Gaming on PC vs. consoles

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by McPaul, Nov 25, 2001.

  1. McPaul

    McPaul Screenwriter

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    Subject says it all. what are the major differences? what makes someone buy a $600 console system (XBOX) which can never be upgraded vs. spending that same $600 on a kick butt video card and stuff for your PC? Are the games just that much better on the XBOX, GC, and PS2?? I thought programmers pretty much wrote games to be played on as many platforms as possible so what comes out on the XBOX should be out on computer within time. Is there a limitation of a computer regards to gaming? Is there certain stereotypes about computers that they do everything so would not be as good as a console? I have a good friend who is a computer GURU and he advises me to spend what little money I have on a new upgrade. I'm just not sure which way I should go. Since this is the console forum, what is it about consoles that makes you want to play them versus play the same(?) games on your computer?
     
  2. Calvin Watts III

    Calvin Watts III Supporting Actor

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  3. Morgan Jolley

    Morgan Jolley Lead Actor

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    I would rather spend $300 for a console than more than that for just a graphics card of equal power to the console.

    PCs do a lot more than consoles, but I'm not sure $2,000 for a PC that can play games equal to those on the X-Box (or even better) that can also do regular computer stuff is really worth it over a console. I would rather buy a $1,000 PC for PC stuff and a $300 console for game stuff.

    For gaming, PCs are better in many respects, but also more expensive. The price issue is why I choose consoles.
     
  4. Gary King

    Gary King Second Unit

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    Consoles typically attract different games than computers.

    Computer games typically have much more intricate controls than console games, and typically have a much higher learning curve. Learning all the keyboard shortcuts and abilities in Starcraft can take hours, for example, while your average console game can be picked up in about 30 minutes at most.

    Computers are also inconducive to social gaming, since most computer games are designed for mouse/keyboard interfaces, and very few computers have more than one of each. This means that most multiplayer computer games require an internet connection, while console multiplayer games typically involve 3 friends, a case of beer, and a few pizzas.

    PCs have the advantage for user-created levels and mods, which add tremendous replay value to most games. However, once the Xbox network is online, expect to see some of these things on console games, too.

    And then there is the whole issue of ergonomics -- whether you prefer a keyboard, mouse, office chair, 14-21" monitor and desk or a gamepad, couch/beanbag, and 13-108" TV.

    As for performance -- PCs will soon eclipse the Xbox in graphics, sound, and processing performance (processors are already far more powerful, and now that nForce boards are available, the sound capabilities are equal); however, most PC games released in the next year or so will still be designed for GeForce or lower quality graphics accelerators, and GeForce 3 features will be added in limited capacity. On the other hand, all Xbox games will be designed for the GeForce 3 feature set, which will allow them to look better than their PC counterparts (with the exception of Xbox->PC ports).

    It really comes down to what types of games you want to play. Consoles are better for fighting, platform, shooter, puzzle, party, sports, and racing games, and console RPGs. PCs are better for strategy games, first-person shooters, and PC RPGs.
     
  5. Jeffrey Forner

    Jeffrey Forner Screenwriter

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    The best thing about console gaming is that it's easier. That's not to say that the games themselves don't offer as much of a challenge. It's easier because you don't have to worry about compatibility issues or fear that a game won't run on your system. When you buy a game for a certain console, you know that it will run on it. You don't have to worry that your Xbox/Gamecube/Playstation 2 won't be fast enough to run the game.

    I tried to get into PC gaming last year myself, and although the high resolution graphics did impress me, the constant system crashes I endured finally wore me down. I gave up and went back to my trusty Nintenod console.

    And yes, I do believe that the kinds of games you find on various platforms differs from one system to the next. For instance, you'll be able to find plenty of platformers on consoles, but you won't be able to find them as frequently on the PC. The PC is also a haven for more realistic games like flight sims or real-time strategy combat games. You can find those genres on console systems as well, but I would wager that they won't be as good as their PC counterparts.

    In the end, I always tell people to take a good look at the games available for each system. If you believe that the games on the Xbox will appeal to you more, go with that. If the PC games interest you the most, upgrade that computer.
     
  6. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    My favorite advantages of each-
    Consoles:
    - Big screen TV
    - 700 watt surround sound system
    - Play with friends in person
    - Anyone can plug it in and start playing a game
    PC:
    - Unlimited (almost) expandibility & tweakability
    - Better resolutions, though on a 21" or less monitor
    - Most diverse library of games
    - Play internet multiplayer with a highly skilled player whenever you want
     
  7. Morgan Jolley

    Morgan Jolley Lead Actor

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    One thing I like is that when you buy an X-Box, you can hook it up to your HT. A PC requires a little more than just the HD pack to do anything similar.

    Also, the PS2 has two USB ports so you can use keyboards and mice for games. If more consoles start to use features like this, then the whole issue of which is better (controllers or keyboards and mice) will become moot.
     
  8. David Proud

    David Proud Stunt Coordinator

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    I wrote a letter to a buddy explaining why I am switching from being a pc gamer for the past 10 years to a console gamer. here is the letter.

    "

    Guys with the Xbox's hardware, basically a win2000 kernel striped down optimized for gaming, using the directx functions. Basically a pc made for gaming ,and a dvd rom drive which makes it very hard to copy the games. why would a developer continue to develope for the PC when they are gonna make there money on the xbox.

    Why becuase you can't copy the xbox games. Right now you see games like Max Payne, the new tom clancy one that you and kin just bought, and other pc games porting over to Xbox in January, it will be interesting to compare the quality between the pc version and the xbox version, as I think they put more time into development for consoles versus pc b/c of lack of patches, etc and b/c the money is made in the consoles.

    If your argument is resolution, the xbox features 1920X1080 Hi Definition resolution on my big 32" tv, so thats not an issue. If you are talking about sound, the pc does not have any sound card capable of real time dolby digital encoding where the xbox does, and if we are talking about graphics, I am sure they will be close. However remember the xbox is optimized for gaming, whereis your bloated os you run your games on has crap running in the background all the time and the developer must make the games a notch lower in quality to make it work on as many pcs as possible in order to make the game work on as many pcs as possible "this is done for money", where when you develope for the xbox you know what hardware you have and can take advantage of all those new features of your gefource3.

    After these companies see how much money they make on the xbox port you will see less and less ports made for the pc. As long as people are out there copying pc games why as a developer would you not move your game to the xbox where you can sale 2 copies of a game instead of 1 b/c someone copies for there friend.

    Take for instance a college football PC game, the last game EAsports made for the pc was ncaa 1999 as they realized they would make more money from the game if they ported it over to a console, I never saw a Ncaa football game past that one on the PC.

    Now there will be Pc games that never leave the pc market. I don't think pc gaming is dead, however I would be scared to go out and spend 300$ on a video card when I could buy a console for the same price which is gonna rock it b/c of the developers porting stuff over to it optimized for the 300$ I spent.

    So What are your feelings?

    I invite anyone to come over to the house and see the xbox first hand, the graphics in Halo destroy any pc graphics I have ever seen even at 640X480X32BB in progressive scan. Just read what Anantech.com has to say about Halo's graphics. You have to see them to believe it. And the Nfl fever 2k2 has better graphics than any pc football game I have ever seen. Project Gotham Racing, the same for racing. And thats just the three I own. Wait till Max Payne, The new tom clancy get ported over, etc..
     
  9. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    I do both PC and console gaming. As pointed out, each have their strengths and weaknesses.

    However, I read in one of those videogame magazines, just before the PS2 launch, but when XBox and GCN were known to be coming out (as "the MS console" and "Dolphin"). They had interviews with most of the people making games for both PC and console, and it was the consensus that the shift within these development companies was significantly toward console gaming. So while PC gaming is great now, the article speculated that in 2-3 years the focus of these developers will be heavily skewed towards console games than PC games.

    Food for thought.
     
  10. Butch Smith

    Butch Smith Stunt Coordinator

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    I have alot of the same thoughts as you guys:
    I spend $1000 on a nice PC, with some nice speakers. I go to the store, and pick up the coolest new game. I get it home, only to find out that my graphics card (which cost me $300 6 months ago) is a little behind, and the game doesn't even WORK because it's flaky with my sound card, and I have to wait until they patch the hell out of it for it to work anyway.
    But I can spend $300 on a next generation system that looks just as good as a high-end PC, bring it home and hook it up to my 47" Widescreen HDTV, listen to it with my Home Theater, and know when I open up that game, IT WILL WORK! [​IMG]
    But, as a lover of all kinds of games, I know that I will have to spend money on both, because each system has it's pluses.
    And so is the life of a self admitted techno-phile! :b
     
  11. David Proud

    David Proud Stunt Coordinator

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    I already see the trend and momentum going over to the console side of things. Take a look at the new compusa design. 3 years ago you would have rows and rows of pc games and little or no console stuff, look at how they restructured things and featured demo console stations, and console games.
     
  12. Butch Smith

    Butch Smith Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, for the gaming industry, the money is in consoles. If you make a game for a console, you will sell more than if it were on a PC.

    It's just really hard to tel, because PC gaming companies are dropping like flies. i'm sure it helped Bungie decide to bring Halo out on a console. I would wager that they have sold more games of halo in the past week and a half then they would have in two months of the PC market.
     
  13. McPaul

    McPaul Screenwriter

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    Very interesting and compelling stuff guys...
    I just wish the cost was lower, that's all. The XBOX is $600 here in Canada:
    http://www.futureshop.ca/catalog/pro...7B4E9D65E799EC
    sad isn't it? [​IMG]
    It makes me wonder why I invested so much in a computer at the time. Damn you DELL!! - and it's pretty much un-upgradeable which would necessitate me buying a whole new computer.
    What everyone's mentioning is that I can play it in my living room with my HT on my couch instead of at my desk. I can't agree with this more. And the argument that games will migrate to the consoles... although I can't imagine why this hasn't taken place already... makes total sense given piracy everywhere you look. Perhaps I'll go check out a demo of the XBOX at the stores. I purposely have not looked yet as I know that it would tempt me bigtime. Does anyone think the XBOX will drop in price after christmas like I believe the Playstation2 did when it came out?
    Haven't heard any real solid arguments FOR gaming over the PC .... but this is the gaming forum... and the PC advantages listed thus far don't really turn me on. Thanks guys for all the info! any more opinions?
     
  14. McPaul

    McPaul Screenwriter

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    Thanks for the further info guys. It now looks more obvious to me that consoles are the way to go.
    It almost makes me wonder why I have a computer in the first place, what with work and all. [​IMG]
     
  15. Mike_G

    Mike_G Screenwriter

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    David,
    Your logic is flawed.
    First off, you're right that PC games don't do real-time Dolby Digital, however, the Creative Sound Blaster Live! and Audigy DO have 5.1 EAX, which is the equivalent of Dolby Digital for the PC, except that the EAX audio doesn't suffer from the Dolby Digital compression, and if your amp is like mine and has analog inputs, you can hook your PC's 5.1 audio from the Creative directly into the amp. Therefore, I think that saying a PC doesn't do Dolby Digital in real-time is a very flawed way of looking at things. I'd say they're completely equal.
    1920x1080 on a 32" TV could be the same as 1600x1200 on a 19" monitor. That all depends on preference. I personally don't like playing games on my 52" TV because it's more work my eye has to do to move from one end of the view to the other. I play my console games on a 27" TV between 5-7 feet from the TV.
    The "your bloated os you run your games on has crap running in the background all the time" issue is moot as well. Unless someone has no concept of how computers work, and they try to burn a CD while playing Unreal Tournament, I'd say that Windows does a pretty good job of keeping everything at bay. I run UT on almost a daily basis and NEVER, EVER had a background process ruin my game under Windows ME or XP. I'd like to know what examples you'd like to show everyone about this issue.
    I'm also very dubious about your issue on graphics. Gran Tourismo 3 is FAR better than Project Gotham Racing in terms of graphics.
    Enjoy your console games. However, I think that if you're really a hard-core gamer, you wouldn't feel the need to "switch" anything. Enjoy them all.
    Mike
     
  16. Romier S

    Romier S Producer

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    Well said Mike!
    I absolutley agree. I became a PC nut from the first time I sat down with a little game called Fallout (will they ever release Fallout 3!!!!!). I was floored by the open ended gameplay that the game offerred. This is just my opinion here but I must say it got really hard for me to play a game like Final Fantasy for awhile after that. (Thats not a knock againts the series by the way)
     
  17. Butch Smith

    Butch Smith Stunt Coordinator

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    Question:
    A 5.1 EAX card in a pc will do real time IN GAME 5.1?
    I didn't know that they were doing pC games in 5.1...
    I never picked up a 5.1 card, because I thought that was for people who watch DVDs on their PC. If games on the PC are doing in-game 5.1, I'll definately have to look into that...
    And again, I say that you really have to be a PC *AND* a console gamer to get the best of what gaming has to offer [​IMG]
     
  18. Gary King

    Gary King Second Unit

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    To be fair, I'd much rather have minimal Dolby Digital compression problems than the noise introduced by the DACs on Creative's 5.1 cards.
     
  19. Camp

    Camp Cinematographer

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    Phantasy Star Online aside, PC is the only place you'll find any real online gaming. The PC has always been the innovator. It's cheaper to develop for so it's a great platform for young companies to get known. I think this little company called id is a good example.

    Beyond that, the biggest play differences are social. I play console games because I can get a group of people in front of the big TV. Have people over, play some games -it's a good time.

    My PC gaming is solitary entertainment. It's me and the monitor. Even when I'm playing online with 60 other people I get some sort of enjoyment getting away from "real" people for a while.

    It's nice to have both options.
     
  20. David Proud

    David Proud Stunt Coordinator

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    EAX is hardley real time 5.1 positioning. It sucks in the least on my hometheater system, this is with a sound blaster live, not the new 200$ soundcard.

    and like someone else said all the noise in the pc is awful. I have had a sound blaster live with EAX and it is not nearly as good as sending a stream "digital" to my receiver.

    The problem with the sound blaster is its got onboard dacs inside your computer and you cannot send the signal outside of it to get decoded. All the noise from the computer sent out sound like crap on my good speakers. Also the positioning is not even comparable with the real time dolby encoding done by the xbox. How many pc games do you own that do a good full 100% job of EAX positioning? I have not run into a game that did not do dolby digital on the xbox yet.

    2> is the statement about background processes. Most peoples pcs are bloated, with tons of stuff loaded in the hklm/software/microsoft/currentversion/run key and in the startup group,services, task scheduling items, etc. AS a killer gamer I am sure you have little programs running in the background. But you still have a full windows 2000/9X/Me kernel running, ie one that loads up support full win9x/me/2k memory management/device management/power management "which I am sure powergamers disable", etc.

    one simple thing that effects the processor is the xbox has less IRQs to deal with than the home pc.

    This all contributes to the total speed. v/s running the o/s in a smaller simplier memory footprint. such as a customized small win2k kernel that the xbox sits on.

    I switched b/c I saw the potential of the xbox. The internel nic, will take online play to the levels of the pc/the hdtv suites me for resolution/and the real time dolby digital encoding and letting my good receiver deal with decoding the dobly digital signal ensures the best sound.

    I got sick of paying 200-300$ for a videocard another 100-200$ for a sound card to not even get offboard positional audio and to only get 1 or two games taking advantage of my investment.

    Sick of running games, esp EA games on the pc that had been pushed out to early with little QA and only to discover I had to wait until they realesed a patch for my video card driver in order to run the game I just purchased. I got sick of having to wait to load the game on my pc, sick of crap audio on my home theater system, never found a controller that rumbles and reactes to the games, do they have one by now? And sick of poor quality and selection. M

    The quality of pc games is another issue. That has gone way down hill, the QA testing on it, the idea, "well we can push it out and they can wait for patches to make it run better or run at all" And as an avid sports fan, why cant I get a college football game on pc? Its ust one of the catagories of games I feel are gonna start working there way into hard disk console land.

    I am just a tired and worn out PC gamer not getting to the next level of gaming that I want and that says, hey XBOX is two thumbs up.
     

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