Space Ramblings

The Consolization of PC Gaming Continues

The decline in PC gaming, quality not sales, can be attributed to the dominance of the console market in the minds of game developers and publishers. The days when games pushed PC hardware limits are gone. The good news is that you can play today’s games with an old card, without noticing any problems. The bad news is that PC games look outdated.

It’s not just Bioware, which keeps making clones of its old games in new settings. Bethesda has dragged out Gamebyro forever. Valve is still tweaking Source. Even Crysis 2 is hobbled by the focus on consoles. And then we have Gabe Newell getting up at an Intel press event and promising that Sandy Bridge will make it easier to deliver a console experience on the PC. And if you thought anyone would know better than to treat that as an asset, it would be Gabe.

“Sandy Bridge is awesome,” Newell said on stage. “We’ve been using it for a couple of months. Sandy Bridge really does give us the great features and performance that we need to develop great customer experiences for gamers. Sandy Bridge cannot only run today’s games, but even the next generation of games. It’s a real game changer for us. This allows for a console like experience on the PC.”

The consolization of games hasn’t just made graphics mediocre, the console’s focus on graphics has dumbed down AI and gameplay. It’s made it harder to make anything other than first person shooters and things that are first person shooters dressed up to look like they’re more than that by throwing in some RPG elements on top. That dooms AI. It dooms innovative game development. It puts game development in the box and keeps it there.

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