One Platform to Rule Them All

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One Platform to Rule Them All

Shamus looks at the numbers behind the consoles. Why are next-gen exclusives so sparse? Will Steam Machines be the Next Big Thing, or will they be the next Ouya?

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[insert PC master race comment here]

Shamus Young:
I would have loved nothing more than to see Origin, Gamers Gate, or GameStop (née Impulse) become large enough to act as a counterweight to this growing Steam hegemony.

In all seriousness, I don't really see origin or uPlay ever becoming a big player. They aren't completely terrible, but what is really hurting them is their forced publisher exclusivity. EA will never hit anything close to Steam numbers, simply because they don't have as many games on there - uPlay is the same. To attempt to trounce Steam, they would essentially have to remove everything that makes them unique (for better or worse). Origin is actually solid (unlike uPlay's overdone DRM) but suffers mainly due to generic negative EA stereotyping and hate.

The publishers could open their clients up to 3rd parties and the like, but they don't actually care. They aren't trying to steal Steam users, but just take back the cut of profit that they would have given to Valve on Steam. Right now it looks like the publishers simply view the Origin, uPlay, and Battle.net clients as a clean way to maintain and advertize to existing users, as well as further involve them in their own communities.

" It's more resistant to piracy than any other platform"
Bwuh? The other way around, really. Because the others need actual hardware modifications, the ones from Steam simple software mods only...

I always like shamus. Thanks brah.

I really like the customer experience I get with steam. Steam gets a lot of love for this positive experience. You get the occasional person who had a bad experience-- they love to jump in threads like this too, so I suspect you'll see them soon-- but in terms of being an unobtrusive and secure pipeline to video games steam is unmatched. I used to get all my news about niche titles and releases from a handful of small companies or from places like the escapist-- now, steam directly targets me and brings to my attention titles that I like. Games I'd never seen before, I've picked up from the front page, and devoted hundreds of hours to.

I'm lookin' at you, don't starve and project zomboid. You don't get that kind of stuff with Sony.

So no, I don't get GTAV, but I wouldn't play it anyway. As of now, if its not on steam, I'm not buying it; for convenience reasons as much as anything else.

I don't need a steam machine, because I homebrew my computers. However, I do look forward to a day where I don't need to put a windows OS on a gaming devoted machine. I am really really interested in that.

How many Steam accounts consist of alts made for the purposes of farming tradable equipment in F2P games? Oh, you didn't consider that? Why am I not surprised?

I wholeheartedly agree, but there's 1 single problem preventing the PC being as mainstream as a console.

Bad ports and the need to patch a game that doesn't work.

I made the mistake of buying the Legacy of Kan series on GOG, only to find out that the only way to play those games is on WinXP and having a dual/single core CPU (for us lazy people who can't be arsed to set CPU affinity). These games are the exception, rather than the rule, but they exist. Also the bad ports that they themselves frequently need patches made by the community (yes, I'm talking about you Dark Souls, and YOU TOO Deadly Premonition).

Again, these games are the exception rather than the rule, but in order to play these games, one needs to at least have a basic knowdelage about how to search for these patches and how to apply them, god forbids if they need you to tinker with the system registry.

So yeah, I'm all for the idea of the PC increasingly becoming a HUGE market, but it still can't be considered as mainstream as it's living room brethren.

Well I agree with Shamus. Has it not been obvious for almost 15 years that the PC platform is bigger then either console in existence? Maybe not all of them at once but as a platform, the biggest.

As for Steam monopoly... I agree somewhat. You see, I HATE having several different clients, Hate to remember several Different passwords, Hate to have several different community gaming profile things with different achievements and such.
I hate that I have ME 1 and 2 on STEAM and ME 3 on Origin. I hate having sometimes different versions of mods- one for Steam and one for Retail even...
Ugh...

I hope no other competitor comes, apart from GoG, Steam and Origin. 3 I can handle. The same way I handle Nvidia, AMd and Intel. The same way I handle Max, Linux and Windows.

I am very much a one device for all person... that is why I like my smart phone and my PC :P

SupahGamuh:
I wholeheartedly agree, but there's 1 single problem preventing the PC being as mainstream as a console.
snip.

Still beats having to go out and buy a different device to play a game

Toadfish1:
How many Steam accounts consist of alts made for the purposes of farming tradable equipment in F2P games? Oh, you didn't consider that? Why am I not surprised?

Okay. Let's say it's as much as half. That's still nearly 40 million active users, 10x that of the Xbone, 6x the PS4. I think his point is safe.

SupahGamuh:

I made the mistake of buying the Legacy of Kan series on GOG, only to find out that the only way to play those games is on WinXP and having a dual/single core CPU (for us lazy people who can't be arsed to set CPU affinity). These games are the exception, rather than the rule, but they exist. Also the bad ports that they themselves frequently need patches made by the community (yes, I'm talking about you Dark Souls, and YOU TOO Deadly Premonition).

Again, these games are the exception rather than the rule, but in order to play these games, one needs to at least have a basic knowdelage about how to search for these patches and how to apply them, god forbids if they need you to tinker with the system registry.

This is a fair point. One I've parroted in other discussions. And yes, these can be viewed as a pretty substantial downsides to PC gaming.

However, a few things to consider:
Buying and playing older titles like the ones you've mentioned is virtually unfeasible; if impossible; on consoles. Short of, of course, buying a copy of the requisite older console or hoping the maker of the console has included some amalgam of backwards compatibility.

So while there may be compatibility issues with older PC titles on newer operating systems, it is a least still possible to play almost any older game on a newer PC.

Something that can't really be said of most consoles.

As bad ports, let's be honest. We'll probably never be rid of them. They're very likely to remain an issue for the foreseeable future.

But then, if developers started targeting the PC as the primary platform, bad ports wouldn't really be an issue as they wouldn't be ports.

And while it is fairly annoying to occasionally have to rely on community-made patches to get things working, at least PCs have, and can foster, such communities.

So yeah, I'm all for the idea of the PC increasingly becoming a HUGE market, but it still can't be considered as mainstream as it's living room brethren.

As it stands, no. It can't. I agree.

However, the movement to bring the PC gaming experience to the living room and else where has gained quite a bit of momentum in recent years. There's been quite a lot of scheming and planning going on behind closed doors. We're only now starting to see the end results of those efforts in the form of things like nVidia's Shield, Valve's SteamMachines, and in some ways AMD's Mantle.

Time will tell if it at all pays off on the consumer end. But, if nothing else, at least someone is trying.

The one thing this industry desperately needs is some innovation. A "shake up" to break it out of the stagnant state it's currently stuck in.

Toadfish1:
How many Steam accounts consist of alts made for the purposes of farming tradable equipment in F2P games? Oh, you didn't consider that? Why am I not surprised?

From the article -

Keeping all this in mind, I ran into an interesting figure cited at the Steam Dev days, showing that there were 75 million active Steam users as of the end of 2013. That number includes everyone who has bought at least one game and is currently active in the community. (So abandoned accounts and accounts with no games don't count.)

Emphasis added. Now, I don't have a source for Valve's measurement of "active" accounts, but if Shamus were correct, it would exclude people with Steam accounts tied only to F2P games. It's quite possible that the total number of Steam accounts is significantly higher, but that Valve count them as "inactive". Without solid information beyond the 75 million number, we're just speculating at the *precise* number of accounts.

As has been mentioned, the point still stands, even assuming a massive scale of account farming.

Vigormortis:
Snip.

Yeah, you're right, the Legacy of Kain series mostly suffer from skipping sound issues, wich are incredibly annoying, but at least the games are playable and if you truly want them to work as intended, you can always have a WinXP partition and problem solved, but my point still stands that it's too much hassle for people who doesn't know how to do it, or who doesn't want to do it.

Don't get me wrong, I want the PC to thrive as much as it's counterparts, but we still have a long way for that day to come.

But those 75 million people don't end up becoming more sales. The console titles still sell consistently more than the PC versions. The PC market is huge and spread out and has a wide range of people valuing things differently. Those 75 million active users include the guy who bought Rome Total War in a humble bundle and plays that every month or so, but nothing else. It includes people who only play indies, who only play MOBAs, who only play RTS... the market is a lot more fractured than the console market.

Sure it's big enough that most people won't ignore it for the price of a cheap port. But I don't think it's going to be upsetting many people's equations at the moment, I bet CoD Ghosts sold more on the PS4 and Xbox One than it did on the PC already and those install bases are going to grow.

The Steam Console is almost not relevant in this discussion. Maybe if Valve started paying for Steam exclusive games, but I doubt that will happen. Otherwise this is exactly the same information we had before

SupahGamuh:

Yeah, you're right, the Legacy of Kain series mostly suffer from skipping sound issues, wich are incredibly annoying, but at least the games are playable and if you truly want them to work as intended, you can always have a WinXP partition and problem solved, but my point still stands that it's too much hassle for people who doesn't know how to do it, or who doesn't want to do it.

Oh, I didn't disagree. I've made the same point. It's an opinion I share with you.

I was just saying that things like community-made patches are just the tip[1] of the iceberg of the shared communal experience that is PC gaming.

An experience you rarely, if ever, see in console gaming.

Don't get me wrong, I want the PC to thrive as much as it's counterparts, but we still have a long way for that day to come.

Yes. Yes we do. But only in terms of "mainstream, central-gaming-box" experiences.[2]

It's like I'd said before:
At least there's a growing movement within the industry itself; by a number of very influential key players; to make it a reality, instead of just some misty-eyed dream of the PC gaming community.

[1] An unfortunate tip, to be fair.
[2] In other ventures and avenues, console gaming has a hell of a lot of catching up to do.

Kenjitsuka:
" It's more resistant to piracy than any other platform"
Bwuh? The other way around, really. Because the others need actual hardware modifications, the ones from Steam simple software mods only...

Well.

Technically.

All games on the consoles have been pirated.

Diablo 3, still not cracked for pirates to play.

So, 100% of console games have been cracked for pirates.

Only 99.999% of PC games have been cracked!

(Yes, I know, I'm being sarcastic.)

There are several issues I have with this.

I don't know where you are getting your numbers but there is a difference between active accounts and number of consoles sold. Many, perhaps even most consoles have multiple accounts on them. And considering that their are almost as many ps3 consoles, by your numbers, than there are steam accounts I'm betting there are way more ps3 accounts than their are steam accounts. Maybe multiple times as many. I'm betting sony alone has more users than steam, perhaps microsoft and nintendo also each individually may have as many or more users. Declaring steam the winner in this race is laughable.

And calling the hardware better than the 360 is misleading. A dedicated console will perform better than a generic computer of the same specs. My $350 laptop has specs far better than the 360, but it won't play most any pc version of console games.

The main thing channeling steams popularity is the game prices. And thats built on the back of the consoles. Older games being ported there for a tiny sums. ANd current games sold their because sony and M$ don't care about the pc market. If the steambox starts to eat the console market you will find the price of those game going up to match the consoles. They have to make their money back.

On top of that they are making such a mess of the steambox, variations going from hundreds to thousands of dollars its going to fracture their user base a lot. And I expect it to lead to lots of user backlash. part of the console popularity is that you don't have a huge mess of can my box play this game. A ps4 plays all ps4 games. A $500 steambox won't play all the games on steam.

Additionally steam's service is becoming worse not better. There store is on the way to being a total mire filled clones and broken games. And its just getting worse all the time with their early access garbage. That doesn't fly with mainstream users.

I spend hundreds maybe even more than a thousand dollars a year on gaming. I have an active steam account I guess, I do sometimes get sucked into humble bundles. But the pc is the 2nd to last option for me to game, even worse than vita, the only thing I hate more is the phone. Once I found out the steambox is just another program loaded on any old pc I lost all interest. Until they make an actual console where crap just works without me searching out patches I'm not going to spend any time on it.

The issue with steam is the same issue with iphones. Crow all you want about more people using them, them having tons more games. Neither makes the revenue to found AAA game development.

Octorok:

Toadfish1:
How many Steam accounts consist of alts made for the purposes of farming tradable equipment in F2P games? Oh, you didn't consider that? Why am I not surprised?

From the article -

Keeping all this in mind, I ran into an interesting figure cited at the Steam Dev days, showing that there were 75 million active Steam users as of the end of 2013. That number includes everyone who has bought at least one game and is currently active in the community. (So abandoned accounts and accounts with no games don't count.)

Emphasis added. Now, I don't have a source for Valve's measurement of "active" accounts, but if Shamus were correct, it would exclude people with Steam accounts tied only to F2P games. It's quite possible that the total number of Steam accounts is significantly higher, but that Valve count them as "inactive". Without solid information beyond the 75 million number, we're just speculating at the *precise* number of accounts.

As has been mentioned, the point still stands, even assuming a massive scale of account farming.

Buying a free game is still counted as buying a game via the metrics given from Valve (they consider people who have Tf2 to "own" the game). So the point still stands.

Eh, they get me every which way anyhow. I love PC gaming, my Wii U gets another type play if I'm in the mood, My PS3 or PS4 or Vita another.

Some times I go outside and move. Some times under protest.

Raziel:

I don't know where you are getting your numbers but there is a difference between active accounts and number of consoles sold. Many, perhaps even most consoles have multiple accounts on them. And considering that their are almost as many ps3 consoles, by your numbers, than there are steam accounts I'm betting there are way more ps3 accounts than their are steam accounts.

Here's some actual stats on this. Valve has 75 million active accounts, while xBox Live has 48 million (counting both free and gold) and PSN wins at a whopping 120 million likely due to their mobile platforms. However, it's not specified whether XBL or PSN counts non-active users so the comparison might even be more favourable to Steam. Either way, having more than XBL makes it a serious competitor anyways.

Raziel:

And calling the hardware better than the 360 is misleading. A dedicated console will perform better than a generic computer of the same specs. My $350 laptop has specs far better than the 360, but it won't play most any pc version of console games.

The vast minority of Steam users use Intel integrated graphics, and while for some reason the most recent Steam hardware survey doesn't let you browse the specific GPUs (last month's did, not sure what happened) any dedicated GPU made in the past couple of years can easily out-power the 360 even with any benefits optimization would bring (not to mention the concept of console optimization has become less and less relevant over the years).[/quote]

Raziel:

The main thing channeling steams popularity is the game prices. And thats built on the back of the consoles. Older games being ported there for a tiny sums. ANd current games sold their because sony and M$ don't care about the pc market. If the steambox starts to eat the console market you will find the price of those game going up to match the consoles. They have to make their money back.

I don't understand this at all. Steam does sales because they make more money not because they're trying to attract people to their store although that is a happy side-effect. Unless you're arguing that Steam's pricing will force Sony and M$ to start pricing their games as competitively, in which case that's a good thing for everyone.

Raziel:

On top of that they are making such a mess of the steambox, variations going from hundreds to thousands of dollars its going to fracture their user base a lot. And I expect it to lead to lots of user backlash. part of the console popularity is that you don't have a huge mess of can my box play this game. A ps4 plays all ps4 games. A $500 steambox won't play all the games on steam.

From what I understand the $500 Steambox is intended to be a "baseline" for minimum specs at a decent frame-rate while higher priced boxes are their if you wish to run the games at higher settings. Although admittedly Valve hasn't done a great job managing the Steambox so far so things may be completely different.

Raziel:

Additionally steam's service is becoming worse not better. There store is on the way to being a total mire filled clones and broken games. And its just getting worse all the time with their early access garbage. That doesn't fly with mainstream users.

This is a completely valid complaint and I don't really disagree.

Raziel:

The issue with steam is the same issue with iphones. Crow all you want about more people using them, them having tons more games. Neither makes the revenue to found AAA game development.

You do realize most AAA-games in the past year have been ported to Steam or Origin? The only one that hasn't off the top of my head is GTA 5. This analogy makes no sense.

Not to mention, in defense of iPhones, the reason AAA games don't work there is more because the purchasing demographic is mostly casual gamers not willing to invest that much time into a game and less because they don't make enough revenue.

So Shamus's point is "devs, sell on PC too if you like more money." I don't see how anyone can argue with that (except Sony and MS).

Yeah, great promo. Seriously, people!
Valve isn't even giving any effort to market Steam Boxes - like Ouya or WiiU. So why every "sophisticated gamers" - including author of this hype-article - pulling from nothing an absurd ideas of "It could be done - Valve will succeed", when, reality is different.
Stop believing the hype - Steam Boxes are worthless and too overpriced. More that this - venders have multiple version - which will confuse mass. consumer base.
So, this article is so facepalm.

Kirill Steshin:
Yeah, great promo. Seriously, people!
Valve isn't even giving any effort to market Steam Boxes - like Ouya or WiiU. So why every "sophisticated gamers" - including author of this hype-article - pulling from nothing an absurd ideas of "It could be done - Valve will succeed", when, reality is different.
Stop believing the hype - Steam Boxes are worthless and too overpriced. More that this - venders have multiple version - which will confuse mass. consumer base.
So, this article is so facepalm.

You really didn't bother reading this article, did you? The only mention of Steam Boxes was a single line saying he didn't like them. Everything else was talking about Steam, the PC game distribution platform, not Steam, the console(s).

And I agree with you, the Steam Box seems like an awful idea. It just has nothing to do with this particular article.

BrotherRool:
But those 75 million people don't end up becoming more sales. The console titles still sell consistently more than the PC versions. The PC market is huge and spread out and has a wide range of people valuing things differently. Those 75 million active users include the guy who bought Rome Total War in a humble bundle and plays that every month or so, but nothing else. It includes people who only play indies, who only play MOBAs, who only play RTS... the market is a lot more fractured than the console market.

Sure it's big enough that most people won't ignore it for the price of a cheap port. But I don't think it's going to be upsetting many people's equations at the moment, I bet CoD Ghosts sold more on the PS4 and Xbox One than it did on the PC already and those install bases are going to grow.

The Steam Console is almost not relevant in this discussion. Maybe if Valve started paying for Steam exclusive games, but I doubt that will happen. Otherwise this is exactly the same information we had before

Well, it depends. Bioshock Infinite, Metro Last Light and Crysis 3 sold the most on PC. BOTH PS3 and Xbox 360 versiones combined are higher then PC, but PC sales were quite a bit higher then each console...

As for exclusives: No. Exclusivity must die.

Raziel:
There are several issues I have with this.

The issue with steam is the same issue with iphones. Crow all you want about more people using them, them having tons more games. Neither makes the revenue to found AAA game development.

1. To beat a 360, even 200 dollars would suffice. It is VERY weak and the 20% power gained in optimization are easily surpassed.
2. To beat PS4, around 450 is enough to beat even its 20% more optimization (though it is less :P ) . Most Steam users have comparable hardware.

Also, whilst not every PC will play steam games easily, technically a PC can play all PC games ever made and all exclusives up to the 6th gen. A console cant do that :P

Kirill Steshin:
Yeah, great promo. Seriously, people!
Valve isn't even giving any effort to market Steam Boxes - like Ouya or WiiU. So why every "sophisticated gamers" - including author of this hype-article - pulling from nothing an absurd ideas of "It could be done - Valve will succeed", when, reality is different.
Stop believing the hype - Steam Boxes are worthless and too overpriced. More that this - venders have multiple version - which will confuse mass. consumer base.
So, this article is so facepalm.

And yet, I have vastly more interest in one than either the PS4 or XBOne.

Because at least it'll have games I'll want to play.

PMAvers:

Kirill Steshin:
Yeah, great promo. Seriously, people!
Valve isn't even giving any effort to market Steam Boxes - like Ouya or WiiU. So why every "sophisticated gamers" - including author of this hype-article - pulling from nothing an absurd ideas of "It could be done - Valve will succeed", when, reality is different.
Stop believing the hype - Steam Boxes are worthless and too overpriced. More that this - venders have multiple version - which will confuse mass. consumer base.
So, this article is so facepalm.

And yet, I have vastly more interest in one than either the PS4 or XBOne.

Because at least it'll have games I'll want to play.

And yet you won't because you'll be too cheap to put down the cash for one when you've spent triple the price of a console on your PC.

The Steambox - the perfect console for PC gamers and absolutely fucking nobody else. And we know how much PC gamers like to buy consoles.

Phrozenflame500:
Here's some actual stats on this. Valve has 75 million active accounts, while xBox Live has 48 million (counting both free and gold) and PSN wins at a whopping 120 million likely due to their mobile platforms. However, it's not specified whether XBL or PSN counts non-active users so the comparison might even be more favourable to Steam. Either way, having more than XBL makes it a serious competitor anyways.

You Need to remember a significant portion of consoles are never connected to the internet. So thats 120 online users plus probably tens of millions offline users.

Phrozenflame500:
The vast minority of Steam users use Intel integrated graphics, and while for some reason the most recent Steam hardware survey doesn't let you browse the specific GPUs (last month's did, not sure what happened) any dedicated GPU made in the past couple of years can easily out-power the 360 even with any benefits optimization would bring (not to mention the concept of console optimization has become less and less relevant over the years).

My laptop has radeon graphics and still doesn't meet min specs for any current game. My desk top one has specs that are more than twice as good and only some current games work at all and thats with everything turned all the way down.

Phrozenflame500:
I don't understand this at all. Steam does sales because they make more money not because they're trying to attract people to their store although that is a happy side-effect. Unless you're arguing that Steam's pricing will force Sony and M$ to start pricing their games as competitively, in which case that's a good thing for everyone.

Steam is so popular because of the prices. Thats why everyone goes there originally. Steam sales might make little indie titles more money because it gives them more exposure. I highly doubt it has the same boost for GTAV or AAA games. My point is if steambox somehow captures a third of the console market you will NOT find the console games on it for a cheaper price. The reason pc ports are cheaper is sony and M$ dismiss that market as insignificant.

Phrozenflame500:
From what I understand the $500 Steambox is intended to be a "baseline" for minimum specs at a decent frame-rate while higher priced boxes are their if you wish to run the games at higher settings. Although admittedly Valve hasn't done a great job managing the Steambox so far so things may be completely different.

The $500 steambox is not a console that has been manufactured optimized for gaming. Its a crappy pc thats assembled by a third party, so it will be overpriced for the parts, that has steam os installed on it. I HIGHLY doubt it will be able to run all the games that will be coming out on the ps4 or xbo. And its hardware will be outdated WAY faster than the console and receive probably no support.

Phrozenflame500:
You do realize most AAA-games in the past year have been ported to Steam or Origin? The only one that hasn't off the top of my head is GTA 5. This analogy makes no sense.

Not to mention, in defense of iPhones, the reason AAA games don't work there is more because the purchasing demographic is mostly casual gamers not willing to invest that much time into a game and less because they don't make enough revenue.

The AAA games are being ported as a way to get every penny they can. But the devs count on the console sales to support the cost of making the games. The steam sales are not something they depend upon.

There are 2 types of people on steam. Those with high end pcs who buy the games there to get the best looking version of a game. And the people who buy games there just to get cheap prices. And I expect that most steam users are in the 2nd group. Therefore steam as a whole is like the iphone. People who won't buy the game unless its like 50% or more off the console price. Buying tombraider for $10 does not support AAA development.

Toadfish1:
And yet you won't because you'll be too cheap to put down the cash for one when you've spent triple the price of a console on your PC.

The steam boxes aren't a gaming PC compliment. They're a gaming PC substitute. If you have a gaming PC you're probably already using Steam. Valve doesn't give a shit about you buying a dedicated Steam Machine as well. You can even dual boot with SteamOS and the PC IS a Steam Machine.

It's not like Microsoft who created a device that competes with themselves. Either method you choose with Valve goes to the same store.

It is interesting how some people appear to really be getting their knickers in a twist about this article, as though the high number of Steam subscribers threatens them personally in some way. Were they looking forward to the schadenfreude of the long-predicted, never-arriving "death of the PC", perhaps? Are they disappointed that a platform they long considered irrelevant is proving to be more relevant, and a much larger market, than ever before? What about this news bothers them so?

Toadfish1:

PMAvers:

Kirill Steshin:
Yeah, great promo. Seriously, people!
Valve isn't even giving any effort to market Steam Boxes - like Ouya or WiiU. So why every "sophisticated gamers" - including author of this hype-article - pulling from nothing an absurd ideas of "It could be done - Valve will succeed", when, reality is different.
Stop believing the hype - Steam Boxes are worthless and too overpriced. More that this - venders have multiple version - which will confuse mass. consumer base.
So, this article is so facepalm.

And yet, I have vastly more interest in one than either the PS4 or XBOne.

Because at least it'll have games I'll want to play.

And yet you won't because you'll be too cheap to put down the cash for one when you've spent triple the price of a console on your PC.

Sure I will. I only spent around $500 on my gaming rig a couple years ago, and it still handles games fine.

The 3x number is used by people who don't know what the hell they're talking about.

PMAvers:

Toadfish1:

PMAvers:

And yet, I have vastly more interest in one than either the PS4 or XBOne.

Because at least it'll have games I'll want to play.

And yet you won't because you'll be too cheap to put down the cash for one when you've spent triple the price of a console on your PC.

Sure I will. I only spent around $500 on my gaming rig a couple years ago, and it still handles games fine.

The 3x number is used by people who don't know what the hell they're talking about.

I too bought a PC for 500 that can handle any game out there, i may not be able to turn everything on super ultra high with AA x16 but i can run everything on medium to high. The only problem i have is my processor is overheating but that's the company's fault not mine and i'm too lazy to get it replaced. So ye the 3x number is mostly people talking out of their asses and i live in a country where the PC expenses are quite bigger than in some "modern" countries.

Some people love consoles, some people love PCs deal with it. I personally don't understand consoles, i just connect my PC with my huge TV, buy any gamepad i want, download any emulator i want and just destroy my friends in super smash bros on my pc with the original n64 gamepad :)

P.S. Steam is awesome

.

I do shop at Gamers Gate. But when 80% of my purchases don't give me a download link, but a Steam activation key for my game, it's not going to do much to Steam's hegemony of course.

The only other platform I use to actually purchase games is Good Old Games. Which is cool. If possible, I like to buy my games there. But of course, they don't carry quite as many new games. Still, if the reviews of Age of Wonders 3 are good, I'll buy it there.

Shamus Young:
The PS3 failure rate was better than the Xbox 360, but still pretty embarrassing at 10%.

Not sure why you'd consider that embarrassing. 10% failure after nearly a decade is actually not bad at all for electronics.

SupahGamuh:
I wholeheartedly agree, but there's 1 single problem preventing the PC being as mainstream as a console.

No there isn't. The entire point of the article was that PCs are at least as mainstream as consoles. And it's particularly silly to suggest that patches are a problem unique to PCs. Maybe back in the '90s that might have been the case, but console games are just as likely to come with day-1 patches these days.

BrotherRool:
The PC market is huge and spread out and has a wide range of people valuing things differently.

Whereas console gamers are mindless drones who all value everything exactly the same?

Those 75 million active users include the guy who bought Rome Total War in a humble bundle and plays that every month or so, but nothing else. It includes people who only play indies, who only play MOBAs, who only play RTS

And the console numbers include people who only bought a PS3 as a bluray player or for streaming TV and have never played a single game on it. It includes people who only play indies, who only play a single FPS game, and so on. It's just plain silly to suggest that this argument only applies to PCs.

And of course, the console numbers include every single person who could possibly be gaming on a console. The PC numbers include only those who use one particular shop to buy (some of) their games.

I bet CoD Ghosts sold more on the PS4 and Xbox One than it did on the PC already and those install bases are going to grow.

Sure, but that actually counters your above point - there are a lot of people who buy CoD every year and nothing else. The fact that one franchise sells well says absolutely nothing about the attractiveness of a platform to other developers and other genres.

Steambox: Why play thousands of games on a proper PC when you can play only things ported to a shitty version of Debian that auto-runs Big Picture on startup.

Seriously, I don't really get the steambox, they mostly cost too much, the OS is mostly redundant considering how small a portion of Steams games actually run on it compared to windows 7 or 8.1.

I also refuse to endorse a steam monopoly, most of my steam keys come from outside of steam, because there's usually a better deal on GMG, or Amazon, or Game, or the Humble store.

Steam is great, but we shouldn't allow Valve a monopoly.

Toadfish1:
How many Steam accounts consist of alts made for the purposes of farming tradable equipment in F2P games? Oh, you didn't consider that? Why am I not surprised?

If we start considering these factors, we'll get nowhere, as we'll just find more and more of them. For example, what about the significant overlap between X360 and XBOne users? Or the not-so-insignificant overlap between PS4 and X360 users? Not even speaking of the overlap between that and PC, and the possibility of people owning multiple consoles. We could also count a ton of people on steam that use PCs with Intel HD graphics out (as those are quite often incapable of driving a lot of games), but where would we get by doing that?

When it comes to the Steambox, I'm not exactly sure what to make of it. On one side it's overpriced for what it gives you (one of the reasons for me highly disliking Apple products), but on the other side it runs Debian, which means we could get more games running on Linux and thus get away from the nonsense that is Windows and get better performance while we're at it.

Also, let's face it: quite literally everyone these days has a PC, meaning that the barrier to entry to PC gaming is quite low... while console gaming requires that you go out and buy a $400 device that has a quite limited selection of games (when compared to the sheer limitless library that the PC can access, which includes Wii, Gamecube, PS1/2 and just about all consoles of the 6th generation and earlier, as well as an astonishing amount of older AAA titles, new AAA titles, indie titles... and lest we forget, you can play pretty much anything with a controller and actually change the key mappings to suit you instead of being stuck with what the game designer though of as best, which may be horrible for you - like having "interact" on B/circle instead of having it bound to the more sensible X/square or A/cross buttons).

Toadfish1:

PMAvers:

Kirill Steshin:
Yeah, great promo. Seriously, people!
Valve isn't even giving any effort to market Steam Boxes - like Ouya or WiiU. So why every "sophisticated gamers" - including author of this hype-article - pulling from nothing an absurd ideas of "It could be done - Valve will succeed", when, reality is different.
Stop believing the hype - Steam Boxes are worthless and too overpriced. More that this - venders have multiple version - which will confuse mass. consumer base.
So, this article is so facepalm.

And yet, I have vastly more interest in one than either the PS4 or XBOne.

Because at least it'll have games I'll want to play.

And yet you won't because you'll be too cheap to put down the cash for one when you've spent triple the price of a console on your PC.

The Steambox - the perfect console for PC gamers and absolutely fucking nobody else. And we know how much PC gamers like to buy consoles.

>spends more money.
>> suddenly won't because of some arbitrary line.

What an awful argument. Also, consoles are no longer vastly cheaper than PCs. This isn't 2005 anymore.

If you are going for a console experience, a cheapo PC will work just fine thanks to the low power ceiling on console. You can even build a steam machine.

http://www.reddit.com/r/pcmasterrace/wiki/builds

Couple that with sales and your controller and you have a self-made console that will save you a lot of money in the long run. Or, alternatively, you can just make it a full desktop.

A steam machine is just a micro ATX tower hooked up to a TV with a linux OS. Its not actually a console.

So stop the hate on the PC.

Also, if we tried to pick out the "alts" then that takes out a chunk PSN and XBL too. Both of them have alts. Not to mention the article covers that.

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