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Games

PC Gaming Is Back in Focus at Tokyo Game Show (bloomberg.com) 156

After taking a back seat to consoles for the past few years, personal computers are enjoying a resurgence in gaming, thanks to the popularity of e-sports, customizable machines and faster software releases. From a report: This week's Tokyo Game Show will feature a main-stage tournament for PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, a hit online survival PC game that's been downloaded more than 10 million times since March. Sony's PlayStation 4 and Microsoft's Xbox One consoles are heading into their fifth years, while Nintendo's Switch is in a bit of a lull before new titles are released for the year-end holiday shopping season. Spending on gaming-ready PC rigs are on track to climb an average of 6.6 percent per year through 2020, while the market as a whole is projected to decline 3.8 percent annually, according to Gartner. Revenue from PC titles will grow by 3 to 4 percent over the coming years, while console-game sales are seen flat, according to DFC Intelligence. Written off years ago for being too expensive, complex and bulky for mass appeal, gaming PCs are seeing a resurgence that could even threaten consoles, according to Kazunori Takahashi, Japan gaming head at Nvidia. "The abundance of titles and the popularity of e-sports is bringing a lot of excitement to PC gaming," said Takahashi, whose employer supplies graphic chips to PC and console makers. Even in Japan, "it's not unreasonable to think that PCs can eventually become a presence that threatens console gaming."
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PC Gaming Is Back in Focus at Tokyo Game Show

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  • by sinij ( 911942 ) on Thursday September 21, 2017 @12:49PM (#55239175)
    PC gaming will always be superior due to available control scheme. Consoles could have captured that space one they became network-enabled if they didn't squander it at building walled gardens.
    • by ArmoredDragon ( 3450605 ) on Thursday September 21, 2017 @12:56PM (#55239223)

      It seems to me that the more popular console games these days have their roots on PCs. Consolitis fucked over a few PC games though, like Skyrim, which had that really crappy flash based menu system that worked well for controllers, but not for mice, and overall the game's control system was really broken for kb+mouse, even though Oblivion didn't have these console problems.

      • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Thursday September 21, 2017 @01:11PM (#55239291)

        Not to mention that a lot of good RTS series got dumbed down for console use. And let's not get into RTS aimbots so console users can actually hit anything with their twiddle sticks.

        • RTS? Aimbots? I think you are confusing Real-Time Strategy (RTS) with First Person Shooter (FPS)

          And any dumbing down of FPS's happened with Quake with easy-mode headshots from mouse-aiming.

          Really, the pre-quake players of FPS's considered mouse aiming to be "easy mode for casuals"

          • Yes, that second RTS should be FPS. My apologies. But it was mostly the RTS games that got dumbed down to fit with the gaming style of consoles.

            As for the FPS games, well, in the early shooters headshots were pretty much impossible since there WAS only two dimensional "aiming", aka moving the mouse left or right. Along with mostly two dimensional movements. Today, it's trivial to move in three dimensions, aim in three dimensions and have 6 degrees of freedom in a FPS game, which can lead to very interesting

            • But it was mostly the RTS games that got dumbed down to fit with the gaming style of consoles.

              Oh? Which ones? Or did you mean to write FPS again instead of RTS, because EVERY console RTS I own has mouse support. (C&C, Red Alert, Red Alert Retaliation, Dune 2000, Warzone 2100) Admittedly, they're all PSone titles. There's only 1 post PSone RTS that I know of, that being RA3.

              Also you'll have to #define "dumbed down" because from what I see when a PC "Master Race" type says "dumbed down" they're actually saying:

              "Waaah I don't like consoles existing and don't like the fact that the games I play

              • I don't care that consoles exist. What bothers me is that more and more studios think they can get away with creating mediocre console games and then do a half assed port.

                About the games, well, take the Tropico series and watch its development as the shift towards consoles increased, culminating in the train wreck that T5 is. RUSE is another great example of sitting there and wondering why the hell the game is playing like a hog until you find out that this is the only way it could be made playable with a c

                • Tropico 4 still retained a bit of the variety and complexity that its predecessors had. With T5 they went off the deep end, resulting in a handful of buildings to choose from (yes, even after upgrading to a later tech level) and stripping a lot of options and little things you could fiddle and tweak.

                  Did you ever think that those design decisions were made to increase the games appeal to MORE gamers on PC than just the bearded strategy game guys? That those decisions weren't made with the console market in mind...but to sell more Tropico to MORE PC gamers.

                  Not only that, but the game has multiplayer. Did you ever think that the changes made were designed to streamline the game to make it a more fun multiplayer game on PC?

                  But no, it's now on consoles and everything you don't like is consoles fault. Per

      • It seems to me that the more popular console games these days have their roots on PCs.

        Most games that are available for PC and consoles are compiled from the same codebase. One of the reasons why so many PC titles are dumbed down is because the lowest common denominator is the console that everyone codes for.

      • by xevioso ( 598654 )

        It really did. I purchased one of the Assasin's Creed games for my PC, the Pirate one, and it's essentially unplayable using a normal mouse and keyboard. Even using the mouse and keyboard to configure the mouse and keyboard was virtually impossible.

        • that one asscreed is notoriously poorly ported. It has the control issues you mentioned, but also has a permanently locked fps to 60fps, and yet still manages to have frame drops and stutters even on cards like a 1080. Its a great game, but a horrid port

      • Thank god for SkyUI

      • The first PCs were essentially consoles after all!

        • How so?

          • Unless he's referring to hooking up a serial console to some S-100 machine, he might be referring to the console ancestry of some "home computers", or the computer ancestry of some consoles. Sometimes both within the same line.

            One example was the C64. at one point in its development it was intended on being a console. Then it was decided that they could turn their console into an inexpensive computer. But....a console version of the C64 WAS released in Japan BEFORE The C64. It is called the Ultimax.

            htt [wikipedia.org]

            • This exactly! Thank you! They were basically consoles disguised as productivity machines.

            • I don't see any compelling evidence that the C64 was initially going to be marketed as a gaming system. If I see it, I'll believe it though, but it's just not here. I think what happened is Commodore realized just how much market potential there was for games, so they shifted heavily in that direction by the time to C64 came out, but it was built as a computer, not a console.

              But, no matter the case, Commodore was only one player in the market, and PCs as we know them today do not have their roots in Commodo

      • like Skyrim, which had that really crappy flash based menu system that worked well for controllers, but not for mice, and overall the game's control system was really broken for kb+mouse, even though Oblivion didn't have these console problems.

        Flash based? What are ou talking about.

        Were you even around in the past when PC gamers on Slashdot complained about Oblivion's UI and controls being "consolitis" You can even find threads on slashdot about it.

        I've got one other thing to say. WITHOUT sales from console players there would be less incentive to make these RPG's.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Flash based? What are ou talking about.

          Maybe he is talking about Scaleform [wikipedia.org].

    • The whole point of a console is that you can't upgrade it. Just like floptabs and floplets ... the "industry" decides when its time for you to buy a new one. The old one gets discarded, There'es nothing in between. The whole concept of console, and anything from laptops to tablets could never live up to pcs, not b/c of the technicalities, because the marketing included. But its good to see, really. Consoles and tablets don't make people smarter. They lead to "my-phone-is-bigger-than-yours"-boy and "have-you
  • I used to be turned off by PC games because I hate playing with a keyboard and mouse. But with most games on PC now supporting controllers the same as they do on consoles, it's really becoming a level playing field. And with more mod availability, better graphics options and more hardware customization options, the PC has a strong leg-up on its console competition (for now at least).

    As consoles are becoming more and more PC-like and PC's become more-and-more console like, I think it may be a dead issue soon

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Stormwatch ( 703920 )

      But with most games on PC now supporting controllers the same as they do on consoles

      Sadly, it's often Xinput controllers only, not traditional DirectInput controllers.

      Fuck you, Microsoft, I'm NOT buying a goddamn Xbox 360 controller when I already have several perfectly good devices.

      • by tepples ( 727027 ) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (selppet)> on Thursday September 21, 2017 @02:06PM (#55239633) Homepage Journal

        Sadly, it's often Xinput controllers only, not traditional DirectInput controllers.

        In part, you can blame Windows Store for this. UWP applications can access XInput but not DirectInput.

        • It's a small part if any that what you can blame on the Windows Store.
          It's been a long time since the primary API for controllers on Windows is XInput.
      • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

        Well for me Windows anal prove 10 has killed PC gaming. I have purchased two really old games for PC since Christmas, simply because I had never played them before and further investing in a corrupted platform makes no sense. I will likely buy no new games until my current machine dies and I swap platforms, M$ can stick windows 10 where the sun don't shine, rather than have them pry into my life, like they have a right to it, fuck M$. I see the positive story for windows PC gaming as real panic sets in with

  • by UnknownSoldier ( 67820 ) on Thursday September 21, 2017 @01:02PM (#55239251)

    ... everyone just got tired of the the console fanbois constantly shouting trying to drone everyone else out.

    Not everybody has been sucking at the tit of Microsoft, Sony, or Nintendo. In the PC space there have been a ton of AAA and Indie games that just aren't available on console.

    Console are nothing more then walled gardens on a gimped PC. (Hey consoles, how's that 120 fps working out? What, you can't do it and you _still_ struggle to do 30 fps @ 1080p BWUAHA.)

    PC have been infinitely more customizable. The first to support 22-bit graphics (Voodoo), 32-bit graphics (RGBA), 4K, 120 fps, SSD, etc, consoles are always playing catching -- signified by the "PC Master Race" slogan.

    The keyboard + mouse blows the gamepad away for any sort of precision. i.e. I'll seriously doubt we'll ever see StarCraft (1 or 2) on a console anytime soon because console peripherals never sell well. Hell, with Starcraft 2 I can STILL bog down my i7-4770K + GTX 980 Ti.

    This same cycle happens every console. A new console comes up. Everyone gets excited over "exclusives", then in a few years everyone goes back to a bigger and better gaming experience on PC -- for those that can afford it -- and whines about all the shitty console ports. Rinse and Repeat.

    Consoles have their place, but PC gaming is still around and always will be. You don't need some bullshit license to release your game on PC.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by tepples ( 727027 )

      The keyboard + mouse blows the gamepad away for any sort of precision.

      Including for racing games and fighting games? How do you play, for example, 2-player Street Fighter series on a keyboard?

      I'll seriously doubt we'll ever see StarCraft (1 or 2) on a console anytime soon

      Command & Conquer: Red Alert: Retaliation (how's that for colon cancer) was ported to the original PlayStation, and the original StarCraft was ported to the Nintendo 64.

      Everyone gets excited over "exclusives"

      Sometimes "exclusives" can include an entire genre. What PC games in the platform-fighting genre are recommended for fans of PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale or Super Smash Bros. series who seek to abandon console

      • You don't need an Apple Developer ID to sell Games for Mac OS X, or macOS.
        You need such an ID if you want to sell via the App Store.

        Most Mac users regularily download software from other sites.

        I believe there are also ways to sign the software, which is ok for the OS but does not require the App Store/Developer ID.

      • Nobody cares about 'App Store Restrictions.'

        In fact, nobody cares much about App Stores.

        • by tepples ( 727027 )

          By default, Gatekeeper doesn't require apps to be obtained through Mac App Store. However, it does require them to be signed with the certificate associated with a developer ID issued by Apple.

          • That sounds like a MacOS defect. You can't run binaries at all until the developer has kissed Apple's ring?

            Or is that a default setting that can be corrected by the user?

            • by tepples ( 727027 )

              Two of the three settings (Gatekeeper on and Mac App Store only) are visible in the GUI. The third (Gatekeeper off) is available only through the Terminal, and you have to search the web for it.

    • Just on a side-note, Starcraft 2 shouldn't really bog down that system. If you're running Windows 10, make sure to turn off GameDVR in the Xbox app, because it can cause serious conflicts with Starcraft 2 and can result in considerable graphical buffering issues, particularly in cut-scenes in Legacy of the Void, and even static scenes in Heart of the Swarm if graphics settings are turned up. If this isn't applicable to you, please disregard. :)

      • Here are some more details:

        I'm running Windows 7, not Windows 10.

        99.99% of the time SC2 stays at 60+ fps. It is only 1 particular custom map where the framerate gets killed. IIRC it was 3v3 (humans vs AI)

        Another friend of mine with an even higher end intel i7 has the exact same problem -- we were playing in the same game and wondered WTF was going when everything is normally buttery smooth. I do know that Blizzard spent a TON of time optimizing SC2 so I'm not exactly sure what is going wrong.

        A mystery to

    • Not everybody has been sucking at the tit of Microsoft, Sony, or Nintendo. In the PC space

      In the PC Space? You mean in the Windows space? The MICROSOFT Windows tit?

      The first to support 22-bit graphics (Voodoo), 32-bit graphics (RGBA), 4K, 120 fps, SSD, etc, consoles are always playing catching -- signified by the "PC Master Race" slogan.

      Son, consoles had graphics back when home computers were using 40 column text and customized character sets for most of their displays. And I distinctly remember the PSone version of DOOM having TRUE transparency aka 24bit+8bit 32 bit color when the PC version didn't. The PSone had 24bit True color in 1995, the Voodoo 3 came out in 1999 and wasn't actually true color but 24 bit dithered down to 16 bit for output (which 3Dfx calle

    • by mjwx ( 966435 )

      Not everybody has been sucking at the tit of Microsoft, Sony, or Nintendo. In the PC space there have been a ton of AAA and Indie games that just aren't available on console.

      This, a thousand times this.

      Lets be honest, AAA has gotten pretty crappy. Everything is just a rehash of last year, another Call of Boredom; Modern Snorefare, 2018.5, recycled shooters, recycled sports games. I've realised the last AAA game I liked was released 2 years ago (Fallout 4) and even then, there are consolisation elements I despise (and mod out). Things like DLC and pay to win have ruined most competitive games. I'd much rather play Endless Space 2 or Cities: Skylines these days to whatever is

  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Thursday September 21, 2017 @01:07PM (#55239275)

    There are quite a few reasons why PC gaming didn't die 20 years ago when its obituaries were announced the first time. Or 15 years ago when it died again. Or 10 years ago. Or ever since. The reasons are simple.

    Consoles had everything stacked in their favors to take over. There's really a LOT of upsides to consoles, all of which have been thrown into the gutter by their makers. Let's think back a few years, shall we? Let's go back to, say, the 1990s. PC gaming was a mess. So many different setups, no standards, drivers you had to invent and reinvent every other game you wrote, and the same shit for the ones wanting to play. Reconfigure this, memory-optimize that, IRQ settings here, DMA configuration there. Consoles were hassle-free gaming. Plug that cartridge into your NES, your Sega Master system, your NeoGeo or whatever you had and you were good to play. Easy. No fidgeting.

    And no loading times! Stuff it in, turn it on, play! That was probably the first thing they lost with the advent of the first CD based consoles that made loading times from effin' FLOPPY DISKS look fast!

    And the hassle free part was gone soon, too, when consoles started to become more and more fault-prone. Has there been a generation of consoles since PS1 and XBox where you could rely on them actually still working 2 years from purchase? For the sake of the all-holy copy protection, consoles have become a veritable nightmare when it comes to hardware stability.

    Next thing they lost was the input advantage/disadvantage battle. Consoles used controllers, PCs used keyboard and mouse. Which of course means that certain games played better on consoles (like plattformers and arcade flight games) while others played better on PCs (like FPS, RTS and other games where point-and-click/shoot is more relevant). Now, PCs did get their console controllers quite soon. Not to mention the nearly inexhaustible supply of other periphery from flight sticks to steering wheels to ... you name it. Only very recently console makers realized that yes, there is actually a market for such input devices (with the noteworthy exception of Nintendo, who produced an incredible amount of input devices... sadly they insisted in making some NOBODY in their sane mind would WANT to use instead of producing what people would actually be using). And dropping the ball immediately again by providing only overpriced crap that you can use with THEIR product, ONLY their product and only with THIS version of their product. In other words, my PC steering wheel I bought 10 years and 3 PCs ago still works. Do you honestly expect your PS2 steering wheel to work when PS5 comes?

    And I didn't even get into the area where you can actually upgrade your PC while you're stuck with whatever the console maker deems "good enough".

    Personally, I think consoles dropped the ball when they insisted that they really need to have a full blown operating system that took away the key advantage these machines had over PCs: Exactly that they did NOT need that overhead and could apply their whole processing power to delivering a gaming experience.

    • There are quite a few reasons why PC gaming didn't die 20 years ago when its obituaries were announced the first time.

      Or vice versa when someone from say iD or some other PC-centric dev house or some hardware maker like alienware or Nvidia claims consoles are doomed.

      That was probably the first thing they lost with the advent of the first CD based consoles that made loading times from effin' FLOPPY DISKS look fast!

      It wasn't THAT bad....I've used a 1541 WITHOUT a fastload cartridge so I know bad.

      Has there been a generation of consoles since PS1 and XBox where you could rely on them actually still working 2 years from purchase?

      Yes. 50001 model PS2's are like tanks unlike the early models. My CECHE PS3 was working far past the 2 year mark. The PS4, purchased on launch day is still fine.

      Now, PCs did get their console controllers quite soon. Not to mention the nearly inexhaustible supply of other periphery from flight sticks to steering wheels to ... you name it. Only very recently console makers realized that yes, there is actually a market for such input devices (with the noteworthy exception of Nintendo, who produced an incredible amount of input devices...

      Recently? Try 1995, apparently you don't know much about the PSone and the peripherals it had

      https://en.wikipedia.or [wikipedia.org]

    • Consoles only have two advantages really, and even then not even that is secure.

      #1 Consoles have the ability to be plugged into your TV, and use controllers. The whole controller VS keyboard/mouse argument aside it is nice to be able to sit my ass on a couch for hours at a time to play Skyrim or whatever. That said, there is absolutely nothing stopping people with a PC from hooking it up to their TV and buying a controller if they really want to now. Only difference is one take a small bit of configuring wh

      • #1 went out the window no later than when Steam rolled their whateveryoucallit-stick out that allows you to stream your game to a TV. Same deal as with consoles now. If you really want to game on your couch in your living room, the additional investment is basically now such a streaming stick and a Wifi XBox Controller.

        #2 isn't really that big an argument either, considering that consoles are cross-financed with games. If you look down the console and PC games, you'll notice that in general console games ar

  • Here go a few reasons in my opinion:
    • Controllers on PC got common and stardardized (for good or bad the Xbox 360 controller is standard on PCs)
    • Increasing develoment costs made it financially obvious to also release on PCs
    • Digital stores helped inmensely with distribution helping the indies the most
    • The powerful consoles are now x86 based. The are still differences, like how memory is GDDR and shared with the GPU. But I am sure that developers do not need to take their time to code for different CPUs anymore.
  • That's all fine and dandy, but people have to understand what the guy is talking about in it's own cultural context:

    The japanese market has been famous for quite a while to have a very tiny PC gaming market.
    It's still in the last place even if it advances a bit, because it was never very successful.
    You have consoles not doing very well in recent years, with XBox One being a huge failure.
    If you count Switch as a console though, we might see a complete reversal since absurd lines are forming to get a lottery

  • Nothing beats a plug and play experience when you want to relax. Things screw up on PC and I never know if a given game is going to work. On console, I can buy a game on release and be guaranteed that I can finish it, and still be able to run all my old games as well without issue.

    I've had driver updates break old games, break new games, your GPU choice can screw you over, and a whole bunch of other crap I don't want to even think about. I've been down that road.

    I'll use PCs to emulate console games and enh

    • by Yunzil ( 181064 )

      Things screw up on PC and I never know if a given game is going to work.

      I have not had a game not work since DirectX came along.

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