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Thread: Video games and computers, the decline

Video games and computers, the decline

  1. #1

    Video games and computers, the decline

    I wanted to share this. It's on the website of Bohemia Interactive, developers of the fabulous Operation Flashpoint. There's talking about their anticipated game, ARMA2, a war simulation (and I stress the word simulation).

    ----------------------------------------------

    Console Release

    There are various possible ways to look at a console release of ARMA 2: some hard core PC gamers don't like it much and are worried it may dumb down the game somehow. Others are happy to be able to look forward playing such a complex combat simulation on consoles.

    Anyway, for Bohemia Interactive it is the only logical step. PC gaming is declining overall, especially (but not only) in North America. The PC platform suffers because of many severe compatibility and stability problems and the transition to Windows Vista does not help the platform in this regard over the short term. The good thing is that we are already experienced with consoles after our long struggle with Operation Flashpoint Elite for Xbox . We already know what we like and dislike regarding the development (and playing) of a combat simulation game on console, and with this hard earned knowledge we feel in the case of ARMA 2 this multiplatform approach is not only a commercially viable move but it also helps the game to be better on both platforms. All we want is to make it a more accessible and streamlined game than the current ARMA is. For that we do not need and do not want to remove anything that made Operation Flashpoint and ARMA so immersive and our focus on realism in the sense of open simulated game world will remain unchanged.
    "The year is 2027"

  2. #2
    Doug Lombardi begs to differ.

    Also, the mod scene isn't counted in any stats as it's hard to track and doesn't make any money.

    I just wish Lucas Arts would see this. That The Force Unleashed coming to every platform (even the N-Gage!) but the PC is is a cruel, cruel blow.

  3. #3
    Originally Posted by v.dog
    I just wish Lucas Arts would see this. That The Force Unleashed coming to every platform (even the N-Gage!) but the PC is is a cruel, cruel blow.
    Yeah, it sucks, big time. Though I think it's gonna be like with many other games (KOTOR, Mass Effect, Gears of War, etc.) and it will be on the PC, only a few months, a year later. At least I hope so...
    And I agree with Doug Lombardi, saying that the PC gaming is declining is just stupid.

  4. #4
    The reason a lot of developers feel PC gaming is dying is due to multiple reasons, all of which they are either going the wrong way about, or aren't doing anything about it.

    Let's take "piracy" as an example. A lot of developers claim the numbers are surprisingly huge, yet they never release numbers. Why? I'm not going into details of why one person might pirate something. However, it seems a lot of games that use very restrictive measures seem to sell less, not more, and games who use less restrictive measures do the exact opposite. This isn't always true, but the *** anti-piracy middleware that some studios are forced to use just hurt the legitimate purchasers more than the pirates.

    Or how about how the different amounts of hardware they have to deal with to get their game working? They all piss and moan about it, but do they do anything about it? Why should Intel, Nvidia, AMD, and a slew of other manufacturers listen if the industry as a whole can't tell them what exactly they want more of, and what they want less of? They're not mind readers and can't tackle the problems when they aren't sure of what the problems are. Use your voices as a collective and say something.

    You don't like that there are fifty different versions for one series of a GPU? Say it! Tell them. Explain to them the problems you have. I like choices too, but I agree, it is rather ridiculous when you see the amount of choices you have. It even makes building your own PC somewhat of a headache with the amount of research you need to do.

    Just do something other than piss and moan about how the PC industry is dying because you'd rather not be proactive about it.

  5. #5
    Sounds like a novel excuse to get out of PC gaming. Whether they like it or not, the PC will be the only serious gaming platform in the coming years. Sony say they're not going to do another PlayStation which leaves us with Nintendo (kids&casual games mostly) and Microsoft (who are trying hard to make a console with PC functionality... which you'd have to buy from them).

    I have to agree with them on Vista though, but overall, they're dead wrong. I wish them luck on finding a hardcore military simulation audience among console gamers.

  6. #6
    Originally Posted by minus0ne
    Sony say they're not going to do another PlayStation
    That's what Nintendo said after the Game Cube failed, but look at them now. They have the #1 selling console in the world. If the PS3 starts doing better in sales, which it has, then I don't see why a company with deep pockets, like Sony, wouldn't try again with a different strategy. I predict they'll be back.

    Just for the record, I neither own a PS3 nor have any love for Sony. Just making a prediction. But I must agree, regardless of how perilous the situation may seem, serious PC gaming isn't going anywhere. Just because it's in decline doesn't mean the trend can't change.

  7. #7
    Originally Posted by v.dog

  8. #8
    Originally Posted by Necros
    Yeah, it sucks, big time. Though I think it's gonna be like with many other games (KOTOR, Mass Effect, Gears of War, etc.) and it will be on the PC, only a few months, a year later. At least I hope so...
    But the bad news is that the PC sales figures will be lower- the marketing is no longer there and those that have the option of PC or console will have bought it already- Lucas Arts will use this to justify further lack of participation in the PC market.

    @Kneo24: it's interesting that you mention piracy. Despite that claims of the MPAA that pirates are wrecking the industry, they made record profits. I wonder how the gaming world compares.

    Also, you're right draconian DRM (starforce, anyone?) only hurts legitimate users- there's nothing yet that the pirates haven't cracked. Rather than the stick, they should offer us carrots- you can't download pewter figurines from <subject website here>.

  9. #9
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    Yeah, that's what irritates me too: I've also heared that there won't be a PS4 and the XBox'es are plagued by a load of serious problems. Wii is very successfull but it's such an exotic platform that they are not a business competition at all. So how the hell did concoles become the threat they're said to be?

    I understand the issues devs may have with the PC but after all they have to get along with them and not trying to flee from them instead?!

    From my POV it would make the most sense if in the very near future there were mainly PCs on one side and mainly portable consoles (eg PSP) on the other side. Seeing how modern consoles are basically just restricted PCs I just don't see the point in them - I already have an expensive PC in my living room. Most people have a PC and those who haven't rarely buy consoles.

  10. #10
    Originally Posted by IcarusIsLookingForYou
    That's what Nintendo said after the Game Cube failed, but look at them now. They have the #1 selling console in the world. If the PS3 starts doing better in sales, which it has, then I don't see why a company with deep pockets, like Sony, wouldn't try again with a different strategy. I predict they'll be back.
    They wouldn't because there's not a Sony CEO out there willing to risk it all (again) for another PlayStation. SCE has been brought to the brink of bankruptcy with the PS3 (Sony would've literally sold SCE in parts if it would've done even slightly worse, and they still might). They're playing it down for financial reasons (and perhaps some sense of loyalty to the fans), but the PS3 was their last adventure in console gaming, not even the victory of Blu-ray can change that.
    Originally Posted by IcarusIsLookingForYou
    Just for the record, I neither own a PS3 nor have any love for Sony. Just making a prediction. But I must agree, regardless of how perilous the situation may seem, serious PC gaming isn't going anywhere. Just because it's in decline doesn't mean the trend can't change.
    I haven't seen any proof that PC gaming is on a decline (yet it seems everyone's talking about it). It's still got some of the highest growth of ANY sector, entertainment or otherwise, and most figures forecast way bigger growth for PC gaming than the console market could ever dream of. I'll agree that PC gaming isn't going anywhere though
    Originally Posted by v.dog
    Thanks for that, I was searching for that link for my previous post, not realising you'd already posted it

  11. #11
    Originally Posted by v.dog
    @Kneo24: it's interesting that you mention piracy. Despite that claims of the MPAA that pirates are wrecking the industry, they made record profits. I wonder how the gaming world compares.
    It's going to be impossible to tell at the moment. Any company who offers you the option to download the game after purchase aren't releasing their numbers. Those guys seem to report everything is on the up and up.

    Maybe Eidos will be nice and allow Valve to sell DX3 to us over STEAM. While going through a system like STEAM is another type of middleman, it's probably far far cheaper.

    I personally am the type of person to download my games than go to the store and buy them. I know the developers and publishers get more money that way, and it's much more convenient for me. Sure, I can probably play the game an hour or so sooner by going to the store, but I'm not impatient.

    DX3 could potentially reach a wider audience that way.

  12. #12
    Eidos is on Steam already, so it's all but certain that DX3 will be released via it as well.

    Blockbuster PC games may be starting to thin, but as long as there is user generated content for existing games, indie programmers willing to try something new (most innovation comes from here now), staff wanting to kill time on their lunch breaks, free methods to get hundred of users online together (indeed, an internet at all), there will be PC games in one form or an other. This is why PC gaming will never die.

  13. #13
    There are countless of "PC Gaming is DYING" threads on the internet. All of them are epic failure including this one.

    Another thing. PC gaming is clearly not dying. The NPD numbers do not cover revenue from MMO's, digital downloads, and other services which are very profitable.

    PC gaming is going through an evolution and will eventually cycle out of retail. Digital download is the way of the future. Some people still prefer the retail experience however so it's not going away anytime soon.

    In conclusion PC gaming is not dying. It is clearly being hurt by piracy but there are still good people like myself who do not pirate games.

  14. #14
    Originally Posted by jordan_a
    Anyway, for Bohemia Interactive it is the only logical step. PC gaming is declining overall, especially (but not only) in North America. The PC platform suffers because of many severe compatibility and stability problems and the transition to Windows Vista does not help the platform in this regard over the short term.
    It has nothing to do with stability, XP is perfectly stable as is Vista. The problem is that a good gaming PC is far more expensive than a console and with a console you don't have to worry whether your PC is good enough to play it, making it far more attractive to casual gamers or people who don't want to piss about upgrading their computer all the time. The transitition to Vista is good anyway, it means PC's are now easily better than consoles in terms of power (DirectX 10).

  15. #15
    your exactly right dave. a lot of people don't like shelling out $400 every year for a new video card, more money for memory, and eventually a new computer.

    anyhow, I can't see PC games going anywhere anytime soon. It's still a billion dollar industry. Because consoles are much bigger doesn't mean PC games are dying.

  16. #16
    Who says people spend $400 dollars a year? I don't. I've bought one graphics card and one RAM upgrade in the six years I've had my machine. Sure it's not bleeding edge, but it ran most games fine (until STALKER last year), that's on top of a $NZ1000 base machine. Even including a bigger HDD and new DVD burner, that's still cheap compared to the the price of an Xbox, 360, and a PC that can run Photoshop.

    To overhaul it now will cost me about $NZ1600. Again, it's still not bleeding edge, but it'll be more powerful than a 360 by a good margin. That's not bad for another five years.

    If you're wise with your money, and can handle loosing the bleeding edge effects after a couple of years, PCs needn't be that expensive.

  17. #17
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    Yes, my last PC was also nearly 6 years old and only got one RAM and one graphics card upgrade during that time. I consider myself to be a hardcore gamer and I was able to run every single game I wanted to play with it. Of course it lacked the power for the highest settings during it's last months but I never played anything with most set to low either. I love being able to upgrade my machine, hardware- and softwarewise and I use my PC for countless other things than just gaming. The trade off for gaming is that the system is more vulnerable to bugs, malware and incompatibilities which makes it more difficult to handle for all sides.

    I consider PCs to be basic equipment for every household (at least in the industrialized word) whereas consoles are additional luxury. I can't understand the argument that consoles are cheaper than PCs, they are additional costs.

    And about the "transition to Vista is good"... yeah... whatever...

  18. #18
    Originally Posted by Dave W
    It has nothing to do with stability, XP is perfectly stable as is Vista. The problem is that a good gaming PC is far more expensive than a console and with a console you don't have to worry whether your PC is good enough to play it, making it far more attractive to casual gamers or people who don't want to piss about upgrading their computer all the time. The transitition to Vista is good anyway, it means PC's are now easily better than consoles in terms of power (DirectX 10).
    It's funny that you mention that. You can't expect to run an PS3 game on a PS2 can you? You can't expect to run an Xbox 360 game on an Xbox can you?

    You don't have to do much of any upgrading over a long term if you initially do a good build in the first place. Those crappy $500 dells you buy in stores are not gaming machines, so you shouldn't expect to be able to do any gaming on them in any sort of long term future. Of course, that's what a lot of people try to do anyway. Build a machine yourself, and it can last far longer than a console, and your games tend to be more backwards compatible extending to a far far longer catalog of games that you don't have to purchase again to play.

  19. #19
    Originally Posted by Kneo24
    Build a machine yourself, and it can last far longer than a console, and your games tend to be more backwards compatible extending to a far far longer catalog of games that you don't have to purchase again to play.
    Unfortunately not all of us have the technical expertise to build a computer ourselves. Even more unfortunate are the exorbitant prices that retailers, on and offline, charge to do it for you. I got lucky two years ago and discovered a friend of a friend who built a PC for me, but like I said, it was luck.

    Although he built me a great machine, I still have stability and technical issues that I'm simply not tech savvy enough to fix (my life is way too busy to take the time to learn everything there is to know). This often forces me to default to my 360 because I don't have to worry about those types of issues, and I simply don't have as much time to game as I used to.

    This example doesn't necessarily mean PC gaming is on a decline, but it does illustrate a possible reason as to why the console market has grown so much in recent years.

  20. #20
    Originally Posted by -=fox=-
    I was able to run every single game I wanted to play with it. ...
    thats the operative phrase there. don't try to tell me you could run bioshock, HL2, cyrsis, doom 3, or even IW on a 6 yr old graphics card, nor a 6 year old computer. Not unless your dropped about 5 grand on one back then. the computer I bought about 2 years ago was fairly high end for the day. it had a 3ghz P4 HT, nvidia x300 PCI-E, 1 gig of ram, and a soundblaser card. and that barely ran the games I mentioned above, with the exception of Bioshock. because the X700 card I upgraded too didn't support pixel shader 3.0 It wouldn't even run BS. And thats only a 2yr old system that ran about $1000. The computer I bough in 2002 for about a grand had an athlon xp 2600, 500mb of ram, and an agp8X nvidia geforce card, which was pretty top of the line in 2002. that computer might play some current games, but at such low settings, and low frame rates it wouldn't be worth playing.

    as the above poster mentioned, for people who can build their own, and know where to look for parts, It can be done pretty cheap. but for the 90% or so of computer buyers who don't or can't do that, keeping your hardware up to date with the latest and greatest in software is far more expensive than buying a $300 console every 4 years.

  21. #21
    I'd just like to mention that the P4's were not that great of a processor. Back in those days, your best bet was an AMD. They performed far far better. That PC that you described was not very high end at all.

    First and foremost, as I just said, Intels chips a couple years ago were not that good. I'll even go as far to say that they were . Then you used an X300, which was an ATI card. Before ATI had support from AMD, their driver support was crap, which made their cards run crappier than they should have. The x300 is only 128. Two years ago you could easily find a card with 256 or 512. Furthermore, 1 gig of RAM? Please. Most motherboards supported up to 4. I hope you didn't spend a lot of money on that. I'd call that PC a basic desktop build for the casual gamer.

  22. #22
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    Originally Posted by jd10013
    don't try to tell me you could run bioshock, HL2, cyrsis, doom 3, or even IW on a 6 yr old graphics card, nor a 6 year old computer.
    Ok, not that I care too much about you believing what I say but I don't want to be called a liar either... I bought this system in the beginning of 2002 and it was an

    P4 2,4Ghz (mildly overclocked to 3,1)
    2 GB DDR333
    GF 4400 TI (later upgraded to a GF6600)
    XP SP2

    Maybe above the average of that time but hardly an uber-computer.

    I replaced it in the end of July 2007 with my current rig. Bioshock was actually the first game I've bought for it, followed by CoD4 and Crysis. Doom 3 ran acceptable with medium settings but the game sucked badly and HL2 ran perfectly fine - just like IW did (including the John P stuff and the still present loading times of course).

    Even if you'd still don't believe that an system can be used with actual games for about 5 or 6 years (which may change as an result of some decisions the devs can make) would it still be true that a modern computer is somewhat of an basic part of most households while consoles are additional luxury.

  23. #23
    No, not an uber computer by any stretch, but still a good $1500 rig, unless you can and do build yourself. and considering a console can be bought for about $300, it makes the PC 5x as expensive.

    I'm not defending consoles, I don't even own one. but having bought plenty of computers (about 6 now) and upgrades on all but one, I can definitely see the advantages of the console, and understand the allure.

    And I know most any game can be run on most any PC. It's just a matter of playing around with it enough, and how much your willing to compromise with the settings. like I said, I was able to get IW to run on my athlon xp 2600 (2 ghz i think) with 500 mb of ram and an nvidia GF4 card. but it was slow, AA had to be turned off, details and other video setting turned down to either low or med, and the ini files tweaked. now if I run IW on this pc, which has a core 2 at 2.33ghz, 2 gigs of ram, and a GF 8600 it runs much smoother, much higher frame rates, with settings to high and AA on. in other words, it runs as well as the console version after 2 years and having spent another thousand on a better computer. you don't have any of that with a console. just pop the game in and it runs exactly like its supposed to.

  24. #24
    Originally Posted by Kneo24
    First and foremost, as I just said, Intels chips a couple years ago were not that good. I'll even go as far to say that they were . Then you used an X300, which was an ATI card. Before ATI had support from AMD, their driver support was crap, which made their cards run crappier than they should have. The x300 is only 128. Two years ago you could easily find a card with 256 or 512. Furthermore, 1 gig of RAM? Please. Most motherboards supported up to 4. I hope you didn't spend a lot of money on that. I'd call that PC a basic desktop build for the casual gamer.
    the HT P4's were pretty top end 2-3 years ago. when I bought that PC the dual cores (not core 2, but the Pentium M's) were coming out. and no, the x300 wasn't top end. but it was a PCI-E card, and those were fairly new at the time. the best card I can remember from back then was the x800, and x850. but they were expensive, about $400-500. thats why I opted for the x700. was a big step up in performance over the x300, but much cheaper (about $150) than the x800's.

  25. #25
    Originally Posted by jd10013
    No, not an uber computer by any stretch, but still a good $1500 rig, unless you can and do build yourself. and considering a console can be bought for about $300, it makes the PC 5x as expensive.
    I built a far better PC a year before you bought yours for less than what you paid. So no, it's not a good rig. What I built wasn't an "uber" computer by any stretch.

    What you bought was a low end machine, plain and simple. You paid too much for it. I suggest you build your own from now on. You'll get more bang for the buck.

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