Is PC Gaming Dying?

Is PC Gaming Dying?

I was reading an old computer games magazine that was published about ten years ago. There was an article in it about the state of computer gaming, and whether consoles would kill gaming on computers. Fast forward to today, and I can perform a search online and still see the same discussion going on on various sites.

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The fact that it has been over ten years and PC games are still being produced and enjoyed speaks volumes as to whether PC gaming is dying. I have been a PC gamer for over twenty years, and I have also enjoyed console gaming as well, and I can say that both types of gaming have their place in the world of gaming.

A Pointless Debate?

Gaming PC

With every debate there are always two sides that are constantly locked in a “war or words” with each other (think Windows versus Mac users). In terms of gaming, there are console users and PC users. Each continuously brings up the advantages of their platform.

For me, I enjoy PC gaming, always have been and always will enjoy the platform. I am a PC guy, and have been involved with the building of my own systems for years now. I pick everything that goes in them, maintain them, and upgrade them when necessary.

With that being said, I have also enjoyed using consoles as well. They aren’t expensive (a few hundred dollars), and you can easily hook one up to a TV and get a few people playing together. The games are coded to a specific set of hardware, so they run without many problems (usually).

A PC, on the other hand, can be more expensive, requires a bit more connecting and setup, and the applications are coded to be compatible with an infinite number of configurations. Sometimes when things don’t go exactly right, you need to have technical skills to solve the problem. I haven’t seen too many with non-technical skills debug blue screens.

Is PC Gaming Really Dying?

In one word: no. In fact this discussion can still be valid ten years from now as it was ten years ago. A PC has one advantage over a console that will keep the gaming industry alive: technology.

Console systems are usually released every 5 years or so. When released, consoles usually incorporate the latest technology that produces the best graphics and enjoyment for games. Over the course of those five years until the next generation is released, the console may go through some small changes, such as additional hard drive space, but the core of the console remains relatively unchanged.

In the computer world five years is a long time. Graphics manufacturers release a new series of chipsets every year, while processor chipsets are upgraded on a similar schedule. With each upgrade the chipsets for both graphics cards and CPU get more powerful, with new features, and at times less power-consuming.

Much like console games, PC games can also be played in high-definition. Computer games, in fact, can be played at several resolutions, from 1024×768 to 2560 x 1600. With new technology, such as Eyefinity from ATI, you can now run a game across three monitors on a single graphics card.

Computers Too Advanced for Games?

Last year, I bought a new PC – i7 920, 6 GB RAM, 2 500 GB (RAID 0) hard drives and 2 ATI 5850 (Crossfire). I wanted to be sure that I can enjoy some of the latest games, and quickly realized that the games have yet to catch up to the latest technology available for computers.

Many games are developed to be played on several systems, including PC, XBox 360, and PS3. From comments on both forums and blogs, I have noticed that many PC gamers complain about the fact that PC games aren’t reaching their full potential because of the fact that the games are developed for several platforms. With the XBox 360 and PlayStation being released a few years ago, games need to be developed to work on systems that are 5 years old.

Case in point, with the new graphics cards supporting DirectX 11, which introduced Tessellation, most games that are released today support DirectX 9c because of the graphics capability of the consoles. A few PC games support DirectX 10 and 11, and a few also support DirectX 9x, 10, and 11. I don’t know of any on the market that support DirectX 11 only with all the features the technology is capable of supporting.

Many graphics cards released in the last year can easily play many of the games on the market for today, and possibly a few years into the future. With such technology as SLI and Crossfire, by simply adding a second, or third graphics card into a computer, you can easily add more graphics-producing power to a system.

The games of today aren’t being pushed forward by the newest technology that you can find in a PC, but it seems they are being held back by the static nature of the console.

To Each Their Own

With that being said, consoles are made for one thing: playing games. They do that well, and at a significant price advantage over their PC counterparts. It is much easier to get four players to play on a console than it is to play on a computer, and I’m talking about being in the same room. Not only that, but you don’t have to worry about setup and game performance as much as you do on a PC.

Everyone will have their favourite method of playing video games, and each will have their own reasons why.

If you enjoy playing video games, which platform do you enjoy playing them on, and why?

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25 Responses to “Is PC Gaming Dying?”

  1. TheBigOne says:

    The point is that Fry’s Electronics which used to be THE place for PC’s have shrunk in that department considerably. In the electronics section most of what they have is either laptops or tablets.

    All those in 2008 were desktops.

  2. TheBigOne says:

    I am inclined to react in a negative matter to the article about PC Games dying but me and Dad have been keeping up with the trends and it is really true that PC games are dying. If I want my computer serviced Dad either takes it to Fry’s on his way to work if it’s something he can’t fix *which means it is a very serious problem which erasing Windows and reinstalling it will not fix it* or order parts online like video drivers if I want to have higher end games.

    Dad and I go to Fry’s Electronics for our needs because unlike Best Buy which is much closer have ripped Dad *and other people* off by selling old PC’s as new and wouldn’t take it back and our neighbors have had a printer ruined never working from day 1.

    Anyways to make a long story short Fry’s Electronics used to have three long rows of PC software. Both games and work software. Starting in 2010 they shrunk it to half the size and now there isn’t even ONE ROW of PC games.

    Instead there is just half a row and the aisles are empty. 🙁 Dad who is our computer fixer keeps up on the trend and the reason why is because people want Tablets.

    We are actually the only one in our family that uses Desktop computers for anything *serious*. The rest of our family *which is another long story* all uses tablets or cell phones. Some tried to get into computers but didn’t get very far.

    The biggest item for christmas for most families will not be a new PC or even PC games but the next Ipad or X-Box system!

    While Fry’s may not have much in software what they have got going for thime is very honest people who actually pulled some strings to get my computer fixed because I bought it at another store preinstalled with Vista and when the store people tried to get Win 7 in Microsoft didn’t like it and after an hour of the store calling MS they finally got it going.

    My parents went up alone and we were there all day. The person was pulling out the stops in making sure I got my PC working and must have threatened Microsoft to sue them as once the worker got the manager to call MS magically allowed my Win 7 to install.

    I was literally facing having to spend 500 on a new PC but the store people worked their ass off to make sure I didn’t have to go thru that hell. Best Buy wouldn’t even try caring in my situation. They would’ve just said there was nothing they could do and Best Buy doesn’t even carry Desktop computers anymore.

    Not that I would buy one from them from what I stated above about them selling old PC’s as new in new boxing.

    Dad opened up a PC he bought new at Best Buy and found out all the parts were 2 years old including the mother board itself and had to replace all the parts one at a time.

  3. Julian Schoffel says:

    The installed user base of PCs is massive and digital sales are only just starting to be factored into sales analysis reports. Less large, boxed copies of PC games are being sold in stores sure but I think most new games are now predominantly downloaded via services like Steam.

    Add to this a growing stream of brilliant PC Indie games appearing on services like Steam (i.e. World of Goo, Torchlight I and II etc.) and in my view PC gaming is now healthier than it has been since the early 1990s.

    Sure the expense factor kicks in when you want to play the latest release and they help drive the PC hardware upgrade cycle – but there are thousands of games available for PC which only require a modest rig to run well.

    Oh and many of the classic games which were classified as “Abandonware” only a few years ago are now enjoying a resurgence via digital download services.

    So I would agree with you Paul – PC Gaming is certainly NOT dying, just the opposite in fact!

    • TheBigOne says:

      Go into ANY store and tell me how large the PC section is if there is any. NOT A SINGLE STORE in our area has a PC section at all. To get games I go to Game Wizard a hobby place which two years ago got into used PC games which you never know what you’ll find.

      I found old games from the late 80s that used to have the huge and I mean HUGE floppies. Not the 90s floppies which actually were small. I mean the HUGE ones.

  4. maulbeck1 says:

    I dont think pc gaming is dead but I do think there are too many developers going towards the MMORPG platform of gaming for PC. I own both a PC and an Xbox360 and enjoy gaming on both for different reasons. IMO PC Gaming will never die but neither will Console Gaming. Everyone has there preferences and everyone is entitled to them. Personally I prefer Console gaming because its easier on my hands but if I see a game thats only on the PC and I think it looks very good and playable I’ll most likely buy it likewise with my console.

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