Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Preferred Gaming Platform: PC
For this post, we are discussing our favored gaming platform. Since this is a VIDEO gaming blog, that pretty much limits us to PC or Console gaming. Note that this topic isnt meant to express rabid fanboy tendencies, but to explain why you like a particular platform over the other. What are its pros? Cons? That sort of stuff.
I'll kick things off by talking a bit about the PC as a gaming platform.
As far as Pros would be concerned, I would start with control and interface. For certain genres (First Person Shooters and Real Time Strategies) I feel that a keyboard and mouse is superior to any controls that can be offered on a console. Whenever Ive played a shooter on a console, I couldnt help but think of how clunky and slow the controls felt as opposed to a PC counterpart. This is partly due to the fact that I was originally introduced to games of that genre on PC to begin with, dating back to titles such as Doom, Duke Nukem 3d, and Marathon to name a few. Its quite possible that the same could be said of someone who learned on consoles and is more comfortable with a controller in his hands than a mouse and keyboard, but from my perspective, I favor the latter. One other thing Id like to mention is customizability (if that is even a word, spellcheck isnt going off so Im assuming it is!). While its true that you can assign different buttons to do your bidding on a console controller, the keyboard has more options available to it. Regardless of whether or not youre the most anal person in the world when it comes to controls, youre bound to find some scheme that works for you on a keyboard.
Game type flexibility. The PC is capable of fielding just about any sort of game type. This can be a bit of a double edged sword however. Just because you CAN make a certain kind of game for the PC doesnt mean that you SHOULD. PC ports of Metal Gear Solid and Final Fantasy 8 are good examples of this.
Post release support. Most games released for the PC have patches that go live some time after their initial release to either fix bugs and/or add more content. This is both a pro and a con as I feel that under some circumstances, PC developers get lazy and adopt the "we will just patch it later" mentality instead of just fixing the problem or being more observant of bugs to begin with. Its a pro due to the fact that its impossible to find ALL the bugs associated with your game and some of the best playtesting can be done after the release when oodles of people are playing it. Forum posts are made, feedback is sent, and a solution to the problem is usually underway. In some cases, after a game has been abandoned by its developers for whatever reason, certain fan based communities have made "fan patches" to fix or add items to a game that the developers never did. Good examples of this are titles like Fallout 1 and 2, and Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines. I do understand that consoles are slowly developing the capability to patch their games, but this is something that has only become accessible with next gen hardware and titles. With PC games, its much more mainstream.
Platform price. This is a HUGE con for a PC because PC's aren't made solely for playing games like consoles are. They have numerous other applications (like actually MAKING games) and as a result, have a higher pricetag. Performing upgrades on your PC to keep it running those next gen titles can be a costly endeavor as well.
While there are significant advantages as well as disadvantages to gaming on a PC, I feel it all comes down to personal taste. Identify what you like when it comes to your game playing experience, do a little homework, and make a decision.
Still wish I had purchased Fallout 3 for PC rather than my PS3 though.