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Jun 09, 2004



I guess the answer depends on whether you're a supply-sider or a demand-sider.

If the limiting factor is the supply of development talent, then it's possible that consoles will ultimately rule the world. (Until they are replaced in turn by something even better.) But how likely is this scenario, really? Is the supply of developers really so close to exhaustion? Or will new development technologies allow more people to become PC developers, expanding the supply?

On the other hand, as long as there are powerful general-purpose computers, there will be a demand for games to play on them. That demand -- backed by cash -- will inspire new developers to develop for the PC platform.

I'm inclined to conclude that accounts of the demise of PC game development are, if not exaggerated, at least premature.


What seperates pc's from consoles? Is it the mouse and the keyboard? Is the in the increased processing power?

There will always be a pc market because some games will want to take advantage of the improved interface the pc offers.

There will always be a pc market because some games want to take advantage of the imcreased processing power. There are also many other advantages the pc has such as storage and game life.

But there will always be a console market because consoles are cheaper.

There is no struggle between them. Different people think different things are important.



I imagine that lots of risk-taking on the PC arena due to newer technology and innovative approachs while risk-adverse money making will be occuring in the console market.

However, as a natural course of business, the console market will be very much bigger than the PC game market. If we have a market with a luxury/standard ratio like the Auto industry, then the PC market should be OK.

Still, I'm interested to see whether PS3 will push the envelop of the convergence strategy. Maybe we'll start running Windows and MS Office ASP off PS3 over a broadband line one day.




I stick to my comments in the aforementioned thread.

The author of the 'Good old days are gone' piece, seems to be misdirecting his lamentation of the overall shift into a corporate publisher-controlled gaming market. Risk averse, same-y designs, aimed at the biggest market with the largest margins is something we all should continue to expect.

IMO, it's good that these publishers are moving to the consoles. This leaves PC gaming to the garage developers, if you will. The ones who can and do truly innovate.


I'm not so sure we're going to see more console MMOGs anytime soon. True Fantasy Live was supposed to be the next one out there, and MS canned it (as they've canned all their MMOGs except for Vanguard). Like it or not, MS is a power to be reckoned with, and this may send a signal to other developers, a signal developers might heed.

Well, except for NCSoft. They'll turn anything into a MMOG at this point.


The console market has been edging closer and closer the PC gaming market over the last year or so with processing, graphics, etc. I think we are seeing the PC market make the next big jump right now, with games like Far Cry, Half Life 2, and other games really pushing the boundaries of how far the hardware can take the games.

In terms of MMOs on consoles...Ehhh. MMOs have insane interfaces in most instances, with all sorts of affordances for the players right off the bat. I recently spoke to Raph about interface problems in MMOs, and he said something like in SWG, initially the player perform up to 250 actions as soon as they logged in...all from the same starting point. They widdled that down to about 75, but still...that's a TON of possibilities in a game world as soon as you login. With the way input devices work for consoles, I can't see that many affordances available to players on consoles. Maybe that's a good thing...I don't know. but with my experience with MMOs, it's almost imperative to have a mouse and keyboard, where you can bind keys, have all sorts of shortcuts, etc, in order to be successful. Someone told me once that most PS2 EQ players have purchased, and are using, the PS2 compatible mouse and keyboard.


I've been playing FFXI on the PS/2 for over a month now, and I have a USB keyboard with a built-in dual shock controls. This gives me the range of a keyboard for I/O and communication, and the fluidity of the joystick/gamepad interface for movement, targetting and menu navigation.

Part of the rationale for playing on the PS/2 includes my treasured Le Corbusier-knockoff chaise lounge, the comfort of the added distance from the screen, and the sociality of the living-room setting. All things being equal, I prefer the console.

I recently picked up the PC version of the game for my laptop, for use while travelling and the like. Unlike EQ, both PC and PS/2 clients operate on the same servers - the PS/2 client requires a hard drive. The main advantage for the PC is, apparently, the ease of loading automated scripts for fishing.

Talking about convergence is risky, because at first glance it seems so safe. But I wouldn't have predicted my current game-play habits and preferences, and after the fact, I think I now associate PC gaming with isolation in a way that I don't with consoles. I can't tell whether this has affected my playstyle yet.


MM>But there will always be a console market because consoles are cheaper.

For teenagers, yes. For people who need a computer at home for other reasons (work, email, word processing, blogging...) the PC is the cheaper games platform because it's "free" (in the sense that you don't have to go out and buy one because you already have one).



I'm not so sure I'd call a PC a 'free' gaming option. I see what you mean, Richard, and in some instances I'd agree. But I've had a PC at home for a long time, and couldn't play games such as Far Cry, Unreal Tournament 2004, etc. I recently went out and build a new PC from the ground up, including 512 RAM, 2.8 GHz processor, and a new ATI card. So for me to play the types of games I want to play on my PC (HL2 when it comes out ;), I needed to go out and spend quite a bit of $$$ to get there.

But you are right...for more casual gamers who already have a decent PC, it is free-to-nothing to get involved with PC games. But most people, especially in the next year when games like HL2, EQ2, S.T.A.L.K.E.R., etc., come out, will at least need to go out and upgrade their vid card, which is $150- as much as you want to spend.



the PC is the cheaper games platform because it's "free"

Time is also money. I recall a conversation with a technical sophisticate once who reached a point where he claimed to have switched over to console gaming completely. He hated the time spent debugging component compatibility issues on the PC.

One attraction of specialized platforms is a real "plug and play" vision. Sure, there are costs - and I am not taking sides. But I do appreciate the argument that not all people have the time, energy, or means to engage in solving compatibility issues with general purpose platforms.

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