Funny rant, this article. :)
PC games look and play more like their console brethren than ever before, and major PC releases without a corresponding version for at least one of the Big Three console systems is virtually unheard of.
This game is a minor product, nearly a noname fart in the industry of PC gaming.
This game... if it's not on a console, it does not exist..
I'd also argue that the exceptional mechanics and design of Deus Ex were consolized for the sequel, with very mixed results.
There's also the fact that unless every single console comes with a keyboard and a mouse - which is not really consoley by the way, since it's not living room friendly - there are genres which will simply remain under the crown of PC gaming.
I'm not convinced that waving the wii at the screen is as good as using a mouse for certain applications, just as much as I think that a infrared A4 sized sort of touchpad from Nintendo would be a good alternative to the mouse. It'd also also have several keys on the side.
Accessibility in action: You buy a game for the PlayStation 3. You bring it home, stick it in and wait for it to tell you what buttons to punch. Punch 'em, and a few seconds later you're racing through mud-splattered canyons or beating the crap out of some guy in Tulsa. PCs don't offer quite the same experience; if the game doesn't autostart, you'll need to find and run the installation program, at which point you'll tell it where to install the game (you do have enough free hard drive space, don't you?), select your resolution and perhaps your sound hardware, and finally whether you want a desktop icon, a quick-launch icon or, if you'd prefer it, just be buried somewhere in your Start menu. Not exactly brain surgery, perhaps, but my dad still hasn't quite figured it out, and I'm beginning to doubt he ever will.
It's an unintuitive system, and it's killing PC gaming.
It's not killing it more than it did years ago. Actually, things are getting much better. Not to count higher PC sales that I keep hearing left and right, we've also come a long way since Windows 3.5.
That said, I'm all for a couple of simplifications as well.
I also like my consoles.
Most gamers coming on stream today, young and old alike, don't even know what a sound card port address is, much less an IRQ or a DMA; suggesting that such knowledge is an inherent part of gaming is likely to elicit nothing but weird stares.
I barely do either. Never stopped me playing games for ages on computers though.
Microsoft's Games For Windows program is designed to eliminate much of that headache by mandating an "easy installation" option that simplifies the process as much as possible; like consoles, gamers will insert the disk, make a few mouse clicks when prompted and be ready to go. Not everyone thinks it's an ideal solution - some gamers are loathe to surrender any degree of control to an automated process - and presumably the more standard installation options will also be available. But for today's game-buying masses, "turn it on and play the game" is vital.
I wouldn't say it's vital, but it surely does help. That's a very good reason why sometimes, I prefer to switch the console on. When I need a more arcade feeling.
Accommodating streamlined gameplay is also an unavoidable part of the evolution of the videogame. Having 104 keys and eight mouse buttons doesn't necessarily mean they all need to be used.
Sure, but there's like an undisputable advantage of being able to map every single useful shortcut in a game, the difference between average player and good player.
Of course, that's only niche related. Just how many players really care about such details, in the light of worldwide gaming?
An overly obtuse interface spells trouble for any game. Some games are more complex than others and will be inherently more demanding as a result; but just as often, if not more so, a concise and simple control scheme will allow for easier and therefore deeper immersion into a game, heightening the experience for everyone.
I'd agree. Funnily though - and that's tongue in cheek - a console exclusive product such as Metal Gear Solid 3, is a hell of a mess when it comes to controls. Yet, it's a big success as well.
Maybe not everybody's wanting to play on a Simon for hours...
That said, I do agree that stuff is converging... in an odd way in fact, since the consoles are incorporating more user friendly PC functions, like web surfing, checking mails or knowing that the weather is.
Safe a few gamepads and joysticks peripherals that not every PC gamer owns, a computer, as a whole, is still the same thing that it was more than a decade ago.
The consoles seem to be evolving more than PCs do, and that's probably why they're leading.
But really, what's the deal? We know that PC gaming has always been smaller.
As for predictions, they're just that, and it's not impossible that another group would disagree, as it happens a lot.
Though I don't expect to see PC gaming becoming larger than console gaming anytime, anyway, it would be funny, for example, if Apple decided to produce sort of more user friendly Macs (easy PC?), with fewer functions, less access to rather pointless stuff for the average Joe, and with a very stable and lighter OS. Macs are standardized, stable and powerful. So in a way, the roots are all there. It would also be made to be very easy to play games on, as much as work with Photoshop, Maya or Sound Forge.
Let's even imagine that they even manage to make it trendy, like their iPods.
They'd even add typical console controllers to the initial package, besides stylized keyboard and mouse.
Though one could easily say that it's a consolized computer, and that would probably be true, it would also mess up with predictions.
My final word will be that actually, for consoles to fully embrace all aspects of gaming, they'll have to computerize themselves a bit, or certain genres will always be best played on computers.