Activision, AMD, Dell, Intel, Microsoft, and Nvidia cofound nonprofit dedicated to "advancing the PC as a worldwide gaming platform."
SAN FRANCISCO--With consoles now increasingly intruding on such hallowed ground as the real-time strategy genre, many PC gamers have adopted something of a siege mentality. This defensive attitude is also apparently afflicting a consortium of hardware manufacturers and software publishers, who today announced the formation of the PC Gaming Alliance.
The first body ever formed solely to promote the PC gaming industry, the PCGA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to "driving coordinated marketing and promotion of PC gaming...and creating forums for member companies to cooperate on solutions to challenges facing the PC gaming industry, such as hardware requirements and anti-piracy."
Said member companies include PC hardware manufacturers Acer Inc./Gateway Inc., Dell/Alienware, Intel Corp, and AMD. AMD also owns ATI, a leading manufacturer of PC graphics cards, whose chief rival, Nvidia, is also on the PCGA board along with PC game peripheral Razer USA. Rounding out the list are game developer Epic Games and the biggest third-party publisher on the planet, Activision.
Ironically, the maker of one of the consoles being blamed for cutting into the PC's market share is also on the PCGA's board. After spending billions on launching and promoting the Xbox 360, Microsoft has joined the board as part of its reinvigorated PC gaming initiative, Games for Windows.
The formation of the PCGA is drawing praise from analysts covering the PC gaming market, which took in $911 million at US retailers last year--a decline of 6 percent. "This collaboration will provide developers and publishers with a champion for consistent demographics, hardware adoption, and revenue measurement and reporting," DFC Intelligence David Cole said in a statement. "An authoritative source of information on the PC as a gaming platform will serve as an invaluable catalyst for growing the market and improving the consumers' PC gaming experience."
The announcement of the PCGA's formation was timed to coincide with the ongoing Game Developers Conference, where many of its member companies are touting their wares. The nonprofit also launched its official Web site, www.pcgamingalliance.org.
Here we have a company that went from a garage to a monopolistic international monster thanks to their Windows OS, with PC gaming a noteworthy segment of their OS sales. So noteworthy in fact that Microsoft realised no matter how buggy or bloated their operating systems becomes, PC gaming will always stop a good portion of people from migrating to Linux or Mac. But what does this company then go and do? "Hey lets make a console based on the same principles of PC gaming, then lets pay off a load of developers to step out of the PC market and develop for this console instead." *A couple of years and a console generation later* "Wha... WTF is going on? Where did all the PC game developers go? Why is everyone preferring console now? WTF! What happened to our Vista sales! This is the gamer OS, where did all the gamers go?" And you know what? They **** deserved it! What idiot makes a venture into a new market that will damage their main source of income? Windows made Microsoft, what did they think would happen when they abandoned the PC audience and put all their gaming orientated attention into making Xbox successful? Playstation, Sega and Nintendo didn't severally impact PC gaming because their games targeted a different audience. But the Xbox is basically a console PC, it ported allot of PC games over to it and eventually stole many long running PC franchises. Microsoft did this to themselves, PC gaming needed a representative to stand up for it and they chose Xbox, it is just a shame PC users have to suffer as a result of their incompetence.
PC was traditionally the 'system' where you bought games you play forever on (like RTS's and MMO's), consoles you pick up new and short games on the quick. Unfortunately for PC, more and more of the gaming market wants cheap, easily finished games. Even the new breeds of MMO's and RTS's are faster than their predecessors, not just in gameplay terms, but in how long the average player sticks with it. WoW, which boasts a huge player base, has a suprisingly high degree of churn, few of the current players were with it at it's original release. The PC is the hardest 'system' to keep up with that, because of a number of things like installations and upgrades. It's just easier for consoles to placate the average gamers need for the ability to swap through a large library of diverse games quickly. PC gaming needs to start making steps towards accessability, and the first huge step they can (and are) taking is digital distribution, it's a huge boon for the industry, allows a much wider library of games to be produced and offered, and is both simple and appeals to casual shoppers who make impulse buys. Which is a good sign for Indie developers, and a move in the market I whole heartedly approve of.
I'm glad to see the PC market finally coming together to help support the platform. Consoles may hold the larger shares, but the PC is still a more than viable gaming platform. Right now the biggest problem (apart from piracy) is the misinterpretation of the price of PC gaming. the problem is that big companies like Dell and Alienware (who are, ironically, part of the alliance) way over charge. for $700 I was able to build a good gaming PC that can do Crysis on high and will probably last me at least 10 years, more if I do some periodic upgrades. the problem is, manufacturers like Dell and Alienware way over charge for similar products. When I went onto Dell.com and designed an identical computer to the one I build, it cost nearly $2000! I know the companies have to charge a bit more to make a profit and for building them, but I think $1300 is a bit high for just building a computer. come on Dell and Alienware! you depend on PC gaming! Dell gets huge profits from it, and that's all Alienware gets profits from! you're going to kill your own industry if you keep this up, lower your prices, be a bit more practical, PC gaming is still strong and with a bit of thought it could easily compete with the consoles. PC gaming is still strong!
About damn time. PC deserves to be a major competitor in the "gaming war" and believe me with the help of this board it could be a real powerhouse.
Heh, I find it pretty damned ironic how Dell/Alienware/Microsoft/Gateway...etc are part of this "alliance." Those guys have done more to hurt PC gaming than anyone. Dell and alienware do it by charging ridiculous prices for a "gaming pc," thus putting the idea into many a would-be PC gamer that "it's just too expensive." Or better yet, how they bundle the absolute trashiest GPUs with their systems so that even their "top of the line" systems have god awful 3d/gaming capabilities. And of course, the irony of Microsoft being there was already addressed in the article. They have done more than anything to divert potential PC gamers away from the platform with the Xbox, which is just full of genres that have historically been strongest on the PC (and still are for the most part).
Yay, PC gaming FTW! Been a PC gamer since my older brother first introduced me to Commodore 64... *sigh*, good memories. Seriously, the best way to make PC gaming market bigger is to stop game developers from being such stupid graphics whores. "So like there's this new game, it has HDR 12.0, 32x Anti-Alias and texture resolution of 65536x65536!!!" Nobody cares! It's about the gameplay, not about graphics FFS! I upgrade my PC only when my current PC doesn't meet the minimum requirements of a game I wish to play, or it has below 30 fps performance on the minimum settings. I don't know why some people think that you should always have a PC that can run any game with all maxed out. And because I can keep my old monitor (still using a CRT monitor, since they have superior black and I play a lot of dark games), sound card, hdd, mouse and keyboard, it costs (only) 800-1200 ? every 3-4 years. It could cost a lot less, but my principle is that if I upgrade, I get the best hardware I can. PC gaming is expensive, sure, but entertainment *IS* expensive. Just because consoles are cheaper doesn't make them better! For example; You could listen to music with 5? earbuds. Or you could listen to music with 300? headphones and 1000? amp. If you have the money, the choice is obvious. Console gamers can whine all they want if they don't have the money, but if they start saying that "consoles are better because they are cheaper", they are just ignorant. And we need to have more genres on the PC again! I don't know what the hell happened, since the PC used to be THE platform for innovative games, especially in the 90's (Thief, System Shock, Deus Ex, Civilization, X-Com, Elder Scrolls 1 & 2... the list goes on.) Currently we have only dozens of FPS-clones, crappy "your money and your life, please" MMORPGs (bring back the good old single player RPGS!!!), and hundreds of casual games. One good thing is that there seems to be a lot of innovative indie games released and being developed lately, and games like Penumbra: Overture/Black Plague seem to finally bring back the long-dead and SO much missed puzzle-adventure genre. Damn how I miss games like Beneath A Steel Sky and Monkey Island! Older games used to have atmosphere and (right amount of) humor... Modern games (especially shooters) take themselves oh-so-seriously, they try to be somekind of epic movie... Which only ruins the gameplay & atmosphere, and the game becomes nothing else than running from cutscene to cutscene. Anyway, the main point is that AMD (& ATI), Intel and Nvidia MUST find a way to lower the prices of hardware, Microsoft has to keep supporting their older OS's, and the game developers need to stop making games with über-graphics and unbelievably high system requirements. Game developers should make a game so that it can at least *RUN* on an old PC! As someone mentioned, Oldblivion is a good example of what the game should have ALREADY had. A very-low quality settings so that people who don't have the money to get all the newest hardware can at least enjoy the game! Of course it doesn't look nearly as good as it could, but IT IS STILL THE SAME GAME WITH SAME CONTENT. If a game depends on shiny graphics then it's not probably a very good game. (wow, pretty long comment huh?)
Well the pc is the foundation which creates all these graphics and **** in my opinion, FPS's, RPG's, MMO's, RTS's are all best on pc, some of the console versions for the are pretty rubbish, escpecially BFME 2 for them. Which looks a rip off of the pc version. To put it straight, pc's are more powerful (well the average pc is "probably" more powerful than an xbox360). Games are cheaper for the pc, so why people bother the piracy aspect I dont know :S.. And I think this PCGA is a good idea, because Xbox360, PS3 and Wii are all trying to get out there to be the established "best", they are forgetting about pc's cause they have always been here, and the developers want to get as much games as they can into the new market for more money. But the PC is still held at high prestige, and some people may think it is for the home of "serious" gamers. So I can see where all these people are coming from, wanting to make a group that will not bring back to life as such, but just give the pc a little boost, cause most developers are concerned with the new market.
After reading through the majority of the posts here, I realized that there were a number of people who commented on the so-called "non-profit" nature of the PCGA. As a result, this inspired me to a do a bit more research on the subject, and wrote a fairly critical article about the PCGA, which can be found at my blog here: The PCGA is a scam! I didn't want to paste the whole article in here because it's a bit long for a post and I didn't want to upset any Gamespot representatives.
@satan112: A 'merged' hardware basis would not necessarily mean a monopoly. Different manufacturers could cater to different audiences, just like HP builds mainly office PCs whilst former Alienware builds gaming rigs, or like Apple offers a sleek, simple system/UI to people unwilling to spend hours with system configuration (not that I like them for that, to me it's all about choice)... @ratix2 I have been playing shooters since don't know when, so saying that I simply don't know 'em won't do. FYI Goldeneye 007 (August 1997) was one of the first (if not the first) shooter to feature a storyline, mission-based objectives that even changed while playing, interactive environments and 'talking' NPCs (text-based due to system limitations). Half-Life, released November 1998 sure is a great game, and it did much to the genre, but denying console achievements just shows how ignorant PC gamers can be. Half-Life 2, by the way, would be my favourite 'current-gen' game... The price for a high-end PC able to run Crysis sure ain't $1800. But note that I never said that in the first place. I just noted that it might be very easy, especially for inexperienced, 'casual' gamers, to blow 1800 bucks on a crappy system, a mistake one cannot make with consoles due to their hardware structure. And now to your main point, FarCry/Crysis: I built a custom rig (cost me around $1200 back then) to be able to play FarCry and bought the game on release. It ran A+ on highest/ultra settings, and it has, even to today's standards, great graphics and effects. BUT: The story is on the same level as Wolfenstein 3D or other B-movie-style games, and true open, sandbox-like gameplay doesn't require you to blow up three radio towers in the order you approached them - you know the level, starting, I believe, in a boat, high rock islands with bridges between them, shooting down Crow in the end. By the way, true sandbox games also don't kill you by means of an indestructible helicopter with an ace shot in it when you approach terrain you shouldn't reach. Crysis sure topped FarCry by any means, but as some reviewers put it, it's more of a FarCry 1.5 than anything else. Can you decide not to fight your 'enemies'? Can you beat the game without killing anyone? Can you finish a level without finishing all objectives given beforehand? Can you leave the designated area? Very open, huh. Crysis offers you the choice which way to take to reach a goal, but compared to GTA3 onwards, this is nothing to boast about. About MGS3: It sure isn't the greatest game of all time, but given the 'jungle' setting, it gave way more possibilities to hide, camouflage, distract enemies or lay traps. And that's what makes it enjoyable even today - it's surely more 'sandbox' than FarCry ever has been.
Love the name, and people who don't now anything about PC gaming should shut it(example: morgonstjarnan)
I totally agree with you Pyroresurrect, I just wanted to mention that there is only a minority of PC Gamers who are ready to pay sth like $6000 for their High-end PCs. (only the Way above stoned gamers :D ).not everyone has the power and the financial capabilities to afford such thing so they try to stick to their pockets and yet still support the PC GAMING industry. I've always played PC games and never wanted to switch to a console and I will continue this rapidly growing quest :D
I have to agree with the pirating issue of pc games, this MUST STOP if the pc is to proceed in gross and expansion. Also not saying that the hardware isn't priced where I believe it should be, but you could get a PS3 or Xbox 360 for the cost of just a GPU or CPU. Not everbody builds there own pc (like us here) they would much rather buy one from Dell or HP, but there gaming pc's are $600+ over priced and people do not want to spend $1500 just to play some pc games. Building your own is cheap (way cheaper) however not everyone knows how to do it. I believe another way for pc platform to grow as far as gaming is concerned, Dell and other manufactures of pc's need to find a way of lowering prices without losing to much profit that they can't keep shop open.
this is a good thing, long live PC gaming. i c an understand why some people play consoles, e.g. less technical knowledge required, less initial outlay, more pick-up-an-play games, but ive really been put off them this gen. i own a 360 and a wii, had them 14 months and 8 months respectively, and they are both dead. 360 has dreaded RROD and the wii has terrible artifacting thanks to wiiconnect 24 overheating the gpu. for £500 of outlay (on hardware alone, double that for games as well) that doesnt seem too great to me. i can get them fixed but its just hassle which i could do without my pc however is ultra reliable, takes a bit more effort to maintain/upgrade but i enjoy that to be honest. and the games are cheaper and much deeper too. new titles are 20-30 quid and older titles you can get in game 2 for 25 so 12.50 each. and when i say older i mean 2006-2007 like i picked up silent hunter 4 (great) and battle for middle earth 2 (much better than on 360) the other day. i still like my DS but ive had enough of "next gen consoles" until they make them properly instead of cheaply for a quick buck
nate1222: I agree with you on the cross-platform scrappage. Nevertheless, I don't really want to pay extra for it (like the MS Live Xbox-PC thing, which I think is crippled by theXbox's limitations). I've been a longtime PC gamer and if they tell me they're gonna charge me for something I've been doing for no extra cost all these years I'll keep laughing in their faces. gnutux: You sound like a console teen. There's no "hatred," PC gamers just want to make sure our platform of choice doesn't get trumped by consoles. PC games so far have been technically superior to consoles, and I wouldn't want that to go away. It's cool if you like to play CoD4 on at 720p, but I much rather play my PC version at 1600x1200, thank you very much
@ghost867 I don't think WoW is killing PC gaming. I think if more PC games had the replay value of WoW, then PC games could get their edge back. Think about it: Bioshock rocks on both PC and 360 yet, 360s version sold alot better. Who the Hell wants to buy a game that you will beat once, get bored with and can't trade in? If we can't trade in our old (PC) games, they'd better have some damn replay value! WoW actually delivers it in spades. Oblivion, Counterstrike and the Unreal games are other good examples. And in May, when Mass Effect comes to PC it will as well. @Shaljir117 Cool ideas. I feel that cross-platform games should be playable amongst eachother online. A 360 owner, a PC owner and a PS3 owner should be able to scrap it out online. And an "achievements" type reward system should be implemented. If a game was released prior to this rewards system, create downloadable patches.
This might help i would also love achievements and a gamer-score card that would be wonderful and i wouldn't mind paying 50 dollares to play with 360ers and get downloadable content and all through one service but if the make us pay for any standard in pc gaming play right now then no but if they give us cool extras and all it would be worth
Last gen Sony was huge and MS was scared of Sonys taking to much control over the gaming market. MS has stolen market share from Sony this gen with their console. MS doesn't want to compete against window based PCs nor do to they want Sony to control the market. In the future the next Xbox could be more like a PC then a console which could bring it's user base over to the PC. MS big money maker is the PC they don't want gaming on PC to fail. Games come out on 360 a little earlier because the console has competition to deal with, where as the PC doesn't. Any tech savory person would tell you that the PC is better choice over 360, but for the casuals nubs they would rather go for a console, (even if there was no 360) those are the userbase MS wants not to turn to Sonys console.
is this even necessary? like seriously. I don't understand PC gamers' mind (or computer gamer in that sense), ok, consoles have RTS ... it has nothing to do with you guys, why all the hatred?
PC gaming is pretty much dead. For every game sold on the PC, there are five or ten being pirated by some snot-nosed punk in a college dorm or his parents' basement. With earnings down every year, the only way to make a financially succesful pc game is to either aim it at families (that don't pirate) or make it online only so people have a great difficulty pirating it. It's your own fault, so don't whine about it.
This organization is full of self-contradictions and conflict of interests. It is just laughable. Micro$oft is obviously trying hard to push the Xbox 360 to compete with the other game consoles. But this also has the adverse side effect on the PC game market. Just look at the Micro$oft games that come out only on the Xbox 360 but not the PC. Why not just release games on PC and Xbox simultaneously if they are that concern with the decline of the PC game market? Then there is the non-profit label? So all the game publishers sell PC games for charity now, do they? Who do you think is going to get hurt if the PC game market dies down and fewer people buy ATI and NVidia's graphic cards anymore?
LISTEN GUYS, THIS CAN ONLY BE GOOD FOR THE PC. LETS SEE IF THESE GUYS ACTUALLY HAVE ANY ACES UP THEIR SLEEVES AND IF THEY ACTUALLY ADVANCE THE MARKET. IF WE SEE ANY HINT OF THEM PUSHING US DOWN A CONSOLE STYLE RESTRICTIVE ALLEYWAY WHERE WE WILL BE FORCED UNDER ONE COMPANY, WE WILL BOYCOTT AND FINISH THEM. WE WONT LOSE OUT IF THEY DO ANYTHING BAD, THEY WILL. btw, epic games are not in the alliance, gamespot have made a mistake.
If all PC games have 100% xbox live functionality like I can play with 360 people as well I will start buying PC games again but I love playing with friends and getting achievements. Hell PC games are even cheaper and require more graphics and stuff in them.
Why is Microshaft part of this group? Ther're one of the ones spearheading the console movement - something's fishy.
If they really want PC gaming to ramp up, how about dropping the cost of god**** GPUs!? I like that current graphics cards are all PCIe, that kills the confusion. RAM is getting cheaper as well. But the high system requirements are what's killing PC gaming. GPUs, alone, cost as much as a new console. And unlike consoles, once you've bought it; you've married it; no trade ins. The most successful PC games are the LEAST resource intensive: WoW, Counterstrike, Diablo, etc... I love my PC, I play Oblivion on it almost as much as on my 360. And even my s***y GeForce 8500 (512MB) makes Oblivion look pretty close to 360s version. I'm probably going to upgrade to a GeForce 8600 GT rather than 8800. Simply because a 8800 costs as much as a 360 right now and Oblivion on a 8600 would be on par with 360. Mass Effect will probably skid in close with that GPU as well, when it hits PC in May.
Iemander for $600 just about all you'd have would be the dual core, the 4GBs of ram and the 8800 GT...what about the rest of the system? A good gaming PC for the current gen is closer to $1000
I think it's fair to say that WoW has seriously damaged the PC market. People stick with one game for a year, they don't play anything else. Blizzard does well, but other companies don't. Though I kinda like these companies coming together to save PC gaming, which really does need saving IMO. Hopefully this can mean increased quality in PC games, more third party games getting quality PC versions, and hardware dropping in price, and coming together in bundled PCs that are affordable to the average person.
A "nonprofit" organisation, eh? Though the idea behind it is clearly to incrase the sales for each business and, hence, make them profit. I can't help but be skeptical about it.
wtf is epic doing on that board? Didn't anyone read what Cliffy B said about the PC Gaming Industry?
damn, I wish it was the good old, days. When consoles were just starting out and PC gaming was the thing, The only system where you could play against other people online. Now everyone is going to the consoles because you don't have to spend hundreds of dollars upgrading, now have online, developers ignoring the market. Like one day I was at school and a kid was talking about how he Pwns at Halo 3 and I say, "pfft..Halo for xbox is for n00bs. Play a game with real skill, real reflexes like counter-strike." and he was like "WTF is counter-strike?" i said back "a game that doesnt use a n00btroller (controller auto-aim) " it was stupid, he didnt even know that PC could play games!
great post fluffebunnie and I agree. It shows a lot about the state of pc gaming when the last few titles Ibought were either from Indie devs or 3 years old.
its kinda sad, they have to form an alliance to wake up pc gaming.. Seriously ... They should just start doing smart things like.. porting every game to pc because it doesnt do anything doesnt effect the console space at all. Its dumb microsoft doesnt do it. GFW is a joke its like they have damn console retards running it. But lets hope this works out. Because i for one will not pick up a console again since i got a pc
[quote]Psikosis It's good news for the PC gamers of the world, but they have much work to do. A well-equipped PC (multi-CPU & multi-GPU) costs at least two thousand dollars and has a very limited number of quality titles. [/quote] It's unfortunate that you think it cost 2000 dollars to build a decent rig. Seriously, I have a rig that I put together for next to nothing and plays everything I could possibly toss at it(my video card is a beast (Nvidia 7950)and I got it on clearance for 99 bucks baby!).
[quote]fluffebunnie Who's talking down The Sims? It is a great game in terms of quality and infinite content. That thing shipped out polished and had some real slick performance at the time. Way better than FPS#365498 or MMORPG#654 which is why PC gaming is sucking out loud right now. MMORPGs are lame and played out. I don't care if a billion sheeple play them. Good for them if you want to harvest items and experience to no end for months. Who needs a good story right? Why is it that the original Baldur's Gate is still better than the latest crapfest they decide to push out unfinished. NWN2 was all jacked up in the retail version. The Witcher is just now getting patched up and frankly that is the only good PC game I have seen come out in a long, long time. It didn't used to be this way. Not to mention the Starforce debacle that these publishers brought on themselves. I blame the people putting out these games and the focus shift from PC to XBOX. Nothing beats a PC for gaming and its a shame that these little noobs coming up now will never know until some major changes happen. Of course, these are the same little noobs paying for microtransactions and ad-filled games so I wouldn't expect them to understand. [/quote] Well written and exact to the point. By the way, sheeple is one of the best new words I've come across in a long time.Unfortunately, it's also 90% of the readers here, expect to get flamed for your post.
Ow, and I read about someone having a notebook for gaming. Notebooks simple aren't meant for gaming, they're meant to be portable and durable. Nothing more, if you're spending thousands of dollars on creating a desktop replacer, you're making a very stupid choice. And although Vista sucks compared to XP, it's still better than Mac OS. Unless you abuse the software, it should be just as reliable, and it's much more customizable, has a tons of cool features. It is only slightly harder to use.
I dont get the 2000 dollars number for a good PC; you dont need even half that. 2000 dollars would get you a quad core with quadruple SLI and 8 gigs of RAM. But seriously, why is that considered the bare minimum? A 600 dollar machine, dual core 8400 with 4gigs of RAM and an 8800 GT would run Crysis on high just fine on that 40" HDTV.
Who's talking down The Sims? It is a great game in terms of quality and infinite content. That thing shipped out polished and had some real slick performance at the time. Way better than FPS#365498 or MMORPG#654 which is why PC gaming is sucking out loud right now. MMORPGs are lame and played out. I don't care if a billion sheeple play them. Good for them if you want to harvest items and experience to no end for months. Who needs a good story right? Why is it that the original Baldur's Gate is still better than the latest crapfest they decide to push out unfinished. NWN2 was all jacked up in the retail version. The Witcher is just now getting patched up and frankly that is the only good PC game I have seen come out in a long, long time. It didn't used to be this way. Not to mention the Starforce debacle that these publishers brought on themselves. I blame the people putting out these games and the focus shift from PC to XBOX. Nothing beats a PC for gaming and its a shame that these little noobs coming up now will never know until some major changes happen. Of course, these are the same little noobs paying for microtransactions and ad-filled games so I wouldn't expect them to understand.
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