PC gaming, slowly declining for years in the face of increasingly-popular console systems, is showing signs of a comeback, according to an article in the New York Times.
The article focuses on several advantages of PC gaming over playing on a console, including economics and a faster development cycle for computers, which gives them a technological edge over their console brethren. In a point certain to generate controversy, the article also quotes a gamer who says PC games appear more "sophisticated" than those appearing on consoles.
Microsoft is given significant credit for this early upswing in the PC gaming market, as well as its efforts to bring PC gaming back to the fore, through the Games For Windows program, as well as the recent announcement that the Xbox Live online gaming network would be extended to include Games For Windows titles running on the PC. Features in Windows Vista that are designed to simplify the process of buying games for the PC - typically a much more complex task than purchasing for a console - are also mentioned.
While the surge in PC gaming is significant, it is still far from a true reversal of fortune. Sales of PC titles in the U.S. broke $970 million in 2006, an increase of 1 percent over the previous year's sales of $953 million; however, that mark represented a 14 percent drop from the $1.1 billion sales of 2004, and pales beside the roughly $6.5 billion in sales of console and hand-held systems.