The Trials and Perils of Returning to PC

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 5 NEXT
 

j1015:
snip

Marketing wise, it's just another thing I loathe about consoles.

I guess it must be effective, but it rubs me the wrong way.

We've all see that picture of dead-eyes Geoff sitting next to a mountain of doritos and mountain dew, and it's as hilarious as it is repulsive. I don't know why or how exactly, but the way marketing is done for consoles is just really gross to me.

wombat_of_war:

Toadfish1:

Raiyan 1.0:

When you add the cost of an HD TV, HDD extensions, extra charge for online MP, the fact that console games cost $10 more than PC versions and aren't discounted as heavily/frequently as Steam sales, the costs keep adding up.

And yet we're going to ignore the costs of "upgrading" (i.e. overhauling completely) your Pc every 2.5 years. Shocking, that.

irronically thanks to the console market once you have a decent pc you hardly need to update anymore as the power needed to run the ports remains pretty static

It depends on when in the console cycle you make the pc. Right now, for example, you're facing a tremendous upgrade in just a few years now that the flood gate of progress have been reopened with a new console. In about 4 years you can likely make a decent investment that could last the rest of the cycle.

So it depends.

However, games are still made from the base up with the weakest link in mind. So when consoles start lagging behind, the game will too. PCs get the option of scaling up their textures but the game is still exactly the same under the hood with no advantage taken to make the physics and AI better with more processing.

I will add that this console generation is a significant step. 10x the previous generation if we're considering the ps3->ps4. If you looked at games like Uncharted 3 or the Last of Us, we were getting pretty darn close to "good enough" where graphics are concerned. There will be a point where hardware stops being as important and games actually have to rely more on stories when everyone has the ability to have beautiful graphics and new engines are made to churn them out easily. But 10x the previous generation? We're talking some serious stuff. For the first time in my life of gaming, I can pull a 5 year old game that was programmed for realism and not have my eyes gouged out. It used to be that only artistic designs lasted the test of time (e.g. I played Link's Awakening last night. My wife bought me a gameboy advanced because she saw my huge library of gameboy games that would never be played again otherwise. It's a weird feeling to load up a game for the first time in 20 years and to see save files I personally made that long ago), but now games like Bioshock 1 are a little rough around the edges but not nearly enough to impact the story negatively like say, Syphon Filter or Tenchu from the ps1. Even FFVII was trying to be realistic "enough" to pose a bit of a problem playing in today's graphically superior environment.

Lightknight:
[If you looked at games like Uncharted 3 or the Last of Us, we were getting pretty darn close to "good enough" where graphics are concerned. There will be a point where hardware stops being as important and games actually have to rely more on stories when everyone has the ability to have beautiful graphics and new engines are made to churn them out easily.

I don't agree in a "good enough" mark being hit. Games look pretty good, but they're very far away from actually looking realistic. I think there's a lot more room to grow graphics-wise than you are thinking. Stuff like lighting, reflections, large numbers of moving parts, water, etc. I still haven't seen an in-game engine that can even pull off having two characters kiss without it looking super weird. Think about how much power is needed to just have bodies in games that can be "pressed" instead of just clipping through. How about the characters in games being modeled like real humans (like Dwarf Fortress's code, but with graphics). There's all kinds of stuff. We've gotten past the point where you are going to be blown away by a game's graphics compared to a game from last year, but we're no where even close to "good enough".

Gameplay and story are really important, and definitely supercede graphics, but that doesn't change the fact that the same game/story with better graphics is a better experience. I mean, would you really consider watching 2001: A Space Odyssey on an old black-and-white SDTV the same experience as watching a remastered Blu-Ray version on a really good, large HDTV? The movie is simply better when it looks better. Now, if the movie sucks, SFX aren't going to save it.

Most importantly, more power does not just equal MOAR GRAPHICS. It can affect actual gameplay in terms of physics, AI, number of actors, etc. You're right that we're not going to see AAA games utilizing that extra power on PC if they can't get it to work on the consoles. That's why I was so disappointed that the consoles were a bit underpowered this generation - gaming as a whole will be held back for another generation.

Either way, it's great we're getting the 10x power increase. Better gaming for everyone!

Hyperstorm:
Between the fact that I am cyberly challenged and that my job revolves around a PC I find a console more relaxing.

Besides they don't make computer monitors as big as TVs yet do they?

They do. They're called TVs. (i.e. up-to-date computers connect to up-to-date TVs with HDMI).

Church185:

So, it is possible to get Windows that cheap, but do you really expect normal consumers to go looking there? PCs will never kill off consoles if you have to jump through hoops like that to get a good price. I'll admit that SteamOS looks promising, but I don't know enough about it at this point to make a real judgement on it. If office programs or video editing software isn't compatible with it, I probably won't be using it (neither will normal consumers).

For the average consumer no. I concede that tends to be a big issue with widespread PC adoption, there tends to be a few things you need to know. But if you do know where to get all the peripherals cheaply it does become really easy.

As for SteamOS, there really isn't enough information to really say yet. I've heard mixed things on how compatible it is so it stands how well it will compete with Windows.

Church185:
Battlefield 4 snip

I finally found a half-decent benchmark of BF4 here. Unfortunately it's 16:10 and is a but it should give a general idea.

The 7790 would hit ~30 fps on high at 1080p w/no MSAA. The 500$ build I made for another guy earlier would hit around 50fps and a 600 dollar build would probably hit >60 or 50 with MSAA.

From what I understand PS4 runs at high but with no AA at 900, so you should be able to run it at equivalent settings, but that would be hard to test.

Ultimately I'd have to refer back to what I said earlier: 600$ PC would blow consoles out of the water, more storage, 1080p 60fps, and can do all the things a normal PC can do to boot. But under 600 and you start getting less for your money.

EXos:
1. Nope. They are posting clips on youtube about putting together a $400,- Console Killer. (Better specs all the way)

If you follow the links to the products, you'll see three major things. First off is that the price is closer to $500 right off the bat. Second is the the hardware really isn't that good and is already outdated (weak video card, poor HDD that isn't optimized for gaming, old CPU, only 4GB of RAM). It also doesn't include keyboard/mouse, monitor, speakers/headset, DVD drive, or OS. So, yeah. You can build a machine that outpaces the PS3/360 specs for around $500. Then it'll cost more to make the machine useable.

What you need to build, however, is a machine that is comparable with the PS4. And I don't mean comparable as in 8GB, I mean a machine that is significantly more powerful than it to compensate for optimizations of hardware that gets more out of console components than it can out of a pc made of unknown components. An example would be modern pc games that require 2GB minimum on pcs but function on 512MBs on a console with 6-year-old CPUs/GPUs.

2. Yatzee actually covered this. Most things are P&P on the PC and if not a google search will help you fix whatever doesn't.

It's not really that true depending on a few things. For example, if you are building your own pc then it couldn't be further from the truth. If you are buying a package then you're talking about several hundreds of dollars above the components part. Likewise, as recent as Skyrim I saw that updating my drivers broke the game. Now, I knew how to roll it back but knowing how to search for those fixes and apply them requires a significant learning curve of gamers that is in no way present in consoles. This really should be a given, it's just that pc's are becoming increasingly more like consoles in this regard thanks to standardized coding and a streamlining of pc manufacturers that left only a few big players.

3. Define support. Support for games? PC has that and even better we have Mods, some even so big that they can be counted as DLC. See Skyrim and Skywind and ofcourse my favourite Jagged Alliance 2 (Still alive after 15 years!)

That games will continue to be designed specifically for that system.

FYI, as a heavy user of mods myself, I'll point to another absense of plug and play. Though that's hardly better than no mods at all.

4. No they don't, only limiting factors are; Can the game support it, do you have enough USB ports for the controllers

It requires a bit more than that. For example, another monitor. Input and output settings. It depends. Most PC games are not made with local same machine lan at all. Would you really disagree with that? The "Can the game suppor it" can be a pretty damn big jump. I stated that most games aren't made for that, so saying "can the game support it" is kind of a laugh. It'd be like me saying most cups can't hold certain types of acid and then you pointing out that certain types of cups can. Yes... both are right.

5. That was true with the previous gens this gen... They are already lagging behind in every aspect.

Perhaps you misunderstand me. Optimizations are derrived from every part of the console being known to the developers. They're able to code in a way that relies on exactly what the machine is capable of. You can't do this with PCs because of the nearly infinite combinations of video card to CPU to RAM to anything else. This is why something like Skyrim has a minimum recommendation of 2GB of RAM and more current video cards/processors while still runnable on consoles that only have 512MBs of RAM and ancient CPUs/GPUs.

This form of optimization will never go away unless PCs become more like consoles where known components are concerned.

As for lagging behind. The average pc is still at 4GB. 64Bit OS are a relatively new thing were adoption rates of it are concerned. What do you think it actually lagging? Yeah, the consoles aren't equivalent to $1,500 machines where pure hardware is concerned. But they aren't meant to be. We saw Sony try to do that a bit with the PS3 and going so high as $600 saw the juggernaut fall in market share immediately.

6. True, there is less piracy on consoles but publishers actually get less money compared to PC as they have to pay for toolsets, certificates and the share that the console's creators take.

Do you have any numbers to back this up? I don't think anyone really knows how much publishers make from PC overall vs how much they make from consoles. It can't be that good with companies like GTA V's creators with holding the pc version for several months to encourage console purchases instead. I'd say you're misinformed here but I'm willing to be enlightened if you know something I don't.

Clovus:

Lightknight:
[If you looked at games like Uncharted 3 or the Last of Us, we were getting pretty darn close to "good enough" where graphics are concerned. There will be a point where hardware stops being as important and games actually have to rely more on stories when everyone has the ability to have beautiful graphics and new engines are made to churn them out easily.

I don't agree in a "good enough" mark being hit. Games look pretty good, but they're very far away from actually looking realistic.

"Pretty darn close" should not be confused with the "mark being hit". The thing is, close or not, those last few inches are FAR more difficult to cross than the preceding miles traveled. What I hope this generation uses the hardware increase for is improvements in physics more than everything else. How objects interact with eachother from a particle level to overall textures and hardness.

For example, I love the work Phymec does with physics engines:

Getting to a mark where graphics are perfect will take decades. Getting good enough is where things are believeable/accurate enough so that your brain isn't constantly telling you that something is wrong. Our brains calculate all the physics of objects automatically based on past experiences. Things that are slightly off will often stick out like a sore thumb. Get past that and we have a "good enough" scenario where reaching perfection is more optional than necessary.

Better A.I. and pathing would be another thing I'd like to see more of. In the new ps4 console, we have 10x the ability we had in the ps3. Think about the games we saw this past generation towards the end and consider what 10x really means. It's better than you may think and we won't really see that for a couple of years. Either way, even if we had machines that were 1,000,000x we wouldn't see games taking advantage of it for years. Just because there are computers that have four titans strapped in doesn't mean our consoles have to be there now. Consoles move the bar foward and 10x is a respectable number considering where we came from. The future is bright and may always include consoles if the companies are able to adapt.

Phrozenflame500:
For the average consumer no. I concede that tends to be a big issue with widespread PC adoption, there tends to be a few things you need to know. But if you do know where to get all the peripherals cheaply it does become really easy.

As for SteamOS, there really isn't enough information to really say yet. I've heard mixed things on how compatible it is so it stands how well it will compete with Windows.

I finally found a half-decent benchmark of BF4 here. Unfortunately it's 16:10 and is a but it should give a general idea.

The 7790 would hit ~30 fps on high at 1080p w/no MSAA. The 500$ build I made for another guy earlier would hit around 50fps and a 600 dollar build would probably hit >60 or 50 with MSAA.

From what I understand PS4 runs at high but with no AA at 900, so you should be able to run it at equivalent settings, but that would be hard to test.

Ultimately I'd have to refer back to what I said earlier: 600$ PC would blow consoles out of the water, more storage, 1080p 60fps, and can do all the things a normal PC can do to boot. But under 600 and you start getting less for your money.

And that's all I was ever trying to prove. There is no doubt in my mind that PC is the stronger platform. The fact that it is multifunctional and backwards compatible is just icing on the cake. But, as long as you can get a cheaper, no fuss console that is capable of playing decent games, there will always be a large market for it. As a gaming enthusiast, I'm currently building a PC to compliment my current game collection (PS1, PS2, PS3, PS4, Vita, Xbox, 360, 3DS, Wii U) and I've found out that it's not for everyone.

I realize a lot of people don't have the money to own everything, but I don't get why we fight over how others enjoy the hobby.

Lightknight:
Pros of consoles:

1. Cheap.
2. Plug and play. (minimal/no troubleshooting, just have to plug things in)
3. Generally gauranteed support for nearly a decade at this point.
4. Excellent living room group fun. (PCs still lag behind in multiple controllers)
5. Software optimization thanks to known/standardised hardware (the reason a 512Mb console can function like a 2Gb pc).
6. Relatively low piracy, this is a plus for game publishers.

Consoles have enough advantages to maintain their life expectancy. They may get more competition with PCs being released for living room entertainment but these would only be more consoles to compete rather than necessarily a replacement.

It's important to consider that consoles are the steam box for the living room. We just don't like how closed they are while developers do.

The issue being that 1 and 2 are no longer true and haven't been for some time, Nintendo get this Sony and m$ don't.

Toadfish1:
]And yet we're going to ignore the costs of "upgrading" (i.e. overhauling completely) your Pc every 2.5 years. Shocking, that.

I'm still rocking my 4+ year old rig. My quad core runs things just fine, as does my HD5830. All I added over the years were extra RAM. Sure, I sometimes have to turn things down a bit, but it runs AAA games just fine.

I guess I have to thank this gen's extra-life span.

Lightknight:

Raiyan 1.0:

Lightknight:
Pros of consoles:

1. Cheap.

When you add the cost of an HD TV, HDD extensions, extra charge for online MP, the fact that console games cost $10 more than PC versions and aren't discounted as heavily/frequently as Steam sales, the costs keep adding up.

I'd have my TV regardless. Most people have a TV.

Most kids already have a computer (iPads might be trendy, but it's hard to do your homework on it). And yet people insist on adding the cost of PC peripherals, casings, OS, etc when considering a PC build.

I don't have an HD TV, which is a requirement for current gen consoles (I prefer boxsets, earphones, and my nice monitor).

But this is generally a problem with how games are sold and not the consoles as machines. When steam present more competition, they'll have to adjust that area of the product. So it's not like this won't change when it needs to.

Console manufacturers have a monopoly on their respective consoles' online services. They have no incentive to change. Forget XBL's $50,000 cost for a single patch - isn't Sony adding mandatory subscription costs? They're far from being competitive with the likes of Steam or GOG.

But once the generation is over and the console is bricked, say goodbye to all your online purchases. Not to mention having to rebuy old games as ports on a new platform as well if you want to play them again.

That's not necessarily a given now that consoles are x86. Their excuse next generation would have to be something along the lines of magic grimlins are preventing the transfer. At least from the insanely proprietary ps3 to the x86 ps4 there's an excuse due to the extreme differences in the architecture. Make no mistake, Sony could have made another console with the same proprietary hardware that played these games but they'd have another generation of shitty ports and more expensive development costs. They made the necessary decision here and we should see the benefits of that going forward as one of the first times a console has almost guaranteed backwards compatibility if they allow it. The XBO not being able to play 360 games is a lot more questionable to me though.

At the end of the day, you're still at the manufacturer's mercy. There's a very real chance they wouldn't pass up the chance of being able to monetize on older games by making people redownload them. Consoles are all about artificial restrictions. If MS tried to pull any of that shit on the PC, everyone would have a chance to boycott it.

Community-made patches/emulators have kept 20 year old PC games alive, and ironically, almost every single console games up to the Wii through emulation.

Yes, the ability to pirate (illegally obtain games) is more present on the PC. Something I don't advocate or condone. I also pay for artwork and hotdogs when the mood strikes me.

I resent your presumptuousness. If you look at my first post in this thread, you'll see me mention my friend's PS2. Well, after it's DVD drive went bust, the only way he can play his huge collection is through his PC now. And he uses his own PS2's BIOS he backed up before, so it's not even illegal.

And there are perfectly legal sites like Classic Gaming Network which host hundreds of abandonware games. And if you want proper support, there's GOG.

And honestly, what would you rather have? Games being lost forever because of publisher/developer not bothering to archive them or put them up for sale on sites like GOG(see the state of System Shock), or people sharing games over P2P that have been off the shelf for a decade?

Either way, the standardized hardware allows developers to program so efficiently for a console that they can get the most out of every component. This is why the actual console specs can even be four times less than the pc minimum specs for games and yet both still function around the same. That's what's going on now anyways.

Not anymore. Both XBoxOne's OS now require 3GB worth of system memory, while the PS4 OS requires 3.5GB. That's more than Win7. And the fact that XBoxOne and PS4 now have OS taking up 1/4 and 1/5 of HDD space respectively (once again more than my Win7 installation) does speak heaps of how 'lean' their OS are, and that console users will have to 'upgrade' their consoles with HDD extensions very soon. Meanwhile, the PC is hopefully getting the AMD Mantle.

And trying to eke out more power from underpowered consoles means more development time and thus more cost.

Take Crysis for example, their game was SOOO pirated that the company decided to never release a pc exclusive again.

Crysis and it's MP expansion, despite being a new IP, sold 4 million+ copies on the PC. They went multiplatform because that's a more economically sound decision. Oh, and by the way, the sequels each actually sold less than the original PC exclusive.

And what did Crytek blame that on? Yep. Used game sales.

And you speak as if console games don't get pirated. GoW 3 and Reach leaked into the torrents 2 months before release.

The fact that Sony holds something like 6 exclusives that were my favorite exclusives of the past generation helps them in my book too (The Last of Us, Infamous 1 and 2, Uncharted 2 and 3, Demons souls, Little Big Planet, Metal Gear Solid, Journey.

I'll agree that Sony has some really good studios under their belt, but the PS4 lauch lost half it's appeal to me when it became the first Playstation to launch without a Wipeout game (RIP Psygnosis/Liverpool!). :P

But, at the end of the day, consoles are losing their exclusives day by day because of rising costs. MGS jumped to the 360 as well last gen, and MGS5 will be on the PC as well (Konami was hiring PC devs for it last year). Same with the Souls series. Capcom and Sega has been doing a lot of ports. I doubt the PS4 will have as many exclusives as the PS1/2 era did. For me, personally, it's not viable to get an entire console for a handful of exclusives.

As for issues with PC vs console maintenance, I'll concede that point, though I think it's a worry that day by day people are becoming more technologically illiterate with the burgeoning of iOS-like walled-gardens.

Also, I don't know why I'm posting this.

Raiyan 1.0:
Most kids already have a computer (iPads might be trendy, but it's hard to do your homework on it). And yet people insist on adding the cost of PC peripherals, casings, OS, etc when considering a PC build.

Most kids have a laptop. It isn't unreasonable to expect to add in the cost of peripherals, casing, OS, etc when tower computers are kind of a rarity in homes anymore. I wouldn't however force you to take the monitor cost into account because most people either have a TV or a monitor (like yourself).

Console manufacturers have a monopoly on their respective consoles' online services. They have no incentive to change. Forget XBL's $50,000 cost for a single patch - isn't Sony adding mandatory subscription costs? They're far from being competitive with the likes of Steam or GOG.

I'll concede that XBL isn't competitive with services like Steam or GOG, but PSN is making strides. Today I purchased Spelunky for two consoles for $3.75. Each month they add 5+ games to the instant game collection for the $4.17/month I'm paying for online. It sucks that fee is now required, but at least they reward you for it, unlike XBL.

Zhukov:
Sooo... basically what you're saying is, "Console gaming is dead."

Man, how things change, eh?

Somewhat ironic really; but I don't think he actually meant that - possibly "Console gaming is dying because of the stupid fools that are running it".

That said, I think the WiiU actually has things more or less right - it focuses on gaming, has a unique interface that PC games are unlikely to ever support. If the XBox and PS4 where smart and focused on gaming and being strong in the area's they are good at, they wouldn't be the butt of so many critics complaints.

I just get the feeling that more people are going to switch to PC as this generation of consoles rolls on; or at least the iPad/Android tablet.

But we'll see.

EDIT:

Lightknight:
Pros of consoles:

1. Cheap.
2. Plug and play. (minimal/no troubleshooting, just have to plug things in)
3. Generally gauranteed support for nearly a decade at this point.
4. Excellent living room group fun. (PCs still lag behind in multiple controllers)
5. Software optimization thanks to known/standardised hardware (the reason a 512Mb console can function like a 2Gb pc).
6. Relatively low piracy, this is a plus for game publishers.

Consoles have enough advantages to maintain their life expectancy. They may get more competition with PCs being released for living room entertainment but these would only be more consoles to compete rather than necessarily a replacement.

It's important to consider that consoles are the steam box for the living room. We just don't like how closed they are while developers do.

1) The console is cheaper that a full spec PC, but I bet you'd manage to get a good gaming PC for the same cash. Addition, the games seem to cost significantly more.
2) Was true, ain't anymore (as Yahtzee pointed out in his OP)
3) Not unique to consoles, and in some cases inferior to PC - games from more than a decade ago can still work (admittedly, you may need to use DosBox or something, but GOG.com does at least do all that for you in its game installers).
4) True; PCs aren't as good as living room gaming machines at the present (I wonder if Valve's Steam box might solve that, but I haven't heard anything about that yet).
5) Technically true; however, it doesn't seem to help the developers - the number of broken games requiring huge patches to fix/improve performance in the Xbox360/PS3 generation was very large. Developers generally develop for both XBox and PS3 and have to waste extra time optimizing for both, and fixing bugs specific to each platform. This is a problem on the PC too, but frankly, its because developers have a habit of releasing very poor quality PC ports; that said, the community can often fix the issues due to greater control over the machine's operations.
6) Not a benefit for the end user really, but I'll allow the fact that lower piracy == publishers might like it better and release more on it. That said, I doubt it's as clear cut as the industry constantly tries to convince everyone.

I agree that the new consoles will keep themselves afloat for at least this generation as there is inertia in the gaming population to stick with your choosen platform, but I think as consoles get worse at being gaming machines for the end user while PC's, phones, and tablets just get better, we'll see the gaming consoles as we know them fall by the wayside. The WiiU though might actually have keep enough of the good qualities of the gaming console to survive though.

Xsjadoblayde:
What? I paid 8 for just cause 2 on the 360 last week! I need a better PC. Still, grapple hooking every little buggering thing to a barrel of explosive fuel never loses its charm :)
Faith is lost in consoling now. Apart from nintendo, which most ppl i know still don't seem to understand. Fucktards they are. Ahem

meanwhile, on the PC, just cause 2 multiplayer mod has been officially endorsed on steam workshop, and is free to download for everybody.

Never thought much of hardcore PC gamers. Talking about how consoles will be abolished. If the ultimate gaming experience is on PC, then why does almost every popular multiplatform title there is, usually sell the most units on consoles? Ease of access. Simplicity. 2.1 million PS4's have been sold. Why the hell would developers make the PC market a priority when multiplatform games on consoles constantly outsell the platform? Because games look better on there? Nope. They will follow the money, and a lot of the money to be made isn't on PC for most developers. Before anyone gets upset, I say this as something who owns and built a new rig this year. It's a great platform but isn't the be-all, end-all, and still has more hassle/tinkering/internet reliance than the new consoles.

weirdguy:

Xsjadoblayde:
What? I paid 8 for just cause 2 on the 360 last week! I need a better PC. Still, grapple hooking every little buggering thing to a barrel of explosive fuel never loses its charm :)
Faith is lost in consoling now. Apart from nintendo, which most ppl i know still don't seem to understand. Fucktards they are. Ahem

meanwhile, on the PC, just cause 2 multiplayer mod has been officially endorsed on steam workshop, and is free to download for everybody.

shhhh don't tell them man. The don't know about stuff like this man, they just think we put in games and play them like they do.

Toadfish1:
~Sniped for clear signs of Stockholm syndrome~

So you are saying that making you pay for the privilege of playing online is ok cause they gave you "free" games, is that what I am to believe? You know that you cannot keep these games correct? If you don't keep paying them, the play online fee the games cannot be installed. It's a free rental not free games.

My personal belief is that it might cost more to get started with a good PC, but over time the costs of ownership are less. For the yearly fee for online access isn't there and most games don't have the annoying cost of paying the console maker their fees. The benefit of a console is its cheaper to start with, but will have higher ownership costs. So just pick the platform that meets your needs better.

Thanatos2k:
Isn't it a sick joke now that you can install a game from a disk FASTER on PC than on a console? How did THAT happen?

I'm wondering the same.

Consoles aren't what they used to be.

Hilarious piece. Starts off saying "I'm not subscribing to the whole 'PC Master Race' bit". Then goes on to explain precisely why PCs are objectively better game machines at this juncture.

There comes a point where remaining "unbiased" and "fair" requires sufficient false equivalencies (or outright lies) to completely discredit yourself as a rational human being.

Toadfish1:
And yet we're going to ignore the costs of "upgrading" (i.e. overhauling completely) your Pc every 2.5 years. Shocking, that.

Until recently I was gaming on a Intel Core2Duo E6600, 2gb of RAM and a Geforce 8600GTS. The last game I played on that set-up was the Tomb Raider remake. Sure I had to dial down the settings but it was running it as least as well as my 360 copy.

That set-up lasted me around five years and the only upgrade I made was switching from a Pentium-D to the aforementioned E6600, which didn't cost me anything as it was given to me.

I think a lot of people when talking about building a console killer ignore the used hardware market. You can bag some absolute bargains by shopping on eBay or going to a computer fair.

Raiyan 1.0:
Most kids already have a computer (iPads might be trendy, but it's hard to do your homework on it). And yet people insist on adding the cost of PC peripherals, casings, OS, etc when considering a PC build.

The OS is a necessary one. Most games require a Microsoft OS with the last few years only just now beginning to see more ports to Linux and Apple. Linux, while free, is decidedly not consumer friendly and requires a significant learning curve.

So yeah, the OS should be considered. The disk reader should be considered. The controllers should be considered. Speakers/headsets should be considered. And why not? The PS4 comes with a new Bluray player, an OS, headset and a controller in the $400 package.

I don't have an HD TV, which is a requirement for current gen consoles (I prefer boxsets, earphones, and my nice monitor).

Then that's something you have every right to consider as an added cost for yourself. That doesn't contradict my point or make your situation the norm. The TV is still a staple of the American household and you can't even buy non-HDTVs in most retailers now. It'd be like complaining that an internet based phone service doesn't work with a rotary phone which is all you have.

Console manufacturers have a monopoly on their respective consoles' online services. They have no incentive to change. Forget XBL's $50,000 cost for a single patch - isn't Sony adding mandatory subscription costs? They're far from being competitive with the likes of Steam or GOG.

While I certainly don't disagree that Steam is much cheaper, it would be horribly flawed to think that these company's sales structures wouldn't adapt if Steam began competing more directly. It happens all the time across nearly all businesses ever. A company gets a monopoly and takes advantage of it. Then newcomers arrive and begin to steal away business. Then the company has to adapt or die but it's not a given that they'll do nothing throughout.

At the end of the day, you're still at the manufacturer's mercy. There's a very real chance they wouldn't pass up the chance of being able to monetize on older games by making people redownload them. Consoles are all about artificial restrictions. If MS tried to pull any of that shit on the PC, everyone would have a chance to boycott it.

True. But now you're operating on guesses. I'm merely stating that it is no longer a given and future backwards compatibility is one of the reasons Sony gave for needing the x86 move.

I resent your presumptuousness. If you look at my first post in this thread, you'll see me mention my friend's PS2. Well, after it's DVD drive went bust, the only way he can play his huge collection is through his PC now. And he uses his own PS2's BIOS he backed up before, so it's not even illegal.

And there are perfectly legal sites like Classic Gaming Network which host hundreds of abandonware games. And if you want proper support, there's GOG.

And honestly, what would you rather have? Games being lost forever because of publisher/developer not bothering to archive them or put them up for sale on sites like GOG(see the state of System Shock), or people sharing games over P2P that have been off the shelf for a decade?

I fully agree with playing games you own the license to in any way possible. I apologize for any resentment my comment caused. Hopefully you can appreciate that such reasonable actions aren't the norm by any stretch of the imagination. The people who lean on emulation years later are usually not necessarily license owners.

But, as a Morrowind fan I am certainly not in disagreement regarding the value of community modding in expanding the longevity of games. However, it's also as a gamer that I know my backlog of good games is about 6 months behind of games I haven't played yet but want to. I simply don't have time to look back very often unless I'm playing an old PS1 game on my psp. Heck, I just slapped my original Gameboy Link's Awakening cartridge into a gameboy advanced my wife got me for Christmas (she's the worst at holding onto gifts). But if I'm at home and not traveling, I'm not going to touch it.

By the way, have you ever fired up an ancient game and found your 8 year-old self's saves still on file? It felt like I was time traveling. Those cartridge batteries must be amazing.

Not anymore. Both XBoxOne's OS now require 3GB worth of system memory, while the PS4 OS requires 3.5GB. That's more than Win7. And the fact that XBoxOne and PS4 now have OS taking up 1/4 and 1/5 of HDD space respectively (once again more than my Win7 installation) does speak heaps of how 'lean' their OS are, and that console users will have to 'upgrade' their consoles with HDD extensions very soon. Meanwhile, the PC is hopefully getting the AMD Mantle.

And trying to eke out more power from underpowered consoles means more development time and thus more cost.

As far as I know, the PS4's memory is MUCH faster than standard memory and that 3.5GB hasn't been confirmed just yet. Well, actually it has been specifically denied by Sony but we don't know the OS numbers exactly yet.

See, there is 4.5 RAM that is purely game RAM. Then there is another 1GB of flexible RAM that the OS manages for games (not itself). So right now we're looking at a maximum of 2.5GB alloted to the OS with 5.5GB available for games.

A 64Bit Win 7 environment (which is the only type that could use more than 4GB of RAM anyways) requires 2GBs. 2.5GB, if that's all for the OS wouldn't be that negative. Especially with a second processor handling background downloads and installations.

Even then, the type of RAM pcs use right now isn't the GDDR5 that the ps4 has in it. That 5.5GBs available for gaming is weighed heavier with that in mind. Wouldn't you agree?

Even then, your response does not deal with my comment. My statment

Crysis and it's MP expansion, despite being a new IP, sold 4 million+ copies on the PC. They went multiplatform because that's a more economically sound decision. Oh, and by the way, the sequels each actually sold less than the original PC exclusive.

The Sequels weren't nearly as good. So I believe it. Crysis got famous on being cutting edge. When it moved to consoles it severely limited itself once pcs had advanced so much further. So the novelty relied on the game itself which wasn't terribly entertaining.

And you speak as if console games don't get pirated. GoW 3 and Reach leaked into the torrents 2 months before release.

It's a lot rarer with proprietary disks and the need to specifically jailbreak the console. It requires a skillset far beyond the average joe's capabilities whereas pirating on the internet is as difficult as clicking the right link and searching for the key code list. You'd can't argue that the console market isn't less prone to piracy. Just like you can't argue that pc games aren't also traded and borrowed. Here's a little secret, my wife uses my steam account *gasp*.

I'll agree that Sony has some really good studios under their belt, but the PS4 lauch lost half it's appeal to me when it became the first Playstation to launch without a Wipeout game (RIP Psygnosis/Liverpool!). :P

haha.

But, at the end of the day, consoles are losing their exclusives day by day because of rising costs. MGS jumped to the 360 as well last gen, and MGS5 will be on the PC as well (Konami was hiring PC devs for it last year). Same with the Souls series. Capcom and Sega has been doing a lot of ports. I doubt the PS4 will have as many exclusives as the PS1/2 era did. For me, personally, it's not viable to get an entire console for a handful of exclusives.

My favorite Sony exclusives are developed by Sony. So they really aren't losing most of them. But yes, it makes no sense to be console exclusive if you're not first or second party.

Thanks for the intelligent discussion.

Ed.:
The issue being that 1 and 2 are no longer true and haven't been for some time, Nintendo get this Sony and m$ don't.

1 = you can build a ps3 equivalent or better for $400. You cannot build a ps4 or better for that. Even then. Actually following those links get you closer to $500 and include hardware that is no longer available. It also leaves out several components you'd still need for a pc (optical drive, keyboard/mouse, OS, monitor, etc), stuff that is already included in a console's base price or something (TV) that the family most likely already owns.

2 = Consoles are the definition of plug and play. You plug them in and they turn on. If you build a PC from scratch, it's the opposite of plug and play. If you buy a pre-built pc then it may plug and play, will cost much more than $400, and you still have to deal with driver compatibility issues and anything else.

Doug:
1) The console is cheaper that a full spec PC, but I bet you'd manage to get a good gaming PC for the same cash. Addition, the games seem to cost significantly more.

Yes, you can get a decent pc for around $500-600. But that's a decent pc by today's standards, not three years from now. The console is pretty darn cheap with all the components thrown in together. Blu-ray player, controller, all the hardware in one box and utilizing a TV that the household typically already owns.

2) Was true, ain't anymore (as Yahtzee pointed out in his OP)

Yahtzee isn't necessarily right. Consoles are still plug and play and pcs aren't necessarily (several driver and hardware compatibility issues can come into play with individual games, like my example of my video card driver breaking Skyrim for me recently and only my tech expertise resolved that). If you build a pc from scratch, then that's the definition of not being plug and play. All that means is you buy it and you don't have to manage the hardware and software yourself. Still completely true.

3) Not unique to consoles, and in some cases inferior to PC - games from more than a decade ago can still work (admittedly, you may need to use DosBox or something, but GOG.com does at least do all that for you in its game installers).

What I mean is that developers will continue to make games custom made for the console througout its lifespan. PCs, however, can slide out of minimum requirements for AAA games at any time. See my Skyrim example. It works (after some patching support) on both the ps3 and 360 which boast 512Mbs of RAM and 6-7 year old hardware. On the pc the minimum requirements are 2Gbs of RAM and newer hardware.

So what I mean is this. If you buy a console, you know it's going to play games developed for that console. PCs do not carry that promise. There is also a significant boost in pc tech after new consoles are released and software begins to require more juice. So particularly at the start of a console generation is a bad time to buy a pc if longevity is the goal.

4) True; PCs aren't as good as living room gaming machines at the present (I wonder if Valve's Steam box might solve that, but I haven't heard anything about that yet).

We'll have to see. I think that track pad controller scheme solves the RTS difficulties consoles have but wouldn't be that good in an FPS game. Even if a steam box exists, this would require a dynamic shift in developers to add in-home multiplayer aspects to PC games which have largely been left out since most people lan computer games using another computer rather than the same machine.

5) Technically true; however, it doesn't seem to help the developers - the number of broken games requiring huge patches to fix/improve performance in the Xbox360/PS3 generation was very large. Developers generally develop for both XBox and PS3 and have to waste extra time optimizing for both, and fixing bugs specific to each platform. This is a problem on the PC too, but frankly, its because developers have a habit of releasing very poor quality PC ports; that said, the community can often fix the issues due to greater control over the machine's operations.

Broken games make headlines. Working games don't. Far more games show up functioning properly than broken.

Either way, this is usually a software problem and not hardware. All I mean about the benefits of standard equipment is that you get far more out of it. You can get the most out of the CPU and GPU by pushing them to their limits in a way that would not work on a PC with any combination of RAM/CPU/GPU manufacturer. Perhaps I'm not conveying this message properly as it seems to be misunderstood with everyone I'm talking with here. Known hardware = Optimizing output. So a 1GB console can do more than a 1GB pc can do. To match the ability of an 8GB PS4 you'd have to have a machine that is more powerful than that, even if the hardware is the same. Because developers have to account for a huge range of hardware in pc configurations. It's a tricky thing and sometimes games won't even work with some video cards for example (Nvidia runs into this somewhat frequently) whereas in the console world they have only one video card to worry about.

I agree that the new consoles will keep themselves afloat for at least this generation as there is inertia in the gaming population to stick with your choosen platform, but I think as consoles get worse at being gaming machines for the end user while PC's, phones, and tablets just get better, we'll see the gaming consoles as we know them fall by the wayside. The WiiU though might actually have keep enough of the good qualities of the gaming console to survive though.

The WiiU may be dead in the water. We'll have to see how this holiday season really turns out for them. It's not looking good so far through November (they sold less than 500k units in November which is a substantial increase, but even getting that number every month from here on out wouldn't sell more units than the dreamcast did in the same amount of time and this is a holiday month). I think they need to can the Gamepad. That'd drop the prices substantially as the pad costs $140 to replace and will remove something their elderly fans consider too small and confusing. If Nintendo owns their affordable family fun niche they can have their own market outside of Sony's and Microsoft's.

Platforms may continue to succeed the more they integrate with the family living room experience. The truth is, my pc can easily hook into my living room. But I still prefer the really easy console to go there. I just buy it, it's powerful, it works well in the living room without much noise and is cheaper than a comparable pc. I'm not saying I like my console more than my pc, but I do like my console for living room use and my pc more for office use. I game on both and they each have seperate strengths and weaknesses. Enough so that I don't think any are really going to go anywhere.

If Valve succeeds in a Steam Box. It'll just be another console in the market. I think people don't realise that. It'll just be a console catered to pc games rather than one centered around Sony or Microsoft.

Lightknight:
Pros of consoles:

1. Cheap.

Except they're not. They are often, in the long run, more expensive than gaming on PC.

I can tell you from personal experience that, though I game primarily on PC, I've spent far more on my 360 over the course of its life-cycle than I have on my PC in the same time frame.

With the increased costs of games, online services, inflated DLCs, controllers, etc, the cost just skyrockets.

2. Plug and play. (minimal/no troubleshooting, just have to plug things in)

This is no longer true either. Not entirely. Or, in the very least, no more the case than it is for most PCs.

Admittedly, you will occasionally have issue with a game "bugging out".

3. Generally gauranteed support for nearly a decade at this point.

Support that will abruptly end at or near the end of a console generation, with (ironically) the only continued support coming through emulation on PC.

The one, big exception to this was the PS2.

4. Excellent living room group fun. (PCs still lag behind in multiple controllers)

This is no longer true either. There are plenty of games on PC that function perfectly as living-room party games.

Just the other weekend I had some friends by for an impromptu get-together. Much fun was had with games like Worms, Left 4 Dead, etc, all played locally, some split-screen, and all on the same machine.

Also: I'm not sure how you can say "PCs still lag behind in multiple controllers". PCs have had the capability to detect and receive input from multiple control devices for years. I routinely have several controllers plugged into mine.

5. Software optimization thanks to known/standardised hardware (the reason a 512Mb console can function like a 2Gb pc).

Yet another thing that isn't true anymore.

With persistent firmware updates on consoles, optimizing a game isn't as easy or consistent as it once was.

6. Relatively low piracy, this is a plus for game publishers.

This is a fallacy that, sadly, a lot of publishers still believe. (or at least claim to believe) Piracy is every bit as strong a factor in "lost sales" on consoles as it is on PCs. A quick Google search can yield a wealth of "how-tos" on modding a console and pirating console games.

Consoles have enough advantages to maintain their life expectancy. They may get more competition with PCs being released for living room entertainment but these would only be more consoles to compete rather than necessarily a replacement.

It's important to consider that consoles are the steam box for the living room. We just don't like how closed they are while developers do.

Actually, quite a number of developers dislike how closed consoles are. Or rather, how closed they've become.

With every thing they do with their games having to go through lengthy and often expensive verification processes, it leaves little room for experimentation, community input, and persistence.

In one regard this is good for the consumer as it (should) guarantee quality, but it's still something that many devs have grown tired of dealing with.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Now, don't get me wrong. I still love my consoles. Hell, I still crack out the N64, Gamecube, Xbox, etc, when the occasion calls for it or nostalgia wins me over. But, with (most) console makers wanting to broaden their machine's appeal by adding features, many of which are seen on PCs, yet attempting to maintain the same level of content control they've had in the past, they're only dooming themselves to failure. At least, in light of other avenues of content delivery and gaming entertainment from other platforms.

This current generation of consoles will be telling. The initial sales boom may not be as positive a sign of things to come as one might assume.

Time will tell whether consoles, given the direction they're heading and the direction PCs are heading, will remain as relevant as they once were.

Will they disappear entirely? Oh hell no. At least not in the immediate future.

However, if they are replaced, it'll likely be by a second mobile-gaming boom. (which might be a misnomer, as it might be a gradual change) With more and more mobile devices being able to provide more complex and compelling gaming experiences on the cheap, as well as "classic" gaming experiences like those seen on older consoles, we may see consoles slowly relegated to irrelevance.

One thing's for sure: the next few years will be a critical time for the video gaming industry.

About the Alienware thingy, my main argument against it is the price. Building a pc isn't exactly nobel price territory but if you don't want to deal with that there are other companies that will make you a computer for less money and without the tacky design.
But Yahtzee here can write those costs off so the argument doesn't really apply. As for the design, if the thing, be it console or else, can't distract you from its design then it isn't worth keeping around even for people who like the design.

Today's state of games overall is pretty bleak. With consoles i get the constant feel that i have to be on the lookout to prevent being scammed somehow.
With PCs i know i'm being scammed. Can't return games? Well, don't buy games then. Or rather buy games where you're either sure you'll spend months in, i.e. your money's worth or buy games when they're supercheap. Even then you might get ripped off so be careful and read reviews.

Undomesticated Equine:
Do not forget to try the JC 2 multiplayer mod it is amazing chaos albeit bit laggy, still ton of fun. Another advantage of pcgames awesome community made mods.

That's pretty much why I get every game I can on the PC rather than my consoles. For example, and this pisses me off to no end, but the Xbone and PS4 NBA 2k14 games have a ton more content(ie actual storylines) than the last gen/PC versions of the same game. However, because 2K has thus far been incompetent in making the series more user friendly I will only play it on PC so I can tweak all the little difficulty and skill variables for the solo modes just to where I want them. It's even more infuriating that 2K could easily make this tweaking native for all platforms with a couple lines of code, as I do believe was the case in the past, but they've made it very clear that they don't give a shit and are clamping down on user customization.

PC gaming is not dead and it will only grow, consoles will remain huge for another new set of consoles in 2020 that can literally control your life. Once 10k gbps is standard we will probably just stream the games and the consoles will probably hold petabytes of data we will be fine for these newer pc/consoles to arrive.

By then there will be over 10 trillion cat videos, I'll see you there.

Half Life 3 comes out in 2017 with supposed new content every 6 months meaning actually 1.5+ years.

RandV80:
Being a little bit older than Yahtzee he kind of touches on why I've always been a bit at odds with the Xbox. I grew up on consoles, enjoying the childish arcade-y fun games and JRPG's. Note that these games were generally made by Japanese developers. Then when I graduated high school, I got my very own PC which opened up a new branch of gaming with the more mature & complex games found on the PC, typically made by Western developers. Just because I picked up PC gaming didn't mean I abandoned console gaming though, I still played both and had a nice balance in the early 90's/early 2000's. Personally that was my ideal gaming ecosystem, which I was quite happy with.

Then Microsoft had to come along, not being content with being the dominant platform on PC made the Xbox for the living room. Western PC developers started becoming console developers, lowering the maturity and complexity of the games to compensate for the more casual living room environment, and Japanese developers started getting their asses kicked and their style of gaming started to decline, and sort of hybrid system emerged

I can't say with 100% certainty if this was for the best, after all the gaming industry saw it's greatest growth with Xbox/Playstation being the dominant platforms, but for me personally a massive chunk of the industry while extremely successful just became dead weight. Still though I know my niche and can still find my places, and the PC/Wii combo did me good last gen. Would have been nice to have more than two good JRPG's (Xenoblade, Last Story) on my console though...

Last Remnant, Blue Dragon, and Xbox releases never made it to PC?

Strelok:

Toadfish1:
~Sniped for clear signs of Stockholm syndrome~

So you are saying that making you pay for the privilege of playing online is ok cause they gave you "free" games, is that what I am to believe? You know that you cannot keep these games correct? If you don't keep paying them, the play online fee the games cannot be installed. It's a free rental not free games.

The version recently introduced for the Xbox 360, at least so far as I know, allows users to download the "free" games and play at their leisure even if they then choose to cancel their Gold subscription. Honestly it's the only thing that spurred me to renew my subscription this month when it rolled around again; I don't play online much, but I do appreciate being handed a game I've likely never played to have a crack at. So far the good times have been rolling; the Might & Magic puzzler was fun, Halo 3 inspired me and a friend to co-op it, Iron Brigade is awesome and Gears of War...well, Iron Brigade is awesome!

Gold also offers some pretty nice deals, seemingly at random. I picked up Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings for a fiver the other week in a one-day sale, and it's a blast. I played the first on PC, but the whole time I remember thinking "if I could get my Xbox controller to work, I imagine this could be pretty fun".

All that aside, the major reason I have for preferring my console to my PC is that I work in an office. I sit in the same position all day long, fucking about with a mouse and keyboard. When I get home I just want to lie in bed or on the sofa and play a game without having to fuck about removing the wires from my monitor and plugging them into the TV and shifting my speakers around. My Steam library is pretty big, and I have no overt fanboy tendencies towards defending my console, I've just usually had enough of sitting at a PC by the time I go home.

Darmani:
Still though I know my niche and can still find my places, and the PC/Wii combo did me good last gen. Would have been nice to have more than two good JRPG's (Xenoblade, Last Story) on my console though...

Last Remnant, Blue Dragon, and Xbox releases never made it to PC?[/quote]

Lost Odyssey was fun too, and FFXIII was fun to play even if the characters made me want to gouge my own brain out with a fork.

Madman123456:
About the Alienware thingy, my main argument against it is the price.

Alienware boosts the price by something like $500 just for the name. I strongly recommend cyberpowerpc.com for gaming PCs at the moment (got a laptop for my wife from them and got amazing service). Just be sure to look at every section of the PC because they often have free upgrades and freebies that require nothing more than you checking the right box.

I'm going to have to edit my original post in this thread due to so many responses like the one below. This is the fifth or sixth response to my original post with almost no followups to my responses. I think I'll update my original post to reflect more detail in areas people seem to miss.

Vigormortis:
Except they're not. They are often, in the long run, more expensive than gaming on PC.

I can tell you from personal experience that, though I game primarily on PC, I've spent far more on my 360 over the course of its life-cycle than I have on my PC in the same time frame.

With the increased costs of games, online services, inflated DLCs, controllers, etc, the cost just skyrockets.

Right now, to build a machine that is more powerful than a ps4 or XBO you'd need to drop well over $1,000 and that machine won't last you for 10 years like a console is supposed to. Those $400 machine builds we see are machines that just beat the ps3/360 generation but can't touch the ps4/XBO one at all. If you even follow the links in most of those videos, the hardware is either closer to $500 or components are no longer for sale. They also exclude everything from keyboard/mouse/monitor/speakers/headset/optical drives (DVD, Bluray, etc) to OS. The console comes with everything and a controller. It uses a TV which most households already have that also solves the speaker problem (though it also has a headset). It even has a bluray player which adds a lot to a pc cost.

Even with the 10 years and paying the online subscription the entire time, the ps4 wouldn't breach into 4 digit territory ($900). As for additional controllers, that's to perform a local multiplayer function that most PCs can't serve even if you got additional controllers for them. AND, even if you could perform multiplayer on your pc, you'd have to buy more controllers for that on the few pc anyways. As is, it usually requires entire other machines for a good LAN where the pc is conscerned whereas consoles make it easy.

The games are currently the biggest thing. But the preowned market still makes that a lot lower and new PC games don't cost much cheaper (if any cheaper) from the gate. I love my steam account and have purchased a lot of games that I never would have bought simply because of the price tag. However, for newer games, they don't always outpace preowned sections. I get a buy one get one free deal for any preowned games at my locally owned gamestore and have gotten incredible deals from that which exceeded even Steam's stuff. So yeah, you can get killer deals on old games on the pc. But new and newish are about the same. Old games are where physical copies usually fail and that's only if a steam sale is around. Physical stores have sales too though.

Let's take a look at old games for example. This is honestly the first game I looked at with no foreknowledge. Bioshock 1. On Amazon it is less than $10 after shipping ($5 before shipping). New, it is $15 plus shipping, usually comes in at around $19 after shipping. Free with Prime. On steam however, it is currently $20 even. That's for a digital download of a game from 2007. Did I buy it in a steam sale? Yeah. But that's not to say I didn't also get it on console when it was newer.

So, console games are not that different. We all think back to the extreme steam sales as a price reference but even Amazon has a sale on these games during the steam sale and we're only talking twice a year.

This is no longer true either. Not entirely. Or, in the very least, no more the case than it is for most PCs.

Admittedly, you will occasionally have issue with a game "bugging out".

Well, that largely depends on what your answer to question 1 was. If you bought the components of a pc to build a cheap and powerful machine, then it is decidedly not plug and play. If you paid for someone else to build the machine and load the drivers/OS/etc then you're looking at a much higher price tag and most likely not everything you wanted had you been able to build it from scratch.

Like I said about my Skyrim experience, my video card's driver screwed up the game. So even with a $1,500 console build there are other forces that can break the plug and play experience. I only knew how to roll it back because I work in the high-end computer tech industry where I explain to giant companies why their servers aren't working when their room of six full-time IT staffers can't figure it out. So my immediate thought was what changes I had made recently and I set about undoing them starting with that driver rollback which worked. What does the average Joe do when an installed driver breaks a game for them? Do they even necessarily know that it's a compatibility issue? Not necessarily.

This will continue to happen because PCs have so many moving parts. Developers can't possibly account for every piece of hardware a pc can have in it nor every possible combination of them or driver version they may have. All they can do is slap a minimum requirement range on the box and hope for the best. Consoles = 1 set of hardware. Completely known and already inside millions of homes. That's the benefit of standard hardware. It is plug and play. You plug it in, it turns on. You don't trouble shoot the hardware or anything like that. An update applies and you're good to go. Can you explain for me why this is not plug and play?

A game "bugging out" on the pc may never be fixed. A game "bugging out" on the console will embarrass the developers into working on fixing it without rest.

Support that will abruptly end at or near the end of a console generation, with (ironically) the only continued support coming through emulation on PC.

The one, big exception to this was the PS2.

What I mean is this, companies will continue to design games for your console for the entirety of its lifespan. Eventually, that will end as all things end. Your PC configuration will be outdated rapidly. I found a budget high-end pc from 2005. 2GB of RAM, decent video card/CPU, etc. When Skyrim came out 6 years later, that machine barely met the minimum requirements and I don't know if the video card would have worked even then. Why do I mention this? That machine was considered a fantastic deal in 2005 at $1,500. Companies aren't designing games to work with that pc.

So yeah, in a full console generation you'll likely have to buy two PCs if the first one is purchased at the same time you would have bought a new console.

This is no longer true either. There are plenty of games on PC that function perfectly as living-room party games.

Just the other weekend I had some friends by for an impromptu get-together. Much fun was had with games like Worms, Left 4 Dead, etc, all played locally, some split-screen, and all on the same machine.

Also: I'm not sure how you can say "PCs still lag behind in multiple controllers". PCs have had the capability to detect and receive input from multiple control devices for years. I routinely have several controllers plugged into mine.

Most games do not support local multiplayer from the same machine. Setting them up for split screen on a TV can often require a level of expertise that the average Joe doesn't have. Heck, a lot of people still aren't aware that the HDMI out from a modern pc can even be plugged into a TV for some reason.

Do you feel like PC games are designed with local one-machine gameplay at the same frequency of console gaming? Do you feel like it's particularly easy to do? From what I recall of Left 4 Dead 2, you had to enable the dev console and specifically type in the map and then plug a 360 controller in during the load screen until it showed up as #2.

Left 4 dead requires people to edit the cfg file amongst other things and that's a valve game which should be the
easiest types of games to perform multiplayer on. What about most other games?

http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1029890
http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=745113

I mean, if you really think this is what people should have to do and that this is somehow equivalent to consoles then... I'm just going to have to disagree. Look, I'm coming at this from the average user's perspective. I understand that I can personally do this thing. I have done this several times. But what good is that to the average gamer who may have no background in pc tech? My friends act like I'm performing magic.

Yet another thing that isn't true anymore.

With persistent firmware updates on consoles, optimizing a game isn't as easy or consistent as it once was.

It is ENTIRELY true. Because the hardware of a console is standardized, development studios can test and push the performance of the console in ways it can never hope to push PCs that have unknown configurations. This is why Skyrim is playable on consoles with 512Mb RAM (one even split into two 256Mbs) with 6-7 year old GPU/CPU combos and yet has a minimum requirement of 2Gb RAM, Intel Dual Core 2.0GHz (not even available readily until 2007), and Direct X 9.0c compliant video card with 512 MB of RAM (which would have been bad ass in 2005 when the 360 was released). That's minimum.

It only works because console's hardware is standard. So the developer can custom fit games on it like a glove.

This is a fallacy that, sadly, a lot of publishers still believe. (or at least claim to believe) Piracy is every bit as strong a factor in "lost sales" on consoles as it is on PCs. A quick Google search can yield a wealth of "how-tos" on modding a console and pirating console games.

Piracy on consoles does happen. Yes. However, it requires a significant degree of expertise in a way that piracy on a pc simply doesn't. Piracy on a pc is just clicking your left mouse button on the right link. On consoles, it requires anything from additional hardware to custom software that will likely get you banned from the PSN altogether. If you are a pirate, then PCs are FAR simpler territory. Why even bother with a console if that's what you're going to do? I have no claims that pirates don't have a cheaper run at games anymore than I'd claim a thief doesn't get merchandice cheaper than someone who pays. That would be axiomatically untrue unless the former gets caught.

Actually, quite a number of developers dislike how closed consoles are. Or rather, how closed they've become.

These are generally indie developers. I don't think the 2005/2006 consoles foresaw how important the smaller dev community would become to gaming by now. From what I understand, the ps4 has really opened the gates there.

In one regard this is good for the consumer as it (should) guarantee quality, but it's still something that many devs have grown tired of dealing with.

None of this really detracts from my point. With tens of millions of consoles sitting in homes around the world, games are still going to get made for them. That was my point. Games specifically being designed to fit in your hardware for a decade is no small benefit when the same certainly can't be said for PCs.

Time will tell whether consoles, given the direction they're heading and the direction PCs are heading, will remain as relevant as they once were.

As with all products and services, they will have to adapt. I think a more correct thing to say would be that consoles as they have existed cannot continue to do so. But that's true of nearly any product. We seem to agree here though.

@Raiyan 1.0, that video you imbedded is no longer available due to a copyright claim. I'm not sure whether I should laugh or cry.

Darmani:

RandV80:

I can't say with 100% certainty if this was for the best, after all the gaming industry saw it's greatest growth with Xbox/Playstation being the dominant platforms, but for me personally a massive chunk of the industry while extremely successful just became dead weight. Still though I know my niche and can still find my places, and the PC/Wii combo did me good last gen. Would have been nice to have more than two good JRPG's (Xenoblade, Last Story) on my console though...

Last Remnant, Blue Dragon, and Xbox releases never made it to PC?

I think Last Remnant is the only one, and it's pretty much the least of the bunch. I'd have some interest in Blue Dragon if it came to Steam, though Lost Odyssey is the one I'd really like to see on PC. Honestly the concept of an 'exclusive' JRPG for the Xbox is kind of silly, they all came pretty early on in the 360's life cycle so I'm guessing the intent was to try and make some inroads in the Japanese market. When that didn't happen they stopped making them, would have been nice if they dropped the exclusivity for the ones they made though.

Lightknight:
Snipped for brevity's sake.

Ooph. A lot of points to address.

If I may be blunt, I don't really have the time to sit here and type out my responses to every single one. And, responding to only a select few seems unfair to you and the discussion.[1]

As such, I'll just say this: I think you and I, in the very least, agree on a few things. Most notably, I think we agree that the coming years are going to be critical for the future of the industry and that our definition of "console" may need a bit of tweaking; now and in the not-to-distant future.

[1] Perhaps we can pick it up again at some point.

Clovus:

Most importantly, more power does not just equal MOAR GRAPHICS. It can affect actual gameplay in terms of physics, AI, number of actors, etc. You're right that we're not going to see AAA games utilizing that extra power on PC if they can't get it to work on the consoles. That's why I was so disappointed that the consoles were a bit underpowered this generation - gaming as a whole will be held back for another generation.

Either way, it's great we're getting the 10x power increase. Better gaming for everyone!

I seriously doubt they will ever use it to expand mechanics much or AI. Historically, AI has been a highly neglected investment of effort, because it's quite difficult to make AI that thinks beyond the short term or as rudimentary responses.

Worse, demand for AI has only been on the decline the rise of multiplayer. Human opponents provide a better challenge than bots and require no programming effort, meaning most AI development has been just sitting on the backburner for years.
(usually it's just reserved for scripted boss fights or short term fodder, depending on genre)

So, far more likely, AAA is going to continue upping the definition of textures, or increasing the Degree of whatever Taylor Series they're using in the physics engine because that's comparatively easy to get results in. Results that have demonstrated worse and worse diminishing returns, but you know...results.

Neither of which results in better gameplay mind, but if recent history is any indicator, AAA doesn't give a fuck about pushing the mechanical boundaries of gameplay; just regurgitating it.

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 5 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here