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PC Gamers Crush Console Brethren 387

Posted by timothy
from the not-very-sportsmanlike dept.
l_bratch writes "Since December 22nd DICE have been running a competition between each target platform of their latest Battlefield expansion — Bad Company 2: Vietnam. Players were required to complete a large number of 'team actions' in game, in order to unlock a hidden, remastered version of the Operation Hastings map from the original Battlefield: Vietnam. PC gamers have completed the task, whereas gamers on both console platforms are only about halfway there."
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PC Gamers Crush Console Brethren

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  • Shocking news: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by The Master Control P (655590) <ejkeever&nerdshack,com> on Thursday December 30, 2010 @08:43PM (#34717062)
    Players with superior input devices do better. More as this story develops.
    • by Dan East (318230)

      Ironically, the Wii, which IMO has the best hardware control scheme for First Person Shooters of all the consoles, was not included in this competition. Many years ago I remember playing the Quake 2 "port" to the PS1 (wasn't really a port as much as the levels being retrofitted into an entirely different game engine - the player couldn't even duck, etc), and I remember being the most frustrated I think I've ever been playing a game. I was very proficient on the PC version, and the change to a dual-shock c

      • The sad thing is the weak hardware is stopping us from getting all the FPSes, because most players want shiny graphics and the Wii can't deliver, even though the Wii would be great for this.
      • by wagnerrp (1305589)

        Ironically, the Wii, which IMO has the best hardware control scheme for First Person Shooters of all the consoles, was not included in this competition.

        The Wii is piss poor for anything but rail shooters. Aiming to the side of the screen to turn is one of the clumsiest things I've ever done in a video game.

    • by Gulthek (12570)

      Superior for playing the game better, yes. Superior for gaming comfort and realism, not for me.

      If I'm playing a robot or enhanced human, sure I'll grant being able to whirl around and hit five targets in five directions in less than a second. If I'm playing a WWII soldier, not so much.

      • by pla (258480)
        If I'm playing a robot or enhanced human, sure I'll grant being able to whirl around and hit five targets in five directions in less than a second. If I'm playing a WWII soldier, not so much.

        Except, people do that as a human playing the game.

        Assuming someone has a recoil-less ranged weapon with near-infinite firing speed (and some modern double-action semiautos come close), they really could perform such a feat. It the best of "twitch" gamers can drop a handful of targets in a single rapid sweep of th
    • Re:Shocking news: (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mjwx (966435) on Thursday December 30, 2010 @09:32PM (#34717492)

      Players with superior input devices do better. More as this story develops.

      Ordinarily I'd agree with you but I'd say that it has little to do with the input devices and more to do with the skill level, courteousness and ability of the players to work together in this case which gives the PC no intrinsic advantage.

      Players had to perform 69 million team actions, which include spotting, performing repairs, and healing, reviving and resupplying. Given the push button, receive medkit nature of these functions there's no difference between console and PC. If it were based on number of kills then we'd be able to say that the PC's input dev has a great advantage. The difference we have is in the kind of people who choose these respective platforms. PC players tend to work together, healing and resupplying others as they go, console players tend to be a lot more selfish, going after other players on their own rather then working as a team.

      • by Nemyst (1383049)

        PC gamers are more dedicated and serious while console players are more casual. Unsurprising, considering the barrier of entry for a PC game versus its equivalent console game.

        As for whether that's good or bad...

    • by gman003 (1693318)
      While I don't actually disagree with you on that, this story doesn't say anything about skill. This was purely a count of "cooperative actions" - deploying a medkit for teammates, marking enemy positions, and such. Skill wasn't involved - teamwork was.
    • by perlchild (582235)

      I'm taking the same tack along a different angle.

      Difficult quest handled better on platforms with more rabid, addicted gamers, while platforms with more of a history of casual gamers struggle.

    • Players with superior input devices do better. More as this story develops.

      I believe this is very much old news however unless I am misreading the article, the focus is comparing teamwork/cooperation/non-combat roles and not kills or aiming accuracy. Also worth noting that the survey counts the number of individual team based actions instead of factoring in populations of the three platforms; however according to ve3d.ign.com, PC players only make up 16% of the total sales of this game.

  • Skillz. (Score:2, Flamebait)

    by unity100 (970058)
    pc is some serious shit. pcers generally play with keyboard wasd and function keys and mouse, which requires greater coordination, attention, and dedication (tiring). therefore, they are more honed in their gaming 'skillZ' (tm) than people playing with consoles with easy to use, ergonomic designed controllers. moreover, the pc gamers play full spectrum of games with that keyboard and mouse, as opposed to console-friendly games made for or ported to consoles, further increasing their skills regarding coordin
    • the pc gamers play full spectrum of games with that keyboard and mouse

      Games made for PC don't necessarily cover the full spectrum of genres. (In before Zed Ecks jokes.) For example, what's the closest PC counterpart to Mario Party series, Super Smash Bros. series, 4-player Tetris Party, and Super Mario Galaxy series? Sure, MySims can replace Animal Crossing series; who can think of other titles to convert Wii fans to PC gaming?

      • by unity100 (970058)
        all of the games you speak of, are available on pc directly or through emulators.
        • Games made for PC don't necessarily cover the full spectrum of genres.

          or through emulators.

          Games that require emulators aren't "games made for PC", unless perhaps you count Flash, Java, .NET, and DOSBox as emulated environments. Besides, with Retrode sold out, how is one supposed to dump his own game cartridges to ROM files for use on a PC?

      • by Draek (916851)

        Rayman Rabbids and the rest of the Rayman series cover, respectively, the Mario Party and Mario Galaxy niches. I've never played Tetris Party, but if it's a simple multiplayer version of Tetris there's hundreds of freeware titles doing it, even some Free Software ones. SSB however, I've never heard of such a thing, I'd be interested in it too, in case somebody is aware of one.

  • It doesn't say anything about the ability of the players.

    Now, assuming that the player populations are of equal size, with equal numbers of hours played...

    It might be construed to say that PC players are more team focused, willing to do things other than shoot the enemy.

    Of course, it is just as possible that someone's programmed a bot on the PC version and the _bot_ is doing the running around, or that the PC players play 10 hours vs the console gamer's 1, or some other difference between the platforms.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by RoadDoggFL (876257)

      Now, assuming that the player populations are of equal size, with equal numbers of hours played...

      That may be quite an assumption, since the hours played since team actions have counted towards unlocking the map isn't listed (at least it wasn't when I checked). Considering that BC2 is a bit of a darling on PC in light of Activision's actions of late, it likely has a much larger portion of the online population on the PC than the consoles (where most players are probably playing CoD, Halo, or Resistance/Killzone). That being said, PC gamers are still faring a higher actions per hour rate since launch, b

      • by Barny (103770)

        http://www.battlefieldbadcompany2.com/globalstats?platform=360 [battlefiel...mpany2.com]

        I know its not since they 'started counting actions', but still its a pretty telling story.

        • No it isn't, because BC2 doesn't have the draw on the consoles that it does on the PC. Activision's the bad guy to PC gamers, and they look at DICE games fondly. Neither of those things work in the game's favor on the consoles, and I'd be very surprised to see if the hours played on the consoles is comparable.
      • by Bigjeff5 (1143585)

        According to the BC2 stats, there are twice as many PS3 players than PC players, and twice as many Xbox players as PC players, for a grand total of four times as many console players.

        The population is much, much smaller for PC.

        Does that make things clearer for you?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 30, 2010 @09:02PM (#34717232)

      http://www.battlefieldbadcompany2.com/globalstats [battlefiel...mpany2.com]
      Both consoles have over 90k combined playing hours, while PC gamers only accumulated 55k so far and have been nearly doubly as "efficient" in total (regarding this challenge).
      Which of course makes one PC gamer 3-4 times "better" than a console gamer ;)

      On a more serious note, you have superior input instruments and superior communication channels on the PC, plus the crowd is generally a bit more "savvy".

      • Those stats aren't for the map unlock, as the team actions far exceed the 69 million required (and only recently achieved on the PC). We don't have hours played in Vietnam, but we do know the team actions. Applying the same ratio would be inaccurate because the title likely has more staying power on the PC than on the consoles (where CoD likely has more loyalty).
  • hold on there (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wizardforce (1005805) on Thursday December 30, 2010 @08:54PM (#34717158) Journal

    Not to defend the console gamers but:
    1) This is based on one game.
    2) This assumes that the ports were equivalent
    3) This was a count of collective actions of a community not averaged over the individual. The same tournament held between various PC OSes would have resulted in Microsoft crushing Linux's gamers simply because there are more of them on the PC platform.

    • Re:hold on there (Score:5, Informative)

      by bryonak (836632) on Thursday December 30, 2010 @09:05PM (#34717260)

      1) agree
      2) agree
      3) http://www.battlefieldbadcompany2.com/globalstats [battlefiel...mpany2.com] [battlefiel...mpany2.com]
      Both consoles have over 90k combined playing hours each, while PC gamers only accumulated 55k so far and have been nearly doubly as "efficient" in total (regarding this challenge).
      Which of course makes one PC gamer 3-4 times "better" than a console gamer ;)
      So your Microsoft analogy doesn't fit the case at all

    • Re:hold on there (Score:5, Interesting)

      by mjwx (966435) on Thursday December 30, 2010 @09:41PM (#34717560)
      I doubt you read the fine article.

      1) This is based on one game.

      OK, but it's a fairly popular game.

      2) This assumes that the ports were equivalent

      The players were required to perform certain "team actions" which are healing, resupplying, repairing, reviving, spotting and assisting. With the exception of assisting all of these actions are simple and require no aiming or other complex action to perform, put simply push button, receive medkit.

      3) This was a count of collective actions of a community not averaged over the individual. The same tournament held between various PC OSes would have resulted in Microsoft crushing Linux's gamers simply because there are more of them on the PC platform.

      Yes, but you're logic is flawed. I would bet there are slightly more players on Console then on PC as DLC tends to sell better on consoles. This has less to do with the number of gamers and more to do with the way gamers on the respective platforms work together. PC gamers tend to be less "STFU NOOB" and more working as a team. I've played BF BC2 for a while and I've yet to suggested to perform any sexual acts on my progenitors. I mean the other day this guy accidentally ran over me with a tank as I was getting out, he even apologised.

    • by Rifter13 (773076)

      This is an old fight. One that has seen the console players trounced time and time again. Quake 3 anyone?

    • Re:hold on there (Score:5, Informative)

      by gman003 (1693318) on Thursday December 30, 2010 @09:49PM (#34717610)
      1) Correct - it is false to conclude from this alone that PC > consoles. However, it's definitely evidence in the favor. 2) They're pretty much identical, except for input device and, on the PC, more configurability on the graphics. 3) Data does not support this - there are more players on the XBox version or the PS3 version than on the PC. So, then, it's even more surprising that the PC showed more cooperation.
  • Mostly this shows that the kind of people who like to play first-person shoot-em-ups prefer to play on a computer.

    I wonder how much the sales numbers reflect this? Or are the kind of people who like to play FPSs also the kind of people who don't bother to pay for games they get a lot of enjoyment out of?

    • by Gulthek (12570)

      The sales numbers don't reflect it at all, because that simply isn't the case. See Halo series sales.

      But really we're all one big happy gaming geeky segment of the population.

    • by hedwards (940851) on Thursday December 30, 2010 @09:50PM (#34717618)
      More likely what it means is that console players don't know how to play real FPS games. The controllers just don't support any game made from Quake or so on. I remember prior to Quake pretty much everybody played with keyboard only, then quake came out and people started to use keyboard and mouse other wise they were going to get crushed by the competition.

      Comparatively speaking the controllers that these games are designed for on consoles fit midway between keyboard and keyboard/mouse combo. They require special tweaks and assistance to work which aren't necessary on PC.

      Doesn't mean that console FPS can't or aren't fun, but it does mean that they're the equivalent of arcade race games to the PC's race simulators.
    • by eddy (18759)

      But that's NOT how publishers see it nowadays. XBox360 is considered the premier FPS/3PS platform, vastly outselling (the important metric to pubs) PCs and getting games that never even hit the PC (such as the latest Halos)

      What this shows, assuming the numbers haven't been fudged somehow, is what we all knew; PC players are more mature.

      (I'm with the rest of the sane world, FPSes on Consoles make no sense whatsoever as long as they reject the mouse, which they do because they're ASSHOLES)

  • You need a decently powered PC to push DICE software, ergo your average PC gamer is probably NOT living in his Mom's basement and has a real job to afford nice toys such as said PC and is probably not the typical 14 year old idiot you hear screaming obsenities at you over $ConsolePlatformOfYourChoice....

    So 14 year old ADD kid or older person with disposable income - who do you think would get done first?
  • Is more details behind it. There are two major thing I see that could be influencing this that I'd find interesting:

    1) Number of copies sold. If there are more players, well then there's gonna be more points earned. This would be interesting particularly what with a number of publishers hating on the PC and claiming nobody buys games, they all pirate, etc, etc. If that is not the case (pirated copies are probably not happening here, since the servers are all controlled by trusted hosts and they check) it wo

  • by PhrostyMcByte (589271) <phrosty@gmail.com> on Thursday December 30, 2010 @09:02PM (#34717228) Homepage

    I read the summary title and thought - for once - some insane game company had enabled PCs to play in the same games with consoles. But no... PC gamers just performed more "team actions" in their own isolated world than console gamers did in theirs.

    The game could be more popular on PC than consoles, or perhaps just more "serious" (and maybe older) players on PCs. Hell, maybe the PC version just got cracked and it didn't involve many players at all. Who knows. Slightly interesting, with so little data, only slightly.

    • by TheSpoom (715771)

      Can someone shed some light on why it is that the same game on different consoles don't interoperate for multiplayer? I suspect it's a requirement of the respective console companies' network policies, but I don't know for sure.

      • by hedwards (940851)
        Could be, or more likely it comes in terms of the difficulty of insuring that bugs on one system don't lead to problems playing with each other. Bugs can be a serious problem which lead to people having an unfair advantage. Plus, there's a tendency to tweak the ports to play well on a given system. Trying to test cross platform ends up being tough at times.
      • by khchung (462899)

        Console's network policy is probably the main reason.

        However, as a PS3 player, I have no desire to play with PC players. Why? Cheaters and griefers.

        In an all PS3 multiplayer game, I can at least be reasonably sure no one is cheating with hacks/aimbots/etc. Although there are still network cheats possible (e.g. lag switches), those are few enough that in >400 hours of BF2 multiplayer, I haven't met anyone that I was sure he had cheated.

        What's more, the LACK of cross team chatting (text or voice), spare

    • by imunfair (877689)

      Shadowrun tried that and the PC gamers destroyed the console players even though the console players had auto-aim. I doubt anyone is crazy enough to try that again in a FPS

  • Skill at gaming might actually be equal, but the interface is not. I believe someone from MS said at one time they had Xbox and PC FPS shooters(i forget the game) sharing servers and found that PC gamers always smoked the console gamers. KB/M > gamepad for FPS or RPG or RTS with hotkeys/macros/accuracy via mouse vs toggling a stick to move your reticle around and limited buttons. I thought this was common knowledge..
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 30, 2010 @10:17PM (#34717862)

    Whenever this tired argument breaks out I never hear mention of the REAL reasons why PC FPS gamers are better then consolers.

    Yes, it is true that the k/m combination is much better then an analog controller for FPS games, but this has wider implications then just simple accuracy and speed. The fact is the tactics used by PC gamers are more sophisticated because of the better controls. PC gamers an defend themselves from flank attacks much better because of the ability to turn quickly. If you cannot turn 90/180 degrees in a tenth of a second or faster with a mouse then you need to set your sensitivity higher and practice some more. A consoler has far fewer options when defending from such attacks. How long does it take for a consoler to turn around when being shot in the back? Since such limitations exist, the defensive skills to utilize turn speed are never developed in consolers.

    A large part of a master FPSer is superior situational awareness. Knowing where the enemy is at all times involves the ability to make quick visual checks at all times. You virtual 'eyes' should be darting around looking and checking every corner of your field of view AT ALL TIMES. This is what separates the proficient gamers from those with real talent. It is harder to get the element of surprise on a person who has the ability to see in all directions and uses it. This is achieved through the use of high mouse sensitivity. The distance a mouse should travel to turn 90 degrees should be much less then an inch. You should shoot for an eighth of an inch of physical space traveled to turn 90 degrees. If you can maintain accuracy at this speed, and I assure you this is very possible with practice, then your turning movements should be very near instant.

    The contribution of situational awareness to the skill-set of a gamer cannot be understated. The poor response of analog controllers ensures that console gamers will never develop proper situational awareness skills.

    The PC gamer has a much larger set of tools, so to speak, and so he or she learns to use these tools and becomes efficient with them. Console gamers don't have effective tools and so learn inferior tactics and are unable to capitalize on the awareness afforded by a better input device.

  • by Stenchwarrior (1335051) on Thursday December 30, 2010 @10:22PM (#34717896)

    I've used this before and I'm sure most of /. has seen this [dailyhaha.com], but I believe it fits the conversation at hand.

  • by khchung (462899) on Thursday December 30, 2010 @11:37PM (#34718462) Journal

    My take is that due to pervasiveness of cheaters in PC multiplayer games, most long time PC gamer have already joined some clan or another, or have long time in-game buddies. Otherwise, if you venture out alone, you will be playing against cheaters all day long.

    In BF2, it is common for PC clans to host their own servers, so they can ban any cheaters found.

    OTOH, the console don't have/need private servers. Hacks/aimbots/etc mods are not (yet) possible on PS3, so it is common for PS3 players to just join random multiplayer games without any clan or wait for buddies. Lots of BF2 games in PS3 are filled with players who don't know each other at all, you will find maybe 5-6 from clans out of 24 players in the game.

    With this background, is it any wonder that tasks needing team work will be done much much faster for PC gamers than console gamers?

    While some would say it is good news for PC gamers, as they logged only 1/2 of the hours played but "achieved" twice as much". I would think the opposite, as it indicates that PC sales is probably only 1/2 of either PS3 or XBox sales. I.e. combined console sales : PC sales would be about 4 : 1!

    Is it good news for PC when they only consist of 20% of the market share?

  • I can remember a time when the Microsoft OS users scoffed users other systems because they were "Games Machines" now the MS machines ARE the games machines....

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