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.
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.
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.