Author Topic: A decent-ish discussion about: How Pc Games are viewed and where they're going.  (Read 3087 times)

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Offline sgore

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Out on a Mission to Prove Krakow oh so very Wrong:
About the only place you can get a decent-ish discussion now are all the non-gaming related threads
This topic has been created.

PC games, Their at their highest point ever, yet somehow of a dying breed. At least that's the way it seems depending on where you read around. Some sources are saying one yet some are saying the other. Where are they actually going. With games like Spore coming out it seems like PC gaming is on the uprise, and making a pretty solid comeback. Yet if you look again, it looks like Spore's going multiplatform, Which is starting to become a pretty big trend. It's like calling up American Idol and voting for everyone once. Multiplatforming is starting to branch out from just between consoles. Now it's everything that can play a game gets a version. (Sims 2 and Splinercell can be concidered examples.)
All this can only lead to about a million diffrent conclusions. Where are PC games going? Up? Down? Sideways? Is their identity going to get lost in the mass of super multi platforming that seems to be coming?

Your thoughts?
« Last Edit: April 26, 2006, 12:48:23 pm by sgore »


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Offline Engineer

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To be fair, EA is well known for releasing its games on every platform imaginable in order to maximize profit.  I'm not sure that this particular trend is going to be the downfall of PC gaming.

The bigger problems with PC gaming, in my opinion, are:

-- It's a constant arms race.  Everybody wants a better video card, a better CPU, more RAM, etc.  Game makers fuel this by releasing games that often require next-gen hardware to play.  They do this so their games will have lasting appeal, but it also tends to give the average gamer a feeling of constantly missing out.  And that makes some people not want to play.  With a console, you buy the technology once, and though it does get old, it's what everybody is using until the next generation comes out.

-- Bugs.  Again, this is due to the huge variety of computers out there, and it's just not possible to test a game for every possible configuration.  Console game designers, on the other hand, are all working with a single hardware setup, and everybody who plays their game will also be using that setup.

-- Types of games.  As Steve has said many times, the most popular games in the west are sports and driving games, whereas the most popular games in the east are fantasy games.  The large majority of all of these types of games are designed for consoles, because their control scheme more easily fits a controller.  My personal favorite genre, the RTS, and similar PC-only genres are not selling nearly as well, so companies don't put nearly as much focus on them.  Even on this website, threads about Rise of Legends (one of the most highly anticipated RTS's in years) get only a few looks, while there are dozens of threads about Oblivion.  Granted, oblivion is a PC game, but it's genre is most often seen on consoles.

Those are my $0.02.
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Offline Samog

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Different game companies are pulling in different directions.

Valve wants episodic gameplay to be the future, and also Steam.

Maxis wants procedural gameplay to be the future, and also to influence the next generation.

Bethesda wants your money, and also pixel shaders.
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Offline Krakow Sam

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Dont get me started on Bethesda...  >:( as fun as oblivion is, paying for little add ons is a load of crap.

Steam is pushing it by making me pay for Half life: 2: episode 1: Aftermath but i can forgive them since they arent charging me to download a single level or weapon... lousy Bethesda <mumble mumble>
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Offline Megagun

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One of the advantages of PC gaming, though, is that it's cheap to make software for it, and that the average joe can do it. Freeware gaming is getting a larger and larger footprint, and I guess that's the way PC games are going to... Also, I guess indie games are getting more and more popular by the years..

Ofcourse, there is the "PC has a mouse" issue which makes it ideal for FPSses and RTSses, but I guess the Revolution is going to change this all around... In fact, I guess the Revolution's big surprise will actually be that it's great for FPsses ans RTSses...

PC gaming? Where it's going? Freeware, FPSses, RTSses, and inventive indie games..


Offline Engineer

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Ofcourse, there is the "PC has a mouse" issue which makes it ideal for FPSses and RTSses, but I guess the Revolution is going to change this all around... In fact, I guess the Revolution's big surprise will actually be that it's great for FPsses ans RTSses...

Wow.  If you're right, if the revolution turns out to be good for RTS's, that will be absolutely mind-blowing.  God, I hope you're right!
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Offline PHI-1618

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Ofcourse, there is the "PC has a mouse" issue which makes it ideal for FPSses and RTSses, but I guess the Revolution is going to change this all around... In fact, I guess the Revolution's big surprise will actually be that it's great for FPsses ans RTSses...

Wow. If you're right, if the revolution turns out to be good for RTS's, that will be absolutely mind-blowing. God, I hope you're right!
Based on the control system, it should be really good for them, so expect minds blowing.

As for this topic: I don't see PC gaming going anywhere; it's doing quite well for itself, IMO. And considering it's the leading reason why technology is moving so damned fast in the gaming industry, I think that's all for the good. And hardware companies, if they're smart, should promote and assist the PC gaming industry as much as humanly possible. Besides, we've yet to see something on the level of WoW ever appear on a console --- something that rakes in nearly $90 million a month. So long as games like that exist solely on the PC, I think it's safe to say it's not going anywhere.

And I don't care how good the Revolution's controller is, or if Cell is the most powerful thing unto God, there's still no topping the ol' keyboard and mouse for some game types. Voice chat is, of course, the future, but until someone can determine a way to make a game like WoW that features voice chat that doesn't annoy the bejeezus out of you ... yeah, it's good.

Offline huggkruka

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I think the multiple console system is bad for the industry. We need one (1) console and one hand-held. Then you can plug all sorts of controllers into this multiconsole, that can play both it's own format and everything else from old NES to PS2 games. Then again, monopoly is never good(ask me, I live in Sweden  :()... Ah what the hell. Just plug your PC to the TV with a scart cable. Problem solved.

Offline Cronox

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I think PC gaming is at an interesting point. Many publishers (and developers) now seem to think of the consoles as the mainstream and the PC as something for the more hardcore gamer, making it the perfect test bed. So we get things like big name, established franchises (half life and to a far lesser extent Sin) being used as a test for episodic gaming or the release a full game every 6 months model ArenaNet is trying with Guild Wars. Then we have Bethesda looking into microtransactions and a fairly constent stream of new content.

In general it seems there is a trend towards making one game then adding new, paid for content to it over a long period of time. This is something we have seen in MMORPGs for a long time, how many EQ expansions have there been for example?  Personally I think it's great, developers get to focus on creating new content rather than spending years building a whole new engine for every game and gamers get more of the games they enjoy, hopefully for less than they would normally pay for a full game.

Offline Engineer

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But what stops game makers from making MMO's for a console?  Or episodic content?  Especially with something like XBox live in place, it seems like the Xbox could handle an MMO as well.  Maybe the future is in consoles, but if so, then the consoles will just become dedicated gaming computers.  You can see it happening already, the only thing holding it back is that consoles are proprietary property.

You know, I think it would be interesting if a company basically came out with a PC-console: a console system that could play PC games, and allowed unregulated software like a PC, but had the interface and dedicated feel of a console.
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Offline Svanire

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I've said it before. When developing for a console the sky's the limit, when developing for the PC the limit's the sky. The good thing that is bogging down consoles atm is that they cannot handle complex games mainly due to controlls and other hardware restraints. For the PC any barrier can be broken given time and the ability to mod is a tremendous plus. So I think for the future we will see different genres on different machines,  MMO's I reckon will continue to be PC based as you can just do so much more on the PC than a console (plus all the player mods that go with them), definitely the RTS genre ( Civilization on xbox ... lol), FPS is on the fence I think, the general consensus is that FPS are really lacking on current  consoles because of no keyboard mouse but maybe this won't be a problem with future gen consoles.

In my opinion the future of PC gaming are complicated and hardware pushing games. After playing PC games for 10 years, I just cant take console games seriously.

Offline PHI-1618

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But what stops game makers from making MMO's for a console? Or episodic content? Especially with something like XBox live in place, it seems like the Xbox could handle an MMO as well. Maybe the future is in consoles, but if so, then the consoles will just become dedicated gaming computers. You can see it happening already, the only thing holding it back is that consoles are proprietary property.

You know, I think it would be interesting if a company basically came out with a PC-console: a console system that could play PC games, and allowed unregulated software like a PC, but had the interface and dedicated feel of a console.
True, but here's the thing: Consoles aren't packaged with a keyboard and a mouse, which means developers would try to make a voice-based communication system using Live's headset for any MMO. And I'm sorry, the moment I have to hear some of these people talk the way they do in the average MMO, I'm out. Consoles will be able to overtake PCs when they come packaged with a keyboard and mouse, along with controllers, and you can upgrade them by adding new RAM chips and the like. That's what it will take.

Offline Engineer

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True, but here's the thing: Consoles aren't packaged with a keyboard and a mouse, which means developers would try to make a voice-based communication system using Live's headset for any MMO. And I'm sorry, the moment I have to hear some of these people talk the way they do in the average MMO, I'm out. Consoles will be able to overtake PCs when they come packaged with a keyboard and mouse, along with controllers, and you can upgrade them by adding new RAM chips and the like. That's what it will take.

Right.  That's kind of what I mean.  Imagine a "console" that came with a keyboard and mouse.  But instead of an all-purpose, keyboard, this would be a keyboard with a layout specifically designed for hotkeys!  Imagine, for example, a keyboard that only consisted of the left half of a standard keyboard.  Then imagine that instead of the control and alt keys being far away, these two buttons are on top of the shift button, in place of the tab and caps lock key.  (And maybe the tab key is moved up to the backtick key, since that key does have useful functionality.)  I mean, I'm just brainstorming here.  But think about it...standard keyboards are definitely not laid out as ideal hotkey pads.

As for the hardware, I would gladly trade in small upgradeability for game stability.  Game are definitely more stable on consoles, and a big part of this is that the system is identical for everybody.  Maybe adding RAM wouldn't be a big deal, but anything more complicated than that would defeat the purpose of the PC-console.
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Offline Jecrell

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I'm sure we've all seen our fair share of sci-fi cinema. But the PC has a keyboard, and currently having the USB keyboard and mouse arn't really practical when applied to console-gaming. The support for mouse/keyboard games just isn't out there right now on the console market. Sure, you could effectively get it out there to some of the console MMO players, but that doesn't always nessicarily work out nicely, because not everyone has such attachments and not everyone can keep up with one another because of this.

What I think will be really interesting, is where the industry goes AFTER the Nintendo Revolution. Because, after all, I think everyone in this thread agrees that the Nintendo Revolution should provide an impressive first person shooter/real-time strategy experience based on their controller's concept alone. Although, it doesn't nessicarily complete the console solution. Some solutions that may lie in the future -- Voice to Text, controller addons with programmable hotkeys, and perhaps cellphone-like keypads.

(Off-Topic)
The only thing that is scary about the future... is that if the opposite of Voice to Text, Text to Voice, becomes an impressive technology, it will put voice actors out of work.

Offline Detoxicated

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LOL When i see long loading times on consoles
My computer loads quicker so down with consoles.
BTW in germany, the market on computergames is making more than consoles.
OK, both of you die and let us know what happens.