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PC Gaming Alive and Dominant 245

An anonymous reader writes "Ars reports on a panel at PAX East which delved into the strength of the PC as a platform for games, and what its future looks like. The outlook is positive: 'Even as major computer OEMs produce numbers showing falling sales, the PC as a platform (and especially a gaming platform) actually shows strong aggregate growth.' The panelists said that while consoles get a lot of the headlines, the PC platform remains the only and/or best option for a lot of developers and gamers. They briefly addressed piracy, as well: 'Piracy, [Matt Higby] said, is an availability and distribution problem. The more games are crowdfunded and digitally delivered and the less a "store" figures into buying games, the less of a problem piracy becomes. [Chris Roberts] was quick to agree, and he noted that the shift to digital distribution also helps the developers make more money — they ostensibly don't have everyone along the way from retailers to publishers to distributors taking their cut from the sale.'"
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PC Gaming Alive and Dominant

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  • Re:Simple math (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PlusFiveTroll ( 754249 ) on Saturday April 12, 2014 @09:46PM (#46737355) Homepage

    >Steam has a bit of a bargain bin but I suspect that a Playstation bargain bin at Walmart will do far better than the same bargain bin for PC games.

    The Steam quarterly sales are huge, also the weekly Humble Bundle. I'm over 100 titles now, simply because a very large number of them cost me almost nothing. Also you can play games on decent settings for around $600 and have a computer you can do other things with too. $1200 is a damn fast computer.

  • Re:Not True (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dutch Gun ( 899105 ) on Saturday April 12, 2014 @10:47PM (#46737601)

    IMO, we've never had more choices or viable platforms as gamers - my first console was an Odyssey 2, and my first computer gaming was on an Apple II+, so I've been doing this a while now. Anyone who is longing for days long gone really needs to take off the rose-coloured glasses. Most of those older games were, if you look at it objectively, pretty trite and repetitive by today's standards. They were amazing to us largely because of their novelty, and we've elevated them on the pedestal of nostalgia.

    Nothing against the classics - they were amazing for their day, but I do think a bit of perspective is in order. When I was a kid, I would have killed for an amazing RPG like Skyrim, or an MMO like Guild Wars 2, or for the sheer creativity to be found in Minecraft. I picked up Limbo the other day, and have been immensely enjoying myself - it's an incredibly clever and atmospheric platformer/puzzler. I'm still playing Puzzle Quest too, a relatively low-budget but fun puzzle-RPG hybrid. More recently, I've been going through my "bought a while ago but haven't played" list like Halo 4 and Uncharted 3, and on the PC side recently picked up The Witcher 1 & 2 in a Steam deal. I've enjoyed all these games immensely so far.

    Granted, there's a lot of crap out there too. Freemium games? Yeah, I stay the hell away from those too. But I don't see how crowdfunding can be blamed when it's simply opened up the market to more niche games. Sure, some of those bets won't pay off, but welcome to venture capitalism. I'm not sure how that should be a surprise to anyone. 80% of everything is crap, anyhow. It holds true now, and it was true in the past as well. You just need to look for the products that rise to the surface... you know, read reviews, judge based on developer history.

    Some old icons in the industry are now past their prime. Blizzard, Bioware, and id, longstanding favorites of mine, have all sold out. I'll no longer expect anything great from them, although I'm always willing to be surprised. Instead, younger and hungrier development shops will take their place... maybe ArenaNet and Bungie. And garage development is no longer relegated to the past either thanks to crowdfunding and improvement in tools, technology, and especially distribution platforms.

    Personally, I think it's a pretty exciting time for the gaming industry, and I'm happy I'm in the middle of it.

The wages of sin are high but you get your money's worth.