Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Is this the spark that PC gaming needs to be ignited?

Last response: in Video Games
Share
July 31, 2008 12:20:40 AM

http://www.tomshardware.com/news/electronic-arts-game-P...

Quote:

The systems will likely range from $600 to $800, and will be differentiated by at which level of detail and special effects http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_effect each will be able to run Crysis Warhead.

Such purpose-built computers will likely be overlooked by those who take the time to build their own machines – like those who frequent Tom’s Hardware – but for the mass market, a seemingly dedicated Crysis machine will hopefully make top-tier PC gaming as simple as it is on today’s consoles.

At $600 to $800, it’s twice as much as a modern games console – but imagine the owner’s delight when he or she discovers that any machine that can run Crysis at a respectable clip will also run every other PC game in history.


Is this exactly what PC gaming needs? At heart it's most likely just another attempt by EA to make a killing from Crysis fame (or rather infamy?), but at the same time they are also bringing to the masses what they look for in a console, simplicity. They are selling more than a PC, they are selling a guarantee to average joe that he will be able to run Crysis (and all the latest games) at respectable settings for an affordable price, something that Dell, HP, and all other OEMs have failed to accomplish.

I can definitely see people getting into this, because buying a new computer plus a new console is actually far more expensive than buying one of these Crysis PCs, but for this work out well it has to be more than a marketing stunt, it has to be a long-term effort. This is the kind of thing that has to get the full backing of the so called "PC Gaming Alliance".

How does this benefits us enthusiasts? Well it doesn't, not directly anyway, but if these Crysis PCs turn out to be a success, then PC gaming will most likely experience a new influx of gamers that will influence game developers to hopefully (and slowly) move from cross platform development back to PC exclusives.

More about : spark gaming ignited

July 31, 2008 12:42:34 AM

Its an interesting concept, hard to say whether this would drive certain component prices down as they will be able to mass produce those component units down - or if it would drive prices up from the market demand.

Either way, its a pretty bold move - I like gamblers.
July 31, 2008 1:06:27 AM

Here is a criteria that I would say they would have to follow if they wanted these units to gain enthusiast/hardware site recommendation:

Quality OS preinstallation, with preinstalled and configured mainstream communication/gaming software such as Ventrillo, Teamspeak, Gamespy Arcade, Steam, etc

Technical support links for the hardware manufacturers for every component in the system - ready to go quickly and easily in IE in case there there was some kind of problem.

Good quality components, this CAN be certainly done even in low budget pcs

Something along the lines of:

Thermaltake M9, CM690, Raidmax Saggi cases

Gigabyte or MSI Intel P45 motherboards for XFire platforms

EVga 750I for SLI platforms

Higher end dual cores such as e8200+ or mid range Quad like Q6600

Corsair XMS2 ram or comparable from other manufacturers like OCZ, Crucial

AMD 4850, NV 9800 GTX or higher gpus

WD hard drives, Samsung/LG optical

Corsair/thermaltake/antec/PCP power supplies


Anyways, long story short - if they make these machines from quality components with expandability then I really think they could do well with the concept as upgrading/reliability is a big deal to pc users, and its definitely a big deal to people used to consoles which tend to have less glitches than pcs.

I think you could build a pc like that from the above components for a pretty cheap price in mass production.. anyways I guess we'll see whether they go through with it or not and whether they build lemons or not.. but I think its pretty important to stick to a certain minimum quality for better or worse, as going with too cheap of components will always just cost them boatloads of money on tech support, RMA, replacements, etc.
Related resources
July 31, 2008 1:24:22 AM

Definitely quality power supplies, decent dual cores and Q6600 for the top model. I feel however that on some points, they can go "cheap" by adding quality value ram instead of high speed ram. Also P43 boards instead of P45, or 780G if using an AMD platform. I can definitely see their graphics cards choices as 9600GT, 8800GT (9800GT), and HD 4850.

I feel that these systems as long as they sell them with decent quality components and try to break even instead of trying to make big profit margins, will help in the long term to reestablish PCs as a mainstream gaming market.
July 31, 2008 3:20:11 AM

Quote:
I feel however that on some points, they can go "cheap" by adding quality value ram instead of high speed ram. Also P43 boards instead of P45, or 780G if using an AMD platform.


RAM is a good point, p43 boards are under 100$ but for the sake of expandability I think its a good idea to consider the option of P45 as they only retail for 40$ more http://www.newegg.com/Product/ShowImage.aspx?CurImage=1...

780G is a good idea (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...) I have a feeling that AMD might cash in on a situation like this if they had the opportunity - ie: AMD GAME! platform 4850+780G+9850 would be a pretty decent mainstream gamer setup. That motherboard is 90$ and has xfire capability.

As long as they are offering an Intel option as well though, I think its cool.
July 31, 2008 3:32:37 AM

:lol:  Crysis will eat their "high end" $800 rig alive. A "decent clip"??? That is relative to who is playing. $1000 systems get pwned by Crysis. Anyone pining over superb Crysis performance probably will be looking to build their own system rather than buying a Dell...errr...EA rig.

I think it is a good idea to try to sell a PC gaming package like a console but there isn't going to be a big market for low end cookie cutter gaming PCs. Most people that want ease of use will just go with a console. All of my friends have either PS3 or a 360. They are always appalled when I tell them I PC game...."Ah, isn't it hard to aim with a mouse?" In my experience, most console players won't even consider PC gaming...the mouse is too scary.

EA won't have any success converting console fans so they will have to market to on-the-fence people or the left over crowd that doesn't know how to build a gaming rig but wants to PC game...which from what I see around here, most people just stumble through a build even if they aren't too sure what is going on. I just don't see a lot of interested people.

Also, if they start to push into decent high end rigs, then they are now in the competition pool with the Alienware type systems...and that defeats the purpose.

Perhaps EA will try to do a lot more to build up the package but strip away all of the tasty fluffy frosting and you will end up with a Dell computer/budget system and not a lot of people to sell it to. I am not trying to down EA, it is a legit idea to try to expand PC gaming but there is a good reason why this hasn't been done yet...no one is interested in a PC that costs more than a console but is crappy in comparison to other PCs [:wr2:1]
July 31, 2008 3:37:07 AM

These PC's are being built for Warhead, SpinachEater; which is going to be optimized to run on mid-range hardware at High settings.

www.crymod.com - there are lots of LoD mods which will make the game playable with High, Very High, or Ultra High settings - by using tricks to reduce level of detail at distances over virtual 1 kM

Anyways, the engine is quite tweakable; and it should be fully playable assuming they use some of their own tweaks in Warhead.


Last thing; OEM PCs vastly outsell clones - whether we like our clones or not, its the truth; so I imagine their is surely a market for this, but its a matter of being able to actually market it.
July 31, 2008 3:42:05 AM

Yeah, but remember that these aren't PCs for people who are knowledgeable on hardware, many of them won't care what NB they got on their boards. This is where OEMs, and I'm sure EA will be no exception, will capitalize, since they can save ~$50 on each PC and have no noticeable impact on performance.

If AMD is smart they will seize this opportunity as well, to offer quads like you said, as their top model. But honestly, Q6600s are retailing for less than the Phenom 9850. So I don't see this happening.

What I can see happening is that due to AMD getting good yields on their RV670/RV770s (which is not necessarily the same for their phenoms as far as I know) they are able to sell them in large amounts to EA for a very competitive price and nvidia won't be able to wage war against their prices.

As good as it may be for AMD to have AMD based machines, the only two possible scenarios I see (Assuming they have 3 models to choose from) are Intel-ATI (HD3870, HD4850, and HD 4870) setups, and if nvidia decides to cash in their whole sponsoring of Crysis maybe lower spectrum Intel-nvidia setups (9800GT, 9800GTX+/HD 4850, and HD 4870).
July 31, 2008 3:48:25 AM

Quote:
Yeah, but remember that these aren't PCs for people who are knowledgeable on hardware, many of them won't care what NB they got on their boards. This is where OEMs, and I'm sure EA will be no exception, will capitalize, since they can save ~$50 on each PC and have no noticeable impact on performance.


True, i'm just inferring that in order to gain support from enthusiast sites - they would need to offer the expandability. I'm sure that a p45 when purchased in mass quantities wouldn't cost EA the same as it costs us to buy them at retail. There could be a huge markup on the p45 compared to the p43 which may be sold at cost, for all we know :p 

Quote:
If AMD is smart they will seize this opportunity as well, to offer quads like you said, as their top model. But honestly, Q6600s are retailing for less than the Phenom 9850. So I don't see this happening.


Oh, well yea I know what you mean - i'm just saying that its a good platform and even if the q6600 is cheaper, the AMD motherboards are cheaper so it works out in the wash either way. I'm not advocating AMD, i'm just saying it can't hurt to have the option.
July 31, 2008 3:55:42 AM

I'm secretly rooting for AMD to get that SB750 out and show that the Phenom is not the piece of crap that everybody thinks it is, but I have to be realistic, there is no way that AMD can compete with intel as far as wholesale is concerned, they need to sell every chip they can get at retail price, that is the very reason why the Phenom 9850 isn't cheaper than the Q6600 at the moment.

However they can (and should) compete with nvidia, their (nvidia) yields are piss poor from what I hear and costing them a fortune to get each card, while AMD is getting superb yields and are getting their cards for considerably less.

So basically what Im saying is, unless nvidia pulls the 'I sponsored your game' card to get the PCs equipped with nvidia cards, I can definitely see AMD dominating most if not all of the graphics in these setups.

I think even if they do use the P43 they would get the backing of enthusiast sites if done well, remember that P43 is just a crippled P45, which should be enough for the intended userbase of these systems.
July 31, 2008 4:20:16 AM

Ah, I must have missed the focus on Warhead. I haven't been keeping up on Warhead info, I didn't realize it was going to regress graphics wise.

I still think it is a slim market but lets not beat a dead horse.

On a positive note, if EA puts the time into this and really markets the bageebus out of this, it would be cool to see heightened interests in PC gaming. Getting those console junkies off their crack though will be a tough job for EA. This probably depends mostly on the success of Warhead. If they can launch a new Halo series then maybe....just maybe they could pull it off.

I just commented under the article about this...but I think also they need to target the upgrade features since that is what is lacking on the 360s and PS3s. In the long run, swapping out a GPU is better than getting a new console. Edit: By better I mean better for budgeting
July 31, 2008 4:45:41 AM

I think the best thing about the PC as a gaming unit is backwards compatibility with older games. I mean really, if you pop on metacritic and look at how many 85%+ titles for PC there are, compared to any console.. well; let me just say that you'd have to own many consoles to get the same game library.

I think for that reason, PCs are just a lot more convenient, compact, and efficient as a gaming platform - even if at first glance they don't seem like that.

I think the saddest thing about companies trying to market PCs is that they only focus on the newest titles - when there are MANY titles out there from the last 5-6 years which are still great games.

Halo 1, Half-Life 1 (+OpFor + Blue Shift ^^), Warcraft 3, Call of Duty 1 - all great games even by today's standards

Anyways - I really think that part of the marketting for consoles is that people buy them not just because its k00l to have an xbox 360 or ps3 - but because of the titles that each system offers. Well PCs offer a hell of a lot more great games on a platform vs platform comparison - while consoles offer a dozen to dozen and a half great titles, and a bunch of crap.

Anyways, the simple matter is just making the PC a more friendly platform for people. Its a hard sell but I think it can be done.
July 31, 2008 4:59:13 AM

Honestly I also see the need for software to play a part on this, the kind of software that makes it all easier for managing and keeping your games up to date, and thank god (or rather Valve) that it already exists in the form of Steam.

It would also help them to sell over other consoles is if they start having some games preloaded on their PCs, since EA already has a partnership agreement with Valve, I'm sure they wouldn't mind the free advertising for Steam if they asked nice enough.

EA needs to stop being so stupid and start offering their games on Steam, then we might see something good come out for both Valve and EA. They need to make this change easy and appealing enough for the masses and I think that Steam manages to do this, by keeping everything up to date, no messy CD key/activations for Online play, and even game purchases/installations are as simple as they can be.
July 31, 2008 6:41:51 AM

heres your Crysis rig and it will still get ok fps with it:

http://howto.wired.com/wiki/Build_a_Gaming_PC

its a few month old article so everything isnt up to todays specs.

swap a few parts for newer ones and you got yourself a rig.
July 31, 2008 8:21:47 AM

emp said:
Honestly I also see the need for software to play a part on this, the kind of software that makes it all easier for managing and keeping your games up to date, and thank god (or rather Valve) that it already exists in the form of Steam.

It would also help them to sell over other consoles is if they start having some games preloaded on their PCs, since EA already has a partnership agreement with Valve, I'm sure they wouldn't mind the free advertising for Steam if they asked nice enough.

EA needs to stop being so stupid and start offering their games on Steam, then we might see something good come out for both Valve and EA. They need to make this change easy and appealing enough for the masses and I think that Steam manages to do this, by keeping everything up to date, no messy CD key/activations for Online play, and even game purchases/installations are as simple as they can be.


I completely agree. Im not worried about the types of games being released, or the lack of PC only games, but the lack of standardised software available. I know that steam is around, but there needs to be more titles, crysis would have been perfect for steam, made more money from more sales, reducded (or almost completely stopped) piracy, and give crytek the confidence to continue making PC exclusives.

I am also very intrigued by Games for WIndows - Live. This could be PC gamings saviour if combined with Steam, if only they would spend some time on it and think about it. There are a couple of very nice features that PC games should come with (imo)
- Auto read discs (discs that stream the game much like a Console, without installation)
- Cross platform Play. (COME ON, who isnt totally hyped to get cross platform play against the 360? It would put the PC back on the market with the consoles, THEY SIMPLY NEED TO IMPLEMENT IT!)
- Standardised software on each disc. (If people are still buying discs, there needs to be ONE piece of built in softwasre such as windows live, which allows friends lists, content etc. and allows voice chat, messages, game invites, basically all of the features that xbox live had which i loved as an expereince)

Now MS is working on all of thisa, however I dont see enough commitment to carry it out. All of these features are urrently avilable, and i didnt even realise until a few days ago. I beleive that if Steam isnt the standard platform (which i think every game developer should use) then Windows - Live should be used to help put PC's back into the game.


July 31, 2008 10:25:15 AM

This would also simplify driver support for the mass market as they will, for these boxes only have to worry about X amount of configurations.
July 31, 2008 1:44:06 PM

Yup, software updates could be released as a monthly package or something of the sort instead of having to hunt down drivers

You still would have the option of doing your own individual updates obviously - but the EA site could offer a software update feature

Anyways, there is a lot of things they could do to make this successful - but it only works if they are willing to go beyond "build pc, install windoze, install crysis, fire pc out door" - as that isn't going to improve the perception of the platform.
July 31, 2008 1:55:02 PM

It's worth a try, but at $600-800 even the more expensive PS3 is cheaper by a great deal. That being said, I can't see it hurting the PC as a platform so why not try?
July 31, 2008 2:20:35 PM

Maybe Intel and Nvidia want some of their money back. (They gave 6 and 4 mil $ I think.)

Who's building the PCs?
July 31, 2008 3:07:53 PM

The most promising thing about this story is EA showing some real interest in PC gaming and trying to push PC gaming back into the mainstream where consoles thrive. There's no doubt in my mind that a factory built PC intended for gaming can run games very well even if it only cost $600-$800. Just look at consumer prices for what a decent mid range gaming rig would cost. It's not that expensive and obviously a big company like EA (and most likely backed by other big companies) can make them for less.
The problem with pre-built gaming machines has been that the companies selling them are just looking to make a big one time profit off each sale. EA can sell these for very little profit and hope to make money off game sales.
As far as price goes there's no need to worry about how much these would cost compared to a console. As long as the prices stay in the normal range of what people usually are willing to pay for a PC they will sell just fine. People buy PCs, it's just a fact in today's world. And while price ranges vary some for the average consumer most people have a set price in mind that they will pay for a PC. They are not considering how the prices compares to a console. If they are looking to spend $1200 on a new PC and that PC happens to be a really good machine that can run high end games, well that's just a plus for them. They're not going to say "Well I could get a PS3 for half the price...".
Honestly I don't know how long EA will stick around building PCs, but I see this idea as a trend in the right direction for PC gaming. Making the average PC gaming capable will be a huge leap forward. It's actually something that already started when Vista was released. Mid range machines with 2GB+ of RAM and at least mid range or decent integrated graphics have become much more commen. That in turn has driven down the price of hardware needed to run games at an acceptable level. Really all that's lacking is strong interest from developers - which of course this EA announcement addresses.
July 31, 2008 4:34:01 PM

It's not a bad idea...but they need to asses the market. As mentioned earlier, low and medium range might not sell all that well as the console will eat them alive (There might still be a market but I wouldn't hope to make the console owners switch from consoles to PC). However, High-end machines at low price is appealing...but it needs to be done right.

Still, enthousiasts like to OC, tweak, upgrade, etc...the systems they own. So like I said, they need to assess the market well before they take the plunge. These machines are PC Consoles.

I'll play devil's advocate and say that enthousiasts may not want to wait 5 years before bying the next machine. Why not buy a good PC and then only upgrade the V-Card and ALWAYS be up to date for roughly the same price?
July 31, 2008 7:03:24 PM

Alex The PC Gamer said:
It's not a bad idea...but they need to asses the market. As mentioned earlier, low and medium range might not sell all that well as the console will eat them alive (There might still be a market but I wouldn't hope to make the console owners switch from consoles to PC). However, High-end machines at low price is appealing...but it needs to be done right.

Still, enthousiasts like to OC, tweak, upgrade, etc...the systems they own. So like I said, they need to assess the market well before they take the plunge. These machines are PC Consoles.

I'll play devil's advocate and say that enthousiasts may not want to wait 5 years before bying the next machine. Why not buy a good PC and then only upgrade the V-Card and ALWAYS be up to date for roughly the same price?


Yeah, the upgradability aspect will have to be at least one key market strategy. I think they have to make it a lot easier to physically upgrade though since a lot of people will be put off by the idea of opening up their system and unplugging wires. If they can have some sort of partially external video card that is like a plug n play sort of deal and maybe even allows people to switch between NV and ATI GPUs....it might have some appeal to a lot of people.

Actually, on targeting console people to switch over to a pc...if they can turn Crysis around and into the new Halo they might have a good run with this idea. The xbox owes it's existence to Halo. I remember when I heard about Microsoft putting out a console....I was thinking...no way it would compete with Sony but when Halo opened up a 16 player kill fest...xbox blew up.
July 31, 2008 9:15:58 PM

Quote:
As mentioned earlier, low and medium range might not sell all that well as the console will eat them alive

No. A $600 PC does not have to compete with a $300 console. It's a PC and people are going to buy PCs regardless of whether they have a console or not or how much a console cost. New PC sales dwarf console sales every single year and a $600 PC (~$800-$1000 with monitor etc) is right in the sweet spot of what most people are looking to spend on something they are going to buy anyways. The fact that these machines can reasonably game is just a bonus, albeit a huge one. These things aren't going to sell because people want to play Crysis on them. Crysis will sell because people have PCs that it can be played on. That's why EA is doing this. It's not even an issue of whether a $600 PC can compete with a console because $600 PCs already crush consoles in terms or straight up sales. Go work at Buy Buy and see who many PCs sell compared to consoles. It's not even close. The key is to make those PCs comparable in terms of gaming capabilities which really isn't that hard if you actually have a company like EA trying to push them.
Anonymous
August 1, 2008 12:04:25 AM

I think this is the spark... b/c PC's are needed by the population... and when basically everyone has a console... and "wants" a new one... they can just spend an extra 3 - 4 hundred bucks... and get a system that does EVERYTHING .... instead of just a couple lousy graphics games...


^ agree with above post...

gaming pcs are cheap as sh*t... its just companies like dell and gateway just over price by like 30 - 50 %... and best buy... by like 80 %
August 1, 2008 3:13:15 AM

Okay, I just built the following system on newegg

q6600 2.4ghz quad core or e8400 3.0ghz dual core
Asus p5q, p45 xfire mobo
combo deal for 345$

antec 300
antec neopower 650w, 2xpci-e 6pin (one is 6+2pin) - 3x 12v rail @ 18A (modular cables)
combo deal for 150$

Diamond radeon 4850
OCZ platinum 2x1 GB ddr2-800
combo deal for 205$

Samsung 22x DVDRW 25.99
WD 320gb se16 HD - 64.99


Total: $790.89 before shipping, OS is unincluded - OEMs like Acer, Dell, HP, etc; typically offer Vista32 premium - which is more or less free as an oem install without a disc. There is no floppy drive, although this is pretty much un-needed imo and an easy place to save money :p 

Expandibility options:

Room for a second HD4850 graphics card, and the PSU will accomodate it.

Room for 2 additional sticks of ram

Plenty of room to add additional drives

Antec 300 will accomodate a pretty good range of cpu coolers including the Arctic cooling freezer which tends to run around 25$ and is an excellent cooler at that price. It may not be an uber case, but its a great deal really.


That all having been said; if I can build a PC with those quality, reputable parts by simply doing a little bit of shopping research as I go along - then i'm positive that EA could build the same type of system for cheaper on their end, and retail it for around the same price.

I mean really, at 800$ thats a pretty great, modern PC. For 900$ you could even go up to an Diamond AMD 4870, as they offer the same deal on OCZ ram with that one as well.
August 1, 2008 3:57:07 PM

purplerat said:
Quote:
As mentioned earlier, low and medium range might not sell all that well as the console will eat them alive

No. A $600 PC does not have to compete with a $300 console. It's a PC and people are going to buy PCs regardless of whether they have a console or not or how much a console cost. New PC sales dwarf console sales every single year and a $600 PC (~$800-$1000 with monitor etc) is right in the sweet spot of what most people are looking to spend on something they are going to buy anyways. The fact that these machines can reasonably game is just a bonus, albeit a huge one. These things aren't going to sell because people want to play Crysis on them. Crysis will sell because people have PCs that it can be played on. That's why EA is doing this. It's not even an issue of whether a $600 PC can compete with a console because $600 PCs already crush consoles in terms or straight up sales. Go work at Buy Buy and see who many PCs sell compared to consoles. It's not even close. The key is to make those PCs comparable in terms of gaming capabilities which really isn't that hard if you actually have a company like EA trying to push them.



Not sure why you disagree but Low-Medium end machines directly compete with at least 2 things. Consoles and other low-medium end PCs (From other manufacturers like Dell, MDG, Alienware, etc). Perhaps, you missed the purpose of these machines or what EA's target market is.

They compete with consoles because the purpose of these machines are to set a standard gaming platform that includes somewhat of a guarantee that they will be able to play the games they like on these machines while paying a reasonable price for them. It would be a big mistake not to consider consoles while assessing targeted markets. In fact, High-end PCs are directly competing with consoles as well. It sums up the whole PC vs Consoles Pros and Cons.

They compete with other manufacturers because like you said, PCs allow more than just gaming and companies like Dell have worked hard for years to dominate the targeted market...but haven't really grasped the right delivery to really excel for some reason...in fact, no company really have.

So, while targeting markets, for these machines, it doesn't matter how many PCs are sold because EA is not really targeting regular PC users; they are targeting PC users who want to play all games they like without paying thousands for it.
August 1, 2008 5:09:40 PM

I think console gamers need product marketing like this to drill it into their head that buying a cheap but good computer can play many of the latest games. Im sure good marketing, with good software support like windows live will open the PC into the console market. :p 
August 1, 2008 5:21:35 PM

The only competition between PCs and consoles is in terms of game sales not actual units sold. People buy PCs and people buy consoles. Even though the two have many similarities they are different enough that any overlap in their respective markets is very small. Somebody who wants to buy a PC will buy a PC. Somebody who wants to buy a console will buy a console. There may be various choices within each group, but consumers of one are not going to buy one in place of the other. It's like ovens and microwaves. There's a lot of similarities and they do a lot of the same things, but somebody wanting to buy an oven is not going to buy a microwave instead nor vice-versa.

If for some reason EA (or anybody else) thinks they are going to make a PC to compete directly consoles they are sadly mistaken and doomed for failure. What it would take to make a PC directly competitive with consoles would essentially boil down to creating a whole new console- i.e. what Microsoft did with creating the XBox.

What would make these PCs successful is to not to try and convince console gamers to buy them instead of consoles. Rather to convince regular PC buyers to buy a machine that can play games. If the price is right the rest really shouldn't be hard because in general a gaming machine is more than sufficient for every other use the buyer might want. Obviously not everybody buying a PC will be looking to play games, but since there are so many more PC buyers than console buys you only need a small percentage to want to game in order to be comparable with the number of console gamers.

I mentioned working at Best Buy above because I used to and sold quite a few PCs. And probably the easiest add-on to sell with a new PC is a game even if the customer isn't a hardcore gamer. The problem was that in most cases the game they wanted wouldn't run on the PC they bought. Correct that problem and even the average non-gamer PC owner (which there is quite a few out there) is more likely to buy the occasional game. Maybe they hear a lot of hype about some new game that they
d like to try, but aren't going to buy a $300 console + $60 for the game. If they have a PC that can handle it they are much more likely to give it a try. If you go back to the hay day of PC gaming success you'll see that games like Doom weren't huge hits because gamers were buying gaming computers to play it on. It was successful because just about anybody with a relatively current PC could play it - and did.

Anyways, I'm getting a little long winded here so I'll try to cut it off. But if you really want to consider a $600 gaming PC as competing against consoles then you should also add in the cost of a non gaming PC to the equation since most console users will also have that. So $300 console + $600 PC (package) vs a $800 gaming PC (package) is a little more accurate.
August 1, 2008 5:28:50 PM

Agreed, but it needs to be done right. By done right, what I mean is, like you said, good marketing practices that will convince gamers to go for such machines. Provide an obvious advantage to go for PC over consoles. Be able to show and convince that these machines match consoles' simplicity while providing much more bang for your buck. Basically, attract gamers rather than scare them from PC gaming. The most retarded things like installing a game on the PC could be one of the biggest issues for this platform.

With consoles, Kids can simply insert the disk and play. With PCs, Kids won't install a game...change the graphics settings for the right amount of FPS...and then do this for every game they want to play. In fact, by kids, I also include computer illiterate people or people that just want simplicity.

So that's what I mean...the marketing doesn't stop at just how much better PC gaming is in my opinion...they need to make sure the games play well (but look better than consoles) while being as simple (if not simpler) than consoles. If they can get this right...then they have a little treasure under their Financial Statements. They would have a Next-Gen console (or you can call it a PC because of its multi task applications or OS support) that can be upgraded at any time, with a similar price as a console, with a simple interface, with all the benefits and more than the current consoles provide, and with a bigger market than just the console market. What company wouldn't want a piece of that???

So again, I support the idea of such a machine...but it's got to be done right. Otherwise, we will just have another PC distributor who's trying to get a piece of the pie...and no relevant changes to the PC Gaming Industry.

August 1, 2008 5:43:07 PM

Maybe I'm just beating my head against a wall here but I don't see why it needs to be one or the other - PCs or consoles. Why do you need to convince console gamers to give up their consoles in favor of PCs? Why not just give them the option to also game on their PC while still having a console? It's no more practical to expect people to connect their home PC into the entertanment systmem in their living room than it is to think they will use an OS on a console like a PC. Many people already have both just with the exception of certain capabilities on the PC side. That's all that really needs to be fixed and there's no need to be concerned with the console market.
August 1, 2008 6:34:34 PM

purplerat said:
... It's no more practical to expect people to connect their home PC into the entertanment systmem in their living room than it is to think they will use an OS on a console like a PC. Many people already have both just with the exception of certain capabilities on the PC side. That's all that really needs to be fixed and there's no need to be concerned with the console market.


You're not wrong, it's just that I have a different opinion about what these machines could or should provide. IMO, these machines could be easy to transport...so you can bring them to your friends...to your living room...anywhere without having to disconnect more wires than you normally would with a console. The Mac or laptops are the closest achievement to this. You could do all the things you normally do with a PC...including gaming. You could pretty much do the same things you would normally do with another console...or another PC. But, things would be integrated to accommodate both console gamers as well as most PC users. If EA promises to create a gaming platform that plays all recent games at good frames(Crysis-Warhead)...then they have to consider much more than just a few more capabilities for only PC users IMO.

As for the console market I am not saying EA needs to still every console owners from Microsoft, Sony or Nintendo... although; it may not be a bad Motto for the company. Gamers still have a choice. If you own a XBOX 360, there's nothing stopping you from owning a PS3 as well even if both systems offer almost the same results. But as a business, and a business like EA, they need to look at what they are getting themselves into and target properly.

August 1, 2008 7:03:54 PM

It really all depends on wether EA just wants to sell PCs that play Crysis for cheap...or if they are entering the PC distribution market. If they choose the first option...then I take back everything I said and hope the next company considers our discussion above.
August 1, 2008 7:12:27 PM

Quote:
IMO, these machines could be easy to transport...so you can bring them to your friends...to your living room...anywhere without having to disconnect more wires than you normally would with a console.

To me that ultimatly just sounds like a 4th console system in the market. Who knows, maybe that's what EA has in mind - though I doubt it. If it's not just another flat out console then what you seem to be talking about is at least a PC/Console hybrid. While your idea isn't wrong I just see it as being too radical to take when you already have very strong consoles and PCs out there. MY suggestion/hope is something a little more subtle; Make the average PC gaming capable and allow the average PC owner - which includes most console gamers - the opportunity to game on the PC.
August 1, 2008 7:16:49 PM

Alex The PC Gamer said:
It really all depends on wether EA just wants to sell PCs that play Crysis for cheap...or if they are entering the PC distribution market. If they choose the first option...then I take back everything I said and hope the next company considers our discussion above.

I doubt EA is going to go full fledged into the PC market. But like your title suggest this could be just the spark that ignites the fire. EA doesn't have to burn the whole forest down, but just provide a spark. Chances are they will partner up with an actual manufacturer. Maybe even short term sales of such PCs can ignite the interest of Dell, HP, Gateway, etc.
August 1, 2008 7:39:54 PM

purplerat said:
I doubt EA is going to go full fledged into the PC market. But like your title suggest this could be just the spark that ignites the fire. EA doesn't have to burn the whole forest down, but just provide a spark. Chances are they will partner up with an actual manufacturer. Maybe even short term sales of such PCs can ignite the interest of Dell, HP, Gateway, etc.



I guess we'll just have to wait and see if it's a just a Crysis support scheme or a step foward in PC gaming. Should be interesting.
August 1, 2008 8:11:44 PM

For it to work properly, IMO, EA would need to really dumb it down. That's not meant as a put down, but most of us know how little most of the public knows about computers.

Make any upgrades easy. Clearly label slots, plugs, etc. When someone with no experience is able to "upgrade" their PC themselves, they'll feel proud. And get hooked, the same way most of us have. Baby steps.

Perhaps include software to optimize graphic/AA settings for new games to simplify the process.
August 1, 2008 11:52:47 PM

Indeed, as I posted before - giving preinstalled software like ventrillo, teamspeak, gamespy arcade, steam, etc ( all tools that most pc gamers use at least one of)

Making certain that all software updates for related hardware in the pc, are included in easy to access links through the web browser or start menu - or include an auto update feature, since they already have an online downloader service, this shouldn't be a far stretch to impliment.

Marking the upgrades is a good idea, but obviously you would have to include an easy to read manual explaining the installation process as well. Installing PC hardware isn't difficult at all, its just intimidating for most avg non-techy people.

One thing I did forget to mention too, that was a good point - television connectivity should definitely be included, with a MANUAL explaining exactly how to enable it step by step - again, not complicated for you and me, but it could certainly be hard to understand for some.
August 2, 2008 4:36:40 AM

I could see M$ creating a PC, much like Apple has MAC. But then M$ would be hit with anti-trust even though M$ could easily push Games for Windows in their own PCs.

That or we destroy consoles.
August 2, 2008 6:33:01 AM

Nice article.
Doing this kind of things is really nice for those who can't pay much but need good performance.
!