J, on January 10th 2009, 01:54 AM, said:
I listened to this teenager on WoW spout one night about how shooters are best done on consoles and how PS3 is THE BEST console. I feel like a retard trying to play a shooter with a controller, when on the PC (perhaps more accurately . .. a computer keyboard / mouse interface) it feels so much more fluid. Now that there are hard drive installs with the consoles (I know MS just added it, I'm not sure how long Sony has had it), I wonder if gamers will start clamoring for CD-less solutions. With X-Box Live, how long before we reach a point where things can become Steam-like, where you can log in and all of your games are available to you. The only down-side to that is that the loads of bandwidth which would have to be consumed when games are re-downloaded. Then again, I doubt people would be re-formatting their consoles nearly as much as I do reformat my PC (twice yearly usually . . . ).
Tell me all about struggling with FPS's on a console & welcome to a very large club, man! I don't know if there's any difference between the PS3 & X360 controllers for FPS gaming, but if it's as bad as my PS2 I'd just rather not deal with the frustration of unsuitable hardware constantly conspiring against what I know I want to do in a game. I love a gaming challenge, sure, but I don't do masochism.
Yeah, I can see the advantages to games companies of more Steam-like purchases on consoles, but how much of the money companies save will be passed to consumers? I suspect the majority of consumers will always prefer physical CDs. Hard drive failures with loads of games on (yeah, I know we should always back everything up on more than one device, but how many of us sometimes don't?) can happen to anyone, anytime. Plus I think the trade in 2nd-user boxed games, often fetching decent sell-on fees, is something many gamers would be loath to lose.
I was a PC gamer elitist for years, refusing to go to consoles because every game that mattered to me was on the PC or eventually was ported. Games that are big enough like Grand Theft Auto or in a more obscure scene the Soul Reaver series all made it to the PC so I never had to get a console. Somewhere around the last Soul-Reaver game and the 2nd Prince of Persia game, I began to concede that melee combat games and 3rd person shooters were actually reasonably well done on consoles. When I finally took the leap to the X-Box 360, one of the main games that I was so into finally came out with news that it was being ported to the PC (Gears of War), almost making me regret the decision. My solution, or at least approach is that they can all easily co-exist, although from a gaming-only perspective, in in the case of the PS3 or X-Box 360, I don't see a huge need for both, as just about everything is cross platform.
Some good points & I've said similar elsewhere. I think that PC/Mac & console gaming can indeed easily co-exist, but I seriously doubt that the console successors to PS3 & X360 can co-exist as easily with each other due to the massive investments necessary to establish these markets. IMO, Sony have thrown a lot away with dropping backwards compatibility with PS2. As for XBox: had anyone other than MS owned the XBox franchise, I think it'd would have been terminated years ago as a financial disaster. I strongly agree that cross-platform gaming for consoles is probably more than a viable option in the long-term. Either that, or I suspect that Sony may eventually become a casualty of the console wars (regardless of how much better their kit may be). Previous console wars have resulted in more than a few good gaming systems being scrapped, for various reasons. I think we haven't seen the last of that.
The mention earlier in this thread that Mac Gamers tend to be more casual is an interesting one. Is that common knowledge? I change computers and / or laptops ever 2-3 years, so I guess eventually my machine would have to be delegated to more casual games at some point.
Crysis aside, I kind of like how the cross-platform effect is causing the graphics level in games seems to be leveling out a bit, as being gaming capable on the PC (and consequently the Mac) doesn't require a 'keeping up with the Jones'' type of commitment. Of course, this is just MY observation, but when my nearly 2 year old 8800 GT is still enough for the recently released Prince of Persia game, it makes me happy that my PC is still relevant.
Difficult to say what percentage of Mac gamers are "casual", but many hard-core gamers want readily upgradeable hardware, sometimes spending serious money on maintaining powerful gaming PCs. With Macs, that's not really practical - yes, there's the Mac Pro, but even that doesn't have anything like the flexibility of PCs. Frankly, I'm neither a hard-core gamer nor a casual one; probably in between. I suspect that many Mac gamers might fit this medium. Sure they want more games on the Mac & some Boot Camp it, but running games like "Crysis" at so many FPS isn't as big a deal. Mind also that even the developers of "Crysis" now feel that making that game so resource hungry was a mistake that cost them significant sales & revenue.
AFAIC, my HD 2600 iMac will run every Mac game out there at full settings & could easily run all the PC games I'd want to play if I Boot Camp it. I play mostly RTS games on my Mac, other stuff on my PS2, so I'm not that bothered about games like "Crysis". In 2/3 years time, I'll probably also upgrade to a more powerful computer & expect to be able to say the same, but my HD 2600 iMac would still be able to play most
of the best games out there at more than acceptable levels.
You're right about the bigger picture & how as each new generation of Macs becomes more powerful, 2nd-user Macs become increasingly viable options for gaming, whether "casual" or more so. The transition from PPC to Intel (with many Mac games now being Intel only) has slightly messed up this process, but otherwise I see significant progress being made here. Those buying new alum MacBooks have themselves a useful gaming laptop. Apple might release new Minis with the same 9400M chipset soon, along with video card updates for iMacs. Snow Leopard will bring some interesting graphics-enhancing capabilities in how video cards & processors work together (a development I don't fully appreciate yet). Overall, as long as enough Mac gamers support Mac developers, the future might better than just good. As Mac market share grows & console game sales eat into the PC market, I can see a lot more developers finding it harder to ignore the Mac platform. Whilst it's very
unlikely to ever be on a par with Windows PCs for game releases, if we still end up with games like the "Total War" series, be it later than PCs (besides, decent Mac ports tend to be less buggy anyway) & with the Boot Camp option for the stuff that'll never be ported, for me & I suspect many others, that's more than good enough.
I'm no Apple fanboy, but put it this way: Windows 7 would have to be very good indeed for me to switch altogether & that remains to be seen.
EDIT: By "cross-platform gaming for consoles" I mean, IMO, ALL games should be available for ALL consoles capable of running them, even if that means having to standardize console architecture & licensing the technology to whoever wants to make those consoles - similar to Windows PCs.