The Glorious PC Gaming Master Race

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The Glorious PC Gaming Master Race

Yahtzee contemplates the potential fallout from elitism in PC and console gaming.

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Call me a traditionalist, but why the heck Microsoft and Sony are tearing up the core strengths of their consoles continues to elude me. However, I think Yahtzee's view of humans is kinda distorted. There really is the demographic he doesn't believe in.

Hm, I'm still more interested in PS4 than PC. Console is supposed to be - no settings and no fiddling around required. Put the game in and play. As for xbox, MS consoles were shit, are shit and will be shit and I don't really give a shit.
Well, shit that's a lot of shit in one post.

As much as I like glorious PC gaming mustard race, I've recently convinced myself to use the money I set aside for next-gen consoles to instead buy a 3ds and a bunch of games for it. I really don't see myself regretting the purchase anytime soon, especially as E3 comes closer and we prepare ourselves for the looming next-gen apocalypse.

Oh, you don't know why it's called the Mustard race? Because consoles can't Ketchup. I'll show myself out.

I've had Bertha's experience, but with Elder Scrolls. And I have to agree with everything else said. Apply this Microsoft 'logic' to any other product. How would that go? 'I'm sorry, you have to get permission from Honda before selling your old Civic, and then give them a cut of your asking price.' Seriously?

On a side note, Yahtzee reminds me of the kind of guy in a bar I would despise, right up to the moment he was inside me. It must be some perfect combination of extreme intelligence and asshole factor. I lol'd hard at 'kill one of the hostages'.

Considering videogames are a luxury item, it makes sense that many of their users are elitists.

Lord_Gremlin:
Hm, I'm still more interested in PS4 than PC. Console is supposed to be - no settings and no fiddling around required. Put the game in and play.

This used to be my main reason for sticking with a console, but if you've got a decent pc (doesn't have to be high end, god knows mine isn't) there really isn't anything like the install/set up hassle there used to be. If I buy a game from Steam or GOG I just hit one button and it installs with really no further input from me.

Older games can be a slightly different story, but with a little looking around on the net I can find ways to run just about anything.

"Already triple-A games are so expensive to create that developers are creatively stifled and even the highest-profile releases routinely lose money, but obliviously the next-gen consoles crank the technology dial up even further, adding a few more hazardous rungs to the ladder leading into the big boys' treehouse. Making the usual demands that the games crowbar in some use of whatever hardware gimmick they have deluded themselves into thinking is a selling point."

Beautifully put. It saddens me watching Squeenix pour money into making beautiful models and skyboxes rather than being able to invest that time and money into the game itself, and they're still not making a profit. And are there no executive who remember the Eyetoy? Gimmicks are just another hoop for developers to jump through, and not one that often adds anything good to the experience.

Pink Apocalypse:
I've had Bertha's experience, but with Elder Scrolls. And I have to agree with everything else said. Apply this Microsoft 'logic' to any other product. How would that go? 'I'm sorry, you have to get permission from Honda before selling your old Civic, and then give them a cut of your asking price.' Seriously?

On a side note, Yahtzee reminds me of the kind of guy in a bar I would despise, right up to the moment he was inside me. It must be some perfect combination of extreme intelligence and asshole factor. I lol'd hard at 'kill one of the hostages'.

I call it 'the fedora factor'. I am instinctively repulsed by the people who wear them, but ever once in a long while someone pulls it off.

You can't take it back, it's ours now.
image

I just upgraded with a Samsung 256GB SSD and I'm going to upgrade my graphics card to a GTX 770 awaiting the arrival of my Oculus Rift soon.

I'm also looking forward to 4K monitors coming up and you can't stop me!

Scow2:
Call me a traditionalist, but why the heck Microsoft and Sony are tearing up the core strengths of their consoles continues to elude me. However, I think Yahtzee's view of humans is kinda distorted. There really is the demographic he doesn't believe in.

...I also refuse to believe that people exist who skype while watching a trailer while watching a movie while playing a game, and do so via voice commands and waving their hands because remote controls are just TOO DIFFICULT.

It's not just PC, I've also seen the 'Glorious Master Race' thing stolen by Android users.

I loved gaming on my PC as a child, it could play games like the Sims or Morrowind while my consoles played games my PC couldn't, so it was all good.

Although PC gaming did have its downsides...

Insert disc 5...

But nowadays, consoles and PC share many of the same games together, I prefer the convenience of consoles (although even those are becoming less convenient lately) I still use my laptop to play some old PC games (like the aforementioned Sims and Morrowind, but also Theme Hospital and MANY more)

Besides, I have been playing my 3DS more than anything lately.

You want to read the Iliad? How quaint. Unfortunately, your new BookTM doesn't support software written for the ScrollTM. We are considering releasing the HD collector's edition with commentary, entitled "Recuyell of the Historyes of Troye"* if consumer demand is high enough.

* A little joke for any medievalists out there. This was the 1473 retelling of the Iliad and the first book printed in English.

Lord_Gremlin:
Hm, I'm still more interested in PS4 than PC. Console is supposed to be - no settings and no fiddling around required. Put the game in and play. As for xbox, MS consoles were shit, are shit and will be shit and I don't really give a shit.

This is how it used to be, back in the PS2-era. But PC-games took the feedback and with stuff like GOG and Steam, it's never been easier to install new software (older games do take some fiddling). At the same time, consoles moved in the opposite direction and the experience became less streamlined and they introduced installing content and online passes.

Weird that Yahtzee mentioned the irony of web culture embracing his "Glorious PC Gaming Master Race" as a meme without considering the irony of his statement when, just today, MovieBob posted an article on how irony in web culture needs to be dialed down a bit.

And, in case you're wondering, these two posts fall more into the category of "Coincidental occurrence" rather than "ironic". At least that's how I see it.

Between the mandatory installs (both PS4 and Xbone will have them, with Xbone seeming to be full game installs with a disk check identical to what we see on the PC) online activations and such what difference in convenience is there between console gaming and PC gaming?

Well there's only two things i can see;

Standardized hardware
Standardized graphical settings and frame-rates

Literally every other advantage has been destroyed. They now have DRM, online activation, installs, updates, software updates etc etc. It's basically the same bullshit with the added bullshit that the new consoles have themselves. I don't see the 'it's just less of a headache' argument holding much water anymore.

I also believe I've already written something on exactly this topic, so I might as well replicate this here.

If they are trying to compete with the market strategy that they have set out till now they will have a very rude awakening. According to Microsofts PowerPoint presentation it can only go up after all!
image

These are their "lowball" numbers for the next generation of consoles, they think that by concentrating on TV they are going to get a "broader market" and could sell as many as 1 billion consoles (well they are reffering to all "next gen consoles" but still, I might as well try to become the queen of England): http://www.oxm.co.uk/54712/microsoft-aiming-for-100-million-xbox-360s-sold-and-one-billion-next-gen-consoles/

What they seem to be ignoring:
- The economy and not as many people being able to buy as 8 years ago in their main markets
- Actual demand and "core gamers" (according to MicroSoft they will buy it anyway: http://www.destructoid.com/ms-says-gamers-will-buy-everything-including-xbox-one-254678.phtml )


- People without Internet/broadband or with really bad/spotty internet connections that likely cannot play, also dirty foreigners outside the US and servicemen: http://arstechnica.com/business/2012/08/119-million-americans-lack-broadband-internet-fcc-reports/
- The downsizing that Gaming Retailers will likely have to go through if all their "used sales" plans prove to be true (likely getting less people to buy games at all overall): http://www.joystiq.com/2013/05/21/gamestop-stock-takes-hit-following-xbox-one-used-game-story/
- Rising development costs
- More competition than ever before with all the (Android) Microconsoles like Ouya and Gamepop, Mobile gaming, increased popularity of PC Gaming, SteamBox, KickStarter and other stuff
- People who are just fine with the last console generation on which they could already watch TV and they could use it for Netflix and all that other stuff
- People who don't want to pay a monthly fee for their services and to be allowed to see Ads all day
- All the people who don't have a HDTV: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/124272-Xbox-One-Wont-Support-SDTVs which is still about a third of the US alone, not to talk about other regions: http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/478479-CES_Over_Two_Thirds_of_U_S_Homes_Have_HDTVs.php
- Poor people and people with families and friends. Apparently according to Microsoft they either buy full price or don't get to game. No lending, renting or buying used either or only near to full price by "specific retailers".

Those are rather large cross-sections of the market and even their market with the previous console to ignore.
For instance they sold over 76 million Xbox 360 consoles: http://www.digitaltrends.com/gaming/xbox-360-heads-into-its-eighth-year-strong-at-76-million-consoles-sold-but-kinect-is-slowing-down/ but only have 46 million total Xbox Live accounts: http://www.digitaltrends.com/gaming/xbox-360-sales-and-xbox-live-membership-numbers-give-microsoft-a-compelling-defense-for-the-always-online-next-xbox/ which means there is a rather large amount of people who haven't connected their console to the Internet even once in all those years because they couldn't care less.

You can add those people that would pay ~$500 and a monthly fee of ~$10 for a set-top box with the sole reason of watching TV or sports on it though...

You see, at the end of the day people buy a gaming console because of the games: http://www.vgchartz.com/analysis/platform_totals/ , even the Wii sold the most in the last "console generation" because of their games that managed to target casual gamers and pensioners (even though they proved to not be a viable long-term market in the end). Wiis were rather the thing in retirement homes and the likes.

I think it's an immense error in judgement to think that they can survive by making the device about people "watching sports and TV", since those aren't the ones buying $500 game consoles in the first place.

Their executives probably looked at a chart of mined data and have seen that people "use their Xbox 360 more for entertainment than games": http://www.gameinformer.com/b/news/archive/2012/03/27/more-people-use-xbox-360-for-entertainment-than-online-gaming.aspx and made wrong causal projections and decisions from that single data point.

The immense error in judgement being that they believe this is what people buy consoles and spend upwards of $500 and pay a subscription for.

If they believe that alienating the people that are most likely to buy their product and are often in the position to decide which console a family environment gets is a good thing then their marketing people are beyond stupid.

It's not even that they only concentrate on "this is an entertainment center/this is for watching TV now", but that they seem to be actively alienating large amounts of their potential business and customers with the decisions they are making in regards to used games/lending games, Always-Online, no backwards compatibility etc. even among those "TV viewers" they are apparently targeting only specific people. This is rather curious after they recently tried the same with Windows 8 and failed gloriously: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/microsoft-admits-failure-on-windows-8-2013-05-07

As I said, people can watch Netflix and ESPN or generally TV on a lot of things without subscribing to Xbox Live or getting a $500 box. Heck they'll even have to compete with their own and SONYs previous efforts on that front, which will probably even get price-cuts. There are various low-price products that do just the same fine: http://www.theverge.com/products/compare/2417/2454/2274
And as we know the Xbox One doesn't even work as a receiver but requires a separate device anyway and seems to be more something like a fancy remote: http://www.vg247.com/2013/05/21/xbox-one-live-tv-available-in-us-only-at-launch-requires-separate-device/

Not only that, but they'll be competing for that market segment with the likes of Samsung, SONY (who have their own in-house content, electronics (TVs) and distribution), Google and Apple amongst others and this is what they bring to the table for the next ~10 or so years.
I get the feeling that people believe that this is a "good" thing, but entering a crowded market that is going to be flooded with "Smart TVs", different kind of low-priced set-top boxes, HTPCs and the likes isn't the cleverest thing they could have done. Just look at Microsoft Zune, their efforts to sell mobile phones or how their excursions to the tablet market are going.

By the way, this was a very interesting albeit long article about Microsoft and boneheaded decisions in recent years: http://www.vanityfair.com/business/2012/08/microsoft-lost-mojo-steve-ballmer

Interesting seeing Yahtzee acting like all superior before for thinking x and now is thinking the opposite but acts the same.

Well, better figure PC gaming is superior later than never.

Now I guess I'll still have to wait 5 years to see yahtzee realise that nothing beats PC + Nintendo console combination (assuming you can only choose two out of 4).

How many PC gamers actually continuously upgrade their machine? It's expensive and pointless. I'm a PC gamer and have friends who are also PC gamers and I never witnessed this phenomenon.

Doom972:
How many PC gamers actually continuously upgrade their machine? It's expensive and pointless. I'm a PC gamer and have friends who are also PC gamers and I never witnessed this phenomenon.

I agree. A good $1000 rig will last for years with, at most, a new video card and an extra hard drive.

Lord_Gremlin:
Hm, I'm still more interested in PS4 than PC. Console is supposed to be - no settings and no fiddling around required. Put the game in and play. As for xbox, MS consoles were shit, are shit and will be shit and I don't really give a shit.
Well, shit that's a lot of shit in one post.

But that's really not the case anymore is it. Especially with a game published by Sony. Then you have to punch in some code, wait for patches to download, set the brightness, then if you bought it at launch, you probably have a bunch more codes to punch in to get the "bonus" pre-order dlc. It would be forgivable if they at least tried to add some of the benefits of playing on a PC, like mods for example.
The only reason I have a console is I like to play games with people in the same room as well as online. PC games (even though many hook a pc up to the tv) rarely have a splitscreen option. If I only liked to play single player like Yahtzee, I probably wouldn't have a console at all.

Cmon, Yahtzee, that's all the excuse they need to reboot the series.

Lord_Gremlin:
Hm, I'm still more interested in PS4 than PC. Console is supposed to be - no settings and no fiddling around required. Put the game in and play. As for xbox, MS consoles were shit, are shit and will be shit and I don't really give a shit.
Well, shit that's a lot of shit in one post.

Yup just pop it in and play. Just pop it in, connect to the internet, log into your xb live/sony account, download console updates, punch in your 16-digit code, install the game, download the patches, and play. Ah...convenience.

I like the article and agree on many points, but it still confuses me how someone can call PC gaming "more expensive". I am a poor eastern european person and I just KNOW PC gaming is overall cheaper. In todays world, you NEED a computer. It is ESSENTIAL. Instead of wasting space and money getting both some crappy 200 doller PC and a 250 doller console, why not just invest in one 500 doller machine, that games better than consoles, has more games, better legacy support, cheaper games, emulators, the same couch-controller experience, all the things a computer can normally do,some exclusive genres and freaking modding (some mods are AAA quality, like Lost Alpha, Black Mesa and Research and Development)?
It even gets easier to use ALL the time. It is still one idea more complex than consoles , but even that may change in 5 years time and it is most certainly close to them now.

I like to think of myself as a console gamer and pc gamer. I play pc exclusives, but also play things like COD on my xbox 360 because thats where all my buddies are and we have some good times playing online. For me its about having fun, not trying to put people down who dont play on the same console. I could really care less about all this master race BS.

So is it elitest to jack up the price of the console by $150 instead to get backwards compatibility? Because I'm sure thats taking it more out of people's reach then the possibility of playing AC4 without having played Ac1-3 (because the person had 0 consoles or PCs for most of the franchise?)

Or how about consoles kept the archaic architecture that made developers bend over backwards to get the games to work?

You kind of make it sound like your expecting backwards compatibility to drop from the skys with no serious drawbacks in pure crystalline form. Of course we can make a console also play PS3 games at no extra expense! It's trivial to run two entirely different architectures in one box!

Man, the next page button is so small, so hidden, I'd say without joking that probably 80% of readers didn't see the article's conclusion.

Apart from that, good conclusion... I think that the real reason PC gamers are seen as elitists is because most gamers have no imagination or simply don't think about things. There's a much better gaming experience possible and just within your reach, but you can't see it and can't be bothered to search for it. I mean, a mouse, mods, open platform and all the hardware and software advantages... I guess it matches with your conclusion a bit Yahtzee.

BrotherRool:
So is it elitest to jack up the price of the console by $150 instead to get backwards compatibility? Because I'm sure thats taking it more out of people's reach then the possibility of playing AC4 without having played Ac1-3 (because the person had 0 consoles or PCs for most of the franchise?)

Or how about consoles kept the archaic architecture that made developers bend over backwards to get the games to work?

You kind of make it sound like your expecting backwards compatibility to drop from the skys with no serious drawbacks in pure crystalline form. Of course we can make a console also play PS3 games at no extra expense! It's trivial to run two entirely different architectures in one box!

Emulators.

The current consoles are nothing but cheap PC's who should all be able to run emulators. There is no reason why a console that runs on a version of windows is unable to run a fucking emulator.

Anyway welcome back Yahtzee. We kept your can of spray on tan and blond wavy hair wig safe in anticipation of your return. Now with our powers combined we can form the Master Gaming Zord and crush the peasant rebellion.

Loved the article. Really, I thought it was fantastically well written and easily explained my personal problem with the upcoming generation of consoles.

One thing that I find rather humorous is that backwards compatibility is a very, VERY new notion with games. The N64 couldn't play SNES games, the Saturn couldn't play Genesis games, etc. There was a sweet spot in gaming history where newer systems could play older games (with a few exceptions), and it's looking as though that time is passing. It's rather sad.

Even most current gen consoles have issues with backwards compatibility. But I have to admit that my favorite way of dealing with this problem was how Sony dealt with it with the PS3. Take an entire series of games, give them HD textures, trophies, package them all up into a single convenient package and then sell them for less than the price of a full game. That was a fantastic way to do it-- I personally own most PS3 Collection disks because I really do like them.

That said, you really can't do the same thing for the next generation of consoles. I mean, I suppose they could package all the Gears of War games for the 360 into one disk for the One, but without any real updates they're going to end up alienating a ton of their fans.

In my opinion the place to go if you want convenience is the hand held market.

Um... Little point out. The term "Master Race" comes from racism, not elitism. Two different things, you know.

1337mokro:

Emulators.

The current consoles are nothing but cheap PC's who should all be able to run emulators. There is no reason why a console that runs on a version of windows is unable to run a fucking emulator.

Anyway welcome back Yahtzee. We kept your can of spray on tan and blond wavy hair wig safe in anticipation of your return. Now with our powers combined we can form the Master Gaming Zord and crush the peasant rebellion.

The current consoles are pretty darn far way from cheap PC's that's part of the problem, because the architecture is so twisted emulating is seriously hard.

To give you a level of the scope of the problem, we haven't actually managed to successfully emulate PS2 games yet. it's almost there but after years of work and roughly 10x the hardware. Emulating PS3 and 360 games may be a decade off yet. Unless your console has a PC hardware layout (like the PS4 and One) then you need an insane amount of power to emulate a console with relatively weak stats.

I really wonder if Microsoft isn't doing all this shit with the Xbone so that they can have the easy excuse of "We're discontinuing our console gaming department due to poor sales of our last console." or not. It really seems like with all the mixed messages and that half-ass announcement makes it look like their heart really isn't in it anymore and that may be for the best for Microsoft as a whole.

"A top-of-the-range desktop PC costs a lot more, but I wouldn't just be paying to buy into the new games club. I'd be paying for an entire history of games, safely filed away on GOG.com and the Steam listings."

No it's still not worth it Yahtzee. Not when it costs thousands of dollars for a man to accomplish. Shame on you and everyone who agrees with this. I'd like my games to be affordable without having to buy a bunch of random pieces that cost the price of an actual console.

Forget PC, it's the handheld market that's the true master race.

A few months a go, I bought a new video card. It'll run new games on full spec without a hiccup & only cost about $200

I'm really starting to question why exactly I should get any console, cuz it seem like the costs that once reserved PC gaming for the elite is actually cheaper than game consoles (granted, my PC is above average to start with)

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