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The Future Of PC Gaming.

Discussion in 'PC Gaming & Rigs' started by AML, Aug 30, 2004.

  1. AML

    AML
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    Well, as many of you know, the PC is the only gaming platform thats constantly on the cutting edge. Some people more than others but basicaly we all follow the same drummer!

    So whats in store for the future of gaming? Well thats why I wanted to start this thread.

    I have some of my own ideas of what will happen, and I would like your input too!

    I beleive that windows will continue to dominate in the near future and probably beyond.

    The next big change will come in the form of Longhorn, a 64bit OS.

    This should bring about some big changes as everybody will start to run 64 bit applications (ie games)

    Hardware wise, I beleive we will also go 64bit, with current AMD chips geting propper 64 but programs and Intel will probably release their Xenon as their answer to 64 bit desktop gaming.

    Other big changes will include a change from ATX cases to BTX in order to help keep overheating CPUs cooler.

    Memory will start being used in the gigabites and hard disks in the terrabites. Some newer HDDs offering faster speeds like the newer 10.000rpm ones. As well as SATA.

    We have already seen the change from PCI/AGP to PCI Express X1/16.

    Something else that caught my eye was a dual PCi Express X16 motherboard that will allow gamers to run dual graphics card. (via either NVidias system or Ati's system)

    This i think, will be the biggest change for gamers.

    Optical drives I beleive will chage to include BD (blu-ray)-Roms and/or HDD-DVD Roms.
    writers as well as readers eventually. Bigger disks = bigger games!

    thats just about all I can think of!

    Any ideas? :D
     
  2. stakyl

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    I happen to think that the future of pc gaming will turn into something entirely different from console gaming. Sooner or later a developer of some kind will come along and say "hey, we can do things different in new and exciting ways." For example, on the console side of things, look at Nintendo. With new innovative games and technology soon to be released such as donkey konga (which is already popular in japan) and the Nintendo DS, they are showing that they can change the way we think about videogame entertainment in general and still show a profit.

    In my opinion, the computer is by far the most underutilized gaming medium on the market. For the most part, games on the pc are stricken to three genres: fps, rts, and mmorpg. I know there are many other types of genres out there but ask any serious pc gamer out there what his favorite pc game is and he/she will say a game from one of the aforementioned.

    I have always been a console gamer. In my youthful years I could not afford a fast pc with all the bells and whistles...and just TRY to convince your parents of the educational purposes of "doom" and "descent" (remember that one?). Recently my brother and I purchased a few gaming pcs and a plethora of titles, but when we play together it comes down to one thing, which fps do you want to play? Now I am not complaining because I thoroughly enjoy all of the games it's just that you can't help but wonder....where are the ddrs? donkey kongas? where is innovation?

    I realize that there are games out there that tried to break the mold, Majestic for one, but these were so poor in design they make me want to get miyamoto and kojima and slap some creativity into these retards. Speaking of which...
    Imagine what these 2 creative minds could do with the power of the pc!

    I am not a game designer. Maybe I am wrong. Maybe they are using the pc to its maximum capability and maybe this rant is completely irrelevent. But I can't shake the feeling that there could be so much more...
     
  3. AML

    AML
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    Thanks for the reply! I was wondering why nobody was saying anything!?

    You make a good point about the console industry (i too started out on the consoles)

    I have to say that the PC has seen its fair share of original titles! "The Sims" and "Black and White" to name just two!
    I think these games do require more power than what was available console wise back then.

    One other thing is the control method. Most PC games use keyboard/mouse combo while most console games use their controllers! It may seem like a simple thing but these things do actualy limit game designers in a way.

    A game designer has to say "lets see what we have to work with" right?
    So the hardware can be the limiting factor, and not just the CPU or GPU!

    A good example: the xbox has a hardrive, therefore we are seeing content become downloadable off the interenet in order to augment already exisitng games.
    Example PGR2 and Ninja gaiden.

    Because the PS2 didnt have a HD to begin with nobody bothered to consider using it for downloadable goodies!

    PC hardware will continue to get better, therefore offering designers the power to make games more and more realistic, larger and more graphicaly beautiful.

    Consoles will always be one step behind PCs hardware wise. Look at the XBox 2 specs.
    Pretty much what I have in my PC today. And the XBox 2 isnt even out yet!

    A year or so after the Xbox 2 does come out, most PCs will be 2 or even 3 generations of hardware ahead. Like I said before, 64bit precesing will allow much more detail and realism as well as power.

    Although, if microsft have it their way, XNA will become both the PCs and the XBox 2 main architectural software. Making games seem identical on bothe systems. Only with higer resolutions on the PC! That in my idea would be a disaster for PC gamers as they would be stuck with the same graphics and gameplay as the Xbox 2 but with their hardware costing 10 times more!
     
  4. monkeh

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    I remember my first quantum Hdd it's 10mb It had 2 read/write heads.

    Modern hdd's only have one. so when the Hdd company's wake up and realise the harddrive is the slowest drvice in a pc and revert back to "old technology" we will see a massive increase in speed.

    I have been wait for years. but thay stil havent, due to the extra cost !! :(
     
  5. monkeh

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    Ohh i forgot 3D displays are now avaliabe (no need for glasses) so in 5 - 10 years i expect there will be a lot of proper 3d games on the market.
     
  6. CENSORED

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    I'd like to see the OS come on a rom chip that slots into the motherboard like a stick of memory. Personal settings, updates and support software such as firewalls, antivirus, ad blockers etc. go on the hard drive (hopefully replaced by ram giving instant access), that way nothing malicious need ever affect your OS.
     
  7. AML

    AML
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    yeah hard drives are becoming a limiting factor. Not because of size but because of speed and access time.
    Hopefully SATA and 10.000rpm drives will help speed things up. Although current SATA drives are only slightly faster than older drives and nobody feels any difference.

    One other thing. OS does take up a lot of HDD space which annoys me. i have a main 160GB drive but thats cut down to about 150gb coz of windows!

    Id really like to see a Gaming only PC that doesnt allow other crap like web srufing and stops things like spy ware. Something along the lines of the XBox but upgradable and with more power.
     
  8. CENSORED

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    AML,

    Your wish is my command. Get hold of a copy of XPLite and remove all of the unnecessary windows stuff that you don't need for gaming. You can always slot any removed modules and functions back in again if you change your mind. :smashin:
     
  9. AML

    AML
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    well it sounds good, but ill have to leave that for my next PC. My current PCs all need access to the net as i use them for other things like DVD copying, MP3 music, digital photography and many other things. However, I am thinking of building a new PC a year or so from now.

    I was also thinking of building a bare bone PC for gaming, but that might not have the best motherboard unless its that frag box 2 from falcon north west. That tiny little thing has more power than any of my desktops!
    Still, size doesnt really matter right?

    I think ill build my nest rig when: longhorn, Xenon 64 and other stuff like that dual PCi express 16X mother board comes out.
    Then ill buy 2 new graphics cards and see what happens!
     
  10. Sinzer

    Sinzer
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    That was the past for home computing :)

    You would be better off with Flash RAM IMO, it is getting to the point where it is getting affordable. I think that there were some IBM machines released that had the OS on flash.
     
  11. CENSORED

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    Oops, meant to say ram not rom. :blush:
     
  12. Synchronicity

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    Im hearing some worrying rumours about what Longhorn will actually be capable of doing,and if these"security features" are true I think I will be tempted to finally try Linux.

    Seems like Bill really wants to step into the role of global big brother :nono:
     
  13. janmars

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    Everyone seems to be thinking about the future of PC Gaming in terms of software / hardware technology. But what about the games themselves?

    On a personal level, I am finding that for the moment at least, PC games are becoming duller and duller, they attempt little new. Mostly they are unoriginal, I don't find them an "enjoyable" experience...rather I feel as though I am just "going through the motions" with them, whilst admiring the pretty graphics or amazing physics.

    The likes of Half Life and System Shock 2 are exceptions, which prove to be very good highlights of where the PC could head. Half Life 2 may well take things to the next level.

    I think people are right in saying PC games and console games will diverge into different styles. Already console games are making substantial forward progress with the likes of XBox Live! (PGR2, Ninja Gaiden), and games on the GameCube, like Viewtiful Joe, Ikaruga, Metroid Prime, as well as PS2 games like ICO. These really are exceptional games - and there is nothing on the PC that comes close to creating these sorts of experiences.

    Not that I want PC games to become like these sorts of console games, as I said, I think PC and console are going to go in very different directions.

    What is needed now more than anything on the PC though is a game that pushes the boundaries of what is considered a "good game". A PC game is needed that gets people away from the technological focused mentality of many PC gamers and developers. We need to stop fussing over the abilities of the hardware and software and begin thinking in terms of what makes a great game. The technology merely aids the ability to create good games, it does not make good games in any shape or form.

    As it stands right now, the evolution of gaming is occurring on the consoles. The PC needs to take a step ahead; otherwise it is going to quickly become a platform obsessed with technological "demos".

    The fundamentals behind the RTS, the FPS and the MMOG are not a problem. The problem is in the execution of these genres, which right now pour out in a stream of constantly mass produced titles, and appear to be coming from a generic mould, albeit each time coming with enhanced graphics or physics.

    The next step must be in the realms of immersion, interaction and scale. If this doesn't happen, PC gaming will become the "soap opera's" of the gaming world, and miss its chance to have the "massive sprawling epics" it sure has the potential to create...
     
  14. Azrikam

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    My thoughts exactly. Through security concerns, my loathing of the XP interface, an aversion to DRM, and the fact that I refuse to spend a fortune upgrading my machine just to play the most recent FPS, I'm standing by my statement that Win2K will be my last MS operating system.

    I'll still use them at work, because I develop on MS products, but my next home PC will be some variant of Linux. Ah, but you're thinking, "This is a thread about the future of gaming; Linux is way behind even the Mac when it comes to available games." That brings me to my next point.

    I love PC gaming. I love playing some of the games that would never have made it on any console. Great RPGs, incredibly deep TBS games, and those quirky games that are just plain innovative; these are my favorite games. What I don't love about PC gaming is everything else: Endless generic FPS titles that are only different in the weapon loadouts and graphical bells and whistles, endless (and immediate) patching of every game just to get it playable, hardware conflicts, system performance that begins to degrade the second you've got your games installed and only recovers when I rebuild the PC, and the previously mentioned upgrade cycle.

    When I think about all the time I've wasted messing with dlls, downloading patches, no-CD cracks for legally bought games, and adjusting hardware drivers and settings, my PC gaming experience is still worth it... just barely. But as console gaming gets better and PC gaming gets worse (obviously, just my opinion), my choice becomes pretty obvious.

    In the future, I'll be doing my gaming on my console of choice, and my PC will be a separate machine for everything else. How far in the future? Could be as early as next year. But definitely within the next five.
     
  15. Synchronicity

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    Im in work ATM,so dont have the time for a drawn out explanation but in a nutshell I think ,like it or not,online multiplayer games that require monthly subscriptions are going to become the norm.

    As we demand more from our games,the only way the developers will be able to justify providing BIGGER and BETTER will be if they are raking in a nice monthly subscription from a few thousand gamers.This will also stamp out a lot of piracy which will also do wonders for their profits.

    Personally,I have no problem with paying a few quid a month for hours of entertainment as long as it feels like Im getting something for my moolah :zonked:
     
  16. Daftboy

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    You guys remember the Voodoo 2 graphics card?
    Technology that is being repeated by merging two cards together for double the power, this is nothing new.

    Anything to do with PC's is bottlenecked by the OS, the programming and the motherboard.
    Look at the specs of Mac's especially the new IMac 5 which only has a 1.6ghz processor and 256mb RAM. The problem with motherboards are the channel limits.

    I don't know where the future is, because all they are doing is re-inventing the wheel, nothing is being done to address the issue.

    Talking about memory, I go with you guys saying Flash ROM's for the OS and Flash RAM the apps. Looking today, it's cheaper to buy a 1Gig flash card over 1Gig of RAM (By as much as £50.00).

    Maybe Bill and the others should look at the OS's and develop 4 OS's for the market as follows:
    1. Windows Office - For work use that does not support games, etc and users all of it's resources for office applications and network security. Currently XP Pro.
    2. Windows Home - An all round OS, that has a little networking (For Dad), a little gaming (For the kids), a little office apps (For Mum) but centred more on Internet usage. Currently XP Home.
    3. Windows Media Centre - Don't need to say anymore as it's already out.
    4. Windows Games Centre - A little networking (For Multi player apps), a little media centre (For listening to your music whilst blasting the living daylights out of someone) and the rest centred around the power of games?

    I think hardware should go along the same lines as above allowing for better quality products, and John Doe not being ripped off by his local PC World for selling the poor systems that run nothing more that Sam & Max cause it's got a on-board grphics card that cannot be upgraded..........Need I say more.

    Many things in life fall over if you put all of your eggs in one basket, and that is the stage we are at now with PC's and software.

    Oh, and if programmers are reading this, please create something revolutionary, like Golden Axe or Sonic, etc.
     
  17. Synchronicity

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    I dont have the exact details but apparently someone has recently released some kind of emulator which allows you to play all pc games on Linux(appologies if these have been out for a while but this was the first I heard of them),so the only reason that was preventing me from dumping MS in the past is no more :clap:
     
  18. Sinzer

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    Unfortunately not all games and if you like modern games to run like a dog :)

    I am not sure I agree with you on the PC games, I think there has been a lull of late, but I spend more time playing games on my PC than my consoles.

    PC gaming is based on communities, which you currently don't get on consoles. The current wave of engines are nearing the end of their life cycle and it will take a while for the new wave of engines (DOOM3 and HL2) to make an impact. Mods make a big difference to PC games and there is a wealth of content for a lot of released PC games.

    Also, I would check out Edge this month, it has a 3-4 page article on PC based shoot-em-ups, some of those shooters look exceedingly good (I only had a quick browse this morning in the library :p ). Most of them are free in some way, shape or form.

    There is a load of stuff on PC that you are likely to never see, I know that most of the games I have spent most time on my PC are usually sleeper hits or I have found off some forum somewhere.

    Currently I am really enjoying Dawn of War an RTS by Relic, this has breathed some new life into the genre I feel and the current state of balance in it for multiplayer is awesome.
     
  19. AML

    AML
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    I also love the current batch of games that are either coming out or are out.

    Homeworld 2: easely one of the best RTS games out there. It was the origianl HW that got me into PC gaming in the first place.

    The 3D Real time engine is simply amazing and doesnt require a beast to run on (although it does help)

    Multyplayer is also good and after completing the single player I still play online nearly everyday.

    This in my opinion is what constitutes a good game.

    Something that (despite any support from the makers) people continue to play and mod! (it already has an excelent SW mod)

    I think that the companies and talent is out there.

    I feel that the biggest problem is with the publishers and corporates who only care about big titles that will guaranty bucks. Anything else, no matter how good it may be as a game, will get no attention whatsoever.
     
  20. Daftboy

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  21. Squiffy

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    I think Sinzer stole my thunder with mentioning Mods as when I saw this thread I immediately thought of that.

    IMHO the future of the PC is all about communities, customisable games, online play, persistent worlds... And of course the best possible graphics, sound, gaming environments and control devices.

    Just look at Half Life. A fantastic game in it's own right, given an incredible lease of life by the modding community - Counter Strike, Day of Defeat, etc.

    You can even get incredibly good freebies like Enemy Territory.

    And of course the PC is the best medium for playing games like Civilisation 3, Championship Manager, FPS's, RTS's, MMOG's, etc.

    I share some concerns that the franchise model of gaming is hurting innovation to some extent but not as bad as some people make out. Half Life 2 looks extremely promising, as do other franchises / sequels such as Rome : Total War, Battlefield 2 and Black & White 2.

    And where the games companies don't provide innovation, the modding community I'm certain will deliver some fantastic new ideas with the extremely flexible and powerful new games engines from the likes of Doom3, Half Life 2 and the next Unreal engine.

    Long live the PC. :thumbsup:
     
  22. Azrikam

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    Ok, fair point about the mods, community maps, etc. :D
     
  23. AML

    AML
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    Daftboy.
    These are all just statistics. See how they reffer to gamers as "something to go after"

    All they want is to make money off us to put in their pockets.

    It really pisses me off to see people/gamers being reffered to in this way.
    Im not here as a gamer just to line their pockets. And its usualy games made for the masses that do this and those are the games I NEVER buy. (ie Harry Potter)
     
  24. monkeyleader

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    To throw in my thoughts on the matter ... one thing Id love to see is the location of PC gaming changing . I own all the main consoles (always have) and a pretty decent PC (although DOOM3 is making me lust after an even better graphics card) and send a vast (probably unhealthy) part of my spare time playing them - I really dont mind which platform I play on - its the games that make my mind up - which is what I have the GameCube - not that many titles sit downstairs but the ones that do (IMO) are cracking. Oh hang on Im rambling - I was talking about the location wasnt I - okay .. at the moment Im sitting in my office upstairs typing this on my PC (where all my PC gaming gets played) I then decide I fancy a bit of PES3, or PGR2 or even some old school Zelda, so its downstairs and all of a sudden Im laying back on a nice big sofa, big screen TV and really enjoying my gaming experience - then its back crouched over the PC sitting on a reasonably comfy, but after several hours of Alpha Labs, considerably sweaty leather chair ... I know where Id rather be playing - what I really want to see is an entertainment system built into the house that you just hook into on flat planels, proectors etc in different rooms.. no need to have the old style office system - the resoluution however on todays graphics cards makings it impossible to play a PC game at decent resolution on say a Rear Projection TV ... with wireles getting faster and faster all the time there will be no need to have a seperate syetem for work, play, kids etc ... you come home, and perhaps on the TV where the kids, wife, husband, mistress is watching TV you can quickly check your email, send a few messages and view AVFORUMS .. then later than nite when the rabble have headed of to bed you can turn that screen into your gaming center ...

    Oh and with the PSP, DS along with the next gen consoles and ever increasing hardware specs on PCs hitting our shores 2005 / 06 the future of gaming (again IMO) is very bright and one Im so looking forward to being part of ..

    Nige

    PS: not played doom - check out my screenshots http://www.nigelcooke.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=127
     
  25. SCo4

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    For the last 10 years, the majority? of us having been throwing money at our machines to try and re live the amazing experience the original Doom was, and the likes of Duke Nukem 3D. Half Life is the only game since that has been truly memorable along with Counter Strike.

    How long are we prepared to keep throwing money at hardware following the same path? Not to mention the amount of time spent fiddling.
    Sure upgrading and tweaking is a hobby in its self, but Doom 3 has proved we are suckers, how about those people buying Radeon 9600's bundled with HL2 earlier this year?
    Innovation has always been with the Arcade and Console designers, Im sure most gamers have a console or two, I would like to see consoles becoming slightly more like PC's, the Dreamcast came close with proper VGA support which really showed where consoles are lacking in only being displayed on TV's. I guess the Xbox is close to what I want, but Microsoft didnt actually want people to upgrade it, I think upgrading a console chip or board once to extend its life to at least 4 years is acceptable..
    I want my next big spend to be on a 3 panel monitor that gives you a left and right view in games, but the industry doesnt seem to want to support anything new so long as we keep buying the same old stuff that is turned out.
    My best gaming buy since the Atari 2600 has been a projector, this has really changed the experience dramatically.
    The PC remains overpowered, overpriced and too labour demanding for the entertainment currently on offer.
     
  26. AML

    AML
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    Your right about the HL2 Bundles.
    I went to the Tokyo Game show last year where HL2 was on show. I was ablt to ask somone from valve about the specs it would require to run on and they assured me that "todays" graphics cards would be enough. At that time the newest cards were the 9800pro 256. Now they are saying that we need a X800 pro ot XT.

    Where does it end?
     
  27. mjn

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    There's nothing new about 10k drives :confused: :confused:
     
  28. jelly

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    i can run far cry pretty well on my 9800 pro128 so cant see hl2 being a problem
     
  29. AML

    AML
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    10k drivers are newer than 7200 drives are they not?
    Im just saying that it helps to use a faster drive but it is still one of the limiting factors.

    Stop nit picking.
     
  30. cerebros

    cerebros
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    10k drives have been around in the SCSI domain for several years - in fact SCSI drives are currently capable of 15k as long as you don't mind the poor price/capacity ratio compared to IDE drives (as an example, over at Dabs.com right now, the cheapest 15k SCSI drive is an 18.4GB drive for £88 inc VAT, or you can pay about £5 less for a 10k 36.7GB SCSI drive)
     

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