Did Consoles Kill the PC as a Gaming Platform?

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I stumbled upon this article earlier and thought it might find some interest here, with all the console fans.

We've discussed it before, but it still amazes me how well the consoles are doing. I've been playing Gears of War for a few weeks now (since it came out), and the graphics are truly stunning. If you look at the screenshots, it is hard to believe that they can do that in real-time, but they do. I thought the gameplay was really weak, but it grew on me and has become very addictive. I salute the fellow who came up with the idea of attaching a chainsaw to a machine gun!

They produced Gears of War to be an Xbox 360 exclusive, to specifically take advantage of the power of the platform. Supposedly, they will be making a PC version, but rumor has it that they are only able to get it 80% close to the quality that the 360 version has. Looking at the price of hardware that a person would have to purchase to be able to play at 80% high-quality, it adds up to several thousand dollars. Which begs the question: Why not just buy a 360 if you want to play Gears of War?

The tide has clearly turned to big game houses developing primarily for consoles and later porting those games to the PC if possible/necessary/desired. Interestingly, the only games I've purchased for the PC or Mac since I've switched to console gaming have been indie produced games.
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Post: #2
Is the PC dead? short answer, no. Smile
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I wouldn't say dead at all. but I do think it isn't such a business monster as it once was.
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I think that's mainly because the game dev industry has grown a lot since the original Nintendo -- and the spectrum of quality has stretched.
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I haven't purchased a game for the Mac in over a year, I think the last one was Professor Fizzwizzle.

However yesterday I picked up eight games for PS2 and Xbox for $40.

I forgot where I read that mobile gaming is going to eat heavily into the console market over the next decade.

We've seen the return of retro-gaming through MAME, GameTap and Xbox Arcade(?).
Imagine what "retro" gaming is going to be like in twenty years....fourty years of gaming on your iPod.
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igame3d Wrote:I forgot where I read that mobile gaming is going to eat heavily into the console market over the next decade.
I recall reading that somewhere too. I would say I disagree, except that I have a friend who thinks his PSP is almost as cool as his 360. I'm not sure what it is about portables, but some people seem to be thoroughly fascinated by them. In many ways, it doesn't even seem to matter at all that they have merely a fraction of the power of the latest consoles. I can understand kids really getting into them though. Discreet gaming away from the parents can always be seen as a plus. Playing on the big-screen in the living room 24/7 won't last long. Not to mention how most TVs don't fit in school lockers very easily, never mind the book bag, or lack of receptacles on the bus!

Xbox Live Arcade is definitely really cool on the retro gaming front. It seems kinda weird paying for Doom again, but it's pretty cool playing it on a big home theater system just for kicks! The only negative is that I was a little disturbed to discover that I still remembered where so many hidden items were... I mean, doesn't my brain have anything better to remember? Why do I still loose my car keys? Anyway, many of the retro games on Live Arcade have been updated with HD graphics and dolby sound -- they went pretty crazy with Frogger. Also, other products like the Atari Flashback are helping build the retro market as well.
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Post: #7
AnotherJake Wrote:I'm not sure what it is about portables, but some people seem to be thoroughly fascinated by them. In many ways, it doesn't even seem to matter at all that they have merely a fraction of the power of the latest consoles.
I haven't bought a new console in a few years now, and though the sheer cool factor of the Wii does tempt me I can't justify buying it because I know I would never have the time to play it.

I am very tempted, though, to buy a PSP or Game Boy because I spend much more time outside my dorm room/house -- with a few minutes or an hour to kill -- than I do actually in my dorm room/house. For me, that portability is worth the sacrifice in power.
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Post: #8
In response to the original question, I think that a lot of the advantages that gaming on the PC has had over console gaming are disappearing one by one. Xbox Live has made network gaming through consoles dead simple. FPS games have made the jump over to consoles, with (possibly, keep an eye on them) RTS games to follow.

Personally, I look to the home consoles as my primary source of gaming, although my DS gets the vast majority of my playtime right now. The only games I really play on my computer are games I won't find anywhere else (last ones being Cave Story, Wingnuts 2 and Jets 'n' Guns.)

Justin Ficarrotta
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I just can't really see how RTS's can possibly make the jump without a keyboard and mouse. Every game that tries has the same fundamental problem. A joystick cannot select units and actions efficiently.

from http://www.halowars.com/faqs.html :
Quote:Q: Other RTS games that have transitioned to console have had issues with controls, how will “Halo Wars” improve on the formula?
A: “Halo Wars” was created for the Xbox 360 from the ground up, which meant we didn't have to make compromises or shoe-horn in artifacts from a Windows PC game. We were able to take all the best aspects of RTS games, make them work perfectly on the Xbox 360, and exclude the rest.
Yeh Whatever, I've heard that before.

Anyway, my game of choice right now is Civilization IV, and round after round of FPSs and Sports clones on the consoles are boring me to death.

So until M$, Nintendo or Sony produce an input device capable of making popular games like Civilization, The Sims, or World of Warcraft shine, I'd say no. The PC platform will not die.

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Post: #10
That reminds me of the hellish experience of trying to play Warcraft on the PS One.

Gah!

"Yes, well, that's the sort of blinkered, Philistine pig-ignorance I've come to expect from you non-creative garbage."
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Post: #11
hehe, you tried that too? I lasted about 5 minutes.

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Post: #12
I'm a huge RTS fan (Especially Age of Empires). After trying a few others on consoles, I am easily persuaded to agree that the RTS genre hasn't happened there yet. I agree that it is the one to watch. Traditional desktop mousing seems to be THE way to go with RTS games, and consoles just don't do that... yet. And I say, `yet' because I am still totally surprised that FPS movement migrated so well to dual stick analog joysticks. I never imagined that would work well, but it does. It really makes me wonder if they'll ever put together a good RTS input system for consoles.
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Post: #13
AnotherJake Wrote:It really makes me wonder if they'll ever put together a good RTS input system for consoles.

Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle Earth 2 controls surprisingly well on the 360 paddle. Aside from Halo Wars I would also keep an eye on Command & Conquer 3, which is rumored to be making its way to 360 as well. If these two games do well, the momentum from the these two huge franchises would be enough to pull more RTS developers over to consoles.

Justin Ficarrotta
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JustinFic Wrote:Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle Earth 2 controls surprisingly well on the 360 paddle.
It does. There is something about the pixelated shadows that really irks me to the point that I don't want to play it though, but the controls do seem *almost* RTS-ish. I remain unconvinced... Caveats: I haven't demoed Halo Wars yet and C&C 3 is definitely on the radar. [theme song music] Hope is in the air...
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Post: #15
I hate console FPSs. The controls are too simplified and inaccurate.

I think the PC as a gaming platform is still very strong. Both have their genres. The PC has FPSs, RTSs, and MMORPGs. On the other hand, consoles have sports games, racing games, and adventure games (ex. Zelda). I doubt that any of the PC's genres will be stolen by consoles any time soon.
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