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-   -   PC Gaming Myths @ ExtremeTech (http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2810)

Dhruin September 27th, 2007 14:12

PC Gaming Myths @ ExtremeTech
 
Yes, it's a bit of a tired subject but ExtemeTech's PC Gaming Myths includes a look at the sales side data (although it lacks specific individual multiplatform title comparisons):
Quote:

Sales tracking firm NPD said there were "over $970 million" in PC game sales, and $7.4 billion in total game sales. So, roughly a billion in sales for the PC, and $6.4 billion for consoles. Consoles are slaughtering PCs, right? Actually, it's not that simple.
First of all, it's a stacked deck. The PC is one platform, the Xbox 360 is one platform, the PlayStation 3 is one platform, the Nintendo DS is one platform, etc. If you make a game for the PS3, it doesn't magically run on the 360 any more than it magically runs on the PC. PC game sales as tracked by NPD are being beat over 6:1 by the combination of all console platforms. Of course it is! NPD did not provide a breakdown by platform (except for the PC), though. Divvy up that $6.4 billion in console sales into its respective separate platforms: Xbox, PS2, Gamecube, Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, Gameboy Advance, Nintendo DS, and PSP. There are at least nine major "console" platforms, each as incomparable to each other as the PC is to consoles, contributing to that $6.4 billion in sales. If the distribution were even (and it's not), you'd have about $711 million per console platform. Now, the PC is leading! Of course, consoles like the PS2, Nintendo DS, and Xbox 360 had the lion's share of game sales, while newer and more expensive systems like the PS3 with a more limited software lineup had less. It's safe to assume, in the absence of specific console-by-console data, that PC game sales fell somewhere in the middle of the pack—behind the top few console systems, and ahead of several others. You could certainly characterize the PC as selling games at retail "just as well" as "the average console system."
More information.

KasperFauerby September 27th, 2007 14:12

Yeah, but then you have to consider which platforms are the most easy to port the title across. You guys always complain that console titles that are ported to the PC sucks because of controls, interface etc. The same would then obviously be true if you were to port a PC game to the consoles. On the other hand, the controls for PS2, Xbox, Xbox360 and PS3 are very similar, making it easier to port the gameplay between these platforms. With this in mind it makes sense for the developers to focus on the consoles, since they can more easily guarantee a quality product (leading to more sales combined) across multiple platforms that way. The PC version then unfortunately often becomes the least significant platform. So with all this in mind I think it *is* safe to say that currently the consoles are slaughtering the PC, when it comes to sales..

Lethal Weapon September 27th, 2007 14:24

"NPD only tracks retail sales, and only in the U.S.."

In other words, those stats are worthless.

IMO consoles were and remain an inferior gaming platform, their recent rise sustained only by companies like Microsoft and Sony willing to loose billions of dollars to promote their products.

With PC hardware vastly outselling consoles *and* being profitable, with no sponsor behind the scenes to cook up any numbers, factoring in things like online distribution etc, I wouldn't be surprised if the real situation in a worldwide scale was in fact quite the reverse and the total profit from PC gaming is much greater than that from all consoles added together.

TheMadGamer September 27th, 2007 17:05

Interesting article. About a year ago the buzz was, for about the 10th time in my life, 'PC Gaming is dead.'

As usual, it's still here. I suspect in the next industry slow down the debate will rage on yet again. And again there will still be PC games…

I had a good chuckle the other day when I walked into a local EB store and noticed that the store had allocated some of its 'prime time' shelf space to PC games after about a 2 year hiaetous keeping PC games on separate break-away shelves… a fact that the 'PC Gaming is Dying' crowd used to drive home the point that PC Gaming were in fact dying. In the meantime, larger retail outfits here in the U.S. such as Fry's Electronics, Best Buy, & Comp USA never saw much change at all in PC gaming shelf allocation.

zakhal September 27th, 2007 17:07

Well I wouldnt mind a new amiga/C64…Death to PC!

BillSeurer September 27th, 2007 17:19

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lethal Weapon (Post 47109)
IMO consoles were and remain an inferior gaming platform

Sorry, but consoles are and have been a superior gaming platform for many kinds of games for many reasons. PCs can be better (but aren't necessarily) except for a few genres of games. You probably like some a limited subset of games which work best on PCs. That's great! But there are a lot of other kinds of games out there, too.

And if someone trots out that lame "dumbed down" argument again I am going to hit them over the head with any of a number of stupid PCs games (that last MoO abomination anyone?) that desperately need "dumbing down" to make them playable.

NFLed September 27th, 2007 17:52

The question isn't which platform is superior or more fun, the question is for which platform is a game more profitable because without profit gaming is dead. Is it more profitable to make a specific game for PC or for a specific console? That isn't addressed in this article, only a peripheral subject of that is addressed which is gross revenue and it's only for US and it's not even broken down by console.

Alrik Fassbauer September 27th, 2007 18:05

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lethal Weapon (Post 47109)
"NPD only tracks retail sales, and only in the U.S.."

The main problem is, that this leads into an international game producing policy based on statistics that are appropriate to the U.S. ONLY.

That means, if a company says that a certain genre of games sells very well in these statistics, and they then decide to focus on that - based on these sales statistics - they are imposing the overall design and producing decisions worldwide based on sales statistics that are viable in the U.S. only.

That means in the end that the world outside the U.S. is pwn3d.

Saber-Scorpion September 27th, 2007 18:21

Quote:

Originally Posted by BillSeurer
And if someone trots out that lame "dumbed down" argument again I am going to hit them over the head with any of a number of stupid PCs games

You would deny us our best argument? Oh, there are certainly dumb games for all platforms, but in general when a game makes a move from PC to console, it gets dumbed down. Examples:
Baldur's Gate -> Dark Alliance
Fallout -> Fallout: BoS
(and from some other genres, since you mentioned that)
Mechwarrior -> MechAssault
SW: X-wing series -> Rogue Squadron series
And then there's the Rainbow Six series, which is more simplistic now than it used to be, and it seems to be a result of an increased concentration on consoles over PC.

In the end it depends on the game, of course, but I generally prefer the PC as a platform for every genre that exists. The best quality of console gaming over PC gaming to me has always been split-screen multiplayer, and the new platforms seem to be limiting that (you'll have a hard time finding a 4-player split-screen racing game for the 360…). Of course, the general public will always prefer consoles simply because of their ease of use. So yeah, I agree they'll probably always sell better…

At least until consoles start becoming so much like PCs that you can hardly tell the difference. They seem to be moving that way.

doctor_kaz September 27th, 2007 18:26

Quote:

Originally Posted by BillSeurer (Post 47142)
Sorry, but consoles are and have been a superior gaming platform for many kinds of games for many reasons. PCs can be better (but aren't necessarily) except for a few genres of games. You probably like some a limited subset of games which work best on PCs. That's great! But there are a lot of other kinds of games out there, too.

And if someone trots out that lame "dumbed down" argument again I am going to hit them over the head with any of a number of stupid PCs games (that last MoO abomination anyone?) that desperately need "dumbing down" to make them playable.

For every one Masters of Orion 3 that you can come up with, I can come up with ten of Deus Ex: Invisible War, Serious Sam 2, Thief: Deadly Shadows, Rainbow Six: Lockdown, Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel, or Dreamfall.

But I agree with the person who said that it's not about what platform is better than what. It would suffice to say that the different platforms have their strengths and weakensses. The problem with PC gaming nowadays is that fewer and fewer developers are making games that cater to the strengths of that platform. The RTS and MMORPG genres are alive and well, but turn-based strategy is almost totally dead, FPS's are now limted to about one PC-centric game per year, and don't even get me started on single player RPGs (that aren't completely soulless shitty Diablo clones). And the days of the PC-centric RTS and MMORPG are numbered. As soon as the XBox 360 gets one hit RTS or MMORPG, that platform will become the lead for those genres as well.

The article has some interesting points. One of them is the canard that PC gaming is exorbitantly expensive. Not only do we get all of our games for $10-$20 cheaper, but we also don't have to pay for online play. How much is two years of XBox live Gold plus the price difference on 10 or 20 games? You're talking a video card upgrade right there.

The issue with sales has me thinking that one of the problems that PC gaming has that consoles will probably never have is that there are a lot more games in volume, but they divy up the sales a lot and there are tons of low quality games. So therefore, you hardly ever see a PC game leading the country in sales. The Wii ends up with games in the Top 10 every week, but how much of that is due to the fact that the platform has hardly any games to begin with? Also, a lot of console game sales are driven by astronomical licensed properties like Pokemon and the NFL. Without those, the numbers look a lot different. PC gaming, on the other hand, has mostly original IP's like The Sims, Myst, Starcraft, Warcraft, etc.

Also, the PC right now is suffering from a horrible lack of effort and attention from Microsoft, who, despite what their fanboys say, has repeatedly screwed over PC gamers with the X-Box. The PC platform is definitely in a sorry-ass state right now. I have never seen this bad, and I have been playing Commodore/Apple/PC games since the mid-80's at least.

Thaurin September 27th, 2007 18:35

It's preference and that's the end of it. This is as stupid as the whole Windows/Mac/Linux is superior thing.

Even if the games were dumbed down, it doesn't necessarily make them less enjoyable for everyone. Maybe for you. That makes PC the preferred platform for YOU. Congratulations.

Me, I like both since recently. Oh, and I can readily believe that console gaming is more popular. How is it hard to believe that the majority of people like just sitting down in front of the TV with a gamepad to play a game casually? Casual gamers are mostly higher in numbers.

Oh, and these statistics are useless. ;)

BillSeurer September 27th, 2007 19:00

Quote:

Originally Posted by Saber-Scorpion (Post 47162)
You would deny us our best argument? Oh, there are certainly dumb games for all platforms, but in general when a game makes a move from PC to console, it gets dumbed down. Examples:
Baldur's Gate -> Dark Alliance

BG and DA are really different genres of games so the comparison isn't valid.

Quote:

Fallout -> Fallout: BoS
Ditto.

DA and FO:BoS are basically "take some generic game and slap on a little themed chrome". And the PC has had its share of these that had nothing to do with consoles that I've heard were even worse; Descent to Undermountain anyone?

Quote:

(and from some other genres, since you mentioned that)
Mechwarrior -> MechAssault
I hated, HATED, MechWarrior on the PC and I am not familiar with MA but I doubt IMO that it could be worse.

Quote:

SW: X-wing series -> Rogue Squadron series
X-Wing would have been perfect on a console. In fact, it would have probably been BETTER on a console. Joysticks were pretty pathetic for PCs back when it came out. I went through 3 of them before I found one that worked well for XWing (and Tie Fighter). There was really nothing in them that being on a PC added to the games.

I know knothing about Rogue Squadron.

Quote:

And then there's the Rainbow Six series, which is more simplistic now than it used to be, and it seems to be a result of an increased concentration on consoles over PC.
Never played those.

zakhal September 27th, 2007 19:37

My console games work best on my pc-emulators. Better graphics, no savegame limits, no pal/ntsc/whatever problems, no controller limitations, no loading times, etc.

guenthar September 27th, 2007 20:39

The X-wing games played very well with a keyboard and mouse and (for me) much better then a joystick.

With Baldurs Gate: Dark Alliance they took the concept and dumbed it down and made it very linear. It is actually a simular game but dumbed down and made linear and they also removed the party system.

Keldryn September 27th, 2007 21:56

Quote:

Originally Posted by guenthar (Post 47195)
With Baldurs Gate: Dark Alliance they took the concept and dumbed it down and made it very linear. It is actually a simular game but dumbed down and made linear and they also removed the party system.

BG: Dark Alliance has more in common with Diablo than with the Baldur's Gate PC games. The biggest difference is that you have direct control over your character (with the gamepad) rather than using the mouse to click where you want to move and who you wish to attack.

Thaurin September 27th, 2007 22:03

Dark Alliance is more of a hack and slash game than an RPG. Which happens to work very well on a console.

guenthar September 28th, 2007 03:06

That's what happens when you domb down an rpg it becomes a hack and slash game because they take out the elements that bring it above just mindless fighting and simple gameplay. That is what they did with Diablo is took the concept of other crpgs that came before and dumbed it down and removed the elements that brought those games above mindless fighting and simple gameplay.

txa1265 September 28th, 2007 04:31

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thaurin (Post 47208)
Dark Alliance is more of a hack and slash game than an RPG. Which happens to work very well on a console.

I loved it on the GBA so I picked it up for the GameCube. Unfortunately I barely touch the console so I never finished, but recently my kids have picked up playing co-op through it on the Wii and having a complete blast. Which is what it is meant to do … and does extremely well.

Thaurin September 28th, 2007 09:15

That's the thing. It's an entire genre with its own following and strengths. You can call it dumbed down RPG all you want and it doesn't matter. I don't own the game, but I really want to, because it's a lot of fun. Especially co-op, like you said.

If that's dumbed down, I'm not ashamed of enjoying these dumbed down games.

txa1265 September 28th, 2007 10:12

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thaurin (Post 47268)
If that's dumbed down, I'm not ashamed of enjoying these dumbed down games.

That's the thing - I don't see that as 'dumbed down'. Is it the pure greatness of BG2? No - but neither does it try for that. It has a solid story, decent fun, and plenty of action. Just because it isn't a deep RPG doesn't mean it is dumbed down - it is what it tries to be.


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