Posted tagged ‘PC’

Kotaku: PC is Shit Week.

October 28, 2010

Warning: This is a pretty heavy rant with some foul language at the end. If this offends you please stop reading this post. Come back later though, there will be punch and pie.

This week is Kotaku‘s so called “PC Week”. A celebration of PC gaming, since most of the industry, and Kotaku, is focused on consoles 95% of the time. The idea is great, but the execution is more of an insult than anything.

The first question I need to ask is: Why have PC Week be THIS week? What PC games are announced that aren’t announced for consoles? What PC centric events are going on? Was it just an arbitrary week?

I consider myself a huge PC gamer. I have a 360, and at one point had a Wii, and while those consoles have some GREAT games, I just found that even if I bought them, I ended up just going back to my PC games and ignoring the console. Maybe that is because I am always on my PC, so turning on a game is very easy, as oppossed to getting up, going to the TV, turning on the 360, finding the game, starting it. Not that this is hard, just not as easy as PC games for me.

So what is my problem with Kotaku’s PC Week? Well, starting from Monday the 25th of October, the start of PC Week as near as I can tell, let’s see what some of the features have been.

Microsoft: We Are Doubling Down on PC Games.
Thank goodness they are announcing this for the fourth year in a row. Last time they tried they came out with Games for Windows Live, and we all know how beloved that is. Not to mention this time they are just making GFWL store “better”.  But they are still allowing companies to add their own DRM, so unlike Steam, I also get to not play my games after I buy them with GFWL. According to Kotaku “they will also be tapping into the massive community they’ve built with the Xbox 360.” I think we can assume that this just means I’ll be able to send messages back and forth between 360 and PC, and maybe stream Netflix on my PC, in case I don’t want to just go to the website or something…

Digital Storm’s New High-End Gaming PCs Light Up BlizzCon.
Case mods. Fine, whatever, they usually show case mods after big events anyway.

Asimov’s First Law Of PC Ads: Have Awesome Sideburns.
A picture from an old Radio Shack add…quality journalism here.

The Computer Nintendo Never Released.
Gotta love including a Nintendo story as a PC Week story. This is more of a peripheral/design story than a PC story.

The Future of PC Gaming, According To The Creator Of FarmVille.
The future of PC gaming as seen through the eyes of a man who has never made or been associated with a PC GAME. Sweet, exactly what non-PC players need to think of when they think of PC gaming. He does make one valid point though: “Finally, I think we’re going to start seeing the initial inklings of adaptive game experiences. Games are getting smart — and eventually systems, along with the management software, will monitor a player’s progress and adapt game play difficulty, mechanics and experience accordingly.” Good for you, now go back to making your apps.

The Most Awesome PC Box Art In The World.
Literally just pictures of OLD PC game box art. Thrilling and relevant.

The Many, Many Deaths Of PC Gaming.
A nice little video showing how PC gaming is either dying, or dying slowly. I know it’s meant to show how people keep saying it, and it’s still around, but honestly nothing in the actual video said that to me.

I’ve Always Wanted To Slam Dunk A Baby.
Yes, show the game where you can slam dunk a baby into a basketball net and watch it explode. Way to show how great PC gaming is.

The World’s Greatest World Of Warcraft Fan.
To the kid in this video, I love you man. You’re the massive dork inside all of us gamers. But is this really what you want to put out for your PC Week? Might as well call all PC Gamers unwashed, pimpled dorks.

Microsoft’s Computer Gave Birth To Japanese Gaming Legends.
A story about, for all intents and purposes, Microsofts first attempt at a CONSOLE. Sure it could do more, but look at the thing. If the PS3 can have linux and be a console, this thing is a console.

The Future of PC Gaming, According To The Lead Creator Of BioShock.
Seriously good stuff here, and the only thing I’ve seen on Kotaku’s PC Week that gave me hope for the PC market.

When An MMO Dies.
While an enjoyable article, it really is depressing reading about all these failed MMOs.

The Story Of The Biggest Computer Game Of All Time.
A FUCKING STORY ABOUT SOLITAIRE! SERIOUSLY? WTF? Who gives a shit? This is not ‘PC Gaming’, this is fucking SOLITAIRE! It was a card game in the real world, and it was translated with shitty graphics to the PC, that’s IT. WTF?

That is pretty much it for PC Week so far, except for all of the non-PC usual stuff that involves consoles. Am I being too hard on them? Fuck no. If they want to include more PC stuff on Kotaku, great. But to call it PC Week and then shit on it and post detritus like this the entire week? I like Kotaku, but damn this is fail.

Piracy is Killing PC Gaming! Abandon Ship!

August 14, 2010

happilydyingsince1985

The biggest excuse most people and developers are using for abandoning the PC is piracy. They claim that piracy is destroying their profits and running entire companies out of business. I am here to tell you that this is 100% true.

Take Modern Warfare 2, one of the biggest releases in recent years. According to Kotaku Modern Warfare 2 sold 6 MILLION copies on the PS3 and Xbox 360 in it’s first month. The PC helped contribute to that, selling 170,000 copies in one month. Not surprising that it’s so low, as most people I knew with a PC AND a console inexplicably decided to go with the not as good console controls. The point however is that the PC version of Modern Warfare 2 sold 170,000 copies on the PC AFTER it announced that it would not have dedicated servers, and would cost more than the average $40 PC gamers are used to.

Now imagine just how many PC sales there would have been if it had been a PC exclusive. Not quite 6 million in it’s first month surely, but assuredly enough to stay in business. If RPG developers can make a polished 80+ hour game and make a profit with a quarter of those sales, then I think Infinity Ward would have been fine selling  170,000 copies of their five hour long single player game, and six or so maps.

But that was a year ago now, and of course piracy has gotten worse. It’s getting close to PC gaming just dying, and as proof I give you Blizzards Starcraft II. It only sold 1 million copies in its first day according to PCWorld. Let’s be clear, in one day Starcraft II sold 1 MILLION COPIES. That is at $60 a copy on the PC. Even if Starcraft II stopped selling ANY copies after one day they’ve probably made a nice profit. Of course they didn’t, and Blizzard believes it will reach 7 million by the end of their fiscal year, gaining $350 million in sales.

These two are gaming powerhouses of course and I’m sure people will point that out. They might even point out that smaller indie developers have a hard time selling enough copies to stay in business. Of course, that is how gaming has ALWAYS been. Sure, there are indie games out there that are worth $10 or $15, but it’s hard to track them down. It’s much easier on a console, such as Xbox Live Arcade. Of course, this is solved by making the PC MORE like a console, which is exactly what Steam does.

Steam makes it harder to pirate but not impossible by any means, it is a condensed store where indie developers can get exposure just like a console, and it allows games to add achievements and a community. Another thing that might help the PC industry is OnLive. OnLive seriously is a console with a PC interface when you think about it, and I think the industry might be better off forcing OnLive down our throats. It would kill the traditional view of PC gaming because OnLive would keep their hardware all the same until they did a mass upgrade, just like consoles. Is that what I want? I’m fine with it. I’ve played several hours of OnLive gaming and it’s been a very pleasant experience. It’s not like I’m rich so I can’t upgrade my graphics card to a $400 card every other month, so OnLive controlling the PC gaming market would make me pretty happy. Besides, we don’t need to concentrate on better graphics at this point, they are already pretty amazing. It might be time to work on selling PC gamers “Logic Cards” and program game AI to be smarter than a brain injured drunken bear.

In short: Make good games and people will buy them. Will far more people pirate them? Yes. Would those people have bought the game anyway? No. You can’t say “We have an 80% piracy rate” and not be misleading. Out of those 80%, perhaps only 2% would have actually bought the game in the first place. In truth the industry has no idea how much piracy is truly effecting sales, and they need to stop throwing around numbers that even they don’t understand.

Magic: The Gathering of Nerds

June 26, 2010

I am a huge nerd. That is pretty much apparent due to the fact that I write a blog about video games, and I have almost no understanding of sports that involve balls. As such I used to love Magic: The Gathering in it’s card game form. Correction: I loved collecting the cards and making the deck, but I didn’t really know anyone who would play with me, so it was a rare treat that I actually got to play it.

In the last few years we’ve seen a few Magic the Gathering PC and console games. Some of them were fun, but not really Magic: The Gathering, while others stayed very true to the core of the game. Those generally stayed TOO true, forcing you to buy booster packs of random, digital cards. This usually turned me off of the game pretty quick. Sure, I could find a few people to play with, but it handled poorly, it was always outdated, and it was expensive.

MagicTheGathering1

I picked up the new Magic: The Gathering game demo on Steam yesterday. I haven’t bought the official game yet (waiting for payday) but I’ve played the demo for four or five hours so far.

Apparently you pick a famous (for Magic) deck instead of building it, and you can then do Campaign mode, Co-Op Campaign Mode (Including from the same computer!) and Online games. The animation is slick and fluid (you can turn off the effects if you want to) and it really handles like a dream.

Best of all you don’t buy boosters. They have one expansion out on Steam and you can buy it for $4.99, but it just gets you “up to date” with the physical game, and adds some new decks and effects. It is perfectly viable not to get it though and just keep playing with the base game.

This is THE BEST iteration of Magic: The Gathering I have ever played, aside from the actual physical game. Sure, you don’t collect cards and use strategy to build a deck (so far anyway) but you get some great decks to play with and for how cheap it is, you really can’t go wrong.

Once payday hits I’ll be switching between Transformers: War for Cybertron and playing Magic with my wife in Co-Op Campaign Mode. I suggest at least trying the demo, even if you don’t know what Magic: The Gathering is.

Disassembled: A Review in Pieces – Champions Online 2

March 8, 2010

Welcome to the second review in pieces. Today I will be reviewing Champions Online levels 6-10. Will the review be better or worse as you ascend the ranks in Cryptic’s second Superhero MMO? Find out after the jump.

ChampionsOnlineLevel5

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PC is better for FPS

March 7, 2010

bc2aricascreen04

According to a story at Kotaku more people are playing the PC version of Battlefield Bad Company 2 than are playing the XBox 360 and PS3 versions combined. COMBINED. That’s amazing when you consider the majority of Modern Warfare 2 players are on consoles.

It is NOT amazing when you consider the fact that first person shooters simply control better on the PC. This isn’t a jab at consoles here, it’s simply the truth. There are more buttons and in general better controls for PC FPSs than for their console counter parts. Games are “toned down” to get in line with console standards now days, which is a real shame.

Sure it’s cheaper to get a console than to buy a state of the art gaming PC, but not nearly as satisfying. There is just something about being able to better control games that rely on precise controls that makes the PC just better. Apparently the players of Bad Company 2 agree.

Bad Company 2 players better than Modern Warfare 2 players? You better believe it.