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

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JourneyThroughHell:

The_root_of_all_evil:

I'm not going to get angry, because the writing on the wall's been there for some time. You work on PCs, you play on consoles, so because you hate work, you have to differentiate them.

It's unfortunate that a video that clearly had some work put into it got conscended into a two-sentence piece that undermines everything it's going by accusing the author of being a biased person who doesn't even realize he's biased.

Yes, you're right, the title is clear and noticeable flamebait. The video, on the other hand, is not.

Instead, the video is just selective on the information it uses (Zynga game sales are up, totally ignores that PC game sales rose last year, or the continued rise of Steam) and focuses on logic that can, at best, be described as peculiar ("heh, that central PC hub is useless, because now I have 300 other things that hold some - but certainly not all - of the functionality of a PC, so now the PC is losing its worth." Huh?).

I haven't understood clearly what you meant: PC Gaming is dead? What? Why would it be dead, as mentioned in the video, games were a secondary feature on them: and they are still better than the primary features of consoles. And not only that, everything consoles can do, the PC does better and then all the OTHER features that consoles don't have that are exclusive to the PC.

If anything is to be superior to the PC, it will mimic it. Also, because it doesn't have as many exclusive games as consoles do, it's automatically dead? I know that I still enjoy excellent games and in graphics and controls superior to the consoles.

You may flame me, but please, PLEASE provide authentic arguments and facts. I'm not saying console gaming is shit, it's not good, it's AWESOME, but the PC is better (in some ways) and also inferior (in some ways).

Oh god someone pass me the anti flame shield..

I think that Bob was bias'd here, so that may have caused this episode. PC games have gone in and out of fashion periodically, look back across the years. Also, he didnt cover the complete spectrum of PC usage, there are hundreds of things which are do-able on a computer which wouldn't handle well on an xbox. E.g. Photoshop.

I can understand where he's coming from but, i still think he's wrong.

Oh and on a side note, isn't it funny how he reckons that consoles are the future, even though all the software for consoles is created on a PC? :)

@Bob: great movie as always.

@haters: Don't worry, you'll first loose interest in your PC before in order for PC gaming to really die. By that time you won't care.

And then some brain teaser: With this revolution you are predicting, is it possible that the shear number of OSes and different platforms might bring the same kind of video game crash as in the 80's? If so, might Microsoft have a 50% chance of surviving that crash?

...Eh, whatever.

PC gameing is not dead, B to AAA support is dead but from a wider prescriptive there are plenty of indie and web games for it.

As the game industry moves to more casual play even the B-AAA titles will be more like C titles (which is now more or less) since qaulity is replaced unintuitive streamlining or worse yet a film filled with QTE......

Anyway is PC gaming as we knew it dead, yes. Is gaming on the PC dead, no.

oh god, i hope/think you're very wrong, i would hate to have to use my thumbs for anything related to work and gaming again, for me that is a thing of the past, back in the primitive days of pencils, cellphones and gameboys the size of my head (that then gave me a seizure), i use my pc and laptop for all of those tasks, and i think that the advantage it has over having to own 50 different appliances, so far i have owned all of the current gen consoles, i gave away my Wii because in 2 years all it had done was playing 20 year old games and collecting dust, i gave away by xbox because i couldn't even be bothered to take it out of the packaging and my playstation is just a pretty bluray player, i do realize that the pc will be replaced in my life time but i hope its by something that can do the same, with a very similar control scheme and just as cheap.

Oh and btw, in a dream world where you can install whatever you want on your 360 why would you choose IE and Office over anything else and indesign?

PC's are here and they'll stay for a long time, the only reason i see pc games decreasing is because of piracy and that wasn't even mentioned.

I'm sorry, but I don't think I can take anyone who says ",and etc." seriously (common dude, you're suppose to be an intelligent voice of opinion and you made that mistake???).

Anyway, PC Gaming isn't dead... that's pretty much been a well known fact around this and many other forums for a while now. Hell, the only games I've gotten so far this year have been on the PC. You can switch over to your tablets and your laptops, Mr. Bob, but I'm sticking with my big hunk-a machinery. Wanna know why? When I need to upgrade, it only costs $150 or less instead of $600-1200.

I love my 360 and even my Wii when I actually buy the games I should be getting for it :P, but I still use my PC a lot more than both. You mention these consoles being a lot like PCs, and they are, but one of the only things they do that PC can is access the internet. This is a big thing, but I can't make music, games, use Photoshop, work on most homework, or anything with a console or tablet.

Oh yeah, and those pointer controllers are fine and a step up for the most part from dual analogue but they still come no where near the twitch aiming a keyboard and mouse allows. Precision has been heightened; speed has not.

ZombieGenesis:

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.

Like I said, PC game sales rose last year, and Steam membership continues too as well. You touched on a good point too - just because other areas are rising in popularity doesn't mean PCs are suddenly disappearing.

If anything, the other devices are supplements, not replacements.

Mittens The Kitten:
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.

Except with PCs you can unscrew the case and replace parts, upgrading anything you want. Ive upgraded my computer twice already. You cant replace or upgrade anything on a laptop. The functionality is where the similarities end.

While you make some valid points I think the #1 reason that PC gaming is dying is that it's too damn expensive. Hear me out. Yeah sure you don't need top of the line rigs that cost $10000 to play PC games but if you want the best graphic capabilities and so on you do. While of course you can still get great graphics at half that price you're basically going to console graphics.

Console's don't push the limit of their graphical capabilities and why? Cause that stuff is hella expensive. So they make consoles with appealing graphics and everybody is happy but they don't push it to the max. Even then thats still cheaper than buying $200-300 video cards and other devices for a PC just to get it to run at a nice 60 fps. I don't know, probably doesn't make sense to some of you older PC gamers but thats just my 2 cents.

Woodsey:

Instead, the video is just selective on the information it uses (Zynga game sales are up, totally ignores that PC game sales rose last year, or the continued rise of Steam) and focuses on logic that can, at best, be described as peculiar ("heh, that central PC hub is useless, because now I have 300 other things that hold some - but certainly not all - of the functionality of a PC, so now the PC is losing its worth." Huh?).

I'm not saying its perfect, correct, infallible, other words.

I'm saying the arguments should be judged on their own merits and that your only argument should probably not be a thinly-veiled ad hominem and only that.

wrong thread. edit this out please

To me, the big draw for PC gaming over console gaming is the modding communities you get. I bought Fallout 3 for the 360 first, and later for the PC, and apart from the improved controls (Having a mouse is still better than an analogue stick/motion control if'n you ask me), the biggest increase I got was in the mods. I could download new homebrewed quests, weapons, armour sets and bug fixes that the developer couldn't be bothered to rectify. I could download rebalancing mods for Oblivion to make archery a more plausible choice of career. I could download hairstyles for Neverwinter Nights that didn't look like they'd been chiselled out of a lump of wood.

There is DLC on Live, true, but that costs money and doesn't come out frequently enough, and has the issue of being lumped with extraneous stuff. I could download extra costumes for Cammy on Street Fighter if I wanted, but it's nearly 5 for 1 set of costumes for 5 characters, 4 of which I don't use. Also it suffers from the problem of needing to be marketable. The content won't be made unless there is a known demographic for it.

Perhaps in the future I may be able to download tailor made mods free of charge on the Xbox. But until that day, I'll stick with the PC.

I don't resent console gaming like many, but to me, the PC is my console of choice. As you said, PC games are still being made.

Anyway, I agree the guy who said that bob just redefined a bunch of words. You can't say 'PC gaming is 'dead' because the PC is 'dead' and then list 6 different things that people are just turning into PCs. Laptops are still PCs, I can't think of anyone who uses or any reason to use a tablet, Handhelds don't even exist anymore because of Iphones, and consoles are just crappy computers that don't even have a way to play a large portion of the genres that are still out there. So yes, if you ignore that laptops are PCs, exaggerate the use of tablets, assume people still use handhelds, collapse iphones into handhelds and assume people use them for more things than texting and youtube, and attach a mouse and keyboard on to a console and then add internet explorer and office to change them from a good console to a crappy computer, then yes, when you skew your view of the world like that, PCs are dying. But if you actually look at whats going on, PCs aren't dying, everything else is just becoming a crappy PC, and consumers are stupid enough to buy them and not just buy a PC.

I'd like to see Starcraft on a tablet style device. I think the touch interface would work really well.

Eeeh...

In Bob's predicted future, I can see console gaming dying out before PC gaming, largely for the same reason that Linux exists, or something like this happens: some people want full control and want to fiddle with their games so that it's just the way they like it.
Also, what would the servers for the cloud service run on? Most likely... Linux.

Just something to think about.

Void(null):
Snip

I not gonna claim to have read that list exhaustively but apart from the MMO's (and it looks like mmo's are becoming multi-platform reasonably soon anyway) arnt most of the PC exclusives on that list very obscure/shit?

I have nothing against Console Gaming, like he said they 'could' be a great alternative. but I do dislike their marketing, their consumer support, their profit only view of gaming. Look at minecraft, a game like that would never see the life if PC wasn't around. The only innovative game of the last few years would be Little Big Planet and that bothers me. I don't want gaming to develop like for example CoD they release so much and rarely patch nor support their games, so busy with making a sales record breaking sequel that they run the same engine for years over lots of games. I want to be treated as a part of a community not a consumer.

He mentioned starcraft, for that, all is forgiven.

While I will agree that consoles are hardware wise - PC's with set hardware and a limited operating systems, I would have to say that calling a laptop that runs a PC OS and uses recognized PC hardware (albeit a compact version) NOT a PC is folly. Buying hardware for the two leaves you to specify Desktop PC or Laptop PC.

PC's have evolved forms many times, and will continue to do so. I honestly believe that's what's at the core of PC's and PC gaming. Consoles have evolved ever closer to becoming PC's, much to their benefit. Even a lot of console peripherals work on PC's.

The question I would ask, is that the day that your XboX console has the same hardware, peripherals, and even the same software as a PC, is it still a console?

I'm going to rage at this episode, but for a different reason than most of my rages at Bob.
I'm going to rage at this episode because I've been saying this for years and only now will some people even consider it as an arguement for PC gaming being dead... or at least dying.

ShakyFiend:

Void(null):
Snip

I not gonna claim to have read that list exhaustively but apart from the MMO's (and it looks like mmo's are becoming multi-platform reasonably soon anyway) arnt most of the PC exclusives on that list very obscure/shit?

Disagree. I'd say at the very least a third of that list is at least an A rated game.

Ralen-Sharr:
While I will agree that consoles are hardware wise - PC's with set hardware and a limited operating systems, I would have to say that calling a laptop that runs a PC OS and uses recognized PC hardware (albeit a compact version) NOT a PC is folly. Buying hardware for the two leaves you to specify Desktop PC or Laptop PC.

PC's have evolved forms many times, and will continue to do so. I honestly believe that's what's at the core of PC's and PC gaming. Consoles have evolved ever closer to becoming PC's, much to their benefit. Even a lot of console peripherals work on PC's.

The question I would ask, is that the day that your XboX console has the same hardware, peripherals, and even the same software as a PC, is it still a console?

You struck a very interesting nail with a very insightful hammer.
I can see such devices reaching a singularity. More than likely that consoles will be the ones to move though, since PCs aren't simply for gaming. Gaming is just one of their functions, and as we've seen consoles have been adopting more and more multi-media functions.
Perhaps someday they WILL just be packaged computers- I can tell you now the only reason the PS3 can't be classed as having identical PC hardware is because of that 'cell' thing they developed.

It's been coming for a while. I understand in some parts of the Third World, students type their essays on their smartphones because a dedicated PC is just too expensive for them.

Echo136:

Mittens The Kitten:
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.

Except with PCs you can unscrew the case and replace parts, upgrading anything you want. Ive upgraded my computer twice already. You cant replace or upgrade anything on a laptop. The functionality is where the similarities end.

Exactly. How often can you upgrade the graphics card on a laptop? The card in my laptop just died after 4+ years of loyal service, and since it's motherboard-mounted I think replacing it is an expensive and probably futile proposition.

What I'm hoping is that the PC becomes the springboard for a new "middle-tier" games aimed at PCs, tablets, smartphones, and the AppStore/XBLA/PSN/Steam-style distribution platforms. Not as big as AAA titles that have to cater to the largest possible market just to break even, and not as limited as the one-person indie title, but something in the middle that can appeal to niche audiences and still make a profit for the publisher. Then we might see the revival of once-popular genres like stat-based RPGs, space combat sims, and point-and-click adventure games.

Heh, it's really not dead.

Sorry but it's just not, RTS games are just as popular as ever and playing those on a console WILL make you chew off a thumbstick in frustration. you could in theory port them but you really need a keyboard and a damn fine pointer for that...well open up a console's OS, add peripherals and what do you have? A PC, albeit a comically shitty one but, hey, that's the price you pay for streamlined software.

PCs will always exist because professionals will always use them, gamers who use computers will always want the best experience and so people will still buy PCs for home. There may be less of them but they'll be happy to pay for it. Screen size and ergonomic work are the main moulding factors behind the evolution of the PC so tablets will never replace PCs generally, I can barely program most languages on my netbook so the idea of a screen half that size because of a virtual keyboard is disgusting!

So yeah, you may get more pre-made PCs but I actually think consoles as we know them will die long before the PC, the two will merge and feature creep will essentially eliminate the single-purpose console.

You mention that you can do all of the tasks a PC can on things like tablets, phones, consoles, ect. But to do all that, you need all those things, to keep track of them all, and it would just be a nightmare. While with a PC, you can do all of that, in one place. So... yeah.

Dissapointed in you Bob.
I'm playing Sins of a Solar Empire on one screen, watching this video on another, and browsing an imageboard on the third.
I love me some Halo, but there is no WAY you can multitask like this on any other machine of any kind on the entire planet. Can you watch a movie while you play a game on a PS3? No. Can you browse the internet while playing EVE Online on an iPad? Of course not.
Then there is the raw power capability of a PC, which no other medium can match.
Do they use a Wii to run the Large Hadron Collider? Of course not.
Sure i'm playing right into your hands with this, but you don't know what you're talking about. I always sense a touch of bias with you, Bob.

I do however, agree that PC gaming is dying, but not for any of the reasons you stated.
The reason it is on it's last legs is because games are now being made for consoles and ported to the PC, rather than being designed to make the most of the PC's hardware, devs get more sales on consoles because they are cheaper, easier to use and have a longer life than a PC, so they market for consoles and the PC gets left in the dust.
That leaves you with games designed for 6-year old tech on your top of the line gaming PC.
This does not make the PC obsolete, this does not make an Xbox more powerfull than a Pc as you seem to imply, it just means the market has shifted in favour of the mass-produced consoles.

ShakyFiend:

Void(null):
Snip

I not gonna claim to have read that list exhaustively but apart from the MMO's (and it looks like mmo's are becoming multi-platform reasonably soon anyway) arnt most of the PC exclusives on that list very obscure/shit?

Just taking from the first 20 games in Strategy on that list we have:

Total War: Shogun 2
Defense of the Ancients 2
Might and Magic 6
Age of Empires 2
King Arthur II
Sword of the Stars 2
The Sims Medieval
A Game of Thrones: Genesis
Pirates of the Black Cove
Stronghold 3

Obscure and shit? Perhaps if the only games you have played for the past decade have been Halo and Call of Duty clones.

wow, i just CANT agree with bob here, i mean, yeah, most consoles are like PCs with shitty OS's
but, a PC can be so much more! a good point here is overclocking. can you overclock a console?
nope, unless you gutted the console killing its warrenty, modifying that part so it'tl work on a pc, overclocking it, de-modifying it, and realising IT DOSNT BLOODY WORK. sorry bob, I need and love my PC for gaming. consoles can go fuck off & suck a dick in my world

Ooh, ooh! I've got a response to this!

It's not.

Once I bought a gaming PC, I never touched my 360 again. I'm being serious. Neither my Wii or my 360 have been touched since I got the PC, and that was almost a year ago. The only person who uses the 360 now is my younger brother who is just one of many screaming CoD idiots.

At first I was going to flame this, but then I was all like: "Meh, I'm far to sophisticated for that."

/sarcasm

Well, I can't say that I agree with Mr. Bob. But then again, I'm not really in a position to call out on gaming in general. I was born and raised with a computer and never really had access to consoles, so my perception of gaming is fundamentally warped.

[EDIT] I have to say thought, that I'm happily surprised at the numbers of people who have gone on this board to support the PC. Who knew one good thing could come out of this day. Thanks guys. :)

dear Bob,

i just watched your review on a projector screen that is about the size of my wall (156 in diag). while PC's don't NEED to be the size of a wall, some people (hello) like that.

side note: my ps3 is awesome when projected onto my wall as well.

It would be pretty interesting to see a world where PC's and consoles have basically become the same thing. Stronger systems, larger storage space, jumping from a game of CoD directly to the internet. I certainly welcome the change. Don't expect it for a long while, and I certainly don't expect it to happen without PC gamers flipping their collective shit about it, but I welcome it, and look forward to it.

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