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PC Gaming Alive and Dominant

Soulskill posted about 5 months ago | from the from-my-cold,-dead-hands dept.

PC Games (Games) 245

An anonymous reader writes "Ars reports on a panel at PAX East which delved into the strength of the PC as a platform for games, and what its future looks like. The outlook is positive: 'Even as major computer OEMs produce numbers showing falling sales, the PC as a platform (and especially a gaming platform) actually shows strong aggregate growth.' The panelists said that while consoles get a lot of the headlines, the PC platform remains the only and/or best option for a lot of developers and gamers. They briefly addressed piracy, as well: 'Piracy, [Matt Higby] said, is an availability and distribution problem. The more games are crowdfunded and digitally delivered and the less a "store" figures into buying games, the less of a problem piracy becomes. [Chris Roberts] was quick to agree, and he noted that the shift to digital distribution also helps the developers make more money — they ostensibly don't have everyone along the way from retailers to publishers to distributors taking their cut from the sale.'"

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There is no time for gaming (4, Funny)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | about 5 months ago | (#46736815)

We need to be preparing the grounds for the world proletarian revolution, or capitalism in its death agony will drag us all into the grave with it.

Re:There is no time for gaming (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46736887)

I play lots of Call of Duty, so I think I'm pretty well prepared.

Wrong! (0)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | about 5 months ago | (#46736905)

Read Marx, Engels, Lenin and Trotsky and immerse your self in the labor movement!

Re:Wrong! (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about 5 months ago | (#46737017)

I'll get right on that.. After all, stalin was just trying to help the working class!

Wrong! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46737269)

Why would I read books by a bunch of backstabbing aristocrats to immerse myself in the labour movement?

Re:Wrong! (1)

pepty (1976012) | about 5 months ago | (#46737433)

Does playing lots of S.T.A.L.K.E.R., or Metro 2033, or tetris count?

Re:There is no time for gaming (1)

CmdrEdem (2229572) | about 5 months ago | (#46736919)

Dear Anon, by your logic, since I play RTSs and TBSs, will you be a grunt in my army?

No? Oh sh*t. I knew I should have trained a little diplomacy playing some Neverwinter Nights 2.

Re:There is no time for gaming (5, Funny)

SpankiMonki (3493987) | about 5 months ago | (#46736965)

I play lots of Call of Duty, so I think I'm pretty well prepared.

I'll see your Call of Duty and raise you a Farmville.

Re:There is no time for gaming (2)

the_Bionic_lemming (446569) | about 5 months ago | (#46737931)

I can actually preserve food by canning, smoking, pickling and curing as well as hunt. I also have mason jars stockpiled.

So I'll raise the farming by one and have the shotgun ready for defense against soldier boy.

P.S. Be sure you want to be tough and steal, cause if there's a jar or two not prepped well, you'll just die from botulism when you run across it. It's called "insurance". :)

Re:There is no time for gaming (2)

ComputersKai (3499237) | about 5 months ago | (#46737967)

I am ready to rebuild Civilization, and engage in Total War, to prevent any impending Doom.

Re:There is no time for gaming (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46738269)

I'm looking forward to impending Doom.

Re:There is no time for gaming (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 5 months ago | (#46737383)

Considering the political makeup of this country, you'd be better off playing Day-Z or Rust, and prepare to be naked and facing the barrel of a gun.

Re:There is no time for gaming (0)

phantomfive (622387) | about 5 months ago | (#46736903)

, or capitalism in its death agony will drag us all into the grave with it.

This is interesting, why do you think capitalism is dying, and why do you think it will die? Also an interesting question, if you have time to follow up, how do you think a proletarian revolution will solve things?

Re:There is no time for gaming (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46736963)

Capitalisms is dying because during a labor surplus it becomes inefficient and cannot compete with systems that are efficient under such circumstances, such as, for example, fascism and tyranny.

One thing a proletariat revolt does is give us a pretext to shoot the proles until none remain alive, thus solving things.

Re:There is no time for gaming (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46737699)

+1, sadly insightful

Re:There is no time for gaming (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46737915)

You were doing well until you mentioned tyranny. Things went downhill from there. Tyranny isn't an economical system. You can have tyranny under capitalism or any other economical system. In fact, there are loads of poor, capitalist, countries ruled by tyrants.

Fascism is more efficient, labor surplus or not. There is not a single country that didn't do well under it. The same cannot be said of capitalism, even though people like to pretend otherwise.

And before you start, Fascism does not implies putting people in camps.

Re:There is no time for gaming (1)

istartedi (132515) | about 5 months ago | (#46737251)

our future begins with tomorrow!

According to signs on the wall at several bars I've been to, there will also be free beer.

meanwhile... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46736821)

TV is almost dead. Quite the opposite of what "experts" have been predicting for decades.

It's not surprising (5, Interesting)

phantomfive (622387) | about 5 months ago | (#46736899)

The console makers stopped focusing on making it a game machine, instead trying to make an 'entertainment center.' If you want to push the envelope in graphics, you need to go to the PC.

Re:It's not surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46737091)

Herpa derp. You shoulda used the words peasants and master race more.

Re:It's not surprising (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46737429)

Plebs gonna pleb. You should've saved more from the fry cook job you got fired from, then maybe you could've invested in a mediocre PC instead of being restricted to playing alone with your Wiiwii.

There, was that better?

Re:It's not surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46737725)

LOL, I bought a high-end gaming PC for $1500. That is only a quarter of my monthly income.

Re:It's not surprising (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 5 months ago | (#46737427)

What I can't quite fathom is why, if *nix systems are so much more "developer friendly", all of the juice is on the PC.

Re:It's not surprising (0)

phantomfive (622387) | about 5 months ago | (#46737863)

I'm not sure unix systems are more developer friendly when it comes to making games.

Re:It's not surprising (3, Interesting)

bloodhawk (813939) | about 5 months ago | (#46738289)

for games *nix is definitely NOT more developer friendly, it has improved massively in the last few years but for developer simplicity and tools it is only just starting to catch up now.

Re:It's not surprising (0, Troll)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | about 5 months ago | (#46737711)

Two things. First, the PS4 didn't even do video playback on day one. It's a games focused machine. The Wii U is entirely games focused as well. The fact that both can do Netflix isn't so much a statement about consoles becoming entertainment centers, but rather, the dogged determination of Netflix to be EVERYWHERE. The XB1 on the other hand... Well. That's another thing entirely.

(This is also true of the Vita and 3DS. Both of which are strongly focused on games.)

There really is a diminishing return on graphics. At some point, making better graphics just requires more human power.

The problem with the PC is that the control scheme is REALLY limited. Say what you will about two analog sticks and some buttons, but, you get more variety of game play out of that, than you can with KB/M. Moving along 4 dimensions with smooth analog controls is nicer than 2, and using something other than a mouse.

Playing something like Armored Core or Metal Gear just feels nicer on a game pad. Sure, it's less precise, but, more precise isn't exactly more fun. When you're aiming at high speed targets, i'd rather have auto-lock than a mouse.

Really limited? Ridiculous. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46737831)

The control scheme is limited? Really? You can plug PS3, PS4 and wired 360 controllers without any hardware adaptors and most modern games work just fine with them. Wii controllers can be used too if you have bluetooth. Virtually every other controller known to man can be used on PC either with some kind of cheap adaptor. You have joysticks, weird stuff like the Razer Hydra and an absolute plethora of unique peripherals you can use on PC. Not to mention Valve's upcoming controller which looks to remove a lot of the limitations that twin sticks have.

Re:Really limited? Ridiculous. (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | about 5 months ago | (#46737939)

I did say that you can use gamepads on PC.

But there aren't many, if any, high visibility PC games that go out of their way to be hostile to KB/M. In fact, if you are, that's generally seen as a Bad Thing by PC gamers. That's the limitation. Further more, there's no unified controller to design against.

Valve's controller looked interesting, but I don't know if it'll register "Slightly up and to the left on one pad, and all the way down and to the right on the other pad"

Re:Really limited? Ridiculous. (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about 5 months ago | (#46738053)

But there aren't many, if any, high visibility PC games that go out of their way to be hostile to KB/M.

Why would games even need to be KB+M - hostile? How does the capability of choosing to use one or the other form of input somehow work against using gamepads for people who like them?

Further more, there's no unified controller to design against.

Tbh, most developers just design against Microsoft's controller.

multiplayer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46738123)

if a keyboard/mouse player interacts with a gamepad player, the match goes to one player or the other based on game genre. For most genres, keyboard/mouse wins; in FPS and RTS, the most commonly competitive games, gamepad is simply not viable.

FPS games designed for gamepad play are slow, often have this gay cover mechanic, and have lots of autoaim.

Re:It's not surprising (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46737879)

"The Wii U is entirely games focused as well"

The Wii U is focused on trying to replicate a magical one-off home-run success (the Wii). If it had been focused on delivering a good gaming experience, it would have shipped with competitive hardware (CPU/GPU) and interface devices that are conductive to gameplay, instead of bizarre attempt to allow 10 year olds to play WiiU while Dad watches football

Re:It's not surprising (2)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | about 5 months ago | (#46738037)

I didn't say it was a great gaming device, just that it was aimed at gaming. I think Nintendo undershot the ROI curve on the investment in hardware. I don't think the tablet/gamepad combo was a terrible idea, I think they just executed poorly on it with regard to size and battery life. The fact that it has a sub 1 frame latency shows they care, but they have their priorities mixed up.

Re:It's not surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46738283)

The problem with the PC is that the control scheme is REALLY limited.

Spoken like someone that has never played Arma [arma3.com]

Does this mean it's really dead? (4, Funny)

Thruen (753567) | about 5 months ago | (#46736923)

After years of reports that PC gaming is dead while it was clearly booming, should we take this as a sign that it's finally on the decline?

...Maybe not.

Re:Does this mean it's really dead? (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 5 months ago | (#46737067)

Exactly, that was just the console makers trying to kill it. They failed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

Re:Does this mean it's really dead? (-1, Flamebait)

jedidiah (1196) | about 5 months ago | (#46737079)

I dunno. At one time I had access to the internal EA version of reality on this subject and at that time, console gaming was clearly the dominant force in the industry. I can't really see how that situation would have actually improved in favor of the PC since then. Although I don't have an insider's veiw any more.

I think this article is just a bunch of hogwash and people trying to keep up appearances and pretend that the Titanic really isn't sinking when it is.

The entire PC platform as a consumer product is in danger. It may stick around indefinitely as a business machine but I think the "must be DOS compatible" mentality for home computing is coming to an end.

Re:Does this mean it's really dead? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46737207)

I'm sorry, as soon as I read that part about EA my eyes glazed over and the rest is a blur.

Re:Does this mean it's really dead? (1)

Z80a (971949) | about 5 months ago | (#46737501)

Consoles are the dominant force in the industry for EA like games, aka big budgeted graphical powerhouses with very limited gameplays.
But those are slowly going the way of the caddilacs because they're getting too expensive to make and are not exactly something you can describe as good games.
So yes, in an EA point of view, infact PC is dying as it is stopping to buy EA games.

Re:Does this mean it's really dead? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46737751)

Graphical powerhouses? On a console? HAHAHAHA! Good one!

What you think are great visuals are the things that PC gamers consider low resolution, blocky garbage.

Re:Does this mean it's really dead? (1)

kamapuaa (555446) | about 5 months ago | (#46737785)

The best graphics are generally on PC games that were originally developed for consoles. Computer-only releases are generally MMORPGs or indie games, which tend to have worse graphics.

Re:Does this mean it's really dead? (1)

theArtificial (613980) | about 5 months ago | (#46738189)

You're leaving out some pretty big genres: RTS (which aren't usually offered on consoles) and FPS. Not to mention a bunch of action RPG games, look at The Elder Scrolls series, Skyrim in particular. Not sure if you've been keeping up with Star Citizen, which is simply beautiful.

Re:Does this mean it's really dead? (1)

Z80a (971949) | about 5 months ago | (#46738411)

Those games you cited are developed with the gameplay in mind first and graphics/storytelling later.
Your typical "AAA console game" sacrifices everything for more visual fidelity and storytelling, even if its a pointless exercise due the lack of power of the consoles as was pointed out.

"It will be the prettier game of the console X/Y" so they say, but to reach that, a lot of noninteractive cutscenes, invisible walls to streamline the level and focus the assets on the memory in a small confined corridor and even some gameplay mechanics to force the player to walk to specific corners where the game looks prettier.

To not mention the endless QTEs that are meant to pretend the player is playing the game when actually just watching another cutscene he can fail.

Re:Does this mean it's really dead? (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46737659)

The entire PC platform as a consumer product is in danger.

Yeah, that's what Linux zealots like yourself have been preaching for some time now, knowing full well that Linux on the desktop is a complete failure, so the strategy became moving the goal posts to save face. Rather than fix bug like this [freedesktop.org] , you'll just keep lying because it's easier.

Re:Does this mean it's really dead? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46737795)

In a way, that is true, but if EA and other places give the PC the middle finger and go elsewhere, I'm sure someone will fill the market. PCs are cheaper and far less DRM-laden than consoles, and I'm sure someone will make some non-sucking games.

Let EA and the dinosaurs just write for consoles. The PC might end up with a renaissance of games, especially with how easy it is to distribute them, either via Steam, GoG, or even Microsoft's store.

Re:Does this mean it's really dead? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46737163)

I would guess the opposite. If they were declaring gaming dead while it was booming, then when they are declaring it alive and dominant, it must be REALLY booming!

Re:Does this mean it's really dead? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46737435)

No.

Clearly what we should do is take this as a sign that it's finally on the decline, which means it is actually booming, which means it is in decline, which means it is booming...

Re:Does this mean it's really dead? (2)

rsilvergun (571051) | about 5 months ago | (#46738181)

Not until Netcraft confirms it.

Consoles get the spotlight due to... (2)

CmdrEdem (2229572) | about 5 months ago | (#46736991)

big, coordinated marketing efforts. PC has no such coordination. Steam could try to do that, and I think that will still be the biggest contribution of the Steam Machines. Quite ironic if you think, as I do, that the Steam Machine effort seems quite uncoordinated nowadays.

Anyone else notice (1)

rsilvergun (571051) | about 5 months ago | (#46737099)

when people started saying "For Playstation, XBox and Steam" though? It's practically a platform in itself. Kinda like how people called video games "The Nintendo" back in the day.

I have to admit, I like the convenience of Steam. With my Gog copy of Shadow Warrior I've got to patch it up every time I install. My Steam games auto patch themselves.

Re:Anyone else notice (2)

CmdrEdem (2229572) | about 5 months ago | (#46737825)

It is a platform by itself, sure. There are games only available on Steam. But there is no marketing effort there. I cannot say for ads on the Internet overall because I use AdBlock, but I don't see Steam trying to grab attention of gaming media. I don't live in the US but I'm could guess that Steam does not use TV ads just as MS and Sony does. Their public is on another place already. Sure they get a lot of attention on the Internet because they matter a LOT, but nowadays they don't need to try to get attention. A simple Gabe's sneeze sends ripples through the entire PC gaming community right away. I think the difference between Steam and hardware platforms is that a console adds an entirely new capability to a television. Steam depends on an already present computer, and for some reason people likes to play in front of a television, that is usually far away from computers. To make Steam more like a console they made the Steam Machines. That is the entire point of the Machine, even if they seem quite lost about it.

Re:Anyone else notice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46737927)

GoG allows you to download games through the cli, though. Their installer is much better than most, and they can't screw you over like Steam could.

Simple math (4, Interesting)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | about 5 months ago | (#46737167)

Most people who I know that are PC gamers are generally pretty dedicated. They have special keyboard, mice, monitors, routers, network providers, etc. This is isn't even talking about their machines. Minimally they have a $200 video card if not pushing past $500. Then there are the special motherboard, overclocking, crazy cooling systems, even the glowy bits.

That all said, they are not building these systems to play tetris. They are going to get the latest and greatest games as fast as they come out. Then if the game is good they are going to play the crap out of that game.

What probably distinguishes this market from the console market is that gamers typically are chosey about their games. They aren't getting these games as gifts. They are looking at the reviews and the opinions of their friends. Thus the crappy games that typically are pumped out to exploit the fans of various blockbusters (which are 90%+ crap) just won't get much traction in this market. Thus a bomb is probably a total bomb in the PC world whereas there are going to be grandparents, fanbois, and parents who get suckered into buying the latest Harry Potter movie for their little Harry Potter fans.

This would apply all the way down to the bargain bin. Steam has a bit of a bargain bin but I suspect that a Playstation bargain bin at Walmart will do far better than the same bargain bin for PC games.

Quite simply to have a halfway decent gaming rig you are plunking down a minimum of $1200 with many doing a multiple of that. Thus these are people who are proven willing buyers.

And then there is Goat Simulator....

Re:Simple math (4, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | about 5 months ago | (#46737257)

Quite simply to have a halfway decent gaming rig you are plunking down a minimum of $1200

Hairyfeet would dispute that figure. He claims to have put together a competent gaming PC for under $500, not including a monitor, keyboard, and mouse.

On the other hand, there are a few genres that get released on consoles far more often than on PC, even when they aren't exclusive to one console. Fighting games are one of them; the PC version of Mortal Kombat 2011, for instance, was two years late. Party games, designed for two to four players holding controllers, are another genre where PCs get the shaft. True, those require bigger monitors than a single-player or online game, but that doesn't explain why established video game publishers seem to ignore the growing home theater PC market.

Re:Simple math (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46737407)

For a game developer that is definitively not ignoring HTPCs, check out Starwahl. Awesome game :)

Re:Simple math (1)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | about 5 months ago | (#46737493)

But seeing that a console uses the home TV then the cost of monitor and whatnot must be included. Technically you could even include the desk and chair. Basically my point was that most PC gamers don't take their activity lightly. While there are many hardcore console gamers you can just buy a cheap console and you are good to go.

Re:Simple math (1)

Pubstar (2525396) | about 5 months ago | (#46737541)

Then why don't you just hook the computer up to a TV? Its not like no cards come with an HDMI out.

Re:Simple math (2)

Pubstar (2525396) | about 5 months ago | (#46737529)

Build list from /r/PCMasterRace [reddit.com] . Two that come in under $600 that can best next gen consoles.

Re:Simple math (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | about 5 months ago | (#46738127)

Fighting games are kind of baffling to me - the 360 controller is very well designed, durable, and is easy to use (100% plug and play on Windows) for the majority, and any 360-compatible arcade stick should work on PC just the same. I can only guess that they just think it's a bad move to release a game that almost requires a third party controller on PC since the joystick died off. Party games, on the other hand, are pretty obvious - it's that the sheer number of HTPC systems aren't there to support them. Steam Big Picture is among the first steps to mass adoption, and that's going to take a lot of time to penetrate the market. You are still using 360 controllers at that point, and to be honest, a lot of the Wii offerings with nunchuks were just better at being party games anyway.

Re:Simple math (4, Insightful)

PlusFiveTroll (754249) | about 5 months ago | (#46737355)

>Steam has a bit of a bargain bin but I suspect that a Playstation bargain bin at Walmart will do far better than the same bargain bin for PC games.

The Steam quarterly sales are huge, also the weekly Humble Bundle. I'm over 100 titles now, simply because a very large number of them cost me almost nothing. Also you can play games on decent settings for around $600 and have a computer you can do other things with too. $1200 is a damn fast computer.

Re:Simple math (3, Interesting)

hibiki_r (649814) | about 5 months ago | (#46737371)

The 90s called, they want their arguments back.

Today, the PC market isn't really about pushing hardware. Remember Crysis? It sold nothing, because very few people believed they even had the rig to play it. Nobody releases for really high end hardware anymore: What you get with expensive hardware is insane resolutions. Who are the big players in PC games? The people making MOBAs, MMOs, and indies. Some rely on constant updates, which do not fare well in the console world: Valve tried to keep selling TF2 on the 360, but there was no way in hell they'd be allowed to update the game for free monthly, if not weekly. There's plenty of articles about it, look it up.

So what the PC market gives is both enhanced capabilities for constant engagement, and being able to sell your game for pennies. You'd be mad to target something like Paper's Please as a console-only game. League of Legends or Dota on consoles? yeah right. And none of those games need anything that even resembles a $1500 machine to run.

If we have to compare PC gaming to something, it's mobile games, but with far better control options, and less fear of install sizes.

Re:Simple math (2)

Rich0 (548339) | about 5 months ago | (#46737387)

I'd question the need to spend $1200 to have a decent PC for gaming. I do most of mine on an Phenom II 4-core with 8GB DDR3-1600, and a card that cost me somewhere around $150 (basically last year's decent card). I also save by replacing components when they need it (MB+CPU+RAM every other year or so). My previous video card konked out after a number of years, and while the new one is a clear step-up, I could still run most games with fairly decent settings with the old one (which was probably the better part of $200 when I got it). I'd say I probably spend $130/yr on the system I used for gaming, though that tends to be $200 one year, nothing the next, etc).

Sure, it won't run last week's game at the absolute highest settings, but it will outperform any of the last-gen consoles for sure, and most of the games still target those.

On the other hand, I'm not really into FPS. I have no issues with the FPS/RPG blends like Skyrim/ME3/etc, though.

Re:Simple math (0)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | about 5 months ago | (#46737499)

If I came by and threw every single thing wired into your desktop into a fire (monitor, keyboard, mouse, router, etc) what is the total in receipts that you spent on that gear?

Re:Simple math (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46737525)

Yeah, but if you count the TV into the cost of the console, it goes up too.

Re:Simple math (1)

Pubstar (2525396) | about 5 months ago | (#46737559)

If I asked you how much you spend on games and XBL/PS+, how much do you really spend in comparison to PC. I haven't spent more than $40 on a preorder in ages. Hell, I got BF4 Digital Deluxe and Premium for $72. Titanfall was free (THANK YOU EA PAY GLITCH!), and most other things are between $35-40 for me using stuff like GreenManGaming and CDKeyPrices.com. Console gaming is much more expensive in the long run.

Re:Simple math (1)

Rich0 (548339) | about 5 months ago | (#46737713)

Router? Are you telling me that you include the cost of a router in the purchase cost of a console?

Why not include the cost of the house I use it in as well? It isn't like I would be playing games out in the rain!

The cost is certainly higher if you include all the peripherals, but my keyboard and monitor are about 15 years old, my mouse costs all of $20, headphones were $20 though I've since upgraded to something fairly high-end (which work just as well with a console, so that's a wash), and I replace things like cases and optical drives when they become completely non-functional (just a vanilla DVD-ROM dating back to the 90s in there right now, and the case isn't much newer). Sure, it would probably cost $600-700 to replace it all, but if I had a console it would plug into a TV/stereo/etc and those aren't cheap.

When I look at TCO/etc the PC makes a lot of sense. It is my only PC running Windows and I wouldn't need it but for gaming, and even so I spend very little on it.

Re:Simple math (1)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | about 5 months ago | (#46737873)

A hardcore gamer will have everything possible to reduce latency. This would be for either set up. Router, choice of ISP, wired vs wireless, laser mouse, etc.

Re:Simple math (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46738055)

A hardcore gamer will have everything possible to reduce latency. This would be for either set up. Router, choice of ISP, wired vs wireless, laser mouse, etc.

Not true in the slightest. Also, you are including all hardcore gamers in your assertion. Not only are hardcore gamers a minority among gamers, but the ones that desire all you list are even a minority among those who consider themselves hardcore.

Also, not every game is played over a network.

Re:Simple math (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46738513)

your straws are quite short, quit grasping

btw all console gamers are unwashed loosers that rather play madden than have sex

Re:Simple math (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46738221)

I consider myself a hardcore gamer. I spend more than 20 hours per week playing games on my PC, though I can easily spend much more time if I was not trying to cut back lately. If you did that to me, it would total $500 at most.

I have to wonder though, do you include the cost of the television when you consider the cost of a console? Televisions can typically cost more than an entire PC by themselves, even when you include the cost of everything even tangentially related to a PC and its connection to the Internet as you seem to do. If you think televisions are so ambiguous such that everyone has one, just know that not everyone does. I, for one, do not own a television. I have not had one in over 20 years. There are several people that I know who are in the same boat, so I know I am not alone in that.

Re:Simple math (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about 5 months ago | (#46738507)

about 700 bucks .... only game it doesnt run at maxed out settings (instead its 1 notch below maxed out) is crysis 3 all in true 1920x1080 resolution, using a 189$ video card from 2010

so its not that big of a cost difference, it performs leaps and bounds better than either next gen console, and I can be running a game, 3d cad, electronic design software or even just word or a web browser on it so its functionality severely outweighs anything the toys offer

I know there is a place and market for consoles, they are not for me, but I dont crusade against them by painting with a broad brush

I think you're missing the point (your "not into (0)

aussersterne (212916) | about 5 months ago | (#46738441)

FPS" comment at the end is evidence of this).

In the PC gaming world, getting it to run at the highest settings *is* the game. It's like the "bouncing ball" graphics demos on 8-bit systems in the 1980s. The actual software isn't useful or meant to occupy the user's attention for long. The challenge is in *getting it to run* and the joy is in *seeing what my super-cool computer is capable of* in processing and graphics rendering terms.

Running on last year's card/settings? Sorry, you don't get the game.

This is why I stopped being a PC gamer in the late '90s. All I wanted was a better Tetris. What I got was a better bouncing ball demo.

Re:Simple math (1)

arbiter1 (1204146) | about 5 months ago | (#46737513)

"What probably distinguishes this market from the console market is that gamers typically are chosey about their games. They aren't getting these games as gifts. They are looking at the reviews and the opinions of their friends." This is mostly cause on console, you buy a game it sucks go trade it in and get some $ back. PC side you are kinda S.O.L. and stuck with the game, which is also one the major fuels for piracy. I admit i pirate games my self that seem iffy, if i like the game feel its worth price they put on it, I will buy it or i will wait til its on sale down to a price I think it is worth.

Re:Simple math (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46737843)

I agree with the majority of your points but.. can't say I know a single PC gamer that has a special router or network provider. Mouse, maybe keyboard, maybe headset, and a good graphics card is about it for most.

Re:Simple math (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46738075)

I would go even further. Most PC gamers I know just slapped a video card in their machine and called it a day. They might have pieced it together from individual parts, but a video card is the primary difference between their computer and one off the shelf. Hell, integrated graphics nowadays are fairly decent now, so even needing a video card to play PC games decently is out the window with newer computers.

Re:Simple math (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46738015)

I would argue the "bargain bin" on Steam actually does far better than the bargain bin at retailers, for the simple fact that the "bargain bin" on Steam can be there for forever, whereas the bargain bin at a retailer is only lasts as long as supplies last or they get tired of it and just throw it away.

You seem to have this image of PC gamers all being hardcore hardware enthusiasts that need to have the latest and greatest hardware to play the latest and greatest games, always. Those who think like that and actually do that are by far the minority. A vocal minority, but a minority nonetheless. Most PC gamers actually just use what they have. The ones that mean to play games on a computer from the start will probably get a video card right away though, otherwise, that is not a given. And especially not today, where modern integrated graphics are more than adequate to handle most of the games out there. There are plenty of those PC gamers out there simply using the family computer to play games, or the computer given to them that they are supposed to use for school, or the hand-me-down they got from a friend or relative, or the computer they own just to have a computer but happens to be able to play games when they tried.

Just look at just about any support forum for a popular game. There are usually multiple threads there with something like "will my computer run this game?" Even for games with some hilariously low system requirements. Those threads may not be on the first page, but they are there if you search. If every PC gamer was hardcore and keeping up with all the latest and greatest hardware, there would be zero of those threads. Instead, there are multiples.

Also, what about Goat Simulator? If you are not going to complete a thought, do not start it.

Re:Simple math (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 5 months ago | (#46738245)

That's an interesting point: the distribution mechanism for PC games is different than the hype machine used for normal product sales. That's worth thinking about, anyway.

Re:Simple math (1)

phorm (591458) | about 5 months ago | (#46738393)

Quite simply to have a halfway decent gaming rig you are plunking down a minimum of $1200 with many doing a multiple of that

Honestly, not so much anymore. AMD 7850k. Motherboard. 8GB RAM. 2GB+ HDD
$200. $100. $50. $100.

Throw in a case for $50-100 and you've actually got a pretty good machine (can play BF4 and most other stuff @ 1080p, high detail).
Throw in an SSD (under $100 for a drive that'll at least fit the OS and a few games) and you've got a pretty fast machine.

On distribution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46737327)

Completely agree. My... uh... friend.... has entire mount points devoted to pirated games downloaded over the years, but there's been no growth on those drives since he's had the opportunity to fund and directly download the games that he wants. Piracy will, of course, always be a factor, but I do not think it's ever been, nor will it ever be, the great bogeyman that distributors make it out to be.

Good news! (3, Interesting)

trawg (308495) | about 5 months ago | (#46737373)

I'll make sure to let the 7,518,856 other people I play Dota 2 with every month know (that number from just loading the game and looking at the unique monthly players figure).

That is, if I can get their attention while they're all trying to be the next team to win $1m in cash.

(Related aside: check out Valve's Free to Play [steampowered.com] documentary; it's a great watch for some insight into the lives of professional gamers.)

talk about directx, wine on linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46737405)

I want to see them state specifically which parts of directx to use, to maximize compatibility with wine and linux. directx ~9 has been out for 10 years now, has support in xp, xbox 360, and better support in linux. i'd wish for a wine/directx graphical display system instead of x11 for some time in the future.

Not True (4, Interesting)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 5 months ago | (#46737413)

This story is BS. "Crowdfunding", early access and F2P are killing gaming. Developers have learned that they no longer have to complete a game. "Game development" is no longer something you do in order to make a game, it's something you do in order to make your next game, which is also never completed. Why would you ever actually deliver a complete game experience when you can charge $20 and up for a practically empty game engine and a slick trailer?

And don't get me started on F2P games. They're creepy, sad and even the best of them leave you empty. The only grand vision is, "Get a bunch of people playing and hope there are enough 14 year-olds with the password to their parents PayPal account to make it pay. Enjoy the kickstarter money and move on to the next project.

The last 2 years have been the worst for PC gaming since I started playing games on my Commodore 64. I can count the number of actual AAA titles in the past 2 years worthy of the name on one hand.

And console players shouldn't get smug. You're in the same boat. You want to pay $60 for six hours of gameplay? How many hours did you pour into the games of the past? Corporate gaming has figured out that like cereal, you can make a bunch of money charging the same price for a shrinking product. It's why consoles are being sold more for their "entertainment center" features (really a "consumption center") than for the possibility of playing a continual stream of first-rate games for them.

The platforms are fine. It's the gaming industry that is moribund, getting fat and lazy on an increasingly locked-in income stream that has nothing to do with good games.

Re:Not True (4, Insightful)

Dutch Gun (899105) | about 5 months ago | (#46737601)

IMO, we've never had more choices or viable platforms as gamers - my first console was an Odyssey 2, and my first computer gaming was on an Apple II+, so I've been doing this a while now. Anyone who is longing for days long gone really needs to take off the rose-coloured glasses. Most of those older games were, if you look at it objectively, pretty trite and repetitive by today's standards. They were amazing to us largely because of their novelty, and we've elevated them on the pedestal of nostalgia.

Nothing against the classics - they were amazing for their day, but I do think a bit of perspective is in order. When I was a kid, I would have killed for an amazing RPG like Skyrim, or an MMO like Guild Wars 2, or for the sheer creativity to be found in Minecraft. I picked up Limbo the other day, and have been immensely enjoying myself - it's an incredibly clever and atmospheric platformer/puzzler. I'm still playing Puzzle Quest too, a relatively low-budget but fun puzzle-RPG hybrid. More recently, I've been going through my "bought a while ago but haven't played" list like Halo 4 and Uncharted 3, and on the PC side recently picked up The Witcher 1 & 2 in a Steam deal. I've enjoyed all these games immensely so far.

Granted, there's a lot of crap out there too. Freemium games? Yeah, I stay the hell away from those too. But I don't see how crowdfunding can be blamed when it's simply opened up the market to more niche games. Sure, some of those bets won't pay off, but welcome to venture capitalism. I'm not sure how that should be a surprise to anyone. 80% of everything is crap, anyhow. It holds true now, and it was true in the past as well. You just need to look for the products that rise to the surface... you know, read reviews, judge based on developer history.

Some old icons in the industry are now past their prime. Blizzard, Bioware, and id, longstanding favorites of mine, have all sold out. I'll no longer expect anything great from them, although I'm always willing to be surprised. Instead, younger and hungrier development shops will take their place... maybe ArenaNet and Bungie. And garage development is no longer relegated to the past either thanks to crowdfunding and improvement in tools, technology, and especially distribution platforms.

Personally, I think it's a pretty exciting time for the gaming industry, and I'm happy I'm in the middle of it.

Re:Not True (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46738045)

Nah, you sound more like a person who's not grown out of gaming because the rest of their life is a failure. Of course you're happy to be in the middle of it - there's nothing else in life to make you happy except some fucking pixels on a screen.

Re:Not True (1)

Cl1mh4224rd (265427) | about 5 months ago | (#46738243)

Some old icons in the industry are now past their prime. Blizzard, Bioware, and id, longstanding favorites of mine, have all sold out. I'll no longer expect anything great from them, although I'm always willing to be surprised. Instead, younger and hungrier development shops will take their place... maybe ArenaNet and Bungie.

Uhh... Bungie [wikipedia.org] is only 3 months younger than Blizzard [wikipedia.org] . If you want to be pedantic, though, Blizzard Entertainment proper is actually the younger studio.

Re:Not True (1)

Dutch Gun (899105) | about 5 months ago | (#46738391)

Some old icons in the industry are now past their prime. Blizzard, Bioware, and id, longstanding favorites of mine, have all sold out. I'll no longer expect anything great from them, although I'm always willing to be surprised. Instead, younger and hungrier development shops will take their place... maybe ArenaNet and Bungie.

Uhh... Bungie [wikipedia.org] is only 3 months younger than Blizzard [wikipedia.org] . If you want to be pedantic, though, Blizzard Entertainment proper is actually the younger studio.

Yeah, you're right. After I posted that, I realized that "younger" wasn't really the proper term for describing Bungie, as they've been around for quite a while now too. Maybe it's just because it feels to me like Blizzard has lost it's vitality since getting swallowed up by Activision, while I don't necessarily get that feeling from Bungie.

Re:Not True (2)

Pubstar (2525396) | about 5 months ago | (#46737683)

Games like Hawken, Blacklight: Retribution, DotA 2, and LoL are are examples of F2P model done right. When done properly, the games are amazing, and some of us with disposable incomes do toss the developers some cash.

As for the AAA bullshit - if you think that the only reason to game is AAA titles, then you are everything that is wrong with gaming. I've spent countless hours trying to get better scores on Hotline: Miami and get different endings on Papers, Please.

Re:Not True (0)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 5 months ago | (#46737781)

Four games, in two years.

I understand Hotline: Miami was a critical success, because lo-res, 2D games equal coolness with indie developers, but it's nothing but a twitch game for hipsters.

And the same Rock Paper Shotgun hipsters who have a ball slaughtering prostitutes in Hotline: Miami are lecturing us on why AAA games are sexist and too violence oriented. Irony will only take you so far, you know?

Hotline: Miami is gaming for fashion victims.

Re:Not True (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46737903)

Developers have "not been completing games" for years really, practically everything released in the past decade is a buggy, untested, unpolished and incomplete mess. They're just incompetent enough nowadays that it's become painfully self-evident.

Re:Not True (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46738081)

Ever since Apple allowed IAP, even app quality games went to shit fast. It used to be that 99 cents to $4.99 would get you a decent game, be it a tower defense type of app, or something. Now, with the F2P BS, the games are now piss-poor quality, and require you to keep tossing in currency in order to advance a level. So, the quality is just poor, period.

Consoles are just as bad. You get an early beta on the media, then have to sit until the game patches to a late beta. After that, if you want anything useful, in comes the DLC which will cost more than the game itself, and can't be sold. Of course, if you let your autistic friend's kid use a saved game so he can play with unlocked characters, there is a good chance of getting banned.

Gaming as a gestalt, be it PC gaming, apps, console stuff, or online flash games have just sucked as of recent. There is more development in demanding cash for items than actual work on game play.

Re:Not True (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46738121)

"This story is BS. "Crowdfunding", early access and F2P are killing gaming."

Not quite, AAA dev costs were killing gaming. Remember THQ went out of business, supreme commander 1 'bombed' (only sold a million vs the cost it took to develop it). The reality is AAA high graphic games require hundreds of devs and 10 million minimum investment to even start on anything worthwhile to meet gamer expectations.

I agree that F2P is killing gaming, but crowdfunding is in fact the wildcard here. Shadow Run Returns was not a bad start considering the meager funding they got. The 2nd campaign is actually pretty decent. FTL (Faster than light) was pretty damn great and it was crowdfunded. The Megaman crowdfunded game looks interesting. Next car game looks like it could be great (check out the physics demo v2).

Shadowrun returns Kickstarter

https://www.kickstarter.com/pr... [kickstarter.com]

Mighty no 9.

https://www.kickstarter.com/pr... [kickstarter.com]

Next car game

http://nextcargame.com/ [nextcargame.com]

Faster than light

http://www.ftlgame.com/ [ftlgame.com]

I could not agree more, there are som real issue w (1)

Comen (321331) | about 5 months ago | (#46738239)

I started playing APB back when it was first release by RTW and was a 50$ boxed game with a monthly subscription (or something like that), I have always loved the concept of APB and the way you could customize your characters was really done great. The beginning bones of this game was done very well, to me, the original team behind APB seemed to really have their shit together, the game had some bugs, but it was very new, and I always felt like the possibilities were endless if they same team had been given more time on this game.
RTW went bankrupt and shutdown APB Sept 2010, so it sat around for awhile until K2 Networks (G1 or Gamers First) bought the game and re-launched April 2011, I was very excited just to play again honestly, and I still play the game allot, but G1 has done almost nothing to make the actual game better, no new city maps, no little fixes like queues to get in full districts or any other game fundamentals that could be very improved over the years on but never touched. Instead nothing but new cars and car kits, and new weapons.
For awhile the bought weapons were not that much of a deal, if you leveled up the in game weapons were just as good, but now they just don't care anymore and release just about anything for money, lately they seem desperate..

Here is the worst part of this, the most OP weapons are only gotten in a random chanced win in Joker Boxes, they sell the Joker Boxes on the Armas market place, its an in game website you can buy these Joker Boxes for G1C or "C1 Currency" that you buy for real money, each Joker Box is 99 G1C, but the smallest amount for G1C you can buy is 400 G1C for 5$ or you can buy a 25 pack of Joker Boxes for 1980 G1C or about 25$. I know lots of younger kids that spend several hundreds just trying to get a OP gun, I do not see the difference in this from gambling myself, and I am surprised I have never seen a article about the down right shitty ways of sucking the money out of kids in these games G1 does.

So basically G1 just sucks the life out of these games until they kill it in my mind, and only new content for items they sell.
I know I should not even still play the game, but I truly like the game, even thou half the people in this game are cheaters, it was a good game at its core and that credit should totally go to the original creators of the game

Re:Not True (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46738423)

You want to pay $60 for six hours of gameplay? How many hours did you pour into the games of the past? Corporate gaming has figured out that like cereal, you can make a bunch of money charging the same price for a shrinking product.

I'm a gamer. I have spent more then 10.000$ over course of last few years for a different gaming-related products (games, consoles and various accessories such as controllers, gameplay related gadgets - but not lore related accessories). My life changed during last few years. 5 years ago, when I was still bachelor my games backlog (games you own, but haven't finished) was never bigger then 2. Now I just don't count because it depresses me. It's probably much closer to 50.

With successful-ish career I have only one resource constraint: time. I'm happy that I can squeeze on average 10-12 hours of game in my week (which is much better than most of my friends) but it just isn't enough for nowadays gaming. I don't have time for artificially stretched gaming products. Hell, I don't have time for successful products such as Dark Souls 2, just because I don't have time (or need) to learn/grind any game that tries to cover lack of proper player captivation by "you're playing it wrong" motto.

This (obviously) brings a conflict between gamers who have a lot of time or have single-product focus and people like me, who rather have condensed product.
It is good that gaming market is so big that everyone can get something up to their taste but I think it's more probable that those who buy 5 games a month are "trend-setters" in gaming industry instead of single purchase - 3 months of gaming.

Re:Not True (1)

Ghjnut (1843450) | about 5 months ago | (#46738561)

Settle down captain cynicism. Maybe we did have an era where games rested mostly on their reputation and that of the studio that produced them, but I think we've far from lost that. Sure the market may be flooded with the F2Ps for the masses but I think that's expected to come along with the the accessibility of digital distribution. I stepped away from PC gaming for about years, and came back feeling just as at home as I ever have. The difference nowadays is that those small indie games have earned an opportunity to become the behemoths that their predecessors were. The games I get drawn into now still include the platformers but now those platformers have to stand among the smaller titles that have earned their keep solely on enjoyment and playability. I still play games like Half-Life and Civilization, they just happened to be mixed into Minecraft, FTL, and Plants vs. Zombies - games that may have never seen the light of day if conceived 10 years ago.

thanks (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46737473)

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If by dominant you meant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46737481)

dormant you are right. PC gaming died a long long time ago. Do a Chevy to the levy ditty on it.

niG6a (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46737575)

Which don't use the ww.anti-slash.org geeting together to play area Try not maggot, vomit, shit

Piracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46737729)

> Piracy, [Matt Higby] said, is an availability and distribution problem.

The way I see it, piracy is an availability and distribution solution, both in the immediate sense, and in how it's forcing industries to grapple with the reality of the internet.

The more effective piracy we have, the more the notion of "intellectual property" is shown up as the oxymoron that it is, and the freer we all will be in the long term.

Re:Piracy Kinda Like Rape (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46737811)

If you care to think about it, piracy is a lot like rape. You want to control, dominate, and get your jollies. Pirates are rapists.

More people play on PCs than Consoles (2)

locopuyo (1433631) | about 5 months ago | (#46737749)

There are some good info graphics on actual data here. PC has 51% of the playtime marketshare and consoles only have 30%. http://www.superdataresearch.c... [superdataresearch.com]

Free to play games are where the big money is now. League of Legends made $624 million in revenue in 2013. They even gave out $14.3 Million in tournament prize money.
Crossfire (a counter-strike clone popular outside the USA) had the most revenue and made almost a billion dollars in revenue last year.

Thit k website bán hàng (-1, Flamebait)

thietkeweb333 (3558411) | about 5 months ago | (#46738039)

The console makers stopped focusing on making it a game machine, instead trying to make an 'entertainment center. http://thietkewebsitebanhang.d... [dep.asia]
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