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jabpn
6th Mar 2004, 04:40
Warren said a lot of disturbing things in his interview on GameSpy. I think that him and alot of publishers are missing a very fundamental truth. Consoles are actually becoming much more computer like. Just look at the XBox. Every new console developed is going to have networking. Etc. Etc. So why is this happening when computers do everything a console does and more? IMHO I believe that people, in general, view computers as productivity machines. Not entertainment machines. For example, you edit movies with computers, not watch them. You burn CD's in order to play them on CD players in your audio rack or car. Not listen to them on the computer. People who do these kind of things on their computer are geeks and have special knowledge so they can do these things. This is the perception of the general public. What they fail to notice however is that a majority of new products out there (in general, not just gaming consoles) incorporate computers on some level. However these products are packaged in such a way that users do nothing in order to use them, i.e. flip a switch and start using. Consoles are very much like this. They allow everyday people to, insert CD, flip a switch, and then ta-da, play game. Computers in general are not presented like this (nor should they be) and alas this is proving to be somewhat of an immediate downfall. I say immediate because as consoles become even more powerful and computer like, games will be more easily ported (or initially made) to PC and maintain acceptable PC expectations. God forbid someone open their computer case to install an update, you never know what could happen and then AAARRRRRGGGGGGGG, DISASTER FOREVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :/ Developers however are ordered by publishers to make products that bring in money. And alas the world turns.
Mr. Spector was right about one thing. Console users are growing because the average Joe's computer awareness (not knowledge) is growing. Children today are teaching their grandparents how to use computers. Well these children are getting older but they are still human and human's in general are lazy about what they have not chosen to learn about in detail, more specifically a good majority of people in this world don't care about fixing/maintaining computers because that is not where there interests lay. So no matter how "advanced" society becomes there will always be a large poplus of people who will, "flip the switch and play". So goes the spice of life. I would predict that computer games sales will never see the surge that consoles are going through right now but will instead maintain a slow but rising rate. Again this means that money will not be viewed as "oppurtunistic" in the computer games sales arena. So what to do in the meantime? Well SDK releases will be very important but then maybe Doom III or Half-Life 2 (ThiefIII, Hopefully?) will prove my computer games sales theory wrong and we'll all (us games anyway) live happily everafter.

Mr. Perfect
6th Mar 2004, 07:27
I forget who said it around here, might have been from the interview even, but consoles are more aimed at temporary or casual gamers. High school students grab a PS2 and play it through college, but by the time they get into the buisness world they're to busy to waste time on the games, and ditch them. The life time gamers usually use a PC, since they're willing to put the time, effort, and money into maintaining one.

Dunno if it's true, but I'd say it describes a majority of the people I've seen gaming acuratly. Not that thats going to change sales much...

Acronomic
13th Mar 2004, 15:03
It may be true, but not in my case. I've owned a PC a very long time now, and I am certainly willing to put the time, effort and money into mantaining one.... however, the Xbox came along, and I decided to buy one because there were so many great games coming to it that wouldn't ever be availible for the PC. I thought it would be good to save the large amounts of money I used for upgrading my computer every yeart too, so I went for it.

imported_deadly_thief
15th Mar 2004, 21:22
http://www.alienware.com/

get a pc there with performance and looks and it will impress your mates and you'll get girls flocking at your door

note everything here is not true and cannot be used against me in court
LOL

bonobp
15th Mar 2004, 21:30
it´s the giant mind-control machine that Bill Gates installed in the catacombs below his villa that makes ppl buy the X-Box and devolpers incl. Spector create games for this thingy of evilness.

grafixmonkey
16th Mar 2004, 01:00
PCs cost way way more than a console does, and consoles have efficient, simple, semi-standard controllers for them that make simple, fun games like Mario or Zelda more fun than if you were playing on a keyboard. Truth to tell, it's also been a long time since I've seen a PC game that was anything new... they just seem to be re-making the shooter, re-making the adventure game, oh here come more racing games, another unit-based strategy game, another online RPG... just with better graphics, or some new quirk of gameplay, and you sometimes have to get new hardware to be able to get a sequel.

So consoles have some stuff going for them for sure, but I don't think they'll ever replace the PC entirely. People need to have PCs for other reasons, and hey what do you know, they play games too. That's the situation with most of my non-techie friends anyway. It's an installed base of gaming machines that most people have, the only problem is that most people don't understand their computer's capabilities and so they end up with games they can't play and refuse to pay to upgrade their system. (that's another thing consoles have over PCs - all GameCubes can play all GameCube titles.)

People also tend to break their PCs by using all these trojan-laden file sharing programs, and opening emails that say "Hey I dont kno u but run this attachment its the shizzle". And then they don't know how to fix them, and they think PCs break themselves too easy, and they go and get an xbox.

Oh yeah the sequels thing reminded me... sequels come out a lot more frequently on consoles. If there's a true favorite for any one system, chances are they'll remake the game (using the same engine usually) and give the gamers some more of what they want. So console gamers usually end up with a lot of variety and a lot of new stuff. PC gamers tend to find their favorite FPS, favorite strategy, etc. and just play that until it gets old. It's a better game than anything on a console, but you lack that variety. There are a bunch of console games where you just can't find anything similar on a PC too.

Anyway that's the pro-console argument - I'm a pure PC gamer, don't even own a PS2, Xbox, or GameCube, last system I bought was snes, but I see the attraction.

UberMorse
16th Mar 2004, 13:41
Originally posted by jabpn
So why is this happening when computers do everything a console does and more? IMHO I believe that people, in general, view computers as productivity machines. Not entertainment machines.

The problem is that Computers do a lot more than consoles. Every time you install a game its a tough competition within your computer, your game competes with other programs over resources and priorities. The fact is you can spend ten times more money on a computer and still have problems running a game smoothly. Most people lack the skill to adjust their computers correctly, so no wonder they prefer a console.

People consider computers as a productivity-machine, mostly because they are. There are roughly 200 mil, computers out there, capable of running todays games, yet a big selling PC-game seldom reach above 2 mil sold copys, mainly becasue a lagre portion of those computers are used at work. Consoles on the other hand tend to crack that number ever so often, with less hardware in the market, mainly because they are intended to be played on and not much more.

So with even less hardware, consoles provide a larger market with higher probability of moving beyond break-even for a released title.

grafixmonkey
16th Mar 2004, 19:40
What it boils down to is, it's impossible to have both the simplest solution and the most powerful solution. The PC users trade simplicity and get power and options, the console users trade power and options and get a simple plug-and-go solution. That's why there can never be a winner in the PC vs. Console issue.

It's a difference in preference, just like preferring drip coffee or preferring cappuccino. I personally go for the cappuccino, because in going through all those extra steps and preparation, I can make an awesome drink with rich, layered flavors, and I'm willing to spend 15 minutes and $4.00 to get it. But then again lots of people just want a $1.50 cup of Folgers from the drive-through on the way to work, and can't imagine going through the steps to use an espresso machine every morning.


However, the PROBLEM comes, when the industry decides that it would be more cost effective to use their alread-brewed $1.50 drip coffee to make a cappuccino instead of brewing fresh espresso, and us gourmet coffee lovers are stuck with a watered down nasty tasting hybrid instead of the rich flavor we expected. Hint Hint Ion Storm.

Orumph
21st Mar 2004, 23:52
Great analogy on the coffee thing. I agree, we are getting a $1.50 Hybrid Espresso.

On the following you are completely wrong though....

Oh yeah the sequels thing reminded me... sequels come out a lot more frequently on consoles. If there's a true favorite for any one system, chances are they'll remake the game (using the same engine usually) and give the gamers some more of what they want. So console gamers usually end up with a lot of variety and a lot of new stuff. PC gamers tend to find their favorite FPS, favorite strategy, etc. and just play that until it gets old.If the game is popular and fun and easy for people to edit with, you can get years out of a game. I mean Quake 3 you can still get maps for. UT2003 you will still be able to get new Fan Based content for a long time to come. UT2004 will be backwards compatible to 2003 maps and content. A TON of stuff is available for those games. People still play counter strike which is Half Life Mod from years back. You will not be able to state that claim with console anytime soon, if ever. When HL2 hits, they will produce Counter Strike 2 and I can tell you that will be around for years. And ALL FREE MAPS AND CONTENT. No need to pay for a service which should be free to begin with so you can download patches and new Fan Based stuff. Console will not have that ability for a long time, and it will never be free. You will not be able to create Fan Based stuff without a computer, so which consolers are going to create fan based stuff? Ver very very very few.

BF1942 has been around for a long time now and has a ton of Fan Based stuff to add to it. You will never be able to say that with console. You get a console game and play it and finish it. That's it. you play the same thing over again that you just played and wait for them to sell you new content. That is your only option. Consoles are so limited in so many ways it's not funny.

I can build my next system and get the next few games that come out and have as much fun if not more with new Fan Based content that will be produced from the very beginning for years longer than your console will last. So if you have a favorit Console game, that you are bored with, well your stuck. And fan based content comes out every single day, ready and waiting to be judged and loved or buiried. Console can't make that claim.

Comparison.... DX2 on the box? Played and dead till you get the urge to play the same thing over again. DX2 on PC (had it been done right) would have given years of content. DX1 had a lot of content you could get and fan maps. Not a ton of stuff but still new mods and maps. DX2 and very possibly T3 will not be able to make that claim. They will be bought, played, shelved and forgotten. Without the ability to create fan based content to keep it alive.

Once upon a time it was the goal of PC games to stay the best the longest. Quake 3 or UT which is better, which will out last the other, which will the fans create more content for and keep going the longest. That's what it used to be about. That's what was cool about it. Quake 3 ruled for a long time and then UT just kept getting better. Heck I still pull out Doom and pop my CD of about 1,000+ maps in and choose a few dozen and play. I never get bored by playing the same exact maps over and over and over again. A claim console can't make.

The thing is, all the PC gamers that still play these games with new content all the time still buy other games. They just have more variety with the games they love to play. Those games never get old. Console can't make that claim.

Halo for the PC will long out live Halo on the Box. I'm just curious who is getting ripped off.

P.S. I'm not saying Consoles don't have thier place or there games. I'm just saying for games like Halo, DX, Hitman and Thief, console is not the way to go.

But, with the way Laptops are going. Especialy if they get cheaper, PC gamers may not have to worry too much. Why play 4 way split screen when you can hook up 10 to 32 or more laptops to a switched hub and all have high res on an almost 17 in monitor (which is plenty big enough for most hard core gamers) in the same vicinity as the other guys your playing.

How many of you have ever been to a LAN party and totaly ripped for a few hours on UT2003 or other FPS?

If the sneaker got popular enough, I can tell you they would turn it into a multi player enviroment. And that would be a cool LAN party game experience with 8 to 12 other people or more all being quiet with head phones on sneaking around each other or the person sitting right across from you? WOW! Console will never be able to make that claim, EVER.

Console = Limited in so many ways it's not funny. Consolers who like FPS's should really feel so Ripped Off, so Cheated.

I have been seeing commercials for So-Com or whatever. How much content do you get with that? Can you get new missions for free? Oh yeah, you have to pay to play. Can you get new content with that? Hmmm, My guess is,,,,,,, no.

I guess when it comes down to it. If it's ported from console and doesn't come with an SDK or the ability to mod it. Don't pay more than 20$ for it. It's simply not worth it.

Thanks for reading. :cool:

Orumph
22nd Mar 2004, 00:12
On a side note. If these Dev houses were really smart. They would produce these games that run on laptops better with no fuss. College students do like to game and lan parties are not that un-common. and a large majority of them all have laptops. And if they are going to have to mess with re-building thier OS and waste time tweaking stuff for hors just to get it to work, they won't even bother shelling out the money. My guess is, DX2 and T3 and probably even Halo 2 will be forgotten and buried when Doom 3 HL2 Stalker and others hit the shelves, which within a month or less will have new fan based content. It's too bad too. Fan based content will be non-existent for those other games and Eidos/IS and M$ will have made a quick buck and nothing more.

No GOTY, no Glory. Oh Well, Too bad for Spector. What a waste of real talent.

theBlackman
22nd Mar 2004, 00:25
Who needs a fan base? The current crop of third graders will grow up, followed by the ones below them. Moms and dads will buy the consoles for the little brats, who will clammer for the latest garbage in games (yeah some are good, but face it only about 30% of the new releases are worth the CD they come on), and so it will go.

Fans who really appreciate a good game and try to promote it will be sucking wind, just like the true THIEF community is now.

Who needs a fan base, when the market is self maintaining producing a new crop of suckers every year or so.

Guineapiggy
22nd Mar 2004, 01:13
Hmmm... mr Spector?

Console audiences are rising:
True. PC markets aren't shrinking though, are they? Sure, more and more PC titles are console games originally but who honestly cares?

Besides, it's a slightly stupid way to look on things, after all 'consoles' are no more compatable with one another than a PC with an XBox. They're all seperate platforms that have seperate specs and need seperate development.

PCs cost a lot to maintain:
Yeah, that's partially true but not as bad as some people think. I mean consoles, yeah, they cost less at the start but the games cost more on release (Fact. Check your local game store) , you have to buy extra controllers etc, so the difference isn't so huge in the long run, especially seeing as three or so years in to a PC's or console's life, they're pretty dated, right? Or maybe it stopped working? So you have to pay to buy a new console... it'll probably cost less to upgrade your PC or replace the defective parts...

And guess what else? Yeah, you have no guarantee of being able to use all the old games you purchased in the console market.

Consoles are easier to develop for:
Yeah, but much more limited. You need to be much more frugal with game size, controler configurations and overall graphical quality. Not to mention that most console games water down difficulty levels and so forth to suit the (On average) younger audience.

Consoles are the future:
Okay... right...

...You develop for the X-Box, right? Who makes the XBox? Yes, Microsoft!

How much profit did they make? Not exactly the best sales figures, soundly beaten off by Sony's contender. Microsoft get most of their money from... that's right... PCs! So you're really telling us they're gonna let their main source of income 'die'? Winodws sales will be cut to 25% if games are no longer available on the PC, if not less.

Besides, guess what? The XBox is built largely with PC hand-me-down hardware.

In conclusion, Warren...

You are a freakin' moron.

keeblor
22nd Mar 2004, 03:48
Originally posted by deadly_thief
http://www.alienware.com/

get a pc there with performance and looks and it will impress your mates and you'll get girls flocking at your door

note everything here is not true and cannot be used against me in court
LOL

I own an alienware AND ALL OF THOSE THINGS ARE TRUE! Actualy, the only thing that is true is that it looks good, and it can impress your friends, the girl thing is not true. I dont even have 1 girl flocking to my door. :(

Bertuccio
23rd Mar 2004, 20:04
Quoted from some guy... "however, the Xbox came along, and I decided to buy one because there were so many great games coming to it that wouldn't ever be availible for the PC."

I wouldn't call one game "so many", and Halo is out for PC.

Someone said something about console games running more smoothly than PC. I disagree, there are plenty of console games that crunch and churn where a PC would keep on going smoothly. Most games now can be easily configured to run well on even older PCs. Though I do have to say that console games are less buggy which is probably because the game doesn't have to be compatible with a bunch of other stuff.

One of my big arguments for PC is that there are no 'console wars'. If it's out for PC it's out for PC... and if it's out on a console and everyone likes it it will prolly be out for PC too. This is probably mostly due the the deathgrip Windows has on the PC market and may change if anyone steps up to oppose MS. Fortunately there will be many hackers who love porting stuff over to other OS's though ;)

I really have to agree with the comment about replayability and modding with PCs. I might still play Metal Gear S:SOL if it was on PC. Why go out and buy a bunch of VR missions which cost as much as the original game when I can make my own and get other peoples' for free. That game could have some huge survivability on PC. And the same goes for Thief III. On Xbox ppl will buy it, beat it in 1 day (console games are always super short now) and then stash it somewhere. No multiplayer, no modding, why play it again? Ppl will do with Thief III what I did with Tenchu 3, rent it for the weekend at Blockbuster, beat it, and never see it again. Ion Storm will be giving a lot of money to Blockbuster, and not a lot for themselves. And if they don't make money, they don't make Thief 4.

UberMorse
24th Mar 2004, 12:25
Jeeeze... there seems to be a lot of closemindedness out there. First, I like my games on the PC... mostly, but you fail to see the potential of the consoles and some of you seem to miss the problem Mr Spector is struggling with.

The Thief-series was a modest hit when they came, the game have great fans, but not too many of them. Today the PC-market is the significantly smaller market compared to consoles. So Spector could opt for a true PC-game with a small fanbase in a small market OR he could try to increase his chance of going beyond break-even via the console.

To make games custom for laptops is really a far fetched idea, that market is even smaller than the PC.

Ok, this is not just for Guineapiggy, but he sums up the things I would like to adress.


Originally posted by Guineapiggy
Hmmm... mr Spector?

Console audiences are rising:
True. PC markets aren't shrinking though, are they? Sure, more and more PC titles are console games originally but who honestly cares?

The producers care. Eventhough the PC-market have not shrunk, the cost for creating a game has gone up... tremendously. So there has to be more games sold to make a profit, hence the PC-market is now too small, unless your sitting on a sure-as-hell Big Hit (ie probably HL2).


PCs cost a lot to maintain:
Yeah, that's partially true but not as bad as some people think. I mean consoles, yeah, they cost less at the start but the games cost more on release (Fact. Check your local game store) , you have to buy extra controllers etc, so the difference isn't so huge in the long run, especially seeing as three or so years in to a PC's or console's life, they're pretty dated, right? Or maybe it stopped working? So you have to pay to buy a new console... it'll probably cost less to upgrade your PC or replace the defective parts...

Most people who buy a console, buys an aditional controller, not much else in forms of hardware. Most people with a console do not have to repair it. So hardwarecosts is considerable lower than the PC:s

Add this: the lifespan for a console is 5 years(!), the PC has a recycle-rate of 18 months (Moores law). I wonder why parents go for consoles.


And guess what else? Yeah, you have no guarantee of being able to use all the old games you purchased in the console market.

The PS2 works backwards, not to 100% but close to it. Thats not so far from how the PC works, there is after all a lot of old games out there that a user will have a hard time to get to work on their new PC:s.


Consoles are easier to develop for:
Yeah, but much more limited. You need to be much more frugal with game size, controler configurations and overall graphical quality. Not to mention that most console games water down difficulty levels and so forth to suit the (On average) younger audience.

If anything, consoles are harder to develope for, but at times limitations is a blessing, thats especially true for controllers. Ok you cant hardly argue about the quality of the graphics, since the current consoles are in the las year of their lifespan.

By the way, the average gamer is 28 years old. I guess the sport-games are a big reason.


Consoles are the future:
Okay... right...

...You develop for the X-Box, right? Who makes the XBox? Yes, Microsoft!

How much profit did they make? Not exactly the best sales figures, soundly beaten off by Sony's contender. Microsoft get most of their money from... that's right... PCs! So you're really telling us they're gonna let their main source of income 'die'? Winodws sales will be cut to 25% if games are no longer available on the PC, if not less.

Besides, guess what? The XBox is built largely with PC hand-me-down hardware.

Consoles ARE the future, at least the way it looks today.

Microsoft openly declared that they would not go break even on their hardware until X-Box2. Despite that they see such great potential in the market and willingly threw away 4billion dollars in just marketing expences for a product they did not see a positive income in for over five years.

Besides, guess what? Neither Sony, Microsoft or Nintendo make any considerable money on their hardware. It is the games that bring in the big cash. As you noticed, console-games cost a bit more than PC-games. Its becasue the hardwaremanufacturer to the console takes a licenced fee for every sold title to their console. And thats where the real money lies.


In conclusion, Warren...

You are a freakin' moron.

In conclusion, I would be a bit more modest to a man that knows a lot more of the market than you.

Guineapiggy
24th Mar 2004, 14:24
18 months to five years? Where exactly do your figures come from, because they sound a good few miles off what I've seen, or what common sense dictates.

As for the limitations being a blessing, care to provide a reason for that?

Backwards compatability: The PS2 is the only example.


Microsoft openly declared that they would not go break even on their hardware until X-Box2. Despite that they see such great potential in the market and willingly threw away 4billion dollars in just marketing expences for a product they did not see a positive income in for over five years.

Besides, guess what? Neither Sony, Microsoft or Nintendo make any considerable money on their hardware. It is the games that bring in the big cash. As you noticed, console-games cost a bit more than PC-games. Its becasue the hardwaremanufacturer to the console takes a licenced fee for every sold title to their console. And thats where the real money lies.

Aren't you contradicting yourself here?

Whatz His Name
24th Mar 2004, 14:42
Originally posted by deadly_thief
... and you'll get girls flocking at your door...

Yep... I have women beating on my door all night long...


... trying to get out.

:D

UberMorse
24th Mar 2004, 14:52
Originally posted by Guineapiggy
18 months to five years? Where exactly do your figures come from, because they sound a good few miles off what I've seen, or what common sense dictates.

This is the well known "Moores law", that dictates processor power is doubled every 18 months. This theory has stayed true since the 1960-ies.

Consoles on the other hand, are released with roughly 5 year intervals. Look at the PSone at 1995 and PS2 at 2000 as an example.


As for the limitations being a blessing, care to provide a reason for that?

This is mainly from a designing standpoint. It is a well known fact in the industry that limitations force creativity. It could be somewhat beside the point, but I just wanted to show that its not all black and white.

For an example see Richard Rouse´s book "Game Design: Theory & Practice" on controls and input. In short, there is a benefit from few buttons in a controller as opposed to a keyboard, in order to simplify. Sure, games like IL Sturmovik dont play well on consoles, but thats not really the point here.


Backwards compatability: The PS2 is the only example.

True, but that is one third of the big manufacturers and 80% of all 128-bit consoles out there. Besides, Both Sony and Microsoft have said that their next generation shall have Backwards compability, Nintendo have so far not said anything.




Aren't you contradicting yourself here?

I dont see how I am, but it could be the language-barrier on my part. What I tried to say is that Microsoft did not expect any income on their hardware at all, so saying they have bad numbers or sales is not an argument. I also wanted to point out the fact that hardware is not the primary income for Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo.

Old Man
24th Mar 2004, 14:57
I think we're getting at something that's been ponging around in my skull for a bit. They may run the same games but they're entirely separate things. And some gamers may have both but they're completely separate markets.

The fact the PC game developers are flocking to the console market in droves because there's more profit in it is where I focus. The markets are so different that they should just scrap the PC market and develop for the console. A lot cleaner too. KISS- Keep It Simple, Stupid. If there is a market for PC games developers will surface to deal with it. Demand and supply.

That said, my position may be a little different. Console gamers may not mind, perhaps because they mostly don't know any different never having played games on their PC's, having to kill the TV so they can play their games. I do. There are other people here who still want to watch TV while I'm gaming. And they may not mind having separate spaces for PC's, TV's, and consoles. I do. We've invested a lot in making our PC and TV spaces just so and I don't want to mess that up. Plus my PC space is where I planned on playing the games. Because when I was doing that planning it looked like that's where the games would be. I don't want another space for console(s). In fact, I'm in the process now of merging the TV and PC spaces into one. As soon as I get all the TV on my PC stuff worked out. We watched a movie on TV last night that I was playing on my PC that I recorded on my PC. Plus the PC's got a DVD drive that I can play movies out to the TV. Ergo, before too long this will all be consolidated back into a single space. Wherefore the console then?

When you remove the console from the PC's and TV's your market is just kids. A pretty big market maybe but not very worldy. I hope we can still get some "Thinking Man" games then.

Bertuccio
24th Mar 2004, 22:01
"The Thief-series was a modest hit when they came, the game have great fans, but not too many of them"

There are quite a lot of fans, certainly enough to make a profit on Thief III without messing up gameplay so that it appeals to a bigger audience.

This mentality implies several things.
One is that "cult" games have no place, that all games must appeal to everyone. Well I think that is outright stupid. Why can't I play my game, and other ppl play their games? I don't like GTA3. I don't go around asking ppl to change it and make it appeal to an even bigger audience, because that would ruin the game for the people that like GTA how it is. And I think it is equally unfair to change cult games to appeal to a bigger audience because it robs the cult fans of their games.

Another, ppl apparently think Thief/Thief 2 did not become popular because the gameplay did not appeal to everyone.
I personally think most ppl would like the game just how it is, and the reason it didn't get big is that it had very little advertising and bad graphics. If they were to take Thief and give it the graphics and hype that Thief 3 is getting it would easily turn a very large profit and fan base.

I think they could easily turn a profit based on Thief's current fans, and trying to make it appeal to a bigger audience is simply a grab for more money. (Or that the creators misconstrued the relatively small fan-base as an indication that they did something wrong with the game, which is not true)

"This is the well known "Moores law", that dictates processor power is doubled every 18 months. This theory has stayed true since the 1960-ies."

While it is true that processor speeds double every 18 months it may not be true that most ppl buy a new computer that often. Since I was 12 there have been 4 PCs in my family. I am 22 now, that's an average of 30 months per comp. Also, all of these computers are still around, we just put them to different uses. I can't think of anyone I know who buys a new comp every 18 months.

Include the fact that processor speeds are so outrageously high that increasing them has no effect on the grand majority of things you can do with your computer and Moore's Law falls out of the picture.

Microsoft eats money on the X-Box due to inefficiency in making it that other companies avoid. And they throw tons of money into advertising not because they see great potential but because they are trying to hype their way into the market. That may construed as standard anti-MS bias, and that is probably partly true, but read the articles and you'll find they plainly say it.

UberMorse
25th Mar 2004, 03:08
Originally posted by Bertuccio
"The Thief-series was a modest hit when they came, the game have great fans, but not too many of them"

There are quite a lot of fans, certainly enough to make a profit on Thief III without messing up gameplay so that it appeals to a bigger audience.

While I truly hope they dont screw up the gameplay, I dont belive there are enough fans to make a profit from PC-gamers only. Even Spector said that the Thief-series was only a modest hit, barely good enough to justify a sequel. This is also the reason they will try consoles and I can hardly blaim them for trying to go beyond break-even.


This mentality implies several things.
One is that "cult" games have no place, that all games must appeal to everyone. Well I think that is outright stupid. Why can't I play my game, and other ppl play their games? I don't like GTA3. I don't go around asking ppl to change it and make it appeal to an even bigger audience, because that would ruin the game for the people that like GTA how it is. And I think it is equally unfair to change cult games to appeal to a bigger audience because it robs the cult fans of their games.

Another is that Thief/Thief 2 did not become popular because the gameplay did not appeal to everyone.
I personally think most ppl would like the game just how it is, and the reason it didn't get big is that it had very little advertising and bad graphics. If they were to take Thief and give it the graphics and hype that Thief 3 is getting it would easily turn a very large profit and fan base.

First of all, "cult" games will only have sequels if they sell enough or if the developer do not have an interest in profit.

Second, you just compared a game-series (GTA) that has sold over 25 million copies to a series (Thief) that has yet to breach the 2 million mark. So I guess there is no need to change GTA to make it appeal to a bigger audience, its as big as they come.

Third, this is not about "change Thief III" so it will be appriciated by a bigger audience. This is about the game going to console as well as PC to reach a wider audience. I have not yet seen the "big" changes for Thief III in live action so I dont want to make comments on them wheter they are a result of console-conversion or if they are a natural development of the game itself. I also dont know if any limitations from the console will spill over to the PC, so Ill save that for later as well.

Fourth I also belive that Thief/Thief2 would have sold better with more advertising, but thats speculation. However, I dont think it could be a game of mass appeal like GTA.


I think they could easily turn a profit based on Thief's current fans, and trying to make it appeal to a bigger audience is simply a grab for more money. (Or that the creators misconstrued the relatively small fan-base as an indication that they did something wrong with the game, which is not true).

While I agree with you that the creators did nothing wrong with the game itself (Thief 2 is my all time favorite game through the 23 years I have spent gaming), I merely want to point out the fact (again) that the developers dont think they can make a profit on the current fanbase. I guess (speculation) they base this on the previous titles profits and their current expenses. Since gamedevelopment have become a much more expensive procedure since the first Thief, I guess they figure the "old" market was too small.


"This is the well known "Moores law", that dictates processor power is doubled every 18 months. This theory has stayed true since the 1960-ies."

While it is true that processor speeds double every 18 months it may not be true that most ppl buy a new computer that often. Since I was 12 there have been 4 PCs in my family. I am 22 now, that's an average of 30 months per comp. Also, all of these computers are still around, we just put them to different uses. I can't think of anyone I know who buys a new comp every 18 months.

Well, I was trying to make a point on lifespans between PCs and consoles. I thought Moores law illustrated it quite good.

Sure, you do not buy a new computer every 18 months. But every 18 months new generation computers are being sold. So technology pushes harder with the PC compared to the console, and that affects the games too. To further illustrate: I bought my latest computer one year before I bought my PS2. It was several years ago when I could no longer play the latest games on my PC, but today I can still play the latest games on the PS2. See where Im aiming at?


Include the fact that processor speeds are so outrageously high that increasing them has no effect on the grand majority of things you can do with your computer and Moore's Law falls out of the picture.

Sure, but we are talking about games here, not Word or Photoshop.


Microsoft eats money on the X-Box due to inefficiency in making it that other companies avoid. And they throw tons of money into advertising not because they see great potential but because they are trying to hype their way into the market. That may construed as standard anti-MS bias, and that is probably partly true, but read the articles and you'll find they plainly say it.

And why do they try to hype their way into the market? Because they see great potential.

Although the X-box have had less success than Microsoft had hopes for, they DID say that they did not expect any profits from their first generation of consoles.

grafixmonkey
25th Mar 2004, 03:32
"This is the well known "Moores law", that dictates processor power is doubled every 18 months. This theory has stayed true since the 1960-ies."

Moore's Law deals with transistor density, not processor speed. Those aren't as related as you'd think they are.

I think game companies have done very well with making games able to run on a processor even if that processor is two years old. Consider this: that at any given moment, if your processor is the part of your system too slow to play a game, a new processor need only come from the midrange price point, probably a mere $60 to $80. That processor might not be a good investment in the future, but that's not the point, it would play the games that you can't play now.

Microsoft eats money on the XBOX because they knew they needed to provide an enormously great game console for anybody to want to buy it or make games for it. They were the underdog, nonexistant not only in the console system market but nearly nonexistant (had only a few, poor quality titles) in the game software market. They, like many console system manufacturers, designed the XBOX so that it cost way more to produce than they could sell it for. The result is that the games that come out for it are very, very attractive compared to the other systems. That happens for two reasons: number one, the games can have much better graphics than if they made a profit, assuming they won't sell any boxes if they cost too much. Number two, game developers will find the xbox attractive because it is nice and fast, and will make more games for it without Microsoft having to "convince" them to do so. Where Microsoft, Nintendo, etc. DO make money is in licensing the rights to make games for it. Nintendo, for example, used to get a kickback from any company who released a game for the NES or SNES. They owned a technology without which a cartridge could not interface with the console. To develop and release a cartridge game you had to pay Nintendo money. That's where the money is.


You know, I thought that the Thief series had quite a large audience? Almost everyone into PC gaming has heard of it, most who've heard of it have played it, it was on the store shelves at Best Buy and all the major software retailers. The creating company went under, (*sniff* we love you Looking Glass) but I don't think that was for lack of sales, I think it happened more for other reasons. I couldn't tell you what though.

There is merit in the "limitations breeds creativity" argument. All you have to do is look at console games to see it. Those things are really, really creative. I think a lot of that stems from the fact that the console game makers have more freedom though. They market to a much larger group of people, and that group of people has lower expectations in terms of really ultra-cutting-edge graphics, and is more open to what the gameplay would be like. What would you say if UT2004 came out, and you found out there was a between-levels racing game a-la Mario Kart, or found out it had a monetary system and you had to buy your weapons? You'd scream, "That's not Unreal Tournament!! You maniacs, you blew it up!!" and you'd hate it. Console game makers can do anything they want. Insert gambling elements into a racing game? Cool, it's Mario Kart! Insert racing elements into a jump-and-bonk game? Hey you get some of the most fun levels in Mario 64! Make a game where nothing ever happens and nobody ever dies, and all you do is collect cute little creatures and have cockfights with them? You get Pokemon. Nothing like that happens for PC games. Not to say we don't get some interesting combos, but PC gamers fully expect a shooter genre game to be almost completely like every other shooter, and will tolerate only a little bit of variation. Look at Thief 1 - they were afraid of how people would take the whole sneaking element thing, so they made almost the entire second half of the game more combat-oriented with all the fire demons and zombies and alien mantis-men, and returned to sneaking with Thief 2 because the reaction was good.

grafixmonkey
25th Mar 2004, 03:44
Sure, but we are talking about games here, not Word or Photoshop.

As interesting as it might be, Photoshop requires much more processing power than games do. Ever tried to draw an airbrush stroke on a slow system? Didn't look too nice did it?

The point with processor power is that if you buy smart, it takes very little investment to keep yourself up to date for games. Note that buying Dell, or buying Gateway 2000, is not buying smart. They try to make sure you have to upgrade again ASAP.

You also don't have to upgrade your processor every 18 months. A brand new processor right now would probably keep playing games well for a couple years, and that has almost always been the case ever since 3D graphics cards came out. Maybe not if you buy a really cheap processor, but if you do that, you're not planning for the future much, and you're definitely not buying smart. You can play most modern games pretty well on an Athlon XP 1800 or a P4 1.8. Those processors are pretty old. And there's not much saying that they'll be obsolete for games anytime soon.

Bertuccio
25th Mar 2004, 05:02
"As interesting as it might be, Photoshop requires much more processing power than games do. Ever tried to draw an airbrush stroke on a slow system? Didn't look too nice did it?" -Grafixmonkey

Thanks for saying that. The amount of processing power that games require pales in comparison to things like 3Ds Max or any graphics development program.

"Spector said that the Thief-series was only a modest hit, barely good enough to justify a sequel." -Ubermorse

All the more reason to actually listen to the original fan base who are a major reason for Thief III existing. It's considered a 'modest hit' by everyone else, but we love it.

"Everything about GTA3"
The point is not the difference in sales. I could pick any game that I don't like and say that it's unfair to change it to suit my tastes because it ruins the game for others.

You are right that this is not meant to be in this thread though.

"number one, the games can have much better graphics"
"and that group of people has lower expectations in terms of really ultra-cutting-edge graphics" -Grafixmonkey

These two statements contradict. If console gamers don't expect high power graphics then why are gaming companies (according t o you) falling at Microsoft's feet to develop on their high-powered system.

I disagree with the first statement, of all the games I've seen for Xbox the graphics are worse than other systems. And of the games I've played I've found them choppier than other systems. Excepting Halo which looks fabulous, but was originally developed for Macs, on Macs by Maccers. I have no idea how it ended up on Xbox or PC.

"Almost everyone into PC gaming has heard of [Thief], most who've heard of it have played it, it was on the store shelves at Best Buy and all the major software retailers." -Grafixmonkey

I agree, I think that Thief is now a widely known sleeper and the hype created by Thief/Thief 2 is more than enough to carry a profit for 3 without 'adjusting' it to fit a larger audience.

"It was several years ago when I could no longer play the latest games on my PC, but today I can still play the latest games on the PS2. See where Im aiming at? " -Ubermorse

No I don't. If I wanted to I could get out my previous computer and play the grand majority of games that are out now that I played before, I will just need to lower graphics somewhat. And in something near 2 years, when this computer does not handle new games quite as well as it used to, it will be much cheaper for me to buy a $50 video card than the newest console which will be at dead least $100, and prolly $200. I think if after two years you can't run games on your comp then you got a bum comp in the first place.

grafixmonkey
25th Mar 2004, 06:45
Originally posted by Bertuccio
"number one, the games can have much better graphics"
"and that group of people has lower expectations in terms of really ultra-cutting-edge graphics" -Grafixmonkey

These two statements contradict. If console gamers don't expect high power graphics then why are gaming companies (according t o you) falling at Microsoft's feet to develop on their high-powered system.

I disagree with the first statement, of all the games I've seen for Xbox the graphics are worse than other systems. And of the games I've played I've found them choppier than other systems. Excepting Halo which looks fabulous, but was originally developed for Macs, on Macs by Maccers. I have no idea how it ended up on Xbox or PC.

No, those don't contradict. Their contexts are different.

Games can have better graphics if Microsoft loses money, because Microsoft put a processor and graphics system into the XBOX that costs more money than people are willing to pay for a console game system. That way, MS loses money selling consoles, but the games can look better relative to competition - not to say that developers actually manage to get that to happen though, they seem obsessed with using pixel shaders and have forgotten the older methods that still produced good results. If the xbox has a better graphics capability, developers will want to program their game for it, because they can go further towards the look that they want without running into hardware limitations.

And, console gamers DO have a lower expectation towards graphics than a PC gamer has. I personally would prefer gameplay, but the typical PC gamer will complain to no end if a new release doesn't have real-time shadows, and ground cover outdoors, and pixel shader bump mapping, realistic skin tones, dynamic lighting, specular lighting, lip-sync animation, and etc. and etc. technology, and still play at 1280x1024 at 100fps. A console gamer has to put up with 720x480, max resolution, the 29.95 Hz refresh rate inherent in NTSC, and a relatively blurry and flickery screen. Halo on a console can't even be compared, graphically, with Halo on a PC, it looks so much better. On the xbox the ground cover is sparse at best, if even present. There are very few particle systems, like dirt and chunks of grass flying into the air if a grenade explodes on a dirt floor. It has bump and specular, but not any of that other stuff. And the graphics in Halo get choppy at times on the xbox. And console gamers love it, and think the graphics are oh so sweet, but even UT2004 beats the living crap out of Halo graphics (even PC Halo graphics) and PC gamers say it only looks mediocre, and they're disappointed. But the xbox still has better graphics capability than other consoles.

The point is that console gamers care less about graphics and more about the game, and that gives game developers the freedom to persue a fun game even if it means they spend less time on graphics.

And from what I've heard, Microsoft saw Halo being developed, and realized that Halo would be the perfect flagship game to use to sell their systems. And it worked, I know many, many people who bought their XBOX just to play Halo, and some who have played nothing but Halo (and the Fusion Frenzy demo) on their xbox.


Originally posted by Bertuccio
"It was several years ago when I could no longer play the latest games on my PC, but today I can still play the latest games on the PS2. See where Im aiming at? " -Ubermorse

No I don't. If I wanted to I could get out my previous computer and play the grand majority of games that are out now that I played before, I will just need to lower graphics somewhat. And in something near 2 years, when this computer does not handle new games quite as well as it used to, it will be much cheaper for me to buy a $50 video card than the newest console which will be at dead least $100, and prolly $200. I think if after two years you can't run games on your comp then you got a bum comp in the first place.

I think the better argument would be that my computer, even if it's old, can still play all the games that were released close to the time that my PC was new. I could get my old AMD K6-2 400 out with its Geforce 2, and go buy a copy of any number of games that were released around that system's time, and they would play perfectly. What I can't do is play the new games that were released with modern up to date systems in mind and play it on my old system. I can't do that any more than you can buy a GameCube game and try to stick it into an N64. Actually, wait, no, I can. I bet I could drag that ancient system of mine from six years ago out of the basement, set it up with a hard drive, and install UT2004 on it, and I bet it would play. It would play really darn slowly, but it would run. And if I gave that old, ancient processor a Geforce 4, that game would probably run pretty decently well. I won't be getting 30fps at 1024x768, but I bet I would at 640x480, which is the computer's equivalent of TV resolution. The PC compares more to a console system that they stop making games for after the next generation system comes out. Except that you can turn your PC into a next generation system with an upgrade, and an inexpensive one if you play it right. For a console system, there's no upgrading, so they just don't increase the graphics workload throughout the life of the system. Sometimes they find better ways to use what they have, but for all intents and purposes the upward climb of graphics you see in PC games isn't there.

The number of new games being released today that would be able to play as fast as intended on a 3-year-old system is very small, but some still come out. Nothing I would personally buy, but that happens because PC users do keep themselves up to date. If there was a reasonably large population of gamers who had older systems and wouldn't upgrade even if it meant not being able to play games, they would release games using older technology. And I bet when the Playstation 3 comes out, there will be far fewer Playstation 2 games being released, and I bet you'll go right out and buy a playstation 3, just like PC users get new graphics cards.

UberMorse
25th Mar 2004, 09:14
Originally posted by grafixmonkey
As interesting as it might be, Photoshop requires much more processing power than games do. Ever tried to draw an airbrush stroke on a slow system? Didn't look too nice did it?

The point with processor power is that if you buy smart, it takes very little investment to keep yourself up to date for games. Note that buying Dell, or buying Gateway 2000, is not buying smart. They try to make sure you have to upgrade again ASAP.

Its true that if I buy smart it only takes a smaller investment. But this is a part of the puzzle why the consolemarket is bigger. Most people dont buy smart, they buy complete computers, they never upgrade (unless they get a company man to do it). Im not trying to argue about how it could be done or whats efficient here, im trying to point out how it looks for the big audience.


You also don't have to upgrade your processor every 18 months. A brand new processor right now would probably keep playing games well for a couple years, and that has almost always been the case ever since 3D graphics cards came out. Maybe not if you buy a really cheap processor, but if you do that, you're not planning for the future much, and you're definitely not buying smart. You can play most modern games pretty well on an Athlon XP 1800 or a P4 1.8. Those processors are pretty old. And there's not much saying that they'll be obsolete for games anytime soon.

I know, I build computers to my friends and this summer I will finally let go of my old PIII 500 =) which Im been able to strech as far as humanly possible. The point is that this is not what people do, they buy complete computers.

UberMorse
25th Mar 2004, 09:41
Originally posted by Bertuccio
"As interesting as it might be, Photoshop requires much more processing power than games do. Ever tried to draw an airbrush stroke on a slow system? Didn't look too nice did it?" -Grafixmonkey

Thanks for saying that. The amount of processing power that games require pales in comparison to things like 3Ds Max or any graphics development program.

Ok, ok, change photoshop to notepad in my previous statement. But at least I did not say 3DsMax or Maya...


"Spector said that the Thief-series was only a modest hit, barely good enough to justify a sequel." -Ubermorse

All the more reason to actually listen to the original fan base who are a major reason for Thief III existing. It's considered a 'modest hit' by everyone else, but we love it.

Sure we love it, Thief got a very strong fanbase out there. But if the game was a modest hit (and by that means almost no profit), I would like to hear the people who turned away from Thief rather the ones who stayed (well I would listen to them too.

But still, in what way have Ion Storm ignored the fanbase? They release the game on PC and X-box and thats what people have major problems whith and zero understanding for. Im just saying that its something they are forced to do if they want to produce games tomorrow.



"Almost everyone into PC gaming has heard of [Thief], most who've heard of it have played it, it was on the store shelves at Best Buy and all the major software retailers." -Grafixmonkey

I agree, I think that Thief is now a widely known sleeper and the hype created by Thief/Thief 2 is more than enough to carry a profit for 3 without 'adjusting' it to fit a larger audience.

Sure, today most people have heard about Thief, but how many have played it? Most people have heard about Pong too...

The only thing Ion Storm can be sure of is the sales-figures from past Thief-games. With this much money at stake, speculation has no room. So based on the old numbers, why would they NOT release the game on a console?


"It was several years ago when I could no longer play the latest games on my PC, but today I can still play the latest games on the PS2. See where Im aiming at? " -Ubermorse

No I don't. If I wanted to I could get out my previous computer and play the grand majority of games that are out now that I played before, I will just need to lower graphics somewhat. And in something near 2 years, when this computer does not handle new games quite as well as it used to, it will be much cheaper for me to buy a $50 video card than the newest console which will be at dead least $100, and prolly $200. I think if after two years you can't run games on your comp then you got a bum comp in the first place.

Ok I bought the parts of my comp 1999 and I could not afford the best there was then, so it became a PIII 500. The year after I got my PS2. The first game I noticed would fail miserably on my comp was Max Payne (with a req of 750MHz or something), sure I could install and start it, but play it with some sort of entertainment? Noooo....

So from Max Payne and beyond, I had a hard time make the games work without a major drop off in performance. Ive never had that kind of trouble with a console. In fact even today I can play the latest games on my PS2 because the system reqs never change at all.....

The point here is to illustrate problems with a PC compared to a console. And I know that You, Me and everybody else on this forum can avoid these problems..... But the average consumer cannot... they are stuck with these problems unless they get som help and that will probably cost them too much anyway so for entertainment they choose a console.

jabpn
26th Mar 2004, 07:48
Bringing the level of my original post down to Thief for a second....

Thief Deadly Shadows came from.....well, the answer is Thief I and II. No matter what the profit margins are when programming computer vs. console is comes down to the above fact. If Warren wants to change a game to appeal to "larger audiences", from a profit aspect that "logically" makes sense. However why is he using the good name of "Thief"? You don't change a game and forget it's true heritage which is that Thief (like it or not) is not a large seller and that it is a truly PC only game. By making Thief DS for a console you are limited to restrictions of that machine which goes against the inherent freedom that Thief brings to gamers in its game design.

If you can't make a game stay true to its original foundations..DON'T MAKE IT AT ALL. Come up with a game "like Thief" but call it something else...hype it...and sell the fire out of it. Good luck to you. I would strongly suspect that Mr. Spector is using the Thief name because people have heard of it. Voila, have the advertising is now done. This, in and of itself, is shameful and, as it's been said, money grubbing. (Now personally I don't know whether Thief DS will truly be that far from the original, we all know this remains to be seen and who knows maybe we'll all love it (no flames now everyone)). Whether or not Mr. Spector is money grubbing or trying to justify (by sales) a reason to keep this great title going to the money grubbing publisher that is EA remains to be seen in the finished product.

Now back to my original statement...computers are still, and will be, viewed by the masses as productivity machines. They don't have an interest in computers to the nth degree (like all of us true hardcorers (ok I just made the word up)) thus they don't really want to take the time and learn proper setup etc. etc. even though changing a video card really is pretty simple. But this also doesn't change the fact that consoles are becoming more and more computer like, only they are much simpler to operate by the lay people (whether this factually true or not, packaging makes all the difference in people's mentality) People are flocking to console development precisely for this reason. They know this and they want pretty green spendy stuff.

You can't even bring cost into the equation because I can right now go pay about $170 for a ATI Radeon 9600 XT and play (decently I might add) the next three years worth of games. How do I know...I've got a GeForce4 4200 and ALL my games play just fine. It will play HL2 and DOOM3 just fine, maybe not with all the eye candy but most of it. Enough so that I will get the true gaming experience the makers intended for me to get. When will I upgrade my video card? When I recieve a msg in my game telling that "it can't play the game with the current video card" like I got from NOLF 2. Before that I had an Ultra TNT2 card that also played all new games upto that point of buying NOLF 2 which easily represented two to three years itself. My point...$100 (great after Thanksgiving sale item :) ) to $200 every two or three years is nothing money wise. It's either pay this or pay the same thing if not more once you add in the higher cost of console games.

To summarize...I repeat what I said before....DON'T CHANGE A GAME'S TRADITION FOR THE SAKE OF (DON'T EVEN KNOW IF THIEF DS SALES WILL BE HIGHER) MONEY. JUST DON'T MAKE THE GAME AT ALL. Give those rights too the game to dedicated fanbases. Updated engines can be licensed and all one needs to do is cover costs and provide downloads instead of boxed items to keep classics (and those in the making) alive. Even a small fanbase such as Thief's (which it's not small by any means, but lets pretend a minute) can support this effort.

Peter_Smith
26th Mar 2004, 08:07
I disagree with your argument, jabpn. You say, in essence, that if Ion Storm could not follow the PC tradition, then they should have scrapped the project. Well, a lot of people at Ion Storm and elsewhere wanted to develop Thief 3. A lot of fans wanted them to make it. They decided to make it a two-platform deal to give it a chance for profit. I'd guess that if the choice had been PC or nothing, they would have selected nothing. This would have satisfied you, but disappointed many, many more.

So, what is the worse that can happen? The two platform deal fails to live up to expectations. We are disappointed. The best that can happen, and still might happen, is that we like the game, an editor is delivered, and the FM community lives happily ever after. Well, it is not costing me a penny to wait and see how it comes out. It seems to me more logical to say, "Go for it guys!" and maybe give them some advice, than to say the project should have been canceled. A finite chance at some benefit is better than a 100% chance of no benefit.

If you can prove that the PC-only version would have been profitable enough, and that the two platform version is, in fact, just money grubbing as you say, then you might have a point. But I don't think you can prove that unless you have access to all the market research and other factors that led to the decision. Money grubbing is just an assertion, and I think it is unfounded.

Bertuccio
27th Mar 2004, 04:51
"If you can't make a game stay true to its original foundations..DON'T MAKE IT AT ALL." -Jabpn

I completely agree.

"You say, in essence, that if Ion Storm could not follow the PC tradition, then they should have scrapped the project." -Peter Smith

I don't think he is talking about changing platform. I think he is talking about the significant changes to gameplay that many people believe will make Thief 3 part of the Thief series only in name.


"They don't have an interest in computers to the nth degree (like all of us true hardcorers (ok I just made the word up)) thus they don't really want to take the time and learn proper setup etc. etc. even though changing a video card really is pretty simple." -Jabpn

I disagree. Most gamers are young people and most young people actually know a fair amount about computers. Also, a ton of gamers that I see (though not all) think they're leet hacker types and know all their is to know about computers(so whether they know how to work a PC or not they will still buy them). I don't think the argument that consoles will out-compete PCs based on ease of use is well supported.

"Sure, today most people have heard about Thief, but how many have played it? Most people have heard about Pong too" -UberMorse

And if someone made Pong 2 all they would have to do is hype the hell out of it and it would sell.

"The point here is to illustrate problems with a PC compared to a console. And I know that You, Me and everybody else on this forum can avoid these problems..... But the average consumer cannot" -UberMorse

Same deal as above. The average consumer is an idiot because they will buy whatever they are told to buy. They still know how to work a computer.

Peter_Smith
27th Mar 2004, 05:48
Originally posted by Bertuccio
"You say, in essence, that if Ion Storm could not follow the PC tradition, then they should have scrapped the project." -Peter Smith

I don't think he is talking about changing platform. I think he is talking about the significant changes to gameplay that many people believe will make Thief 3 part of the Thief series only in name.
As I understand it, jabpn is talking about changing platform. The title of this thread (his thread) is "PC's giving way to consoles?" That is the main thrust of his first post, and his latest post follows suit. The thesis seems to be that programming for the console and its broader audiencce has changed the game from its original PC tradition. I agree with that part. I just don't believe that it is either so underhanded or disastrous as jabpn makes out. And I strongly disagree with the notion that it is better to scrap the project than to try to make common code or to change a few traditions.

That said, the point is not made too clearly, so it would be easy to misunderstand. I guess we need jabpn to interpret his own words. :)

selection7
27th Mar 2004, 19:41
There's an interesting article at Gamespot which makes a good point. Whatever happens to the the decay of the PC gaming market in the future, it won't be happening this year. With the likely release of Doom 3, HL 2, Farcry, Stalker, The Sims 2, Unreal Tournament 2004, World of Warcraft, Everquest 2...and that's not counting the multiplatformers like Thief3 and Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrw. Consolers will be looking at their aging systems and wonder why they can't play the next gen games. The next Playstation or Xbox iteration isn't exactly around the corner either. But then that's the nature of the leapfrogging that goes on between PC's and consoles.

Peter_Smith
27th Mar 2004, 21:22
So long as there are developers like John Carmack and whoever is pushing it at Valve, the announcement of the death of PC gaming is premature. These guys want state-of-the-art performance, and they know that the only way to get it is with PC's. I intend to buy Doom III and Half Life 2. I hope these games will make lots of money.

HOC
27th Mar 2004, 23:15
ehh, it's not premature. it's preposterous, smith. we can mention the mod community all we want, but that's only one aspect of pc gaming.

what about all those games that are created on the pc by amateurs that aren't additions to existing titles? what about all those flash games we see across the web? hell, what about all those varying gametypes created for some of the multiplayer titles out there? ok, that goes against my original statement, but there are good examples out there that give merit to it that aren't just additions to an existing game, but alter that game so dramatically that it truly is different.

pc gaming, no matter how big time, or small time, will always be available either as an occupation, or hobby. mods have shown us (as well as development teams) that those are new ways of finding new talent that make job interviews and resumes less important. so until the day consoles have enough features and power to create new software, and distribute those creations, pc gaming will still exist. but that won't happen, cause then the price advantage for consoles will be lost.

UberMorse
28th Mar 2004, 18:12
Originally posted by Bertuccio
I don't think the argument that consoles will out-compete PCs based on ease of use is well supported.

Ok, it may not be "ease of use" that is making a toll on PC-games sales, but something sure is.

I fount this on ESAs webpage (ESA is the Entertainment Software Association and is the organisation for all publishers from EA to Nintendo. They are the ones in the frontline when battling screaming parents that say games kill etc....)

2003 Industry Sales Information

2003 saw sales of computer and video game software grow from 2002, generating $7.0 billion in sales.

U.S. sales of console games totaled $5.8 billion while computer games accounted for $1.2 billion in sales.

this (and other statisticals) can be found here:

http://www.theesa.com/pressroom.html

(be sure to click on "Sales and Economic data")

While this do not say anything of "why" people prefer consoles, it clearly show that they do prefer to buy games for consoles.

Guineapiggy
28th Mar 2004, 19:32
Not really mate, you're forgetting large scale piracy, the fact that's USA only, PC games cost more to develop and are sold for less due to hardware profits being larger and the fact with a PC you don't need to sprint out and buy all the latest releases, you've got ten years or better worth of games you can still use.

UberMorse
28th Mar 2004, 21:39
Originally posted by Guineapiggy
Not really mate, you're forgetting large scale piracy, the fact that's USA only, PC games cost more to develop and are sold for less due to hardware profits being larger and the fact with a PC you don't need to sprint out and buy all the latest releases, you've got ten years or better worth of games you can still use.

As I said in my recent post: people prefer to buy console games over PC-games. Piracy is a different matter, one which will not gain Eidos or Ion Storm.

These figures are for the US, worldwide the cut for PC-games are even less.

And just for the record, Sony provides almost ten years worth of games playable on the PS2. But I dont think that matters when you buy a game today.

Guineapiggy
28th Mar 2004, 22:39
Only Sony, and that brings me on to another point: You can't just compare 'Console' and IBM PC. There are three different mainstream factions in the console market, PS2, Gamecube and XBox. This means that in the US on average teh PC is actually performing around the average console level. Besides, even if there are other factors that outperform it, you don't just dump a growing 1.2 billion dollar a year industry, especially as if you take in to account all the uses for a PC outside games that mean it's more of a proft churner than any console, (Hardware, utils, operating systems, internet subscription fees etc.) being damaged by this. Hell, the mac must account for barely a few hundered million per year and there's no crisis there.

It's really the case that the only argument here is that one or two certain consoles are making more profit in one area and that is in no way linkable to the PC dying. And when so many have already freely admitted that the console developers NEED to make more profit from their games, and in the face of piracy and higher development costs, that's pretty damn impressive for the PC. Besides, it's not as if the console is a newer inovation than the home PC. The first form of electronic game you could get was the Pong console. (Anyone remember that? I do remember playing on a very old one from a car boot sale as my first gaming experience and I'm only 19...)

The only forseeable thing that can come out of this current climate is seeing more PC games becoming straight console ports.

Besides, all the models, textures and resources for console games are developed on the:

Yes, you've guessed it, PC.

A lot of the technology in consoles if not all was originally pioneered for:

Yep, our humble 'soon to die' PC.

The internet, even if accesed by phone or console is entirely sustained by:

PCs. Sorry but a console can't be a server.

All our CGI movies are developed by:

Lightwave, Maya, 3DS... and guess what? They're software for... hold on... you guessed it! PCs!

There is no way with a stranglehold on technology that big people'd risk damaging the PC market. If you believe otherwise you're living in a fantasy world, especially seeing as how protective the US is of it's big industries.

(The Microsoft sanctions issue, the steel tarrifs, the TCPA?)

UberMorse
29th Mar 2004, 00:35
Originally posted by Guineapiggy
Only Sony, and that brings me on to another point: You can't just compare 'Console' and IBM PC. There are three different mainstream factions in the console market, PS2, Gamecube and XBox. This means that in the US on average teh PC is actually performing around the average console level.

The average console level is twice as big as the PC, sales-wise anyway. Now there is no such thing though. World wide Sony controls 80% of the console market, but in the US, X-box is much closer. In any case, a dual release on PC and X-box will at least double the size of the market and double the potential buyers.


Besides, even if there are other factors that outperform it, you don't just dump a growing 1.2 billion dollar a year industry, especially as if you take in to account all the uses for a PC outside games that mean it's more of a proft churner than any console, (Hardware, utils, operating systems, internet subscription fees etc.) being damaged by this. Hell, the mac must account for barely a few hundered million per year and there's no crisis there.

Nobody said the PC-market should be dumped, at least I did not. Im interested in why people cannot understand why there is a release on X-box as well as PC. There seems to be a lot of people that think the PC-market is enough to get a profit from.

And Im not interested in the PCs uses outside games in this thread, because we are talking about games and their respective markets.


It's really the case that the only argument here is that one or two certain consoles are making more profit in one area and that is in no way linkable to the PC dying. And when so many have already freely admitted that the console developers NEED to make more profit from their games, and in the face of piracy and higher development costs, that's pretty damn impressive for the PC. Besides, it's not as if the console is a newer inovation than the home PC. The first form of electronic game you could get was the Pong console. (Anyone remember that? I do remember playing on a very old one from a car boot sale as my first gaming experience and I'm only 19...)

Beside the fact that Im not saying anything of the PC dying, PC-developers do need profits too.


The only forseeable thing that can come out of this current climate is seeing more PC games becoming straight console ports.

And vice versa, as already is the case.


Besides, all the models, textures and resources for console games are developed on the:

Yes, you've guessed it, PC.

A lot of the technology in consoles if not all was originally pioneered for:

Yep, our humble 'soon to die' PC.

The internet, even if accesed by phone or console is entirely sustained by:

PCs. Sorry but a console can't be a server.

All our CGI movies are developed by:

Lightwave, Maya, 3DS... and guess what? They're software for... hold on... you guessed it! PCs!

There is no way with a stranglehold on technology that big people'd risk damaging the PC market. If you believe otherwise you're living in a fantasy world, especially seeing as how protective the US is of it's big industries.

(The Microsoft sanctions issue, the steel tarrifs, the TCPA?)

I really dont see the need for this or did I ever question the uses of a PC? I have always talked about games and why more and more developers go for console.

grafixmonkey
29th Mar 2004, 04:52
I just wanted to say, anyone consider that maybe the guys designing Thief 3 may have been Thief 1 and 2 fans themselves? I haven't given up on the game yet.

Now if it had been Garret's teenage son Spike, a surfer/boarder who wears sunglasses at night and can do a triple fakey balls-grab 780 flip off of a torch-holder and land on two guards, knocking them both out with his Darth Maul double-staff-style blackjack, I would be worried.

But so far the only thing people really complain about are the wall climbing gloves, and those sound kind of intriguing if you assume they would implement them in a good way. The increased realism in light transport and Garret's visibility may even make them necessary. (really, could you see Garrett actually hiding in even HALF of the situations you managed during thief 1/2 gameplay?)

EDIT: and gimme a break the PC is not going to die as a gaming platform. Not unless something even better replaces it. The PS2 could use a keyboard and mouse. Connect the next-gen console to an HDTV and plug in a keyboard and mouse, and what do you have? A PC that doesn't crash. With a $2,000 monitor.

Guineapiggy
29th Mar 2004, 11:25
My post wasn't entirely aimed at you, Ubermorse, y'know ;)

ivanek
29th Mar 2004, 15:09
I think the point of this thread is, that the gameplay of Thief 3 will not be crippled in any way. Like it was with so many games which was ported from PS1/2. So the interesting part of the development of the game is: is the game developed primarily for Xbox and will be ported to PC?

For example latest Metal Gear Solid.. with free mouselook the game would be 100% better...

And about comment connecting PS2 with keyboard/mouse to a hdtv.. what else can you do there except for browsing www pages ? :)

jabpn
30th Mar 2004, 06:19
I hope this clarifies any questions some of you may have had about what I am trying to say. First, a sequel game should not be made if, in the course of making it, one cannot keep to the original. This doesn't mean there can't be improvements or changes but we all know Thief has a certain atmosphere and gameplay to it. If I CAN'T maintain this tye to the original by making it into a console/PC hybrid game...THEN IT SHOULDN'T BE MADE BY ME. PERIOD. If I do, inspite of this, release a "sequel" then it is stictly using the name of the series to generate sales. Reread my second thread in this post and you will see that even now I don't know whether Spector IS doing this OR NOT. THE GAME will be the proving ground...I know and understand this folks. But I originally brought this to light because of DEUS EX IW. Can anyone honestly tell me that one could look at Deus EX 2 and say. "yes, people who played Deus Ex 1 will love this. It is a worthy successor". I'm sorry but Deus Ex 2, while maybe an alright game in and of itself, is not even remotely half the game Deus Ex 1 was. It's a downright flop!
Now along comes Thief 3 and vague references from Warren about "lessons learned" (nothing in too great of detail...by all means prove me wrong if you can find otherwise). I'm sorry but Warren had to of seen Deus Ex 2 before release. I think he used the fame of Deus Ex to try and generate sales fully knowing it was a lackluster product....again, IMHO. I am scared to death that he's doing the same for Thief 3 and I think I am valid in worrying about this. GARRETT MAN, GARRETT MAN, DOES WHATEVER SPIDEY CAN. Okay, yes, I'm being melodramatic.
Can a game intended for both console and PC be good? I think LOTR: Return of the King was a great game. I had an absolute blast playing it (needs a better save feature though for PC). I originally made my post topic what is was because I think it ironic that consoles are becoming more and more PC like, yet they still dominate sales by and large (and are taking away from PC development) while proving in alot of cases to make sad PC ports. I just think it would be nice for both sides to develop some sort of standard that would allow ports to truly take advantage of whatever platform they are being played on. Thus games like Thief wouldn't have to make any concievable concessions to what made it what it is. Whatever you may think of Microsoft having a "Windows Gaming Edition" running XBOX would be a huge step towards this silly dream of mine (although SONY and Nintendo would be out of the loop).

As one reader pointed out profits are needed as a matter of necessity. We all know this. But can't publishers and developers decide not to make a game if it's not true to the original? Make a new game and port it like GTAuto. Don't waste the time and anticipations of fans, who originally gave a game its popularity, with...well...crap. Like Deus Ex IW. FM's can create new content to keep us going. Making a joke of a game hurts all of us down the road because future developers/publishers will no longer be interested in making future iterations of a game that "failed miserably" (taking bets now: "Will there be a Deus Ex 3" 20 to 1, there won't). Better to let fans have access to the rights of that game so they can maintain the tradition or better not to make it at all until the proper respect for the game can be realized in the making of any sequels.

ivanek
30th Mar 2004, 07:44
Well as an example of sequels games you can take Command&Conquer from Westwood, they made several games, some of them was good some of them was bad, but still the fanbase of the game is huge. You can always hope, that they've learned their "lesson" and sequel will be better.
Deus Ex 1 was perfect game, finished it myself 3x :) Deus Ex 2 isn't BAD game, but missing the spice of the first one... oh and of course, HW reqs of the game are just ridiculous.. the code of the 3D engine is just lame. Very low playability/replayability.

The only thing i would really mind, if they create a great game for xbox, and will not allow free mouselook and binding of your own keys on keyboard on pc port :)

UberMorse
30th Mar 2004, 16:19
Originally posted by jabpn
As one reader pointed out profits are needed as a matter of necessity. We all know this. But can't publishers and developers decide not to make a game if it's not true to the original? Make a new game and port it like GTAuto.

While I agree with you to a large extent, sadly the real (profitdriven) world works diffently. The brand or lable means so much today. Just look at "Jak and Daxter", when it was released it sold two million copies, it was the best plattformer out there for PS2 at the time. At the same time the latest installment of "Crash Bandicoot" sold 6.5 million copies, it was in all aspects inferior to Jak n Dax, but people bought it anyway, mainly because of the name.

Sadly it comes down to stupid consumers.

Someone at Sega once said that new consumers should not be allowed to choose their first games. And I kind of agree with that too.

grafixmonkey
30th Mar 2004, 18:13
Originally posted by ivanek
And about comment connecting PS2 with keyboard/mouse to a hdtv.. what else can you do there except for browsing www pages ? :)

Was talking about the next-gen consoles, when they start including graphics hardware capable of drawing to the high resolution HDTV screen. (the current consoles aren't strong enough for that. Only PCs are.)

And the keyboard/mouse is the PC gamer's preferred interface, because of its vast aiming speed and flexibility.

I'm saying that PC gamers will soon be able to get their current gaming experience, controls, detail and resolution of graphics included, on a console system and without sacrificing anything. This could be very good, because console systems are more compatible (no "value end" PS2 or xbox that can't play the latest PS2 games when others can), more crash-free, more portable, and have larger screens. How many PC gamers would give almost anything for a 30" screen that still runs at ultra-high resolution, and widescreen no less? ;)


But I digress - you guys are talking about game developers and the quality of the actual game product. Just look at Call Of Duty. It can be done, and it's still being done. There have always been a bunch of crap releases along with the good ones, I think the good ones are probably still coming out in the same proportion. Deus Ex 2 was a bad one - too many technical flaws, and there just isn't any immersion factor. Game is way too easy. Biomods are useless or passive, they just make it easier, you could easily beat the whole game with no biomods at all, just shooting. I think Thief 3 will be a good one. Everything they've said so far has fit within the Thief genre, though I personally thought rope arrows were a lot of fun, but I'll try out the climbing gloves.

One thing I WON'T be doing is running out and buying it the moment it's released. I don't trust Ion Storm enough to not try it first.