Cevat Yerli: "PC Is Easily A Generation Ahead"

In an interview with Edge, as reported by CVG, Cevat Yerli claimed that the PC is a "generation ahead" of current gen consoles, the PS3 and 360, and discussed the impact console development is having on the PC market.

"As long as the current console generation exists," claims Yerli, "and as long as we keep pushing the PC as well, the more difficult it will be to really get the benefit of both."

Of course plenty of other sites are reporting this as a 'consoles are holding PCs back' flamebait story, but Yerli is essentially just stating the obvious – console gaming is more popular than ever and it makes sense for developers to focus their development strategy to cater for that market. When PC ports are developed in tandem they generally don't get the chance to benefit from the increased processing power, which is sad, but it's simply economics.

We're taking issue with the way this is being reported on other sites - again a quote taken out of context is being used to stir up trouble for hits. What Cevat Yerli is touching on is an important point: the PC is being largely ignored as a platform. And Yerli expands on this.

"A lot nowadays don't consider PC a big issue any more," he claims, "their expectations are nowhere near what they are for the console versions. Until the PC market creates comparable revenues, companies are not going to spend enough on the PC SKU of a game."

It's an interesting question: what will it take to get PC gaming back on track? Sure you have your PC mega franchises like World of Warcraft and Starcraft but, beyond Blizzard, what will it take to get publishers and developers to invest properly in PC games? It seems like a mini catch-22. No-one is investing in the PC market because the revenues aren't there, and the audience is thinning because developers won't invest.

What's the problem here? Piracy? What will it take to get PC gaming back to its peak?

PC 'a generation ahead' of PS3 and 360, but being held back - Crytek [CVG]


Comments

    You can play games on PC now? When did this happen? :P

    This issue is simple: control. The PC is an uncontrollable device. PS3, Wii and 360 are all controlled by their respective platform holders. That means reliable specifications: the developer only has to optimize for one (or 2) of the platforms (given that a Wii version is inevitably pretty different).

    They are controllable in terms of marketing and product packaging. Not the physical package stuff, but Wii and XBox (better than PS3) have a very very recognizable brand image. They can market this brand image through ads for the console and the games. Who is making money by advertising a PC game? Only the developer, the hardware revenue will be split between however many dozens of PC manufacturers or the local parts shop. It exactly the same process that Apple have capitalized on so well. There is no real fundamental difference between a PC, Mac, and XBox. What is different is that a PC is a concept, where Mac, XBox, PS3, Wii are all brand name products with logos etc.

    Fundamentally I think modern people are drawn towards brand name stuff. I'm not sure if this is a learned behaviour we've been trained to accept, or if it's a project to organise the world in our minds a bit more simpler. I see it as a parallel for why Facebook is more popular now than the 'personal homepage' or even a blog. Or why we say 'Coke' instead of 'Cola.' Certainly we are all immersed in a culture of marketing and brand names, so they are definitely a very familiar construct, where something as generic and conceptual as 'blog' is essentially invisible. No one is going to advertise 'blog' in a PC magazine.

    And yeah, I think piracy has something to do with it as well--but that is bound up in the controllability of the brand-name consoles.

      I think that there is a little bit more to consoles than just that: by having static technology developers are better able to utilise the resources available, resulting in much higher quality games, later in the consoles lifetime's.
      Now I think that this inter can help developers better utilise PCs.

        @Doug Sherry

        I actually think it's quite the opposite these days. I haven't seen any polished games in a while. Not saying this is directly related to consoles, but it seems mildly significant in my own believe that is. I can't see games actually pushing boundaries because of these limitations to be honest.

      Wow, I can find so much fault with what you've just said that I don't know where to start. But I'll start here "What is different is that a PC is a concept, where Mac, XBox, PS3, Wii are all brand name products with logos etc."

      So you're basically saying that the only reason people play console games is because they want the brand in their home? And that the PC gaming market is a wholly altruistic entity who's only in it to entertain?

      Gimme a break... you're forgetting that everyone, console gamers as well, have PC's sitting in their houses. It's a conscious decision what you play on a console and what you don't. PC isn't a concept, it's sitting on my desk right now and there has been one there for longer than I've had any consoles.

      The first console I really got into was the Xbox definitely, before that I played PC games and PC games only... and I didn't buy into the console because of the logo (in fact, back then a lot of people really resented that Microsoft was making a console) I bought into it because the games were there, they had good graphics, they were more convenient (didn't have to install, fiddle with the graphics, be manually updated with patches... and also you didn't need an expensive PC to play them)

      I think the whole move to console games started happening around 2005, in 2004 there were two massive exclusive (for a while) PC releases Doom 3 and Half Life 2... since then there has been hardly any notable PC exclusive releases. None that would justify me upgrading my rig anyway.

      This cannot be put down to Xbox being a brand, or Playstation or whatever... it's because PC gaming is genuinely annoying to keep up with. I have friends who have upgraded their systems multiple times for games that haven't even been released yet... then they scoff at us console peasants and our consistent stream of strong exclusive games, developer support and massive online communities. These are the reasons Console gaming is ahead, it has nothing to do with the brand.

        I actually think Adam has a good point. A console can be marketed, but PC gaming as a more disjointed platform can't be marketed in the same way.

        At risk of actually causing a PC v. Console flamewar, allow me to carefully respond.

        "So you’re basically saying that the only reason people play console games is because they want the brand in their home? And that the PC gaming market is a wholly altruistic entity who’s only in it to entertain?"

        I don't think the desire for brand-name goods is always conscious. However, the fact of the matter is that we call brand-name, game-playing computers either Playstation, XBox or Wii. If you want to play games, you can buy a brand-name console very very easily, and KNOW what will work on it and what won't. PCs aren't altruistic because they are machines, I am not anthropomorphizing them.

        "Gimme a break… you’re forgetting that everyone, console gamers as well, have PC’s sitting in their houses. It’s a conscious decision what you play on a console and what you don’t. PC isn’t a concept, it’s sitting on my desk right now and there has been one there for longer than I’ve had any consoles."

        I bet the thing you call PC on your desk and the thing on my desk is different. That's what I mean by concept. There are a lot of things we can call PC, there are only 1 or 2 things we can call PS3. Secondly, you can't consciously decide to play Heavy Rain on your PC, because it won't run. Its been designed to cooperate only with the PS3 because the PS3 has been designed to only cooperate with software written for it. They are 'closed' platforms where the PC is an 'open' platform.

        "The first console I really got into was the Xbox definitely, before that I played PC games and PC games only… and I didn’t buy into the console because of the logo (in fact, back then a lot of people really resented that Microsoft was making a console) I bought into it because the games were there, they had good graphics, they were more convenient (didn’t have to install, fiddle with the graphics, be manually updated with patches… and also you didn’t need an expensive PC to play them)"

        Why are they cheaper than PCs? Because the manufacturers know they will regain profits from sales of their platform-specific games. PC manufacturers don't have the luxury of demanding any royalties or licence fees from people who want to program for the platform. HP doesn't get any money from Activision for using a HP computer, nor does Acer or anyone else. Compare that to the iPhone or Mac where Apple can in fact control everything that goes through the AppStore, at least. The console platform owners licence EVERYTHING that will EVER run on your consoles 'legally.' The whole reason that each console exists is because they are able to be paired up with the relevant software to make a predictable amount of money.

        "I think the whole move to console games started happening around 2005, in 2004 there were two massive exclusive (for a while) PC releases Doom 3 and Half Life 2… since then there has been hardly any notable PC exclusive releases. None that would justify me upgrading my rig anyway."

        This is entirely anecdotal. I have had more consoles in my gaming life than gaming PCs, by far. Hundreds of thousands of people have played primarily on consoles since 1983 when the NES was released, and before that on Ataris and Intellivisions etc.

        "This cannot be put down to Xbox being a brand, or Playstation or whatever… it’s because PC gaming is genuinely annoying to keep up with. I have friends who have upgraded their systems multiple times for games that haven’t even been released yet… then they scoff at us console peasants and our consistent stream of strong exclusive games, developer support and massive online communities. These are the reasons Console gaming is ahead, it has nothing to do with the brand."

        Again, why are PCs annoying 'to keep up with'? Because they are not a fixed object, they are an amorphous concept that could be anything on any given date. The architecture stays the same but the specifications, ie. the amount of processing power the can generate, has changed pretty wildly over time. They are so different that software can make pretty different demands on them at different times from different developers. Why are there games for consoles only? For all the reasons we've both addressed. How can you create an exclusive in the first place, though? That can only happen because of branding. MS and Sony have both created a computer, then implemented some locks to prevent any old software from running on their platform, the way anything can run on a PC. You can't have a 'HP' exclusive because there is no HP computer that doesn't run the same way an Acer or Lenovo or Alienware machine runs. Brand names make that sort of exclusivity possible.

        Think of it in another way, what if you bought a 'PC' (desktop box, mouse, keyboard and screen) that had a specific CPU architecture that had to be written for in a specific way that most PC developers didn't do. So you could only play games on this 'PC' that are specifically written for that platform. Is that still a PC, or is it a specific particular KIND of PC? How do we identify specific particular kinds of things in this day and age? With brand names.

        Side note: I'm not trying to pass judgement either way. I, like you said above, have all 3 consoles and a PC at home. But I am trying to describe how we got to where we are.

          You've lost me there dude, I have no idea what you're trying to say anymore. But I think you've missed my point entirely... you've simplified the issue far too much. There have always been console brands out there Before Microsoft and Sony it was Sega and Nintendo, and so on... you can't put the current focus on consoles down to the brand on the box. It's down to the fact that they're less high maintenance, cheaper, have more games made exclusively* for them, and also have much better integrated online gaming functions. And yeah, you could argue that last point, but I think it is true for the most part, and it's definitely why a lot more people choose CoD on the 360/PS3 than on the PC.

          *lol, I don't see how you can misunderstand what I mean by exclusive either... "only on PC"... to say the PC industry ISN'T a wholly altruistic entity is not anthroherpderperizing, it was kind of a counter to you saying that it's a simple issue... then you basically go on about small, irrelevant details like what an exclusive game is. Can you see where I'm coming from here, at least?

          If I have to put my point simply: people play consoles because - arguably - they're better. Having an Xbox isn't even vaguely similar to buying a Gucci man-bag... you can't boil it down to brands whether it's subconscious or not. Consoles have far more legitimate features than just a logo... and I think you're neglecting that a bit.

            How is a console anything other than a PC with a brand-name?

            That brand name is the symbol of a specific kind of computer that has a specific kind of internal architecture (ie. you can't program for it unless you have Sony/MS/Nintendo's blessing) and its own online network (ie. you can't use the 'regular internet'). The purpose of creating such specific, branded computers is to lead to all the stuff you're talking about. Exclusives, streamlined installation/compatibility, coherent and consistent online multiplayer etc. But the only reason to do that is to control the revenue stream more tightly.

              Well reasoned and written arguments Adam!

              Part of your response reminded me of a moment a few months ago when I had a (non-gamer) friend over, and they asked what type of Xbox my nicely cased HTPC was! (I had two 360 controllers on the coffee table at the time). I could only respond with "the best type!"

              Sure a console is a specialised computer, obviously. But the point is that unlike any gaming PC you can buy one for $300 and that is almost all the hardware you will need for many years to come, to do pretty much the same thing a gaming PC does but with less messing around.
              Also you play on a console while sitting on a comfy couch in front of your big arse TV, a setting that is far more familiar and comfortable than sitting at a desk a foot away from a screen (which for some is a lot like being at work)

                After years of being a 'PC snob', what you just described is what has won me over to consoles lately. For the same price as my last PC video card upgrade I got a 360, which I won't need to upgrade again. Now I spend my extra coin on games instead of parts ;)

    When pc gaming becomes as simple as console gaming.

    I got Dawn of War 2 for the pc, spent 20 minutes installing it, had to create a steam account, then had to download and install steam, hook up a games for windows live account, then it was missing a .dll file so I searched on the internet for that, then messed around with the settings to get it to run nice on my pc.

    After all that then I could play.

    Playing borderlands involved me installing, then spending 2 days trying to figure out what the hell was wrong with my internet that wouldn't let
    me connect through borderlands but I had no problems with any other online game.

    Compare that to the experience on a console game.
    Get home, put it in the console, play.

    The hassle associated with PC gaming isn't worth the reward

      Then should you really be playing PC games if you don't think it is worth the effort? o.O

        Yes, I think that's exactly what he is saying. I agree too. I've traded my Macbook Pro for a MacBook air and moved over to Xbox for my games now. Really got sick of booting up windows and it wanting me to do stuff before I play games.

        Sure I miss server browsers, solid mouse/keyboard control, integrated/3rd party and highly flexible voice chat, perhaps most of all Battlefield 2 but it's worth it. I press power on my Xbox the game starts and I'm playing within a minute or two. Awesome.

      That's a really good point. I'd extend it to say that there is a barrier towards less technology fluent people being able to enter the world of PC gaming. I can't see myself ever getting my Mum to play anything more complicated than a browser game on her PC, but having her play a game on a console or handheld is much more feasible.

      Accessibility is a pretty big issue in the gaming marketplace today. Nintendo, for example, have expanded their audience by striving towards making gaming accessible towards people of all ages/skills. Likewise with mobile/iPod gaming.

      This. In the effort to regulate legit copies, it's made simply pirating or not buying the game a better option.

      For GTAIV I had to make an account for Steam (pre-existing, but still gotta log on), GFWL, Rockstar Social Club, and I think some other one. This was similar to Fallout3 and DoW2. It's an absolute clusterf- to say the least and something which is really making PC an ugly choice.

      I wish I got GTAIV for the PS3 instead of the poorly ported, overloaded PC version.

      Heh this is exactly why I primarily play games on my 360 and not my PC now.

      When I was younger it was actually kinda great to sit there and tweak settings and eek out every bit of power my PC could produce. Like I could take pride in getting that game to run smooth and look great. Of course when I was younger I also had a lot more time on my hands to bother with it all.

      Now I really don't have the time, and every moment spent tweaking hardware or DLing patches or what have you is a moment of frustration, rather than interest. If I wanna sit down and play a game I wanna do just that and only that, so the 360 is perfect.

      In saying this I did build my latest PC just a few months ago and I did build it to be capable to play games pretty decently. Although the hardware is really more benefit to the other programs I wanna run, like AutoCAD/Revit for example. Still it runs Starcraft 2 pretty schmick!

      I'm going to take the complete opposite argument to this.
      I'm glad I'm on PC instead of a console, because if I buy a game that's been released in a shoddy state, it may not be wasted money if I'm able to implement some fixes, tweaks or improvements for it.
      I can also play that great game I purchased 8 years ago along side the latest games, without having to unplug and switch hardware...

      I completely understand the above points, but just wanted to show that some of those problems can also in fact be great advantages at the same time to some people.

    Nahhhhhhhhhh, NES is best!

      This gets my rubber stamp of approval (though I would have voted SNES myself)

        I prefer SNES too, I just wanted to sound like a "bubble-headed boobie".

    what a revelation the pc is a generation ahead... the xbox 360 came out in 2005 and ps3 a year later

    though that was not the point of the post

    What would it take to get the PC market on track? Well, isn't it obvious? The next generation of consoles. You'll have to wait, though.

    Seriously, "a generation ahead" does not mean that much these days. We've been getting diminishing returns for quite a while now.

      Forgot one point though. The next generation of consoles... If the iPhone/IPad don't end up dumbifying the entire games market.

      We'll all be playing basically flash games if this happens.

        "We’ll all be playing basically flash games if this happens."

        Until Apple has another change of heart and removes support for flash created software again...

        That's like saying Nissan and Subaru will stop making sports cars because Toyota is selling a lot of eco friendly hatchbacks.

        Ridiculous, there will always be a market for both, and sales of either benefit the other. Read the article on mobile gaming from a few days ago, you sound like the kind of guy that is desperately worried that 'gaming' is being 'taken away from you'. Guess what, it is. Deal with it. It's at long last getting back to how it should be, games are for everyone - but there will always be a sub-sector for the types of games you like so there is no need to fret. You just have to accept that Fruit Ninja is as equally valid a game as Rage is.

          The argument here is that consoles are holding PCs back. I'm just extrapolating it, arguing that someday, mobile gaming may, in turn hold consoles back.

          Fruit ninja and Rage are equally valid games for different demographics, no argument there. However, today, consoles get the lion share of development budget, should mobile gaming become prevalent, it would no longer be the case.

          That does not mean that consoles would disappear, but they'd be in a similar position as PCs are right now. Just imagine the state of PC gaming in such scenario.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_selection

      The PC is a generation ahead again!
      Therein lies one of its major problems.

      People got into consoles for that exact reason.
      They got sick and tired of having to update their machine spec every 6 months to play the latest games. At least with a console they know their going to get 4/5 years out of their well earned money.

      When people saw how good a console game could be (Ocarina of Time was my turning point)they just couldnt see the point of continueing with the never ending upward spiraling cost.

      This and the fact that a PC made you a bit of a loner. With a console, you are in the Lounge room with a big TV.
      PCs are in the Study. I can tell you most parents would rather see what their kids are doing!

    What the PC really needs is a new id Software, a new Carmack/Romero team that will just create something that will blow peoples minds. If the PC really has leapfrogged the 360/PS3 then we need to be shown how. Blizzard is a fine company that makes popular games, but as the real last standing pillar of PC development they haven't pushed system specs. Even Crytek pushed the PC bar further with Crysis, only to move to consoles because thats where most of the shooter fans now reside (keyboard/mouse purists are a dying breed)

    And while I'm on the topic, I loathe the keyboard as a control input device for gaming. I love using a mouse, but a standard keyboard is not made for gaming! Its why I gave up on PC gaming and stuck to consoles for most of my life. Ive since found a reason to come back to PCs thanks to Steam and the efforts put in by indi devs to make some truly fun games, and thankfully more and more of them support standard gamepads :p

    I agree, a console can't compete with a high-spec computer (some games look like witchcraft must have been involved) but there's no-one really taking advantage of that fact.

    I don't think the issue with consumers in the majority is with DRM, piracy or anything like that, but has more to do with 'comfort'. Not many people go to work/school and don't spend all day sitting on their arse in a chair (with most of them in front of a computer too) so it's not a surprise people don't want to go home and continue to sit at attention to play games. Forgetting that a keyboard and mouse really aren't that comfortable (despite being more powerful/accurate and PCs more flexible), with consoles people get to sit in a loungeroom and relax, where socialising and local multiplayer is so much more convenient and they now have access to a wide range of multimedia features. And don't forget, everyone can play the game irrespective of whether their 360/PS3/Wii is 3 weeks old or 3 years old.

    Now I'm really just speaking from my own experiences but I think until we see some greater evolution of computers into the loungeroom, so that the experience is more convenient and comfortable, PC gaming is going to continue to stagnate. And loungeroom gaming is not necessarily the best outcome for FPS, MMO or Strategy games, but they've already got PC market stitched up.

    PC... well, to get that great display, you have to go buy a graphics card that costs as much as an entire console. And you need to buy an upmarket CPU... this is all stuff that only the dedicated PC addict buys. A PS3 or XBox nowadays gives you sufficiently great visual experience on your 50" TV already, so it's a tough ask to expect people to make that investment in a PC.

    The whole concept of the big tower PC with lots of fans is for people with specific power needs now. Regular people tend to buy laptops.

    PC gaming can't die because of people like me.

    People who know that a quick alt-tab is much more convincing then a panicked turn-off-run-to-the-computer-and-pretend-you're-working.

    As long as there's procrastination, there's PC gaming.

      Aaah the day of games with the 'boss key' :)

        I still remember it was "f10" for Hugo 3.

        At the time, I didn't understand it's importance, but now it has become ever-so-clear. :D

    Isn't there a point in all this as to how easy it is to pirate PC games vs. pirating console games too? I noticed some people mentioned consumers not wanting DRM, but it seems obvious that a lot of developers prefer the lesser of pirating evils which happens to be the console... no?

    You really have to piracy out of the equation when it comes to PC gaming as there are so many different factors that can play out.

    The real issue comes down to the publishers and the accountants. We are seeing alot of games come out these days just are really extremely piss por in quality. Its the same crap over and over just with a different name.

    lets take the CoD franchise. CoD, UO, CoD2 and CoD4:MW were the games that brought something new the FPS genre. The last 3 games have brought forth nothing new, and in the case of MW2 even removed many features that are staple to the FPS genre.

    Now compare that to Fallout 3 and New Vegas. When F3 came out it was a Damn great game, But now once you have played New Vegas you just cant go back and play Fallout 3 because NV improved in every area over fallout 3. ( dont even mention bugs as F3 was buggy as NV when it was released)

    Now back to piracy, it breaks down into many levels:
    theres always gunna be people that pirate it just because they dont want to pay for a game for no other reason than theyjust want it for free.

    Some people will pirate to stick it to a developer/publisher for doing stupid things ( spore DRM, MF2 fiasco etc)

    Others will Pirate because of the fac tthat game is banned in their country.

    Next there is the pirate who's pirating that new game because the country that they are living in hasnt had the game released yet and wont get it for another 1week to 5months. That pirate will pirate the game, and then when the game is offically released in their country will go and by the game.

    "the PC is being largely ignored as a platform."

    Particularly if that PC happens to run an OS other than windows. *wishes more games ran natively on Macs*

      You should cheek out STEAM if you have not already. 139 games for MAC so far, and more are getting added. :) Linux on the other hand...

        ahh valve, 13 years late to party after initally delcining the invite, yet they finally rock and considered heros. boggles my mind, it really does

    There's no problem with PC gaming at the moment. Why does everyone think that it's dying?

      because the majority of PC games are now essentially console ports.

      How can you ask that?
      It used to be: Games are developed for PC, and then ported to console. Now it's the other way around... and they're ported poorly (GTA IV, COD BO just two that instantly come to mind!)
      PC has far better graphics, WAY better interface (KB/M vs GAMEPAD) and far better options due to the keyboard etc - server browsers, dev console.

      People make the "I need to upgrade my hardware so often" excuse which is total BS. I bought a PC 2 yearsa sgo and it cost me $1200 with EVERYTHING and it is a quite fast machine (I chose the parts and paid $50 for it to be assembled) and it still plays all the latest games with mostly full graphical settings. AND if I NEED a console style controller, I plug in my $20 Logitech rumblepad which is a perfect clone of a PS3 control... or an XBOX controller is plug n play.

      And guess what.. cause the game isn't designed to be played 3 metres from the TV, they give you a decent FOV so you can actually see things around you and take in detail :O

        you missed big PLUS! the modding community.

        "It used to be: Games are developed for PC, and then ported to console. Now it’s the other way around"

        I do not think it is even that now. I think its a case of 'code to the API and let the compiler do the rest.'

        "PC has far better graphics"

        SEGA banked on that in the 90 and got their backside kicked by Nintendo with their NES from the 80s. Graphics is only comedic and not a deal breaker when it comes to games.

        "WAY better interface (KB/M vs GAMEPAD) and far better options due to the keyboard"

        I disagree. Interface effectiveness is subject. I do not see a control pad being less effective. The challenge is to try and make the gamepad just a effective as a keyboard by retooling the interface.

        Trouble is I do not think developers are willing to spend the extra cash to build two modes of interface.

        I have actually tried Oblivion and Divinity II on XBox 360 and do not think my hands have recovered from the trauma ever since.

        "People make the “I need to upgrade my hardware so often” excuse which is total BS"

        That is a bit of a grey area. These days you can get get away with a machine built a couple of years back.

        But I am old enough to remember a time when one really did have to upgrade every 6 months.

          "“People make the “I need to upgrade my hardware so often” excuse which is total BS”

          That is a bit of a grey area. These days you can get get away with a machine built a couple of years back.

          But I am old enough to remember a time when one really did have to upgrade every 6 months."

          I tend to agree with Lyndon on this one. There was a time when everyone was complaining about having to upgrade every 6 months that is true, but you never REALLY had to.

          The problem is that as new games were released that required the newer technology we had to start playing on "Medium" or even "Low" graphics settings. People don't like this. Everyone wants to play the latest and greatest and they want it to look as good as it can so everyone feels like the need to upgrade.

          With consoles there are no graphics detail settings, there is no opportunity to upgrade so nobody thinks about the fact that developers are effectively MAKING these games for the equivalent of the "medium" and "low" graphics settings just so they can run on aging console hardware.

          As gamers we're really being short changed in the end because game developers cannot innovate gradually as new hardware is released. They have to wait many years until a whole new generation of consoles is released that can support all the things they want to do. This means they're always playing catch up and ultimately all the games suffer because (as is the case for a brand new generation of consoles) the developers have to adjust to all the new tech they're suddenly developing for and as the consoles age they're stifled by the old technology. The situation is lose-lose in terms of game quality.

      "Why does everyone think that it’s dying?"

      It's media spin, Steven. While I am a console gamer, I do not see PC gaming as dying or will ever die.

        Yeah, I think it would be more accurate to say that it's moving into specific niches, but I think PC gaming has always been like that. But in terms of mainstream AAA development, it usually is an afterthought for publishers.

          Was there such a thing as mainstream AAA development prior to this generation of consoles?

          Apart from, you know, those two big exclusive PC titles released this year (SCII and Civ 5).

          Or you know, those AAA PC titles that constantly get free support (Team Fortress 2 + League of Legends)

          Or even that big shooter series that caved in and offered dedicated servers after the big backlash from not having them in their previous game.

          Apart from that, AAA developers avoid PC gaming like the PLAGUE man. It's uncanny. I give it 2 years before it dies off completely.

            I see your point, but developers are allocating less resources to PC games for a reason. I'm not saying it's dead in the water, just that it's not the force it used to be and resources are being funnelled elsewhere.

              Fair point. We're no longer in the UT/Q3 era, where the only real games were on PC and consoles were a mere distraction for children. I like to think that the focus is still there, but from different people and different angles. The indie scene, for example, has exploded on the PC in a way that no console (except possibly the iPhone) can rival.

    1. I dont want to sit at my computer to play games.

    2. I dont want to have to know about is inside my computer in order to play a game.

    "Gaming" and "Caring about technical details of a computer" got way too intertwined for a long time and I'm glad to see it finally become detached again so that gaming can be something everyone is into.

      I think you've got a very valid point here. Consoles opened gaming up much more to an audience interested in the entertainment, but not interested in the tech behind them.
      However consoles have been around for almost as long as the home computer, and PC gaming now is no less dead than it was when the NES was released...

    PC gaming is a real "enthusiasts" platform, from the building/buying of your computer to all the other stuff involved. Its for the more hardcore people and when it all comes together nicely theres a a special feeling behind it.

    And people always seem to get the idea that you need a $2000+ computer to run games today. When i'm a hardcore pc gamer and I love the tech behind it (hence why I overclocked my Q9550) but tech really is a long way ahead of games these days. I went to PC Case Gear and made the cheapest computer i could that will play ALL of todays games. I was so suprised as to the price.

    parts are as follows
    AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition - $155
    Gigabyte GA-790XT-USB3 Motherboard - $145
    Corsair CMX4GX3M2A1600C9 4GB DDR3 - $75
    Samsung SpinPoint F3 1TB - $59
    Corsair TX-650 Power Supply - $116
    Gigabyte GTX 460 1GB Overclocked - @219
    CoolerMaster CM 690 case - $99
    Samsung dvd drive - $29
    total - $897

    thats a nice computer for less than $900 and it'll keep up with mine (just) and i've invested over $3000 into mine.

      part of the problem is that most of todays games are made for the 360 and is the middle of the road machine. Now its been a few years since the 360 has come out and so requirements just arent being increased. Example is CoD4 vs BO no real difference apart from BO having worse graphic imo. same features as CoD4,same level sizes etc

    Silly question: do PCs even have generations like Consoles?

    I personally think they are more adaptive or evolutionary than generational.

      Yeah, most people's PCs are upgraded bit by bit until the whole thing dies. I guess the closest thing to PC 'generations' is the stage of hardware.

      DDR to DDR2 to DDR3
      SATA to SATA2 to SATA3
      USB to USB2.0 to USB3
      Single core, dual core and quad core CPU

      This isn't definitive, but I consider myself to have a next-gen PC as all the hardware is from this year.

        Pioneer,

        I think you're simplify it it.
        DDR to DDR2 to DDR3
        Thats 2 new motherboards and thus 2 new CPUs.
        Oh the licence on windows is not going to transfer, 2 new verions of windows.
        Oh yeah, they changed the graphic card interface on the motherboard, the PCI slot is now AGP - Oh the AGP is now replaced with PCEI16 etc.

        Sure, you can get away with a pretty good new computer for US900, but i can almost buy PS3 and Xbox360 and Wii for that much money!

      Ditto, PC doesn't really take too many leaping strides forward like the console 'generations' but if you want to look at the PC in that light I guess you could always go by Moore's Law (double the transistors roughly every two years).

        It would be easy to go by that law, but I do not think it has relevance anymore.

        The main reason we have gone multicore in the past few years is that were are bordering on the limit on how small we can make the tracks on a CPU die.

        Seriously, despite their age, Pentium 4 processors are still powerful chips.

    I think the state of PC gaming can't be pinned on consoles, which have always been popular. The reality is there are plenty of PC titles coming out, but it's not worth the money producing AAA game assets when PC gamers are shocking pirates.

    Lost in a sea of comments, but why not:

    I've been playing PC games since I could pick up a mouse and I experienced the rush of successfully linking with another person through a dial-up connection to play Descent, back when PC games were all the rage because of their power. Even back then they were far more expensive than consoles, but the variety of options and the like encouraged it.

    This was also when the gaming community was relatively small when compared to now so to get these games running on a PC required a bit of know-how if something went wrong. When the community has exploded, 15 years later, the ages of players is more varied and the level of commitment that people want to make to things that require technical know-how has decreased.

    I know this comes across as a bit elitist but it's not my intention, most PC players know how to find .ini config files, edit registry keys and the like which has just always been needed in some form or another but for most people this is just not something they want to deal with. When a console does it all for you, the choice is kind of clear. Not all games need tweaking of course but when there is potential for troubleshooting prior to playing games instead of just playing games, one is more desirable to the majority of people.

    PC will always be at a disadvantage due to the users and until piracy is successfully slowed and PC hardware becomes a bit more standardised don't expect to see much commitment.

      I choose to reply to this so it doesn't get lost in a sea of comments!

      I've moved the vast majority of gaming to consoles. PS2/3 and 360. Not much a fan of the Wii. It's got nothing that interests me.

      I used to play PC games a hell of a lot, and still play them occasionally when certain titles come along (Starcraft 2 was the last) but there are several, big reasons I've moved away from the desktop to the couch.

      First, I work in post production at a major media network. This means I work with computers all day, every day. I doubt I'm the only one in the 'mass market' who thinks this way, but essentially, when I get home and feel a need to let off steam in gaming, I want to be as separated from my office as possible. I can't get away from emails, instant messages and social networks on a PC, and the platform itself will always remind me of the office.

      I don't have an abundance of spare time. While it's well and good for enthusiasts to tinker, mod, change, configure and tweak to get the most out of their machines (which being a PC, are prone to a whole bunch of problems that I'll save for another day) I'd prefer to simply throw a disk in the tray, push a big fat button, and hit "start". It's not lazy - it's convenient.

      Lastly is accessibility. I mentioned convenience in the previous paragraph, and this is a big part of it. I used to be, years ago, big on the modding and customization side of things. I loved games like Total War, in depth flight sims and what have you, but at the end of the day... the learning curve on all of them was just too deep for me to get the 'immediate fix' I was seeking when time became an issue. The final insult was Falcon 4.0 when I realised you needed to learn the better part of the REAL F-16's official flight operations manual in order to so much as take off, let alone shoot something down.

      A little after that I found Ace Combat.

      To sum up: Bring on Assault Horizon.

    At the risk of being a target for rotten tomatoes... What about family friendly / non-hard core games available on PC? All those facebook games and I remember a while ago 'The Sims' was the best selling franchise ever. They were all pretty much exclusively PC games and pretty sure their developers are making a comfortable living. What about smaller developers? Easier for them to publish on PC than go through the marketing and license areas of Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo. Some of those smaller developers really do have some real gems.

    Also what about the PC's 'easier' ability to play old games from a few generations ago? Look at the vast libraries at places like Steam, and GoG. If PC gaming is truly dying, someone better tell the people at Valve before they go under. :P Mmmm... Half-Life 3 gets announced as a PC only game. Lets watch the console purists cry fowl. :P

    In terms of catering for the casual crowd and for online communities etc the consoles are still playing catch up to the PC. The devices have to become mouse and keyboard computers plugged into your TV's to truly catch up, which sort of defeats the purpose.

    Disclaimer - I own a PC and a 360. I like both console and PC gaming.

    Of course it's a generation ahead, but its held back because people are sick of paying through the nose ever 16 months to play the latest games.

    A console is a cheaper, longer term investment. I love RTS games on PC, but I play mostly on my PS3 because I never have to worry about not being able to run the latest game.

    For example my PC ran Medieval 2 Total War fine, but really struggled with Empire. Now I have to upgrade to play Shogun 2 (oh boy that game will rule).

      I think you will find that PC gaming is held back because of draconian DRM.

      Seriously, how sad is it when one buys a game but then has to get the torrent version or a crack to play it because the copy protection is incompatible with the optical drive.

      This actually happened to me when I go Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened - installed it on my laptop but had to install it on my desktop because it would not work the Toshiba drive in my laptop.

    I honestly don't see PC gaming bouncing back to the good old days. It's going to be bad port after bad port from now in my opinion. It's a pessimistic view but given the amount of community misconceptions about the PC (like needing to buy a whole new computer every year - it's amazing how many people still think that) and these viscious cycles roaming about, it really is something that's becoming ingrained.

    For most PC gamers, it's a simple issue of getting a good port. There's no need for fancy new graphics every single year - we just want to have fun and not deal with lurking around on forums for hours on end trying to find a hotfix for whatever issue. Unfortunately for that, you'd have to tell the developer to cough up more money which they're more likely to eat dog poop than do.

      "There’s no need for fancy new graphics every single year – we just want to have fun and not deal with lurking around on forums for hours on end trying to find a hotfix for whatever issue."

      Pc gaming has always been like this though. Hell back when our PC was still on DOS and I installed Terminator vs Robocop from the 3 floppy discs it came on it crashed on the first cutscene.

      I can't think of a single game in the entire time I've been playing PC games (Since Duke Nukem was a platformer and Comander Keen was around) that hasn't had to be tweaked, fiddled with or used some get around to get it working properly.
      From Tomb Raider 2 having to run in a tiny black box in the center of my screen to get a decent frame rate despite my pc easily meeting the minimum requirements, to Beyond Good and Evil not running at all until I turned off the water effects that were incompatible with the graphics driver I had.

      And that's exactly why pc games are dying, cause people are sick of this shit. It was a revelation to me when I got my 64 that you could buy games and they just worked.

    I think the early comments summed it up well.

    Forget all the piracy and DRM and stuff.

    I believe that mostly it's just because the PC is not a controlled platform with strong marketing and large incentives to develop for it.

    I just really wish the DD services would just release figures (Steam especially) and just end this "PC is dying" garbage once and for all.

    Stop making powerful consoles. Consoles should be like the Wii, gimpy and no AAA titles on it.

    PC is easily a generation ahead...unless you don't have a decent video crad, in which case you get to play Xbox 360 games with Xbox-level graphics!

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