We've seen various news articles, editorials and blog posts throughout the HD generation of consoles citing the demise of PC gaming as a direct consequence of the efforts of Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft.
We all know the reasons why this appears to be the case. Consoles offer a longer term, cheaper initial hardware investment and the bulk of the industry now caters towards making games for PS3, 360 and Wii as opposed to the unfairly neglected PC.
I believe however, a relative decline in PC gaming fortunes may also be due to another variable often overlooked in the debate. I'm talking of course, of Apple and Macs.
Yes, Apple has been the computing story of the last decade. While PCs still outsell Macs globally, with each iteration of the iMac and Macbook families, Apple's computer business is gobbling market share away from Windows based PC platforms. Apple is now the world's largest consumer electronics company, and has outstripped Microsoft in market capitalisation.
In fact, I'm typing this blog on a brand spanking new iMac, and long ago abandoned PCs for Macs way back in 2005.
The significance of this is that Apple computers are not traditionally gaming machines, and are in-fact poor gaming machines compared to PCs. I used to be a heavy PC game, but once I gave in to Mac-land, I literally stopped playing PC games, simply because I didn't have a computer capable of playing any of them.
Yes, a full two years before I bought my PS3 (my primary gaming machine), I was using a Mac that could not use games. So I turned in favour of consoles by default. I simply didn't own a computer that ran games, and my decision to get a PS3 had as much if not more to do with owning a Mac than it did with Sony's promises of next generation bliss.
I think of my friends, all at one time PC gamers, now Mac users all and all have PS3's and a few 360s. Macs are becoming, and are tipped to become, the dominant player in the home computer market, which PC gaming relies upon for survival.
So is it that the rise of Apple also has a direct link to, or at least a strong correlation with, the decline in PC gaming? I believe so. As more gamers turn to the gaming wasteland of Apple computing for whatever reason, they are also finding themselves looking for gaming solutions in a different machine, and thus the popularity of consoles.
I'd love to hear people's thoughts?