PC Gaming Vrs. All Others?

Discussion in 'PC Gaming & Rigs' started by General Skanky, May 16, 2002.

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  1. General Skanky

    General Skanky
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    Sorry, have to ask as a search won't accept 'pc' as an option, not enough letters.:rolleyes:

    I bought a copy of Computer Shopper just for a casual read as it's been about 12 months since I looked at a pc mag. Then it crossed my mind, why don't more people use their pc/laptop as the ultimte gaming solution? I know the arguements about cost vrs practicality etc, but even so, surely a laptop fitted with a good graphics card and VGA out, say to a projector would kick everything else into touch? In one unit you have a DVD player, games machine and pc for all other purposes.

    Ok, I know it's a general question, I haven't gone into specifics, but it's a thought. Is it me? Do people view laptops/pc's for use as above as not their best solution? Is it always price?

    My favourite game on pc is Settlers. Ok I know about Civilization etc, but that game on a big screen would be great. The others out there thesedays can only be better, and surely shame XBox etc????

    Oh, and I don't get out much. Being kept in the dark for me is pretty normal.:D
     
  2. COPEY

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    The problem is that game developers have to allow for the lowest spec PC's so a PC game is never quite as good as it should be.
    Console games on the other hand are all coded to make maximum use of the consoles hardware supposedly.
     
  3. gene brewer

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    For me the PC is the 'first person shooter' KING! Games like Half-Life and Max Payne are not even half as good on a console!

    Plus also games like Age of Empires and Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds are lousy on consoles! :)
     
  4. Bonesy

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    Consoles are instant gratification, well apart from the PS2.
    PCs take ages to install, boot, load, crash, etc.

    Keyboard and mouse can't be matched for control, etc.
    yet gamepads can't be beat for passing between people at a party.

    For some reason (well, reasons of costs), manufacturers do not put very good graphics cards in laptops. So, graphically intensive games won't look as good as they should, sometimes they also fall behind consoles in this area.

    Decent console - £200.
    Decent laptop - £2000.


    Don't get me wrong, most of my best gaming experiences are on PC (Doom, Red Alert, etc)
    But, I'm an instant fix console chap.
     
  5. Mr.D

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    I don't know guys I've played a lot of FPS on the PC but not one of them has had the imediacy and flow of Halo on the Xbox using the pad.

    When I was putting my HTPC together initially I thought I'd use it for games alos but after some thought I decided to go with my consoles ( PS2 and Xbox) and use the HTPC solely for dscaling duties.
     
  6. Guest

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    PCs kick console ass! the arguments here are all pretty much correct in that consoles are more social pieces of equipment in that you get much more multi-player options and sports type games. Price is also a major consideration with the latest graphics cards costing £150 more than the most expensive console.

    PC games are also more involving and atmospheric designed to keep you coming back for more whereas console games are designed to be put-downable. FPS rule on the PC, I cannot believe the following Goldeneye got on the N64, I played it after years on Quake and thought it was utter ****e!

    But none of the current consoles can touch a top-notch PC for performance. The new GeForce4 Ti cards blow the X-box out of the water performance wise, and the rumoured new cards from Matrox are likely to do the same to the GeForce cards.

    And plus how much can you actually do on a console? If you finish a game can you go on the internet and then download more levels created by someone else on their PC? Is online gaming a reality yet on console? Can you surf the net or receive email (did this ability ever take off on consoles)?

    PCs do everything, they play your CDs, you can watch DVDs through them, surf the net and carry out boring stuff like work as well. Yes PCs require more patience (with regards to system maintaince) while consoles are the "instant hit" option, but I think PC gaming is a far more rewarding experience.
     
  7. Doubledoom

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    I have a PS2 and a PC. The PS2 is great for mulitplayer games. You can get 4 people playing at once in the lounge with the big screen and big sound.

    However, the PC is much better with the thinking games and also the FPS benefit from having the mouse and keyboard available.
     
  8. lechacal

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    I gave up playing games on my PC. I bought it two years ago (payed about a grand), and I'm looking at hundreds of poundsworth of upgrade if I want to play the latest games on it.

    I decided the only sane option was to buy a console (went for an Xbox). Apart from not needing upgrading over its lifetime it has the added advantage that I can play it through my 32" Wega, and with 5.1 sound. I still use the PC for emails, web browsing etc, but it's just too expensive as a games platform.

    Can't wait for Unreal Championship on Xbox Live! Oh yuss!
     
  9. Guest

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    no PC bought two years ago would really need upgrading for gaming already. what processor, ram and graphics card do you have?
    Even the latest highest spec games require no more than an 800mhz processor, 256mb of Ram and a 32mb graphics card. My Riva TNT2 Ultra 32Mb is as old as the arc in PC terms but it still plays games with no problems, a Geforce 4 Ti 4400 is on the way though.
    There is an evil PC upgrade cycle, that makes in-the-dark consumers believe they need the latest spec machine when really they don't, the reason they do it?
    To sell their latest kit when no-one really needs it.
     
  10. lechacal

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    It's a 600MHz PIII with 128Mb RAM, and a 32GB GeForce256.

    But, that just reinforces what I'm saying. 3 years ago (maybe 3.5) a 400MHz PIII was the fastest thing you could get, and it would cost you well over a grand! A console should have a lifetime of about 5 years, maybe more. At £200 quid a throw.
     
  11. Guest

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    I honestly don't know how you managed to spend a grand on a PC with that processor and ram two years ago.

    Doubling your Ram to 256Mb would cost you £20 now and make a big difference to performance. Your card should be fine, I think its a fair bit faster than the one I'm still using.

    But upgrading a P3 chip would be expensive as they are harder to find now.

    Also you could have tried lowering your screen resolution and colour depth. £20 and a bit of fiddling is all it would have needed.
     
  12. Bonesy

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    Now, i realise that this isn't the games software forum but,

    I think your experience of PC based FPS games gave you a pre-disposition towards what to expect.

    I had played and completed doom/ 2, quake/ 2, duke nukem2, etc.
    But goldeneye was a breath of fresh air, the control/aiming system was unique and brilliant. the atmosphere and tie in to the film was great, and most importantly the level design was expceptional in that it made you play again and again to understand how to do each level.

    I found the early fps's on PC just tried to make more things to shoot, and funnier weapons, and cleverer lighting effects.

    I think this is why goldeneye created such a furour,
     
  13. lechacal

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    But that would be crippling the performance of a PC that cost 4/5 times as much as a console, just so that I can play games at a reasonable speed, with inferior graphics to what I can have on the console. I don't see the sense in that.

    And with a console:
    You don't have to mess around sorting out drivers for your hardware (Have you tried to play games under XP? <Shudder>)
    And you don't have to download endless patches for games that were rushed out in beta-test state, because developers know they can shovel up the mess later.
     
  14. Guest

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    oh come on the level design in Goldeneye was terrible... it's all stairways and blank walls with one texture. I also thought the control system was rubbish (but to be fair I thought the N64 pad was poorly designed).

    and as for the computer response, you can't think of a PC as a whole like you would a console, it's a bunch of components.

    And adding RAM and messing around with screen configs could hardly be considered crippling the performance, if you plugged in an ancient 8Mb graphic card to the latest spec PC that would be crippling it.

    When you buy a computer for gaming you have to accept that at some stage you will need to upgrade. You're not crippling anything by adding ram or dropping the resolution slightly, the graphics card decides the quality of graphics on screen. If your card can't cut the mustard anymore then either upgrade or lower the quality slightly. But don't moan about it. I was only offering some suggestions for your benefit.


    I dropped the colour depth from 32-bit to 16-bit recently to try and get some more frames out of Operation Flashpoint, I didn't notice any difference in the colours on screen but noticed that it did pick up some speed.

    oh and I've played plenty of console games that were rushed out and could have used patches, trouble is with consoles you can't do that.

    It also has to be said that we are talking about different types of games. Console games, as I have said before are about instant gratification, the "wham-bam-thank-you-mam" of gaming. PC games can take ages to get into and used to. Try Operation Flashpoint, no console game could ever command so much of my time.
     
  15. lechacal

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    Well, I didn't say that I wanted help really. I said that I bought a console because I couldn't be doing with spending money on the PC to play games. I stand by what I said. A PC only makes sense as a games platform if you've got money to chuck down the toilet. Good luck if you have.

    My point about the graphics is, yes I can reduce the resolution, colours etc, but I end up with a poorer graphics performance than the console which can be bought at a fraction of the price. Yes, I can upgrade to a more modern graphics card, but the graphics card alone will cost more than a console with two conrollers, a hard drive, a DVD ROM and a network card (with improved graphics performance, granted but still not great value).

    Exactly. They still haven't evolved to a stage where they're a consumer device. That's why IMO a sealed box with a fixed platform is better form games. I turn it on. I turn it off. I plug and unplug things from the little ports and I play games on it. That's what I want to do. I don't want to have to understand windows drivers, DirectX, service packs, or patches and I definitely don't want to have to earth myself.

    Thanks for trying to help, but even if I decided that upgrading the graphics card was where I wanted to go, I would want a new motherboard that takes advantage of AGPx4 to make proper use of it. My current one only supports AGPx2. This would also mean I would need to buy 256Mb of RAM, not 128Mb, because my old RAM isn't supported my modern boards. I would have to have a new CPU because mine won't fit newer motherboards. Speaking of motherboards, I think you can only get ATX ones now, so I would need a new case too. Add to that the time and hassle of actually putting all the stuff together and...may as well buy a new PC. In other words, spend another grand that will want binning in a couple of years.

    The idea that PCs can be effectively upgraded for a low cost is a myth. If a PC salesmen uses the word 'futureproof' in your hearing, then he derserves a kicking. (Note: This should not be construed as advice. All charges arising will be denied etc)
     
  16. neilneil

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    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Also you could have tried lowering your screen resolution and colour depth. £20 and a bit of fiddling is all it would have needed.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    But that would be crippling the performance of a PC that cost 4/5 times as much as a console, just so that I can play games at a reasonable speed, with inferior graphics to what I can have on the console. I don't see the sense in that.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I doubt they would have inferior graphics to a console.
    I believe most consoles run at 640x480 res because NO TV can operate higher than that unless it's either a HDTV or a PC monitor.

    -Neil
     
  17. lechacal

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    Scanlines != resolution.

    Also there is speed. My Geforce 256 can never produce something like Project Gotham on the Xbox. Not at those frame rates.
     
  18. Guest

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    I wouldn't say low cost upgrading is a myth, i just think people try and keep up with the latest spec too much, I'm only running a P3 733 with 256Mb of 133RAM and the Riva TNT2 Ultra (which only cost me £50) and the only piece of kit I'm thinking about replacing is the graphics card. A Geforce Ti 4400 is only going to cost me around £250, a small price to pay baring in mind the amount of use I will get out of it.

    And maybe I'm just a PC snob but I certainly wouldn't spend money trying to turn a console into a pseudo-PC (what else would you call a console with networking/internet and a hard drive). They'll be adding printers next!
     
  19. lechacal

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    The fact it has a hard drive on it is invisible to me. I only see the results. It could be a huge chunk of static RAM as far as I'm concerned. I don't care and I don't want to know.

    The network card is just an ethernet port as far as I'm concerned. When the time comes I can plug it in and use it. I don't have to set up network protocols and services. I don't need to know what TCP/IP, or packets are.

    It doesn't look like a PC. It doesn't feel like a PC. It doesn't give me the same grief as my PC. It's not a PC.
    Thank the Lord!
     
  20. Guest

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    Furry muff!

    I'll agree to disagree, i can see the pros of a console. But I'm the sort of anti-social, single-player ******* who never bought a second controller for his playstation (if the someone else wants to play let them buy their own controller).
     
  21. General Skanky

    General Skanky
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    No obvious answer then.:D

    I suppose I could justify a pc/laptop as a new gadget/toy that can also do games!:D

    Wonder if I could sneak than one past the wife?:rolleyes:
     
  22. fuzzybee

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    Halo has the best atmosphere in any game I have ever played.
    You most certainly do not get better atmosphere in a pc game.
    PC gaming is a joke upgrade after upgrade and playing a game on a small monitor no thank you.

    I own a very powerfull laptop and it runs games like MOHAA perfectly and I do enjoy a go now and again,but it does not come close to the enjoyment I get out of my Xbox or GC.

    I play my consoles on a 36inch widescreen tv with full home cinema amp and speaker setup and no pc on the planet can come close to this experience.

    The control of halo with the xbox pad is also better than a keyboard mouse combination IMO.

    Someone said this on a earlier post but you never actually play a pc game as the programmer intended every pc has a different configuration unlike the set spec of a console.
     
  23. Guest

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    i wasn't talking about the atmospherics created by a widescreen telly, surround amp etc. Of course that's going to be better than playing on a 14in monitor with a crappy pair of speakers. I was talking about in-game atmospherics.
    You even mention one of the perfect examples, MOHAA, the atmospherics in this game are incredible.
    If you did a side-by-side comparison of both a PC and a Console linked to a huge telly (have you heard of a TV Out?) and a DPL2 amp and still decided you preferred consoles then fair enough, but your original comparison is not fair.

    It is a case of horses for courses though, some people seem to like exercising their thumbs and others like exercising their brains.:p
     
  24. fuzzybee

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    Fair point mate

    I have actually tried to play MOHAA on my setup as my laptop does have a tv-out(s-video) and a optical out for the sound.

    It is just not the same?

    A pc game is not meant to be played on a tv it is as simple as that.

    Is it just me or is MOHAA bloody hard?
    I have it set on normal but it has taken me 3 days to get of the beach to the trench.

    Happy Gaming
     
  25. Squiffy

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    I play my PC games on a fairly ninja PC, with a 22" monitor and Videologic DigiTheatre surround.

    I'd bet that it's atmospherics are just as good as your console setup. Remember that with a PC you generally are pretty close to your monitor - and that the very closeness (and higher resolution) makes you less aware of your surroundings and therefore more into the game.

    Have you ever played Half Life? Despite it's graphics getting on a bit, the atmosphere is superb - especially the sound.

    What about some of the zombie bits in Return to Castle Wolfenstein? No other game has actually made me jump like this one has.

    As for controls... The keyboard / mouse combo has the edge IMHO. The problem with the console style of controller is that they don't give you the fast, precise aiming that a mouse can give you. And of course you can customise the controls on a keyboard (or an add-on like the Microsoft Strategic Commander) for quicker and easier access to weapon changes, multiplayer taunts, etc.

    And with the rise of broadband the use of headsets for verbal communication during multiplayer opens up a whole new level of interaction and atmosphere.

    I can't see a console controller getting anywhere near this for quite a long time!
     
  26. fuzzybee

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    Sounds a good setup mate but I do not agree.
    Just because you sit closer to a monitor than a tv does not give you a better atmosphere.

    The sound steering will not be as easy to define.
    You will get a much broader atmosphere on speakers that are about 3 feet either side of your tv/monitor with the center directly above or below and your rears about 6 feet high and about 8 feet apart and you sat somewhere inbetween with your sub more or less any where you like.
    Obviously you prefer to play your games the way you do and I prefer to play the games the way I do.
    As for half life I played this through about 3 years ago and it was very good but not a patch on goldeneye.

    Happy Gaming
     
  27. fuzzybee

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    You say in your post that sitting close to your monitor makes you less aware of your surroundings?
    You must be aware of your surroundings to get the atmosphere I am talking about with games like Halo.
    You also say higher resolution in pc games but graphics do not and never will make a game good or bad.
    It is all about gameplay and atmosphere.
    People seem to underestimate how important sound is in a game.
    I think moreso than looks?

    IMO

    Happy Gaming
     
  28. spikeyboyo

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    Ive been playing PC games for well over 5 years now - mainly playing online (used the very first version of Quake World).

    For me PC gaming has become very very stagnent - every game is a copy of the one before, and the AI has always been something akin to playing a 3 year old - hence i started playing online to get better opponents.

    However the down side of this is the constant upgrade path to be able to run the latest games at top notch speed - i used to spend at least £1,000 each year upgrading.

    One of the down sides to PC gaming is that the games designers dont have a single platform to work on - they have to design the games to run on 3 year old PC's as well as the very latest PC's - so they can never really get to grips with all the new tech thats out there whilst still alowing the games to run on older PC's.

    In the end i could no longer see the point in spending this sort of money just to be able to play games online and be competative.

    So now ive bought an Xbox - no other game i have played on the PC even comes close to HALO (including HL, Counter Strike, Quake 1,2 & 3, Unreal, C & C, Red Alert - basically any PC game you can name ive probably played it) - the AI is scary. Why do you think MS bought Bungie !!!!!!!!

    As for the argument that PCs can use voice coms, have better control systems etc - all i can comment on is that people havent been keeping abreast of the times - when XBox online goes live it will have voice comms (new add on unit) can be played online (hence my purchase).

    Playing what is basically a PC on a 36" TV with full 5.1 sound and being able to play online (which i already do on Xbox with XBconnect) is a damn site better than sitting infront of my 19" PC screen.

    Also the new MS online will alow the downloading of patches, new levels etc

    So basiclyy the PC is dead - long live the Xbox :)


    Spike
     
  29. fuzzybee

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    Good post mate I am glad I am not the only one out there who thinks Halo is the buisness
     
  30. spikeyboyo

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    On another point - due to the resolution of a PC's monitor there is a huge problam with AA on PC games and alot of the new graphics cards horsepower is being used to counter this. Consols dont have the same problem due to the inherent limits of a television.

    On all the games ive played i have never seen graphics like that of Halo and PGR on my PC - which i may add is a Athlon 1800 XP with 512 DDR ram, two 80 gig ATA 100 HD's, Geforce 3 64 meg

    And please dont fire a comment back about the Doom III screenies - as i bet even if a slapped a Gforce 4 in my PC i wouldnt get the same graphics as the screenies.

    As i said before PC games have to be made for the lowest spec machine as well - so out of everyone whos going ohhhhhh look how good Doom III looks - how many will actually get the same images on there monitors ? probably about 1% and at the cost of probably near on £2K - hadrly a comparison when every Xbox/GC/PS2 owner will get to see the same results as screen shots at a fraction of the cost.


    Ever since i started playing games on my PC i always thought that the PC only had the edge over consoles due to the online cababilities of the PC - graphically the lastest consoles always beat my lastest PC and at a fraction of the cost. Now that you can play consoles online the PC doesnt come close to the console for games.

    Also the control system hardly needs comment - when i started playing online (quakeworld) i used to use keyboard - couldnt get on with the mouse - and used to whip ass on 90% of mouse users - a control system is only as good as the person using it :)


    Spike
     
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