How to Fix PC Gaming Once and for All

PC gaming doesn't necessarily need fixing. The industry is raking in money, and don't let anyone tell you differently. However, with the demise of Games for Windows/Computer Gaming World magazine, the popularity of consoles, and games that once might have been PC-only appearing on said consoles, sometimes exclusively, a lot of myopic dorks are calling for PC gaming's funeral.

PC gaming is doing fine. Just ask Blizzard.

But if you really, really think it needs an overhaul, there are some aspects in which certain industry professionals seem to have their heads up their wazoos. PC gaming doesn't need to be fixed, but it does need some maintenance work to keep on running smoothly. Here are some areas that could use attention.

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I Call 9MM3881d ago (Edited 3881d ago )

There are a few things this article missed, IMHO of course. Here are a few.

1 - No more hardware with components "disabled" to sell as a cheaper version.
ATI/AMD does this, Nvidia does this, and so does Intel. They will design their higher end chips, and when they want to make a lower end model, they will disable part of the chip to decrease the performance. How about, instead of doing that, just release one version and average out the cost between all models. We don't need XT, XTX, PRO, GS etc... versions of one card. How about one version that has all the performance and just do that. Stop doing these dirty tricks to rip off consumers.

(Note, I do know they sometimes also use lower quality chips that don't pass the tests to be a high end card and make cheap cards out of them, like the release of a few 2900 PRO cards awhile back. The chips weren't good enough to be 2900 XTs. They were made in limited numbers and sold accordingly.)

2 - Lower costs.
As I said, some versions of chips are just high end chips with part of them disabled. I think every chip intel makes costs roughly the same to produce (~20 dollars USD I think). If this is the case, why are there so many different kinds? It's all marketing BS, that's why. Make your low power consumption chips for those that want them, and make your high end chips for everyone else, and don't try and trick consumers. All those chips that have a 200 mhz speed increase (2.0 ghz, then the next chip is 2.2 ghz and it costs another 40 dollars, then another 40 bucks for 2.4 ghz, etc... all the way up to 3.0 ghz), they are all pretty much the same chips with the multiplier ticked up a notch. Stop doing that. Turn it up all the way and stop locking it, and quit disabling half the cache to make a lower end chip, jeeze. You made it with 6 megabytes or whatever, don't disable half of it, that's just evil. Make them all close to the same and sell them accordingly. People are smart and some just overclock them themselves.

3 - Too much hardware variety and confusing nomenclature.

This just confuses gamers. How many version of the 8800 do we need? 320 MB GTS, 640 MB GTS, 768 MB GTX, 768 MB Ultra, 256 MB GT, 512 MB GT, 512 MB GTS, 320 MB GS, and now the 9800s and 9600s are pretty much just rebranded versions of these cards. Is a 9800 GTX better then the 8800 GTX? No, oh, well why does it have a GTX in the name, shouldn't it say GTS or GT, aren't they the lower end versions? Damn. I know Nvidia changed chips once or twice in there, but still. Too much variety, it confuses the consumer. Not only that, but every version of those cards are made by many of Nvidias partners, and some make versions with different coolers, overclocked, more RAM, less RAM, crappier RAM, etc... And the prices and configurations can confuse gamers. Do you buy a 8600 with 512 megs of RAM or a 8800 with 320 megs of RAM? Stop confusing us and releasing minor updates all the time with wacky names that don't sync up with the convention. Not only that, but is it better to hook up two 200 dollar cards in SLI or just buy one 400 dollar card? Who knows.

Release a low end card, a medium end card, a medium high end card with it's own chip, and then your high end card (maybe a dual GPU version of the high end one only too). 5 cards is plenty. Then, do a cost reduction on them when you do a die shrink. That's it. This goes for ATI/AMD and Nvidia as well, motherboard manufactures, everybody.

(I think the 8800 GTX/Ultras had a different chip then the GTSes that were first released).

4 - More software standards.

Games for Windows and Games for Windows Live should have had more rigid standards and more input from other developers. The idea could have worked, make every developer support all the same hardware, code properly, use the same standard for voice chat, better intergration with windows and games, etc... All it really turned out to be was a way for Microsoft to push their Live service and make 360 controllers compatible with games, whoopi.
Better driver support, better support between hardware, better patching (windows update should be able to pick up on new patches and stuff for my other software, instead of crap running in the background checking for it's own updates. I'm looking at you HP, LG and Logitech, and I'm sure there are a hundred other manufacturers that do this too).

There is a boatload of stuff that needs to be streamlined and overhauled in the PC sector. Hopefully more companies will cooperate and communicate with each other to fix these in the next OS that comes along.

xplosneer3881d ago

expecially with "underclocking". It's almost just as power wasting, yet these companies are being greedy and releasing an underpowered chip. Why not sell 1 to 3 chips that really have power differences and all are at the appropiate level, which ties into that there are so many of the same card.

Oh, and of course a unified gaming service, heck that's the main reason that I don't use my PC as much as my PS3. Go to Steam...go to server battlefield...oh wait, that's Gamespy...switches accounts...10 minutes later I'm set up and in. Plus not all my friends are on one or the other. REdiculous.

DanB913881d ago

except with number 4. GFWL blows c*ck. There is too much lag and u have to pay for the "full service". The only games that justify a monthly fee are MMORPG's. On one hand I agree PC games should all be under a unified service and since it is MS's OS they should do it. Problem is they make everything closed, very "unmoddable" one of the main reasons to play a PC game and everything has to run on their servers and be approved by them.

But on the other hand is the beauty of the PC is that everything is open and forcing everything to be unified would just make it another console. A PC developer shouldnt have to submit their games or a patch to a company. PC is where dev's start out because there is no limit. There shouldn't be another barrier to prevent them from spreading their creativity.

Charlie26883881d ago

@I Call 9MM: while what you said sounds nice and all but the majority regarding the hardware is sadly unrealistic (and even outdated in some parts)..not saying ist bad to think that way since its “logical” but its simply not looking at the whole picture in the actual world and how it works

for example lest address the points

1. You know what is base chipset hardware right? you know a LOT of hardware HAS to be done this way or the production cost will be excessive?, I think in many interview companies like NVIDIA said that making singles specific chipset (no under OC or disabling stuff) for each hardware will raise production cost and that would end up the in the final price which will contradict what you want in you second point, and then we have the little fact that the blatant practice of having the exact same chipset only with disabled or lower spec when everyone complained was over 4 years ago, Ironically after the changed people still complained since now they couldn’t trick low end card to being high end...I guess no matter what you do people will complain

2. Regarding the prices I think over the past 2 years the prices have gone BRUTALLY down, I think ANYONE familiar with hardware buying will tell you now more than ever you can buy the highest end at the cheapest prices (try telling someone 5 years ago that the best card you could get will be in the sub 200 dollars or that the next gen high end will only be 300 and let’s not even go to the processors people would have thought you were on acid), if you like things cheap I don’t think it’s wise to complain about the first point, like it or not that is how it works

3. This one is a confusing one you say people are smart enough to know to OC and yet will find obvious numerical increments confusing? Isn’t that sort o ironic? Hell isn’t OC increasing numbers! but coming back on topic this one is another one that goes in contradiction now with your second point, as you probably know they DO release the usual low, mid and high end one the thing is that they have to satisfy the costumers budget so the costumer doesn’t write columns with bullet point complaining about it so (see what I did there?) what do they do? create variation anyone can afford and later on release better cost effect version (spoiler works that way!), I think if we center on an specific card manufacturer lineup it’s not really confusing at ALL (you like having the choice? Having the ability to select what is best for your budget well having multiple manufactures does that same goes for the models)...but again counting on the fact that you (the consumer) know anything on hardware but yet again if we fallow you that people are smart enough to know to OC I guess they are smart enough on this too

4. Not even gonna talk about GFWL it gives me the shivers...I just hug my Xfire and pretend it all right

Again it ALL sound nice and logical in a perfect world but we are sadly in a world were companies do this for the money and to try to take care the most amount of costumer because that is what bring them the money, sadly like it or not having cheap thing comes with a cost the same can be said about the “confusing” part of thing you talk about

I think by now you realized that each of your 3 point on hardware are actually very conflicting with each other…in the real world if you wanna do it its (sadly) one or the other

But here have +bubbles for at least trying :)

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Baka-akaB3881d ago (Edited 3881d ago )

I actually felt pc gaming has been dying for a while , albeit slowly .
They kept confining themselves to the same genre , with the pretexts of keyboard and mouses , and most dev dont bother chasing after the big licences ...
They actually just copy it , and hope to get some of the leftovers .

Eq and Wow were successes ? Lets just clone it down to the interface and hope we get 500k users .

How often does anyone even bother challenging the kings of RTS ? Has anyone really attempted something as daunting and challenging as Total annihilation since its releases ? Not ofen , and not really until guess what ? Chris Taylor made its spiritual sequel Supreme Commander ...
Has anyone really bothered challenging Westwood's games cinematics feels , especially command and conquer? Nope not really until well Westwood , and in some way blizzard .
Has anyone really tried to appeal to the masses of the rts crowd , with a simple and high pace rts ? Not many , except well Blizzard and Westwood ...
And lets not forget the many civilisation and sim city clones ...

While consoles actively tried to make works genres that arent supposed to be meant to be on consoles , the pc lies there comatose ...
Consoles constantly tried to make FPS works , and they succeeded , to the point most of us look up to them for good fps , while the PC focus upon graphics . As much as i dislike Halo , people will remember it for ages ... Crysis ? At most people will remember a nice tech demo , and its engine maybe someday used in a great game , at best .

Dont believe me ? When was the last time an editor even tried an exclusive PC fighter game ? Or even properly adapting a console one (the last i remember was guilty gear) ?

You think consoles got as many clones and generic stuff ? Sure they got them , and they'll increases in numbers over time... however lets take the fighting game genre again . An extremely populated one to boot , yet from captom to snk games , from tekken to virtua fighter through DOA most of them are very differents ... street fighter is unmistakably different from Mortal Kombat ...
For all the criticisms Capcom got , the street fighter 2 series , the Alpha ones and the street fighter 3 series of games are very much different from each others .

I might be blind , but i no longer see the same amount of variety on pc .

It seems as if the only place left for pc creation is with MMO , with many turning even the crappiest ideas into a mmo , when the process got very little to do with creativity but trying to make bucks with anything , while mmo are hot ... so here we go with Badmington MMO!!

TheIneffableBob3881d ago

Seems like you aren't even looking beyond the surface of the PC when it comes to games. You're only referring to the big, well advertised names in PC gaming. However, there are a huge amount of smaller games made by small indie developers. This is what makes PC gaming so great: the amount of variety there is.

Tyrael3881d ago

" PC gaming is doing fine. Just ask Blizzard. "

I've said this in every PC gaming thread on this site lol

Baka-akaB3881d ago

It's further proof imo , if most of what we got to show over two years are WOW , the sims and once everywhile a new game making the top like crysis , or farther behind guild wars ... then the gaming scene is pretty bleak right now on pc .

I wont be surprised to see spore , the sims 3 and starcraft 2 as major successes .... but i dont expect a lot of other titles to do so .

Pc gaming is pretty bleak , just ask Epic about Unreal tournament 3 or why everyone is suddenly jumping in bed with Steam :p...

Baka-akaB3881d ago (Edited 3881d ago )

"You're only referring to the big, well advertised names in PC gaming"

Thats because like you saw i'm giving a general or if you prefer casual list . Of course when , as an ex i say that not many tried to reach Total annihilation's depth , by not many i mean "not many" , not "none" .

You gotta also admit that some of the titles you gave , the most awaited and noticable , are guess what ? From big names such as Blizzard , Gas powered games , Will Wright , in the RTS genre alone ...

a lot from the list is your standard stuff in fps , rpg , but better graphics each year as expected and not so much variety .

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