The Death of PC Gaming

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Have I got a deal for you!

DirectX 10 is coming, and to enjoy the fruits of Microsoft’s pixel-bullying labors, you’ll need a few minor hardware upgrades.

You need to throw out that entry-level, mid-grade, or pinnacle video card you’re currently using and buy one that requires probably four times as much power and outputs who knows how much more heat. That’s going to necessitate some augmented cooling in your case and possibly your computer room, so be prepared to either play with your fan setup if you have a good case, or buy a new case if you don’t.

I did mention the power requirements, right? Yeah… you’re going to need a new power supply for this monster video card as well. That crusty old obsolete 500 watt dinosaur you bought two whole months ago has got to go as well.

So… about that DirectX 10 part: You’re going to need to upgrade to Vista as well if you ever want to use DX10, because Microsoft doesn’t plan on allowing DX10 upgrades for any of their other operating systems. Since you’re upgrading to Vista, you’re probably going to need more memory in your box, since all indications point to Vista using ~750 MB of physical memory, just to stand there and do nothing other than presenting a desktop. Are you excited yet? I sure am!

Now wait wait, wait… I want to make sure of something here. Are you what people might refer to as a ‘PC enthusiast’ or a ‘dirty overclocker’? Do you build your own machines? Tsk tsk tsk… That could be a problem.

Microsoft also plans on limiting Vista activations to a mere two ‘machines’, where ‘machine’ is defined as ‘significant hardware change.’ You know, the sort of change experienced when you, say, upgrade your motherboard and processor. If you plan on doing that, you may run into problems. This isn’t set in stone, mind you, but it’s possible that this ‘two machine limit’ is exactly that, a hard two machine limit.

The days of calling Microsoft and explaining that the old system you last activated your key on doesn’t exist any more just might be over. Personally I can’t see this happening, but that’s more of a dumbfounded “I can’t believe they’d do this” reaction than any hard logical-thought-process-arrived-at knowledge.

So where were we… oh yes! To enjoy the new eye-candy offered by Microsoft’s proprietary third API, you’ll need to buy completely new hardware (normal) with completely ludicrous power and thermal requirements (crazy), a completely new operating system (crazy), more memory (mixed reaction), and you may be stuck with the hardware you get for a long time, unless you plan on buying another license for that new OS (completely unacceptable, if true.)

So seriously, what the hell happened here? How did we let this happen?

I really lament the decline of the game industry’s support for OpenGL. The fact is – if more game developers supported OpenGL in their products, this sort of monopoly on your gaming rig wouldn’t exist. A game written in C++ and supporting OpenGL could be compiled to run on a variety of platforms – and in the PC market, variety drives prices down and freedoms up.

And as far as DX10 and DX10 cards… when isn’t too much too much? I mean sure, I love games getting progressively prettier and prettier, but every single one of us had the option of buying some insane SGI workstation that people like Industrial Light and Magic used 5 or 10 years ago to add realistic-looking special effects to movies.

We didn’t though, because that was too much cost for a living room solution. So what changed since then to make a $250 OS (guess), a $300 video card (guess), a $200 memory upgrade, and an undefined serious impact on monthly electric bills OK?

Is anyone else here disgusted, or is it just me?

If you can’t deliver the technology using processes that yield hardware reasonable for home use, don’t. And for God’s sake don’t make it mandatory.

If this whole situation is as bad as it seems to be, it spells the death of PC gaming for me. I’m sure the Dells and HPs of the world will be selling Vista DX10 machines so that Joe Sixpack can buy Yukon Hunting Simulation VII and Microsoft Eighteen Wheeler 2007, but I’m not going to.

I’m also not going to be buying Half Life 3 or Unreal Tournament 2009 or SimCity 5, etc… because I’m not going to buy a video card that requires fuel rods or an operating system that requires more hardware just to sit there and drool prettiness compared to the games I play today.

Peter Ramins aka InThrees @ OCForums

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Discussion
  1. Well, monopolies in general may not be illegal, but there are certain characteristics about them which may be. Also, monopolies don't necessarily have to be illegal for my opinion to change. You are right though, I did make a incorrect assumption based upon my limited knowledge of the law.

    Another thing I probably said incorrectly was that standards should be imposed upon Microsoft. Once they are imposed they are not really standards but regulations.

    The question in my mind is what is best for the consumer. It's my opinion that what is happening is worse for the consumer. I can't prove that it is worse because I can't show precisely what the outcome would be had things been different.

    So if Microsoft should be regulated, I would propose that they be required to sell different components of their system separate, and according to standards that would allow them to work in other operating systems like OS X, BSD, & Linux. This would bring competition to the market and make PC software development more like hardware development.

    On the other hand, I really do want a hands off attitude. I don't like the idea of regulating a business like that, but nobody out there has the guts to create standards like that in a commercial operating system market that would allow for software components to exist with PC-component characteristics. It would be really cool if a bunch of companies would form an alliance and do something similar to this. I think one of the main reasons this doesn't happen is because most of the application market that is dominated by Microsoft, could not be tapped because the applications will only run on the Microsoft operating system. One of MS favorite things to do is to solve as many needs as it possibly can in a single product.

    Microsoft would much rather you bought Microhard hardware than PC hardware. That's how this is relevant to PC gaming, because the way that software components are being developed for PC-hardware by Microsoft, does not really require PC hardware.
    You might want to go read the Sherman Anti-Trust Act again.. monopolies are NOT illegal. They exist in many industries. But this is a threadjack.. so back to topic at hand. Games are still going to be on the PC for many years to come.
    I think that everybody, even you, has the right to express their opinion. This goes for people who do not want to use Vista as well. I already have vista but it is on a system that I use for school, and not on my main rig in signature.

    Okay, now I am going to invent a NEW company that nobody has ever heard of before; however, as soon as you hear it, you should know what I'm talking about. This company is called Microhard, and it is a computer hardware company that makes 95% of all the commercial computer hardware in existence. Microhard makes huge major hardware releases once every 5 years.

    The big problem, where things went wrong was when people invested all of their money into microhard, instead of investing the money in to many of different competing companies, that may also often work together in order to achieve their objectives. There really is no reason why software components cannot be designed similar to the method that the PC is designed. The PC has standards which are typically drawn up by established organizations. These standards are very important and allow for many different companies to compete with each other and also work together to achieve the human need for computer systems in the home and at the work place. The problem is that Microsoft is a monopoly. Last time I checked those were illegal, for obvious reasons. There should be established organizations who can draw up operating system components and software standards, so that the concepts that make PC compatibility so great can extend into the world of software. Microsoft would never take a step in this direction, but people with money who invest can.

    why aren't there standards for operating system components like PC components? because Microsoft is a monopoly.

    A. True

    B. False

    I would even go so far as to say that Microsoft be required by law to release many of its applications that are not actually operating system components to run natively on other operating systems that have a commercially driven development and a certain percentage of market share. They would still get to sell them for money, and if their operating system was better, people would buy that too. Microsoft argues that it is better for the consumer that they are able to operate in a monopolistic fashion, but I am not really convinced. Is commercially driven computer software really the exception to the rule that monopolies are bad???
    I would tend to agree with the article except for one caveat. New hardware. Consoles hardware dev are on a 3-5yr cycle. PC's hardware dev are on a 1yr cycle. And the drive to upgrade has always been the 'killer apps'. Doom started it all with 3d. And we've been upping the ante ever since with alot of spillage over to consoles on the upgrade trail. Sure, the initial entry prices have been steep, but those prices always get pushed downward within the year of release. Console gamers don't have the expectations of high-end graphics and eye candies, PC gamers demand it.

    To see if PC gaming is really dying you need to look at the direction of the gaming designs. Consoles fulfill mostly single player interactivity. With some dabbling in multiplayer. But PC's are where the really popular games (namely MMO's) are developed. I think what the author states regarding the death of PC gaming is really a transition of gaming on PC from single-player centric designs to multiplayer centric designs. Not a lot of games can make that transition. MMO's have been gradually pushing development funds toward the multiplayer designs since they generate consistent $$, residuals and secondary merchandising opportunities (WoW trading card games).

    Until consoles can reach the capability to handle MMO level interactivity, PC will still remain the staple gaming machine.
    I'm wondering if microsoft giving PC gaming the shaft with Vista and DX10 is going to move more developers toward OpenGL and maybe even Linux.
    A lot of you whiners make me sick. If you don't want to use Vista then just don't buy it and STFU. Microsoft is pushing innovation and of course you are going to need hardware with more processing power. What did you expect? It's not like there is some magic programming they can do to and get gorgeous graphics.

    Vista's main reasons to switch are security, stability and looks. It has never promised improved performance in games so stop whining like they did not follow through with what they promised. Sometimes I feel like this forum is made up of teenage whiners that are just mad because they won't be able to download from their stupid torrents anymore, will have to upgrade their old ass amd 64 systems that are "so powerful" because they are 64bit, and instead of getting a job and buying the hardware to use their machine how they want they insist on whining to an online community.

    If you don't want to upgrade your pc anymore just get an Xbox and save the world from your whining voices. Or go buy a Mac and see how bad Vista is.


    It amazes me that this the your first and only post in 6 months and you come in here telling us to STFU, calling us teenage whiners, etc. You need to change your attitude and posting style. How about providing some useful contributions to the forum next time?
    A lot of you whiners make me sick. If you don't want to use Vista then just don't buy it and STFU. Microsoft is pushing innovation and of course you are going to need hardware with more processing power. What did you expect? It's not like there is some magic programming they can do to and get gorgeous graphics.

    Vista's main reasons to switch are security, stability and looks. It has never promised improved performance in games so stop whining like they did not follow through with what they promised. Sometimes I feel like this forum is made up of teenage whiners that are just mad because they won't be able to download from their stupid torrents anymore, will have to upgrade their old ass amd 64 systems that are "so powerful" because they are 64bit, and instead of getting a job and buying the hardware to use their machine how they want they insist on whining to an online community.

    If you don't want to upgrade your pc anymore just get an Xbox and save the world from your whining voices. Or go buy a Mac and see how bad Vista is.
    Welcome to the forums :welcome:

    Your augmentative style is way over the top and unnecessary here at OCForums. Please show some respect for other people's opinion. I'm not going to dicker with you on this point. You can strongly disagree with other posters and still keep it civil and respectful while you do it.

    Thanx in advance
    A lot of you whiners make me sick. If you don't want to use Vista then just don't buy it and STFU. Microsoft is pushing innovation and of course you are going to need hardware with more processing power. What did you expect? It's not like there is some magic programming they can do to and get gorgeous graphics.

    Vista's main reasons to switch are security, stability and looks. It has never promised improved performance in games so stop whining like they did not follow through with what they promised. Sometimes I feel like this forum is made up of teenage whiners that are just mad because they won't be able to download from their stupid torrents anymore, will have to upgrade their old ass amd 64 systems that are "so powerful" because they are 64bit, and instead of getting a job and buying the hardware to use their machine how they want they insist on whining to an online community.

    If you don't want to upgrade your pc anymore just get an Xbox and save the world from your whining voices. Or go buy a Mac and see how bad Vista is.
    I want to thank everyone for their feedback.

    There was some guy here bad mouthing everyone who "sided with the article", just want to say thats not appropriate and its ignorant - good luck in life.

    I'm not going to defend my feelings because there are a million different opinions out there and each of us perceive the situation differently (Rishomon is a good example for those who know what I'm talking about) and some of us don't have the experience and don't see the whole picture in order to analyze the situation - I might be wrong with my analysis and I might be not.

    Thanks everyone
    Perhaps it could very well be a turning point; however, I see absolutely no reason why hardware and software used on consoles could not be implemented on PCs.

    I honestly do not believe that you can stop the PC from rearing its head into any market because of its versatility. Economically, workstations and powerful PC's may become more expensive, but there will always be a budget minded PC as long as a market for one exists.

    Personally I prefer using a PC for playing racing simulations because they are typically more serious and realistic. Also the input support for force feedback steering wheels are much better. I can be playing a game and also have other applications on another monitor, see if i get a message or an email simultaniously. Originally, Windows was developed so that you could have multiple applications running on the same system, do consoles have this kind of capability (or will they anytime soon?).
    The article also describes how I feel. In ten to 15 years, I don't think I will be building and customizing my desktop computer to game on it anymore. Assuming I have a desktop computer anymore. The sheer fact that MS owns XBox and Vista is enough to convince me that I will be able to look back to this as the turning point against PC Gaming.
    Just to point out I created a thread awhile back called, Vista- microsofts secret weapon to destroy the PC. BAsically was saying exactly what the article is saying, in not so many words.

    I don't think PC gaming will really die because the speed at which new hardware technologies are developed and are quickly made economical. However, I don't think microsoft is doing PC gaming any favors with vista, giving the PC an incredible cost overhead due to hardware and software updates, and also lacking in performance and efficiency, because they would rather that there was a bigger console market. The console is typically designed soley to play games, so being much more efficient, it will be able to destroy the PC right??? Honestly, theres no reason why the technologies that are in the Xbox360 cannot be brought to a PC. As far as the operating system is concerned, I think that a operating system that is soley geared towards gaming needs to be created.
    I really dont think that Vista will kill PC. How did the discussion went to "Vista will kill PC gaming"?

    Like I mentioned previoiusly, it's the upgarding of the PC hardware that turns me off from PC gaming. I just find it "interesting" to hear people saying $600 for a PS3 is overpriced, and it is absolutely ok to spend $600 on a single CPU, or the latest vid card just to run the games at the highest settings.
    i think my pc is great, i will never EVER buy a ps3. i hate the thing, i might get the 360 to play halo3.

    but ill defiantly get the wii.

    and im defiantly getting vista. why? because its a lot better to play computer than an xbox. i can have 20 games installed on my computer, i can alt-tab do anything i want, go back into the game, close out one game, start another game without touching the cd-drives (i <3 daemon tools)

    and so what if its a lot more expensive. the customization totally makes up for it.

    and you can't say that xbox and ps3 don't have their problems running games, there are plenty of games that start to lag up. but you can't do anything about it. but with computer. its pretty darn easy. drop the res a notch, or push your overclock.

    im a pc gamer for life. and ill be getting vista on the day it releases pretty much.
    Man, you completely missed the point here. Uno cards aren't pixel shaded! Uno can't possibly be a fun enjoyable game since everyone knows pixelshaders equals gameplay value.


    Pixel what? :santa:

    no seroiusly. the last i heard of grafix was that SM 2.0 was better. and DX10 was coming out soon. the rest is apathy, cheeze puffs and beer untill i decided that the money was better spent on things that diddnt require me to sit in front of a computer, and click my way to happiness through virtual bullets, or man-nipple-ate a joystick to stay in the clouds. PC- gaming as things are, arent in my price range any longer, besides a few that are "old" ...
    Man, you completely missed the point here. Uno cards aren't pixel shaded! Uno can't possibly be a fun enjoyable game since everyone knows pixelshaders equals gameplay value.
    Ironically, it might be a console that saves PC gaming. That linux port for PS3 could tempt game development for that, and for cross development to linux on the PC.

    As for the OS, yes, I am finally ready to upgrade, I've been pushing this MS OS so hard lately, that I'm getting really low uptimes between freezups and reboots, got it tweaked all to hell, relatively fresh install too, but it's not cutting it any more, this time last year I could have it up for a month, but with what I've been doing lately, it's just overstressing it, I'm hurting for game support too. I'll finally accept it's out of date, and I need to move on, farewell windows 98SE :(

    Road Warrior


    wow, props to the man still gaming on 98SE!

    you took it to the wall! if only all of us do it on XP...i own zero consoles. but i refuse to pay more than 10 or 20 for a PC game. ive played the far cry demo for YEARS on various different rigs.

    it works out well, because i can do C&C generals and a few other things on my integrated rig. i could allmost do the $30 games like MSFS9. really, i think "gaming rigs" arent worth the money. i mean a 60 dollar game better be worth it - along with your 3K gaming rig.

    think of other games though - like "uno"...that only gets stale when the cards wear out. - and really - how much would you ever spend for a card game?

    an hours wages? for years of fun!
    Ironically, it might be a console that saves PC gaming. That linux port for PS3 could tempt game development for that, and for cross development to linux on the PC.

    As for the OS, yes, I am finally ready to upgrade, I've been pushing this MS OS so hard lately, that I'm getting really low uptimes between freezups and reboots, got it tweaked all to hell, relatively fresh install too, but it's not cutting it any more, this time last year I could have it up for a month, but with what I've been doing lately, it's just overstressing it, I'm hurting for game support too. I'll finally accept it's out of date, and I need to move on, farewell windows 98SE :(

    Road Warrior