What are you playing today? Sound off now!

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Matt Barton
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My point is, if the big

My point is, if the big developers refuse to support PCs, eventually you'll get to a point where you'll necessarily have to own a console to play any major new games. And that will be sad. I don't think it will ever come to that, but even missing out on a few titles upsets me (such as LittleBigPlanet). That's good example of what I'm talking about. Clearly, Sony benefits immensely by having such a great game exclusive to its platform. But who else benefits? PS3 owners (at least the non-zealots) wouldn't care if this game were released for other platforms or PC. You could argue that PS3 owners also benefit because they are better off if their platform is better off, but that's rather circular. If no one had exclusives, it really would come down to raw marketing and (to a much lesser extent) the actual technology underlying the platform.

I must insist, though, that you revise your claim about PCs being difficult to set up, or games being too tough to install, etc. That simply doesn't hold water. As for the compatibility issue, that could easily be solved (again) if Microsoft simply imposed a standard and setup some type of licensing system to ensure that each new PC was fully compatible. That's exactly what happened earlier with sound cards, graphic cards, etc. Either a card is VGA compliant or it's not. You can't be "compatible" in and of itself. You're only compatible with some pre-established and hopefully well-defined standard. Microsoft hasn't wanted to get its hands dirty with PC hardware, which is one reason (I think) Macintosh has consistently scored better in terms of user-friendliness. I can't think of anyone else with the power to impose an across-the-board standard, though EA and the like have tried (I think eventually they will succeed if anyone else can).

As long as it's clear what you're buying, though, what's the problem? Again, the problem isn't that there are options; the problem is that there's not enough measures in place to ensure that consumers know exactly that they're getting 100% compatibility.

All this is besides the point from the game publishers' point of view, though. They just want to sell the most widgets possible, and they benefit from docile consumers. If most people are too dumb to figure out how to pirate on a console, then that's the market we want, right? Dumb people. Grreeaattttt...

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Bill Loguidice
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I don't know, Matt, that's a

I don't know, Matt, that's a very one-sided view. While it's true that initially most console makers lose money on the hardware for a time, they eventually reach a point where they start to make money from console sales. Of course the real money is from a percentage of each game sold as well as sales from online transactions, which is big business these days. And it's true that there's piracy on every system, but PC's are far easier to pirate, affecting enthusiasm to develop on them (along with often reduced sales in comparison to console counterparts).

It's impossible to make a locked down PC standard, though I've been wishing for one since the days of the 486. It would no longer be a PC then, but a console, defeating the purpose. The PC is a multi-purpose device and it really can't be tethered down to one standard. At some point, consoles surpassed and/or caught up to most of the things a PC could do from a gaming standpoint, no longer making it necessary for many people to put up with all the hassles of their rogue (every system is a rogue if you think about it, since there are no real standards) system. If you just want to play games, a console is ideal. Again, the games just work each and every time guaranteed, the way they're supposed to be run, the way they were designed to be run. You can't and won't ever be able to say that on the PC side. There's nothing wrong with gaming on a PC, but again, for many, the experience is much, much better on the console side, with all the benefits of being untethered to a machine that many of us spend too many hours on as it is already, what with work, e-mail, the Web, etc. Also, it's nice to get away and just embrace the game experience without worrying about the controls or the graphical detail or anything else.

Again, the reality is is that even though the PC is often the second class citizen these days in terms of mainstream game development, most of us own at least one of each, as well as a handheld. Even you have a DS. Having to pick just ONE choice is just ridiculous. Everything has its place.

Vintage Games book!
Xbox 360: billlog | Wii: 1345 2773 2048 1586 | PS3: ArmchairArcade
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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Matt Barton
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That's where I have to

That's where I have to disagree. The closed model is great for the company, but sucks for consumers. There's no reason, really, why Microsoft couldn't just authorize or license a certain configuration, call it a Gaming Rig, and set up some standards for developers to ensure it's 100% compatible with everything right out the box. But no, that model sucks because they couldn't make a proprietary dongle to "block piracy," or whatever nonsense they think they're doing. They allegedly lose money on the console anyway, so the whole thing is about piracy and licensing. I will never believe that Joe Gamer gives a crap about either of those. If Joe buys a game for his Xbox 360, does he really care if the neighbor pirated it or if it's also available for the PS3 (or whether Microsoft itself got paid for a third-party developer's license to make games for the Xbox 360, dev kit, or whatever?)

The only argument I will accept for consoles is that they are built specifically with gaming in mind, and can thus focus on that instead of worrying about supporting things like productivity. However, I've seen precious little evidence to support that. Indeed, the innards seem to be looking more like "PC Lites" than anything specially made for gaming. The other argument is that they can make consoles cheaper since all the components will be the same (giving them substantial leverage with those manufacturers), but that again is nullified. If it were an open design (like the IBM PC), that wouldn't be an issue anyway, since the competing manufacturers would drive down the price by introducing more efficient models.

At any rate, people are willing to buy consoles and play right into the developers' hands, so it's beyond reason or logic anyway.

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Bill Loguidice
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Models
Matt Barton wrote:

Heh, it's not like I lose sleep over it. Just frustrating. I really hope Microsoft will continue to blur the lines between consoles and PCs, but it actually looks like they are solidifying it. I hate that. The more I think about it, the more I really resent it and hate to see people supporting that model by buying into it.

We can start another topic, but I don't see what's wrong with having a closed model. A closed model is ideal for those of us with little time. When I had the free time - as a kid and teenager - I embraced doing things the "hard way", which could be quite rewarding, but not anymore. Wasting time is not a luxury any more. I just want the experience without the hassle of setting it all up. Bottom line, this stuff works, that's why it's so successful and pushing out (or at least compromising) the everybody on their own approach. Hell, even on the PC you're seeing considerable consolidation, with services like Steam. Any time things are made easier for the consumer, it's a win, as long as you don't lose too much control.

Vintage Games book!
Xbox 360: billlog | Wii: 1345 2773 2048 1586 | PS3: ArmchairArcade
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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Matt Barton
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Heh, it's not like I lose

Heh, it's not like I lose sleep over it. Just frustrating. I really hope Microsoft will continue to blur the lines between consoles and PCs, but it actually looks like they are solidifying it. I hate that. The more I think about it, the more I really resent it and hate to see people supporting that model by buying into it.

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Bill Loguidice
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Anger management
Matt Barton wrote:

Yeah, I had the same problem with WOW. I actually get very pissed off thinking about it--it would be sooo much fun if people here would give it a chance, but they won't. Oh, well. Huge lost opportunity. Life goes on.

I'm surprised you have that much anger about it and you won't accept our very legitimate reasons for not doing so. We accept yours for not getting on the 360.

Vintage Games book!
Xbox 360: billlog | Wii: 1345 2773 2048 1586 | PS3: ArmchairArcade
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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Bill Loguidice
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MMOG woes
yakumo9275 wrote:

I'd give WOW a go, but I dont do monthly payment schemes, and I'd only be playing it every once in a while so would always have a perpetually low ranked character, not to mention all the different expansions that you can buy..

-- Stu --

Yeah, those are my main problems too, plus the fact that I don't like being locked into one game. I like what I do now, which is play lots of different things when the opportunity permits. If it doesn't permit, then it's not a major deal. With an MMOG, especially one where people were depending upon me to show up at x time, it would be.

Like I said, I think the ideal situation is what's on the Xbox 360, where you can see what your friends are up to at all times and can have impromptu "parties" and events if you have enough of them online at the same time. If not, you can always do something one on one or just try any old online game and maybe make a new friend or two.

Vintage Games book!
Xbox 360: billlog | Wii: 1345 2773 2048 1586 | PS3: ArmchairArcade
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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yakumo9275
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I'd give WOW a go, but I

I'd give WOW a go, but I dont do monthly payment schemes, and I'd only be playing it every once in a while so would always have a perpetually low ranked character, not to mention all the different expansions that you can buy..

-- Stu --

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Matt Barton
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Joined: 01/16/2006
Yeah, I had the same problem

Yeah, I had the same problem with WOW. I actually get very pissed off thinking about it--it would be sooo much fun if people here would give it a chance, but they won't. Oh, well. Huge lost opportunity. Life goes on.

At any rate, if it's not fun with 3, it's even less with 1. A good guild will solve a lot of problems, but definitely not comparable to playing with good IRL friends.

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yakumo9275
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I've not really been playing

I've not really been playing much of anything. I did a little on the next installment of the 7th Link. I've mostly been developing.

-- Stu --

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