Why I Might Be Turning Into a PC Gamer (And Why That Scares Me)

I was one of the last people I’d ever expect to consider PC gaming.  It’s not that I have any problem with games on such a platform, but when you’ve been playing games almost solely on consoles for the last 16 years and watching your parents do the same for even longer, it’s hard to change.  Events in life have taught me that change is often a negative thing, and when I get so much enjoyment from console gaming, why change now?

Well, Hatm0nster recently wrote a post discussing how certain video game publishers, including Square Enix, believe that the market for console gaming is going downhill, and it got me thinking.  About a lot of things.  And it made me wonder, if this is true, and I honestly don’t know, is it because we as gamers have changed or is it the companies that have changed?  If Square Enix is right now pondering over why their games aren’t as well-received as they used to be, is it the gamers or them?  In that one, single example, I believe it is the company because it is a widely held opinion that the Final Fantasy series specifically has gone downhill after the release of Final Fantasy X, which many believe is the last good game of the series.  In that line of thought, it seems Square is blaming the wrong people for the changes they are seeing.  We have not changed; their games have, and it is for that reason that we are less willing to spend money on games that aren’t up to par with what we expect.

I can also cite companies like Rareware, who have since passed their glory days.  Gamers continue to yearn for a new Banjo-Kazooie game, but are continuously denied it.  Fans ask for the return of many series they used to love, but are repeatedly turned down.  And these companies wonder why we have lost interest.

Maybe I’m wrong, but it seems to me that console gaming is only declining due to the games being made and not because gamers have changed.  Sure, there are still a lot of good games out there, and there are many more on the way that we’re all excited about.  It’s just that, even for a hardcore console supporter such as myself, I am seeing less and less reason to keep up with the new consoles.  Each new generation of consoles used to be a big jump up in terms of technology, and we paid far smaller prices for them.  My Nintendo 64, if I recall correctly, was about $100, and it easily surpassed the Super Nintendo in terms of gaming power.  64-bit graphics rather than 16-bit, an analog stick, and a whole array of new games I was excited to buy.  For $50 each.

Fast forward 15 years later.  I pay several hundred dollars for a Wii U, and I feel, well, like a fool.  My Wii U ended up being no better than a glorified Wii, with the same graphics and a controller that is awkward like the Wiimote, just in a different way.  Games cost $60 now.  And after all this time, I still have five games on it, three of which I didn’t get very far in and have lost the will to play again.  Not to mention the fact that my house is filled with consoles.  I can’t fit them all on my TV stand, and if I want to play a console currently stored in my closet, I need to swap it out with one already plugged in beside or below my TV, and then I get to have fun trying to arrange the mess of wires just so.  My house is losing the ability to fit any more consoles at this point!  I’m being invaded by the things!

And to top it all off, most of my favorite series are gone.  And if they are still having sequels made, I get to wait years in between, sometimes as long as a decade.  What fun!  I can just skip entire generations of consoles, in that case.  That’ll at least save on space.  I love what consoles and games I already have, on the most part, and I intend to play them all many more times throughout the upcoming years.  The problem is, I’m just putting so much money and effort into new consoles with very little reward.  It seems ironic that a company can stop making their most popular series and then wonder why sales have dropped.  I don’t need an expert’s grasp on business and economics to understand that this makes no sense.  If an Italian restaurant makes the best pizza in the country, why would they remove pizza from the menu and then wonder where all the customers went?  Is it because people no longer enjoy Italian food?  I think not.  Once again, this would be a case where the company has changed and then wonders why their customers’ response to them has also changed.

This is where PC gaming comes in.  You see, I was working my way here the entire time.  I don’t think the gamers have changed.  I certainly haven’t, but I have likely contributed to this declining sales of console games myself.  Gamers that started out as children have grown into adults who no longer wish to spend an increasing percentage of their hard-earned money on a machine that has very little use.  That is why I have begun to turn to PC gaming, even when I never thought I would.  Almost everyone has a computer.  Why buy a console to play your games when you can play games on a machine you already own?  Why pay $60 for a game when you can download one for $10?  Plus, there are a lot of interesting games being made for the PC, which I never knew about until I started watching Markiplier play Five Nights at Freddy’s on Youtube.  Now I’m hooked on PC horror games.

I resist change.  Probably more than most.  That is why I still have a great resistance to becoming…a PC gamer.  I have played consoles for so long, it feels as if I would be leaving a large piece of myself behind if I were to make the switch.  It’s…almost painful.  For whatever reason.  But, you know, I’ll do it, if I have to.

…Okay, maybe I’m overreacting.  I don’t have to give up console gaming.  Certainly not.  If anything, I’ll keep checking out older classic games like I’ve been doing with the Sly Cooper series.  I just wanted to illustrate the personal reasons behind one individual’s choice to contribute to the possible downward trend in console gaming.  It’s an involuntary contribution, but I do see why I would be a part of this trend if people are correct in saying it’s there.  I’ve said it before, and I’m saying it again now, we have not changed.  I have not changed.  The companies have changed.  Square Enix and Nintendo and Rareware and countless others are not what they used to be.  Some of them are.  Insomniac and Ubisoft still make games I love.  But, will they forever?  Probably not.  Someday, Ratchet and Clank and Rayman will end, then where will I be?

You’ve probably already guessed it, but if that happens, I might just have to look to the PC for all my new games and continue playing my old ones on the consoles like I always have.  I’m just one person, so I could be wrong, but if I hold these views, I’m sure there must be a percentage of the population, no matter how small, that does, too.  The economy is too big a thing for my mind to really wrap around, but when you break it down, it’s just made up of people like you and me, and our choices matter.

What do you think?  What kind of gamer are you?  And if you’re a console gamer like myself, are you losing interest in the console market?  Let me know in the comments below!

A Duck With a Growing Identity Crisis

12 Comments Add yours

  1. Appraxsis says:

    You PC bruh? :l

    No really, PC has always been superior to consoles, mostly cause you can customize your experience with mods and graphics settings. The biggest reason consoles were popular was because they were cheaper and more accessible than a good PC. You don’t entertain your friends in an office.

    The biggest problems the new consoles have is that they are far more expensive and they are far outdated on release. PC is now far more viable via Steam and other things. It wouldn’t be surprising to see the PC eclipse the consoles. :l

    Like

    1. duckofindeed says:

      I still love consoles, just because I’m so used to them, but I just can’t keep up anymore. To play all the console games I want, I need to buy three consoles every few years, and I can’t afford that anymore. And it seems especially silly to keep wasting my money on consoles when I have a perfectly good computer sitting around.

      That’s funny that you say consoles were more popular because they were cheaper because that’s barely the case now. Consoles are so expensive these days, plus they change constantly, so it seems their past advantages are no more. I know I’ve heard that a good gaming PC can cost a lot, but I have a regular laptop that works perfectly fine for PC games, so it’s cheaper to play games on my computer than to spend hundreds of dollars every few years for new consoles with $60 games. (Sure, I play simple PC games like FNAF, but still. It works, so that’s all that matters.)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Appraxsis says:

        All the Xbox One and PS4 feel like is an inferior PC. That’s honestly the worst part of it. $500? Seriously? Shiiit :l

        Like

      2. duckofindeed says:

        Yikes, I never even looked at the price tags of the new consoles because I already knew I wouldn’t be able to afford them. I miss the days when consoles cost $100. The games were better back then, too.

        Like

  2. Hatm0nster says:

    I think you’re right Duck in that this is mostly their doing, Duck. After years of cruddy pre-order tactics and a practice of releasing almost broken games at launch, they’ve pretty much eroded all consumer trust. They’ve also taken away the two biggest pluses of console gaming: stability and ease of play.

    It used to be that the consoles, while not offering a technically superior experience, could at least beat the PC in terms of stability. PC ports have to account for countless different builds, while games developed for console only have to work on one. They just ran more smoothly. Unfortunately, that’s becoming a thing of the past thanks to this practice of launching games before they’re done. Then there’s ease of play.

    Right up through the last generation, all we normally had to do to play a game was turn on the console and put in the disc. Now though, now we have to install everything. The game won’t just run. It has to install, the console has to update itself to run it, and then it has to download and install all of the patches that had to be released between launch and whenever you bought the game. For example, I recently got the new Tomb Raider game. You know how long it was between when I got it, and when I could actually play it? Eight hours. It took EIGHT HOURS to install, download updates, and install those. I decided to get the dlc out of the way too so I wouldn’t have to deal with it later. That took another hour and a half. So, on Xbox One I had to wait almost 10 hours before I could actually play my game, and I was at a friend’s place with reasonably fast internet!

    Compare that to the most recent game I got on PC: XCOM 2. That one took all of 30 minutes to download and install. Wow.

    I’m not convinced that consoles are dying. Most of us, myself included, that still prefer them when push comes to shove. However, they’re definitely not making a very strong case for themselves anymore.

    Like

    1. duckofindeed says:

      Oh my gosh…eight hours? And I complained when it took one hour to install a game. You’re definitely right, consoles are not easy to use anymore. There are times my Wii has to restart itself three times before the updates complete, and recently, I had a lot of trouble getting the Wii U updated so I could get Virtual Console games. I never thought Nintendo would make it so difficult for me to give them money. When I recently downloaded some PC games, I didn’t need to update anything. I downloaded it, and I was done.

      There are indeed still people, like us, who prefer consoles, but it almost feels like they don’t want us to buy their products anymore. They release incomplete, glitchy games, they continue to raise prices, and they make consoles increasingly annoying to use. We shouldn’t have to practically fight these companies to keep them in business.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Mabrick says:

    I’ll cop to never having been bitten by the console bug. There was a time when I really wanted to play an Atari console, but it belonged to my friend and he hogged it all to himself. That left a bitter, negative experience and once I got a taste for the Apple II in university I never looked back. Oddly enough, I actually own an XBOX 360 with Kinect. I have one game for it. I played it a lot too – as an exercise program. It was more a gym substitute than a gaming platform. Then I moved and didn’t have the room for the connect. So the console became my streaming device. Netflix anyone? But that was always a pain as I had to pay M$ $60 a year for a gold account just to stream, and that’s on top of the Netflix charge. That all changed when I got my Chromecast. It streams everything including my Google Music, at no extra cost, better than the XBOX, and with one remote, that being my phone. But personal history aside, I wonder if there is a clue there as to the pressure on consoles and why they are loosing favor. It’s not just about the PC. I wonder how much mobile platforms have pulled away console players. My other half plays a lot of Plants vs. Zombies, but only on her phone or tablet. She’s never touched a console, doesn’t even own a T.V. (it’s mine) and won’t use her Mac for anything other than her writing. But when she hits a block as happens to all writers more frequently than they’d like, she’s all over PvZ. What do you think? Is mobile claiming a chunk of the console pie?

    Like

    1. duckofindeed says:

      You make a good point about mobile games. I do wonder what impact they have on consoles. On one hand, you’d think they would indeed take some of the interest away from consoles, but on the other hand, were the people who play mobile games ever originally interested in consoles to begin with? Many people who play mobile games have never played a console game, so it’s possible mobile gaming simply created an entirely new group of gamers that didn’t exist before.

      I think part of the issue with consoles, though, is that there are so many other options out there now. We can play games on the computer, handhelds, our phones, and tablets, and many of these options are more convenient. They are cheaper or give us the freedom to play anywhere without being tied to a TV. And I think for many people, they have probably decided, why buy a console to play games when they can play games on a device they already own?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Dina Farmer says:

    I’m not ready to bite the PC bullet, only because I spend so much time on my computer as is. I like the plug and play of my console still. Although, I’m well aware of the PC master rance and all that blah, blah, blah. I’m not read to purchase a computer to play games. Perhaps in the future but just not right now. Although yes sometimes games take a long time to install it is not going to end me to wait a little bit. Look how long the Xbox 360 lasted before they retired it. 10 years! Of course yes maybe every 10 years or so I’ll spend a lot of money on a new console but is that so different from updating a computer? You have to update your machine sooner or later so at the heart of it aren’t we still spending a lot of money to update another machine?

    Additionally, I agree with you and say the gaming companies are doing this to themselves. They think we want certain thing that we are clearnly not asking for. Thus supplying us with lackluster games and wondering why the hell we aren’t buying them. I don’t know how much time Square has left but perhaps it should re-evaluate the release of Hitman and blow the newest Final Fantasy game out of the water.

    Like

    1. duckofindeed says:

      You’re definitely right about the need to buy a new computer every several years, so PC gaming is not the perfect solution to spending less money. I guess the only thing that makes console gaming more expensive is the fact that there are three new consoles that get released every few years. Of course, that only means we need to be pickier about which consoles we buy. I used to get all three, but this current generation, I’m going to have to cut down to two consoles. (And if Nintendo continues with their current path, I may only need to buy PlayStation consoles from now on. I’ll be sad to leave Nintendo, but it’ll certainly save me money.)

      In the end, though, like you, I prefer consoles, and I’d gladly stick with them if the developers would start making games we want again. I have to go back a decade or two to find games I like anymore. When it comes to modern games, however, lately I’ve chosen $10 PC games over $60 console games. Gaming is definitely an expensive hobby.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Dina Farmer says:

        It really is! I agree about being picky about your consoles! If it was up to me I would have only purchased the Xbox One. Just because I’m loyal not because I think PS4 graphics or worse, I’ve just been playing on Xbox for so long. We certainly do have a PS4 as well, but not by choice. LOL my hubby bought it while being away due to his job. So I accept it. I 100% understand what you are saying though, if developers would make more games we liked then so many would not be driven to PC.

        Like

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