Jimquisition: Why PC Gaming Gets Away With It

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jmarquiso:

J Tyran:

wolfyrik:
snipped tinfoil hattery

snipped Origin stuff.

This. Origin is actually very well made and doesn't take as much Memory as Steam. That said, I rarely open it as I have like 2 games on it. I also never see adverts for EA games because of this.

That's one of Origins flaws, EA basically wanted a walled garden for EA products. People are not collecting games to the same level as Steam, they might have Mass Effect or Battlefield 3 and the Sims/Sim Shitty and thats about it. It doesn't encourage people to log in unless they want to play one of the few Origin games they have.

They need more third parties on there, they also need to pull a Ubisoft. EA where pretty dumb, they pulled all their latest games from other digital distribution services. Gamers then could only buy them retail or from Origin, Ubisoft where smart though. They sell their games through Steam and other places still, the difference is you still need to use U-Play to play the game.

That way they pull people in to their service, sounds shitty but its no different to Steamworks really. You buy a game and you have no choice but to use it, it would be better if U-Play was optional and they used honey instead of vinegar to get people to use it. Offer free DLC and cheap games along with other incentives, build it with good value and people will come.

EA could do the same, sell via as many platforms as they can. Then encourage players over to Origin with good deals and some free stuff.

Isn't the thing that consoles ARE drm themselves? I mean, there is all this on top, but that's the main crux of it all.

Andy of Comix Inc:

mike1921:

Andy of Comix Inc:
I'm still mad that retail PC games just come with Steam codes now. I remember being able to install... hell. Even Fallout 3 on multiple people's computers at once, and now everything is bolted to a single account instead. Fair enough, I guess, there's a demand for Steampowered games, but... yeah. I'm still annoyed about that.

Are you sur you can't just use your steam account elsewhere? I know it's added contrivance but you can still install from disk too with steam so you don't need to download it, so I'm pretty sure you can have it on someone else's computer.

Oh. Actually, I'm thinking about more sharing between multiple people, not just installing on multiple computers.

As long as you habilitate Steam offline mode, you can do this. My cousin and I played side-to-side with my own copy of Terraria. He was on the laptop with steam in offline mode, I was on my desktop computer.
Co-op is also doable, as long as it doesn't use Steam server browser (such as the aforementioned case of Terraria, or Torchlight 2, to cite two examples I've specifically done).

Also, as to why Steam gets away with it, I believe it was already pointed out, but the reasons, among others, are:
GoG
GreenMan Gaming
Game
Humble Store

If you do not like Steam policies, you don't have to buy games from Steam. Maybe the total available catalog is hurt a little, but the option is there.

It is hard to disagree with Jim, he is right on the spot. I don't mind steam, steam is awesome! Yes it is DRM yes it has certain software limitations in build I know. Yes it wants to check a few things..

Then again oh steam sales.. last steam sale I bought probably a bit to much games. But they are awesome relative old RPG's. The price just is right..

With PSN, well I bought the GTA IV games.. but only during the PSN Sale of it. Which to be fair came only about 2 months ago.

How long is GTA IV out.. oh yes.. yeah.. eh. Guess what I had bought it on Steam Sales WAY BEFORE.

And steam and good old games are undercutting the used market. Because you can buy "new" games without box and disc or booklet for well cheaper then the local second hand market.

And on consoles, oh geeh we are luck.. we have a Grand Theft Auto Sales.. way after the game is out. How pathetic!

And yes.. I can buy a new laptop new pc.. and just use all my steam games. I just need to activate the pc/laptop that is all.

And yes again .. do you trust Microsoft or Sony to give you those awesomeone Sales. Or like right now do the prices tend to hang around way to high for way to long.

Irridium:

canadamus_prime:
Man, do I miss the days when I could just pick up and play on my consoles without all the bullshit.

Yeah, that's why I've moved back to playing on the PC. At least I can get the benefits of PC gaming along with the bullshit, where now with consoles it's the bullshit of PC gaming without any of the benefits.

How I play PS2 games: Put disk in tray, play.

How I play PS3/360 games: Update console, put disk in tray, update game, play.

How I play PC games: Install/download it, update it, faff about to get it to work (not always needed, though), play.

With the PS3 you also get required installations.

And with this PS4/Xbox One we pretty much all will have required installations. Trust me at times it is 20 minutes, so much for coming home and directly playing the game. Forget that one... it more and more looks like PC's. PC's with strong DRM and limitations.. but little of the gains.

Oh where I come from, I own a PS3 and yes a laptop on what I can game. I use both... but I see just how well un-console like the new generation is getting.

Yeah PS2 still had it, put the game in and play, PS3..eh first get patch..then install.. then enter your serial code. This is a pc isn't it.

The modding community on PC is also an astounding factor that consoles can't touch. For instance, even though it was released over a decade ago, I recently found a mod for Age of Empires II that added the equivalent of an entire expansion pack, and which got me back into playing it. Similarly, I found out recently two additional patches for a game I am playing right now, which improved the playing experience. Just small things like that, absolutely free, which you can guarantee will increase the longevity of any game you buy for PC.

Ishigami:
I don't know.
Jim says I have free choice on the PC but do I really have it?
Aren't all those stores Jim mentioned not simply selling codes for Steam? - Skyrim will use Steam no matter where you buy the code.
All EA games will use Origin no matter where you get the code from.

Well, some games do only require one and/or the other (EA games come on Origin, Valve games on Steam, some others like Skyrim employ Steamworks still), however that's not the case for all games
- GOG has DRM free games, doesn't interface with anything. At most, there is a GOG client you can use that should make downloading a bit easier, though I haven't tried it - I still use the old fashioned "download and install".
- Green Man Gaming, while it does resell keys for Steam/Origin, also has its own distribution platform called Capsule which is really simplistic in function - downloads games only. But any of the actual games you get from GMG you can trade back in for store credit.
- GameFly also have their own client as well as reselling keys. I haven't used it, though.
- Gamer's Gate should be in the same boat but I believe they resell even less games. Should be mentioned that their client is downloader only.
- Desura are a digital distribution platform.
- the Humble Bundles, while they offer Steam keys with the purchase, are not Steam games, as you can just download them separately, too.

EDIT: I forgot
- Uplay is...well, you can also get games though it and use it as a DD client. Though my (limited) experience with it was that it was a bit crappy. Then again, it might have improved since then.
- Perfect World don't have third party DRM. As far as I know, that is.
- You can buy some games directly from the developer and some times the publisher. Most of the dev-distributed games should come by themselves. I've not tried the publisher distributed games, so I dunno. I'd assume they don't come as a Steam/Origin key, though.

jmarquiso:
That said, both Gog.com and Humblebundle have offered a DRM free storefront for indie developers, so we're seeing a lot of that as well.

The best thing about GOG is they don't use a regional pricing scheme anymore.

HEAR THAT, GABE? ONE FUCKING PRICE FOR EVERYONE.

Bah, who am I kidding... Gabe never comes here, he's over at RPS.

Chaos Marine:

LaochEire:
I don't really post on The Escapist, but can I just say that Steam is an absolute rip off when it comes to new games. In fact over in Ireland Gamestop can undercut Steam with a physical retail copy of a PC game by €20 euro. I never understood the myth about Steam being this bastion of excellence and the main reason to own a PC.

Sure, it has those great sales and they are great, but if I want a game upon release I would have to wait up to a year before it becomes anyway affordable on Steam.

Honestly, with Steam. I really just don't get it. Someone enlighten me, please.

As someone who lives in Ireland, I'd like to point out that; good luck finding any games at all. Most game shops have maybe one, possibly two stand or wall sections of games and the majority of those tend to be older, budget titles.

I am a huge Steam proponent and I agree, the prices are ridiculous at best. Company of Heroes just came out an hour or two ago and it's about eighty euros which is insane. Why do I still recommend Steam though? Wait till Christmas where it will be twenty or thirty euros.

Gamestop online store and Amazon have a massive selection of brand new PC games. I don't PC game anymore, but if you want a physical copy and can wait 3 days Gamsetop has the likes of COH2 for a tenner cheaper and because it requires Steam anyway you get a digital copy as well.

So, I don't really recommend Steam. I do at Christmas and Summer mind you, but it's a lottery if they'll pick the game you want.

J Tyran:

wolfyrik:
Snip

Snip

I find your post interesting. A quick google search does show that some people were concerned about some features of origins. For example the scanning your whole computer thing (not just my documents). However the only thing close to "debunked" I could find is a statement of EA that sais that origins doesn't contain spyware.

OT:
If DRM is something that is truly evil and should be a practice that shouldn't even exist. Why would sugarcoating it change anything in anyones opinion?

However if sugarcoating it (as is apparently done with steam) does change ones opinion on DRM to "well if you add enough benefits, I dont care anymore" is DRM then truly that big of an issue?

(Yes I used some generalisation, its more about the idea than about the specifics of this situation)

Aldain:

J Tyran:

wolfyrik:
Snip

Snip

I find your post interesting. A quick google search does show that some people were concerned about some features of origins. For example the scanning your whole computer thing (not just my documents). However the only thing close to "debunked" I could find is a statement of EA that sais that origins doesn't contain spyware.

You have to check out some enthusiast and overclocking forums for the details, those guys know their stuff and pull software to pieces to see whats what. Most report innocent ProcMon searches and noone found any evidence of data packets of private information leaving the computer. I have not got the links at hand atm, this was just over a year ago so I am not sure where they are.

If you are interested there is a lot of debate among the enthusiasts about Origin.

Sonntam:

You seem to imply that if we trust Microsoft it will improve our chances for not being disappointed? That Microsoft will add cheap sales simply out of good cheer, hey, why not?

Microsoft had plenty of time to show new innovative, cool features. So far we have seen family sharing (which is but a glorified demo), facebook connection and Kinect. Neither are very new or very impressive.

It's about the message that gamers send.
If gamers say "I'm not going to buy this as long as it includes X" then the only response Microsoft has is to get rid of that. If instead people said "this is pretty harsh, WHY should I buy it as is" then the choices Microsoft have are different.

Basically it's about arguing for IMPROVING the experience instead of just ragging on one thing.

And while we're on the subject, Jim's entire premise for why Steam etcetera are different is because he doesn't believe the Xbox store will be good enough, so his entire argument is basically guesswork based on a pessimistic view of the situation and frankly, I'm tired of this pessimistic bitching and moaning that all these commentators do. Is that the only message they're selling?

It's kind of pathetic.

Sonntam:

You ask people to wait and expect glory from Microsoft, but while Valve and Gog have proven themselves through the years: Microsoft didn't ever offer such low prices as Gog and Steam do. Once and once did Xbox servers go down, while people have learned that Steam servers stay always up.

People do not trust Microsoft, because they fail in every aspect that Steam and Gog excell at.

I love innovation, but given our experience with Microsoft I have troubles imagining what Microsoft could add to Xbox to make it appealing. Even Microsoft itself seems to be hazy on what they could offer to gamers.

Even putting Steam alongside GOG is insulting. GOG is DRM Free, something that neither Steam nor Origin can compare to, it's in a class of its own. Not only that but GOG's prices are are OLD OLD games. Not brand new games. New games like Don't Starve are still 15 dollars which is the going price for indie games on Xbox.

Microsoft is also starting to offer free games to Gold subscribers. They're making moves in positive directions.

And comparing Steam serves to Xbox? When xbox servers went down it killed the multiplayer, which was almost non-existent, not the access to games. Even when the Xbox One servers go down they were planning to enable offline play so to say that's a point in Steam's favour is inaccurate.

Steam is DRM. It's internet required DRM. That's all it is. In that respect it is exactly the same as the Xbox One, EXCEPT for the fact that the Xbox One would still allow for used games which is something Steam will never have. The used game block was an optional tool. So when people say "Steam is good, but Xbox One is bad" whatever it's a fucking joke. It really is.

Aldain:
I find your post interesting. A quick google search does show that some people were concerned about some features of origins. For example the scanning your whole computer thing (not just my documents). However the only thing close to "debunked" I could find is a statement of EA that sais that origins doesn't contain spyware.

And the only evidence of it being spyware is some random people on the Internet saying it is. Yet that seems to you to be more likely somehow.

OK, I can't find the links right now because of all the tons of results of basically the same story, however, people who actually know what they are doing did test Origin and saw what it did. It did none of the weird stuff a whole bunch of scaremongers say it may be doing (and they do make sure they put "may" in there, in order to have an easy way out). Origin did nothing out of the ordinary, nor did it send any weird information. I recall that one person specifically saying that Origin doesn't call ReadFile on anything it doesn't need to. Now, of course unless Origin is bypassing the Windows API or is psychic, then it's impossible to be...you know, reading those files.

I've yet to see any actual proof of it "spying". It's mostly "but it MIGHT be spying. Because it's EA" as if that's some sort of argument. And then others repeating it "because it's EA". And others. And others. Until you have pages of search results being "it MIGHT be spying on you" of the whole thing being parroted over and over with no actual proof. And any actual relevant results are gone. Shame, should have bookmarked them.

I notice you said nothing fundamentally different, though if you do have any actual information, feel free to share it.

Ultratwinkie:
The PS4 runs on a tablet APU. It may be better than a PS3, but it is god awful. Especially at the rumored 1.84 Ghz compared to what Intel puts out now.

I doubt its ever going to beat a 7 series Radeon, which would be commonplace by the time it rolls around.

First off, you correctly used the word "rumored" in your point. Debating with "rumors" is a lot like taking a lie at face value in the given category of the discusion. Both console CPUs are custom made and so the rumor isn't necessarily likely to be true. This is one of the last bits of information that hasn't been confirmed or denied.

The PS4 has 18 CUs generating 1.84 teraflops of processing power in the GPU alone. You're looking at a 7 series Radeon though not the upper tier of the 7s. Since when do people compare a CPU to a video card anyways? I doubt that sound card is ever going to beat that raid card... Two different components that work together.

It isn't going to be a high-end machine, but it will be a huge step up from the previous generation and is remarkably cheap compared to what you can get for comparable cash in the pc market. Especially one that's already made/put together like the ps4 is. I think the pricing is pretty spot on and these consoles will be the standard specs of the coming generation. So it isn't like having a more powerful pc would actually help you play more games. So you have to ask yourself about the need for anything more powerful. Skyrim was prettier on my pc. Yes, if I'm a graphiophile then my pc is king. But with what kind of graphics were already on the console version of recent console games then the next generation should be spectactular. At some point you have significant diminishing returns when you have a $1,500 system that is only marginally prettier than the console versions. Things can only look so real before they look real. Aside from the eye candy, everything under the hood is typically the same regardless of the system you play it on. Scripting and AI processing won't change because they'll have been made with the lowest common denominator in mind (the consoles in this case).

Tanakh:

Lightknight:
It's still not pitching all that good of a gaming rig. The ps4 is shaping up to be a lot more powerful than the $500 system and for $400. The ps4 has found a kind of sweet spot for the price and convenience. Though this guy did pretty darn well on that price point.

Two things:

- You are comparing two machines that have more than 9 months of difference in hitting the market. Not sure if that even makes any sense.

- While you technically don't own the BIOS for a PC or a PS. On PC you can mod it and have different options, the PS 3 taught us that you only own the metal and plastic in the machine and Sony is willing to take away sale features that they deem useless (linux) and sue modders. At the current technology rate it seems probable that you will be able to build a machine on par with the PS 4 for $500-$550 USD in the US, I would consider that $100 buck difference the price of owning and not leasing the hardware.

That said I might buy a PS4 because fucking Capcom forces the fighting community to stay on consoles.

These are fair points. However, please note that as the generation goes along, developers will learn to optimize their software in a way that only benefits the consoles, getting more out of the hardware than you'd get out of a comparable pc. This is, again, why Skyrim was playable on a console that had stupidly divided 512MBs of Ram and a 5/6 year-old processor that required developers split up all the assets into specific categories that would crash if one ever got too big. The minimum pc requirements were significantly higher and playing it on a 512MB pc would have quickly resulted in a broke system if it worked at all.

The difference between the systems is besides the point. The consoles will continue to be the standard environment that devs are shooting for in order to be playable for the widest market. This is why this generation has almost no games that are unable to be scaled down to the consoles but are designed for the pc. The limited market numbers just don't make sense. On the pcs you'll quickly have to worry about video card compatibility and other such things. The consoles will still be standard.

CrossLOPER:
[quote="Yuuki" post="6.819773.19775313"] Guess what?

The PC is modular.

The PS is not.

I have an excellent PC. But when it comes time to upgrade the processor I'll likely have to replace the motherboard which will in turn mean that some of the video cards and such that I have installed currently will no longer be compatible with the next module. The ps4 on the other hand, will be directly programmed for and will always be able to pay games for it without you having to open the box or care about modularity.

FYI, I am disappointed that this generation of consoles isn't more modular. They took a good step last gen with the HDD but haven't gone further. But I guess modularity would be hard to implement when the entire draw of two major consoles (sorry Nintendo) is that the standardization has significant and long term benfits.

Lightknight:
These are fair points. However, please note that as the generation goes along, developers will learn to optimize their software in a way that only benefits the consoles, getting more out of the hardware than you'd get out of a comparable pc. This is, again, why Skyrim was playable on a console that had stupidly divided 512MBs of Ram and a 5/6 year-old processor that required developers split up all the assets into specific categories that would crash if one ever got too big. The minimum pc requirements were significantly higher and playing it on a 512MB pc would have quickly resulted in a broke system if it worked at all.

The difference between the systems is besides the point. The consoles will continue to be the standard environment that devs are shooting for in order to be playable for the widest market. This is why this generation has almost no games that are unable to be scaled down to the consoles but are designed for the pc. The limited market numbers just don't make sense. On the pcs you'll quickly have to worry about video card compatibility and other such things. The consoles will still be standard.

Humm, almost, but not quite. As the gen goes along developers will focus on optimizing the programs for consoles, benefiting everyone but mostly the consoles and getting good looking games running on them with less raw processing power; i still remember the old days when devs optimized for PC. Not quite sure skyrim is the poster child for this tough, as it was unplayable in one console and even in the other the experience was totally different from the PC game.

But yeah, even next gen the consoles will be the standard, until a big event occurs (like a console crash, or the successful launch of a steam linux dedicated PC) the computer will be an afterthought for most devs. As for it making no sense, BS, this few years has been amazing for PC exclusive titles and the companies that have launched them have racked with quite the green.

Tanakh:
Humm, almost, but not quite. As the gen goes along developers will focus on optimizing the programs for consoles, benefiting everyone but mostly the consoles and getting good looking games running on them with less raw processing power; i still remember the old days when devs optimized for PC. Not quite sure skyrim is the poster child for this tough, as it was unplayable in one console and even in the other the experience was totally different from the PC game.

It was initially unplayable on the ps3. Believe me, I know because this was the final straw that got me to build my own all-powerful pc. But the issue wasn't the resources of the machine so much as it was the asset category division. Bethesda games have a major problem with asset bloating and on the ps3 that means the system crashes. I did extensive QAing of the game on day one when I got the title and quickly discovered that this was the problem. It only took them 4 months to finally admit it. To start, the dungeons weren't even resetting. None of the assets were being dumped at all. People thought it was the save file size but that wasn't the problem. The save file size was just indicative of the problem.

The 360 didn't have that problem initially because it didn't force developers to do that nonsense with assets. Fortunately, Sony isn't doing that this time around and the devs did get things squared away.

But it did get things working and there wasn't a horrible difference between min-spec pcs and the ps3/360. Not that I could see. But seeing as I spent all the rest of time on ultra I may have forgotten something.

But yeah, even next gen the consoles will be the standard, until a big event occurs (like a console crash, or the successful launch of a steam linux dedicated PC) the computer will be an afterthought for most devs. As for it making no sense, BS, this few years has been amazing for PC exclusive titles and the companies that have launched them have racked with quite the green.

The past few years has been amazing for Indie developers in general (aka, pc exclusives). Thankfully it looks like the consoles are aware of this and have made their consoles indie friendly platforms even if Microsoft is basically a dick to indie devs.

Thanks for the response! I appreciate a well-thought out conversation.

Lightknight:
-snip-

Yeah, I never understood why the PS3 had such pitiful RAM, it wasn't that expensive even back when designed and forced devs to do workarounds; guess they threw all their money to the CPU development only to discover that it was totally not worth doing it (even if it was a nice geeky project). For the PC, I think after the first day the least i played with was 5 mods and eventually got to around 50, and I enjoyed each mod greatly; it was not so much about the better graphics and way better textures, but the possibility of making everything in the game feel just right, do silly stuff here and there or engage in massive/epic battles that just weren't there for consoles, and let's not forget the bugs that you can either patch due community patches or bypass due the console.

You think Sony is better for indies? I actually dislike it more. They have discovered that indie games get some extra customers, are cheap to support/buy and are GREAT PR, what did they do? Buy developers for pennies (comparatively) and hold their games ransom on the PS4. Right now the PS4 seems like the better console for me, I want a console to play fighting games online (damn you Marvel VS Capcom), it is an inferior option for me than a PC in every other aspect, but they have the fighting community and it really feels like they have one/two games i really want to play sequestrated for no reason, now that they are getting small indie games and holding them ransom it hits me in a really sensitive spot and I am thinking going Xbox One out of pure spite.

<3

Humm, maybe I am just bitter about the whole new console scene. Especially because users/content providers here went ahead and cheered Sony while the only thing they did was having better PR.

Both MS and Sony said the DRM was up to the devs (though the Xbox had better enforcing methods), the likeliness of kinect used to "spy" on you on some level is so low you should be quite dumb take it seriously (though the kinect capabilities are kinda creepy). Those were the two issues raised here, I think most escapist users just missed the important points, and don't get me started about people saying MS was setting precedents and taking rights from them when they are not a fucking legislative branch on any country nor were lobbying, litigating or legislating...

Most of all it bothered me a little that people were stupid/naive enough to think Sony did any of this for some other reason but because it was the answer to "How we can earn the most money out of costumers?".

Lightknight:
I have an excellent PC. But when it comes time to upgrade the processor I'll likely have to replace the motherboard which will in turn mean that some of the video cards and such that I have installed currently will no longer be compatible with the next module. The ps4 on the other hand, will be directly programmed for and will always be able to pay games for it without you having to open the box or care about modularity.

That's not how it works.

Processors tend to last a long time. The Sandybridge models such as the i5-2500k have been surpassed by Ivy Bridge. However, the difference in terms of gaming performance is essentially negligible, so those with a Sandy Bridge model chip will not have to worry for quite some time. With the current stall in performance, I doubt there will be a serious need to upgrade for at least another five years.

I agree that the motherboard is a major issue since you will not only have to purchase a CPU that fits the socket, but will also likely have to buy new RAM sticks. Haswell and LGA 1150 are just about here, but they won't be that much better than Ivy Bridge and LGA 1155. On top of that, Ivy Bridge and Sandy Bridge are both perfectly overclockable.

PCI-E is still standard and backwards compatible, so no issues there. There might be a need to upgrade your video card, but here is the main issue with your argument:

Graphics on the PC will always be better. If something else comes up, then there is always the next generation of cards, the arrival of which signals a significant price drop for the previous gen. There is a massive second-hand market for PC components. You can always sell your old component, provided it is in a condition to be sold.

Furthermore, you can turn down your settings if there is any issue and you don't mind slightly lower graphics.

Lightknight:

Ultratwinkie:
The PS4 runs on a tablet APU. It may be better than a PS3, but it is god awful. Especially at the rumored 1.84 Ghz compared to what Intel puts out now.

I doubt its ever going to beat a 7 series Radeon, which would be commonplace by the time it rolls around.

First off, you correctly used the word "rumored" in your point. Debating with "rumors" is a lot like taking a lie at face value in the given category of the discusion. Both console CPUs are custom made and so the rumor isn't necessarily likely to be true. This is one of the last bits of information that hasn't been confirmed or denied.

The PS4 has 18 CUs generating 1.84 teraflops of processing power in the GPU alone. You're looking at a 7 series Radeon though not the upper tier of the 7s. Since when do people compare a CPU to a video card anyways? I doubt that sound card is ever going to beat that raid card... Two different components that work together.

It isn't going to be a high-end machine, but it will be a huge step up from the previous generation and is remarkably cheap compared to what you can get for comparable cash in the pc market. Especially one that's already made/put together like the ps4 is. I think the pricing is pretty spot on and these consoles will be the standard specs of the coming generation. So it isn't like having a more powerful pc would actually help you play more games. So you have to ask yourself about the need for anything more powerful. Skyrim was prettier on my pc. Yes, if I'm a graphiophile then my pc is king. But with what kind of graphics were already on the console version of recent console games then the next generation should be spectactular. At some point you have significant diminishing returns when you have a $1,500 system that is only marginally prettier than the console versions. Things can only look so real before they look real. Aside from the eye candy, everything under the hood is typically the same regardless of the system you play it on. Scripting and AI processing won't change because they'll have been made with the lowest common denominator in mind (the consoles in this case).

Tanakh:

Lightknight:
It's still not pitching all that good of a gaming rig. The ps4 is shaping up to be a lot more powerful than the $500 system and for $400. The ps4 has found a kind of sweet spot for the price and convenience. Though this guy did pretty darn well on that price point.

Two things:

- You are comparing two machines that have more than 9 months of difference in hitting the market. Not sure if that even makes any sense.

- While you technically don't own the BIOS for a PC or a PS. On PC you can mod it and have different options, the PS 3 taught us that you only own the metal and plastic in the machine and Sony is willing to take away sale features that they deem useless (linux) and sue modders. At the current technology rate it seems probable that you will be able to build a machine on par with the PS 4 for $500-$550 USD in the US, I would consider that $100 buck difference the price of owning and not leasing the hardware.

That said I might buy a PS4 because fucking Capcom forces the fighting community to stay on consoles.

These are fair points. However, please note that as the generation goes along, developers will learn to optimize their software in a way that only benefits the consoles, getting more out of the hardware than you'd get out of a comparable pc. This is, again, why Skyrim was playable on a console that had stupidly divided 512MBs of Ram and a 5/6 year-old processor that required developers split up all the assets into specific categories that would crash if one ever got too big. The minimum pc requirements were significantly higher and playing it on a 512MB pc would have quickly resulted in a broke system if it worked at all.

The difference between the systems is besides the point. The consoles will continue to be the standard environment that devs are shooting for in order to be playable for the widest market. This is why this generation has almost no games that are unable to be scaled down to the consoles but are designed for the pc. The limited market numbers just don't make sense. On the pcs you'll quickly have to worry about video card compatibility and other such things. The consoles will still be standard.

CrossLOPER:
[quote="Yuuki" post="6.819773.19775313"] Guess what?

The PC is modular.

The PS is not.

I have an excellent PC. But when it comes time to upgrade the processor I'll likely have to replace the motherboard which will in turn mean that some of the video cards and such that I have installed currently will no longer be compatible with the next module. The ps4 on the other hand, will be directly programmed for and will always be able to pay games for it without you having to open the box or care about modularity.

FYI, I am disappointed that this generation of consoles isn't more modular. They took a good step last gen with the HDD but haven't gone further. But I guess modularity would be hard to implement when the entire draw of two major consoles (sorry Nintendo) is that the standardization has significant and long term benfits.

Consoles don't use graphics cards. They use APUs. a CPU/GPU combo that does both but is inefficient and awful at doing both.

That's why I highly doubt it can beat a 7 series. Its from AMD, a budget tablet APU, that threatens its own current graphics card line up?

Its like saying the Ouya had the potential to to be a Radeon 8 series. Tablet technology gets you tablet results. Tablets are meant to sacrifice power, and performance for less heat and power draw. Both factors mostly irrelevant to a console, which hamstrings the consoles for no reason other than manufacturers being cheap.

I usually dont watch the Jimquisition because I just dont care for it but this ones title drew me in because Im a PC gamer. After watching the episode my first thought is, are you freaking kidding us Jim?

Look digital distribution is a great thing for gaming in general due to the convienance but it has a lot of pitfalls that we dont routinely talk about. Sales are nice but for me (and I only mean to talk about myself) they do not and never will quell the problem with any service's DRM riddled nonsense.

Let me go through these pitfalls

1. Steam dominance means lack of retailer choice: Like it or not digital distribution are the retailers of PC gaming. Essentially Steam is walmart. Its the new middle man. However steam has dominance over the market. There are many games, AAA and indie, that you can only legally buy on steam. Yes I can go to GoG.com and get descent or Baldurs gate but what if I want Sang Froid or Skyrim? Yeah I can only use steam and I personally dont want to

2. You still dont own your games: Like it or not this is a fact. Your games are tied to a library curated by valve's service. A library that ultimately you can have no control over since it is on a company's server instead of your own server, hard drive, external hard drive, or whatever. On top of that for no reason steam can take away the merchandise that you legally bought (its doubtful that they will but just being able to scares the hell out of me). Read their terms of use if you dont believe me. I would be more accepting if it just prevented you from buying more games on their service (which has its own issues see 1) but thats not the reality we live in.

3. Long download times. Most of the US has slow download speeds due to poor internet connectivity. I run a DSL and it still takes hours (maybe even up to a day) to download games of 6-10 gigabytes. Due to our infrastructure thats not likely to change anytime soon unless new and cheap technology is discovered or a company spends the money to change it. With a physical copy you might have had to wait 15 minutes (my Dragon age origins physical copy installs in just over 10) but to download on a slow DSL Im looking at an 8 hour wait for Xcom: Enemy unknown (2012).

4. No physical copies. There are perks to physical copies like owning your game, faster install speeds, never having to worry about the servers coming down permanently, and not having to put up with DRM. However since Digital distribution took off companies are no longer releasing physical copies at all. Even retail copies that are sold at walmart for PC still require steam to use. I got xcom as a present last christmas and Im bloody pissed off that Im forced into using steam once again for a product that was legally bought and given to me as a piece of property. There really needs to be a law that says each retail copy is required to have something on it that says "requires steam" or something like it but I know for a fact it doesnt say that on my xcom box

5. DRM: Every service but GoG.com is a glorified DRM system. Even steams light DRM gets in the way of gaming but you cant just say "dont use it" because you might as well say "dont play games on PC"

I love PC gaming. I always have because it allows gamers to customize their hardware to suit their needs and allows for a much wider variety of games. However while PC gaming used to be an open platform digital distribution has completely changed that. You can no longer play what you want on whatever kind of machine you want because you have to use their service's to play the games you dont own. You may think PC gets away with it but youre wrong, we are forced into it. If people want to accept the pitfalls of digital distribution thats ok, its their money and I have no right to tell them how to spend it. However my money says I dont get a choice in their use and Im sure as heck going to speak out against this kind of anti-consumer behavoir. The reality is in most cases I literally can not legally buy a copy of most games I love, to reward developers for making something awesome, to say I want more of this, without using services I dont want to use. Think about that. Its like saying I wont be able to play The elder scrolls 6: Black Marsh if I dont buy it at Walmart. Thats a HUGE problem that at least needs to be addressed

Fluffles:
Isn't the thing that consoles ARE drm themselves? I mean, there is all this on top, but that's the main crux of it all.

Exactly, that's something a lot of people overlook.

I'm not sure exactly how it all worked out historically but I always view the 'DRM' with it's negative connotation as a response that came from the early internet days when people started downloading music for free and corporate interests flipped their lid. Similarly restrictive policies of varying infamy have been adopted (and abandoned) by game publishers since then. Most will hate it because it usually tends to come from big business with a dual purpose of chipping away consumer rights for greater control.

But... in the software and games industry there has always been a level of copy protection. You could not duplicate old console games, early version of Windows and other software always had CD Key's, and for a time in the 90's PC game developers started getting creative by locking you in the game unless you could answer a question that required an instruction manual. None of this was about gaining control over the customer, it was just an honest method of making sure the products weren't being given away and people paid for what they used.

In my opinion this is the type of 'DRM' Steam falls under, a level that has always been around in PC gaming. For example if I were to install my old physical copy of Neverwinter Nights, I'd have to look in the manual for the installation key and do it again for each expansion. Were people in 2000 suggesting we boycott games such as this because they made us type in a license key? That's basically all Steam's DRM is doing, except for most games (there's still those bastards that add their own DRM on top of Steam) it does it automatically in the background for you.

RhombusHatesYou:

jmarquiso:
That said, both Gog.com and Humblebundle have offered a DRM free storefront for indie developers, so we're seeing a lot of that as well.

The best thing about GOG is they don't use a regional pricing scheme anymore.

HEAR THAT, GABE? ONE FUCKING PRICE FOR EVERYONE.

Bah, who am I kidding... Gabe never comes here, he's over at RPS.

Doesn't Robin handle that stuff?

J Tyran:

jmarquiso:

J Tyran:
snipped Origin stuff.

This. Origin is actually very well made and doesn't take as much Memory as Steam. That said, I rarely open it as I have like 2 games on it. I also never see adverts for EA games because of this.

That's one of Origins flaws, EA basically wanted a walled garden for EA products. People are not collecting games to the same level as Steam, they might have Mass Effect or Battlefield 3 and the Sims/Sim Shitty and thats about it. It doesn't encourage people to log in unless they want to play one of the few Origin games they have.

They need more third parties on there, they also need to pull a Ubisoft. EA where pretty dumb, they pulled all their latest games from other digital distribution services. Gamers then could only buy them retail or from Origin, Ubisoft where smart though. They sell their games through Steam and other places still, the difference is you still need to use U-Play to play the game.

That way they pull people in to their service, sounds shitty but its no different to Steamworks really. You buy a game and you have no choice but to use it, it would be better if U-Play was optional and they used honey instead of vinegar to get people to use it. Offer free DLC and cheap games along with other incentives, build it with good value and people will come.

EA could do the same, sell via as many platforms as they can. Then encourage players over to Origin with good deals and some free stuff.

I've heard that they've had good deals, like 50% or the occasional 75%. They haven't in my region (Germany) whenever I've looked it up. But you'll hear about them from sites like Savy Gamer and or Reddit's /r/gamedeaals and the like. Amazon also sells Origin codes.

That said, they do have a third party library, and it's not bad. The problem is they're competing at mostly the same prices that Steam has. Why would I buy X Indie Game from Origin if I could get it at Steam at the same price? Or from the dev directly?

Ubisoft sells on UPlay, Origin, *and* Steam, btw.

Hell, if they handle the regional pricing issue people apparently still have (they don't), they could easily corner a market not completely taken by Steam yet.

Something that keeps PC gaming alive? Mods. Counter-Strike: Source is still played today, often much more than CS:GO- Why? Because there is an active modded community, making zombie mod, zombie escape, surf, etc. CS:GO doesn't have full modder support yet, and therefore doing worse.

Also servers. On PC you can host a server yourself, you don't have to rely on official server support to play your games.

Machine Man 1992:
Now granted with the next gen looking to make consoles into shitty PC's, instead of like Jim said and a staying slightly behind the curve, this argument may have some merit, but until that time where I no longer have to carry around a sticky note with my system specs written down when I go shopping, I'm staying console.

This is really a non-issue. I've never even heard of someone getting a game that turned out to somehow be incompatible with their pc, nevermind experienced it, and I've bought hundreds of games and have a large number of friends and family who've bought as much if not more than I have. And if you mean in terms of hitting minimum specs, you'd have to be quite ridiculously out of touch in order for you to have no idea whether your hardware is recent enough to be compatible.

uro vii:

Machine Man 1992:
Now granted with the next gen looking to make consoles into shitty PC's, instead of like Jim said and a staying slightly behind the curve, this argument may have some merit, but until that time where I no longer have to carry around a sticky note with my system specs written down when I go shopping, I'm staying console.

This is really a non-issue. I've never even heard of someone getting a game that turned out to somehow be incompatible with their pc, nevermind experienced it, and I've bought hundreds of games and have a large number of friends and family who've bought as much if not more than I have. And if you mean in terms of hitting minimum specs, you'd have to be quite ridiculously out of touch in order for you to have no idea whether your hardware is recent enough to be compatible.

Oh well EXCUUUUUSE me, Mister Moneybags! But I don't have access to the vast stores of wealth you clearly have to afford all this stuff! I had to make do with my dad's hand-me-downs, a 500 Mhz rig that chugged on Internet Explorer. Hell it chugged on Half-Life 1. It was barely compatible with stuff from 2004, let alone today. We got rid of it when the whole family switched to Mac's.

Machine Man 1992:
Oh well EXCUUUUUSE me, Mister Moneybags! But I don't have access to the vast stores of wealth you clearly have to afford all this stuff! I had to make do with my dad's hand-me-downs, a 500 Mhz rig that chugged on Internet Explorer. Hell it chugged on Half-Life 1. It was barely compatible with stuff from 2004, let alone today. We got rid of it when the whole family switched to Mac's.

My pc is currently 5 years old and could certainly bought for the fraction of the price of a new console. Perhaps you should try finding out what's going on before you get snarky.

uro vii:

Machine Man 1992:
Oh well EXCUUUUUSE me, Mister Moneybags! But I don't have access to the vast stores of wealth you clearly have to afford all this stuff! I had to make do with my dad's hand-me-downs, a 500 Mhz rig that chugged on Internet Explorer. Hell it chugged on Half-Life 1. It was barely compatible with stuff from 2004, let alone today. We got rid of it when the whole family switched to Mac's.

My pc is currently 5 years old and could certainly bought for the fraction of the price of a new console. Perhaps you should try finding out what's going on before you get snarky.

Sorry.

The PC I was talking about was eight years old, and as unstable as a one legged milking stool.

I am not a fan of the platform is what I'm getting at.

jmarquiso:
Snip

DoPo:
Snip

You know that is fine and well but that not exactly what I meant. What I meant is that a game may require a certain type of DRM and that I have no choice in the matter what kind of DRM it is.
If I want to play Skyrim I have to put up with Steam. The only other option is not playing Skyrim.

If you want to play a "blockbuster" game you have little choice in the matter.
Yes there is choice for really old games and indie games but the very moment you tap into the big budget games it is over.

I browsed through the stores and it seems to be always the same. Rome II Total War on Greenman Gaming requires Steam as does it from Game Fly or Gamersgate. It is simply a code purchase.
I can choose where too buy my code but I can't choose a different type of DRM. For example I can't choose to use Origin instead of Steam.
The publisher/developer made that choice and I have to put up with it.
And that is what I mean when I say that I don't really have a choice on the PC and I don't see why this wouldn't work on consoles as well. Why couldn't Greenman Gaming or Game Fly (or any other of the one million code sellers) sell codes for XBox One games as well?

People don't seem to understand this video.
It's not about what platform is better.
It's about DRM and that, while not perfect, the current ways DRM is implemented on the PC is better than the it is on consoles.

I'm not even going to mention how much the current PC's trample the next gen. ^^ Just trolling don't reply on these last two sentences. :P

Arcade Hero X:

LaochEire:
I don't really post on The Escapist, but can I just say that Steam is an absolute rip off when it comes to new games. In fact over in Ireland Gamestop can undercut Steam with a physical retail copy of a PC game by €20 euro. I never understood the myth about Steam being this bastion of excellence and the main reason to own a PC.

Sure, it has those great sales and they are great, but if I want a game upon release I would have to wait up to a year before it becomes anyway affordable on Steam.

Honestly, with Steam. I really just don't get it. Someone enlighten me, please.

Here man I live in Ireland too and your a bit wide of the mark really. I have seen copies of terraria go for €25 quid in GS while it's standard price on steam is €9.99 also GS matches the price for most new releases.......except COD which is €10 cheaper than steam for some reason. GS Ireland really can't give a fuck about PC games and as an ex employee I can attest to that I mean there is literally a 1x1 foot spinning shelf thing in my local GS for PC games and most other stores the PC games are hidden away from view while the Steam vouchers are right in your face as you walk in.

Going by what you said and LaochFire's post, I will definitely agree with you that Steam's pricing in different currencies is pretty shitty. For anyone living in North America, Steam is a fantastic way to get your games. The prices are almost never higher than what you'll find in a retail store, and more often than not it's cheaper.

Ultratwinkie:
Consoles don't use graphics cards. They use APUs. a CPU/GPU combo that does both but is inefficient and awful at doing both.

That's why I highly doubt it can beat a 7 series. Its from AMD, a budget tablet APU, that threatens its own current graphics card line up?

Its like saying the Ouya had the potential to to be a Radeon 8 series. Tablet technology gets you tablet results. Tablets are meant to sacrifice power, and performance for less heat and power draw. Both factors mostly irrelevant to a console, which hamstrings the consoles for no reason other than manufacturers being cheap.

The PS4's GPU = 1.84 teraflops. 7850 = 1.76 teraflops. The highest end cards are in the 5 teraflops though. At least, I believe that's what the Titan puts out.

Do you have some sort of information that would make this number to measure output unreliable? A teraflop is a unit of computing speed equal to one million million floating-point operations per second. So it's a standard way to measure computing speed.

Lightknight:

Ultratwinkie:
Consoles don't use graphics cards. They use APUs. a CPU/GPU combo that does both but is inefficient and awful at doing both.

That's why I highly doubt it can beat a 7 series. Its from AMD, a budget tablet APU, that threatens its own current graphics card line up?

Its like saying the Ouya had the potential to to be a Radeon 8 series. Tablet technology gets you tablet results. Tablets are meant to sacrifice power, and performance for less heat and power draw. Both factors mostly irrelevant to a console, which hamstrings the consoles for no reason other than manufacturers being cheap.

The PS4's GPU = 1.84 teraflops. 7850 = 1.76 teraflops. The highest end cards are in the 5 teraflops though. At least, I believe that's what the Titan puts out.

Do you have some sort of information that would make this number to measure output unreliable? A teraflop is a unit of computing speed equal to one million million floating-point operations per second. So it's a standard way to measure computing speed.

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/393991-33-7970-compare

When it comes to flops for gaming, they are sort of a joke. If you talk about flops in a gaming sense around techie sites, you usually run a high risk of getting laughed at. They recommend things like texture units, Vram, and such.

Even then, over 2 flops aren't exactly rare. There is even a card in the 6 series that does more.

tflops isn't exactly the end all be all number for graphics. From what i read, the only place it truly matters is CPU, and the PS4's CPU is kind of a joke.

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