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Consoles vs PCs - Crytek weighs in

I used to play PC games a lot, but I could never keep up with the latest games because my PC wouldn't run them. Or, they would run them, but not at optimum where you can see all the bells and whistles that the game developer obviously wanted you to play with. Sure, the game might be fun even without all of that, but I felt like I was missing out. Why play a game where the graphics are supposedly mind-blowing when you have to dial things down so much to run it on your machine that the graphics are no longer blowing your mind away?

Whenever I would buy a new computer, though, I would buy a fairly recent game that my new computer should be able to run. The last time I did this, Civilization IV was fairly new (though not *brand* new). I haven't done this on the last couple computers that I've bought, though.

This was really a big issue when the original Crysis came out.

IGN's review said "Crysis is one of, if not the, most stunningly beautiful games we've ever seen."

It also said:

 

"The one thing that you're going to have to seriously consider before purchasing the game specifically for the visuals is the power of your PC. Crysis may very well kick your computer in the balls at Very High settings. It'll look spectacular doing so, but may very well turn into more of a slideshow than you'd probably prefer and in some cases become completely unplayable."

 

This was happening more and more, and since I had bought a couple of consoles in the last couple of years before this, I finally decided I wasn't going to worry about it anymore. Consoles, I never have to upgrade the hardware, at least until the next generation comes out.

There is another reason I bring up Crysis though, in addition to just the fact that it highlighted the problem.

Crytek, the creators of Crysis and the company that's going to be bringing Crysis 2 to not just the PC, but also game consoles, has put their foot into the ring to talk about the ongoing consoles vs PC wars. It seems that Crytek thinks that consoles are holding PC games back.

"[Crytek boss Cervat Yerli] goes on to say developers’ ability to express themselves creatively is being “limited” by Sony and Microsoft’s game boxes dominating the market."

Excuse me while I get out the violin.

There's no reason that a company can't make a PC-only game so that they can "express themselves creatively".

Except...oh yeah, that nasty thing called "the Market" where people buy what they want to buy. Sorry if Market Forces are keeping you from expressing yourself.

There are other reasons that I don't really care for PC gaming (and when I say that, I mean just buying them myself, as I certainly don't have anything against playing on somebody else's machine if they've got a good rig). One is that PCs are so diverse, that you're always dealing with driver issues, graphics card issues, and all of that. You can buy a game and it will work on one system but not another, due to something weird in the latter. When the original Call of Duty came out on the PC, I tried the demo and loved it. So I borrowed it from a friend to see whether I wanted to actually buy it. I could never get it to work on my machine. There was no way I was buying it after that.

Consoles don't have these issues. They're all the same. If you buy a game, it will either work or it won't work. And if it doesn't work, they'd better patch it so it does work. And, if it doesn't work on your machine but it does on everybody else's, that means there's actually something wrong with your machine. It doesn't mean that the game won't run if you have a gamepad plugged in.

This is something I had happen with Carmageddon 2 on an old computer of mine. I was greatly enjoying playing Carmageddon 2, but got away from it a bit. I had a gamepad plugged in to play High Heat Baseball 2003, and just left the pad plugged in. I decided to try Carmageddon 2 again, and it suddenly wouldn't work. Couldn't figure it out at all and I finally gave up.  It was a couple years later, I wasn't playing baseball anymore and thus had removed the controller. Decided to see if I could get Carmageddon 2 to work again. Worked like a charm. Couldn't figure out why, until I plugged the controller back in for something else. Suddenly the game wasn't working again.

Those are the main reasons I don't buy computer games. If tons of other people do the same, so much so that putting out a game only on PC isn't financially viable, then that's just the way it is.  I know Starcraft 2 is an exception, and I'm sure there are others as well. Surely you can make something work?

Or maybe you just stop moaning about it and work on the consoles. From everything I've heard, Crysis 2 is going to look phenomenal, even on the consoles. Obviously Crytek has the talent to do this.

So why add fuel to the fire rather than just working on your game?

So, questions for you, dear reader:

1) Do you share Crytek's concern? Are consoles holding games, especially PC games, back?

2) Are you a console gamer, a PC gamer, or both? (And if you *only* play Starcraft 2, I'm not sure I'd consider you a PC gamer). And please, no wars in the comments section.

 

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