Consoles are nice and all....

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Bill Loguidice
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Rational reasoning
Mark Vergeer wrote:
Matt Barton wrote:

Yeah, I don't think this is an argument that will ever be won. People who are heavily invested in a console are, by design, very resistant to PC gaming.

WTF, I am not resistant to anything. I make it a point to keep an open mind about it.

Me too. I came to a logical conclusion around the Windows 98 era that I would no longer try to keep up with the bleeding edge of PC gaming. It was not based on emotion, it was based on logic. The logic being I'd rather put the money I'd spend on the PC side into consoles because the only reason I was futzing with my PCs was to be able to play games better. Consoles of this era (meaning Xbox 360 and PS3) have finally matched or trumped the PC in all areas that I care about - universal high definition visuals, universal digital surround sound, wireless everything, online everything (360), community/high score ubiquity (360), pervasive multiplayer, etc.

The question always come down to what am I missing out on by not having a current games capable PC? For me, nothing, zilch, zero. I get everything I could personally possibly get on the PC side with the added benefit of increased convenience and uniformity. Obviously everyone's tastes and methodologies vary, but the bottom line is as a true, well informed gamer - budget issues aside - you really should have at least a decent PC, one console and one handheld to give you access to the best possible games. Again, more is better, but you do reach a point of diminishing returns (which I don't mind - I just love the technology).

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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I said "heavily invested,"

I said "heavily invested," as in the stakes are very high for that person. I don't put anyone here in that category, since most are able to afford consoles and PCs, etc. I have in mind someone that feels personally invested in one or the other--as in, they had to sacrifice to get that console or PC.

Again, I point to people who refuse to let go of things like the Dreamcast, Amiga, etc. At one point in their lives, they were heavily invested in these platforms, and couldn't just "let go" like people who didn't have that investment.

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Mark Vergeer
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WTF
Matt Barton wrote:

Yeah, I don't think this is an argument that will ever be won. People who are heavily invested in a console are, by design, very resistant to PC gaming.

WTF, generalizing doesn't help this 'debate'. What if I were to take the remarks in your previous post personally - like the power user one but it could be the non native language barrier thing here. Then I could feel offended and say the following: "I am not resistant to anything. I make it a point to keep an open mind about it and have been posting the benefits and flaws of both 'platforms'. To me it is not a war to be fought. Nothing to be conquered. I hear what you say and know what you pay. Enjoy the games you play and just get along with one another. Why would you pity nes players. Why would you pity anyone for that matter?
I never stood on the barricades resisting the invasion of the Amiga - like some c64 users were - just because I couldn't afford it. I welcomed every opportunity to visit friends who owned one and play on it. There were ZX-Spectrum vs C64 debates going on at school, I learned to program on both and so did my friends."

Console gamers are not necessarily stupid turds and pc gamers aren't always rich elitist IQ 150+ folk the world just isn't like this. Is there really a war to be fought over this?
Seems a rather silly one if you ask me.

Matt, thanks for the link to that Japanese shooter PC game btw. I am going to check that out in a minute.

Xbox 360: Lactobacillus P | Wii: 8151 3435 8469 3138
Editor / Pixelator - Armchair Arcade, Inc. | www.markvergeer.nl

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Mark Vergeer
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haha I knew I was going to get Matt's attention!
Matt Barton wrote:

See, that's a perfect example. Why not? Because of licensing/exclusivity issues. There is no technical reason why you couldn't play that same game (probably significantly enhanced) on your PC. They just don't offer it because they want people to buy more Xbox 360s. So, is the answer to run out and buy one? Hardly. The more people that do that, the more they're sending the message that it works (voting with dollars).

Keep in mind their larger goal--lock you into their platform. Sure, that's no issue for folks who can afford to buy them all, but I don't think many kids have that option.

I knew that was going to get your attention Matt. Sure it is possible to do the same on pc but it takes a lot more ironing out as there are more timing issues with non standard pc configurations. I think it is bullocks for a software company to state that GOW2 is console only. It probably turn out to be some marketing trick and if demand is high enough it could come out on PC despite what is being said right now. The 360 is just a triple-core PowerPC system with similar 3D capabilities as most of todays pc graphics-cards, there is no reason for it not to come out on PC technically apart from the fact that most of today's pc users only have 1 or at best 2 cpu-core. The quad core userbase is growing but it still a rather limited crowd perhaps. You will need some of this multi core capability to be able to cope with the multi-core parallel processing power of today's consoles as the GOW2 game pushes the 360 more than it's predecessor and - if ported to the pc - the game will have far greater hardware needs than the 1st edition. You really need multiple cores in your CPU to be able to cope with all the game threads. If the GOW2 game is pushing the 360 you probably need 3 x86 cpu cores to be able to do the same on a PC. Perhaps the PC gaming demographic with powerful enough machines is just too small.
Then theres the PowerPC thing. The PowerPC is risc and a cpu of choice in most of today's consoles - the PS3 and the 360 both have PowerPC like cpus. The Power PC is a different beast than the x86/x64 we have in our desktops. The x86 is easy to emulate on a PowerPC but vice versa it only became possible with Rosetta - the x86 emulation layer used in Tiger and Leopard.
Perhaps the PowerPC is only used because it is more difficult to hack such as system from within the x86 Linux /Windows hackers community than it is to do so with a x86 based system like the original xbox. Perhaps it is slightly more powerful than the x86 cpu.

In the end all I care about is the games I want to play and how much it costs for me to be able to do so in a way that doesn't cause me unnecessary extra expenses and is affordable at the same time.

Xbox 360: Lactobacillus P | Wii: 8151 3435 8469 3138
Editor / Pixelator - Armchair Arcade, Inc. | www.markvergeer.nl

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Matt Barton
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Yeah, I don't think this is

Yeah, I don't think this is an argument that will ever be won. People who are heavily invested in a console are, by design, very resistant to PC gaming. And why wouldn't they be? If I'd spent thousands on an Xbox 360 and a library of games, I'd be very unlikely to listen to someone who claimed I'd have been better off buying a gaming rig. Besides the ego issues (what, I was foolish??) there's the practical side of it--the value of that investment is contingent on how many other people do the same. We see that in the "console wars," the people who end up on the losing side are seldom happy, even coming back decades later in some kind of "SEE, I WAS RIGHT" mentality--Mark just posted something about the failed Dreamcast console, for instance. I also see people doing that with Amiga, etc. "IT WAS BETTER, PEOPLE WERE JUST STUPID."

You may be correct that consoles will eventually win, and no major games will be made for PCs any longer. However, that doesn't mean I have to like it or lend it my support. :P

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Bill Loguidice
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Play now
Matt Barton wrote:
Mark Vergeer wrote:

Last month I played Gears of War 2 with a friend of mine in co-up. The game is less difficult but just as good as the original. Can't do that on my pc though ;-)

See, that's a perfect example. Why not? Because of licensing/exclusivity issues. There is no technical reason why you couldn't play that same game (probably significantly enhanced) on your PC. They just don't offer it because they want people to buy more Xbox 360s. So, is the answer to run out and buy one? Hardly. The more people that do that, the more they're sending the message that it works (voting with dollars).

Keep in mind their larger goal--lock you into their platform. Sure, that's no issue for folks who can afford to buy them all, but I don't think many kids have that option.

Again, for those unfortunate soles limited to one platform either through bias or finances, that's their reality - to be limited by what's on the one platform. It's ALWAYS been that way. As an Amiga user, you knew all too well that some things would come out only on PC because of simple economics - it just wasn't worth porting over to the comparatively small Amiga user base.

Yes, if you want to play certain games, you should run out and buy the platform that those games are on. Sure, there's no good reason why every platform doesn't have every game, but it's just not the way things work. You can fight against the system, but it will be a lonely and ultimately fruitless fight. You somehow seem to imply that console gaming is the enemy, when in reality it can be a worthwhile companion for your gaming needs and desires. In fact, for many people who don't want to jerk around with the limitations of a PC, console gaming is a godsend. Some people just want to play games without hassle, and there's nothing wrong with that. It doesn't make them stupid or inferior in any way, and it's arguable that it makes them smarter because they can do the same thing, only better, easier and cheaper.

You also seem to downplay the multiplayer advantages of a console. You can have one to three other (or more) other players sit in a living room with wireless controllers in hand all playing on a much larger screen than you could reasonably afford on a PC (and no, a PC is not optimized for display on anything but a monitor). It's just not the same thing with each person in front of their own computer screen. Consoles represent freedom, whereas PC's tie you down to the PC. It's bizarre to argue against that.

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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Yeah, the power user thing

Yeah, the power user thing is kind of lame, Matt. We all do at least as much as you do in terms of taxing their systems, if not more. Again, it doesn't take a power house system to have multiple windows open and do all kinds of multi-tasking. I dual screen at work every day on a less-than-middling laptop. There's nothing wrong with more power - more power is always preferable - but again, the only time that the extra horsepower - particularly in regards to graphics and sound - is needed is for the latest games. If consoles play those games as good or better, what's the point of putzing around with an otherwise excellent PC or worse yet, buying a new one? You're just not being logical here.

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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Gears of War 2
Mark Vergeer wrote:

Last month I played Gears of War 2 with a friend of mine in co-up. The game is less difficult but just as good as the original. Can't do that on my pc though ;-)

See, that's a perfect example. Why not? Because of licensing/exclusivity issues. There is no technical reason why you couldn't play that same game (probably significantly enhanced) on your PC. They just don't offer it because they want people to buy more Xbox 360s. So, is the answer to run out and buy one? Hardly. The more people that do that, the more they're sending the message that it works (voting with dollars).

Keep in mind their larger goal--lock you into their platform. Sure, that's no issue for folks who can afford to buy them all, but I don't think many kids have that option.

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Mark Vergeer
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I am a power user too - use lots of programs at the same time

Matt, I am a power user too. I probably run more different OS'es than you. I used to tinker around in Linux - am still quite capable of that - configured the heck out of dos memory configurations getting the old dos games up and running. Thanked Microsoft for coming out with DirectX instead of going the not so compatible WinG route. I even was made enough to install Windows95 in DosBOX.
Today I use lots of programs at the same time and have a fast CPU and quite a bit of memory in all of my systems. Don't like to tinker around in configurations as I used to. It bores the heck out of me actually and sometimes it is downright scary when you have to do it to your 'main machine'.

The most costly thing one doesn't often use in a powerful system is the GPU - it's actually quite obsolete for every day to day use - even power-use. You only need it when you are playing 3D games as other uses for the quite powerful GPU are still quite limited. Then theres the fact that expensive GPU gets outdated the moment you insert it into your system. It is hard to keep up with the GPU race. It can also be fun if you want it to be ;-)

By the way - smooth Playstation 2 - emulation - with about 25 fps on a duo core cpu machine running Vista has been achieved! So that says something about the good ol' PC.
Most gaming on PC I do is actually playing emulated games. Can't live without emulation. Where would Mame be without PCs?
Last month I played Gears of War 2 with a friend of mine in co-up. The game is less difficult but just as good as the original. Can't do that on my pc though ;-)

But I refuse to pick any side as I use both consoles and pcs for gaming. I do pick the console side when it comes to playing the latest games and the 360 for providing the easiest full on-line gaming experience with voice and video chat out there today.

And I also agree with Matt that there are a lot of turd console gamers out there. But from experience I also know that it doesn't take a great deal of intelligence to set up a gaming pc either. Just a somewhat technical inclination - a good Ghost/Acronis system backup or a system restore cd provided by the PC manufacturer - and a big wad of money ;-)
Altough it is possible to get a real mean games pc for a lesser wad of money as Tom's Hardware is looking into from time to time.

Xbox 360: Lactobacillus P | Wii: 8151 3435 8469 3138
Editor / Pixelator - Armchair Arcade, Inc. | www.markvergeer.nl

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Matt Barton
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I'm with you,

I'm with you, GeneralDebacle. Given a choice between PC gaming and console gaming, I'd take the PC any day. The reasons are many. For one, I'm not a typical PC user. I am a "power user." Maybe I want to have three Firefox windows open, a music player going, Word up, and have files downloading and videos compressing in the background. You can't do all that on a middling PC. When I sit down to compute, I don't want to do that with a 5-year old machine or some $300 model from E-Machines. I want POWER. A gaming rig, by definition, has the best of everything, so it will not only let you play the latest games in all their glory, but will make almost every other aspect of your computing experience faster and more pleasurable.

As far as I'm concerned, if a game developer targets a console FIRST, it has limited itself. Consoles have never been as powerful as a gaming rig and never will be. Even back in the 1990s, I pitied my NES friends who had to compete with my Amiga (or Atari 2600 and Commodore 64, earlier). I didn't laugh, though, because those friends were generally too poor or lacking in knowledge to handle a computer. I was very fortunate in that regard.

I must admit to some prejudice concerning console-only gamers, or at least gamers whose total gaming experience has been limited to consoles. I may be elitist here, but it does seem like "Joe Gamer" gets dumber every year, always springing for the latest movie-licensed fiasco or sequel of a spinoff of a sequel. The fanaticism is enough to make one ill. If we don't get those idiotic games ported to PC, who cares? Just make shopping easier!

I'm wondering lately if one reason why more games aren't being ported to PC is that the developers know that audience wouldn't go for it. PC gamers, after all, always have the option to pirate a game they don't think is worth the money. Thus, only a truly great game will maximize profits (as I've argued elsewhere, mediocre games suffer more than great games). I call this the "movie vs rental effect." In other words, the option to pirate a game is rather like telling someone about a movie, "It's a rental." - not worth the price of admission, but maybe worth the hassle of renting it later. On the other hand, if it's a really great game, you won't settle for the "rental" but will want the full experience. I'm sure there is something similar to this in the console world with rentals, which I'm sure the developers don't like either.

Come to think of it--in either case, there's a bunch of people enjoying a game that didn't pay for it. If I go to Blockbuster and rent a game, beat it, and give it back, it's not like the developer got money for that. I assume they only got money when Blockbuster bought that copy of the game. So, how is that better than pirating, if we assume that the first pirate had to buy a copy of the game, too? In either case, only one copy was sold, but a bunch of people got to enjoy it (and only BB really profited; the pirate actually looks better since he didn't make any profit from it). I suppose all this is moot, though, with all the playable demos and such being released for consoles and PCs these days.

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