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Console vs PC Games War

Has anybody stumbled upon the “raging” console vs PC games war that is happening on the web? I see scars of this conflict every day on different game forums and sometimes it’s not pretty. Currently the war consists mostly of the  “PC gamers” calling new games “dumbed” down, made for casuals and saying that game developers are abandoning the people that fed them all those years in favor of the less demanding console crowd. A bit extreme. Of course, PC players aren’t the only ones to blame here, and console players do defend themselves.

While the web is filled with name calling, gamers do raise a valid concern: games are becoming more streamlined. But are consoles really to blame for that? I don’t think so.

Game developers are now mostly governed by publishers, and publishers only care about money, and to get money you need to produce “McD” level of products: cheap to make, fast to cook and easy to swallow. These developers aren’t trying to invent or innovate, they just want to have as many people as possible buy their games, and it’s a lot easier to know how many people own XBox360s than to know how many people own decent computers.  So all the streamlining causes people who have a hard time with change to hate what games are becoming, yet in 5 years the “cheap to make, fast to cook and easy to swallow” will have changed again and the new “I hate what they are doing to games” crowd will be a new “old crowd” of players. Now, not all PC players hate the streamlining and I know console players who don’t like what games have become either.

xbox360
xbox360

Another cause of the discontentment are the “console exclusive” games, which don’t just touch the PC platform (there is a PS3 vs Xbox360 war as well out there). Why are game exclusives to a specific platform? Answer: because Microsoft and Sony give lots of $$$ to the developers. I kind of hate platform exclusive games; I’m not gonna buy a console just to play a few games, but I know that I missed out on good titles because of that decision. Although, in the last few years, mostly in the case of the Xbox, exclusive titles have been ported to the PC platform. Usually through really bad port, making it an insult to the PC player base and inflaming the  “debate”. And now console ports are usually ignored if they don’t get released at the same time as the console version.

PlayStation3
PlayStation3

Finally, some game developers produce multi-platform games, but despite this “good gesture” the horde of discontents seems to be increasing and not diminishing. The first culprit of this is the crappy UI (user interface) most games have now. Most of them are made to support a simplistic input and often tweaks are now needed to allow a mouse. Strangely, most of these crappy UIs aren’t that much better with a gamepad and a TV screen. Another problem is that the people who play games on the PC and the ones who play games on the consoles have different tastes, yet a multi-platform game is trying to please everybody, usually missing the mark.

I’m a PC gamer, more from the fact that I don’t own a TV and that computers are a hobby for me. I believe there are games that play better on the consoles and others that should be made to work with a mouse and keyboard and be shoehorned to work for a gamepad. Also, I think that game developers should choose to keep making entertaining games over trying to please everybody.

9 replies on “Console vs PC Games War”

I too miss out on console games because I don’t want to invest in the hardware to play a handful of games. Katamari Damacy almost broke me, but it’s not worth buying a Playstation over.

I find the issue with newer games is that they seem to be sacrificing quality for go-to-market speed. Not to start an EA rant, but I invested hundreds in the Sims and the Sims 2 before the constant bugs made me swear never again.

I’m an X-box user mostly because i can afford to put (what is essentially) a one-time deposit on a console rather than ugrading my PC yearly so I can play current games with lag or worrying about overheating.

Plus, as someone who’s really only started playing videogames in the last 3 years, I find a console controller easier to manage than a keyboard.

But there is a huge focus on profit that I find discouraging. The division of EA games (that really had only been bought by them a year or two ago) has just been closed because their game ‘Blur’ (which is a decent racing game, just came out at a time when there were way too many racing games) didn’t make enough profit.

I mean, just as recently as a couple days ago, Activision is ceasing production of Guitar Hero since that isn’t making enough profit.

I play on an XBox 360, but that’s mostly because I like party games like Rock Band in addition to my regular FPSs. I still play games like Portals on my PC, because it’s a lot better on a computer.

It’s kind of a catch-22, though. PC gaming is a lot better, in a lot of regards; you have greater control on a PC than you do with a gaming console, there are a lot of really great games for PC, etc. But I have a laptop for work, and I don’t want to shell out the money for a desk top that would really have the power I need to play PC games well. My XBox at least hooks up to my tv and doubles as a dvd player (PS3 would do one better and work as a blu-ray player, but that’s for another day), and most console games have better games meant for a group of people to play.

Also, @Sara B, Portal is a great puzzle game available on Mac.

I don’t do much PC gaming because we have a Mac, but I’m having trouble finding console games that I like. I love classic RPG’s, ones that are a combination of fighting and puzzles that don’t seem like they are trying to be darker than everyone else. (The Legend of Zelda series is my favorite).Do you have any suggestions?

I do all my PC gaming on a Mac. It was Windows 7 bootcamped, so if I really want to play a game but it’s windows-only I’m good.

I agree with @Cami, Portal is great… if for nothing else than the end credits! :)

I play MMOs mostly, because I like playing with my friends cooperatively.

I think it’s important to note here that “casual” games aren’t necessarily bad ones. PopCap is an excellent example of a developer that produces accessible, fun games that are also well-designed and robust. At the core of these wars is a lot of superficial elitism that I really hate to see in the gaming community. The common “gamer” stereotypes aren’t bad enough, we have to turn on each other? It really shouldn’t matter what you play on, as long as you love the game.

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