Microsoft: Hardly anyone plays FPS games on the PC anymore

Discussion in 'Shooter Games: The Range' started by Drac, Sep 28, 2010.

  1. Drac

    Drac Squad Officer

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    This from Microsoft's Kudo Tsunoda, creator of Kinect.

    Full article: http://gameinformer.com/b/news/archive/2010/09/18/-Talking-Kinect-With-Kudo.aspx

    Alas, the naughty word filter on these forums won't allow me to properly express my view of those words.

    However, I doubt you'd ever hear Gabe from Valve say anything like that. It's sad really because if Microsoft wanted they could be making a fortune out of PC Digital games sales. If they'd put even half the effort of Xbox Live into Games For Windows Live as a full digital-store-plus-gaming-service like Steam (which really, steams features should have been built-in to Windows a decade ago) they'd turn a handsome profit from online game sales yet it seems the people in charge at Microsoft clearly just don't give a shit about gaming on their OS anymore.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2010
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  2. Jigoku

    Jigoku Retired Captain

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    Well considering the PC version made up about 10% of total CoDMW2 sales ....
     
  3. Chief

    Chief Retired Captain

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    Yeah, I'm sure we'll see a lot more people playing FPS games via Kinect :rolleyes: Dude is a total douchebag. And I'm not saying that because of this article, he seriously is just in general.

    None the less, FPS titles are more popular on console these days. Videogames in general are more popular on consoles these days.

    Don't really see what his point is though, I mean I find most games, especially FPS titles, much more enjoyable on PC due to many things, such as a decent framerate, better graphics and in particular the vastly superior controls. I can't think of a recent FPS title that had a better console version than it did PC version.

    Seems like the guy is just trying to convince people Kinect will be great for the 360s core audience (which seems to be mainstream shooter fans) but after what we've seen of kinect so far....
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2010
  4. Drac

    Drac Squad Officer

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    There are a heap of reasons for this. They charged console game prices even though they didn't have to pay licence fees to release on PC and the whole business of hiding that there were no dedicated servers until a few weeks before release (and only when pressed in an interview) certainly didn't encourage PC gamers to purchase it.

    Also, Bad Company 2 sold more copies on PC than consoles.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2010
  5. Atrayo

    Atrayo Retired Captain

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    Hi Guys,

    Let's just hope those are Mr.Kudo Tsunoda personal opinion than the stance that Microsoft is taking as a whole. Notwithstanding the poor track record that Microsoft has with the FPS genre. (lest for Bungie studio house)

    Another thing is Mr. Tsunoda may be in his own self-imposed bubble aka "Ivory Tower". If his world is 24/7 consoles, than his bias will lean in that direction.
     
  6. Drac

    Drac Squad Officer

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    Oh but it's not.

    This is why I'm so sour about this.

    Microsoft have been shitting all over the PC gaming landscape for half a decade now. Why do I say that?

    Well, what was the last 1st party MS Game Studios title published for the PC?

    Shadowrun in 2007 by FASA Studios.

    If you can't recall that game, it was a terrible FPS game that allowed both PC and 360 players to play with/against each other on the same servers. The result was as "epic fail" as it sounds.

    MS Game Studios has both 1st party game development studios (which Microsoft own like Activision owns Infinity Ward) and 3rd party publishing agreements (like Epic with Gears Of War series). 3rd party publishing partners usually publish to the 360 and the PC. MS Games Studio will not publish a game for the PS3, Wii or any mobile platform which is why Epic Games published Unreal Tournament 3 through Midway games as they wanted to release on PS3, PC and 360.

    My beef isn't with their 3rd party pubslihing business though, it's their 1st party (Microsoft owned) gaming strategy that cannibalizes PC gaming innovation in pretty much every genre that really gets my goat. Here are some examples:

    FASA Studios - Produced all the Mechwarrior series for the PC. Was snapped up my Microsoft who pushed them away from Mechwarrior and into making a cruddy FPS with the Shadowrun IP licence MS had acquired. Shadowrun released in 2007 to terrible reviews, FASA disbanded shortly after.

    Ditigal Anvil - the developers of Freelancer (space trader/combat game) lost their publisher toward the end of their bloated development cycle. MS Games Studios snapped them up and rushed out Freelancer for PC. DA wanted to do a PC sequel as even their rsuedh game was fairly popular but MS wanted a space combat game as a launch title for the 360. That game never made it out of early alhpa stages and disbanded in 2006.

    Lionhead Studios - developed Black & White (I & II) and Fable for PC but is now a 360 exclusive studio. Lionhead studios lead designer is Peter Molyneux, the brainchild behind such PC gaming classics as Populous, Magic Carpet, Syndicate, Theme Park, Dungeon Keeper ect. The PC will most likely never see another game from this great designer as Microsoft have him humping Kenict's leg for table scraps.

    Ensemble Studios - developers of the awesome Age of Empires series was tasked with trying to cash in on the Halo hype by making a Halo RTS for the 360. Not long after Halo Wars made bugger all money the studio disbanded - no more Age of Empires games for PC.

    This isn't a complete list of the developers Microsoft has dragged away from the PC, just the major ones.

    Microsoft are like the Boogiemen of PC gaming. I wonder which PC development studios will be sacrificed on the altar to appease Kinect. I have a feeling this is also why Bungee decided to distance themselves from Microsoft, they saw the marble altar being constructed behind the crimson curtain and fled the cult before it was too late.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2010
  7. Chief

    Chief Retired Captain

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    Well Fable 3 is supposed to be on both 360 and PC, however the 360 release is about a month from now while PC version is still TBA since it was delayed. The idea behind this happening at all was to advertise Windows 7 as a gaming platform.
     
  8. Ange

    Ange Active Member

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    As a long time PC, console and FPS fan I have to state that I will never touch another console ever again. Console have become want to be PC. They have limited control, sound and graphix. This means that any game writen for a console is a shadow of what it could have been if writen soley for the PC. Take the 2 most sucesful games of recent time. Battlefield Bad Company 2 and Borderlands. Both this games are fun but I keep getting the feeling that the game has heavly restricted. Vehclies are hardly any use in these games as the map is so small. A design limitation due to restricted system resources of the consoles. Compare these to games such as BF2 or even Tribes. Both old games but in alot of ways still much more advanced then any FPS released in the past few years.

    It will be intresting to see what BF3 is like especially if its PC only..
     
  9. Drac

    Drac Squad Officer

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    Arr now see that I disagree with (I'm fickle, I know). I think without the popularity and massive consumer base of the console market we'd not have anywhere near as many PC games, nor would many games have the multi-million dollar budgets most of them now have. Sure, there are some standout PC only games/genres, but they're rare, really rare.

    I also think hardware speed is a non-issue. You can always simplify the visuals and make the environments larger if you wish. There are plenty of massively open world type games on consoles, it's not "impossible" because of the hardware, it's largly a design choice. There is also a somewhat exponential increase in manhours required to produce HD level content in games. Way back when screen resolutions were 800x600 you could slap down a height-filed for terrain and a few boxes for buildings and a handful of grass/dirt textures and your big open world is done. Nowadays it's much more complex and takes a lot longer, you have static models because old height-field based terrain is boring - you'll want overhangs, underpasses, rock outcroppings, lots of foliage/tree models ect and all of those will need three texture maps each - one for color, one for specular and one for normal/bump mapping and of course a larger variation of all of those textures too because display resolutions are higher so you need even more variety ect ect ect.

    Back in the SNES days the sound for a game took maybe a few days messing about with a single midi synth. In modern games you're hiring an entire orchestra for several weeks to learn and record the score.

    Those kind of differences have happened in every area of game development. Without the income consoles pull in for multi-platform titles we'd never see anything like Bad Company 2 or Borderlands, not in 2010 anyway.

    I also think the limited control input of consoles has helped focus certain genres nicely in some areas. Sometimes it's for the worse, sure, but for some areas the simplification of certain mechanics has given birth to more pure and refined forms of "play".

    Lastly, I can't see BF3 being a PC exclusive title for all of the above reasons. There's no way DICE could afford to make it PC only unless it's half the size of Bad Company 2 which would suck almost as much as Microsoft Games Studios does... almost....
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2010
  10. caydn

    caydn Retired Captain

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    He develops games for consoles only what did you expect.
     
  11. Brootal

    Brootal Well-Known Member

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    Microsoft's focus on Console is easy. Develop games for XBox, they get royalties. Develop games for PC? they've got to actually make the game themselves. They've proven that what they can develop for PC is 2nd rate anyway.

    As For FPS in particular, why does (apparently, I don't do the console thing) most FPS games released on the console have an "auto aim" or "aim assist" functionality? I know COD did for console release, but not for PC? Is it because Keyboard and mouse you can actually play the game, twiddling a couple of sticks just isn't good enough so you need help?

    Anyway, PC gaming will live on, because anyone can develop for it without paying anyone a cent.
     
  12. Drac

    Drac Squad Officer

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    Nothing is stopping Microsoft from releasing Kinect for the PC. They're simply choosing not to (thus far anyway).
     
  13. Spectre8

    Spectre8 Retired Administrator

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    Heheh - he's not too far wrong in some respects :)

    I've been a die-hard PC FPS shooter fan since they were first created (Wolf3D anyone!?!?) but have recently almost given up on them. Not because I've changed, not because I play consoles - but simply because the vast majority of FPS games are totally screwed because they are cross-platform releases. Imagine how totally awesome something like Far Cry 2 would have been if it was solely a PC release... but instead it was designed from the ground up as a console shooter - and played like it.

    But still - to make a statement like that is showing a level of ignorance, or purely trying to make a false statement fact. Either way - it's still wrong.
     
  14. Ange

    Ange Active Member

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    Mate the reality is that games now days are simplified versions of what we saw 10 years ago. There is a reason for this and that is consoles due to thier hardware limitations and input devices.

    The greates FPS of all time is Tribes (Im from the Tribes 2 era). That game is the grand daddy of every multiplayer FPS game released. 10 years have passed and we have seen huge improvemnts in hardware technology yet gaming has somehow not improved but gone backwards. We are seening smaller and smaller play areas, with less people and vehicles.

    How can anyone argue that consoles have been a positive for the gaming industiy. If BF3 is going to be multi platform game then I expect it to be just as bland as Halo, CoD, MoH and BFBC 2.

    Ange
     
  15. Spectre8

    Spectre8 Retired Administrator

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    Consoles have been good for FPS games, in that it has driven publishers to sink huge resources and dollars into developing them. That's where it's good. It's also getting gaming out from behind the shroud of geekdom, and into the lounge-room. There'll be a whole new generation that'll grow up playing FPS's from the couch on a 50' screen.

    Is the sophistication of the genre gone? Or have they streamlined what was overly complex? Probably somewhere in-between.

    For me, there have been a few games that port well - mostly not FPS's though. Oblivion is technically a first person "shooter" - just with a different style of shooting :) The game worked mostly well as a port, mostly because it was a slower style of game, rather than the frantic pace of most pure shooters.

    Of course, whenever we see a port, the interface is simplistic, the font sizes are generally five points higher than even the oldest of pensioners could read and the controls have a one-click solution for all situations.

    Look at Assassins Creed (not FPS) - it was labelled as "press X to win", or look at BC2 - you run in to try to defuse the bomb and all you do is pick up discarded weapons because it's a "utility" button.

    Or imagine how different Borderlands could have been if they added a layer or two of complxity to allow stealth, or boobie-traps... not to mention the "press enter to start" at the beginning of the game or not being able to read weapon stats because the font is way too large...

    So yes - Console sales drive the funding of games, which benefit us all - but they also force horrible compromises upon us too. We're caught in a grey area that's for sure.

    EDIT: Finally got to reading Dracs post - seems we're on a similar wavelength :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2010
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  16. Ange

    Ange Active Member

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    I completly disagree, more money does not mean better product. All it means is a higher expectaion on returns. So these means spreading the avalibility. So you make games from consoles as wells as the PC. That means you now need to make the game play on the lowest common denominator. A console in other words.

    Lets take a look at Borderlands. While a fun game it suffered from being a console port. An example im talking about are the maps. They where far to small that where then linked by neededing to click a button. If this game was on the PC I have no doubt that the maps whould have been huge with no need to stop the buggy and need to click a button.

    Lets not even go into th3e interface screen.

    As I said console have had a huge negative impact on the gaming industry yes they have been bought into the main stream the negative is we have gone backwards in game play.

    Ange
     
  17. Drac

    Drac Squad Officer

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    Sorry, but it being on a console has absolutely nothing to do with map sizes and everything to do with it being A) Multiplayer and B) peer to peer hosted. Even if it was PC only and the maps were steamed in from the HDD as you moved around you'd end up with a shitstorm of memory issues in a locally hosted game that had to maintain steams for 4 different players.

    The only way MMOs have maps so large is because the data is streamed from hosted servers and AI processing is offloaded to the servers as well (a server which is grunty enough to have entire realms in memory). Without dedicated servers lets say Bob is hosting the game. His machine has to load and maintain everything in his general location but he also needs to know about what's happening in Sally's location 2Ks away, it has to process the AI for the mobs she's fighting and in order to do that it needs to load in the map geometry (as the AI needs to know how to move around) around her too even though he can't actually see it. Scale this up to a 4 player game and you can see why systems like this without dedicated servers quickly scale out of control.

    Even in a PC only game like Crysis the multiplayer maps are much smaller than the single player areas for this exact same reason. In a single player RPG you can stream content in and out at will just around the player location, and in fact many console games do this - God of War has massive streaming levels and other notable games like Oblivion/Fallout. MMOs do the same as the server takes care of all the AI and only has to send the player local info ect.
     
  18. Brootal

    Brootal Well-Known Member

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    Much as I hate consoles, they are not the cause of simplified games. The cause is due to business, Games are now big business, big business is all about bringing in the money with minimal risks. We get COD 7, just like we get Rocky XXXIV, it's guarenteed income. If you stuff one up, you drop the name, make a new company, make a new one just the same as the last and release it as a spiritual successor. Keep selling the same stuff over and over.

    Truth is making great games is hard, it's very hit and miss, look at the indie games, for every game that's brilliant, there are 100s that flop. It's not a good way to make buckets of money. Let the indies make something good, take the risks, buy the successes for a modest amount and exploit if for as long as possible.
     
  19. Ballotechnic

    Ballotechnic Just Joined

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    With every generation of consoles the gap will likely become less and less, but PC's will always have an advantage because the hardware can be interchanged. That being said, I play consoles because my budget is limited and I love the ease of use (plug and play).

    Consoles have made games more accessible to folks who don't have the inclination to tweak settings and drivers or upgrade hardware on a regular basis. My brother is a big PC gamer, but the amount of time he spends trying to get new games to work properly is a little off putting. (ie Falcon 4.0). I'd sure love to have a vigorous mod community though.

    For developers, they know exactly what hardware configuration to develop for, so it's easier on their end as well.
     
  20. Leevers

    Leevers Guest

    All I have to say regarding all this....

    PC = FTW!
     

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