PC Gaming Alliance Fights for the Computer as Gaming Platform

As a longtime computer gamer, I was cheered earlier this year to learn of the formation of the PC Gaming Alliance, a group of industry types who have banded together to promote the PC as a game platform.

Last week, Cnet’s Crave blog posted a terrific interview with Intel’s Randy Stude, president of the PCGA. Among Stude’s comments:

You have [a PC gaming] industry that’s being beat up in the Western press in terms of… its perceived lack of health, so we in the industry… didn’t really like the perception that we were hearing that PC gaming is on a decline. When in fact while certain markets of the PC gaming industry might be in a decline, others are sky-rocketing like never before.

The PCGA chief also downplayed discouraging NPD numbers:

I chuckle when I read through the articles or opinion that say that PC gaming is in a decline and they continue to quote NPD’s North American retail sales figures… NPD decided in the first quarter of 2008 to attempt to quantify North American MMO subscription revenues. And lo and behold… they found–under a rock that they hadn’t looked at before–a billion dollars…

In fact, Stude says that PC gaming generates a quarter of all video game revenues:

So if you add the billion dollars [NPD] claim to have found in annual subscription revenues on top of the $920 million that they were previously reporting in retail, suddenly the PC game piece of the pie is closer to a quarter of all software revenues generated in North America. That’s one platform out of eight that’s generating a quarter of all the revenues. There isn’t another platform generating that big of a share of the pie. And that is woefully underreported at a billion dollars. That’s why we’re here.

Stude also mentioned that the PCGA is looking into piracy issues:

We’re collecting research on PC game piracy… trying to have some understanding of how big it is, and then hopefully quantify the economic impact… We don’t intend to become the police force for PC game piracy. We’re not the RIAA, we’re not going to become the RIAA. Rather we’re a group that’s trying to look out for PC gaming, and if there’s a problem with it, we’re going to make industry recommendations…


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  1. 0
    unangbangkay ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Want to play games on your laptop while on the train? Hope you remembered to bring your CD that you can’t back up in case it gets scratched. Want to play your new single player, offline game? Hope you have internet access.

    Outside online verification, which is the exception and not the rule (as long as we can keep EA from making it so, at least), how is that different from any other console? You still need the disc or cartridge to play a PSP or DS game on the train, and you can’t take any of the major consoles out for a spin in the first place. If anything it’s a PC that’s the most portable powerful gaming platform of all, since a laptop or even a "eee" PC is infinitely more capable than a PSP or DS for doing pretty much anything (outside of playing Metal Gear Portable Ops or The World Ends With You).

    Copy protection and increasingly invasive DRM measures are certainly a concern, but nothing is "killing" PC gaming.

    The other points raised above are valid (esp. need to upgrade regularly)

    That’s a point, but you also pay high prices for high capacity. That’s the way it works. Can you work or surf (conveniently) on a PS3, Wii, or 360? Can you store nearly as much data or usable programs? You’re not just building a gaming platform, you’re building a COMPUTER. But all that aside, a machine with well-chosen parts lasts easily as long as any console in terms of rolling obsolescence. The price of entry is definitely high and it’s not as accessible to the end user as to the nerd, but upgrading is natural for every user, whatever the platform. Even if you don’t consider yourself a gamer, you’ll still need to upgrade to keep up with software compatibilities and what-have-you.

    And gamers do usually "upgrade" their consoles (by buying into the next generation) with roughly the same regularity as PC users. Consoles might be cheaper, but you can do less, and the "regularity" is no different in the long run. With my PC I can play pretty much any game I’ve EVER played (for the PC at least), through the use of emulators or by the fact that PCs are not limited by arbitrary marketing generations. I couldn’t say the same if I’d recently bought a PS3 (which these days don’t have nearly enough backwards compatibility), nor can a Wii play old SNES games without buying out of the VC library.

  2. 0
    Ace ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Most definately they made loads of money off their console FPS’s. Though is that because the FPS games released are so much better on the console than they are on the PC or is it because the people who own the consoles want to play those games, and without a PC release they ofcourse get their console fix.

    I’d love to see games that are good on the console, on the console. And games that just belong more on a PC being made for the PC. Why the exclusivity?

  3. 0
    aphexbr ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    My 2c:

    DRM is killing PC gaming, not piracy. The other points raised above are valid (esp. need to upgrade regularly), but the DRM is the big killer. Want to play games on your laptop while on the train? Hope you remembered to bring your CD that you can’t back up in case it gets scratched. Want to play your new single player, offline game? Hope you have internet access. Want to reinstall Mass Effect? Hope you don’t need to do it more that 3 times. Ever. Want to play Halo 2? You need to spend 2x extra to buy Vista first (officially anyway).

    Meanwhile, consoles are cheaper, more reliable (RROD notwithstanding) and will play any game you buy for it over its entire lifetime.

    So, people are either avoiding PC gaming altogether or concentrating on games like WoW – which is very successful but doesn’t help anyone but Blizzard in the long term.

  4. 0
    unangbangkay ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I don’t think anyone still maintains illusions that the PC is the sole platform for serious gaming anymore ("serious" being high-profile titles), but anyone who insists that it’s dying needs to get their blinders off. Gaming in general has changed. Having platform exclusive titles is rapidly becoming less and less viable, and nearly every major title has had some form of port to either the PC or another console. Games are multiplatform now, and that goes for our huge porn-storage boxes as well.

    Furthermore, there are many titles made for the PC, that just wouldn’t be the same in the console environment. Take, for example, Introversion’s Defcon, Uplink, and Darwinia, or Lexis Numerique’s The Experiment (Experience 112 in Europe). All would have their experiences essentially neutered if ported to a console platform.

    Gabe Newell mentioned that the impression of PC gaming’s demise is more a perception and "unserved customer" issue than simply one of invasive copy protection or piracy. That makes sense. The PC gaming market is the largest market there is (until consoles eventually evolve to the point where the platforms are indistinguishable) and hosts the largest potential market of all other platforms combined. The biggest problem is getting the games to the would-be gamers.

    Steam and the ease of digital distribution is making it more and more evident that not everyone will pirate a game if given the opportunity to buy it properly. I’m not expert, but many of the countries where piracy is most prolific don’t have many (if any) legitimate access to the software in the first place. Myanmar and rural China might have PCs, but it’s doubtful they have a local Gamestop.

    I imagine that if copy protection were somehow made 100% perfect and piracy eliminated entirely, most PC game sales would rise by only a small amount, mainly because most of the people playing the pirated games would end up not playing games at all, due to higher cost and lack of access to legitimate channels. Outdated and inane regional restrictions only exacerbate the issue since PCs are essentially region-free, yet distribution channels prevent games from being sold officially outside of expensive importing. 

  5. 0
    Ace ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    PC gaming will go down once they stop making games for the PC. If everyone believes the PC to be failing, they stop making games for it.

    Its a self fufilling prophecy once you get the ball rolling.

    I’d like to see less console pandering, more titles that just can’t be ported to consoles, or that people won’t want to port. I want to point at Mass Effect again as an example of a game that is just so much better on the PC. Why couldn’t they do what they did with ME on the PC on a console? Lack of controls, simple as that. Consoles work great for those games that don’t need a whole lot of controls like fighters and racers. And that’s great! Why does the console need to be more than that?

    However…you stick a keyboard and a mouse on that console, give me some guarantee I won’t need to repurchase everything in 3 years time, slash the price and you’ve got a customer.

    I can’t take sticky targeting and analog stick retardery…I just can’t! (unless any shooting is a very secondary mechanic in the game, and not the main selling point for the game. God of War comes to mind as a game with some ranged combat, but it was so peripheral to all the other action it didn’t really come off as annoying).

    A mouse! Its so simple! So beautiful! What’s the resistance to it? And why the resistance to a keyboard? Loads of mappable keys? Imagine it as a massive programmable controller, eh?


  6. 0
    Ace ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Welcome to beautiful Iceland!

    Enjoy our unspoiled nature and fractured economy! More fun prices?

    The price of a beer: $9. Pizza: $32 (cheapish). Bread: $5 Movie ticket: $15 etc.

    Surprisingly, a gaming console goes for alot more than the parts to create a decent PC. This may ofcourse color my view of gaming consoles, but around here they are just so damn expensive. That’s without getting any games ofcourse. MGS4 costs $100 here…you see why I might prefer a PC?

    Lets compare something solid…hmm…Ah yes. The Big Mac index. And look who’s at top! Iceland! Where a Big Mac costs about $7.44!

    Iceland is not a bad place to live, when our economy is riding high. Since then we can order stuff from other countries and it feels cheap cheap cheap!



  7. 0
    Hans Dannik ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    How can you tell when a "cause" is in trouble?

    When you need an organization – an "alliance" – to promote it.

    I take the mere existence of this alliance as evidence that PC gaming is on its way down.

    Before anyone accuses me of fanboyism, I should note that I do not have a dog in this fight.  I own both a pretty good gaming PC and several consoles.  I do find myself using the consoles more, purely for the convenience factor.  On the other hand, I still take my PC to LAN parties and play the occasional PC game at home as well.

  8. 0
    Dark Sovereign says:

    Where the hell are you living that a console costs at least $500? The 360s here are $280 for the 360 core and $380 for premium. The PS3s are still $400 and $600. Sounds like somebody is price-gouging in your area.

  9. 0
    Dark Sovereign says:

    I didn’t mean that money=good. The point is, they went to FPS on console because they thought it would make more profit. They didn’t do both at once because that would have increased production costs without, at least to them, an equivalent growth in sales.

  10. 0
    Brokenscope says:

    Do PC games force you to play every game at the highest settings? No, but instead of turning down some stuff people bitch about there 2 year old card not playing a brand new game at the highest settings.

  11. 0
    Ace ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    And that is a solid point. Any games released for your console will work at the highest possible quality for your console. Thats a great feature of the consoles and something that those that make PC games should do well with paying attention to. Releasing a game that can run on an average system should atleast be in the back of their minds during design. I hate to have to both play a ugly game since all the goodies are turned off, but also a game that slows down since I don’t have the specs for it.

    However, I’d contend that the PC can always take it further in terms of graphics because of its "moddability". And anyways, why do we always need to push the limit? The best game I’ve played in recent memory are the old GTA 3 games and variations there of. Mafia, Hitman games. Or going further back, games like Fallout 1 & 2. Or if we want to be really out there, a game like Rez which I’ve got burned on a CD for my Dreamcast. None of those games even tickled my PC in terms of graphical or system requirements and yet the are great. Now we have games that force you to get one of those über screencards hewn cold from the bones of stillborn and cooled by the blood of virgins.

    If you want to play the newest, smoothest looking games you need to get a new screen card, yes. But the consoles can’t even run anything that has all the latest stuff and you WON’T BE ABLE TO. Unless you buy a new console.

    New console vs. New screencard?

    I don’t know…it seems too much like arguing which is superior: A powertool with extensions or a toolbox.

    Sure, the powertool has alot of bits for it, but it doesn’t have the versatility of the toolbox. It may be easier to use the powertool, but for some things it will never do. The toolbox does everything the powertool does, you just need to be abit more savvy. Both are great, I don’t see why we have to declare one superior really…but if I had to choose one I’d take the toolbox.

    Or something…somesort of analogy that works. Tools come to mind since I’m at work 😀

  12. 0
    Anonymous says:

    True, but to be honest, there are far fewer games like that than people seem to think, it’s just that, having the prettiest graphics, they get the most coverage from a Gaming Press that appears to be becoming more and more obsessed with shaders and shadows than with Gameplay.

    Take something like Sins of a Solar Empire. It’s a perfectly good looking game, and yet not all that demanding on the system. And yet, if you look at the sales figures compared to the amount of Press it gets in general and you’ll notice a massive Dichotomy, whereas games that don’t sell nearly as much, but have ‘uber graphics of doom’ will hang around like a fart in a phone booth.

  13. 0
    MonkeyPeaches ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I ment, that the consoles already come with the stuff you need to play the games with, with PC games you need to keep upgrading, like for Crysis to have great graphics you need to get this graphics card which costs $500.

  14. 0
    Christophe Janson ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Pc is really the only console with real competition. First time i played halo 3 online i owned the server cause everyone were either twelve or someones dad. That’s never going to happen in pc gaming, we have the elite, korean starcraft gamers ftw! And the controls are superior, when pc is playing against x-box360 on shadowrun the x-box crowd gets a handicapp because of it (the superior control of keyboard and mouse). Also the consoles lack the modscene of the pc, oblivion just ain’t playable without at least 10 mods.

    And stop complaining about requirments, we need better hardware to get better games, better hardware is going to cost more money. But then again pc is on a whole different level when it comes to quality, the console’s "next generation" is actually one generation behind.

  15. 0
    Ace ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I’d like to see this magical console that requires no cables or internal workings at all! Save for the handhelds ofcourse, there are cables and such associated with it.

    A deciding factor for me is the price of the console along with expected lifetime and use. Around here a PS3 is going for about $875+ and that’s the console alone. An Xbox is more moderately priced at around $560, but I’ve heard enough local RROD complaints that I’m vary of that console for now.

    I got a very decent PC that can play anything up to around Bioshock for $500, with a 20" LCD screen. Hell, I got two so now me and the missus can just blast away together on the few decent co-op/two player games around on the PC. I could get that playability PLUS everything else the PC has to offer; word processing, browsing, media center and so on.

    Aside from the game exclusives, why should I get a console? If the only reason the console is superior is because "they have the games" then is that really faulting the PC?

    Not seeing what is going on does not make it better. It is simpler in use, but by no means is it a superior way of doing things. A console is a sealed games machine. If it breaks, either you void your warranty or you send it off for who knows how long. Atleast if my PC breaks I have a good idea of what is wrong with it and am able to find spare parts/fix it. Sometimes too much user friendlyness is a bad thing (see Windows for instance).

  16. 0
    ZippyDSM says:

    The trouble with PC v console is the quality thats put into the game and tis port, how many games get a refined and polished PC port?The compines spam out games and cut coners everywhere they can and quality control is one of the frist to go.

    It would be nice if PC games didn’t spy on you or treat you as a colored/poor guy at mayces("PC"note:no offense ment), the more they vi for control over the medium  and be it console or PC and belittle the consumer at retrial with poorly thought out money schemes the less and less I will buy their crap.



    I is fuzzy brained mew


    (in need of a bad overhaul)

  17. 0
    MonkeyPeaches ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Well when you play as PC game, you need certain availble amount of memory and certain cables and other equipment as compared to console whos’ requirements are turn on console, insert game, play.

  18. 0
    Ace ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Lets not equate "Makes more money" with "Is good/better".

    It makes more money for certain titles to be launch exclusive, and they are betting on people not just buying the game but the console along with it like they did with GTA4.

    However that games that get ported from PC to console tend to get dumbed down (in content or controls). You have to wonder about the games that are made exclusively/and or ported to the PC later, eh?. Mass Effects control scheme comes to mind as a great recent example where the console version is too dumbed down.

    I guess I’d say it like this if I was really adamant:

    "Anything consoles can do, PC’s can do better"

    Backing it up with that PC’s have greatly increased control options and can support a wider variety of content, as far as I have seen.

    However, as I said before, consoles do some things much better than the PC. Who wants to play Soul Calibur on a PC? Any sports or racing game? Any platformer? Any Fighting game? Those games just feel "correct" on a console and on a TV screen, though in a crunch a PC with a controller could do. The consoles have their place in my heart…they are not just "über alles" like some people here are claiming they are.

  19. 0
    Dark Sovereign says:

    Eh, I never had much trouble with sticky targeting on most AAA games and the analog stick doesn’t bother me. I tried the point-and-click interface and the precision just took the fun out of it for me.

  20. 0
    Dark Sovereign says:

    That would mean that Microsoft saw more money in the future of console gaming than PC gaming. Companies don’t spend millions on possible revenue if it would cause a larger drop in revenue elsewhere htan was gained from the move. Besides, it takes far longer to develop for two platforms than one. So, Microsoft not only thought that there was far more potential in consoles than PCs, but they thought that the exclusion of PC gamers for a year or two wouldn’t really hurt them. Thus far, they’ve been right.

  21. 0
    Anonymous says:

    That might have somehting to do with the fact that microsoft buys exclusive rights to FPS games and then releases them as launch exclusive to a single console.  If the PC versions of halo and gears of war were realeased on launch day along side the x-box versions, and had been since the original halo, this swing in FPS sales would never have occured.  Microsoft did this to FPS on the PC so they could artificially boost sales of the fledgling game console, not the actual market.

  22. 0
    Ace ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Granted, some technical know-how is required to build a PC but it’s all pretty much plug and play these days and most people should do fine with assembling one. Even your average nerd that can hardly tell the Northbridge from the Southbridge should get by.

    As for FPS’es on consoles. Sticky targeting or analog stick retardery just doesn’t appeal to me. Give me a mouse and keyboard any day. At best I’d describe FPS’es on consoles as "Thumbtastic" 😀

  23. 0
    Dark Sovereign says:

    You’re banking on people’s patience and actual technical knowledge. Joe Gamer does not know how to build PCs and wants to just play his damn games. I also found the "FPS" comment hilarious since they sell far better on consoles than PCs.

  24. 0
    Ace ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    This may sound silly, but I always just saw the console as the evolution of the arcade. And as a "Home arcade system" I can only imagine playing certain types of games on it. RTS, FPS, RPG? Forget about it, that’s PC territory. But you try to put my beloved platformers, fighters, and Prince of Persia style adventure games on the PC and it just fails.

    However, when did this turn into an exclusivity arguement? I think its stupid to try to adopt a stance saying one system is clearly superior than the other since, well, neither is.

    There’s alot of talk about security, DRM and some programming stuff (sqlrob mainly). I’ll give that a big shrug and just say that I use my PC for gaming…exclusively. You seem to want it to be something else, you are treating it like an estranged spouse or something. I’ve had minor problems in dealing with the PC as a gaming platform and most of the problems come from lack of hardware to handle the top end games.

    What surprises me is peoples apparent lack of imagination. I’ve owned 3 different consoles. the NES, Dreamcast and PS2. What did I learn from owning those three simple consoles? You can get a comparable experience via PC emulation. Ever heard of PC controllers? Sure, they’re not as nice as the console ones (no dualshock for instance) but it works. For me it simply works better to have a single rig that I can game on as opposed to a new console every 3-4 years. And that rig does more than just game, I can do everything from this clunky bastard.

    Yes, DRM is a pain. Yes, OS’es have stupid features in them. So what? I’m surrounded by Linuxites that keep telling me how much Windows sucks but I just dont give a damn because it does what it is supposed to. Run the damn games, and if it doesnt run then just crack it or fiddle with it until it sparks to life like some Frankenstein Monster (getting Longest Journey to work for instance…).

    Conversely I’ve got Ubuntu running on my other systems.

    As someone once put it so succinctly: "Stop crying consolefags" I think that needs to be said more often.

  25. 0
    Thad says:

    A console is a console and a PC is a PC.

    You expect to put a DVD in your DVD player when you want to watch a movie.  You don’t expect to put a Photoshop CD in your computer every time you want to use Photoshop.

  26. 0
    Belgarion89 says:

    I’ve actually found an increasing number of games that don’t require any disk to be in the drive at all, they all run directly from the HDD.  To name a few in my collection (I’m sure there are many more, but I’m too broke to buy more games):  Company of Heros, Lord of the Rings Online, Nevewinter Nights 1, anything that runs from HL1, and probably others I haven’t bothered to figure out.  It could be that your genre-of-choice doesn’t typically follow this, but it IS out there.


    So speak I, some random guy.

  27. 0
    Brokenscope says:

    I would find it annoying to have to put my disk in my console if I had to go through an install process that put all the game files on the hard drive.


    Though consoles by their very nature rely on the disk to be the proof of ownership.

  28. 0
    sqlrob says:

    Tolerable, not a good thing. When you had almost no storage space, it’s pretty much a requirement. Now, with the drives on the current gen, it’s getting much less forgivable, especially if there’s any disk space requirement for the game.

  29. 0
    Anonymous says:

    Well, I’ll agree that there’s plenty of room on the Hard-Drive not to need the disk, but it strikes me as odd that people should think that consoles needing the disk is good, but PC’s needing the disk is bad. Consoles perform similar checks for disc-validity that PC’s do, that’s why the disk needs to be in the drive.

  30. 0
    ZippyDSM says:

    Looking at bioshock and its horrible implementation of KB/M controls I’ll wager the fuzzy lint in my head I call a brain that ports will have worse and worse control options as they seek to streamline and cut costs to have everything ready at the release date…

    Cryisis is at least a real PC game from control perspective the game tiself is a bland sand box shooter thats only alil better than the mass of corridoor shooters stagnating the FPS market.

    Bioshock is a mid class adventure FPS but is so under developed its rather scary its done so well…..

    I is fuzzy brained mew


    (in need of a bad overhaul)

  31. 0
    sqlrob says:

    The "feature" of non-admin installs has been around on Windows since 1993. So yes, it is incompetence, and not requiring admin rights for running is a requirement of the "Written for XP" logo.

    Multi-core is brand spanking new, relatively speaking. Security is not.


  32. 0
    sqlrob says:

    It is not an extra level of defense, it is *NO* extra defense.

    Can you put in a disk or download something off the internet and run the executable? If you answered "yes", then there you have little security gain from admin installs (service/driver/HKLM/BHO ACL is it).

    In fact, requiring admin installs, as done on Windows, *LESSENS* security. Lets suppose you have an app that only requires admin for "Program Files" access. You have to grant it admin for that, which also allows service/driver/HKLM, which you may not want to grant it. Principle of Least Privilege has already been broken. And most users are going to get into the habit of installing as admin when they shouldn’t be.

  33. 0
    GdRobotUs says:

    Coding practices vary vastly across the board. Yes, there are a million ways to do it wrong, that’s really down to people learning decent coding, and partly down to the fact that a Console is a static device, it doesn’t change it’s hardware to any vast degree, whereas PC Hardware, and therefore the practices involved, are evolving all the time. 10 Years ago, no-one needed to code for multi-core, so it would be easy to say that 10-year games were written by ‘incompetents’ because they don’t take advantage of the feature.

  34. 0
    Anonymous says:

    It’s not that coders are ‘incompetent’, it’s that this is recommended practice. You may not like it, but personally, I’m glad that my son has to go via me if he wants to install something to his user account, it means I have an extra level of defence on my computer.

  35. 0
    Brokenscope says:


    He means when the game isn’t running, no part of the game should be running.(Some punk buster enabled games)

    It is also quite possible to write software that is installed without tripping over admin rights. It’s just games (Among other applications) like to stick their tendrils deep. I’ve had games that have tried to install parts of them as a service. I know games that you can copy directly off the CD and run. It comes down to coding, convenience, and design choices.

    I’m also fairly certain he wasn’t talking about the controls, I think he was speaking about coding practices again.


  36. 0
    sqlrob says:

    Admin being an OS issue is a myth. It is incredibly easy to code such that it isn’t required, and in most cases is simply following best practices. I’ve done it. The average Mac app does it (drag to ~/Applications) . The average Linux app does it (./configure –prefix=$HOME). Yet the average Windows programmer is so incompetent that they can’t follow simple rules? Or the QA is so incompetent that they don’t test different privilege levels?

    You misunderstood inteface. I said CODE interface, e.g. they write *ONLY* to documented Win32, DirectX, OpenGL. I only say it’s plumbing should be standard, nothing more. What it does outside is it’s own purview. Use the strengths of the system, tie to performance but nothing more.

    A console doesn’t have (until recently) many times the hard drive space of what’s on the DVD. There is no technical limitation to running a PC game without the disk when there’s a many gigabyte install. And I say the same for console installs that are multi-gigabyte.


  37. 0
    Brokenscope says:

    Most people don’t have realistic expectations of their hardware either. I’ve seen people complain because their 2 yr old card whichr uns the game fine on medium at 1024×1280 doesn’t run the game well on ultra-high at 1600×1900.

    The other issue is people who buy monitors that are too big for their graphics cards.

  38. 0
    Anonymous ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    #1 is spot on

    time and time again increasingly draconian DRM has been applied to games.
    number of pirates effected = none
    number of paying customers effected = lots

    When the copy protection is doing the exact opposite it’s supposed to do, i find it amazing that companies responce is "oh, we need more copy protection then"

    Companies like stardock have been doing just fine with no copy protection at all in the meantime


    #2 Is a little off, barring Crysis, most games will run on medium specced PCs…

    Instead i shall blame Intel’s highly popular integrated graphics chips in cheaper PC’s for this:
    Whereas a few years back the difference between a budget PC and a high end PC would be noticeble, but not too bad, now the difference in game performance has reached rediculous levels.
    Unless a PC is sold as a special gaming PC it’ll have a graphics card too bad to play any current 3D games at all.

    For an analogy: say a high end pc was a sports car and a cheap pc was a cheap town car a few years back
    nowadays it’s like comparing a sports car to a tricycle with rusty wheels :/

  39. 0
    "..." says:

    To #2: Why haven’t I bought a PC game released since 2003? Because it’s ridiculous that I should have to spend $100+ every two years in graphics cards alone just to be able to play any current game besides WoW — when all my other systems requirements meet the minimum.

    Don’t expect me to care about piracy when I can’t even run the damn game.

  40. 0
    Dark Sovereign says:

    If you haven’t watched them, you wouldn’t know. I remember one instance, Call of Duty 4, the smallest map, where the guy sat in the corner and spawn camped the other team, who flew out of this one spawn in legions. That’s what I’m talking about.

  41. 0
    ZippyDSM says:

    they fixed steams off line mode apparently but you still have to verify the install online and at least there is no install tokens like bioshock(even the steam version has secrom activation on it).

    I No longer buy retail games because of the priceVqaulity I refuse to pay 30$ for a mediocre game much less 50+, also PC games have fallen into the "port madness" of old they make the game for the console and then make a sloppy port to the PC bioshock still has issues on PC…. I have written the game industry off as part of the media mafia and I just refuse to "buy in" anymore I’ll still get the product but at greatly reduced prices..

    I is fuzzy brained mew


    (in need of a bad overhaul)

  42. 0
    Anonymous says:

    Heh, seems to me we are actually pretty much of the same opinion, but approaching it from different angles 😉

    I doubt we’ll agree on the whole ‘Admin Rights’ thing, though, it seems to me that you know that side of it  better than I do, so I’ll nod to your expertise on that.

    Glad we could have this debate before the usual flaming begins :)

  43. 0
    sqlrob says:

    1: *ding*

    2: You aren’t bypassing it, you’re working with it. The security implication of a non-admin install is no different than being able to run arbitrary executables. You allow one, you allow the other. You can pick the install location in most installers, which means Program Files access is not required. That leaves driver/service (sorry, a game doesn’t need that), HKLM (I only run it under one user, not needed), BHO (don’t use IE, don’t want their stuff in explorer). The only reason to need it is (a) Invasive DRM (automatic fail) and (b) sloppy coding (automatic fail).

    3: Would it be installed by installing HL2 from the disk? What about the drivers in kernel space from other protections? (cf recent root hole in Windows due to Macromedia protection)

    4: Some protections ban the types of drives that can copy them without issues

    5: *ding* It’s flexible, and it’s also mine. Until they stop treating it like it’s theirs, they don’t have permission to be there.

  44. 0
    Anonymous says:

    1: Well, that’s a DRM issue, once most games are authorised, you are fine. I’m not a fan of DRM myself, but yes, I bought half-life, installed it, and played it without an Internet connection, it installed Steam, but because I wasn’t logged on at the time, it allowed me to play once I had entered the box-code.

    2: Yes, it’s possible to bypass the routine, but the defences are put there for a reason, they aren’t just there to annoy people. This still isn’t really the fault of the game companies, and much more the way that they are compelled to code thanks to the way Windows works. The standard procedure is to install to Program Files, which, as you say, requires Admin access.

    3: I don’t know any games that do run when they aren’t running, unless you refer to Steam of the like, which isn’t directly part of the game.

    4: Well, it’s something that has never, ever been an issue for me, I’ve haven’t bought a game that refuses to run on my drive for nearly half a decade. I suspect the warning is just to cover themselves than out of any real risk.

    5: A computer is vastly more flexible and complex than a Console, there are weaknesses inherent in the entire design because it is an OS on top of an OS on top of an OS, which is dumb, I’ll agree. When Sony pulls stunts like rootkits, and Starforce do their usual, yes, I get annoyed as well, but this all boils down to DRM, which is, and always will be, a severe danger to the PC Gaming market.

  45. 0
    sqlrob says:

    1: AT ALL. So, can I go buy HL2 in the store and run it on a non-networked computer? Or BioShock? Or Mass Effect?

    2: I’ve written security software that installs and runs as guest on up. There is no OS requirement. The OS requirement for admin is to write to Program Files, write to HKLM,  install a driver, install a service, install a BHO. If you don’t need any of these (say, you install a normal app to %USERPROFILE%), then you don’t need admin. An organization can make home directories not executable to stop these type of installs.

    3: I’m not talking about the OS, I’m talking about the game. If I’m not running the game, the game doesn’t need to be running anything.

    4: It’s in small print on the back of boxes. Last one I checked when I was considering going back to computer gaming was the latest Myst at the time (Uru?)

    5: The reason I stopped playing PC games was because the companies treat me like garbage and don’t follow good security principles on a computer that isn’t theirs. Nothing to do with things inherent to the games themselves, only the things around them.

  46. 0
    Brokenscope says:


    I’m not going to call you retarded, but I am going to have to disagree with you.

    I find both PC and console controls to be comfortable in their own ways.

    The keyboard, in most cases, gives me the ability to map functions where ever I want. In all the games I play I have a very common setup for all the usual features. There is actually very little tailoring to be done cross genre. I also have complete control to set up my controls differently. I also have more functions I can immediately access without having to delve into menus, or use multiple button presses. I also almost always have a finger on one of the WASD keys which prevents getting lost.

    A controller (The xbox360 one to be exact) is very comfortable.  I might be able to play a modern FPS like COD 4 or Halo. Battlefield would be iffy, but the vehicles would control nicely. However some of the older more complex FPS games(Tribes/Tribes2) or many of the more SIM games (MechWarrior 4, Freespace) would be impossible with the few buttons on a console controller that takes 2 hands. Many sim games also just don’t play well without a Joystick and a keyboard.

    RTS games do work on consoles when they try, but I prefer a keyboard for that.

  47. 0
    Orange Soda says:

    I’ve never been much of a PC gamer, primarily because I’ve always believed that the keyboard is the absolute worst controller ever. It’s good for typing, but for gaming? I have no way of "feeling" that my hand is in the right place, because all the keys feel alike. On a controller, you have somewhere around four buttons for your right thumb to choose from, and those buttons are usually spaced appropriately so that you can tell pretty fast whether your thumb is where you want it to be. On a keyboard, however, you could die before you realize that your hand was in the wrong place. I don’t like that.

    I don’t mind mouse-only games. The only problem is that my general revulsion of playing with a keyboard means I don’t looking into PC games much, if at all, and I end up with no idea what games coming out can be played mouse-only.

    I imagine there’s someone out there who’s going to tell me that I’m retarded for A, X, and Q reasons (wouldn’t be the first time), but I don’t really care. I’m biased, and I know it. Big deal.

  48. 0
    Brokenscope says:

    I will agree that a good many PC gamers are elitist dipshits

    Im also not really sure what you mean about "shortcuts", unless you are talking about the same things that console gamers do because flat out cheating isn’t as easy.

    I’ve been muting people on the PC for a very long time.

    I’ve also never been "hacked" and I have pissed alot of people off in many different games. Then again, I’ve always used strong passwords.

  49. 0
    Dark Sovereign says:

    Hey, you know, I haven’t really seen this up there so I’ll point it out there. Maybe, just MAYBE, the reason people don’t play PC games when consoles are available is because the PC gamers are elitist dipshits. The interface for a console is clearly tolerable, even enjoyable, since millions of people can somehow suffer through them. CD’s in the drive aren’t the problem, because, once again, consoles do it. The biggest issue for me is the community. On Xbox live, I can mute somebody and have no problems. On the PC, I can get spammed and have my computer hacked for saying something someone doesn’t like. Plus, I’ve watched the PC gamers. They’re good at finding shortcuts, but aren’t particularly good gamers. I like when I have a chance and when I have a challenge. I don’t like campers, I don’t like twelve year olds (usually. They aren’t all bad.), and I don’t like hackers. Other issues: product keys, hardware space, updates, and spyware.

  50. 0
    Alyric ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    You want PC gaming to increase?

    #1: Stop including DRM that causes innumerable problems for your consumers.

    #2: Stop creating games that have system requirements limited to the top percentage of PC owners.

    And stop blaming piracy for lackluster sales when other, more sweeping issues (see 1 and 2) are responsible. Crysis, I’m looking at you.

  51. 0
    nighstalker160 says:

    Ah that makes much more sense.  I guess your apartment complex won’t let you run in broadband at all?  My apartments limits us to Cable and not DSL/FiOS…but still it’s better than dialup by a long shot.

  52. 0
    nighstalker160 says:

    You’re absoutely right, although I am surprised a school doesn’t have broadband at least at some level.

    But I agree with you, I wasn’t arguing that it made sense to have the online validation.  But the game companies are perfectly happy to operate under the fiction that broadband is pervasive and everyone has DSL FiOS or Cable connections so it shouldn’t be a problem.

    Interestingly, I think they also operate under the assumping that ALL PC gamers are "hardcore" and OF COURSE all hardcore gamers have broadband connections.  It makes no sense at all, but it lets them justify their practices.

  53. 0
    thefremen says:

    Phil Harrison: “You are part of the PC gaming alliance and a traitor to the Console Empire!”

    Randy Stude: “You can’t hold me here the Gaming Congress will never allow it.”

    Phil Harrison: “As of this morning there is no longer a Gaming Congress, Miyamoto eliminated that relic this morning.”

  54. 0
    Vake Xeacons ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I’ve always been primarily a PC gamer. The only reason I’ve been picking up in the last cycle or two is because the consoles are starting to model themselves after PCs (especially the Xbox). But in the end, PCs will always have greater potential than their console cousins, because of their custom abilities. Consoles have to wait 4 or 5 years to upgrade, but the PC can be immediate, always staying on the cutting edge. Plus, I’ve always prefered a mouse cursor to a controller thumbstick. One reason I’ve enjoyed the Wii.

    In the end, I love my consoles, but I will always place my PC before them.

  55. 0
    Brokenscope says:

    Some people live in places with very unreliable internet connections. My apartment at school has a dsl connection, that is sometimes out for hours at a time, when it does work it has a minimum latency of 200ms to anywhere, and the routing by the ISP is so bad that packet loss is around 10%, and duplicate packets are a constant problem.

    I’ve had more than one game unable to be activated on that connection.


  56. 0
    nighstalker160 says:

    The DRM issue needs to be solved for PC gaming to make a huge comeback.

    I have BioShock and Mass Effect for PC and haven’t encountered any problems with the DRM, but that’s probably because I don’t have virtual drives or etc. running on that PC.

    DRM is, more than anything else, a PR disaster for the PC gaming industry.  People are just fed up.  I think it will eventually turn around at some point and realize they’re losing sales because of it.

    I seriously doubt you’ll see the whole "network connection required" thing going away since broadband is spreading and less and less people DON’T have a network connection anymore.  It’ll be like saying "Electric Power required for play…"

    But it ultimately is NOT fair of gamers to demand PC’s and PC games get turned into consoles.  PC’s are different, they are far more versatile than a console and need to function differently.  Some things will need to be different to recognize that fact.

  57. 0
    Anonymous says:

    Piracy is not the problem with PC Gaming. The way they fight piracy is the problem with PC Gaming. I’m mightily tired of having to jump through hoop after hoop while pirates can play any game from day zero and without any hassle thanks to a crack.

    Also, Intel, AMD, nVidia, Microsoft, even Epic!, i.e., the companies forming the PCGA, are the biggest culprits of how things are in the PC market right now: sky high hardware prices, shitty integrated controllers, appalling drivers over an even worse OS, games that only work fine if your computer has less than two years, etc, etc.

    If they really want to "save" (PC gaming has been "dying" for 25 years, thank you), they should learn A LOT from companies like Valve and Stardock, and stop BSing about perceptions, MMOs or piracy.

  58. 0
    Anonymous says:

    So, basically, you want to keep on playing on your console..

    Most single player PC games do not require any form of network connection to play.  Where you got this from, I’ve no idea.  Only the latest, draconian DRM’s force you to be online when you install, which is something people complain about.

    Admin access is an OS Issue and not a game issue.  This is required because, *GASP*, PC’s can do more than consoles and are used in business as well as the home.

    This isn’t going to happen.  All OS’s, even those on the consoles, require background processes to be running so the OS can be running.  Consoles are not immune to this.

    This is a moot point to be honest.  Try and play a console game without the DVD in the drive. 

    No chance.  PC games require a much better interface due to the Keyboard and Mouse whilst the consoles have a few buttons on a gamepad.  The interfaces should differ from the consoles to the PC’s.  Look at Mass Effect, the PC UI is so much better.

    All in all, what you want is for the PC to become a console.  That isn’t going to happen.  The PC is a great gaming platform that can play all of the games, even if they aren’t going to be released for it.

  59. 0
    Anonymous says:

    1: Most single player games don’t require Network access, even Steam runs without the Internet if you aren’t connected.

    2: The reason non-admin accounts exist is to stop people installing software that shouldn’t be installed, it’s used for organisations and the like, that’s not a game problem, it’s a OS requirement.

    3: Even the PS3 has background applications running when the game isn’t, that’s how it knows you’ve inserted a disk.

    4: I haven’t encountered a game that contains this message so I can’t really answer this one.

    5: I hate playing Console conversions for the simple fact the interface sucks in my opinion, and opinion is what it really boils down to.

  60. 0
    sqlrob says:

    You want to get me back into to computer gaming? Here’s what you need to do:

     * No network connection needed for single player games

     * No admin access required, either for install or for play

     * When the game isn’t running, nothing is running

     * No hardware dependence (no "Does not run on all CD Drives")

     * Use documented (code) interfaces only


    So PC Gaming Alliance, you have the balls to recommend things like that?

  61. 0
    Anonymous says:

    1: The XBox360 got pretty famous for REALLY putting CD’s in danger, this is not a PC-only problem

    2 & 3 are pretty salient points though, I’m really no big fan of DRM either.

  62. 0
    Brokenscope says:

    1: Stop forcing me to put my CD’s in danger when I want to play.

    2: Stop making me disable my virtual drives when I want to play.

    3: Stop giving me reasons to find cracks so I can play games I purchased.


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