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Blastfrog

Will PC gaming ever return to it's former state?

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Does anyone think that PC catered games will ever make a comeback? Right now, certainly not, but do you think the trend will ever make a return? I just hope that this consolization will fade out in time...

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In the future when components get much smaller the whole PC and console thing will merge and you'll have a small comp you can put in your pocket. Might have to wait a hundred years or something. PCCP! Personal Computer Console Portable! Haha...

As for PC gaming. I don't know but I have Skyrim and PC gaming is good right now for me, so I don't care.

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I have that already. It's called my phone. It runs circles around the first comp I used to play Morrowind. :p

PC-centric games never went away. They appear all the time. It's just the games with the very biggest budgets that cater to the widest audiences gravitate more to consoles because the widest audiences aren't interested in PC games and never really were.

There still are entire genres that find their best or only expression on the PC, though I think a lot of people here miss that because they play FPS games. The console guys can keep CoD. I only ever want to play first-person RPGs these days anyway.

I told the guys on the Skyrim forums a few months ago: I don't care if Bethesda designs Skyrim mostly with the 360 in mind as long as they provide PC players with tools to do something about it. The nature of PC gaming is it's full of people who care about it enough and like taking things apart enough to make their own games better. For the most part this is what Bethesda is doing. They dropped the ball a bit on deciding not to release UI tools and build the thing in Flash, but their devs have already been helping modders work around that.

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Aliotroph? said:

the widest audiences aren't interested in PC games and never really were.

Don't want to be all Captain Obvious here, but this has a lot if not everything to do with the fact that you can buy a console at a fraction of the cost of a decent PC.

The way we all measure what's expensive and what isn't aside, PC gaming is an costly hobby, even if you aren't mad enough to spend £600 on the latest flagship video card alone. To the average person who plays some game for an hour in the evening just to pass the time, the cost simply isn't justified. Even people who really like games aren't always prepared to drop the kind of cash that's required. By the time you also factor in the rudimentary knowledge of computers that's required to maintain even the most robust PC, consoles are appealing to people for good reason.

So yeah. Consoles have the monopoly for common sense reasons. Game development, being a business, recognises this and prioritises development of games on the most popular systems in order to make the most money.

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Aliotroph? said:

I have that already. It's called my phone. It runs circles around the first comp I used to play Morrowind. :p

Yet you can't hook it up to a monitor or TV along with a keyboard and mouse and play Morrowind on it. :p Maybe that will be possible soon... :p

I don't want to think about my computer ringing in the future as it's annoying enough when the phone does that. I think it's too early for thinking about this... my brain is tired.

Aliotroph? said:

There still are entire genres that find their best or only expression on the PC, though I think a lot of people here miss that because they play FPS games. The console guys can keep CoD. I only ever want to play first-person RPGs these days anyway.

I don't play a lot of games. A few FPs's and RPG's are all I want to play. Things like MMO's can go rot, tho I did like Guild Wars but then that went down the shitter for me. Bleagh. I'm just happy to be able to delve into something that's a fun Singleplayer experience like Skyrim.

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I think the rot started to set in as PC gaming became less geeky - IDE hard drives eliminated the need to tune the sector interleave, plug'n'pray cards deprived us of jumpers to miss-configure and Microsoft's graphical DOS shells made PCs simple enough for an Atari 2600 owner to use! Then they took away the Turbo button!

I miss the good old days.

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Doom Dude said:

In the future when components get much smaller the whole PC and console thing will merge and you'll have a small comp you can put in your pocket. Might have to wait a hundred years or something. PCCP! Personal Computer Console Portable! Haha...


I think SJ called it an iPad

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I don't know what you refer to "former state". There were (and will be) a LOT of "former states" in the gaming industry, and how long we stayed in each one depended on both innovation and consumer demand (mostly the latter, as no sane mfg. would make a game that can't be sold).

Just as there was a time where games were played with an analog paddle, a (quite long one) where they were played with a stick or where they just consisted of watching some badly digitized "multimedia" video, the current state (and next states) will be determined by what consumers will demand.

Of course, there will always be retrogaming or maybe market-driven revivals...

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Indie games are pretty much PC-centric, at least the PC ones. I think Dwarf Fortress is basically the epitome of something you could never attempt on a console.

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Danarchy said:

Indie games are pretty much PC-centric, at least the PC ones. I think Dwarf Fortress is basically the epitome of something you could never attempt on a console.


Nah, don't say that. There are even Lemmings, Dune II and some super-complex RPG/JRPG games on consoles. The most weird thing I saw was perhaps Warcraft II on PSX ;-)

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Yeah, no one ever played those though, because the controls were too clunky. I remember the version of Sim City for SNES. That was weird.

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Most Free To Play games are PC exclusives because console run stores won't adopt the same microtransaction models... yet. MMOs tend to be PC exclusive, as well as RTSes, and there is a healthy variety of PC only indie FPSes as well. As well as indie games generally selling much better on Steam rather than XBLA, with a few minor exceptions. (And giving the authors better royalty rates, but that's another story.) Modding is alive and well too, even if you don't see it on every AAA title. You just have to look at Skyrim to see that it's alive and well, and games like TF2, Red Orchestra, Minecraft, and many others have very healthy modding communities.

PC Gaming hasn't really lost any players, console gaming has just grown at a higher rate. Even still, if you want to count social and casual games as PC gaming you'll find that as a platform personal computers are far more ubiquitous than consoles.

PC games are not unhealthy. Just ask the ever-growing Valve. They just don't always get the attention console games get because the market share is bigger over there. But there are several companies that keep focused on the PC crew as well as the console crew. Deus Ex HR was better on the PC than the console, games like Skyrim have mods which instantly improve the graphical quality and edit the UI to be more playable on PC, Batman: Arkham City has much improved graphics on the PC port apparently, Valve releases what would normally be DLC for free to PC players in games like L4D or TF2.

Don't listen to me though, Maes will tell you that Valve is out to get you and that all games must have separate lobby programs ala Gamespy or something.

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There needs to be another videogame crash, more than anything. Then the companies responsible for excessive intrusive DRM, DLC-on-the-disc and "expiring" demos might finally go "yeah maybe we were a little out of line".
BUT instead they simply weasel in all this bullshit with the promise that it will "keep your games updated" by "ensuring you always have the latest patch!".

One day people will willingly install Telescreens in their houses to "protect from burglars".

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Shaikoten said:

Don't listen to me though, Maes will tell you that Valve is out to get you and that all games must have separate lobby programs ala Gamespy or something.


I think I said that an all-encompassing lobby that gets maintained in an unified fashion for more than one game (and wasn't Gamespy just that?) is preferable to each game having its own unmantained lobby app.

Now whether said unified lobby system comes with other gotchas as well/is linked to DD/DRM, like in the case of Steam, that's another matter.

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I'd say the PC gaming industry is pretty alive and well. I don't much care if something is pc exclusive, as long as it runs well on it.

PC also still has the market on mmo and rts games.

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Even when PC gaming was at its height I always preferred consoles for their exclusives. Nowadays there doesn't seem to be much of a distinction between the two other than the input method, so I'm mainly a PC gamer. The only exclusives that are really compelling to me anymore is Nintendo's stuff.

Edit:

Danarchy said:

Yeah, no one ever played those though, because the controls were too clunky. I remember the version of Sim City for SNES. That was weird.


And yet it was vastly superior to the Windows 95 version I picked up, which seemed to be a straight port of the DOS version in higher res and using the Windows UI for its...windows.

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I think the "glory days" of Quake 1/2/Half-Life 1-era PC gaming are gone, but that's not a bad thing. Instead, I think PC gaming is evolving into something different that's fusing PC Gaming's natural attraction to indie games with the big, corporation-made hits you see these days. Kind of a jack-of-all-trades with little of the bad stuff in it.

I think you can say that Steam is the one that's making PC gaming what it is today. Indie games are selling very well there, and even the big name games are doing some good business (like CoD, Skyrim and Assassins Creed). Steam has also made it extremely easy to pick up certain classics like Doom and Quake for cheap and without having to deal with things like old installers. GoG is giving some old DOS and Windows games new life. PC graphics are starting to plateau out for the time being (partially thanks to the limitations of consoles), so getting a good rig isn't that expensive. Frankly, I think this is the best time to be a PC gamer in ages. It's much better than the "dark days" from 2001-2004, where Counter-Strike completely dominated PC gaming and PC games were being ignored in favor of consoles.

Really, what other system lets you play Doom, Quake 1, Mass Effect, Counter-Strike, Modern Warfare 3, Fallout New Vegas, Assassin's Creed: Revelations and Planescape: Tornment on it?

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The only "former state" I can apply to PC gaming is the original focus of--as I've mentioned in another thread--reflex action and puzzle solving. That's the fundamental purpose of a video game and it has slowly been replaced by immersing the player into an interactive movie. It's that attitude that contemporary gamers prefer. I don't think it necessarily marks the downfall of PC gaming, but it does mark a change that myself a lot of other people have no interest in.

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GoatLord said:

The only "former state" I can apply to PC gaming is the original focus of--as I've mentioned in another thread--reflex action and puzzle solving. That's the fundamental purpose of a video game and it has slowly been replaced by immersing the player into an interactive movie. It's that attitude that contemporary gamers prefer. I don't think it necessarily marks the downfall of PC gaming, but it does mark a change that myself a lot of other people have no interest in.


The good thing about PC gaming is that mod tools have been developed for games of that style, letting people make their own level sets and the like. I feel the large amount of custom Doom and Quake 1 single player levels mostly offsets the lack of twich and maze-based single player FPSses out there these days, even if they do use the same enemy and weapon sets.

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deathbringer said:

There needs to be another videogame crash, more than anything. Then the companies responsible for excessive intrusive DRM, DLC-on-the-disc and "expiring" demos might finally go "yeah maybe we were a little out of line".
BUT instead they simply weasel in all this bullshit with the promise that it will "keep your games updated" by "ensuring you always have the latest patch!".



I'm pretty sure those empty suits would blame the crash on piracy anyway, rather than blaming themselves for making it easier/more convenient to pirate the games in the first place.

Also, lol @ subtle jeer at Steam.

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Considering how massively mainstream video games are these days, how could a crash even occur at this point?

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