Is PC Gaming Dead? And what dose this mean for the Future?

With the rise of consoles, or more rightly the first pressing of AAA game titles going to the consoles, I have been wondering/worrying if the PC is going to be relegated to a terminal for World of Warcraft, or the next MMORPG. This seems to be a belief only held by me, game developers, gaming press and the odd blogger. As for my friends - there is a strong belief that I'm very, very wrong.

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Massacre3860d ago

PC gaming is not dead, it's undead and zombie like right now.

TheExecutive3860d ago

yeah! what DOSE this mean?

What does that headline mean? how did this get approved?

Harry1903860d ago

it has to be edited properly

theox2g73860d ago

"I don't believe it's all as cut and dried as these developers seem to believe. Yes, I do think that piracy is a problem, but it's not the whole story.

I have to agree with a few other posters here about system requirements for recent games. If you want to maximise your target audience, then you really need to stop making games that will only run on high-end machines. I don't know the actual statistics, but judging by Valve's online PC survey the majority of the installed PC user base simply are not running the latest and greatest hardware.

So is it any surprise that you don't sell 5 million units of a game when a comparatively small percentage of PC gamers can match the system requirements to run the game at an acceptable frame-rate?

As I said in another thread, you can't manufacture a car exclusively to meet the needs of midgets and expect widespread sales. It just isn't going to happen.

That is why the likes of Valve had been smart to ensure that their game engine/games run on older hardware. Developers have been shooting themselves in the foot by chasing prettier pixels at the expense of gameplay, and listening far too much to graphics whores about less then stellar graphics when they only make up a small proportion of their potential audience.

I also agree about the marketing aspect of PC games. People tend to get very little exposure to PC games when they are out and about, but console titles are hard to miss because they are plastered everywhere, including TV ads. If you don't widely market a product, again don't be surprised if it doesn't sell that well.

You can rely on word of mouth, but that's a two edged blade. If someone doesn't like your game for whatever reason, they are going to tell other people about it, which will also lead to a reduction in potential sales.

Often, after sales support for many games is extremely lacking, usually only going as far as a patch or two before a developer/publisher drops all support. The smart devs continue to support their games longer after release, fixing, tweaking and adding content on a regular basis - and so garner the respect of gamers.

No one is going to thank you for a 'wham, bam, thank you mam' attitude, with no recourse. I totally agree with others that it is ludicrous for the gaming industry to have such draconian restraints on your rights as a consumer.

If a car salesman plastered his showroom with posters about car thieves, and told you that you can't try out a car before you buy it, and that if you do buy it and don't like it you can't get your money back - you would frankly go elsewhere. It also wouldn't help if the salesman eyes you up and down and assumes all potential customers are car thieves, and puts four wheel clamps and steering wheel clamps on every car on display. It's just bad marketing.

Well then, why are developers surprised when gamers go elsewhere?

I'm not promoting piracy, and disagree with the practice, but I can at least understand why it is prevalent. When you try to dictate to people what they can and can't do with something they've purchased, they are going to lash out. Just look at the music industry for a parallel to the situation in the gaming industry. The more the labels tried to constrain their potential audience, the more that audience wanted to break free of such constraints. It's human nature.

Anyway, if your game doesn't sell well on the PC, don't simply assume (in my view wrongly) that piracy is the only reason. There are a wealth of potential factors impacting on sales, and the others should not be ignored in deference to the most popular scapegoat.

Until developers and publishers start tackling some of the root causes of piracy, they will not make much headway. Hell, I remember back in the day when Id Software released the first nine levels of Doom as Shareware. Sure, some people would have paid for it, but most probably didn't - yet it ingrained that game in people's psyche so much that eventually they wanted to play the full game and paid for the privilege. You don't see that kind of marketing these days. Sometimes devs don't even bother with demos, and I'm sorry to say I won't touch any game these days without trying a demo first. I've been stung too many times by putting down money for a game that turned out to be mediocre, or in some cases wouldn't even run properly on my PC. I've yet to play Sniper Elite for this reason - I've got 3 PCs in my house, each with a different configuration, and none will run that game for more than five minutes. As far as I know a patch was never released.

That kind of thing leaves a very bad taste in your mouth, and makes you far more wary about the next game you pick up and the developer loses some (or all) of your respect.

Instead of blaming gamers, turn the microscope on your own industry and try to figure out where it went wrong. If you develop a game for only the high end, then don't advertise it, ship it full of bugs that shouldn't have got past beta testing, then don't properly support your PC game and call your entire target audience a bunch of pirates into the bargain - remind me why I should buy your product?"

BeaArthur3860d ago

I don't think PC games are dead or dyeing as far as MMO's but for games you can get on a console they are (or at least should be) killed off. Should I pay $400 for an xbox or ps3 for the next 5 years, or should I spend hundreds or thousands on a PC and then spend hundreds more to upgrade it every two years so I can play new games? Not to mention all the hacking and moding that goes on with PC games. Yes I know people modify xbox's but it is far less rampant as it is with PC's.

DeadlyFire3859d ago

All the hacking and modding going on with PCs? Do you even know what a mod is? Modding on a PC is a good thing. Modifing or overclocking a CPU/GPU/RAM can add in more performance and doesn't hinder or change anything. There is nothing wrong with that and other mods for games can add new life to certain game engines. You can mod and add in your own levels to any PC game and share them with friends and play on them. You will get that with the next batch of console games as well I bet. Only reason consoles don't have hackers going after them is because they havn't begun to open up yet. They will do so in a few more generations no doubt.

Also as far as the PC market goes with its current trend if you want a new cheap PC. You can get one fairly well priced. Its the GPU that hikes it all up, but even so prices of them are coming down. You can get a 8800 GTX for only $350. ATI's current top card is $450 and slightly outdoes the 8800. Likely with more competition stepping into the market a price war is surely to begin. S3 and Intel are both working on a GPU/VPU(Intel calls it a Video Processing Unit) for release soon. S3 is begining in the Low-End and Intel is going for a top-notch solution for gaming. You can get a build that can last for under $600-1500 bucks. It just depends on what you want to play.

Even so there is no need to upgrade every 2 years. You can get a good build and it can last for 4-6 years with decent performance. Likely in first two years you can play it all in top graphics on everything new. In the next two years you should be able to play most games at high or medium settings with good framerate with a few Crysis like games requiring you to drop a few games to lower settings in the next couple of years. Next version of DirectX should be released somewhere in 5-6th year.

Chuck Norris3859d ago

For $500, you can buy 10 games on the PC this year or you can upgrade your PC and download those 10 games illegally for free. Whether you want to accept it or not, piracy is a big concern.

Sayai jin3860d ago

No, I do not think it is dead, but it has seen a delcine. The console market is not helping PC's case, the cosole market has never been so vast

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