The Fear Is Gone: My PC Is My Next-Gen Console

There was a moment on Sunday when I thought the PC gamers had been hiding something from me. They'd been telling me that PC gaming wasn't the complicated hobby that it used to be, that it was more streamlined and less of a pain. They'd told me that I didn't need to be an auto mechanic if I didn't want to be, that I could just drive without ever flipping up the hood.

And yet there I was trying to be a PC gamer on Sunday and having a tough time of it. I was feeling stymied yet again. I was having what I now hope are my last doubts, because today I've just about run out of excuses to fear PC gaming. And I'm beginning to wonder what the point of a gaming console is in these modern times of December 2012.

My problem on Sunday was maddeningly simple. I'd plugged my computer — a gaming laptop (yes, yes, I know) — into my surround sound system, which was plugged into my TV. And… the image of my computer's desktop on my TV was cropped. I could barely see Windows' bottom toolbar. In X-Com Enemy Unknown I couldn't read the full names of my troops. In Far Cry 3 my peripheral vision was hemmed in.

This problem shouldn't have existed, I thought.

What's on my computer screen should have been on my TV screen. My computer was plugged into my TV set-up through one simple HDMI wire. If this was a console, it would have just worked.

You not only can't tell me that my consoles are better than my PC; you can't tell me that the concept of a gaming console has much on the PC any more. Unless we're talking about price.

I started Googling to find a solution. I Tweeted about my problem. I called colleague Kirk Hamilton. And what do you know? A lot of people seemed to know about this. A lot of people seemed to have the same problem. A lot of people seemed to know that, yeah, PC gaming still has weird issues that turn things that should work into conundrums that force you to consider, oh, maybe I'll just play this game without being able to see all of it.

I felt tricked. PC gaming, I feared, was as much a hassle as ever.

My problem on Sunday was an echo of my problems with PC gaming of old. In the late '90s and early 2000s, the computers I had were almost immediately obsolete. I'd go to the store and read far too much fine print on the spines of game boxes. Sure, I had a PC, but it didn't mean I could play the PC games I wanted to play. I hated this. I was in college and then just out of college and couldn't afford to keep up with ever-changing standards for graphics cards, sound cards and whatever else. My drivers never seemed to be up to date and I hated the hassle of trying to figure out how to update them or what to do when even updating them didn't seem to enable me to run games on computers that should have been able to run them.

Other than to play the occasional indie, I bailed out of PC gaming for many years. I returned this past summer.

In September, I got myself a gaming laptop (yes, yes, I know, but it's a powerful one). I installed Steam and started downloading games through my press account. These games started updating themselves, snatching whatever files they needed, installing Direct X and god knows what else. I was trusting Steam and it was making my return to PC gaming a cinch.

Then the fall came and I reverted to playing games on consoles. I played some Xbox 360 and some PlayStation 3. I rediscovered my 3DS and spent a lot of time on the Wii U.

At an event for BioShock Infinite just two weeks ago, I was given the chance to play the first four hours of the game on PS3, Xbox 360 or PC. A PR person there was nudging me toward PC. I figured I'd play the game on something I was more familiar with, more comfortable with. I'd like to play it on console, I said. That's when I realised that the anxiety was creeping back.

So, since then, I've tried playing games on my PC. I plugged the thing into my TV to even try Steam's Big Picture mode and more or less turn my gaming laptop into a glorified console. This would be my return to PC gaming via the shallow end of the pool. I'd play it safe by playing games in a manner I've played them so often before: on my TV, controller in my hands.

I was loving it.

I was beginning to doubt that I'd care much about console gaming again, because, well, I'll get to all of my revelations and excitement about PC gaming in a moment.

Let me tell you how the Sunday problem was resolved. The folks on Twitter and Kirk Hamilton were only able to guess solutions. Check your NVidia control panel? Tried that. The "display" options aren't in there, for some reason. Maybe it's the Bose surround system? Nope. I saw the same cropped display when I plugged directly into the TV. Maybe it's your TV? Yeah, it was the TV. It was "overscanning" my PC's video signal, whatever that means. I had to tell it to stop doing that. I then shared that advice:

Problem solved. Xcom and Far Cry 3 have looked wonderfully un-cropped since then.

And that brings me to a tune that I didn't expect to be singing when 2012 began. It goes like this:

  • PC gaming makes my consoles look like a joke. This isn't because Far Cry 3 or some other game looks so much better on my PC, but because the interconnectedness of modern games feels so much more appropriate for a system like the PC. I didn't expect I'd ever say this, but…
  • I'm finding that PC gaming is giving me more peace of mind as a gamer. The inevitable bugginess of modern games is patched immediately on PC, not left in some long certification queue by a console creator. By gaming on PC, I feel a step closer to the makers of the game; I don't feel the intermediating influence or obstruction of a Sony, Microsoft or Nintendo. And I feel I have access to a suite of features — mod support among them — that the developers actually considered part of the game's complete experience. I also feel like I'm no longer unable to get to some of the most interesting and unexpected games being made.
  • I don't mind peeking under the hood a little. I'm not completely comfortable with worrying about whether I should keep my "Vegetation" on "Very High" or my "Geometry" on "Ultra," but if I have to spend a half an hour on a Sunday monkeying with my TV in order to get these games running on a TV and another 10 minutes finding the Windows setting that spits my game audio out in 5.1, it's worth it, because…
  • PC gaming is making my life easier. Whatever streamlining of my gaming life that the Nintendo 64 or PS2 gave me back of the day is now being trumped by a single device that is holding a couple dozen games I'm excited to play (no discs!), that's updating them constantly (man, Steam's great, huh?) and that, thanks to Big Picture, lets them run just fine on my TV but can also run them on a laptop if I don't feel like using the TV or the TV is being used by someone else (shades of the Wii U!). Caveat: Uplay on PC does indeed seem kind of dumb.

Do I sound born again?

Do I have the zealotry of the prodigal son re-converted?

I suspect I might be blind to the pitfalls ahead of me. I figure that my gaming laptop won't keep pace with seven years' worth of ever-improving games the way my Xbox 360 has. I am sure there will be a moment when I again yearn for a Microsoft or Sony to slow down the rate of patching on a new game. Right now, however, you can't convince me that a 100-friend-limited Xbox 360 that requires me to swap discs almost any time I want to play a major new game and that won't allow a single mod is giving me a better gaming set-up in my living room than my PC. You can argue that something unique might be going on in the Wii U, since it is built for two-screen gaming, but you can't tell me that the PlayStation 3 has anything on my PC other than a batch of very cool Sony-published games.

You not only can't tell me that my consoles are better than my PC; you can't tell me that the concept of a gaming console has much on the PC any more. Unless we're talking about price. I did pay $US1700 for my PC. But then again, I bought a laptop. Yes, yes, I know.

Last night, I merrily played some games on my TV using a standard game controller. A console wasn't even involved. I finally have no problem with that.

As 2012 fades, my fear of PC gaming is gone. Did you hear about those next-gen consoles? I think I have one. Had it since September.


Comments

    I've been rediscovering PC gaming in a similar fashion, plugging it into my TV and playing with an xbox controller. For the most part though, I think I still prefer consoles. I like the option of getting cheap games on steam and playing through my TV, but for now the xbox 360 will still be my go-to device, at least for as long as I am couch co-opping games with my wife.

      Yeah, the only stuff I really play on PC is old/indie stuff that I get off GOG from time to time. The rest of the time it's console, and I'm happy with that so don't feel any need to change.

        The thing I don't like about PC gaming is the distinct lack of togetherness. Consoles are far more social. I have a massive friends list on both my consoles and I never feel like I'm gaming alone especially when I'm receiving inappropriate pictures from you. I just don't get that on my PC - you kind of feel alone and wonder what everyone else is doing on their console.

        I find that just about everyone I know owns at least one console, whereas not everyone is on steam - an issue of price I suspect. Even the people who don't play games but use their consoles as entertainment devices are on my friends list. Meh, both will die out when Microsoft brings out a sentient cloud gaming device delivering digital content.

          Your comment is based almost purely on the fact that you have spent more time growing your console friends list. Talk to people that play WoW, and you will find people that play no longer because they like the game, but just to see the people they are friends with there. If everyone you know is on their console, and you are on the pc, of course you are going to feel "Alone". For me, it's quite the opposite.

      Firstly, I have a brother so I love me some couch co-op.. but I find more and more today that couch co-op and console exclusives are the only reason I still own a console and thusly I will only buy into next gen when they show me good exclusives and couch co-op games... So I will get a console next gen, its just a question of when...

      rediscovering PC gaming? more like, what is this "CONSOLE" you speak of? i thought it was just 10 year old gaming pcs with games you cant pirate

        Cuento interesante, hermano.

        Last edited 19/12/12 9:22 pm

    At an event for BioShock Infinite just two weeks ago, I was given the chance to play the first four hours of the game on PS3, Xbox 360 or PC. A PR person there was nudging me toward PC. I figured I’d play the game on something I was more familiar with, more comfortable with. I’d like to play it on console, I said. That’s when I realised that the anxiety was creeping back.

    In my opinion the ONLY way to play First Person Shooters is with a mouse and keyboard. It's just no contest for me. I game on both consoles and my PC (so I'm not a fanboy one way or the other), but there's just a couple of genres of games that do not work on consoles - FPS being one, and RTS being another. I just refuse to play FPS games on consoles, because the dual-analogue controls suck for FPS games. The only FPS games that don't suck on consoles are those that DON'T use dual analogue controls, such as Metroid Prime and Metroid Prime 2...and those games were BRILLIANT.

    There were a couple of half-decent FPS games on the Wii that worked okay using the Wiimote (better than dual analogue anyway) but still weren't up to the precise control provided by the PC.

    You might think this "attitude" towards dual analogue FPS controls has made me miss out on some "good" console exclusive FPS games, but frankly I don't see it that way. Put the game on PC and I'll play it, keep it console exclusive and you won't get my money, it's no great loss to me.

    That's ignoring the fact that you can generally pump the visual detail up way higher on PC too, but I won't go into that.

    Last edited 19/12/12 11:21 am

      I totally agree, but even more so. I don't like the controller for third person shooters, either. I'm constantly frustrated when playing Uncharted because aiming just seems way harder than it should. Same with Vanquish, which I'm trying to play through now.

      I even preferred Arkham Asylum on PC with keyboard and mouse. No double tapping triggers for quick fire, and camera control was way better with a mouse, making looking around and targeting much easier during fights.

        I don't mind the controller for third person games strangely enough, in fact I prefer it. I even have a pretty good Saitek Gamepad that I play third person games with on my PC. There's just something about them that makes the controller work for me. But FPS games? Keyboard/mouse all the way.

        Last edited 19/12/12 12:17 pm

      I saw someone at jb play a crysis2 demo on an alienware desktop... with a controller... *shudder*

      FPS on a pc, with mouse and keyboard will always be more precise, and allow better "aim". I believe it was Microsoft who had a controller vs mouse death match years ago, and as you would imagine, controller got trounced. The current versions of console fps, all have assisted aiming, or a mechanic that reduces the benefit of the pixel perfect aiming that we used to be able to have. Instagib Quake 2? it was life or death. CoD 7~, it no longer matters, because you are standing arms distance away, and it still takes 2 or more shots to kill someone. RTS is another good example you mention, remember the early RTS ports on Megadrive?

    Whats more, with PC gaming you can also fire off emulators to play all those older console games from generations past, from almost any console, and whats more they, in most cases, end up looking significantly better than they did, thanks to increased resolutions and post-processing filters and the like. And when you can simply plug in a standard ps2/gamecube/what-have-you controller, and play it on a telly, all the better.

    The issue of a cropped tv image is more to do with the tv then the computer, its probably the zoom setting, my TV has a 1:1 Pixel Mapping setting which fits shows all the desktop but by default is set on 16:9 mode.

      Did you read the whole article? He fixed the issue, it was the TV's overscan setting that needed to be changed.

    Probably the only real benefit that consoles have left is that using them is usually a much more relaxed affair. Sitting on a couch with a controller in hand is a better experience than sitting at a desk with a keyboard and mouse. I know there are people who use their computer like a console (ie. in their loungeroom, connected to a tv), and that's fine, but its not the norm (yet...).

    Other than that PC gaming has learned a lot from consoles in recent years and the platform is really coming along (Steam is probably the best thing to happen to the platform in the last decade). Not quite dead yet. ;)

    Steam allows you to play with no disks, but most PC boxed products require the disk - which I find particularly annoying on a PC (or notebook) - perhaps because my console is set up on it's own space in the lounge, next to a collection of disks, and accepts the disk from the top disk loader, whereas my notebook is on an over busy desk with no room to keep over-sized retail boxes of games that are hardly ever played. I have to shuffle things around just to be able to access the notebook disk tray.

    And yes price is a big issue. If I were to buy a new notebook then a $400 notebook would perform all the functions that I would need it to do - MS Office, internet, divx playback etc.

    I'd probably spend more than $400 and buy a notebook that has more functionality than I require. I can easily justify say $800 to $1000, as it's an item i'll be using heavily for 3, 4, 5 years or so. But paying a few hundred dollars over and above that just to play new release games? It becomes more difficult to justify, especially when I have had problems with PC gaming (overheating), and expect that I would have difficulties in setting up a PC to a TV (both logistical and technical) .

    For me I think consoles are the most practical solution - they're still simpler (for now), and arguably cheaper (than a dedicated gaming PC). I do think Steam are in the best position to change that - with Big Picture, Steambox, digital distribution and low cost games.

      Yeah, I download cracks for most of the boxed PC games that I buy just so that I don't have to deal with discs. It's pretty dumb that I have to be a consumer of piracy products to make the product that I purchased useful.

        Try Steam, GOG etc - PC gaming is digital all the way, forget buying retail - you can't even get some money out of selling back PC games anyway.
        If you are like I used to be - the oversized retail box, hefty manual and several discs mean something.
        However, you will get over losing all of that once you experience the convenience of digital downloads.

      Most boxed retail games are now on-disk installers with separate online registration code

      I can't agree too much with the cheaper part. Being in Australia, when the PS3 was released, being the cutting edge machine that it was, it cost upwards $900. When I built my gaming PC, I spend $950 for pretty much the highest specs I could find at the moment. My friend asked me to price the most powerful computer I could for her, and going insane (500GB SSD, 16GB RAM, Latest Graphics, Latest CPU and so fort), I could only go as high as $1500.

      Yeah, a cutting edge PC is more expensive than a 5 year old console, but when you compare it to cutting edge consoles when THEY come out? Roughly the same

        How did you... get 500GB SSD (~500AUD) + 16GB RAM (~80AUD) + Latest Graphics (GTX690 ~ 1100AUD) + Latest CPU ( I assume i7-3770k Ivy Bridge ~ 350AUD). This does not include power supply, case, motherboard, disk drive and monitor.

        1500 for the highest spec PC? you gottta be kidding me. 1500 would cut it just above average gaming box.

          Have to disagree with you Heshanh, $1500 would give you a powerful gaming PC.
          Definitely not the highest spec, but certainly not average... You can get a lot of gaming power for $950 too!

      There has been a long time since i have had to use a disk when playing a PC game, to be honest I can't even remember the last time I had to, every game I have bought recently has only required me to insert the disks to install the game.

    PC gaming... sure its good, better than its counterparts on a lot of console games. but we will see in the next generation of gaming, with the Ps4, Xbox720, Steam box (I can't wait for the steam box), and later generations of nintendo.

    PC was left in the dust before the invention of windows seven, and since windows eight sucks, its starting to fall away again in all but graphics, controller controls are very unwieldy on most PC games, and the keyboard and mouse, while in some ways better, are mostly unwieldy and do not give leniency like controllers do.

    In fact only a decade ago, PC gaming was almost non-existent, so we will see...

      Almost non-existent? You've never played MMORPGs, especially one in particular: World of Warcraft (I type it in full because you've probably never heard of it and wouldn't recognise the acronym).
      Or the entire RTS genre?

        I am familiar with W.O.W. and yes it was almost non-existant, though I was not counting MMORPG's, witch was the only reason to have a PC gaming rig back then.

        and as for the rts genre, sure it was good, but not a reason to get a PC gaming rig.

        finally for me wow is outdated, and as you can see new mmorpgs are creeping up on it, the elder scrolls online, perhaps even star trek online and perhaps even the star wars mmo, I do not currently remember the games name. then theres littler knwn game like everquest, and everquest 2.

        I will never pay for a crappy outdated game like world of warcraft monthly like you appear to do, like you seem to do.

          I am familiar with W.O.W. and yes it was almost non-existant, though I was not counting MMORPG's, witch was the only reason to have a PC gaming rig back then.

          Look a couple of posts down to where I totally debunk this belief of yours.

          "and as for the rts genre, sure it was good, but not a reason to get a PC gaming rig."

          Korea would like a word with you

        WoW didn't actually come out until 2004, so that's not quite a decade ago.

      I think windows has very little to do with the re-emergence of PC gaming (altho personally I believe it never really died).
      It is more thanks to places like Steam making games so much more accessible and amazingly cheap compared to console games. Also steam making more games compatible with Mac OS and Linux opens up a greater market.

      It probably doesn't hurt that PCs aren't developing quite as fast as they used to and that developers simultaneously making games for consoles and PC don't want to spend too much extra time on the PC (so this limits the hardware requirements if they program reasonably efficiently).

      So yeah, I'm loving getting back into PC gaming. I can legitimately get more games for PC at a reasonable price than I could EVER get on consoles.

        Steam being cheap isn't new. Best thing about them IMO.

        PSN has been, and in many cases continues to be much more expensive than Steam and retail box copies, but I personally think that's changing.

        PSN+ in the last 6 months or so has given me approx 10 big name games - Red Dead Redemption. Saints Row 2, Just Cause 2, LBP 2, Infamous 2, Warhammer, Darksiders, Bulletstorm and more besides - as well as "smaller" games - Lara Croft, Limbo and many more - as well as some Vita games - Uncharted - and all of those FOR FREE. Ok, I had to pay subscription, approx $70 a year. But even so, mega cheap.

        In the current sales, you could have picked up LBP Karting for $26 - that was a full release title about 2 weeks ago. F1 Race Stars is $30. Just Cause 2 $10.

        Sure, Resident Evil 6 is $99. So is Far Cry 3, Fifa and many more, but it does seem to be the case that PSN+ is offering amazing value, that full release titles are falling down to the $10, $15, $20 mark. That fairly new titles are falling quickly to below $50 and $30.

        It seems to me that PSN+ is trying to compete with Steams pricing, and I guess the other digital distribution models will too.

      In fact only a decade ago, PC gaming was almost non-existent, so we will see...

      What are you talking about? In 2002 you had games like The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, Battlefield 1942, Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, Neverwinter Nights, Unreal Tournament 2003, Heroes of Might and Magic IV, Age of Mythology, Grand Theft Auto III, Impossible Creatures, MechWarrior 4, Medal of Honor: Allied Assault, Medieval: Total War, Legacy of Kain: Blood Omen 2, Crazy Taxi, Hitman 2: Silent Assassin, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2, Worms Blast, V-Rally 3, and two Sims games (Unleashed and Vacation). Plus DOZENS and DOZENS and DOZENS of others.

      Some of those are console ports yes, but many of them were PC exclusive too. 2002 was a pretty good year for PC gaming.

        I meant around that time period, and around the 1990's with nintendo entertainment system (8-bit) pc gaming only really has resurgenses at the end of generations when PCs are like xbox 1.25, and playstation 1.75 at the begining of each generation, and for a fair amount of time 0.75 versions of the PS and Xbox

          I meant around that time period,

          What? All of those games were released in 2002. ie, 10 years ago. I could pull out a similar list of games released in 2001 or 2003 if you really wanted me to, the end result would be the same.

          pc gaming only really has resurgenses at the end of generations

          All those games above that were released in 2002 were RIGHT in the middle of the PS2/Gamecube/Xbox generation. Not at the beginning or the end, but right smack in the middle of it. Face it mate, you're wrong on this one.

          Trying to read the rest of that post made my head hurt.

            I meant 1990s if you read my post, and look at the start of the ps3 and xbox 360, only the hardcore pc gamers stayed with the PC, until now when the PCs are once again on top because of the new techology available , please get your facts right before you attempt to ridicule myself

              Ok, let's look at 2006, the first full year in which the 360 was out and the year in which the PS3 launched. Notable PC releases that year included HL2: ep 1, Medieval 2: Total War, TES: Oblivion (also 360), D&D Online, Battlefield 2142 and Neverwinter Nights 2, as well as expansion packs for PC exclusives such as Everquest 2, Civ 4 and the Sims 2.

              2007 - the first full year for the PS3 (and the second full year for the 360) - saw the release of PC exclusives Crysis, Supreme Commander, the Witcher, WOW: Burning Crusade, C&C 3, LOTR Online, World in Conflict and Quake Wars. The Orange Box came out on 360 also, but PC was comfortably the superior version. Most of the big releases were cross platform (eg COD 4, Bioshock) and although eg Mass Effect and Assassin's Creed didn't launch on PC, ports weren't too far behind.

              Also in 2007, the PS2 was still out-selling the PS3, and everything was outselling the 360, which was in the middle of the RROD warranty-extension saga. This was supposedly the best year for the 6th gen consoles?

              Your posts are all over the place. Your ORIGINAL post said "a decade ago". That's 10 years. I gave you a list of notable PC games released in 2002, which was 10 years ago.

              But I'll humour you, lets go back another 10 years to 1992-1993. You had PC releases like Dune II, Wolfenstein 3D, Alone in the Dark, Myst, Kings Quest, Test Drive, Star Control, Ultima Underworld, SimCity 2000, X-Wing, Syndicate, Wing Commander: Privateer and a little game called Doom, you might have heard of it.

              Now let's look at some of the PC games released the same year the Xbox 360 and PS3 launched (2005-2006): Quake 4, Battlefield 2, Star Wars: Battlefront II, Age of Empires III, Counter Strike: Source Online, Psychonauts, Trackmania Sunrise, Sid Mieir's Pirates!, Grand Theft Auto : San Andreas, Dawn Of War: Winter Assault, Dawn of War: Dark Crusade, Half-Life 2: Episode One, Resident Evil 4, Neverwinter Nights 2, Battlefield 2142, Company of Heroes, Titan Quest, Heroes of Might and Magic 5 and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, plus MANY MANY others.

              Want to rethink your argument?

              Last edited 19/12/12 2:43 pm

                final fantasy, gran torismo, infamous, metal gear solid, ratchet and clank, fable, halo, forza motorsport, and hundreds of others (you notice I include new games as well but that is to reinforce my point) consoles have games that are wonderfully fun that can't be found on PC, whilst I agree PC has a fair few great exclusives, and on multiplatform look the best, and sometimes games are better played on PC, however, consoles are solely created to play games, whereas pc gaming rigs gaming is just a good side affect of its main purpose to browse the web and do things on word, and one-note, ect. although it now occurs to me your nothing but a troll, and so I will be the bigger man and stop this before it starts into a flame war :)

                  I'm not trolling at all. You made a claim that PC gaming was "non-existent" a decade ago, and I debunked it totally. You then said that oh you were talking about the early 90's, well I debunked that too. Then you said wait no you meant the start of a new console generation like x360 or ps3. I proved you wrong again. And now you are changing your argument completely, so I'm done trying to argue with you.

                  Last edited 19/12/12 3:52 pm

                  I don't think you understand what computers are...

                  Lessee... Ok, the main purpose you just gave for gaming PCs are in fact, the "side effects" of a gaming rig. I could as easily say that a great side effect of my 360 being a doorstop is that I can also play games on it.

                  Don't shoehorn PCs into just being "for productivity".

                  I know what computers are, i'm quite a vigorous PC gamer myself, so don't tell me that i'm being biased, 'cause since I have played all gaming rigs, minus Nintendo, so I know where im coming from :)

                  I didn't once call you biased. I merely pointed out that you have it wrong when you say that Gaming on a PC is just a side effect.

                  Maybe once, back in the late 80s, early 90s it was. Computers back then were made SOLELY for productivity and shoehorned into a gaming role. Since then, we've been making PCs for the purposes of gaming. In fact, productivity computers (with the exception of those that work in a graphics heavy industry) are separate to gaming PCs, I don't really see why someone would put a cutting edge (or even anything but the onboard) GPU when all they do is document processing and whatnot.

      PC gaming has always been superior and always will be purely because of how much better the hardware is and how much more convenient it is to upgrade that hardware, on top of that it is a lot easier to get games on a PC.

      PC was never left in the dust, not once, not even when a new console generation is released, it just doesn't happen.

      The next generation of consoles wont be as powerful as their PC counterpart, they never are.

      as has been pointed out in lots of other comments a decade ago there was a huge market for PC gaming, I mean think about games like Counterstrike, Warcraft 3 they came out over a decade ago, seriously just because you didn't game on PC doesn't mean it was dead.

        I agree that the PC is superior but have to kinda disagree that it hasn't been left in the dust.

        Yes, there are a lot of PC only exclusives but a lot of games on PC have been shackled because they want to make it accessible to consolers.

        They need flashing signs and step-by-step instructions which are now prevalent in a lot of games.

      Pft! clearly know absolutely nothing! a decade ago you had games like half life, BF 1942, CS, half life, unreal tournament, Star craft, Diablo 2, warcraft 3 just to name a few. they were massive games. PC gaming has been growing if anything. the fact that steam recently had 6 mil plus players on at the same time says something. SC2 diablo 3 were massive games so was COD 4 and BF3. Don't get me started with things like minecraft, Dota, LOL and terraria.

    Welcome to what a lot of us have known for a fairly long time now.

    Last edited 19/12/12 12:29 pm

      Yeah. Console kiddies have always been left in the dust. They just don't realise it.

        I don't think thats the case, its that PC gaming feels more of a personal experience in comparison to playing games on the TV. It's the whole act of sitting down at a desk not laying around on a couch. Alot of people ask if I saw show "x" on TV the night before and every time I tell them that I haven't watched TV for about 5 years now simply because instead of going home of a night, and mindlessly staring at the idiot box I'd rather spend my evening engaging in a form of entertainment that requires me to think about what I'm doing.

        Yes it may be the same case with people who play consoles but the ability to multitask, look up guides, throw links around with mates on Mumble and mod my favorite games make it the platform of choice. Sure it can be a steep investment (looking at dropping $7k on a new setup next year) but I think the pros DEFINATELY outweigh the cons.

        we realise it but not every one can drop 1600 on a pc

          yeah but the difference is if i drop 1600 on a rig im not also buying another PC. When you buy a console most people (if not all) will also have a PC to do work, uni , school on. my gaming rig is my PC. therefore that argument is completely void. You need to consider console + general PC VS Gaming PC not gaming PC vs console. If you take into consideration that games are cheaper on PC, you dont have to pay for Xbox live equiv on PC and DLC is sometimes free (less common now for big releases) PC gaming isnt actually that expensive. Also that rumour that you have to upgrade your graphics card every six month is BS since the 90s.

    I'd love to switch to pc. Unfortunately games like ni no kuni dont come out on pc.

    its funny how at this end of a console generation PC gaming makes a bit of a come back.
    i have felt this was at both the end of the N64 and xbox eras.
    i would likely be doing the same right now if i was in different financial circumstances (have a baby now)
    the fact that you can now quite easily play games with your console controller and on your TV is great. its admittedly something thats been possible for quite a while but is now finally very easy to do.

    i will still wait for the next gen consoles but will admit that PC gaming should not be forgotten about

      I don't think I agree with the "very easy" part. And even if it does prove to be easy, it's still scary.

      Most of us don't know much about cables. I've plugged a cable into my TV once. On the day I bought it, and I'm not going back there again. I don't care if you think cables are easy, I'm still not going back there.

      I got a Turtle Beach pair of headphones free with a pre-order of Dead Island - never been able to use them because I don't know how to plug them in. I went on Google, found a tutorial, read the supplied instructions - still don't know how to do it. I'm sure that too is "very easy" for those that are comfortable with cables, and have the room to move TVs around, and can easily access powerpoints etc, but for me it's not.

      I've no idea how I can plug in my existing notebook into my TV. It doesnt have HDMI. I have a DVI to HDMI cable, somewhere. But even then, I don't have space near my TV to put my notebook. And then when I wanted to put my notebook back on my desk I'd have to reconnect the Ethernet, the monitor, my external hard-drives, the lap top cooler, the power pack etc etc.

      Even if that can be considered easy, it's still a time consuming hassle that I could do without.

      I feel this way as well - this is a constant cycle. The console hardware reaches the end of its life and the PC has leapfrogged it so far that it becomes far more interesting a platform during the transition period to the next console cycle.

      The difference is that this time, the console cycle has lasted way too long and PC as a platform has been ascendant for several years, long enough that it actually has gained a pretty strong foothold. Note that leading into the current console cycle, PC gaming was widely tipped to be 'dying' and everyone would be doing everything on internet-connected consoles by now.

      I think Valve have basically created a hugely viable PC market. The X360 toolchain being so similar to PC and porting between them so easy has also had a big impact on the PC market I think, especially with the push toward seamless integration of controllers. Everything is being developed on cross-platform middleware now too - the days of the single console exclusive are basically over - so it's not a lot of extra effort to get a PC version out there, but it does result in a lot of extra sales. That change in momentum has been given a long time to mature without consoles pushing mainstream favour back their way again.

      In all I think that there's definitely a cycle to this, but this time I think that consoles are going to have a much harder time swinging the momentum back their way as strongly as previous generations, and it's mainly a result of the long refresh cycle.

    ive only found overscan to be on ATI cards. once its off it wont conflict with your pc screen etc. I use my gaming laptop all the time with my LEDTV. I even have the wireless connectivity for the xbox360 controller. Download xpadder, use any gamepad as a mouse.

    There's nothing worse for me than cominghome from 8 and a half hours of working (on a PC) to then flick on a PC for entertainment. Due to the physical differences my mindset is completely different and more relaxed when turning on a console.

    Also, sometimes if I turn on my PC I wont actually game, I'll go on Facebook, YouTube and other time wasting sites that seem to consume so much of my gaming time. Console is the clear winner for me every day of the week.

    The weekend is when I do my PC gaming and get my FPS and RTS fix

      Hence why my PC at work is as old as the hills (slow as all buggery), and intentionally has a crappy keyboard and mouse with a rigid chair to sit on so when I get home it's a breath of fresh air infront of the triple screen setup.

      Just my $0.02

      I personally have my PC plugged in to my TV, always on, always ready for games. That way when I get home from work, it's just plop on the couch, turn on the controller, and select a game. I find it even easier than consoles

    Less sloppy console ports on PC would be nice.

    I have dipped my toes back into PC gaming after a 10 year hiatus.

    My first experience sucked though. Bought Batman Arkham City for $7.50 off Steam, but it has a glitch where you can't save your game. Ugh. Not to mention all the first time installations and crap that happen.

    I've kept at it though, bought Deadlight for $10 and Crysis for $3.50 and got Metro 2033 for free.

    I doubt PC gaming will ever take the place of consoles for me, but it'll be a nice compliment. It's just too expensive to keep up with the games on PC is all.

      Too expensive? You've just explained how you purchased four PC games (three of them AAA releases) for $21. Come back when you can buy three AAA console titles and a new release indie for the same money.

        I'm pretty sure what he means is that it's expensive keeping up with the hardware requirements of PC games. Hard to argue with that. As a console gamer I've spent about $150 in the last 6 years on hardware upgrades, yet I can still play all the new releases without issues.

    Always played PC more then console and will always keep doing so. I find buying games for PC much cheaper than games for consoles.

    I have been playing more on the PC lately too but I cant see me giving up consoles just yet.

    I have 2 boys that are (as with most kids) into gaming. I will purchase say Need for Speed and on the console they log on to the system with their profile and have their own experience, their own progress and it doesnt affect my experience/progress.
    On a PC you cant do this. Not without buying the game 3 times at least and for me, until PC can overcome this and allow this type of multi user environment and sharing of a game within a family group, consoles will always win out for the family gaming device.

    Last edited 19/12/12 12:09 pm

    Last console I owned...... Xbox.

    There's 2 things that will make me always a PC gamer.
    1)Steam and its wonderful sales, GMG too.
    2) Customisability. I love building and upgrading my PC piece by piece. I also love my PC running and looking the way I want it, not how it came in a box.

    Unified Remote is an awesome app for android phones and tablets allowing complete control of your lounge room PC without keyboard and mouse. PC 4 lyf!

    I'm a PC gamer almost exclusively, and I like it that way so obviously I agree with everything in the post...But! Wait until you want to host your first multi-player game without proper UPNP (basically everything these days). The list of ports forwarded in my router is becoming ridiculous. I miss when networking in PC games just worked because someone actually knew what they were doing when they coded it. Getting really sick of having to jump through hoops.

    I got a pc Alienware Laptop a couple of weeks ago and after being a console gamer for the last 16 years I finally found the thing to make PC worth it to me... Counter Strike: Source's Ba_jail mod. It's pretty goddamn fantastic.

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