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

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Zhukov:

Void(null):
I want it too, and I want that release date to be true.

:(

Waitwaitwait... what?!

Oh Jesus Christ on hot buttered toast, there's an actual release date?

Please tell me. Please tell me right now.

Sadly nothing more concrete than a handful of rumours it will be released possibly sometime in 2011.

There has been conformation that it is absolutely still in development.

For some reason, I couldn't help but think about Milton Babbit's infamous "Who Cares if you Listen?" article the entire time I was watching this. I swear, this episode functions almost identically to that particular article.

I don't know enough about PC gaming to provide a good answer on this, but still... fun way to get instant controversy if I've ever seen it.

everyone got this wrong again: he means what is PC's current form is dead. The essence is immortal thou, see: PC=runs windows programs+HW isnt constantly same

I like it. I mean, I don't neccesarily agree, especially not with the "lots of different devices" thing - technology isn't trying to spread out. It's trying to condense. Each company wants you to buy their thing that does everything. It's why phones and mp3 players are now also web browsers and able to play movies and send email and do a whole lot of other fancy stuff that have nothing to do with telephoning or listening to music.

Along these lines, consoles are trying to be home entertainment centers, doing a whole lot besides play games. That example of not needing the PC for anything but the show? That just means that consoles are trying to become PCs, just plugged into your TV. The days of a centralized hub of computing and stuff aren't done at all. People are lazy and love convenience. We want one thing that will do everything, not a bunch of smaller things that do a bit of what we want.

Other than that, it was interesting, if appropriately shielded. The definitions and boundaries of what "PC gaming" is, exactly, are changing. Just like they always have, and they always will. No big deal there.

Jikuu:
Bob pulled out the crystal ball...

That wouldn't be so bad, but his hands are cold!

er...

I mean "I think you are right, to a point. I think the PC style form factor will always be obtainable, even if it's because of special keyboard and mice peripheral. He's absolutely right he can run most PC functions from a 360.

In other words, what we consider PC gaming, as he mentioned, will continue on with other machines. There is nothing magical about a lean-forward, stuck in one location, PC as an item. Today the style of game play created on PCs will soon be available elsewhere, with a touch or gesture interface.

Selecting armies and menu items on a touch screen? Very cool.

Someone had to bring it out, so ill volunteer :D

image

But yeah ill have to jump onto the flamewar bandwagon as well sadly. The title, as many others have said, is a flame bait if i ever saw one, and contradicts almost everything you say in the video.

As everyone else has said as well a and a Laptop are the same thing, and their sales are rising rapidly, and most of the anti-pc gaming arguments are BS.

I like this show and i like most of your opinions, but this episode, especially the title, felt far below your standards. Hopefully ill enjoy the next one more.

EDIT:

saxybeast418:
Although I haven't thoroughly read the entire forum yet, the bits that I have read have actually been relatively un-flamey. People are at least attempting arguments, which are at least a step in the right direction.

As I continue following this thread, we'll see if my tempting fate will go unpunished :-)

Ive noticed that too and it may be that, please forgive the possible elitist douche statement, Pc gamers are generally older and therefore more calm and collective about defending the platform then say the teenagers that are a large demographic of consoles.

Of course someone can post a link to a youtube video or blog that completely contradicts that statement :p

Void(null):
2011 PC Exclusives.
*snip*
Source - "Reasons to be a PC Gamer"
As for the Hardware debate. In no way shape and form can your phone, your laptop or your console provide the same high fidelity experience that a modern desktop can.
If graphics, sound and data storage did not matter, we would all still be playing Space Invaders.

That summed nicely some of my feelings, and I appreciate you posting that.

OT: I usually do not so directly disagree with our dear host. Usually I can cling to some facet of truth, at minimum.

I appreciate his perspective and can even agree that we are moving towards "smaller is better." He has, however, rebuffed an entire interface. I continually gave him latitude to explain why that interface would soon be dissolved. It would seem that he failed to convince me, and I was left somewhat perplexed as to what I was waiting for all that time.

Wow this grew in the time it took me to watch the video.

Welp, I'm going to headbutt my opinion which will probably be ignored in here.

Bob, I like you, I like your shows, I respect you and agree with a lot of your opinions but, I disagree here.

First and for most, what is a console? It's a computer. Plain and simple, it is a computer with limited software and specific hardware designed to play games on. Whether you play games on a computer or a console you're still using a computer, your console just happens to be much more limited (Blah, blah, blah, I'm not bitter about being a computer game, I owned a SNES, Sega Genesis, N64, PS1, and a PS2 growing up, as well as a computer around the same time I got an N64, I also own an xbox 360 and a wii right now).

"A video game console is an interactive entertainment computer or modified computer system that produces a video display signal which can be used with a display device (a television, monitor, etc.) to display a video game. ..."
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Game_console

"A scientific instrument consisting of displays and an input device that an operator can use to monitor and control a system (especially a computer system)"
wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

Right now, riddle me this, can you adjust graphical settings on your console? No? Why not? Because you can't customize the hardware, there is always going to be a limit of current geenration of tech on consoles, that can't be replaced until the next console generation, while I can swap out bits or upgrade my computer at any time.

Consoles are evolving now, as you said yourself, but they're evolving to be more and more like PCs except with a gaming focus (not to say that many computers aren't designed with a gaming focus). Also note the irony in talking about a computer and monitor taking up space, guess what your TV and console takes up the same or more, hyuk hyuk hyuk.

Games are made multi-platformed for a reason, there are SOME exclusive for the consoles and some for the PC.

Also todays Steam statistics (15/03/2011 18:00 GMT +0):

Concurrent Steam Users:
current
2,912,261
peak
3,475,838

Peak referring to this months peack as opposed to todays. Does that look like dying to you?

And that's JUST Steam.

I could go on and on, but whatever a base is here, PC gaming is hardly dying. It seems like (and I won't go deep into this) that you just don't like PC gaming as much, and are taking the signs of some changes as PC gaming dying.

Although I haven't thoroughly read the entire forum yet, the bits that I have read have actually been relatively un-flamey. People are at least attempting arguments, which are at least a step in the right direction.

As I continue following this thread, we'll see if my tempting fate will go unpunished :-)

I have read several arguments against Bob's video, and they all follow one of two lines of thought:

1) Look at all of the great stuff coming out exclusively for the PC this year alone. How can you say that PC gaming is dead?
2) I have played both, and the consoles simply are not up to par.

These are actually fair arguments. However, they are both fatally flawed for a simple reason: these arguments only address the most immediate future for PC gaming. This video is addressing a long term change over a period of at least a few years, well beyond the current fiscal year.

If the last few years have convinced me of anything, it is this: the only genre that has *yet* to be proven doable on a console format is the RTS. Every other established genre, as well as genres that haven't been established on the PC and haven't even been created yet, has been put on the console to both critical and commercial acclaim.

The "decline" of the PC gaming platform is really a misnomer. "Evolution" is a much better word, because it regards the various platforms (Playstation, DS, PC, iPhone, etc.) not as separate entities, but as a continuum in the advancement of technology, specifically in regards to video games.

A few months ago, I built my first gaming PC. It is wonderful, and I enjoyed both the experience and the amazing results. However, it was not a simple process. I had to buy each part, educate myself as how to put them all together, and mess around with software and settings. Practically, not to mention financially, it simply makes more sense to invest in a console, or even limit gaming to technology you already use.

If you want a preview of the future, look at Japan. PC gaming is virtually non-existent there, because the data infrastructure is so advanced, and everyone has a futuristic cell phone.

In the relatively short term, there may be some things that suck. Certain PC-centric genres that can't make transitions to other platforms might die. And then technology will get better, to the point that the future equivalent of facebook will be able to support games that will make crysis look like it was rendered with crayons.

gigastar:

Ok of the three responses i got to my bile insert yours is the most valid.

First: Admit defeat.

Second: Milage will vary. Alot. C&C4 just barely ran on my 3 year old gaming PC and even before that L4D2 was choppy.

I would have considered an upgrade, if i could go without internet for a few days. Im aware most upgrade processes are quicker than a few days, but i have a busy life.

And finally: Guess immersion is down to the person. I dont pretend to be a fan of survival horror games, in fact im irked by Dead Space whenever i think about it. Speaking of Dead Space, when i played it for the first time on PC my analatical trait took over completely and it ended up with me ignoring all the dialouge and perfectly predicting where, when and what enemies would appear. I wasnt irked by the game, i was irked by how predictable i found it.

Well, I played Dead Space on the 360, and had the exact same experience as you. I'd say its because the game itself is just terribly predictable.

As for your games being choppy, well I think C&C4 is a PC only game, and not optimized all that great. As for Left 4 Dead 2, well not sure what to say. Runs great for me, but I play at the medium settings, so whatever.

One of many reasons that PC gaming is the best platform for games.
Battlefield 3

It's being built around PC hardware by a PC. :)

also:

Console gaming poking fun at PC gaming

i come home from school. sit down at the pc.

i am proud to be a pc gamer.
i shall wave the pc flag.
i shall stay true to the pc.
we shall never froget!

I might have believed this last year, but nope, "Hardcore" PC gaming is still as strong as ever.
SC2 is extremely popular right now, the GSL is doing well, and new games PC gamers are craving in the shooter realm are coming this year (RO2 and BF3-don't kid yourself, the PC version is going to be far superior) and there is still the ever-popular enough simulation genre games.

Just because there aren't as many of these games as there is shovelware floating around doesn't mean its dying.

Hell, Valve's steam is EXTREMELY profitable.

Next time, get some facts straight when posting outside your typical domain, moviebob.

Actually, this is the last time I bother looking at your opinion on anything, unless you show you have the ability to admit a mistake such as this.

Void(null):
The biggest snip ever

PLEASE put that list in a spoiler tag. Do you realize how long that post is?

OT: I have to say that I actually agree with this. We're probably in the middle of the last (possibly second-to-last) generation of dedicated "PC" gaming. Sometimes I disagree with this show greatly, but you do make very good (and insightful) points.

Plus, assuming that other things (like consoles) will begin using a mouse and keyboard, there won't even be a difference in the experience.

I haven't read this entire thread, but I'm sure someone will pull out the "Happily dying since 1985" picture (which actually hurts the PC case more than it helps, since it shows the number of recent AAA PC-exclusive titles reduced to almost nothing), trying to cling to their favorite hobby. I love PC gaming too, but as is said here, the games themselves aren't dying, just the relevance of the PC.

ZombieGenesis:

Don Reba:
So, is a notebook or tablet with Windows not a PC now? Is a PS3 with Linux, mouse, and keyboard really a console? Its not the shape of the device that defines PC gaming.

I think the single fact that the ps3 RUNS on an operating system pretty much makes it a PC.
A rose of any other name would headshot as accurately.

To me, the single most important thing defining PC gaming is the free distribution model. A game developer does not have to get a platform owner's blessing to release a game, and this is what gives PC gaming its soul. In addition, it really would not be the same without a mouse and a keyboard. So, the argument against big beige boxes might be valid, but it has nothing to do with either the death of free distribution or keyboards. If anything, Apple is a larger threat to PC gaming than Sony.

Disagree ! After this generation of consoles dies ... everything will turn in to PC !!!

PS

Proud PC gamer since 1996 !) Hate consolification !

I approve MovieBob.

I've always been a console whore. Mommy bought me a lot of consoles, but wouldn't let me go near the computer because she believed I would break it or give it a virus.

sure you can do a lot more with pc games, but you can't trade them back.

I love your last comment about the flames wars :D
Some sort of future will come and it's little likely we won't invent something better than the PC. I loved the episode, but it's kinda saying what's obvious. I hope for a cyborg future! XD

The_root_of_all_evil:
*sigh*

Redefine words to mean what you think.

Lovely.

I'd love to think that you just created this for page views, out of spite, because most of the reviewers have their own little hate pad against computers.

I know this isn't true though. You've just redefined all the words. Whee. That's nice. And added a disclaimer that if anyone flames, you're right as well.

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.

Comfort over Versatility. Sad. Maybe it's all just for page views though? Part of me wishes it was just a troll attempt.

Here's the Little Picture:

Consoles are becoming PCs.

Yeah completely agree, does bob actually get paid for this stuff, and why on earth do i keep watching?

Timbydude:

Void(null):
The biggest snip ever

PLEASE put that list in a spoiler tag. Do you realize how long that post is?

That was kind of the entire point.

Wow! So many comments already. Loaded topic, Bob. Then again, you never were one to shy away from controversy. ;)

You have a lot of valid points, but I'd say that for right now anyway that the PC is still a viable platform. Some games even like the first Dragon Age or the earlier GTA titles are considered by many to have the best versions on the PC. If that's not the case, then why have I just spent $900 building a new system to play some of the games coming down the pike? And yes, while some of them are cross-platform, I prefer to play these games on the PC because I feel that is the platform best-suited for them:

Bulletstorm
Crysis 2
Portal 2
Dragon Age II
The Witcher 2
Deus Ex: Human Revolution
F.E.A.R. 3
Duke Nukem Forever
Rage
Mass Effect 3
BioShock Infinite
Diablo III
XCOM
Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm and Legacy of the Void

And while I own both a PS3 and an Xbox360 and have sizable libraries for both, I own those simply because there are certain games I want to play that are either better played on a console or just aren't made for the PC. I'm thinking of game series like Guitar Hero, Dead Space, God of War, Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts, and the Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat games. All those are best played with a game controller and take advantage of the respective platforms they were designed for.

So as long as there are certain games that are best played on the PC, I think that it'll still be around for a while.

Wow, this a new low. Make a video only for pageviews and flame wars. iamdissapoint.jpg

@Bob Chipman
The platforms that are supposed to 'replace' the pc are all more specialized than its generic father/mother. Most personal computers are made to be customizable, which makes them perfect for experimentation, so I doubt they will go away. Creating a new embedded computer for every new technology simply isn't efficient, while you can often modify a current computer to use the newest technology available, relatively easily.

While it makes a lot of sense to simply buy a game Console, if you are just going to use the device to play games, you have to put a lot of effort into making it do something it wasn't originally designed to do, and you're best of buying another specialized device for the new task.

If you know in advance, that you want to do many different things, like gaming, browsing the web, creating digital paintings or programming new software, you're still best of buying a personal computer, because it is generic enough to be very good at all those things.

You can always find a device that is better at a specific task than a pc, but that is at the expense of flexibility. To replace my pc I would need a lot more devices than I have right now. Eventually I'll buy some of them anyway, but right now, it is simply too expensive and I don't yet need the extra performance of specialized hardware.

daviejjd:

The_root_of_all_evil:
*sigh*

Redefine words to mean what you think.

Lovely.

I'd love to think that you just created this for page views, out of spite, because most of the reviewers have their own little hate pad against computers.

I know this isn't true though. You've just redefined all the words. Whee. That's nice. And added a disclaimer that if anyone flames, you're right as well.

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.

Comfort over Versatility. Sad. Maybe it's all just for page views though? Part of me wishes it was just a troll attempt.

Here's the Little Picture:

Consoles are becoming PCs.

Yeah completely agree, does bob actually get paid for this stuff, and why on earth do i keep watching?

Don Reba:

ZombieGenesis:

Don Reba:
So, is a notebook or tablet with Windows not a PC now? Is a PS3 with Linux, mouse, and keyboard really a console? Its not the shape of the device that defines PC gaming.

I think the single fact that the ps3 RUNS on an operating system pretty much makes it a PC.
A rose of any other name would headshot as accurately.

To me, the single most important thing defining PC gaming is the free distribution model. A game developer does not have to get a platform owner's blessing to release a game, and this is what gives PC gaming its soul. In addition, it really would not be the same without a mouse and a keyboard. So, the argument against big beige boxes might be valid, but it has nothing to do with either the death of free distribution or keyboards. If anything, Apple is a larger threat to PC gaming than Sony.

Please never say that again. The idea that I might eventually be forced to own a product from Apple is too terrifying a concept. Eventually, consoles and PCs are going to be essentially identical (what *IS* the difference between them at this point anyway?) and the line will only truly break when someone comes up with a new name for this machine.

Also, in regards to the actual form of the machines, I have to add; what is the difference between the black box attached to my mouse and keyboard and that other black box attached to my TV and a controller?

EDIT: Not with the first quote, I like this show.

So... PC gaming is basically going to move from one kind of PCs to other kinds of PCs? KK

Personally I think it's safer to say that console gaming is going to die out. Since (just like Bob said) consoles are basically PCs nowadays. Within a generation or two they might finish their evolution and become fully fledged (but perhaps slightly simplified) PCs.

I only own a PC and an Xbox 360. Nothing else. No tablets, smartphones, laptops or iWhatevers.

I am proud of myself.

Owned sega and nintendo ! Remember those good times ... hate wii and most of what it dose with the classics !

Without PC gaming to bring innovation your other gaming devices, as well as consoles, would be dead, I guarantee you. The reason you have digital distribution on consoles is because Steam, through blood, sweat and tears proved it could work.

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2011/03/14/beyond-the-bucket-two-years-on/#more-53757

"Having a look at some of the analytics data from SavyGamer, the amount of people accessing the PC Digital Distribution section has more than tripled from 2009 to 2010, and that's adjusted for general traffic growth. In the same time period, people accessing the PC Retail section has actually dropped by 40%, and the Digital Distribution section is now more than 6 times more popular than the Physical section. It's not just my data that indicates this, EA are expecting to sell more PC games digitally than physically this year (although they don't seem to want to let people know how many games they sell via the EA Store), and 1C predicting an all digital PC games market by the end of the year."

Also, PC gaming is worth 16.2 billion and is the single largest platform, as well as having the highest profit per game as there's no royalties. Pro tip: Marketing on console doesn't equal most lucrative or biggest.

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2011/03/01/pc-is-strong-pc-games-revenue-up-20/

I'm glad we get less mainstream titles and more ports, it means the best PC developers, especially indie and smaller developers, get more attention.

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2010/11/29/thanks-for-screwing-the-pc-over/

I will say one major problem with PC gaming is the lack of optimisation across high and low end hardware. This is the secret to Blizzard's success (as well as making great online-based games), but developers like Crytek, who made the ridiculously unoptimized Crysis have the gall to blame piracy for lower than expected sales. Hey idiots! If your game ain't optimized, how do you expect it to sell well to the lower end used with a laptop or even the lower end gaming PC?

I'm tired of people playing console thinking they can shit all over the PC when they don't play PC games simply by rephrasing articles from 5 years ago.

PC gaming is booming. Accept it. Get over it.

Grow the fuck up. If there's one stereotype that holds true for console gamers, it's simplicity and stupidity. You don't see PC gaming websites prophesizing the death of console gaming every 5 minutes, do you?

Also, some more of my thoughts:

"There are many advantages of PC gaming:

-Customization of your game experience. Not only in terms of parts for your PC, but also software as well as various gamepads, flight sticks, etc., which are popular and supported in terms of games. This allows for more genre types due to various input devices, from great RTS' to flight games.

-Better graphics and generally better experience on the technical side of things.

-Better gameplay experience with a mouse and keyboard usually.

-Mods.

-Better deals (looking at you steam).

-More variety of games. We can argue to the moon and back about this, but I would be right in the end. On the PC, not only do we get dumb action games, but also smarter, slower games like Arma 2 or Stalker, Risen (360 version doesn't count because it's just BAD).

-Ability to play all games ever released (mostly). A far cry from the little backwards compatibility of consoles.

-Emulators.

-Cheaper than console gaming in the long run. It can be more expensive or the same price, but that depends on how you like to game on PC. If you spend money on the latest hardware every year, then yes, it's going to be more expensive. If you wait for deals and get the most out of your hardware, it will be cheaper. Consoles have renting, but with PC gaming games are cheap and you get to own everything you pay for. If you want to rent, consoles are a better choice, but for the gaming enthusiast who likes to own all his games, PC is more preferrable.

-Best online support, better community (in terms of content and various forms of communication, not necessarilly in terms of maturity, although I would argue that PC gamers are generally more mature), better clan support, etc.

-Better for smaller developers.

-More money per game for developers.

-Insert other advantage here.

Disadvantage:

-Needs tinkering with and involvement. Generally you need to know a bit about computers, which I don't think PC devs handle right. What I would do is have a third party that promotes PC gaming by putting a disc/file in every physical/digital copy that covers all the steps of installing various hardware and what various hardware is. This means explaining what RAM is, what a CPU is, etc, the advantages of building your own rig, so that if one were to ever want to progress further into the more technical aspect of PC gaming and get the most out of it, they would have a great starting point. The PCGA should do this, but sadly, they're useless.

-Needs work on community aspect. Involving modders and having great online support is essential.

Market aspects:

PC games don't sell as well at launch. However, they sell better than consoles in the long run. This is just an aspect of the market. The only disadvantage is that it's not good for churning out sequel after sequel. A successful PC game (built with PC's in mind) will do better than 99% of console games because the demand is great for PC-focused games. So generally, if you make a great PC game, you can be sure that the market will usually respond well and your game will sell great and continue to sell great years after release, as the PC is mostly a very stable market with stable demand (mostly) for hardcore games, but PC users don't rush to buy on day 1, at least not the hardcore ones.

Usually you'll sell around 2-3 million in the first month if you're Blizzard for instance, and sell 10+ million over 5-10 years.

Piracy shows interest for your product. The more successful the game the more piracy (Starcraft), so it usually isn't a problem. Piracy may also indicate issues with your game or its distribution (piracy of Valve games in Russia, for instance).

These are my thoughts and observations."

/For The Love Of The Game

Some interesting points there. i dont even need to be using a computer right now.

What you say may have more than a grain of truth to it, as much as I love my open-but-seperate computer sanctum, things are changing. HOWEVER PC gaming will live on as the definitive platform for God Games, RTSs and RPGs UNTIL other platforms, tablets, etc... have moddability.

Until such a time when you can make and get something like Better Cities on these will PC gaming be dead. I may not be personally able to mod (at least not well), but it is a huge draw of PC gaming and it creates an actual community for games that are entirely single player. Of course I don't mean to demean forum communities unfairly, but the mod forums are considerably less prone to trolls and have people who are somewhat more invested in the game. Not your cup of tea? No one says it has to be and even fewer people say you have to agree with me.

Void(null):

That was kind of the entire point.

I get the point, but some advice: The impact would actually be greater if you put it in a spoiler tag. As is, you come off as a desperate fanboy by just copy/pasting a long list. If you just put a spoiler tag with something like "Is the PC really dead?" and then you let someone click it, they'll have a head-asplode when they see how long the list is.

And sorry, but it's just kind of douchey to assume that the added inconvenience for everyone else trying to read this thread is justified by the significance of the "point" you're making.

Allthow i bet we all like BOB =) ... Thumbs up for, if you think that he's picture, isnt that big this time !

My 2 cents:

PC gaming, like the old stage coach is dying, but is being replaced my the motor vehicle (car). So in short, it is not dying but evolving....I can see that.

I was confused until you counted laptops as separate from a PC. While I own a Motorola Droid, 360, Wii, DS, and iPad, I still need something with the power and accessibility for new programs of a PC to bolster that. I probably will for a while. I was ready to disagree, but then you brought up my laptop. Yeah, I do use a laptop as opposed to a tower connected to a monitor. And while it is Windows powered and essentially a PC, I can see the fundamental difference that you seem to be pointing out. Well played.

Also, Angry Birds in your eyes?! Cool!

PC will always (or at least does right now and will probably hold for a while) one advantage. The ability to upgrade hardware. With current generation technologies, the only way to upgrade the hardware (without an electrical engineering degree) is to buy the latest model. With a PC if the video card is too old, just grab a new one, but you don't have to replace the old one. Some people, myself included, just like the feel of a good solid PC. Sure thats the same argument NES gamers used against the SNES, but I don't see giving up my PC any time soon. Certainly not by choice. Plus with emulators, most console games can be played on a PC anyway. They would need virtual reality for me to change. And only for some games.

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