Monday, August 02, 2004

Doom 3: Monsters Escape Early

The BBC is reporting that Doom 3 has been "leaked" to the general public early.

Obviously the monsters from hell couldn't wait until tomorrow (US) or the 13th (UK)...

Off to ... er... look at screenshots of D3.


mmChronic said...

A half sensible comment on piracy on BBC - wonders will never cease.

Instead of the "That's x quid in lost sales" line that's usually used it's "That's x quid in lost sales if everbody bought it instead" which is a major difference.

Merg said...

... mind you, Doom 3 has a MUCH higher chance of most people buying than most titles... :)

But yeah, someone in the media finally realised the classic piracy "losses" fallacy.

No doubt there'll be huge screams from the BPI, FAST, et al soon enough... after all, they have a right to have a profit legislated, even if it does mean far fewer rights for consumers!

Dogs said...

Ack pish. If there was no piracy then I dare say that quality tiles (hopefully includes DoomIII) would get a lot more sales. Piracy is slowly killing the PC as a games format - it's just too easy to pirate and the PC games sales performance versus the inferior but harder to pirate console titles reflect that.

mmChronic said...

Pish right back...

Hard to pirate console games? What fscking planet do you live on? :)

Dogs said...

'Harder' you fsckin illiterate console ned.

mmChronic said...

And when was the last time you played a tile on a PC or a console spazzyboy? PARP!

Regardless though - consoles games are as easy to get hold of as PC ones if you want them. And one of the reason PC gaming is dying is that why should some fscker spend 1000 quid on a PC only to be laughed at 2 months down the line for having something not goodenoug to run Doom XVII when they can buy a games box for 200 quid and everything will work.

Yes PC's are technically better - but you seem to forget gameplay is where it's at - unless you are busy comparing the number of triangles your latest card will do. In which case buy a 3d rendering packge and ooh and ahh at that instead.

Merg said...

Ah, the Piracy-is-killing-gaming argument.

I remember that one back in the Amiga days.

It was about as true then as it is now. ie not very.

I'd argue that for every 1000 pirated copies of any given game, 1 or 2 might have been sold. Lots of people out there are magpies, just collecting stuff "because they can". Quite a lot of people I've known who got copied stuff would buy the games they really liked. Not all, but thinking back, at least half of them. In those cases, the good stuff sold and the crud was ignored, a sort of natural selection of gaming.

Console sales are irrelevent, since it's a completely different market. An Xbox now is about 130 quid. PS2 likewise.

My graphics card cost that much. My CPU cost more. My monitor cost more. My motherboard cost almost as much. My HD and RAM together cost about that much too.

Not to mention with a console it's slap-in-disc-and-play. Or the fact that consoles have a large range of genres that simply don't appear on the PC (fighting games, anyone? Decent driving games?)
The PC, more than ever, is seeing a lack of innovation of games types, IMHO.

Not sure that console games are inferior, either. Different, certainly. I would rather play on my monitor than a big TV but a lot of people disagree with me on that.

... and then there's the marketting. Sony and MS spend huge amounts of cash plugging the latest Xbox/PS2 titles. When's the last time you saw a PC title heavily plugged?

And then... with a PC there's driver problems, performance issues, yada yada yada.

I'm a PC gamer. I'm willing to deal with that kinda crap to be able to play games on the platform, but it's far from ideal.

Plus, lots of kids have a console in their bedroom. I can't think of anyone with kids offhand who has let their kid have a PC in their bedroom -- presumably because of the cost, and because they don't want little Johnny watch What Katy Did With A Donkey. "Family" PCs in a common area seem to be the order of the day, rather than the "Spectrum/C64 in the bedroom" that was so common when we were bairns.

Don't forget that console piracy is pretty trivial now, where as PC piracy... well, there's been no working cracks for online play for most recent FPS games. You want to play online, you pretty much have to buy the game.

There's been no working cracks for the PC versions of Soldiers Heroes of WW2. Or for ToCA Race Driver 2.

What was the last console game that didn't get copied en masse?

As for the "high quality" of D3... I doubt it. Pretty much all of iD's previous games have been demo's to sell their pretty graphics engine to all and sundry., but the games themselves were generally utterly lacking in innovation. Why would D3 differ in that respect, especially given it's being pushed as a remake of the original Doom?


Dogs said...

Well you can get hold of pirate console titles but you still have to mod your box and invalidate your warranty. So 'harder' would be correct. Anyway, enough pedantry, you're right about the hardware cost - if you want the best hardware you're either going to have to continue shelling out to upgrade your pc bit by bit (no need to buy a whole new PC unless you're prone to blowing them up when you upgrade parts - oh! you do :)- on a regular basis to stay with cutting edge or settle for a 3 year life span console. Disagree on the gameplay argument. Console titles are generally dumbed down pap that lack value and don't stand up to their PC counterparts. The problem is that there's more money to be made writing console pap than PC quality and that's partly due to piracy.

Merg said...

Most console titles -- esp the really good stuff -- doesn't get PC counterparts.

I say this as a hard-core PC gamer.

Where's the PC versions of Tekken? Ridge Racer? The Mario games? The Gran Turismo series? Tony Hawk Underground?

It's not the same market.

Merg said...

Btw, I know a few guys in the industry. They *PREFER* writing console games.

It's an order of magnitude easier.

You have high quality devkits supplied by the console maker. You have hardware that doesn't change every six months. You don't need to worry about stuff like texture formats, driver clashes, if the user will use a mouse, a keyboard or a joypad or smoke signals to control the game.

You write for one system with two variants. IE European consoles at 50FPS and US/Japanese consoles that run at 60FPS.

That's it.

mmChronic said...

You don't need to mod an Xbox to play pirate stuff on it. I don't know much about the PS2 stuff but I could swear I've seen boot discs for it a la the Dreamcast ones.

And I know someone who invalidated their PC warranty by opening it to put a modem in. Shit warranty I know but it happens.

And console games aren't 'pap' - that's just a silly generalisation. A lot of console games are excellent - if they weren't I wouldn't be doing the majority of my games spending on console platforms in recent years.

And for the record my PC didn't blow up after an upgrade you fsckwit - the extreme heat in my house did for it you tool. Of course I've now moved on and have a new PC. You however are still fixated with my old PC - you sir are a hardware snob.

Merg said...

Yeah, there is a PS2 boot disc.

You boot from that disc, then use the manual eject on the disc tray to swap discs (otherwise the PS2 reboots) and boot the game disc.

At least, that's what my PS2-owning mate tells me. Last console I bought was a used SNES in about 1993 because I wanted to play Mario Kart and Pilot Wings :)

bryn said...

boot swapping ps2 games is a pain in the ass.
A "friend" got "his" ps2 chipped for 50 quid about 3 years ago with a jap dvd copy of tekken 4 chucked in.
To get games "he" can either download disc images and then burn them or buy them online and have them sent to "him".
"he" says both methods are simple and low cost,and well worth the initial payment as games cost about 45quid a pop in stores.

The games market needs to cop on and go the same way the music industry is being forced to go
i.e. cheaper products = less piracy.
I would [along with many others id presume] play £15-20 for Doom3 or HL2 to put money into the industry but refuse to pay anymore than that because it can be d/l'd it for free, when prices are taking the piss.

mmChronic said...

So consoles aren't harder to play pirate games on. Which means if Dogs is right everyone pirates all the games and the console markets are dying. Funny that because they seem to be thriving.

PC gaming is too expensive and too complicated for the average Joe. That's why it's dying - more people are gaming on consoles. Most people's PC's are a 600-700 quid home multimedia crock from PC World or Dixons which are shite for games.

mmChronic said...

I wonder how come no one has built the bootswap code into the cracked game? I know for the 1st few months of the DC scene releases you had to do the boot disc shizzle but then the games started coming with the boot loader built in.

I know it's easier to mod - I was just pointing out you don't have to mod to play stuff so therefore you don't have to lose your warranty. The non mod method on Xbox is much more fiddly than a boot disc - although it's been a few months since I've been on an Xbox site so there may be easier ways to do it now.

As for the pricing of games - I think they are stupidly expensive but I can't see that changing anytime soon. However there are plenty of games that I think are worth 30-40 quid of my dosh as I'll get hours out of them so I will splash out the cash.

Merg: You've had a GB since the SNES!

Merg said...

I'd argue that PC gaming isn't dying.

From the BBC article above:

"Developing a game like it can cost game developers like id Software in the region of $15m (£8.3m) to $20m (£11.1m)."

"The original Doom was a ground-breaking game
Its release is the gaming equivalent of the third film in the Lord of the Rings trilogy."

"In the US, the game is expected to retail for $54.99 and is expected to sell in the millions."

Doesn't sound like a dying market to me.

mmChronic said...

And how much of that will be from console sales? And how many other PC games will achieve these sort of sales this year?

It's dying. Just like *BSD. Netcraft says so. Probably. :)

Merg said...

Well, given this is referring specifically to the PC, I'd assume none of it.

And there's been other big sellers and there will be - Half-Life 2 is due this year, for example. Stalker. Far Cry. UT2K4 -- on *6* discs.

Yes, it's smaller than the console market. It pretty much always has been smaller. But there's still plenty of games appearing.

I maintain that if there were more game-type variety, it would probably do better.

That's why I say it's not dying.

However, if the Xbox3 really does have six processors... :)

mmChronic said...

Dying might be a bit strong - but I think it's becoming a niche market.

We need to find the year on year revenues for PC gaming. I think as a percentage of the whole gaming market it is shrinking but that's not necessarily a bad thing if the overall market is growing faster IYKWIM.

Merg said...

I think computer gaming has always been a niche market, outside perhaps of the very early 80's boom.

Consoles crossed video gaming over to the mainstream.

The only time gaming was big on the PC was back in '93 when Doom came out. The SNES, Megadrive, etc. weren't going to handle that!

I figure PC gaming would too if it had the amount of marketting thrown at it that console gaming has -- not that it ever would, since no single player controls it, unlike a console.

Recent PC year-on-year will be up. The Sims broke all records for the last 2-3 years -- mostly because in a niche market, it had mainstream appeal. And all the actual PC gamers hated it. :)

(The other big seller in recent years was the PC version of "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" -- for the same reason.)

Merg said...

Another extra post...

Y'know, for a market that so many are convinced is dead, nVidia and ATI has sunk vast amounts of cash into making the 3D cards for it...

And remember, they were doing that long before anyone asked them to supply new chipsets for consoles.

I figure there's enough of a market there. It's not as big as the console market by any means, and I agree, I'd assume it's signficantly less percentage-wise than 2 years ago, and yet probably bigger than it was 2 years ago.

Sony's Playstation marketting (and timing) finally got consoles into the mainstream in the West. In Japan, gaming was mainstream for far, far longer, and PC gaming is a tiny market.

The PS2 and Xbox have continued this trend -- Sony's games division makes more than all other divisions, and while the Xbox isn't profitable yet, MS is betting bigtime that it will be.

I think both MS and Sony see the future of digital convergance devices with a one-box-does-all from games to music to perhaps some internet-related stuff.

The PC's done this for years, but it didn't look pretty in your living-room... and I think Sony's strategy to get around MS's OS monopoly was quite creative.

MS, of course, are just trying to make sure they control the market.

Geez, I'm getting more 'ramble-y' (yes, it's not a real word but I like it anyway) in my old age ;)

Dogs said...

Ok. For all those pirates who get a copy of DoomIII are you serioulsy suggesting that if piracy was removed only a few percent would go out and buy DoomIII. Bollocks. But I do accept that piracy isn't the main reason for PC sales decline (but don't do it kids - it's just plain wrong :). And there is a chicken and egg problem here. Is a decline in PC games quality due to lack of sales and piracy or is the lack of sales and piracy due to a decline in PC game quality? Maybe neither as you say it may just be that the console is the developers platform of choice. But why are consoles more attractive from an ease of development point of view when the developer has to pay a premium to Sony/Microsoft/Nintendo simply to publish on their format. No such premium on the PC - just a little bit more code to ensure compatability with all systems - a lot of that hard work is already done by the graphics card manufacturers. You don't need to write hardware specific code - there's DirectX and openGL each providing industry wide recognised graphics/io language. On top of that you have leading edge developers producing state of the art graphics code and licensing it out for smaller publishers to use. Anyone preferring console development is IMHO sitting in a comfort zone that lacks ingenuity and progression. At least until the next gen anyway.

Dogs said...

I'm off to look at knockers now.

Merg said...

Yes, I'm suggesting that the number who would have bought it if they hadn't copied it is fairly small.

You're looking at a group that will, largely, either a) buy only the select few games - and many of those will still buy it or b) never buy games, period.

There's also c) would have bought it but tried it and wasn't impressed with it and d) got it free and so won't buy it.

I'd argue that where (c) comes varies, depending on the game. I'd also argue that the pirares are mostly (b) with probably equal numbers of (a) and (d) thrown in.

Given that most games are available free via the many and varied P2P networks that are downright famous at this point, and that broadband is widely available, if people only bought the games they couldn't pirate, why is there any market-place left at all?

I don't think PC games are declining in quality as such, personally.

I think there's not as many high profile titles being made. I also know for a fact that a big name game costs around 4-5x to make now than it did 5 years ago. There's a LOT more content.

That's why level sizes are declining. The textures are higher resolution. The models have between 10 and 100 times the number of polys in most cases, and 1000's more in the more extreme (say, Doom 3 or Far Cry).

The console market exists in a way it didn't in the past, and is MUCH more lucrative, and costs less to develop for.

BTW, that "bit more code" is a LOT more expensive. Supporting PC software is significantly more expensive.

The premium to publish on a console is irrelevent. There's FAR more people willing to buy for the consoles than the PC.

It's economies of scale.

The console's easier to develop for and there's a much bigger potential market-place, and much less after-market support required.

Writing OpenGL and DX isn't a simple "write this code and it works everywhere that supports OpenGL/DX".

Different cards have differing capabilities. Different texture formats, pixel and vertex shader engines, stuff like that.

The consoles have API's too, but you know if it works, it works. There's no "it works on ATI and nVidia but not on Matrox" or whatever.

Have you seen the number of games that, when shipped, don't work correctly on certain models of certain *current* video cards? Have you see the number of update patches that are released the same day as the game?

One recentish game - Metal Gear Solid 2 - worked fine on everything except ATI Radeon 9700 cards. It worked fine on the ATI Radeon 9500. It worked fine on nVidia. It broken on the flagship ATI (as it was at the time).

And that's before we get down to problems due driver revisions.

Leading developers write console engines and license them out to console developers, too. I've no idea how that affects anything. Ensuring compatibility is an absolute nightmare. We're talking about test-labs of 50+ machines in some cases, with different combos of sound/graphics cards, compared to... well, one console.

Bottom line here is consoles have a much bigger market, publishers willing to invest a lot more money, an easier development platform and far, far fewer after-market hassles.

The more I think about it, the more I'm amazed anyone bothers to develop for the PC at all, quite frankly... and I don't think piracy is the issue here -- yet.

Perhaps with the next generation of consoles, it will be significantly harder to copy the games. And perhaps with Palladium in Longhorn, coupled with the Microsoft plans to have PC games run from DVDs directly rather than the HD, the PC will become more console-like.

But I don't think PC gaming is in trouble because of piracy. It's because consoles do it, for the majority of people, better and easier. And that's from a hard-core PC gamer who doesn't own a current generation console (and has no plans to).

PS: mC: consoles really do SUCK at FPS games ;)

mmChronic said...

nVidia and ATI make money from the console market too. Again I don't know what percentage of their income is PC based and what is console based but it must be a fair whack from consoles. 3d consoles have been around for ages now so it was safe investing in 3d tech was a safe bet I would have thought.

I'd go with Merg in equating 1000 copies equating to 1 or 2 lost sales. People who were going to buy Doom are going to buy it anyway for the box, poster, support and and most importantly hassle free multiplayer - which after all is the main attraction of this type of game.

As for consoles stifling ingenuity wtf are you on man? Ok they aren't going to allow you to be as bleeding edge graphically as it's a fixed platform for a few years which is a long time in 3d gaming. But I still say graphics aren't everything. And the ingenuity in console gaming is there in the gameplay. Some of my favourite games are on my SP - no 3d in sight. Add to that the ability of developers on any fixed platform to drop your jaw again and again because they've screwed something extra that wasn't thought possible. Look at any platform that was around long enough and you'll see that.

Merg: Just saw your bit before I posted this. Halo was lush - and was out yonks before the PC! Nyah Nyah! Syphon Filter on PSX was sweet and Goldeneye was rather tasty in it's day too. I'll give you most fps games suck on a console. But as I play more racers / platformers / arc adv (Can't wait for next Zelda!) and RPG's than owt else I'm more than happy with all all my gaming hardware thank you!

Merg said...

mC: Gotcha :p (tho' three FPS games on three different platforms is hardly a stinging rebuttal, esp when Syphon Filter got fairly average reviews...)

I concur that consoles don't stifle ingenuity.

BTW, investing in 3D tech per-se is safe. Everything's going 3D down to your cell-phone. But ATI et al are putting an awful lot of investment into kit that will have no use outside of PC cards for some time. Either it's a very long term strategy, or PC cards are making money.

They certainly made 3dfx exceedingly successful before they were mis-managed into the ground (and bought by nVidia...)

As for ingenuity... I'd argue the consoles require more. You have to squeeze the performance out of them, vs the PC market which really is in a rut where if the game isn't making the grade they just up the base system requirements, or in some cases, release it anyway... ... perhaps because most of the really talented developers are busy on the PS2 or Xbox...

Recent years on the PC the good games have been FPS games (mostly online), MMORPG's, RTS games and the odd driving sim. And The Sims. (well, *I* didn't think it was good, but...)

Where's the innovation and ingenuity on the PC again? (The Sims counted in 2000. It doesn't count after 7 (or is it 8?) expansion packs.)

mmChronic said...

Hang on and I'll go and count the packs. The bairn has the bloody lot. What a waste of money. :(

The only game I miss having on the console is a good in depth strategy one. Advance Wars does for a quick fix but it's no AOE/Civ/Total War. But my PC does for that too. :)

I'm off to play a game on something. ;)

Merg said...

I've been playing games today.

Well, one game in particular.

I could tell you what but I remember what happened the last time I told you what game I was playing ;)

mmChronic said...

I am unofficialy uninstalling Civ. Soon. Probably.

Merg said...

With statements like that, you should work for HM Govt.

I can honestly say today's choice of interactive digital art, that pixellated pleasure that all us gamers enjoy, was not the electronic crack known as Civ3.

I can stop any time I like.

Whoo. Master Debation!

mmChronic said...

And Sid is doing a new Pirates.. the man's a sadist.

Merg said...

Aha, innovation at its finest -- remaking a game from 1987 ;)

Still, it was a most-excellent game, and one I've often wondered no-one had copied and improved upon.

I shall look forward to it with interest.

Dogs said...

More ingenuity on the consoles? So get yourself down to Game and look at the shelves. I own 6 console titles and I struggle to see any more that are worth the purchase or that I couldn't get for £10 less on the PC. Whilst the PC titles are getting fewer and fewer at least you can look forward to new PC titles taking advantage of the latest Direct X, vertex/pixel shaders, drivers/graphics cards, more memory, new sound cards, faster processors and you can look forward to a far wider variety of game that isn't limited by ancient hardware. Yes it requires more work but then that's my point - the consoles stand still - their code has been highly optimised and re-used repeatedly for a long time. The shelves are full of dross from programmers looking to make a quick buck on well practised game development that is a mile from the cutting edge.

mmChronic said...

You own 1 console (Xbox) - with the smallest library of games with the exception of the GC. You've ruled out the library of games on PS2/GC/SP etc.

I've got way more than 6 games for the same console - some of which I could have got a bit cheaper on PC but I prefer to lie on the floor in the midst of my big tv setup playing my games. And yes I can do tv out from PC but my PC doesn't sit neatly under the TV so that would be yet more wires trailing.

Where's the ingenuity in the PC market? It's just an iterative polish the graphics cycle in the PC. As I commented earlier you know fsck all about gaming if that's what counts for you. There's plenty of ingenuity in console games - you just haven't played enough preferring instead to sit and watch a fps counter on your PC and get a warm glow in your underpants at how nice and fast your game looks on a 1000 quid machine. Sucker.

Dogs said...

You are clearly in denial - the consoles are limited simply because they lack the processing power and memory required for heavy duty rts/simulation. I suppose those genres don't count in your console fanboy book? Regardless, the scope is limited no matter how much the console fanboys rave about how much can be squeezed out of their 3 year old hardware. As for framerate junkie well what does that make you - happy with low quality visuals?

mmChronic said...

No it makes me happy with a good game - and the visuals are only low quality compared to a 1000 pound machine. PGR2 looks quite pretty to me. IT plays even better though. You're supposed to play games not just fscking watch them. You are so tied up on aesthetics and framerates you wouldn't know a good game if it bit you.

As I mentioned before (you really should read stuff before opening your ill informed trap) RTSs are something I do miss from a PC - but I have a PC to do those. Sims - they are for gayers who can't do the proper thing in real life. I've never been a big fan of 'proper' (some might say anal!) flight sims preferring the more arcadey ones like Crimson Skies. Which I've got.

Fanboy? They tend to argue the use of a single platform - like the PC you hypocritical fscker. Whereas I have proclaimed myself a fan of videogaming and own many platforms to do it on - including a PC as good as yours. So who's the fanboy dickweed?

My GBA SP has only a fraction of the processing power of a 3d console never mind a PC and there are some lovely games on that. Zelda, Mario Golf, Superstars Saga, Advance Wars, Wario Wars and Tetris to name a very small handful. But you being an up-your-own-arse hardware snob you have never seen any of these never mind played them with the possible exception of Tetris. Which you probably copied on your Amiga - so you can fsck off with your hypocritical anti-piracy shite too which is where we came in I think.

Dogs said...

Errrmm. So my point about better visuals is invalidated because I spent more on my PC? That's a bit like saying my Ford Escort is as good as your Ferrari because it cost less. And the console is the source of innovation but it can't do rts or sim - those will be the two big genres for adults then - but that's ok because they are for gayers - and Crimson Skies is a landmark product but, from my sad gayer sim point of view, appears to have as much ingenuity and gameplay as Space Harrier. And obviously gaming innovation can't benefit from the processing power to create immersive realistic graphics environments on a huge scale because you can have tons of no brainer gameplay on a mini scale with inferior but cute graphics on yuor console. And I do own both PC and console however my PC is a far more capable games machine than yours ner ner ne ner ner. And I did pirate Tetris but, unlike you, I have since seen the error of my ways. I have now coem to the conclusion that you are a console fanboy because you have the gaming ability of a 12 year old school girl.

mmChronic said...

No - your point about better visuals was invalidated about 30 comments ago. Better visuals do not make a better game per se. I'm just mocking you - to extend your analogy that's like a Ferrari driver going to an Escort driver "heh heh my car is faster than yours". Well of course it is - but the Escort driver only wants to drive and not show off his penis extension to the world.

Far more capable PC than mine? Don't think so. Unless your definition of far is 'slightly'. Still I'd trade the small differential in performance for the huge difference in portability. Which I did - if I'd spent the same money on a tower instead of a laptop you would have been wanking over the specs for weeks you sad cunt.

Lack of RTS is down to lack of a mouse - not memory, 3d hardware or any other thing. I never said RTS were for gayers - just sims. Misquoting yet again as you flounder around in a shitty fanboy mess of your own making. Look up fanboy - your single platform zealotry fulfils that criteria much better than I ever could.

Crimson Skies is a good game but you'll have missed that due to it not having a trillion polygons on screen at once.

And the single console you own has a relatively tiny pool of games that you have tried. You haven't played hundreds more on lots of other platforms. Yet you just write them off because they are a console. I repeat - you are a snobby cunt.

I easily spend as much on software as you do (if not more) so I'm contributing to the gaming industry as much as you. I'm just not propping up the derivative PC FPS industry (got another 30 quid? here's some shinier graphics then). Never mind the ingenuity, smell the polygons.

Merg said...

First up... Consoles lack processing power for heavy duty RTS/Simulation?

What planet are you on? The RTS's I've seen don't even have decent AI...

Pretty much every decent RTS/Sim that's on the PC would run fine on the Xbox.

RTS sucks on consoles -- and they have been done -- because the joypad sucks for RTS. Much like the FPS, the mouse and keyboard's the way it's meant to be played.

As for simulation... it's practically a dead genre. They're sell very few copies of most sims on the PC. Why would they make them for consoles which again, are less suited due to the joypad?

Unless you mean driving sims... in which case, the EA F1 PC game is on the Xbox. There's 5 or 6 rallying Sims. Gran Turismo 3/4 on the PS2.

Pixel/Vertex shaders are part of the Xbox. In fact, games using them heavily appeared in numbers on the Xbox long before the PC. It's just in the last year or so we're seeing games that use them. And we've seen how many titles that used PS2.0? So far... Far Cry.. the abysmal (and out-on-consoles) Tomb Raider game from last year.

What else?

And what innovation with those titles? One was a decent FPS game. It was pretty, but that's just more polygons. Iteration rather than innovation. Evolution rather than revolution.

The other was a particularly pants third person platformer.

Whoo. Not.

And where's this wide variety of games? A quick look at PC release for the last year vs consoles will show consoles have far wide genres.

The PC gets no fighting games. Hardly any arcade racers. Very few 3D platform games. And pretty much every third-person game - Splinter Cell, Tomb Raider, GTA 3 or Vice City - appears on the consoles too. Often first.

What does appear on the PC? FPS and RTS and the odd Xbox "conversion". The Sims. MMORPGs.

There was the wonderful Operation Flashpoint. That was an innovative title. That was what, 2001?

We might get sharper textures, better frame-rates and higher resolutions, but really, where's the innovation? Where's the new game types, like that console game where you play a mosquito and attack human bodies? The most radical thing I can think of in games graphic techniques in the last few years is cell-shading... and that was originally done on the Dreamcast!

PCs rock for online gaming but Xbox live is now arguably a better ("plug-n-play") experience. PCs rock for deep strategy games like Civilization III (but that was just a revision of its ancestors...).

Seen anything on the PC like the Sony EyeToy?

When the consoles get the kind of processing power PC's currently take for granted -- and the Xbox3 and PS3 will deliver that and more, I have no doubt -- we'll see a LOT more innovation than we're seeing right now.

Dave's right, at this point PC gaming's a niche, more or less, and it's doing what it does well, but it's not exactly spectacular right now.

With all this processing power, we don't even have decent AI in most games... it's all bloody scripted!

Seriously, what was the last PC game you saw that was really innovative? That did something new? I don't mean threw a few more polygons around the screen a bit faster, either...

The last few I can think of were probably Operation Flashpoint for its sheer scale, and mixing RTS and FPS gameplay for the MP side of things, and Half-Life for the outstanding marine AI and compelling storyline.

2001 for OpF and 1998 for HL.

Did I skip some major games? I'm sure there's some I've forgotten, but they obviously didn't make THAT much of an impression on me...

Dogs said...

Aha. You have fallen for the most obvi</mass debate connection terminated>

I feel like a fookin fanboy after all that shite!

mmChronic said...

Dave? Who he? :)

There's no point discussing this any further with him. To Dogs good game equates to poly count. Wish I'd thought of next gen though - his one and only (and deeply flawed) argument won't have a fscking leg to stand on then.

Tis a mere flesh wound. Or something.

Merg said...

Dave's that bloke out of 2001.

And he's right, dammit.

Dogs said...

For fook's sake. I was only trying to make the point that console programmers have a tendency for taking the easy option. Which obviously doesn't apply to next gen because *everything* will be new. You can't make the next gen argument because it's completely irrelevant and you know it.

It's easier to develop on console - that makes it more attractive for a developer but it doesn't make it the best platform if easier=lazy/derivative. Some developers will make an effort but plenty will turn out dross. Instead of arguing about the merits of consoles why don't you just admit that there is a ton of shit on the shelves. I'm not trying to argue that the current crop of PC games are better - I made the point it was dying. And I think the reason is a combination of piracy(admittedly limited) and easy option console development which lacks ingenuity and is limited by old hardware yadayada but of course you will continue to argue that 3 year old hardware is just as good a platform for ingenuity as state of the art pc hardware yadayadayada.

bungers said...

I thought he was called "Hal"..?

"I'm sorry Dave, but I can't let you do that..."

mmChronic said...

Hal was the computer, Dave was the bloke. And sadly I had the "You can't do that Dave" as an error sample on my Amiga.

Now for Dogs and his videogame bigotry.

Dogs you don't know what you are arguing - you've backtracked so many times during the course of this one. You spouted about it being harder to pirate on console, you were corrected and you admitted you were wrong. Then you said you needed to mod, you were corrected and you admitted you were wrong. You've went from piracy being the cause of the death of the PC games market. That's now been changed to admittedly limited. You were also the first in this thread to make it personal with 'Harder' you fsckin illiterate console ned as you floundered for ammo. I've raised many specific points (and this always happens and you always dismiss as pedantry) which you've totally ignored.

You can't argue for toffee you fsckwit.

if easier=lazy/derivativeYou still haven't proved that. Nor have you proved poly count == good game. And you still pseudo code in basic you big gayer. :)

easy option console development which lacks ingenuityCoders aren't masochists. They will take the easier route just like everyone else. So it stands to reason a bigger proportion of better developers will be taking the console route - that's where your ingenuity comes from.

This is indeed a fanboy flame war - but the only fanboy (which I will again define as as an over zealous supporter of a single platform abve all others which you will again ignore) here is you. I've had enough of your sad, my-hardware-is-better-than-yours posturing. WTF do you need adult games for - you argue like a child.

I give up. You win. Go back to your PC and cream all over your copy of the latest FPS which is almost exactly the same as the last FPS but a bit smoother.

Dogs said...

My illiterate ned comment came after your "What fscking planet" insult - you made that in response to my remarks to Merg about Doom3 piracy. So you just butted in and set the tone. Not that I mind too much as you are still an illiterate console ned
Easier=lazy is just an opinion that, unless blessed with your level of arrogance, is probably reasonable in most people's minds. So is the opinion that cutting edge hardware opens up far more possibility for innovation.
"Backtracking" is also something that you might want to try once in a while. There is nothing childlike in the ability to concede a point. You should try it once in a while instead of arguing so arrogantly that you are unable to accept anything other than your own point of view. That would be 'arguing like a child' and right up your own backside.

mmChronic said...

Oh fsckit - I just can't resist.

Ding Ding round 93.

Yours was a more personal attack. I inferred anyone thinking that had to come from a different planet as it was so far from the truth (which you alter admitted). You called me an illiterate console ned. Then repeated it in the comment before this one. Well if it's ok to get personal - how illiterate does it make you if I'm illiterate but passed the higher education course we were doing and you didn't? Makes you fscking stupid I reckon.

I butted in and set the tone? Ignoring the fact that 'butting in' is the whole point of allowing commenting I think it can be safely said that you butted in. Merg posted, I commented, he commented, you butted in with ack pish.

Easier=lazier? Fscking tosh man. So are we lazy because we invented matches instead of dry sticks or steam power instead of horse power? What a stupid fscking thing to say. It's smarter to do the same job with less effort.

I don't backtrack? Of course I backtrack - but your backtracks were on points where you incorrectly claimed something as fact, then had a lengthy pontification session about this incorrect fact - you looked like a tool. I'm just highlighting that. When arguing with a fsckwit like yourself it's inevitable that I'm going to be the right one more often than not - there's very little I've said in this thread that I need to back track on where the are several instances where you have already and several more where you should.

There you go - point by point repudiation of all your points. Which of those do you plan to ignore?

Dogs said...

I made a point about piracy and a point about inferior console titles. I conceded on piracy that its effect is limited (I was generous in my concession and I still think that without piracy Doom3 would get a lot more sales) Yes I have no proof. What proof do you have fsckwit?
Sorry I've ignored your pedantry. Just what was your point that shat all over what I was trying to say which was, and still remains, easy=lazy and the proof is the flood of shite on the shelves. Superior pc hardware does have far more scope for innovation and yes my pc is faster than yours and I still find that humorous because it pisses you off. Just don't bleat on about it because it's a tongue in cheek remark that has fsck all to do with the discussion which is now over as I can't stand to listen to anymore nonsense about a 3 year old box being the best for innovation. Where is the xbox taking us? Gameplay is your heavyweight argument. Gameplay exists regardless of platform - you said so. Repudiation of your own argument. yadayadayada. And you sir are a highly educated knob end.

mmChronic said...

Tongue in cheek tends to be denoted by a smily in text as it's a tad hard to see a tongue in cheek or a grin on your face. If anything is said without a smiley then it has to be taken at face value and argued with.

Doom 3 will still get a squillion sales - and would have had a squillion and 19 if no one got a copy. Most people grab stuff because it's there. A lot of these people had no intention of buying Doom 3 in the first place - having access or not to a copy won't change that. I have no intention of buying Doom 3 and never have had. How much do id lose if I grab a copy tonight? Fsck all.

I never said a 3 year old box was the best for innovation. It never could be when your definition of innovation seems to be bigger, faster, more. My definition of innovative is new, something not seen before - a definition I believe I share with the OED. Yes there are derivative games on consoles as companies will always repeat what has previously sold well - but I would argue (and have done) that the state of play on PC is more derivative than any other platform. The only thing new are the effects - if that's all you want then there is still a demo scene out there and the software costs nowt.

There are more games I play on my Xbox than on my PC - and my PC is more than capable of playing modern games before you throw that old kipper in. To me (and to the vast majority of video games players in the world) gaming is better on a console.

As I said before I'm very happy with my PC which is slightly (not far as you stated) less technologically superior than yours but in my book a much better machine all round. The fact I spent a grand on it rather than a box which would shit on yours from a great height proves that. Your 'uberbox' I could get for less than 600 quid.

There's plenty of PC shite on the shelves as well - that doesn't come from the harder dev env that a PC coder uses. It comes from shit coders full stop. Or coders working to to a shit code by numbers spec to fulfil a licence. It's got nothing to do with relative ease of coding on a platform.

Oh and if you don't fscking hurry up and pay for this I'm off to make my fortune as a tout. :) <- denotes ARF ARF style moment.

Dogs said...

My definition is that bigger faster more offers more scope for innovation. Repeat to fade.

Yes you can have your money. I'll drop by sometime this week. you fscking illiterate console ned :)

mmChronic said...

My argument on that is bigger, faster means more scope for lazy code being deemed good enough for release.

Only because it will take that long to mug enough people in Shields to get a couple of quid together.

I've got more gaming hardware than you, you bamp. :)

Dogs said...

That was a jolly good mass debating session. Now I'm off to play Far Cry at 10 squillion frames per second. Yah boo sucks.

mmChronic said...

And I'm going to play it at 9.9 billion fps whilst simultanously playing Mario Golf Advance, PGR 2 and Mario World.

Dogs said...

That must mean your gaming skillz have improved exponentially since the last time I saw you failing to beat my hotlap on some dodgy arcade racer.

mmChronic said...

I never claimed to be the world's best gamer - just that I like the world's best games.

That ghost was on the original PGR? I think I may have finally wiped that a while back. I'll have to dust off my copy and have a look.

Merg said...

Far Cry?

And you call yourself a gamer...

I finished that back in March.

Dogs said...

Finished Far Cry and revisiting on a higher level - likewise Halo (ATI finally got round to tuning their drivers for it) and Call of Duty. TOCA 2, UT2K4 and Vice City still get the dust blown off once in a while. Notice half of these are available on console - they're just inferior and more expensive on console.



mmChronic said...

You can't have a dig and run away! :)

Sneaky guerilla tactics. You are Osama Bin Laden AICMFP. I'm off to tell Blunkett.