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Rai
4th Nov 2008, 15:38
I was not entirely sure where to put this thread. I thought about the ECC, but as I will be referring to Tomb Raider, I decided here would be as good a place as any. If Mods/Admin feels the need to move it, then fair dos. :)

I am not a ‘hardcore’ gamer. I hold my hands up to that. In fact the only games I have played in recent months are Tomb Raider games. My son has a PS2 and a fair few games; I use his console and the PC to play my TR games.

Even if I wanted to upgrade my PC or buy a new console, (say the PS3) so that we had more choice for the games available for us to play, I simply can’t afford it.

I may be in a dying minority, and I appreciate that, but why, with ever changing gaming technology should casual gamers miss out on games like Tomb Raider Underworld? This isn’t a whinge or pop at Eidos. I am merely putting the question out there.

I understand that the gaming industry is a fierce competitive business and gaming producers and developers must keep up with their target audiences’ demands and with the competition.

There is obviously a demand for outstanding graphics and game-play, which platforms such as the PS3, Xbox 360 or PCs are capable of playing. That much is clear by what I have seen in screen shots and game play videos of TRU and other games such as Unchartered. But is graphics the main facture in a gamers’ satisfaction of a game? If a gamer doesn’t or can’t upgrade either their PC or buy a ‘next gen’ console, does this make them less important? A casual gamer may not play as often, but they are still buying whatever games that are available to them. There is and should still be a market for the less hardcore gamer.

I would love to try out a few other games, such as Uncharted, but it was PS3 exclusive. Other games on the market today are also exclusive to one given console or to the PC. I feel lucky that I will be able to play TRU on my son’s PS2 (as long as it works). What I will do when the next TR game becomes available, I don’t know. How long will it be before there are no more games left on the market for the PS2, except second hand often difficult to find games? Should we as casual gamers be left behind?

Having looked around the TRU demo sub forum, I can see a number of people who, like me, through having low-end PCs, are unable to play it, which means that unless they have other means such as the PS2, then owning TRU is not an option for them. Those of us with less powerful PCs are called casual gamers, but is that a fair assumption? Should we be penalised by the gaming industry for being less well off? How many other upcoming games will we miss out on purely because our PC can’t cope with the next gen graphics demanded of those games?

It seems that gaming technology evolves so fast that PC upgrades are mandatory for gamers every 6 months or so! :eek:. Are the graphics of a game so important? What of plot or overall game-play? I can see from the Wii screens and videos that TRU is at least on a par graphically with TRA. The game play won’t be so different as to be unrecognisable to the game available for PS3/Xbox/PC gamers. I have yet to see any screens for the PS2, but can I safely presume that the difference will be similar to that of the Wii? Using game play as an example, then, I guess what I am asking is, is the technology advances really necessary just for a little extra eye candy?

How does all this affect the sales of games? Maybe just a small percentage. 15-25% perhaps? Perhaps games producers aren’t too worried by this number of people who can’t buy their games. The so called ‘casual’ gamers are being left behind it seems. Evolution in technology is all very good and well as long as the price isn’t too high. Can game producers really afford to lose those numbers of customers? Is the casual gamers’ custom simply not valuable enough?

Please, I would love to see your views on this. Do keep your responses to this post and others’ friendly too ;). Also, don’t blind me with the science of PC tech speak, I probably won’t understand it, lol.

Wobb
4th Nov 2008, 15:47
I have not seen PS2 screens either even though I can get the game for xbox 360., I have alot of friends who are in the same situation as you and I do hope there is something done to be able to continually let the 'casual gamers' play. Its not fair they be forgotten about simply because they don't have next gen. I'd be dissapointed if thats where things started going even though it doesnt currently affect me.

rg_001100
4th Nov 2008, 16:49
should casual gamers miss out on games like Tomb Raider Underworld?
The question doesn't apply to TR:U so much. PC gamers should expect to have to upgrade, it's a fact of PC gaming. Console gamers can play the game on PS2.
EDIT:
Something to realise: Upgrading to a next gen console is by far cheaper than upgrading a PC. Upgrading a console happens rarely. Upgrading a PC is frequent in comparison. Also, when upgrading PC, it's cheaper to shop around for the individual components, rather than buy a unit as a whole. That also requires a bit of knowledge on how to assemble a PC, and how not to damage the components, though, but it is cheaper than buying an in-store PC.
The next game will probably have slightly higher system requirements. (A good chance that because re-using the game engine, the PCs that will run TR:U could run the next game.)

How long will it be before there are no more games left on the market for the PS2, except second hand often difficult to find games? Should we as casual gamers be left behind?
Look at the trend of PS1->PS2. It would be worth those not willing to upgrade their PC due to cost being content with the games they have, or saving up to buy a next gen console.

Those of us with less powerful PCs are called casual gamers, but is that a fair assumption? Should we be penalised by the gaming industry for being less well off? How many other upcoming games will we miss out on purely because our PC can’t cope with the next gen graphics demanded of those games?
For the PC, not being able to upgrade is a penalising factor. It's the biggest (dis/)advantage of the PC, the ability to upgrade the hardware of the machine. True, there is a cycle of mandatory upgrade for gaming machines, but unless you're going for a bottom-end PC it's not as short as 6 months. Because of the higher requirements of games due to the eye candy, it is necessary for higher hardware. The term 'casual' is given in the context as not enthusiastic enough to be willing to upgrade, or not willing to research into upgrading, I believe.
The penalisation is not due to the development companies as such, but because they're no longer able to develop for somewhat obsolete PCs, and the line on hardware requirements must be drawn at some point, it's a sad day for those that fall below the line.

But is graphics the main facture in a gamers’ satisfaction of a game? If a gamer doesn’t or can’t upgrade either their PC or buy a ‘next gen’ console, does this make them less important? Are the graphics of a game so important? What of plot or overall game-play? is the technology advances really necessary just for a little extra eye candy?
Yes. Graphics are essential to modern day games. (Listen to the first official podcast, Eric's answers a similar question to this) Eric compared "gameplay vs. graphics" to "What's more important for a car? Fuel or wheels?". If a gamer cannot upgrade to a 'next-gen' system, then yes, they are left for dead, simply because the market for them is not strong enough to justify developing games for them. (And because the graphics advancement is necessary, so is the tech advancement).

Can game producers really afford to lose those numbers of customers? Is the casual gamers’ custom simply not valuable enough?
Yes. It is simply not vaiable to develop games for the PS1 anymore, it costs the dev studios and publishers more than they earn, you may realise, and the same will eventually apply for the PS2, as more and more people upgrade.

P.S. My PC will run TR:U without lagging. It is 3 years old... it cost about 1800 USD (estimate of what it cost in USD), and has since been upgraded with some cheap RAM, and a cheap Graphics card. It also runs Crysis :p (Do the math an I think you'll find Consoles are still cheaper)

bingojubes
4th Nov 2008, 18:22
Even if I wanted to upgrade my PC or buy a new console, (say the PS3) so that we had more choice for the games available for us to play, I simply can’t afford it.

i feel you on that one. i am on a dying student budget, myself (running out of money, fast). i have taken a second job to support my undying upgrading habits. i wish i could stop, but if gaming developers continue to push the envelope, if i want to play it real bad cause i like it, i have to bite the bullet and spend 100$ here and there to upgrade. also though, take a look back on when you first bought your PC, however long ago it may have been. did you expect games to get so complicated then? not to stab, but yes, upgrading a pc takes a lot of research, and maybe the best choice NOW won;t be the best one later on. but if you have to shell out 200$ for that special required video card, like the HD-blah-blah-blah, that's more than likely going to hold its own for awhile.

think about this: i spent 500$ trying to run Crysis for my PC, and i could only muster up a decent performing PC for that. soon as Underworld's demo came out, i was amazed to be able to run it at tip-top shape, mostly due to lower requirements than Crysis. i prepared for the worst case scenario, but got to enjoy alot of games now that i thought at the time were harsh on a desktop PC.



I may be in a dying minority, and I appreciate that, but why, with ever changing gaming technology should casual gamers miss out on games like Tomb Raider Underworld? This isn’t a whinge or pop at Eidos. I am merely putting the question out there....I understand that the gaming industry is a fierce competitive business and gaming producers and developers must keep up with their target audiences’ demands and with the competition.

PCs will always be a hot market, because of each other. when new and cooler parts come out, game makers utilize the exact same hardware to make their games, to promote awesome games that we will like to play and continue our business with them. in Underworld's case, this is the make or break situation for gamers and makers alike: did the makers make the game too inaccessible? or since laptops and older pcs do not play it, will be see a boost in console sales? according to the forms, this will probably steer alot of PC sales, thus giving the consoles profit boosts because players KNOW for sure that the game will run on the console.



But is graphics the main facture in a gamers’ satisfaction of a game? If a gamer doesn’t or can’t upgrade either their PC or buy a ‘next gen’ console, does this make them less important? A casual gamer may not play as often, but they are still buying whatever games that are available to them. There is and should still be a market for the less hardcore gamer.

It seems that gaming technology evolves so fast that PC upgrades are mandatory for gamers every 6 months or so! . Are the graphics of a game so important? What of plot or overall game-play? I can see from the Wii screens and videos that TRU is at least on a par graphically with TRA. The game play won’t be so different as to be unrecognizable to the game available for PS3/Xbox/PC gamers. I have yet to see any screens for the PS2, but can I safely presume that the difference will be similar to that of the Wii? Using game play as an example, then, I guess what I am asking is, is the technology advances really necessary just for a little extra eye candy?

graphics, yes are i am pretty sure are important. but graphically wise, with a PC, if you shell out tons of money, its more worth it then buying a whole new console every 2 years. some games look better for the console, because the original design was designed for the console. the hardware on a console never really changes. you are stuck with what 4-600$ got ya. 4-600$ for a console? i could get a new set of video cards, and maybe more memory or whatever. as a PC gamer myself, i would like to at least look great dying or getting pwned by noobs. gameplay may be good, but the visual aspect brings a "wow" factor for me. sucks i died before the checkpoint, but man, was there a lot of cool blood to look at. there are players i know who have dropped 3k on a nice big HD TV for their console, just cause it didn't "look right" on their current screen, along with all the cabling. less than $200 for a PC peripheral vs 3,000$.



I would love to try out a few other games, such as Uncharted, but it was PS3 exclusive. Other games on the market today are also exclusive to one given console or to the PC. I feel lucky that I will be able to play TRU on my son’s PS2 (as long as it works). What I will do when the next TR game becomes available, I don’t know. How long will it be before there are no more games left on the market for the PS2, except second hand often difficult to find games? Should we as casual gamers be left behind?

i asked myself the same question, but as for my PC. consoles seem to be getting MORE attention than PC users because of all the cool "debut-only-on-random-console" games. it used to be where if i wanted to play GTA i would have to buy a Playstation. wait a year or two and sure enough, i got to get it for the PC. and it ran soooo much better at that.



Having looked around the TRU demo sub forum, I can see a number of people who, like me, through having low-end PCs, are unable to play it, which means that unless they have other means such as the PS2, then owning TRU is not an option for them. Those of us with less powerful PCs are called casual gamers, but is that a fair assumption? Should we be penalised by the gaming industry for being less well off? How many other upcoming games will we miss out on purely because our PC can’t cope with the next gen graphics demanded of those games?


It seems that gaming technology evolves so fast that PC upgrades are mandatory for gamers every 6 months or so! . Are the graphics of a game so important? What of plot or overall game-play? I can see from the Wii screens and videos that TRU is at least on a par graphically with TRA. The game play won’t be so different as to be unrecognisable to the game available for PS3/Xbox/PC gamers. I have yet to see any screens for the PS2, but can I safely presume that the difference will be similar to that of the Wii? Using game play as an example, then, I guess what I am asking is, is the technology advances really necessary just for a little extra eye candy?


How does all this affect the sales of games? Maybe just a small percentage. 15-25% perhaps? Perhaps games producers aren’t too worried by this number of people who can’t buy their games. The so called ‘casual’ gamers are being left behind it seems. Evolution in technology is all very good and well as long as the price isn’t too high. Can game producers really afford to lose those numbers of customers? Is the casual gamers’ custom simply not valuable enough?

PC games have gotten cheaper over the years, which is still one of the main reasons i stick to a console-less life. for those who have like every system out there, i probably ask those people, "why so much hardware?" buying up every single console is just as bad as upgrading a PC, cept nowadays, there's so much variety in specs and price, its not hard to find a decent deal on a new video card.


so yes, it's hard to refrain from upgrading a PC vs buying a console version, but when you spend that 70$ on a console version of a game that is 40$ on the PC, the difference speaks for itself really. again, PC building takes much future planning as a NASA launch to Mars. thankfully, you will only be spending maybe 200$ vs billions/millions. i don't know if there is a fry's electronics near you, but they have my video card that i originally bought for 150$ going for less than 90$. if you bought the pc originally to game anyways, it would benefit to shell out enough on a great deal. if you can get say, the bestest one there is, it will hold you longer than a console. besides, PC games for the most prat are backwards compatible, anyways. why buy a hybrid to race hondas, when you could buy a Bugatti and race everything out there?

maybe as a casual gamer, the console may end up being right for you in the end. but when the time comes around and say, a whole new console is coming out, will you be thinking about buying a whole new console? cover your "future" bases with a few PC upgrades.

lara778
4th Nov 2008, 18:24
unfortunately that's the down side of PC gaming ~ the having to upgrade at some point to keep up with the games made today. It usually starts with the graphics card, but goes on and on till you need more upgrades {RAM or CPU} or even new computer

with the consoles, the games are created to their specs, so developers can't go too mad with the eye candy, but funny how a three year old xbox 360 can handle today's games without upgrading, but a three year old PC???????????

I'm not a hardcore gamer either, I just try to get the games that I really want and that my system can handle, but have missed out on many.

I guess there aren't so many people that can't keep their systems at the top end of specs for the developers to worry over, or there would be more lower spec games produced. they're in the business to make money, and if better and better graphics are what's called for .....

My son is finding it harder to get newer games on the PS2, as most are now aimed at the PS3/xbox 360, so it looks like the beginning of the end for the faithful PS2:(

That said, I have to go shopping for a new card as mine went two months ago, and the on board can't even handle a screensaver properly:eek: and yes I'll try to get one that will, hopefully {fingers crossed} run TR:U.:whistle: i guess I'm just weak :nut:

rg_001100
4th Nov 2008, 22:30
but funny how a three year old xbox 360 can handle today's games without upgrading, but a three year old PC???????????

My 3 year old PC happily plays it. :) And I think you'll find that Xbox360 games are of a lower technical quality than PC, just because the PC can handle the superior tasks,



PC: [200$ video card] + Underworld @ 39.99 = 250$ (assuming you need nothing else)

Console: [Price of Ps3 or X360] + [price for extra downloadable content]+ Underworld @ 60$ = much more

This equation is both laughable and applicable only to you. For everyone else, a less bias equation would need to be formed, you see. (although it may not have been your intention for you to make an equation comparing PC vs. Consoles fairly).
You include the cost of a console in console gaming, but not of a PC. You include the cost for you to upgrade, but not the cost of completely buying a new PC.
Ultimately, the cost of a new/decent PC (custom built) is higher than the cost of a console, and the PC needs to be upgraded far more regularly than a console.

bingojubes
4th Nov 2008, 22:58
yay! me got's a chuckle out of my post!

but yeah. i was trying to get at the point that at sometime early on, maybe the PC they may have bought at the time was pretty goof for its time, and depending on what it needed, would may have been cheaper given the right deals if any were available then. i didnt know if Underworld was on PS2, so i thought that they would have to get a PS3 to even get Underworld.

guess i failed at doing so with the equation there :P

Randy 54
4th Nov 2008, 23:13
Hi Rai,
Niether am I a hard core gamer. I've played Ridge Racer 5 but the main focus has always been the Raider games. I bought the PS2 solely for the purpose of playing those games when the PS1 became obsolete. I have to say that I'm 100% content with the graphics in Legend and any further improvements make no difference to me as I'm in it for the gameplay. I can tell you this, even though I can easily afford one, I absolutely refuse to buy another game console simply because a game dictates to me to do so.

Spong
4th Nov 2008, 23:52
I have to say that I'm 100% content with the graphics in Legend and any further improvements make no difference to me as I'm in it for the gameplay.

I 100% agree. But whenever I air that opinion, I get moaned at :scratch:

rg_001100
4th Nov 2008, 23:58
I can tell you this, even though I can easily afford one, I absolutely refuse to buy another game console simply because a game dictates to me to do so.

It's no conspiracy of trying to make gamers pay excessive amounts of money to buy gaming consoles, it's just how the industry is.
It doesn't matter if you want better graphics or not, it's how the modern gaming industry and all games of it are doing things.
If your appreciation of games stretches as far as one series of games, that's your misfortune, and, you may have to get used to playing games long after they're released so you can play them. (i.e., buying a game console once it can play multiple games of the series...). The TRLE community is also a place to accomidate for those that can't/don't want to upgrade to play TR.

GoLarago
11th Nov 2008, 04:36
I now play on both the 360 and my PC. Fps generally suck for me on the 360 though there are exceptions. The problem I see with consoles are no mouse or keyboard controls which I like to be accurate. Other games such as the new TR's play very well on 360. Another problem is they quit makeing consoles after a certain amount of time. If yours breaks and there is no replacement you can not play anymore. With my PC, and having a copy of Win 95,Win 98, XP, and now Vista which is finally shaping up. I can hopefully play any of my games I have purchased 20 years from now on a 24core processor using 98,XP or Vista in a virtual enviornment if I have to. I however pay quite alot for the ability. Its like any hobby. It costs money to keep current. Someone that collects baseball cards may spend thousands on a piece of cardboard. I like to think of myself as a art collector. My art is the graphic art of games. Before the 360 I usually play catch-up waiting until I could buy a new PC, get the best I could afford and then go back and buy the games I couldn't play cheap. Why not, they were sometimes 3 years old. With the 360 I can play some games before they come to the PC and trade them. I can then rebuy them for the PC later.

Rai
13th Nov 2008, 01:13
Hmm, so the general consensus is, if you are a PC gamer you should expect to upgrade your PC every now and again to accommodate the gaming industry or your gaming habit/hobby/whatever-you-wanna-call it? Even if it means paying out extra cash for a graphics card or extra RAM, even if your PC is only 12months old (using that as an example)?

I find it hard to fathom this way of doing things. I pay out a lot of money for a decent PC I expect it to be still be decent in the hardware dept for a few years at least. Maybe that is my problem? I buy a PC that fits all my needs and not just for game playing; in fact I put gaming quite low down in my list of requirements.

Like Spong and Randy, super graphics doesn't mean too much to me as a requirement in enjoying a game. I prefer a good plot and gameplay, how a game feels as opposed to how it looks.

I guess that means I really am and always will be just a casual gamer. :lol:

My best bet I suppose is to 'upgrade' to a current gen console. If only I had the cash. And also, I just hope the current gen consoles of today aren't made obsolete by even more powerful machines any time too soon. ;)

Randy 54
13th Nov 2008, 23:34
That can very well happen Rai, look what happened to cell phones.

GoLarago
14th Nov 2008, 00:58
I am not in any way a extreme PC gamer but I do replace my PC every 3 or 4 years. Unlike yourself, for me games are the main reason for my PC. I don't do much of anything else with it other than check e-mails and on-line search and shop. I have finally learnt enough I hope so that I can now build a better PC than I can buy and it will last longer. So next time that is what I plan on doing.

I would agree from your discription of what you use your PC for you are a casual gamer. I'm like 95% video intensive fps games and you might be 10 or 20 percent games. I could see where it might not be worth it for you to keep near the top for just a few games a year. It just might not be worth the cost for you to continue gameing on a pc. Switching to a console might be better. Your PC will be good for other things for years.

Infortunely chip tech changes very fast and it doesn't take long for someting to be obsolete.
It is quite possible that if Nintendo had not screwed us origanal nintendo owners over when they went to 64bit I would have upgraded to next gen and would have never bought my first PC. I would have been a console only guy.