Gaming = Redheaded Stepchild (longish) - AVS Forum
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Old 02-04-2005, 02:27 PM - Thread Starter
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heh, sorry about the title. Still true? No?

/*Disclaimer, this is based on my option. Most of it is subjective. I understand that people love thier xboxes/ps2s and gaming is ment to be fun. Even my atari 2600 gives me love.*/

First, about gaming in general…. I feel the other forums here on AVS could care less about gaming. Many of them are the "older baby boomer types" that say, why do you want to play *VIDEO GAMES*? "That's a waste of time, aren't you older than 12 now?" "GROW UP!" Even to this day, in 2005, gaming is still very misunderstood by these types of people; this bias is even in the media. Oh, they tend to forget that gaming is only a 12 billion dollar industry that makes more money than hollywood.

Ok, now I got that out of me.... I'm a big fan of pc gaming and I’m currently in research mode about buying a DLP/RP LCD for this purpose. I’m a noob with gaming on big tvs, but have knowledge with PC gaming and the effects of video display on computers. I love gaming soo much that I started a game center/cyber cafe with 18 pcs, 4 networked xboxes. It's still going strong and growing, but no money in it so far. Not quitting the day job yet.

I've looked through AVS forum about the issues associated to gaming, but most of the information is based off of consoles, not PCs. Most people think xbox is this godly instrument of pleasure, but IMO, it’s like a sprinter with stubby legs.

One main problem that I see is, the action on a FPS PC game is about 2x – 3x faster than any halo game. Yes, my measurements are not scientific, but I have been involved with major halo tournaments thru the years and have seen the 6th ranked player in the U.S. many times. Still looks like slow motion when compared to PC gaming.

Deep down, I wish people would see the light about PC gaming. I’d think all of you guys would faint if you played Battlefield 2 on a big screen online (coming in March)! That will be pure, unadulterated pleasure for me personally.

Xbox/PS2 good? Sure, for 99% of the population. But if your like me, I don't like my gaming to be "stuck on rails" and be forced to look at ancient graphics. Also, I've found many people complain about the size of the screens and that its difficult to play games on them. I disagree, its better that way!

/* end of rant */
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I feel much better now. Thanks. Anyways, enough of that, here are a few questions about PC gaming on big screens.....

1. What type of cabling is best for long distance PC gaming (like 30-40 feet of cabling)? I would like to run a cable from the office to the living room. Dvi or svideo or a plain CRT cable? I personally see a big difference b/w DVI and normal CRT on my Dell lcd monitor. Is DVI better on a DLP/RPLCD?

2. How much video signal/speed degradation is there if I run cable from the office to the tv room, like 30-40 feet? If I get a “fast†tv, like the Toshiba, will length of cable that effect the response time? Is it wise to have cabling that long?

3. Is the “video lag†similar to the response rate on a computer lcd monitor? I read that it’s due to the conversion of the different video formats from the gaming source to the tv. But then again, there is no definitive answer here. For example, I have an 18in dell, with a 30ms response rate and it took me about a day to get use to it. I don't notice it now. Would this be the same thing? I read about figures with DLP/LCD in the 300ms or 1/3 sec delay range!!! Anyone know the actually figures for the “response rates†in these DLPs/RPLCDs? I don’t see anything in these TV specs.

4. Is the “motion blur†on these big tvs like on some of the cheaper computer lcd monitors? For example, with a FPS game, would I notice the blurring effect when moving quickly? Btw, DLP/RPLCD is pretty much the same LCD technology but just projected off a mirror on to a big screen, right? So, I’d assume these TVs would have the similar issues with gaming on a normal LCD screen…..

5. I thought these DLPs and RP LCD tvs have a refresh rate problems (i.e. flicker), is this true? For example, my Dell LCD monitor has no refresh rate issues because of the LCD pixels have “image memoryâ€, thus not requiring a high rate from the video card. On a CRT monitor, I definitely see “flicker†with a 60 fps rate vs a 75-85 rate in normal pc gaming. How is it on a DLP/LCD?

Thanks for listening!
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Old 02-06-2005, 09:47 AM
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I honestly think most people would agree, but here's the problem. PC gaming, no matter how good it is, is a major pain in the ass. For every new game that comes out you need to make sure you have the right card, enough memory, the right patch, etc....etc...

With console gaming you buy the game, put it in and play. You know it will work every time. I think the gap has been narrowed recently with the xbox and live, but if there was a gaming PC that was guraranteed to run all the new games for the next two years or longer, without modifications, it would be a hit.
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Old 02-06-2005, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by dtro
I honestly think most people would agree, but here's the problem. PC gaming, no matter how good it is, is a major pain in the ass. For every new game that comes out you need to make sure you have the right card, enough memory, the right patch, etc....etc...

With console gaming you buy the game, put it in and play. You know it will work every time. I think the gap has been narrowed recently with the xbox and live, but if there was a gaming PC that was guraranteed to run all the new games for the next two years or longer, without modifications, it would be a hit.

This is true, and with the next gen systems just around the corner, PC gamers are going to have to make a difficult decision. Not only will these consoles have all the graphical bells and whistles, they will also be a fraction of the cost of a PC built for gaming. Online gaming has improved through XBL and the keyboard/mouse debate is over since 3rd parties now make peripherals for that. Abou gaming being the redheaded stepchild, I agree. I have some stories about that but I would have to type all day. One example is my friends that play games make sure no one else knows about it, like sucking their thumb or wearing ninja turtle pajamas. We'll be playing all day, but when someone asks where were you all day, they'll reply "watching TV"" or something along those lines.

Don't think of it as screendoor, it's more like an infinite game of tic tac toe.
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Old 02-06-2005, 01:00 PM
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I think you should just get a dedicated HTPC. Having to run 30-40 feet of video cable, then some more for input devices is one of the reasons people buy consoles. ;)

If you have DVI use it. Video lag is still there for the digital projectors, but not as bad as my 30ms response time Viewsonic lcd. Motion blur is still noticeable. My projector exhibits no flickering effect despite a 60Hz rr.

I'll agree PC gaming is a big PITA. I spent over $650 just for the latest graphics cards in the past couple of years, and more money for new ram, new motherboard, cpu, power supply... while my consoles just want a new game. ;)

"ANYONE who pc games that doesn't have a 360 controller for pc use, well frankly isn't a gamer at all."
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Old 02-06-2005, 02:24 PM
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If all the games that came out on consoles were also released for the pc, then I'd be dedicated to my pc....

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Old 02-07-2005, 08:09 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by dtro
I honestly think most people would agree, but here's the problem. PC gaming, no matter how good it is, is a major pain in the ass. For every new game that comes out you need to make sure you have the right card, enough memory, the right patch, etc....etc...

With console gaming you buy the game, put it in and play. You know it will work every time. I think the gap has been narrowed recently with the xbox and live, but if there was a gaming PC that was guraranteed to run all the new games for the next two years or longer, without modifications, it would be a hit.
5 years ago I may have agreed with you but PC gaming is not as complicated anymore.
Yes, you have an install time for games and yes you 'can' patch a game but it isn't mandatory. If you play on Xbox live you are patching games right along with us PC gamers.
From my experience PC gaming is a better more rewarding experience. It holds more true right now because graphics are so far ahead of the consoles.
Everything consoles are doing right now PC games have already been doing for a long time. Capture the flag on Halo sure is fun but we were doing this for over five years now with the ecellent Quake 3 Arena.

Voice communication? Nothing new, PC has had this ability for a while as well.
I don't know about a PC 'guaranteed' to run games for two years but I will bet you if you go out right now and buy a PC with an ATI x850, 2gb of memory, and a 3.4 or better mghz processor you will be able to play games for 2 years and possibly beyond. The only caveat would be it may run those games a tad bit slower or you would run games not at their highest potential.
The truth is most games do not require the top tier of processing power.
Some of the newer games like Far Cry, BFV, or Doom 3 are more hardware intensive but I have an old HP with an athalon 1000 that runs most games that I have, just not on their highest settings.

To avoid PC gaming now because of claims that it's just 'too hard' doesn't wash anymore. Tell me it's more expensive and I'll agree but with a decent computer games will run fine.

One final word on patches. Get Gamespy arcade and it will automatically patch most of your games for you. I think there's like a 10 buck fee now to subscribe for a year but it's one less thing to cry about.
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Old 02-07-2005, 08:40 AM
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If more PC games featured multi players through one output with multiple inputs supports for each user then I would be all for it. Having 4 people playing on one screen is just plain fun. Until PC's allow for that, I will play on consoles.

This comes from a person who has been PC gaming for about 10 years now and I was ranked 17th in the world with mechwarrior II: Mercenaries. My gaming computer crashed last August (fan failure) and I have yet to replace it. I still play a few computer games on my laptop, mostly Master of Orion II and Continuum, but I dispise the need for eyecandy at the expense of playability.

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Old 02-07-2005, 08:58 AM
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Bottom line is most people are simpletons and simply want to put a disk in a tray and play - rather than fret about setting up a PC. (myself included)

Plus the cost to get a PC with ample HP is daunting versus a console - they are virtually as replaceable as a DVD player anymore for most people.

Welcome to the walmart economy.
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Old 02-07-2005, 09:06 AM
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Eh, a gaming rig is just a big drain on the wallet anyway. I used to spend $1000 a year on my machine just to keep it up to requirements demand. One year I would replace the hard drive, video card, and other components. The next, I would replace the motherboard and processor. Towards the end of its life, my rig never had the case on because I was always tweaking the thing to get more out of it. The full tower, the raid array, the dual processor, the fans, the massive ugliness that is a gaming computer... you can keep it!

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Old 02-07-2005, 06:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Ya, price is always a big factor in PC gaming, it does get kind of expensive. It's the ever evolving changes in HW/SW that drive people insane and burns people out. Plus, like you guys said, most people hate all the tweaking and adjustments that have to be made to a PC. And the social factors of gaming on an xbox are much different that the solitary confinement of PC gaming. But a lot of that is changing. Go to a good game center and you will understand what I’m talking about.

You guys are all pointing out good reasons why PC gaming is the "black-eyed redheaded stepchild", heh. Basically, how it’s disrespected and misunderstood by most “adultsâ€.

In some ways, consoles basically copy the ideas of PC games, but usually about 1-3 years later. PC gamers lead the charge in advancing electronic entertainment; they buy the games that developers take huge risks in creating and this process still drives new forms of entertainment for everyone to enjoy. Consoles, generally, do not do this. They are followers, not leaders. Btw, I’m not complaining about avs, because it’s THE MOST AMAZING PLACE!! I love you guys!

From what I’ve experienced in the game center industry, normal consumers are always looking for the best possible experience in entertainment (based off of easy of use, amazing games, social experience). If you show them (any age/demographic) what PC gaming is all about, they REALLY get hooked. The addiction factor is much more than any console game.

These people are not hardcore gamers (like myself), but are normal people that are curious about what the fuss is about. Once they see how amazing PC games are, they are VERY happy to switch over from console to PC. We fill up our seats with all types of gamers too, old and young, male or female (mostly males), black or white, poor and rich, jocks or nerds etc etc. They freaking love it! Game centers are still a niche market, but it should continue to develop, just like movie theaters did in the early days *cross fingers*. Arcade industry doesn’t really compare (apple and oranges).

I've see this switch all the time at the game center. We laugh at it actually. When some big xbox players come in with all their buddies, rip on pc gamers and tell everyone how awesome the xbox games are, my PC customers just roll their eyes and laugh at them, because they are used to it and know the truth. Then, after about 1 week, the social pressure and curiosity starts in. These console players start to realize how the content of PC games is WAY above any console game could ever be. They happily switch over and get hooked.

Yes, you guys are right, new consoles will come out, new controllers, new broadband options, but still will lack the flexibility to play PC quality games from a content perspective. Plus, people have been talking about the demise of the PC gaming market (consoles v.s. arcade v.s. PC gaming) since 1982. It’s the only market that’s lasted through troubled times. All the others have crashed at one point or another.

From my perspective, a game center takes the guess work out of tweaking the stupid computers and upgrading them all the time. It’s really great to get people into PC gaming when might have been intimidating. All our new customers do is prepay their time, jump on a Desert Combat server, and within 10 minutes, they are fly an A10, knocking out 20 tanks with the vulcan cannon, parachuting out into an abrams tank and mowing down a bunch of Iraqis. Once new customers experience sometime like that, they are in complete shock from what they just seen themselves do. Hooked!

It will be interesting to see what happens in the future, but I doubt PC gaming will be overthrown by consoles when it comes to quality of gaming. Never has, never will.
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Old 02-08-2005, 06:24 AM
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A game center just opened up where I live. It is run by classmates who graduated with me. I wish them luck and it is a really great layout. That said, I can not imagine the money making capaibility when you consider the incredible start up fees of buying all the equipment, the monthly electric of running the computers and the T1 leased line (which when spread out over 30 computers is pretty darn slow compared to home DSL). Toss on top of that, the recurring costs of every X years with keeping state of the art computers.

As I said, I wish them all the luck in the world. About 3/4 of our graduating class (BS in IST from PSU... lots of TLA's in there) have gone into their own business due to lack of jobs. One just went belly up, another is doing very well, and now they are starting this. I myself am seriously going through the motions to get my own store up and running.

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Old 02-08-2005, 11:43 AM - Thread Starter
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You sound more intelligent than your buddies. This type of business is not for the faint of heart. You got to REALLY love gaming, because don't expect any money coming in for the first 6 months or years, if lucky. I have a great day job to pay the mortgage, plus other owners/investors to spread out the cost and workload. We have zero debt as well. It’s a “fun projectâ€, but not something with substance yet. Your right about the expenses though, that’s the killer. Our business is ok now, but it was bumpy for a while.

Hopefully your friends did their research and put their business hats on tight. They are doomed if they think like computer science students or gamers. I wish you buddies luck though!!!! More GCs the better!

It’s funny though, I know owners that buy 2 plasma screens for 2 xboxes because it's cool. It’s true that its very cool, BUT... I'd say, how in the hell are you going to make your money back with 2 xboxes???

Most GCOs I've talked to (game center owners) are good people. They try VERY hard, have some amazing places to play games, incredible atmosphere and tons of cash to throw around. But then again, 5 out of the 8 GCs in my area have closed down, soon there will be 6. So, you got to ask, what did they do wrong? Didn’t they have a cool atmosphere? We'll, it’s usually business decisions that really drive these places into the ground. For example, opening a super GC with 30-50 computers without a customer base to fill those machines? If you build it they will come, right? WRONG! heh.

Btw, where are you located? I’m guessing San Jose or Dallas, hehe.
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