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142 comments

  • Kurando - February 15, 2012 11:19 a.m.

    While I agree in some aspects I'm still sticking to consoles for some games simply because they'll probably never be for PC. For example I love Uncharted for the story and characters, I don't think that will be for PC anytime soon. In addition I am a big fan of JRPG's such as Valkyria Chronicles, Final Fantasy (Yes long ago FFVII and VII were ported to PC), and even Catherine, those aren't coming to PC in the near future. PC is an excellent substitute yes, but only for certain genres.
  • HereComesTheHypeTrainCHOOCHOO - February 15, 2012 11:06 a.m.

    Absolutely phenomenal article! Finally someone in the mainstream gaming media who doesn't go on and on about how the "PC is dead". Someone give Mr. Houghton a big raise!
  • Japanaman - February 15, 2012 10:25 a.m.

    PC gaming blows. With consoles, games look better and run better each year. With PC, each year you have to keep downgrading your games' graphics capabilities. With consoles, you just need one good controller. With PC, you might need a keyboard, a keyboard and mouse, a controller, all three, a custom keyboard, etc.
  • BladedFalcon - February 15, 2012 10:45 a.m.

    Er... I'm sorry, but even though I prefer consoles, your statements are beyond ignorant and false. Console games do look progressively better to an extent... But they eventually hit a peak they cannot surpass, and this is why jumping to a next console generation is inevitable. PC gaming requires you to upgrade your machine sooner, NOT downgrade the game's graphic capabilities. This is because graphics in PC are on a higher end than consoles, and requires more power. It's a hassle, which is why I don't like it, but if you keep good care of your computer, it does run by far better than a current generation console. And the controller argument is really entirely subjective, and customs control exist for every console as well. For PS3 or 360, you require to buy a move or a kinect or a move to play certain games, but most you ideally play with the controller. The same concept applies to PC regarding a mouse and a keyboard.
  • fullmetallegend - February 15, 2012 10:56 a.m.

    You do realize that even if you have to down-grade your graphic settings for a new game that comes out, it will still look better than the console version, right? People who constantly upgrade their PCs are people who want their games to look as best as they possibly can. I've had the same PC equipment for 3 years and my games look better than any console version. I still have yet to find someone who dislikes PC games/gaming, who's not ignorant and has actually done it.
  • ScottMcGrayson - February 15, 2012 10:59 a.m.

    You are so unbelievably misinformed and ignorant it actually makes me a little mad. Custom keyboards? Really?! You sound like a Fox News reporter.
  • lilspooky - February 15, 2012 11:13 a.m.

    Thats funny, last time i looked consoles are still running DX9 and my PC is running DX11...
  • db1331 - February 15, 2012 12:11 p.m.

    When I first read this I burst out laughing. Then I read it again and realized you were serious. It's still hilarious, but slightly less so now.
  • FoxdenRacing - February 15, 2012 9:11 a.m.

    So, it starts... The next 10 years have the potential of being very harsh for gaming, but has the potential for a lot of good to come of it when the dust settles. I don't know if it'll be a slow crumbling or a sudden collapse, but it's coming. The way the big boys do business can't go on in perpetuity. Brand fatigue, budgets' exponential growth crossing sales' linear growth, a heavier focus on everything but the games...A big shift is coming. An industry, or even just an industry segment, centered around 'AAA or Bust', centered on convincing us that it's not worth playing unless it has an 8-figure budget [and at least 7-figure marketing budget]' can't sustain itself forever. Already we're seeing the weaker of the bloated publishers collapsing under the strain the mindset is putting on them. Deny it all they want, THQ's more or less in free-fall at this point. It's only a matter of time before Ubi and Acti start to hurt, with the amount of faith they put in blockbusters and their willingness to work their golden geese to death. If you want to be a rockstar developer, a household name, the next Notch or GabeN...start learning NOW. Be ready when the dust settles, and don't make the same mistakes the current players are.
  • cgkyou - February 15, 2012 9:56 a.m.

    With the tend moving more and more toward Digital Distribution, this also opens up more freedom for pricing. No longer will 30$ games be priced at 60$ simply because they need to compete for shelfspace. I doubt this will happen right away but we didn't see the small devs embrace PSN and XBL arcade right away either. I think with DD, the smaller publishers and devs will find greater freedoms and a much higher ceiling to grow. All signs point to next consoles being very heavy DD based.
  • FoxdenRacing - February 15, 2012 12:07 p.m.

    The question I'd like to know is who sets the price. Is it the console maker, the retailer, the publisher, the devs? I don't know for sure, but EA's "exclusive license" kick for sports leagues started right about the same time 2K released NFL2K5 at $20 and utterly trounced Madden. I'm not a fan of DD, though...because while I'm a gamer first and foremost, I'm also a collector. I play my NES as often as my 360, my SNES as often as my PS2, and I've ripped ISOs of my favorite PC games long ago because the plastic of the discs succumbed to the stresses of countless heat cycles and g-forces. DD, by virtue of relying on a magnetic medium [hard drives] and walled-garden design [authentication servers/download servers] is going to leave an enormous, gaping maw in the history of gaming.
  • BladedFalcon - February 15, 2012 9:05 a.m.

    Very well written article, and really, Houghton's right about this. As much as I love consoles, and I'm still likely to stick to mainly consoles for the foreseeable future, Console gaming IS become more stagnant and sequel based and taking less risks as time goes on. And for as many games I loved and played last year, one of my favorites was To The Moon. An indie PC game. I might have to consider making the change eventually. But there's still a lot of things that bug me about PC gaming. I don't like the hassle, and while I know they might be superior... I don't like the mouse and keyboard. Even for FPS, I always feel more at home with a controller than anything else, and even this might not be much of a problem thanks to USB controllers, but then there's the issue that perhaps not all the games give you that option. Still, I prefer consoles, and I'll stick to consoles for now, but if push comes to shove, i guess it wouldn't be too terrible to switch to PC. Not anytime soon though.
  • FoxdenRacing - February 15, 2012 9:37 a.m.

    It's going to be an interesting time for console gaming in the next generation. The question in my mind is no longer if a 1983-style collapse is coming, but when, and how severe. With PC and Console publishing so heavily interwoven nowadays, both are going to feel the hurt. My money's on 2K, Nintendo, Atlus, and Valve coming through with the least damage. None of them are jumping on the 'big outlay = big reward' bandwagon...even DNF made enough profit to justify an expansion pack (in the traditional sense...an entirely separate campaign) with less than 500,000 sold. Meanwhile, a $40M blockbuster with a $25M marketing budget and $10M in printing/corporate overhead [total cost: $75M] needs to move 7.5 million copies to break even...that's before they see a single red cent in profit. A publisher that does their own distributing can do it on 5 million copies. Either way, that's a LOT of copies..."Greatest Hits" editions are typically eligible at 1M copies sold, so pulling 5-7 times that just to break even...no wonder the big boys are wetting themselves over wringing every extra dollar possible out of gamers. [Numbers use information from a friend whom manages a game retailer; he pays roughly $15/game from a wholesaler, whom pays roughly $10/game from the publisher] Console gaming's not going to completely die any more than PC gaming will...but my gut's saying the landscape is in for a major shift. There's simply too many dollars being spent on development/marketing/overhead, and not enough gamers to recoup them all.
  • BladedFalcon - February 15, 2012 10:08 a.m.

    I do have to agree. Which is why, despite being mostly a staunch console gamer. I'm frankly starting to open up for any possibility. In any case, I agree that the current model of "Hit or bust" is an increasingly bloated bubble that's bound to burst. But well... Like you said, not necessarily everyone will be damaged equally. A collapse of sorts is gonna happen, but I doubt it will be as severe as the first one. The installed fan-base and market for gaming in general is TOO big right now to not be able to make a profit to at least a decent portion of more wise, measured publishers and developers. Also... In a way, I feel that there's a sort of pretty close parallel regarding the state big blockbuster games, and big blockbuster movies. Less and less Hollywood productions are risking creating new properties, and instead rely on either beating dead horses on sequels, or reanimating the horses with reboots. And the bloating is more evident in Hollywood seeing how many of these reebots make a lot of money and yet most of then are box office busts. Perhaps looking at that landscape could give us some idea of what might happen to blockbuster gaming since I believe Hollywood's current model is bound to hit a wall sooner.
  • Maverik770 - February 15, 2012 11:16 a.m.

    This is exactly why every single AAA game that comes out now has extra priced DLC that releases on the same day. The developers realized coming into this generation of consoles that they can never make back the money they spend on development of these games in just copies sold. As Foxden already pointed out, a lot of these AAA dev companies are in situations where they would need to sell multiple millions of copies to actually recooperate the developerment and marketing money they had to spend just to put the game out there for everyone. So what's the solution? Take the final game and remove a piece of content that was kool and a nice addition to the overall game but does not detract from the core experience of the game. Now take that piece of content and release it at the sametime as the game and charge an additional $4.99 for it and call it a "DLC Addon" for their game. Essentially charging gamers the full price tag of the game PLUS $4.99 to get a full game. They just created a $5 piece of PURE revenue that would have been otherwise included with the initial cost of the game. So now ever gamer that buys the game AND the DLC is essentially paying $65 for a complete game instead of $60. This is the developers' way of charging gamers more than $60 a game but still hiding behind the $60 price tag and acting like they never raised the cost of the games. Think about it. When you purchase DLC, it is usually a direct download from the developer of the game. I'm sure in some cases such as Steam and maybe XBL and PSN take their small cut of the DLC transaction price. But the majority of that $5 purchase is going straight to the devs. So they're making like $4 or so off every single DLC sale. And they didn't do anythign extra to make that DLC that was released on the same day as the game. That's just content that was ripped out of the core game then sold at a premium to you the gamer! This is how they make up the extreme production and marketing costs of games these days. Why do you think DLC is such COMMON practice by EVERY big AAA company now days? It's a perfect way to get gamers to pay MORE for a game without feeling like they're actually paying more for the game because they look at it as "Added content". OPEN YOUR EYES! YOU'RE BEING RIPPED OFF! Developer used to have to add to a game for FREE post release to keep gamers interested in their game and keep copies moving off store shelves. They don't care nearly as much about moving copies of the game over long periods of time anymore. All they care about is a steady stream of easy to produce, over priced DLC that you console gamers are waiting to gobble up like it's going out of style. Now granted this DLC epidemic has carried over to PC gaming too and now PC gamers are just as victim to the sitatuion as console gamers have been. But this whole DLC trend started with and on consoles. If it wasn't for this sticky financial situation this generation of consoles has caused for development companies, DLC might not even exist in the capacity we know it today. DLC is a complete travesty in the eyes of the average PC Gamer as we have been raised to expect such content updates to our games for free! And in the small cases where devs wouldn't provide that content themselves, the gaming community has stepped in and provided it instead, again for free! As long as this trend of ridiculously expensive development cycles continues, the DLC raping will only get worse. These companies need a way to recover their money or they won't continue producing games. They are in this to make money not make games that gamers love. Let's be real.
  • FoxdenRacing - February 15, 2012 12:10 p.m.

    I'll have to read and give a proper response later [my lunch break's all but over]...but you and I should never team up. The entire GR staff...and a one-block radius around the building...would drown in the torrent of words written between us. There's more than a few times I had to reword entire sections because I hit the text limit before I finished saying what I wanted to say.
  • Maverik770 - February 15, 2012 9:03 a.m.

    This article is sooooo spot on and I'm extremely happy to see something like this on GamesRadar! This site is normally so unabashedly pro console that it drives me crazy being primarily a PC gamer. It's nice to see that even some die hard console fans are finally looking at the PC as a real platform. Because I really hate to break it to all of your console peeps out there, but the PC left the consoles in the dust back in the late 90's. I have been a die hard gamer my whole life. I got my first NES back in 1987 and was a hardcore console gamer all the way up till 1998 when one of my good friends insist I give PC gaming a second chance. Mind you I already had a PC and did play PC games but I did not have a "gaming" PC to play the latest stuff at that time. Needless to say he set me up on his gaming computer and got me addicted in no time flat. We were doing stuff in games on the PC back in 1998 that console games STILL to this day cannot or will not do. We were playing mods and custom levels and custom game modes for some of our favorite titles such as Half-Life and Quake II. Console games STILL barely support user made content, which is a complete travesty as some of the best games and addons or mods ever created have come from the gamer community and not from the AAA greedy developers. Those greedy AAA developers don't even want you to have access to free user made content! WHy? Because they knwo you will download and user awesome made free user content instead of buying their ridiculously over priced crap DLC that SHOULD have been included in the game at release!! In fact I'd strongly argue that the vast majortiy of awesome new ideas and directions for games have probably been made by the gaming community and indie group of gamers and not at all by AAA developer companies. Valve is an extreme exception to that rule but they definitely were Indie developers themselves when they reinvented the FPS genre back in 1998. The only modern console we have had in my home for the last 8 years is a Nintendo Wii and that is because it was my girlfriend's and she had it when she moved in. And honestly, I do love our Wii. It gives me some stuff that I honestly can't get on PC and has the Nintendo titles and characters I grew up with. But most of the stuff I would care about playing on 360 or PS3 is available on the PC as well. And the rest of the stuff on those consoles? Well there is plenty more awesomeness on the PC to keep me occupied. Consoles are soooo limited in their range of games. You basically get 1st and 3rd person shooters, sports, platformers, racing and typical RPGs, that's about it. On PC you get ALL of that and then SOOOO mcuh more. MMOs, RTS, Flight Sims, more original indie titles and ideas than you can shake a stick at, free mods, free community made content, dedicated servers, awesome voice chat and gaming communities. You have the ability for multiple control options such as controllers (including 360 controllers), flight sticks, racing wheels, keyboard and mouse. There is no limit on what you can do and what games can do. The PC is WIDE open for ANY type of game. ANY game you enjoy on a console could be made and played BETTER on a PC. That is just the truth. It won't happen because consoles are mainstream but it IS true. I made the exact same scared but excited jump to PC that Dave is contemplating in this article back in 1998 and I never looked back. PC gaming is amazing! And it's NOT going anywhere nor is it dying. PC gaming is thriving more now than it ever has! Console developers drive home the "PC is dead" mantra because they can't sell their games on it properly because they continuously try to treat PC gamers like console gamers. We aren't gonna fall for AAA developer gimmicks, DLC and control like console people do. PC gamers are fiercely independent and take great offense when AAA developers shove BS down their throats like excuses and over priced DLC. They need to understand the average PC gamer is fairly intelligent and knows a lot about computers and technology as the majority of them build their own rigs. No offense console gamers, but we aren't the same breed of idiot gamers that blindly follows and does whatever Activision says to get our hands on the new Call of Duty. CoD sells like crap on PC compared to other PC games because PC gamers know when they're being handed crap. We don't want your $15, 4 map pack DLC every 3 months for crying out loud! We have intelligent users in our community who can and do make WAY better maps and content for FREE!! PC gamers will not be controlled and that is one of the MAJOR reasons console developers stay away from PC. They want you to think PC gaming is dead because they want you to stay in their little console control bubble where they can chart, plot and plan every thing you see and ever single penny you spend on your favorite game franchises for the next 10 years. Do yourself a HUGE favor as a gamer and make the jump to PC! :)
  • db1331 - February 15, 2012 9:53 a.m.

    Amen. I too own a Wii and a PS3 and enjoy them both. But I would never, under any circumstances, get a game for one of them when I could get it on PC. "In fact I'd strongly argue that the vast majortiy of awesome new ideas and directions for games have probably been made by the gaming community and indie group of gamers and not at all by AAA developer companies." This is entirely true. Almost every single new feature that console players rave about in Skyrim was created by the PC modding community. Companions, dual wielding, better archery, execution kills, crafting. Hell, Oblivion even had a dragon mount mod, something that Bethesda is just now teasing as possibly in the works for Skyrim. Then you look at shooters, and things like gun game were made popular by the modders. I was playing gun game in CoD4, 3 iterations before the console guys got it in Black Ops. The community on PC is amazing. We don't wait for devs to patch their games, we do it ourselves. Someone uploaded a LAA patch to let Skyrim use more than 2 gigs of RAM long before Bethesda got around to fixing it. Another guy even found an error in their code and uploaded a patch that gave a massive boost to fps in areas like Markath that lagged even on monster rigs. Bethesda took notice and put the fix in their next big patch. You will never see anything like that on consoles.
  • Maverik770 - February 15, 2012 10:49 a.m.

    Outstanding follow up db1331! I love the points you made and the solid examples you provided to back up those points! Great read! I'm absolutely loving all this PC Gaming love from you guys! :)
  • db1331 - February 15, 2012 8:59 a.m.

    I really don't understand how people who claim to love games don't play primarily on PC. Whether it's something like Skyrim, where a PC gets you crisper graphics, AA, HDR, HD textures, more than double the frame rate, no load screens, and then on top of all that, mods, or something like CoD or BF3, where just a mouse ALONE makes the game so much better, never mind the graphical improvements or dedicated servers. Then there's the price of the games. Sales on PC are incredible. I waited a month to buy Arkham City and got it for $25. We even get freebies. EA gave me Dead Space 2 and Mass Effect 2 for free, just for pre-ordering BF3, which I was going to do anyway. So that really throws the "PC gaming is more expensive" argument right out the window. If you play enough games, it will pay for itself. Doesn't everyone have a PC in their house anyway? Why not spend another $250 and make it one that can play all your favorite games? Almost anyone can get a line of credit at Newegg, and pay off a PC for probably half the cost of their cell phone bill each month. The only guys who spend a couple hundred bucks every year upgrading are the ones who absolutely have to have the best components. I built my PC around 3 years ago for something like $800. Last September I bought a $225 video card because I wanted to be able to max out BF3 and Skyrim. My old card would have handled them on high more than fine, but with the hundreds of hours I would spend in each game, I knew I would more than get my money's worth out of the new card. By all means, keep your consoles around for things like Uncharted, Zelda, Mario, or Dark Souls. But if you're playing something on a console that you could be playing on a PC, you're only hurting yourself. I don't know how much the 720 or PS4 will cost, but if you don't have a PC, and you go and drop $300-$400 on a new console, you are an absolute fool. To give you some perspective, the 720 won't be out for almost 2 years. Even if it came out tomorrow, it would still be around 3 years behind your average PC.

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