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Old 02-07-2012, 03:46 AM
FS~Phat FS~Phat is offline
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Default PC Gaming Resurgence in 2012?

Hi all just thought i'd start an interesting topic.
Ive been a long time PC 1st and console 2nd kinda guy. I guess it comes from being a Gen X'er growing up in the 80's and 90's when consoles couldnt dream of doing the things that PCs were doing back then.

Through the late 90's and particularly into the 00's console was taking away market share as preferred gaming platform, I know I even had a break away from PC and IL2 in 2005 getting into Xbox Live online gaming from the comfort of my lounge.

Thing is, most of the console games arent doing anything particularly new these days and for every console game Ive bought on PS3 or Xbox over the last few years, Ive probably spent less than a dozen hours on any of them. They just arent challenging or varied enough in game play to keep my interest.

So... apart from my bias to PC gaming I was doing some research and it looks like PC gaming is up for a resurgence this year.

Online stores, (love or hatem) like Steam, Origin, Battle.net etc give access to such a large range of gaming content. (at better prices than console too)
Decent Gaming rigs are getting cheaper, console kiddies are grown up now and looking for something more and realising the enjoyment in building your own system, or even building custom to order machines online...

The best games are most certainly coming out on PC, with more features, better controls, better looking graphics than their console releases, with many studios going back to a PC build designed for console port instead of the other way around. (like I believe 1C did with the change from OpenGL to DX to make it possible to port the CoD engine to console in the future to help recover development costs)

Its funny you hear that this year is supposed to be the death of PC with tablets and handheld gaming predicted to kill the PC. (as I type this on my ipad with BT keyboard in a coffee shop!) But on the other hand Intel had a record year last year and is predicted again this year...

So where does that leave us?
Apart from my zombies & angry birds addiction on iPad, I just cant get into anything else gaming wise on this form factor. iPhone is even worse in that regard, but its ok for a very casual game while for instance you wait for the missus to try on that 14th pair of shoes while out shopping!

My PS3 is pretty much a Bluray player and media centre, GT4 was such a let down and hardly anything else keeps my interest for more than 20mins.

The PC however... Its fun to build, modify, overclock (as you guys would know from my obsessive build)
I can watch my Tivo recordings on one screen, access email and social media on another, while I surf the net or game on the centre monitor... ok maybe not all the time and all at the same time, but you get the picture. The PC is replacing TV viewing habits and has for years. Even my missus has 2 screens setup with her laptop, 1 for Tivo recordings and the other for her "study" and online social life and research.. See using a PC is just so much more productive where consoles have limited abilities and tablets lack the ergonomics for long sessions without neck, hand, eye or back aches!

So that my friends is why PC is still king, and the king aint dead yet!

What do you think?
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Last edited by FS~Phat; 02-07-2012 at 03:48 AM.
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Old 02-07-2012, 04:11 AM
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nearmiss nearmiss is offline
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I've never had a console game and have no desire to go there.

My controller pack is MSFT FF2, CH Products Fighter stick, pro pedals, MFP controller, X-Keys programmable controller, Ch Pro throttle, and MSFT X6 sidewinder keyboard.

I use the freetrack. I built an awesome IR diode tracker that affixes to my headset. It works in bright daylight and low light levels.

My computer specs are below and I'm happy as a pig in slop with the performance of my stuff. I'll update my computer only after Luthier gives the final on COD. My choice for game genre is WW2 air combat, and some fast mover stuff when I feel real lazy and don't want to keep my head turning 90 miles per hour to stay alive.
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Old 02-07-2012, 06:39 AM
hiro hiro is offline
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TLDR version:

PC is king for a while, but cloud computing's' popularity will change things.

Cloud computing can be set up for any OS, any hardware platform. But also the power is in the company offering up cloud applications, games in our case.

They can control you game account on their cloud vs you controlling their copy of their game installed on your PC.

Hardware manufactures will make the change to servers / client terminals.

So once cloud becomes popular, dedicated gaming consoles may be used as they offer the controls (joystick, driving wheel, pedals etc) to join the cloud.

But games will be optimized for max for stock consoles, and modding consoles for better performance will be a aesthetic niche market.

beefy ribs / detail meat:



The PC will be around for a while, I can't give any predictions, but it will be a power house for some time.

PC's greatest power over console is the ease of game modification. The console's main strength over the pc was it's difficulty in hacking / modding its games so technically it's all skill.

Consoles used to have the power of online gaming and games un-hacked.

But that's changed in the recent years. The Console is very vulnerable, and unlike a PC, most users cannot install viable defenses (software firewalls, blocking tools, tracking utilities) etc quickly or in a way to counter. They have to wait for the lumbering console companies to make a change via updates or server fixes.

And they are like a B-17 without fighter support here because the cat and mouse game, the cats (hackers) are always one up (ahead).

Everyone playing Call of Duty series on 360 or PS3 knows in the week of release, online is already hacked.

On my first day of COD 3, they already had a guy that had homing knife / tomahawk throwing / when the round started someone would auto die from a knife or tomahawk.

PC servers were different, though they were hacked quickly, the server hosts were able to update the game and their servers. So some servers had monitoring and cheaters were kicked.



But gaming PC's death knell could be that cloud computing. It's something all the big companies and gaming companies want. They control the data and files. And this is big for them.

But for the user, alot of power is taken away from them. A company can control a person's cloud gaming account versus unable to control person having their own copy on their PC's. The only form of control they have is via patching or if the game is played on line, they can control the host servers . . . but that's nowhere near as comprehensive as control your account.

And that check box when you register an account, they can easily insert fine print saying they own you on the cloud.




Doing stuff on their end is so much easier (like IT security etc), and smaller companies can rent NOC (network operating centers)'s that house servers for all their data, network and cloud needs.

You don't have to sell / download major install files. Any system or OS can be used, just as long as it has the main cloud drivers / files / dlls etc and those are a quick and painless (usually 2 mb or so) . . .

And since cloud computing doesn't really need a powerful PC, gaming companies can use one game version for all consoles / slim PC's. And companies love that since they can purchase all these dumb terminals . . .

Wait you say, PC manufacturers won't let this happen. But they will. The ones that make beast PC's will simply make servers. Since NOC's will be popular, they will have more servers.

And they will make the terminal cloud PC's. They will make 'gaming cloud clients' which will be a PC like console that you can plug different controllers into . . .

They will have chip manufacturers pushing the envelope, but it won't be like the golden age of PCs like it now. Their efforts will be moved elsewhere . . . (servers, or other electronic arenas).

But cloud computing requires a robust, reliable, and hefty gig / s network . . . radio / wireless improvements may be the way to go . . .

But if the cloud computing catches, then the old gaming PC will be a niche market, and most heavy hitting game companies will all be for the one client to rule them all.

Even more so if gaming companies allow your cloud account to have a section of standard game and section to keep games with user mods, which will happen. One game company will want to stand out from the rest and offer mods to their game, and then others will follow suit.


Then once they figure on a console standard (like blue ray is standard now), each console manufacturer will make a client device for the standardized gaming cloud.

Sure you'll have people to mod their client, but with games being optimized to run on the stock / standard client, it really won't make a real difference, and PC monster builds etc will become a niche market for gamers.
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Old 02-07-2012, 07:25 AM
FS~Phat FS~Phat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hiro View Post
TLDR version:

PC is king for a while, but cloud computing's' popularity will change things.

snip....
Yes I agree however I think you'll find more closed system game clouds in the short term. Think Amazon and the kindle and Apple and the idevice for examples. They are the true innovators in the market but its still some time away before the economies of scale truly swing gaming to the cloud, even on the relatively low powered handheld devices of today, little lone the beefy PCs currently needed for gaming. It will also be 4-5 years before our Australian national broadband network (NBN) roll out delivers fibre to the home in large scale sufficient to support that kind of remote computing. But it is coming and it will happen.

Im actually a Cloud evangelist so you dont need to convince me (see www.hostingguru.com.au ), but I think it will be 5-10yrs at least before the planets align. Even then there's still the issue of the commercial model even if technically it could be done. Who's going to fund the massive data centre and server farm investment needed? Until you make a centralised computer farm powerful enough for lets say $60-70 per month on a subscription model I just dont think it will stack up financially.
Would you pay $150 per month for unlimited internet with a cloud compute account?? Not when you can currently buy a PC for $600 and unlimited internet for way less.

So there's a few technological issues to overcome in the data centre and the network before its even technically viable, little lone financially. Its hard enough now in the corporate world to make cloud computing cost less than in-house IT. Its getting very close though and will break through in the next 2 years when it becomes mainstream.

So in the mean-time, Im happy to keep building my mini super-computers, but I know in 10years it just wont make any sense to have that kind of computing power at home when massively parallel computing chips will be the norm in data centres with a subscription model.
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Old 02-07-2012, 08:42 AM
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addman addman is offline
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At the end of every console cycle there is a PC "resurgence" to fill the technological gap. As soon as a new console generation is coming, dusty old PC goes back and stands in his corner. Seriously though, some genres, RTS and sims for example will always be better on the PC platform. However you have to see it from the game developers perspective, PC is pirate ridden, of course so are the consoles but modding a console is a far bigger hurdle than just downloading a crack. People are pirating low budget 1 dollar DRM free indie games, that means they don't care how cheap something is and the "I pirate because of DRM" argument is just bs. It's purely financial, there are more money to be made on consoles unless your name is Blizzard or Valve. It's nothing personal, the whole "PC is superior to console" or vice versa argument are just stupid.

Personally I couldn't imagine playing Shogun 2 on anything other than my PC but when I want a relaxing game of Pro Evo football I prefer to sit comfortable in front of my big TV and just press start and not have to worry that my electricity bill will skyrocket after a few hours of play. No need to worry about updating drivers. For the enthusiast I guess PC is preferred but personally I don't care if game X has better lightning effects/more polygons than game Y, for me gameplay is king. Bottomline, consoles and PC compliment each other better than some people are willing to admit. Interesting thread BTW.
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Old 02-07-2012, 12:48 PM
swiss swiss is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FS~Phat View Post
So in the mean-time, Im happy to keep building my mini super-computers, but I know in 10years it just wont make any sense to have that kind of computing power at home when massively parallel computing chips will be the norm in data centres with a subscription model.
I cant see cc ever become an option for games likes ours here.
Even though we only transmit tiny bits of data, we experience lag once in while, and I dont think this will ever change.
Now, lag results in us seeing other planes warp around on the screen, yet on our side everything seems fine.
If you rely on a external computer, your own plane on the screen will start to warp around - that must be a pretty cool experience...
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Old 02-07-2012, 10:19 PM
WTE_Galway WTE_Galway is offline
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I have played Zelda on Wii and Game Cube does that count as console gaming ??

As a matter of interest the all time biggest selling game across all platforms is not a FPS or RPS or Flight Simulator it is "The Sims".
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Old 02-08-2012, 08:06 PM
Jatta Raso Jatta Raso is offline
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death of PC gaming is pure PR BS, mostly promoted by american analysts looking at american numbers. developing for consoles is cheaper in the long run, piracy is much more under control, so PC gaming's demise is the kind of situation the publishers (EA, Activi$ion etc) would like to see. but not likely imo
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Old 02-08-2012, 09:29 PM
ATAG_Doc ATAG_Doc is offline
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Outstanding article! I tend to agree with everything in here. As I read it I found myself saying yeah, yeah, yeah. Because I have found the same thing happening to me. I had come form a PC gaming background from the 90's and then to a console. Now back to PC. I had an iPhone until the contract ended and got an Andriod. But gaming on a handheld device? Never ever thrilled me at all I would rather read mindless things on the handheld device as a pass time rather than mess with a game app.

Great article and I enjoyed reading it.
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