The Many, Many Deaths Of PC Gaming

Join us for a nostalgic look back at a decade of waiting for PC gaming to die.

PC gaming isn't dying. It's just that over the past decade the industry has changed, and those changes haven't always been easy for traditional PC game producers and players to understand.

We used to go to computer stores and wander through aisle after aisle of colourful PC game boxes. Over the past 10 years those sections have shrunk considerably. First the boxes got smaller. Then they began to disappear altogether as faster internet connections made services like Steam and Direct2Drive more attractive to players.

Like a childhood friend whose voice deepens and interests begin to change, the puberty of the PC gaming industry had many of us concerned.

PC gaming survives. Some would say it thrives. It may have mellowed with age and sprouted hair in odd places, but PC gaming is not going anywhere.

With research from Stephen Totilo.


    Really wish videos would work on my work computer. All I ever get is "Video not available".

    It makes me cry. Cry horrible, horrible nerd tears.

      I KNOW!!! this computers going out the window in a minute. although this little crapbox wouldn't even have enough specs to 'ram' through the glass.

      see what i did there?
      the double meaning of ram?
      not funny?
      fine then i'll GTFO and STFU

    I'm so sick of all these hack Journalists that claim that 'PC gaming is dead', and that gaming is going to move to being purely casual downloadable shit on iphone and Facebook.

    It's all really driven by the dollar. The comment by Martin DeRiso really encapsulates it doesn't it? If you can sell 2 million copies on Xbox and only 50,000 on PC, which is the better decision?

    It's a decision I hate with avid passion, but one that won't drive me to buy a console, but spend my funds on paintball instead. You want a realistic FPS? Make it and paint it :P

    Yes, PC gaming isn't dying in a traditional sense of the word but it is dying in terms of quality. Bad ports of hardcore games is at the top of that list. Many games just aren't designed for the PC anymore. Bad controls, bad UI, bugs, bad performance optimisation, you name it, it's happened. What's made it worse is that a lot of the time, the PC release date is pushed back.

    Albeit, many games are ported over well but there are still small issues that can get the old school PC gamer annoyed. The lack of number key weapon switching or the wheel dialogue box in Mass Effect 2 for example. "Floaty controls" in the case of the original Dead Space or the lack of customisable controls in Dead Rising 2. Only way to fix many of these issues is to go through config files for makeshift fixes.

    Personally, I believe that is what many PC gamers are talking about when they say "PC gaming is dead" rather than, "There aren't any games coming out for the PC". Don't get me wrong, I appreciate developers at least trying to get these games to the PC, it's just that we PC gamers are old and senile, we expect more than those young and easy goin console gamers who just take everything in their stride.

    Maybe it's cuz PC gamers remember a time that was "better". Perhaps there'll be a time when the landscape changes so that console gamers are being deprived. Until then, PC gaming is dead, just neglected.

      Years ago, it used to be "pick a platform and stick to it". These days, every developer aims to write a game once and expect it to be fantastic on all platforms with little effort.

      This is what irritates me: if a developer is not willing to get the game core right and then dedicate teams to make it work on individual platforms (Team A works on the PC version, Team B works on 360 version, etc) then I wish they would pick a platform and stick to it.

      Half the bugs we see these days are most likely because they coded to one platform and then simply recompiled on another and shipped without testing.

      For example, I shudder when a game is ported over to a console from a PC not because of the console's memory limitations but because no-one may have bother to check the behavior when a PowerPC chip is used instead of an x86.

      This is followed by my second worry where they fail to retool the interface for a controller. The possibility to have a controller work as well as a keyboard exists, but I fail to see the capacity from developers.

    I couldn't help but lol after I watched that.

    Still a PC gamer myself, and I will stick by it to the very end if it goes that way, which I'm bloody hoping it doesn't.

    The only thing dead here is the phrase "PC gaming is dead."

    I am a console gamer (I prefer the pickup and play approach over the install, activate and pray approach) but even I know that PC gaming is still around and nothing save the Moon crashing into Earth is going to change that.

    Or John Romero decides to make Daikatana 2.

      AHAHAHAHA nice.

    We do have the luxury of having some pretty hardcore developers that consistently bring out excellent titles. Think Blizzard, or Bioware. Console usually has a good maker creating hits and misses every other game.

    Propaganda from developers again because console is where the main stream of revenues come from. The PC margin is much lower because of sometimes high PC spec requirements and the amount of post release support involved. At the end of the day however these developers ought to remember where their little console games are developed from... yeah the PC. PC's can do everything the consoles can and more.. And don't even start with the lame excuse of Piracy. Bad games are bad games and even pirates don't bother leeching [email protected]

      "At the end of the day however these developers ought to remember where their little console games are developed from… yeah the PC".

      Whilst the code is written and compiled on PCs it always runs on development consoles. Its not like a PC can run PS3 code, you know.

      Jun... I've got to say, I am flabbergasted at that response.

      The good games, the tripple A showboat titles, they cost tens of millions to make and even more to advertise.
      True, pirates may not steal crap games... but they're more than happy to steal the good ones. If you make one of those games, you need a lot of sales to make that money back... it's only natural that the developers are going to go for a system that makes business easier.

    I especially laughed at the Gabe N qoute.

    'Oh yeah, PC gaming is totally dead. That's why steam is doing so poorly. Now excuse me while I go drive my solid gold car to my house made entirely out of MONEY'

    Honestly, I do 90% of my gaming on consoles now. Every time I sit down to play a PC game there's something that ruins the experience.

    Some of my recent broken PC game experiences-

    Dawn of War 2 I couldn't play for a week because there were bugs downloading the patch from Steam (eventually I downloaded the patch for the pirated version to get it to work!).

    Aliens vs Predator won't run above DX9 despite having Windows 7 and a DX10 card, and it won't even load levels for me anymore. It's just completely broken and unplayable.

    Fallout New Vegas... enough said. Thanks to tinkering around with console commands and user-made patches I was actually able to get around game-stopping bugs to finish it.

    Whereas, if I want to play a game on xbox, you know... I just put it in and play.

    So yeah, I pretty much avoid PC gaming as much as possible, unless I think the PC experience will be better than the console one (eg Dragon Age, Fallout). That consideration doesn't really matter for FPS anymore, I'm happy to play those on console.

    The PC can't die, just get old.
    The PC can't be orphaned, just upgraded.

    People need to look back even 10 years and see what the dominant console was then. (Surprisingly, it WASN'T the XBOX360 or PS3)

    They will get old, they will be deprecated, we'll still be here...

    I like my FPS and my RTS on a PC. I like my Racers and action platform w/e the hell they're called these days on my Console.

    PC is to console as Pocahontas is to Avatar.

    I love PC gaming, I love my PC, the last console I bought was a ps2.

    As long as there are people like me, PC gaming isn't going to die anytime soon.

    sorry, too busy playing games on my PC...

    Im a console gamer, but I still play games on my PC.I'd rather play valve titles on my PC, and I have no intention on playing MMO on console anytime soon.

    Of course it's in the interest of 'console stakeholders' to claim the PC is dying.

    While I'm not a fan of conspiracy theories, this is one conspiracy I'm willing to give credence to.

    Moreover, all the games I want to play are on PC.

    For me, the reason I'm a console gamer, is its just too expensive to be a PC gamer. To enjoy any of the decent titles, you need to spend a lot of cash on a decent set up. Consoles, you buy one machine and thats it, you can play every game thats released on it.

    Plus to me, a keyboard and mouse is for work, not for gaming :P

    Nice video. I don't think PC gaming will ever die. There are games that are still only playable on PC such as Starcraft and Civ5. Then there are games that are arguably best played on PC such as MMOs and Strategy games.

    This is a copy and paste from my response to 'The Future Of PC Gaming, According To BioShock Lead Creator' article:

    WOW…just when I thought it was another: ‘PC piracy is ruining the industry, and the whole world will only be playing on consoles in another 5 – 10 years’ bullshit. I have to believe that PC gaming is here to stay. There are far too many pro’s that outweigh the con’s. Can I adjust graphics settings on a console? Change advanced options, as well as AA and AF according to performance, or advanced tweaks to the configuration files (GTA 4, anyone)? Can I get the same pinpoint accuracy on a controller that I can get on a keyboard and mouse?

    There have been so many times where I have been playing a game on a console and thought to myself: ‘if only I could play this game on the PC, then it would look and play so much better’…OR, ‘I can’t wait until they port this to PC.’

    There are a few exception which stick out in my mind like the UNCHARTED games…but mostly I am looking, or hoping, for that game to arrive on the PC platform. It wins, hands down.

      Unfortunately for the majority of people the experience is more like "Boy, I'm so glad I don't have to run this on my shitty 5 year old pc and turn all the graphics settings to 0." I think the argument falls apart when you get older and have things like a mortgage to pay off and can't afford 2000 dollars every year to upgrade your pc.

      Also I would say that for the vast majority of games pinpoint accuracy is not all that important.

    This whole videos point (if I'm interpreting it correctly) is nothing more than a straw man argument. When the average person says PC gaming is dead they don't mean "there are no more games ever going to be released on pc". What they mean is that the majority of business will happen elsewhere. Also I don't think that it's intended to infer facebook games as part of "pc gaming". So in that sense the pc market is absolutely dead. Of course there are specialists, for instance my pc should probably be called the Blizzard Box. But that's no different to specialist retailers still selling vinyl lps, often through alternative outlets such as online stores. You couldn't possibly argue that vinyl is not dead just because of a few examples of success could you? I don't think pc is quite "that dead" yet but it's certainly on its way imo.

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