The Trials and Perils of Returning to PC

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lol, alienware

>not building your PC out of bailing wire and the tears of chinese children.

"What are we having for Christmas this year, glorious chairman?"

"Shredded newspaper, epoxy and crunchy bits of integrated circuitry! We call them "Glorio's"!"

"Yay! Taste the revolution!"

Hey Yahtzee! When are you going to Dwarf Fortress?

Lightknight:

EXos:
-Snip-

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 Second is the the hardware really isn't that good and is already outdated (weak video card, poor HDD that isn't optimized for gaming, old CPU, only 4GB of RAM).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.

The better specs all the way was trolling I admit. (Sorry about the long wait busy week). True the keyboard, mouse headset. But I can say the same about the consoles you need a TV and the Xbox Live or PSN subscription. Both cost around $50 lets just give a modest 5 year run. That's $250 of hidden console costs that you will not have on a PC.
As the OS it was in the Link. Please recheck.
(And if I'm being a prick then if I add the price of 10 AAA titles in comparison that adds another $175-200 in favour of the PC.)
In the end Yes a PC is more expensive to get started but with in the end you'll be cheaper off.

Also people keep throwing the optimization around like it's a magic bullet. With this generation already weak from the start it will not keep up. Also I can't find anyone comparing screen-shots from the PS3 launch to now. So it seems that last generation it wasn't that impressive/important.
So perhaps in a few years the PS4 might actually hit 1080p. That'll put it on par with a $700-800 PC now.

And just to throw in some $400 builds:
http://www.extremetech.com/gaming/171158-can-you-build-a-gaming-pc-better-than-the-ps4-for-400
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_uVzEYV5bg "Budget $400 Gaming PC Build Vs. PS4 for November / December 2013"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=naO0daBZeRo "U$400 PC beats PS4"

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.

Consoles do have issues with drivers as I clearly remember the PS3 update that bricked systems until the patched it.
Granted PC's are more likely, but in the past years I have never heard people having an issue unless they downloaded a Beta driver.
As for the streamlining that is mostly the work of Windows, not the hardware.

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

You know I can kick this around to high heavens about backward compatibility right? So lets just leave it here.

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.

I don't quite understand what angle you're approaching this from so please expand on this.
As for plug and play of mods... Steam Workshop? Nexus Mod Manager? Wow mod installation? (IE drag into addon folder)

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.

Ha! Yeah okay points for you I didn't think that one through to the end. But in return this has also diminished on consoles.
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/7.404314-Research-Finds-Fewer-Console-Games-Are-Including-Multiplayer
The only real local multiplayer platforms are the Wii and WiiU.

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.

Yup that was last gen, when the hardware was actually much beter than PC's at the time.
64-bit has been pretty standard for at least 5 years (My dad's pre build Medion from 2008 has a 64bit OS and CPU as does my 2009 laptop.
I just checked and yes the average PC does have 4gb of ram. 4GB of ram and a 500GB ssd or 8gb ram and 1TB HDD. I would link the site but it's in dutch. But I'll link if you want it.

Point is; those PC's aren't for gaming they are just build to do small things fast and provide a lot of storage space.

And I've been looking around and it seems the PS4 HDD wich is just a Laptop HDD. In a PC I can get a 2Tb for about double the price in 3,5 format.

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.

Numbers: http://www.gamespot.com/forums/system-wars-314159282/how-much-profit-do-mssony-make-on-each-game-sold-25614208/

Well they are terrified of Piracy. Rockstar in particular. There are a lot of stories about how Sony and MS are paying developers to keep the titles exclusive but I think that's a lot of tin foiled hats speaking.
Though speaking about rockstar I have the sneaking suspision that before they announce a PC release they will announce a PS4 and Xbone release and increase the sales even more before doing the PC release.

But I will leave you with this though:
www.ign.com/articles/2013/09/04/why-pc-gaming-has-exploded

@EXos - The steam hardware survey has useful info as well.

http://store.steampowered.com/hwsurvey

I was previously a PC/PS3 gamer for the last few years until Yahtzee convinced me to sort of just go full PC. The thing I realised that he talked about is that the consoles will quickly become obsolete and I won't be able to play on them anymore after a certain time. Oh sure, I'll still have all my PS3 games there on the shelf but once it's days have passed it will end up gathering dust and the games I have on it will become less and less appealing to dig out, especially as the graphics start looking more dated. I'll still have my PC though for the foreseeable future and the games will always just be waiting there in the Steam/Origin library if I ever feel so inclined. I've even started re-buying my PS3 games in Steam sales just so I can hang onto them for longer.

The console exclusives are the only problem here so I guess I'll just have to hang on to them the old fashioned way.

My pc is 16Gb of RAM with an Radeon R7850 (considering crossfire) and a new i7. So please don't think I'm trash talking pcs. I love and personally prefer my pc.

EXos:
But I can say the same about the consoles you need a TV and the Xbox Live or PSN subscription. Both cost around $50 lets just give a modest 5 year run. That's $250 of hidden console costs that you will not have on a PC.

The TV is generally a staple in most American households and generally shouldn't be considered part of the cost of the console. I can't even find non-HD TVs in retail locations anymore. As for the live subscription, remember that Sony at least gives back quite a value for what they charge. I have downloaded and played games I would have purchased anyways for more than the $50 price tag for the year. We just flew to Seattle for Thanksgiving break and my wife had a number of free Vita games to choose from. I've also enjoyed Uncharted 3, Shadow of the Colossus (a friend borrowed my copy without returning it so I'd have to buy it again) and XCOM. I see Borderlands 2 just came out as well. I also enjoyed Poker Night 2.

As the OS it was in the Link. Please recheck.

You mean the EBAY prices? You could also hypothetically find a free ps4 on Craig's list for a 1 hour "backrub" if "ur a hott chick".

(And if I'm being a prick then if I add the price of 10 AAA titles in comparison that adds another $175-200 in favour of the PC.)

If you buy the games on PC, then you're already looking at a price for those games too. New games are usually the same price on any system, including the PC. You may find a 10% discount on a preorder for new games but it's still going to be over $50. As I've stated a few times, I get pretty good deals on preowned games. From the marked down price to buy one get one free. I have almost no problem finding comparable deals because of that and it happens no less regularly than the twice annual steam sales. Right now, as I stated elsewhere, you can buy copies of old games like Bioshock 1 for cheaper at retail or even physical copies on Amazon than you can buy from Steam where it's not currently discounted. So this isn't the given you say it is. Not unless someone is pirating games, which we aren't including in the discussion.

Also people keep throwing the optimization around like it's a magic bullet. With this generation already weak from the start it will not keep up.

Optimization is huge. Generations are ALWAYS weak from the start. Look at games on the ps3 from day one and then compare them to games from this year like the Last of Us and such. The optimizations happen as developers get more and more familiar with the consoles and learn how to push the components further.

Here, this is Resistance 1: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Resistance_gameplay.jpg
Compare to Resistance 3: http://geekrevolt.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Resistance-3-4.jpg

Just pulled up the first gameplay images I found. Bioshock 1 and Bioshock Infinite can be used. Oblivion and Skyrim can be used. Uncharted 1 and Uncharted 3 can be used. In all of these examples, we see drastic improvements in console games.

Heck, Oblivion's minimum pc requirements were just barely met by last generation's consoles despite having come out at the start of the generation. Skyrim's requirements are something like four times what should work on the ps3 (2GB of RAM and newer CPU/GPUs).

If you rule out optimisation like it's nothing you will be greatly surprised again in 4-5 years just like people were this generation when they build a 512Mb machine for $400 thinking that it was equivalent to the ps3/360 when they can't even play modern games on it now.

Here's a Kotaku article on the 12 ps3 launch titles. It's certainly a step up from the ps2, but the end of the generation is a tremendous step.

Also I can't find anyone comparing screen-shots from the PS3 launch to now. So it seems that last generation it wasn't that impressive/important.
So perhaps in a few years the PS4 might actually hit 1080p. That'll put it on par with a $700-800 PC now.

The ps4 hits 1080p 60 fps now (e.g. Assassin's Creed 4 1080p). In general, the XBO should be capable of it too. In games where it isn't, 900p upscaled to 1080p should look almost identical on a TV from several feet away.

You've got to remember that it'll take a bit of time for developers to catch up to the next wave of consoles. Every generation takes a bit.

And just to throw in some $400 builds:
http://www.extremetech.com/gaming/171158-can-you-build-a-gaming-pc-better-than-the-ps4-for-400
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_uVzEYV5bg "Budget $400 Gaming PC Build Vs. PS4 for November / December 2013"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=naO0daBZeRo "U$400 PC beats PS4"

Great, you just posted evidence that these links do exactly what I said.

From the first link: The CPU link actually goes to a USB WIFI Receiver Dongle Adapter that it links to again for $11. Yay. The CPU is also a dual core processor which is currently part of the minimum specs for current gen games.

The GPU is out of stock.

The RAM is DDR3, not GDDR5 like the PS4's. The article points that out.

The HDD is horribly slow, especially for gaming.

The power supply is only 275W and the case dimensions may cause a problem for the size of the GPU.

It also mentioned having not included anything else like OS and states that the PS4 would likely have an advantage because of the console being custom designed for (aka, optimizations). It has no opitcal drive while the PS4 has a bluray player and no keyboard/mouse or monitor. This is not the same machine. This is a noticeably weaker machine in every single area.

Second link: $80 CPU
Another GPU that isn't available any longer.
4Gb of RAM... I think I'll stop here. He stops providing links for the other items and the HDD is a non-gaming HDD again.

Third link: Doesn't include links. Just says sentences like "Cheap HDD" and mentions a GPU that is no longer on the market. I can't believe people aren't paying attention to the specifics. They just watch the video and read the title and think everything else just magically falls into place. The guy even uses EBAY prices.

But I digress. Console optimization of hardware has been SIGNIFICANT at pushing the console well past PCs with comparable specs. This past generation saw games whose pc ports required four times the specs to play the same game on the minimum specs. That disparity in how far the hardware goes is purely out of developers being able to optimise how the game utilizes each piece of the console. It can only be done for the console because all hardware specs are known. That can't be done for pc, even if steam boxes existed. Optimizations could be done for specific steam boxes but not pcs as a whole. I don't expect optimizations to be so huge this generation. But even a few times or even 50% would be a significant jump when we're talking about specs as advanced as we have on the market today (when you get to larger numbers, doubling makes a much bigger difference). So, dismissing the power of optimization is falling squarely into forgetting history and being doomed to repeat it camp.

Consoles do have issues with drivers as I clearly remember the PS3 update that bricked systems until the patched it.
Granted PC's are more likely, but in the past years I have never heard people having an issue unless they downloaded a Beta driver.

Sure, but when that happens, we're talking about immediate resources poured into fixing it nonstop. You may never get a driver resolution and sometimes some games might require a driver version that other games won't work on.

As for the streamlining that is mostly the work of Windows, not the hardware.

Not sure what you mean here.

You know I can kick this around to high heavens about backward compatibility right? So lets just leave it here.

No, let's not. First off, this isn't a complaint about all consoles. Some offer significant backwards compatibility. My ps3 played PS2 games for example. Likewise, there actually are a lot of games that aren't playable by modern PCs. They are only now just coming back in a modified form that are capable of running. If not, emulators are the only way to play some games.

That being said, the current switch to x86 takes away any excuse console manufacturers can have going forward regarding backwards compatibility. It's a silver bullet. The ps3's proprietary hardware made backwards compatibility nearly impossible. The 360's only excuse was that it wasn't x86 and I'm still not convinced that the XBO couldn't play 360 games with minor tweaks (I'll leave that up to the modding community to decide). Going forward though, it looks like all games will be playable except where special peripherals are required.

I don't quite understand what angle you're approaching this from so please expand on this.
As for plug and play of mods... Steam Workshop? Nexus Mod Manager? Wow mod installation? (IE drag into addon folder)

I deal with pc users all day. Many of them are IT from firms who should absolutely know better. The use of applications like that are a learning curve for most people. It's easy for people with PC gamer friends and tech buddies to forget that it's the average gamer that matters, not the savy ones.

However, I'll admit that the Steam Workshop is incredibly simple. I've never found anything as easy to ad mods to as Skyrim was, for example. But keep in mind, Steam curates mods. So you are limited in what you can see and do. Nexus and Wow mod stuff works, but it's more than just click and install. Again, I point to my statement that this is far better than no mods at all. But mods can easily break games and sometimes the pc themselves depending. I'm merely pointing to the impact on the plug and playability of the PC. Personally, I want to see mods open up for consoles. At least something like Steam's Workshop which is heavily curated but available.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/7.404314-Research-Finds-Fewer-Console-Games-Are-Including-Multiplayer
The only real local multiplayer platforms are the Wii and WiiU.

To answer this you need to know a bit of history. For awhile there, if your game didn't have multiplayer, then it wasn't AAA. People were throwing multiplayer into games that it didn't make sense for. They still are. The problem is that this throws away a significant amount of money into something few or no people may use. You should read that article yourself and the people responding to it. This is a positive change that means more money is spent on the game itself.

But fewer titles altogether doesn't mean it's going away or that the pc is somehow on par with that. Especially not the 1 machine, 1 screen, multiple controllers scenario that the console allows.

Yup that was last gen, when the hardware was actually much beter than PC's at the time.
64-bit has been pretty standard for at least 5 years (My dad's pre build Medion from 2008 has a 64bit OS and CPU as does my 2009 laptop.
I just checked and yes the average PC does have 4gb of ram. 4GB of ram and a 500GB ssd or 8gb ram and 1TB HDD. I would link the site but it's in dutch. But I'll link if you want it.

Why would I need you to link to it? It confirms my comment regarding the average PC. I know that the average machine is 4GB because that's what the average pc on most sites like Amazon are selling with. That means that it's the norm and will likely be so for a few years more.

Point is; those PC's aren't for gaming they are just build to do small things fast and provide a lot of storage space.

What do you need 4Gb+ RAM in today's tech world aside from gaming and video editing? Additionally, most video games if not all video games are still 32bit. So why are you assuming that the 4GB machines are somehow not gaming rigs? The recommended specs for Skyrim are 4GB. Anything more and it doesn't matter at the moment.

There really aren't a lot of "small things fast" that use 4GBs. I've got to question your statement that 500GB SSDs are in any way normal though. Did you mean HDD for that? SSDs are still selling for somewhere around $.50 to $.80 per GB. So that'd be $250 if you found an amazing discount that I can't find right now but likely well into the $300s. Considering the price of 1TB HDDs that are optimized for gaming is less than $100 easy, I'm finding it hard to believe that any kind of average pc owner is going for SSD unless they're gamers and want a little bit of extra juice. A miss-speak will be instantly forgiven. Maintaining the claim would require some citation, please.

And I've been looking around and it seems the PS4 HDD wich is just a Laptop HDD. In a PC I can get a 2Tb for about double the price in 3,5 format.

Two things: One, you can replace the HDD in the PS4. It actually is a pc in this regard. Two, it can't be any worse than the incredibly slow HDDs in the $400 builds with their ultra low cache and 5400 RPMs. However, I say that without knowing the specs and I'm not seeing the real specs mentioned anywhere. From what I've heard, the standard HDD is just unremarkable. Not bad.

Either way, the difference between HDD, SSD, and Hybrids are not worth replacing. However, if you were going to replace one regardless, you'd be best off going hybrid (benefits of the cost of HDD with the speed advantage of SSD. Not the best in either area but a good combination).

Numbers: http://www.gamespot.com/forums/system-wars-314159282/how-much-profit-do-mssony-make-on-each-game-sold-25614208/

That's a link to a message board. No more reputable than you or me.

Either way. What you posted doesn't really say anything to the discussion. We need to know four things. How much a publisher makes per PC game. How much they make per console game. AND how many games they sell per platform (counting this as two things to bring us to the four total things we need to know).

One thing to remember is those PC sales aren't necessarily full price. Also, a lot of the overall PC revenue for games over the past couple years have been steam popularity and a non-trivial amount of old games that people buy the moment they see them on sale.

Additionally, the amount of revenue for PCs may fluxuate with console sales. So, the % market share enjoyed by PCs at the end of a console generation may not match the % of market share enjoyed by consoles one or two years into their life cycle. Don't know the full picture to that.

Well they are terrified of Piracy. Rockstar in particular. There are a lot of stories about how Sony and MS are paying developers to keep the titles exclusive but I think that's a lot of tin foiled hats speaking.
Though speaking about rockstar I have the sneaking suspision that before they announce a PC release they will announce a PS4 and Xbone release and increase the sales even more before doing the PC release.

Yes. I'm sure. But even then we're coming to a new era where pc's start getting significantly delayed releases. Should be an interesting obstacle for hackers.

But I will leave you with this though:
www.ign.com/articles/2013/09/04/why-pc-gaming-has-exploded

Looks like an interesting article. I'll save it for tomorrow though. Hopefully from my pc specs you understand that I am personally a proponent of PCs. I'm just also a fan of consoles for other reasons. Thank you for your response. You're the first one to tackle them.

So true. Consoles threw their pros aside while gaining nothing really over their competitors. Are more like PCs now but without the advantages of PCs. Not a good trade.

Lightknight:
My pc is 16Gb of RAM with an Radeon R7850 (considering crossfire) and a new i7. So please don't think I'm trash talking pcs. I love and personally prefer my pc.

And mine is a 32GB Ram, Nvidea 680GTX (was thinking about a new one soon but it works fine for now) with an AMD 8150 overclocked to 4.1 GHz, and I love it too.

The TV is generally a staple in most American households and generally shouldn't be considered part of the cost of the console. I can't even find non-HD TVs in retail locations anymore.

TV point is moot at best as I didn't include the price in the equation. And as a I can counter your argument as most homes still have a PC from before the point where tablets were popular. Or perhaps a laptop but one of the first things people buy with a laptop are a headset and a mouse and if it was a desktop a mouse, keyboard and speakers/headset.

As for the live subscription, remember that Sony at least gives back quite a value for what they charge. I have downloaded and played games I would have purchased anyways for more than the $50 price tag for the year. We just flew to Seattle for Thanksgiving break and my wife had a number of free Vita games to choose from. I've also enjoyed Uncharted 3, Shadow of the Colossus (a friend borrowed my copy without returning it so I'd have to buy it again) and XCOM. I see Borderlands 2 just came out as well. I also enjoyed Poker Night 2.

So you're renting games and when the service stops/ changes at the end of the gen you'll lose them again. I just looked at the free games. 20 titles half being indie games and at least 2 remakes (Backwards Compat.).
So you're still paying $250 for games that would cost you less in total. (I should have left the Vita games out because they are for a handheld but okay.) Also do you get any DLC with the Borderlands 2?

You mean the EBAY prices? You could also hypothetically find a free ps4 on Craig's list for a 1 hour "backrub" if "ur a hott chick".

No the link I posted in my first post in this thread was meant to run Linux with Wine. So that's free.

If you buy the games on PC, then you're already looking at a price for those games too. New games are usually the same price on any system, including the PC.

Well her in Europe the rule is usually that PC games are around €45-50 and Console games are €55-70.
Example Assassin's Creed IV is 50 without discount for PC and 70 for PS4. (No Xbone here yet) Though the PS3 and Xbox 360 are the same as the PC... (Source in dutch:Link)

I have almost no problem finding comparable deals because of that and it happens no less regularly than the twice annual steam sales. Right now, as I stated elsewhere, you can buy copies of old games like Bioshock 1 for cheaper at retail or even physical copies on Amazon than you can buy from Steam where it's not currently discounted. So this isn't the given you say it is. Not unless someone is pirating games, which we aren't including in the discussion.

Twice Annual? Most likely there will be four this year 1. The Spring Indie Sale (That was in march) 2. Summer Sale 3. Spring/Autumn Sale and a holiday/winter sale (Though they could be skipping it this year and put in somewhere in January.
And there are always a large amount of games on sale.
Though I will grant you Steam is not for immediate buying. Usually you can get it cheaper in retail, but if there is no hurry you can wait for it to come up on a daily/weekly/weekend steam sale.

And of course we won't mention pirating games as a positive point.

Optimization is huge. Generations are ALWAYS weak from the start. Look at games on the ps3 from day one and then compare them to games from this year like the Last of Us and such. The optimizations happen as developers get more and more familiar with the consoles and learn how to push the components further.

Here, this is Resistance 1: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Resistance_gameplay.jpg
Compare to Resistance 3: http://geekrevolt.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Resistance-3-4.jpg

I don't know. When I compare:
http://www.thebuzzmedia.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/10/resistance-fall-of-man-screenshots-20061020022436476.jpg
http://s.pro-gmedia.com/videogamer/media/images/ps3/resistance_3/screens/resistance_3_24.jpg

All I see are a couple of filter changes. But can you find a proper Res 3 screenshot? (something with a HUD and a Gun so it's less likely that it's prettied up please) Because all I can find are blurry "action shots"
I just googled for Last of Us screenshots and most are staged and clearly photoshopped (You can see it in the contrast).
I did find this one: http://www.3dtested.com/media/the-last-of-us/screenshot-2-markup.jpg
And when I compare it to the Resistance screenshot (the Fall of Man one) I don't really see anything that would mark as an amazing improvement. Perhaps in FPS..

Just pulled up the first gameplay images I found. Bioshock 1 and Bioshock Infinite can be used. Oblivion and Skyrim can be used. Uncharted 1 and Uncharted 3 can be used. In all of these examples, we see drastic improvements in console games.

Bioshock was made by Boston 2k Studios at the time a new studio that needed to make money before they could spend money on making it pretty.

About the uncharted:
http://img.gamespot.com/gamespot/images/2007/322/reviews/932984_20071119_screen001.jpg
http://www.playdevil.net/uploader/files/1/Screenshots/PlayStation3/Uncharted_2_Among_Thieves/uncharted_2_among_thieves_1.jpg
http://i1-games.softpedia-static.com/screenshots/Uncharted-3-Drakes-Deception-Chateau-Gameplay-Trailer_3.jpg

When I look at these again I don't see an amazing improvement.

Heck, Oblivion's minimum pc requirements were just barely met by last generation's consoles despite having come out at the start of the generation. Skyrim's requirements are something like four times what should work on the ps3 (2GB of RAM and newer CPU/GPUs).

Back then the Consoles actually beat the PC hands down so that's no surprise.
About the Requirements the only thing that went up four times is the RAM but that is more because Vista and Win 7 need 4Gb to run smoothly and it has to take that in account.

If you rule out optimisation like it's nothing you will be greatly surprised again in 4-5 years just like people were this generation when they build a 512Mb machine for $400 thinking that it was equivalent to the ps3/360 when they can't even play modern games on it now.

Except now the $400 can keep close to the consoles and with DDR4 and GDDR6 coming out next year prices will drop and in 4-5 years $300 will buy you a machine that are a heck of a lot more powerful.

Here's a Kotaku article on the 12 ps3 launch titles. It's certainly a step up from the ps2, but the end of the generation is a tremendous step.

Non of those titles are know for being graphical master pieces. The only one you would expect it from would be the CoD but that's a brush up from the PS2 version.

The ps4 hits 1080p 60 fps now (e.g. Assassin's Creed 4 1080p). In general, the XBO should be capable of it too. In games where it isn't, 900p upscaled to 1080p should look almost identical on a TV from several feet away.

That is the same argument that Xbone fans say about 720p. But in the end it's not 1080; the thing PS4 fans have been Hyping all the BLOODY time.

You've got to remember that it'll take a bit of time for developers to catch up to the next wave of consoles. Every generation takes a bit.

Yeah but with other generations they were better/on-par with High end PC's this generation is not. Perhaps the PS4 can wring something more out of it's GDDR5 memory but I doubt it.

Great, you just posted evidence that these links do exactly what I said.

I aim to please. :P

From the first link: The CPU link actually goes to a USB WIFI Receiver Dongle Adapter that it links to again for $11. Yay. The CPU is also a dual core processor which is currently part of the minimum specs for current gen games.

I'll link a couple more that use quad cores if you'd like:
http://elitegamingcomputers.com/the-best-gaming-computers-under-400/

The GPU is out of stock.

Then get a different one around the same price... I thought you knew how PC parts work... There are always similar cards from different manufacturers.

The RAM is DDR3, not GDDR5 like the PS4's. The article points that out.

In a PC The DDR3 is for the CPU the GDDR5 is for the GPU. I honestly doubt the GDDR5 in the PS4 does a lot extra. if it did it should be 4 times as fast as the xbone and it's not. Perhaps they can do some optimizing with it.

The HDD is horribly slow, especially for gaming.

Sorry? In specs it's the same HDD as is in the PS4.
http://www.amazon.com/HGST-Travelstar-2-5-Inch-Internal-0J11561/dp/B00486TKXU/ref=sr_1_12?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1387256702&sr=1-12&keywords=hard+drive
This is the HDD in the PS4

The power supply is only 275W and the case dimensions may cause a problem for the size of the GPU.

On-board GPU in this one... So... This argument goes out the window in a hurry...

It also mentioned having not included anything else like OS and states that the PS4 would likely have an advantage because of the console being custom designed for (aka, optimizations). It has no opitcal drive while the PS4 has a bluray player and no keyboard/mouse or monitor. This is not the same machine. This is a noticeably weaker machine in every single area.

Well the OS can be Steam OS since friday. :P
And as every home has a TV I bet that most will have a mouse, keyboard and speakers from and old desktop lying around.

... the HDD is a non-gaming HDD again.

I'm getting narky but this is a complete BS argument as the HDD in the PS4 is a Sata-300 8MB 500GB 2,5 inch Laptop HDD. And the WD blue you scoff is a Sata-600 64mb 1TB 3,5inch HDD, I'm sorry but how is the former better than the latter?

Third link:

...

But I digress. Console optimization of hardware has been SIGNIFICANT at pushing the console well past PCs with comparable specs. This past generation saw games whose pc ports required four times the specs to play the same game on the minimum specs.

Luckily those specs were a lot cheaper to reach especially at the end.

That disparity in how far the hardware goes is purely out of developers being able to optimise how the game utilizes each piece of the console. It can only be done for the console because all hardware specs are known. That can't be done for pc, even if steam boxes existed. Optimizations could be done for specific steam boxes but not pcs as a whole. I don't expect optimizations to be so huge this generation. But even a few times or even 50% would be a significant jump when we're talking about specs as advanced as we have on the market today (when you get to larger numbers, doubling makes a much bigger difference). So, dismissing the power of optimization is falling squarely into forgetting history and being doomed to repeat it camp.

In the previous generation used optimization to keep up with the high end system at the start to the mid/low systems at the end. But this gen is already starting down at the mid end systems.

Sure, but when that happens, we're talking about immediate resources poured into fixing it nonstop. You may never get a driver resolution and sometimes some games might require a driver version that other games won't work on.

And it's the same on the PC; Intel and AMD aren't picking their nose when complaints flood in. And I've never had games that didn't work on specific drivers... I only needed to update them once in a while but.

Not sure what you mean here.

The standardisation didn't come from the hardware manufacturers it came from windows being able to handle the different hardware. It started with XP and it's plug and play.

No, let's not. First off, this isn't a complaint about all consoles. Some offer significant backwards compatibility. My ps3 played PS2 games for example. Likewise, there actually are a lot of games that aren't playable by modern PCs. They are only now just coming back in a modified form that are capable of running. If not, emulators are the only way to play some games.

Yay! ^^
PS3 only had a brief period where it allowed it. See here
Any model bought after 2008 did not have any backwards compatibility. So what happens after those machines die?

Yup PC uses emulators to run old games... But here is the thing. Emulators are free. A ton of games are abandon-ware (AKA free). Setting up the Emulators is in most cases as easy starting the executable. All hail dosbox.
As for games that ran under windows you can run them just as easily or at least in my experiences.

That being said, the current switch to x86 takes away any excuse console manufacturers can have going forward regarding backwards compatibility. It's a silver bullet. The ps3's proprietary hardware made backwards compatibility nearly impossible. The 360's only excuse was that it wasn't x86 and I'm still not convinced that the XBO couldn't play 360 games with minor tweaks (I'll leave that up to the modding community to decide). Going forward though, it looks like all games will be playable except where special peripherals are required.

Lets see them do it first as the PS3 and Xbox360 have such excellent track records.

I deal with pc users all day. Many of them are IT from firms who should absolutely know better. The use of applications like that are a learning curve for most people. It's easy for people with PC gamer friends and tech buddies to forget that it's the average gamer that matters, not the savy ones.

Having spend a few hours playing with my skyrim mods I have to agree. But in most cases it's the die hard fans that mod. People that are willing to put some time into it.

However, I'll admit that the Steam Workshop is incredibly simple. I've never found anything as easy to ad mods to as Skyrim was, for example. But keep in mind, Steam curates mods. So you are limited in what you can see and do. Nexus and Wow mod stuff works, but it's more than just click and install. Again, I point to my statement that this is far better than no mods at all. But mods can easily break games and sometimes the pc themselves depending. I'm merely pointing to the impact on the plug and playability of the PC. Personally, I want to see mods open up for consoles. At least something like Steam's Workshop which is heavily curated but available.

Mods for consoles won't work unless they are so powerful that they can run the game with ease. Because mods do increase the strain on a system.

To answer this you need to know a bit of history. For awhile there, if your game didn't have multiplayer, then it wasn't AAA. People were throwing multiplayer into games that it didn't make sense for. They still are. The problem is that this throws away a significant amount of money into something few or no people may use. You should read that article yourself and the people responding to it. This is a positive change that means more money is spent on the game itself.

But fewer titles altogether doesn't mean it's going away or that the pc is somehow on par with that. Especially not the 1 machine, 1 screen, multiple controllers scenario that the console allows.

I couldn't care less about local (non-Lan) multiplayer. But it's slowly disappearing from the console games and thus losing a selling point that was on of it's biggest assets in the past.

What do you need 4Gb+ RAM in today's tech world aside from gaming and video editing? Additionally, most video games if not all video games are still 32bit. So why are you assuming that the 4GB machines are somehow not gaming rigs? The recommended specs for Skyrim are 4GB. Anything more and it doesn't matter at the moment.

Why do you need 4gb? That's actually the recommended spec for windows Vista and up. Plus the fact that ram is dirt cheap. for €30 you have a 4gb bar.

There really aren't a lot of "small things fast" that use 4GBs. I've got to question your statement that 500GB SSDs are in any way normal though. Did you mean HDD for that? SSDs are still selling for somewhere around $.50 to $.80 per GB. So that'd be $250 if you found an amazing discount that I can't find right now but likely well into the $300s. Considering the price of 1TB HDDs that are optimized for gaming is less than $100 easy, I'm finding it hard to believe that any kind of average pc owner is going for SSD unless they're gamers and want a little bit of extra juice. A miss-speak will be instantly forgiven. Maintaining the claim would require some citation, please.

http://www.paradigit.nl/product/zpr-07com/01-desktop/productdetails/80012115/paradigit-hybrid-i3-3220-w8/hybrid-i3-3220sshd-w8/default.aspx

A bit on the pricy side but this is definitly not a gaming machine.

And I've been looking around and it seems the PS4 HDD wich is just a Laptop HDD. In a PC I can get a 2Tb for about double the price in 3,5 format.

Two things: One, you can replace the HDD in the PS4. It actually is a pc in this regard. Two, it can't be any worse than the incredibly slow HDDs in the $400 builds with their ultra low cache and 5400 RPMs. However, I say that without knowing the specs and I'm not seeing the real specs mentioned anywhere. From what I've heard, the standard HDD is just unremarkable. Not bad.[/quote] It's the same HDD that goes into the budget builds. Exactly the same.

Either way, the difference between HDD, SSD, and Hybrids are not worth replacing. However, if you were going to replace one regardless, you'd be best off going hybrid (benefits of the cost of HDD with the speed advantage of SSD. Not the best in either area but a good combination).

Putting more money in the Console... that goes against what we've been discussing the beginning about prices. And any 3,5inch HDD can outdo and is cheaper than any HDD you can put in the PS4. (SSD's are the exception)

Either way. What you posted doesn't really say anything to the discussion. We need to know four things. How much a publisher makes per PC game. How much they make per console game. AND how many games they sell per platform (counting this as two things to bring us to the four total things we need to know).

From what I can tell every time the numbers 20% comes up.

One thing to remember is those PC sales aren't necessarily full price. Also, a lot of the overall PC revenue for games over the past couple years have been steam popularity and a non-trivial amount of old games that people buy the moment they see them on sale.

Problem is Steam and most companies don't publish their sales numbers which annoying.

Additionally, the amount of revenue for PCs may fluxuate with console sales. So, the % market share enjoyed by PCs at the end of a console generation may not match the % of market share enjoyed by consoles one or two years into their life cycle. Don't know the full picture to that.

True and time will tell.

Yes. I'm sure. But even then we're coming to a new era where pc's start getting significantly delayed releases. Should be an interesting obstacle for hackers.

Actually only rockstar does "significant delays" on releases. AC4 was 1 month for PC which isn't that bad considering the extra work they put into it graphics wise.

Looks like an interesting article. I'll save it for tomorrow though. Hopefully from my pc specs you understand that I am personally a proponent of PCs. I'm just also a fan of consoles for other reasons. Thank you for your response. You're the first one to tackle them.

And please keep them coming. I'm enjoying them more and more.

Oh god the post lengths in this thread D:

The reason i have hardly used for 360 for the past few years is that the quality of 'AAA' console software has been pretty poor, bland and samey this generation. I know people bang on about console exclusives but there is very few games i've really felt like I've honestly missed out on this generation; Red Dead redemption, Journey and The Last of us.

The other reason is that games are a ludicrous 45 each now. That is too expensive for a game. Look at your business models. I've only ever bought used for my 360 and even then that's become less sure as publishers and manufacturers have declared full scale war on fairly priced games and consumer rights.

And that's the other nugget this new generation; your rights as a gamer as lessened by owning a console. You are locking into whatever bullshit comes along. The PC means freedom.

EXos:
And mine is a 32GB Ram, Nvidea 680GTX (was thinking about a new one soon but it works fine for now) with an AMD 8150 overclocked to 4.1 GHz, and I love it too.

I originally had a Radeon 5870 but that was before I knew how important the GPU was and that I didn't really need to spend extra money on the CPU. My motherboard supports up to 32GB but I haven't come close to 8GB, let alone my 16GB. So I figure if I wait until it would benefit me then RAM will be even cheaper. I'll mention that my RAM is 1866Mhz rather than the standard 1600 but I don't know if that makes any kind of noticeable difference.

Hmm, I wouldn't have thought those two cards would be capable of crossfiring.

TV point is moot at best as I didn't include the price in the equation. And as a I can counter your argument as most homes still have a PC from before the point where tablets were popular. Or perhaps a laptop but one of the first things people buy with a laptop are a headset and a mouse and if it was a desktop a mouse, keyboard and speakers/headset.

Laptops also add hundreds of dollars to the price to get up to gaming territory. And if someone has a monitor already, that doesn't make it a $0 cost. It's the original cost accounted for in some arbitrary way (such as dividing the cost by two to account for the first pc and then this pc). However, that's a sunk cost so it really shouldn't be considered in the decision process for the same reason that a TV wouldn't be considered for a console. I do question your claim that everyone has a monitor. I had to buy one last time I built a machine. It also isn't too far back in time before the regular PC owners stop having HD monitors capable of 1080p.

So you're renting games and when the service stops/ changes at the end of the gen you'll lose them again. I just looked at the free games. 20 titles half being indie games and at least 2 remakes (Backwards Compat.).
So you're still paying $250 for games that would cost you less in total. (I should have left the Vita games out because they are for a handheld but okay.) Also do you get any DLC with the Borderlands 2?

That list is only of the ones that are currently available. As time progresses, the 12th one (oldest one) on the list disappears and a new one is added onto the list. It's twelve because there are twelve months in the year and games cycle out. So I actually have gotten many more games over the past few years that I can still download going forward even though they're no longer on the list for newcomers. So, in one year, you get at least 12 titles for $50, access to some decent discounts that can be 75% off and bonuses (free DLC and stuff occasionally pops up), significant demos that are time locked rather than gameplay locked (usually 1 hour), free online storage and that's about it. Depending on how this changes when the PS4 is in full swing we'll know if it continues to be worth it (and believe me, I will change my position otherwise). But for right now, it's entirely worth it. It looks like they've added two PS4 games for the first two months it has existed. So this next year could see two games (one ps3 and one ps4) in addition to Vita games.

Don't know about Borderlands 2 DLC, probably not, but I didn't even know it was available until I looked it up for our discussion. The Vita games are part of what the $50 gets you so it should be considered. Please understand, I generally only play a handful of games online. COD is really the only game I can think of that I actually buy for online playability. So I could pretty easily go without the multiplayer service. However, the service they offer for the $50 has outweighed the cost for me so I've been a PS+ member already in the ps3 generation. I will always own those games on my PSN account and it's not like I'm having trouble getting even an original NES today for cheap.

This also really depends on how Gaikai is used. If it requires a purchase of a game outside of the PSN purchases then yeah, the ps3 games are gone. However, the PS4 games should remain for future generations thanks to the x86 architecture. So I'm not sure this is really a problem. As for the games that are older, these are classics. That HD remake of Shadow of the Colossus is one I was personally waiting on. What's more is that that list is only the ones that are CURRENTLY available.

I will note that Microsoft's deal does appear to be a bad deal. They even have the 2 games thing slotted to end after this month.

No the link I posted in my first post in this thread was meant to run Linux with Wine. So that's free.

Linux is only now beginning to become supported by game developers. Even then it can be a beast to manage, especially in other areas. Linux is more of a pet project than a simple and "free" OS. The opportunity cost is comparable to the cost of the OS where time is concerned.

Well her in Europe the rule is usually that PC games are around €45-50 and Console games are €55-70.
Example Assassin's Creed IV is 50 without discount for PC and 70 for PS4. (No Xbone here yet) Though the PS3 and Xbox 360 are the same as the PC... (Source in dutch:Link)

Here it's usually $60 for a new game and the same for a digital copy for awhile before it's knocked down to 50. However, let's take Amazon for example:

http://www.amazon.com/Assassins-Creed-IV-Black-Flag-PC/dp/B00BMFIXZG/ref=lp_6427831011_1_1_title_6?s=videogames&ie=UTF8&qid=1387303844&sr=1-1

Assassin's Creed IV is available across all platforms. The only digital version is some crazy $80 game for some reason whereas the console games have prices in the $40's for used copies. You can get the standard version on steam for $60 however (I click on the standard version and it says it's not available, weird). No used copies there.

So really, it's nice to look at our huge and steep sales for games that have been out for half a year or more but new games can often be worse where digital sales are concerned because of a lack of the second hand market. As PCs become more and more common this is only going to get worse.

Bioshock was made by Boston 2k Studios at the time a new studio that needed to make money before they could spend money on making it pretty.

No, horribly wrong. It isn't a "new studio", it's actually a subsidiary of Take Two Interactive. It was created after they (Take Two) acquired Visual Concepts which had the whole 2k sports lineup. Hence the rebranding 2k name. It had all the money it needed within reason from its parent company.

When I look at these again I don't see an amazing improvement.

Did you play them? The difference is astounding. Uncharted 3 is one of the prettiest games I've ever seen. Uncharted 1 was really pretty for the time but it has been outclassed by 2 and 3.

Back then the Consoles actually beat the PC hands down so that's no surprise.

I'm not sure you're getting the point. The machines were 512Mb RAM machines. That means that pc's with similar hardware should be able to do the same thing. But they can't. It doesn't matter if the pcs at the time were 256Mbs or whatever, only that once PC's caught up hardware wise they didn't catch up with capability because developers can simply get more out of them. The fact that now a 2Gb RAM machine with newer CPU/GPUs is equivalent to a 7 year old console with 1 quarter of the specs should tell you more about what you need to know about optimisation and it's benefits more than anything else. It means that machines matching the PS4's hardware will not be to keep up. So this is my entire point. Buying a machine with the same specs does not mean it'll keep up with it.

Except now the $400 can keep close to the consoles and with DDR4 and GDDR6 coming out next year prices will drop and in 4-5 years $300 will buy you a machine that are a heck of a lot more powerful.

Yes, in 4-5 years the PC market should exceed even the advantages gained from optimisations on the console. Same as it did this generation. Then, two years after that a new console will be released and the ps4/XBO will only be supported for a few years after the release to the 9 or 10 year mark. Same as the ps3 and 360 are appearing to do.

But, and I can't emphasize this enough, that's 4 to 5 years from now.

Non of those titles are know for being graphical master pieces. The only one you would expect it from would be the CoD but that's a brush up from the PS2 version.

Games simply look better and better as the generation continues. This should be a known fact. I'm not entirely sure why you're contesting it. For every console release ever, the games at the start are not nearly as good as the games at the end.

That is the same argument that Xbone fans say about 720p. But in the end it's not 1080; the thing PS4 fans have been Hyping all the BLOODY time.

Oh, I agree that it's not 1080p. I'm just explaining that 900p upscaled can be pretty difficult to differentiate from 1080p. The differences are usually pretty minor. It sucks that the XBO hasn't shown the ability to run stable at 1080p like the PS4 has, but I also think they've made some really bad decisions that harmed the quality of their hardware this time around and so when I talk about consoles I limit my discussion to the PS4 which has done everything right this time around (with only the online service being debateable).

Yeah but with other generations they were better/on-par with High end PC's this generation is not. Perhaps the PS4 can wring something more out of it's GDDR5 memory but I doubt it.

As stated before, PS3's outperform PCs with the same specs by quite a bit. It doesn't matter if they were better/on par with high end PC's if it still outperforms pcs with the same specs. And I disagree with the statement that they outperformed high end pcs or were even on par with them. What would you call a high end PC in 2005? From what I've seen, $1,500 would get you a decent machine with 2Gb RAM and other components that may just barely play Skyrim today on minimum settings. At the time, that was super high end.

Almost no console is ever above current market tech. The R&D cycle is simply too long for that.

Luckily those specs were a lot cheaper to reach especially at the end.

Sure, you almost can't outperform a PS3 or 360 with a new machine nowadays. But I'm not sure what the comparable specs being cheaper at the end of a console life has to do with buying a comparable machine now? I'm not interested in what I'll be able to get 4-5 years from now, I'm interested in how I'm going to spend those 4-5 years themselves. Personally, that's likely when I'll upgrade my PC. I'm on a very convenient mid-console life cycle pc cycle.

In the previous generation used optimization to keep up with the high end system at the start to the mid/low systems at the end. But this gen is already starting down at the mid end systems.

The mid/low systems the ps3 tracks with now have newer CPUs/GPUs and more than four times the RAM when you consider Sony's ridiculous divided 256Mb sections. The 360 is just an old three core processor with 512MBs of RAM and a 500 MHz GPU.

Are you getting that those specs are FAR behind the pcs they're tracking with now thanks to optimization? It has allowed them to play games that require PCs to have almost 4 times the hardware. The Xenos chip is equivalent to a Radeon X1800 series card to give you a comparison.

These are specs that should be blown out of the water and completely unable to play most modern games that require so much more from PCs to play. This is solely achieved through optimizations in versions of games that are custom built for the machine in question. Think of it this way. Had a standard PC been built that had all of the equivalent specs, they would be able to get the same performance out of them if they had the time and resources to optimize in the same way they do with consoles.

That's all the benefit of standardized/known components is. Because the scope is 1:1 (console) instead of 1 to many where configuration possibilities are concerned, they can design things to specifically get the most out of every part of the system. It isn't that he hardware is special. It really isn't. It is purely because it is known whereas the PC you own could potentially have any number of manufacturers involved whereas your next door neighbor that also has a gaming pc could have a totally different setup but with the same performance level.

And it's the same on the PC; Intel and AMD aren't picking their nose when complaints flood in. And I've never had games that didn't work on specific drivers... I only needed to update them once in a while but.

I have had games that didn't work with specific drivers. Nvidia runs into that problem surprisingly frequently. I've got to say though, I don't know if they fixed that problem or not. I haven't tried to play Skyrim again on my new card.

The standardisation didn't come from the hardware manufacturers it came from windows being able to handle the different hardware. It started with XP and it's plug and play.

They have no added benefit. Every system has a standard OS to work with. However, note that some games are playable on Windows OS's but not Linux or Apple. So even there you've got a slightly less standard setup on computers. So this does benefit developers but not in the same way that stable and known hardware does. OS's can only make sure that applications get the best allocation of resources possible. They can't pull more out of them like you can with known hardware. The requirements you see on minimum specs are higher than they necessarily need to be to account for fluxuations in hardware. A slightly different video card or even RAM brand could cause enough of a problem to run heavy.

Yay! ^^
PS3 only had a brief period where it allowed it. See here
Any model bought after 2008 did not have any backwards compatibility. So what happens after those machines die?

You buy a ps2 or a PS3 with backwards compatibility. There's no shortage of them seeing as the ps2 has the most units of any console in existence, ever. Is there a PS2 game you're dying to play? I don't know about you but I've got a backlist of games a mile long. I simply don't have time to look back unless I'm traveling and using a handheld (e.g. I just played FF IV on my PSP during a trip to Seattle. Not as good as I remember. Boring, in fact). Backwards compatibility is nice but very seldom used. Either way, all companies have been pretty darn good with making their titles available on new consoles.

Regardless though, I already mentioned that this generation's switch to x86 may have destroyed the ease of backwards compatibility with PS3 games but it should make it possible going forward for the same reason why modern pc games should be playable a few decades from now on other x86 environments.

Lets see them do it first as the PS3 and Xbox360 have such excellent track records.

What do you mean? The 360 was able to play a significant number of Xbox games and the ps3 was originally fully backwards compatible. The architecture change of this generation to x86 was necessary for the survival of consoles and while it's unfortunate that it broke backwards compatibility, was entirely necessary. I can't even begin to explain how many problems Sony's proprietary hardware caused in development studios across the world. What a dumb move to make it hard to prevent developers from being able to unlock all of the console's potential on day one (the current CEO's own words before he was CEO). They should have been so lucky.

I'm still unclear on exactly why the XBO no longer has backwards compatibility. I was under the impression that the 360 was extremely close to PCs where architecture is concerned.

Having spend a few hours playing with my skyrim mods I have to agree. But in most cases it's the die hard fans that mod. People that are willing to put some time into it.

Sure. You and I fall into that category. But in a list of criticisms intended for the average gamer this is a valid obstacle that they should include in their considerations. I know I've sounded hostile towards pc gaming, but please continue to remember that I am pro-PC. I'm just trying to objectively explain why consoles still have their place in this world and continue to maintain relevance. The very same customizeability that we laud our PCs for is a daunting void of uncertainty for the uninitiated.

I remember the first time I built a machine from scratch. I got all the components together first and then proceeded to put them together. From sweating to cursing I proceeded to mold a useable machine out of a pile of parts. The first time I hit the power button, it booted right up. It worked the first time and I was grateful. From then on there was no PC problem too big or unsolveable. But sometimes I'll think back to that moment and wonder if things would have been any different if it hadn't booted up. Would I have known what to do or would I have had a $1,000 pile of junk for the next four months until I figured out that something dumb like the power supply's rail wasn't plugged in all the way?

Mods for consoles won't work unless they are so powerful that they can run the game with ease. Because mods do increase the strain on a system.

Sure, but most games don't utilize everything. If they did, the strain to the machines would be significant. But this generation, if games are going to be made for the weakest link (the XBO), then the PS4 may very well be capable of some nifty mods if it really is as much more powerful as it appears to be.

I couldn't care less about local (non-Lan) multiplayer. But it's slowly disappearing from the console games and thus losing a selling point that was on of it's biggest assets in the past.

No, it isn't slowly disappearing. That multiplayer support it's talking about is online multiplayer. Not local gaming. You are confusing a reduction in the number of games shipped with multiplayer with the reduction unto nothingness of multiplayer. This is just a rightsizing in a market that was horribly proliferated with nonsense multiplayer for five years at a great cost to the developers with little to no benefit to the average gamer on a lot of those titles.

Here's one example of many on multiplayer in games being there for no apparent reason:

http://bentyrerjournalist.wordpress.com/2013/04/10/single-player-only-is-multiplayer-unnecessary/

A basic google search will return countless games and articles where people don't get why multiplayer was made for them. The market is beginning to respond but that doesn't mean games like COD which are usually sold exclusively because of multiplayer is going away. Just that studios aren't seeing multiplayer as a mandatory expense anymore and that's across the board. Those same games are also being launched on the pc without multiplayer support. What I mean is that on a console you can turn on four controllers with one machine and one TV and then have a blast. I had a couple friends at my house this past Saturday night. I'm not making up a story for convenience sake, this really happened. We got together around 7 to play COD: Black Ops II on my ps3 and then suddenly a friend looked at his watch and said, "Holy shit, it's 1 am". Now, this is extremely unusual for us. We're all adults with real jobs and we usually tire out around 10pm even on weekends. But we just had so much fun and it was so easy to keep playing that everyone in the room lost track of time. That's an experience that you can't really duplicate with a single PC on any regular basis. Whether or not you personally care about that is besides the point. It's what some people care about and it's a valid point that consoles are a better party system in this way. Same goes for my 360's kinect or the simple games like Bomberman for people who come over but don't regularly play games enough to have any fun at more complex titles like an FPS or such.

Why do you need 4gb? That's actually the recommended spec for windows Vista and up.

As a certified Microsoft tech I can say no, that's not correct (not saying I know all things, just that I generally know this sort of stuff). Vista, for example, only required 512MBs to run. 4GBs were the maximum on 32-bit OSs which was the norm at the time. However, Vista was available in 64-bit which required 1GB. Any idea where you got a recommended 4GB on that? That's more like the maximum for Vista since most copies installed were 32-bit.

Win7 http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/products/system-requirements

1 GB for 32-bit, 2 GB for 64-bit.

Win8 http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/system-requirements

Same requirements. Those simply ARE the specs required to run them. Read Microsoft's line there. It's not saying minimum or recommended. They purposefully avoided that term. It's only required. "If you want to run Windows 7 on your PC, here's what it takes: ".

The things that reqcommend 4GB or more are typically video games and video editing applications. So that's my point. Those 4GB machines with 500 HDDs are not necessarily non-gaming machines. Many of those are absolutely gaming machines or are at least gaming capable depending on the GPU. Games aren't even generally created as 64-bit applications yet. So having more than 4GB won't necessarily make a difference yet unless you are heavily modding them. So if a hefty game like Skyrim recommends 4GB, why would you think that the OS itself would somehow recommend that number?

Now, sure, if you run a bunch of apps at one time then those minimum specs simply won't cut it. But Microsoft doesn't seem to release recommended specs for some reason. However, I would generally agree that you want 4GB at least on win7 and win8 (assuming 64-bit). It's just incorrect to say that that's the recommended number. I would still disagree with your assessment of Vista and would have placed that at 2GB recommended even if you had the 64-bit os.

Plus the fact that ram is dirt cheap. for €30 you have a 4gb bar.

So the answer is because it's cheap? That doesn't answer the question of what 4GB is used for other than gaming and video editing at the moment. Our processing far exceeds most of our needs now. Gaming and video editing as well as the desire to make things smaller to have more powerful tablets/laptops are the only things really pushing technology forward. Good for it. There was a day when word processing required a significant amount of processing power. Now it's practically a laugh. Looking at a MS word document that's been open on my PC for six months now, it's using less than 14MB of RAM. Start using it and it pops up to 20MB until I stop. Opening up a second word document only increases the overall allotment by 4 MBs rather than doubling it.

At some point, our hardware could potentially exceed the demands of screen based video games too. The only question is when that will be and if another format or method of playing games will appear that will be the next force pushing advancement.

http://www.paradigit.nl/product/zpr-07com/01-desktop/productdetails/80012115/paradigit-hybrid-i3-3220-w8/hybrid-i3-3220sshd-w8/default.aspx

A bit on the pricy side but this is definitly not a gaming machine.

That's an 8GB SSD cache. The 500GB is a HDD. The only thing holding this back from being a AAA gaming machine is the Video Card and even that isn't holding it back from a lot of games on minimum specs as I believe it's comparable to something like a Radeon HD 5000 series card (on the low end). Having used a 5870 for the last year, I can say that played most games on ultra settings. So what game could this machine not play (at all)? Maybe I'm missing something here though. I'm not well versed on integrated cards as I avoid them like the plague.

It's the same HDD that goes into the budget builds. Exactly the same.

What I'm not finding are the actual specs. RPMs, Cache, etc. I'm not just being lazy here, Google isn't helping.

Putting more money in the Console... that goes against what we've been discussing the beginning about prices. And any 3,5inch HDD can outdo and is cheaper than any HDD you can put in the PS4. (SSD's are the exception)

Not really, an SSD or Hybrid drive would give a performance boost to the system. You'd actually be talking about paying for a more powerful machine and not just more storage.

From what I can tell every time the numbers 20% comes up.

Not sure what that's supposed to mean.

Problem is Steam and most companies don't publish their sales numbers which annoying.

Annoying yes, but that doesn't make it acceptable to assume things we don't know for the sake of a debate. We have to know those four things I mentioned or we can't really debate this. All we know is what they tell us and apparently it's worth their time to make games like GTA V console only for some amount of time before releasing it on PC.

True and time will tell.

History has generally proven this. Further time will just give us more data points. As of now, it's apparent that the cyclical nature of console dominance runs inversely to that of the pc. So much so that the first few years of a console signals "significant decline" for the PC to the point that journalists believe PC gaming is about to die and then towards the end of the console it's all coming up PC.

I think the big difference this time really is Steam and services like steam. I don't believe that consoles will ever steal the same amount of market share again. However, I don't believe consoles will disappear either.

Yes. I'm sure. But even then we're coming to a new era where pc's start getting significantly delayed releases. Should be an interesting obstacle for hackers.

Actually only rockstar does "significant delays" on releases. AC4 was 1 month for PC which isn't that bad considering the extra work they put into it graphics wise.

And please keep them coming. I'm enjoying them more and more.

Ah, great. I wasn't sure how I was coming across.

C14N:
I was previously a PC/PS3 gamer for the last few years until Yahtzee convinced me to sort of just go full PC. The thing I realised that he talked about is that the consoles will quickly become obsolete and I won't be able to play on them anymore after a certain time. Oh sure, I'll still have all my PS3 games there on the shelf but once it's days have passed it will end up gathering dust and the games I have on it will become less and less appealing to dig out, especially as the graphics start looking more dated. I'll still have my PC though for the foreseeable future and the games will always just be waiting there in the Steam/Origin library if I ever feel so inclined. I've even started re-buying my PS3 games in Steam sales just so I can hang onto them for longer.

The console exclusives are the only problem here so I guess I'll just have to hang on to them the old fashioned way.

Do you play a lot of old games? I currently find myself wading through a sea of new games I've yet to play.

Lightknight:

C14N:
I was previously a PC/PS3 gamer for the last few years until Yahtzee convinced me to sort of just go full PC. The thing I realised that he talked about is that the consoles will quickly become obsolete and I won't be able to play on them anymore after a certain time. Oh sure, I'll still have all my PS3 games there on the shelf but once it's days have passed it will end up gathering dust and the games I have on it will become less and less appealing to dig out, especially as the graphics start looking more dated. I'll still have my PC though for the foreseeable future and the games will always just be waiting there in the Steam/Origin library if I ever feel so inclined. I've even started re-buying my PS3 games in Steam sales just so I can hang onto them for longer.

The console exclusives are the only problem here so I guess I'll just have to hang on to them the old fashioned way.

Do you play a lot of old games? I currently find myself wading through a sea of new games I've yet to play.

I find myself in the same situation but I still like holding onto the older ones. I have some old-ish games on PC that I still plan to play (old-ish because they're all post-2000 releases) but it just feels important to me that games don't just fade away. Imagine if, when DVDs came out, all of the film production studios announced that everything from now on would be released on DVD but if you wanted to watch anything from before that, you would need to hang on to the VCR. To me, that's kind of what consoles are like, at least legally.

C14N:
I find myself in the same situation but I still like holding onto the older ones. I have some old-ish games on PC that I still plan to play (old-ish because they're all post-2000 releases) but it just feels important to me that games don't just fade away. Imagine if, when DVDs came out, all of the film production studios announced that everything from now on would be released on DVD but if you wanted to watch anything from before that, you would need to hang on to the VCR. To me, that's kind of what consoles are like, at least legally.

But they don't fade away, they just change format. The VCR analogy is perfect. If you own a VHS tape you will not be able to play it on a DVD player. You have to buy it on a DVD format for that. But with the switch to DVD we have a format that most future players should be able to handle including bluray players.

You can buy ps1,ps2, and ps3 games on the ps3. You can do the same on the ps4. This is simply the progress of hardware tech. With the move to x86 we should have finally seen the kind of standardization going forward that allows for backwards compatibility forever more. If the next console isn't backwards capable, we can fully call shenanigans. For now, however, especially with the ps3's terrible architecture, this was entirely necessary despite the effect being no backwards compatibility.

I am interested in seeing how Gaikai integrates with PSN purchases. It's one of the first times if not THE first time we've seen that kind of solution for backwards compatibility.

Lightknight:
But they don't fade away, they just change format. The VCR analogy is perfect. If you own a VHS tape you will not be able to play it on a DVD player. You have to buy it on a DVD format for that. But with the switch to DVD we have a format that most future players should be able to handle including bluray players.

You can buy ps1,ps2, and ps3 games on the ps3. You can do the same on the ps4. This is simply the progress of hardware tech.With the move to x86 we should have finally seen the kind of standardization going forward that allows for backwards compatibility forever more. If the next console isn't backwards capable, we can fully call shenanigans. For now, however, especially with the ps3's terrible architecture, this was entirely necessary despite the effect being no backwards compatibility.

I am interested in seeing how Gaikai integrates with PSN purchases. It's one of the first times if not THE first time we've seen that kind of solution for backwards compatibility.

What do you mean? I have a PS3 but I can't play PS1 or PS2 games on it. There are a limited number of PS1 and PS2 games that I could download but then I'd have to buy them all over again. If it was a case of "buy them again but just once" then that would be fine but there have now been 8 generations of home consoles, they're built with future hardware in mind, most of which has not historically been backward compatible (the PS2 and the Wii are the only ones that were afaik).

Gaikai will allow for some backward compatability but even then it's only by subscription and it will only last as long as Sony choose to make it last, if it stops being profitable then they'll take it offline because it costs a significant amount of money to host. I find it a lot simpler on PC where I just buy the game once and I then have it for as far into the future as I can imagine.

Dead Century:
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.

THIS, FUCKING THIS RIGHT HERE!.

Sorry for the caps but this is what I've been trying to project for ages now, I've got my own rig and while I game on it for the time being, I also want a Wii U and eventually a PS4.

And yet I don't see and will never see PC's as the magical end all to be all platform.

OT: It's nice to know that one or two people understand that you can game on both console and PC while the rest seem to want to debate and dictate how you control and play your hobby, all of which just seems dickish to me.

I'm also wondering when we'll eventually have some decent fucking press for a console (No not the 3DS) that won't get instantly shat into the ground by people who have sided with a single platform and closed themselves off while trying to push the same onto others, I can't help but get sick and tired of seeing the same tripe phrases, "consoles are becoming irrelevant", "why even bother buying a console/why think", those type of debates add nothing and no one gains a single thing apart from "I have an opinion and it's going to be the norm so accept my opinion as fact".

C14N:
What do you mean? I have a PS3 but I can't play PS1 or PS2 games on it. There are a limited number of PS1 and PS2 games that I could download but then I'd have to buy them all over again.

That's exactly what I mean. Just like you have to buy DVD versions of the movies you used to own on VHS.

If it was a case of "buy them again but just once" then that would be fine but there have now been 8 generations of home consoles, they're built with future hardware in mind, most of which has not historically been backward compatible (the PS2 and the Wii are the only ones that were afaik).

This is the first time we've seen consoles make a move to what is essentially a standard architecture. Please understand, I'm saying that things should be different now solely because of that. If the next console doesn't have backwards compatibility, it will only be because the manufacturer is making a cash grab. And believe me, just like the XBO's announcements this time it will be caught and publically ridiculed to the point of shame. There's literally no advantage to leave x86 architecture (it's a financial detriment, actually) and there's no reason why x86 machines can't play games made for weaker x86 machines. So this should be the change.

Gaikai will allow for some backward compatability but even then it's only by subscription and it will only last as long as Sony choose to make it last, if it stops being profitable then they'll take it offline because it costs a significant amount of money to host. I find it a lot simpler on PC where I just buy the game once and I then have it for as far into the future as I can imagine.

Well, yes. They will drop it if people aren't using it. But if people aren't using it then why would it be necessary?

Yahtzee has summed up the pros and cons of both systems really nicely I think and even addressed the silly "if-you're-not-with-us-you're-against-us" arguments.
I totally agree that overall PC gaming has gotten easier and better, and console gaming worse.

I can still remember having trouble getting some games to run on my first PC in 2002, but now that's the rare exception for me.
Local multiplayer and getting quickly into the game were one of the major benefits of consoles for me. But as he mentioned, those are on the decline too.

By the way, I just noticed that the about-the-author thingie at the end is missing:

Yahtzee is a British-born, currently Australian-based writer and gamer with a sweet hat and a chip on his shoulder. When he isn't talking very fast into a headset mic he also designs freeware adventure games. His personal site is www.fullyramblomatic.com.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/columns/extra-punctuation/10803-The-Trials-and-Perils-of-Returning-to-PC.2

Lightknight:

C14N:
What do you mean? I have a PS3 but I can't play PS1 or PS2 games on it. There are a limited number of PS1 and PS2 games that I could download but then I'd have to buy them all over again.

That's exactly what I mean. Just like you have to buy DVD versions of the movies you used to own on VHS.

That's not like that at all though. Video tapes lasted about 30 years and literally every film that was on tape was re-released on DVD. Very few PS2 games were re-released on PS3 and very few PS3 games will be released on PS4 as normal games.

If it was a case of "buy them again but just once" then that would be fine but there have now been 8 generations of home consoles, they're built with future hardware in mind, most of which has not historically been backward compatible (the PS2 and the Wii are the only ones that were afaik).

This is the first time we've seen consoles make a move to what is essentially a standard architecture. Please understand, I'm saying that things should be different now solely because of that. If the next console doesn't have backwards compatibility, it will only be because the manufacturer is making a cash grab. And believe me, just like the XBO's announcements this time it will be caught and publically ridiculed to the point of shame. There's literally no advantage to leave x86 architecture (it's a financial detriment, actually) and there's no reason why x86 machines can't play games made for weaker x86 machines. So this should be the change.[/quote]

Yeah, should be, but it doesn't necessarily mean it will. Sony figured out how to do backward compatibility with the PS3 despite architecture differences and then just dropped it almost immediately. The Wii U could almost certainly play Gamecube games as the Wii did without any difficulty. However it's clear that console manufacturer's think it would be more profitable to not allow backward compatibility and instead sell the games again on their online services. I see no reason why that would change with the next generation, regardless of how easy backward compatibility is. In any case, it still leaves many generations going back that do not have the backward compatibility that PC does have. I have no problems playing games from the N64/PS1 era on my PC.

Gaikai will allow for some backward compatability but even then it's only by subscription and it will only last as long as Sony choose to make it last, if it stops being profitable then they'll take it offline because it costs a significant amount of money to host. I find it a lot simpler on PC where I just buy the game once and I then have it for as far into the future as I can imagine.

Well, yes. They will drop it if people aren't using it. But if people aren't using it then why would it be necessary?[/quote]

Because maybe I would like to do have a feature that doesn't depend on hundreds of thousands of other people also wanting to use that feature? On PC, I don't need it to be popular, I still have my games that I can play whenever I want. Going back to the film analogy, this would be like telling me "sorry, not enough people still buy DVDs so you can no longer watch any of your DVDs". Gaikai is a nice service but it's one that can be easily taken away again, having a physical copy of a game that I can play locally, isn't.

I myself have begun the process into PC gaming as my two friends and the only two people I know who PC game wanted me to play DayZ of course i have an all in one Dell so I barely get 20FPS on these games. So I decided I will build a PC. This has enlightened me into the world of PC gaming as I see now the insane sales and possibility for better graphics. The reason that I just cut into my PC fund for a PS4 though was because more of my friends are console gamers. This is why I think a lot of people stick with the consoles because a majority of their friends have those and do not play games on the computer which I think in some parts of society comes of as a nerdy thing to do, but the same game on a console is somehow except-able. For this reason I will probably remain mainly a console gamer until after college when my friends stop playing video games and by that time who knows if I still will be. But we have to also realize that most console gamers are of my younger generation who probably are not going to be gaming for the long haul while most PC gamers are in it for the long haul. Anyways I had to move my PC build start date into spring as I have to come up with another $400 I lost so I could play PS4 with my friends.

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