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Why don't more people play on PC?


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Yeah, agree with the comfort factor of hitting the power button on my controller and dropping back into my couch to play a game on my Xbox One or Wii U. The consoles are path of least resistance. Plus, I sit in front of a computer screen at a desk all day and often in the evening working on school work so I look forward to a game on the weekend with a console.

Having stated the above, I do prefer certain gaming moments on PC so I like to do a little gaming on whatever the mood calls for :-). Also, I will plug the Nvidia Shield tablet for pinball (fantastic fun with Pinball Arcade) and also for emulation. I have a Shield controller and will say that emulating older consoles on this device is really close to playing them on the real thing, plus I can take tons of classic games with me anywhere! Though the experience isn't nearly as good when I hook the Shield tablet up via HDMI to my large screen LED TV. It introduces lag and pixelates everything. I prefer to play with the tablet propped up on the 7" tablet screen as the games are not pixelated and look like I remember them on older CRT's, plus no lag so old Turbografx shooters like Blazing Lazers, Soldier Blade, R-Type and the like are a blast to play. Emulators I use are; NES.emu, PCE.emu, MD.emu, SuperRetro16, and Mupen64. ROMs stored and run from a 16GB microSD memory card.

After reading this comment, I felt like I would love to buy Nvidia Shield for myself. I've tried to play some emulated classics on my 7,85" Prestigio Diamond tablet, but I hated controls by tapping the screen. It's so inaccurate, and for some games (especially NES platformers) so from now on I'm playing only classic RPG like Final Fantasy and finally playing Chrono Trigger. Also it's quite possible to play Zelda games (I LOVE The Minish Cap), but as I mention before - inaccurate controls. By the way - Is it possible to remove on screen controller in emus like NES.emu,MD.emu and SuperRetro16??? Because if I buy Nvidia Shield I wouldn't need any on screen controllers.

Thanks for answers in advance ;)

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Consoles are just easier. I used to play on PC since I won't play FPS's with analogs. One day I bought this game called Half Life 2, it was 'infected' with this awful software called Steam, and after so many problems I chose to quit with PC's. That's the short version. I'm more concerned with gameplay over specs and graphics. A few years ago I found a controller for PS3 called the Aimon which allowed me to play shooters on consoles. I didn't see a need to bother with PC gaming anymore.

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  • 1 month later...

Cost of entry is too high for most people. Console games are way more accessible. Honestly what kind of games can you play on a $350 pc? Not much, only old stuff really. Don't get me wrong, I have a pretty decent PC but I think a lot of people saying that PC gaming is cheaper are probably just pirating software.

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Surprised at all the vitriol over Steam. Considering at the price point you can buy games at during the infamous sales, it's worth the trade-off over physical ownership.

The consoles will always be one step worse from a DRM standpoint because they are closed platforms - walled gardens. They are indeed simpler, and the hardware is substantially cheaper. But most of us who are hardcore PC Gamers already have a solid PC because we do work with it as well.

Just look at PC gaming revenue: http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2016/01/dont-look-now-but-the-pc-is-the-worlds-biggest-gaming-platform/

The numbers in the article are buoyed by ftp MMO's, but they also don't include retail sales. Not trying to prove superiority over anything, but rather that PC Gaming is a thing, albeit it might not be your thing. BTW, I play console games too, but lately not all that much.

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Surprised at all the vitriol over Steam. Considering at the price point you can buy games at during the infamous sales, it's worth the trade-off over physical ownership.

I don't think anything is worth the trade-off of physical ownership, especially when the existence of a popular digital distribution service is hastening the extinction of physical media (and is, when I get right down to it, a service that essentially gets in the way of my ability to play games without offering any practical benefits in exchange).

To each their own though, this is just my personal opinion.

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I don't care for Steam (because DRM), but GOG is an excellent service that provides not only full (digital) ownership of the games, but almost always includes the manuals and a bunch of other goodies, AND the games are usually configured so that I can actually play them on my current computer. I own physical copies of games that I simply cannot play anymore because I can't get them to run (particularly from the WIN95 era), so GOG certainly does offer some distinct benefits not present in the physical copy.

That said, I've gotta say that I think a lot of GOG's config files for Dosbox are pretty terrible, so I actually prefer using my own. But for Windows games they're a lifesaver.

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Cost of entry is too high for most people. Console games are way more accessible. Honestly what kind of games can you play on a $350 pc? Not much, only old stuff really. Don't get me wrong, I have a pretty decent PC but I think a lot of people saying that PC gaming is cheaper are probably just pirating software.

Building a PC isn't 'that' expensive, I'd say a lot of people overestimate. You never need high end parts. Graphics shouldn't be the focus of a game.

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Surprised at all the vitriol over Steam. Considering at the price point you can buy games at during the infamous sales, it's worth the trade-off over physical ownership.

The consoles will always be one step worse from a DRM standpoint because they are closed platforms - walled gardens. They are indeed simpler, and the hardware is substantially cheaper. But most of us who are hardcore PC Gamers already have a solid PC because we do work with it as well.

Just look at PC gaming revenue: http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2016/01/dont-look-now-but-the-pc-is-the-worlds-biggest-gaming-platform/

The numbers in the article are buoyed by ftp MMO's, but they also don't include retail sales. Not trying to prove superiority over anything, but rather that PC Gaming is a thing, albeit it might not be your thing. BTW, I play console games too, but lately not all that much.

Loss of discs is only part of it. Steam is just a terrible platform. I tried it once and ran into more problems than I should have for a single game. I don't care what price they offer, it's not worth the hassle. Hell they tried to bribe me with free copies of Portal for years and I still refused. I eventually found the game on PS3 and paid for the copy.

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  • Retromags Curator

I have a number of problems with Steam, but the main one is simply, "What happens when Valve turns off the servers?"

Might sound absurd right now, but Valve is under no obligation to keep those servers running (Section 7B of the Steam Subscriber Agreement lays this out, for those who want to read along), and they can choose at any time, for any reason, or for no reason at all ("WORK STOPPAGE, COMPUTER FAILURE OR MALFUNCTION, OR ANY AND ALL OTHER COMMERCIAL DAMAGES OR LOSSES", again for those playing the home game) to turn Steam off. So, what happens when they do? Or what happens if someone else comes in and destroys their infrastructure? Don't worry, they'll make it right...right?

Nope.

7B further covers Valve by stating nobody can hold them responsible even if they openly admit responsibility for doing so. ("EVEN IN THE EVENT OF VALVE’S, VALVE EU’S OR THEIR AFFILIATES’ FAULT"). The IT guys throw a ferocious bender one weekend that results in the server farms going up in flames? Eh, sucks for you consumers, but we've still got your money and you can't play your games until our actuaries determine how cost-effective it will be to put everything back together again.

Should that happen, everything you're borrowing via the Steam service is gone. It's exactly like Netflix: sure, you have access to thousands of movies and TV shows now, but if Netflix pulls the show you've been watching before you're finished? U should learn 2 chill moar bro. Using Steam and similar services is trading convenience for ownership, and when the convenience vanishes, you're left with nothing. Every time Netflix adds a new TV show to their roster, the store where I work gets inundated with DVD seasons of that show. Guess what happens as soon as Netflix drops that show from its lineup? And people never learn. :)

It's simply a trade I (and apparently several other forum members) am unwilling to make. Doesn't mean I'm making the right choice or the better decision or look down on those who feel the opposite of the way I do. It's a personal choice I've made based on the available evidence and my own desires. Maybe I'm losing out by never being able to play Half-Life 2 or 7 Days to Die. Only time will tell. :)

*huggles*
Areala

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Being that last gen was the first to really offer patches and digital games we haven't had a need for a rescue plan. This has been discussed recently at other forums. I went on to say that when that time comes I'm sure 'something' will be in place, either a switch to allow you to backup or enjoy this content offline, or let someone else host the files. This goes for all platforms. Despite what their policies say it would destroy a company to just deny their customers their files.

Still, I'm with Are. I'd rather not chance it and wait to see what they do. Discs means my solution is in place right now. Hopefully the games I purchase won't demand a day one patch to function if those servers go away someday.

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I think the issue here shouldn't be whether physical media is better than digital media. I think it's pretty much a given at this point that physical media will someday disappear completely. Heck, the last time I bought a laptop, my options were severely restricted by my desire to get an ulrtabook with an optical drive. A lot of computers these days simply CAN'T play discs.

The issue is really one of the Steam model of DRM vs. (for example) the GOG model of full ownership. I think it should be obvious which one benefits the consumer more. And that's the issue that consumers need to vocalize to influence the course the industry will ultimately take. Unfortunately, a large percentage of consumers simply don't care. I imagine they are the same people who used to keep b&m stores like GameStop in business by buying games and trading them back a few weeks later when they finished with them. These are people who don't really care if Steam doesn't necessarily mean permanent ownership, because their relationship with games has always been temporary. Whereas I imagine most people visiting a site built around archiving old magazines to keep them forever falls soundly on the opposite side of the fence.

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It's not a given if we don't allow it. We have the money companies need, they have to cater to us. There's also too much in the way to go all digital, it wouldn't work if they wanted it to.

Yeah in their race to make laptops stupid small they started forgetting important parts. I got a Toshiba myself because I burn my own CD's to MP3.

The people who don't care aren't the core audience. They'll only play a handful of games. You're right though, where people like us have more to lose if we don't take some precautions.

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Digital music sales have outsold CDs for years (I think Japan is the only civilized country in the world where that isn't the case, but it has always lagged behind with computer/internet usage and acceptance, despite its high-tech reputation).

The swing towards the bulk of games being purchased as downloads will lag behind due of their size, but once downloading a game becomes as fast and convenient as clicking "buy" in iTunes, you can bet that retail sales will start to dwindle. It's a far more profitable business model for the game industry, as well, by cutting out manufacturing, shipping, and middleman costs.

Actually, this has been what has allowed the recent invigoration of western game design that has given the west a decided edge over the flagging gaming industry of Japan, since the online business model has allowed for the indie game boom to permeate the market with fresh ideas that would be too risky to sink resources into for a costly retail release. Since Japan has very little in the way of PC gaming outside of porn games and visual novels, there isn't the same market for independent innovation, and even online console gaming isn't nearly as popular here, meaning that indie games at the Playstation Store or what have you don't get quite the same level of attention. Mobile games are huge here, of course, and that seems to be where the Japanese market is heading, but that's an issue for a different debate.

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All things I've encountered previously. We can't compare games to things like music or books. There are reasons certain things may go digital. Most cars only work with CD's so there's still a market for discs. But many people do use music in places where discs are inconvenient, like public transportation or during exercise for example. Plus when a disc is generally full of crap people can choose just the songs they like. Gaming however is primarily enjoyed at home. There isn't a need for portability (handhelds are a separate area we'll leave alone for now).

They'll NEVER be that easy. Even if speeds increase the size of games will continue to grow, negating any advances. Another key point is music is $1 and you can copy it to other devices. Games aren't that flexible and they cost $20-$60. There's a major market for used/discounted copies, and the ability to rent/lend/sell. And what do we care about their profits? We aren't going to see the savings passed to us. It's the company's responsibility to manage costs, not cheat us out of half of our product so they can put more in the CEO's pockets.

Now you did hit on a good point where we actually need both. Discs or any physical format will still be the primary method of delivery for most games. Especially big ones. Digital is a good way for us to get smaller games we wouldn't see otherwise. There's room for both and people have options. We really don't need to move from where we are right now.

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I'm not trying to be combative (I don't even play any current gen stuff. I'm a retro-only gamer, so the future of the industry is only of passive curiosity to me.) I guess I'm just not sure what you're arguing, if you're certain that the format and business model you prefer is in no danger of disappearing. I thought at first you were suggesting that digital distribution was going to destroy gaming as we know it by taking away our right to ownership, to which I was simply suggesting that the two are not mutually exclusive, as GOG and others attest. The challenge will be to convince Sony/Microsoft/Nintendo/whoever on the console side of things that we want as much control over our digital software as we had/have with their proprietary physical media.

(edit) not related to the topic of this thread at all, but I just noticed your mention of the rental market and wanted to point out that renting games is and always has been illegal in Japan (although used games are certainly big business). Actually, unless Japan finally joins the rest of the world in non-mobile online gaming, it's unlikely that the Japanese market will be leaving physical media behind anytime soon. Of course, whether the console market survives at all is another matter entirely...

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I'm not trying to be combative (I don't even play any current gen stuff. I'm a retro-only gamer, so the future of the industry is only of passive curiosity to me.) I guess I'm just not sure what you're arguing, if you're certain that the format and business model you prefer is in no danger of disappearing. I thought at first you were suggesting that digital distribution was going to destroy gaming as we know it by taking away our right to ownership, to which I was simply suggesting that the two are not mutually exclusive, as GOG and others attest. The challenge will be to convince Sony/Microsoft/Nintendo/whoever on the console side of things that we want as much control over our digital software as we had/have with their proprietary physical media.

(edit) not related to the topic of this thread at all, but I just noticed your mention of the rental market and wanted to point out that renting games is and always has been illegal in Japan (although used games are certainly big business). Actually, unless Japan finally joins the rest of the world in non-mobile online gaming, it's unlikely that the Japanese market will be leaving physical media behind anytime soon. Of course, whether the console market survives at all is another matter entirely...

Don't worry, just helping the discussion along. Trust me it can get a lot worse on the other sites I visit. Those people ARE out to cause trouble.

I'm fairly certain physical formats will not disappear like many assume. We want discs and the infrastructure isn't in place, plus the whole ownership thing. People read that and assume I refuse digital. But if there's no choice and the price is low I'm ok with it, stuff like Resogun, Stardust, Outlast, etc were all good. This is on consoles by the way, I'm not changing my stance on how bad/invasive Steam is.

It is? There will be a used market for nearly everything. That's how the market works. Kinda weird they don't support that but maybe it's one of those things where people look the other way. Like emulation.

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If that's true then why even bother with gaming on a PC? Just get an Xbox One or whatever and be done with it.

For some posers, graphics are too important. PC would definitely take the lead on that due to how flexible the hardware is. I just want my games to work without too much hassle. PC doesn't offer me anything anymore.

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  • Retromags Curator

Japanese copyright laws are weird. For a long time, it was illegal to re-sell anything subjected to copyright (mostly books, since we're talking about the early 1900's), so there was no such thing as a second-hand book store. That changed in the 1950s, when the government said it was OK, but set limits on the prices second-hand stores were allowed to charge for their products. I think the idea was to keep organized crime from undercutting everybody, but that may not be correct. I'm not a lawyer, nor do I reside in Japan, so I'm pulling from knowledge I read years ago. :)

*huggles*
Areala

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I just want my games to work without too much hassle. PC doesn't offer me anything anymore.

I've always loved both PC and console gaming, but for most of the eras I'm interested in, those two markets remained fairly separate. The PC games I loved weren't available on consoles and vice versa. Nowadays, that is becoming less true, although there are still games exclusive to each platform. Until every game is available on every platform (i.e. never), I would have to consider swearing off any given platform s sacrificing the ability to play certain games in favor of others. Nothing wrong with that - there isn't enough time in the world for anyone to play all the games worth playing. But it would still be missing out.

I agree, btw, that consoles have always been more hassle-free than PC games given their closed architecture. If a game was available on both PC and consoles and there wasn't a significant difference between the different versions, I'd probably go with the console version as well, because I'd know that compatibility/performance issues wouldn't be a potential problem.

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Japanese copyright laws are weird. For a long time, it was illegal to re-sell anything subjected to copyright (mostly books, since we're talking about the early 1900's), so there was no such thing as a second-hand book store. That changed in the 1950s, when the government said it was OK, but set limits on the prices second-hand stores were allowed to charge for their products. I think the idea was to keep organized crime from undercutting everybody, but that may not be correct. I'm not a lawyer, nor do I reside in Japan, so I'm pulling from knowledge I read years ago. :)

*huggles*

Areala

Japanese used book stores are sooo awesome (they also usually have music, movie, and video game sections). You can buy all kinds of stuff for next to nothing, and everything is in brand new condition. No broken spines or scratched discs to be seen.

I have no idea why game rentals are illegal, but I suppose the game companies are pleased.

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Loss of discs is only part of it. Steam is just a terrible platform. I tried it once and ran into more problems than I should have for a single game. I don't care what price they offer, it's not worth the hassle. Hell they tried to bribe me with free copies of Portal for years and I still refused. I eventually found the game on PS3 and paid for the copy.

Curious what year it was when you tried Steam that one time. Because early on it was certainly different, but there's some off 125M+ customers so they're doing something right.

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I have a number of problems with Steam, but the main one is simply, "What happens when Valve turns off the servers?"

Might sound absurd right now, but Valve is under no obligation to keep those servers running (Section 7B of the Steam Subscriber Agreement lays this out, for those who want to read along), and they can choose at any time, for any reason, or for no reason at all ("WORK STOPPAGE, COMPUTER FAILURE OR MALFUNCTION, OR ANY AND ALL OTHER COMMERCIAL DAMAGES OR LOSSES", again for those playing the home game) to turn Steam off. So, what happens when they do? Or what happens if someone else comes in and destroys their infrastructure? Don't worry, they'll make it right...right?

Nope.

7B further covers Valve by stating nobody can hold them responsible even if they openly admit responsibility for doing so. ("EVEN IN THE EVENT OF VALVE’S, VALVE EU’S OR THEIR AFFILIATES’ FAULT"). The IT guys throw a ferocious bender one weekend that results in the server farms going up in flames? Eh, sucks for you consumers, but we've still got your money and you can't play your games until our actuaries determine how cost-effective it will be to put everything back together again.

I understand your concerns, really do. And I can totally understand why you want to stay away from that model, more power to you. Choice is a good thing. But I think any of these doomsday cases are highly unlikely.

Any properly designed elastic computing structure can be restored through all manner of disaster scenarios - so the scenario of a server farm and all it's data permanently and irrecoverably going up in flames isn't plausible. Modern server infrastructure simply eliminates those scenarios. You can have service interruptions, sure, but complete loss of data. Nope.

The scenario of Valve going under, or being bought out, or whatever manner of corporate evil you might want to imagine is certainly more plausible. And you're right about what the EULA states. But EULA's are not absolute, they exist in a legal gray area, expect the law to develop over time as challenges are made and the world transitions to digital. If Steam were to go under and leave some 125 million users up a creek without a paddle, you can bet there will be litigation from some of those, regardless of whatever the EULA claims. In a case that would affect so many with clearly identifiable damages I could easily see action to release server code to reverse engineer the service dependency, i.e. "jailbreak" the software. It might be a mess and take some time, but it certainly could happen.

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