The Weekly Roundtable series features the GamerWok staff having a candid discussion on a specific topic of the week. Feel free to jump into the conversation in the comments below!
With the recent announcements of HP leaving the PC manufacturing industry, the question of whether this truly is the end of PC gaming has once again been raised. Do you agree that PC gaming is on its way out or is in need of saving? What are some things you would like to see improved or changed for the better in the industry?
There’s no question that since the arrival of consoles (Playstation 3, Xbox 360, and soon the Wii U), the PC gaming industry has taken a hit. It’s the convenience factor for a lot of people that becomes the decision maker. You buy a console device that’s dedicated and designed for gaming and you’ll upgrade to the new one in roughly five years, where as the “Gaming PC” needs to be upgraded almost yearly with various costs involved. If you’re a PC gamer who’s okay with upgrading their computer ever year then you’ll always have the latest and greatest hardware, and you’ll get to enjoy [almost] always better graphics.
Do I agree that PC gaming is on its way out? Not even close. Sure the PC has had a few rough years but things are only getting better. Computing technology has never been as promising as it is right now. Were seeing Quad-Core processors becoming a standard, and heck, even Dual- Core graphics cards are starting to take off. All that aside, the die hard gamer is still going to be there. A lot of gamers much prefer the keyboard and mouse combo over the controller because it’s more precise.
But the PC Gaming industry needs to change two things:More exclusive games (and content) and better hardware optimization. If these can be achieved, I think PC gaming would take off once again.
Ah, the age old question of when PC gaming will reach its ultimate demise. For as long as Internet forums have existed, this very topic has been heatedly discussed with both sides (i.e. console gamers vs. PC gamers) claiming victory. Folks, PC gaming isn’t dying. Far from it in fact. Perhaps it isn’t popular as it used to be but there are still a lot of content that you can only find exclusively on PC. Want to play World of WarCraft or any MMO for that matter? Are you a huge fan of Blizzard games? Google “2011 PC Exclusive Games” and see for yourselves that PC gaming is still a viable platform. Also, there are times where a keyboard and mouse combo simply works best.
The problem with PC gaming graphics is that it’s being held back by the current generation of consoles. Games that exist on both the consoles and computer will always look infinitely better on a PC but in the end, most of these games aren’t even coming close to realizing their full potential. A Radeon 6870 or GeForce GTX 460 is more than enough horsepower for the vast majority of PC games currently available on the market. Developers make more money on the consoles therefore the starting point for any production will begin at the lowest common denominator. Fortunately, upcoming games like Battlefield 3 are showcasing new graphical engines where if you want to experience the best immersion, you’ll have no choice but to game on a PC. If the rumors are true, Nintendo’s Wii U hardware should have a fairly large advantage in GPU tech over current HD consoles. To put things into perspective, the Xbox 360 will be 6 years old this November and in between that time, four generations of GPUs have launched!
How would you respond to the examples of HP leaving the hardware business and the only major hardware developers are Nvidia, AMD, and Intel? There’s also the discussion that at 1080P, graphics are good enough on the console where you won’t need high-end PC hardware to reap the benefit. Even Blizzard has gone on record to say that they’re exploring the viability of developing for consoles.
Personally, I don’t think PC gaming is dying, but it’s certainly not progressing and isn’t healthy. Some fundamental changes needs to happen and fast. With the next generation of consoles blurring the lines between rendering power, it’s becoming an issue of looking at the tree instead of the forest.
I agree with Amos on this one. Personally graphics have never been a major issue to me which helps a lot when I look at if I want to play on a console or my PC. I think the biggest issue is price and I’m not sure how that can be helped.
Buying a gaming PC is expensive and you’re constantly upgrading. As Ben said in the time that I’ve spent about $600 on my xbox (I still have a launch system), there have been four generations of GPU! I was speaking to a friend on the weekend and his graphics card that he bought less than a year ago is no longer even listed on the benchmarks. A good gaming computer will likely cost quite a bit which makes it harder for people to keep up.
That said there are a lot of amazing games from indie developers that use almost no graphics and are super fun. I think this could be the future of PC. There are also a lot of free to play games coming to PC like Firefall and I think these will help to increase the amount of PC players. PAX showed that there is still life in the PC genre.
I do agree with Amos saying that fundamental changes need to happen and fast! We need to see something new and unique.
Even though I do agree that buying a pc is expensive, its an expense over time I find. I bought my ATI (now AMD) radeon HD 4870 back in March of 2009 and I’m still running it till this day. It cost me just shy of 300$ and its been well worth it.
The initial investment in a gaming PC is pretty high. $300 graphics, $300 processor, $250 Motherboard, $150 case etc. It adds up quickly.
When I spoke to Razer at PAX they talked about being driven by the developers. If a developer wanted to include 7.1 sound, Razer would make it happen (I’ll give more on this product in a later post).
The Razer Blade is a really cool product. I was really impressed by it.
Even though the Razer Blade can be seen as a resurgence in the PC arena but I see it as a double-edge sword. I have no doubt that it’s an impressive machine (and in part what spurred on this week’s topic) but that $2700 entry price limits admission to only the truly elite. For the price of one Razer Blade, you can buy a 46” HDTV, a PS3, an Xbox 360, Kinect, and a handful of games.
I hope HP remains in the game. I want to see some healthy competition happening. This pushes developers to make better hardware.