Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Why I won't Buy into the current console generation

Don't get me wrong, I do sometimes contemplate playing games like Uncharted and Halo, these are experiences I am missing out on not currently owning any Consoles. But I can live with that, playing games on PC like, Cities, Skylines, Skyrim with all the amazing Mods, and hell, Eurotruck Simulator. I mean who doesn't want to spend a few hours driving across Europe with 1000s of other players in the EU truck MP Mod?

How could you not think this is cool?

Its the closed platform nature of consoles that bug me, theres limited freedom, with many PC games there are opportunity for players to change things, mod things create entirely new experiences or just fix things that the developers didn't have the time to fix.


Look at Skyrims nexus mod page on bug fix's, 100s of small little tweaks and fixs that console gamers will simply miss out on. Player hosted servers is another big one, there are a few games that allow players to rent there own servers like a few of the Battlefield titles, but even this is closed and locked a little by EA who make you pay them, and not your server host of choice, and completerly rule out you running your own server from home.

100s of steam games made on the source engine make it very easy to quickly set up your own MP server for your friends/ clan to play in. And while individual games on console do allow you to go into private MP sessions (GTA online as an example) many do not, MAG on PS3 for example had many community's/ different clans spawn up and want to organise battles against each other however there was no actual system in place to do that,

The community on MAG did there best with what they had, simply Joining the Matchmaking Q for gamemodes at the same time in the hope of getting pitted against each other, many times it failed and that would result in the large groups backing out of games effecting other players who just wanted to play the game.

Had MAG been released on PC maybe things would have been different, maybe it would not, because actually MAG would probably have been like Planetside 2 which is also pretty closed off, with no mod support on PC. (I will also note, if they announce MAG 2 will prob buy a console for that :P)

If you go over to the /r/pcmasterrace subreddit or  go to any PC based community one of the first things people will tell you is ahh PC has 60 FPS. Well yes you can get games to run at 60FPS if you so wish, you don't have to, Personally I do not, I am quite happy to play a game at 30~ FPS, as many of the games I play do run at as I have a medium spec computer. I will likely upgrade soon, just waiting on a new generation of hardware to come around.

But, its your choice, Open up a graphics options menu, and you will be dumpstruck at all the different options, terminology, what are all these different types of Anti Aliasing, what does it all mean, a quick google, or read of a tweak guide will allow you to get a game running how you want it to run.

Want all the high res textures, but the game run a bit choppier, 30FPS? So be it. Prefer a smooth 60FPS experience, sure you can probably achieve that by turning some settings down. And if you find it increasingly difficult to run the latest games well, then overclock that CPU, stick in some more ram, spend as little or as much money as you want, you get non of that freedom with a console, I don't see why developers cannot at least give a few graphics pre set options so you can choose between high res textures and a smoother framerate in console games.

Its cheaper on PC. It really is. Steam summer sales just gone, 1000s of games discounted by as much as 90% games only 1 year old for 50% off, games are usually £10~ cheaper on PC anyway at launch. You don't have to buy into the latest games, if your PCs not up to scratch or you simply can not afford a new title, theres a huge catalougue of older and free to play games with 1000s of people playing, Team fortress 2 and Fistful of frags to name a few FPSs

FPSs not your thing? How about some Neverwinter, http://www.arcgames.com/en/games/neverwinter free to play and it will run on pretty low end computers.

Backwards compatibility

I laugh at all the hype and aww surrounding Microsofts backwards compatibility announcement, you know what I played last week, Jurassic park Operation Genesis, how did it run? Well apart from having to manually edit a config file to get it to run @ 1920*1080 it ran perfectly. It was also released on PS2 and Xbox, can I play it on either of the 2 newer consoles (PS4, XB1) NO! Of course I can't, with a PC you can pretty much play anything you ever want from any year bar a few compatibility issues that sometimes crop up (which are often fixed with community patches,)

Loads of fun to be had in older titles.


Fancy some old school rayman without having to go and source an older console, Sure just head over to GOG, 1000s of old games, all guaranteed to work on your computer, if they don't, well you get your money back, thats the way the cool people over at gog operate,

Could this be the last console cycle.

I strongly believe this will be the last traditional console cycle, Streaming is coming, I have said this ever since Onlive came around, Remember onlive? Well yer there not around anymore, maybe they where too early, but acquired by Sony who are launching there own streaming service PS Now.

Boasting an expanding lineup of compatible devices starting with PlayStation®4, PlayStation®3, PlayStation®Vita, PlayStation®TV, select Sony TVs, select Sony Blu-ray Players, and select Samsung Smart TVs, 

There is no Reason at all Sony could not just release a PC client for me to Stream PS3 and 4 titles too, other than it would lead to a drop in hardware sales for Sony, that has got to be the only reason, they are worried that being able to play games without a Sony device would hurt hardware sales, but personally I am not going to buy some Sony hardware anyway. I just wanna play the games and I would subscribe or rent games with this service on PC, so come on Sony, give us access!

The service is still in testing and not available yet in Europe, but I strongly believe services like this will be massive in the future, would be cool to see someone like Valve jump in with something similar, because moving the processing away from your home computer to server farms, just makes sense, cloud computing FTW! Bring it on.