I am and will always be a console gamer – but that’s not to say that I don’t dream of a serious gaming PC. One that shoots flames out the side, a keyboard that makes me an instant sharp-shooter and a mouse that the folks at NASA would approve of. The reason I am an avid console gamer is a logical one rather than an emotional one – I grew up with consoles as opposed to PC’s. It was far easier for me to convince my parents to buy me the latest Sega Saturn or Golden China before it, as opposed to trying to get a “personal computer” in the house, which when I was growing up, was a small fortune really.
I concede that the ‘gaming rig’ is a more powerful gaming platform, with superior capabilities in the specification department and with numerous other advantages. PC gamers enjoy reduced software costing points, endless digital sales, and a greater library and so on and so on. The advantages are numerous and uncontested by consoles. Being an avid gamer, I cannot even use the time or effort argument required by the pc to fire up a game. I spend so much time gaming that taking a few more minutes to set up a game is not a valid excuse for me. The only factor that I can argue on are the costs involved, and even that seems to be diminishing. The hardware market in the pc world has been strangled for years, and like with many other sectors, the manufacturing phenomena that is China has driven prices even lower. With the recently announced asking prices for the Nintendo Wii U “next-generation console,” console gamers are running scared at the thought of what their next Playstation or Xbox console is going to cost.
The pricing gap between consoles and the PC is drawing ever closer, making a greater argument for the PC. So with PC gaming making more and more sense, and with the real possibility of the next-generation of consoles closing the gap between the platforms even closer, one would think that the PC is poised to take a further, and possibly a considerable percentage of the console market. But I don’t think so, even though there really isn’t much of an argument left for the console, there is a few major factors that should insure the console remains the top driver of software sales.
PC games often follow the release of console games’ releases. Being someone who has the patience of infant (keep an infant from their milk and you’ll see what I mean), I cannot fathom having to wait longer than necessary to play certain titles. I am also sure that I do not suffer from the condition alone. Assassin’s Creed III for example, PC gamers will only be able to get their paws on the game a month after the console versions have been released. One of 2013’s most eagerly anticipated titles for me is DmC, and there’s no solid release date for when the PC version will be released. The publisher recently stated that the console version needs to be done and perfect before the efforts are turned to a PC version.
Unfortunately publishers and developers’ reasons for seemingly favouring the console are comparatively valid. The success of a PC version of a certain title is very reliant on the required specification needed to run the game. The higher the specification needed, the less the guarantee of the game’s success is.
One of the more important factors, and it’s rather ironic as one of the PC’s greatest advantages is also a great hinder. The fact that PC gamers can create mods for titles, is perceived by publishers in somewhat of a negative light. The resounding belief here is that creating community mods and the sharing of, extends the game’s life. Publishers would obviously prefer shorter lifespans with titles to stimulate the sales cycle.
So while PC gaming has all the hallmarks to take a chunk out of the console sector in terms of driving software sales, unless the perceptions or focuses of publishers and developers change, not even steeply priced next-generation hardware could stop the mammoth that is the humble console.