Tuesday, April 11, 2006

My comments on PC Gaming...

Crysis sticks with PC

My comment:

Sure, PCs are great and everything, but as far as gaming goes they limit their audience. With all the different hardware configurations and Operating Systems, it's impossible to set standards with PC gaming.

That's where consoles come in. Each generation of console has a consistent hardware setup sans peripherals. This means that a game made for a console plays on all of those consoles. PC games don't work that way. A game may work on one person's computer, but not another's. That's annoying.

And I don't care how "powerful" a PC gamer claims his/her machine is. It's still WASTING resources on it's full-blown operating system, where consoles don't have that problem.

PC gaming also doesn't make for better programming on existing hardware. We've seen what developers can push out of the PS2, Gamecube, and Xbox. You don't see PCs with similar specs to those consoles pushing graphics efficiently like that.

Whatever. I'll just turn on and play with my consoles. I don't want to wait for Windows or waste time installing/uninstalling software. I'll save that for non-gaming use.

Why am I not-so-fond of PCs? I am a PC Technician. There are way too many PCs that I have to work with in a day. When I get home, a PC is the LAST thing I want to be messing with. So I turn to consoles. Not to mention that a PC doesn't really let you lounge in the couch while playing. I'm tired; let me lounge!

Currently, I have 3 PCs, two desktops and a laptop. No, I don't have anything fancy; the desktops are homegrown mostly from throw-away parts from companies that I've worked for. The laptop was broken and my friend wanted to get rid of it. I bought it and fixed it.

PC in my room

Athlon 2000+
2 removeable IDE hard drive bays (1 x 80GB, 1 x 120GB for backup)
NVidia 128MB dual-head video card
2 x 17" LCD monitors

PC in the living room

Athlon 1333
40GB IDE Hard drive
1 x AGP video card, 1 x ATI PCI video card
2 x 17" CRT monitors

Laptop for gaming (emulation)

Pentium 4 2.5Ghz
40GB IDE hard drive
ATI onboard video card
15" LCD

All of these computers work fine, although a couple years "outdated". Each does what I want, so I have no need to upgrade. Sure, I'd like a dual core Pentium, or an Athlon 64...but I don't rally need them. To me, having dual monitors is more important than having the "latest and greatest" PC setup. Faster PCs are nice, but at this point, they don't help me get my work done any faster.

For the record, even though all the processors in these three computers are quite a bit different, they all do basic functions at about the same speed. Nowadays, the number of Gigahertz doesn't seem to be as important as multithreading capability. Even that's only important if you multitask your email and browsing with media functions (burning a DVD for example).

If you game with your PC, then you have to constantly upgrade to keep up. From my point of view, you actually save money by going with a console. Good video cards range from $150-600+. When a PC part costs as much as a system, it should be obvious where the savings come from. You save time with consoles as well, since you don't have to worry about installing/uninstalling software for the most part, and you don't have to wait for lengthy boot times since there's not a full-blown operating system installed. It's also VERY easy for a PC to get spyware that negatively affects the performance of a PC...we don't see that problem on consoles either.

Reason's such as these leave me wondering why PC gaming continues. Yes, a mouse is easier for FPS and RTS games. Yes, the graphics cards are upgradeable and PC game devs can utilize that (but not all do). But the pros just don't seem to outweight the cons in my opinion. I've never understood the hardcore PC-gaming crowd.

I guess I'm just happier playing Xbox 360 on a 51" HD screen instead of a 17" LCD?


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