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-   -   RPG News - Is PC Gaming Dying (https://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=759)

Corwin November 27th, 2006 09:01

RPG News - Is PC Gaming Dying
Playfuls .com has an interesting piece on the perennial question of whether or not Consoles are killing PC gaming. Here's the introduction:

During the last month, the launch of Sony’s PS3 and Nintendo’s Wii consoles and the upgrades the Xbox 360 received, have conquered the attention of the entire mass-media. So how grim is the future of the PC as a gaming platform?
Read the entire article here.

Thanks Lucky Day.
More information.

Dr. A November 27th, 2006 09:01

They probably posed this question during the Saturn, PS era and yet again during the PS2, XBox era…


Arma November 27th, 2006 10:11

Actually I find the whole debate ridiculous, and the article in question more so. Blaming consoles for what the publishers/customers are responsible. Lack in sales in PC games is declining thanks to sub-par games being sold/bought.

Also some of their numbers, specifically the amount of PC games revenue, is outright wrong, as it does not include numbers like sales from Steam and other direct-to-download services, which, as noted in the article, have gained much popularity, nor does it take into consideration revenuew from MMOGames monthly payments.

Dhruin November 27th, 2006 10:18

*yawn* This article doesn't include mention of the new figures from NPD, which have increased PC figures from the previous .9 Billion to 1.5 Billion once online revenue was included. It's also self-contradictory…consoles are cheaper 'cause I can still play PS2 games -- just buy a PSP! It also fails to mention (as usual) multiple systems and new generations…sure, PC hardware gets outdated…but how much was that Xbox + PS2 + Nintendo+ Xbox 360 + PS3 + Wii + PSP + Gameboy + DS +… again? Or did I get that wrong, because consoles don't need upgrading do they?

Consoles are taking a big slice of the pie -- sure -- but let's take a balanced look if we are going to bother with this sort of thing.

guenthar November 27th, 2006 11:29

This article is bs

I upgraded my computer last year for $900 (if I only upgraded for games it would have been under $600) and I can still play the newest games at maximum settings very well. Not one game that is coming out will change that so it is bs to say that you will have to upgrade every year and it also will not surpass the cost of the ps3. (for now)

If they would get more good games out for the PC (like some were this year) then PC game sales would icrease a lot and would certainly pass the sales of the xbox/xbox360 and brobably the gamcube/WII.

txa1265 November 27th, 2006 11:40

This isn't really newsworthy … as has been mentioned, the article itself isn't well written and the author comes across like a whiny person who is upset and complains because their significant other has to go to a family funeral rather than on a date with them!

Corwin November 27th, 2006 13:40

This isn't going to go away. I can't imagine a time when we won't have to defend PC gaming. At least, collectively, we can provide a voice where it's most important; in the publishers' ears- they control the money!!

sealight4 November 27th, 2006 14:34

At Thanksgiving I asked the younger gamers what they thought about pc gaming, console gaming etc. All had pc's but couldn't afford to upgrade yet have xbox 360's or Wii consoles (on order). So games sell the hardware according to this survey of 7 gamers. Also they liked playing online with their buddies in the room. I excused myself and no one my age played videogames anyway except Texas Holde'm online with an old Dell, (1)70 year old. I've been out of the demographic for a while. (60)
Buggy releases were brought up also.
Guenthar, Please give me your specs as I spend $900 on a videocard and memory alone, almost.

doctor_kaz November 27th, 2006 15:20

PC gaming might not be dead, but it is in very very serious trouble, and it is most definitely because of consoles. More specifically, the X-Box. The X-Box has developed a library by cannibalizing a lot of the PC's best developers and best franchises. Four years ago, a game like Gears of War would have been a PC game. 2006 is the first year in recent memory where there wasn't a single PC exclusive game that came out that wasn't technically impressive. At least a dozen great PC franchises in the past few years have gone done the tubes because they were dumbed down for the X-Box. (Deus Ex, Rainbow Six, etc). Numerous other franchises are at least good, but have mediocre ports to the PC (e.g. Oblivion). People say that the same thing happens with every console launch, but this is definitely the worst it has ever been. Nowadays, if a developer like Crytek actually develops a game for the PC, it's a newsworthy event.

The decline of the RPG genre on the PC is partially due to developers like Bioware putting the PC on the backburner and targeting the X-Box instead. D&D on the PC nearly died because Atari decided to make a bunch of console button mashers instead of the spectacular epics that made D&D a great product on the PC again. Of all the events that have damaged PC gaming in the past six or seven years, I would say that Atari acquiring the D&D license is near the top.

Arma November 27th, 2006 15:57

That is not true. Bioware games like BG/NWN are already greatly dumbed down pretty much to appeal to a broader audience (I give them credit for that, since it was a Bioware's BG2 that hooked me on to RPGs), they have now switched their focus, but still pump out PC titles. Same goes for most X-Box games, even the system selling Halo and Halo 2 eventually found their place on the PC (though much later).

On the whole, the X-Box itself cannot be singlehandedly given the "I drove PC gaming into extintion" award, for starters, as it is far from extintion. It's just that being a console produced by a non-japanese manugfacturer it has a different focus - it manages to appeal to PC gamers, as many titles available on the PC are also available on it, but it is cheaper to play them on the X-crate since it does not require extensive upgrades. And other things.

With all the talk, let us not forget that PC gaming still has quite a few tricks in its sleeve. Modding, for example, is by far a great game selling point, looking at NWN and Half-Life, for example. And it is hardly achieved on a console for now.

txa1265 November 27th, 2006 16:08

A few thoughts:
- If you play RTS, then you are probably thinking 'decline? what PC decline?'. Because it has been a great year - Company of Heroes is just the latest in a great year of real time strategy games.
- Similarly, the BFME X360 showed that it was *possible* to do the RTS on console … but PC is still much better.
- Prey is a reminder that the same game on PC and console will be better on PC .. but sell better on console.
- If you look at the sales data for the last year, you'll see that the only growth area was handhelds. PC remained flat, which is better than the consoles which all dropped. Taking subscriptions and digital sales into account only tips that further.
- Console data includes hardware as well as software, so the PC is more or less equivilent to an average console in terms of sales. That isn't too bad, really.
- Of course, the heyday of PC dominance is gone, but it seems like it is doing OK these days …

doctor_kaz November 27th, 2006 16:15

Modding is a small portion of gaming, despite the conventional wisdom to the contrary. Anyone would take a great game out of the box over a mediocre game with modding tools any day. I don't consider it to be much of an asset to PC gaming. The overwhelming majority of mods aren't worth playing, and most of the ones that would be worth playing are never finished.

If you think that Bioware's games were dumbed down on the PC, then I'd hate to think what you think of Kotor, or Atari's button mashers like Demon Stone. I'm not sure what you're looking at when you say that Bioware "still pumps out PC titles". They haven't produced a PC title for four years, unless you count NWN expansions. Yet in that time, they released Jade Empire for the PC and they are getting set to release Mass Effect next year. Dragon Age pretty much looks like an afterthought and I'll bet that they'll make it a joint PC/console release.


Originally Posted by txa1265 (Post 9921)
A few thoughts:
- If you play RTS, then you are probably thinking 'decline? what PC decline?'. Because it has been a great year - Company of Heroes is just the latest in a great year of real time strategy games.

The days of the great PC RTS are numbered. I give it about two more years. I'll bet that EA is considering making C&C 3 a joint console/PC release, which would make it crap on the PC. Playing an RTS with M&K that was designed for a console controller is going to suck. If you don't believe me, then tell me who predicted five years ago that FPS's would become console dominated like they are now.

Another problem with PC gaming is World of Warcraft. Thanks to WoW, developers are jumping onto the MMORPG bandwagon left and right to try to capture a piece of the market. Everyone who doesn't play MMORPG's suffers for it.

Pinhead November 27th, 2006 17:16

With Microsoft comiting themselves to PC gaming with Vista and their new trademark "Games for Windows" I dont see PC gaming going anywhere for the time being.

And me personnaly, having both Xbox and Xbox360 and planning to buy the PS3 when it gets to Europe, I still think PC is the best platform to play games. Sure take a game like Knights of the Old Republic, playing it on Xbox is for me the best way to do it and many other games play better on consoles, mainly because you can lay back in your couch and just relax. But then take a FPS game and the PC will be far superior than a console.

bjon045 November 27th, 2006 17:33

If you got a wireless keyboard and mouse and a 24 inch + screen you can lay back on your couch with your pc :)

TheMadGamer November 27th, 2006 17:34


Originally Posted by Pinhead (Post 9931)
With Microsoft comiting themselves to PC gaming with Vista and their new trademark "Games for Windows" I dont see PC gaming going anywhere for the time being

I thought the same thing… funny timing of this, 'PC Gaming is Dying' article #1,987,284 at the dawn of Microsoft's renewed focus on PC Gaming. This current month's 'Games For Windows' magazine has published a complete opposite argument regarding PC Gaming siting many reasons why the PC Gaming platform will succeed.

I'm starting to think that publishers post a 'PC Gaming is Dying' article to attract attention because perhaps readership has flattened or gone on decline. Gotta get those advertisement clicks up to pay the bills…

Anyone who's been a gamer a decade or longer has probably seen these articles come and go over the years. This one will be no different. This is just a provocative subject to garner attention. Like when you see a car wreck on the road… you may have seen car wrecks a milion times before… but it's still hard to look away.

Pinhead November 27th, 2006 17:45


Originally Posted by bjon045 (Post 9933)
If you got a wireless keyboard and mouse and a 24 inch + screen you can lay back on your couch with your pc :)

Thats true =). But it wouldnt be the same.

I will always have a fondness for consoles as I have in my years owned alot of them. And what TheMadGamer said is so true, each year a couple of these crybaby articles comes out and stirs up a discussion on various forums, but a few days later noone remembers them and life goes on. I dont think PC gaming will ever die out.

Yates1968 November 27th, 2006 17:46

As long as the console games are generally marketted to the teenage over-testerone'd, under-thinking, i-want-it-all-now-and-easy demographic, the selections of games will not be for me. Despite more and more pc games porting to xbox/consoles, the selection of games available to the pc is much more interesting to me. I look at the software first, then the hardware, I guess.

Oblivion for the x-box? sucks as a game in my opinion---as does the stock pc version of Oblivion. However, add 100+ player-made quality mods onto the pc version (since x-box version you can't mod), and the game becomes much much better. NWN2? does it come out on consoles, i don't think so. And that is just an example of a game that isn't totally easy and takes -some- effort to excel in. And look at all those console games that are 'the same-old' game as 100 or so previous games that have been released in the past. That aspect is bad enough as far as pc's, but really bad for consoles. Geesh, at least -attempt- to be novel with a game. heh.

Dyne November 27th, 2006 19:16

I always get sucked into commenting on "PC gaming is dying!!11!1" stuff, even though everyone knows such articles come out every few months :)
They cite a drop in game sales, fewer developers making games exclusively for the platform etc. Why not change tack and turn the argument around? No-one makes an enormous loss on every PC sold, and developing for the platform requires no hefty licence fees to the manufacturer.

Only Nintendo manages to turn an actual profit on hardware sold, and they manage that with thrifty, arguably out-dated components. How much longer can the console companies keep it up? Sony made a huge loss this year. As a certain opinionated website put it, if you earned $1 this financial year you made more money than Sony.

All this is common knowledge, and yet people always default to pointing the finger at PC gaming, ignoring the enormous financial losses that the supporters of the console market are making. Sure, Microsoft have deep pockets, they can suck it up for a while. Sony does too, but then SCE found its profits actually propping up the rest of Sony's departments. Which rather invalidates the assumed safety-net of being part of a company with fingers in other, equally lucrative pies.

Of course I'm not saying console gaming is going to die, but "people in glass houses" and all that. The backlash over the PS3's price, blu-ray etc. was pretty much unprecedented.

As always I think the PC market will tick over quietly like it's always done. It's pretty much the only gaming platform that's endured all the way from the 8-bit console generation to now. For some reason that achievement never occurs to the doomsayers before they go into another "It's dying!" schtick. Which is pretty much the opinion the article ends with, somewhat invalidating the writer's entire article prior to the penultimate paragraph.

Oh, and consoles seem to be well on the road to turning into PCs anyway :)

TheMadGamer November 27th, 2006 21:30


Originally Posted by Dyne (Post 9941)
As always I think the PC market will tick over quietly like it's always done. It's pretty much the only gaming platform that's endured all the way from the 8-bit console generation to now. For some reason that achievement never occurs to the doomsayers before they go into another "It's dying!" schtick.

This is probably the single best counterargument ever posted on the subject.

HiddenX November 27th, 2006 21:53

The PC has one big advantage for me:
I can do a lot of other things than only gaming:

1001 cool Freeware proggies

I can install more than one operating system
and with some emulators (DosBox, Bleem …)
I can play old PC and console software.

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