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Default Gaming Alliance to Save PC Gaming? @ Mercury News

February 12th, 2008, 23:37
The Mercury News informs of a new group of super heroes who have formed an alliance to save PC gaming. Given that the team includes Intel, nVidia, AMD and Microsoft, I'm not sure who their arch-enemy will be but I'm sure a focus group and some marketing meetings can sort that out:
The personal computer game industry has trailed behind its console brethren in recent years as easy-to-play games on the Nintendo Wii or online games on the Xbox 360 have stolen the excitement.
Companies with a vested interest in keeping the PC alive as a gaming platform will soon announce a consortium dubbed the PC Gaming Alliance. According to two people familiar with the effort, it will include top industry players such as Intel, Microsoft, Nvidia and Advanced Micro Devices as well as a number of computer companies.
I hope they succeed. Gamers need a strong gaming industry for the PC because it delivers new gaming technologies to the market faster than consoles, which are refreshed every five years or so. And the PC industry needs gaming to keep it as a leading technology platform for the future.
The companies are preparing the announcement in advance of next week's Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. Part of the pitch is that the industry group will keep the PC competitive with game consoles to attract key game developers.
More information.

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February 12th, 2008, 23:37
If PC gaming is top notch technology then I hope it dies. However, I don't see it that way: PC gaming is top notch game design, and by leading it to the mainstream this "super heroes" are about to kill it for good.

Which eventually is a good thing since it's probable that PC will become indie exclusive territory
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February 12th, 2008, 23:43
Trying to artificially separate gaming technology and design is a bit silly. I mean they shouldn't be confused to the level that BioWare confuses 'em, but you can't make Fallout with Wasteland's engine, y'know.
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February 12th, 2008, 23:51
This is no suprise. I bet all those PC hardware manufacturers would loose a huge chunk of their profits if anything ever happened to PC gaming. Nobody is buying all those expensive 3D cards if not for the games that demand them. Companies like nvidia will do everything to keep PC as a competetive gaming platform.

Microsoft owning the PC operating system and been in the alliance and having their own console…eh..just makes my head hurt. I guess the manufacturers just muscled a deal with the devil to make pc games more acceptable.
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February 13th, 2008, 00:06
Hmm, it seems a bit odd that those who are, in many ways, responsible for the sorry state of pc gaming are going to save it.
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February 13th, 2008, 01:36
Originally Posted by ffbj View Post
Hmm, it seems a bit odd that those who are, in many ways, responsible for the sorry state of pc gaming are going to save it.
Exactly. And like Druin asked, save it from whom? I think this alliance is probably being formed to to emphasize and promote ease of use and graphics capabilities.

Oh, I wish I had a river I could skate away on. But it don't snow here. It stays pretty green. I'm going to make a lot of money, then I'm going to quit this crazy scene. — [Joni Mitchell]
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February 13th, 2008, 01:43
Nothing beats declaring yourself a hero by fixing a problem you caused yourself
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February 13th, 2008, 02:05
The sky is falling. Again.

If I'm right but there is no wife around to acknowledge it, am I still right?
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February 13th, 2008, 02:27
speaking of EA here is an interesting newsbit about the ceo of EA admiting they screwed up when aquiring Bullfrog and Westwood.
http://tgnforums.stardock.com/?aid=177287
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February 13th, 2008, 02:46
A miracle! EA realise their stupidity so many years after they've destroyed countless top-tier developers, including Westood, Origin, Looking Glass, and Bullfrog.

Garriot and Molyneux are shadows of what they used to be, and who knows what became of the key Westwood and LG people. In any case, they're all developers involved in some of the best games of all time, including Dune 2 (they invented real-time strategy), Lands of Lore, Legend of Kyrandia, System Shock, Thief, Ultima, Syndicate (though Molyneux the overrated wasn't lead designer on that one), and so on.

Anyway, it's too late now, and the industry has become something entirely different than it was in those days. EA is a huge contributor to what we're witnessing today, and no amount of realising that on their part will bring back what they destroyed.

Sorry to be so melodramatic, but there it is.
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February 13th, 2008, 02:53
Yep, sometimes "I'm sorry" isn't enough.

Where there's smoke, there's mirrors.
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February 13th, 2008, 03:05
Strange that no mention was made of Origin, their biggest 'stuff-up' IMO!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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February 13th, 2008, 04:25
I guess any action is (usually) better than no action. That said, all these vendors can make big strides if they want to…but they probably don't.

For example, Microsoft can drop its silly current approach to Gaming for Windows with DX10 / Vista exclusives, improve and open up their useless Live client and stop signing exclusives for the X360 that exclude the PC. They could even (shock! horror!) spend some of their billions publishing some niche games that won't make huge profits but that expand and encourage the platform.

Hardware vendors like nVidia can improve the communication of their products. For example, I just ordered a new laptop and I was comparing two models - one with a 8600M GT and one with the new 9500M GS…I had a hell of a time finding out the real performance of the 9500. How many people buy a crippled card with some sort of innocent moniker (an "LE" or "SE" card, for example) thinking they are getting good performance but only to be disappointed and decide its all too hard?

None of these things would magically fix PC gaming but collectively, it would make it easier and more attractive.

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February 13th, 2008, 06:23
Originally Posted by Brother None View Post
Nothing beats declaring yourself a hero by fixing a problem you caused yourself
Create a 'problem' or an event, engender a reaction (usually fear or outrage), and then offer a solution which guides the public to the desired result. This is how governments and the media function for the most part, whether anyone wants to admit it or not.
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February 13th, 2008, 08:36
This is actually the first time I'm getting nervous about PC gaming. Sure, we all like to decry "sky is falling" mentality and we make fun of the big players, such as Microsoft. But, reality is that a lot of smart people work for these companies, and if they are going so far as to form this "alliance", it's a clear signal to me that there really is trouble. As to the "make trouble and then ride in like a white knight" conspiracy theory: huh? Only MS is directly involved with a console, and they still don’t, from what I understand, command a majority share of the market and just got out of the red with their console division. On the other hand, I do agree with Dhruin that PC's make it way too hard on the consumer to know what the hell is going on compared to just buying a console and not having to think about it. To me, if there is a PC-gaming crisis and this alliance is serious about solving it, that is the biggest target. Find a way to make it easy on Joe Average consumer to feel confident that buying an off-the-shelf PC will allow them to purchase and play any game they want. Stop with the bleeding edge shit that requires the consumer to dive deep into hardware details to find out how to customize their rig to play the latest games.

In a way, the PC gaming industry is not being killed by consoles. It's killing itself.
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February 13th, 2008, 08:50
Originally Posted by chamr View Post
the biggest target. Find a way to make it easy on Joe Average consumer to feel confident that buying an off-the-shelf PC will allow them to purchase and play any game they want.

That is the concept of a Videogame Console - NOT a PC. It is especially true for the XBox and the 360 which are just PCs made ready to play from the getgo.

No, "cutting edge" technology AND the power of free development on the net (non profit - not this indie shit) combined, will save the PC as a gaming platform.

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February 13th, 2008, 09:39
Originally Posted by Sir_Brennus View Post
That is the concept of a Videogame Console - NOT a PC. It is especially true for the XBox and the 360 which are just PCs made ready to play from the getgo.
True to some extent for the Xbox, but the Xbox 360's CPU is IBM's Xenon processor, which is a three-core chip based on PowerPC technology. So more like a Mac than a PC. But then again, Macs are PC's, too, I guess.

Anyway, I like the way the PC gaming industry is laid out. I mean, I want to have a ton of choice and competition in the video card market, custom-build my own PC's, upgrade them every so often, and so on. It's what defines PC gaming and always has been. Consoles are the ones meant for ease of use.
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February 13th, 2008, 11:01
With AMD and Nvidia involved I don't expect there'll be any big moves to cut the choice and competition in Vid cards (agreed the naming conventions could do with some work though). I think the difficulty of knowing what your hardware will run is a bit overblown anyway - I can only think of one game in the last five years I haven't been able to run after clicking through the default install and I've hardly got a cutting edge computer. Personally I'm more concerned by the suggestion that PC games should be competing with the 'easy-to-play games on the Nintendo Wii '.
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February 13th, 2008, 11:20
Yeah, the horror, the horror. The unwashed console masses will invade our beloved platform and take our *smart* games from us. Waah!

Seriously, folks: every sophisticated gamer started out an unsophisticated gamer. (Especially Morbus.) If you care about niche markets flourishing on the PC, you *need* a big, flourishing mainstream market on it too. You need it to maintain a pool of gamers, some of whom will eventually get bored and become sophisticated gamers (like Morbus), and move into the niches. And you need it to maintain the technology.

If the PC dies out as a mainstream gaming platform, the niches on the PC will wither. If the console makers' business models permit it, the niches will reappear on the consoles. But since we'll be locked in to the console makers' business models, that, IMO, would be a highly undesirable outcome.

As a bonus, think of it this way: the more dumb flashy shoot-em-up gamers there will be on the PC, the better you'll be able to feel about your sophistication.

Just ask Morbus.
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February 13th, 2008, 12:45
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
If the PC dies out as a mainstream gaming platform, the niches on the PC will wither. If the console makers' business models permit it, the niches will reappear on the consoles. But since we'll be locked in to the console makers' business models, that, IMO, would be a highly undesirable outcome.
Isn't that a bit of a simplification, economically?
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