Are Consoles Killing PC Gaming?

Tagged: Console, PC Games, Computer Hardware, Gaming, Technology
Source: techgage - Read the full article
Posted: 4 years 29 weeks ago

Ahh, the age-old argument that never seems to die: Consoles vs. PC. You might imagine that because I get to test out the best PC gaming hardware on the market, I'd prefer gaming on that platform, but that's something that varies. I prefer FPS titles on the PC by far, but enjoy racing games on consoles, as an example. Both platforms have their strengths, some more obvious than others.

But it's easy to understand why some would be concerned, because over the past couple of years, PC gamers have really gotten shafted time and time again. Take a look at Modern Warfare 2, for example, which was little more than a "console port" (though it still looked quite good). Even one of the errors on the PC version said "Xbox Live" in the description, further proving the console port theory.

Bad Company 2 is an even better example. As popular as it is, its graphics don't compare to Modern Warfare 2, and neither are designed for the PC. Lately, you can pretty much expect that if a game is available on the PC, it's going to be available on a console in some form as well. At quick thought, the absolutely only commercial (and non-RTS) game I can think of that's not available for the consoles is S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat.

Just Cause 2? Metro 2033? Left 4 Dead 2? Assassin's Creed 2? Alien vs. Predator? These are a couple of the most popular games on the PC right now, and every-single one of them is also available on a console. Fortunately, a lot of those games aren't exactly console ports and happen to look quite good (Just Cause 2 and Metro 2033 in particular are notably impressive), but overall, the list is still small.

Are Consoles Killing PC Gaming?

NVIDIA released its Fermi-based GeForce GTX 400 cards last Friday, and ATI released its Radeon HD 5000 series last fall... both of which support DirectX 11. At this point in time, some games support DirectX 11, but not to the extent that they could. The reason? It's hard to justify the extra money developers would have to spend to increase the graphic detail on the PC, a platform which has a much smaller player-base (for the market's most popular games) than the consoles. Plus to add to it, it might cause even further problem if the game is designed to support certain PC-only features and then a mass amount of code has to be altered just to have it run on a console.

One of the biggest issues with PC gaming though is piracy, and I doubt many would refute that. Piracy on consoles is a very real problem as well, but not nearly to the extent of PC piracy. On the PC, you usually only have to double-click a crack and be done with it, while on a console, modifications to the actual gaming hardware may have to be made.

Whenever I picture PC piracy, I think back to the announcement that Crytek wasn't going to focus exclusively on PC gaming going forward. It's still likely to release games there, but the company has a hard time justifying the development costs only to have the number of pirated copies outweigh the number of legal copies. And for a company like Crytek who actually did push the boundaries of PC gaming, the announcement really highlighted the incredible effect of pirated copies.

What do you guys think needs to be done in order to invigorate PC gaming, or to see more games being developed with the PC as the target platform, rather than just an afterthought?

 

Comments

Anonymous

PC gaming is little tricked.

1. Are piracy on consoles? YES!
2. Are there available gamepads, joysticks and other devices for pc? YES! better and cheaper.
3. Do you need to upgrade hardware for each game cames out? NO! must of the consoles games are lower quality in graphics, ai and capabilities.

Games should be cheaper! if you buy a digital download, it should costs $10 or $15 usd less than disc version.

Games are ALWAYS copied so... why don't sale cheaper unprotected games?

Do you think $60 usd are fair for a new title? I live in mexico, here the games are very expensive... not $60 but... $100 usd. plus... most people earns about $4 usd per day... so do the math! can you buy a new game title?

Other problem here is that you only get EA and Microsoft titles, so you're screwed...

There is no doubt that pc has better graphics, modding, no region problems, no ntsc or pal incompatibility.

Let's hope developers still supporting pc and the price of every game platform gets decent.

Anonymous

exactly what the consoles did for pc games. you had to make sure you had system compatibility to run the software. if you did not meet the minimum requirements, the game will run slow or poorly and if you have requirements, then you'll have to worry about the last thing. the last thing to worry about is having the game to work.

remember those days in dos where you'd have to know the command prompts. today you don't need to worry about these things. but you do have to worry about having to run the game properly. that is meet the latest firmware. the type of bugs you'll encounter and other nicknacks that will ensure the game runs accordinly.

Tiv
Tiv's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/12/2009
Posts: 3584

I kind of agree because consoles have mod chips and hacks to play pirated games. Maybe it's just easier to buy console games for other people than PC games? Always worried about the hardware spec ect..

I sleep fine at night knowing we are banning people who deserve it.  Tivon
Don't test my skills, I was trained by myself! Check out my Gaming Videos!

Anonymous

if anyone mentions piracy, it is not due to piracy. the wii is the easiest console to mod as one can search a do-it-yourself mod on youtube or google tutorials for them and anyone can simply do it. but games like new mario wii and mario kart are still selling, though it's easy to pirate wii games from the methods mentioned above. what it means is that the quality in pc games are very bad that people are pirating them. people are pirating them simply because they don't want to pay for it because they suck.

people are willing to pay money for new mario wii or mario kart wii because these games are good. if you look at games like dead space extraction on the wii, it is not selling well not due to the lack of marketing but because it sucks. when something sucks, people don't want to pay money for it because it's not worth anything. so why pay for it.

Anonymous

What needs to happen??? DRM needs to DIE of course. I refuse to buy even a single game that has any type of DRM. It punishes the loyal customer who actually bought the game instead of the pirates. DRM is BAD BAD BAD.

Anonymous

PC gaming will survive if the developers are willing to put that extra amount of effort into keeping the fundamentals of what makes a PC game different from its console counterparts. For instance proper use of the console, ability to map keys to whatever we want and dedicated servers (none of this matchmaking bullcrap).

Games for windows live has great potential, not only in bringing an experience that is available on the consoles, such as voice support in all games, but also to prevent piracy. This is similar to the case with Steam, as much as I don't like the mandatory internet connection to play my games even offline, it gives us a common system for ingame chat, ie the steam overlay and ability to find our friends easily. Yet as you must be signed in to play a game, it makes it harder for people thinking of distributing the game via torrents to get their game out there.

PC gaming will always be the platform with heart.

Anonymous

let me put it this way....PC PLAY MMORPG WHILE CONCOLE PEOPLE PLAY BY THEMSELVES WITH THEIR LITTLE REMOTE CONTROL...World of warcarft = all of the console gamers combine...so i guess pc game is the winner?

Anonymous

the problem of the pc games situation lies within the mentality of today's game developers.

1) they are generalizing the two platforms as one entity. pc and console are two different beasts, each having their strengths and weaknesses. instead of beating their heads trying to make games cross platform, they should separate the two and create games specifically made for keyboard/mouse or gamepad only. quit struggling to computerize a console game or dumb down a pc game to console already.

2) they don't listen to their customers anymore, instead opting to force their gaming beliefs on consumers. if anyone remembers years ago, you could call the companies up and a live person would answer and take care of you. also, they would have your emails answered in a timely fashion. good luck today if you want your input heard. get out of the cloud(s) and back down to earth where your customer base is, 'you'll hear them better that way.'

3) 95% of games they put out nowadays are just flash and fluff without any real substance. console games are guilty of this and that is bad for pc because of all the porting going on now. i wanted games with depth and a large manual, that was why i considered myself as a pc only gamer early on. refer to my first point because back then, there was a clear distinction between pc and console games. game developers today, please realize that if i wanted flash and fluff, i would of went to an arcade, home of console type games.

we pc gamers want the developers to go back to the old ways/days, separate the two platforms and concentrate on the strengths of each. that way both pc and console gamers can coexist and win. heck, i had more fun playing infocom text adventures as a teenager than i do any console games today.

Anonymous

i agree with anonymous who posted about racing games.

rodney i have a logictech gamepad and play DIRT2 and GRID on my computer just fine. i set up my controls just like i had/have them on the Gran Turismo series and voila..its like im playing it on a console.

mmd_danish
mmd_danish's picture
Offline
Joined: 03/31/2010
Posts: 3

thts why crysis 2 will have same kind a visual like crysis, piracy has made developer to think PC as secondary platform, cost too i thnk is the problem here in india 60$ for a game is like Rs.2700 with tht amount no one gonna buy those games  even I buy when the price come down to 500 or something in festive season. Like i buyed crysis after 10 month of its release.

Anonymous

the answer is yes because the consoles have made it easier to play pc games. with pc games, you had a keyboard and mouse but with the consoles, you had less buttons and used a controller.

fps on pc is harder because there is no auto aim or more restrictions were applied. but on the consoles, you had more leniency. making head shots on a console didn't require the aimer to be exactly 100%, but on the pc it required it to be 100%.

on pc, you had to worry about compatibility [both software and hardware] as well as effiency [being able to play the game] and understanding the language [remember those dos days]. on the console, all of that is gone. you just buy the game without having to worry about anything mentioned above and insert the disc into the console. heck, remember those days when you wanted to play local multiplayer on a pc, you had to understand how to setup both hardware and software for the game to work between two computers. with consoles, you just plug in a second controller.

it's funny how 360/ps3 gamers call themselves hardcore, not knowing that they are nothing more then what they've been labeling the wii as casuals. 360/ps3 owners are nothing more then casual pc gamers. lol!

this is why when microsoft says dx 11 is being released. does it really matter knowing that games on the 360/ps3 are dx9/dx10 games being ported to the pc? microsoft went and made a console for the purpose of saving direct x and other things on the pc in terms of video game production.

again, is direct x 11 relevent when most games on the market are still in dx 9? the answer is no. remember, microsoft has said that there is a 5-6 year life cycle for a console. then they declare that there is still room for the 360 to grow. well this means direct x 11 will be on hold and direct x9 will still be around.

Delusion77
Offline
Joined: 05/24/2008
Posts: 99

I think that PC players are getting mistreated, with the technology in most gamers machines we should have far more advanced games developed now, but instead we are limited by the hardware in the consoles (which is almost 5 years old!) and the attitude of the console player. Most console players will buy several games over a year, but pc gamers may buy 1 or 2 -then stick with that title for a long period of time. We look for quality not quantity.

But we are also limited in the gameplay & controls. A lot of games, mostly FPS, have been made easier to control with imprecise joysticks so when ported back over to PC the input w/ a mouse feels offkey.  the  COD series is easy to see, when firing a gun, all you have to do is click. No recoil compensations and no bullet travel time or drop. Also the complete eradication of key pc features such as dedicated servers, map editors & console commands.

Now BFBC2  is a  "fairer" port to pc, it brings back some of the challenge but is still plagued by issues due to being a console port. 1 example being negative mouse acceleration (users with high cpi mice can experience this easily). BFBC2 has also had its gameplay simplified to match the console players control scheme and attitude.  Compared to BF2, many gameplay features have been toned down, such as player count (down to 32 from 64), squad size (down to 4 from 8), map size & # of control points, quantity and variety of vehicles.    It is still a very fun game, but for the PC version they could have expanded on the console versions a lot more. It would make sense too since the majority of the BF fan group is on pc.

 Most games designed for console are fun, especially when played on the system they were designed for (eg l4d2 on x360, the scoring system and gameplay may fit better w/ the audience than on pc). I just think more developers should invest time into expanding their games to fully take advantage of what is available on the pc, even if that means having to wait longer for a release. 

Anonymous

Crytek complain about piracy on Crysis but it is really no wonder. Why would people pay for a game that only 10% of the population at the time could acctually play it?

Anonymous

Piracy:
Lower the prices for pc games.

to be honest i stopped buying pc games because of the port thing, there are still a few games i buy.

Anonymous

pc and console used to coexist absolutely perfectly, why all the negativity now???
some people like pc and some people like console, i've been a pc gamer since the late 80's and there were plenty to go around for both kind of systems. why can't we just balance it out like we did before?
it's not too hard, we coexisted before.

also, what will a whole population of pc users gonna do if their gaming options no longer exist? those like me who refuse to buy a console and have multiple pc's, parts, etc and prefer the workings of a pc over console but have nothing against consoles. we just prefer a real powerhouse pc and want games developed to take advantage of said power???!!!

also, console gaming cannot exist without pc's because all console games are developed on a pc anyways. it's not the other way around.

i just hope the game makers don't just think of gamers as just dollar signs because if we let them take away our pc games, sooner or later they are going to take away console games the same way.

we pc gamers love pc games because we like games where you don't just think with your fast reflexes. games that have mircomanagement and an endless array of buttons and knobs to push and pull, full depth of play is why pc games appeal to us. think full on baseball stats and you get what i mean.

game makers, listen up, let us coexist once more!!!!!!!

Anonymous

I think that you have to treat the players with respect for the games to get bought. You have to be up front about your intentions and, le gasp, take input to heart. PC gamers, IMO, don't want the hit-it-and-quit-it style of game development, we want support not only in terms of patches, but the ability to use the platform's strengths, like being able to mod games. Supporting and respecting the gamer up front is simply the best way to win purchases from PC gamers. Bad Company 2 may not have been 100% PC from the get-go, but it is good as a PC game because of the stance DICE took on support and respect of the PC gamer.

Crytek's issue was that they released a game that was too much of a system hog (hardware's only coming out now that can run it at a framerate most would consider acceptable for an FPS). A game should be able to run on varying hardware, low and high end. There's no reason that the game should require future hardware to run at max at a reasonable FPS. To me, that just screamed of poor optimization, and therefore, lack of respect to the gamer by not giving them a product that doesn't run well on the hardware that was available when it released. I have a dual 8800GT rig with a Q9650 (still at stock speeds, haven't had a chance to sit down and OC it) and that struggles to put up 30FPS constant in Crysis and Warhead at max.

Also, by being honest with gamers up front (console port, not a console port etc), you can at least gain respect from them, which I think is crucial. Companies simply need to realize that console gamers and PC gamers are not the same breed. Each camp has different needs and expectations that need to be catered to if you want them to buy your product. It's as simple as that.

Oh, and just a side note, why don't you just use a gamepad on your PC to play racing games? Seems like it would be the best of both worlds. No M&KB driving controls and better graphics (AA, AF etc). I let my LIVE account lapse for good last October and that's what I plan on doing if a decent racing game comes out that interests me, pick up a Logitech gamepad or an MS Xbox controller for Windows, whichever one has the most ergonomic design and best support.