PC gaming, and so on
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So I was thinking about this the other day.

I'm a dedicated, die-hard PC gamer. I don't care for console gaming, largely because the gaming style I really love (hardcore RTS and TBS 4x, wargames, first-person shooters, and flight simulators) are exceedingly difficult to replicate on consoles, so most people don't try. The simplification required to bring them to the console has led Rainbow Six to become Vegas, and Jane's USAF to beget HAWX.

On the other hand, there are still some things you can only do on the PC, and I enjoy them. X-Plane, for instance. X3: Reunion. Civilization. Europa Universalis. Hearts of Iron. And so on and so forth.

Anyway.

Not to cast aspersions on the argument, but people frequently make the claim that console gaming has overtaken PC gaming for four reasons. Two of them are related to the developers: it's easier to develop on consoles, and they have lower rates of piracy. I don't really argue either of those points, which I suspect to, in actuality, account for 90% of the decline of PC gaming (such as it is in decline).

Two of them, however, are supposed arguments of ex-PC gamers. One is the "hardware race" of constantly needing new hardware; the other is the supposed 'simplicity' of playing console games. I have been thinking about this, and colour me sceptical. In the two and a half years between Crysis and Bioshock 2, the recommended requirements have increased from 2GB to 3GB of RAM. With 2 GB of RAM, any system that could play Crysis can play Bioshock 2. Such a system is not all that expensive, and has the advantage of allowing you to do office work, download pornography, watch double rainbow music videos, and so on. With the possible exception of the general poor performance of integrated GPUs, virtually any off the shelf system will play virtually any modern game.

It's possible that the hardware race was an issue five or ten years ago, when we went to first dual and then quad core processors very quickly and graphics processing (and requirements) were increasing by leaps and bounds. Today, Moore's Law is your friend. Hell, there are even some laptops that are workable gaming platforms.

But it's the other argument that I question more. It's true that there was a point where you had to be worried about conflicts, choosing your sound card IRQs, specifying VGA or super-VGA, &c &c. Today, you install Steam. Then you click a game to buy it. Then you click it again to play it. Games for Windows has removed a lot of the nitty-gritty of customisation and installation options. Yes, games provide options that you can set, for resomolutions or what have you. No, you don't have to do that.

So what gives, guys? Do we not like PC games because they're actually more difficult to use and play? Or do we not like PC games because gaming companies have been giving us shit, filtered through a straw?
The Other Alex
31.08.2010 - 3h31
Comrade Alex
31.08.2010 - 10h59
The Other Alex
31.08.2010 - 11h24

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