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Long passed are the times when consoles were used strictly as dedicated gaming devices. Today's consoles are used for web browsing, social networking, watching videos and listening to music as well.
But are they the best and most convenient way for doing these activities? In reality, everything consoles do, PCs can do better and that includes gaming.
So, why aren't PCs looked at as the main gaming platform for many players and developers? One of the main obstacles in the way is piracy. It's no secret that piracy is a much bigger problem on PC, compared to consoles. That's why many publishers are hesitant to release games on PC and if they do, it's often much later than the consoles versions.
There's also the price. An up to date PC can run you as high as $1000, while you can get an Xbox 360 + Kindle bundle for $300 and a 160GB PS3 for $250. But as IGN's Rick Lane calculates, everything considered, PC gaming is not that much more expensive. Also, bear in mind that going with the PC, you're getting a far superior and much more powerful device, which can be used for all kinds of activities, not only gaming and multimedia.
In fact, consoles are so weak compared to PCs that some developers have complained about how they're being limited by today's consoles and if rumors are anything to go by, next generation of consoles won't be any better either.
Also, PC is an open environment. Developer don't have to work on restricted, limited and expensive SDKs sold by platform holders. With the rise of digital distribustion services like Steam, self publishing is easier than ever, as well.
Instead of spending money on manufacturing devices which will always be behind PCs, companies like Sony and Microsoft should invest their money on supporting developers and help them make better game, but they're doing the opposite, which is restricting developers with outdated, bridled hardware.
Since the beginning of Starcraft 2's beta, people claimed its rise would spell Warcraft 3's demise. They weren't wrong. Even before SC2 was launched, WC3 tournaments started to diminish. First the team leagues and then one by one solo leagues went out of business.
Moon at the last NGL finals
With so few tournaments remaining, many players started to switch to SC2, hoping to get a chance at the huge amounts of money poured in by sponsors.
Among the migrating players, were some of the biggest stars of the game including Moon, Grubby and Lyn. Let's see how they've fared in SC2 so far, one year after its launch:
Moon: IEM Season V World Championship, 2nd place, $6,500
Grubby: Copenhagen Games, 3rd place, €1,100
As the above numbers indicate, their performance has been less than impressive. One might argue that given enough time, they will eventually improve. Problem is as they try to get better in the game, so will their opponents. How long, if ever, will it take them to catch up with the likes of MC, Mvp and NesTea?
MC, one of the most successful Starcraft 2 players
They can't play the Warcraft 3 Legend card forever. Eventually, Starcraft 2 will have its own legends. Will not-delivering Moon and Grubby get a free spot in tournaments after that?
Why would eSports need such exclusivity anyway? Warcarft 3 and Starcraft 2 can coexist as two entirely different games, appealing to different people. I believe such diversity would be beneficial not only to WC3, but to eSports as a whole, too.
Despite many speculations, ESWC and WCG still support Warcraft 3. CPL, an old-school event is back and it has already announced a WC3 event in China. Add ECL, StarsWar and CEPL to the mix and you can see that there's still a lot to fight for in WC3.
Some older generation players such as Lucifer and SoJu are back to WC3 after finishing their military service. Recently, rumors of Lyn's practice for WCG have surfaced. He has lots of catching up to do, if he wants to surpass ReMinD and FoCuS, but if the rumors are to be believed, he's practicing hard to do just that.
As more players, especially stellar names come back to WC3, more and more sponsors will be willing to invest in the game and more tournaments will pop out. There's still hope for Warcraft 3.
Sony's long rumored handled was unveiled at the end of Januray, at last. NGP not only met fans expectations, it exceeded them in many cases. From the extraordinary hardware specifications to the long list of supporting developers, everything seems to be just how it should be.
Fan-favorite franchises such as Uncharted, Killzone, Call of Duty and Resistance were confirmed for the device, not to mention new creations from the likes of Hideo Kojima.
Unchrated running on NGP
Apparently, NGP is appealing to players and developers alike. During the NGP's reveal at PlayStaion Meeting in Japan, Epic Games showed their Unreal Engine 3 game, Dungeon Defenders running on NGP. Company's co-founder Tim Sweeney claimed they have transformed it from a PS3 game to an NGP one in a short time. Some other developers have gone as far as calling it "developer's dream", saying Sony has made the device completely developer-centric this time. "Sony is finally doing the things developers have been crying out for for years", said an anonymous source talking to Eurogamer.
Among device's most interesting features is the touch pad at the back, which opens door to innumerable potential innovations. It's an all-new way of interacting with games. We got a taste of that with the Little Deviants demonstration.
NGP's back touchpad
Sony left some questions unanswered, though. Many sources have expressed worries about the battery life, a number of which have predicted it to be as low as 3 hours that can be a deal breaker for many.
But the most important concealed fact is the device's price. An OLED touch screen, two cameras, powerful CPU/GPU and a touchpad can make it very expensive. With Nintendo's 3DS on the horizion with a $250 pricetag, Sony should come to an affordable price for the gamers, one that is profitable for the company as well. Whether they find the right balance or not, is yet to be seen.
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