Saturday, January 12, 2008

Is PC Gaming Dead?

Originally Posted by Fried_Yoda:
The point I'm trying to make is that consoles have evolved into PCs. They don't serve as a replacement to the PC, but they do serve as a replacement to PC gaming. In essence, next-gen consoles are simply dedicated gaming PCs. Hell, if you can hack your PS3 to run Linux, then you have a PC.

PC gaming is dying my friends. Consoles are not taking over. Instead, they are assimilating the PC.

Although we will not see the end of PC gaming any time soon, one thing is for sure. Just like Hollywood studios are jumping ship to join the Blu-Ray camp, game developers will soon jump ship to join the console camp. It's a slow and painful death to an era that I am proud to have been part of.
I have a slightly different view, which goes more like this: "PCs are the cockroaches of computer gaming -- long after all lesser forms of hardware have perished, people will still be playing games on PCs."

1. There'll always be a need for a general-purpose computer... and as long as there are general-purpose computers, there'll be people making games for them.

2. I'm antique enough to have done some of my first computer gaming on an Atari 2600 console. I really enjoyed "Adventure."

And I can enjoy it again today (I have a copy right here) because general-purpose computers have gotten so fast that they can run an emulator for any Atari 2600 game. So console game makers can make whatever hardware-bound games they want. In a few years general-purpose computers will have gotten so fast (thanks to the continuing success of Moore's Law effects) that emulators will become available for today's console games, too -- something a dedicated console box will never be able to do.


In my considered opinion, "PC gaming is dying" is nothing more than a self-serving attempt by console makers to create a self-fulfilling prophecy. Say it loudly; say it often; say it with certainty; mock anyone who says otherwise; get enough people to repeat it (for whatever reason), and eventually the lie becomes truth.

I see that as manipulation by people who so doubt the desirability of their product that they try to get good people to help them distort reality to suit their interests.

Personally, I don't like being manipulated.