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PC Gaming Isn't Going Anywhere

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the mouse-and-keyboard-for-the-win dept.

PC Games (Games) 102

Grimrod writes "Dave Long, one of the editors of GamerDad, has a unique look at the PC as a game platform and how it gets forgotten among the constant barrage of console gunfire in his latest Long Shot column. From the article, 'It might never be like 1998 again on the computer, the year that PC gaming was probably at its very peak, but it's far better than analysts and even armchair soothsayers would have you believe. I got caught up in the hype myself to a certain extent. I started to believe I didn't need the computer for games. Now that I'm back on the inside with current hardware, I realize again how dumb that idea was.'"

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102 comments

By unique look... (1)

ThisIsForReal (897233) | more than 8 years ago | (#13142083)

you mean "just about the same as everyone else"?

Re:By unique look... (2, Insightful)

nekoes (613370) | more than 8 years ago | (#13142145)

Yeah seriously, I think I'm going to come up with a site that writes meaningless shit about games just to see if I can get on games.slashdot. Then again IGN gets away with that kind of crap all the time, their "feature" on CRPGs lacked anything resembeling content. Then there was that "article" about MMO's not even a day ago... I'm all for games journalism but some of this stuff is ridiculous. Gamerdad needs to stop writing forever.

3

Re:By unique look... (3, Insightful)

abandonment (739466) | more than 8 years ago | (#13142804)

FTA :
>> Halo 2 especially takes online multiplayer to a
>> new level of fun because of the integrated voice
>> chat of Xbox Live.

Perhaps he actually means: by ripping off ideas that were possible 10 years previously in pc games (i mean i was using roger wilco to play delta force 2 with 50 player servers back before hardware accelerated video cards existed...)

half-life 1 had integrated voice chat 5 years (or more) before halo2 - AND had multiplayer (gameplay & weapons & community) that kicked ass over halo's (the continued popularity of cs proves this)...

I still don't get why people would pay money for xbox live, when you can get all of this and much more on a pc...

then there's the new 'HD' craze that the console manufacturers are trying to promote with the new round of consoles...

yippee-freakin do - my console can now do resolutions that computers do 10 years ago - without hardware acceleration...weee

current-gen consoles can only go as high (resolution-wise) as standard ntsc video resolution, which is the equivalent of what quake1 in software mode could do (320×482 approx)

now, suddenly consoles can do 'hd' resolutions, which are basically what we've had on PC's for the past 7-8 years:

HDTV 1080i 1920×1080 (16:9)
HDTV 720p 1280×720 (16:9)
EDTV 480p 704×480

(source: wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Screen_resolution [wikipedia.org] )

is this really 'that' interesting? i mean 1920x1080 isn't something to scoff at, but by the time the consoles are out and people actually have tv's that can display this kind of resolution, computers will be running dual & triple display games at 2 to 3 times this resolutions, not to mention SLI video cards, dual core 64 bit processors and other PC-only enhancements that are coming down the pipeline...

(sure some of the consoles will have dual-core processors, but they are still nowhere near the processor speed of what we will be targetting as our lowest-end gaming machine in few years...)

consoles are pure marketing bs...mind you, as a developer they provide a single, stable hardware platform to develop games for, so IN THEORY, we can optimize game performance more for the consoles...

Re:By unique look... (1)

bigman2003 (671309) | more than 8 years ago | (#13143528)

If you really want to compare Roger Wilco to Xbox Live voice chat, then you're on crack.

They are nowhere close. Xbox Live voice has things like team chat and proximity chat built in. You don't have to screw around with anything- they just works.

I played huge amounts of on-line games on the PC for years and years. Now that I am on the Xbox, I think that my $50 Live subscription is the best $50 I have ever paid for gaming. You don't really understand it until you use it.

Then when you use it, the thought of going back to PC style on-line gaming doesn't sound too good. More junk servers, more cheaters, more griefers, more stuff to piss you off. (Notice I used 'more...')

I love being able to jump into a Halo 2 game, where people are ranked somewhat near me. Where the chance of having an idiot come out and try to ruin the game is low, because it affects his ranking, or will get him banned. Where the server host is chosen automatically by figuring who has the best connection. Where if the server host drops, the game pauses, a new server host is chosen, and we continue on where we left off (minus the guy who dropped.)

You may not understand Xbox Live. But I think it is by far the best thing going in on-line gaming.

And RTFA- the rig he is talking about costs a lot of money. If you can't legitimize paying $50 to get your $149 console on-line...then you've got the wrong hobby.

Re:By unique look... (1)

abandonment (739466) | more than 8 years ago | (#13145432)

i guess the online gaming experience that i usually had was alot more a conscious decision.

with counter-strike, i never played on anything but our own servers pretty much from day one - me and a couple buddies started our own clan (which is still going long after i stopped playing & participating) - guaranteed low-pings, guaranteed friendly players, and guaranteed challenging gameplay due to the skill-level from everyone involved.

counter-strike didn't need much more than a 150 machine when it first started out - we had people in our clan running in software mode at 320x240 on pentium 300's that kicked our asses regularly...even on dialup against our cable...we never understood it until we started having meets & actually seeing the other guys play in person.

the clan has grown from 3 people to over 50 people that travel from all around the country for gatherings (which usually involve lots of paintball etc)...pretty interesting how you can 'grow' a community of your own, without having one force-fed to you by the game.

i'll agree, i haven't used xboxlive, played a couple games on xbox and they just seemed very unsatisfactory to me...but voice chat is voice chat as far as i'm concerned...

most of the time i don't WANT to listen to the morons on the other end of the game...

i personally prefered the counter-strike system of 'triggered' voice commands - it's amazing how well it works for communications between squad members when you get fast on the keys ;}

Re:By unique look... (1)

bigman2003 (671309) | more than 8 years ago | (#13147252)

Well, I'm in clans on Xbox Live. Same thing you are talking about. Every Wednesday we get together for some games. In fact, we can go to Bungie.net to see our scores, how we compare to each other, etc. etc. Xbox Live isn't just 'force-fed.'

Yes, voice chat is voice chat. And it is very nice to have a 'conference call' with your buddies while waiting for the host to set up the new game settings.

When I get into a game with someone who is an idiot, I can mute them- and still just listen to everyone else. Very convenient. I can't even imagine playing team games without voice chat anymore. Yes, you can send a few pre-defined messages on a lot of PC games, but you can come up with much more comprehensive communication when you can really talk.

Really- try it some more, Xbox Live is really good. I am saying this after having at least 5 years of serious on-line play on PC's. I like Xbox Live a while lot more.

Re:By unique look... (1)

abandonment (739466) | more than 8 years ago | (#13147816)

yeah half-life had easy muting of idiots as well.

as much as i don't like to admit it - microsoft does seem to have thought out the xbox live system fairly well ;}

i've heard alot of good reviews of it.

Re:By unique look... (1)

nekoes (613370) | more than 8 years ago | (#13148424)

I'll agree xbox live is one of the better online arrangments to come out there, but I can't justify it as a good use of my 50 dollars when I've got a better set up on my PC. I had recently got it after hearing such good reviews only to find out that Halo 2's multiplayer was ridiculously gimped. I had come into the game thinking that I was going to be able to play what maps I wanted to play, with what gametype I wanted to play, the way I wanted to play it. Of course Bungie doesn't actually offer that kind of experience.

It turns out that with Halo 2's awesome online setup, I no longer have to worry about what map I'm going to be playing, because it will be chosen for me from a preselected set of maps that bungee uses voodoo to derive. Same with weapons, and gametype. I honestly only bought in so I could play CTF with my roommates online, only to figure out if I wanted to do that I was going to have to pay 50 dollars for each of them so they could get their own gamertags. That's pretty fucked up to me. Now of course you could tell me to just play non-ranked. But I'm not sure if you have ever tried playing an unranked team ctf game, but let me tell you, it's not ctf. You play 1 man ctf on that shitty crash map with misslelaunchers only or some bullshit. I had to quit 90% of the games we played simply because the gametype was just fucking absurd. In order to get the CTF I wanted I had to play on the ranked ladder and even then I wasn't guarenteed that I was going to be getting the game I wanted to play. I can't see why people put up with that kind of bullshit. Oh wait, I know, because Bungie says it's better that way. Bullshit. Now you could also tell me to just play friends only games, and I'd consider it, if everyone playing xbox live wasn't 12 years old. Nothing against 12 year olds, but the majority of them have annoying voices and say really annoying shit all the time. Is there a mute feature in game? Because I could never fucking find it. I'd load into a map just to hear some prepubescent voice screech into the mic some, and then just reach for the quit button because there's no reason for me to put up with that shit.

I eventually did build a friends list, it was made up of random people that weren't incredibly annoying (only some) and I played a few games with them. After putting in so many hours just to play with people I didn't like at all, I realized it wasn't worth it. Halo 2 is a decent game, and a decent multiplayer game, but the way that bungie executed it online was terrible. I salute the kind of people who can take the bullshit bungie feeds them. They're either too ignorant to not understand how an online match should be set up, or they just don't care. It just wasn't worth the $50 to play the game the way that bungie wanted me to play it with the kind of people I want to punch in the throat.

At least with CS I can host my own server, or mute the people I hate, or choose to turn voice chat off, or pick from 1 of a million other servers (running the gametype, mods, or map I want).

After finding out that Halo 2 live was the biggest mistake I've ever paid $50 for, I looked into other games I could play on live. I think there were like 2 I seriously considered. I could imagine that splinter cell online would work better than the PC counterpart, since the controller works a lot better for controls in that game. However I'm pretty sure the server browser in all the PC versions work the same way as they do in the console versions, which means they're completely broken. The other issue was that I already owned all the splinter cell games on my pc. Why pay for them over again? The other game I wanted to try online was crimson skies, but I never got around to buying another game after halo 2.

Sure, live is the best thing the console market has by far. But the experience on the PC is far better. By hosting a teamspeak server I can choose who I talk with and what game I talk in. The voice quality is the same or better, and there's relatively little bullshit. The games that come out on xbox are pretty much pc ports, which I already own the PC copy for.

Sure pc gaming is expensive, and a little less user friendly, but it does so many more things so much better.

If you seriously want a good argument, PCs currently are the only system which emulation is easy for. Any idiot with an internet connection can download a rom, or a pack of every rom for a system if they're only half stupid. Sure the legality of it is questionable, but there's something to having upwards of 10,000 games available to you for playing at any time.

The only thing that would sell me on a system is if they offered all the previous games in that system's library for free, with an easy interface for downloading and playing the ones I want to. I seriously hope that's what the revolution is all about. If nintendo puts together a system that allows me to play every NES, SNES, and N64 game without any trouble at all, and for a reasonable price (or hell, free) then that will be the best console hands down. And one that is well worth my money.

Re:By unique look... (1)

bigman2003 (671309) | more than 8 years ago | (#13149239)

Okay, Live was not working for you- but I don't understand one of your comments.

You don't like matchmaking, because you don't get to play with your friends. Okay- understand that.

But, you don't like to play unranked team games, because it usually degenerates into crap (which I agree with whole-heartedly). Got it.

But the last part didn't make sense to me. You don't want to create your own game, and limit it to your friends list...

But, with Counter Strike, you feel it is better because you can set up your own server and limit people who play.

I agree with everything you said about Halo 2 - except the part about creating your own games. In Halo 2 can do basically the same things you can do with a CS server (in regards to your complaints). As you mentioned, your friends list will let you limit who plays. If someone ends up actually being an idiot you have the choice of just muting them, or you can drop them.

Also, the demographic for Halo 2 is skewed heavily toward the 20's and 30's age group. Yes, of course there are people younger, but this is the game which attracts the most older players. I admit- when I am running a game, I will boot people who are under the age of 18- just on principle, but it doesn't end up happening very often.

Maybe the Halo 2 matchmaking system just isn't what you were hoping for. I know that the day after I first played it, I went back to work and told my other game-playing friends tht it was the dumbest, most idiotic, short-sighted, crappiest scheme they could have every come up with.

A week later I had to tell them that I was wrong- very wrong. I ended up thinking it was the most ingenious way to handle servers I had ever seen.

Re:By unique look... (1)

h0ts4uc3 (886948) | more than 8 years ago | (#13143570)

you stole the workds right outta' my mouth. Glad im not alone in that opinion.

Re:By unique look... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13144053)

Which would all be nice if it wasn't for the horrific amount of cheating, the whiney 13 year olds that just have to end up in every game, and the poor selection of games in general.

And its only gonna get better with the 360, where all the rich kids are gonna get to buy the best items in the "marketplace" and if you wanna play on that new map it's gonna cost you another $10...

Re:By unique look... (1)

rohlfinator (888775) | more than 8 years ago | (#13144174)

"now, suddenly consoles can do 'hd' resolutions, which are basically what we've had on PC's for the past 7-8 years:"

If the best argument for the PC is its resolution, the PC market is pretty dead. Resolution means nothing. At least back in the day you could argue that a PC could handle higher poly counts, better lighting, bigger textures, etc., but if you have to fall back on pixel counting, I'd say there's a problem with your argument.

If you're defending the PC, at least mention some meaningful games, like Spore, The Sims, WoW, or Half-Life 2. The PC market is still innovating, even if it's not quite as much as the console market. No video game platform can survive on graphics alone. It's the petty arguments over resolution and RAM that cause people to believe that PC gaming is only for tech-obsessed nerds. Without good games, great hardware is useless.

Re:By unique look... (1)

slaker (53818) | more than 8 years ago | (#13146058)

I do not enjoy most online games. I like City of Heroes, due by the fact that I've been able to find people who like comic books and I get to PLAY as a hero, but I seriously feel that the automatic assumption that every game on a PC (or any other platform, but I don't like consoles either) needs to be "online" or "high resolution" is a very poor one.

Instead, I'd like to suggest the limitations of console input devices limit the sorts of games that can be played on them, and THAT is the biggest single reason I see for gaming as it's meant to be, on a PC.

I could also mention the fact that a PC Game developer can ASSUME a high quality display, stereo sound and a couple of complex input devices.

I might also put forward that I strongly dislike the cultural influences of two of the three console makers. I've played Computer RPGs and adventure games since the mid-80s - the console versions of those things just aren't the same thing - as well as simulators and wargames (think Avalon Hill, not RTS). Those are types of games that simply do not exist on consoles. Console makers apparently think "fun" = 2D jumping puzzles, rehashing sports titles and "RPGs" that are as linear as a train track.

I also see the more open development of PC games as an advantage. Yes, yes, I know, all games are big-budget enterprises by multinational entertainment conglamorates. Still, it's easier to get ahold of a C compiler, 3D Studio or whatever the hell it is that spews forth Flash than it is to get a PS2 development kit. I'd put forth that a couple kids might be able to come up with an awesome game on their own, using nothing but tools they can buy at Best Buy. I don't think that could happen on any current console system.

And then there's the fact that almost every popular PC game ends up with a modding community.

All in all, the more PC Gaming looks like it was an afterthought (afterbirth?) of console gaming, the less I want to do with gaming generally.

Re:By unique look... (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 8 years ago | (#13146623)

Instead, I'd like to suggest the limitations of console input devices limit the sorts of games that can be played on them, and THAT is the biggest single reason I see for gaming as it's meant to be, on a PC.


I could also mention the fact that a PC Game developer can ASSUME a high quality display, stereo sound and a couple of complex input devices.


There are no limitations, not since October of 2000. (USB ports on the PS2)

I must also say that gaming consoles predate gaming on PC's. (not counting text based stuff on PDP 11's or whatever) So technically gaming is meant to be done on consoles.

Consoles have had stereo sound as the default since the late 80's when the Genesis came out.

I might also put forward that I strongly dislike the cultural influences of two of the three console makers. I've played Computer RPGs and adventure games since the mid-80s - the console versions of those things just aren't the same thing - as well as simulators and wargames (think Avalon Hill, not RTS). Those are types of games that simply do not exist on consoles. Console makers apparently think "fun" = 2D jumping puzzles, rehashing sports titles and "RPGs" that are as linear as a train track.


There's nothing stopping a developer from doing a traditional grognard greybeard AH style game on a console. They just don't do it, because guys like you who actually buy those niche games are very anti console. As for the 2D jumping games you must be thinking of the 16 bit consoles and earlier because 3D games have been the norm for about a decade. Console games aren't just run/jump/bop anymore.

Still, it's easier to get ahold of a C compiler, 3D Studio or whatever the hell it is that spews forth Flash than it is to get a PS2 development kit.


http://playstation2-linux.com/ [playstation2-linux.com] official hobbyist development kit.(though it's quite usable fo other things)

All in all, the more PC Gaming looks like it was an afterthought (afterbirth?) of console gaming, the less I want to do with gaming generally.


It's always been an afterthought, except for that short time after the fall of the 2600 and the rise of the NES, from about 84 to 86 when the C64 was the "in" gaming device. (that most people who owned one used just like a console)

Re:By unique look... (1)

slaker (53818) | more than 8 years ago | (#13146837)


There are no limitations, not since October of 2000. (USB ports on the PS2)

Yes, but that equipment is not standard. Hey, PS2s can have hard drives, too. See how well that went over?
Oh, and last time I checked, NTSC wasn't something I'd want to spend long periods of time staring at. Interlaced 640x480 != high quality.

Consoles have had stereo sound as the default since the late 80's when the Genesis came out.

Yes, but there are millions and millions of people - people who also have game consoles - who don't have stereo TVs or their consoles hooked up to receivers. A close friend of mine bought a TV a couple weeks ago that didn't even have stereo or S-video inputs.

As for the 2D jumping games you must be thinking of the 16 bit consoles and earlier because 3D games have been the norm for about a decade.

Whatever. Sonic and Mario walk and jump in THREE dimensions. That's a HUGE gameplay improvement. Pardon me if I'm not turgid with excitement.

It's always been an afterthought, except for that short time after the fall of the 2600 and the rise of the NES, from about 84 to 86 when the C64 was the "in" gaming device. (that most people who owned one used just like a console)

Bullshit.
I think that if you looked back, you'd find that there were a large number of gaming companies that made games exclusively for personal computers. Origin, LucasArts, SSI. Interplay. Certainly none of them were making console games that they ported to PC. PCs (and for a time, Apple and C64/128/Amiga) were their market. That market was distinct, and there was virtually no crossover between console and computer games. Nowadays, PC games have the serious limitations of consoles thrust on them (e.g. Deus Ex 2), but it was not always so.

Re:By unique look... (1)

rohlfinator (888775) | more than 8 years ago | (#13147004)

"Oh, and last time I checked, NTSC wasn't something I'd want to spend long periods of time staring at. Interlaced 640x480 != high quality."

Call it what you may, but most every American spends many hours a week staring at it. And again, if resolution is one of the top reasons for PC gaming, doesn't that say something about the quality of games? If a developer can't figure out how to make a decent game in 640x480, frankly they don't deserve to be making games. I'm not discounting PC games, but surely you can find a better reason to support them.

"Whatever. Sonic and Mario walk and jump in THREE dimensions. That's a HUGE gameplay improvement. Pardon me if I'm not turgid with excitement."

Typing something in capital letters doesn't make it any less of an improvement. I could argue that mouselook doesn't matter in FPSs, but we both know I'd be lying. If you don't think 3D games have had an effect on the industry, you're kidding yourself.

Re:By unique look... (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 8 years ago | (#13147114)

Yes, but that equipment is not standard. Hey, PS2s can have hard drives, too. See how well that went over?


Went over pretty well...in Japan Went over well among Final Fantasy fans here in the states and Linux kit owners of course. The problem with the HD wasn't rejection by gamers but overcaution by SCEA. Had the HD came out in 2002, as was originally planned, it would have been better received. But SCEA wanted to wait until it had a killer app for it, and Square took too long to do the NTSC version of FFXI

A close friend of mine bought a TV a couple weeks ago that didn't even have stereo or S-video inputs.
So blame your friend, not the console. When you can get stereo sound in cheap TV's there's no excuse for a TV hooked up to a game machine not to have it. If they don't want to buy a stereo TV just hook the audio to a boom box or something with stereo in.

Whatever. Sonic and Mario walk and jump in THREE dimensions. That's a HUGE gameplay improvement. Pardon me if I'm not turgid with excitement.


Repeat after me: There's more games on consoles than just cartoony platformers. Besides some of them are pretty darn good games and shouldn't be bashed out of hand.

I think that if you looked back, you'd find that there were a large number of gaming companies that made games exclusively for personal computers. Origin, LucasArts, SSI. Interplay.
And where are Interplay, SSI and Origin now? do they have the output they once did? Do they have the mindshare they did?

Sure there's companies that are (or were) exclusively PC but that's my point, that's becoming rarer and rarer.

Nowadays, PC games have the serious limitations of consoles thrust on them (e.g. Deus Ex 2), but it was not always so.
Blame the programmers, not the console. It was their fault for not optimizing the controls/game for each platform Or blame Ion Storm doing Deus Ex 2 for the Xbox when the PS2 would have been a better home for it. USB ports, so they wouldn't have had to change the controls at all.

Re:By unique look... (1)

kyojin the clown (842642) | more than 7 years ago | (#13154802)

blame Ion Storm doing Deus Ex 2 for the Xbox when the PS2 would have been a better home for it. USB ports, so they wouldn't have had to change the controls at all

this sort of proves his point. the xbox can have keyboard and mouse controls too, the point being that no-one knows/cares.

another important factor is the location of the device. where is your console? its in the fron room, you sit on the sofa and play. where do you put your mouse and keyboard? on the coffee table? welcome to back pain. the PC in most peoples homes is set up for this stuff, and consoles arent.

Re:By unique look... (1)

nekoes (613370) | more than 8 years ago | (#13148517)

I'd say this is a joke, but then again I'm reading slashdot, so this sort of crap is a mainstay of the community.

There are no limitations, not since October of 2000. (USB ports on the PS2)

Whether or not computers or consoles have the ability of using seperate input devices (which I guuess consoles do, now) it's pretty much the default ones that really matter since a lot of people will not be willing to design a game for what most users may not own. That said, keyboard and mouse can do pretty much anything and allow for communication, where as a typical controller will not. I'm not saying that a kbm setup is superior, it's just that it's better for some games. That said, a kbm setup will work with pretty much every game out there, where as a controller setup will not.


I must also say that gaming consoles predate gaming on PC's. (not counting text based stuff on PDP 11's or whatever) So technically gaming is meant to be done on consoles.


Now this is some comedy. What honestly do you think consoles are? What kind of voodoo do you honestly think goes on in that little box? To say that console gaming predates PC gaming is a bit absurd, since at core a console is just a specialized computer. If you must be nitpicky then you can say that console gaming predates modern PC gaming, but that's retarded because where there were pc's there were pc games. It may not have been a market, but personal computers have always been used for gaming since the days of their conception.

While the man you're quoting in your post may have never played a console game in his life (it's becoming obvious), there's just genres that play out better on each platform. Depending on your favorite style of RPG you might enjoy computer RPG's better, since they tend to be more freeform as the PC has a rewritable storage medium. Something that Xbox really hasn't taken advantage of, excepting a terrible morrowind console port... maybe.

There's nothing wrong with decent platformers, so we'll move on. Because this idiot doesn't like them doesn't mean shit.

Unfortunately he brings up another point that is very valid if you must be fighting over which platform is "superior."

Still, it's easier to get ahold of a C compiler, 3D Studio or whatever the hell it is that spews forth Flash than it is to get a PS2 development kit.

http://playstation2-linux.com/ official hobbyist development kit.(though it's quite usable fo other things)

if you believe in any way that independant development on a console is in any way comparable to that on a PC, then you sir, are retarded. You can go ahead and cite your linux-on-ps2 (PC operating system on PS2?!) shit, but that's stupid. How are you going to be painting textures and putting together models on your ps2 linux? Oh, right, you're not. If anything you should be citing how development has taken off on modded xboxes. But I think it's becoming clear from your other posts that you're a little ps2 fanboy. Otherwise it's the PC that is the home of independant development, it always has been, and always will be. There's a myriad of free and cheap-but-good tools available to pc users to accomplish every task needed in game development (something that may be foriegn to you).

Re:By unique look... (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 8 years ago | (#13151803)

it's pretty much the default ones that really matter since a lot of people will not be willing to design a game for what most users may not own.


It can't be that hard to just throw in keyboard/moust support as an extra. We all know of PC games like sports titles that can be played with the keyboard/mouse or with some Dual Shock lookalike controller. They don't have to design the game around a specific control scheme/set up at all.

That said, a kbm setup will work with pretty much every game out there, where as a controller setup will not.


The keyboard isn't analog. I'd hate to try to play a game like Spyro (or other 3D platformer) with one. I haven't seen a genre yet that couldn't be done with a gamepad with some UI tweaking. That's partly my point, the keyboard allows for bad UI design. It's one reason I think Diablo-likes make better console games than PC games.

What honestly do you think consoles are?


Computers, but many PC gamers don't consider them as such. Obviously you do.

It may not have been a market, but personal computers have always been used for gaming since the days of their conception.

That's also partly my point, the PC, as a mass karket gaming platform is going the way of the dodo.

if you believe in any way that independant development on a console is in any way comparable to that on a PC, then you sir, are retarded.


I'm not saying it's equal, I'm just saying it can be done.

How are you going to be painting textures and putting together models on your ps2 linux? Oh, right, you're not.


I assume one could use GIMP for the textures, (yes it's in there) I know there's conversion tools to convert formats. I don't think the hardcore PS2 Linux developers do much traditional modeling. But since some indie development is for web based 2D games anymore, one could always use Python, Pygame and SDL to do one of those. Get yourself a prototype game running and show it to a dev house/publisher if you want.

But I think it's becoming clear from your other posts that you're a little ps2 fanboy.
I think that the PS2 is the best overall value in electronic gaming at this time. I think it has a better and more diverse gaming lineup than the other gaming consoles. I think it has the best control pad. If that makes me a fanboy, so be it.

Otherwise it's the PC that is the home of independant development, it always has been, and always will be. There's a myriad of free and cheap-but-good tools available to pc users to accomplish every task needed in game development (something that may be foriegn to you).


Oh sure lots of indie development on the PC, no doubt about that. But it's not enough to sustain it as a commercial platform. It wasn't enough for the Amiga (or for Linux for that matter), and it won't be enough for the PC. So you'll still be getting Diablo clones and low budget FPS's from eastern Europe, but the number of commercial releases will drop. You'll still get those harcore wargames and flight sims, but you won't find them in stores, and they won't sell more than 20000 copies, if even that. As a major commerical gaming platform the PC is going to go bye bye.

Re:By unique look... (1)

NeMon'ess (160583) | more than 8 years ago | (#13144342)

The games won't require 2 or 3 monitors because not enough gamers have them. A hard core gamer probably invests in a single 21" screen instead of dual 19". Also because framerate is so important, and the framerate hit between 3200x1200 and 1600x1200 is so huge, don't expect that to happen anytime soon. If dual screen gaming ever catches on, the second monitor will only be for stat info because few people are willing to game with a one or two inch gap right in the center of their view.

Dual core? xbox360 has 3 of them. SLI video cards? Will remain a luxury for the top third of PC gamers.

Next gen consoles will play the gorgeous games this winter, people won't have to wait three years.

If one of the consoles supports keyboard and mouse as a primary input device, kiss most of PC gaming goodbye. Then the PC-only genres will be viable in HD on a console.

Re:By unique look... (1)

Tom (822) | more than 8 years ago | (#13145006)

You're right, but I'm not so sure about resolution anymore.

My main machine is a notebook from last year, so it's got some trouble running, say GTA in > 1024x768.
However, the card has AA on-board so I gave it a try. And tell you what, GTA looks better in 800x600 with AA on than it does in 1024x768 with AA off.

Console games look great for the resolutions they offer. There's a lot you can do that doesn't rely on upping the pixel count.

Re:By unique look... (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 8 years ago | (#13146549)

the current generation PS2 can do up to 1080i, off the top of my head only two pieces of software do that, one is the Linux kit, the other being Gran Tursimo 4. It can also output VGA (sync on green)

Consoles "Just Work" (1)

PhoenixOne (674466) | more than 8 years ago | (#13151549)

The main reasons console games are more popular are 1) it is cheaper to buy a state-of-the-art machine that will play all the games your friends are bragging about and, 2) everything just works.

I love my PC games, still the best way to play RTS, FPS, simulations, and funkie titles that will never make it to a console. But, when I just want to "tray-and-play" a game with some friends, it is hard to beat a console.

Consoles also are better for 'group' play (1)

abandonment (739466) | more than 8 years ago | (#13152394)

Another thing I've noticed (more recently) is that consoles are much more 'group' friendly - whether it's from multi-screen play (less so in this regard) or from simple gameplay functionality.

When you want to sit down and slug away for 50 hours on an RPG - PC's can't be beat.

But when you have a couple of buddies over and want to have a game that you can do 'pass the controller' with, console games (at least some of them) are easier to adopt into this type of gameplay.

This isn't entirely from the living room positioning of the games, but also from the simple style of games that are available on the console.

Whether it's doing Halo co-op, driving games, games like 'amped' (or similar) and so on, playing with multiple people is infinitely easier than everyone huddling around a PC...

Even games like GTA lend themselves towards this kind of gaming situation - you can have 'get the most stars' or simply ripping around until you die gaming marathons with numerous people - things that you would never do with your PC gaming buddies is so much easier to do with a console for some reason.

Huh? PC gaming has been (2, Insightful)

buffer-overflowed (588867) | more than 8 years ago | (#13142087)

declining rapidly, outside of certain genres, since the XBox came out. MS cannibalized a large portion of PC developer resources to bolster their library on the console. Ruining a large number of games in the process(like Deus Ex: Invisible War).

The number of games I wanted on the PC used to be on about equal footing to the number of games I wanted on consoles. Not so any longer.

Certain genres (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 8 years ago | (#13142198)

PC gaming has been declining rapidly, outside of certain genres, since the XBox came out.

"Certain genres" may be more important than some may think. Particularly, startup developers and developers of "casual" games find it a lot harder to get published on a console than to self-publish on Windows.

Re:Huh? PC gaming has been (1)

nc_yori (870325) | more than 8 years ago | (#13142259)

What do you base this on outside your own personal experience? What are these "certain genres" that have been spared this "decline" that you are talking about? Why would you say the XBox has had any more impact on the landscape of PC gaming than the Playstation or GameCube? Can you please clarify what you mean by "cannibalized...PC developer resources" and then relate to us how you came to conclude that "a large portion" of said resources were taken. By your reference to Deus Ex 2, are you inferring that FPS's suffer more than other genres? Please help us out here so we can make a group effort out of pulling your foot from your mouth.

Re:Huh? PC gaming has been (1)

buffer-overflowed (588867) | more than 8 years ago | (#13146716)

Comparing what's coming out to what used to. I've been a PC gamer since you could be a PC gamer. That's a long time. Genres I loved have risen and died. I've gotten sick of FPSes. I've rekindled an appreciation of them. I've gotten sick of them again.

Even over the last few years I've seen the decline worsen. Gaming shops that might have a PC section, if you're lucky, which might be almost as big as the gamecube section, if you're lucky, and might stock new/rarer things, if you're lucky.

And a lot of this I pin on MS because MS has a lot of pull due to DirectX and owning the ONLY real PC gaming platform outright. They didn't start it, but I definately noticed a hit in PC land when they launched their console. And I noticed where the priorities for Deus Ex: IW were.

Re:Huh? PC gaming has been (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13142794)

I am loathe to say this, because I love Warren Spector (when he is not pontificating on the "sad state" of the industry) and Harvey Smith- but the only folks who ruined Deus Ex: IW were Ion Storm themselves. They missed the mark, simple as that. There are plenty of games that exist in masterwork form on both the PC and the console. Halo and Grand Theft Auto 3 come to mind.

PC gaming isn't going anywhere for many reasons. A constantly upgradable platform, a user base that is much smarter and more likely to take risks on titles (hence the "next big thing" is way more likely to show up on the PC), a thriving mod community (which usually equals free gaming, very enticing) and far superior input devices.

Re:Huh? PC gaming has been (3, Interesting)

MuNansen (833037) | more than 8 years ago | (#13144135)

yes, Ion Storm were the developers that ruined DX2, but I think it's the Xbox's limitations that forced them to make the wrong decisions. First off, I don't think DX2 could ever meet the level of uniqueness DX had, since there was already DX, so they were bound for an inferior sequel right off the bat. They did make a pretty interesting story, and the graphics/physics system was ahead of its time.

BUT, Ion Storm was forced to remove the more endearing gameplay mechanics because of the knowledge it was being ported to console. For one, the Xbox's physical memory is quite paltry. There is no way that the Xbox could handle the enormous, wide-open levels of the first game unless they settled for a sub-par graphics presentation. Which of course, no one ever stands for anymore (WoW is about the only other major game than DX1 that put substance and style over power and polygons when it comes to graphics).

The other thing was that the game had to be controller-friendly. So they created a dumbed-down inventory system with none of the depth that made the first game's item manipulation fun. They also dumbed-down the character building. The first DX's character building was so in-depth and varied, and had such a strong influence on how you played the game, that it had really combined the best parts of both FPSes and RPGs. DX2, though, just had some arbitrary skills to improve that did effect the game, but not to the level of the first.

So both the limitations of the hardware, and the limitations of the audience of the consoles put very large restrictions on the development of the second Deus Ex. Yes GTA was done beautifully on all systems, but DX isn't GTA. GTA is nowhere near as complex as the first DX. A great Deus Ex sequel could only have been done for PC.

PC gaming is declining? (1)

sgant (178166) | more than 8 years ago | (#13143324)

First I've heard of it...I still play a ton of new games and more are coming out etc etc.

Or is this one of those things where the media says it's declining so it MUST be true. I mean I have an Xbox, a PS2 and a Gamecube and I couldn't tell you one game that's coming out for them. The Gamecube get's played more as that's my 11 year old son's favorite. But the Xbox and PS2 are hardly touched. I mean, when they first came out they were played much more...but now they mainly collect dust while I play World of Warcraft and BF2 and Silent Hunter 3 etc etc.

Sure you can play all those on a console...er...wait a minute, you can't! So I guess it all comes down to what you want to play. No way in hell am I playing a FPS with a controller when I've spent the last 12 years playing with a mouse and keyboard.

Re:PC gaming is declining? (1)

buffer-overflowed (588867) | more than 8 years ago | (#13146683)

World of Warcraft has caused most of my other gaming stuff to gather much dust(even AFTER hitting lvl 60). BF2, no real interest. Shrug, I'm sick of that entire genre. All 3 of the games your playing were the type I was thinking when I said "except certain genres."

He's right (3, Insightful)

fwice (841569) | more than 8 years ago | (#13142100)

He's right. The computer isn't dead for gaming, and in my opinion, will never be overshadowed by consoles. I've pretty much stopped enjoying console games, excluding the GTA's, n64's goldeneye and smash brothers, and my old SNES and nintendo games. Nothing else new on console is worth playing.

But on the computer I've had tons of games that were tons of fun. starting back with civilization and progressing up through warcraft II, duke nukem, doom, quake, AOE, and then halflife & cs(!)

what makes most PC games so much better than the console games is the amount of personal interactivity with people. I can talk to the people i'm playing with in counter-strike. I can't do that with a console (excluding some horrid voicecom). And it's so much easier to use the mouse / keyboard combination for gaming than a controller (no matter how i try, i can't aim in halo worth a shit with an xbox controller)

but, as of late, i've gone totally retro and dusted off the NES and the atari for some old school fun times :]

Re:He's right (4, Insightful)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 8 years ago | (#13142131)

"The computer isn't dead for gaming, and in my opinion, will never be overshadowed by consoles."

Actually it's always been overshadowed by consoles. Game developers make a lot more money on consoles than they do the PC. PC Game makers, for example, shoot for 100,000 copies sold. Console game makers shoot for half a mil.

"what makes most PC games so much better than the console games is the amount of personal interactivity with people. I can talk to the people i'm playing with in counter-strike. I can't do that with a console (excluding some horrid voicecom)."

Heh. You should try buying a second controller and inviting a friend over. ;)

Getting into the console business? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 8 years ago | (#13142185)

Game developers make a lot more money on consoles than they do the PC.

A lot of game developers who sell games for Windows and/or Mac OS make zero money on consoles because they can't seem to get noticed by a licensed console game publisher. Unlike PCs, consoles have a digital imprimatur [wikipedia.org] .

Re:He's right (1)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 8 years ago | (#13142298)

Troll...? Bullshit.

I used to work at a software company that licensed some code to a game developer you've all heard of. Those were the numbers thrown out.

Was it the controller comment maybe? Apologies if it came out rude, but come on. Who all here has had friends over to play Nintendo? Who can honestly say that playing Quake is a better social experience than that?

Re:He's right (1)

fwice (841569) | more than 8 years ago | (#13142343)

tbh i didnt think it was troll or rude or anything, but a well made point. if it wasnt my post id be using my mod points to raise it up :[

Re:He's right (1)

MrResistor (120588) | more than 8 years ago | (#13142486)

Heh. You should try buying a second controller and inviting a friend over. ;)

And split the already crappy resolution? Acceptable for MarioKart, but makes Halo nearly unplayable.

Re:He's right (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 8 years ago | (#13143103)

Many games have all players on the screen, anyway. Games like Tekken or Smash Bros. are very popular.

Re:He's right (1)

MrResistor (120588) | more than 8 years ago | (#13144551)

Smash Bros' zooming out is the worst. You're character ends up being about 6 pixels, you can barely see shere he is, let alone what he's doing.

I've never cared much for fighting games, anyway. The only use I have for them is teaching my little brother some humility (he usually wins the first round, as I'm figuring out the controls, then I proceed to dominate him).

Counterexample: World of Warcraft (1)

PIPBoy3000 (619296) | more than 8 years ago | (#13143641)

If you look at games like World of Warcraft, they've now hit the 3.5 million subscribers mark. That's steady income for Blizzard for years to come. True, it's the exception to the rule, but even the GTA's which sold millions aren't going to see that sort of long-term revenue stream.

That's not to say that many console games have more widespread distribution than PC games, only that it's not fair to compare them directly. PC games make their money in different ways - expansion packs, digital downloads (e.g. Neverwinter Nights & HL2), and the holy grail of MMORPGs.

Of course, consoles are about to pounce on the same ideas. It's just that PCs went there first and it's likely that PCs will continue to innovate, being a much more flexible platform than consoles are.

Re:Counterexample: World of Warcraft (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 8 years ago | (#13146664)

"about to pounce"? They've already pounced. First started playing an MMORPG on my PS2 in 2003.

Re:Counterexample: World of Warcraft (1)

PIPBoy3000 (619296) | more than 8 years ago | (#13147584)

Perhaps it was a poor choice of words. I'm thinking that most of the next-gen consoles are being designed with network games in mind. Already we have the upcoming Final Fantasy game, APB, Huxley, the Marvel themed MMORPG for the 360, and so on.

Up until now, the console-based MMORPGs haven't achieved as widespread an audience as the PC ones.

Re:He's right (1)

wolf31o2 (778801) | more than 8 years ago | (#13144740)

Heh. You should try buying a second controller and inviting a friend over. ;)

So we can share a split screen and see what the other is doing at all times? No thanks. What if I want to play with 4 friends? OOh... now my screen is split 4 ways, my field of vision is restricted, and now all of us can easily tell where each other is at all times. Doesn't that kinda take the fun out of a First Person Shooter?

Re:He's right (1)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 8 years ago | (#13145462)

"Doesn't that kinda take the fun out of a First Person Shooter?"

Sure. Unlike the PC, though, there are a LOT more games out there than just FPSs.

Playing with people on-line is very sterile compared to playing against the guy sitting right next to you. I had a lot more fun playing Killer Instinct with my step-brothers than I ever did playing Quake on-line. Heck, I remember going to a friend's house when I was kid. He had an NES and he'd invite a bunch of us over. We'd all take turns. Sometimes it was baseball. Sometimes it was Contra. Sometimes it was Battletoads.

Baseball was interesting because it was game of skill. We'd brag and brag and brag about how great we were at it. Then we'd make asses of ourselves. Then somebody'd pull off something unlikely and we'd all have a shouting match about whether it was luck or not. Contra was the most dramatic. Everybody had the same goal in it. We'd work as a team trying to beat it. Battletoads was somewhere in between. Often it'd start out as a team trying to get to the end, but then we'd end up just kicking the crap out of each other. Many laughs were had.

Never had that experience in Quake. Sure, it had its moments. Sure, sometimes something really funny'd happen. Heck, I've done my share of taunting and friend making. It's not the same.

Funny thing is, after saying all that, I still had a good deal of fun playing Goldeneye in 2 player mode despite the limitations you've mentioned. Heck, a coworker and I used to play Quake after work. It was more fun sitting next to him on a seperate machine than it was playing with the random assortment of dorks on-line.

There's a reason why lan parties happen today.

Re:He's right (1)

wolf31o2 (778801) | more than 8 years ago | (#13150852)

Sure. Unlike the PC, though, there are a LOT more games out there than just FPSs.

I'm not disagreeing with you, at all. The GP poster was talking about FPS games, so I stayed within the same genre. As for the games you mentioned, they are more designed towards cooperative playing. Try both running in 2 different directions in Contra. The easiest way to show that the spirit is cooperation (or attacking each other, in the case of Killer Instinct) is the fact that you share a single screen.

Playing in a room with people is quite a bit different than playing on the same screen where the other person can see where you are at all times. I like playing with a group of friends. I just don't think the FPS genre is really tailored for it.

Re:He's right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13150894)

You are spot on, but wrong. I will never buy a console becuase I love games that will never sell "half a mill", and console games are too expensive to produce in small series.

Re:He's right (2, Informative)

Seumas (6865) | more than 8 years ago | (#13142441)

If PC games were going anywhere, all the really cool games wouldn't be coming out on PC first and later ported to consoles. Doom? Counterstrike?

Not to mention, there are a few popular PC titles that I don't believe are available on any other platform.

You know, a few silly titles like World of Warcraft, Everquest, Ultima Online, Dungeon Siege, Neverwinter Nights, The Sims, The Sims Online...

Re:He's right (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 8 years ago | (#13146692)

Sure it used to take years for a console port of a PC game to appear and now it takes what...months? and now there's more multiplatform games than ever and more console to PC ports than there ever were.

There's 3 console EQ games, EQOA (mmorpg) and Champions of Norrath, Champions: Return to Arms (diablo clones)

There's console Sim games too.

As for the others, just because they haven't been ported doesn't mean they won't or that they can't. Any one of those could be done on a console.

Re:He's right (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 8 years ago | (#13146807)

Of course they could be done on a console. But they aren't. And that isn't stopping them from being massively popular games. So any suggestion that PC games are dying (or whatever) is just silly. More people are playing videogames on PCs than ever before in the history of games. How is that "dying"?!

By the way, would you actually want to try playing WoW or Counterstrike on a freaking console?! What a nightmare that would be!

Re:He's right (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 8 years ago | (#13147002)

Who says they aren't. Last I heard blizzard was thinking of doing a console version of WoW.

Sure there's a lot of PC owners playing games...web games. But there are a hell of a lot more console "gamers" than PC "gamers"

How would it be any different from playng them on a PC. You do know that PS2's have USB ports, so the people that do play MMORPG's on the PS2 just plug a keyboard in.

As for FPS' I simply do not understand the antipathy PC gamers have for proper analog controls. They work fine, though it takes time to get used to them. Of course with USB if you want to play with awful WASD you can.

Re:He's right (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 8 years ago | (#13148295)

How would it be any different from playng them on a PC. You do know that PS2's have USB ports, so the people that do play MMORPG's on the PS2 just plug a keyboard in.

Why would you do that? Even if your console of choice and your television support HDTV, do you really want to play an MMORPG from fifteen feet away? You're still going to need a place to put your USB mouse and keyboard so you can play.

As for FPS' I simply do not understand the antipathy PC gamers have for proper analog controls. They work fine, though it takes time to get used to them. Of course with USB if you want to play with awful WASD you can.

Two things. Again, there's nothing like playing a few inches away from the interface and the screen. It immerses you. It puts you into the action as opposed to reclining on your sofa with a 20 foot cable seperating you and the screen and the action.

And you do know that most console cames use a degree of "auto-aiming" to compensate for the shitty accuracy with the controllers, right?

Re:He's right (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 8 years ago | (#13151502)

Why would you do that? Even if your console of choice and your television support HDTV, do you really want to play an MMORPG from fifteen feet away? You're still going to need a place to put your USB mouse and keyboard so you can play.


Why wouldn't you?

Fifteen feet? More like 6 feet. And you can just use a tv tray, cushioned portable writing pad, or just put the keyboard on your lap. It's not clunky at all.

Two things. Again, there's nothing like playing a few inches away from the interface and the screen. It immerses you. It puts you into the action as opposed to reclining on your sofa with a 20 foot cable seperating you and the screen and the action.


So playing 6 feet from a big TV isn't immersive? And who the heck reclines while playing games, never understood that at all. By the way, the usual length of a controller cable is 6 feet.

And you do know that most console cames use a degree of "auto-aiming" to compensate for the shitty accuracy with the controllers, right?


The ones that I've seen that have it, it can be turned off. For myself, non analog WASD movement is shitty. But now you'e getting into the FPS's thing again. There are other genre's.

Re:He's right (1)

rohlfinator (888775) | more than 8 years ago | (#13147127)

"So any suggestion that PC games are dying (or whatever) is just silly. More people are playing videogames on PCs than ever before in the history of games. How is that "dying"?!"

Half-Life, Myst, and The Sims have each sold around 8-10 million copies. I don't know what the numbers are on HL2, Doom 3, etc, but I'm pretty sure none of them have passed that mark yet. Also, sales of one specific game don't really mean anything. Halo 2 has sold something like 6 million copies, which is much more than the average PS2 game, but that hasn't stopped the PS2 from outselling the Xbox by a 20:1 ratio.

"By the way, would you actually want to try playing WoW or Counterstrike on a freaking console?! What a nightmare that would be!"

This kind of argument is just silly. Of course you wouldn't, at least without some big modifications to the controls. But likewise, I've played Halo on the PC, and it sucks compared to the Xbox version. If I ever tried to play Zelda or Resident Evil 4 with a keyboard and mouse, I'd probably hate them both. You can't argue the superiority of a system based on the playability of a theoretical port of one one specific game.

Re:He's right (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 8 years ago | (#13146641)

And it's so much easier to use the mouse / keyboard combination for gaming than a controller (no matter how i try, i can't aim in halo worth a shit with an xbox controller)


Perhaps you should be blaming your ham handed self and not the controller. Subtle movements! You need to build up your thumb muscles and dexterity. The mouse skills (and muscles) you have are useless with an analog stick.
It will just take time and practice.

PC Gaming Is The Ghetto Of The Game Dev World (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13142188)

PC gaming is where you go if you aren't good enough to land a console publishing deal.

The era of the home computer/workstation is coming to an end. The future growth is and will continue to be in small media devices. Playstations,TiVos,MP3 players,Cellphones,etc.

There will be many indignant posts from the usual crowd of hardcore dudes in their twenties whose entire gaming world revolves around the x86 peecee. They take themselves very seriously. Unfortuneately, the rest of the game development world doesn't.

The only real growth area for the x86 peecee market is MMORPGs. With a few exceptions like some big EA games, Id and Valve stuff, the x86 market is really little more than a mass of diehard Microsoft developers putting out an endless stream of 20k selling titles.

Peecee gaming isn't really going anywhere, it will continue to shrink and become less and less relevant over time. There will of course still be thousands and thousands of noname DirectX dev houses and guys frankensteining together their own spin on the fps or rts game from NVidia code and leaked game engines sources, but they are becoming like ham radio operators. A quaint throwback to a past era.

Re:PC Gaming Is The Ghetto Of The Game Dev World (1, Interesting)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 8 years ago | (#13142218)

Right, because Warhammer 40k was crap from a noname dev house. So is Empire Earth. And Age of Empires. And the Civ series. And, oh, that little game that like 4 people play.. what's it called? Oh yeah.. COUNTER STRIKE.

Battlefield 2, The Sims, Doom 3, Quake 4 (soon), Deus Ex, Starcraft, Warcraft 3, Diablo.. the list goes on and on. Crack a cover on PCGamer and there's 15 new quality games a month. You can't swing a dead cat in the gaming industry without knocking down 4 shelves of quality games for the PC.

Re:PC Gaming Is The Ghetto Of The Game Dev World (1)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 8 years ago | (#13142594)

FPS peaked at 1998-2002 when everyone wanted to be in a classic Rainbow 6, Wolfenstein or team fortress clan. The gaming atmosphere of Counterstrike now is a joke compared to a few years ago. That's sad even considering the high resolution re-release.

RTS peaked at 1996-2000 when everyone was C&C, redalert, warcraft, starcrafting. Empire Earth had potential, but the AI was a disaster.

Pretty much I played everything you mentioned. MMORPG is at the prime now. I seriously wonder if this is the last genre and end of PC gaming myself. Just trying to be honest.

Re:PC Gaming Is The Ghetto Of The Game Dev World (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13143388)

No, crack open PCGamer and you'll see 15 games, one of which will run on 95% of users' hardware and be quite good, five of which will probably NOT run without an expensive hardware upgrade and even then might be a bit 'meh', and another nine of which that are rereleases (some re-re-rereleases) of games that came out two years ago.

If it wasn't for the hardware upgrades, the scene would pretty much be the same as the old 8-bit home computer scene. Lots of cheap games, majority of them unplayable.

And you just mentioned 13 games (one of which isn't even out yet) and they span the last four or five years - if not more. Hardly "15 new quality games a month", is it?

Re:PC Gaming Is The Ghetto Of The Game Dev World (1)

erunaheru (887010) | more than 8 years ago | (#13144166)

Age, Civ, The Sims, Starcraft and (I think) warcraft are all games in which you command large groups of people. This doesn't work well with the limited input on a console. In 3rd and 1st person games where you control 1 person it becomes a matter of preference. Personally I can't aim with a mouse, many people are equally bad with a controller. Doom 3 is available on consoles. As for Counterstrike, Quake, Deus Ex, Etc., how many people outside the hardcore gaming community play them, or even know about some of them? They simply don't have the mass appeal of games like Halo and GTA, not because the content is any worse (often it's better) but simply because they are PC games.

Re:PC Gaming Is The Ghetto Of The Game Dev World (1)

rohlfinator (888775) | more than 8 years ago | (#13145621)

Or because they're all FPSs. Contrary to popular belief, the first person shooter isn't the ideal game to most people. Not only that, but PC games have a pretty high price of entry to the average gamer, while the price of Halo could be as little as $25 for a controller and the gas money to a friend's house. Not everyone wants to soup up their computer with a nice graphics card, a bunch of RAM and a fast network connection just to play CS:Source. Halo is about a hundred times more accessible to any average person with a few friends.

Re:PC Gaming Is The Ghetto Of The Game Dev World (2, Insightful)

nc_yori (870325) | more than 8 years ago | (#13142385)

I'd like to preface this by applauding you for posting anonymously: you'll need it.

I'd also like to compliment your ability to totally destroy all potential for constructive discourse by tossing in some ad homenim which groups all PC gamers in the category of "hardcore dudes in their twenties whose entire gaming world revolves around the x86 peecee." Brilliant work, Socrates. Now, on to actually discussing the issue:

Regarding your comment about x86 growth potential: have you ever considered that some people play games because they are fun and not graphically spectacular? With the current and upcoming console platforms, how many developers are there, do you think, who don't sweat bullets over making their game visually stunning like everyone else? How many console games have you come across in the past 2 years that don't do their utmost best to convince you that their graphics are superior, so you therefore want to buy it? It's the exact opposite of what you have described: diehard console developers killing themselves to make the next look better than the previous. If you want proof of this, I give you 2 words: True Crime. It sucked on the XBox, because the developers obviously spent all their time on the graphics, rendering a nice looking game with crappy AI, an unimaginative weapon system, and some of the shoddiest level designs I have ever seen.

And you want to talk about endless streams of 20k titles? Do you know how long they've been making Madden Football games? Since 1989! Then there's the MLB games and the NFL games and NHL games. Goddamn, the list never stops! For the benefit of all /.'ers reading this, please name 4 PC franchises to match this list that mercilessly continue cranking out games year after year.

Finally, the reason why the PC has always had so much gaming potential is precisely because it's not "a mass of diehard Microsoft developers." Without PC gaming we wouldn't have titles from companys like Infogrames, Blizzard, and Sierra, to name a few. Without PC gaming, ID software would not exist, because a Nintendo would fellate you before it would run something like DOOM.

I think it would be really cool if you would qualify any of the statements you've made, but particularly the claim that, "Peecee gaming isn't really going anywhere, it will continue to shrink and become less and less relevant over time."

Re:PC Gaming Is The Ghetto Of The Game Dev World (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13142516)

So you play pc games and are indignant?

What the hell does that have to do with the fact that the pc market has been in a steady decline for the past five years and its sales are utterly dwarfed by the console market?

Indignance isn't going to reverse the decline of pc gaming.

Re:PC Gaming Is The Ghetto Of The Game Dev World (1)

nc_yori (870325) | more than 8 years ago | (#13153143)

Once again, I'm humbled by ad homenim, anonymous posting, and non-presentation of actual facts to back up claims.

Re:PC Gaming Is The Ghetto Of The Game Dev World (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13142521)

Sure... because an SNES version of DOOM never existed... ::snicker::

I guess the Nintendo fellatio representative lost your address...

Re:PC Gaming Is The Ghetto Of The Game Dev World (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13150244)

Actually your responses along with just real world observations and economics pretty much prove his point.

the reason for an industry (2, Insightful)

PopeOptimusPrime (875888) | more than 8 years ago | (#13142194)

PC Gaming is why we have innovation, and why 90% of us buy new computers. I just dropped 1200$ on building a new computer not too long ago, why? So I could play awesome computer games, not so I could more efficiently use Microsoft Word. The fact of the matter is, except for the slim minority of computer users who buy new hardware when their existing is in need of a reformat, gaming is why we buy the latest processor when a P2 will do most jobs just fine.

Re:the reason for an industry (1)

erunaheru (887010) | more than 8 years ago | (#13144210)

"PC Gaming is why we have innovation, and why 90% of us buy new computers."

90% of who? all humans? slashdotters? Do businesses buy computers to entertain cubical dwellers? Is a forty year old housewife more likely buy a computer to play Doom 3, or to organize recipes? Don't assume that the people you know are representative of society. People tend to gravitate towards people that have similar motives and priorities. I agree with the innovation part, but just because a medium does something first doesn't mean it does it best.

"gaming is why we buy the latest processor when a P2 will do most jobs just fine."

No, we don't buy P2s because they don't make them anymore. And there are plenty of other uses for high end PCs: hardcore graphics editing is pretty close to the same requirement, and video editing in any reasonable resolution is well past gaming in some areas.

Re:the reason for an industry (1)

rohlfinator (888775) | more than 8 years ago | (#13144966)

"PC Gaming is why we have innovation,"

Care to elaborate on that one? The biggest PC games of last year were three FPSs and an MMORPG. Doesn't really scream "innovation" to me. Sure, they each introduced their own little changes to each genre, but for the most part they were refined, evolutionary sequels. If PC gaming does in fact innovate, it's only in a few genres, and only in a few games within each of those genres.

The PC might be more versatile, but that doesn't automatically breed innovation. The problem is that nothing is standardized besides a mouse and keyboard. For example, the PC has had microphone support for years, yet Xbox Live and the Nintendo DS have recently utilized microphones in far more effective ways than PC games have ever done, simply because everyone can use them.

In the early days of gaming, PCs innovated simply because they were the only available platform. But since then, they've hosted mostly evolutions of their core genres, and virtually ignored any others.

Me too (2, Funny)

Linus Torvaalds (876626) | more than 8 years ago | (#13142207)

I got caught up in the hype myself to a certain extent. I started to believe I didn't need the computer for games.

Yeah, me too. I thought that if I stared at the CD and concentrated really hard, that I could play the game purely with the power of my mind.

Damn hype.

The Future of PC Games Is and Always Has Been... (5, Interesting)

SteevR (612047) | more than 8 years ago | (#13142318)

...the independent developer community. Folks like Carmack, Romero, Garriot and many others developed games on the various personal computer platforms of their day on a shoestring. These individuals are the ones that, for the most part, made PC gaming great.

In terms of a lot of indie content not being "AAA" grade these days... a lot of the great indie content people seem to be chained by their balls into mod work. If these guys realized their own talent and struck out on their own with a low-cost engine like Torque, or an open source option like CrystalSpace, Nebula, or Rygax, we would see far more successful indie game companies selling their work.

Console manufacturers make money off of these guys through buyouts or licensing once they get really successful. Eventually many companies become "exclusive partners", get locked into multiple-title deals, or otherwise lose their independence from the Big Publisher model of game business. An exception of course is Id, which we all know has a positively unique management situation. Valve also is regaining some cajones in this department.

So there are always indies, and indies are what make PC gaming greatest- past, present, future.

Here you go... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13142494)

The new consoles can render PC gaming as impotant as a third wheel does the segway. Ready? BOOM! Wireless keyboard and mouse! This goes double for PS3 becuase it'll have VGA output (triple if you count both outputs). I think people will still use their computers for gaming for the time being, but if the big PC developers (Valve, Blizzard, etc.) don't convert their latest and greatest to the next gens, which will be able to handle their games, they will lose massive profits. And multiplatforiming consoles with PC's on a larger scale than diablo for Playstation (cringe), especially with a keyboard and mouse (if you don't think that's coming, stop kidding yourself) is the begining of the end for PC gaming.

Re:Here you go... (1)

fr0dicus (641320) | more than 8 years ago | (#13143005)

The Xbox360 will have a VGA output adapter too, that's been shown already. Nintendo have also announced a good while ago that the Revolution will have VGA output, but they haven't re-confirmed it recently.

Yep, the same old stuff (2, Insightful)

fr0dicus (641320) | more than 8 years ago | (#13143063)

Picks out some anal simulation game, keyboard/mouse control, how he's got stuck into a particular sandbox online game. This isn't new at all.

I still get annoyed at the keyboard/mouse argument. Yes, it's quicker and more accurate. Few except people with godlike joypad skills could deny that. But why is that necessarily good? People look at me strangely when I ask, but after playing a lot of Quake 3 and then just sitting back to spectate for a second at these guys with incredible hit percentages, bouncing about like rabbits, not failing to hit each other as they did, the whole thing just looks like a farce. It wasn't too bad in futuristic settings, but as soon as the whole thing moved into realistic war settings like Enemy Territory and Battlefield I just checked out completely. Anyone who's fired a gun will tell you that that kind of accuracy is completely off the scale, especially when jumping around. This is not a John Woo movie. Now I crave the relative poorness of the joypad control. It's a great leveller, and introduces far more tactics into the game than any amount of extra HUD that a greater definition can offer.

I recently finally got tired of WoW, and thank God I did. I'd have been upset to miss out on Resident Evil 4, God of War, GT4/Forza, never mind how the new handhelds are building up.

The upshot? Anyone want to buy a Radeon 9800 Pro?

Re:Yep, the same old stuff (1)

DigitalWallaby (853269) | more than 7 years ago | (#13156277)

Picks out some anal simulation game,
I don't think a game about simulating an anus really appeals to me all that much. Maybe one that simulated the whole body, but the arsehole... nah, not for me.

Re:Yep, the same old stuff (1)

Prophet of Nixon (842081) | more than 7 years ago | (#13156954)

I actually completely agree. With an analog thumbstick I actually have to aim, as opposed to just instintively pointing the mouse. I also like having a trigger (at least on an xbox/dreamcast controller), as opposed to a mouse button. Its a lot more satisfying to play an FPS when it takes a bit of effort to make shots, as opposed to just pointing and clicking, at least if shooting is the only thing going on. I still enjoyed Deus Ex/Deus Ex 2 on PC, but those usually involved a bit more than shooting (and had less accurate weapons to compensate for the mouse aiming).

Graphics cards (2, Insightful)

Elkboy (770849) | more than 8 years ago | (#13143164)

I don't get why people complain so much about the cost of the latest graphics cards and use this as a measuring stick for the cost of PC gaming in general. Yes, the latest graphics cards are ridicously expensive, but they press the prices of older cards down really fast. A card from the last generation or the one before that still run the majority of games excellently for very little money.

Sure, it's still more expensive to buy a PC than a console, but except gaming and media, consoles can't do much. A PC can do whatever you make it do, not just what Sony and Microsoft thinks you should do with it.

Re:Graphics cards (1)

despisethesun (880261) | more than 8 years ago | (#13143992)

Sure, it's still more expensive to buy a PC than a console, but except gaming and media, consoles can't do much. A PC can do whatever you make it do, not just what Sony and Microsoft thinks you should do with it.

And my 3.5 year old PC that can't play Doom 3 or Half-Life 2 worth a shit still does all that other stuff just fine. The only reasons to stay on the upgrade treadmill (or to get on it as often) are playing games or doing high-end multimedia or graphics work. Since I don't do any of the latter, and my consoles were much cheaper than a new PC, it makes sense for me to do my gaming on a console. I can't think of a recent PC game that I want that isn't coming to consoles (and yes, that includes WoW, I don't care about MMORPGs) and I can deal with a port that's only 80-90% good if it will save me the $2000Cdn I priced out for a machine that won't be totally useless in a year.

PC's are a great gaming platform and a lot of innovation happens there, but it just doesn't make sense for the majority of people, only the hardest of the core.

Re:Graphics cards (3, Funny)

Jacius (701825) | more than 8 years ago | (#13144910)

A PC can do whatever you make it do, not just what Sony and Microsoft thinks you should do with it.

Dear PC user,

Thank you for writing. We at Microsoft are aware of this issue, and you will be relieved to know that we have partnered with several major computing companies to ensure that in the future, your PC will not do what you want it to do.

Thank you for your concern.

Signed,
Microsoft Palladium team

Right (3, Interesting)

Sv-Manowar (772313) | more than 8 years ago | (#13143230)

He's right, as most peoples PC's are being continuously upgraded and replaced, the market for PC games continues to stay steady, whereas with consoles only being replaced every 7-8 years, they gradually loose their selling power in the couple of years before they are replaced

PC gaming might not be as strong as it once was, but it will be stable for a long time to come

Re:Right (1)

rohlfinator (888775) | more than 8 years ago | (#13143751)

"He's right, as most peoples PC's are being continuously upgraded and replaced, the market for PC games continues to stay steady, whereas with consoles only being replaced every 7-8 years, they gradually loose their selling power in the couple of years before they are replaced"

Which is why Halo 2 and GTA:SA were two of the best-selling games this generation, and why Zelda: Twilight Princess is one of the most anticipated games in the last five years. All of those titles have released (or will release) within two years of the "death" of their home console. Consoles have almost always been replaced on a 5-year cycle, but some of the best-selling games often debut toward the end of that cycle. When you throw in backward compatibility, which is going to be a standard in the next generation, the transition will be smoother than ever. I've heard quite a few people say they're planning to buy a Revolution for this year's Zelda, or that they want a PS3 to play some PS2 games they missed.

And the PC market goes through fluctuation just as much as the console market. Until last year's Far Cry, Doom 3, Half-Life 2, and WoW, I can't think of a single "big" PC game in the last three years. PC game releases tend to bunch up around the launches of new hardware, causing a fairly predictable cycle.

Re:Right (1)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 8 years ago | (#13144262)

7-8 years? Console life is about half that nowadays. 4 years between the release of the XBox and XBox 360. Either way, it doesn't seem to be that console game sales slow at all during the end of a console's lifespan. Sure, the sales of the console itself slow down, but the games still get bought, and in far larger quantities than PC games.

I actually see PCs being continuously upgraded as a downside for PC game programming - your target is constantly moving and extremely variable. Consoles are always the same, so you never have to worry about the game doing different things on different machines.

This isn't to say that PC games don't have their place - you can pull off a lot more on a PC due to its versatility, and there's a much smaller barrier-to-entry for programmers to get into the industry. It just isn't by any means as profitable as console games.

Re:Right (1)

Detritus (11846) | more than 8 years ago | (#13145070)

Most people have never seen the inside of their PC or upgraded it. To them, it's a magic box. Don't confuse the behavior of the average slashdot reader with that of the general population.

PC Gaming's problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13143282)

Lets face it, PC gaming's biggest strenghts have always been that it produced the best visual effects and that you had your choice of input device. One thing I have noticed over the past couple of years is that (because people are upgrading a lot less than they used to, a trend that will probably continue) the Graphical Advantage PC games had is shrinking; there are notible exceptions, but for the most part, games that were released from 2000-2004 were (pretty much) at the same graphical level as a PS2, XBox or Gamecube game.

Now, the other problem is the cost for entry to play PC videogames. A couple of months back I priced out a (reasonable) upgrade on my computer to improve performance in WOW, when it came out to cost $1000 I decided against it. Even if you assume that you only have to upgrade your computer every 5 years, you could purchase all of the consoles for less than you can keep your PC up to date; this wasn't that big of a problem a few years ago (because you had to upgrade your PC anyways) but today, unless you do some significant work (ie. 3D graphics) on your home PC, a $500 PC will last you for 5 years as long as you don't play any games.

Now, I enjoy PC games and think the PC is the best platform for certin genres (like MMO and FPS) but as long as PC games focus on the average available platform (ie. crappy computer) and at the same time it so expensive to upgrade PC games market share will continue to shrink.

Please note that I recognize that the 2 problems I mention are in conflict, but this is the thinking I have seen so many PC gamers use to justify purchasing a console for most of their gaming.

LONG LIVE PC GAMING (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13143353)

I agree, the PC Gaming industry isn't going anywhere. Yes, it is in decline, but it will never go away. Pretty soon it'll hit a steady plateau of development, maybe even rise in quality and quantity. There are just some genres (Strategy, for example) that will always be better on the PC.

PC Gaming not dying. (2, Insightful)

meezeh (885698) | more than 8 years ago | (#13145537)

Consoles will always be for the casual gamer that really has no idea about games. Competetive gaming, and the chance of gaming becoming a sport, lies in the computer. No other platform can handle competetive gaming.

Re:PC Gaming not dying. (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 8 years ago | (#13146713)

You obviously haven't played a console game in a while. "Casual gamer" You do realize that all the FPS's fanboys are "casual gamers " compared to the greybeards that played wizardry, Ultima I and all those hex based turn based civil war wargames with low res graphics.

Please tell me the reason why consoles can't do competitive gaming. They've got multitaps, they've got lan play, the've got online play so what is it they lack?

Re:PC Gaming not dying. (1)

Gigamex (758379) | more than 7 years ago | (#13153629)

Yes videogames as sport. Way to cling to the most meaningless concept ever. If that's what is going to save PC gaming then you can have it.

Re:PC Gaming not dying = What is a RPG/MMO Anyway (1)

RandomRob (882021) | more than 7 years ago | (#13155310)

I think that this goes back to the original point of the post, which was more aimed at RPG/MMO than it was at 'PC GAMING' in general.

First, I'm a greybeard. I've been running RPG's fairly seriously for 30 years. I've written fiction, I've written software (including some text based games in the mainframe days)... That's my background.

Okay, so here is my take on this.

Number 1: RPG's are story driven. The player(s) need to accomplish something in the world, and even if the means is largely combat, the point is some meaningful change in the world (trivially, the status or 'level' of the characters, but in most games, either power or saving the world or....). So let's call this the 'Quest.'

Number 2: There needs to be a backdrop for Quests to happen against. This needs to be something approximating a believable world. Hence the fact that, pound for pound, gaming 'world' books outweigh gaming 'rule' books, and most rule books have a huge amount of 'world' content in them as well.

Number 3: (as has been stated in this thread) There is a social process at work - the players know each other, as do the characters - that prevents PKing in most cases. In my experience, people who PK either get PK'd in turn, or get thrown out of a gaming group. This breaks down in a larger social setting - for example, in RPG tournaments there is more of this than in 'friends' games.

So.... How is it that we can conceive of a MMO working? First of all, story is just about absent. Quests are things like 'camping' and 'go kill Joe, get his foo.' Not 'someone is undermining the security of northwest Lafania, and the villagers are looking for a champion, and....'

Second, the worlds themselves are fairly flat/boring/uninteresting, and this is inevitable because they are settings not for one group of adventurers, but for thousands of groups. There is no background for a Quest because there is no background - no solidity to the environment that provides meaningful context for actions...

Third, the social group doesn't help create a good game, but works against it. PK'ing has no real cost. At least, it is hard to have it cost. Sure, you can have reputation systems, but people can create new characters to get away from their bad rep. This just isn't necessary in f2f rpg's

So in every way, an online MMO fails to be a real rpg. This doesn't have to be so. For example, you could:

(1) Create an instance of a world for each group of say 20 players, so that the ratio of players to background characters and world story threads would be much higher. Too expensive?

(2) Have the game simulate warfare, where people had simple roles - that's been done, and it works much better, but it ain't role playing, it is virtual combat with personification...

(3) Develop strong AI capable of making up stories, keeping them coherent, adapting them to events as players interact with the world,... In other words, to be 'Game Masters.' Not holding my breath on strong AI :

We should give up on RPG's being 'on a computer.' Sure, 'assisted by a computer' perhaps, but even that doesn't work well (as experiments with say Neverwinter Nights will demonstrate)...

-- RandomRob --

PC gaming: Slow death since 1987 (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 8 years ago | (#13146981)

Yes it's dying, it's turning into the modern equivalent of the late Amiga game market. niche games (like the turn based wargames) ports, games from Europe, and games by dev houses that are anti-console snobs.

Oh sure the PC will play home for indie games for dev houses too poor to go console, but if those guys have a hit, say goodbye to them.

The consoles can handle any genre, even ones like the strategy titles. Just because they haven't played host to such games much in the past doesn't mean they can't be done.

And most telling, Microsoft would rather people not play games on PC's, due to the support costs. Same pretty much goes for Dell, Gateway, HP, etc.

Re:PC gaming: Slow death since 1987 (1)

meezeh (885698) | more than 8 years ago | (#13149111)

As I said, casual gamers. PC gamers on the whole don't need to upgrade and often end up playing a certain game for 4/5 years. I've been playing the original Quake for 9 years. It isn't dead, it takes much more skill, and is much more competetive than any console game. Anti-console snob's isn't a very good way to look at it. These people know that the only way for eSports to become close to sports is through the PC platform. I mean, who the hell would want to play a first person shooter with a pad... Mouse/Keyboard combo is definately best for most genre's of gaming.

Re:PC gaming: Slow death since 1987 (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 8 years ago | (#13151428)

So a casual gamer is a gamer that doesn't play PC games?

It seems funny to me that other people posting in this thread are so keen on discussing the upgradability of PC's and here you are saying you don't need to upgrade and have been playing Quake for 9 years.

Define much more skill

Define competitive

There isn't a single genre out there that couldn't be played with a analog pad with some modifications to the control system. That's good UI design at it's core.

Re:PC gaming: Slow death since 1987 (1)

phxbadash (883828) | more than 7 years ago | (#13159702)

Uh...FPS's that don't have an "auto-aim" option and/or hitboxes the size of freakin planets for one.

I'm sorry but you just can't get the same level of control in an fps with a gamepad as you can with a mouse. The keyboard part I believe could be but not the mouse.

Pros And Cons (0, Flamebait)

DigitalDwarf (902246) | more than 8 years ago | (#13148812)

This is my first post so please bear with me. I think the Pros and Cons are this: PCs demand Constant upgrades to keep up with the newest games. (I am having hell getting my Computer to run WoW without overheating becase of the video card) Consoles dont need to be upgraded or messed with. PC games need Patches OFFEN. Consoles RARELY. PC games are either hard to find or rare to find. Console games are more common in places like Wal Mart. PC games are ussualy better in the long run but many are starting to suck. Console Games are getting cranked out at high speeds but losing alot of good game stuff because of it. I own a PC, PS2, and a Game Cube. I like to play games. But I will admit that my PC has the most demand of any game stuff I can do. So it starting to get less love from me.

In later news. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#13154631)

In later news, The sun isn't going anywhere soon either. Yes, it has been confirmed. Stay tuned for the news at 10:00 where will tell you all about breathing and why we won't stop doing it.

Seriouslly, this isn't news at all, don't ever post again.
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