Let's face it; we've all used a personal computer (PC) in our lifetimes. They are the basis of the world of technology and make our lives easier in so many ways. Most of us have also played some games on a computer. Whether it was because the teacher gave you some free time in the lab at school, or you went to a friend's house and tried one, many of us have played them and saw how fun they are.
Although gaming didn't originate on computers, they helped to create many genres and elements in gaming. First person shooters started on the PC with games such as wolfenstein 3d and quake, and RTS games probably wouldn't exist without PC's. They pioneered online gaming, and for a long while, they were considered the best way to play games.
However, Times have changed. Consoles have been catching up extremely quickly to the point where they now have most features that the PC has. But instead of the PC getting equal treatment, the PC is getting left in the dust. PC's have been a major part of my life, but I, like many others, are starting to favour consoles more. I'm beginning to dislike the PC, but I don't want to. So I'm going to look at all of the problems of PC gaming today and try to find solutions.
1. PC's are expensive
Let's face it, PC's are expensive. A decent rig these days will cost you about $700. That's already much more than a console. And while it may be great now, in just a year or two it'll already start to show its age. So if you buy a console, you pay, at the most, $400 for a machine that will be at the top of its prime for the whole generation. But if you buy a $700 PC, before you blink it'll be outdated. And you Xbox fanboys thought the PS3 was expensive...The thing is, PC's cost a lot, and especially in this economy, people just don't feel like it.
Solution: None, really. That's too bad, because this is one of the major downsides of PC gaming. Unless people intentionally slow down technology development or strip the PC down, this won't change.
2. PC's are technical
When you buy a Console, you have the console, a few cables, a controller, and that's it. You just power it up, pop in a game, and start playing. It's far from that simple on a PC. The PC has to be booted up which can take a while, has tons of cables, many parts which have to be upgraded, you have to install games, there are so many folders and stuff that has to be upgraded, and you have to remember the system requirements. PC's are very complicated, which alienates the average person who doesn't have the time to learn all of this and just wants to play the darn game.
Solution: There's actually one easy solution: Design. Making more user-friendly interfaces, better tutorials, easy install methods, etc would really help. It also wouldn't kill them to make a program that recognizes your system requirements and tells you if your rig is good enough to play a certain game. Windows Vista and games for windows have tried to simplify some of these things with varying degrees of success. This is a major issue and should be a priority for developers.
3. The lazy port syndrome
Remember that awesome game called resident evil 4? Too bad the port for PC was a steaming turd. You know GTA 4, one of the best games of the year? It's a shame Rockstar games didn't give a flying fa-doodle when they were porting it. Developers are often lazy when it comes to porting games to PC. Why? They think no-one will play it or they just want to get some extra dough. Well, if you did a good job on the port, people will play it! And do you treat the console versions with the same attitude? No. They're important right? Oh god...
Solution: Just work on the port more! Iron out all the issues. Don't say: Oh, we'll just release a patch later. Some people say good ports are not possible, but Devil may cry 4, Unreal tournament 3, and the Call of duty games have made solid transitions from console to PC. Its possible people, you just have to work on it.
4. Lack of unique extra features
Both the PC and consoles have DVD playback, games, online play, social programs, and even internet (yeah, only PS3, but still). What does that leave exclusive to the PC? Well, Photoshop, Maya, Paintshop, etc. But those are not things average people are interested in. So they can get most of the stuff they want on their console.
Solution: Well, this isn't a huge problem, but it's not making the PC stand out more. Also, more exclusive features would make the PC more interesting.
Some games are best played with a keyboard and mouse. But some games are from practical with these controls, namely platformers. That's ok, but these games come to the PC anyway. That's ok too, because you can use a Controller or gamepad with the PC, but not without jumping through a lot of hoops. Not one controller works with every game out there. Some don't support this, too new for this, doesn't recognize this, blah, blah, blah. And that's the problem. It shouldn't be this hard. Also, many controllers for the PC are simply poorly designed, with not enough buttons, weird buttons, uncomfortable fit, etc. The list just goes on and on!
Solution: They could easily fix this. Make better controllers, make better support, etc. Another issue that everyone ignores.
6. Retail never sells
Why is it that you always walk into a game store and the PC aisle is laughably stocked? Because everyone downloads PC games. PC hard drives can store a lot of stuff. They can store dozens upon dozens of full PC games on them. But this leaves retail games in the dust. They're often not stocked very well, and just don't sell. This also leaves many people unaware of many games unless they check online. Also what's up with the boxes?! Far cry 2 and Call of duty games come in slim, xbox 360-like boxes, while games like Quake 4, Oblivion, and Gears of war come in thick ones! Still, older games are sold in small, square-shaped boxes. ARGHHHHH!!!! Also, retail games often have different pricing than downloadable versions, and they often come with dreaded DRM and Securom.
Solution: I don't know. Maybe just stop selling retail games altogether. It's just not working. I'll have to come back to this one.
7. DRM and Securom
I don't think I even need to explain this one. It's the stuff that plagues every single new release and is bringing down PC gaming. They can find another way. Really.
Solution: Just get rid of it! Boom! Ka-blam! Make it go away! It's burning my eyes! MAKE IT STOP!!!!!!!
The world is full of dishonest people and nowhere is this more evident than with piracy. Everyday people pirate loads of software, often before it comes out. And they get all of this for free! So how do developers make a profit? They don't. Yet you don't get this kind of stuff with console games. This is completely killing PC gaming, and if nobody does anything about it, PC gaming will collapse.
Solution: Developers should band together and fight piracy. They need to realize that DRM and Securom won't help. Luckily, I hear they are already doing something to help. Let's hope they do it right this time.
9. A world of elitists
How many times do you join a game of Counter-strike only to get the snot kicked out of you? It's apparent that PC gamers have been playing for years upon years and have tons of experience. But this makes casual players left out in the cold. They often don't have the time or skill to do these things, and simply give up. Sure, console games have the occasional hardcore server killer, but they're also filled with casual and friendly people who take it easy.
Solution: PC game communities need to be more friendly and easy-going. They need to realize that casual gamers want to play too, and it's not always about completely pwning someone silly, but having fun instead.
I'm sure there are quite a few more issues about PC gaming that you could pull out of your ass faster than you could click a mouse. So right now, I'm just going to leave this editorial as it is and let you, the community, continue this argument.
This is my first ever editorial. I tried this simply to take a stab at writing good stuff. Some of you will love this editorial. Others will wonder how much timeyou spent on it. Maybe this will just be obscured into Gamespot. But whatever the case, I hope PC gaming starts to see some improvement. I'll always believe in the PC as a great gaming experience and hope it lives to see bigger andbetter generations. I may edit this article and add more later. Until then, have a great game experience, and keep fragging.