Some people think this year's big PC releases, particularly the "next gen" Battlefield 3, will spur around $US1 billion in sales of PC hardware.
Having just spent $US1300 on PC hardware, I can see why.
The last all-new PC I bought was in April 2008. There wasn't a big game on the horizon then or anything, it's jut my old PC literally died on me, so I needed a new one. From then until now I made just one upgrade, bumping up my graphics card in early 2010.
Lately, though, that hasn't been good enough. My trusty old 3ghz dual-core, with 4GB RAM and a GTS250 graphics card, just wasn't cutting through the games of 2011 the way it used to.
Normally, I'm the type of PC gamer to not really give a shit about that. If I can run a game and it doesn't look like complete arse, that's good enough for me. I'm usually in games for the games, not the graphics. Sure, I used to be a money-spending member of the Glorious Master Race, but in recent years I like to think I've mellowed out a little.
Yet Battlefield 3 has awoken a feeling I haven't felt since Crysis. That there's a PC game coming that looks like a serious generational leap, one which looks at the games that have come before it (and the hardware people owned to play it on) and just laughs in their faces.
One which looks so damn good it means the graphics do matter. Which sounds stupid even as I type this out, and yet, not stupid enough to stop the feeling.
So where I had been fairly ho-hum about getting a new PC, content to sit on an ageing machine until, say, Windows 8 was released, I found myself last week shopping for parts, in the market for an all-new PC. One that can run Battlefield 3 on the highest settings I could crank them to.
I don't regret the purchase yet; the game's not out, and while I've enjoyed the time I've had with it on PC, the time I've had with doesn't compare to the full experience.
But I do feel kind of breathless. I just spent over AUD$1000 on a PC that, while it'll eventually see me through hundreds of games, was purchased with a single title in mind. I hope it's worth it.
Which leads me to wonder: if I could fall off the wagon for this game, what about you guys? Or what about those who were never on the wagon in the first place? Have you spent big?
For the record, here's the gist of what I got, with one eye on the future and the other on my back pocket (note PC prices are super-expensive in Australia, hence the $US1000+ figure...I'd assume this is a lot cheaper in the US):
Intel quad-core I7
GeForce GTX560 Ti 1GB