Is PC gaming dead?

What's better: PCs or consoles?

Ok, it's cheaper to buy a console, but is it as fun? Can you still have the same games that you have with the PC? Really, the answer is no. Some games that would have been created for just the PC can be ported easily, but many can't. Although consoles are much more advanced than they used to be, they still can't match the abilities of the PC that are required for certain types of games. You can see this in games like Age of Kings or the upcoming Civilization 3. One of the best things about games like these is the way you can customize them. With the PC you can share your creations with others on the Net and customize the rules to your liking. Also, because PCs have the capacity to upgrade their hardware, they have the capability to do much more in the graphic and sound arena. With the right production, you can blow the socks off a console title. The only thing holding you up for developing this game is, of course, cash and the right talent.

But what about PCs -- can they do everything that consoles do? The answer is yes if you're are a gamer, but no if you own a game company. For gamers, the answer is yes because PCs can use gamepads as easily as they use keyboards. So you can have Madden 2001 or Sonic the Hedgehog for both platforms. But the answer is no for game companies, because you can make those titles on PCs but they probably won't make money. And if they do make money it probably won't justify the production costs.

Of course, the reverse is also true for consoles. With some exceptions, most PC titles that have been ported over to consoles were not successful - complex control systems that are best handled by a keyboard, for example, don't translate well to a gamepad. So clearly we are seeing a split between games. Complex graphic and sound filled titles are being developed for the PCs and Sports and simple titles are being developed for the consoles. Although there is crossover, a clear difference is developing between the platforms.

So what is the answer to the question of which is better? The answer is neither. PCs can easily handle any game thrown at it, but that isn't a guarantee it will sell due to the high cost of owning a PC. While consoles have an easier time selling their product, they tend to be unable or unwilling to tackle the more complex titles.

Continued: What does the future look like?

Table of Contents: Is PC gaming dead?