Staff Roundtable: The Future of Simulations Part 3 – PC’s versus Consoles Page 3

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Beach: I may be wrong, but I think a lot of developers lean toward game genres that they themselves enjoy. I’m not speaking for Stormin’, Matt, CJ and Oleg, but my guess is they all enjoy aviation and military history, things of that nature. At some point though, it may be worth more to them in terms of dollars to do something popular and mainstream even if their hearts remain with military sims. It would be interesting to hear how the developers feel.

BA_Dart: “Adapt or die.” Why have I always read that statement from the PC perspective? Let’s think about PC’s and Consoles just a minute from where they were to where they’re going. Consoles, until recently, didn’t have Internet capabilities. It was the realm of the PC, and one of the reasons the PC was a better way to play.

Consoles, until recently, didn’t have hard drives, which was a big plus for PC’s, as one could upgrade the software — patches, etc.

Consoles, until recently, didn’t have keyboards, which allowed the PC gamer to have more commands to use or program.

Consoles still don’t have mice without using emulation hardware.

Any takers that in the next few years they get them or, possibly, TrackIR’s instead?

It seems to me that every advance in consoles brings it more and more in line with the PC; it would seem the Console is adapting, fearing death, not the PC. I don’t think PC gaming will ever die, simply because it’s proving grounds for consoles. Just like flight sims are the proving grounds for PC games.

 "...it would seem the Console is adapting, fearing death, not the PC..."I must say I was rather shocked when reading the Half Life II forums before it came out. The systems an awful lot of players had were incredibly underpowered by flight sim standards. “Will HL2 run on my ATH750 with 256 RAM? Should I upgrade from my GF2 card?” Whoa. A flight simmer would use that system to host a TeamSpeak server, and little else. Or give it to their kid to play on. Which was probably the case for a lot of people posting on that forum!

Speaking from a flight sim perspective, the demographics of the player will keep the PC around as a very viable game platform. We tend to be older, fairly well off compared to our peers, one must have some fairly high disposable income to be seriously into flight sims, or very frugal and disciplined. Frugal and disciplined people typically wind up fairly well off compared to their peers, though, and use our gaming platform for a host of tasks.

Consoles are nice, but one can’t work from home on one, polishing up Excel spreadsheets, refining Word documents, and finishing PowerPoint presentations on a console. Yet. When one is finally able to do so, what has the Console become? A PC. With a TV hooked up to it instead of a monitor.

My son is nine years old, and because we don’t own a console system, is sometimes perplexed when he is somewhere and plays with one.

“Can I use the mouse and keyboard instead of the controller?”
“Okay, can we just save this and look at the Internet now?”
“Daddy, can you make it to where it’s not jaggy on the edges and brighter?”
“Can we make a movie of the game?”

When he’s able to do all of those things on a console, will it be a console? Or just a proprietary PC? As to SimHQ, I’d say stick with PC’s. There already are a zillion console review web sites, but when it comes to simulations, there’s only one that does such a good job of covering different genres of PC games and simulations, this one.

I’d hate for SimHQ to be a console review web site with some PC stuff on it — and half stepping on the console side would be exactly the same thing, but from the other perspective. Considering the glut of console review sites, I don’t know as SimHQ would be competitive in the field. Nor do I think the console culture of cheat codes and exploits would mesh well with the powers-that-be here.

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