Last week I wrote some articles about PC vs Console Gaming. The best part of that series was hearing that everyone basically had the same goal. Whether you say PC or I say console, EVERYONE just wants to play something fun!
Granted some felt I was being overly biased towards consoles. And others felt that playing only on consoles would alienate their game or play style of choice. But in the end we all seemed to agree on one thing, if you don’t enjoy playing the game, it doesn’t matter what device you choose, you won’t play it!
I ranted that I didn’t understand why some Game Developers don’t treat gamers equally and offer their games to both console and pc players. At the time I honestly felt it was nothing more than a combination of corporate strategy and greed.
But then I read your responses and got to thinking. (Yeah, I know. I’ll eventually hurt something important from straining. But hey! You gotta do what you gotta do right?)
PC Gamers Are Hackers At Heart
We all know that the term Hacker is overused today. But those of us that where there in the earliest days of modern hacking understand what I mean. (Yes, believe it or not I have used the mythical Blue Box a time or two in my life.)
And the reason I claim PC Gamers are Hackers goes back to a now defunct debate in the early days of personal computing. Yeah, I’m talking about the seemingly never ending PC vs. Mac debate, or probably better understood today, Open vs. Closed Platforms.
See, back in the early days us nerds (Geek was a really bad term back then.) We who were “In The Know” understood that Macs were awesome. No one in their right mind could argue over who had the better service record. And we know that even today Macs are still the computer of choice for any artistic medium today.
But what infuriated us PC Nerds was the fact we couldn’t do a bloody thing to it!
One always felt constrained and limited by the Mac. And if we did want to do something out of the ordinary it would cost us 2 liters of blood, our first born child and our parents into getting a second mortgage!
PCs on the other hand were cheaper to alter and anyone with a basic understanding of circuitry could create something that was their own! PCs became a way for Nerds to establish a sense of personal identity by how they built and configured their computer.
And if you look at all the arguments presented in the PC vs. Console Gaming debates, it is this same lack of customization and “personal preferences” that ring the loudest.
Guess what! I hear and understand you. I really do.
Home Entertainment Networks
I remember when I honestly felt I had FINALLY reached the pinnacle of being a true IT GEEK! (Yeah, Geeks are cool now. I guess over time that issue with chickens finally was forgotten.) I had the opportunity to salvage a lot of old networking equipment, an old server and even older but still functioning IBM System/36 running OS/400.
Now the IBM I ended up giving away. (Who would’ve guessed that washing you couldn’t batch jobs for the Washing Machine and Dishwasher?) But I kept the 16 port hub and server!
It was awesome! I loaded up all my games on the server and invited my friends to bring over their computers and we would have awesome LAN Parties with ZERO lag!!!
I felt like a networking overlord!
Granted, this is nothing special today. Everyone has some form of wireless network. And if they don’t they’re probably “borrowing” one from a neighbor.
My point of all this is pretty simple. Gaming today requires more than just your PC or even your console. It requires communication to others outside the boundaries our walls provide.
Not only that we have several types of “Gaming Networks” to choose from. There’s Steam from Valve, EA has Origin, and Activision-Blizzard has Battlenet. Not to mention Xbox Live or Playstation Network!
Heck! Even the upstart Trion Worlds has announced one called Red Door!
I predict that sooner than later someone out there will create a “device” allowing all of these networks to be combined and accessed.
This “box” will be very similar to cable boxes we have now. It’ll be a consumer device with controller options allowing us to do everything we do today.
Huh? What’s that you say? We already do??
Well, strip me nekkid and call me bowlegged! We do!
Consoles Are Consumer PCs
See, today’s PCs and Consoles are really more like estranged siblings than we’d like to admit. The Xbox runs on a version of the Windows OS and Sony’s Playstation uses a Linux derivative.
But like cable boxes of today, Game Consoles are designed to give consumers a consistency. They are closed systems designed to appease to the masses.
However, like many of us in the early days of Cable Boxes and DVRs we all know that our PCs can be hacked and made to perform whatever function we choose.
Yes, PCs lead the gaming revolution. There will always be those who love to tweak, alter and modify their box to do whatever they want!
But there are legions of people that enjoy playing games but really don’t want to spend the time figuring out why a simple OS Update now prevents them from loading their favorite MMO. All these people want is a way to play their games and be entertained for a while without the hassles one experiences with a PC.
Brig Predicts Consoles With PC Compatibility And Functionality
If the next Xbox isn’t built with the intent to bridge the current gap between today’s consoles and the PC world (Desktops and Laptops) then I feel Microsoft will set back Gaming Technology another decade.
I sincerely believe that there is no reason that today’s consoles must have proprietary parts.
Granted, they need to have a severe limit of options available. However, Console Manufacturers need to take a lesson from Apple on how to deal with closed computing platforms. Even Jobs realized the benefits of allowing his legions of followers the choice of upgrading components or not.
If we can drop our preconceived notions about what Gaming Consoles and Gaming PCs are suppose to do. And agree that the end objective is everyone having fun and playing the games that they enjoy. Then instead of having a fractured community we could stand together as a united voice.
Then one day, maybe we’ll all get to enjoy slaying dragons, saving damsels in distress or flying starships in our very own holodecks!