Friday, June 03, 2005

[PC | Console] Gaming Is Dead?

CNet predictably predicts the Death of PC Gaming.

This is not exactly anything new. This question seems to come up every time a new generation of consoles is released.

The argument invariably goes something like this: With a whole game console available for under $400, why would anyone pay over $2,000 to play PC games? The new consoles are putting out graphics equal to or better than the best available video cards for PCs, so the more expensive PC offers nothing beyond what the consoles do!

Among the flaws with this argument: People don't pay over $2,000 to play PC games. People pay $1,500 or so for a computer to do all the things one uses a computer for (web, email, office apps, graphics editing, music downloading, etc.), and then spend an extra couple hundred for a video card that they don't need for all that stuff, but which enables them to play games. Comparing the full system price of PCs vs. consoles is comparing Apples to oranges.

As for the second point, that the graphics from a $400 console are as good as the graphics from a $400 video card for a PC: Right now, at this very moment, that's true. However, well before the next generation of consoles is released, probably after about 18-20 months, the $400 PC video cards will be putting out graphics far beyond what the non-upgradeable consoles can do.

And when they are, the folks at CNet and other PC/Tech magazines will be predicting the Death of Console Gaming.

Myself, I expect things to continue much as they always have: Serious game geeks like me will have both a PC and at least one console. College students will have access to both PCs and consoles, even if they don't personally own them all. Technogeeks who aren't interested in games will have PCs. People who can't afford computers will have consoles.

1 comment:

Kwik2Jujj said...

We could also point out that there are just a staggering number of PCs "out there," a massive hardware base that's just too tempting not to target games at them.

As for why someone would pay $2,000 for PC hardware, you've already pointed out that you are getting a general-purpose machine that does quite a bit more than just play games. But besides that, some people just like to have a fast computer.

You know those "spinners" that some people put on their car's wheels? I find the prices astounding. Yet people buy 'em. Is it so crazy to spend money to jazz up a computer for performance as compared to jazzing up an auto for looks?