Notes from a PC Gamer: The time is coming to switch

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by nihilisticmonk, May 26, 2005.

  1. nihilisticmonk macrumors 6502

    nihilisticmonk

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    #1
    Hi guys,
    Just thought I'd post some of my random thoughts coming in from the PC Camp.
    First of all, some background,
    I've been a PC user since the 386 days, and since then have primarily used and upgraded my PC for games. I love games....
    I also own a PS2, X-Box, Gamecube and several vintage consoles, I'm obsessed.
    A couple of years back, I decided to buy a laptop, not needing it as a gaming device I sniffed around, and always having a fond spot for macs decided on a powerbook.
    I am to this day the proud owner of a 1GHZ aluminium powerbook and use it everyday. All my tasks from my windows pc have been migrated from my PC, apart from games.

    Now, to my thoughts,
    Last year I've spent £200 upgrading my ram, and £300 upgrading my graphics card, to keep in the sweet spot of gaming hardware, namely to play unreal tourney 2004 and Doom 3.
    Looking at the gaming scene from the last year and a half, you're seeing a large decline in PC exclusive games, (apart from strategy games). Most PC games have come out on xbox, and a large majority (splinter cell, brothers in arms) have been console games that have also been released on the PC.

    So, I'm thinking why should I spend £££ on my PC, when the games are better graphics ports of games aimed and mostly developed around the achitecture of different systems :confused:

    Now, I point you to a recent post from one of the proprieters of penny-arcade.com (A huge gaming web comic)

    or my part, seeing what wonders PC developers have in store, I think I've bought my last video card. I didn't even get top of the line this time, I squeaked in under four hundred dollars, but I've had it up to here subsidizing the next generation of consoles with my early adopter money. Before Doom 3, I was satisfied with a hitch or two here and there when I was really putting a machine to work - but seeing the way it is supposed to look, on hardware with the strength to manipulate those realms effortlessly made it clear. They've priced me, as a financially stable adult, straight out of entertainment software on the personal computer. I crave the esoteric strategy titles and wild experiments found on PCs, but it no longer makes a lick of sense to maintain this rig in the face of four hundred dollar, triple core consoles. The WOPR taught us as much in WarGames: the only way to win that game is not to play it.

    Which is definately the way I've been feeling.
    The X-Box 360 and especially PS3 (if it lives up to the hype) is definately going to take a large amount of gamers like me away from the 6 month graphics card upgrading cycle that the PC appears to be locked into for gaming entertainment....I was never happy with windows performance for any other task apart from gaming.

    So....why not switch? Hell, I'm going to buy the new consoles when they come out this year and next, can I afford to keep a PC running as well...hell no, and why should I?

    I've noticed a few gaming buddys hugging their powerbooks lately, after being converted by the I-Pod and seeing what my powerbook can do. A lot of gamers appear to be eying up the mac mini also.
    I myself have just bought an Apple 20" cinema display for my PC due to loving apples look, and the quality of the display (plus it'll look nice when I fully switch :D)

    I truely belive, over the next 2 years, apples market share will dramatically grow, as geeks in my age range (I'm 24) move away from the PC as a gaming device, and love the appeal of the Mac OS and the longer lasting hardware.

    The apps are better, (Delicious library never fails to totally BLOW everyone away that sees it) the OS is better, more people leaning towards linux OS's are loving the ideas of OS X....

    My plan now is wait to see what WWDC brings, and (hopefully) buy a newly announced PowerPC (hey, I can dream!), then my PC can die a graceful death as I leave it in upgrade limbo..

    Just my 2 cents, but I belive the next two years will be a critical period of growth for apple, as more geeks like me make the jump :cool:

    Anyone agree? got similar stories? thoughts?
     
  2. dmw007 macrumors G4

    dmw007

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    #2
    I agree the gaming market is shifting/will shift away from the pc world and towards the Mac world and game consoles. A small piece of evidence for this is the fact that the next generation consoles are using PowerPC processors instead of intel or amd chips.
     
  3. nihilisticmonk thread starter macrumors 6502

    nihilisticmonk

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    #3
    Totally, the rumors that Apple are investing in game studios etc are quite interesting, and if they manage to court some of the 3rd party console developers (Sega, Namco, etc) they'll do great...I'm no programmer, but with the new consoles all being powerpc chip based, perhaps porting over games will be a lot easier...Apple could work masterstrokes here.

    As a gamer, I love the media aspect of the Mac, there is nothing as awesome as delicous library for the pc, as well as itunes, video editing, photo management and the awesome 3rd party apps you can get for many usage, I guarantee you'll see disenfranchised gamers moving to consoles exclusively for gaming, and fully embracing OSX and the Mac as the digital hub for their actual multimedia and web surfing needs...

    Face it, Microsofts MP3 & media solutions suck, all apple needs is some better TV/video media archiving hardware and software solutions and you've got a hands down winner.
     
  4. dmw007 macrumors G4

    dmw007

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  5. Foniks Munkee macrumors member

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    #5
    As a developer, I can see the PC (that is not just windows, Mac too), dying as a gaming platform, sales are down and new consoles are cheaper than a decent video card.

    I think both PC's and Macs will end up servicing those games that are not suitable for consoles, but not much as else.
     
  6. GFLPraxis macrumors 604

    GFLPraxis

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    #6
    All very good points!

    Add that to the fact that if Microsoft somehow gets their act together and manages to ship Longhorn by 2007, forcing everyone to upgrade, charging a ridiculously high price as usual (you know what I mean, $200 for Home Edition), but with the original features like WinFS cut out like they've said, that could be added reason to switch. Older computers likely won't run it at all. People might decide to save money on upgrades with Windows and just switch.
     
  7. dmw007 macrumors G4

    dmw007

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    #7
    Ya, who wants to keep throwing money into the wind by having to constantly upgrade their pc??? Why not switch to a Mac and a new Xbox? :D
     
  8. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

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    #8
    this i agree with, gaming is moving to the consoles more than anything, which as the OP noted will help more and more people to switch to macs, but lets face it, there will always be a niche market for computer gamers...
     
  9. nihilisticmonk thread starter macrumors 6502

    nihilisticmonk

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    #9
    Foniks Munkee
    You speak the truth, with graphics card prices compaired to consoles, the PC appears insane.... It's around £350 for the top end Nvidia card...
    Yeh, I've done it in the past, Geforce 3 = £300, Ati 9800 Pro =£280 when I bought it, 6800GT =£250....

    The rumors for the Xbox 360 is £250-£300, and PS3 being £300-400....
    So, for the price of 1 card, that'll be top of the range for 6 months, I can get a console that will be going for around 4-5 years, blu-ray dvd support, other media aspects, guaranteed compatibility with games....umm, and it plays dvd's as well....ok, why do I need my PC again?

    GFLPraxis
    I looked and the "windows super site" review of the latest longhorn beta, and Microsoft appear to be cutting features with every release....as you've said the database style file system? Umm...that's an additional feature now, or may be scrapped...dock like side bar? Cancelled.... the latest beta looks like XP, but more "blue", Cool, we get 64 bit support, but you can get that from a G5 and tiger today if you want :D
    Longhorn will be like XP was to 2000, a different colour, some minor sidebar features and it'll get updated in the future....new features? innovation? forget it...
     
  10. dmw007 macrumors G4

    dmw007

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    #10
    64 bit version of windows will only result in 64 bit viruses :p
    Why does M$ insist on cutting feature from longhorn instead of adding new, improved ones (ie- security, stability, etc...)???
     
  11. dmw007 macrumors G4

    dmw007

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    #11
    As has been stated, games are more than likely going to be shifting mainly to the consoles. However, dont role out the G5's just yet- you can jam more "firepower" into a giant powermac g5 case than you can into a tiny xbox 360 case.
     
  12. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

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    #12
    the G5 could be an awesome gaming processor, if developers coded games for it right instead of having games ported and we had some more choices for video cards
     
  13. dmw007 macrumors G4

    dmw007

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    #13
    granted (although I think the X800XT is up to par)
     
  14. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

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    #14
    oh it definitely is, but you just dont see or have the variety of cards for Mac as you do with the PC, there is a card to fit just about anyone's needs in the PC market, but we have few choices, makes people knock a mac purchase out at times i would think. Now i think Doom 3 would have been an awesome game for the Mac had id coded it for the mac and the G5 processor in the first place...

    take a company like Blizzard for example, they are perhaps one of the best game developers out there in my opinion. not because of thier games, which do rock (only if the Diablo series could be continued...), but more because they take advantage of both systems and make sure that their games will work on either platform
     
  15. nihilisticmonk thread starter macrumors 6502

    nihilisticmonk

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    #15
    True, you have graphics upgradability same as a PC, but apple just doesn't have the support of the gaming industry at the moment....No one's going to switch FOR the games at the moment :D
    Gamers move with the games, and the game support, as said, if Apple can woo some large japanese console developers to port to the mac, you'll add another "cool" aspect to the product, definately.

    The appeal of the console is the fact it's a sealed unit, PC gamers like me have played PC games due to the fact that the PC is WAY more advanced than the consoles on the market, but hell...the new consoles simply have so much GRUNT, and overwhelming developer support, you'd be insane to keep on top of the PC hardware...
    I've felt the wind change a lot in the last 12 months, simply with the type of game being released. Hell, look at most of the big recent games, as well as games recently announced for PC, and see what other consoles they're announced on.

    Alan Wake = coming out on xbox360
    Area 51 = coming out on Xbox
    Call of Duty 2 = Coming out on Xbox360
    Half life 2 = being ported to xbox
    Hitman = Coming for Xbox
    Pariah = Xbox
    Elder SColls IV = Xbox360
    Ghost recon 3 = Xbox360
    Splinter cell 3 = xbox


    And that's just from 5 minutes looking down a list of the latest games....!
    2-3 Years ago, PC & Console games were complete different markets, developers are getting wise. The money is in the HUGE global market of games consoles, so they're switching development over and actually porting over to the PC.
    The markets are merging, as games development gets so much more expensive, you have to have a huge customer base to recoup your development costs. Spending $60 Million on a xbox game that can shift millions of units worldwide to anyone who's got an xbox is worth the investment....
    Nowadays, aiming that much production money at the PC market, and scaling it down so enough people can play the game is becoming an impossibility.
    All these things are coming together to mark the death call of PC gaming...
     
  16. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

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    #16
    this thread got me thinking.....

    the next generation of consoles, the ones after the Xbox360 and the PS3, i wonder if they will have limited upgradability. this would definitely move gamers away from the PC platform. imagine being able to swap out the Video card for a new one a year and a half after having the console, this way the newer games could take advantage of the leaps made in video processing power..... just an idea that popped into my head, who knows how feesible it really is though
     
  17. nihilisticmonk thread starter macrumors 6502

    nihilisticmonk

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    #17
    You'll see this with the Playstation 3 this generation thanks to the Cell CPU.
    The cell has been designed to work with other cell processors to multi task, even over network links etc. That's been one of the strengths of the CPU.
    Looking at the PS3 specs, it has 4 x ethernet ports on the back. 1 output and 3 x inputs. I guarantee you'll see beowulf style clustering of the PS3 appear.

    Think about it, everyone launches consoles in the next year, and then we're stuck with them until they develop and launch new consoles 3-4 years down the line. Prices fall over the years (xbox is now £99 compaired to its £300 launch price).
    My bet is sony has thought of this...launch the console, after a year, price drops by £100, 2-3 years, they're half the price they were at launch....so what do you do? Make PS3 games that require 2 x PS3's to play!

    I guarantee this is what sony plans to do this generation...hence the 4 x ethernet ports.
     
  18. dmw007 macrumors G4

    dmw007

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    #18
    Sounds very feasible. I had heard rumors that the Xbox would be upgradeable but it is not (although I have heard of people successfully putting new HDs, RAM, and even CPUs in theirs).
     
  19. Foniks Munkee macrumors member

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    #19
    I wouldn't be surprised if one day that was the case and it is an attractive thought as a consumer.

    The only thing I could see that may prevent companies doing this is that game developers would not be keen on it at all. This is because currently they are able to target specific hardware and that is why they are able to get so much performance out of a cpu and gpu combination that would not produce the same quality on a PC/Mac. That is because game developers have to code for the lowest common denominator. Sad but true. Usually you have to set your base specs (based on research of the expected market and userbase for a PC configuration at time of release) and code for that, then allow the user to specify higher detail, but the result is never as good as coding for dedicated hardware.

    Now, what you could end up with is a console that you have to read the specs for again, to make sure you have upgraded far enough to take advantage.
     
  20. RandomDeadHead macrumors 6502

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    #20
    God I can't keep one PS2 running (just replaced my 4th) I can't contemplate having to have two or three of them to play a game. After a year or so you would have enough dead ones to build furniture out of.
     
  21. Foniks Munkee macrumors member

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    #21
    Distributed processor power in consoles would be awesome and that does seem to be what Sony was thinking of when the Cell was announced. But it probably wouldn't be for every game, probably best if games were adaptive, so they could take advantage of the extra processing power if it were there. The only reason I say this, is as a game developer, if you specifically targetted multiple machines, you may only reach a hardcore section of the console crowd - this equals less profit.

    Anyway, imagine a Diablo like dungeon romp, multiplayer action, the more consoles linked, the more monsters on screen at once.. or something (not really the best example, but you get the idea).

    [EDIT] Actually AI would be a good candidate for this...
     
  22. Foniks Munkee macrumors member

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    #22
    Oh yeah, as much as I love PC's - I predict within 10 years apple will have at least 20 percent of the home market (up from their current 2 percent). From there it will only get stronger.

    I just get this feeling that Apple have some kind of momentum right now.

    What I feel will probably happen is that Apple and MS will become equal competitors on the desktop market eventually and Sony and MS will also become equal on the console market. It seems as though the playing fields are leveling out, and there is no real reason to stick with one or the other anymore as used to be the case.
     
  23. nagromme macrumors G5

    nagromme

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    #23
    Consoles arent' for me personally--I need my mouse aiming, my configurable 100-button controller (keyboard), and my free downloadable mods/maps/add-ons/demos.

    But for others they're a great choice, and certainly a trouble-free one.

    On the PowerMac front... I doubt anything new will appear at WWDC, but if not, maybe hang in there for summer and see what comes.
     
  24. nihilisticmonk thread starter macrumors 6502

    nihilisticmonk

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    #24
    Yep, there is that aspect, and it's quite huge with a large percentage of gamers, but I must admit, I'm not of of them.

    I love my KB + Mouse for first person shooters, but we just don't get a lot of quality shooters on the PC anymore. Hey, I'm still playing Call of Duty the most, and that's 2(?) years old now! Doom 3 was pretty good, but over too quickly and hardly vastly innovative, and the more strategic FPS's such as Brothers in Arms are definately aimed more at consoles than the PC market...

    As far as mods/maps/add-ons/demo's I have two words for you.

    "Xbox Live"

    Seriously, I watched the E3 conferance for the Xbox 360, and the new version of live is going to be insane!
    They plan for demos, people can design maps etc and give them away (or even sell them!) over live...!

    Live is awesome, the integration of voice, ease of use etc is taking the market by storm, and the upgrades live is getting with the xbox 360, MS is going to make great ground in the console market....

    As far as your 100 button controller, All I need is WASD, ;)


    Foniks Munkee
    About Apples momentum!
    You're definately right. Apple products are cropping up all over the place, they're getting more press than ever before (some thanks to the ipod) and I can't help but think within the next 2 years they're going to explode with growth...
    look at slashdot.org, apple stories are coming up nearly every day now!
    The IPod has become the "first free hit" to the drug that is apple ownership :p

    I keep seeing stories pop up of people who've bought ipods, then gone onto mini's or powerbooks etc!
     
  25. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

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    #25
    i can agree that FPS need a keyboard and mouse, but can't you use 'em with Xbox and PS2? i thought they had them as accessories, although i have never tried them out.......but i was actually successful in playing Wolfenstien on the PS2 with their controller, took a bit of getting used to the two joysticks though :D
     

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