As another E3 draws to a close, it’s time to reflect on all of the sights, sounds, snippets, and other things beginning with “s”.

Sony has dealt what is perhaps an early fatality to Microsoft in the forthcoming next-gen battle, and we’ve seen games both amazing and mundane. One thing you haven’t seen much about, though, is the PC. Why is this the case?

Sony have their press conference, as do Microsoft and Nintendo, and the bigger publishers such as EA and Ubisoft also hold their own events. Who is carrying the torch for the PC though? Most of the major releases are coming to either one or both of the next-gen consoles and the PC as well. Games such as Titanfall, Watch Dogs, The Witcher 3, Dragon Age III, Mad Max, South Park: The Stick Of Truth, Thief, Battlefield 4, Dark Souls II, Lords Of The Fallen, Lost Planet 3, Mirror’s Edge 2, and The Elder Scrolls Online will all have PC versions, and I would guess that most of these PC releases will be the definitive versions of those titles (higher-resolution graphics, cleaner controls, better performance, etc.), but there is no PC press conference that is beating the drum for the PC (although apparently Nvidia’s press conference was very PC-friendly). This is both the PC’s greatest strength and its greatest weakness.

The PC is an open platform for which you can mix and match hardware to make a system that is completely customised to how you want it, but then there is no one company out there that you can point to who will champion the PC’s cause as a gaming platform. Sony will always back the PlayStation brand no matter what, because they made it; the same for Microsoft and the Xbox and Nintendo with the Wii. The PC though? You can look to companies such as BioWare (historically, at least; less so these days) and Valve as being strong backers of the PC as a platform, but neither one of them make PC hardware (Valve’s possibly upcoming Steam Box may shake this up, but it’s firmly in the prototype stage right now). Perhaps Intel would qualify, as they do manufacture the most important parts of a PC (the CPU and chipset), and just launched their new Haswell line of CPUs. Their growing influence is perhaps something to monitor as time moves on.

It seems clear that, overall, the PC has an image problem.

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Without question the PC is the most powerful gaming platform, as both the PS4 and Xbox One are essentially watered-down PCs that would be considered “mid-range” even by today’s standards. The PC is also the most popular gaming platform, since there are more PCs worldwide than all of the consoles combined. It’s also the platform with the most game sales – PC sales revenue exceeded console sales revenue by over 33% last year. Even considering all of that, many companies see PC gaming as a vestige of a bygone era, there to pay lip service to but not much beyond that.

There are no easy solutions to this problem.

It isn’t all bad news, though. At least most companies are actually making PC versions of their games, even if their primary focus is consoles. Just because we don’t get a shiny press conference or big industry event doesn’t mean that we aren’t catered to. Ironically, it’s a little like PC gaming itself: you have to tinker with things under the hood to make it work exactly the way you want it to. And sure, there are smaller events like PAX and even Rezzed which are much more PC-friendly, and the PC Gaming Alliance still exists, so it isn’t as if there is no PC recognition anywhere.

At the end of the day this is just a symptom of that which I mentioned above: there is no one single PC manufacturer, such as Sony or Microsoft with their respective consoles. Now, do the benefits of that outweigh the deficiencies? This I’m less sure about. What I do know for sure is that, as long as PC game sales remain strong (and they are currently very strong) then publishers will continue to make PC versions of their games. There may be no big unifying force for the PC, but that’s just a curse (and a blessing) that we will have to accept as the price for our involvement in the console game.

Simon Nash
I write about PC games and sometimes it even makes sense. I'm a refined Englishman, but live in Texas with my two young children whom I am training in the ways of the Force.

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9 Comments

  1. PC MASTER RACE!!!!!!!!

  2. You assholes aren’t a fucking master race. You just have more money than brains, shitty manners, and way to much time on your hands. Any idiot can see that PS4 has graphics that are just as good (and when developers became more familiar with the hardware, they will only get better, and at a fraction of the cost. But I understand Pc gamers being to fucking stupid to see the value in that. So how about I just play Killzone Shadowfall, The Division (which is NOT coming to Pc btw) and Planet Side 2. Why’ll you arrogant pricks keep updating your graphics cards. Actually heres a better idea. why don’t you just shove your pc’s up your assess.

    1. Good manners of yours. :)

      1. I typically have excellent manners, but. PC gamers and there master race bullshit, gets under my skin…. Sorry. No one is better than anyone else. Especially when it comes to what gaming device you use. Destroy religion, cure cancer, establish world peace. Than we’ll talk.

        1. Not all PC gamers are arrogant pricks, you know? This whole “PC MASTER RACE” thing is a joke, and if some people thinks otherwise, they are immature and making a fool of themselves, to say the least.

          The Division may come to PC and PlanetSide 2 will probably be a PC port. (Before you “attack” me or something: I know there will be lots of awesome PS4 exclusives and the PS4 is cheaper and more powerful than the average PC)

          1. PlanetSide 2 came out on the PC last year…

          2. Yeah, I know. :)

            Nero-666 in his now deleted comment was “saying” PC gamers won’t get to play Killzone: Shadow Fall, PlanetSide 2 and The Division. :)

          3. Actually I removed it for the lack of actual content in the comment and was too profane for my tastes on OnlySP.

          4. The Division absolutely needs a PC port!

Comments are closed.

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