. I predict that all of the console makers over time will recognize that it's too expensive to develop the proprietary solution and recognize the value of collapsing back on the PC as a ubiquitous platform."

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356 comments

FROSTY PISH (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26088411)

Man Love Rules OK

Re:FROSTY PISH (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26088847)

We don't like your kind in these parts.

(In strong Cornish accent)

No.... (5, Insightful)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088423)

Never gonna happen.... I simply can't see that ever happening. It would at least partially mean that companies like Sony or Nintendo need to build components and allow interoperability with what is essentially an open platform. It means releasing control, they won't do that.

Besides, consoles are mostly played at the TV and installed in a fixed way like a DVD Player. It is simply convenient. Connecting a laptop to your TV? Cumbersome!

I personally think that PC gaming is on the way out except for a few niches. My brother bought GTA4, and we simply can't get to run it on his 2 year old PC. He now faces the choice: pay about 1500€ for a new rig in order to play GTA4 at acceptable rates. Or spend +/-450€ on a PS3 and buy the game again....

I recommended him to get the PS3.... Throw in a USB mouse and a USB keyboard and he can play like he is used to.

Re:No.... (3, Informative)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088479)

GTA4 is known to have a terrible PC port. Most recent games would run just fine on a couple-of-year-old pc.
A surprising number of games even run on my parents' TIME (who've now gone bust) pc from 2003, and that has integrated graphics (admittedly it's an integrated geforce 4, not a via or sis crap).

Re:No.... (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088539)

Yes, I know... He preordered it. I didn't find out until the day I actually had to install it on his machine. My wifes PC is from 2003 and runs Half Life 2 just fine. Sure, I did upgrade the graphics card.....

It really is because of the shitty port, but my brother is a die hard GTA fan, so it's either spend a lot of money, or spend a lot less on a console.

Re:No.... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26088573)

My wifes PC is from 2003 and runs Half Life 2 just fine. Sure, I did upgrade the graphics card.....

Imagine that! A computer from 2003 running a game from 2004 with no problems! And it probably would've done it even without upgrading the graphics card.

Re:No.... (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088615)

Actually, it didn't... The ATI in it couldn't cope...

Re:No.... (1)

Chaos Incarnate (772793) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089525)

Then you really cheaped out when you bought it; my mid-2003 machine with a not-top-of-the-line-when-I-bought-it ATI (I had a 9000, 9600 had been the top) handled HL2 and its expansions just fine.

Re:No.... (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089603)

I didn't buy it. It was (and still is) my wifes machine and I didn't know her yet at that point. I never tried HL2 with her old graphics card. I do know that GTA San Andreas was unplayable. That's why I assumed that HL2 wouldn't have run.

Re:No.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26089871)

I'll also add that HL2 has aged especially well compared to most FPS games. It still looks beautiful. That is all.

Re:No.... (4, Insightful)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088631)

I have one thing to add to this.

MMO's are preferably played on PC's.

The multitude of abilities are more easily accessed via keyboard and mouse, and there is a guarantee of enough space for patches/expansions/what have you.

For every other genre though, i agree a console is better.

Re:No.... (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088739)

Yes, but what if consoles add in support for keyboard and mouse? With the harddisks in consoles today, you can have your patches/expansions/what have you....

With HDTV the resolution is even there....

Re:No.... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26088873)

Keyboard and mouse support would be a great improvement for numerous game genres. In fact it would be nice if consoles started packing a keyboard and mouse in with the console. It might offer more incentive for game developers to start adding support for them.

Unless the hard drive in a console is readily replaceable with any size and brand of drive I want to put in it, then it doesn't matter. The largest drive available for the Xbox 360 is a paltry 120GB. For the PS3 it's not much better, only 160GB. My laptop has an internal 360GB drive and my desktop PC has two 1TB drives.

The 30" display on my gaming PC has a maximum resolution of 2560x1600 and cost the same as most 32" 1920x1080 HDTVs. Perhaps I'm just spoiled, but the resolution difference is incredible. At 2560x1600, you really don't even need to use AA since the pixel size is so fine.

Re:No.... (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088945)

On the other hand, you use your computer for far more than only games. Those 160Gig might be more than sufficient for the games only. Reminds me of how the PSP would only sell in the "Mega Pack" version because it came with a 1Gig memory card and the regular version only came with a 32Meg memory card. Well, for my savegames the 32Meg memory card still isn't full! Go figure....

The 30" display on my gaming PC has a maximum resolution of 2560x1600 and cost the same as most 32" 1920x1080 HDTVs. Perhaps I'm just spoiled

Perhaps? Perhaps?!?

Re:No.... (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088953)

Keyboard and mouse support on consoles would be great, especially if a large number of games supported them... Unlike various addon controllers like the steering wheels you can get, which only work with a small handful of games.
Having a console-like device that connects to the TV, has a keyboard and boots games directly by inserting the media is far from a new idea... The Amiga did that, and damn well too.
Console companies are missing a trick here, my parents bought me an Amiga because it could play games and therefore i would be satisfied with it, and it could also be used for doing homework etc...
As the article mentioned, many games need a keyboard and mouse to play properly, and if a console could perform the basic computing tasks most people do they could save themselves the hassle and cost of having to maintain multiple systems.
On the Amiga, there were some annoying games that made you type characters using the joypad, but most games used each IO device where it was most appropriate.

Incidentally, the PS3 uses standard SATA drives, so there is nothing stopping you connecting a bigger one... It's designed to take 2.5" laptop drives internally, but you can actually connect a 3.5" desktop drive if you don't mind having cables hanging out and have an external source of power for it.

Re:No.... (1)

F-3582 (996772) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089529)

What the hell are you guys talking about?

Did anyone ever try to connect your regular USB keyboard and mouse to a PS3? Most Unreal engine games will recognize them out-of-the-box, for example. See, even Age of Empires for PS2 had keyboard and mouse support.

Re:No.... (1)

Kneo24 (688412) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089677)

What the hell are you talking about? There's only a handful of games on consoles that support both mouse and keyboard. Giving a few examples doesn't suddenly mean a multitude of games already have the support.

There's reasons why the support isn't there. Biggest being the advantage in online play. Second biggest being that they aren't standard input devices with the consoles. It's just a waste of money to implement support for those devices in your games if only a handful of people have said input devices.

Re:No.... (1)

Chaos Incarnate (772793) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089553)

The biggest drive that ships with a PS3 is a 160 GB but you can replace it with any 2.5" SATA drive you want.

And what card are you using to drive that 2560x1600 monitor while still getting decent framerates in, say, Crysis?

Re:No.... (5, Interesting)

zehaeva (1136559) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088747)

RTS games are joy to play on consoles then? FPS games? I'll grant you some RPG's and Platformers and a few FPS's designed from the outset to work well on consoles but every other genre than MMO's? ~zehaeva

Re:No.... (2, Insightful)

DuckDodgers (541817) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089579)

Absolutely.

Plus, of course, some first person shooters, roleplaying games, and real time strategy games allow fan-generated content, and it's sure as hell easier to mix and match new features and new levels with a keyboard, mouse, and multi-window editor and file explorer at your disposal than a game pad.

A console is less work to set up and has less hassle for operating system maintenance, firewalls, and anti-virus. It's also cheap. And when a generation of consoles is relatively new, they also have graphics performance reasonably close to the top end for PCs. But the PC is far from dead.

Re:No.... (1)

Kneo24 (688412) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088661)

I'd be surprised if a console game had mouse and keyboard support.

Re:No.... (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088719)

I don't know for sure, because I never tried. I used to have a PS2, and one some games there was mouse & keyboard support.

Re:No.... (1)

Kneo24 (688412) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089597)

You would probably be fooling yourself to think it's common practice. One of the biggest reasons to not have it implemented is for the online play in FPS's. People who would use the mouse and keyboard support would find themselves doing leagues better than the people using the controller.

It can obviously be done, it just won't be standard practice any time soon. Once consoles start coming with mouse and keyboard as a standard input device, then we'll probably see it happen a lot more often.

Re:No.... (1)

steveo777 (183629) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089413)

Really? [wikipedia.org]

Re:No.... (1)

Kneo24 (688412) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089565)

Yes, really. I said "mouse and keyboard", not just a non-standard mouse designed to work for only a few games.

Re:No.... (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089635)

I'd be surprised if a console game had mouse and keyboard support.

Animal Crossing: City Folk for Wii uses the rawther mouse-like pointing feature of the Wii Remote, and it lets players chat with a USB keyboard.

Re:No.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26088729)

The beauty of a PC is it's modular. The solution is to upgrade whatever component is holding the system back. In your case with GTA4, just buy a Geforce 9800 for about $100 and you'll be playing almost any game out there at maximum settings.

If it's a laptop you can simply upgrade the MXM with one that has a better GPU. That should only set you back $100-$200 for a Geforce 8600-9600 range module.

If it uses integrated graphics, then it was a poor choice for gaming from the beginning and a new laptop with a decent (Geforce 8600/9600), dedicated GPU should only run about $800-900. Considering that a PS3 costs about $500, it still makes more sense to just fork out the extra money for a machine that can do vastly more than a game console.

Re:No.... (2, Insightful)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088821)

Considering that a PS3 costs about $500, it still makes more sense to just fork out the extra money for a machine that can do vastly more than a game console.

Except that for the PS3, there will still be games made for it in 5 years. A 5 year old PC? Upgrading? I don't think so. So, yes, I could upgrade the graphics card for 100€ and not be sure that it works correctly. That's the main problem: I have no idea if "just buying a GeForce 9800" will do. Nobody can guarantee me that.

My brother buys his games anyway.... So 50€ for a boxed PC game or 50€ for a boxed PS3 game are no difference. The games coming out in 2 years will not work on his PC and as such he will have to fork over those 800€-900€ (you're really optimistic for gaming grade hardware). Every, fucking, two years. The PS3 will happily run in two years with all the games coming out for it. Sure, the next gen console will be around the corner.

Longevity for consoles is much larger than longevity for gaming PCs.

Re:No.... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26089057)

That isn't exactly true. In fact I play modern games on a PC that is originally from 2002. It still uses an old Pentium 4 (non-HT even). Over the years I've upgraded a part here and a part there. New motherboard with PCIe slots, more RAM, more powerful power supply and a new video card. The total cost of these upgrades was only about $300 spread over a period of almost 7 years. It runs just about any game I can throw at it very well. Looking at the requirements for GTA4, my "old" PC far exceeds all of the recommendations with exception to my single core P4 and that's probably only because they decided to use a software based physics engine.

Nobody will guarantee anything, but if you have any knowledge of building PCs then you'll basically be able to "guarantee" it yourself. Find the bottleneck in the system, replace the necessary parts and say hello to practically a brand new computer.

In addition, all PC games allow the user to customise settings to suit their computer. The user can find the right balance of settings that pleases them if their hardware isn't capable of handling full settings. On a console game you have no such ability. You're stuck with whatever limitations the console has. The way you make it sound is like a console somehow magically increases in performance over the years. A 5 year old console is no better than a 5 year old gaming PC and the truth is the PS3/360 were comparatively underpowered when they were released and now look simply abysmal next to a modern PC game. So yeah, a new game might run on a 5 year old PS3, but it will also run on a 5 year old PC with the right game settings.

Re:No.... (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089255)

The only question that I have for you is: did you try GTA4?

I frankly don't think so. I am writing this on a 2.6GHz HT P-IV with 2Gig RAM and a GeForce FX5500. Will it run GTA4? Hell no! Could I even upgrade it to make it run at lowest-of-lowest settings? Hello no! The machine is AGP-based for crying out loud!

Now, my brothers PC is much better. Over time we did upgrade it: from single core to dual-core. From 512Meg RAM to 2Gig RAM. The only thing we didn't upgrade is his graphics card which is a GeForce 6600GT and most likely the reason why GTA4 doesn't run. The minimum system requirements for GTA4 are Dual-Core in the 2GHz range, 1Gig RAM and a 256 MB NVidia 7900. That is minimum, which every gamer knows means "won't run". So will buying an 512MB NVidia 8600 (Recommended) solve the problem? I haven't understood Nvidias numbering scheme in ages. Would a 9500GT work (~76€)? I have no idea...

The adaptable settings are a red herring, because you know as well as I do that PC gamers won't accept the lowest setting. They'll run out and buy new hardware.... even if 3 years ago they said they would never do that.

Console games "just work" and even tend to get better over time. Have you ever seen GTA San Andreas on the PS2? That game was insanely well made on a underpowered MIPS based machine. Sure, I'm sure it will run on my 2003 P-IV, but would it run on a 2000 PC (that's when the PS2 came out)? Even with a few upgrades? I honestly don't think so. And the port of GTA San Andreas was actually a good port.

Re:No.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26089585)

I haven't tried it, but the only reason I can see that it would require a better CPU is because it's using software physics. Other new games that use NVIDIA's PhysX run just fine on my PC since both the graphics and physics processing are offloaded to my GPU. If I want to play GTA4 then I might get a new CPU, but this little P4 has had a very long run and is still capable for most things. A quad core Phenom and new motherboard will cost me less than $200 USD. All of the other hardware could be transplanted from the P4. With something like that, GTA4 would run and I'd still have extra power to burn.

If your brother has a decent dual core setup, then a 512MB 9800GT would be more than adequate to run GTA4. The 8600GT is listed as their recommended requirement and the 9800GT is on the order of 3-4 times as powerful as that. A good site for finding specs on the various GPUs is www.gpureview.com [gpureview.com] . Here is a technical comparison [gpureview.com] between the 8600GT and 9800GT.

Adaptable settings are NOT a red herring. Many gamers will tone down their settings to get playable framerates, especially for online games. Some games offer higher levels of control, so for example you could reduce the details of specific things that aren't as noticeable in game.

The GTA SA comparison isn't a good one. The PC version of GTA SA was practially a new game since it was completely overhauled to take advantage of the more powerful PC hardware.

Keyboard/mouse suck on console! (2, Insightful)

LurkingOnSlashdot (1378465) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088797)

And where exactly would a person use a keyboard and mouse in their living room? Certainly not on their lap. Probably the only choice is to pull up your coffee table and crouch over to use the controls. Highly awkward to say the least. This is the reason PC gaming will never die. Some games can only comfortably be played at your computer desk.

Re:Keyboard/mouse suck on console! (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088915)

Probably the only choice is to pull up your coffee table and crouch over to use the controls.

That's exactly how I use my Asus EEE PC to surf on the web in the living room. Especially if I wan to type a slashdot comment. So, what's the problem?

Re:Keyboard/mouse suck on console! (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089025)

People used to play on Amigas and C64s connected to their TV all the time...
PC gaming is an unnecessary hassle, too many variables to contend with, poor longevity of the hardware (before it becomes obsolete for running new games, not before it fails), hassle configuring and maintaining the os and associated software including fighting against drm schemes, too many different incompatible types of hardware and their drivers, background processes hampering game performance etc.

If you have a machine solely for gaming, then it may as well be a machine thats guaranteed to play all games released for it, plays the games simply by inserting the media, and only plays the games and doesn't hassle you with anything else.
If you use a PC for other things, then the presence of games and their drm schemes are probably having a negative impact on your other activities anyway.

If instead of buying a gaming PC, spec up a cheaper machine that will handle everything other than games that you do on it, see how much money you saved and see if that money will buy a PS3...

As someone else pointed out, all we really need on consoles are support for keyboards and mice, which shouldn't be terribly difficult now that all modern consoles support USB. Where you position the console is up to you, as is what type of games you play on it.

Incidentally, i always use a keyboard on my lap, i don't even have a desk... I'd not use a mouse on my lap simply because it has nowhere to rest... There might be a market for gaming chairs which have places to put the keyboard and mouse.

Indie games don't run on console! (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089767)

If you have a machine solely for gaming, then it may as well be a machine thats guaranteed to play all games released for it,

So how does a new company without a prior published title for Windows release games for it? The market failure as of 1985 to the present is that virtually all machines designed solely for gaming happen to use cryptographic techniques to make sure that only established companies can publish games on the system.

Where you position the console is up to you, as is what type of games you play on it.

If a hobbyist can't break out gcc and make his own game for a console, is the latter really up to me?

Re:Keyboard/mouse suck on console! (1)

RulerOf (975607) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089227)

And where exactly would a person use a keyboard and mouse in their living room?

That's exactly the problem with keyboard/mouse in the traditional living room. Sure, you can use a keyboard on your lap, but there's just no comfortable place to put the mouse. If you put the mouse down on the surface of the couch, it's too low, hard to use, and hurts your shoulder. If you put it on the armrest, it's too high and the surface isn't wide enough.

Players per machine (2, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089709)

And where exactly would a person use a keyboard and mouse in their living room?

And where exactly would people use four keyboards and mice around one monitor? There are a lot of families that can afford one console and one HDTV, and one PC (with integrated graphics) and monitor for Firefox and OpenOffice.org, but not four PCs, four monitors, and four copies of each game.

Re:No.... (1)

Negatyfus (602326) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088923)

1500â? I'll advise you to do some more research, as I've done recently for a potential new gaming PC. You can upgrade your entire system to a decent new rig for under 600â. It's not cheap as in console cheap, but 1500â it is not. Also, PC games are generally cheaper. I hope PC doesn't die out. :(

Re:No.... (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088977)

My brothers PC cost 1000€ two years ago. What is reusable? The harddisk and the optical drives. All the rest needs to be replaced. [1] So, okay, take 600€ to get a "okay rig" (Quad-Core, SLI GFX card possible for that price? Because it seems GTA4 only runs okay on such rigs) That new machine is going to play GTA4 fine (I must assume), but in two years GTA5 comes out and he'll be faced with the same upgrade costs. However GTA5 will run on the PS3 because consoles have a much longer "lifecyle".

Console games seem to be the same price as PC games where I live.

[1] Also note that upgrades take a lot of time. A lot of MY time.

Re:No.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26089609)

Or just adjust your way of thinking of games you have to play. Support developers that don't impose ridiculous hardware requirements. I spent $500 on a system two years ago, and it plays stuff just fine, Cyrsis, Warhammer Online. Sure the water effects may be a little less sparkly than the latest $1000 8675309GSTXLC-Extreme-edition-SLI video cards, but I can live with that. If your brother is spending $1500 for a single game (everything else he plays works just fine on the current PC?), something is wrong with that line of reasoning...

Re:No.... (2, Insightful)

Kneo24 (688412) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089715)

Then your brother specced his PC wrong. You don't need to spend that amount of money to build a gaming PC. Some people do because they like bleeding edge. Bleeding edge isn't necessary...

Multiplayer among gamers in one household (2, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089819)

1500[credits]? I'll advise you to do some more research, as I've done recently for a potential new gaming PC. You can upgrade your entire system to a decent new rig for under 600[credits].

How many players can play at once on a 600[credit] system? Where I live, I can buy an LCD TV + Wii + three controllers for 1000[credits], compared to 2400[credits] for four gaming PCs.

Also, PC games are generally cheaper.

Not if you need four copies for four players, the way most major-label PC games are set up. I can buy a WiiWare game for about 10[credits], and I can play it with neighbors/cousins that I happen to be babysitting.

Re:No.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26088947)

I had the same plan but it was with UT3 as opposed to GTA, it's not a bad idea but you need to remember that UT3 is (to my knowledge) currently the only PS3 game that supports mouse and keyboard at the moment. UT3 is great on the PS3, but you're stuck with PS3 servers so wave goodbye to any chance of playing with your 'PC friends'.

If you're a PC gamer and you like your FPS games you're best just buying a new rig unless you want to play with a controller.

I was really pissed off that there was no native mouse/KB support for the PS3 Orange box; my solution was to buy a FragFX (http://www.splitfish.com), it's OK but as the 'mouse' is merely emulating an analogue stick it's close but not quite the same as a mouse.
Rather frustrating really.

There's also the XFPS (http://www.totalconsole.com/servlet/the-259/XFPS-360-PLAYSTATION-3/Detail), yet I've also heard it's not quite the same.

It seems either way you'd be shelling out, personally I'd stick with the PC for FPS.

Re:No.... (2, Insightful)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089099)

Never gonna happen.... I simply can't see that ever happening. It would at least partially mean that companies like Sony or Nintendo need to build components and allow interoperability with what is essentially an open platform. It means releasing control, they won't do that.

Besides, unlike Sony or Microsoft, Nintendo is selling their Wiis at a profit - and they're still in short supply, not having dropped their price by even one penny since they were first introduced, unlike the other two.

Thursday,December11,200822:18 [slashdot.org]

Business and Law
By Wolfgang Gruener
Thursday, December 11, 2008 22:18

Chicago (IL) - Nintendo has never seen a more successful month of game console shipments than November 2008: We knew before the release of NPD's November 2008 numbers that Nintendo was on track break its November 2007 U.S. sales record of 981,000 sold Wiis, but it we were stunned to see that the company was apparently able move more than 2 million consoles last months. Microsoft also had an excellent month, but Sony's PS3 is clearly trailing its rivals at this time: Only one out of ten game consoles sold was a PS3 in November. Extra: Shipment and Market Share Charts.

Microsoft may have made the most noise after Black Friday, but it was Nintendo that dominated the month and creamed both the Xbox 360 and the PS3. 2,040,000 Wiis were sold in the U.S. in November, according to NPD - which is up from 981,000 units in November 2007 and even shattered the best month of the Wii so far - December 2007 - which saw sales of 1,350,000 units. The Wii is the first game console to break the 2-million barrier.

So, if you're #1 in the marketplace, and, unlike your competitors, you're making a profit on every unit you sell, why would you want to give it up? It's not like you can't find the XBox selling for as low as $199 new, but people would still pay more for a Wii.

Re:No.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26089173)

Yes indeedy. You win. Vested interest guy from "PC Gamers Alliance" fails. What a crappy story.

Re:No.... (1)

Amphetam1ne (1042020) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089223)

Euro 1500? Are you getting it gold plated or somthing?

Presuming that you current kb, mouse, monitor, etc are fine you can build a new box powerfull enough to play GTA4 with good settings for under £500.

Re:No.... (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089301)

No... Quad-Core, 4Gig RAM, perhaps even 8 or 16, and SLI Graphics cards. That's gonna set you back. Besides £500 is still more than the €400 for a PS3 which is guaranteed hassle-free.

Re:No.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26089329)

Connecting a laptop to your TV? Cumbersome!

Seriously? Even now when every TV has a VGA, DVI, and/or HDMI connector? I've got 2 TVs, both with computers plugged in to them. My 7 year old daughter could do it.

And there absolutely no way you can convince me that you need to shell out 1500 euros for PC that can play GTA4. I haven't upgraded my PCs (except for getting a $150 video card) in over three years and they all play everything I throw at them ( COD4, 5, L4D, Grid, Crysis, POP, Spore, etc...) on the market at 720p or better resolution)

I could build you an entirely new PC for $500 (probably 300-400) that can do even better.

Now granted, A console is, in general, much easier to deal with than a PC, BUT if you are going to have a PC, and you pretty much need one anyway these days, You may as well be able to play console games on it.

As it is, my 4 year old Athlon 64 2.0Ghz PC with a now very cheap Geforce 9600 card in it, hooked up to a 720p Projector, meets or exceeds the graphics quality of any console. Plus it runs MediaPortal.

Re:No.... (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089575)

Seriously? Even now when every TV has a VGA, DVI, and/or HDMI connector? I've got 2 TVs, both with computers plugged in to them. My 7 year old daughter could do it.

Yes, cumbersome. Not because of its complexity but because the laptop will not stay connected. A console gets installed like a DVD player. A laptop will "wander" around the house. So it's disconnect/reconnect. Finding a good spot to put the laptop, and on top ugly cables in front of your TV instead of nicely bundled at the back. Guess you're not married? Ugly cables are an issue for any married geek.

you need to shell out 1500 euros for PC that can play GTA4

From wikipedia: Intel Core 2 Quad 2.4 GHz, AMD Phenom X3 2.1 GHz 2.5 GB 512 MB Nvidia 8600 / 512 MB ATI 3870 [wikipedia.org] . It might be possible to build something like that for 500€ (Still I doubt it), but in two years time he'll have exactly the same problem when GTA5 comes out. Not so with a console.

Re:No.... (1)

Kneo24 (688412) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089775)

You keep assuming the problem is with the format, not the porting of the game. The game is ported horribly. It's an unoptimized POS. There are plenty of games which do more and look better that can run on older hardware. The platform is not at fault here. The developers are at fault for not doing a proper job.

How is PC to TV cumbersome? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089665)

Connecting a laptop to your TV? Cumbersome!

With a console, I need to plug one end of a cable into the multi-out port and the other end into my Vizio HDTV. With a PC, all I need to do is plug one end of a VGA+audio cable into the VGA and headphone jacks of the PC and the other end into the same TV. So what makes connecting your PC to your HDTV is no more cumbersome than connecting a console? Or are you assuming SDTV?

Re:How is PC to TV cumbersome? (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089773)

Answer here [slashdot.org]

I do not have a HDTV yet and it's not on my wishlist. I never had any trouble connecting any hardware to my TV since we have SCART over here. I don't know about the connection technologies of HDTV and I seriously don't care.

It is probably possible - but I hope not... (1)

whyloginwhysubscribe (993688) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088441)

I guess this is a possibility for the future - I can see the advantage for the console manufacturers, but it worries me that there is a trend towards licensing hardware.

The console manufacturers make money because it is difficult to copy their games - as opposed to on the hardware, as stated in the article. So they can mark up the price of the games, and make it necessary for game developers to have their games licensed. But the beauty of my PC is that I can run whatever I want on it. I won't be impressed if my PC manufacturer suddenly want to charge me to use the full capability of the machine that he has sold me!

Re:It is probably possible - but I hope not... (1)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089081)

That's one thing that always gets me with games. PC games can come out between £25 and £35 (possibly up to £40 if it's FIFA or something similar), where as console games tend to start at £40 in the shops! Yes, a console is cheaper first off, but then you're slapped with the extra later on so that they can make their money back.

It's not even as if the quality of consoles has been great - it's only the latest generation that actually begins to approach pC quality graphics/resolution! I can't find the article now, but in the last couple of months I read about bottom-end cards that out-spec consoles and are available cheaply. The only reason PC games don't run as well seems to be because developers don't know how to optimise and just go "oh, they can upgrade it so it doesn't matter".

I don't think it would happen... (2, Insightful)

Darundal (891860) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088475)

...because one of the primary reasons people buy consoles is that it is both cheaper than a gaming PC and, for a lot of people, easier to set up. Having that as an option with a PC is going to most assuredly complicate things and raise the cost dramatically. Losing money selling the consoles is something the companies have accepted anyway, because they expect to make up the money through licensing fees/royalties and other sources.

I honestly could see the reverse happening though. Hell, it already is happening to a degree with the PS3 (although most people never use it as a PC and that certainly isn't a major factor in PS3 sales). The only major player I could see not doing it (at least for a while) would be Nintendo, since they are traditionally (not counting the networking features of the Famicom) conservative about adding non-gaming related features to their machines.

Re:I don't think it would happen... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26088537)

Besides which, Nintendo has the least incentive to merge like this. They aren't losing money on hardware to begin with - they're making a profit. So merging would basically be money OUT of their pocket.

Re:I don't think it would happen... (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089069)

Nintendo also have the least reason not to merge them...
Sony manufacture PCs, making the PS3 a fully functional computer would harm sales...
MS make software for PCs, so a fully blown xbox computer would also harm their sales.

A fully functional browser, email client and simple writing/drawing apps on a console would result in a lot of people not needing a separate computer.

Sony could do this tomorrow, they already offer linux compatibility on the PS3, all they need is to provide a simplified distro such as the ones provided with netbooks, ship it on dvd and make it trivial to install (to the point of just booting the dvd and waiting a few mins) or even supply it pre-installed. But see above for why they don't.

Re:I don't think it would happen... (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089335)

Does Sony make desktop computers? I'm just asking, I've never seen any. Laptop, yes, but a console would compete within the desktop market not within the laptop market?

Am I missing something?

Re:I don't think it would happen... (1)

Salamande (461392) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089607)

They used to make Vaio desktops, but they don't seem to do anything beyond laptops anymore.

Re:I don't think it would happen... (1)

macshit (157376) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089761)

Does Sony make desktop computers? I'm just asking, I've never seen any.

Yes: http://www.vaio.sony.co.jp/Products/RM6/ [sony.co.jp]

Pretty unlikely (3, Insightful)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088493)

Ironically, though, the biggest weakness of consoles (that they are "closed boxes") is also their greatest strength and, I believe the reason why this article is wide of the mark.

After all, with a console, you buy a game, you go home, you stick it in the drive and you play the game. Even with Sony's best efforts to thwart that on the PS3 by demanding firmware updates every 10 minutes, the system hasn't changed much. By contrast, two of the last 4 PC games I bought (Spore and Far Cry 2) have required me to faff around with drivers before they would run. Now, sure, I'm a reasonably advanced user by the standards of the general public (though a veritable neophyte in slashdot terms), but this is awkward and irritating.

There's also the price issue. A console will set you back a few hundred dollars, but you then don't need to replace it for 4-5 years. A gaming PC will set you back at least twice as much (and frequently more) and will generally be obsolete within two and a half years, unless you're willing to sink a lot of money into interim upgrades.

Now, even if you get around the ease-of-use issue by basically putting a console inside the PC (anybody remember the old Mega-PC, which had a Megadrive/Genesis inside a PC case?) you are still going to be in a situation where the thing is locked into a piece of hardware with a far faster obsolescence cycle.

This is before you even start to get into ergonomic issues, such as the fact that the general usage pattern is that people use PCs with a monitor at a desk, but play console games on their TV while sat on the sofa.

The greatest strength of consoles (2, Insightful)

pentup (773484) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088495)

is an environment that users can't screw up. If you move these systems onto a computer, they are then going to have to compete with background processes eating up CPU cycles, malware, and the occasional stupid user. I can't imagine why console manufacturer would want to deal with that kind of stuff. Wouldn't it then just become a computer game that you can't play with out first purchasing a "PS3 License"?

now we know who funds malware (2, Insightful)

cheekyboy (598084) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088619)

So its the console makers funding the malware bot networks to make PCs so crap :) ahhhhhhhhhhhh

Closed system suck tho. And making a PC with cheapest parts + $99 video card can be done cheaper than a ps3, especially outside USA, and thats the key here, OUTSIDE usa, where its a known fact that those corps like to sell in USA low, and over charge outside to make americans feel special.

Already done with arcade hardware (1)

wildzer0 (889523) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088501)

Previously you had all sorts of different arcade systems, first they were game specific hardware, then you had "systems" per manufacturer (Sega System 16 [system16.com] etc.), and today everyone just builts their arcade games around standard PC hardware [system16.com] , some are even running Windows.

Sorry, but no (1)

Imaria (975253) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088529)

Except the draw of consoles is A) graphics on big-ass televisions, and B) no hardware upgrade costs. They're consistent across all users, no complications. Why go back to PCs?

I can think of a few reasons why it wont happen (3, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088543)

1) The games industry is already shifting away from the PC to closed platforms like consoles because they claim they make more profit due to not having the piracy issues they get on the PC. To them, this would be seen as a step backwards.

2) If one company manages to screw up the latest console plugin does the company want to be associated with that- Microsoft owned up to the original RROD problems and put money aside to deal with it, they've resolved the issues but to this day get slated for the problem. Would they really want to put themselves in a position where the latest Dell notebook has poor venting around Dell's hardware design is making their component fail and they get the blame for it? It's one thing if it's their fault, but if it's a 3rd party's fault and they risk the blame?

3) Do they really want to spend money offering support to the various hardware developers that want to implement their addons? Do they want to deal with compatibility issues? Do they want to spend and money time keeping their systems secure whilst keeping them open enough to integrate?

Short reply: NO. (1)

Tei (520358) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088549)

Long reply: No.

Because Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo love to have his locked down platform where can do anything. And the PC architecture is everything but good. And people want the "easy to use"-ism that consoles provide.
Maybe could evolve to become more like a Mac, but that is.

Consoles as the secure PC platform (5, Insightful)

ludomancer (921940) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088569)

PC's are too "open" for the comfort of many industries. By moving focus to more restrictive consoles, companies regain their control. Once they have control, the ability to push ads you can't block, monitor what you're doing for marketing, and limit what you are allowed to do or not do with media, consoles will eventually come full-circle so that users will eventually be using them for the same things PC users have been, only in safe, friendly, controlled environment.

Suckers.

Re:Consoles as the secure PC platform (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088663)

PC's are too "open" for the comfort of many industries. By moving focus to more restrictive consoles, companies regain their control. Once they have control, the ability to push ads you can't block, monitor what you're doing for marketing, and limit what you are allowed to do or not do with media, consoles will eventually come full-circle so that users will eventually be using them for the same things PC users have been, only in safe, friendly, controlled environment.

Suckers.

that's what mod chips are for.

Re:Consoles as the secure PC platform (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26089093)

None of which work on the current range of Wii and 360 consoles, and the PS3 remains un-hacked. MS and Nintendo left the security lax on their early models to sell more units, piracy isn't much of a concern for newer systems and it gets people buying them knowning full well how easy it is to get a reasonable games library for free. As they gained market share and large volumes, each model make it harder for the modchip pirates. These days they don't need pirates to get the systems going, and this is why the easy security bypasses are removed. Sony forgot this pattern and have paid the price.

Re:Consoles as the secure PC platform (1)

zehaeva (1136559) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088837)

biggest problem is that if all the hardware out there is in the form of consoles then there is nothing but consoles for all of those enterprising individuals who love to tinker with software and hardware(read pirates). you would quickly see people jail breaking, as it were, their consoles with additional hardware or software upgrades to use the systems as the end user wants, not how Sony/MS/Nintendo wants.

The hardware is in the hands of the enemy and you'll have a hard time preventing anyone from cracking open a bank vault when they own it and can do whatever with it in the privacy of their own home.

Fallout 3 was leaked on the internet some 20 days before its release for the 360. Piracy will just migrate to the majority platform and we'll still have the same situation as we have now.

I do believe you are right that the hardware and software devs have this idea, this belief, that IF they could control the hardware in some way then everything will be all right. But that is a horrible fantasy to live in. Imagine being the owner of a bank that had its enter bank vault stolen (yeah I know not logistically realistic but go out on a limb for me will ya? ^^), are you going to have the warm and fuzzies just cause the walls are 24inches of solid steal with those glass tampering mechanisms? ~zehaeva

Re:Consoles as the secure PC platform (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089129)

It's not the "security" aspect of consoles which makes them attractive...
Piracy occurs on consoles anyway, just look at the mod scene or go visit thepiratebay and see how many consoles games are available to download.
The advantage of a console is that the hardware is static... Games developers are not saddled with compatibility middleware, they can bypass it and take full advantage of the hardware, and end users have the convenience of knowing that any game they buy for their console will work out of the box with zero hassle, and they don't have to read and understand the system requirements list, deal with buggy drm schemes or worry about background tasks including malware from interfering with the game.

Re:Consoles as the secure PC platform (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088861)

PC's are too "open" for the comfort of many industries. By moving focus to more restrictive consoles, companies regain their control. Once they have control, the ability to push ads you can't block, monitor what you're doing for marketing, and limit what you are allowed to do or not do with media, consoles will eventually come full-circle so that users will eventually be using them for the same things PC users have been, only in safe, friendly, controlled environment.

Suckers.

We're witnessing that same dynamic with cell phones. The whole "walled garden" phenomenon is going to have to be dealt with by government trust-busting because there's no way the consumers would ever have enough power to force it on their own.

Re:Consoles as the secure PC platform (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26088919)

I watched a youtube video by some game maker (well, previous game maker i think ... it was a google tech talk iirc)

Anyway, one of the things this guy was adamant about was that its very important to be able to use your hardware to its maximum ability. And I imagine its very painful to do this when your hardware can be arbirarily different.

of course any buisness man worth his weight in buzzwords will be staring at the forced ads so hard that it will take a bucket of cold ice water to get their attention.

In the year 2000... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26088621)

First of all, there will always be gaming on desktops/laptops. People who say that PC gaming will collapse and end are absolutely wrong. For as long as there have been computers, one of the many uses people have put them to is gaming. As long as there are computers, there will be games for them.

As for the console market collapsing back to PCs, I don't know. Anything is possible. And it's impossible to tell the future. But he makes a very good point.

The projected longevity of the PS3 is what, 10 years? That's a relatively long time in the computer world. And like someone else said, there is little money to be made in hardware.

All you have to do is create a standard. This computer is PS4-Capable. As for the closed-nature of consoles... All Sony has to do is create a "PS4" OS that you have to buy to install, or a software environment required to play their games. Charge a fee and require a registration, and you have a "virtual console" that can be installed on any PS4-capable machine.

All you need is the PS4 Gaming Software and a USB-controller, and you're in business.

Or vice-versa? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26088645)

Perhaps we'll see console manufacturers putting off-the-shelf PC hardware into a plastic box with a proprietory opperating system and a patented brand name and calling it a console. Wait a minute...

Cortina

Consoles are already becoming PC's. (1)

Kneo24 (688412) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088675)

Look at the PS3. You can turn it into a PC if you so choose. The choice is already there. I just think Stude has it wrong on how it will happen.

The other way around (3, Interesting)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088715)

The far more likely situation I would think is that you'd have a DRM locked console with a virtualized PC running on top where you could run anything you want. You'd have a simple "game mode/PC mode" switch to not mess with what they already have. It wouldn't do much for gaming, but it'd run pretty much all the basic utilities of a home PC without needing a separate box.

I think it could be a valuable supplement to those that only have a laptop, which is quite many these days. Sure it might sound a little odd writing a letter on your huge livingroom TV but I'd rather go with a 40"+ TV and a full-sized wireless keyboard than the laptop. Obviously if you have a proper desktop that's better, but many don't.

Re:The other way around (1)

loafula (1080631) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089119)

The PS3 is already an example of this- you can install linux on it right out of the box. It's funny though, pc fonts are designed to be read from a position a few feet in front of a monitor in the 20" range. When you start displaying websites on a 40" tv from 7-10' away, things become way too tiny.

This goes back and forth (4, Insightful)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088825)

This is going to be like the whole debate with thin client and fat client, centralized vs. decentralized computing, etc. It's always going to go back and forth.

Back in the PSX and PS2 era, it became stupid to try to keep up with PC gaming. A really good video card would cost as much as a proper console and the console would remain playable far longer whereas the computer would become outdated far more quickly. Game on consoles, work on computers, no-brainer.

With this generation, the consoles are getting too damn expensive. By the time you factor in accessories, you easily spend as much on them as PC's now. It's actually getting back to the point where if you already need a PC, it's just cheaper to spend extra to turn it into a gaming machine rather than gettin a work PC and a gaming rig.

Xbox 360 - was around $299
Extra controller - $50
Charging kit for a controller - $30
wireless adapter - $75
if you decide the 20gb drive is too small, you want the 120 - $200
memory card to serve as a backup to the hard drive - $50
headphones so you don't wake up the read of the house at night - $75

$779. And if you decided to upgrade the TV from the ol' CRT to a proper HDTV to look nice with the console, $1000 and up.

Re:This goes back and forth (1)

Computershack (1143409) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088917)

But you're forgetting one thing...

In 4 years time, that console will still be playing new releases at decent framerates. There'll be no worries about whether you need more RAM, a faster CPU or graphics card. It'll just work. Can you honestly say that about PCs? Can you honestly say that your 4 year old PC will play the latest game with all features enabled as the developer intended it at the native resolution of the display or will you have to turn some of the stuff down?

Re:This goes back and forth (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089393)

He's also forgetting that if he does not play games on his PC, it will last much longer. I'm typing this on a PC from 2003 with some minor upgrades. For my day to day computing needs it is more than sufficient.

So, due to the fact that one doesn't play games, makes your PC longevity go up.

Re:This goes back and forth (3, Insightful)

bi_boy (630968) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089053)

Your post almost makes a good point about spending money on a gaming PC instead of a console except the total is not $1000 and up. It's simply the price of the console. $300-$400. Current generation video cards alone will meet or double that cost. Really, it was a stretch to try to include all of those accessories as a TCO for a gaming console when really it is just the cost of the console for the average gamer.

As stated many times before the main strong point of consoles (used to be at least) that they just worked. Buy game, put game in console, play game. No drivers, no wacky DRM raping your dataz and privacy, no "oh wow I really need to upgrade my videocard!" moments. There will always be a place for PC gaming but to think it will extinguish the market for consoles is foolhardy.

Re:This goes back and forth (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089171)

But consider...

Extra controller - only if you want 2 people to play on one console at the same time, is this even commonly done on a PC? I've never seen that so it's an unfair comparison.
Wireless - assuming you want to use the networking capabilities wirelessly, many people are perfectly happy with cables, my xbox is under the tv and the phoneline terminates next to the antenna socket for the tv, so the dsl router was already there.
Bigger drive - or you could save money by buying the machine with the bigger drive already.
Headphones - you would need headphones on a PC too.
HDTV - wouldn't you want to buy a good TV anyway, for you know watching tv programs?

Re:This goes back and forth (1)

will_die (586523) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089649)

So what is the cost for the yearly x-box live, the extra costs for downloadable content that PCs get for free and the extra cost you pay for the software vs what you can purchase it for on the PC.

Look familiar? (1)

Robyrt (1305217) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089651)

Now let's compare that to taking your old PC and turning it into a gaming rig:

New graphics card - $299
New laser mouse - $50
Battery charger for the mouse - $30
More hard drive and RAM - $75
New CPU, if you decide yours is too slow - $200
Backup to the hard drive - $50
Headphones - $75

$779. And if you decided to upgrade your monitor from the ol' CRT to a big flatscreen or dual monitor setup, $900 and up.

PC/Consoles (1)

TOGSolid (1412915) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088827)

The big problem with consoles is portability.
You can't take them on the road without completely rebuilding one into a console laptop (which your average person can't do without completely fucking the board up). For me, a console is totally worthless since I spend most of my time out of the house. However, if you were to have some sort of console laptop, you'd still be stuck with the fact that you'd need multiple systems if you want to play all the games. The only way a system like this would be logistically feasible would be if Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo joined forces to put out one system that could do everything and that has 0 chance of ever happening.

The concept of a pc/console hybrid is nice sounding and all, but sometimes the chocolate needs to stay out of the peanut butter. A hobbled desktop wouldn't really be all that useful and wouldn't have the appeal that a cheap pc does. Likewise, a console with some desktop capabilities would be ripe for abuse unless user access was severely crippled, which defeats the point of doing this in the first place.

It's a neat thought, but the more likely scenario is that consoles continue to be the restricted home use enviroments that they are with the companies slowly adding more functionality that the user can't tamper with.

Correct - but not the PC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26088853)

I agree with everything except the part about merging into the PC. Instead it will merge into the Mac. The last successful OS launch for the PC was XP in 2001. Almost 8 years now of going nowhere.

There will always be both. (4, Insightful)

EWAdams (953502) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088891)

The PC is optimized for one person to use at a distance of maybe 0.5 m. It sits on a desk. It is a lousy multi-player device.

The console is optimized for multiple people to use at a distance of 2 m. It sits in the living room. It is an excellent multi-player device, and, even if equipped with a keyboard and mouse, a highly inconvenient personal computer.

This is in addition to the cost reasons already cited.

Actually PC Console for... (1)

emanem (1356033) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088971)

FPS (mouse+keyb is unbeatable) Prove for this is the fact that afaik there are no servers with mixed population for games like CoD 4, Sony told PC players would have a natural advantage. RTS (try play SC, Wc3 TFT or C&C with a joypad) Good luck playing a RTS with consoles. MORPG (updates, disk space, customization) Try to think to run WoW on a PS3 not having the chance to add any of the addons. Pathetic. If you say "but then we'll attach a keyb+mouse to PS3/Xbox360" then think that you'll need a desk to play on. And that probably you want to browse the net. Read ./ . Have a chat with gaim or on your preferred IRC channel. And maybe you're watching a movie on the other screen while you're waiting your guildies ready to raid/your teammates to come online to play some Team DM/CTF. If you think that PC games is for niches, ask yourself how much $$ are making WoW, how many people plays at FPS and RTS... Cheers,

Forget the 'open platform' and 'use a TV' bollocks (1)

EdZ (755139) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089049)

The reason consoles and PC are separate is because every console uses the same hardware. You buy a PS3, and it will work in the same way as another PS3 (barring minor chip revisions, carefully checked to be backwards compatible). You can easily tailor your code to take advantage of the specific platform, introducing lots of little tricks to speed things up.
On a PC, however, you have to code for as many hardware devices as possible. Instead of optimising, you're generalising. For a PC to also act as a console, it would either:
a) Have to PERFECTLY emulate the hardware of the console, in real time
b) Contain the same hardware as the console.
c) code as generally as possible, in which case why the hell are you coding for a console anyway?
(a) is technically difficult without an order of magnitude or more processing power than the emulated console, and (b) is just as or more expensive as the console itself.

Re:Forget the 'open platform' and 'use a TV' bollo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26089797)

a) Don't emulate at the hardware level...attack virtualization on the API level, as the WINE project has done. The roadmap is already there for this to happen, and if it is done right, then you can continue to update it moving forward.

b) Again, look as doing this as a virtualization, or if you have to emulate hardware, do it in a sandbox environment.

c) The point is to create a sandbox that is as close functionally to the console as can be reached. I'm sure if Nintendo or Sony were to vet the project to VMWare (or any of the other major players int he virtualization market) they would have a functional environment in which their games can be played on a PC. All they would need to do is sell the license and collect the royalty off of every game sold.

The only problem I can see to this is that as soon as the code gets into the wild, it will be reverse engineered and everyone will know what little "tricks" the console designers are using to optimize their performance on as little hardware as possible. Also, their games are more open to cracks and pirating (as well as cheating) since they are in contact with an open environment like a PC.

MegaPC ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26089195)

I still have my 386 Amstrad (shudder) "MegaPC" that had a Sega Megadrive that was on some kind of ISA card. You just toggled a panel on the front so that it covered the floppy and exposed the cartridge slot and it activated the Megadrive 'half' of the machine and the display switched over.
So nothing new here? Nah, it'd be good, but unlikely.

For a console to be a PC, and vice versa... (1)

Canazza (1428553) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089235)

... It would have to be:
1) Small enough to sit on your TV tray/Coffee Table
2) Each unit must have the same hardware (within limits) and cannot be easilly upgradable without trashing the old unit
3) Have Mouse and Keyboard Support
4) Have a General Purpose Office software
5) Play Games

well, 4/5 itsn't bad for the Mac Mini

Duck Hunt is the future (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26089521)

I canâ(TM)t see them combining. As someone has already said, the days of the PC as a gaming platform are numbered, itâ(TM)s only every really been suited to specific game genres anyway.

I think that one day soon, we may get a common console platform. Weâ(TM)ve already seen Sega drop hardware manufacturing in favour of just producing cross platform games. I honestly donâ(TM)t think it will be to long before another big player adopts this model and we are left with just one company producing mainstream console hardware.

Imagine it.. Every game could one day be using a failed 80â(TM)s light gun idea, whether itâ(TM)s needed or not! Scary thought!

Don' think so (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26089613)

consoles merging with pc? not in this life

I've been having the same idea since the days of the dreamcast. Knowing that a regular pc from today is more powerful than a console from 2 years ago, it just begs the question: Why not make some add on? call it a special optical drive - pci card - whatever with capabilities of enabling the soft for this other hw to run in a PC.

IMO, i think that would kill the system, just because of piracy (not just the games, but hardware too), and besides, some guy would certainly find a way to emulate the special hw or transfer some firmware (if it's some optical drive) or foul some security check or anything. Besides, since PCs are an open platform, it would be almost impossible to secure it via hardware check and there is almost no way to make games that are compatible with, if not all, at least the mayority of the wide array cf possible settings (just think how many processors can be plugged in your existing mobo) second, how will you make it secure? if game disks are in the very device to make copies?; and last, what will you use as a standard for processing power? should be the average-low system (to have a wide market, if not, you're fried) so, do you fancy games tailored for your regular celeron or low end dual core with integrated nvidia or ati graphics?

For all these and some more, a think a playstation-into-pc or whatever is a REALLY bad idea, BUT... what about dreamcast, saturn, ps2, etc.? ALMOST any pc today can make it with them. Why companies downt release some emulators? hw based or sw based its the same, if compatibility is good just tell me where to buy.

PS: My english sucks and im still sleepy so don't bother me with that

Been done before (2, Informative)

Nick Ives (317) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089623)

Amstad MegaPC [wikipedia.org] and the Sega TeraDrive [wikipedia.org] , both obviously failed.

Those machines were basically just a PC and a Megadrive (or Genesis as you USians knew them) in the same box. I seriously doubt you could get away with integrating a console into a PC as an expansion card because then you'd need to start testing games on umpteen different mobo combinations to be sure of compatibility, negating one of the major benefits of using a console in the first place.

Also, I don't see how it would stop MS or Sony loosing money on hardware at the start of a generation (I believe 360 hardware now turns a profit?). A company like Dell isn't going to shoulder a loss for Sony as they're not going to see any licensing revenue from games. Consumers would see an integrated box that is more expensive than two separate boxes and vote with their wallets.

Not to sound up myself but (1)

Slyvena (1430113) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089631)

Technology will always develop, consoles are merely a branch off of the PC to fill a hole that current PC technology could not. Consoles AND PCs will always exist, neither is going away. To put it frankly PCs can do so many things consoles can't but Consoles do games (and other stuff like DVDs etc) better than PCs but none of the other stuff they can do; they are specialists. Technology will always develop, right now there are a myriad of reason why some people use consoles over PCs but in time these weaknesses on the PC will be fixed. But consoles will evolve too do other things that future PCs will not. Other kinds of systems to do other things will also be developed. At the end of the day this is where I think its heading. PCs will always be the 'all rounder' doing 'good enough' in everything. Consoles will probably evolve into more of an all around entertainment center At least 3 other systems filling in other areas will develop. But these systems will not be independent of each other, each one will communicate to the others as one whole system. At the end of the day technology will reach the point where this is not only possible but logical and commercially viable. The people who are like 'PCs rock, consoles are lame' Are Wrong The people who are like 'Consoles rock, PCs are lame' Are Wrong The people who think either are going away. Are Wrong The people who think they will all just come together Are Wrong (at least until a very long time from now) The people that realize everything is here to stay and each forfills its own part in the industry Are Right. Comments/Flameing welcome

Re:Not to sound up myself but (1)

Canazza (1428553) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089811)

PC games and Console games share two different mind-sets

Console games are generally designed to be friend-friendly. Have your mate or two over to watch/join in/take turns at having a quick blast of Halo/Left 4 Dead/Guitar Hero - and generally feature the same mechanics in single-player as they do in multiplayer.

PC games of late tend to focus on the Single-player OR Multi-player (rarely both) - and Single-player games revolve around building an atmosphere, engrossing the player and telling a good story over a longer play-period than console games.
Similar can be said of the multiplayer on PC's, the yin and yang of Console's "Get friends around and play" to PC's "Get your friends in their homes to play over the net"

Yes, console games do the internet thing, but it's mostly peer-to-peer and decends into lag and frustration more often than not (in my experience atleast)

So: Consoles are fast, fun and watchable wheras PC games are slower, cerebral and just as fun for the person playing it, but boring as sin to anyone watching them

Good idea, then we can stop using x86! (1)

NekoXP (67564) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089717)

As long as all the mainstream consoles right now are using PowerPC cores, they're about as close to PCs as goat cheese is to cows milk.

I'm all for PCs starting to use PowerPC though, if it means running console games on them. I doubt anyone would be too disappointed if they got a PC with a Cell or two in it.

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