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Microsoft and Nvidia Abandon PC Gaming Alliance

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the end-to-lipservice dept.

Microsoft 195

An anonymous reader writes with this quote from PC Authority: "Ever since Microsoft turned its back on Windows gaming in favor of the closed Xbox ecosystem, the platform has been crying out for a champion. The company occasionally gives nods toward a revived focus upon PC gaming, most recently with yet another relaunch on Games for Windows Live and a trio of upcoming PC games, but when it comes to throwing cash around the Xbox is the beneficiary. What can definitely be said is that the one group that should be championing the PC, the PC Gaming Alliance, is going backwards. In 2009 the group lost the biggest PC game developer/publisher, Activision-Blizzard, and now it seems that both Microsoft and Nvidia have bid the alliance farewell."

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No surprise (4, Interesting)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 3 years ago | (#35287582)

the alliance doesn't seem to have done anything. Good idea, non-existant execution. The PC gaming alliance is called Steam, Gamersgate, Impulse, Direct2Drive, and for better or worse, The Pirate Bay.

Steam, with it's billion dollars a year in sales knows what's causing problems, what you're playing (and how much), what you're buying, and has a fairly good sense of what developers should be building for. That doesn't mean steams data is applicable to every single user, or every scenario, or even that it is necessarily the best service out there, especially without WoW or starcraft the data isn't perfect. But it's more likely to be successful to have people motivated by support costs and sales than a hodgepodge alliance of people who mean well, but have no real money or clear direction to back up their goals.

Re:No surprise (2)

Machtyn (759119) | more than 3 years ago | (#35287676)

I'd venture to say that those who are playing WoW are also likely to know about Steam and have it installed on their system. And, if the person is resourceful enough, they can even launch WoW, and other non-Steam games, from the Steam client. (Like adding a shortcut to the desktop.) I don't know if Steam collects usage stats from those types of games, but they'd be silly not to do that.

Re:No surprise (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35287756)

Why would anyone make an effort to launch a non-Steam game under Steam? Not being sarcastic, just never used it.

Re:No surprise (4, Informative)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 3 years ago | (#35287810)

Why would anyone make an effort to launch a non-Steam game under Steam? Not being sarcastic, just never used it.

  • Digital distribution, with easy and non-intrusive copy protection -- you need an internet connection to install, but that's it unless the publisher (e.g. Ubisoft) insists on more.
  • A digital storefront that millions of gamers see every time they play any Steam game, making impulse buys more likely.
  • A friends list that lets people see what their friends are playing, essentially giving free word-of-mouth advertising without even needing your customers to talk about the game.

Re:No surprise (2)

scdeimos (632778) | more than 3 years ago | (#35288042)

Digital distribution, with easy and non-intrusive copy protection -- you need an internet connection to install, but that's it unless the publisher (e.g. Ubisoft) insists on more.

Last time I checked you absolutely had to login to the Steam application before you could play any games. Even if you start the game directly from its own executable (as opposed to the desktop shortcuts that launch the game via the Steam application) you still get the Steam application starting and prompting for username/password details before you can start to play. If there's particular games that don't do this I'd like to know which.

Re:No surprise (1)

raving griff (1157645) | more than 3 years ago | (#35288096)

Virtually any game can be played in offline mode provided that 1) it has been launched with an active Internet application and 2) your Steam client is updated.

The login prompt should not appear for games that cannot be played offline--instead, you should receive the message "This Game Cannot Be Started in Offline Mode." What it sounds like is happening to you is that Steam is not running before you start a game. The option to launch Steam in offline mode only appears after login has failed.

Re:No surprise (1)

Omestes (471991) | more than 3 years ago | (#35288054)

I don't think you read the comment.

He meant "why would you add a game not installed via Steam to your Steam Library?", such as sticking a "link" to World of Warcraft in Steam, next to all your Steam purchases.

I do, but mostly because Steam games don't play well with Windows Start Menu (they never pop up in the most opened program list, since they aren't real shortcuts). All my games should be somewhere, the Start Menu is where they should be, but barring that Steam works. Its annoying, they used to work, but since the last version they stopped, since they are now all links to steam.exe with some augments.*

* I'm wrong, they actually are links to a service... ala "steam://rungameid/XXXXX"

Re:No surprise (1)

adolf (21054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35288412)

With Windows 7 (and probably Vista) start menu, there is a little arrow to the right of the Steam client in the most-opened program list.

And when I click or hover on that arrow, a menu of frequently-played Steam titles folds out, right there in the start menu. Launching Fallout:NV with Steam takes exactly two clicks for me using this method.

I can also pin the Steam client to the taskbar, and then right-click on it to bring up the same thing.

I guess this isn't technically playing nice with the start menu, though I personally think it's better.

Back to the original topic: If I were to add WoW to Steam's list, I presume that it would also show up in the same Steam menu (despite not being a proper Steam title), which might be useful in that all oft-played games would show up in the same place.

Re:No surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35287928)

On the top side, it has good organizational features which is nice if you have many games, but more importantly..

While playing, the steam friends network and communities (one-to-one and many-to-many communication networks) is usable in-game (overlay.) A quick sample of this is the Quake Community [steamcommunity.com] for those old schoolers, or you might like to find some people up for some Homeworld 2 [steamcommunity.com] , and this is but one of the numerous private world of warcraft [steamcommunity.com] servers with a steam community. Hell there is even a German NetHack [steamcommunity.com] community.

Re:No surprise (1)

DudemanX (44606) | more than 3 years ago | (#35288220)

Having short cuts to all your games in one place.

Access to the Steam Overlay. Let's you press shift-tab in a game to overlay your friends list, any messages from said friends, and a webkit browser over the game being played.

It announces to your friends what you are playing or what you want them to think you are playing. When adding a shortcut to a non-steam game you get to name it whatever you want. So when I run WoW through Steam my friends see "Dudeman is playing non-Steam game 'Nick has full blown AIDS' " or any jacked up message I want everyone on my friends list to see.

Re:No surprise (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35288228)

You don't have to deal with navigating the stupid OS menus to find where your game is and launch it or deal with a quickbar full of shortcuts. You look at your tiny steam window and select the game you want to play under the section in which you've categorized it. Plus, it tracks that you've played it and for how long, if you like knowing how your game play time breaks down.

I have all of my almost 400 Steam games installed right now, plus the few non-steam games (Star Craft, EVE, etc) launching through the interface. Can you imagine how ridiculously messy it would be to pick through nearly 400 games using the standard shitty Windows menu system?

Re:No surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35288294)

I'm pretty sure it was never planned for any single person to have 400 games, let alone 100 or even 50 on a single PC.

Re:No surprise (1)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 3 years ago | (#35288452)

Well in Windows 7 the "Games" folder auto-detects games and adds icons, so you simply open the Games folder and *bam* all of your game shortcuts. Or if you're Amish and still using XP, you can always just make a folder with all your game shortcuts yourself.

Really, using that as a benefit to using Steam is like complaining about having to put the disc in. Is it a nice bonus to not need a disk? Sure, which is why I registered my Blizzard games so I can use the no-disk downloads, but it's not something to complain about.

Re:No surprise (2)

bipbop (1144919) | more than 3 years ago | (#35288328)

Add Winamp (or some other program you always have open) to your Steam games list, then rename it in Steam. Now you'll always show up to your friends as playing some game you made up ;-) Well, that's the only reason I can think of to do it, anyway.

Re:No surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35288630)

Holy fuck, excellent suggestion.

ren c:\program files\clamwin\bin\clamwin.exe skyrim.exe

Trolololol.

Re:No surprise (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 3 years ago | (#35287772)

Well because it's opt in for non steam games you're skewing your data. Like I say, it's not perfect. That's not the same as useless, but it's not perfect. The handly little chart of how many people are logged in seems to peak around 3 million on steam. I'm sure there are a lot more PC gamers out there than 3 million, but that gives a pretty good average of what their computers are, how much they play etc.

My suspicion is that there's a lot of stuff on steam that's bought, and never played. I know I have a lot of that. Except I'm buying it on steam, in many cases because I intended to play it, and didn't get around to it, or I had it in another format years ago, and would like to come back to it (and have it work) at some point in the future, and saw it on sale. Not the most effective use of my money I'll grant you. Things like that probably really mess with statistics for some games statistics though.

Re:No surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35287788)

I have steam installed on my system but hardly ever start it up. I Mostly just run World of Warcraft from it's launcher.

Re:No surprise (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 3 years ago | (#35288732)

I know half a dozen people who play WoW. To my knowledge none of them have Steam installed. I'd also venture to say that you don't realize how many older people play WoW.

Re:No surprise (2)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 3 years ago | (#35287730)

the alliance doesn't seem to have done anything.

Exactly. If Microsoft wanted to improve the status of PC gaming, they would produce a new XBOX with an x64 processor in it. The 360 is six years old now anyway. And using the same processors as are used in PCs would make porting easier for developers who optimize for specific processor architectures. Right now the major consoles are PowerPC with weird SPEs that take special attention, which is just an invitation to write architecture-specific code and ignore the PC.

I suspect if they went and talked to AMD they could come up with some kind of Fusion-based console that would clean the clock of all this ancient cruft and do it on the cheap, and then maybe we could get some new games that take advantage of more than six year old technology.

Re:No surprise (2)

monkyyy (1901940) | more than 3 years ago | (#35287784)

has it srsly been 6 years?

but i would agree that a "fusion" of amd and x64 would be nice and probably work wonders in a highly standardized and predictable system(maybe get a HD gaming sys for the price the wii is going for now, and even more insane controller designs that everyone hates after a week), i dont think the people controlling them would play nice; maybe some 3rd party group could pull it off by making their own motherboards with one possessor from each

Re:No surprise (1)

Cwix (1671282) | more than 3 years ago | (#35287908)

A fusion of amd and x64

Umm are you sure about that? AMD procs were x64 compliant before Intel's were IIRC.

What I think you mean is a fusion of PowerPC and x64, which are two completely different architectures. You'll never see it.

Re:No surprise (1)

JonySuede (1908576) | more than 3 years ago | (#35288890)

No, I think he meant AMD(ATI) FUSION GPU on CPU.

Re:No surprise (1)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 3 years ago | (#35288468)

but i would agree that a "fusion" of amd and x64 would be nice and probably work wonders

I'm assuming you haven't kept up with AMD's tech. Fusion is the actual name of a new line of AMD processors that are a combination of CPU and GPU on one chip (hence the Fusion name). So far I've only seen one system using them (they just came out recently) and it was a laptop that not only blew away benchmark numbers, but also had incredible battery life as well. I agree with the GP, if they made an XBOX-720 with an AMD Fusion processor, they could probably have an incredible system where games could be ported to Windows in about two seconds due to having the same CPU and GPU.

Re:No surprise (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 3 years ago | (#35287820)

I'd venture that if microsoft sold something that could be reasonably described as a PC they'd be in legal trouble, fast. PS3 was almost certainly intentionally engineered to be hard to code for. Sony assumed they would dominate again, and wanted to make it hard to port their code to other systems. IMO they could have accomplished that by putting 1 gig of ram in their machine for a lot less headache. But I've done enough with the Cell (astrophysics cluster at and I taught game engines last year) I can appreciate that it's good for certain things.

I don't think the console specific stuff is quite because they wrote for PPC's. Games (even PS3 games) are still largely made on windows, in visual studio. The issue is support 8000 different hardware configurations, and dealing with piracy/DRM (you don't have DRM, most publishers won't talk to you, but it does nothing but piss off your customers and drive them to piracy, a lose lose). Smaller publishers or niche publishers that will do without DRM can't fund the big projects that would be cross platform anyway. Most of the console games will run, with virtually no effort, on a a set of PC configurations, it's just a very small set. Too many GPU's sound cards and 3rd party programs for a lot of people.

Of course some of this is changing, without the PC gaming alliance, and because of Steam. Real time sales tracking is enormously valuable. I talked to one guy who was trying to get his game on shelves in the UK. They wanted about 40 copies. For the whole country. So he whipped out his steam page and said 'in the time it took to have this meeting, I've sold more than 40 copies already'. That, combined with better insight into the hardware gamers actually have (rather than could have) helps a lot. And lets face it, Nvidia and AMD do a much better job with their drivers today than they did 5 years ago, that helps a lot ( and directx/opengl are better too).

Re:No surprise (2)

judeancodersfront (1760122) | more than 3 years ago | (#35288072)

Problem is that games without DRM get pirated just as bad. The main motivation for pirates is to avoid payment.
I think the only solution is to move more of the game online. Publishers seem to agree as seen by all the MMOs that are being funded.

Re:No surprise (1)

cibyr (898667) | more than 3 years ago | (#35288576)

Problem is that games without DRM get pirated just as bad.

How is that an argument for DRM? You basically said

The guys who aren't wasting money pissing off their customers in the name of preventing piracy also have problems with piracy!

Well duh, but they have happier customers, which can't be a bad thing.

Re:No surprise (4, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#35287830)

Exactly. If Microsoft wanted to improve the status of PC gaming, they would produce a new XBOX with an x64 processor in it.

If Microsoft wanted to improve the status of PC gaming, they wouldn't be trying to move people onto consoles.

Their problem is that they've been successful enough at doing so to reduce most people's need for a new Windows PC -- gaming is about the only thing Joe Sixpack does which could stress a modern system -- without making any money from consoles.

Re:No surprise (0)

yeshuawatso (1774190) | more than 3 years ago | (#35287960)

I would beg to differ. Gaming on a PC is becoming more cumbersome every day with useless DRM, and less relevant every day with half-ass console ports. The gaming industry has always been a niche market, and PC gaming is even a smaller niche. While some companies have been very successful in this market, the future of it is dead. Apple was left out of the PC gaming market almost entirely and they did the best thing they could do: help reinvent gaming on the next generation of platform: mobile. Google's Android strategy is where we will see flourish in variable degrees of game quality, and the hardware requirements are already starting to mirror the PC gaming market. NVidia has adopted a mobile strategy that's starting to unfold, AMD has no clear mobile strategy, Intel has a strategy but forgot the execution part of it, and Samsung may become the largest chip manufacture of ARM based processors.

I understand Microsoft's abandonment of PC gaming. In the next 5 years, it won't exist. They can pump out another console, slap on another "natural motion" control system, and make out like bandits. The only investment they need in gaming is the tools to develop for the Xbox. Eventually, NVidia will pull out of the after-market gaming graphics market, leave AMD to fizzle out and Intel will still pump out chips for PCs, laptops, and servers (they're not going anywhere).

People are going to change their computing habits to be more mobile, and anyone still holding on to that old "PC gaming" market won't last much longer. So good riddance, PC gaming. It was nice knowing you for most of my entire teenage and adult life. You brought me many hours of time wasting and excitement. Unfortunately, your master Microsoft let Apple and Google pound the nails into your coffin.

Re:No surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35287984)

I understand Microsoft's abandonment of PC gaming. In the next 5 years, it won't exist. They can pump out another console, slap on another "natural motion" control system, and make out like bandits.

LOL. Who's going to build the console if the lack of a PC gaming market has killed the CPU and GPU market?

Re:No surprise (1)

judeancodersfront (1760122) | more than 3 years ago | (#35288090)

Engineers. PC gaming has encouraged competition between NVida and AMD/ATI but it isn't need to keep gaming going.

Re:No surprise (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#35288512)

Oh please console boy, your lame troll is lame. Today we have unprecedented choices, from Steam to Good Old Games to drop it on your doorstep like Amazon, and thanks to the consoles slowing things down PC gaming has never been cheaper or easier to get into.

When I started PC gaming it took a $200 GPU every year and a half and a new PC every three years just to have games that weren't a slideshow. Today I am often building sub $400 PCs for customers that make damned good gaming PCs even when hooked up to their new 1080p TV. I've personally been gaming just fine on an HD4650 that cost me a whole $60 two years ago and when it is replaced at the end of the week by my new GPU (my GF refuses to tell me which one she got me dammit) I have NO doubt I'll get another 2+ years out of it, and from the looks of things I'll easily get 5-7 years out of this AMD quad system, possibly more if I yank the HDD and go SSD.

So while you and your frat buddies may enjoy your Madden or Halo deathmatches on your X360 frankly we PC gamers have never had it so good. If anything we are experiencing gaming overload, with such low prices and such a wealth of titles I personally probably have a good dozen games I haven't even had a chance to fire up yet thanks to splurging on sales. Where else are you gonna have 1 day sales like Batman:AA for $3 or Bioshock 2 for $1.99?

And this of course doesn't count the fact that when I'm not gaming with it my quadcore gaming PC gives me all sorts of other advantages, like a nice DVR for my cable (thanks to the $20 USB TV Tuner I picked up off of Woot!) and drag and drop GPU transcoding built into all 4xxx and newer ATI chips. This is why I'm having more and more customers pick up these cheap triple and quad AMD gaming PCs and have me hook them into their new widescreen TVs, because with it they have a "one stop shop" that allows them to have everything from all their audio/video to gaming to checking their FB all from the comfort of their couch with a wireless KB/Mouse combo. Add in the excellent 10 foot UI of Windows Media Center and built in support for Netflix it is just a no brainer.

Its (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 3 years ago | (#35287794)

"Steam, with it's billion dollars a year in sales ..."

No apostrophe. :)

Re:Its (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35288088)

You are a pedantic fuckwad who makes the world a worse place.

It also hasn't been crying out for a champion (0)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#35287882)

I mean really, I think it is just that some publishers get stupid about the PC, and many PC gamers are whiny. From my perspective, PC gaming is doing great. Is it crushing all the consoles? No. However it seems to have more revenue than any single console, which is a more apt comparison. It is a platform, like the 360 or PS3, and in that regard is the biggest.

The PC gets most major titles just like the consoles. Sometimes they are poor ports, sometimes they are better versions. So you may see something like Hot Pursuit that is better on the 360 (because the PC version doesn't have DLC) and then see something like Dragon Age that is better on the PC (because of moddability, better graphics, and superior control).

Likewise, the PC gets exclusives, just like the consoles. No, it doesn't get a ton, but then neither do the consoles. No platform get a ton of exclusives. However the PC is certainly not left out in that regard. Most MMOs, certainly all the good ones, are PC exclusive. The PC gets many exclusive strategy games, like Civ 5 and Shogun 2.

Really PC gaming does not seem to need a champion, it is doing just fine. It is not the One True System(tm) for gaming but then has it ever been that?

At this point most publishers seem to be willing to port their games to PC, many are willing to enhance their PC versions (and that seems to be on the rise) and some are willing to make PC exclusive games. There is lots and lots to play in pretty much every category. I am a PC only gamer, don't own a console, don't want a console and I do not lack for good games to play, I lack for time to play them all.

I really think the PC Gaming Alliance died from lack of need. The platform needs to champion. Games are being made, games are being sold, that is all that there needs to be. As you aptly point out, the digital download services now ensure that even marketing is largely taken care of. Just put your game on there, people can find it.

Re:No surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35288298)

The PC gaming alliance is called Steam, Gamersgate, Impulse, Direct2Drive, and for better or worse, The Pirate Bay.

Add GOG.com to that list. They don't sell anything less than five years old - but that's still several decades of gaming history to work through. I'm not sure that we need so much effort to go into creating new games.

Champion (3, Interesting)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | more than 3 years ago | (#35287586)

"the platform has been crying out for a champion" Thats what Steam is for!!!

Re:Champion (0)

Coolhand2120 (1001761) | more than 3 years ago | (#35287648)

Steam is unnecessary bloatware. What small good steam does it is by far outweighed by the many annoyances.

Bombardment with ads! Who the hell wants to see an ad just because you want to play a game?

Some games require steam!? What the hell! Take a platform (PC) and break it into two platforms (PC/PC+Steam). What better way to drive people to piracy?

Always running. WTF? Why does this program want to run all the time, I mean, I'm not playing games all the time (unfortunately).

Centrally owned. Why not just use the internet? Isn't www.steam.com just as good as the steam app? If you want to offer all the update features add a browser add-on.

I won't even install steam because I can't stand ads on a piece of software I own. I find the practice repugnant and because I stand on my principles I can't play some games. So don't tell me steam is good. It's a redundant tool at best, at worst it's a closed ad platform for valve that treats people like tools.

Re:Champion (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35287672)

You do realize that if you go into Properties, you can turn off the launch on startup as well as the popup dialog that shows steam ads and sales. Steam itself does not have an in-game ad system, so any ads you may see inside of games are done solely by the developer / publisher.

Re:Champion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35287778)

Mod parent down, for talking out his ass among other things.

Re:Champion (3, Informative)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 3 years ago | (#35287886)

Steam is fantastic.

"Bombardment with ads!" - Go into the settins and set your favorite window to "Library". You will never see another ad.

"Some games require steam" - Because they use it as a multiplayer lobby (it beats GFWL and GameSpy) or because they use it as copy protection (it beats SafeDisc/Starforce/whatever else is around these days)

"Always running" - File > Settings > Interface > Run Steam when my computer starts. Uncheck it if it bothers you that much. Lots of programs do the same thing.

"Centrally owned" - If you refuse to use any software that's owned by a private organization, you're gonna have some trouble playing games.

"Why not just use the internet?" - Because, as I mentioned above, Steam supplies multiplayer functions and copy protection. Plus they probably don't want to make it support IE6.

Steam also syncs saved games and settings across platforms, provides in game text & voice chat, a very helpful friends list through which you can jump directly into a friends server, and tons of other nice features. Yes, you could get the same functionality by combining Direct2Drive, SafeDisc, Ventrilo, AIM, Games for Windows Live, and probably a few other programs. But that doesn't make Steam redundant. It makes all those other programs redundant.

Re:Champion (1)

rainmouse (1784278) | more than 3 years ago | (#35288234)

Not to mention that steam will automatically update your graphics drivers should you so choose as well as automatically keeping your games up to date, even old dos games can be installed and loaded with a single click. Steam fixes a lot of what drove people to consoles, ie fiddly installs that require computer know how.

Re:Champion (1)

lazybeam (162300) | more than 3 years ago | (#35288832)

I remember DOS gaming and half the fun of installing it was getting the right combination of conventional, EMS, XMS, DPMI, OMG, etc memory, along with various driver incompatibilities. My MS-DOS 6.22 config.sys and autoexec.bat files contained about 20 options for various required states for the various games and applications I had installed - and I only had 180MB of HDD space! Some hated certain drivers (such as sound card, CDROM, zip drive guest, mouse, packet drivers) installed, others required those drivers to be installed. Some games didn't even like DOS being "loaded high" (ie above 640KB).

Get off my lawn with your xbox!

Re:Champion (1)

ArundelCastle (1581543) | more than 3 years ago | (#35288140)

I won't even install steam because I can't stand ads on a piece of software I own. I find the practice repugnant and because I stand on my principles I can't^H^H^H^Hwon't play some games.

Wow, do people still believe that they own software they didn't write? When they download it for free and blithely accept the clickwrap? That's so 2006.
You're conveniently ignoring the features Steam has beyond being a sales platform: an IM and friends list client, quick links to support forums, community groups, cloud saves, distributed downloader/preloader/autopatcher, all of which are huge conveniences compared to 10-15 years ago. Much of the last 60 years of civilization is predicated around paying for conveniences.
Besides, you're confusing the launcher with applications, which you don't need the launcher to run and sorry, you also don't own. I mean, you can sell your license keys to anyone you want I suppose. But that buck stops shorter and shorter these days, through no fault of Valve's.

Regardless of your principles, which BTW I do applaud even though I disagree, the PC gaming market would be a smoking crater of piracy without Steam and other (some even DRM free) sites like Direct2Drive, GoG, etc. making it EASY and oftentimes cheap to purchase games. The vast majority of PC gamers do want game developers to get a paycheque. We just hate how complicated everything has to be, so the more publishers fight pirates by harming consumers, the more they ultimately harm themselves. But that's hardly Valve's fault.

The Steam launcher has always been far, far, less intrusive and ad filled than going to a website like Gamershell or FilePlanet that wants you to pony up for faster download servers. I trust that you rail equally hard on the Mac App Store, iOS Store, Android market, iTunes store, Games for Windows LIVE store... etc. etc. Or do you just distill it down to those that require a launcher application? Is that the principle? What about when Opera had in-browser ads, is that the same thing?

Re:Champion (1)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 3 years ago | (#35288544)

You're conveniently ignoring the features Steam has beyond being a sales platform:

You also forgot the features of Valve having ability to delete games without compensation and that if they go out of business, they're not obligated to provide you with non-Steam versions of your games. I for one know that I always love the feature of being robbed of my money / property!

Note: The last part was a joke. The rest wasn't, you can look it up in Steam's TOS if you don't believe me.

Re:Champion (1)

pinkushun (1467193) | more than 3 years ago | (#35288684)

Wow lots of Steam fanboys here. I'm not.

It really made it hard for me not having a fixed internet connection, for all those updates, and to decrypt game data.

I payed you money, Steam, for a game I only played once. Thanks, but I'd rather buy DRM-free and non platform-locked Indie games now.

My gift to you, Steam, is popularizing your competitors. :-)

Mod parent down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35288906)

passive-agressive smiley face

Re:Champion (1)

GoochOwnsYou (1343661) | more than 3 years ago | (#35288726)

OK, here's a basic education in what Steam actually is:

Its a distribution platform first and foremost, eliminating the need for optical media, changing discs but it plays another role. It ensures if your hardware is up to snuff your game will play. It will install anything neccesary to make sure the game runs. If you get an old game that doesnt run well on DirectX 10? It will install DirectX6 or whatever is optimal for that game side by side. It also puts save files in the cloud if you so wish.

Now: Ads are on the "Store" front page. Just dont go to the Store front page then. It lists top selling titles, specials going on at any given time plus top 10 selling lists, etc.
The requirement of Steam? Starcraft II requires Battle.Net, Xbox 360 titles require Xbox Live to play online.
Always running? Then set your settings so it doesnt always run.
Why not just use the Internet? What do you think it is? You think a web browser? Giving a browser the ability to install and update applications is safe? Have we not learned from ActiveX?

Re:Champion (2)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35287666)

Steam is merely a distribution system, however. It doesn't resolve the issues with developers attitudes toward PC gaming. I recently saw an interview with a developer who is creating a new engine who said that graphics are no longer important (nor AI or anything else, presumably, since the following is the only item he stressed importance of) -- only the ease of use of the development tools was. His reasoning was that we've basically reached the limits of the current console generation.

It used to be that PC gaming drove the industry, so you made your game as amazing for the PC as you could. Then you did your best to replicate as much of that experience on the console. It would seem that, but for a few exceptions such as Blizzard, the focus is now on pumping new franchise titles out as fast as possible with efficient tools that make the most of the consoles and then dumping whatever that comes out to be over onto the PC. Sort of like saying "we develop our content for the iPod viewing experience", but then also distributing the content to iMax theaters, because hey -- it's an extra potential buck, even if it's just an afterthought.

OF course, Steam also has it's own slew of problems. There's often external registrations and restrictions that apply to games through Steam. Games are often unbelievably buggy to the point of being unusable (go read the forums for people's experiences with Fallout 3 that continue even to this day and then a whole slew of similar problems with Fallout: New Vegas). Then there's the issue of games not being maintained so that their patching is out of sync with the real product (and then Steam puts the onus for it on the developers/publishers and the developers/publishers put it back on Steam and nothing is ever accomplished). Or worse, the lack of maintenance extends to some games no longer working on newer operating systems (seemingly sensible, until you remember that most titles on GoG are a decade or three old and run on modern operating systems -- all for about five bucks). Then there's the endless DLC and the rip-off multi-versions that come out for a year or two and the stupid participation in "custom DLC for retail outlets for pre-orders".

I love Steam. I have almost 400 titles on Steam. . . But it feels very much like the best of breed. That is, the best of a dying breed. It's only of value so long as the wealth of content for the PC is enormous and offers something consoles can't (other than just a venue for countless little indie games, spreading dual stick shooters like a plague).

Re:Champion (1)

ToasterMonkey (467067) | more than 3 years ago | (#35287872)

a developer who is creating a new engine who said that graphics are no longer important (nor AI or anything else, presumably, since the following is the only item he stressed importance of) -- only the ease of use of the development tools was.

No, that was over years ago, even before Doom III and it's look how pretty I can make Doom I gameplay mechanics engine. The PC gaming industry has shown that shoving more crap into the same or lower average framerate does not a more fun game make.

only the ease of use of the development tools was

That's very biased and developer centric. If the technology is not really a concern, then what's next is designing good, fun, balanced gameplay. Go find a developer who will tell you that's in the bag.

*gasp*a filmmaker says his prime concern is doing awesome stuff more quickly. Doesn't really address the good effects vs. good movie issue does it?

Re:Champion (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35288210)

That isn't what they're doing, though. They're not saying "let's make the most awesome fun game possible with the available tools and platforms". They're saying "let's make the most awesome fun game possible that runs on 2005's hardware and then stuff it on the PC for a few extra sales". It's fine to want to make more fun and more awesome stuff more efficiently. More computing power (not only graphically) definitely contributes to that. Especially on the concurrent complexity in what you're seeing on the screen and the way what you see on screen is behaving (from realistic and complex movement to better audio and more players at a time in multi-player and more in-depth AI). Instead of taking advantage of that on the PC to push things forward, they're saying "We've maxed out performance on CONSOLES, so the only important thing now is ease of development".

It's more like a developer saying "we've maxed out the performance of games on a Nokia phone from 2002, so rather than pushing things forward by developing more involved and complex games for smart phones in 2011, we just need to make it easier to develop games for that old Nokia".

Granted, consoles are where all the sales are at, so that's why the focus is on maxing out their performance and not bothering to exceed that capacity on PCs (in fact, I've seen some developers suggest that they don't want their game to appear too much better on the PC, because it might deter console owners from the title - so they want something closer to parity between the two). But then, that's the point really. The PC is treated as nothing much more than just another console with a different interface. Sure, it might have 2011 hardware, but the game was probably designed with the sole focus being on the 2005 console hardware. Unless you're talking about games from Blizzard and maybe Valve among a few others (and excluding MMOs, obviously).

Re:Champion (1)

Mike Mentalist (544984) | more than 3 years ago | (#35288518)

It used to be that PC gaming drove the industry, so you made your game as amazing for the PC as you could.

I don't ever remember the PC driving the industry. It may have had the best graphics but that is not the same thing at all.

Re:Champion (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#35288722)

That is why I believe what will drive the next generation of GPU and PC will NOT be strictly gaming, although they will game with frankly insane graphics and framerate, it is the ease at which new Windows PCs tie everything together and give the customer a "one stop shop" for their entire multimedia experience.

I just finished up and installed a $500 quad core PC into a customer's living room just yesterday. Being able to show the customer that thanks to drag and drop transcoding on the new ATI GPUs converting videos to his PMP was literally "4, 3,2,1,done" and being able to rip their entire audio/video collection and have it all instantly accessible along with Netflix via the 10 foot UI of Windows Media Center? Easy sell.

The fact that he can instantly buy and have a huge library of games all right there at the click of his wireless mouse makes PC gaming just one attractive piece of the larger puzzle. Folks like simple, they like easy, they like not having to deal with discs and having all their media all wired up nice and neat with their new 7.1 surround sound systems. Thanks to GP-GPU and the sharing ability built into Windows 7 having a PC built into the entertainment center has never been easier, and thanks to the consoles being the target platform it has never been cheaper.

When I started anything less than $1500 and I hope you liked having low framerates and degraded picture, and you better be ready to buy a new GPU every year or so and a new PC every two. Now you can buy really nice triples and quads for less than $550 fully loaded with RAM and huge HDDs and it'll crank out the framerate and look better than anything the consoles can do, and do so for years to come with ZERO need for upgrades.

So I'd say from listening to my customers PC gaming has never been better. They love how they have endless choices from Steam to GOG to D2D, all MUCH cheaper than the consoles, how they can just HDMI right into their new widescreen and do everything from game to check their email from the comfort of their couch, and how they have access to anything and everything all right there at their fingertips. In the end the console can do gaming and Netflix and that is about it. With the PC you have nearly infinite jobs it can do and it will do them all well and cheaply to boot. I believe with the rise of super cheap widescreen TVs the future will be networked everything with a PC in the living room controlling it all. Gaming is just the nice icing on top of the delicious cake.

It really didn't do THAT much to begin with (1)

Aerorae (1941752) | more than 3 years ago | (#35287600)

as the article says...Microsoft is far more interested in the lucrative console arena. It'll be interesting to see what Intel will do in response to this. The Wintel alliance is still on pretty strong

Re:It really didn't do THAT much to begin with (2)

alvinrod (889928) | more than 3 years ago | (#35287714)

Makes sense that they would throw more money at the Xbox. They get a fee for every game sold on the Xbox whereas they get absolutely nothing for almost everything sold on the PC. Linux gaming doesn't show any signs of catching on or taking off in a big way and even though Mac gaming is growing, it's nowhere near as popular as PC gaming and I suspect that a decent portion of Mac users boot into Windows to game anyways. Throwing money at the platform isn't going to get them anywhere. And Intel could care less what Microsoft does. As long as the hardware is using an Intel chip, they really don't care what operating system it runs or whose game it is. They just want to sell chips.

Re:It really didn't do THAT much to begin with (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#35287850)

Makes sense that they would throw more money at the Xbox. They get a fee for every game sold on the Xbox whereas they get absolutely nothing for almost everything sold on the PC.

But, uh, they lose money on consoles and make money on almost every PC sold. If Joe Sixpack buys an iPad and an Xbox, Microsoft's profit streams just disappear.

Re:It really didn't do THAT much to begin with (1)

judeancodersfront (1760122) | more than 3 years ago | (#35288000)

They probably at least break even on console hardware sales at this point and with the xbox they also get xbox live, xbla games and movie rental revenue. Windows 7 OEM is pretty cheap and is only sold once while an xbox keeps on giving.

Re:It really didn't do THAT much to begin with (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35288038)

They probably at least break even on console hardware sales at this point and with the xbox they also get xbox live, xbla games and movie rental revenue.

The Xbox has cost them billions more than it's made. And now it's aging and needs a refresh, which will cost billions more.

Windows actually makes money.

Re:It really didn't do THAT much to begin with (1)

judeancodersfront (1760122) | more than 3 years ago | (#35288108)

Their entry to the market was no doubt expensive but it will payoff. The next xbox won't cost billions thanks to this gen being extended. They won't have to pay for expensive R&D since off the shelf hardware will provide enough of an advancement.

Re:It really didn't do THAT much to begin with (1)

neilt83 (1305715) | more than 3 years ago | (#35288920)

You can see how interested MIcrosoft is in PC games with the Fable series. They didn't even release Fable 2 on the PC and Fable 3 was meant to have a simultaneous release on XBOX nad PC before xmas, but now we don't even have a projected release date for it on the PC.

And... (3, Interesting)

amnesia_tc (1983602) | more than 3 years ago | (#35287622)

nothing of value was lost. Even if the whole of the PCGA dissolved, would anyone really care? The PCGA hasn't done anything for PC Gaming. There are more news stories about the PCGA getting a new president than there are stories about the PCGA doing something useful.

Can 13 year olds please stop pirating pc games? (2, Informative)

judeancodersfront (1760122) | more than 3 years ago | (#35287624)

And perhaps switch to the PS3?

PC gaming piracy has gotten out of control. Not for casual stuff like Farmville and The Sims but games that require an aftermarket gpu. It's the 'hardcore' pirates that have made the situation go from bad to downright embarrassing.
http://www.binplay.com/2011/01/pc-gamers-and-their-lame-excuses-for.html [binplay.com]

OK, lets go! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35287692)

I grew up pirating games. I still pirate games. But now that I'm old and have more than $100 in my checking account I buy games too.
I bought more games last year than I bought last millennium!
Also, whenever I meet game industry people I offer to buy them a drink. I meet quite a few of them and they love booze so it really adds up.

Re:OK, lets go! (0)

judeancodersfront (1760122) | more than 3 years ago | (#35288018)

Anecdotal evidence. You might pay and that is good but most 'hardcore' pc gamers are pirates. Torrent stats are public information.

Re:OK, lets go! (0)

Omestes (471991) | more than 3 years ago | (#35288156)

Anecdotal evidence. You might pay and that is good but most 'hardcore' pc gamers are pirates. Torrent stats are public information.

In this case it is better than no evidence. Torrent stats mean nothing unless their compared to the total number of players and sales. Games make up a minority of torrents, thanks largely to their size, DRM, and pain of installing some pirated versions. A quick search of Pirate Bay reveals the that highest seeded game (CoD: Black Ops) has a "mere" 2390 seeders (1329 leaches), where the top seeded CD (some hiphop thing) has 5340 seeders and 400-odd leaches (not as fair, the amount of music out there far outweighs the number of PC games, splintering the market); the highest movie has 11114 seeders (15600 leaches), and the highest TV show sits at 13296 seeders (though Glee has 12430 leaches). Notice the trend? Also; Games might follow the same trend as music, where pirates spend more money on the whole than non-pirates. Who knows the truth of the matter, until there are decent, objective, statistics anecdotal is better than nothing.

Also the parent speaks some truth. While I still pirate some games (mostly as a demo), I pirate far less than when I was college age, where everything I had was basically pirated. I have disposable income now, I can can buy games and food at the same time, and do. And thanks to services like Steam, I even buy games on impulse (not through Impulse though.. heh heh), which used to be reserved for drunken nights on Pirate Bay. Some of it might be the hassle (okay, I can download, slowly, a 50Gb game that may or may not install, and may or may not run, or I can cough up a petty $50 for it?).

No I'm not rich, but I don't really have the desire to have EVERY game out there. I don't care about 90% of them. When I was younger I would pirate it, play it for three hours, then delete it out of lack of interest. Now I just abstain, and pretty much only buy games that look like they will, actually, hold my interest, and generally only after they have been around for a bit so I can read the reviews (who the hell thinks pre-ordering is a good idea?).

Piracy is never as big a deal as interested parties make out. Yes, it is a minor problem. No, it won't kill the industry (or at least won't kill it as fast as the publishers, EA I'm looking at you).

Re:OK, lets go! (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#35288844)

Not to mention the raw numbers don't take two factors into consideration: The first I call "Pokemon syndrome" where I have met pirates that have literally downloaded hundreds of games they have never played simply so they can have "all" of a particular genre/interest. Now me personally I don't fricking get it, but apparently from what I've seen it is a pretty common syndrome and the funny thing was the pirates bought more games than anybody I knew because anything they showed more than "Pokemon" interest in they wanted the full game with box art and multiplayer. so that doesn't get taken into consideration.

The second are guys that want to make sure it runs before handing out their hard earned dollars and I'll be the first to admit I have occasionally fallen into that category. One can't tell by demos anymore because often the demo will be "rigged" in that it has had the most strict QA and coding quality compared to the rest of the game. For example see the original Max Payne, which the demo ran great on my PC but after shelling out $39 at release I found the game would CTD the second you went past the demo stage and which they didn't fix for me until the game was at $10 which pissed me off. another was Vampire:Bloodlines where until the fan made patch came out I was screwed out of my $49 because even though I was WAAY over spec it would lock hard and simply fail.

So one can't simply look at TPB raw data and get any real feel for the situation. Hell I've bought a hell of a lot more media since the rise of P2P since it gave me a chance to try something I had NO access to locally and find out if I liked it or not. A good example of this is the $1000 I spent on the Joss Whedon collection, all because I heard about "this weird cool show about a girl that hunts vampires" and since I didn't have the WB in my area P2P was the only way for me to actually catch an episode. I have also bought entire game series simply because I try one and it works well on my system and looks like it will be reasonably fun.

So if one were to simply look at the raw data one would list me as a "dirty filthy pirate" when I don't actually HAVE any pirated games and was simply making sure something would play before shelling out my $$$. Nowadays you can't tell shit by system reqs anymore, as a game might play great on Intel and choke on AMD or vice versa, and thanks to not being able to return non functional games it doesn't take getting burned out of $50 too many times before one becomes gun shy. Personally if a game is more than $20 I want to see it run 20 minutes of non demo code to ensure the thing will actually be stable before I shell out my cash. Too many publishers are putting out gaming code I would be ashamed to even call alpha quality and a closet full of paperweights really isn't fun.

Re:OK, lets go! (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35288278)

Yeah, I don't know who these "pirates" supposedly are. There may be a few mass copiers, but I think that almost everyone who copied games as a kid (when you have no resources of your own and therefore no way to acquire a game or other software) grew up to prefer paying for their software. Out of obligation to give value for value. Out of desire for a less risky, better performing, less hassle experience, and because the option was no longer "copy it or don't have it at all" but "copy it or buy it".

It seemed like everyone copied everything in the 90s, whether by 0day BBSes or by floppies from friends, or by renting software from Software Pipeline on floppies. In the last 10+ years, I don't think I've known anyone who does that. It's much more convenient to get the full game with nothing missing and no risks than deal with the copying hassle. And you know you're contributing back to seeing more great games down the road. (Even though you also get burned by paying retail for shitty games or dealing with even shittier DRM experiences and games that are so buggy so as to leaving you feeling ripped off).

I would find it almost impossible to believe that the percentage of players copying games in 2011 is anywhere near as high as the percentage that did so in the 90s.

Re:OK, lets go! (1)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 3 years ago | (#35288672)

I've actually been the opposite. I despise pirating and never pirated games as a kid - I always bought them (I've had a job since I was 10). However, in the last year I've started pirating games, but only if they have DRM. Why? Because the DRM bullshit has gotten way out of hand and I refuse to pay to be punished by a company. They're not getting my money one way or another if there is DRM in the game, so there's no reason NOT to pirate it.

I still hate pirating games, but I won't buy any game with DRM. I'll stop playing games before I pay to be punished.

Re:Can 13 year olds please stop pirating pc games? (1)

orphiuchus (1146483) | more than 3 years ago | (#35287738)

The only excuse from that article you linked which I buy is the "There was no demo" excuse. I have a 2 year old system and I'm not positive that "Bulletstorm" is going to run well enough to justify a purchase, and we all know that min/recommended specs are usually bullshit. Do I pirate it and then buy it if it runs well and is fun? I think I'm just not going to play it at all because I don't want it that bad, but that is a contributing factor.

I think that the truth of the matter is we won't get serious support until someone comes up with a form of DRM that actually works. I'm not just talking about not gimping your system, they don't care about that, I'm talking about actually stopping piracy. Everything thus far gets cracked eventually, and when you can choose between paying for a version that gimps your system or getting one that doesn't for free... well, that moral high ground really looks expensive.

Re:Can 13 year olds please stop pirating pc games? (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 3 years ago | (#35287864)

That would be the always on, online connection. Or similar. You're logged into steam, you can play anything on steam sort of thing (that's not how steam works, I'm just giving an example). I'm not a huge fan of that, but if you move your save games onto the cloud, and require an always on internet connection to play, with serial keys tied to an account it's a lot easier to deal with piracy. Then it's a matter of generating good keys, and regular ole network security. The key there will be to provide value to the customer. Onlive running the service for you is one option, but I think for everything onlive can do, there's always going to be a bit better something that can be done in your living room.

I'm guessing the online stuff will be achievements, in game chat linked across multiple games (imagine your WoW guild chat in world of goo, wow and minecraft, all at once), cloud based storage and re download of the games (for free), and maybe in game hints/tips/guides/manuals sort of stuff that's pulled from the web in a context sensitive way. Imagine you can't kill a particular boss, the game detects that, and then connects you with strategies from the developer, or other people who played and wrote up a blurb on how to do it. Think demon souls, with less misdirection.

Re:Can 13 year olds please stop pirating pc games? (1)

orphiuchus (1146483) | more than 3 years ago | (#35287952)

The problem is every time they try the persistent internet connection stuff someone eventually cracks it and then the only way to play if you have a connection that likes to crash on you is via the pirate version.

I have no idea how this could actually work. Maybe a USB key-card? Or a authenticator like MMOs are using now? The problem is that these solutions would probably eventually get cracked as well and then you've wasted a much bigger investment.

We need a giant leap forward in DRM before PC gaming can regain its lost ground.

Re:Can 13 year olds please stop pirating pc games? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35288178)

A lack of DRM is not the problem. It is just an excuse not to develop games for the platform. The non-pc gaming market is bigger. It is that simple. Before the PC had more power so games had to use it. Now they just don't need it.

Re:Can 13 year olds please stop pirating pc games? (1)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 3 years ago | (#35288190)

> I think that the truth of the matter is we won't get serious support until someone comes up with a form of DRM that actually works.

I can tell you how to make a 'good enough' DRM.... but you won't like it.

Step one, USB dongle. With non-trivial stuff going on in it. Knock secret knock and it gives out key pieces of the executable or key data tables at various times during game play. If the dongle isn't there, no problem you get a demo version.

Step two, dongle is there but not right (i.e. cloned or emulated only 99.99% accurate) and you destroy the host machine. Nuke the recovery partition, flash the BIOS with zeros, the works. Think that couldn't happen? Look at the Xbox and PS3 where if they decide you have tampered they essentially render the hardware useless by banning its serial number. The dongle isn't a HID, Mass Storage or any other common type so random apps/drivers should do no more than enumerate it or otherwise read the top USB tables. So if you try very hard to probe the dongle it either shuts down, it does subtle malfunctions.

Step three, produce your own cracked copies that work for a month or two and seed them widely. If you were a little scared of the legal consequences of nuking hardware only have that 'feature' accessable in the cracked copies.

Do as many crackdowns as you like, enough people will keep downloading or sneakernetting because they aren't afraid of the law. Hell, murder doesn't get you much time for a first offense without added agrevating conditions. Make em fear something more tangible and it stops.

Re:Can 13 year olds please stop pirating pc games? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35288534)

The only excuse from that article you linked which I buy is the "There was no demo" excuse. I have a 2 year old system and I'm not positive that "Bulletstorm" is going to run well enough to justify a purchase, and we all know that min/recommended specs are usually bullshit. Do I pirate it and then buy it if it runs well and is fun? I think I'm just not going to play it at all because I don't want it that bad, but that is a contributing factor.

Errr... they're currently working on the demo [peoplecanfly.com] .

Re:Can 13 year olds please stop pirating pc games? (2)

thegarbz (1787294) | more than 3 years ago | (#35287902)

No. Simple reason for it too. 13 year olds have nothing to gain by stopping piracy and everything to lose. Without a fully functioning moral compass the average 13year old feels no guilt (heck most people don't feel guilt about these things), and also sees no other alternative. Try telling someone who gets maybe $10 pocket money per week to save all their money for 6 weeks to get a game, rather than just downloading it off the net.

There's a lot of debate about pirates not doing it for the money, blah blah blah, but the reality is for a 13 year old... it's definitely about the money.

Re:Can 13 year olds please stop pirating pc games? (1)

judeancodersfront (1760122) | more than 3 years ago | (#35287964)

It was a rhetorical question. There are plenty of 25 year old males with jobs that pirate everything on pc and rationalize their actions like a spoiled 13 year old.

Millions of pc pirates can afford a premium pc but not the software? I don't buy the excuses.

Re:Can 13 year olds please stop pirating pc games? (0)

orphiuchus (1146483) | more than 3 years ago | (#35288024)

...

Millions of pc pirates can afford a premium pc but not the software? I don't buy the excuses.

Exactly. There is no excuse.

When it you get right down to it its just regular old stealing.

Re:Can 13 year olds please stop pirating pc games? (1)

Omestes (471991) | more than 3 years ago | (#35288184)

When it you get right down to it its just regular old stealing.

It may not be legal, or morally, good; but it is not "just regular old stealing". Language fails here, it seems. If every pirated copy was a lost sale, or lead directly to lost revenue, then it would be closer to stealing (or rather theft of service). Right now it is just like "regular old intellectual property infringement".

I'm not going into a moralistic argument about piracy, nor will I argue here about its effects; it just isn't, semantically, like stealing. Conflating it as such isn't good, nor would be treating it as such, since it isn't. Whatever it is, it is a bit lesser than stealing, but greater than borrowing or mere copying. I prefer piracy, though there still are some lurking ambiguity, it is a much more accepted term. Copyright infringement is pretty damn good, but does lack the ring.

(disclaimer: I'm not a fan of pirates nor the actions of publishers/government/lawyers, though I think the pirates might be the least distasteful and dangerous)

Re:Can 13 year olds please stop pirating pc games? (1)

Vaphell (1489021) | more than 3 years ago | (#35287974)

it's not in the game industry interest to crack down on teens piracy too hard either. They are dirt poor now so you can't expect getting any money from them, but one day they will get a work and will have a disposable income. It's better not to take the risk of teens finding other hobbies in life and leaving gaming population permanently. Fueling addiction is important because once teens find out they can do perfectly well without games there will be no money to be made ever again.

Re:Can 13 year olds please stop pirating pc games? (1)

monkyyy (1901940) | more than 3 years ago | (#35287918)

well that was a bit trollish and way to pro-closed gardens building towards apples level

i do pirate, but most of what i have is spent on games, and there are alot of games i pirate but dont enjoy enough to play for more then 10 minutes as the point i.e. the demo`s but even then the demos show to short a preview, the best, makes it easyer sometimes, something u can play tho in 5 minutes; that is not a good look into the final product, i wanta see the muti-player, the if the game is actually just mind numbing w/ one or two good parts

like ^anon i buy when i have money(but i dont even have 100, and i spent 50 last week), it goes to the ones i`d enjoyed not a blind shot

Re:Can 13 year olds please stop pirating pc games? (1)

judeancodersfront (1760122) | more than 3 years ago | (#35287970)

Most 'hardcore' pc gamers are not paying for the games, period. We should be past the point of calling anyone a troll for pointing out how bad the situation has become.

Re:Can 13 year olds please stop pirating pc games? (1)

monkyyy (1901940) | more than 3 years ago | (#35288162)

i did say "a bit trollish" and its not as bad as people say, nor will it ever be if u heard ur facts form lobbyists or news, or people who live off generating attention

and as someone who would fit in that hardcore group, i dont know anyone who pirates everything, i do pirate more then my fair share, but i do put money in to the best of the art, not the mas-produced junk made by the people who complain most about pirates

Re:Can 13 year olds please stop pirating pc games? (2)

Omestes (471991) | more than 3 years ago | (#35288204)

Most 'hardcore' pc gamers are not paying for the games, period. We should be past the point of calling anyone a troll for pointing out how bad the situation has become.

Citation Needed.

Really.

Browsing through some torrents, looking at their seed/leach rates, I have a very hard time buying that. Unless only a few thousand people play any given game. And somehow we should also completely ignore Steam, and the ungodly amount of money they make. I have an odd feeling that if you could deduce the total amount of unique seeders and leachers on Pirate Bay, pirating games, and compare that to the total number of unique Steam Users (much less World of Warcraft's 11 million active accounts) it would be very eye opening. I have a feeling Steam would win, handily.

Yes, my statement lacks empirical evidence... which... I suppose... makes it as valid a premise as yours.

Re:Can 13 year olds please stop pirating pc games? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 3 years ago | (#35288076)

tsk tsk tsk tsk tsk, you're talking bull**** that was talked about already in '86, in '93 and in '99 and in '05 - between those years there was a tenfold increase in market and sales.

and you know something about all those great developers? they're getting paid better than they ever imagined.

it's just that now there's a bunch of people who have been educated to create mediocre games and they expect that it's a right for them that someone buys their mediocre games which interest nobody.

has gotten out of control implies that there's been some kind of change in the field, but that is bull, the warez situation is as it was always on pc and that is inherent from the openness of the pc.

Re:Can 13 year olds please stop pirating pc games? (2)

Tei (520358) | more than 3 years ago | (#35288254)

There has always been a lot of piracy in games. I remember people trading games with tapes, back in the 8 bits. If you don't want to pay for the games you play, you can, and this is true since 1981 and back.

Steam sells millions games every day. The whole PC market is a 14 billions business. But apparently is invisible to the likes of you, because the PC is evolving to something different to what you know and understand to become more.

Re:Can 13 year olds please stop pirating pc games? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35288764)

13 yr olds dont buy games anyways since they generally dont have the cash..Thats why pirating is just an excuse for not developing pc games.The bottem line is that its cheaper to develop for a single platform, xbox,which gives them (microsoft)a monopoly, and lots more profit!

re: (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35287682)

And nothing of value was lost.

What was it for? (2)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 3 years ago | (#35287684)

I never understoof, WTF it was about. Was it to make hardware manufacturers in some way change its design or pricing (ex: abandon OpenGL, sell more low-end devices subsidized by Microsoft)? Was it to make Microsoft somehow assist them in making their hardware more compatible with Windows games? Was it to somehow hurt competitors (who are right there in the same "alliance")?

Re:What was it for? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35288354)

lmao @ abandon opengl..

And abandoning PC platform gaming will definetly ensure their failure and loss of the desktop platform gaming market altogether (what will be left of it), because gaming on windows is one thing besides office and internet browsing where windows used to be very strong in times before xbox.. so if web services eat up their office suite and tablets destroy the browsing experience windows won't have much else to hold on. This is called pissing against the wind approach.

captcha: "oh mmeter"?!

How long.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35287690)

.. until they all get together and start the Cloud Alliance.

This PC Gaming Alliance nonsense was only ever some half-baked attempt at PR which never got off the ground. The next logical step is to heavily advertise your next direction.

Odd given their busness model.... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35288052)

I will NEVER buy an X-Box to game on, so they will not be getting money from me for that.
I DO buy windows products for 2 reasons 1) play games on, 2) keep up with current version so I can make money fixing other peoples PC's.
if they are no longer supporting gaming why would people buy their operating system? To do office work? Linux does that quite well. To do development? Linux does that even better.
Apparently their new business model will be leasing out cloud servers to run legacy OS to businesses that were not smart enough to use Linux. How sad.

And why wouldn't they bail? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35288086)

As a gamer, I generally prefer playing on my PC because of the higher resolution, higher frame rates and better "eye candy" that modern PC hardware can provide. No game console comes even close.

As a game publisher, though, I unfortunately have to admit that consoles are "better". They're "better" because you can write, debug and tune a game to run well on your test console and know that it's going to work in the exact same way for everyone else's console. You can't do that with PC games - everyone's going to have different sound cards, graphics cards, broken OS or DirectX/OpenGL installs. It's a support nightmare. You only have to look at all the trouble over the recent (Arrowhead) Majicka game release - brilliant game, but unstable as anything on so many peoples' computers.

Re:And why wouldn't they bail? (1)

mordenkhai (1167617) | more than 3 years ago | (#35288186)

I just wish developers would add mouse/keyboard support for all console games. I would play much more on consoles then. I just don't care for joysticks, much rather have a mouse.

Re:And why wouldn't they bail? (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35288262)

I would rather developers create games that worked well on both consoles and PC and made optimal use of both (not maxing out the console experience and then merely porting that identical experience to the PC without optimizing it for the PC -- for a much better experience with the game). More importantly, that they also made the game available somehow on all platforms for the purchaser. Why? Well, sometimes I want to play something on my PC with my pair of 30" 2560x1600 monitors and a keyboard and a mouse, hunched over my desk and with a browser and chat window open.

Other times, I want to relax on my sofa with a 65" 1080p screen and my massive audio system and just one button away from putting the game down and leaning over for a nap.

Another M$ "partnership" bites the dust (3, Insightful)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 3 years ago | (#35288216)

Nokia, you're next.

Games for Windows Live (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35288230)

Now if only MS would also ditch Games for Windows Live they might show some of their old mojo they have lost recently...

Bootable DVD games (1)

jlebrech (810586) | more than 3 years ago | (#35288396)

Clearly games which boot from DVD are the way to go, NVidia could ally itself with a Linux distro which can autoconfig the optimal configuration and launch the game. Save games could be online.

Hey NVidia, want to help out PC gaming? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35288398)

You could sponser the mod makers and mappers of PC games. These modders aren't going to turn their backs on the PC or sell out to consoles, because they really can't modify console games in any meaningful way. How about donating one of those shiny new cards to a guy who builds the best mission for The Dark Mod for example. Maybe you could release an engine for the community to build upon. Maybe you could release some of thsoe assets in the tech demos to the modders too. Don't waste your time promoting "cyber-athletes". Most of us really aren't impressed with them, and having game content is what really gets us to upgrade our systems to play it.

By the way, thank you for being the only ones who provides Linux graphics drivers that don't completely suck.

Sincerly: a Linux gamer who will not subject himself to Windows post-2000.

How to save PC gaming: 5 easy steps. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35288532)

1. Concentrate on making long, engaging, moddable games that blow our minds and really push the capabilities of the hardware, like Unreal, Deus Ex, or Thief did. People still mod and play these games today.
2. I know it is tempting, but stop dumbing down games and skill systems. PC gamers like options. We also like replayability.
3. Stop treating your paying customers like used toilet paper. When I go to the store and buy a game, I shouldn't have to worry about what kind of malware the modern game will be installing. I don't trust your activation schemes. Given the fact that you can't even stick around and fix critical game bugs for five years, why would I trust you with the ability to take the product back from me? I wasn't born yesterday.
4. Build PC games, not console games. Stop with the squashed, blurry textures and maps the size of my apartment.
5. Profit!

PC = Windows? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35288708)

Is "PC gaming" equivalent to "Windows gaming"? The only reason why I still use Windows is because almost no games are released for Linux/Mac. I'm amazed that people (read "game developers") is uncapable of writing platform independent code. Nokia has a very good solution to this problem - a framework called Qt (yes, I'm a big fan). Moving the code (even if it is called CryEngine or Unreal Engine) to this framework should be a piece of cake.

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