Is PC gaming really dead?
Game is huge in the US, if not the whole world. In 2011 people spent over $16.6 on games in the US alone. As the industry has evolved over the years it has changed rapidly from favoring consoles like the NES, then shifting to PC’s, and then breaking out into multiple competing consoles like the XBox and Wii. As the market has evolved, console manufacturers seem to dominate the field in terms of market awareness: when people think of gaming, I think they picture an XBox 360 or PS3, or maybe even their iPad, not the big black box on their desktop.
The fact that some major titles like Halo 3 and 4 have avoided the PC has also lent credence to the idea that PC gaming is headed out the back door.
But if PC gaming is dead then how can NVidia and AMD justify making spectacular video cards that push the $1000 envelope? Are the two companies just chasing their tails for bragging rights, or is PC gaming really where it’s at?
Yes there have been some missed opportunities for games on the PC like Halo 4, but most major contenders like Bioshock Infinite and Crysis 3 have shown up on the PC and many reviewers find that – depending on the port and hardware of course- the game actually looks better on the PC than on major consoles. That’s because console manufacturers have long waits between releases of hardware, and new games often have to work with older hardware until that new console comes out. PC’s are much more easily upgradeable though, and if you have deep enough pockets you can make your computer push pixels at a rate that would crush most consoles.
Is the PC gamer a niche market? Yeah probably. But it’s in the game developers’ best interests to make their games available for multiple platforms, including the PC, in order to maximise their profits. So no I don’t think PC gaming is dead. It’s definitely a lot more crowded out there, but I think it has a long future ahead.