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3 Reasons PC Gaming is Destined to Fail

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September 7, 2007 2:40:42 AM

Here are some reasons PC gaming is doomed to failure UNLESS we stand up and do something about it.

Just a brief history on me. I've been a gamer the vast majority of my life. Ever since I first played Super Mario Bros. 3 at a friend's house, I've been a lifetime gamer. I LOVE VIDEO GAMES. I specifically like PC gaming, as it is much more personal, generally higher quality, and it's just nice to see a hobby give me so much enjoyment.

I know and understand that everyone's seen those "pc gaming is dead" threads around the internet. Everyone's argued about consoles vs. PC's, it's all been done before and that's NOT why I'm posting this. I'm posting this as a general rally for assistance and guidance to the PC gaming market.

So, without further delay, here is why I believe PC gaming is destined to fail...

1) Dee......wait for it...... aRe........ just one more........ eM! DRM, aka Digital Rights Management. This is nothing more than a pathetic attempt to keep good people, well, GOOD. Any form of copy protection, anything that hinders you from doing whatever you want with your product, legal or otherwise, is grouped into this category. Everything from proprietary media (Microsoft's infamous 2mb floppy disks) to the currently debated and hated SECURom. If you have to "insert the correct CD/DVD" to play, that goes here, too. Essentially, this is what WILL KILL PC GAMING.

Now, this is tricky. If we all STOP BUYING the games with DRM (nearly all of the current titles, with a handful of exceptions), then the companies will most likely STOP MAKING the games for the PC out of lack of demand. If we hack and bypass their DRM (inevitable), then they'll try to make it better/stronger. If we ignore the problem, they'll keep doing what their eventual goal is: total control over their product. So, what do we do? THREATEN to stop buying? Only buy every other title? Only buy titles WITHOUT DRM? Only download on STEAM (or similar) to bypass the SECURom and "Insert DVD/CD" copy protection schemes? Only but certain types of DRM? Only buy games AFTER official "no DRM" patches are released?

Seriously, a LOT of people are saying "I won't buy your game if you have DRM on it." That's peachy and all, but that just means the companies are going to focus more of their money where their games are in demand, ie: Consoles. If you don't think this is true, then kindly explain why the majority of titles are released for consoles first, then the PC many months/years later (Resident Evil 4, anyone?). Since the HARDWARE is the copy protection, there's no need to restrict usage of their software. That is, in turn, a win-win scenario. Most people would rather play a non-DRM'ed, sharable, copyable, pirate-able copy of their software, even if is specific to a single platform. The company knows that the majority of console users have NO IDEA how to install a mod-chip or even copy software, thus making piracy a virtual non-issue.

The game makers insist that PIRACY kills PC gaming. They just don't understand how to release a product and make people WANT TO BUY their product. Like Photoshop. Was it any wonder that people were pirating a $600+ piece of software with the functionality and features of a free product (the GIMP)? Or Microsoft's Windows. Who really wanted to pay $200+ for BAD SOFTWARE that you are essentially FORCED to run if you want to do anything FUN with your PC (hey, I use and LOVE Linux, but lets be honest here). Piracy is a market, just like any other, and the game companies will have to accept this. It's a part of the cycle.

But what they're doing is going about it the WRONG WAY. It's like if you bought a gun and you could only chamber a round if you called the police first and had them electronically activate your weapon. After the criminal shoots you 10 times as you try to call and you die, MAYBE you should have gotten that "illegally hacked" firearm, huh?

My solution to the DRM problem: FORCE THEM TO REMOVE IT. It's plain, simple, and effective. Keep nagging, bitching, complaining, calling, bugging and forcing the companies to abide by the MARKET'S RULES. Don't let some money-hungry pig at the top of a corporation tell you what you can and can't do with something you paid for; YOU TELL THEM WHAT THEY CAN AND CAN'T DO! We make them exist, as consumers! So what if they're bigger/richer/stronger/smarter than you? There's HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF US! If we can just band together and let them know what they're doing is WRONG, they will have NO CHOICE but to give us what we want, which is DRM-free, "please insert CD/DVD" free, unrestricted and non-intrusive usage of a product we legally own a right to after purchase.

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The number 2 reason PC Gaming is going to die....
Difficulty in programming. It's odd, but the faster/more complicated the hardware becomes, the fewer games come out for the PC. Now, I'm certain that AMD and Intel didn't plan for things to go this way, and they're trying like hell to combat it with better developer tools. But, seriously, programming for 2+ CPU's, DirectX, varying system resources, a VERY buggy Operating System, and different hardware/driver bugs is REALLY FREAKING HARD! We need to press for something new. Something different and easy to program for.

In the console world, it's not hard to spot the most developer-friendly hardware. It's the one with the MOST games at any given time. All this boils down to a learning curve in the industry. The more a company has to fork out for "experienced" programmers who are specific to a special platform (Windows, Mac, Linux, Xbox, Playstation, etc...), the less they can focus on their product.

Yes, our CPU's are fast, our video cards are super computers, and we've got more ram than all the consoles throughout history COMBINED would have, but where's the software? Like it or not, PC software is extremely difficult to program correctly. You have to accommodate certain bugs for every platform, certain features, capabilities, and specifications. Then, you've got to take into account bugs in hardware/drivers. Then Customer support for Joe "My PC doesn't play this game because I'm using a 486." What's the solution to all of this?

The hardware solutions are consoles. We need a software solution. Software that either runs on top of our current OS (MacOS, Linux, Windows, etc...) and provides a FAST (very important!), efficient (no, not LUA, but just NOT buggy), FAMILIAR and simple interface for programmers and users. Think of it as a "virtual console." Not the VMWare type, but the real, direct-to-hardware via a sandbox type.

Most people would like Windows driver compatibility, Windows or MacOS feel/look, and functionality. So, we're still left with those OS'es, minus some junk we don't use. Instead of that, why don't we program a direct-to-hardware "piggyback OS" that uses our current OS as an interface? That's what DirectX attempts (and fails) to do, but we need to go a few steps farther. Like, every time I want to play a game, I have to open up a program that runs my games. No copy protection, since every user of this software is automatically registered, it has a simple and friendly copy protection scheme IN HARDWARE, and no reason for DRM. I wouldn't mind; I already use STEAM to launch all of my nearly DRM-Stripped versions of my software, so why would another "launcher" make a difference?

The main problem with this is SUPPORT. What incentive does a programmer have to learn to program for another platform? Are there plentiful, easy, smart, and powerful tools (compilers, debuggers, documentation, etc...) for him/her to use? Do enough people use this platform? Are there any negatives to using this platform performance or compatibility-wise? I'm not a programmer, so I don't know what else you guys need, but if you band together, make an open-source, platform-independent "console," I guarantee there will be adopters if it's good and worth while.

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The final reason I can think of why PC gaming is going to die is simply put: the "problematic software" mentality.

Who here hasn't experienced massive problems with a simple game, application or even just turning the damn computer on? Seriously, if you've been serious about computers for any decent time, you've most likely encountered these caveats. There usually is no explanation, no reason, to answer as to why these problems occur, aside from user error or a failed component. But what about "ease of use?" Computers are VERY general purpose. If you make them friendly and easy to use, you TAKE AWAY their functionality. Take Windows and Linux.

Windows is limited. I can't do certain things in Windows. It has gaping security holes that I can't fix myself, I can't disable certain parts of the OS I don't use, and if something terrible goes wrong (always freezes at boot due to a corrupt/broken/bad IDE driver for RAID), I can't fix it short of reinstalling the OS. But with Linux, I can fix all of this. Easily, too! But I can't play too many games in Linux, and honestly, nothing is more difficult to stare at than 80x25 text (yeah, I know, a few Framebuffer writes and I can make it transparent, pictured, VESA at 1600x1200 or higher, and all, but who really knows how to do that aside from a handful of elites?). The point: Function over form. Linux can do EVERYTHING Windows does and a thousand-times more. But it's horribly unfriendly (sorry Ubuntu), difficult to use, and just not compatible enough with certain hardware. Windows is form over function. It can do a lot, but nowhere NEAR what Linux allows you to do, but it's a lot more friendly (when it works), easy to look at, and easy to use. The more extreme applies to MacOS, but it is based on unix, so terminals and such are possible.


Anyhow, what do you people think?

Thank you for reading my thoughts,

CHayNZ


September 7, 2007 3:38:00 AM

It would have been better if RE4 hadn't come out for PC. Same with all the other crappy ports they made(Onimusha,devil may cry). The games are awesome...on the console, but if they had done a little bit more(like on psychonauts, or fable) it would have been worthwhile. I see where your coming from but i also see where they're coming from, the corporations are pretty much like abusive parents just wanting a quick fix instead of long term solution. With ought black there cannot be white, there will always be pirates. I think you are being a bit radical though, it is not doomed, not for a long time. Because there will always be computers(or something like it), there will also always be an open game market in which to make money.
September 7, 2007 5:00:21 AM

Hey Lost Planet was an awesome port, at least gameplay wise on the PC, optimization... err... was less than stellar! But if you have good enough hardware I guess it makes a whole better experience than on the 360 (in my opinion).

Aside from defending my beloved Lost Planet, I guess you're very right, the question is how do you propose to start such a big scale movement.
Related resources
September 7, 2007 5:20:29 AM

haha defending it from who, i love lost planet also :D  but some ports are just plain crap(copy and past). PC gaming is a whole new arena when it comes to options, but when you have to scale it so much and do nothing about it, its worthless. Also im pretty sure RE4 didn't incorporate mouse look, plus it was worse(graphically) than the console versions(prolly ported from the ps2 not gc Ver.)
September 7, 2007 5:32:00 AM

Oh let's not argue over it, I agree 100% that many ports are just ****, especially the Halo series (which is better than on the Xbox, so that tells you how highly I think of them), RE4, DMC, etc...

The ONLY two ports I like are Lost Planet (yumm on PC... but yuck on 360) and Mega Man X8 :D 
September 7, 2007 9:28:15 AM

Well cos I just can't be arsed writing too much please note that if game makers put DRM into their games and ppl stop buying their games then the makers will remove the DRM rather than just not make games.

Your other reason are not reasons why they'll stop making games for pc's. You're just plain wrong.

September 7, 2007 9:53:13 AM

For once I agree with Wolfy..
September 7, 2007 10:06:56 AM

I think this has been posted many times...

#1 reason PC games are dying: 8 gazillion people who would rather spend their monthly gaming $ on WoW instead of buying a new game.
September 7, 2007 10:07:23 AM

I for sure won't read all that; If you believe PC gaming goes down the drain do so. I don't. I love my PC games DRM or not. And I don't care about the console folk AT ALL. 3D shooter with a pad? come again?
September 7, 2007 10:25:30 AM

I don't think PC gaming is gonna die..I think though that it will be down to just a handful of studios like EA/Steam/Eidos maybe with just a few small developing teams. However the big advantage PC gaming has over the consoles is the modding community..look at POE for BF2 etc...Counter strike came from a Half life mod etc..
I think though at the end of the day there's no way Nvidia/AMD-ATI/Intel will allow PC gaming to die.
After all it's the pc gamers who are driving demand for those quad cores, expensive video cards etc.
What would happen to these companies if pc gaming died and their products were only needed every 4/5 years for a console?How much profit would they lose if this happened? Sure you'd have companies still buying pc's but a lot more consumers would be buying a console instead and using this for home entertainment/surfing the web etc.
September 7, 2007 2:25:43 PM

Ananan said:
I think this has been posted many times...

#1 reason PC games are dying: 8 gazillion people who would rather spend their monthly gaming $ on WoW instead of buying a new game.


But when they die, they become the zombies in Half Life 2 reincarnated! So we have more stuff to kill!

On a side note, decided to quit WoW (after getting the game, 30$, expansion BC 30$ and 2 month game card 40$, and only playing 2 months (had 1 month free)), what a waste, should've saved it for QW and Crysis and some Mcdo.
September 7, 2007 3:02:27 PM

#1 Reason PC Gaming will not die - Crysis.

Whilst I can see many developers turning to the console as their primary platform, as it appears to be a big bucks market, there will also always be a market for out and out quality gaming. Crysis being a prime example.
Let’s see a console bang out Crysis in all its DX10 glory. No chance. FPS's on a console are a waste of time anyway. I have a 360, I would never buy a FPS.
Its a good console, but its limited by virtue of the fact it runs at a max 1080p, it has a joypad as its primary controller, it crashes alot.
Consoles do not come without their own set of problems. Just ask any developer who is currently writing games for the PS3.

Whilst consoles seem to catch up a little, they are a 4 or 5 year cycle, and always a burning platform. They are yesterday’s technology today. Fact.

They do certain titles and genres very well. But come on, lets see them do an MMO without any limitations in comparison to a PC, then maybe even I will consider a £400 console over a £1000 PC.

PC’s are versatile, there is so much more you can do with a PC, and to be honest, I can actually see the PC market growing, and more PC gamers being born. Especially with the likes of Media Centre, and the ability to hook up to your HD TV’s these days.

Consoles provide a quick gaming fix. They are the crack of the gaming world. They are a platform for quick thrills, linear gaming. Bar one or two titles, that you are much better off playing on the PC – Oblivion being an example.

Yes PC’s have hardware compatibility and software bugs, issues etc. But I say this with 100% conviction, a PC gamer who knows how to build a decent rig, and knows what they are doing with drivers and the O/S should be able to build a stable, high performing platform, that will have 10 x the capability of a console.

One other thing you won’t suffer with PC gaming, is screen burn on your £1500 HD Plasma screen (unless you do hook up your PC of course). Consoles with their permanent bright logos, love to burn images into your expensive plasma. Trust me I speak from experience.

The pirating side of things and the deterrents do not bother me. I buy all my games as I believe its at the very least the right thing to do. But, if PC games did die, pirates would find a way to do exactly what they did to the PC gaming world. It wont happen though. Developers need to listen to gamers, they then need to find smarter ways of dealing with the issues.
I’ve seen pirated PS2 games, and PSP games, I’m sure they are out there for 360’s and PS3’s alike. Just as they are for movies.

PC v Console debates will rage for years to come. In an ideal world for gamers, both will exist with equal %’s of the market.
Where there may be a renaissance for consoles right now, in 12-18 mths time, DX10 games will be the norm, and the hardware will be oh so far ahead of what a 360 or PS3 is capable of.

Long live PC gaming. Enjoy what you have now, before it becomes more mainstream if anything, an enthusiasts platform, a hobby, a tool that you can do everything a console user could only dream of.
September 7, 2007 4:28:45 PM

#1 reason why ALL types of gaming will die eventually:
graphics can only get so good and people will run out of innovation (eventually FPS's will get old)
September 7, 2007 5:38:07 PM

i will always think that pc games are better than console games. period.(btw they are) ;) 
September 7, 2007 6:30:32 PM

I agree with Airblazer. AMDATI/NVDA/INTEL will not let PC gaming die. Gamers put out too much money to make there e-peen grow!

With pirated games here is my $0.02:
If PC gaming dies and the only way to get our gaming fix is VIA consoles, then all the people who pirated PC games will pirate Console games. This would create a HUGE problem IMO. Right now there are a small handful of people pirate/modding consoles. Can you imagine the amount of people that would start if PCs went away? I think the PC pirates would teach the console people how to do it too.

Lastly if companies stopped putting out such bad games and building the media hype up so much then I personal would not pirate as much.

I "test" play all games before I buy. If I dont like it I will spend less than a few hours on it then delete it. If I do like it I will uninstall go to the store and buy it.
September 7, 2007 9:07:26 PM

nickc07 said:
I agree with Airblazer. AMDATI/NVDA/INTEL will not let PC gaming die. Gamers put out too much money to make there e-peen grow!

With pirated games here is my $0.02:
If PC gaming dies and the only way to get our gaming fix is VIA consoles, then all the people who pirated PC games will pirate Console games. This would create a HUGE problem IMO. Right now there are a small handful of people pirate/modding consoles. Can you imagine the amount of people that would start if PCs went away? I think the PC pirates would teach the console people how to do it too.

Lastly if companies stopped putting out such bad games and building the media hype up so much then I personal would not pirate as much.

I "test" play all games before I buy. If I dont like it I will spend less than a few hours on it then delete it. If I do like it I will uninstall go to the store and buy it.



Right on the money.

However, the original poster is way off the mark in many respects.

There is no way PC gaming is going to die. Piracy happens. However, when you come out with statements like 'piracy will kill PC gaming' you're running off the same spiel as the music/movie industry. The fact is it hasn't killed either of them, and with that in mind it's pretty unlikely that it's going to kill PC gaming.

Secondly, take a step back for a moment, can you IMAGINE life without PCs? Seriously... PCs are remarkably cheap these days. As for the internet, no number of Blackberrys or iPhones will ever replace them for convenience, simplicity and cost. What are all the big companies going to do? Is HSBC going to chuck out its computers and start installing Xbox 360s or Playstation 4s ? I don't think so. Big business is the backbone of the PC industry and modern finance would be impossible without them, regardless of how good consoles get.

As for DRM... it's the old story of an arms race. If you think DRM is ever going to actually make a big dent in piracy you're way off. As DRM gets better, pirates get smarter. To put this in context, if this were true then we wouldn't have fraudulent banknotes, fake credit cards etc. Another parallel is in the old national security debate - i.e the government tells you that if you let them put your DNA onto a giant database along with 60 million other people's it'll cut crime. No it won't it'll just inconvenience the law-abiding majority.

Regarding programming, have you read anything about consoles recently? PS3 (and the PS2) are programming nightmares. The biggest challenges in PC programming right now are things like dual/quad cores. It's just another hurdle, one which will undoubtedly be overcome in no time.

And with your final point, I see no reason why consoles shouldn't run an operating system etc.... but I think you'll find that you have *drum roll* a PC sitting in front of you. And then once you have such a setup, you're going to encounter all the same problems people have with PCs all over again. That setup would work for 6 months tops, why? Because people make new things all the time, and to adapt to constantly varying requirements you need a flexible and upgradeable platform. It's completely circular.

PCs may be complex, expensive and sometimes unreliable. On the other hand, they are astoundingly versatile and complex. Want to run a home business? It'll do it. Online banking? Yep. Play games? Sure.

The bottom line is, PCs are just too useful and too versatile for anything else to even contemplate replacing them. Least of all consoles. If you ONLY play games and have no need of anything else then that's great, it'll do the job fine. However the rest of the western world needs to be able to do more than play Halo 3 at a stable frame rate to continue.

September 8, 2007 12:12:15 AM

More PCs in the world then Ps2's/Ps3's/360's and all the rest combined

Consoles get outdated fast with Nvidia making new cards and processors leaping forward

There's just something about playing a game on my PC that I don't get when I game on Ps3 or 360 in front of the TV they are completely different. I enjoy them both for different reasons.
September 8, 2007 1:33:14 AM

I think there's a HUGE point everyone likes to overlook when discussing the fate of PC gaming, and that's the simple "C/G." Cost per Game. Let's say you spend $1,000 every two years on your rig JUST FOR GAMING (video card, ram, CPU, and maybe a mobo). Say that within those 2 years, 10 GOOD games come out, costing an average of $40 per game. Your total C/G is: $140. Wow, that's a bargain. Sure they look great, but would you really spend $140 for a single game? I Didn't think so, but a lot of us PC gamers do. In the past 2 years, I've had 7 games catch my attention: Doom3, Half-Life2, S.T.A.L.K.E.R., Farcry, F.E.A.R, Oblivion, and recently Bio-Shock. I'm certain others out there like way more games than I do, bringing your C/G ratio to a decent level (hey, let's not forget about emulators, either!), and some of us don't even upgrade every 5 years. But my point still stands: It's expensive, especially if you want a GOOD experience. Where a consoles' C/G may be close to the original cost of the game, a PC is dramatically more expensive. Even if you bought every non-board/card/jewel/etc (real) game that was released for the PC in the past 2 years, it'd still be quite a bit over the original cost of the games themselves due to the sheer lack of games and expense of hardware.

It's DRM that's going to put it under. Soon, it'll become such a nuisance that more and more people will put up their keyboards and grab a controller. It's already happened, world-wide. Ask a console user why they don't use a PC! I know lots of people who have very nice PC rigs, but insist on gaming on a console. Why? No hassle, DRM-free, easy-to-use, reliable fun.

Notice I didn't say anything about looking better, playing better, running faster, or having less options. That's because that applies to consoles typically (limitations of hardware and software capabilities on consoles), not PC's. PC games almost always look, play and "feel" better than their console counterparts (with a handful of shoddy "me-too," ports, like Resident Evil 4, tarnishing these good qualities).

Okay, now for some replies:

tenaciousl eydead, I agree with you. It's just that I don't like being told how to use a product, really, that's what gets me all in a fit.

Emp, if enough people think the same way, it changes things. For instance, you'll find the majority of people don't care about DRM, thus why it exists. What better way to have some cake and eat it, too than to be able to sell something and control exactly how it is used. Ipods would never break, cars would never crash, guns would never kill, and the world would be perfect. We'd all be greatly unhappy, but it'd be just freakin' perfect.

Wolfy, Wow someone needs to learn to type English better. As best I can interpret, you're upset that I didn't tell everyone to stop buying DRM'ed games (because it would just make game makers move where the money is!), and I'm wrong about everything else? Okay, anyone else have such well planned and thought-out argument for me? No reasons why, just an absolute "you're wrong?"

cafuddled, Well I disagree with you AND Wolfy.

Ananan, if so many people are playing WoW, then that's wonderful! But that game will have a lifespan of roughly 10 years (maybe extend that few, thanks to expansion packs and such), and then what? Of course there will be a replacement by then, but it bothers me that it may just be released for a console instead of a PC. NOT because consoles will be superior, but because the gaming companies will have chased-away all the PC gamers with restrictions and lack of industry.

aziraphale, good for you, and I think I will. If you won't read a thread, then WHY POST IN IT?!!? Go to a library, and you'll be a master of judging books by their covers in a matter of seconds!

Airblazer, I think you're spot on. There most likely will just be large(er) companies making a handful of PC games per year (like right now?). From your Sig, your C/G is ASTRONOMICAL! I know, I'm in the same boat; it's so much fun to mod a PC, games or not!

Stemnin, WoW is many people's introduction to PC gaming. I like to think of WoW as a gateway game.

Vinny73, you covered a lot of topics, so here I go:

A SINGLE GAME is NOT going to save an entire platform. It'll give enthusiasts a reason to spend $1,000 on a game (C/G ratio!), but that's all it'll do. Maybe if it's good enough, a handful of people will switch to PC gaming for a while, but I will promise you that the console versions will GREATLY AND VASTLY OUTSELL (By hundreds of thousands) the PC versions, like it or not. It's just how the market is! Crysis is an enthusiasts game! Joe computer isn't going to play Crysis on his 5-year-old PC. It's the guy who just spent a lot of money recently that's going to play it. People who own consoles DON'T CARE ABOUT HOW GAMES LOOK OR PLAY! THEY CARE ABOUT F-U-N. Just like with you and your console games; when you're playing them, I doubt that you're caring about a ram upgrade, a faster video chip, or a larger hard drive on you 360. Case-in-point, that's how the majority of console users feel, thus why the PC doesn't have as many games.

Screen burn in? Hey, I've got a couple monitors that have burned-in images of games on them. Also got one with a burned-in Windows Desktop. LCD's can't get burn-in, so get one after your plasma breaks down.

You're 100% right about console piracy. I still haven't got a GOOD idea about how to get the companies to remove DRM from PC products, but you're 100% right. We'd just switch to consoles and show them how to do it!

Equal percents of the market? What fictional book have you been getting statistics from? The PC only accounts for a great minority of gamers, compared to the PS2 world ALONE. Of all the consoles, it accounts for approximately 10% (average of the industry) of the gross game sales. That number comes from UBI Soft, BTW.

All it would really take to turn a console into a PC is the right software (VERY IMPORTANT!!!! We're talking Microsoft, people), a keyboard, a mouse, a mass-storage device, and a DVI-out port for a high-resolution monitor. Will that happen any time soon? Nope. Why? Your guess is as good as mine!

spuddyt, that's pretty bleak, but the theory has potential.

illuminati rex, congratulations you win my "MOST WORTHLESS COMMENT" award!

nickc07, I think you're 100% RIGHT. I don't think it'll actually happen anytime soon (within 10 years), but you've got me thinking... That's exactly how things should be done on a PC. Piracy or not, it's a great way to guarantee a good experience, It encourages production of quality games, and there really are no downsides to what you're doing. and isn't it better to keep that pirated copy on and just give the company their money, and continue using a cracked executable? Me, too!

Chris1479, you need to take reading comprehension 101. I assume that your post, after the "right on the money." comment posted towards nickc07, was directed at me. Apologies if it wasn't. I wasn't saying that PIRACY will kill PC gaming at all. At WORST, it'd blemish the industry! I was saying that DRM will kill PC gaming. Computers Vs. Consoles? What hole did you pull that out of? It wasn't the comprehending, thinking one, methinks. DRM makes a dent in piracy? Wow, what thread were you reading again? Seriously, because I need to give that person a piece of my mind! Consoles obviously can be programming nightmares until the proper tools come out. All it takes is a good compiler (makes that SMP easier!), a good interpreter language (like C or C++), and some technical support. (here is where I get confused a bit), consoles can run OS'es. They do run an OS. ALL OF THEM. It's in their BIOS; it's not big or useful, but it IS there. I completely agree about PC's being useful and necessary. The PC WILL NEVER DIE. It'll take many forms, but it's indispensable.

September 8, 2007 1:38:36 AM

I'm still waiting for some company or person to create a true gamers OS, Microsoft has tried and failed (I suppose failed is a little strong considering they are the only user friendly gaming OS), Linux is nice but as stated in the beginning not many people know how to use it and Mac well.... just no.
September 8, 2007 3:35:40 AM

There are Windows XP/2003 server "spinoffs" made especially for gaming, I believe one of the most popular are Windows Tiny2003 and Windows eXPerience.
September 8, 2007 4:52:18 AM

people will spend far over 1,000 for just one game if they're interested enough in it. And why do you keep repeating were wasting our money, its our money to waste. Just think about i pods, a simple mp3 player yes? one of many many out now, retail prices used to be around 500-600 and it costs about 17$ in parts to manufacture them, genius idea just building on top of what was already here. And the game company's DO want to make money and they are NOT stupid, if DRM was messing up peoples comps and causing it more money to fix that one issue than to make the game they're obviously not going to do it. But that is not the case right now. Also PC's are so multi purpose no console can replace them, no way on a stupid controller with a joystick and a couple of buttons. And you do notice the premium on console games right? usually 10-20(more sometimes) dollars higher than PC versions, i would also like you to name 7 games that are blockbusters for any next gen console that also have the mod support like so many PC games, Counter-strike/Quake anyone? And yes futuristic hardware does come at a premium, and PC games will be ahead of consoles. Console graphic wise You also MUST factor in an HDTV to compare it to a high resolution PC monitor. AND if people didn't care about how games looked then why the F!!!K would they have HDTV support, and please dude don't stereotype every single console player in the world, PLENTY care about the graphics. IF they didn't we would still be playing NES. BTW you can upgrade your x box hard drive, so there is a chance you MAY worry about that. And why would you want the 360 to support all those features, do you realize it would BECOME a PC.
September 8, 2007 6:12:28 AM

I agree with coverfire, I too would like to see Microsoft create a gaming only OS for the PC much like the xBox OS. I believe that many PC gamers would be willing to shell out even $99 for a gaming OS that supported DX10.1 and dual boot to it when they want to play some games. This would give direct access to the hardware and it could narrow down the amount of hardware that is needed to be supported since it will only be for games. No printers, scanners, ect that would even be loaded taking up system resources. Keep the OS simple and small because it is just meant to run games.

Just a thought. ;) 
September 9, 2007 6:49:34 PM

I can't say I agree with the people here that say that console gaming is shallow, and only a quick fix or whatever. Some of the greatest games ever made were made for consoles.. No let me rephrase that... MOST of the greatest games ever made were made for consoles, and I don't think I even need to name them, everyone knows them, everyone loves them, and everyone knows they contributed a lot to the gaming industry in general.
That having been said, I agree that PCs of course have the potential of being better... with the right hardware. People seem to forget that a lot, a P4 with an x300SE 0.5gig ram for example is not going to be better than an Xbox360 or a PS3.
However, with the right hardware, it would be more powerful. But then again, if you think about it, it takes more on the pc to run a certain game than it takes to run that same game on the x360. Why is that you may ask? OPTIMIZATION. Most ports are not really well-optimised to run on the pc better than the x360 even with comparable hardware, which would make it seem as though the x360 is better/stronger in some games.
Take a game like Crysis though, and the PC shines.
As for this resolution thing, 1080p isn't enough? That's 1920x1080!! How many people play games at a higher resolution on their PCs? How many even have a PC monitor that can support that resolution? And an even more important question, how many have a graphics card that can actually give acceptable framerates at that res?
In the end, consoles are worth it for what they are, but factor in the cost of an hdtv and a surround system (which are optional, but necessary if one wants a full experience), that equals the same amount of money you would pay for a super-high end pc.

Everything else that was mentioned I agree with.
bumster has a good idea IMO, and it would be great if that was actually executed somewhere down the line.
Games with intrusive DRM should be boycotted, and if they are, I'm sure game companies will stop using them eventually.
Pirating will never kill PC gaming, and it is not PC exclusive, just look at how many Bioshock copies for the 360 were pirated 2 days before launch. Consoles get their fair share of piracy as well, and people really don't have to know how to install a mod-chip, a lot of places will install them or even sell the consoles with mod-chips pre-installed, so knowledge here is not a big issue imo.

BTW, I'm a PC gamer with a more than decent rig... and an aging PS2.
September 9, 2007 10:21:25 PM

bash007 you say MOST of the greatest games ever made were made for consoles.

While for the games themselves that may be true. But personally I love the online experience you get with online games. Yes i do know there is Xbox alive and such now but it doesnt compair for PC online games. On the downside MMOs can control your life.

IMO Counter-Strike was one of the best games made of all time. Back when there wasnt alot of FPS out CS was my favorite game.
September 9, 2007 10:41:58 PM

Every few months in almost every board I see this kind of bs. PC gaming isn't going anywhere.
September 10, 2007 9:01:52 AM

chaynz said:

Wolfy, Wow someone needs to learn to type English better. As best I can interpret, you're upset that I didn't tell everyone to stop buying DRM'ed games (because it would just make game makers move where the money is!), and I'm wrong about everything else? Okay, anyone else have such well planned and thought-out argument for me? No reasons why, just an absolute "you're wrong?"

cafuddled, Well I disagree with you AND Wolfy.



I have to work and as such producing long, eloquent and grammatically correct posts like yours is something of a luxury I can't afford.

However, "You're plain wrong" I felt was a pretty convincing argument. Pretty much covered everything I wanted to say in one concise sentence. I'll try and expand as I have a moment...

DRM will make a minority of people stop buying games. If this minority grows to a majority games makers will stop including it in their software, they won't just take their ball and go home. Most people will put up with DRM and at worst grumble or complain. It's only your uber nerds/gamers with a cause that will refuse to buy a game because of DRM. I've yet to refuse a game because of it for example.

PC games are difficult to program: You end this comment with an "I'm not a programmer"......... That's all I need there.

Problematic software: How many games are you not able to play on your machine because of problematic software? In terms of applications and games I cannot play on my machine for unknown reasons I list 1. Oblivion. But then it's not entirely legitimate so you get what you don't pay for and I can't be arsed anyway to look into why it doesn't work cos it's not my kind of game. In my circle of pc game playing mates I can't think of the last time anyone of them complained about games issues. I personally can't even remember the last time XP crashed on me never mind a game. Maintain your system properly and you should have minimal to no issues with pc games. The little pro linux plug in this point is just an expansion of point 2.

So there you go. An expanded response.

In retrospect my first post should have simply been "You're plain wrong". Would have saved me the time it took to post this as it's time I'll never get back and I could have been doing something useful.
September 10, 2007 1:18:25 PM

Again I agree with Wolfy... he is normaly wrong how ever...
September 10, 2007 2:03:12 PM

DRM ?
Consoles are most DRM'd of all games. Not only you have DRM'd games - you have DRM'd system and hardware.
September 10, 2007 3:16:22 PM

cafuddled said:
Again I agree with Wolfy... he is normaly wrong how ever...


Only time I was ever wrong was when I thought I was wrong but was in fact right.

Or something like that.....
September 10, 2007 7:17:17 PM

This whole topic is BS, Chaynz. As marvelous211 said, this topic comes up more often than religions say the apocalypse is coming.

PC gaming is too much fun, too addictive, with too many customisable options to ever die off. Not to mention the fact that it's been around for about 30 years now in one form or another.

Saying PC gaming is going to die because it's often expensive and complicated is like saying "forget about blu-ray/plasma TVs, they're too expensive/complex/whatever." The point is, there are always going to be literally MILLIONS of people out there who are more than willing to fork out hard cash for sophisticated and versatile hardware.

"People who own consoles DON'T CARE ABOUT HOW GAMES LOOK OR PLAY! THEY CARE ABOUT F-U-N. Just like with you and your console games; when you're playing them, I doubt that you're caring about a ram upgrade, a faster video chip, or a larger hard drive on you 360. Case-in-point, that's how the majority of console users feel, thus why the PC doesn't have as many games."

If console users didn't care about how their games looked they'd still be playing Super Mario.

"I wasn't saying that PIRACY will kill PC gaming at all. At WORST, it'd blemish the industry! I was saying that DRM will kill PC gaming."

DRM won't kill PC gaming because a) the pirates get smarter and b) most people don't give a damn about it as long as it works. c) many people probably couldn't even tell you what DRM let alone avoid purchasing a game depending on what protection a game has.
September 10, 2007 7:23:17 PM

misiu_mp said:
DRM ?
Consoles are most DRM'd of all games. Not only you have DRM'd games - you have DRM'd system and hardware.


Kerching! We have a winner. I think I hear the sound of someone shooting themself in the foot.

Chaynz says "DRM will kill PC gaming" The fact is consoles have DRM'd hardware AND software.

So by your logic actually console gaming, not PC gaming, will die a horrible death.



September 10, 2007 7:54:45 PM

DRM...is this what this is boiling down to? are you serious? why do we need these threads every 6 months about how uber consoles are and how bad pc's are? besides the fact that people use pc's for much more than just games, unlike consoles, DRM is a bunch of nonsense that i haven't had to deal with in 7 years because i, like a vast majority of peope, crack the games that i own to protect them from being scratched by inserting them in the tray over and over. lets just come out with it, everyone does it... go ahead, prosecute me, you dont have a chance in hell in winning that battle cause its not illegal.

but thank you for the very very long and involved posts...at least you have an opinion more than "pc=suxorz consoles r 1337"
September 10, 2007 7:58:42 PM

honestly there's nothing wrong with that, I hate having my discs on the tray too, in fact, I even downloaded the whole cracked version of bioshock even though I got myself the boxed version too which is still sealed on my desk, and until 2K decides to remove their DRM crap it will remain sealed and I'll keep reinstalling it 100s of times the cracked version in my system if I want to. :D 
September 11, 2007 6:28:42 AM

Pc Gaming will never end... main reason the BIG market and Options they offer ...
Ps3 and Xbox 360 are just good for hardware manufacturers (Sony / Microsoft) because the games for this consols are already cracked / hacked and are free in the internet and people download this games and dont pay for them ... So programers are doom and manufacturers are fine because they always recover their investment (hardware).. the programers cant recover much ... so if im a programer ... i want money ... so i go to the pc market... why a lot of chances to acces to other markets ... Low Market ( all old videocards) Middle Market (Currently videocards but not so powerfull) and the High Market (People with the correct videocard to play the ultimate game) ...i know they are mix between this markets but not so important in numbers to mention them...

So the programers must focus in their market to suceed for example ...low profit in the middle market but low investment .. lets say a good game but with several expansion packs that people love to play anyway so they investment hard at first but in the time they recover more with this exp packs...just a simple example ... Low market .. make more children games that dont need to invetment a lot their parents to educate them because dont have the ultimate 9800 GTx...
So u see there is a lot of more market a company can access that just create supergames and go for example with people with middle budget and can play ur game ....

The Pc Market its not limited by hardware manufacturers like the consoles (2 sony and microsoft) theres a lot of more choices and options they can appoint to ... so will never end just change ... maybe in a not so distant future we will see movie studios like universal .. that will enter in this area ...

What we really need to all of us is Balance .. they charge strong ... hackers emerged ...they charge little they broke..... Come on u can´t sell ur games just in USA get out and sell it internationally like the movie theaters did to lower the cost and put less price to the product go global ..who ever see this will crunch the competition...
It will never be enough until every market is reached... commitment its everything...

Thks and
Forgive my bad english ...

Atte.
Omar
September 11, 2007 8:04:07 AM

nickc07 said:

Lastly if companies stopped putting out such bad games and building the media hype up so much then I personal would not pirate as much.

I "test" play all games before I buy. If I dont like it I will spend less than a few hours on it then delete it. If I do like it I will uninstall go to the store and buy it.


Although this may look sympathetic to some, it is destructive to normal market demand and supply drivers.

Let me explain with another example: if you go to a car dealer, you want to test drive the car, if the dealer won't let you test drive it, you take your business elsewhere. You don't just steal it, do some joyriding, and then come back to the dealer and buy it (or leave it somewhere if you don't like it). The main reason why most dealers let you test drive their car is because they would not be selling any if they did not. There are some dealers/shops that actually sell cars that you cannot test drive, but they offer other benefits in return (as well as they are claiming the cars are that good that they don't need a test drive). There is another reason why it is commonly accepted that you test drive the product before buying which is the initial investment.

Now let's take this to gaming: initially, asking for a tryout of a game was not deemed necessary by both the industry and the consumer: if you don't like the game you will not buy another one of their products next time. With more and more games being released, and enough people like yourself being disappointed time after time with the quality of their purchase, now it is common practice that demo's are provided for free, giving you the test drive experience. If a demo is not a good representation of the full game, it kind of defeats its purpose, and thus the publisher should be held accountable for that. The ONLY way to do that is not to give them your money (which in the honest way of doing business means you will not use their products anymore).

What is piracy doing? It is removing BOTH the drivers supply and demand. In a non-piracy situation you would be really looking out there for a product that would satisfy your need for a good gaming experience, and it would be worth something to you if you can get it (supply and demand at work). In the piracy situation you just satisfy yourself with playing crap games for a few hours hoping to find the odd jewel once in a while. In fact you are reducing demand (next to that supply is overwhelming) which only results in more crap games, as there is not enough drive to come up with really good games.

Personally i would love a business model where you pay let's say $10, get the full game and a few hours of gaming experience, but then you'll be prompted to pay the full monty if you want to continue. However, as long as there's too much piracy around there is simply no driver to do this. I'm a realist, there have always been pirates and there will always be pirates, but what is new as opposed to material products is the fact that the pirated copy is just as good as the original product and digital distribution makes availability of pirated products too easy. That, and because circumventing security measures is relatively easy you see a lot of Robin Hoods out there that want to share value with the rest of the world for free.

In another thread someone proposed taxes to insure income for gaming companies but if that means companies get reimbursed no matter what they produce, then we will only see more and more crap being released instead of quality product. In short, the demand and supply drivers need to be restored if we as consumers are serious about wanting quality games.

And to get back on track with the subject of this thread: as a consumer i want maximal freedom to make personal choices with regard to what games I play at what cost, and that means that the software should be decoupled from the hardware (ergo PC gaming). I hate the model of exclusivity where industry is trying to bully you into buying their hardware platform, just so you can play the game that you want to play. Standardisation of interfaces should not be equated with monopolizing specific elements of the PC solution (like the current situation with the Microsoft OS) but given the size of the current monopolist it is questionable whether this situation will ever be corrected, one can dream about Linux doing that but it looks like the window of opportunity has passed for that one.

Content should be separated from the platforms that deliver it, that will result in the best options for consumers. Hopefully some companies will start picking up on this with some great products to get that ball rolling. (As an example Apple is doing the opposite, more and more coupling of platform and content. As much as I like their designs, I'd never buy a single product from them until they change their strategy).




September 11, 2007 11:28:18 AM

Good post, as ever, Mac.

Now get back down to The Other.
September 11, 2007 5:07:36 PM

thats not very nice... :p 
September 11, 2007 7:36:54 PM

spuddyt said:
thats not very nice... :p 


You must be a new kid on the block, eh? Don't worry about me, unlike you I was never forced into one of those llama suits.
September 12, 2007 3:37:11 AM

Let's tackle the cost of PC gaming here, that 140 and needing to upgrade every 2 years is crap. I am sitting here with my Athlon 2800 and radeon 8500 and a gig of ram. Guess what, I can play Doom 3 on it AND fear and the expansion; "OH NOOOOO, I cant get 130 fps with 4x aa and superorbital nucleon screen smoothing on max at 3000 x7456 pixels, oh damn !"

So what, I can still play even at 800 x 600 at worst, and even turning down a lot of eye candy, guess what, at WORST it looks like the console version or slightly better, and I still don't have a stupid pad with these wannabe joysticks on them. That said there ARE times a console is better, who doesn't love the burnout series. With the maybe 600 dollars I spent total on my pc, including the monitor, I have used it for 4 plus years and only upgraded the cpu, ram and an extra 40 gig hard drive. Yes it finally needs to be replaced, but it even runs vista just fine. The only ones who always need to upgrade are the "e-peeners" as people put them. There is really no need to be able to run at these stupid high settings to enjoy the games. These are the same ppl that bitch at 60 fps, when 30 will do just fine, the same suckers that buy a killernic because it is faster and then hook it up to the internet where the packet has to hop through all these slow routers anyway. My ISP multiplexes packets and I will never get better than 35 ms rtt until they stop, so do I need a killernic to shave off 1ms MAYBE, no, but the "e-peeners" do and they will keep pc gaming going, along with old ppl like me who keep their PC's.
September 12, 2007 1:38:27 PM

Realisctically, you wanna blame someone/something for the decline in the PC gaming world... blame the general public. The public wants a pop-the-CD-in-and-play platform. They don't want a pop the CD in, install, possibly have problems, find a patch to fix, and then play experience.

The other driving factor is the perception that in order to play the current titles you have the latest hardware. Consoles - you buy one every 4-5 years at half, generally less, than the price of high-end PC. And your set for 4-5 years.

So IMHO, the 2 factors which are paving the decline of PC gaming is not surprisingly... Ease of use and cost of entry. Period.

That being said... I hate the way the PC gaming market is going... seems like half the games for the PC are ports. Some good, most not. But nearly all ports have the feel of a port to some degree.

We all know what the public is giving up. Games whose content is expandable by the gaming/modding community. But they either don't care or don't know. Probably a little of both. They just want something that works without a whole lot of gray matter having to be taxed.

Just my 1+1 cents.
September 13, 2007 4:16:48 AM

I can think of one reason why PC gaming will never completely fail.

Cost of entry.

Each console maker puts up strong barriers to entry, charging for licenses, libraries, production reviews.

The PC platform, on the other hand, remains wide open. Everyone writing in this thread has enough computer resources to enter the marketplace.
September 13, 2007 9:35:27 AM

It's a bit harsh on the e-peeners.
I upgrade my system regularly as one of my mates is a riduclous e-peener.
As a result I get the components I need for half nothing.
In one case I was buying his XPS710 chassis+psu+board for approx €300.
So off his went and bought the case,psu, h/s and board in my sig below that cost well over €800. However he ended up blowing up the xps and since he wasn't sure that dell would replace it gave me all the stuff for instead. So I ended up with quite a bargain. :) 
Most hardware I buy this way as I rarely buy anything new.
September 13, 2007 4:02:33 PM

The PC gaming market isn't declining, it's the retail boxed software that is. When people like NPD talk about "software sales" they are getting their figures based on shifting boxes in retail outlets, they completely neglect subscriptions and downloaded software sales (e.g. steam, direct2drive etc.)

http://www.rampantgames.com/blog/2007/01/why-pc-game-in...
September 13, 2007 5:53:16 PM

To start off, the only console I have ever owned is a Nintendo 8-bit; although I have played on friends' consoles and so forth. My gaming background has been competitive online gaming.

The reason PC games are good is because of the online play, which is being encroached upon more and more with consoles now. The only real thing going for PC games right now are MMO games. The rest of the PC games lately have been the same old ****. WTB innovative gameplay like Wii or DS, there is a reason why Nintendo is winning the latest console war. Who cares if stuff looks great, the real question is: "Is it fun?". The reason any game platform will fail is because it doesn't have good games.

Games like Crysis won't "save" anything, it is just the same old crap rehashed on a newer engine. I could care less how things look, it is all about how fun it is to play.
September 13, 2007 7:58:11 PM

I haven't posted for a while, but this topic caught my attention. I don't know why there always has to be a right and a wrong. In this case, I think both viewpoints have some things right about them. Truth be told, it's my opinion that there's a market for the console games and it's not the same as the market for PC games. I think the OP was comparing software, not the hardware, because consoles and PC's are two totally different animals.

So let's talk about the markets for PC gaming and console gaming because I think they are distinct from one another and should be compared that way. Let me say up front that I don't think either PC gaming nor console gaming will die, or that one is better than the other - it's all a matter of preference.

Console gaming market: Tends to skew younger in age. Appeals to people who are less technically inclined and who care less about the latest graphics than they do about the game's overall appeal...whatever that may be. They still care about graphics, however, because they keep buying upgraded versions of the consoles. Parents who are less techincally inclined are more likely to buy consoles for their kids because it's virtually plug-n-play. They like the variety of games they get to choose from, though I would say just like the PC games, there are only a few stellar games out of the whole bunch. Madden, Guitar Hero, GTA, etc. along with a host of PC games that were ported to consoles. And, let's face it, for driving games and sports games, the PC genre stinks for the most part. I hate driving and sports games on the PC. And I have to disagree with those who think MMO's are better on the PC. MMO's don't use complex controls, for the most part, so they can and do work well on consoles. Plus, most everyone's experience with video games started with the grandfather of all consoles, the Atari or something of that ilk.

PC gaming market: Tends to skew older in age with more mature titles and more mature audiences to play them. The most successful video game software of all time? SIMS. On the PC. The PC gaming market is often more technically inclined and more highly educated in general. They're less afraid of PC technical issues, so complexity doesn't scare them as much. In fact, building computers is a hobby for many PC gamers. In fact, it's the PC gamer market segment that drives most of the innovation from hardware. If it wasn't for us e-peeners buying all the new stuff that comes out, it would happen a lot slower. I count myself as a mild e-peener. The PC gamer market is much more demanding of innovation always exploring, learning and trying to do more with current technology - sort of like e-peeners being the equal of gearheads. We're tinkerers. Finally, the PC market demands more out of games in terms of complexity and graphics.

These are the reasons why PC and console games exist - because there's a market for both and neither is right or wrong in their approach. Like I said, it's a matter of preference.

But to the OP, PC's and the PC gaming market won't die and certainly not because of minor inconveniences such as security.

What does aggravate me, however, is console ports for the PC. I haven't seen one of these done right yet and if I know a game is a console port I won't buy it. I did it once, but never again. They're always dumbed down versions of what could be good PC games and they play like crap because they're never properly optimized. There's a different expectation for PC games and I wish developers that port games to the PC would realize this and stop wasting their efforts to please both crowds. I haven't played it, but I hear even Bioshock suffers from console"itis" in some ways.

P.S. Because of monopoly laws, Microsoft is prohibited from selling computers. Hence they can't sell keyboards and mice with their systems. Not sure about Sony and Nintendo.
September 13, 2007 8:13:59 PM

Know what stuck at me from this post... The goddamn rudeness of the OP. Wow. I can't imagine talking like that to anyone in person so why should you do it here.

PC gaming isn't going anywhere. This C/G theory or yours is so horrendously flawed that it really shouldn't be mentioned again. It doesn't take into account the general uses of PC hardware etc. or the costs now of consoles and a nice TV to play it on, surround sound, ...the list goes on.

I love my PC gaming - Keyboard and Mouse FTW! :)  But then again I cant imagine playing fifa "insert year here" using a keyboard and mouse. Also there's nothing better for a Couple of Beers Social Gaming. That said Couple of Beers and a LAN is also great fun on PC.

Each to their own and most with both... :) 
September 14, 2007 2:09:25 PM

Simply put.... Anything that can be engineered can be reverse-engineered, regardless what the platform is, (PC, Console, Cell phone, etc.) Pirates will always be around. The only thing the industry can do is try to stay one step ahead, and know that not everyone is technically proficient to find a pirated game.
September 14, 2007 7:51:57 PM

Could have, and people probably did, post something very similar 20 years ago.

Copy protection was there as were utilities sold in the stores to bypass it, DRM's just the current form and will just as certainly fail. There was talk about how the PC clones were going to stop software development as hardware was too variable, hence today's embrace of DirectX and more broadly the Windows API. Technical support's always been an expense, having it outsourced overseas just makes it cost less.
September 15, 2007 9:16:05 AM

#1 reason console and PC gaming will die: the holodeck will be invented.

I think that in the near future people will have a hard time distinguishing between consoles and PCs. we see it all ready. the first game consoles only played games... you stuck in a cartrage and played. nowadays consoles have harddrives and you can use them for various multimedia purposes. it is very well possible that the two could morph into one. the computer could be located somewhere, with substations in the living room and in your office, which could be used simultaniously, and interchangably. play your racing and rpg games on a gamepad in your living room, and your FPS and stratagy games in your study with a mouse and keyboard, and all from the same rig. I sure its allready been tried though.
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