PC is the real winner of this generation

Inspired by the medicore press conferences of the next-gen consoles with a lack of kickass exclusives I’m of the opinion that the PC is the real winner so far.

True: There are not many new PC games announced yet but around 90% of the games coming to Sony and MS consoles will have a PC version as well. Nintendo goes to ultra-casual “gamers” mostly so they are not competing with the PC.

My prediction still stands: Less and less exclusives and more and more games that will cater to all 3 platforms (PC, Xbox, PS3) due to not large enough install base of any of them. Ports will have to have a certain quality since none can afford to miss a platform due to a sloppy port job anymore. Unless there are major price cuts there won’t be a lot of PS3 or Xbox 360 sold. The hardcore crowd has them already and the rest is still happy with their PS2s.

So the main difference between a Xbox 360 and a PC is if you can afford to play the “hardware upgrading game on the pc” or not. If you can’t an Xbox 360 is the system for you. If you can there is no reason to get a PS3 or Xbox 360 for the time being. Same applies for the PS3.

As a PC gamer by heart that is excellent news!
Note: I do have a PS2 and a Gamecube so I’m not a console hater.

As a developer I would really have some issues right now when deciding to develop for what platform(s) and whether to go exclusive or not.

This all might change in Leipzig if tons of console games will be announced but I think that isn’t very likely unless major publishers are holding back right now.

Discuss

I’m not sure what the real percentage of console->PC ports is, but it is nowhere near 90%, not even close… not to mention the PC ports tend to come years later, if at all, and tend to be pretty lackluster.

PC gaming outside of the MMO space is d0med. For reals.

If I didn’t have a 360 and a Wii, I wouldn’t be playing Viva Pinata or Guitar Hero II (and boy would I be missing out!) right now. And without a Wii, I would have to make do with better graphics but the less fun control method in Order of the Phoenix. Neither would my younger son be addicted to Monkey Ball. And I wouldn’t be able to look forward to Blue Dragon, Lost Odyssey and Eternal Sonata in the coming months.

There are exclusives (some timed) and there are games that play better on a console. There are always valid reasons to get one, unless you have a narrow view of gaming.

But then again, I recently upgraded my PC too. Best of both worlds.

Wendelius

Maybe I used the wrong words.
I mean games that will be released on the PC, too at the same time.
Here is my current watch list until begin of 2008 and I don’t see any doom (the stars are my personal rating so far based on sequels I liked and / or information available so far)…

Civilization 4: Beyond the Sword? **
Hearts of Iron Anthology ***
Hellgate London? ***
Madden NFL 08? *
Bioshock
Heroes of Might & Magic V - Tribes of the East? **
Medal of Honor: Airborne? **
Crysis? **
Medieval II: Total War - Kingdoms? **
Armed Assault: Queen’s Gambit?
World in Conflict? *
Strangehold? ***
Timeshift? *
The Witcher? **
Juiced 2: Hot Import Nights? *
Blacksite: Area 51? *
F.E.A.R. - Perseus Mandate? ***
Supreme Commander - Forged Alliance?
Neverwinter Nights 2 - Mask of the Betrayer *
Company of Heroes - Opposing Fronts? ***
Clive Barker’s Jericho? **
Die Siedler 6? *
Unreal Tournament 3? ***
Mercenaries 2: World In Flames?
Paradise City?
Empire Earth 3 (ugh no campaign - RoN clone)?
Half-Life 2 Episode 1 Half-Life 2 Episode 2, Portal, TF2 ***
Pro Evolution Soccer 2008? **
PainKiller 1.5?
Universe at war?
Gears of War? ***
Brothers in Arms 3 - Hell’s Highway? ***
Call of Duty 4? ***
Need for Speed: ProStreet?
Assassin’s Creed? ***
Kayne & Lynch? ***
Tom Clancy: Splinter Cell: Conviction? *
Viva Pinata? **?
Tom Clancy: End War? **
Spore? **
Haze? **
Alan Wake? **

Dragon Age? **
Elveon? **

So far from games that will come in 2008 I have these on my radar:

S.T.A.L.K.E.R - Clear Skies - Q2 2008
Fallout 3
Sabotage - Q4 2008
Space Siege - 2008

Vista fucking sucks. PC games are domed.

Well, I guess if your list is heavily weighted towards games that will have PC ports, uh… yeah, a lot of console games will have PC ports.

On the other hand, here’s my excited-about list for 2007:

Halo 3
Mass Effect
Beautiful Katamari
BioShock
Super Puzzle Fighter II HD Remix
Mercenaries 2
The Simpsons Game
Army of Two
Assassin’s Creed
Super Mario Galaxy
Mario Strikers Charged
Metroid Prime 3
Super Smash Bros. Brawl

… and while a couple of those games have PC versions in the works, the vast majority of them don’t.

I’ve been listening to the PC gaming is dead THE END IS NEAR doom and gloom naysayers since the late 90’s. Wasn’t true then and I still don’t think it’s true now.

That is because it is not true and will never be true until the PC itself is d0med. I have no idea why people keep saying it is doomed other then as a joke.

The current dichotomy between XP and Vista prevents me from declaring the PC as the current winner. If Direct X 10 weren’t Vista only, it might be a different issue.

The way I have come to see it:

PC : Spend $600 to upgrade and make system “current.” Over the next few years there are less and less games that come out that will run well on the system. I upgraded 2 Christmases ago and I’m am fairly certain my machine will not run Bioshock and Quakewars well enough to bother.

Console : Spend ~$600. Over the next few years there are more and more games that will run well on the system as developers learn the hardware. I am sure Bioshock and Quakewars will run great on my 360 this fall.

Personally I have officially climbed off of the PC gaming bandwagon. I’m pretty sure my next $600 gaming hardware purchase will be a PS3.

Console : Spend ~$600. Over the next few years there are more and more games that will run well on the system as developers learn the hardware. I am sure Bioshock and Quakewars will run great on my 360 this fall.

I agree 100%. I played God of War 2 last month, on my -PS2-, and it ran incredibly well and looked amazing. That PS2 was the best gaming investment I’ve ever made.

I expect that the 360 will end up the same way. Years and years will go by and it will still run kick ass games and it won’t be dropping frames while it does it.

Yeah, I’m dangerously close to being an ex-PC gamer. If it wasn’t for Titan Quest I wouldn’t be playing games on the PC at all. My rig is in serious need of an upgrade, but when I look at the price of the upgrade, I think I could spend all that money on 360/DS games which there is going to be no shortage of for the remainder of the year.

Other then the spending $600 bucks on a PS3, I totally agree. I was about to upgrade my MoBo and vid card next month, then stopped myself. Why? What’s coming out that will require me to spend that kind of money? Is Crysis really worth it? 'Cause other then that my 6800 GT is holding up just fine.

Not to mention, the cost to bang for buck ratio is quickly decreasing. I saw one guy all giddy that he got 10FPS more in Oblivion for his 1K upgrade… Yippie! Wow, the soft shadow option in LoTRO kills my framerate - and offers next to no visual difference. Is that what I’m blowing 600 bucks for?

Other then MMO’s (which will soon be on consoles) and RTS’s (same) PC gaming for me is slowly ebbing away. My inability to spend silly money to upgrade my rig (money I have and love to spend) is a sure indicator that for me, I’m backing out the door…

And when you compare sales, outside of MMOs, PC gaming isn’t dying. Rigor Mortis has set in.

PC gaming is no way doomed. PC’s always have the most cutting edge visuals, widespread modding support, the best multiplayer options, by far the more colossal range of games, with pretty good backwards compatibility. Plus cost of entry for developers is zero so even lone wolf devs like me can make stuff, meaning you get niche markets catered to. Plus, no HD TV on earth is as good as a top quality PC monitor, and no input method for RTS or FPS games beats mouse and keyboard.
People get excited about level editing on little big planet, but FFS, we have had entire free SDKs and modelling tools for PC games for decades now. The PC lets you read the news, chat on msn, keep an eye on e-bay, whilst alt+tabbing to play a casual strategy game.
The biggest thing for me is the way anyone can make games for it. I love games like Lux and Titan attacks. games that don’t exist on consoles and never will, because the consoles all have big megacorp billion dollar companies deciding what games they will allow the great unwashed to play.
Fuck that.
PC FTW.

edit -> Yes, the latest PC components are expensive, but nobody forces you to get the newest kit. I have an 8800 GTS card, at mega expense, but I’ll be honest, I don’t need it even vaguely. I could have put off buying it another 8 months easily, at which point it will be dirt cheap.

PC gaming is in no way d0med, but it’s definitely fallen ill. This is the first year in… well, ever, that the majority of games that I’m looking forward to for the holiday season are on a console. I have a list of PC games, too, and a few of my most anticipated games are on it. But man, it’s a short list.

Is it a coincidence games that get ported from PC to console and vice versa have content that appeal to both crowds? I don’t think so. Am I sad, as a PC gamer, that I’ll never see Super Puzzle Fighter II HD Remix (whatever the hell that is) on PC? No. Would I be very sad as a console gamer to never be able to play games like medieval total war, IL2, mount and blade? Yes.

Arguing about platforms only makes sense if you have no idea what games you like.

Well said and pretty much how I see it as well.

And my subscription to Gametap means I have hundreds of classic games I’ve missed over the years and will run just fine on my aging PC.

Of the 12 games you listed, 4 are cross-platform games and 1 will have a port (I’d bet on Army of 2 getting ported eventually as well, but that’s not a sure thing). Do you consider 7/12 to be a “Vast Majority”?

And intruder’s list isn’t comprehensive because you also have all the indie and small-time companies who didn’t make it to E3, and there are plenty of interesting titles coming from there. And then you have add-on content from games’ fan bases that’s PC-only (for example I’m checking weekly now to see if the “Purgatorio” module for NWN2 is done yet). I’m noticing that where people fall on PC gaming depends very much on the genres they like. On the other hand, when I look at consoles, what’s there to tempt me to buy one?

X360: Halo 3 (coming to PC eventually), Mass Effect (coming to PC eventually). Even if they -weren’t- coming to PC eventually my personal animosity towards gamepads as a control scheme for first and third-person shooters pretty well kills my interest in these games as console titles.

PS3: MGS4…-Maybe- White Knight Story if it lives up to the hype…

I don’t have a lifestyle where I really need a portable gaming device anymore, and so I feel no need to pick up either the DS or the PSP until they’re old and I can pick through their back catalog for much less. In short, there just isn’t that much out there to make consoles attractive this year. And yet I’m not going to run around screaming “Console Gaming Is Doomed!”

QFLOLinducingT

To me, comparing PC to consoles is kinda like comparing ham radio to cellphones: PCs are much more versatile devices, but they require a lot more effort on the users’ part to really get the most out of and usually require a lot more money spent on HW if you want to keep pace with technology (even if you choose to stay a year or two behind the bleeding edge); consoles, by comparison, are cheap simple devices designed to do a few things reasonably well - “They Just Work.”* You can argue about their strengths & weaknesses, but there is no single “perfect” system. Which platform(s) are right for you depends on your tastes and tolerances as a gamer. [E.g., if you’re a FPS fan, which annoys you more: keeping pace with PC technology; or trying to play with a gamepad?]

*The ones which don’t have a 30% failure rate, at least.

You no like music games?