The future of PC gaming
The PC is a great gaming platform for many reasons, and its flexibility is perhaps the greatest of all. Naturally, a lot of the PC gaming faithful, whether it be the gamers or developers, may tend to resist any significant change in PC gaming that moulds the experience to be more like that of a console, but if the PC is really as great as some including myself think it is, it shouldn't have any problems adapting to the evolving standards of mainstream gaming set by the
console world while still catering for the enthusiast crowd, it's just with so many stakeholders involved with the PC market, so far no one entity has stepped forward and done what is necessary. Microsoft are the obvious choice to take a shot at attempting some real widespread influencing action, but all involved should play their part - stuff like Nvidia going out of their way to bring
a popular Xbox 360 game in Lost Planet across to the PC is a good example of this, even if the idea of a game being exclusive to a certain 3D chip maker does seem somewhat scary should it ever get to that.
The reality is, the console model for marketing and maintaining a gaming platform is working for developers and gamers alike, while the PC's current muddled model lags behind, only really excelling as much as consoles in a select few game genres. It is likely the PC would remain in tact as we know it today for quite a while without any significant change in philosophy, but I believe the PC can do a better job of expanding its borders without limiting those who already live in them - it has the
technology and capabilities to bump heads with any console, it just needs the audience to reach that next level. And who knows, if something isn't done about making the PC a more attractive platform, maybe it won't remain as it is for as long as we'd think, as the console market is not going to relax with its pursuit in becoming more like PC's - after all, browsing the Internet and using keyboards on consoles is on the horizon. What's next, World of Warcraft 360? It's only a matter of time.
2007 is an exciting year for PC gaming with the usual assortment of new hardware, a new Direct X to explore and an unusual amount of anticipated games already out or on the horizon, but for the long term health of the platform it only makes sense if measures can be taken to attract more people, which in turn will attract more developers and more attention from the mainstream - this is a concept that has been almost vehemently ignored by the decision makers in the PC gaming world for too long. I'm a PC gamer
at heart and I enjoy the unique features gaming on such a versatile platform can bring, but it is getting to the point now where I struggle to convince people I know that buying the latest videocard is even an option compared to the latest console. I love quirky obscure adventure titles and low budget WWII RTS's as much as the next PC gamer, but I think this platform can be more than just a haven for niche genres and 2nd class ports with only the occasional major PC only blockbuster release - whether the industry
itself agrees and does what is necessary to make it happen is yet to be seen. At the very least, it's going to be an interesting next few years for PC gaming beyond just the usual hardware and game releases.