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Default Future Belongs to PC Gaming @ Extreme Tech

March 25th, 2008, 14:03
Originally Posted by blatantninja View Post
I think one thing that could REALLY save PC gaming long term is the migration we are currently seeing (in it's infancy IMO) from a solo desktop to a connected terminal. Granted, google docs are a long way away from replacing MS Office, but in time, most, if not all apps could be delivered in such a way. Obviously, to do that we'd need better wireless coverage so that you could ALWAYS get online.
I really hope we wont get to that kind of situation.

- First there are serious integrity issues with constantly being online (and at least at the moment security issues for those of us who have both work/banking/whatever important stuffs (that I'd definitely wouldnt want to put on some online "disk") on the machine as well as games).
- Second there are plenty of locations that wont get wireless coverage unless it is satellite based (having grown up in the countryside of a country with the same population density as the US I can attest to that).
- Third networking adds another layer of technology that can fail at critical points of time (having seen servers crash at inopportune moments while preparing a major computer science conference I can guarantee that you dont want to be on either side of that happening)
- Fourth it would require a paradigm shift in computing technology for something as computationally intensive and responsive as game graphics. Signals can "only" move at the speed of light, which introduces lag.

For me the real dealbreakers are the integrity/privacy and the stability issues. I'd gladly migrate to consoles if that's what it would take to play games offline…

EDIT: I'd agree that the trend is there though
Last edited by Zaleukos; March 25th, 2008 at 14:11.
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March 25th, 2008, 15:03
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
Forget the true business market. Having spent many, many years selling computer gear, Intel goes out of their way to promote their blazingly fast, incredibly fantastically awesome integrated 945 video to home buyers. Exaggeration is something that always happens in marketing but absolutely Intel deserves blame for conning home buyers into thinking that was all they would need.
But this has been a problem for a long, long time. I'm not going to argue that it helps PC gaming, but PC gaming has been a confusing hobby as long as it has existed. If anything, it's easier for the average Joe to understand what he needs to do to play a game than it was 15 years ago, not harder. It's easier to get a game running. It's easier to find out what you have to do to install a video card. And you don't have to worry at all about sound cards anymore.

This is also true of cost. PC gaming has been much more expensive than console gaming for as long as PC gaming has existed. If you think that it costs an arm and a leg to get Crysis running on your PC (it doesn't), then look back at how much an Apple IIe cost in 1985 compared to an NES. Console gaming has always been a much cheaper and more accessible option. Nothing new here.

Any analysis of the decline of PC gaming has to start with what has changed in the past five or six years that has caused the decline. What has been the biggest change in the gaming landscape sine the year 2001? And that question can be answered with one word. (I'll give you a hint: it has four letters and it begins and ends with an "X").

Any effort by companies like Microsoft and Nvidia to analyze of the market that they, themselves, have cannibalized is going to be completely worthless until they look in the mirror. It's impossible for a platform to survive when the custodians of the platform are actively undermining it and destroying it by promoting and subsidizing a competing platform. While you and I were paying $500 for a GeForce 4 series of cards, Nvidia was busy losing money on the original XBox by providing video cards for it. Meanwhile, Microsoft makes huge profits off of operating systems while throwing away a billion+ dollars every year on console gaming. They also pay developers for exclusives and timed exclusives. They also never promote PC gaming at big events like E3, but they do brag loudly about how the XBox 360 is now the proud home of console RTS's . It doesn't take a genius to figure out that economic forces are going to push people away from PC gaming when this happens. How many more years will it be before the PC RTS is dead? This is so obvious that it makes me wonder if Microsoft is even remotely genuine about wanting to keep PC gaming alive, or if they are legitimately that stupid.
Last edited by doctor_kaz; March 25th, 2008 at 15:22.
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March 25th, 2008, 23:22
I don't really disagree with most of that but how does that release Intel from any blame, which was the point I was responding to?

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April 3rd, 2008, 17:23
Interesting article on the subject of graphics cards:

People Probably won't need discrete graphics cards anymore

If Intel can really make this work, then it could be a huge boon for gaming.

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April 3rd, 2008, 17:52
It makes perfect sense to me. From a technical standpoint, that's exactly how these things go. Things that needed to be accomplished with huge boxes are eventually accomplished with small boxes, then with boards, then chips and eventually with integration into a system on a single chip.

Markets sometimes drive it in another direction, though. We haven't actually needed sound cards for years. But there's still a market for them, and that's the only reason they keep being made (IMO).

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April 3rd, 2008, 17:59
From the sound card side, it seems that you only really need a sound card if you are a real audiophile.

If they can do what they are saying though, I think the game market will migrate away from GPU's. It's just basic business. Why program a game that only 10% (just made the number up) of stock PC's out today can run, when you can make a game that runs just as good (or maybe 95% or so) that runs on nearly every stock PC?

I'm still mainly a PC gamer, but outside of lack of time, the main thing that has kept thought that every year or so I'm going to need to drop a couple hundred bucks on a new video card, in addition to the CPU and Ram upgrades I need to do every 3 years or so.

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April 4th, 2008, 23:22
I actually have to disagree on the soundcard bit. Most 3D games use 3D sound environments, which are not properly replicated with on-board sound hardware. For instance, even in a game as old as first Gothic, when traveling through the Old Camp you would hear your footsteps constantly, but the conversations in the background would not blend, they would come sharp and out of nowhere. It's hard to describe unless you've experienced it, but trust me, it's very immersion breaking.

Also most on-board sound processors do not have enough "ump" to crank out sufficient volume for decent speakers. That's another reason why sound cards rule. Fortunately though, there's really no need to keep upgrading once you have a good one, unlike the current problem with video cards.

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April 5th, 2008, 01:05
Originally Posted by Jabberwocky View Post
I actually have to disagree on the soundcard bit. Most 3D games use 3D sound environments, which are not properly replicated with on-board sound hardware.
Not to forget stuff like EAX that brings out extra effects.
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April 5th, 2008, 03:56
Well, I'm probably not the best reviewer for sounds cards. In addition to being half deaf as it is, for the past two years, I've been using head phones instead of my 5.1 surround sound simply due to space reason!

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April 5th, 2008, 12:48
Originally Posted by blatantninja View Post
Well, I'm probably not the best reviewer for sounds cards. In addition to being half deaf as it is, for the past two years, I've been using head phones instead of my 5.1 surround sound simply due to space reason!
Same here. I have bought several headphones during the past years - currently I have koss closed ones. My 5.1 has been collecting mainly dust for many years. The wiring is simply too much trouble.
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April 6th, 2008, 17:42
I also have headphones. Especially since my left ear is … well, not deaf, but I hear very little with it.

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