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Dr Face Doctor's blog

10:35 AM on 03.25.2010

Why consoles are actually GOOD for PC gaming.

Look in almost any forum that has something to do with PC gaming, and every once in a while you'll find that one guy, the guy that asks a question in regard to the Console version of a particular game, and people respond with the same arguments: "Why don't you just get it for PC?" or "Consoles have ruined PC gaming!"

Among the insults pointed directly to the original posters, the "Consoles have ruined PC gaming!" argument seems to be the most educated argument, and the logic here appears to be sound. They say that, since consoles aren't upgrade-able, PC games are being held back. They say that, since consoles are easier to use, PC games are being "consolized". But if you look at these arguments from a different perspective, this can actually be a good thing.

The truth is, Consoles are NOT holding PC games back. If anything, they're helping the tech advance. The beauty of consoles is that they challenge developers to optimize their games to fit the technology. We get sequels that not only look better than the original, but run more efficiently. A great example of this is Crysis 2. The first game had ludicrous hardwaree requirements that only top tier gaming rigs could run, but now that they're developing the sequel with consoles in mind, it allows them to lower the system requirements while at the same time making the game look better. If consoles were upgrade-able, then what reason would developers have to optimize their games? It would be a mindless climb up the technology ladder, rather than the current process of perfecting the art and moving on to the next iteration of consoles.

And PC gamers worrying about their PC games getting consolized, I just have to wonder what exactly the problem is. Since console games run off a disk, about 90% of the game is unchangeable through updates. This includes things like the interface, graphics and the GUI. For the most part, console games have to go out as polished as they can possibly be, and any updates in the future will only fix things like bugs and balance issues. In the "glory" days of PC gaming, there was rarely a game that was really polished at all. Most PC game interfaces were just ugly as hell, and that trend is still evident in some PC games today. Even the gameplay can be frustrating because you have to trog through mini-menus. But with the advent of consoles, new, more convenient things have come up in this front to make everything much smoother, because devs have to work with more limited control hardware on the consoles.

Basically, a lot of the things that most PC gamers hate about consoles are actually the things that are pushing PC gaming forward. Console devs have to make mountains out of molehills, which in a sense, over-trains them for PC development.   read

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