PC Gaming is superior in every way

Except when it's not

I saw some comments today on Facebook that troubled me and got me thinking about gaming and gaming experiences. This post is not a PC vs Console fire-starter post. This is supposed to be an eye-opening, never-thought-about-it-that-way post. PC gamers, I apologize in advance if I offend you or your principles in anyway, because I probably will.

The comments started when my close friend, whom I have never met, TJ posted this article on Facebook. The article's title is The End of Gaming Consoles and the Rise of Mobile and PC Gaming

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Comments
TJ Downes's Gravatar Wow, Jason. I must have really irked you , for you to have spent two hours trying to discredit me :)

I'll reply with two points:

1. Jason Dean is NEVER wrong. Which is why I do not debate with him.

2. If you believe TF on a gfx card is the only thing which affects performance in gaming, you're obviously discussing the wrong topic.
# Posted By TJ Downes | 11/13/13 5:27 PM
Jason Dean's Gravatar Someone didn't read what I wrote. That or you think a straw man argument will carry some weight.
# Posted By Jason Dean | 11/13/13 5:37 PM
TJ Downes's Gravatar By the way, one slight correction to your information, which has a pretty dramatic impact on your statements:

a GTX 680 is capable of 2.5TFlops. I'm not sure where you received 0.8 TFlops, but according to the few resources I reviewed, that information is inaccurate. Trying to find this specific info on NVidia, but you may need some corrections to your information.
# Posted By TJ Downes | 11/13/13 5:40 PM
Jason Dean's Gravatar I did not mention the 680. I mentioned the 650.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_Nvidia_...
# Posted By Jason Dean | 11/13/13 5:43 PM
Jason Dean's Gravatar Oh, and to address an earlier point, I did not, in any way, try to discredit you. This is not about PC vs. Console, this is about me asking others to see things differently. Through the eyes of others.

Saying that PCs are superior in every way, which you did not actually say, that was someone else, is fallacious at best. In the areas that are important to you, they may be. But in the areas that are important to me, they are not.

My point is that such a blanket statement, regardless of which side said it, is ridiculous; and any arguments that one is better than the other, pointless.
# Posted By Jason Dean | 11/13/13 5:49 PM
TJ Downes's Gravatar My bad, you did. I'm not even sure where the 650 comes into play, since the topic being discussed never mentioned a 650. A 580 and a 660 were mentioned. But all of those cards, including the 650, have capabilities well above .8 TFlops. In fact, the 400 series cards are capable of 1.4 TFlops. So again, you may need corrections to your data, since even cards three generations old have the capabilities at and above that of the next gen PS.
# Posted By TJ Downes | 11/13/13 5:49 PM
Jason Dean's Gravatar Did you read anything that I wrote? I explained very clearly where the 650 comes into play.

As for their capabilities, I went by the source I just linked. If you have another source, I will be happy to correct the data.

I am more than willing to admit when I am wrong, but you are missing the point of the whole piece. The point is, I don't give two shits about the differences between 1.84 TFLOPS and 3.00 TFLOPS and 5.45 TFLOPS. What is important to you is not what is important to me.
# Posted By Jason Dean | 11/13/13 5:54 PM
Aaron Martone's Gravatar I'm a PC gamer, through and through, but I don't buy into this elitism. PC and Consoles are 2 different things. A PC can do anything, but a Console is designed specifically around gaming. That doesn't mean a Console is bad. It does what it was designed to do, and does is VERY well. PCs are more expensive than consoles, and that is often indicative of the fact that they are more capable, but you are paying for that ability as well; they serve 2 different roles.

And though it pains me to say this, here's my stance on ports.

Many PC gamers get infuriated at console gamers because we're given quick, cheap ports of games that run like garbage on our more than capable systems. But this anger is misdirected. It is not a console gamer's fault for this; instead, this is a fault of the developer. Many console-centric developers, who do not have staff who are even qualified to develop towards different platforms, task themselves with porting a game over simply to make additional revenue (this is why no QA or expense is afforded in the conversion process, it's about getting a much money for as little effort as possible).

Take Skyrim for example. A game that was regarded very highly, but the game crashed over 300 times in my 200+ hours of time spent. To date it's the most technically unstable game I've ever played. Only when the developer, after MONTHS of it being out, produced the "4GB patch" did the game's stability go from crashing once every 5-10 minutes of play to once every 7 hours, did we see some semblance of QA.

So, yes, I can understand the anger PC gamers have that the potential of our gaming machines is always seemingly held back by the set hardware that many developers code their products to, and I can even have sympathy for the developer since one of the major faults of PC gaming is that there is no standard to code to. A PS4 is a PS4 is a PS4. But PC-A may be 1 of literally a million different hardware/software combinations compared to PC-B, and since there is no standard, attempting to get a game that looks and runs well across that myriad of differences is nigh on an impossibility.

Still, some companies are known for good PC products (Valve, Irrational Games, CD Projekt Red), and others are known for abysmal support for the platform (Ubisoft, Squaresoft, EA). For the latter, you cannot justify low sales of a game on the PC platform as being bereft of negative publicity towards the publisher/developer.

Could I ever see myself as a console gamer? Valve's Steam Machines have my interest, but my core concern that is never properly addressed is that I simply do not like using gamepads. I just don't understand why neither Sony nor Microsoft would attempt to attract PC gamers to Consoles by simply supporting 1 additional input type... And yes, consoles can support keyboards and maybe even mice, but unless their games properly support them (and they don't), then there really isn't true "support" for their worth.

The greatest shortcoming of the PC is the lack of standardization. I fully condone Valve taking the "Windows" out of PC gaming. Microsoft doesn't do a thing for PC gamers, they look out for their console only. So if there was ever a time for someone to swoop in and change the paradigm of what PC gaming is, they're best poised to do it. Microsoft is not a proactive company, they are reactive; and many times late by years at a time.

If you ask me, it shouldn't matter HOW you choose to game, only that you DO.
# Posted By Aaron Martone | 11/13/13 6:11 PM
TJ Downes's Gravatar OK, I said I wouldn't do this, but here goes:

I don't think anyone was arguing that point with you.

My post was stated facts about performance (and I don't believe those points can be argued effectively in favor of a console, especially in light of all the new technologies coming out that won't be seen in consoles for 8+ years). In fact, nearly plus ever mentioned to me about consoles is perception: you can do the exact same things on the PC, and I've not seen a single instance where it can't be done better (voice chat, for instance, is far more superior on the PC platform).

Price is arguably a valid point. I own an XBox and a PC, and game with both. Like you, I've used consoles since my childhood. I am certainly not using "high end" cards to achieve high quality gaming experiences (I spend an average of $250 on my gfx cards). FOR ME, the few hundred extra dollars I spend give me a much better experience, in terms of performance, visuals, and social aspects. Where the cost comes in for me is that I tend to upgrade over time to support newer titles that require more performance (and this really doesn't happen that often, nor is it overly expensive, given that I am generally upgrading for productivity reasons too, as most users tend to do every 3-4 years).

Ease of use is the most valid point a person can make. Would having the same titles on a Mac change your perception? I'm guessing it wouldn't. A lot of us don't find PCs all that difficult to use :)

I understand where your friends are may matter to you in your gaming experience, and it's a valid point. I have my own opinions on that topic, and I am certain we could have a relatively lengthy conversation on that alone!

So ya, I agree that it's not "better in every way" to everyone. But I feel that's only the case due to perception, and based on facts in most cases.
# Posted By TJ Downes | 11/13/13 6:14 PM
TJ Downes's Gravatar Aaron, you make a lot of valid points, and I agree that the Steam platform has the potential to change the entire face of gaming. As long as they are not limiting the hardware potential.
# Posted By TJ Downes | 11/13/13 6:16 PM
RogerTheGeek's Gravatar None of them play worth a crap on my Atari. Pong does play pretty well though, but I have trouble finding new tubes for my black and white console TV.
# Posted By RogerTheGeek | 11/13/13 6:28 PM
Charlie Griefer's Gravatar Aight... here goes :)

TJ, your post on FB begins with, "Why gaming consoles suck.". Might that have been tongue-in-cheek? Maybe. But do you not see how it could really come across as elitist and condescending and aggressive to those who enjoy gaming consoles?

Yes, there are folks that enjoy just plopping down on the couch and playing a game. They're not in it for the teraflops. They're not in it for mind-bending graphics. They're in it for storyline and just to relax and take their mind off of a hard day's work.

I know people who, today, have CRT tv sets. And they watch a lot of TV. They don't care that their TV isn't a 65" 1080p HD. For decades people enjoyed the content of TV on CRT TVs. For many of those decades, on grayscale CRT TVs. It was the content of the show/movie that made it enjoyable. I imagine that if you or I were to tell these people that their "TV watching experience sucks", they'd be offended. And rightfully so.

Who are you or I or anybody else to dictate to somebody that something they do "sucks".

I followed somebody on Facebook who once posted, "If you're not making fitness a part of your life, you're doing it wrong". I no longer follow that person. Because I think that message is ridiculous. And I'm somebody who does make fitness a part of his life. But that's _my_ choice, and I don't think any of us have the right to tell anybody else that what they choose to do is "wrong" or "sucks".

I've seen this with PC and Mac. I've seen it with iPhone and Android. I've seen it with ColdFusion and { any other language }.

So my point, and I think the point that Jason is making, is that nobody has the right to tell somebody else that their experience sucks.

You enjoy what you do. You spend whatever money you feel that you need to in order to give you that fulfilling experience. But don't suggest to anybody else that just because they don't require that same experience, that theirs sucks.

And if you do, yeah, expect to piss people off.

Now if you'll excuse me, I feel a game of Yahtzee coming on...
# Posted By Charlie Griefer | 11/13/13 6:32 PM
Jason Dean's Gravatar @Aaron, thanks for the comment.

Elitism? Sorry we're you saying that I am being elitist? Or were you saying you don't buy into the PC Gamer elitism that seems to be rampant in the world? If the former, please explain. If the latter, good-on-ya. :)

I completely agree with your assessment that the anger at console gamers is misdirected and that the fault lies with the developer. It is unfortunate that the PC market gets neglected. As I said in my post, I don't wish any ill to the PC gamers and I hope that the platform survives, but unfortunately, the developers seem to care about money and the money is in the console platform.

I too am intrigued by the Steam Machines and look forward to their reviews.
# Posted By Jason Dean | 11/13/13 6:35 PM
Jason Dean's Gravatar @tj

Thanks for the more reasoned response that actually address what I am trying to say.

I think we are, mostly, in agreement in the long run, and it was not *just* your comments I was addressing in my post. It was other comments on the post and the general PC vs. Console BS that we always seem to hear about.

I don't know why you swore that you would not engage in a reasonable discussion. Seems to work out best for all. ;)

Oh, and I have not complaints about the voice chat on XBL. Works great almost all the time. I have more trouble with Skype and Google Hangouts than I ever have on XBL. Never tried voice chat within a game on PC though, so maybe I am missing a whole different level of teenagers swearing at me.

I am not sure if the PC platform supports voice chat parties like on XBL, but if they don't then that would be one area where I would say the console excels. I *love* that I don't need to listen to teenagers swearing at me. I can chat with just my friends (though they swear at me too). If PCs do support the party concept in chat, then disregard.
# Posted By Jason Dean | 11/13/13 6:42 PM
Jason Dean's Gravatar @roger

I can't argue with anything you said. Your debate skills are elite.
# Posted By Jason Dean | 11/13/13 6:43 PM
Jason Dean's Gravatar @charlie

There is no call for that kind of reasoned, polite, well-thought-out response here. If you're going to be that way, I will ban you from my blog.

Go make me a sandwich.
# Posted By Jason Dean | 11/13/13 6:44 PM
Charlie Griefer's Gravatar You really want me to make you a sandwich? After I just... played Yahtzee (if you know what I mean)? oooookay.
# Posted By Charlie Griefer | 11/13/13 6:46 PM
Jason Dean's Gravatar @charlie,

duh... yeah
# Posted By Jason Dean | 11/13/13 9:30 PM
Aaron Martone's Gravatar @TJ

You'll be glad to hear then that Valve is not choosing set hardware. There will be Steam Machines with Intel/AMD CPUs and GPU combinations. Gabe wants the whole system, OS included, to be as open source as possible. I can't wait to see where this ends up!

@Jason

The latter buddy. You do not come across as suffering from any elitism. I was stating that *how* one chooses to game shouldn't matter (PC, Console, etc.), only that they *do*. 8:) Consoles are great at what they are designed to do; there's no denying it. PC's are great at doing everything a PC can (which is a lot more, but at the same time, you're paying for that capability) I think much of the defense and argument we find on the subject matter is either elitism raising its head, or people taking personal defense that others had not chosen the same gaming platform they did, so they take it as a personal insult (even though it isn't)

Psychology, it's a b_tch, ain't it? 8:)
# Posted By Aaron Martone | 11/14/13 8:37 AM
Jason Dean's Gravatar @aaron,

Thanks for the clarification.

:)
# Posted By Jason Dean | 11/14/13 1:03 PM
James Allen's Gravatar Fantastic post Jason! I wanted to post more on the original post but knew I couldn't express it as good as this.

Only thing wanted to correct is your mention of Xbox controllers on the PC and having to mess around with drivers and config etc. With a Microsoft receiver they are actually plug and play. Exactly the same as the Xbox when in place and in my experience all modern PC games support it with the same button mappings as the console versions. This is awesome for me as I tend to get the PC version of the big releases for SP for the improved graphics and frame rate on my HTPC. I game from the sofa so the Xbox controller is key for my experience. Great to be able to use it with the majority of games.

As I said in the original thread, it shouldn't matter what you choose to game on just how good the experience is for you personally. Also, it's not necessarily that console gamers don't care about graphics. I played through the entire Halo and Gears of War franchise this year and was blown away by the graphics on my 50" plasma. Same with GTA V right now. Games like that hit a level where the experience can be incredibly immersive due to the graphics. Even if PC gaming takes that to an even higher level, it doesn't invalidate the console experience..

I will continue to play titles on the PC for the higher resolution and frame rate etc, but won't let it stop me playing exclusives on the consoles. I'm lucky that I own all 3 platforms though I suppose.. Gives you a different perspective I find.
# Posted By James Allen | 11/15/13 8:38 AM
Jason Dean's Gravatar Thanks, James. I will update the post to reflect that. I found some instructions on how to do it and it involved drivers and such, but like so many computery things, they change over time.

It is good to know I could, easily, use an XBox controller if I ever decided to go through the additional trouble of using a PC for gaming. But, as you said, the graphics on the consoles are getting so damn good that, for me, I can't imagine wanting, let alone needing, anything better.
# Posted By Jason Dean | 11/15/13 8:43 AM
James Allen's Gravatar No probs Jason. The information might have been about getting other controllers to work or for when a game doesn't support the Xbox controller out of the box so needing key remapping using something like xpadder or the excellent Pinnacle Game Profiler.
I remember having to use that a few years ago but since then every game I've played has built in Xbox controller support which is really cool.
With the MS receiver I think Windows will even auto install a driver for it now, or it's a simple download from the MS website.

It's certainly cool to move from the console version to the PC and there be no change in controller method or learning curve.
# Posted By James Allen | 11/15/13 8:52 AM
Jason Dean's Gravatar I wish that was true for switch from the XBox to the PS3 version of a game :)
# Posted By Jason Dean | 11/15/13 9:32 AM
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