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PC Gaming /Console Gaming cost in the future

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  • PC gaming
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Last response: in PC Gaming
January 14, 2008 2:50:17 PM

Just wanted to post an observation and get other opinions (No this is not meant to be a console vs pc gaming flame war) First off, I have become far more of a PC gamer as Ive gotten older, I probably will in the near future get a next gen console, because there are console exclusives I enjoy (Im a street fighter nut looking forward to sf4). I notice A trend in consoles witht he exception of the wii (which from my perspective is more of"just a console) whereas xbox and PS are becoming basically PC's you hook up to your tv(whose primary intent is gaming. On average since I built my first pc in 1999, about every 2-3 years I will drop 4-500 bucks on upgrades. Most recently 850, due to the technology change my aging p4 ht, just couldnt be upgraded. With increasing price tags, again aside fromt he wii, and increasing variation of models and upgradeabilty of the console systems, in my opinion its just a matter of time for Console gaming to become as expensive as PC gaming. just look at the launch price of the ps3, I could have built a budget gaming machine for that price, especially now for PS3's original price tag. In my opinion its only a matter of time until Consoles start allowing easy access for hardware changes and you will see system requirements on the back of console games only coming out with new consoles when there is a major technology shift. IMO decent gaming computers are getting cheaper and cheaper to build whereas consoles are going up in price. i.e the first computer I built cost me 1700 dollars ( I think I was rockin a voodoo 3 600mhz athlon), and was hardly top of the line, If I spent that much this go round I would be running dual 8800GT's or a 8800 Ultra right now instead of one 8800gt(which is serving me quite well so far!).

What does anyone else think?

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January 16, 2008 7:47:11 AM

Well imagine the grinding teeth of all PS3-owners in a year or two when all games look better on the PC...

But the consoles sell anyway and I guess it's because the social dimension.
The PC is a single-player machine. The console is more a family/friends toy.

So the cost vs. performance does'nt really apply i guess

/Percy -a pc-only user
January 16, 2008 10:07:37 AM

i think it is more along the line of... its all put togther for you in a console .
Pc Users who put a rig togther get more out of it then a person who just buys them selves a ps3 or xbox...and then just plug it in.
And the idea of it being a social demension is far from correct. now a days you can play with just about anyone in the world on a pc....

there is also the life span .. with a pc you are more likely to spend more money on it... ... as you say .. upgrades here and there....cost money...
But you will find more use from a pc then a console...

Yes the price of the Console will go up .. but it will only go up so far...
then they are going to start letting people...upgrade the console as you would on a pc..
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January 16, 2008 12:51:28 PM

I don't think prices of consoles with rise much at all over time, when inflation is factored in. Sony proved this with slow initial PS3 sales until the price drop. The Wii appears cheap, but once you get the second controllers, the battery chargers, the adapter needed to play it in 480p instead of 480i, it cost me roughly what my PS3 did.

With the advent of 1080p HD, and consoles now with the power to take advantage of it, this will hurt PC gaming. PC games will always be better for pure simulation games and online stuff, but there is an attraction to being able to simply turn on a console and play. No system crashes, driver issues and such. It was such a pain in the butt to put the kids to bed, have a few beers, and be itching to play some BF2 only to be kicked for a punkbuster issue...then...update...then restart...etc.

I still love playing fps and GTR 2 on my rig, but my PS3 gets a fair amount of use (I originally bought it for Blu-ray), but overall, with friends over and beer flowing, the Wii trumps all of them.
January 16, 2008 4:46:13 PM

I think some time down the road consoles will have more of a HTPC feel to them, but wont be as customizable and you won't be able to upgrade like a PC. It would be completely counter productive for Sony/Microsoft/Nintendo to allow users to replace/upgrade hardware in a console system. Eventually they'll probably just be nothing more then proprietory computer systems designed for gaming (actually thats pretty much what they are). PC gaming will be somewhat forced to conform to a more console gaming model. Most new games on PC are more console ports and play very similair to console games. Also the ease of use for PC gaming is already becoming a priority, this is one of Microsoft's goals for Vista. Also the price of "gaming" hardware for PCs will decrease has it becomes more of the standard. Even a mid-range brand PC today has a decent dual core CPU, 2GB of RAM and at least the capability for adding a good graphics card. However I still maintain that a little bit of brains can easily make high performance PC gaming cheaper then consoles. I've spent a net of $1000 on my PC(system only) over the past 3 years including the Q6600, 4GB OCZ, brand new motherboard and 8800GTS G92 I've bought in the last month. Had I been console gaming only I would have spent more then that in 3 years (XBox 360 + PS3 + seperate hardware for each).
January 16, 2008 5:15:21 PM

I think cost comparison between both PC's and consoles is very similar. With a console you may have to upgrade to the next-best in, let's say for argument's sake, 2 years. You can't just keep what you've got and play the newer games at lower quality. You must have the new console in order for them to work.

With a PC, games are released w/ a variety of different hardware requirements, so someone with a 4 year old PC may still be able to play a brand new game w/ a loss in quality.

In the end it comes down to each individual and their willingness to spend money to always have the "latest and greatest" hardware. The above statements are just the way I view things. :p 

Quote:
I don't think prices of consoles with rise much at all over time, when inflation is factored in. Sony proved this with slow initial PS3 sales until the price drop. The Wii appears cheap, but once you get the second controllers, the battery chargers, the adapter needed to play it in 480p instead of 480i, it cost me roughly what my PS3 did.
Have you seen the press release that states that it costs nearly $400 for Sony just to manufacture the PS3? (I believe it was the 60 or 40GB variety) They can't be making too much off them, at least not until the manufacturing cost of the blu-ray diodes go down a bit.

Anyways, I guess it really depends on the technology that goes into the console that will ultimately affect the ending price.

Quote:
Yes the price of the Console will go up .. but it will only go up so far...
then they are going to start letting people...upgrade the console as you would on a pc..
They are PC's already, just pre-configured and they lack the ability for just swap out internal hardware. I'm sure everyone has noticed that they are offering some types of upgrades for consoles already... the HD-DVD player for XBOX360 anyone? :)  Like you said, it's just a matter of time before they become more "PC-like" than they already are.


January 16, 2008 6:23:42 PM

rgeist554 said:
Have you seen the press release that states that it costs nearly $400 for Sony just to manufacture the PS3?


It actually costs more. Microsoft and Sony lose money on every 360/PS3 they sell. They make all the money on games. If you make a game for either, a cut goes to them.

While I agree with being able to play games on an older computer, why would you want to? I certainly wouldn't want to attempt to play Crysis on a 6800GT.

rgeist554 said:
They are PC's already, just pre-configured and they lack the ability for just swap out internal hardware.


Not true. You can replace the chip in a Wii to allow it to play...er......um...hacked downloaded games, and I have an XBox with a bigger hard drive and Windows Media Center installed with hundreds of original arcade games on it. The PS3 also allows you to install an operating system on it if you choose. It actually has that option in it's own menu, no hack needed.
January 16, 2008 6:35:32 PM

If it's a hacked / modded chip, then they don't just give you the ability to swap out the hardware. It voids your warranty and probably any EULA's you agreed to in the process.

I'll give you the swappable HDD's, but you can't really just swap the proc, GPU's, RAM, etc for some quick performance gains. (Granted, this is possible, but again, it voids your warranty and requires some knowledge with electronics)

Quote:
The PS3 also allows you to install an operating system on it if you choose. It actually has that option in it's own menu, no hack needed.
An OS isn't hardware though.
January 16, 2008 10:39:50 PM

I wasn't trying to argue that the latest consoles are anywhere near PC's in terms of being upgradeable. In fact, that's their best selling point. But you can have a little fun with them.

My point is that the 360/PS3 have gotten good enough, graphic-wise anyways, that deciding between a $400 video card and a $400 PS3 is tougher than it used to be. Especially when that card can't max out the latest games in most cases, never mind a year from it's purchase. The consoles have closed the gap. There will always be one, but it's not as big as even 3 years ago.

My last console before my PS3 and my girls Wii was the Sega. It'd been awhile to say the least. I was hard-core PC only, but getting the PS3, for Blu-ray, then playing a few games on it, opened my eyes a bit. I still prefer PC, but no longer "look down" on console only gamers.
January 17, 2008 10:48:52 AM

KingLoftusXII said:
The Wii appears cheap, but once you get the second controllers, the battery chargers, the adapter needed to play it in 480p instead of 480i, it cost me roughly what my PS3 did.


You must not have a Wii. I do (not to mention a 360 Elite and multiple PCs). The cheapest PS3 (with a single controller) is what...$399us? So, going on that. Wii: $249.00 (inc. Wiimote/Nunchuck). 4 pack of rechargeable batteries with charger: $10 just about anywhere. Component Video cable (for 720x480p): $10 shipped from Monoprice. (usually about $15 locally).

Lets total those figures. PS3: 399.00 Wii: $274.00 Hmmm, me thinks someone is trying to confuse people.

For the difference of the "base" costs ($125), the Wii own can get TWO extra Wiimote/Nunchuck: $60/each. Another $10 will net 8 more rechargeable batteries.

Even the low capacity 700mah batteries last about 25 hours playtime in the wiimote.

KingLoftusXII said:
With the advent of 1080p HD, and consoles now with the power to take advantage of it, this will hurt PC gaming. PC games will always be better for pure simulation games and online stuff, but there is an attraction to being able to simply turn on a console and play. No system crashes, driver issues and such. It was such a pain in the butt to put the kids to bed, have a few beers, and be itching to play some BF2 only to be kicked for a punkbuster issue...then...update...then restart...etc.


I think the main issue most people have with PC gaming is that they have been raised on console gaming. I don't really have any more PC gaming issues than I do with the 360. Once the game is installed. I sit down, log in, double-click the game, it loads quicker than the 360, click a few times and I'm on a server playing. BF2 is horrible for stability though. I pretty much gave up on it (good thing I just got it and only paid $10us). Downside to PC gaming used to be the bratty whiny kids. But they're mostly going over to the consoles nowadays. They're growing up and mommy/daddy doesn't want to spend the money on a PC just so junior can play games, so they spend a bit less for a console and more for the games themselves (a part they don't usually realize). The worse part of this transition is that now those brats are pre-teens/teens and not only are still whiny, but they have a FU attitude too. Shame these punks were never taught proper manners/respect.


PC's have long had 1080p (and better) graphics, and no one doesn't have to have the latest greatest hardware either. You might be a few months behind on the game releases, but true PC games have always been there, so it's not like it's a big deal. When a new game has just come out, we're still focusing on the one three releases ago "as if it's new". We'll get to the new on in due course. Although, there are those diehard, money-pockets who don't mind dropping a few grand every year, just so they can tout their rigs. I don't mind playing Crysis at 1280x720/VH instead of 1920x1200/VH. One CAN nitpick the differences, but there's not enough to make me upset. I have long been able to play most current (of the time) games at at least 1600x1200x32bitx60FPS and usually upwards of 120FPS.

KingLoftusXII said:
but overall, with friends over and beer flowing, the Wii trumps all of them.

I have to agree with this. I have Summers off (I teach nowadays) and spent a lot of nights in the backyard with the neighbors playing Wii bowling and Tiger Woods 07. The $100 I spent making a folding projection screen was made up within the first week.
January 17, 2008 11:02:50 AM

stromm said:
You must not have a Wii. I do (not to mention a 360 Elite and multiple PCs). The cheapest PS3 (with a single controller) is what...$399us? So, going on that. Wii: $249.00 (inc. Wiimote/Nunchuck). 4 pack of rechargeable batteries with charger: $10 just about anywhere. Component Video cable (for 720x480p): $10 shipped from Monoprice. (usually about $15 locally).

Lets total those figures. PS3: 399.00 Wii: $274.00 Hmmm, me thinks someone is trying to confuse people.


Wii, $250. 2nd nunchuck $20, Wii play with second controller $50, recharging station $25, Component out $25.
As I said, AROUND the cost of my PS3. Granted I spent a little extra for the LED station and such, but it's still close.

Yes PC's have always had better graphics, and most likely always will, my point was consoles have gotten close enough to at least make them semi-comparable. And as I said, still prefer a PC over a console, it's just consoles have gotten good enough now that I enjoy them. Friends had the PS, PS2 and they never did anything for me was I wasn't the least bit impressed.

A projector rules for the Wii. MY Wii and PS3 are hooked up to my 110" screen. Love it.


January 17, 2008 11:09:54 AM

One other point. Most PC games aren't driven by the looks of the game. Most are driven by the playability and replay-ability of the game.

Take Diablo2 for example, max 800x600 res, isometric view and SEVEN years old. 1000's still play it. Heck, I still regularly play CS1.6 (and older versions on LAN). I have a few hundred PC games on my shelf. I tend to keep about 20 installed at all times.

Now think about console gamers. Most buy a game, blow through it in a weekend and go sell it for 1/3 what they paid for it to buy another game. Most don't keep games for very long. Most console games don't last 20 hours. !!!!! 20 hours !!!!!. I spent 200 hours playing Sacred and about 120 hours playing Dungeon Siege the first time through.

Console games are designed for "wham, bam, thank you mam" game play. Until recently (when PC game dev's were all absorbed by the console dev parent companies), PC games were more about long-term game play, enveloping the player.

Sadly, nowadays, PC games are being created by console players who think everyone wants to beat a game in 10-20 hours so they can feel good about themselves and brag about how they beat "this" game even though they don't have a life.

The fact that almost no console game allows the player to save when they want is a good indication that the dev's don't want us to walk away and comeback when we want. Really, if I'm going to devote time to a game, what does it matter to them if I play for 10 minutes, save and come back tomorrow to play some more? I freaking hate when save points are 30-60 minutes apart!!!! I like PC games since I can do that "play for 10 minutes" and come back later exactly where I was when i ran out of time to play.

Sorry, I'm off my horse now, I think it's dead anyways.
January 17, 2008 12:14:32 PM

KingLoftusXII said:
Wii, $250. 2nd nunchuck $20, Wii play with second controller $50, recharging station $25, Component out $25.
As I said, AROUND the cost of my PS3. Granted I spent a little extra for the LED station and such, but it's still close.



Not trying to argue here, but now you're confusing me. Comparing base sets, the PS3 is at best $125 more than a Wii.

Your stuff above totals $390. Adding the extra $70.00 (for wiiplay/nunchuck) greatly unbalances the comparison. The PS3 doesn't come with TWO controllers and TWO games.

Here in Ohio prices must be a bit less, Wii Play is $40 inc. the Wiimote, charging station $20, cable's $15. I prefer rechargable AA's vs. the station since I never have to worry about running out of charged batteries and they're cheaper.

Take the base PS3 and add a $50 controller and second game $60 and that takes a comparable PS3 up to $519.

So with everything equal, that's Wii: $390, PS3: $519. That's a huge difference.

Reason I'm being picky is that I'm tired of people making vague posts and confusing everyone "not in the know". I can't count how many people have seen my Wii setup and said "For what you must have spent, you should have just bought a <360/PS3>". Then I explain to them the cost difference and they look at me with a dear-in-the-headlight look and go "Oh".
January 17, 2008 12:52:59 PM

stromm said:
Not trying to argue here, but now you're confusing me. Comparing base sets, the PS3 is at best $125 more than a Wii.


You are correct. With the second controller my PS3 was $450. All totaled, my Wii was $370, with as you mentioned 2 games, although to be fair Wii sports and Wii play are more like demo's. Demo's at this point I'm not tired of yet, but demo's I think none-the-less. If you scratch the Wii play and second controller and are happy playing at 480i, you are correct, prices do widen, by quite a bit.

For games on the PS3, if you're smart you can get around the $60 per game, just like on a PC. Madden '08 came out, so I grabbed Madden '07 for $15 at Best Buy. $60 a game, Sony's gotta make money somehow. ;)  Although as for saving your spot in a game, so far at least, the PS3 is pretty good about that, with the 40gb hard drive.

At the time, I bought the PS3 purely for its ability to play Blu-ray to go with my HD DVD player. $400 for a PS3, $400 for a Blu-ray player. It was a no brainer, although the PS3 is limited to 5.1 instead of 7.1 on a pure Blu-ray player.

stromm said:
One other point. Most PC games aren't driven by the looks of the game. Most are driven by the playability and replay-ability of the game.


On this, I'm 100% in agreement. I musta' played a BF42' capture the flag mod for 3 years. This was an absolute blast. Many a drunken Fri night was spent on that! Mod's...another area PC's trump a console.
January 17, 2008 1:17:52 PM

http://www.gamebrink.com/blog/2007/11/15/most-hd-game-r...

Quote:
Well it turns out that when a game box says that it runs in 720p or 1080p it’s not entirely true. Sure you can set it to that resolution but the actual game output resolution is rarely exactly that.

Check out two of the biggest releases of the season for example:

COD4 (360) 1024×600p 2xAA
COD4 (PS3) 1024×600p 2xAA
Uncharted (PS3) 960×1080 in 1080p

Neither Call of Duty 4 or Uncharted run in the actual resolutions.

The reason most games do this is to allow for more visual effects to be rendered to the screen without slowing the game down. Most won’t ever notice or care but it’s kind of interesting to find out the actual resolutions that games render in. Here are some more recent ones along with a huge list of older releases from the pixel counter at Beyond3D.

Def Jam: Icon (PS3) 1152×648
Marvel: Ultimate Alliance (PS3) 1920×1080 FullHD
Transformers (PS3) 960×1080
Pirates of the Caribbean (PS3 720p): 960×720
Pirates of the Caribbean (PS3 1080p): 780×1080
Oblivion (360): 1024×600 (PS3 version is full 720p)
ICO (PS2): 512×224p (less than Tekken on PS1 at 512×240)
VF5 (PS3 720p): 1024×1024 (same as 360)
VF5 (PS3 1080p): 1024×768


Here are some older discoveries from the same thread:

Full Auto 2: 1920×1080 AA 4x, bad framerate - PS3
NBA Street: 1920×1080 AA 4x (30-60fps) - 360
LocoRoco Cocoreccho 1920×1080 MSAA 2x -PS3
Tony Hawk Project 8: 1040×584 AA - 360
Tony Hawk Project 8: 1280×720 - PS3
Virtua Tennis 3: 1920×1080 AA 2x - PS3, 360
XMB: 1920×1080p - PS3
Dashboard: 1280×720p - 360
Perfect Dark Zero: 1138×640p - 360
Halo 3: 1152×640p - 360
Call of Duty 3: 1120×630p 360
Ninja Gaiden Sigma: 1280×720p PS3
Project Gotham Racing 3: 1024×600 360
Tomb Raider: 1024×600 360
Ridge Racer 7:
NBA 07: 1920×1080 - PS3
NBA 08: 1920×1080 - PS3
Tony Hawk Proving Ground: 600p - PS3
Tony Hawk Proving Ground: 720p - 360
GRAW2: 720p - PS3
GRAW2: 720p AA 2x - 360
Super Rub a Dub: 1600×1080 - PS3
GTHD: 1440×1080 - PS3
Super Stardust HD: 1280×1080 - PS3
Skate: 1536×864 - PS3
Skate: 1280×720 AA - 360
Bioshock: 1280×720 - 360
Harry Potter: 1280×720 MSAA 2x PS3 ?
Pixel Junk Racers: 1920×1080 PS3
Heavenly Sword: 1280×720 AA 4x PS3
Blast Factor Demo: 1920×1080 PS3
The Darkness Demo: 1024×576 PS3


Original thread
http://forum.beyond3d.com/showthread.php?t=43330&page=1...

Quote:
stromm wrote :

One other point. Most PC games aren't driven by the looks of the game. Most are driven by the playability and replay-ability of the game.


On this, I'm 100% in agreement. I musta' played a BF42' capture the flag mod for 3 years. This was an absolute blast. Many a drunken Fri night was spent on that! Mod's...another area PC's trump a console.


Agree with you both, I don't really care about the graphics, it's the gameplay that matters, I want to see graphics, I watch a damn good movie, like LOTR.
January 18, 2008 7:01:31 PM

tsd16 said:
I notice A trend in consoles witht he exception of the wii (which from my perspective is more of"just a console)

I've actually come to doubt that; though it lacks DVD-playback capabilities, it can play audio CDs, and effectively has every other non-gaming feature that the Xbox 360 and PS3 have.

Plus, as I've noticed, they SOMEHOW managed to succeed where Microsoft had failed years ago: get people to love WebTV, albeit without actually implying anything of the like. Nintendo's a slippery one, I tell you.

tsd16 said:
With increasing price tags, again aside fromt he wii, and increasing variation of models and upgradeabilty of the console systems, in my opinion its just a matter of time for Console gaming to become as expensive as PC gaming. just look at the launch price of the ps3, I could have built a budget gaming machine for that price, especially now for PS3's original price tag. In my opinion its only a matter of time until Consoles start allowing easy access for hardware changes and you will see system requirements on the back of console games only coming out with new consoles when there is a major technology shift. IMO decent gaming computers are getting cheaper and cheaper to build whereas consoles are going up in price. i.e the first computer I built cost me 1700 dollars ( I think I was rockin a voodoo 3 600mhz athlon), and was hardly top of the line, If I spent that much this go round I would be running dual 8800GT's or a 8800 Ultra right now instead of one 8800gt(which is serving me quite well so far!).

What does anyone else think?

I'd doubt that consoles will start allowing access to change out their hardware. Once they do, they lose their advantage in being so ridiculously easy to program for, which will start to chase away developers. And once you start cutting down the game flow, the consoles would crash; this is what brought down, for instance, the Nintendo64; it had several hardware quirks that put off developers, particularly the fact that it used cartridges rather than CDs. While the cartriges were, on average, 6-8x as fast as the CDs in the Playstation, allowed for built-in saves, were practically impossible to pirate, (at least to make copies of) were far more durable, and in MOST cases, thanks to the hardware-based .MP3 audio support, at 16 or 32MB had plenty enough space for almost any developer, it just happened to COST far more, which meant that publishers had to ACCURATELY predict a game's sales level, else wind up losing money.

By alienating the developers in such a way, Nintendo lost what they hadn't realized what was their biggest strength with the NES and SNES. And because the Playstation wound up having so many developers backing it heavily with their flagship titles, it wound up vastly out-selling the Nintendo64, in spite of the fact that the N64 was perhaps 2-4 times as powerful; a gap about as wide as the one between the Wii and the PS3.

At any rate, I doubt that consoles will continue to take a steep incline in prices. Historically, a grand total of 3 consoles had an MSRP lower than their manufacturing price at launch: the Xbox, the Xbox 360, and the PS3. Both the Xbox and Xbox 360 dropped in cost to lower than their MSRP. However, none of those three consoles managed to capture the market.

I'm predicting that for the 8th generation, both Sony and Microsoft will think long and hard before putting so much expensive hardware in their machines. I'd expect that we'll see a far more modest increase in power over the current generation, than we saw this generation over the last one. Part of it will be due, of course, to a lack of necessity: from the 6th to 7th we saw a transition from standard-definition TV output being the norm to support of enhanced-definition and high-definition being the norm. They aren't going to be putting out a new standard anytime soon, since I noted that what we call 480i today has been mostly unchanged since around 1953, 55 years ago.

perzy said:
Well imagine the grinding teeth of all PS3-owners in a year or two when all games look better on the PC...

Well, don't they already look better? ;) 

perzy said:
But the consoles sell anyway and I guess it's because the social dimension.
The PC is a single-player machine. The console is more a family/friends toy.

Very true; PCs tend to not be readily available as multiplayer machines. It can take quite a bit of effort to do so, even IF the game you're running allows for one-machine multiplayer. That's a big difference from just plunking down with some friends to play a quick round of Super Smash Brothers or Halo. (I will admit to spending an inordinate amount of time for this sort of thing, particularly SSB)

KingLoftusXII said:
With the advent of 1080p HD, and consoles now with the power to take advantage of it, this will hurt PC gaming.

I have my doubts here; it's been pretty well-documented that people really can't tell the difference between resolutions on a TV, especially seeing as how very few realized that most of the games they like to play at 1080p are, in fact, rendering at 720p at best; only some sports titles are really handling 1080p.

KingLoftusXII said:
Yes PC's have always had better graphics, and most likely always will, my point was consoles have gotten close enough to at least make them semi-comparable.

Technically, they've not been continually trying to close the gap; it's widened and shortened over the years. I'd actually say there was ONE point where the consoles actually passed the PC: namely in 1996, with the release of the Nintendo64, where that console suddenly had support for year-2000-esque technology like bilinear filtering and hardware Transform & lighting. Of course, the machine was bottlenecked by having only 4MB of total RAM, (and also bottlenecked by having a texture cache large enough to only support 64x64 textures) though the results could be clearly seen; it looked better than Quake.


Rather interesting to see... Though I'd been fairly certain that Oblivion was full 720p, albeit at a 30fps cap. Though that might explain why all these screenshots are at 1024x576.

And Halo 3 at 600p?! What could they be doing to drag down performance on a game that looks not much better than Halo 2?

I suppose that the resolutions used are lower than I thought. :p 
January 18, 2008 11:24:46 PM

it's funny how console gamers keep ignoring they need a TV too and a TV doesn't come cheap if you want some visual quality

if you calculate that into the cost of console gamesing, the difference in cost spread over the years become close, especially when you add the extra cost per game because that is where they get their profit from
January 19, 2008 12:45:32 AM

nottheking said:
I have my doubts here; it's been pretty well-documented that people really can't tell the difference between resolutions on a TV, especially seeing as how very few realized that most of the games they like to play at 1080p are, in fact, rendering at 720p at best; only some sports titles are really handling 1080p.


You've actually helped make my point. COD4 will easily outsell on the 360/PS3 compared to the Windows version. You and I can build a computer to take full advantage of what makes a PC so great, but most can't, and most won't be willing to drop a few grand on a Dell every 2 years to keep up. As you said most people can't tell the difference in resolution. Surely they would be more than happy playing a console on their 1080p HD set, regardless of the fact the game itself may not be 1080p. To them, it's 1080p, the latest and greatest, yippee look at me! ;) 

PC games will always have their place and this is not a prediction, but a fear: With so much money now being required to develop a game, and this will clearly increase as time goes on, developers will take the "easy" way out and focus more and more on consoles instead of PC's. Sure every household has a PC, but the % that can actually play games with any great success is relatively small.
January 19, 2008 12:55:43 AM

promajo said:
it's funny how console gamers keep ignoring they need a TV too and a TV doesn't come cheap if you want some visual quality


So by this logic, since my consoles (and sometimes my PC) are hooked up to an HD projector which only produces an image, the Onkyo receiver, twin 12" Polk subs, and the remaining JBL speakers required for 7.1(2), means I have a $4000 Wii/PS3???

Everyone has a TV, and anyone who drops $1000's on a TV for a console should be shot. Twice.
January 19, 2008 2:26:36 AM

KingLoftusXII said:
As you said most people can't tell the difference in resolution.

I said *on a TV*. ;)  Most people I've seen can notice the difference in resolution on a CRT or LCD monitor, at least significant resolution differences. Though I've noticed that they often can't on televisions; the sort of images TVs are calibrated for are good at disguising lower resolutions.

I recall seeing the results myself a lot, as my brother uses a standard-def TV as a second monitor; he occasionally likes using it for gaming or video-watching. He noted, for instance, (And I agreed) that Halo: Combat Evolved, looked considerably better on a cruddy old standard-def TV run through a composite cable than it did at 1280x960 on his PC's monitor.

So in this case, I was hinting that the display type used matters.

KingLoftusXII said:
Everyone has a TV, and anyone who drops $1000's on a TV for a console should be shot. Twice.

And everyone has a PC, and anyone who drops $1000's on a PC for gaming should be... Oh, wait. :sweat: 
January 19, 2008 3:05:30 AM

nottheking said:
And everyone has a PC, and anyone who drops $1000's on a PC for gaming should be... Oh, wait. :sweat: 


You missed the point.
January 19, 2008 9:32:48 AM

you say everybody has a TV (mom and dad provide?)
everybody has a PC too how else could you get here?
people compare prices of consoles with prices of complete PCs
why not include the cost to buy a TV?
and the difference in price between the games?
January 19, 2008 11:17:38 AM

My point was, I already had the theater set-up and got the PS3 for Blu-ray. Now had I gotten the PS3 and then went and built everything else for the gaming aspect of it, that's a little crazy. But to be honest, were we millionaires I think we all would...
January 19, 2008 3:31:02 PM

Consoles provide a decent gaming experience at a fraction of the cost of a real gaming rig. Although the Op speculates that since they are basically a PC in a box, that soon, there will be little difference. I disagree that this is likely to happen because their main advantage is their nature as a closed hardware platform. Sure, you could build a budget gaming rig for around $1000, but it wouldn't play modern games all that well and wouldn't be viable for all that long either.

I have long debated the whole PC vs. consoles issue with my friends as I am a hardcore PC gamer, and have been for the last 10 years. I recently bought my son a 360 so I have been struggling over whether to upgrade my aging PC. (Dell XPS gen 3)

I have grown weary with constant PC upgrading. At first it was like a hobby and I enjoyed it, but with increasing cost it has grown tedious, not fun. I also grow weary with every new game coming out needing to be "tweaked" to run well. I had to do this even when my PC was still current. You still need to tweak this and that to squeeze out max FPS. Just read any article on Crysis - and it is the same with every game. Sometimes ATI drivers are disadvantaged, other times it is Nvidia. Sometimes it's the sound card. With the 360, I know if I buy it and stick it in the drive it will work well and play well. (assuming the 360 works at all of course - LOL; the ROD, hardware failure, etc.)

But, the controllers suck compared to a mouse. I really like the 360 controller's design, but you still lack the precision of a mouse.

The reality is every major game developer's primary development thrust is consoles first, then the PC gets the port. Even if a gaming PC cost the same as a console, we are still screwed because consoles are now the primary development focus.

I have read up extensively on this topic and that's the truth - because that is where the money is at. COD 4 will outsell Halo because it was released across all console platforms in addition to the PC, and the PC will barely show a dent compared to any platform sales.

With the exception of Crysis, there is no AAA game coming out that will not also be released on a console. At E3, every game was being shown on a console, not a PC. The reality is if you don't already have a gaming rig and want to start gaming, you are better off with a console, unless you want to play MMORPG's. Multiplayer on the 360 is also very weak compared to PC's. For example, COD 4 supports 32 players on the PC versus a measley 18 on the 360. PC gaming has always been the technologically superior platform, but it gimped itself with the ever present arms race for better graphics and the hundreds of configs that must be supported to ensure some widespread compatibility.

I am unlikely to upgrade and get a new rig like I have every three years in the past. I just don't see a future in PC gaming anymore. And believe me, if you knew me, for me to say that is a major act of heresy.
January 19, 2008 5:41:22 PM

I don't think it will ever change. PC's and consoles have existed along side each other in homes since the early 80's. We had an Atari 2600 and a commodore 64. Computers and consoles are two different beasts. A console to me is exclusively for gaming, the computer is the "can do it all" machine. Now maybe the consoles will become more computer like or the computer will find its way into the living room hooked up to the TV but I still think they will still serve two different purposes.

Different things serve different niches in our lives. Our min-van is good for vacations and is good for hauling stuff. Our Subaru gets better gas mileage and has all wheel drive but is too small for long vacations because we can't cram as much stuff in it. But it is nice having the two very different types of vehicles. Each has its strengths and weaknesses.

Variety is the spice of life........ ;) 
January 20, 2008 11:37:43 AM

I'm basically with Caamsa,earlier this year I had decided to upgrade my monitor and it was just when HD_LCD was coming out, so I bought a 19" widescreen HD TV i type and hooked it up to a 7600GT and used the DVI input,movies and games are unbelievable, plus I can grab the remote and change the input to cable and lay in bed and watch whatever interests me, but I am not a console player-never liked them and until the graphics and the play quality get better I'm not interested, give me a KB so I can assign the actions, a hyper 9 year old I am not
January 20, 2008 4:14:51 PM

Quote:
Wii, $250. 2nd nunchuck $20, Wii play with second controller $50, recharging station $25, Component out $25.
As I said, AROUND the cost of my PS3. Granted I spent a little extra for the LED station and such, but it's still close.

So the $399 PS3 comes with all those comparable accessories? That’s like comparing the price of two PCs, one that cost $400 and another that cost $1000. Then adding the price of monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers, printer desk, etc. to the $400 one but not the $1000 one and saying “See it cost just as much”. Actually you can do that with just about anything. You can add $20,000 in extras to a $30,000 dollar car and say “look it cost just as much as a $50,000 car”. Or you can compare a fully furnished $100,000 house to an empty $200,000 one.
But the Wii is not just cheaper up front, it’s cheaper in the long run to. For one games are cheaper. Also the Wii-mote is much more versital and makes specialty controllers much cheaper. Buying a gun type of controller for other consoles requires buying what amounts to a whole new controller. For the Wii it’s just a adapter for your existing controllers. I think when you see stand alone Guitars(no game) for the Wii they’ll be cheaper then PS2/3 or Xbox versions. Component cables are dirt cheap as long as you’re not stupid enough to buy them from a retail store.
Besides all that the Wii and PS3 fill very different market segments so to compare the two is silly anyways. For me the Wii is a nice compliment to my PC for gaming. A PS3(or Xbox360) would just be a waste of money for me.
January 20, 2008 4:38:37 PM

KingLoftusXII said:
You are correct. With the second controller my PS3 was $450. All totaled, my Wii was $370, with as you mentioned 2 games, although to be fair Wii sports and Wii play are more like demo's. Demo's at this point I'm not tired of yet, but demo's I think none-the-less. If you scratch the Wii play and second controller and are happy playing at 480i, you are correct, prices do widen, by quite a bit.


Nice selective quoting. You forgot to include what I said here. The PS3/360 don't do it for you, that's cool. As I said before, I have a home theater in my finished basement and got the PS3 mainly for Blu-ray to complement my HD DVD player as at the time it cost the same as a stand alone Sony Blu-ray player. So, from my point of view, the PS3 was "free". But you are correct in saying that the Wii, in the shot-term as well as the long-term, is cheaper. My point was, costs do add up when you add extras, as with any gaming console.

I.E. the compentent cables for the Wii are Wii specific, you need rechargeable batteries for the Wii remote, etc. The PS3 uses non-specific HDMI, and the controller is rechargeable from the get-go. Yes, retail stores rape you for Component/HDMI cables. They generally charge $100 for a 6ft HDMI were as I got my two 35ft HDMI cables for the projector for $43 w/shipping each online.


January 20, 2008 9:16:56 PM

Actually you don't NEED rechargeable batteries for the Wii. Any AA batteries will do and they last for a while since they're Bluetooth. Also I don't see much of a point in whether or not component cables are specific to one system or not. I paid $9 (shipping included) for my component cables. Assuming the Wii last at least 3 years I don't think I'll be kicking myself in the a$$ because I can't re-use them on something else. Anyways my point is that you can manipulate the price of anything if you really want to justify it, like your "free" PS3.
January 20, 2008 11:14:39 PM

I've said the Wii is cheaper, multiple times...so what is your point exactly???
January 22, 2008 4:52:29 PM

I guess I'm not sure why you were compairing PS3 and Wii prices in the first place. They're different and don't necessarily compete for the same market segmant. The same can be said for PC costs vs Console costs. You can look at the costs any way you want to justify which is cheaper or cost more.
January 22, 2008 7:02:03 PM

To the OP,

Console prices aren't going to spiral out of control for several reasons. First off, all the attempts to make a console that carries a real premium price over it's competitors haven't gone so well. Sony was the latest victim of this where its sales weren't very good until it cut the prices. They were still selling more ps2's then ps3's as of December 15th. I haven't looked in a while though.

Second, the console makers start designing the next generation the day the current generation ships. Therefore, the next xbox will be based around components available in 2005. There will be some updates of course, and they'll base it on what was the high end in 2005. But 2005's l33tsauce is 2009's generic bin.

Third, console makers have a much more robust profit strategy than pc makers. Console makers can live with a new console taking 2 years to break even (like xbox did and ps3 will) because of the way game sales work.

Finally, Nintendo sales clearly prove that buyers will make sacrifices in cutting edge content if you present a good gaming experience.


Now in general, I think PC game makers are in trouble. Crysis, the 'must have' title sold very poorly. Game requirements are confusing for average users. PC sales are moving rapidly toward laptops-even for photoediting and former 'high end' applications. Online play for PC's is a mixed bag- you can truly buy your way to an advantage. You are constantly watching for people with cheat mods, etc. An xbox controller may not feel quite as precise, but at least the guy you are playing against has the same problem.

Yes I can hook my pc up to my tv. My PC is a full tower though and that would be unsightly and loud in the living room. Sure I can make a HTPC, would I want to though? They are a pain in the ass and I certainly wouldn't recommend 1 to an average user. If you think the calls from your sister in law about installing a printer are annoying, think about the fun you'd have diagnosing their htpc.

I assume most of the people on this board are above average to extremely computer savvy. I think pc gamers simply don't realize how arcane your knowledge base needs to be to be a pc gamer compared to the average joe.
January 22, 2008 8:26:37 PM

Quote:
I assume most of the people on this board are above average to extremely computer savvy. I think pc gamers simply don't realize how arcane your knowledge base needs to be to be a pc gamer compared to the average joe.

I think this will change as developers along with MS and there experience with the XBox will make PC gaming more comfortable (both in ease of use and in cost) to the average user. Also as technology increases the level of hardware needed for gaming will start to platue out and come more in line with what the average PC has. You don't have to go to far back into the past to remember a time when things like using your PC for music, video, pictures or even the internet were considered for enthusiast only. PCs aren't going anywhere anytime soon and neither are video games, so it just makes sense that the two will remain intertwined.
January 22, 2008 10:49:12 PM

purplerat said:
You don't have to go to far back into the past to remember a time when things like using your PC for music, video, pictures or even the internet were considered for enthusiast only.


That's trickle down economics there. $500 graphic cards are $100 2 years later. The latest and greatest games will always require the latest and greatest hardware. Games drive the video side of the PC industry and will never plateau. We wouldn't settle for that and you know it. ;) 
January 23, 2008 2:14:50 PM

Quote:

You don't have to go to far back into the past to remember a time when things like using your PC for music, video, pictures or even the internet were considered for enthusiast only.
$2100 / mo dial-up internet ftw! Now you can probably get 3 bonded T-1's for that price.
January 23, 2008 2:23:34 PM

Quote:
Games drive the video side of the PC industry and will never plateau.

So what happens when we reach complete photo realism? Looking at Crysis and other DX10 samples we're pretty close especially compaired to just a couple years ago (or console games today). I believe that eventually these types of incredible graphics and the hardware to produce them will become common place. Think about this; For a long time computers required a math co-processor to handle complex mathematical computations. If you told somebody back then that these would be completely unnecessary and that even the most basic of PC could handle such things with ease they probably wouldn't have believed you. I think the same thing will happen with computer graphics where no body will even give a second thought about having incredible graphics processing power in any PC. There is already the beggings of a push towards more powerful IGPs. I wouldn't be surprised if in 5 years or so if integrated graphics are in the same place as integrated sound is today. You'll have a few die hards holding on to they're dedicated graphics, but most of us will be using integrated versions that work just as well but at a fraction of the cost.
January 23, 2008 6:27:22 PM

purplerat said:
Quote:
Games drive the video side of the PC industry and will never plateau.

So what happens when we reach complete photo realism? Looking at Crysis and other DX10 samples we're pretty close especially compaired to just a couple years ago (or console games today). I believe that eventually these types of incredible graphics and the hardware to produce them will become common place. Think about this; For a long time computers required a math co-processor to handle complex mathematical computations. If you told somebody back then that these would be completely unnecessary and that even the most basic of PC could handle such things with ease they probably wouldn't have believed you. I think the same thing will happen with computer graphics where no body will even give a second thought about having incredible graphics processing power in any PC. There is already the beggings of a push towards more powerful IGPs. I wouldn't be surprised if in 5 years or so if integrated graphics are in the same place as integrated sound is today. You'll have a few die hards holding on to they're dedicated graphics, but most of us will be using integrated versions that work just as well but at a fraction of the cost.



I kind of agree with you. The only problem is that it will still be a small subset of pc users who understand what you need to view a game of this caliber. Then when the equipment to view a game of this caliber becomes mainstream- it will also be available in a console. I would say if anything, integrated graphics processors will bring consoles closer to pc's in quality and it will result in an overall savings. I think it's interesting that AMD/ATI is pinning a lot of their plans on integrated graphics. I remember seeing something along the lines of there being 26million annual laptop sales, of those 20 million used an IGP. Laptop sales are going up, tower sales are going down. IGP's currently suck but apparently 77% of laptop users don't care.
January 23, 2008 6:34:02 PM

Quote:
IGP's currently suck but apparently 77% of laptop users don't care.
Probably because 77% of all laptops are bought for business. :p  That's how we purchase machines. We either get IGP's or the worst graphics card that will still work on the system. Then we never have to worry about people installing games on their PC's, or better yet, letting their children install games on the PC.
January 23, 2008 6:51:51 PM

Well my original response on this thread was along the lines (or at least I intended it to be) that PC and console gaming will eventually converge. What the end result will look like is not readily evident but here's two things I know. 1. People are going to own PCs, and increasingly so. 2. People are going to game and increasingly so. It seems like the two would stick together. If anything the console is the third wheel in this and while successful will benefit more by evolving towards PCs.
January 23, 2008 7:02:21 PM

rgeist554 said:
Quote:
IGP's currently suck but apparently 77% of laptop users don't care.
Probably because 77% of all laptops are bought for business. :p  That's how we purchase machines. We either get IGP's or the worst graphics card that will still work on the system. Then we never have to worry about people installing games on their PC's, or better yet, letting their children install games on the PC.


You have a point. It's hard to tell what the ratio of home users vs business users is. Home users will often say their laptop is a business expense for tax purposes.

I'd still say a significant portion of home use laptops are igps. Also, laptop sales are going up in both business and home use. But let's say your example is accurate- 6 million laptops were sold with separate (read: better) graphics by gamers. This means that the lowly graphic's on a Wii were prefered for the purpose of gaming by 2 to 1 over "gaming" laptops. I don't have igp numbers for towers but I'd be willing to bet that Xbox plus PS3 beat out the "gaming" towers handily. Realizing laptops are the current pc growth area, I would expect the current trend of developers moving toward console formats will grow. In fact, I'd say if a game could be done on a console, a developer would have to be nuts not to at least cross-platform the game.
January 23, 2008 7:12:13 PM

purplerat said:
Well my original response on this thread was along the lines (or at least I intended it to be) that PC and console gaming will eventually converge. What the end result will look like is not readily evident but here's two things I know. 1. People are going to own PCs, and increasingly so. 2. People are going to game and increasingly so. It seems like the two would stick together. If anything the console is the third wheel in this and while successful will benefit more by evolving towards PCs.


I could see this. I think MS has had this vision for a long time and the tools may just be coming around. I think Sony is on this bus too. I think it will take a company like MS or Sony to really pull this off and get started. It would take a simplified stable UI with great security that basically couldn't take changes and downloads unless it got filtered through MS or Sony. PC Geeks will cry foul because it will take software integration to a new high (twice as draconian as Mac is). If you look at the Xbox360 live content delivery, you can see the seeds for MS's vision of a full HTPC. Give the 360 more memory and a larger harddrive and add a "productivity" blade and you are almost there. I'm not being a fanboi- I just remember MS started talking about this 10 years ago.
January 23, 2008 7:16:42 PM

Well the XBox 360 is already a Media Extender for Windows. Why not a version of that which allows you to use your PCs hardware to to play games in your living room?
January 24, 2008 6:04:16 PM

I fear the day that Microsoft includes Office on the 360...
January 24, 2008 6:56:39 PM

Quote:
I fear the day that Microsoft includes Office on the 360...
No, that will only be on the 360 "Business Edition". The "Home Basic" and "Home Premium" editions of the 360 will only have notepad and paint.
January 25, 2008 7:24:56 PM

bombasschicken said:
I fear the day that Microsoft includes Office on the 360...



That made me laugh.

MS and Frigidaire have the pc/fridge with upc scanner now- that's just an online update away from solitaire and maijong on your fridge. After that, nothing surprises me (the day I start inventorying anything but beer in my fridge is the day I end it all).