Originally Posted by RichL
I think you're mistaking the move to digital distribution with a lack of money in PC gaming. Try telling Blizzard, Valve or Zynga that there's a lack of money in PC gaming. It's a market that's evolving and expanding.
There is digital distribution on both the XBox and the PS3 yet they still have huge racks in the stores. Blizzard release a Starcraft every 12 years and their MMO arm is remarkable in the industry, not typical. Zynga primarily concentrate on web games from what I can see. It's not the hard PC development of the 90s is it? It's a market that is evolving yes, but not expanding.
Originally Posted by digitalclips
The assumption here from many, and understandably so, is that the graphics hardware is always the sticking point. I wonder if a paradigm shift in the programming side may come in the near future that creates a quantum leap in performance without relying on ever more powerful hardware. It seems to me there has been this game of catch up for thirty years (no pun intended). Every computer I ever owned or tried out (and I owned a dealership so had access to anything, Mac or PC) was always just not quite powerful enough to get the best out of whatever latest game or flight sim software companies came out with unless you changed out the graphics system. Even then they never lived up to the promise and yet another graphics card would come out a few months later. I often wondered if the graphics card companies were actually colluding (and financially rewarding) with game card companies so between them they ensured no games would not reach their full potential thus spurring sales of ever faster graphics cards.
I have always been reminded of my old Spectrum and Amiga computers when playing modern PC games. They had a tiny fraction of the power that modern PCs have and yet they seemed to get more bang for their hardware buck. Civilization 5 is a good example of a modern game that is shamefully unoptimised. It takes a behemoth of a computer just to get a 3D map scrolling smoothly.
Despite this, I really don't think it's a conspiracy or a collusion between developers and graphics card manufacturers. I don't see how that would benefit the developers at all. They want their games to look as good as they can and the big production houses like EA and Bungie seem quite capable of optimising their titles.
The PC platform is just unsupervised that's all. Nobody truly knows what the current consumer hardware specs are at any given time. I also think PC gaming suffers from one of its strengths; the hardware is always cutting edge. That means developers have to create games for the hardware that will exist in 2-3 years time, not for the hardware in home PCs at the time they start development. It's guesswork and sometimes they get it wrong and leave us with a game we have to play on medium settings.
Consoles have their limitations, but they also don't suffer from these problems. They're a stable entity.
Originally Posted by s4mb4
of course they do. so does Intel with its CPU's. that is how they ensure their product lines stay relevant. If we could actually buy what Intel has "currently" designed but not yet released, we would not need to upgrade our machines for 10 more years.
Intel and AMD have technology designed today that probably will not be released until 2015!!
I don't think this is true. They may have 2015 technology in the labs, but they can only release it when they can reach economy of scale. It would be silly of them to release a chip that is 20 times faster than the current generation when they have ones that are 2x and 4x faster to release first. That's why we need AMD to get their act together. That said, I think we're always pretty close to the state of the art with CPUs, perhaps that's naive.
Originally Posted by nvidia2008
The dark horse here is Unreal Engine 3 full-spec eventually coming to iPad and AppleTV. I just got my Xbox360, having gotten sick of the PC gaming scam. I won't go into my long tirade about PC gaming here.
But suffice to say experiencing the Xbox360 personally, it's nice and all that, but Apple could easily storm the console market with an iOS A6-powered chip. The A6 should be able to do PS3-level, Unreal Engine 3-esque graphics.
We're so close. Just an example. The PS3 unit is huge and has 5-year-old technology in it. The Xbox360 Slim is refined but the noise from playing a game from disc is horrendous. Installing to hard disk seems to be the only way to sanely enjoy a game. But the Xbox360 interface is quite smooth, gaming experience decent because it's a standardised platform.
Does the above look like something Apple could re-invent? Quite possibly.
But even if the AppleTV never becomes a gaming console, the iPad is so close to meeting "enthusiast" gamer demands. I'm playing Alan Wake now (soon, as soon as I get off this thread) and I would love to be able to hook my iPad up to the HDTV, play it a little, then unplug and take it on my travels... The ultimate game console should be both portable and HD-big-screen capable.
Soon. We're close. Forget Mac OS X, iOS console-quality gaming is around the corner.
I think you're right here. Apple could create huge waves with an AppleTV App Store. You have to think they have thought of it.
Mass Effect or Supreme Commander on an iPad...that would be gaming heaven.
Originally Posted by pondosinatra
I see this as a good sign. Anything that helps keep gaming on the 'PC' I'm all for. Playing games on consoles is simply painful.
As an aside, I always liked Unreal more than Quake...
What is so painful about sitting in an armchair and not an office chair? I used to hate consoles too but when you give in to them and reap the benefits of rock solid performance and near zero maintenance you quickly learn to like them.
Is all the expense, patching, stress of network problems etc worth that 32x Antialiasing and a bit of added anisotropic filtering?
Aside from point and click games like Sup Com I don't think PC gaming has enough on balance to make it preferable to console gaming. Squeezing that 5% better graphics out of a title just isn't worth it. Save your cash
Originally Posted by gwlaw99
I get why consoles are more popular, but I still prefer PC gaming. Until there is full mouse/keyboard support (or something as accurate), and modding available for consoles, I will stick to PC gaming. I played Fallout 3 on my PS3 and then bought it and FNV for the PC and there is no comparison just for the mods alone. Mac gaming, well I have been waiting for the Mac to catch up since playing Marathon. I am not holding my breath. Sigh...
Modding will always be better on PCs but I do think modding will also become more and more rare. It will be harder and harder to mod games as they become ever more sophisticated. Imagine what games will look like in 10 years. How do you mod that? They already have production teams that put most Hollywood blockbusters to shame.
I think the price of ever higher production values will be that we can't edit the titles as much. Hopefully, with bigger budgets and more knowhow going into the games, we won't have to as much!