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The Melancholy Death of PC Gaming


bambini
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Forgive me the maudlin title, but this has been bugging me for a while.

 

Is PC gaming dying? Are we, the TDM gamers, part of the last bastion of die-hard (slightly elitist) PC gamers? I'm starting to think it is, and I'm feeling pretty sad about it. Let me explain why.

 

I've been determinedly ignoring the trend towards console gaming, telling anyone who would listen that "you have better control with a mouse" and that PC gaming was far superior, while all around me my friends have been hanging up their keyboards in favour of PS3 pads. I scoffed at console gamers, with their earning trophies and their if-I-can't-master-it-in-3-minutes-then-I-don't-want-to-know attitudes, while at the same time I struggled to get to grips with dodgy and poorly thought out console-to-PC ported games.

 

Recently, however, I've come out of my nest of comfy denial, and had to accept some inconvenient truths. three things started this thinking in me. The first was Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising. Enjoyable game, not brilliant, but fun enough, but the command system for giving orders was clearly designed for the 360, with a nice little command wheel that would be just perfect for a thumbstick. You couldn't even move forwards while giving orders FFS.

 

Secondly, Red Dead Redemption came out. On PS3 only. With no plans to make a PC version. Grrr.mad.gif

 

Finally, a couple of days ago I was browsing for games, and thought I might buy Modern Warfare 2. While reading the Amazon reviews, it turns out that the servers for the PC version are horrendously laggy, with 15 minute waits to enter a game as standard. You wouldn't get that on the console version.

 

PC games have always sold less well than console games, as consoles have a real user-friendliness that most people like. It can be tricky to get a PC game running, and sometimes it's an art (i.e. Thief 2 smile.gif), so technophobes avoid them. It can also be expensive to get a PC that can play the latest games, and there's always pressure to upgrade you graphics card or that you just don't get in a console. But recently it feels that we (the PC gaming population) are being sidelined. An afterthought. Like making an album, putting it on iTunes and then thinking "I suppose we'd better make it into a CD too" for the 30 or so people who still buy CDs. It's very sad.

 

So what am I to do? Buy a PS3 of course smile.gif There are some games that I just won't play on a console because I genuinely do feel that a mouse is more responsive (Thief 4 will be all about the PC). But it you can't beat 'em...

"We were travelling in the night of first ages, of those ages that are gone, leaving hardly a sign — and no memories" - Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness

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I still resent Microsoft for entering the console race. They sold Sega on the idea of using DirectX for the Dreamcast then stabbed them in the back with the Xbox :angry: :angry: :angry:

 

Now they are sacrificing all of PC Gaming to prop-up their damned console.

 

I always wanted the reverse to happen. To have both traditional PC-style games AND console style 3rd person platformers, hack 'n slash, cart racers, etc. The PC as the ultimate modular upgradable gaming system. If Microsoft had put their foot down about gaming standards long ago we'd have this kind of platform.

Please visit TDM's IndieDB site and help promote the mod:

 

http://www.indiedb.com/mods/the-dark-mod

 

(Yeah, shameless promotion... but traffic is traffic folks...)

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This question is asked all the time. Perhaps every couple of years, or every new console generation, or every E3, it seems.

 

Personal computers are a different tool than consoles. Based on what they're designed to do, they will always be more powerful for particular tasks. And always more flexible and customizable. It's a tool, not a toy. The first games came about simply because nerds who loved the platform wanted to make something entertaining for it. These people and impulses will always exist. If something is desired by people, someone will make it.

 

If the question instead is, "are all of the big name publishing houses moving to console?" Perhaps, but I couldn't care less. Consoles are meant to play published games, and I don't play their crap. Given the choice between "Separated-by-colon-new-tech!-military-style-team-shooter-game-201x" and a new indie free space flight simulator, I'll go with the latter every time.

 

One need look only as far as this forum to see what alternatives (gaming, development, design; creation) exist. ^_^

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There's another insult to injury factor here:

 

Dual Analog control mechanics.

 

If you've played Resident Evil 4 on the Gamecube, you will note that they designed the play mechanic so the player is stationary while shooting. This makes the game very playable with console controllers and is an appropriate design.

 

However, many console 3rd person or FPS games use one analog stick as a WASD and the other as a poorly controlled mouse. When I played the new Ghostbusters game on a friend's Xbox360 I was dying for a mouse because of the loose sloppy feel of dual analog controls. For this game an RE4 approach would've been better but I believe that Ghostbusters' control system was setup to mirror the many "would-be" PC FPS games that have this same sloppy system... because Microsoft can't get enough REAL console game developers and has to steal potential PC games and kluge them into console games. (...and has been doing so since the first Xbox).

 

So we have these crappy hybrids that serve neither market well :angry: :angry: :angry: ...

Edited by nbohr1more

Please visit TDM's IndieDB site and help promote the mod:

 

http://www.indiedb.com/mods/the-dark-mod

 

(Yeah, shameless promotion... but traffic is traffic folks...)

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the only reason I haven't got a console of some sort already, is because the control on a PC are far superior (mouse/keyboard) to stuttery stuck in the mud affair of a game controller. That said if I could get any game on a given console (say ps3 for arguments sake) to work with a mouse and keyboard I would probably have one in addition to the PC.

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I agree with Dave here.

 

My point of view summarized:

  • In the beginning there were computers, nerds and the need for entertainment. First computer games emerged. It was said that they are a curiosity and will die out soon.

  • Then there was the golden era of computer gaming. New genres surfaced. Small companies published boldly new and innovative games.

  • And then something horrible happened. Gaming went main-stream. The gaming industry was created. It was not about making new clever innovative games. It was about making profit. It was about making games to the masses. It was about making games to people who have the attention span of 5 seconds.

  • I think we are at a point where the path diverges. Hopefully the gaming industry focuses on consoles as it gains more profit that way. Console players can have their simple games. Meanwhile the PC side still has nerds, and the need for entertainment. The need of clever entertainment, a need the consoles will never satisfy.

Think about Ufo Enemy Unknown, the Thief series, Nethack, Betrayal at Krondor. Really good games. Intelligent games in which you need to figure things out.

 

Think about Elder Scrolls Oblivion, in which there was always a huge big red arrow pointing where to go. There is the difference of the modern games and games from the golden era. And I believe that there is a bunch of people who will see a lot of trouble to avoid to be doomed to play commercial modern games only. People like the TDM team. :wub:

 

I will never buy a console. If they stop making games then fine. I'll play the good old ones then.

Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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I used to think that PC gaming would cease to exist because of the industry preference for consoles when countering piracy etc, but I think that Steam has assured the PC has a long future ahead as a gaming platform. Now, I am concerned that the shrinking (or even non-existent) PC aisle in most bricks 'n mortar gaming stores will mean that many casual gamers won't even consider PC games. They might not even know Steam exists since they don't advertise in stores, though I'm optimistic that word of mouth will spread to the point that a fair number of casual gamers will be persuaded that the PC is a worthy platform.

 

Also, what SneaksieDave said. Have a look at the huge numbers of mods for the PC platform for games like HL2 and, um, others... unsure.gif If you have a platform like the PC that can do pretty much everything the Xbox and PS3 can do, but also has the flexibility to allow modding, then there's always going to be a big attraction for certain types of gamers to go with the PC. Mods are the PCs killer app when compared to gaming consoles.

 

 

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Now, I am concerned that the shrinking (or even non-existent) PC aisle in most bricks 'n mortar gaming stores will mean that many casual gamers won't even consider PC games. They might not even know Steam exists since they don't advertise in stores.

 

Yeah, I bloody hate when I go into a store and ask for a game that I know is only on the pc and yet they try and find in the xbox/ps3 section.

 

But steam isnt the way to go either(dont get me started on how valves attitude and customers support completly sucks), as you cant sell the games on afterwards, which you can do with normal retails pc games. Then you have the extreme end of the pc-piracy paranoia with the likes of ubi soft and their shenanigans.

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......Oh thats just sex

 

:wub:

 

Don't get too excited. All those devices do is map inputs from the mouse and keyboard to the gamepad inputs expected by the console.

 

I bought a similar device for my PS2 and I fiddled with it once. Now it collects dust. It turns your mouse into a joystick complete with a dead zone and limited turn speed.

 

What annoys me most about the situation is that all the current generation consoles have USB ports. I just don't understand why developers making FPS games on a console can't be bothered to support mouse and keyboard input.

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I thought this was going to be more about the quality and content of games than the platform, although they are related. Anyway, I never put much stock into the content of commercial games anyway, but a few come along that are good, like Mirror's Edge, and pure sims (IL-2, flight sims, war sims), and indie games, which tend to be PC games, but some can be on consoles. Then there's the homemade and modding scene, which tend to be PC too, but now you can homebrew on consoles and iPhones.

 

So my impression is that there are just these two trends: PC gaming has the cards stacked in its favor for quality content, gameplay, and controls, but not exclusively (console games just have the cards stacked against them), at the same time that the lion's share of the industry is moving towards consoles and casual gaming (even when it is PC) for obvious economic reasons, but neither is PC gaming entirely "dead" in the industry. Not sure how much more you can say about it except these are the trends in the zeitgeist we find ourselves in these days.

What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know that it's mine.

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This topic has been showing up a lot on different forums lately. Here's my stance. I'm still willing to buy PC games, as long as they don't contain malicious software designed to annoy me/wear my CD out/install hidden software/etc. I'm also not giving some corporate suit the ability to remotely deactivate my games post sale. I used to play the PS2 a lot, but after the Sony Rootkit thing, and the recent removal of features which were INCLUDED with the PS3 (Linux support), I've realized that consoles are a scam. We're paying to be put on a leash, now that they have the ability to force firmware upgrades on us. They can take away features, or impose BS limitations, or collect information while you play, or do whatever else they like.

 

Luckily, there are lots of games that came out that I never played. Lately, I've been playing Prey, Strife, Quake 4, and others. These games run natively under Linux, and the Linux versions don't contain any unwanted software. I buy most of my games from Amazon and www.gog.com these days. I will also buy from Frictional Games, because the Penumbra games were amazing. I also enjoy a lot of free online games, like Tremulous and Nexuiz.

 

It saddens me that my favorite game developers and game franchises have sunk so low over the years. We had Unreal. It was fantastic! The online co-op was lots of fun, and people still play it to this day. Then Unreal 2 came out. It was short... very short... and no co-op play. UT is fun for a wile, but there are so many DM/CTF games these days, we hardly need another one.

 

Then there's Duke Nukem. We were taunted with a game for twelve years, whilst the only thing the developer has produced in recent years have been re-releases of Duke3d for consoles!

 

I won't even go into the DX Invisible War/Thief 3 thing, because that's just unnecessary here.

 

I'm just glad that id Software knows how to make a sequel, with Doom 3 and Quake 4 actually entertaining me as much as the old games did.

--- War does not decide who is right, war decides who is left.

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IMO it's not so much that PC is dieing out, it's just that consoles are more popular. And it makes sense. To keep up to date to view the latest games you have to spend a butt load of cash and you need to spend the time learning how to install things, getting patches, looking at specs, adjusting your graphics ect ect. A lot of people just don't want to do this and this is why we see console gaming becoming popular. However until consoles open themselves up to be like PCs in that people can mod and download content for free ect ect they will never replace the PC, but then they'd be a PC pretty much... PARADOX!

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I just want to add something...

 

Can anyone comprehend that something that was originally third person on the pc has a prequal/sequal that is actually fps (as it should have been) and is now on the Wii??

 

dead space extraction. Would have been so much better on a pc, both better looking and better playing.

 

sigh... and people wonder why I play games like system shock 1...

18588.png
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However, many console 3rd person or FPS games use one analog stick as a WASD and the other as a poorly controlled mouse. When I played the new Ghostbusters game on a friend's Xbox360 I was dying for a mouse because of the loose sloppy feel of dual analog controls.

 

I've never understood why they don't shove a trackball onto the pad instead of the infuriating right thumbstick. I mean, think of the level of control you could have with a little practise smile.gif

 

EDIT:

 

Just found this prototye of a trackball PS2 pad. Unfortunately it never got made sad.gif

 

bodie1.jpg

Edited by bambini

"We were travelling in the night of first ages, of those ages that are gone, leaving hardly a sign — and no memories" - Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness

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hmm, didnt all the interviewees sya there was no dead zone..?

 

...for advanced FPS folk some are VERY sensitive to even the tiniest dead-zone or "strange" acceleration curves. This is why some PC ports are infuriating to these folk (the dead-zone and mouse acceleration is built in...). I suspect that 90% of the players out there would be OK with that device if it has such subtle issues (unless those folks were all lying :laugh:)...

 

What a shame about that trackball idea... Someone should get into their time-machine and make Microsoft include that controller with all their consoles...

Please visit TDM's IndieDB site and help promote the mod:

 

http://www.indiedb.com/mods/the-dark-mod

 

(Yeah, shameless promotion... but traffic is traffic folks...)

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well if i ever see one of these device in a retail store Im gonna spend an hour or two playing with to be extra extra sure (or should I say bikerdude-sure) that it will allow the same level of finesse as my mouse and keyboard on the pc.

Edited by Bikerdude
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I think you people said everything worth saying about this.

 

The only thing I have against videogames is that this whole market of er.. how can I say this without being called elitist or anything like that.. oh to hell! videogames opened a huge market for stupid people. There. I said it. Why would a big company waste time and money pleasing one gamer, with subtlelty, story, innovative gameplay, when they can please ten gamers with a game where the selling point is that every bit of the environment is destroyable?

 

Besides that, I would buy a videogame if it weren't so damn expensive here in Brasil. To give you a general idea, when the PS3 was released here it costed around 6000 dollars. Yes, six thousand dollars. For a videogame.

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It´s capitalism! It infected the whole word and the same is slowly dying because of this. And there is nothing we can do. We could try, but no one will listen and there is so much stupidness leading, hopeless... I hope in 2012 it´s really over.

 

I have a PS3 (a present, but I wanted it too) but I don´t buy actual games for it. Okay, on my birthday I bought 'Heavy Rain' but I played older PS2 games on it like Prince of Persia, Tomb Raider, Metal Gear Solid and Splinter Cell. I have a lot of PS2 games I bought for nothing at eBay that I didn´t even looked at it right now as I think of it.

 

But the last year I played my 'old' games like Thief and ShadowMan on my old Laptop and this year I got a new PC and what am I playing? Thief and ShadowMan and since a couple of works I´m making my own mod for a Racing Game (GTR2). I´m a big Car-fan so that´s the reason for buying a console for me: Gran Turismo. There is nothing like it anywhere else.

 

But the actual gaming market, really, the last years I simply lost track of what is out there that could please me. I had hopes in 'Dantes Inferno' but as I played the PS3 demo, pah, it was like shit. I don´t even car for God of War the (console-)world is talking, praising about.

 

For my taste the market exploded around the millennium and that time I wasn´t able to detect games that I would might love like I loved Thief. The console game I buy will likely by Gran Turismo 5 and that´s it. I would like to look at Red Dead Redemption, but than again, I don´t have the money for that. I don´t know, there is nothing that attracts me at the actual industry. I only buy GT5 because I know what I will get. That´s different...

 

Ah, I still can´t sleep. 10 in the morning. Terrible summer this is...

-> Crisis of Capitalism

-> 9/11 Truth

->

(hard stuff), more
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