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Next Gen Consoles to Compete with PCs - cost vs quality

Discussion in 'Playground' started by Aldeth the Foppish Idiot, Apr 1, 2013.

  1. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    Well, it looks like by the end of 2013 - circa November - the next generation of consoles will hit the shelves. Looking at the proposed specs of the PS4 and the XBox 720 (or whatever they decide to call it - since there has yet to be a reveal, even the name is speculative at this point), it would certainly seem like the new consoles will be able to compete with even top gaming PCs in terms of performance.

    That was the one thing that PCs always had going for them - a high end gaming PC could blow the PS3 and XBox 360 out of the water in terms of performance. This will at least level the playing field quite a bit. But this does raise an interesting question. The majority of PC-only games were PC-only because of the superior performance. Will the next gen consoles essentially make the concept of a PC-only game a thing of the past? Moreover, with a projected price point of these consoles rumored to be somewhere around $400 (I have heard $500 reported but that seems to be the top number), which is a fraction of the price you'd pay for a high end gaming rig, will it make purchasing such a PC also obsolete? And it also goes without saying that while there are PC-only games out there, there are many more console-only games that only release on the PC much later, if at all.

    No one is as big of a fan of PC gaming as me. I've owned one for nearly all of my childhood and a good chunk of my adult life. However, about a year ago, I took the plunge and bought an XBox 360. (OK, technically, my son harrassed me until I bought him a Kinect, but I DID get an XBox out of the deal, and so I can't consider it a purchase solely for his use. As an aside he still plays Skyrim, and has leveled his Argonian - who has spent all of his perks in two handed, heavy armor, and archery - to level 25.)

    After playing on the XBox for about a year now, I have concluded that there are very few games I want that are available exclusively for the PC. I thought I wanted Diablo III, but the more that came out about that game post-release, the less interested I became. Just last week, ex-Director of Diablo III, Jay Wilson, had an interview in which he said including the auction house "was a mistake", and that it "really hurt the game". It is because of this that there will NOT be an auction house when D3 gets released later this year for the PS3/PS4. Right now, it looks like the only game I'm going to "miss out" on in 2013 that I would have likely purchased will be the Heart fo the Swarm.

    It also goes without saying that I'll likely be purchasing either a PS4 or an XBox 720 within the next year. I just can't see investing in a gaming PC when I can buy one of these systems for about half of what it would cost for a decent, and certainly not top of the line, gaming PC. I never thought the day would come that I would turn away of PC gaming in favor of consoles, but apparently that is exactly what has happened.

    Your thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2013
  2. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    The XBOX 360 debuted in 2005, its tech is old now. The same thing will happen to the 720 in a few years.

    That's the one thing consumers like and developers hate about PCs: the tech changes frequently.

    The opposite is true for consoles.
     
  3. Topken

    Topken Elven-dragon wizard

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    Since consoles are using AMd parts and they are known to be weaker then intel at this point in time and thus are cheaper then intel parts I can see the price being much lower then what one would spend on a decent intel gaming rig. so yeah we already have pcs that are more powerful then the upcoming consoles but hopefully this helps kick off better games. Ones that arte far more open then what we have seen with the current consoles since their tech were outdated when they came on the scene and they were both pretty starved of ram. My PC can easily go toe to toe with the up coming consoles and even out shine them at times so yeah consoles have already been surpassed by pcs.
     
  4. Gaear

    Gaear ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful

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    Non-tech thought: I prefer to handle my gaming 'business' while sitting at my PC, not on the couch looking at a TV. Not sure quite why that is, but to me, gaming and TV are two different endeavors. TV-related stuff is passive - lounging, blank stare, maybe even sleepy. ;)
     
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  5. Shoshino

    Shoshino Irritant Veteran

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    usual white wash 'super' powered console, that face graphic showing what what is 'possible' on a ps4 isn't that impressive, it would be more interesting to see how that hardware would withstand some proper prolonged stress testing with the thermal implications involved there, I find it unlikely that software developers are going to truly push the boundaries.
     
  6. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    Anything PC-only in gaming has been such for years for more or less one reason only - controller/screen issues. As in, some games simply can't be played comfortably without a mouse (and keyboard) or with the player not sitting right in front of the monitor to see minute details, especially games where there's a lot of pointing and clicking and rearrangement on the screen, e.g. strategy games. I'd say that actual raw power ceased to be a factor in favour of the PC a long time ago. Game developers have been favouring consoles for a long time for a number of reasons - they're infinitely easier to test for (than literally thousands of possible PC configurations), console games on average far outsell PC games, there's far less piracy, every console generation lasts a number of years making long-term planning much easier and so on.

    So looking at it from a strictly business POV, in general, it just makes more sense to develop primarily for consoles. Of course, that also leaves more room on the PC market, which means that some companies will do exactly the opposite - specialize for the PC market instead. And some that are big enough will want to profit from both markets.

    Overall, I don't expect anything much to change, except that the number of console gamers and console games sold will keep increasing. The number of PC (only) titles will likely be smaller, but probably not drastically so.

    Personally, I don't own any consoles... not that I have anything against them but simply because I've always been a PC gamer and anything that I wanted to play was available on the PC. So a console would have been more or less an unnecessary expense. Still, I might get one some day.
     
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  7. 8people

    8people 8 is just another way of looking at infinite ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran

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    [​IMG] I said this on SP when the PS3/Xbox 360 and when the PS2/Xbox came out...

    Technology is cyclical, whilst consoles must make great leaps in improvement and PCs improve gradually, organically.

    This means sometimes PCs are better than consoles and then consoles rise up in supremecy, sitting there gently for a while as PCs catch up and surpass them then subside when the next generation of consoles comes forth.

    I prefer gaming on PC still, but simply lack the technology to keep up with new ventures, whilst a console I have ensures that all games released for the device should work, granted I only have a few and they are largely mindless, yet it is still nice to sit back and kick some ass now and then :)
     
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  8. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    There's no doubt that high-end gaming rigs can still outperform the new consoles, but there is a cost associated with that. Most obviously, the initial purchase, and a high end gaming PC will cost about 3X what the consoles will cost. (Say $400 versus $1200.)

    That is another advantage I forgot to list. Since there are only new consoles every few years, you don't have to worry about upgrading your console, and you know that everything that you buy for that particular console should work - you never have to worry about whether or not your current PC will be able to run the game optimally.
     
  9. Arkite

    Arkite Crash or crash through Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Wouldn't mind a console, but it's the price of the console games that stops me.

    With all the sales Steam has, as well as daily deals and developer deals, games you want always end up on sale at a massive markdown, and then there are the other resellers of steam keys (e.g. greenmangaming.com) that run their own sales as well... unless there is some mechanism for getting really great deals on console games that has come about recently that I haven't heard about, I'll be sticking with the pc for a long time.
     
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  10. Splunge

    Splunge Bhaal’s financial advisor Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    That's how I feel about it as well, along with the fact that I prefer keyboard/mouse rather than controllers.
     
  11. Paracelsi

    Paracelsi Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Tal pretty much summed it up in his post. In any case, console games have been routinely blowing the PC out of the water in terms of performance every few years since the JRPG renaissance in 90's (was there really a PC game that could match Final Fantasy 8 and 10's graphics around the time these games were released?). And there were other, popular console games like the Twisted Metal series and most fighting games.

    It's true that these games could have been ported into the PC but many never were and so the fact remains that several times in the past there have been many consoles games which were superior to many PC games. Didn't really matter if PCs had better specs at the time. In the end I think it's more a question of how well game developers make use of a particular system's limitations.

    Most traditional RPG's will never play well on a console unless they start including a mouse/keyboard in every core set. It's true that times are changing, but personally I haven't given up hope on more BG-esque games being released in the future. Besides, as a gamer with a wide range of favorite genres I cannot imagine playing RTS games like Starcraft 2 or complex turn-based games like the Heroes series on the console. Just thinking about it gives me a headache.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2013
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  12. Topken

    Topken Elven-dragon wizard

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    The PC version of FInal Fantasy 8 Paracelsi?
     
  13. Shoshino

    Shoshino Irritant Veteran

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    Tal has it right with interface problems, I remember trying to play command and conquer and XCOM enemy unknown on the PS1 and how difficult it was to control, then I got a PC.

    As for money, you may save money on the initial console, but then it depends how often you buy games to compare value for money, PC games are always cheaper. Amazon currently sells Bioshock Infinite for £27.99 on PC and £34.99 on console and thats only just been released, Farcry 3 is £17 on PC and £22.99 on console - I've just saved £13 on a mere 2 games. I bought Borderlands 2 for £15 when it was still £35 on console.

    With the constomizability of PC's they will always keep them on top, I wanted more power from my machine so I overclocked it, if something goes wrong with my machine, I fix it. A console doesn't require any real intelligence or knowledge to use.
     
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  14. Paracelsi

    Paracelsi Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Came out a year after the PS version and was ported badly.
     
  15. Shoshino

    Shoshino Irritant Veteran

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    owned both, thought the PC version was far better in terms of sound, graphics and the lack of getting stuck on the scenery.
     
  16. Paracelsi

    Paracelsi Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Own both and still play them. I originally owned only the PC version and ultimately got the PS version though the PS store, but before all that I played the PS version extensively. Because of how the game was ported it looked a lot more pixelated. Whoever said the game featured "enhanced graphics" apparently didn't expect that making the graphics appear sharper only served to emphasize how deformed the 3D-renditions of the characters looked close up. It didn't help that normally you would be sitting nearer to your PC monitor than your TV. This is actually the main criticism of the PC port. It also didn't help that the game was very limited in terms of how you could adjust things like aspect ratio (the game looked much better on a wide TV) and no function was included that allowed you smooth out character 3D renditions. The latter alone could have guaranteed a better game overall.
    A lot of the CGI and several of the summoning/magic/limit breaks indeed looked better because of sharper graphics, but the PS version already wowed us with those.

    From my perspective "better sound" is relative (though some of the musics scores do sound better). Some of the GF summoning and shot/skill sounds used in the PS port were replaced with a dull-sounding noise. This is especially noticeable when summoning GF Quezacotl. Perhaps these changes were made to make some of the game sound effects more ear-friendly, but I much preferred the original.

    I mean not sure what "lack of getting stuck on the scenery" means since the rest of the content was essentially the same (ie there should be no increase/decrease of getting stuck anywhere).
    I've managed to get my characters stuck while playing either game, the PC version simply made it look more subtle since the lack of an analog stick meant that if you ever got stuck, your characters would suddenly end up standing rigid and facing only one direction (vs looking like one of agents dodging a bullet from The Matrix when using an analog stick).

    AFAIK the one saving grace of the PC version was that it allowed you to play Chocobo World, if you don't count being able to regularly check the web for FAQS as you play.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2013
  17. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    There's nothing you can do about recently released games and getting them on sale, but there is a Microsoft store on the XBox, and they regularly run sales. For example, this past weekend there was a sale on Expansion Packs. Any expansion pack you want for 50% off. So if you wanted to finally pick up Dragonborn for Skyrim, it was $10 instead of $20. Also available at the Microsoft store are downloadable games, and they are always a ton cheaper than $60. Magic the Gathering 2013 was $20 upon release, and the expansions were dirt cheap - like $1 or $2 per additional deck.

    Where you are completely correct is there's no way to get a recently released game - and by recently I'll say anything that's been out for less than a year - for less than about $60. I did pick up Arkham City a few months back, and since that's been out for a while, I nabbed that for $30. So even "older" games are comparitively more expensive.

    Although truth be told, the cost of games has really been remarkably stable over the years. I was probably paying $50 for a game 20 years ago. That it's only $60 now, all these years later, really speaks to the affordability of gaming as a hobby. To consider that you can easily get 20 hours of entertainment out of a pretty good game - and a lot more than that out of the really good ones - $60 seems like a bargain for me.

    I will concede that it does depend on how many games you purchase. I've now owned my XBox for nearly exactly a year (purchased March 2012). I've bought Skyrim, Arkham City, and Tomb Raider, with only Arkham purchased at a discount. But those are the only ones I bought from a retail store. In addition to those mentioned, I have Kinect Adventures, Wreckateer (which is a ton of fun for a measly $10) Angry Birds (not as much fun on Kinect as you'd think) and Carnival Carousel (or something like that) for my son on Kinect. Since all of the Kinect games were purchased from the XBox store, they all had price points of $10-$20 (and I think the complete set of Angry Birds games - traditional, seasons, and Rio - was the ONLY one that was $20.)

    So my attitude is that I've still spent more on the Console itself than on the games I've purchased for it. I paid about $600 for it. That was for the console, Kinect, an extra controller, the recharger stand for the controllers, and an HDMI connection for the TV. I've bought two $60 games (and three add-ons for Skyrim for $35 total), one $30 game, one $20 game with about $10 in add-ons, and four Kinect games costing a total of $50. That's still under $300. In hindsight, I have probably spent more time on the XBox in the last year than my son. But that is partially because he likes the games you can get on the Kindle Fire, which we didn't own at the time we purchased the XBox.

    And not to change the subject too much, but one thing that I don't see the attraction of - at all - is the Ouya. Other than being cheap - price point of just $99 - what's the attraction here?
     
  18. Darion

    Darion Resident Dissident Veteran BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    Nothing can surpass a PC. Even if the next-gen Console actually does.
    It's far easier to open a pc an change some elements if required, and put the rig straight into a new range.
     
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  19. Arkite

    Arkite Crash or crash through Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Yeah prices over here have gone down over the last 20 years, it used to be not uncommon for new releases to head up to the $120 mark, nowadays $99 is about as high as they go (even after the AUD reached parity with the USD 3 years ago). Speaking of markdowns on new games, I looked up the price of Bioshock Infinite on xbox360 in stores over here, $80-$90, but greenmangaming is selling the pc version for $52, and they often give out these coupon codes for further discounts, which is how I got a couple of must have new releases in the last year for $40ish.

    Might drift off topic slightly here myself... there probably isn't as much incentive to shop around in other parts of the world, but over here we've always been gouged when it comes to technology prices, and our best known consumer advocacy group recently came out and encouraged consumers to use VPNs and whatever other means necessary to avoid being gouged when buying products that are distributed digitally (source).

    Um with regards to the Ouya, from memory... the idea is that most of the games will be free/open source, so it'll live or die based on it's community, but I guess for such a low entry price a fair few people were happy to take the risk.
     
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  20. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    That's still considerably higher than what you'll pay in the US. The only thing you'll see around the $100 mark are the "Collector's Edition" releases. Those typically run around $100, but almost all games - whether you're talking XBox, PS, or PC are all priced nearly identically, and they are all $60 - the variation there is probably less than $5.
     
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