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The Space Between

Gaming and Life, Rants and Raves, now with 30% more loot!

Author: TesterNGS

Oh Noes! PC Gaming is Dead!

Posted by TesterNGS Wednesday December 19 2007 at 2:53PM
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Oh Noes! PC Gaming is Dead! 

It seems that every year some writer declares the End of PC Gaming. I don't want to direct any traffic to the article I am responding to here, but in summary, this guy got a journalistic stiffy when he saw that big-name games like Crysis sold poorly on the PC, while similarly hyped games like Call of Duty 4 raked in millions on consoles. To this guy, a few poor sales figures means that PC gaming is dead. By that logic, shouldn't the movie and music industries have gone out of business by now?
 
The writer does raise a couple valid points. One, that digital download games from, for example, the Steam distribution platform, performed very well. And two, that the insane system requirements for games like Crysis have turned some gamers away. He also mentions that piracy has damaged PC gaming. And while that's true to an extent, piracy is a MUCH bigger problem for the music industry, but somehow the music industry is still doing well enough to crank out all kinds of new music.
 
The writer fails to mention a few interesting facts, probably in an attempt to make his Doom and Gloom story more shocking.
 
First, this is the holiday season. Console prices have been cut and publishers have released their best games in an attempt to boost their sales. Lo and behold - it works! Just like it does every year. Its not as if consoles have a constant parade of blockbuster games coming out - where are the record-breaking sales during the spring and summer?
 
Second, consoles have a distinct advantage when it comes to generating game sales. When someone buys a console, they will purchase their favorite shooters, sports games, and so on. Then, when an NEW console comes out, players will purchase their favorite games AGAIN (sequels) so they can have improved graphics and a few new features. The same thing happened when CD and DVD players came out (and now HD DVDs). On the other hand, PC gamers can keep their favorite games much longer. I already have a great shooter game, so I have no desire to buy a shooter-clone with absurd system requirements, like Crysis or Unreal 3. Console gamers are more likely to buy new games since they more often replace outdated games they had on previous consoles.
 
Third, unless a game is a PC exclusive, and few are, then the developer and publisher make money regardless of if the big sales are on consoles or the PC. Its all the same to them. Furthermore, the PC is a terrific entry point for small/niche game developers, much better than the console market, since there is very little cost involved in getting your product out to the masses over the internet.
 
PC gaming is not dead. Would PC gaming benefit from less focus on machine-crippling graphics, an influx of quality games, and more widespread digital distribution? Of course. But PC games being outsold this year doesn't mean a whole lot right now.

Edit: Corrected error.

Ahnilator writes:

Assassin's Creed didn't make it yet on the PC, and so for Crysis on consoles. FAILED.

Wed Dec 19 2007 4:43PM Report
TesterNGS writes:

Whoops, was a bit mixed up. Revision FTW!

Wed Dec 19 2007 4:50PM Report
linadragon writes:

Well piracy to a degree is a problem but i find it interesting when they include it as a "lost sale" its like would the person of bought the game anyways?  PC gaming is far from dead but alot of stuff requiring DX10 to take full capabilities of the game is going to not be popular for awhile thats a given as alot of people are very hesitant about switching to Windows Vista.

Crysis for instance while having alot of high end graphics wasnt very clear if it was a good game aside from that ya know?  CryEngine 2 is a good engine but if the content isnt there it isnt there. One thing to remember without good content a piss poor game is still a piss poor game even if it looks really pretty. Story , content , gameplay etc are all far more important then graphics. Alot of stuff is about being cross platform these days to and while thats not widespread yet those games will ultimately do better.

The gaming industry as far as a computer gaming needs to focus on more then just windows as a platform for their games. They also need to focus on more then simply graphics. They can keep pumping out better and better looking games but without solid content the games will still ultimately be rubbish.  I for one still play my SNES because the content of the games was good.

What it comes down to and what is hurting the PC industry and the gaming industry as a whole the most is a focus to much on graphics and not on gameplay mechanics and content. While the Wii did innovate gameplay mechanics I dont see it surviving for a long time since eventually they are going to run out of what they can do with the gamepaly mechanics of the wiimote...

In reality the gaming industry taking a major hit due to their improve graphics but not gameplay or content attitude might be a good thing because it may make them realize that the focus they are taking with things may be the wrong direction to go with games and maybe just maybe we'll end up wtih games that focus on content, and gameplay that also look good.

These companies cant continue to rely on pretty graphics or they will ruin their reputations eventually...

Wed Dec 19 2007 5:01PM Report
zymurgeist writes:

Yet take a few minutes to look through any gaming forum and what are people screaming about? Grapics graphics graphics. Then when games come out they complain about outdated graphics, poor performance, and lack of the bells and whistles that cause games to be unplayable. No computer made can meet the performance expectations of these people. Certainly not the winbox Mommy bought at wal-mart. The problem isn't the gaming companies, it's the gamers.

Wed Dec 19 2007 8:20PM Report
linadragon writes:

I agree there to but its also the gaming companies conforming to the gamers that want graphics. Its a little bit of both sides fault...  The people that are all about graphics annoy the heck out of me really. A game needs to be good at its core before it looks good...

If you get down to it pushing graphics only is problematic, and if its a certain set of gamers saying this (the high end junkies that buy on the edge tech constantly) the game dev's need to remember that not everyone is buying this high end hardware and not everyone wants graphics, graphics, graphics..... 

At the end of the day no matter how good looking a game is if it sucks with content and game play people will hate it.  And that is where its up to the game developers/companies to step in and try to say no to high graphics unless the content is good first.

 

Wed Dec 19 2007 9:18PM Report
andyjd writes:

Yep, I was looking at Crysis, and although I tried the demo, I didn't then buy the actual game. Although it looked good, I didn't really like the gameplay, with popping out of the jungle, firing off a few shots, then retreating. I know thats more realistic, but I prefer tighter, smaller maps, where you take out three or four guys in one go, ala Max Payne, or even Half Life.

Maybe the flexiblity of the PC harms sales as well. For example, I was able to try the demo, and from that probably then didn't buy the game. If it was a console game, then maybe I would have bought it blind....

Another game i was going to buy, but didn't was Hellgate. I never never tried the demo with that.

 

Another issue with PC, is that we have MMORPGs. So we could be quite happy playing one game for a year or more at a time, whilst playing nothing else. That has to effect other sales of games.

 

Thu Dec 20 2007 1:34AM Report
Anathemus writes:

FAR! FAR FROM DEAD! FPS and MMORPG always a PC Choice, and I never had to buy a console in my life to experience the fun of gaming

Thu Dec 20 2007 4:39AM Report
Jimmy_Scythe writes:

Used to be that console and PC games were geared at totally different audiences. Consoles were more arcadey / actiony stuff and the PC was reserved for deep war / strategy games, point and click adventure games, and uber realistic flight sims. About the time that Doom came out, that all changed.

I recently read a blog (http://blogs.pcworld.com/gameon/archives/006056.html) That talked about how almost 45% of all PCs surveyed (3.5 million) couldn't meet the minimum system requirements of the top 10 PC games. That's a pretty sizable sample.

I've recently looked at some of the cheapy machines at Wal-Mart and most of them won't have any problem running Oblivion, Command & Conquer 3, or Bioshock. The problem is with people that bought a budget computer about five years ago, never upgraded it and now expect it to run Unreal Tournament 3 without a hitch.

I think that a lot of this is simply the devs overestimating what will be "mid-range" when their game is released. If they aimed for the "low-end" computer at the time of the games release, they'd probably do much better. Hell, I can buy an off the shelf PC that runs at an Xbox 360 level of graphics for just under $500. What's wrong with making PC games to those specs?

PC gaming is still going to live, but mostly through ports. If you build your machine to be within the limits of the current console generation, you'll be able to run most of what gets released onto the PC. You're going to eventually upgrade anyway, so it isn't like we won't all eventually be able to run Crysis and Supreme Commander at 60fps at the highest resolution available.

As someone else already mentioned, PC game development is a long time investment. You won't make a windfall in the first quarter, but over the course of two to five years you'll make back your investment plus profit. Especially with single player games, since it'll be the same game next year as it is right now.

Thu Dec 20 2007 11:07AM Report
maryxiao writes:

i do understand your mood, but so many other games waiting for u

and merry christmas

 

Tue Dec 25 2007 3:18AM Report
Saryk writes:

Ok here is my list of toys before I make a comment.

 

4 desktop computers and 1 laptop, I also own the WII and Xbox 360.

3 desktops and laptop are 2 gig ram and decent video card all 120 SATA HD and 4.2 gig cpu. My baby is better of course, 2 8800 SLI 4 gig ram same HD and Dual Core 4.2.

So there is my equipment, on both sides.

 

 

 

 

 

I got Crysis, COD4 and Unreal Tournament from MR Red Man. I play all on my computer. I wouldn’t dare play any on a console, why because they suck. I would kill anyone on a console vs my baby and me behind the old mouse and keyboard. Computers are better in four different genres. FPS, MMO, RPG, and Strategy.  I also got the Orange box on Steam (which by the way is a great system vs, cheaters, and Pirates) Company of Heroes and Opposing Fronts, plus a new gem I now love which is STALKER Shadows of Chernobyl.

 

 

Consoles are better in Sports, racing and Mario type things and of course the new thing MUSIC games (Rock band, which is good, wife loves it)

 

But they should never be in the same arena. Picture Consoles as Indy Car and Computers as NASCAR. They both race but in different circuits/tracks and never against each other.

 

Now in five years where they more than likely will merge into one thing. That might be a different story.

 

And yes I predict the end of all console - computer wars. I think that everything will merge into one type of unit (made buy different companies). Companies are getting tired of making the same game for 5 different systems , WII , XBOX, PS, Comp, and Mac.

I see a change in the future.

Fri Jan 04 2008 3:17PM Report
Jenson writes:

o____o

Mon Aug 11 2008 3:43PM Report

MMORPG.com writes:
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