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Valve's take on the dying PC gaming scene

post #1 of 121
Thread Starter 
Intresting read on PC gaming is dying...and the sky is falling....

http://www.shacknews.com/featuredarticle.x?id=873
post #2 of 121
Honestly... Valve and Blizzard are the only 2 companies who are sort of "immune" from the problems other companies have on PC. They have huge, dedicated audiences totally on the PC. So of course it looks great to them. And Valve is vying to be the top dog in PC distribution... so, yea, of course they're not gonna say there is a problem.
post #3 of 121
Thread Starter 
But you can not denied some of the points bought out about what are posted numbers of what is sold.
post #4 of 121
I can't deny that PC gaming is awesome for Valve... but they are a unique company. Along with Blizzard. That was my whole point!
post #5 of 121
In my families case, PC gaming is alive and well! My 15 year old son and I love it far more that console gaming, while my 13 year old son is about 50/50 between console and PC. The fact that I have my gaming pc hooked up to a big screen HDTV may have influenced us though.
post #6 of 121
Number1laing: OK, so since these two companies make boatloads of money because they actually 'get it' as to how to do things on the PC platform, you dismiss them as being not relevant to overall sales revenues? HUH? I don't see why the console fanboys just plain seem to want the PC to die so much. There's a serious insecurity there that really should be researched!

A large difference I think is that PC gamers just won't buy the huge amounts of total crap games that get shoveled out to the console market. Also, Grandpa and Aunt Jane are very likely to buy console games for their relatives and of course have no idea what game is what, they just pick based on the PS3 or Wii or 360 logo and the picture on the box. Great for revenue, bad for gaming!
-Trouble
post #7 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Troubleshooter View Post

Number1laing: OK, so since these two companies make boatloads of money because they actually 'get it' as to how to do things on the PC platform, you dismiss them as being not relevant to overall sales revenues?

If every company were able to design games 10+ years ago which garnered huge, loyal audiences that buy everything they make on day one on the platform, I am sure they would have. But they didn't. Even Call of Duty, that used to be a PC only platform and the console versions made up at least 90% of sales.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Troubleshooter View Post

A large difference I think is that PC gamers just won't buy the huge amounts of total crap games that get shoveled out to the console market. Also, Grandpa and Aunt Jane are very likely to buy console games for their relatives and of course have no idea what game is what, they just pick based on the PS3 or Wii or 360 logo and the picture on the box. Great for revenue, bad for gaming!
-Trouble

Yea right, evidently you weren't around when games like Deer Hunter were all over the PC sales charts. Grandpa and Aunt Jane buy PC games for their relatives based on cover art, same as they would for console. Trust me, PC games are no more or less discerning than console games.
post #8 of 121
I think PC gaming should meet in the middle with consoles...make games that everyone in the family can play, not just die hard fans as it is now...and as for consoles.....they should make games that are more mature in the learning curve without needing to get too technical either...x-box games are just watered down too much...and it sucks cause people go out by the games...have no choice but to finish them in a few days ifnot weeks...then when they are done they have no choice but too buy the next game that's out only to realize they've finished it in a few weeks also...and so on and so on...why...console gaming is more user freindly...PC gaming is too technical, if it where simplified...with some exotic eye candy that can blow away consoles...then PC gaming can make a huge come-back...I enjoy gaming but when things are too easy or too strong then it just turns me away...as for now I'm sticking with PC gaming, PC game developers need to take advantage of sophisticated hardware specimens and utilize this as a tool to lure more people to PC based games.... without the technical architectures required to operate/utilize a game model.
post #9 of 121
hasn't anyone noticed that consoles are becoming pc's? I have all the consoles (except Wii because I'm not 5) and I choose pc gaming hands down, over my consoles. I love to upgrade and fiddle with stuff, there is just alot more to it and to me it's enjoyable.

Now all I need is a few of the new 280's or 4xxx cards (when they come out) and pc life will be great!!! common far cry 2!! and BF3!!
post #10 of 121
I was flipping through the channels the other night....and they had a show on ~ spike network that was advertising Tons of new PC games, they where chatting with PC game producers ets...and stated how important it was to market PC games as theatrical trailers in order to attract attention to a wider audience, the game was a second person shooter, none the less it looks promising if they become consistent in their advertising...Tech TV is too console freindly, and they don't give enough attention to PC games. Although I admit there are alot of cheesy PC games out there also
post #11 of 121
Four words:

Mediocre First Person Shooters

Game companies are having hard times, because they're not investing the time, money, and value into their products. Look at HAZE as an example. While the GFX looks great, the voice acting, and story sucks, and the gameplay is old and tired.

Valve is one of the companies who takes the time to put out a game that they would want to play themselves, and has shelved and stalled projects numerous times to make sure on getting a quality product out. They've been rewarded justly.
post #12 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by TyrantII View Post

Valve is one of the companies who takes the time to put out a game that they would want to play themselves, and has shelved and stalled projects numerous times to make sure on getting a quality product out. They’ve been rewarded justly.

Once again, though, Valve is in a unique position. They got started because a bunch of dudes who got ultra-rich off Microsoft stock wanted to make games their own way. They took that Microsoft stock money and rolled it into a game studio and did not have to rely on publishers. They could afford to take as long as they want and throw out half-completed games as often as possible.

Most companies simply do not have that luxury. They have publishers, budgets, they rely on cash flows which are dependent on delivering products on time.

Haze was simply a disaster of a product, it took too long (delayed many times), it was a mess, Free Radical couldn't rescue it. It happens sometimes and has always happened. It's not really indicative of a larger trend, unless that larger trend is a broken publisher-developer relationship. Even if that is the case, saying everyone should do it like Valve is wrong, because its not realistic.
post #13 of 121
I used to be a big PC gamer back in the mid to late 90s, but in the past six or seven years the only PC games I have played are Far Cry, HL2, and Orange Box. At some point, the money spent on constant PC upgrades did not seem worthwhile and I became console exclusive. Although high-end PCs will always be technically superior to consoles, consoles are sufficient for the majority of gamers.
post #14 of 121
i am with u jd23 i gave up fps shooters on pc cause of heavy graphics requirment now just use 360. i do play all my strategy games on pc. i wonder if this will be taken away as well with all the recent strategys coming out for consoles( civ, halo wars,end war). the only thing im looking forward to on pc now is empire:total war. i think pc will end up as niche games with low graphic requirments as everyone seems to be giving up desktop in favor of laptops.
post #15 of 121
Thread Starter 
Another take (same stance) on dying PC gaming from Valve

http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/new...hp?story=18843

It also amuses me when I hear a developer cry about how much money they "COULD" have made rather the say how much money they did make. CoD4 made a ton of money on all platforms and the developer only cries how much they "lost" from "protential" sales because of PC priracy. How can you lose something you never had. Again, not about how much they did make. And Crysis developers blaming bad sales on piracy...again did they even blame themselves for making a game that couldnt be played with all the goodies turned on in hi rez even on some of the best systems. Come on when you make a mediocre game and basiclly a tech demo what do you exepect. Its like making a X720 (next 360 ... ?) or a PS4 game/graphics and cry that it didnt sell well on the 360 or PS3.

"WHAT IF" always look rosier the "WHAT IS" ...
post #16 of 121
From a PC gamer with no consoles (have an old NES that still works) I find that PC gamers tend to have fewer games than console players. For example the console players I know have 10+ games in their library and only continue to play a _few_ of them after they've finished them. While the PC gamers I know typically only have 4 or 5 games that they play over and over all the time. So from a Gaming industry standpoint more games are sold on the console than the PC. But from a consumer standpoint I value games with great re-playability, so I only have a few games. It's not to say the games are better on consoles thats why people buy more of them, it's just the playability of a lot of games is nill so they need to buy more games.

Taubs: To say that PC gaming is going to turn into low graphic requirements because people are moving to laptops does not make sense. Half the laptop market is based on laptops with high-end graphic cards in them -- so, so much for low graphic requirements. Also take into account that a console is just a PC with lower capabilities. At some point the high end parts in the consoles will rival the high end parts of a PC. It will even out over time.

Regarding pirating, you can download PS3/360 games just as easily as PC games. It's just that not as many people know how/where to get those games.

I however simply just buy my PC games now, 1) because I can afford to, and 2) because I got tired of looking for cracks to play the game online (until the next patch came out).

For me PC gaming will never die. FPS was made for a PC, but driving games are so much better on consoles. Why can't we just have both?

$.02
post #17 of 121
Yeah, I feel sorry for those corporations with all their tax breaks and write offs and tax shelters and off-shore tech support. What a bunch of crybabies. Just like banks and retail stores internal theft THE biggest threat.
post #18 of 121
Consoles win because:

1. Cheaper to maintain: It's up to devs to make sure the games fit the hardware, not the hardware owners. I'm sure over the years the average age of gamers has gone down because of this, but has also enabled franchises to succeed where they otherwise would not have.

2. Portability: Gamers can tote easier for LAN events etc.

3. Independence/Security: A console does not eat up family time on the internet, and enables a greater degree of privacy. Also, parents that would never allow a computer in their kids' rooms will allow a console, with all the concerns over internet predators etc.

This is all obvious and the underlying point is that there really isn't anything a game provider can do about these things, being largely hardware-based. It isn't that the games suck (in most cases). The best thing they can do is make games for consoles; it's where it's at.
post #19 of 121
I don't think PC gaming companies are marketing "PC Gaming" correctly, which would help it succeed more than it is in the current state.

What they should be doing is advertising PCs running on Large TVs used in the family room, like the consoles are. Although I see HTPCs becoming more popular, high end equipment for gaming seems limited to your standard boxy tower (which isn't really what I want under my TV on the shelf next to my console & AV receiver). Companies that produce enclosures should be focusing on making HTPC chassis that can allow ample ventilation for high end video cards, while making them appear as compact and stylish as possible, a new engineering direction. Is there a remote control out there that can control basic Windows functions? I have XP and don't want to use Vista, but does the latter have this, being newer and all?

I have to commend Microsoft. The "Games for Windows" logo on games means these games must meet certain criteria (run at 16:9 & 16:10 resolutions natively, and support the 360 controller natively). This was a huge step in the right direction. I honestly don't care much for the keyboard & mouse combo, sitting humped over my desk, in front of my smaller monitor on my chair, in my room. I like lounging on my couch, playing Crysis on the 360 controller on the big screen instead.

I just recently brought my PC downstairs to connect to my new DLP 56" TV (Samsung 56A650) and I am very impressed. This will bring me back to PC gaming. Crysis at TRUE 1080p res looks breathtaking. X360 at 720p ... not so much afterwards.
post #20 of 121
I agree. Crysis was the first game I played on my TV. True 1080p resolution first of all, with details an Xbox360 or PS3 could only dream of rendering.
post #21 of 121
Actually, I think the real test for console vs. PC gaming will be when the next generation of consoles is released. Right now, both PS3 & X360 run games natively at 720p (with VERY few 1080p exceptions. Virtua Tennis 3 on X360 looks amazing at 1080p). Currently, nearly all HDTVs are 1080p, so PC gaming still looks significantly better on these HDTVs than consoles (because of resolution and all graphical effects maxed out).

But ... when the next gen of consoles is released, they will offer native 1080p support with enhanced graphics (and if many of these console games did run at 1080p with good frame rates, I think they would rival PCs in graphics for the most part even though graphics not maxed out. The 1080p vs 720p resolution makes that much of a difference on my 56" HDTV).

Truth is current HDTVs, while sharp, still are not "quite" as sharp as a good PC monitor (I'm talking larger sets), watching these TVs ... you'd never know it The resolution is still high and the image looks sharp. Because of this, FSAA makes very little difference, unlike on a PC monitor. On top of that, the higher the resolution, the less pronounced the effect of jaggies (as we see with the X360 running games at 1280x720 vs. my PC running games at 1920x1080, neither of which are currently utilizing FSAA except a handful of X360 games). The lack of FSAA on 720p X360 games is hard on the eyes, but for the PC running games at 1080p without FSAA, it's barely noticable. This will enable consoles to run games smoother and max out other graphical settings in exchange for 0x or 2xFSAA instead of 4x FSAA on every game. So this extra muscle and advantage PC games currently have will not be much of an "advantage" anymore.

So what does the PC then have as an advantage over consoles?

(1) Keyboard & mouse? Great for strategy games over the controller, but for 3rd person shooters, fighting games, racing games .... the controller wins. 1st person shooters control better with keyboard & mouse, but still control well on the controller (talkin X360 experience). Doesn't the PS3 support keyboard & mouse anyway?
(2) User mods & support. Yes, here the PC still can outmatch the console and probably always will because of its nature
(3) Customization of many more aspects like graphics, etc.
(4) Desktop Customizibility ... IDK?

... but then again, consoles don't have the issues of driver updates crashing systems, losing compatibility with games released not to long ago with newer drives (this one really annoys me), updates, crashes (My 360 only crashed twice since I owned it during launch, I consider that nonexistant), reinstalling Windows, etc. And the interface is much easier to navigate and attractive on the current gen consoles vs the PC. Consoles can also play music, movies, short video clips off the net, pics; making them media centers the PC once was uniquely. PCs are also capable of running the higher resolutions at better frame rates, but at a rez of 1080p (the max res of all current TVs), this advantage becomes nonexistant. Unless we start getting 100" TVs as a new standard (so the lower rez image becomes stretched over the larger viewing area and jaggies along with other effects become pronounced), higher resolutions won't make much if any difference on current size TVs. All this extra power will not be required.

So yea, the line between PCs and consoles is blurring, especially now that consoles can play games online, support chatting, download enhancements and addons to games, etc. What was once the PCs clear advantage is now done on the console too. Graphics are getting so good now that I think us gamers will start settling for what the console has to offer instead of seeing a significant difference between console vs. PC for the ease of usability (next generation at 1080p that is).

If my X360 ran all games at 1080p at as smooth a framerate as my PC (and past games like how the X360 runs Xbox games (native 480p) at a native 720p now), I would avoid using the PC for anything other than email, web browsing, and other misc stuff altogether. And you can bet the next release of consoles will be nearly equivelant to the high end PCs of that time frame.
post #22 of 121
I personally don't see the "incredible difference" in graphics between a PC and a console anymore. Last Gen? Yes...this gen? Nope.

Resolution aside, I'm seeing largely the same effects..maybe some slightly sharper textures on a PC but thats debatable. Gears looks just as good at 720p as it does at 1080p....higher resolution just means higher resolution...the rest of the game looks the same, and 720p still looks plenty high-rez.
post #23 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadRusch View Post

I personally don't see the "incredible difference" in graphics between a PC and a console anymore. Last Gen? Yes...this gen? Nope.

Resolution aside, I'm seeing largely the same effects..maybe some slightly sharper textures on a PC but thats debatable. Gears looks just as good at 720p as it does at 1080p....higher resolution just means higher resolution...the rest of the game looks the same, and 720p still looks plenty high-rez.

Agreed for the most part, but 720p looks noticably crappier than 1080p on a 56" HDTV. Very noticable. I wish I bought the 67" HDTV if I knew how good 1080p would look.
post #24 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by CyberCT View Post

Companies that produce enclosures should be focusing on making HTPC chassis that can allow ample ventilation for high end video cards, while making them appear as compact and stylish as possible, a new engineering direction.

Lets be real, chassis makers are not exactly known for style... they build cases that appeal to 15 year olds who think the term "riced out" isn't a pejorative. The ones that are stylish are more expensive, and the ones that are stylish and compact are very expensive.

And the market for people who are gonna build an HTPC box is limited anyway... sure more may buy a prebuilt from HP or whatever... but even then the numbers pale next to those who rent a DVR box or whatever.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CyberCT View Post

Actually, I think the real test for console vs. PC gaming will be when the next generation of consoles is released. Right now, both PS3 & X360 run games natively at 720p (with VERY few 1080p exceptions. Virtua Tennis 3 on X360 looks amazing at 1080p). Currently, nearly all HDTVs are 1080p, so PC gaming still looks significantly better on these HDTVs than consoles (because of resolution and all graphical effects maxed out).

There's no doubt the consoles were too weak to properly pull off 1080P gaming. Way too weak. But that is a cost issue, they had to get these things down to a decent price. The PS3 launched at $600, and right about that time Nvidia launched its 8800 line and the top card was $600. So yea, a card for the same price as a console - obviously sacrifices have to be made.
post #25 of 121
Good read
post #26 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by JAgustin View Post

Taubs: To say that PC gaming is going to turn into low graphic requirements because people are moving to laptops does not make sense. Half the laptop market is based on laptops with high-end graphic cards in them -- so, so much for low graphic requirements. Also take into account that a console is just a PC with lower capabilities. At some point the high end parts in the consoles will rival the high end parts of a PC. It will even out over time.

Wrong, Far less than half the laptop market has a high end graphic card. Go out and try to buy a laptop with a Geforce 8800 GT or better card in it. They are few and far between and in NO way represent anyware close to 50% of the market.
post #27 of 121
For me pc gaming has always offered unique gameplay experiences like turn based 4x Strategy Games, RTS Strategy and CRPGs.

PC Gaming is alive and well. Take a look at this list from Wiki...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...ng_video_games

PC games still put up great numbers when you consider all the variables involved in PC Gaming. There is a healthy 1Million+ units moved and the list is pretty long. It isn't much different on the console side...you have your heavy blockbusters and your regular heavyweights and then sales falls for the lesser known franchises.

I know when I was addicted to WoW my game purchasing fell to the wayside but as I quit I began purchasing more titles again. Companies like Stardock prove that the PC is still a viable platform for up and coming development houses and not just blockbuster franchises.
post #28 of 121
The thing is the paradigm shift that has happened with this generation of consoles.

Before PC's were always in the lead, were always the ones setting the standards that consoles simply couldn't hope to achieve, with SD graphics..320x240 and low-rez textures and low framerates.

But that was 1998....in 2008 the tables have truly turned. The most popular games on PC's these days are MMORPG's or the occasional hardcore sim......most folks are going to consoles to get their action/racing/fps fix nowadays, and that trend will only continue as the consoles improve and those games make up the bulk of the gaming world.

And of course....in the end...lets not forget that as the gaming demographic ages there is more and more of a push to "get up from the desk" and move to the couch.
post #29 of 121
PC is my preferred way to play. User created mods are what make the PC versions so great

From this link EA is not going to release Madden 09 for the PC. I would imagine that will be the same for most of their other sports titles as well.

http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post...madden-09.html
post #30 of 121
Well, I bought a PS3 yesterday (80GB MGS4 bundle - couldn't pass it up) and ordered a 52" Samsung today, but I'm a PC gamer first and foremost.

I went PS3 since most 360 games are also released for PC. And since I have a laptop for gaming (loaded M1730), it's as portable as any console and I'll be hooking it up to the new TV for my HTPC gaming fix.

Oh, and Wii Fit to keep me trim
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