What the 'console-ification' of PCs means for gamers

by Brad Chacos

Traditionally, gamers have voluntary segregated themselves into two camps: console gamers and PC gamers. Hostility between the two runs irrationally deep, and rare is the gamer who’s willing to proclaim allegiance to both sides. Either you’re part of the Alliance, or you’re part of the Horde.

But the times, they are a-changin’.

Convergence is the buzzword of the day, and it’s rearing its head big-time in the gaming world. On one side, the upcoming PlayStation 4 console sports a suspiciously computer-esque core. On the other side, a wave of new technologies is bringing a remarkably console-like experience to PC gaming. The lines are beginning to blur. Mr. Miyamoto, tear down that wall!

The implications of a shared gaming backbone could span a whole series of articles, but this is PCWorld, not Game Informer. As such, we’ll limit our scope thusly: What does this titanic technology shift mean for you, die-hard PC gamer?

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JsonHenry2003d ago

So the consoles are glorified PCs now and somehow the PC is becoming "console-fied". No. Your consoles are becoming "PC-ified" and it is a very good thing.

PCs have had gamepad support of all kinds since inception. Consoles however are just this generation adding things like demos, patches, digital downloads, alternative input support, and so on.

The only thing this author hit on the head is streamlined controls becoming more common in PC games. This is done by default rather than using something like joy2key or your gamepad's custom software. This isn't new to PC gaming. It is just new coming with built in support more often than not directly from the game-makers.

ATi_Elite2003d ago (Edited 2003d ago )

I read the title and Laughed. HOW stupid the writer is.

No such thing as console-ification of the PC.

Way too much Hype and Praise is given to stupid consoles who by the way are turning into PC's. PC Gaming has evolved to better serve the GAMER and bring Gamer and Indie Dev closer.

meanwhile consoles are just Flat-out copying everything PC's do. Games, Hardware, delivery system, etc. but in way to ONLY fatten SOny/Ms pockets.

So again there is NO such thing as console-ification of the PC cause the PC for one does more than play games and two the PC equals total control and customization of your gaming experience while consoles are one size fits all.

I've played so many Betas and ALphas with the actual Devs that it's almost becoming a required trait on the PC meanwhile NO CONSOLE gamer can say that cause Publishers are the Evil middlemen and keep Developers and Consoler Gamers separate.

PC = Freedom and Choice
console = one size fits all take it or leave it.

The 24/7/365 bombardment of console game advertisement has really effected peoples brains into thinking consoles are so great. 98% of console games I can play on my PC minus the VERY small few exclusives worth playing.

Meanwhile the PC has whole Game genres that the consoles are not even making like RTS, ARPG, and Mobas plus all the other 100's of PC Exclusives like Arma 3, Hawken, Tribes:Ascend, TERA Rising, etc..

dcbronco2003d ago

I disagree. They are the same machines in a lot of ways. Both have pushed technology forward and will continue to do so. PCs have led the way in pushing technology but that is changing. Like in any products, the most popular will take the lead. As consoles get bigger they will take the lead mostly.

They started to take the lead in the current generation. The Cell was one of the first chips to move toward GPGPUs(Larrabee(Xeon Phi came later). The APU in PCs and the next consoles will be the next to push that direction. The 360 pushed multiple cores and unified shader architecture in GPUs.

Now consoles are moving towards better control interfaces and taking PCs with them. PC fans will tell you the mouse and keyboard will reign forever, but they won't. Once someone does a voice controlled RTS right the keyboard will be one step closer to losing it usefulness as a gaming control.

PCs are more open. Right now. I believe the rumors of ARM core for TrustZone security are a sign that consoles will become more open. The tweaks added by console makers will lead to advances in the way PCs will work soon. Microsoft is not just getting help from AMD, they have helped AMD also. And by both consoles using AMD APUs, that architecture will get a needed boost it has been denied by PC users. APUs haven't been as good as Intel in single core apps. But they have competed in multi-core apps. The consoles and their tweaks will allow APUs to shine and that will lead to a revolution in the PC world.

All of those game genres are game forms that will make their way to consoles. Mods will come. Free to play and MMOs. The only real advantage that will remain for PCs is the willingness of users to upgrade at a faster rate. Consoles do need to keep it to a four year cycle. Technology changes too much each year.

JeffKaos2003d ago

I've been a PC gamer since the days of the Commodore 64 and Amiga but I ended up jumping ship to the Xbox a few years ago when my gaming rig went down and I really haven't regretted the move. While I certainly miss user created mods and superior graphics I definately don't miss the intrusive DRM, the necessity of 3rd party software for team speak or the always online requirements that seem to be becoming more and more common place. As an older gamer I also can't deny the "couch factor", it's much easier to just sit back on my couch, pick up a controller and have at it as opposed to sitting at my desk to play games. I know there's been ways to hook up my PC to my TV but like everything with PC's it's a little more of a hassle than it is with consoles. I am excited about these new Steam Box type PC's though and they're probably going to cause me to hold off buying a next gen console so I can way all my options. I just hope the pricing is comparable to the next gen. consoles. If it is I might just make a return to the PC, especially if these new PC systems let me play some of my classic games like Planescape or Jagged Alliance 2.

Kurt Russell2003d ago

My age was a large factor for me turning to consoles. It's a lot more convenient and appealing to sit on my sofa and play, especially after spending all day in an office sitting at a PC before hand.

decrypt2003d ago (Edited 2003d ago )

I am 33 now. Been a PC gamer since 1995. Used to play on consoles before that Snes, Nes, Atari etc.

I find PC gaming much more convenient. Reason being I dont have to get up get disks to play different games.

Its all about Clicking Play on Steam(over 150 games on my steam account).

Also with the next gen of consoles coming, imagine the hassle it will be. Having half your library on a previous console having the other half on the new console. Are you constantly going to switch boxes or just have them all hanging around on your tv?

Btw PC does support Tvs too. Hit the center button on the controller and Steam Bigpicture mode loads up. The PC essentially gets console interface.

So all my games from the past 25 years(this includes my old console games via emulation) in one place all at a click of a button, how is going console more convenient?


Well consoles themselves are a DRM, try playing any of your Xbox 360 games on the 720 and they probably dont work. At least with the PC you do have a chance of retaining BC. So its a double edged sword. Yes some PC games have annoying DRM, however since PC platform has no gens as such like consoles do, you get to have an insane amount of BC. With console you just lose everything, unless you are ok with keeping multiple old boxes plugged to your TV and are willing to buy them again when they fail.

With PC you just need one machine from the latest era and it will just keep playing your entire library.

jeffgoldwin2002d ago (Edited 2002d ago )


You are aware your pc can plug into the same exact hdmi port on your tv as your console, right? Heck you can even use xbox controllers on your pc. Im enjoying Steam gaming on my hd tv from my recliner.


Console-ification... never read an article when there's a poorly made up word in the title. Just implying PC's are becoming more like consoles is blasphemy... everything offered on consoles has been available for PC for ages now minus the mandatory subscription fee's to access P2P multiplayer.

For you guys paying for Xbox live... all I ask is that you go on strike and boycott your subscriptions for at least a month. Start a petition, demand silver access to multiplayer at least... do SOMETHING besides blindly paying for nothing. Do something before paying for basic P2P becomes an industry standard on top of paying your ISP.

WUTCHUGUNNADO2002d ago (Edited 2002d ago )


Give me a proper response. ☺

You know it's trolling to call someone a troll.

jeffgoldwin2001d ago

There's the rule of no feeding the fail trolls. It only encourages them to provoke others and declare their arrogant statements as better than everyone else's. This is the category you fall into sir.

WUTCHUGUNNADO2001d ago (Edited 2001d ago )

I see you practice what you preach.

If I feel adamant something I'm going to state it whether or not someone interprets it as trolling or not. I'm not bound by your opinion nor or you bound by mine... just accept what I have to say and keep your opinion to yourself unless you can give me a reasonable response. Unlike most people who make biased claims I in fact have owned a original xbox and 360 and have slowly watched Xbox live turn into the service it is today. I have also owned PS2/PS3 with the latter offering almost the same online experience as Xbox live but without the yearly fee. Don't get me wrong... I'm not praising or damning either one but it's obvious where the better deal is in terms of whats offered for the initial price of the console. If you can't admit paying a yearly fee for P2P access is a rip off (placing your loyalties to microsoft aside) then no amount of reasonable logic will convince you otherwise and it's pointless to converse with such a biased tool.