As a gamer who loves his PC, I wish that the industry and consumers paid much more attention to the platform that gave birth to some of the most important titles of all time. The PC pioneered genres that make us spend hours screaming at our televisions and monitors. But many players today are totally unaware of the potential that the platform holds to deliver their greatest gaming experiences.
You may be saying to yourself, “What a PC fanboy. Go play a real system like the PlayStation 3 or the Xbox 360.” The fact is that I do 75 percent of my gaming on those two systems, but the majority of my most-memorable experiences have happened on the PC: the first time I killed a polygonal model with a gun because my dad said I could play Quake for an hour before I went bed; playing Lego Island every day before I had to go and spend eight, boring hours at school; hell, even my greatest gaming memory of playing Knights of the Old Republic for the first time. (I had to resort to the PC because I did not own an Xbox.) I ended up playing the BioWare's role-playing game (RPG) every waking hour of the summer before freshman year. Oh, how I miss that summer.
The PC is an ever-evolving technology. Every year, developers introduce hundreds of ways to improve the quality of the hobby. It has become one of the premier platforms to have the best, triple-A gaming experiences. And I love it.
So, I jump to the PC’s defense when hear gamers talk about how the platform is dying. I very much disagree, and I am not alone. So much evidence exists to show the immortality of the PC.
The best example is the world’s most successful PC-developer, Blizzard, and its behemoth: World of Warcraft (WoW). The massively multiplayer, online, role-playing game (MMORPG) has 12 million subscribers, and thousands of new people join every day. The title is only playable on PC (and other personal computers like Macs). With the release of the latest WoW expansion, Cataclysm, the MMORPG shows signs of never slowing down. And not even the WoW addict’s dream of an announcement for World of Warcraft 2 could stop Blizzard's support (as evidenced by the developer's commitment to patching decade-old games Starcraft and Diablo 2).
The success of WoW has many of the world’s biggest publishers and developers trying to win big with a MMO of their own. Electronic Arts has thrown millions (probably billions) into the Star Wars: The Old Republic hoping for future success on the PC and hopeful competition with WoW. Why would these publishers and developers throw the money and man power at making MMOs if they thought that the PC was a dying platform?
Another great example is what Valve is doing with its digital-distribution service, Steam. Steam has become hugely successful with many players turning to it for their PC-gaming needs. With its smooth site design, it's never been easier to buy and download games. Valve updates big, PC multiplayer titles like Counter-Strike: Source and Team Fortress 2 every day with new features to enhance your experience.
According to the NDP, 48 percent of PC games sales in 2009 were through digital distribution sysmtes like Steam. Digital sales are on the rise with the help of the PC.
I do not want to forget that PC gaming has a couple of faults. Yes, a decent rig hurts your wallet. A good gaming PC can cost $500 or more. Yes, it is cheaper to go the console route, but in the long run it kind of makes a bit more sense to invest in a PC. Yes, updating your PC can be a pain, but I recommend you just look on the Internet, where thousands of articles and tutorials exist that show you the simple way of manual, PC-hardware updates. So yes,a few things are holding back the ultimate potential of the PC.
However, the main reason the PC is great is due to the games themselves. The platform holds one of the most dynamic library of genres than any other console or system. And we all know that when it comes down to it, it’s all about the games.