The Big Picture: PC Gaming Is Dead - Long Live PC Gaming!

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Does anyone else think that the term PC should also refer to laptops? They are functionally identical in every way except that a desktop doesn't have an attached monitor or an internal battery.

ZombieGenesis:

EDIT: Actually, notice how laptops were not mentioned.
Laptops ARE computers, and I agree laptops will probably replace the box PC. But ...it's still a PC.

I agree with this. Laptops are replacing desktops, but a PC is still a PC. I agree that I very rarely sit at my desktop for gaming, except when I need the horsepower that my netbook doesn't provide, but I'm still on my netbook far more often then I'm on my console.

I also didn't hear a mention of flash games. There's a lot of up and coming companies that started by developing flash games for sites like newgrounds, armor games and kongregate. This might be the future of gaming as a whole; lots of short, easy to develop games that get made into big budget studio games once it can be proved that people like the concept.

Yeah he had some valid points but it would of been better if he called it Computers are dead - Long Live Computer to prevent the rage building up in me from exploding.

Desktop PC's are certainly going away...but laptops aren't. Can't really see myself using a tablet for game design software >.>

Actually very much true when I think about it... heck its happening at my home right now, my dad's directly stated that he won't actually buy a new PC (well... home Mac) to replace our current one when its died, but rather he'll simply buy a large display that we can plus all our laptops into (since we ALL have one now in my family :P) in case we need a larger screen to work on (for example, my dad prefers a large screen when doing artwork on the computer).

Very good points there, the desktop PC is becoming completely irrelevant for the common user, since laptops pretty much have all the power they need for all the simple day-to-day tasks that one might be asked of.

*grabs popcorn*

Wow Bob. You just called PC gaming dead on one of the biggest PC gaming hipster forums I know of, save reddit. Oh this is flame war is going to be of epic proportions.

This was a great episode. I grew up gaming on PCs, and not because my parents wouldn't get me a console; It was because I didn't WANT a console. Seriously, the side-scrollers of the SNES and the Sega Saturn didn't appeal to me in the slightest. It wasn't until the N64 and Ocarina of Time that I started console gaming.

I think another reason PC gaming is dying is because it isn't practical anymore. Computers are expensive, especially if you want to update enough to keep your graphics up to snuff with game requirements. I've had the same laptop for four and a half years. Between that, the fact that its performance degraded due to a system crash that required me to reinstall the operating system, and that it no longer can detect the CD/DVD drive, I decided to get an Xbox 360 towards the end of 2009.

Console gaming is preferable at this point because new consoles are only generated once per decade. If a game is released for a console, you KNOW your system will be up to snuff. Plus the Xbox is from Microsoft, so a number of games I would have wanted to play on a PC are going to be released on it.

I can't wait to play those new-fangled "cybernetic-eyeball games"!

Yeah, this episode will probably cause some arguments (see doctoral thesis at #32), but I will agree with him. Heck, I'm surprised he didn't mention piracy as another factor for the decline for the PC.

At least, that's why I would want to avoid it.

I honestly don't think PC gaming is dead yet. I think the only reason why PC is less popular than consoles is the need to constantly upgrade the hardware. But by no means is the PC "dead". It's just at a slow point.

Oh yeah, PC gaming is dying, definitely.

*Opens steam, plays Mafia 2, eagerly awaits Portal 2, contemplates getting Shogun 2.*

You're right, there is no need for this device anymore.

*Decides to install the Oddworld games again, laughs heartily at the latest from TellTale*

Quite simply nobody supports the platform anymore.

*Asks brother how he's getting on with Dragon Age 2, discuss their excitement for the upcoming Witcher 2*

Woodsey:
...

That's why PC sales are up then. Why Steam continues to gain more users and money. Why motion controls are being put on the PC anyway (of course, plenty of the "hardcore" console gamers also moan to death about motion controls - and whilst Kinect has sold massively well, I'm pretty sure actual game sales for it are fairly pitiful). Not that motion controls are as accurate as a mouse and keyboard anyway. The whole Facebook thing is a DIFFERENT MARKET.

This video is a little bizarre. You're right, why would you keep all those things at a hub in your house, when you could buy 300 different appliances that all only do a few functions of it? Oh, wait...

And last time I checked, I'm pretty sure laptops were counted as PCs.

Oh, and if you installed IE and Office on a 360, you would have a basic PC. You're not rendering your old one useless, you're just building a slightly more limited one.

You touched on something I think really needs to be stressed in this kind of debate.

PC's are at the highest point they have ever been in history. More people own them now than ever have, they perform more functions now than have ever been done, and thanks to Steam the pc gaming market is actually the largest it's been since... forever as far as I know.
So to say that the computer is dead is pretty flawed. More reasonable to say that other appliances are becoming advanced enough to perform cerain PC functions- like web and email on phones for example.

Consoles though are a pretty bad contender for this. Sure, you can hook up a keyboard to a console, and IF the software (ie. Microsoft Word) ever became available you'd certainly be able to use it.
But... where would you keep the keyboard? On your lap? Awkward and uncomfortable, so a table would be a better idea. What about the screen? If you're sitting on a sofa and your television is across from you, you're not even going to be able to read what you're typing properly. You'd need to be close enough to the screen to practically use a word processing software. Congradulations, you're sitting at a computer.

Lastly, Laptops. When I say "PCs are at their peak" I mostly refer to laptops, because as we all know, masses of people own these. Your mum now likely owns one. Hell even my grandparents have one now, that wouldn't have happened a decade ago.

There are just some things that can't be argued against- and the fact that laptops and PCs have never been stronger is one of them. Now, PC GAMING, that's a different matter as attention has most definately switched over to consoles. But the PC as a machine? Laptops as a feature of every day life? That's not going anywhere.

Just something to think about.

I really don't know what to say.

I'm not angry and I'm not happy either.
What happends to PC gaming, or gaming general for that matter, during the next generation seems pretty much up in the air to me.

Thank you, Bob, you made my brain start working.

Saippua:
Who uses a tablet? "Tablets" are just iPads and iPads are just laptops without a keyboard except less powerfull.

I'm typing on a Hybrid Tablet right now (a Fujitsu Lifebook T-series to be exact). It functions as a normal laptop, but has the capabilities of a tablet (except the screen is sensor based instead of a touch screen). It's required by my college's engineering program because of the ability to take notes, draw schematics, and annotate documents without needing a tablet attachment. It's by no means a gaming laptop, but it's powerful enough to play Crysis if I wanted to (and plenty powerful enough to play iPad games). Because of the amount of computing power needed for the tablet functions and 3D modeling software that I use, it's actually a pretty powerful machine when not in tablet mode.

PC game development is still the starting point for most one-person game programmers/designers. Because of the difficulty of developing for consoles (the company I work for does that, so believe you me when I tell you things can get difficult when hardware compatibility issues as you have in PC development get replaced by big-company-politics in console development), without an active indie PC game development community, many developments on consoles would not be happening.

Food for thought.

icame:
Desktop PC's are certainly going away...but laptops aren't. Can't really see myself using a tablet for game design software >.>

Show me a laptop or mobile device with the power of a GTX 580?

Can gaming be done on portable devices? Certainly!
Can it be done with greater fidelity on a desktop for less cost? Absolutely!

I laughed pretty hard when he said "Internet Explorer". I think I'll leave this debate alone, but what the last few episodes of this show (and the little article between Yahtzee/Extracredits/Bob) has proven to me, its that Bob should try to avoid discussing topics aside from comics, movies and television. It doesn't seem to go over well.

Some good points. But i still think that a base unit (which may end just being a damned screen). Will always be necessary due to logistics. People like to have places for things. You eat in the dining room, you watch tv in the living room etc etc. Having somewhere to sit and work (or if you play pc games properly then play) is indispensable. From the little things like mice and keyboards, to the big things like m,onitors and awesome chairs (proper lumbar support ftw).

In some form they will hang around for a fairly long time

Hell just the mouse alone still provides the easier way of doing work quickly. Till we get minority report style HUDS we will be stuck with that. And im good with it.

*edit*
bobs last joke was great xD

without PCs how will people store terabytes of porn, can you get utorrent on a tablet, and how will i burn blu-ray disks? (keep in mind I consider a laptop a PC, I don't get Bob's differentiation they can both do the same things.)

O wow... I usually ignore "the big picture" but the bait was just too good to be left alone. Man I sure wish I just stayed away. Why do you even have a show like this bob? Anyone off the street could make better intellectual arguments than you. You contradict yourself left and right all over. PC's are dead but PC gaming is flourishing? Did you hear yourself when you were recording this? I get what your trying to get at, but I am sorry your wrong and your a fool for trying to hijack the "PC GAMING IS DEAD" phrase to try and convey your idea that PC's as we know it are dieing. Almost like terrible sensational reporting that a certain news outlet likes to abuse. I can go on longer, but I will stop here so I don't crit everyone with a wall of text larger than the one to keep the Mongolians out. Thanks again for reminding me to stay far away from anything you do.

I have yet to see FPS done right with the new motion controls. Wii has had several years to do it and Metroid Prime 3 was the only good use of FPS controls for wii. Maybe Kinect and Move can prove me wrong in the coming years, but until such time, PC is where I'm at for all my FPS games.

I hold on to PC over any console for a few reasons still:

1. Choice, the massive amount of software available to a PC. No console yet comes close, and seeing as the PC is also most compatible with a huge selection of games, I chose the PC. It has everything, I don't need to have a PS3 AND a laptop because the PS3 can't do all the tasks I need it to. It's so much more comfortable to have everything in one place, and until I can do that on another platform I'm extremely unlikely to cross over (that naturally depends on what happens to the various platforms in the future).

2. Upgradable hardware and software. It's relatively easy to upgrade any PC, with even just a limited amount of knowledge, like what I have. I'm not skilled, I most likely couldn't answer any of the questions a somewhat learned person in the art of PC would ask me, but anyone can learn to upgrade basically any part of a PC in the matter of minutes. Meanwhile, other platforms don't allow this. Being "bound" to one hardware setting may be good for compatibility, but that also means you HAVE to wait for the new machine in the series to come along, and then pay the full price, rather than just toss in a small sum in upgrades for your PC and be able to run whatever piece of software you needed the upgrade for.

3. Full choice between keyboard/mouse, Joystick or most other controllers. Most games now will allow you to chose between using the keyboard/mouse setting or another alternative control unit like for example the xbox controller, which I prefer for many games over the keyboard. You can have all these alternatives on hand and get playing at any time... Meanwhile, your unable to use a keyboard/joystick for games on the PS3 and xbox, as far as I'm aware (and btw, if I was to get one of those consoles, it would be the PS3), though something may have happened that I have missed. I feel I need the choice to enjoy my games to the fullest.

That being said, I would love if the console could offer me those 3 things. If they could, I'd be there instantly. Sitting in the couch and doing stuff on a big screen would be great, but there's just too many things I would miss by crossing over right now. And I know the whole "needing a separate laptop" isn't a big deal for most, but it is to me. I have an almost obsessive need to have everything in one place, and in a very particular way of order.

Steam too, I LOVE having all my games at one place, I've almost completely stopped going to the store to buy a game, I basically do it all online... It means no covers, no discs, all my games in one very neat and very tidy place.

Am I the only one who was more offended that he still uses Internet Explorer than the attempted flame war?

OT: Yeah! 1,000th post!...Am I... Am I Popular yet?

Anyones Xbox 360 or PS3 console's lifespan: 2-5 years.
A PC that you take care of regularly: ??? years.

I disagree sole based on the fact that PCs have better graphics, and Steam saw a huge percentage increase in sales for the last few quarters.

As for the death of the PC, in some respects you are right, in others you are very wrong. Most people who have computer based jobs, which is and increasing number in this day in age, has a PC. I doubt you would see a whole lot of Photoshop being done on the iPad. Just saying

Personal home computers are not dying. They're just being attached to big screen TVs instead of old-school computer monitors. And yes, some PCs are going more travel-friendly, but usually still get used about the same way as desktops most the time.

Also never forget about work. Still going to be awhile before all job markets become portable friendly, and even longer before all work computers stop accidentally getting games on them.

And casual gaming still has the hugest market on PC. Why? Because all those people who thought "computers are hard and expensive" are now finally giving them a shot and instead are claiming "consoles and portable devices are hard and expensive."

Im having a hard time agreeing with you which is hard because I agree with most everything you say. Probably because A) Im a hardcore PC gaming fan, and B) knowing you are a hardcore Nintendo fan, you and I have a ton of bias in the matter. If I was allowed, this would probably be the one time Id be slinging a bunch of expletives at Bob, but Id rather not get a suspension.

tbh the show made more of a case for why consoles are going to die. PC gaming will exist as long as we have computers(a laptop is still a computer) whilst consoles only exist as a means to provide gaming to those without powerful PCs. With the proliferation of computing mediums such as tablets and netbooks there really is no need to have a box in you're living room to play games on.

pc gaming is dieing for 20 years now, i guess it will still be dieing when all of us are dead :>

i agree that our children wont have some huge box under their desk, but im pretty sure they wont play starcraft 3 on their ipdad5 either

I'm pretty sure this episode would fit better as a Game overthinker episode.

I hope you're wrong. If you are right about this, looks like my days of gaming will be going down the hole. I don't care what anyone says, console games are dumbed down. There is no modding, not as many options with online play, mostly all shooters have some sort of aim assist (auto aim, enlarged hit boxes, other assist methods, etc.), and many other things. Also, with the point motion controls (Wii), it is easier to aim than it is with analog sticks, but still fails in comparison to a mouse because it is hell of a lot more tiring.

iPods/iPads aren't that great either. Games like Plants vs Zombies where you pretty much just poke the screen are good on them, but games like Final Fantasy are a bit off with controls, and Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 is horrible.

I'd be happy to wait a month or two after the console release of a game for developers to convert it over to proper PC controls. The thought of making us pay the same price for console games on PC when the PC has no licensing fees and we just get these piece of shit console ports is insane. Why should I have to pay more money for a shittier version of the game?

Oh, and I have no problem with consoles, I just mostly play shooters and I cannot aim for shit with analog sticks.

There is a very big difference between a platform being dead and a platform not being as popular as it used to be. The PC is definitely the later. MMO's, RTS's, facebook games, Steam, all of these things show that PC gaming is very much alive. Yes, it is not as popular as console gaming, and probably never will be again, but that is very, very different from being dead. It would like saying Britain is dead because it's no longer the most powerful country in the world (no offense to any of the Brits out there), which would be wrong.

On a less major note, I wouldn't say point-and-click adventures have had a revival on the Wii. It's been Telltale Games that really brought it back, and they put their games on multiple platforms (though thanks to Steam I would venture a guess that they do the best on...wait for it...the PC).

dunnace:
Oh yeah, PC gaming is dying, definitely.

*Opens steam, plays Mafia 2, eagerly awaits Portal 2, contemplates getting Shogun 2.*

You're right, there is no need for this device anymore.

*Decides to install the Oddworld games again, laughs heartily at the latest from TellTale*

Quite simply nobody supports the platform anymore.

*Asks brother how he's getting on with Dragon, discuss their excitement for the upcoming Witcher 2*

...I do believe you completely missed the point there.

He directly said that PC games are not dead. What he's saying is that the PC as we know it (the whole home desktop computer) is becoming irrelevant with the onset of powerful mobile devices like smart phones, laptops and tablet computers.

All those games you mentioned will run perfectly fine on a laptop as well as a big chunky desktop computer...

PacifismFailed:
tbh the show made more of a case for why consoles are going to die. PC gaming will exist as long as we have computers(a laptop is still a computer) whilst consoles only exist as a means to provide gaming to those without powerful PCs. With the proliferation of computing mediums such as tablets and netbooks there really is no need to have a box in you're living room to play games on.

That's an interesting way to look at it, and honestly - you have a point there.

Also: LAPTOP PCs are Personal Computers, just like DESKTOP PCs. So if PC gaming "is dying", then your laptop will die with it as a gaming platform.

I'm attending a college online right now--on a laptop, using software designed for PCs--and honestly its just a lot faster for me to start up a game of "Titan Quest" via Steam on my machine than reaching over, unplugging my DS and waiting for "Pokemon: Black" to start up. I like both games, but I can still see "PC Gamers" enjoying the comfort of starting up even a basic solitaire game on their computer versus finding the bloody cards somewhere in their house.

Plus, wouldn't those games made for consoles have to be made by software on the PC? Even further, would the developers on those games might test those games on the PC, instead of going through the process of porting every game to the console (when they could save that for the "final" product)?

I think so long as there are good games on any machine is available, people will play that game on that machine. I never owned a Sega Genesis (SNES console owner), but I occasionally find a good game on that console, such as the "Shadowrun" RPG. Plus there are a whole slew of PC games never ported to the consoles that, while abandoned, might be found later by new players and enjoyed like new games. Why else would people spend the time to make DOSbox to work so they could play the ancient Elder Scroll games?

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