The PC: A walking shadow of its former self

Written by: Christopher Wood
PC gaming is dead. That is the common belief of most gamers, that piracy and the high cost of entry deposed the one time king of gaming. That the only real innovation is done on the consoles. That PC gaming is just a side thing that most people do while not on Myspace or actively engaging in piracy. Or those who do actually game on their PCs are lonely disassociated misanthropes with no social life out side of the net. But this is far from the truth, the truth is just more depressing. PC gaming has turned into a lowest common denominator type of entertainment. Just look at the top selling games on the PC, The Sims and World of Warcraft (WOW). Those two games and their offshoots are consistently the top selling games and they make money. WOW makes millions in subscriptions each month and The Sims consistently funds the machine that is EA. But this reminds a person of something: TV. Reality TV is popular and people watch it, and so is Lost but on smaller scale. Those people who watch those shows then turn around and buy games that reflect their interests, voyeurism and escapist fantasy. It’s mainstream entertainment and it’s big because most people enjoy it i.e., mainstream. So those major gamer specific hits have marginalized in the flood large consumer hits. But “gamer” titles do come out on the PC, however much they appeal to all gamers. They’re different because the PC is different. It’s different because any developer can develop for the PC instead of the chosen few who are allowed. But the biggest champion of PCs, Microsoft, doesn’t even support it fully. They’re too busy trying to shovel the Xbox 360 to people. And in a strange way it’s brought all of the bad things of PCs to consoles. Which of course is bugs and broken hardware. But it lives on because it courted all of the former big time PC developers to make console games. Gamers want to game and 360 has the hits, which will attract the mainstream players and brings the mainstream games. And the mainstream will force out the niche that are gamer titles in favor of more marketable titles. Which will turn the consoles into what the PC is right now, a walking shadow of its former self.