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Why do I need a console? PCs are becoming them!

AshleyAshes

Arcade Snowmew Of Doom
I had a little revelation this week while doing the 'pizza and gaming' thing with a friend. PCs are becoming consoles. Rather than the tired 'PC vs Console' discussion, what I'm talking bout here is how the PC is moving into the living room and joining the consoles at the TV.

Sure, a computer on a TV was never a new idea. I remember Half-Life over S-Video out on my Pentium III at 500mhz with the All in Wonder 128 powering it! ...but Windows 98SE was kinda aweful at 480i. TVs gained VGA, DVI, HDMI and in some cases even DP ports. Now the only difference between a 'TV' and a 'Monitor' is 'Does it have a digital TV tuner in it?' But even then you were still using Windows on a screen teen feet away from you and trying to reach for a keyboard and mouse. Steam Big Picture Mode brings the 'Ten Foot Interface' to the TV and I always loved it. But last night I set it up on the living room and we played The Pinball Arcade and Castle Crashers (First time playing, GREAT GAME!) on the TV using Xbox 360 controllers with a wireless USB adaptor for the controllers. We got the console like experience, even navigating through Steam BPM for games and contacts like you would on a console. Of course, steam is also constructing 'Steam OS' which brings that same interface to a dedicated interface. Weather you opt for Steam BPM on Windows or Steam OS there's there's two important things: 1) You can just build the thing yourself. 2) Steam brings you the games dirt cheap sometimes. I mention steam almost exclusively since to my knowledge no one else has brought a 10 foot interface to their platforms. ...They should. I only paid $3.74 for Castle Crashers when it was on sale in the summer and it was a real party pleaser. The machine we were playing on was just an Intel laptop, integrated Sandy Bridge graphics even!

In my bedroom is the even more powerful box, my HTPC. The HTPC was originally an AMD A6-3500 bought just for running XBMC and doing server work. When the AMD FM1 socket was end-of-lifed I upgraded to an A6-3870K to max out the socket and it made a pretty decent lower-midish gaming box. Last month a Radeon HD 6850 was 'hand me downed' to the HTPC and it's graphics power was increased by more than a factor of three. It's now a 'pretty darn good midrange PC'. It runs XBMC for all of my media enjoyment and can then launch into Steam BPM for gaming joy. The controllers in use are 360 controllers with wireless adaptors which, thanks to Microsoft, the Xinput protocol is lock stock standard for nearly every Windows game that will use a controller. It's not immodest hardware but it'll play a lot of mainstream games pretty well if you exclude the bleeding edge monsters like Crysis 3 or others. So yeah, it's basically a console now. While a bit lopsided now (3 year old GPU paired with a newer CPU with integrated but disabled GPU) I could build a comparable system for say, $400, maybe $500 after you factored in the cost of controllers. It would be highly upgradable as GPU counts for a LOT more than CPU these days, a lot more flexible, and, unlike consoles, games would be routinely on sale for peanuts.

So why do I need a console anymore?
 

AshleyAshes

Arcade Snowmew Of Doom
Simplicity will only ever be the main selling point of any console.

I'll totally agree that, excluding maybe prebuild Steam OS boxes, a console will be more 'Plug and Play', for the enthusiast it seems you can now take your PC gaming to the couch.

I think there are some things missing though. Steam would require a better way for media (There's talk of putting XBMC onto Steam!) and some other multimedia apps would be needed, like Netflix and the like. Though 'Applications' are now on Steam in addition to games already so it's not insane.
 

Judge Spear

Well-Known Member
I know sometimes I unplug the old rig and put it on the HDTV out in the living room (when the TV worked). Ketsui on the TV? Fook yuss.

And while I'm certain there are those who will over analyze and be cynical about the way consoles have been going, yes, the "plug in and play" and certainty of your game working will never diminish.
 

CannonFodder

Resistance is futile! If 0 ohm
So why do I need a console anymore?
Only for games that refuse to come to computer or such. If you want to play nintendo games or other games that are console exclusive yeah there's a reason to get them, but if you have a good computer and not really interested in console exclusives there's no real reason to get a console.

Personally I think there's not going to be another xbox after the xboxone. Xbox fans are NOT going to be happy about how getting banned dumps your rights to all games. . and yes if you do get banned from a xboxone account you are permabanned from those games as well cause once you buy the games it's permatied to your account; which means if you get banned there goes all your games as well.

Also the xboxone is in 720p instead of 1080.

The question to ask is, "Do I want to play console exclusives?"
No)Then don't get a console
Yes)Is the game only for xboxone?

No)Then get the console
Yes)Don't get the xboxone
 
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DrDingo

Moved to phoenix.corvidae.org with the others
I don't really play consoles, but I gotta admit that games consoles are better for parties and gatherings. Otherwise you'd have to have people bring over laptops and mice, then connect to your Wifi before having a LAN party. That just takes too much effort for a couple hours of entertainment.
 

Vaelarsa

resident spaceship
Because money.
Because I need to pay rent and keep a roof over my head.
Because an "outdated" console with used games in the $12 - 30 range is still cheaper than dropping $600 and whatever upgrades I'd need to keep up with PC gaming.
Life is hard, mayn.
 

AshleyAshes

Arcade Snowmew Of Doom
Because money.
Because I need to pay rent and keep a roof over my head.
Because an "outdated" console with used games in the $12 - 30 range is still cheaper than dropping $600 and whatever upgrades I'd need to keep up with PC gaming.
Life is hard, mayn.

Well, to counter that, with older games you likely wouldn't need said $600 box and those games seem to go for $5 on Steam. I actually have this motto 'Any game can wait, because it will eventually be five bux on Steam'.
 

Arshes Nei

Masticates in Public
Convenience, exclusives, plug and play.

Let's face it there are people still utterly computer retarded out there. That's why more people are using mobile devices to reach twitter, tumblr and facebook. Then you have people moving to tablets.

So there's still quite a number of people that can't be assed with a computer (which I think is a shame) and find it confusing. I had people asking me to upgrade Windows 95 and older machines (Can't I just get more RAM?)

So consoles provided convenience for those people. Computers are still generally seen as bulky devices.

Well, to counter that, with older games you likely wouldn't need said $600 box and those games seem to go for $5 on Steam. I actually have this motto 'Any game can wait, because it will eventually be five bux on Steam'.

Except that you're assuming "those games" are on Steam in the first place.
 

Digitalpotato

Rants like a Gryphon
And while I'm certain there are those who will over analyze and be cynical about the way consoles have been going, yes, the "plug in and play" and certainty of your game working will never diminish.

AS well as the stability.

I can count on one hand how many times my consoles have crashed.

As for my PC... I need both my hands, both of my feet, both yours and CannonFodder's hands, both of your feet, AND another set of hands and feet just to count how many times a game has crashed on it. I've never had to flat out adjust settings to get a game on my PS3 to not lag or even start a game.
 

Dictator Lister

Slammer of Jams
Consoles are still the ultimate local machine, especially the older ones. Hook up a Gamecube and Melee, or if you're really decked out a Dreamcast and Powerstone, and you're set. Unfortunately, PC games kind of (okay, SEVERELY) lack the ability to entertain more than one person at a time. But in terms of just about everything aside from that and some exclusives, PC is the way to go.

And I think it's a while before PCs become expensive consoles. They still dominate the RTS genre, plenty of indie titles flourish on PC, and its openness is unparalleled. Plus, backwards compatibility and customization is rarely ever an issue. In short, your PC is safe. The games developers are making, on the other hand...
 

AshleyAshes

Arcade Snowmew Of Doom
Consoles are still the ultimate local machine, especially the older ones. Hook up a Gamecube and Melee, or if you're really decked out a Dreamcast and Powerstone, and you're set. Unfortunately, PC games kind of (okay, SEVERELY) lack the ability to entertain more than one person at a time. But in terms of just about everything aside from that and some exclusives, PC is the way to go.

I noticed that certain Console -> PC ports LOSE their local multi. D: Uhh, the second Sonic Cart Racer for example, is single local and online multi only. WTF?
 

Dictator Lister

Slammer of Jams
I noticed that certain Console -> PC ports LOSE their local multi. D: Uhh, the second Sonic Cart Racer for example, is single local and online multi only. WTF?
It's the complication that comes with the control scheme. That and most monitors aren't as large as televisions, so splitscreen (though at a higher resolution, usually) is really hard to do. And you have to have multiple controllers plugged in (which depending on your rig, could be a problem depending on the number of USB ports. I doubt two people will share a keyboard.)

That's another issue with PC gaming: the lack of uniformity. Everybody with a console has the exact same box with the same capabilities. Games will run the exact same regardless of who's playing, and can be designed with a greater degree of optimization regarding local multiplayer. PCs do not have said luxury and it would be a waste of resources to impliment a feature that so few are able to use, let alone would WANT to use.

Unless there's a mass-produced, cheap, capable gaming rig that gains enough traction to be used by the majority of PC gamers, things will remain the way they are. But at that point you'd be buying a console anyways.
 
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AshleyAshes

Arcade Snowmew Of Doom
It's the complication that comes with the control scheme. That and most monitors aren't as large as televisions, so splitscreen (though at a higher resolution, usually) is really hard to do. And you have to have multiple controllers plugged in (which depending on your rig, could be a problem depending on the number of USB ports. I doubt two people will share a keyboard.)

I found this to be a bigger issue with the older DInput controllers. "Which controller is #1, Windows?" "Which ever one was plugged in first. :D Unless they don't have the same name, then it COULD be the one that's alphabetically first but maybe not. Also, if they are the same, I can't actually tell the user which one is Controller #1!"

At least the 360 or other controllers via XInput can clearly determine which controller is which number. >_<
 

Spikey2k2

Member
It's the complication that comes with the control scheme. That and most monitors aren't as large as televisions, so splitscreen (though at a higher resolution, usually) is really hard to do. And you have to have multiple controllers plugged in (which depending on your rig, could be a problem depending on the number of USB ports. I doubt two people will share a keyboard.)

That's another issue with PC gaming: the lack of uniformity. Everybody with a console has the exact same box with the same capabilities. Games will run the exact same regardless of who's playing, and can be designed with a greater degree of optimization regarding local multiplayer. PCs do not have said luxury and it would be a waste of resources to impliment a feature that so few are able to use, let alone would WANT to use.

Unless there's a mass-produced, cheap, capable gaming rig that gains enough traction to be used by the majority of PC gamers, things will remain the way they are. But at that point you'd be buying a console anyways.
Well not really. Considering you could add a multiple controllers option because Xbox controllers, plus pc controllers and most PC's now have multiple USB's so that would fix that. I do this on my PC with emulators. On Split-screen, multiple monitors? Which many people already run.
Failing that have you never heard of a LAN party? That shit was being done back when the first Diablo was around so it really is just removing a feature.
I LAN partied Crysis and that was king shit in the graphic department at the time and still pack a wallop running on max which I was doing back in JR High hauling around my tower and an old CRT monitor. But it's being faded out now I would wager even though I don't know Crysis 3 has no LAN. Plus individual PC's can lower the specs of the game so the individual performance of the game on one PC or another is moot.
 
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Dictator Lister

Slammer of Jams
Well not really. Considering you could add a multiple controllers option because Xbox controllers, plus pc controllers and most PC's now have multiple USB's so that would fix that. I do this on my PC with emulators. On Split-screen, multiple monitors? Which many people already run.
Failing that have you never heard of a LAN party? That shit was being done back when the first Diablo was around so it really is just removing a feature.
I LAN partied Crysis and that was king shit in the graphic department at the time and still pack a wallop running on max which I was doing back in JR High hauling around my tower and an old CRT monitor. But it's being faded out now I would wager even though I don't know Crysis 3 has no LAN. Plus individual PC's can lower the specs of the game so the individual performance of the game on one PC or another is moot.
But it's still an issue. Yes, it can be done, but not everybody will know how to do it and the system may not even be able to handle it. Splitscreen on consoles can stutter horribly (look at the 360 version of Left 4 Dead 2) and it can be even worse on PC if the game isn't optimized, something that is happening less and less in our time of multiplats and tossed-together ports.

And LAN parties are nice, but it's much less convenient than just plugging in a second controller and playing, because everybody needs to bring their own machine, copy of the game, monitor, etc...
 

Runefox

Kitsune of the PC Master Race
And LAN parties are nice, but it's much less convenient than just plugging in a second controller and playing, because everybody needs to bring their own machine, copy of the game, monitor, etc...
When was the last time you played a console game split-screen? I get that it's part of your point, but gaming has moved beyond that for the most part because frankly split-screen is horrible. Games that wouldn't require split-screen, like for example games like Worms generally don't have any trouble with using multiple controllers.
 

Dictator Lister

Slammer of Jams
When was the last time you played a console game split-screen? I get that it's part of your point, but gaming has moved beyond that for the most part because frankly split-screen is horrible. Games that wouldn't require split-screen, like for example games like Worms generally don't have any trouble with using multiple controllers.
Actually I've done it quite often, I play lots of old PS1 games with my friends. My point isn't that it's bad, or that it can't be done, but it's a bigger pain on the PC than it is on consoles because it requires first having the proper setup, and second actually having a PC game that supports it.

But yeah, with online play and such it's dwindled away. A shame because I hate having to tell friends to go home so we can play a game. Defeats the point of multiplayer in my opinion.
 
Because money.
Because I need to pay rent and keep a roof over my head.
Because an "outdated" console with used games in the $12 - 30 range is still cheaper than dropping $600 and whatever upgrades I'd need to keep up with PC gaming.
Life is hard, mayn.

I don't know...
I've been gaming on shitty Dell computers for as long as I can remember and I've run into like... no problems whatsoever.
 

Fernin

6150 rpm and spinning.
Games. Games. Games. Games. And that is all. I go where the games I want are, irregardless of what platform they're on.
 

Willow

FAF's #1 Terrorist
Not gonna lie but PCs are kind of hit and miss. By which I mean unless you get a computer solely for the purpose of gaming, or just so happen to have the right stuff, there's a good chance the game you bought off Steam or from Best Buy won't run.

At least if I have a console game I'm secure in the fact that it'll most definitely work unless there's something wrong with the console or the disk.

So I dunno, until computer companies and/or game developers come to a general consensus on some universal method of making their stuff so everything is compatible, PC gaming is just another way to game but won't totally kick out consoles.
 

chesse20

Member
Not gonna lie but PCs are kind of hit and miss. By which I mean unless you get a computer solely for the purpose of gaming, or just so happen to have the right stuff, there's a good chance the game you bought off Steam or from Best Buy won't run.

At least if I have a console game I'm secure in the fact that it'll most definitely work unless there's something wrong with the console or the disk.

So I dunno, until computer companies and/or game developers come to a general consensus on some universal method of making their stuff so everything is compatible, PC gaming is just another way to game but won't totally kick out consoles.
There's plenty of classic games , you don't have to buy the hippin hoppinest new games out there. You can go on somewhere like gog and buy some oldies or mass buy old games off Amazon or the thrift store. I found this cool stealth game that was goty in 2001 and a cool centipede for PC for 2 bucks each at the thrift store
 

Runefox

Kitsune of the PC Master Race
Not gonna lie but PCs are kind of hit and miss. By which I mean unless you get a computer solely for the purpose of gaming, or just so happen to have the right stuff, there's a good chance the game you bought off Steam or from Best Buy won't run.
Not anymore really. If you've bought an AMD APU-based PC in the past year or so, you can expect pretty reliable performance in around the Xbox 360 range. Newer Haswell Intel CPU's also offer very good IGP's compared to previous generations and also provide decent performance for casual gaming.

Unless you're buying $300 shitbooks, you're likely to have something capable of gaming. A friend of mine grabbed a $600 HP with an A8 APU and at 1366x768 everything she's thrown at it runs nice and smooth.

You could of course argue that an XB1 or PS4 costs just $500 and $400 respectively, but that ignores the fact that a laptop is portable, has a built-in screen and battery, and also functions as a full fledged computer, which you were going to buy anyway.
 
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