Genetically Superior

Why PC Gaming is dying by Kevin
July 21, 2008, 12:57 am
Filed under: Technology, Written by Kevin | Tags: , ,

I used to swear that the PC was the only real gaming platform. Throughout high school I didn’t understand why I would spend money on something that only played games, my computer could do everything I wanted it to do. There really isn’t any reason PC gaming should be dying the way it is, considering theres a capable PC in almost every American home, a better install rate than any of the consoles can even come close to. The technology for PC gaming is also improving at an incredible rate, allowing for absolutely stunning graphics as seen in games like Crysis. So why are developers moving over to consoles in droves?

Piracy is definitely one of the most significant problems the developers face. I enjoyed playing video games on my PC, but I never enjoyed paying anything for anything. Piracy was pretty easy a couple years ago, but its even easier now. With the growing popularity of Bittorrent, the developers are fighting a formidable foe. As much as they try using DRM and copy protection, this mostly just frusterates the hell out of the paying consumers.  This is another story of an industry failing to adapt to a new environment. Combating piracy can be observed by looking at a few developers that are still very successful in the PC market. World of Warcraft is by far the most financially successful game of all time in my opinion. I don’t really understand why, but its hard to argue with 10 million paying subscribers still playing after almost four years. Also one can look at games from Valve having been very successful. I always thought Steam was a little annoying but it never stopped me from buying and playing its games. Steam represents a simple unobtrusive solution to the piracy problem. I don’t have any ideas on how to solve the piracy problem, but thats not my job.

I converted to Xbox 360 my senior year of high school and have since spent hundreds of dollars on additional games and accessories, more than I ever spent on PC gaming. This is mostly the result of paying for games on a regular basis. But I had very little problem dropping sixty bucks for a game that would give me twenty plus hours of entertainment. PC gaming has lost the excitement it used to have, with a few exceptions, there aren’t any exciting games on the PC that aren’t on the consoles. There aren’t any upcoming games that have produced the hype and excitement of games like Halo 3 or GTA IV (maybe with the exception of WoW expansions).

Console gaming also provides a seamless experience the PC has yet to perfect. All the games have the same box, and all of them will run flawlessly on my system without worry. While Microsoft tried this with the Games for Windows platform, standardizing box design, etc. I don’t think its worked the way they hoped it would. Games are still plagued with being very unstable at release, which is one reason I began to be turned off by PC gaming. Its hard to blame developers for this, developing for one console is relatively easily compared to developing for thousands of combinations of hardware configurations. I think this issue falls mostly on hardware manufacturers lacking standards that would make things easier for developers.

But its difficult to imagine that PC gaming has a bright future, as consoles begin to replace computers for music, movies, and the internet. With the growth of Xbox Live as a content delivery system, iTunes should be worried, especially with their new partnership with Netflix. I can’t imagine PC’s existing in the way they do now 10-15 years down the line, with powerful devices such as the iPhone and similar devices bringing the internet to people in a whole new way, and consoles bringing new forms of media delivery to the living room.

Its clear to me PC game developers have a long battle to fight, I wish them luck, but for now I’m gonna go pwn some noobs at Halo.


1 Comment so far
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ZOMG!!! x360 pwns all. wii is ghey n ps3 iz 4 loozers.

Comment by miK3_

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