What is the fate of PC gaming these days?
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 11:29:45 AM
So we constantly hear people saying that PC gaming is dead or dying. I was one of those that said "No it 'aint!". But it's time to face the music. PC gaming is changing and the fun aspect is dying out.
Now, before I get slaughtered, I am not saying PC gaming is gone or will ever go away. The PC is simply the best platform for games in my own opinion. It is a robust and flexible platform that just manages to do everything well. Whether playing RTS, FPS, RPG or racing games. The PC just feels right. (The exception is fighting games. Nothing beats a fighting game on a console )
So why all the doomsday comments about PC gaming coming to an end? I think this is something that needs to be investigated and looked at deeper than "People want consoles because you don't need to upgrade it". That is an orcish kind of statement that is pretty much the worst excuse I have ever heard. Yes it has merit (cash restraints and all that since a gaming PC is a constant cash flow problem) but I honestly don't think this is the case.
The PC has muscled its way to the top over the years and it was all thanks to the power a PC had compared to its console counterparts. The mouse and keyboard however is what ultimately set it apart. You could even attach a game controller to it if you prefer that. So what is going on?... I think the main problem lies in the games themselves.
Think about it. For years games from all genres have appeared on the PC. No matter what the game, you could get it on PC. Well in most cases. Yes there were some console exclusive games but none that really made you absolutely want, absolutely need a console. The variety on the PC was enough to keep you entertained.
Now however that balance is shifting. Many games nowadays get ported from console to the PC. Very few games are created specifically for the PC. This is where PC gaming is busy "dying" (I prefer to say changing though).
The PC has become the home of serious games and gamers. eg: First-Person-Shooters and Real-Time-Strategy games where the use of a keyboard and mouse are pretty much essential and the competition level is very high. Now, I am not saying you don't get serious gamers on console. I just simply mean those really hardcore guys and girls that make a living off of the PC (or those that flame the console simply because it's not their platform of choice etc. I am sure you can figure out what I mean).
I truly believe the PC will stay the king when it comes to this but lets face the facts, RTS and FPS games are not the only types of games out there. Many game developers are now creating games that are only for console. These games I like to label as the "fun games". Let me elaborate:
When I think of gaming, my first thought is "FUN!". My second thought is "Black and White!". My reaction is not Battlefield3 or Command and Conquer: Kanes Wrath. No it's a game from many, many years back. From my childhood. Why? Because I do not want to take gaming so seriously. I like the fun and joy provided by video games. Sure they all have a competitive side. Yes I remember having LANS with these "fun games" and it becoming very intense. But the point was that the games were never aimed at "serious". It was good fun that you could take serious if you wanted to. Nowadays it's all very serious bussines. Why am I saying serious so much? Well, to be honest I lack a word that better describes what I am trying to say... (waits for someone to comment on checking synonyms using Google)
Yes I love my deep and involved, role-playing, dark and twisty first person shooter with built in RTS and turn based strategy all rolled in-to-one game just as much as the next person, but I miss the "fun" element of games.
The PC does not really cover this so much anymore.
Let's take for example Journey. When I saw the videos, I fell in love with it. I wanted to play it. I wanted that "kid in me" kind of feeling while playing the game. The mystery, the adventure. The non-serious aspect of gaming. Unfortunately this game is a console exclusive.
That's ok, what about LIMBO? Sure, it came to PC... Months after it was out on console. It originally wasn't meant for PC (as far as I know).
Dead nation? nope. Console.
Even games such as Tekken are mostly only console games.
The list goes on.
This is where the PC is busy dying. The PC is becoming the serious game platform. At some point games such as LIMBO and other such gems will completely disappear from the platform. It is very sad and it is time for us PC gamers to admit that in some small way the PC really is busy dying.
Please do not get me wrong. The PC produces fantastic titles. Skyrim, Mass Effect3, Battlefield3, MW3 (Why are there so many 3's?) and you simply can not enjoy a FPS game on a console like you can on a PC with your trusty mouse by your side. I will always be a PC gamer. The truth however, I will need a console at some point to enjoy the less serious, more relaxed form of gaming that I am used to. The type of games from my childhood.
... Patiently waits for the flaming to start ...