Thursday, June 30, 2005

The Death of the PC

"Those who have knowledge, don't predict. Those who predict, don't have knowledge."
-Lao Tzu, 6th Century BC Chinese Poet
So David Carnoy, executive editor at CNET reviews, has written an article claiming that the next generation Xbox and PS3 will spell the death of PC Gaming. First he talks about how he polled the other reports the viewed the Quake 4 PC vs. the Xbox 360 version that was shown behind closed door. He reports that the results of his poll was that most of them couldn’t discern any difference between the two version.

My question is did they get to PLAY the Xbox version? Because I am willing to bet that they didn’t. I bet what they couldn’t discern was any difference between how the two of them LOOKED, but if they had played the XBox version they would realized that at the moment no console system control, ESPECIALLY for a FPS game is any match for a computer with mouse.

Over the years I have had to redesign the interface of a few PC games to make them work for the console version and it is never as good. Even if you have a mouse for your console system you can’t just plop it down on the carpet in front of you like you can with some other peripherals like a steering wheel. Now that I think about it though, even a steering wheel is better on my PC because I can clamp the steering wheel to the desk so it doesn’t move around when I’m playing and I can put the pedals under the desk. It works much better sitting the wheel on the coffee table and having the pedals in front of the couch.

His second point is the cost comparison between the PC and a console system which is the same as previous generations regardless of how he tries to spin it.

AnandTech has a really good article that talked about the Xbox 360 and PS3 that they have since pulled. Speculation is they are afraid of Microsoft tracking their “anonymous source” that they got this from:

Speaking under conditions of anonymity with real world game developers who have had first hand experience writing code for both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 hardware (and dev kits where applicable), we asked them for nothing more than their brutal honesty. What did they think of these new consoles? Are they really outfitted with the PC-eclipsing performance we've been lead to believe they have? The answer is actually quite frequently found in history; as with anything, you get what you pay for.

You can probably find catched copy of the artical over at Slashdot, it was one of their story links earlier today.

I could go on and on about this, we heard all of this crap when the last generation of console systems came out and hey guess what? PC game is doing just fine. Console systems aren’t going to be a threat to PC gaming until the peripherals and interface evolves to the next level. And when I say “Next Level” I really mean the actual next evolutionary level not just some improvement, even a major improvement. When microsoft included a set of mic'ed headphones with XBox Live that was a step in the right direction though.

I am sorry I even linked to David Carnoy’s CNET article because the more I think about it the more I am sure he is just spouting off so people like me will rant about him and provide a convenient link to his page and he'll get more traffic. Well that part seems to have worked, and now I am not going to have time to play Battlefield 2 tonight. Bah!

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