Despite the doom and gloom that seems to follow the future of PC gaming around there have always been a group of stalwart supports. Developers and companies whose best works appeared first on PC and later, if ever, on consoles. But these days those few shouts in the dark seem to be dwindling. The latest to make the jump? id Software. But id CEO Todd Hollenshead, doesn't totally agree that they have switched sides, or that there even need to be sides for PC gaming to survive. "That whole PC first thing, you have to go back in id history to see why id initially developed for the PC," he said. It used to be, he said, that developers had to change so many things, jump through so many hoops, to get their games on consoles that it just wasn't worth it for some."Wolfenstein 3D, there was a Nintendo version of that, that was like a black day in id history, how they made us change it to run on the Nintendo platform," he said. Platform owners "wouldn't let you publish games on the console. We didn't want to have our content governed by a third-party." "But that dynamic isn't really like there anymore. There are lots of games that have content, whether it's language or other forms of adult content, that is pushing the bounds of content on all platforms." With that hurdle gone, the decision comes down to one of economics, Hollenshead said. "Our decision about multiplatform is dictated by the market," he said. "We need to have all of these coordinated and released at the same time because that's the way to get your game out to the most people." And doing that, he says, also allows you to maintain quality control, making sure all of your versions are good. In many ways, that was the impetus for id Tech 5, to be able to create top notch, quality games for all platforms at the same time. "So there is no stepdown or dilution between platforms," he said. But that doesn't mean that Hollenshead and id Software thinks PC gaming isn't important anymore. "I think there are still some problems in the PC market," he said. "There are issues in the market from a business standpoint, which means having a PC only title that the level of investment to make a triple A game is a tough thing if your not doing a subscription model." id actually thought about tinkering around with a subscription model for some of their games, but in the end realized it wasn't a good fit for what they create. "To open that up for the type of games we make isn't really appealing to us," he said. "World of Warcraft I can understand that, they have a service based aspect to that game. With our games we have always been about the free multiplayer stuff." Despite that, id still sees PC gaming as viable platform for games, even some exclusive games. "Obviously Quake Live is only pc and we certainly hope we do well with that," he said. "We still feel PC is a very important market. " [Pic]
If you want to be specific... actually gaming as a culture, and as a medium really started in the Arcades, and an Arcade cabinet is really little more than a big-ass console. It does nothing more than eat coins and play the game.
When it comes to PC's? Of course they have more software sales, that much so obvious that anyone can see that. But that's part of the fact that PCs are what they are. Personal Computers. Whether you use a Mac, or a PC, or Linux they are all the same bloody thing: Personal Computers. The OS doesn't make a difference when you figure that the whole point of a computer is to do many things. I can write a novel on my computer, I can do my taxes from my computer, I can type this all up on my computer, I can do an Excel Spread sheet to scribble out a monthly budget on this system. Despite the fact that it is cursed with the virus that we call Windows Vista it is still a computer and it can do all of those things.
Compare that with a console. What can it do? It can play games. My 360? It plays games. I can't go on the internet with it. I can't type up a novel, I can't check Kotaku or even my email. My friend's PS3 can't do that either.
Fact of the matter is the when you are developing for a console you are developing for a system that is one-trick pony no matter HOW complex a machine it seems to be on the outside. All of those pretty things like Six-Axis or controller waggling or even hard drives that are on consoles now do not make them computers. They are consoles still.
As for people thinking twice about a console? Not likely. They've been around for my entire life-span and more. I'm 23. I grew up with the Atari and rapidly graduated to the Nintendo. I had a PC and my father was a tech-nut when I was growing up so we had one of my previously mentioned "Sweet Rigs". I played PC games, but I still played consoles. I played my Nintendo 64 compulsively and became one of those much-feared "Those People" in the original Super Smash Brothers because of that time I spent snuggling up with it my time was devoted equally between N64 and my PC as I cheerfully battered NPCs around with Captain Falcon and then went downstairs, booted up my PC and gleefully sat back with the Lightning Gun in Unreal Tournament watching heads fly while people bitched that I was cheating because I could actually use the bloody thing.
The difference was in what experience I wanted. I was in the 2nd wave of Xbox Live Beta. I played it and enjoyed it, played Mech Assault to death but still felt it was different experience than playing on my PC and I enjoyed that difference. No long owning a "Sweet Rig" I am quite happy having just my Xbox 360 because I can still get my gaming fix on the console but then bouncing back occasionally march across the solar system smearing all of the non-believers in my way in Sins of a Solar Empire.
I'm not sure if you can grasp this, but I am not a fan boy. I play both PC games and Console games expecting a different result from both options. And it's because of those options that I chose to go with what I did when it comes to my console choices, not because of a slavish devotion to Microsoft, but because I liked the games lineup for the 360 more than the Wii, or PS3.
Consoles are thriving because it's a devoted concept. PCs are going to continue to thrive because they are multifaceted tools. Easy example? If I want a knife... I'll go into the kitchen and get a knife. If I want a knife, a pair of scissors, and a wine-opener then I'll go get my Swiss Army knife. Consoles do one thing extremely well. PCs do many things all of them exceptionally well.