Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Big Picture: "PC Gaming Is Dead"


Brandon Wright said...

Well argued Bob. And all without mentioning the biggest elephant in the room, piracy!

BIll said...

I disagree with you completely Bob.
Let's look at a console for a moment, a PS3/360 is essentially a PC that's FIVE generations behind current hardware with restrictive OS by Sony/Microsoft.
Why the hell would I want that when I could just have a PC?
PC hardware advance every month while a console cycle takes 5 years.
In terms of hardware there's no way a console could catch up to a PC in whatever shape or form.
PC are the foundation of cutting edge consumer hardware, all of console's hardware are BASED on PC hardware.
That means the advancement of PC effects directly to the advance of consoles/phones/tablets/whatever consumer gadget you can think of.
If PC cease to exist, console would soon follow.
Saying console having better game than PC is just not true.
Even back in 90's while console had Super Mario 64, Ocarina of time and so on, we had Baldur's Gate, System Shock 2, Wolfenstein 3D, StarCraft, diablo and so on
Not to mention almost all multi-platform games are best played on PC.
Gaming is a big commitment, if you are serious about it(as you are about movie) why not have the best possible experience?
And Bob, saying motion control can replace a mouse and keyboard is just naive.
Unless a holographic mouse are keyboard are invented, I don't buy it.

Hasse said...

Ah, Bob.. I love your ramblings.

Steven said...

One thing that most if not all of my PC gaming friends and myself agree on is that the rise of console gaming has made PC gaming easier and cheaper. Since most games released now must run on Xbox to earn as much money as possible all you need for a gaming rig is a computer as powerful as an Xbox 360. This is a vast improvement over the old Red Queen's race we used to face. I just wish there were more combat flight sims available, and it has been far too long since I have been able to blast Tie fighters out of a galaxy far far away. Sigh.

Jonathan said...

Before I watch this, I am going to guess that the title is entirely serious, without any hint of irony whatsoever.

Given what has been stated in the Game Overthinker series ("Worst Person"..."Neat trick"), and the strong affinity toward Nintendo, I would not be surprised. I am also going to guess that the oft repeated complaints of the cost of entry and the required technical knowhow to upgrade are given as reasons why PC gaming is legitimately dead.

I'll watch and hope I am wrong.

(Normally I'd post this over at the escapist, but over there it would be drowned out ;-)

The Karligarchy said...

RTS is probably my favorite genre of game. Having said that I have not owned PC in over 3 years. I think PC gaming is turning into laptop gaming. Thank god for Korea and e sports because they have ensured that RTS wont die with the home computer. GOT episode on esports? please?

Neil Wickman said...

I've got to disagree on a few counts--most notably that PC gaming is 'dead' when it's really only fair to say that the niche PC gaming used to fill is increasingly shared by other devices that do the same thing. But Goldeneye came out in 97 and PC shooters are still popular.

And for me, a PC will always be necessary. As an artist (and game developer) I cannot envision a near future where an available tablet is capable of doing the kinds of tasks a PC can, even with the most advanced touch display. While developing games for that kind of niche user is obviously foolish, it's not so foolish to remember that the one thing the PC market has that no console does is the ability to market to an expanding legacy market. Steam and other functions lets me not only sell games to the new PCs out there, but old ones--some so old that we need to devise arcane patches for out-of-date DirectX patches and such.

And personally, I find the need to use a tablet, smartphone, laptop, and several other independent devices hilariously archaic compared to my single wifi-linked basement box that houses many of the slumbering modules that my artist's renderbox doesn't need.

With my two big high-def widescreen supermonitors here capable of supporting my PS3's full HDMI glory, the thing I think that is risking an inglorious scrapping is my television. While the idea of a seperate PC dedicated to websurfing may be absurd nowadays, the TV is increasingly a relic of an era before the internet, and the only difference between a modern PC and a modern TV is that one helps me with my taxes when I'm not working or gaming and the other sits there off a lot.

The idea of a dead medium of PC gaming is pretty unlikely, since the same thing that powers a tablet or a console powers a PC, and outside of the gizmo-gadget convenience of tablets, a super-powered smartphone is going to eclipse most of what you need a laptop or tablet for amongst the general population. Games will exist for whatever exists. PC games aren't deads. PC games won't be dead. You can't develop a console with the power to bury a PC without, by definition, creating a PC of equal potency. And once the artificial barrier of the television evaporates into a single wifi-connected device hub centered around a single monitor display... then we're going to really have some interesting new labels. How many people even use their TV anymore except for consoles? Netflix is going to kill television, and then your console may as well just be another PC.

matthew_harvey13 said...
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motyr said...

I started out as that kid whose parents wouldn't buy him a console, but quickly moved to console gaming as soon as I had scraped together enough birthday money to buy one.

With the latest gen of hardware, I bought a Wii, was happy with it for a few years, and then decided I wanted a second system. Not wanting to fork over the money for a ps3 or 360 I tried, very briefly, to get back into PC gaming, although I can't say I was ever that hardcore as an 11 year old. I then bought a ps3 because I liked the exclusives more and I wanted a blu ray player (I know, I'm part of the problem).

There's something about the consoles I just like more than the PC. I'm sure there are many reasons, but one of them is not having to check the system requirements every time I want to pop in a game into my wii or ps3. I don't like the idea of having to spend hundreds of dollars a year, or every few years, just to be able to play the latest games, when I could buy a multi-functional system, pay once, and then not have to worry about it until the next console cycle.

The ps3 is, essentially, my media centre for everything I would play through my TV. I love that - one system, and I get one of the best consumer-level blu-ray/dvd players, a hub for any video content I might download off the internet, and a way to view my own photos/videos on my tv. I play tons of games too, and I really enjoy it. If they developed a North American version of the European PlayTV, I wouldn't even have a cable box. I would just have my ps3 plugged into my TV.

I know that seems "soft", "casual", or "gheeeyyy" but, honestly, it's just practical. I have no problem with gaming being "just" one aspect of a system, or tablet, or phone, etc. In fact, I embrace it. It saves me money, space (crucial for me), time, and energy. I don't see a downside.

I suppose that could be an argument for PC gaming as well, but, for some reason, I don't think it applies. Maybe as far as saving space goes, but, really, it's just such a bother to be a PC gamer that I really don't care.

Jonathan said...

Wow, neither are directly mentioned, and as Wright stated, neither is piracy. Congrats.

However, I will strongly disagree with the idea of computing entirely "in the cloud," which could also be called "communist computing."

Dumb buffers attached to mainframes is how computing started out, not where it is going.

People do not now rent computing power and software like they did from the likes of IBM in the 60's. They own them.

Jonathan said...

I meant dumb frame buffers.

I fail at proofreading.

counterpoint said...

I have to disagree with the fundamentals of this, but not for the reasons many will. In fact, I think, perhaps, your statement "PC gaming is dead" (rather, WILL die), may be true.
But based on the logic you've stated, I think those same arguments could be made to say "CONSOLE GAMING IS DYING" as well. Right? I mean, you're talking about the needlessness of separate devices. how everythign will be spread throughout our entire lives. Doesn't this make the console archaic as well? might we just plug our TV into the wall and then be able to play God of War 8 (If we pay for the license). Might we then be able to resume the game while we're out and about on our omnitools or ipad10s or whatever? I think these statements apply to each of these devices... just that PC gaming is leading the charge.
Also, Bob, be careful with making these kinds of predictions. Do you want to look like the guys who predicted we'd all be on Mars by 2000?

The idea that PC hardware advances every month, and that console does not is a fallacy, i think. 1) the vast majority of people upgrade a computer every several years, not every month. not even once a year. i consider myself pretty tech savy, and for me, there's a solid 3 years in between upgrades. Thus, the market and developers have to deal with this huge range of system power, thus the "Crysises" and other power-pushes are very few and far between, as it just doesn't make economic sense.
And besides, the console technology DOES improve every month, simply not for the consumer. i'm pretty sure Sony is spending March coming up with some new cool tech. and Nintendo will do the same in April. The difference is just that such things are released so rarely, relative to new video cards, processors, etc.
And, as bob has mentioned, consoles essentially are PCs now. if the true "PC" died, consoles, tablets,phones, wouldn't die as well - they'd simply take up the R&D mantle themselves.

matthew_harvey13 said...
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Adam said...

Never been a PC gamer. Just not interested in the majority of games that thrive on the system. I think the world is changing as how people interact with computers. It will be a while before desktops go away completely (if they do) but it's just getting more and more convenient to compute elsewhere. We have internet on our TV's now with keyboards and the pointer controls of remotes (while not as good) are forming a functional substitute. Frankly if I had to choose I'd much rather sit nice and comfy on my couch and do my computing there as opposed to slumped over a desk. And the advance in technology applies to everyone, not just gamers. The vast majority of people who own PC's outside of the workplace likely only use them to do basic things like internet, personal bookeeping, and word processing if not much else. When people require so little from their rigs porting them over to their big screen TV's as opposed to desktops and even their notebooks can be a very appealing propsect.

BIll said...
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BIll said...

Some of the thing I said is arbitary.
Of course you don't have to upgrade every month, but the market comes out with more Power hungry CPU/GPU every few month.
"And besides, the console technology DOES improve every month, simply not for the consumer." That's subjective, if you meant rendering technologies and optimizations sure, but those things are done on a computer.
Even things like firmware update have nothing to do with the hardware on the console it self.
The biggest difference from a PC to a phone and console is it's Interchangeable parts.
AMD/Intel/Nvidia comes out with their cutting edge hardware every few month, and a company like apple cannot, therefore it needs to use pre-existing hardware that's already avaible on the market.
So in a sense, console will NEVER surpass PC and consoles ALWAYS needs PC.
Few hundreds of years in the future this may change in form, but the concept remains the same.
Hence why PC will never die, conceptually.

Agent said...

Good video, although your argument for "point and click adventure games are making a comeback on the wii" to my knowledge has no basis in fact.

I haven't really seen a wild revival of the genre on the system. If it was, I'd buy them. Instead all we have are Zack and Wiki and some Sam & Max ports from the PC about a year after. I guess the closest to that would be the Phoenix Wright port on wiiware and the silly shovelware "find the object" games.

Smashmatt202 said...

Eh, whatever. I don't want to pick sides on this, especially given my current opinion of Bob, but again, he does make some good points...

...I think, I found it hard to keep track of the first time through.

Ankhwatcher said...

I don't know why I'm telling you this, because you don't give a toss, but:

You're mostly wrong.

PC Gaming in the mundane going-to-a-store-and-buying-a-game way that the rest of you experience it is dying.

Soon will be the day that you cannot buy a PC game in the Electronic Boutiques that used to hold them in such regard.

PC Gaming is in the process of consolidating into a few online store fronts.

BTW your assertion that PC Gamers haven't played consoles is incorrect. I was a pure console gamer until 2005, I would make impassioned arguments about how PC's were only good for playing strategy games.

But then I played Battlefield 2, a game with a depth and scale of choice that no console not even one of the ones around today, could provide.

PC gaming provides the grandest and meanest experiences of gaming, from the bizzare little indie titles to the sprawling solar systems of EVE, there is plenty of juice left in PC Gaming where barriers are low and distribution cheap.

But hey, I'll keep playing fantastic games with never-ending updates like Team Fortress 2.

I'll keep playing mind-blowing indie successes like Minecraft.

You have fun, thinking of me as some cardboard flamer that isn't cool enough to settle for limited games, paid updates, slow support, and an endless torrent of 12-yea-olds screaming shut-up at french people*.

Your Friend,

*True story: being in Ireland COD would mix us in with players from France and players from the US, when the French players talked the children from the US would scream and shout and talk over them. Because XBOX games don't have real servers, there were no moderators. My XBOX was a portal to hell. A portal I had to pay an annual subscription to access. No thanks.

Jacob Beck said...


Sorry, had to do it.

Reverend Allan Ironside said...

That'll do, Bob. That'll do

CraftyAndy said...

This future is possible for those who have the fucking money. The rest of us normal human beings will have to deal with hand me downs and good will shops for our future ten year old i-pods and live in what already is a cyber punk future. Right now I'm on the verge of getting a dual core proccessor in order to finally edit Hd video and have had a pentium 4 for the past seven years and yet I was able to play Dawn of war II, Mass effect and all that crap.

Chris Cesarano said...

Someone mentioned Cloud Computing being unlikely, and someone else mentioned a tablet PC being incapable of what a desktop can do.

For an example of a Cloud already at work, I point to Netflix Instant. If every movie ever was available on Netflix Instant, the only reason to ever buy a movie would be so you could physically own it. We're already reaching generations where people shrug and say "I'd rather not take up the space". Not to mention $9/month for all those movies is a sweet deal, right?

In that regard, I imagine most entertainment media will no longer be a purchase-by-purchase basis, but a subscription based one. Use Adobe products for just $20/month! No need to download or install, just pay your monthly bill and you can use any of the software via Cloud Computing.

Is it an immediate future? No, but it's getting there. As such, I do agree with what Bob is saying...I think. I mean, really, our traditional concepts of gaming are breaking down as anything that is electronic and has a screen can be a gaming device. Trying to define types of gaming is starting to be like defining sub-genres of Heavy Metal. There's just too many categories and no one really cares.

I'm curious as to what Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo will do once Cloud Gaming becomes a more likely option.

Aaron said...

PC gaming is by no means dead lets just say its in transition or convergence. The home entertainment systems as we know it are changing. I use my PC for everything even with a WII and a 360 in the house. I don't use them at all and I game alot primarily via steam. MY PC is now my TV, music player, web browser and communication hub and work station. If anything I see the pc on a major resurgence. One system to rule them all. Brand new titles released on all major systems this includes PC(example dragonage 2) . Digital downloading and cloud are the major comeback tools for pc gaming who needs shelf space in a physical store. Along with an adaptable system. It can play 360, wii or ps3 games but you cant do it the other way around. Just think all you really need is a pc mode called 360 that just has all the xbox games and interface available via streaming, who needs another system just for that. All I need to play ps3 or 360 games is a controller and some improvement for multiplayer(in the area of playing with each other in the same location). Dead yeah right!

By the way... long time console fan. started on atari moved to Nintendo to SNES to Playstation. Finally to PC. Call it an evolution each one more powerful and diverse.

The Grey Man said...

What do you use to edit and render your video? I realize that for stuff like EttM and Big Picture, and even to a lesser extent Game Overthinker, you don't need a lot of processing power or hard drive space, but as even a part time indie filmmaker, one would think you needed a PC for your (for lack of better term) extracurricular projects. I run the Adobe Creative Suite for my movies and couldn't really run on anything BUT a PC (or a Mac if I used one). I know there's already a LOT of integration with the new tech - Red Cameras can stream live to iPads for the director to use as a monitor - but tablets and things like that aren't going to have the processing power or storage for heavy video editing for quite a while. I realize this is a very specific example of PCs hanging around, but it makes me wonder how many other things aren't going to be so easily integrated into the sort of futuristic computing you describe in the video.

Not to be a contrarian, I think the video was really good, I just think some of the ideas behind the video are jumping the gun a little.

Dave Cesarano said...

I think what PC gamers are lamenting is the loss of a specific sub-clique of gaming culture. There's a big difference between the PC community and the console community when it comes to things like modding. When a game gets locked onto a console, the ability for gamers with some programming and design talent to fiddle with it are severely limited.

A great example would be the Europa Barbarorum mod for Rome: Total War. R:TW vanilla is a pretty fun game, but the EB mod is a complete overhaul. The map is expanded, hundreds of new and historically accurate units are added, the graphics are actually vastly improved, and an immense amount of depth and strategy are infused into the game making it a wholly new and infinitely better experience. If R:TW had been released only on the console, such an achievement would have been impossible.

While it is not always the case, I've found that by-and-large PC games have a depth to them that console games often do not. But those depth-driven games are most often strategy or flight-simulator games, and the occasional RPG--things that are slowly making their way onto the console. However, I think the PC gamers are afraid that, through the migration, something will be lost. Either it will be actual depth and/or "dumbing down", or it might simply be something more intangible and subtle--a simple loss of that feel that one used to get playing PC games in the first place.

J. Fabricio Vargas said...
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john said...

"How many people actually still need a PC?" Well, there's A. the people who like to type on actual keyboards with real, non-kludge tactile response, B. the people who use a computer for anything more intensive than word processing and web browsing, and C. the people who want to run software that either a. hasn't been ported to tablet/phone operating systems, b. wouldn't be very usable on one anyway, or c. (in the iPhone's case) hasn't been cock-blocked by Apple in order to prevent it from threatening something they're planning to release in the vaguely near future. But other than that...oh wait, that's everybody who does any kind of real work on a PC, isn't it?

(Note: I am including laptops in the "PC" group because they are, in fact, PCs. Smartphones and most tablets are not.)

As for PC gaming, it all depends on what you mean by the term. The market for commercial, big-budget PC games may indeed be gasping its last (though people have been saying that for at least ten years and it's still around.) However, PCs still offer the widest variety (and widest userbase) for small-scale/independent gaming, since developers are free to use absolutely any tools they want with no restrictions on content or outside control of releases at all, ever. Microsoft has been making some efforts towards giving independent developers an in on the Xbox, but they're restricted to using only MS-sanctioned tools - and let's not even start on Nintendo, whose WiiWare development process is only barely less restrictive than the crap they make full-fledged disc titles go through. Until the console developers get their act together and stop tying independent developers down, the PC is always going to have the edge there.

P.S. please, please, please stop talking about "cloud computing." The term you're looking for, the one that isn't a goddamn Wired buzzword, is "distributed computing." Distributed computing is extremely useful for some applications (i.e. running a big-ass server farm like Google does,) but it's not the "next wave of computing technology" the cyberpunk-wannabe future-fetishists in the pop-tech-journalism industry want you to think. This is because A. anything you do with it is potentially visible to any random cracker on the Internet, B. it will start costing subscription fees as soon as it starts getting heavily utilized, and C. YOU HAVE TO HAVE A RELIABLE INTERNET CONNECTION OR IT DOESN'T WORK. Desktop PCs, laptops, or hell, even hacked consoles still beat out distributed computing on all three counts.

blockmangamer said...
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blockmangamer said...

Interesting video, Bob.

Since you brought up the subject of the future of PCs, let me pick your brain on this tidbit.

AT&T places caps on Internet Use

Sebastian said...

You know, Bob, I've been a Hardcore PC Gamer as long as I can think - indeed, my first *real* gaming memories are about some all to green nights of "The Bard's Tale", spent in front of a miniscule CGA monitor, somewhere in the mid 80s. I had just learned to read and write, and I didn't know any English (I'm German, FYI), but that didn't stop me.

And while I disagree with you on some critical points... I can't help but realise that, in the long run, what you say is true. PCs are not doomed - not in the sense you think, anyway. Buisiness and Office applications, Video and Image editing and, last but not least, good old *programming* will allways be performed on dedicated machines, if only for convinience. BTW: Laptops are PCs too, you know?

Also, PC Gaming isn't dead - in fact, it's more healthy than ever. What was the most talked-about game in 2010? Motherfucking Minecraft. And that should give you some indication of the Shape of PC games to come: Indie.

What *is* dead - and here's where you are absolutely right - is "Triple A" PC Gaming. As you rightly said, the once great dominance of the PC in exclusive series has withered - all that is left is basically Total War and The Sims, and the latter isn't exactly the most non-casual of games.
It's time for us, I am afraid, to accept this. The next Half-Life will propably be on the PC - but it will be a port. Peggle, Farmville and all their derivates are not dependent on any platform. With technical developement stagnant for at least five years, the PC's days as a technical spearhead are numbered.
Let's face it, it was all inevitable from the beginning. Wing Commander wasn't the pinnacle - it was the beginning.

Still... what I bemoan isn't a fucking *platform*. I couldn't care less if my favourite games run on my trusty old Dual Core or my Xbox. What I bemoan is a loss of innovation, a loss of *genres*. The complexty and depth of the PC games of lore are things of the past, I'm afraid.
EA, Ubisoft or Activison will not make a new Jagged Alliance, a new Fantasy General or a new Deus Ex (I won't believe for one second that Human Revolution will live up to the first one. Just like Bioshock didn't live up to System Shock 2).
That's the sad thing. The good thing is.... Minecraft? Have you played it? If not, do so, and you might understand why I'm still cautiosly optimistic about the PC.

Mike said...

Excellent one sir Bob. I was the kid who had a computer and also had to buy his own console(NES). Longest 6 months of my young life.

I would say if it weren't for Steam and the occasional kick-ass bargain bin discovery(MOO3 $10) my computer would be just a work device that I consume media on. Nintendo and Valve are the only game companies I give any attention these days. Speaking of which, a console Zelda game and a Portal sequeal in one year, SCORE!

Yep, the computer is going mobile, if it isn't already obvious, it will be in a year's time. I stare at the saucy bit of tech-porn that is the xoom imagining what it will be like to get a piece of that. Maybe she will go 4g for me.

Though I still can't quite envision a world where I can play any FPS without a keyboard not wanting to embed the waggle or traditional controller into the wall. Sony, Microsoft, even you my beloved Nintendo, don't just make it possible to use a keyboard and mouse, make it work like a PC. Not keymapping of button controls to keys, but an alternative set of controls, the proper controls. It can't be that hard, the device is hardly new, it's just been Modified....he he he...

Master Aga said...

This actually makes a lot of sense.

We may come to a time when laptops could carry the processing power of a bulky PC making it, as Bob said, dead.

Being a PC raised gamer myself, this is very disturbing. But it is very likely, given the evolution of technology these days, the strength of a PC will eventually be carried on by other devices.

Thanks Bob for this insight.

Timothy said...

This is probably going to sound semi-hypocritcal but I'm going to say it.

If one define "PC Gaming" as "Games played a personal computer that you can't lug around". I think PC Gaming is what is never going to die for one main reason.....emulators.

Ok so the PS3 is out and has brutal computing power. Let's say you don't want to buy it, you want to say....pirate it...let's face it NO Laptop is going to run that without blowing a very large amount.

But by sacrificing movement ability for spending less, one could likely get a less mobile device that, if given the ISOs and output devices to run them, play every current console game.

Heck I know for a fact that a fair number of Xbox games are on PC although maybe not in high def. And I also know for a fact from my research via google while writing this that there exist an emulator named after the project that gave us the gamecube that can run both gamecube AND Wii games assuming one is willing to take a long time programming their keyboard/mouse to work as controls.

Sure you might have to wait 3 years to get the stuff, but if you're willing to wait. 3 1k gaming console and 60 bucks a game becomes a 1.2k personal computer that can do all 3, and play every single game assuming you can find the roms.

Nah, PC gaming isn't going to die. It's just going to become the pot of the gaming world. Illegal and black market but still there, and have rabid people arguing on both sides in a battle of white and gray morality.

JDude said...

Bob, I've never disagreed with you more on an issue. Ever.

How you came to this conclusion boggles my brain.

Do you REALLY expect we'll all be programming, rendering, editing or whatever on hand-held devices?

I do 3D animation, and let me tell you, the intensive hardware needed to do anything big is exclusive to full PC towers.

Laptops are all well and good, but in my experience they all have major overheating problems as they get more powerful and are more of an investment than full towers due to special notebook parts which are more expensive.

Apps are nice, but custom programs need breathing room.

I don't doubt that we'll put more and more power, more efficiently into smaller and smaller devices that will be more capable, but you will NEVER encounter a scenario where a big monitor, keyboard, mouse and subsequent tower don't come into the picture somewhere, especially at the developmental level. Artists alone need all kinds of programs to get stuff done.

On the gaming end, I will always prefer a mouse and keyboard over a controller. I'd love to use one on my XBox, but whatever. Fact is, Minecraft is still PC-based and flourishing, and Valve is one of the game companies that matter most to me, and they have an extreme loyalty to the PC as well as a near monopoly on online game distribution. As long as Valve stays cool, I don't care.

I just can't imagine you thought very hard on this one Bob. Your position seems pretty ignorant.

Delbin said...

Hi, Bob.

I must be missing something. What advantage is there to having 4-6 devices that sacrifice so much performance, usability, screen size, and ergonomics for portability? Why would I type an e-mail on my tiny phone, squint at a movie on my laptop, and chat with friends with my x-box when I can do all that an more at my very comfortable computer desk?

Miniaturization of technology takes time and money. Mobile and peripheral devices will, for the foreseeable future, be more expensive and less powerful than their box-in-the-corner grandfathers.

The saving grace of traditional PCs is that they offer nearly limitless gaming opportunities whereas console and mobile gaming have many gatekeepers. Rating systems, apple store-style screening processes, and $10 premiums are incredible limiters to games. Presently, there's almost no possibility for adult-oriented games, little possibility for open development of mobile apps, and no opportunity for free games in the console market. I can't imagine a home computer being replaced until there's a comparable device with an open, free operating system with no gatekeepers hindering progress.

I see far more opportunity in the open range of the PC world than in the profit-driven world of console or mobile gaming.

rob said...

With CPU's and GPU's constantly getting smaller, in 5-10 years, everything will be at 12nm or smaller, so you can basically do it on a laptop or a very little portable case.
For the rest: I'm still waiting until we can get a tablet that is more than just an app player (iPod XL)I'm sure there will be some selection in the future with a proper Linux distro. (I say Linux meaning 'everything but x86 Windows')

akkuma420 said...

Damn... Was all ready to defend the PC just by the title, then I watched the video....
Can't really say that I disagree with anything you said.
Brought up some really good points.
Everything a PC was capable of doing can now be done with laptops and hendhelds on the go.
There is really no need to wait till you get home so you can use the PC to check your email/credit card statements or chat... It can all be done in the palm of your hand now days.
Good video Bob.

Also... to anyone that didn't watch the video and is just responding because of the title... I suggest you watch it.
He very clearly says "The PC is dead, NOT PC gaming".

Just Gavin said...

As a person who was raised with both a PC and a PS2, gonna have to agree with Bob here.

Personally I'm just surprised they aren't already dead.

As for the trolling, well, I guess the truth does hurt.

Phobos said...

PC gaming will not die until something with a better experience comes along.

PC owners are not married to the platform. If something better comes along we would jump to it. But at the moment supposed alternatives mean making sacrifices to your gaming experience. Scarifies for greater mobility or ease use. This does not equal better.

All PC gamers want is the best gaming experience without compromise. Whether that is on the PC or another better platform does not matter. That to me that should be the definition of hardcore gamers. Not people happily playing their toned down console FPS's, etc. Anyone who makes comprises to their gaming experience surely are casual gamers.

And lets get this straight for everyone. Laptops are PC's. PC does not = desktop PC's. PC means an IBM compatible, which in turn means anything running a 8086 derided CPU / code. So that includes Laptops, and atom powered tablets. That also means you too Mac owners. So PC gaming is any gaming that happens on the above devices. This is not a secret and I cannot take seriously comments from anyone who cannot understand this basic concept.

I am disappointed as this video instead of moving the discussion forward with new idea's just seems to be aimed at inflaming old arguments. I expected better from Bob.

Chris Cesarano said...

I think a lot of people are missing how Bob differentiated a laptop/notebook from a PC here, and when you get right down to it, part of PC Gaming tradition has always been a bad ass computer tower with LED's and cooling units and fans and etc. etc. Sort of like guys that drive muscle cars.

The thing I don't think PC gamers understand is, just like muscle cars, that's all niche. The number of people that buy the latest and greatest muscle cars are few, and all the rest wind up buying old ones and trying to restore them (or just fucking them up. As with computers, there's a lot of car people out there that think they know what they're doing but don't have a single clue).

A notebook is still a portable device that can come in any size and sacrifices a lot of what the traditional desktop provides for the sake of convenience. Yet laptops are getting powerful to the point that, well, why WOULD you get a desktop instead of a laptop?


"However, PCs still offer the widest variety (and widest userbase) for small-scale/independent gaming, since developers are free to use absolutely any tools they want with no restrictions on content or outside control of releases at all, ever."

There's a few things wrong with this assumption. If you check any beginner's Game Dev forum you are bound to see the question "What language should I use?" asked, and veterans will always respond with a list of languages that all have pros and cons. C# is a great tool and Microsoft's XNA is a great framework, but your game is pretty much limited to Xbox and Windows without some major work. In which case you can use Java or C++ to make a cross-platform game, but the tools to help make it easier are limited. You can make a Flash game, but you'll be restricted to the web browser.

You also mention Microsoft and Nintendo (and I imagine likewise Sony) being very restrictive in what they release. Do you remember what happened to the Atari when there was no "Seal of Approval"? Have you seen the Xbox Live Indie Games? There's a lot of people that seem to ignore the axiom "Just because you CAN doesn't mean you SHOULD", and thus there's a whole lot of shit that obscures the few diamonds in the rough from view.

This is even more true on PC's, where there is no handy way for someone to find your game like Xbox Live Indie Games. They pretty much have to trip over it (yes, I know there are sites that act as resources, but each of these sites is a niche. People love to praise Minecraft as being some major achievement of both Indie gaming AND of PC gaming's future, but let's face it. The guy got lucky and he could just as easily have remained obscure).

Petros said...

I'd have to say I pretty much agree with Bob here. I see a lot of people saying that right now they wouldn't want to do things on other devices that they would do on a PC, and I completely agree. Surfing the web on my iPhone isn't as convenient as doing it on my computer. PC games can be modded in ways that console games can't. Only a PC gamer could take an RTS and make it an FPS.

But times will change, and who knows where PCs and even consoles will be twenty years from now? Would the Super Lumiere Bros. have ever thought that someone could make a movie on a camera that could fit in the palm of a hand and without using film stock? Would the inventors of ENIAC ever have thought that one day a computer could be carried around? Just because we can't imagine the PC going away now doesn't mean that it won't a couple decades from now.

I think Bob's looking at the big picture here (get it?), and not just the immediate future.

Philbo said...

Take the second half of this show (from the point wher he talks about the uselessness of the PC itself) and replace the word PC with Consoles.

See how it still fits? Frankly Bob, I'd be more concerned that your underpowered, old Wii would be the first of the gaming systems to be replaced by the cloud backend with screen only front end due to the technical specs of the Wii being massively under that of all other systems. Essentially, replicating the Wii system compared with any other system is easy especially now everyone is pumping money into motion control.

And I love how you trivialize Starcraft 2 into a half-second image, ignore the dedicated servers and mod support arguments, but should I be surprised over cherry picked arguments?

Also it's nice that you didn't bring up piracy. Oh wait, you can't anymore as both the ps3 and xbox360 have been broken open by people looking to pirate games as well. Guess it's not just PC Gamers who want to steal.

john said...

@Chris Cesarano: Yes, it's true that there's often a tradeoff between the flexibility of a language and the quality of its game-dev support tools (though that's much, much less true than it used to be.) But it's basically irrelevant, because with XBLM you don't have a choice. You have to use XNA, and you're stuck with either C# or VB.NET. If you want to develop for the Xbox and don't like either of those, you're shit out of luck.

It's even worse if you have a pre-developed game in some other language (i.e. any of the most common programming languages out there.) You can't just change out some wrapper functions to work with new libraries, you're going to have to re-write that sucker in one of the Microsoft-approved languages. Take, for example, Kornel Kisieliwicz's popular DOOM: The Roguelike. (Putting aside that it's based on someone else's franchise and thus probably couldn't see commercial release, that is.) That's written in FreePascal, which is not (and is unlikely to ever be) supported by XNA. In order for that to see an Xbox port, it'd have to be completely re-written in C# or VB.NET - neither of which are very similar to FP.

And yes, I most certainly do remember the age of horseshit third-party Atari games. There were indeed tons of crap games, but do you know what else that brought us? Motherfucking Activision. (The real one, not the soulless husk reanimated by corporate voodoo.) They invented unlicensed third-party development, and they gave us some of the best games the console ever saw, and they didn't need any corporate vetting to tell them "yes, this is some kickass stuff." If they had, they'd never have gotten it anyway, since they were founded by disgruntled Atari programmers and there's no way Atari would have let them back in the fold, especially not as a third party. If the Atari had had a release model like XBLM, we would never have gotten Chopper Command, H.E.R.O., or freaking Pitfall!

That's what it's about: choice. Whatever disadvantages the PC has, it offers unlimited choice for the game developer. You can code big, code small, write a fairytale, write a porno, give it away, sell it for $20, email it to your grandma, what the hell ever you damn well please. With consoles, you can't. You can rationalize Microsoft's policies, and you might even make some good points in so doing, but that's not going to change the fact that they don't offer you any choice as a developer. You have it their way, or not at all, and unless they change their ways, the PC will always be the better platform for independent game development.

Chris Cesarano said...

@john, it sounds like you're trying to argue PC will always be better than console, but once again it's completely subjective and dependent on one's goals and skill level. Personally, if I wanted to develop games (which I sort of do), I'd want to do it on console. As such, I'd love to use C# and XNA.

That doesn't mean I think those are the best options or tools, just the best for my own personal goals.

Once more, though, you are assuming consoles will always be as they are. I don't think Bob was implying that they WOULDN'T change in the future, but he was more arguing against one of the more vocal and elitist groups in gaming today. Who knows what the best platform will be for anything.

To put it another way, think about how companies are trying to get devices to all work together. In particular, think about how much Microsoft has been trying to get consumers to use their Windows computer (desktop or laptop) to sync with their Xbox 360 to sync with their Windows Phone. The biggest failure for these concerns is that they are exclusive to Microsoft products.

The better option is for them to just write frameworks for software so developers can link ANY device to ANY Microsoft product. My Blu-Ray player has an Internet connection. What if, ten years from now, I can have a tablet PC, and if I want to do some serious programming I just push a button on my tablet and it tells my Blu-Ray player to open up some software development tools.

Then again, I imagine a future where whole walls of houses are touch screen. Not in this lifetime, though.

I bet if you go back 10-20 years you'll imagine artists that will say there's no replacing a good old paintbrush and canvas. Now we have artists that don't even bother with paper and pencil and skip right to digital.

I think technology should have taught all of us that the way we do things is only temporary, and in a few decades time we'll have to be ready to completely change how it's done. Which, in the end, I think is what Bob is arguing, hence I agree with it.

john said...

@Chris Cesarano: I wasn't talking about what's best for your personal goals. Languages of choice are languages of choice, and if C# and XNA work for you, that's awesome. (I mentioned FreePascal, and I don't like that either, so there you go. I'm a C/C++ and SDL man, myself.) Nor do I have a problem with the Xbox as a platform - it's certainly a capable enough machine for just about any kind of game.

My problem is with the "you use our languages and our library or you don't get to play the indie-developer game" mindset Microsoft has. It's like the old studio system in Hollywood, where movie studios owned the theaters; filmmakers had to work for a studio, or their movies wouldn't get a release. That was bad for creativity then, and it still is now.

(And Microsoft might be pushing for generalized software frameworks and inter-device integration and compatibility, but they're still pushing it with their languages and libraries.)

That lack of freedom is why I say PCs have the edge in independent gaming, and why they will continue to maintain that edge until console manufacturers quit tying them down. I didn't intend to imply that won't ever happen, I'm just not going to hold my breath waiting for it to.

Chris Cesarano said...

You do bring up good points, but I think Microsoft is going to be forced to change their game plan soon nonetheless. But that starts to go way off topic and be more focused on theories as to what Steam on the PS3 means and can lead to.

It's an ever changing market.

Kendall said...

I agree with what Ankhwatcher said.
Maybe not so angst-ily, but I agree with the points made.
Also, something I often wonder about is other peoples ideas of the future.
You make it out to be a future full of smaller, more portable, multipurpose, computer-ish devices where everything is connected to the internet.
Doesn't this strike anyone else as silly? Maybe it will happen, but maybe, 20 years down the road some new innovative piece of technology will have been invented that we cannot even imagine now. It would make our fantasies of gadgets and the internet (God, remember that ancient thing?) seem just as silly as steampunk, or the Jetsons.

The Bourne Review said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Will said...

You know, I was going to explain that I disagree for a few reasons but hell, theres a few dozen comments above me are already writing a mini-thesis about PC gaming "greatness".

As a PC gamer, I believe the vice versa of what your saying. PCs will live on but PC games will die. I mean the non-flash, "hardcore" games.

When I can play a small section of Half-Life in my browser, its a sign that people aren't going to put up with upgrading their computers and the hundreds/thousands of dollars that go with it.

PCs will live because everything you described is all spread out among many gadgets while PC is everything, and more, in one.

Until I saw one gadget do everything my PC can and more, I say PCs will live but PC gaming (non-flash, non-web, disc based gaming) is going to die and we're going to live to see it.

john said...

Oh, and by the way: Bob, not everyone who disagrees with you is some caricature bugbear version of someone who annoyed you in your childhood, all right? Most of us did get to play console games growing up, even if we never had our own. Many of us enjoyed them, even. Maybe we like PC gaming for what it is, instead of getting swept up in the childish "my platform is the thinking man's platform, therefore my e-penis is bigger than yours!" bickering - have you ever considered that?

Maybe we like having easy access to a wide variety of games both commercial and freeware, being able to use our machines for gaming and other stuff (and you can smarm all you want about doing taxes, but give me a call when Photoshop is ported to any of the current-gen consoles, or when I can write music in something other than MarioPaint.) Maybe we recognize that current-gen console hardware might very well be capable of doing these things, but just don't feel like waiting for the manufacturers to decide they're going to allow it. Or (if you can imagine) maybe we're tired of seeing series we enjoyed get watered down for multi-platform sequels because the suits in management at game companies can't disabuse themselves of the notion that console gamers are morons.

Honestly, this whole video sounds like you've never played a PC (or other home computer) game any time prior to the last five years, or have somehow deliberately erased all memory of ever enjoying it if you have. You think PCs didn't have colorful action-adventures and dumb-fun sidescrollers? You think the console market had a lock on whimsy and joy, and that point-and-click adventures are the only PC-based genre that ever transcended the "obsessive micromanagement simulator" nature of SimCity or Civilization? Because, uh, that would be a "no." A resounding "no," in fact. Did you even do any research before ranting off on this?

But eh, why do I bother? It's not like you ever acknowledge anybody's disagreement beyond popping up one of your "stock mock" pictures to paint them as belonging to some group you hold a grudge against. Wonder if we'll be Ogre, or some anal-rententive in a suit and tie?

Link3680 said...

Hmm... well, I count gaming on a laptop as PC gaming since there's basically no difference at all. So yes, while gaming on desktop computers may be going away, PC gaming as a whole is not.

RocMegamanX said...

Now I myself am not a Hardcore PC gamer, mainly because I only have a laptop. Replacing a graphics card on a laptop might result in me "damaging my laptop beyond repair" according to a tutorial I found.


I'm scared of that risk, because computers are already expensive. I don't want to have to buy a new one if I make a mistake.

Shame too, because I wanted to play Street Fighter IV on PC.

AC said...

Great point, Bob.

What many people miss in this debate is that the PC is no longer the most personal computing device (see http://www.buildingproductmarketing.com/2010/11/signs-of-change-smartphones-more.html). Someone above talked about PC gaming being replaced by laptop gaming; that's more the direction it's going. Is the "personal computer" on which I play games going to be the box that lives in a corner of my house, or the phone in my pocket? Which is most personal?

If desktop PC gaming continues to thrive as a separate genre, then PCs will become essentially a new type of console; they won't be the universal device that everyone is already using by default.

Icefae said...

I'd go in depth with an argument explaining why the near entirety of this video's argument is factually disproven, but there are already hundreds of comments and controversy surrounding this video already that pretty much sum it up.

Bob, I'm surprised and appalled that someone of your intelligence could be so so so naive. And this is coming from someone who has watched your show since your Youtube days.

Seriously what the fuck were you thinking?

persondudeguy said...

Yeah... This is the ONLY thing i have ever disagreed with you on.

I get what your trying to say, that the personal computer (at least the hulking versions from 2000 that i have right now) are just no practical to play any more games on except the most rudimentary (like starcraft 1, which i still play :P)

Its still a little annoying. I mean... i think its the phrasing. If what you meant is that "the home computer" is dead, as far as gaming. Then why not say it? Instead of saying all pc gaming including things i love like Starcraft 2, portal, half-life (steam in general) and all those different games enriched by the PC are dead.

There shouldnt be to much hate stirred over this video though. I think that Bob just hasnt really conveyed his opinion in a proper way. But either way we can all agree that there are still MANY better qualities in PC gaming that console. Case in point. Team Fortress 2 vs Brink. Looks like Brink is a copy-cat except with the modern warefar/gearsofwar gloss over.

Chris Cesarano said...

But either way we can all agree that there are still MANY better qualities in PC gaming that console.

I think it all depends on what you want. To me, the console gamepad is more comfortable than a keyboard and mouse and makes room for a lot more genres. Hell, the sudden glut of shooters on consoles can pretty much squarely be blamed on American developers flooding onto the Xbox in the previous generation.

People love to say console games are "simple" or "stupid", but I look at that as ignorance. Back in the 80's Koei made a series of complicated strategy games that were on par with PC offerings at the time. The only problem is they didn't sell as well because the older audiences such games appeal to weren't buying consoles for anyone but their children. But games like Nobunaga's Ambition, Ghengis Khan and PTO were anything BUT simple. In fact, I'd say they're more complex than StarCraft, which is the Halo of strategy games (think about it, strip the strategy game of politics, economics, trading and focus it on combat and combat alone, and you got a product similar to Halo. StarCraft is "strategy" for "consoletards", to borrow PC gamer lingo).

When it comes to customization, I've had conversations on team-building with the original Final Fantasy Tactics that are actually more varied than conversations I've had with other Dragon Age players.

If console gaming ever seemed more simple it's only because there were developers targeting a wider audience, whereas PC games were exclusively the sort of audience the PC developers were. In which case, the current "sameness" of the modern game development era? I blame unimaginative PC developers for that.

Everything is a double-edged sword. You can blame console gamers (or more accurately, a wider and more profitable audience) for "simplifying" your favorite genres, but you guys have damn near wiped out some of ours. So it's not about "which side is better" because neither side is better. Technically we've fucked both sides up.

john said...

@Chris Cesarano: I do agree that it's a mistake to flame on console gamers for the dumbing down of various games - it's not their fault, and they're not actually stupid or even probably that much less interested in a nuanced, complex game. Instead, I blame corporate marketing drones who have latched onto that notion and can't get it into their thick skulls that it's not actually true.

However, brainless me-tooism is not even remotely a PC-exclusive thing, or even something that's that much more common on PCs. Just look at the flood of lame-ass sidescrollers on the NES that were either ripping off Mario/Adventure Island or ripping off Contra.

Chris Cesarano said...

Yes, but it was still easier to FIND other genres at the time. I could find a variety of strategy games on the SNES, or a variety of RPG's, or puzzle games, or non-clone side scrollers (Mega Man != Mario != Metroid != Contra, after all), and you could still get fun and different projects that defied genre boundaries like Toejam and Earl or StarFox.

Then again, this could still be a result of marketing and business executives. Back then you could still get a group of five or six guys to make a game and have it be successful.

I don't necessarily miss the old days, but I do miss the variety we were allowed.

Smpoza said...

Frankly, I've never really gotten the whole "death of PC gaming" viewpoint. I mean, it seems like PC superiority is coming to an end-while graphics and online abilities are still superior on PCs, the gap gets smaller every generation-but PCs are doing just fine. Also, if the whole basis of Bob's argument is that PC gaming will die because in the future we won't need a non-portable, dedicated platform for gaming...than by that logic, aren't consoles, which actually have far fewer capabilities than PCs, dying too?

john said...

@Chris Cesarano: As do I. Unfortunately, corporate me-tooism is the industry's biggest problem at this point, driving not only the lack of innovation in game mechanics and genres, but the "bigger graphics dick" war that's causing development costs to skyrocket and reinforce the "take no risks" policy that's causing the blatant cloning - and unfortunately, it's specific to no platform. I dearly hope that the industry can move past this, or we're due for another crash...

Chris Cesarano said...

I find the crash occurring again unlikely, or at least in that form. At most the AAA studios will crumble, but we'll revert back to small indie studios. And eventually the big studio system will rise again.

Dave Kraft said...

With regard to your futuristic vision...... lest I remind you, the 1986 Transformers Movie alleged we would have all kinds of crazy tech by 2005. It's six years later and I haven't seen as much as a transforming cockroach.

Seriously, I think we're more likely to burn out our energy resources within the next few decades and really wish we had colonized other planets before our great, great grandkids even have the opportunity to bitch "hey, weren't we supposed to have flying cars and all kinds of crazy-advanced entertainment by now?"

I also disagree completely with your regard to "PC Gaming is Dead". Other people have already made a whole load of valid arguments, but if I may.....


You see, the biggest problem to hit FPS games on the PC is the onset of online piracy. The first "Crysis" game had such steep hardware requirements that it remains - technologically-speaking - the most technically advanced computer game to date, setting a standard that has yet to be beat (well, maybe future games using CryEngine 3 will change that).

However, in spite of it being ridiculously popular, very few people actually BOUGHT the game, as it was torrented online through illegal downloading. It wound up being a financial flop, and if it weren't for its popularity or the sales of the expansion, there wouldn't be a Crysis 2 coming out this coming Tuesday.

Crytek decided to move the game to the consoles, just to insure that they made some money off of it, pay their dev team royalty monies and make ends meet, as the non-PC gaming demographic will most definitely be less likely to pirate a console version. However, in addition to the PS3 and XBox 360 versions, there is a PC version that will be available, and might have the best output of all of them (assuming you have the hardware necessary to run it).

And, if anything, the PC version is probably going to have the largest player base (piracy or otherwise). So it has nothing to do with the PC dying.

Honestly, I have several consoles, but I also have two PCs. If anything, TV is dying, as anything available on TV is also available online, and my laptop (the lesser powerful of the two) is more capable of handling multiple kinds of entertainment than my XBox 360, PS3 and TV combined (actually, given what my PCs are capable of, I don't actually have a TV. I just stream everything through my computer, and teh int4rw3bs does the rest).

I'm not even a PC gamer, and I'm aware of the popularity that PC gaming has. Oh, and let's not forget all those freeware Korean shooters that are available online (one's a CoD knockoff, and then there are games like GunZ and the like).

Dave Kraft said...

Oh, FYI that "Crysis" schpeil was just an example. By no means did I intend to use it as one definitive piece of proof, but just as an example of the impact of piracy on PC gaming.

vlademir1 said...

Mr. Chipman, that void you're staring in the face of and blinking is convergence. Some flavor of communications, computing, media and gaming platform (PC, "set top" box, console, or other emergent repackaging of the PC) and some portable flavor of the same will be the total sum of what most of us own within the easily foreseeable future (30 to 40 years hence tops)... hell the smartphone (or whatever new tech emerges to replace it) may become the whole of it by then, with just a docking station at home, in the car, and maybe at the office.

Your core thesis of PC gaming being dead is broken on several fronts. Steam, and most of it's myriad competitors, have had significant sales increases every year since their creation. Show me anywhere in the indie console market someone has bootstraped their own company the way Markus Persson has with Minecraft or even just survive on the proceeds of one in development game like Tarn Adams has with Dwarf Fortress... heck that market hardly exists, and the costs of entry can be very high. Then there is the game modding community where a significant number of the game developers of today cut their teeth and learned the basics of their trade... where on consoles is there a real, wide dissemination equivalent to that?

tyra menendez said...

Well, at least it's a huge wall of polite arguments and not venomous rantings.

I will say this: I use my computer for art, I can't upgrade my laptop, like I can a desktop, and gadgets won't do for image files at 11x17 at 300 or 500 dpi, nor will they do for the graphics tablet interface. Sure I can get a laptop with the same specs as my desktop, but in a couple years, when the price of memory and video cards drops, I can pop those into the desktop. I am not a technical person and even I can do that, so it can't be that hard. It's not even that I grew up with it, I didn't use a modern computer, for the first time, until I was 15 and I didn't own one until 17.
I'm sure all the people that do webcomics and digital art will agree with the need for a tower.
However, I do agree that having to read system requirements, because I have an older system, is annoying.
Also Aleinware has gone to shit, since Dell bought them.

Josh Wallen said...

Hey, Bob. I crafted a video response to you. Put a lot of work into it, and it would mean a ton to me if you'd take a look at it. Thanks a lot!


CrunchyEmpanada said...

Well this whole video was kind of dumb.

I've always been a "pc gamer" as much as I've been a gamer in the first place. When I was four, I had an Amiga 500. Lots of good games for that. I still consider Psygnosis to be one of the greatest game developing companies in history.

But I also had consoles. And as time went on, I grew to like the PC more than the consoles. FPS's have migrated to consoles? That implies they've left the PC, which they haven't. I, and a large number of people, prefer to play them on the PC. Others prefer the consoles. That's fine. They're on both, and for the most part they continue to be on both.

As for the tangential superiority of the mouse and keyboard being replaced by Wii-style controls...even assuming the motion controller is actually better than keyboard and mouse (most likely it'll have its supporters, like keyboard and mouse and controllers both have their supporters today), There's nothing stopping people from using them on the PC. People already do. *I* already do. I don't use my Wii anymore. I have bluetooth and Dolphin.

And yeah, all those phones and ipads and gadgets can do things the PC can do...only worse. They are good for when I am not actually at my PC and need to do something, they are not something that exists in place of my PC. Consoles are PC's. Shitty ones. I can't run Cubase on my wii. I can't create images with Photoshop on my PS3. At least not as easily as I could just a PC.

Why would I crunch numbers, send emails, play games, and type reports on 4 different things when I can do them all on ONE thing? I'm not actually Goro, I only have two hands. And I'm fat and lazy, I don't like to move much. Hence again, I don't use my Wii, I use Dolphin. I'm already at my computer, why the hell would I move to use the Wii when my computer can do it just as well? If there was a good PS3 emulator, I wouldn't use my PS3 either.

All this talk of multiple outlets for computer functionality implies I actually walk around the house a lot. But the need to do so has died with the need for a television. Now, I do everything on the computer. My work is on the computer. My fun is on the computer. And *because* my work is on the computer, why would I want my fun to be somewhere else where I have to expend effort to get to it?

So yeah. To recap, PC's can be big things that can do a thousand things all by itself, and do it better than all the little gadgets. Those gadgets are supplements for when you're not at your PC, not replacements for the PC.

You know, one day I'm sure you'll be right Bob. But that won't happen until those portable gadgets can actually do everything a PC can do *just as well*. When Ipads can magically increase screen size, and when touch screens are just as good as keyboards, when my phone really can run sibelius and not be annoying and stupid to write music with, or when my game console actually can create an image just as easily as my computer. I'll be lucky to live long enough to see that day. You probably won't see it. You're older than I am, after all.

Shawn said...

It's a question of horsepower.
Consoles and mobile devices can not and never will be able to match the pure computing horsepower available to a non-mobile AC powered hardwired device.

Even as portable technology improves and miniaturization advances those advances can be better leveraged inside a fixed PC.

With a fixed PC you get access to plenty of power to run whatever services you want, you can run your cpu at full throttle and not worry about how long your battery will last. You have plenty of room to provide ventilation; you can put more and bigger fans to improve airflow hell you can even switch to liquid or refrigerant cooling systems to combat heat.

And heat is the enemy of computers heat kills parts so it's always a concern. A laptop will never match the performance of its desktop brethren because it can't move enough air. It has to pack everything in tight and close together to provide adequate ventilation plus it needs somewhere to expel all that heat and someone's lap isn't generally a popular place.
So the parts get limited in performance they get throttled and chocked down to limit their heat generation and current draw.

Now the PC may change form somewhat hell it already has, gone are the beige boxes of my youth.

In fact I'm going to be transplanting the hardware from my last beige box this week into a nice new black case to become my media center PC.

Not only will it be able to stream from Netflix but it will also be able to stream content from Zune, Daily motion, any of the other streaming sites or even my favorite porn.

It doubles as my Blue Ray and DVD player and also works for playing music either from MP3s in my own collection or from any of the myriad of music services available.

Oh and it can play games too in 50" plasma glory.

All that and it can do my taxes too.
That's just cobbled together from spare parts since I'm using a new hex core computer to replace the two previous desktops that I used for gaming. (multiple accounts on an MMO something all your alternatives can’t do either)

Yes for the casual gamer their little flash games on their tablets and phones might work but for anything that requires any real computing power for rendering or calculating advanced physics a Desktop PC will always be superior.

Even consoles end up too limited because they have to conform to certain criteria, limited size/form factor, passive cooling (or at least very quiet cooling) which is why Red Rings of Death happen on the 360, locked down operating systems, limited expandability.

Say a new device comes out that's only available on a newer interface like say USB 3.0 well your Console ain't gonna work with that nor will your IPAD or your smart phone.

Nope but you know what? You can probably buy a PCI card to add that capability to your desktop.

The demise of the Desktop PC is being greatly exaggerated by the hipster Ipad toting media.