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Friday, September 27, 2013

OT: NBC.news: Valve isn’t making one gaming console, but multiple ‘Steam machines’

Valve therefore left open the possibility that whatever Steam Machines eventually make it to market next year could either be first- or third-party hardware. The company is putting out invitations for 300 Steam users to participate in a beta test they must qualify for by completing an “eligibility quest” that involves familiarizing themselves with Steam’s current features.

The other gaming thread died. Here’s a new one for those interested. I figured Steam looking for Beta Testers made for a good lead-in.

Happy Gaming!

Poster Nutbag Posted: September 27, 2013 at 05:34 PM | 779 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. KronicFatigue Posted: September 27, 2013 at 07:14 PM (#4552607)
What makes a console a console vs a computer? Seems like everything is moving to the middle with PS4/XboxOne becoming online entertainment centers and Steam now making video game machines.
   2. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: September 27, 2013 at 07:26 PM (#4552615)
A computer has a keyboard and a mouse, which are better for gaming than gamepads.
   3. smileyy Posted: September 27, 2013 at 07:47 PM (#4552621)
I had a few hours to play games on my laptop...and realized that I was so out of touch, I didn't even have any idea of what I wanted to play. That felt a little sad.
   4. Bhaakon Posted: September 27, 2013 at 08:09 PM (#4552635)
What makes a console a console vs a computer? Seems like everything is moving to the middle with PS4/XboxOne becoming online entertainment centers and Steam now making video game machines.


There's a large number of stylistic quirks that have traditionally separated PC and console gaming, but it really comes down to two things:

1) Each console is controlled by a single company, who determines what's compatible with it, who can develop games for it, what hardware you can use with it. Anyone can develop games for a computer.

2) Consoles are a closed box which the end user is not expected to tamper with, upgrade, or repair themselves. Any upgrades or repairs are expected to come from the manufacturer or their agents. Computers can be upgraded or modified by the end users as they see fit.

This generally means that computers are more powerful, adaptable and open platform, but also more expensive and demanding to own and develop for since they're not standardized.
   5. CrosbyBird Posted: September 27, 2013 at 08:59 PM (#4552660)
A computer has a keyboard and a mouse, which are better for gaming than gamepads.

I've never really understood this. I hate gaming with a keyboard and mouse, especially any sort of FPS.
   6. Long Time Listener, First Time Caller Posted: September 27, 2013 at 09:04 PM (#4552666)
#4 does a good job of explaining console gaming vs. PC, but from a practicality standpoint, console gaming is designed to make it as easy as possible for "gamers" to play their video game. Ideally, the hardware of a console is optimized for the games developed on it. While you might need to check your video card specs and RAM to see if you can play a new game on PC, you won't have to worry about that with an XBOX 360, eg. Likewise, the entire OS is designed around playing games, so whereas you might have to install and adjust your computer to play a game (change the resolution on your screen for instance) manage applications to play it or download it, etc, you just pop a game into a console and play it (note: this might not always work, especially if you're on Playstation and have to install anyway) or go to the built in online store and download it.

Obviously, computers do a hell of a lot more than just game. Consoles do too...technically. Or at least that's what console manufacturers would like us to believe. But even with this new XBOX ad campaign about an all in one entertainment center, realistically what you do with it is hook it up to your TV and use it only for gaming and watching movies or whatever
   7. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: September 27, 2013 at 09:11 PM (#4552671)
I've never really understood this. I hate gaming with a keyboard and mouse, especially any sort of FPS.

Especially for FPS! Aiming is 97.8% of the point of an FPS. And aiming without a mouse is an abomination.
   8. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: September 27, 2013 at 09:20 PM (#4552679)
I hate gaming with a keyboard and mouse, especially any sort of FPS.

...what. I don't understand how people can like to FPS without a mouse.

Source: I played CounterStrike competitively for many years and could never get into console shooters.
   9. frannyzoo Posted: September 27, 2013 at 09:22 PM (#4552682)
No offense to anyone posting or commenting, but this thread might as well be in Hungarian to me (and I don't speak Hungarian, although I loved visiting Budapest and adore paprikash). In other words, I'm too old to fathom anything discussed to this point.

But please do carry on your thread, young people. You and your energy and stuff. Just stay off the lawn. Thanks.
   10. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: September 27, 2013 at 09:28 PM (#4552687)
Continuing my story of dipping my toe into the FPS world...

I did, after some initial concerns that I wasn't up to it, finish Infinite on Hard. That of course opens up 1999 mode which is supposed to be harder but I went back and rolled through the game on 1999 mode with no real problems.

Feeling full of myself, I noticed that my PS3 version of Infinite included a free download of the original Bioshock. I downloaded it, set it on the hardest difficulty and went to work. And holy #### is it hard! I can't do anything! I played for a couple of weeks and couldn't get out of Medical (the first significant area of the game) even when I saved the game every time I made anything approaching progress. I eventually quit (NCAA 14 is like crack to me), although I have a business trip coming up and I'm planning a fresh assault on the game since I'll be stuck in a hotel room for an extended period.

Any tips? Part of the problem seems to be the change in controls from Infinite (shooting is R1 in Infinite but R2 in Bioshock, R1 changes weapons. So when I'm being charged by an enemy I often times stand there cycling through weapons, a non-optimal strategy). Another part of it seems to be the lighting of the game, either my TV or my eyes don't seem to handle the low lighting conditions that the game is played in. I often times can't really see what's happening which certainly doesn't help.

Anyway, I'm intrigued by the game and I'm not really the type to just give up on something once I start it so I'm going to take another stab at it. We'll see.
   11. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: September 27, 2013 at 09:44 PM (#4552701)
A computer has a keyboard and a mouse, which are better for gaming than gamepads.


I think they allow for more accurate control, but not necessarily better gaming. Different games lend themselves to different interfaces. Like, have you ever played a port of Missile Command on a computer? It's a great game with a trackball, but it's trivially easy with a mouse. It stops even being a game.

Feeling full of myself, I noticed that my PS3 version of Infinite included a free download of the original Bioshock. I downloaded it, set it on the hardest difficulty and went to work. And holy #### is it hard! [...] Any tips?


Yeah, #### that noise. Bioshock 1 and 2 are a lot of fun, except for the combat. All the fun comes from wandering around and looking at things, not fighting. Especially in Bioshock 2.
   12. Random Transaction Generator Posted: September 27, 2013 at 11:04 PM (#4552739)
If you were to have a match between mouse-keyboard vs gamepad in a FPS, the mouse-keyboard side would obliterate the gamepad side.
Having the fine control with the mouse is a HUGE advantage over the gamepad.

M&K, however, is absolutely terrible for any driving aspect of modern open-world games, and I will often switch from m&k to gamepad when I have to do any driving/flying (Just Cause 2, GTA IV, Saints Row III)

   13. Bhaakon Posted: September 28, 2013 at 12:38 AM (#4552783)
I think they allow for more accurate control, but not necessarily better gaming. Different games lend themselves to different interfaces. Like, have you ever played a port of Missile Command on a computer? It's a great game with a trackball, but it's trivially easy with a mouse. It stops even being a game.


It depends on the game, I suppose, but obtuse control design generally isn't something I'd consider a strength. As a mostly PC gamer, doing anything aiming related without a mouse is maddening and generally ruins the experience.

I suppose it's the same as the driving example mentioned above, except that there's nothing preventing a PC gamer from having both a M&K and a game pad (or even a full driving setup with wheel, shifter, and pedals) at the same time. Console games rarely offer that.

It used to be that you'd have to pay for that, as a desktop computer capable of even playing the most recent games would cost many times as much as a console, but that price gap has closed quite a bit. The newest generation consoles are 500-600, and you can get a serviceable gaming computer for that much or a little less (and a legitimately good one for a few hundred more).
   14. madvillain Posted: September 28, 2013 at 12:57 AM (#4552791)
What makes a console a console vs a computer


Console means a unified hardware platform, whereas in PC gaming you're dealing with thousands of different hardware versions, possibly more. It makes development on the PC harder and for the most part, more expensive.

This generally means that computers are more powerful, adaptable and open platform, but also more expensive and demanding to own and develop for since they're not standardized.


As we approach the uncanny valley consoles will pretty much dominate the gaming market. I mean, outside of a few games like SC2 and WOW and the Battlefield series [edit: I guess DOMA and LoL go here too now), they do already, but I don't see much of a future in PC gaming. Not surprisingly, Intel is making noise about having non-socketed processors on their next gen architecture, citing lower costs and reliability, that would be a death blow.

If you were to have a match between mouse-keyboard vs gamepad in a FPS, the mouse-keyboard side would obliterate the gamepad side.


right, for FPS, mouse + keyboard is the way to go. Halo is tolerable with a controller, but I still prefer Source anyways. Some games however are controller centric: GTA, Fifa, Madden, etc. Just the right tool for the right game neither is inherently superior.

___________________________________

And to talk about the actual fugging article: don't bet against Valve.

   15. madvillain Posted: September 28, 2013 at 01:12 AM (#4552800)
It used to be that you'd have to pay for that, as a desktop computer capable of even playing the most recent games would cost many times as much as a console, but that price gap has closed quite a bit. The newest generation consoles are 500-600, and you can get a serviceable gaming computer for that much or a little less (and a legitimately good one for a few hundred more).


That's true and it's awesome, but it's also horrible as the implication is that there aren't games worth playing graphics wise for PC exclusive. Yea it's cheapish to build a system that can max out Far Cry 3, but for even less I can pickup a PS4. Used to be that if you wanted a game that looked freaking awesome, you got a high end PC. Not the case anymore. Heck, GTA V on the PS3 looks as good as Far Cry 3 maxed out anyways. At the point of limited returns with graphics these days. Mostly about upping the anti aliasing and resolutions than polygon counts.

I say this as someone who has been PC gaming and console gaming for most of my adult life, which is going on 15+ years now. I was there for Civ and Descent and the PC Gamer demo disk era. I miss those days in a way but they ain't ever coming back.
   16. tshipman Posted: September 28, 2013 at 01:21 AM (#4552805)
There are whole genres of games that don't work on consoles.

5X5 strategy games, MMOs, RTS, etc. etc. etc.

Basically the only games that are okay on a console vs. M/K are platform adventure games, simple puzzlers, sports, and driving games.
   17. CrosbyBird Posted: September 28, 2013 at 01:26 AM (#4552808)
If you were to have a match between mouse-keyboard vs gamepad in a FPS, the mouse-keyboard side would obliterate the gamepad side.
Having the fine control with the mouse is a HUGE advantage over the gamepad.


I won't deny that. The precision difference is significant.

It's just less comfortable and a lot less immersive to use mouse and keyboard, in my opinion. I notice the keyboard and mouse as tools, where a gamepad basically turns into an extension of my hand.
   18. madvillain Posted: September 28, 2013 at 01:30 AM (#4552812)
5X5 strategy games, MMOs, RTS, etc. etc. etc.


And there are games that are fun on phones that don't work on PCs like Angry Birds...Follow the money, it's not in RTS unless your company is Blizzard.

Valve is gonna marry Console and PC style gaming. You'll have a keyboard and mouse for your level 60 elf and a controller for Neymar in Fifa 15.

I just don't see the PC gaming industry as anything more than niche going forward. Of course, you could argue a) niche works as a monetary model on the Internet and b) PC gaming already is a niche.

It's just less comfortable and a lot less immersive to use mouse and keyboard, in my opinion.


In 1999 if you had been playing Half Life, it woulda been different. Used to be if you wanted immersion, PC was the only way. Not anymore.
   19. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: September 28, 2013 at 01:34 AM (#4552813)
It's just less comfortable and a lot less immersive to use mouse and keyboard, in my opinion. I notice the keyboard and mouse as tools, where a gamepad basically turns into an extension of my hand.

Once you get *really* good at a mouse-and-keyboard, especially if you get a mechanical keyboard and switches you're comfortable with (I use Cherry MX Browns as they're excellent gaming switches and I can type 120 WPM with them), k+m becomes more than an extension of your hand - you feel like your brain is connected directly to them. I have a very similar gamepad to a PS3 controller on my PC, but for FPS, m+k is unbeatable.

   20. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: September 28, 2013 at 01:39 AM (#4552816)
One reason there's a bit of a lag right now is simply due to the end of a console generation. With so many games ported, even though PC ones can look better than the same game on a PS3 or 360, something that really pushes a PC's hardware would be a real ##### to get to run on a console right now.

If you want to see a PC really get pushed, here's one of my favorite set of links, to a guy who loaded his Skyrim with more than 100 graphical mods and got his GTX 670/i5 2500k screaming for mercy.
   21. CrosbyBird Posted: September 28, 2013 at 01:40 AM (#4552817)
There are whole genres of games that don't work on consoles.

5X5 strategy games, MMOs, RTS, etc. etc. etc.


I play a lot of these types of games, and I really don't agree for the most part. RTS games are a notable exception as they're basically exercises in precision clicking. (Another exception would be games that are heavily dependent on mods.)

I haven't heard the term 5x5. Do you mean 4x games (like Civilization)?

There's no reason (other than the "not available" reason) you couldn't play most MMOs with a console if you don't type to chat. There are certainly enough buttons on a modern gamepad to map most if not all of the regularly-used functions.

Basically the only games that are okay on a console vs. M/K are platform adventure games, simple puzzlers, sports, and driving games.

I'm sure with practice my mouse/keyboard skills would improve, but I much prefer the double thumbstick for look/move in a first-person shooter.
   22. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: September 28, 2013 at 01:42 AM (#4552819)
Intel's backed off somewhat on the "end of sockets" stuff and AMD, so long as they stay in business, has expressed commitment to socketed CPUs. Even if it does happen, it won't be the end of the world - it'd be annoying if my 3770k/Z77 combo had to be bought together, but not disastrous.
   23. tshipman Posted: September 28, 2013 at 01:47 AM (#4552821)
I haven't heard the term 5x5. Do you mean 4x games (like Civilization)?


Yes. Civ or Paradox titles wouldn't work on a console. There'd be an interminable number of menus required to navigate to play the game.

There's no reason (other than the "not available" reason) you couldn't play most MMOs with a console if you don't type to chat. There are certainly enough buttons on a modern gamepad to map most if not all of the regularly-used functions.


It would be impossible to play a healing spec in an MMO without M/K. There are nowhere near enough buttons to play a DPS spec competently, let alone a more challenging role. I have no idea what types of MMOs you're playing.
   24. CrosbyBird Posted: September 28, 2013 at 01:52 AM (#4552824)
It's also fairly hard to play with mouse/keyboard in a reclining position.
   25. CrosbyBird Posted: September 28, 2013 at 02:03 AM (#4552825)
It would be impossible to play a healing spec in an MMO without M/K.

I've played clerics in DAOC, Everquest, and WoW. Obviously there would be some adjustment, but in my experience, there's enough there.

I'm thinking that you use the double-sticks for movement/look (click the left stick to strafe), the bumpers for cycling through allies/enemies, the four buttons with left/right trigger as "shifts" to map a total of twelve functions, and then the d-pad to cycle between ability lines and even item sets.
   26. tshipman Posted: September 28, 2013 at 02:22 AM (#4552830)
I've played clerics in DAOC, Everquest, and WoW. Obviously there would be some adjustment, but in my experience, there's enough there.

I'm thinking that you use the double-sticks for movement/look (click the left stick to strafe), the bumpers for cycling through allies/enemies, the four buttons with left/right trigger as "shifts" to map a total of twelve functions, and then the d-pad to cycle between ability lines and even item sets.


Great, so by the time you've lined up a heal, your party would be dead.
   27. CrosbyBird Posted: September 28, 2013 at 03:14 AM (#4552832)
Great, so by the time you've lined up a heal, your party would be dead.

Would this be true if you were playing against opponents also using controllers?

I think we might be arguing different points. I freely concede that mouse and keyboard are faster and more precise. What I'm saying is that there's enough flexibility in a controller to handle the number of functions typically used in an MMO combat situation.
   28. Bhaakon Posted: September 28, 2013 at 03:50 AM (#4552835)
Intel's backed off somewhat on the "end of sockets" stuff and AMD, so long as they stay in business, has expressed commitment to socketed CPUs. Even if it does happen, it won't be the end of the world - it'd be annoying if my 3770k/Z77 combo had to be bought together, but not disastrous.


Yeah, I don't see that as the end of anything, really. There are other upgrades to make besides the CPU, and many people game on laptops which are, for most users, also closed-box systems. It also doesn't change the fundamental divide of consoles being essentially mono-taskers. As long as people have a computer around for all the other things it does, then there's going to be a market for PC games.
   29. Swedish Chef Posted: September 28, 2013 at 05:44 AM (#4552839)
If there's anything that is supplanting PCs for games it's mobile rather than consoles. Consoles never took that step to a true mass audience, and they're not going to make it now either seeing that the new ones are expensive boxes tailored for the Halo of Duty Battlefield crowd. And still, the web and PC remains the only places where you can actually publish a game without having to pass a gatekeeper. I would predict that those would be platforms with the most creativity and interesting experiments, that is I would predict that if it wasn't already obviously true from a cursory glance.
   30. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: September 28, 2013 at 08:09 AM (#4552851)
People have been predicting the end of computer games for decades. It just makes me chuckle every time I see somebody make that prediction.
   31. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: September 28, 2013 at 08:29 AM (#4552858)
Great, so by the time you've lined up a heal, your party would be dead.

Would this be true if you were playing against opponents also using controllers?


Maybe not but you'll be hard pressed to find people to play with who universally forego such a competitive advantage.
   32. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: September 28, 2013 at 09:12 AM (#4552874)
As a Mac user, all this talk about PCs seems to leave me out. I've stopped gaming on my Computer almost entirely, except for a few games I keep around for long trips, and the Baldur's Gate II campaign I absolutely will finish someday. The Civilization games were ruined by Civilization IV, and the Paradox games are mainly unavailable for Macs, and unrunnable on my older machines if they are. So it's consoles or bust for me, alas. I still play Field of Glory on my Mac, though, I miss the old exploration games like Alpha Centauri.
   33. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: September 28, 2013 at 09:14 AM (#4552875)
As a Mac user, all this talk about PCs seems to leave me out. I've stopped gaming on my Computer almost entirely, except for a few games I keep around for long trips, and the Baldur's Gate II campaign I absolutely will finish someday. The Civilization games were ruined by Civilization IV, and the Paradox games are mainly unavailable for Macs, and unrunnable on my older machines if they are. So it's consoles or bust for me, alas.

A Mac is a console.
   34. McCoy Posted: September 28, 2013 at 10:15 AM (#4552899)
When I made my switch from desktop to laptop I basically gave up playing any kind of game on my computer. Never really could get into cellphone games as the screen is too small, the controls are limited and tedious, and the games are rather simple. When I got an Ipad I tried some games and besides something like freecell I've basically reduced my play to Clash of Clans to kill time at work. I'm a sad bunny. I wish I could play some Total War games but my laptop just can't handle those games.
   35. zack Posted: September 28, 2013 at 11:20 AM (#4552925)
People have been predicting the end of computer games for decades. It just makes me chuckle every time I see somebody make that prediction.


Very much so. And it's not like high-powered 3D games are the only games worth playing on a PC. Thanks to being an open platform, there are new games everyday on it. The most difficult to render thing in the game I'm playing right now is an @.

Civilization games were ruined by Civilization IV

Whut. V is by far the best Civ ever. This fact is backed by NUCLEAR WEAPONS.
   36. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: September 28, 2013 at 11:23 AM (#4552927)
I wish I could play some Total War games but my laptop just can't handle those games.


Speaking of Total War, anyone else pick up Rome II, only to put it down, disappointed, until they fix the bugs and the gameplay issues?
   37. McCoy Posted: September 28, 2013 at 11:37 AM (#4552945)
I think the need for sequels ruined Civilization and Civ-like games. In order to justify a sequel and a need to buy the game they made the games more complex and tedious. When I say complex I mean in a bureaucratic Byzantium sort of complexity.
   38. zack Posted: September 28, 2013 at 11:40 AM (#4552947)
I think the need for sequels ruined Civilization and Civ-like games. In order to justify a sequel and a need to buy the game they made the games more complex and tedious. When I say complex I mean in a bureaucratic Byzantium sort of complexity.

If you change "sequels" to "DLC", I would agree for this generation. But II-III-IV-V I wouldn't agree they are any more complex. Just better, though I liked III better than IV iirc.

BABA YETU YETU BADOO
   39. McCoy Posted: September 28, 2013 at 11:51 AM (#4552952)
I should have put an asterisk in my statement to point out that as technology improves games should be updated to take advantage of that new technology and that Sid Meier and his team, imo, is one of the best designers for keep the core spirit of the game alive through all of its sequels.

I remember playing Pirates! back in the late 80's on an Apple computer, playing it again in the 90's on a PC, and then playing it again in the 2000's with its updated version and all three times it was a blast. Now I've discovered that they have an Ipad version of the game and I'll have to look into it.

For the most part Sid has kept his gameplay simple but a ton of these games now force you take make dozens of decisions and click dozens of times each turn over very mundane stuff.
   40. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: September 28, 2013 at 12:21 PM (#4552977)
For the most part Sid has kept his gameplay simple but a ton of these games now force you take make dozens of decisions and click dozens of times each turn over very mundane stuff.

I feel like that is much less of a problem with the new games, than the old ones, primarily because there is now a de facto cap on the number of cities you can have. In Civ 2 it wasn't uncommon for me to have 100+ cities, and take 5 minutes at the start of each turn just to update all the build queues.
   41. McCoy Posted: September 28, 2013 at 12:32 PM (#4552983)
I feel like that is much less of a problem with the new games, than the old ones, primarily because there is now a de facto cap on the number of cities you can have. In Civ 2 it wasn't uncommon for me to have 100+ cities, and take 5 minutes at the start of each turn just to update all the build queues.

Didn't know there is a cap now. I think the last one I played was three and I think in at the very least 2 you couldn't not develop anything within your cities and yeah, it was a pain the ass to constantly click through every city to adjust building plans and make citizens happy. I very rarely built cities because of this and the later stages of the game would always get tedious for me as I'd be managing dozens of conquered cities while the AI was busy creating dozens more.
   42. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: September 28, 2013 at 12:49 PM (#4552992)
I remember playing Pirates! back in the late 80's on an Apple computer, playing it again in the 90's on a PC, and then playing it again in the 2000's with its updated version and all three times it was a blast.


Yeah, it's easily in my top-10 game series ever. I finished the 1st one on a Mac back in college and loved it, and finished the most recent one on the PC and loved it*.

Hell, I might just have to load it up and play it again, now that you've mentioned it.

*except for the dancing game, even though I learned to beat it, ugh, the dancing game ...
   43. McCoy Posted: September 28, 2013 at 12:55 PM (#4552995)
I found the dancing game to be mildly amusing but, yeah, once your learn the patterns it just becomes tiresome. But when you think about it the dancing tasks were really no different than the swordfights. Learn a pattern and repeat it over and over again.
   44. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: September 28, 2013 at 01:02 PM (#4553003)
Didn't know there is a cap now.

There isn't a hard cap. But there are penalties in place for happiness and maintenance costs etc. Basically, the more cities you have, the worse it gets. Overexpansion can absolutely cripple you.
   45. madvillain Posted: September 28, 2013 at 04:56 PM (#4553272)

People have been predicting the end of computer games for decades. It just makes me chuckle every time I see somebody make that prediction.


So, going from like 85% marketshare to like 30% over the last 20 years is what then? It's not dead, it's probably not even on life support, but it's a niche now in a much larger gaming environment.

   46. BFFB Posted: September 28, 2013 at 05:07 PM (#4553284)
With regards to the question of console vs. pc the only practical difference with the latest generation is that a console is a closed platform while a pc is more or less open.

People have been predicting the end of computer games for decades. It just makes me chuckle every time I see somebody make that prediction.


Pretty much. Cell phones/tablets aren't cannibalizing colsole/pc sales but expanding dramatically the audience for people who play video games. In terms of choice there has never been more and more great indie games are coming out now then I can ever remember before. It's pretty great.

So, going from like 85% marketshare to like 30% over the last 20 years is what then? It's not dead, it's probably not even on life support, but it's a niche now in a much larger gaming environment.


The revenues for pc/console gaming (or "core" gaming) is growing and citing marketshare numbers is downright dishonest because there is very little commonality between "core" and casual games. They provide completely different experiences. You might as well say that Lost was cannibalising the market for blockbuster movies.
   47. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: September 28, 2013 at 05:27 PM (#4553299)
So, going from like 85% marketshare to like 30% over the last 20 years is what then? It's not dead, it's probably not even on life support, but it's a niche now in a much larger gaming environment.

First of all, this. kinda refutes your 30% number.
Secondly, I think 85% is a vast overestimation (haven't found any concrete numbers while googling). In 1993 virtually everybody had a Nintendo or a Gameboy, and practically nobody had a PC.
Third, even if market share was down a third, so what? The total market has grown by a factor of 5-10. So even accepting your numbers, PC game development is still much more profitable, than it was 20 years ago. How do you think Nintendo's market share compares to 1993, when it was them, PCs and the red-headed stepchild SEGA? Do you think Nintendo is dying?
   48. hokieneer Posted: September 28, 2013 at 05:55 PM (#4553319)
While on the subject of pc vs console controls and such:

Blizzard deserves credit for the console version of d3. Been playing it some this week, and its a lot of fun. The controls are very fluid and responsive. It plays like a very solid action / hack and slash, with all the looting of an arpg. I never played the pc version, but from what I've read the console's looting and loot table are light years ahead of the pc version. Coop is good and the ui is fantastic.

I know the arpg genre is largely pc driven, with point and click skill usage. But if the controls are solid, the genre is much more engaging on a console, especially with couch coop.
   49. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: September 28, 2013 at 05:55 PM (#4553320)
This fact is backed by NUCLEAR WEAPONS.

Primey.
   50. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: September 28, 2013 at 05:59 PM (#4553327)
I played the #### out of the original Pirates! back when it came out. I became too good a the swordfighting though, I'd swoop in horribly outnumbered on hardest level and not got hit, and beat the other guy in the sword, but then realize that even though I won, I no longer have the 8 guys needed to man my pinnace.
   51. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: September 28, 2013 at 06:00 PM (#4553328)
Anyone else playing FFXIV 2.0?
   52. hokieneer Posted: September 28, 2013 at 06:15 PM (#4553340)
On FFXIV

I have a few friends trying to get me into it. We played the original 1.0 at launch and the bad taste hasn't went away for me yet. I know its better, everyone tells me it is, but I can't generate the interest to d /l the client.

I'm also not much of an mmo player anymore. The time commitment and "scheduling" static parties is just too much for me at this point in my life. I guess I prefer games like borderlands, path of exile, shooters, etc. Games that can definitely be played solo, but are much better with other people if I'm fortunate to have time that particular day.
   53. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: September 28, 2013 at 06:16 PM (#4553342)
I was contemplating it, maybe in a month or so, when I have more spare time. Any good?
   54. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: September 28, 2013 at 06:30 PM (#4553354)
I have a few friends trying to get me into it. We played the original 1.0 at launch and the bad taste hasn't went away for me yet. I know its better, everyone tells me it is, but I can't generate the interest to d /l the client.

Yeah, that was my initial reaction. I had the limited edition FFXIV when it came out and it was just so horrid. I can't believe that anyone programming it actually thought through any of the concepts. And, sweet Jesus, the Market Wards. For those unaware, FFXIV had this idea that instead of having an auction/board system where you buy things for sale, you put anything you want to sell on your personal vendor. And everybody's vendors STAND AROUND IN THE MOST CROWDED ROOM EVER AND YOU CAN'T ACTUALLY EVEN LOAD EVERYONE"S VENDOR. Even worse, there was actually no way to search for an item you wanted. Want to buy a Maple Log? Get ready for an hour of clicking!

FFXIV initial release was so bad that they suspended monthly fees for like a year because they felt it sucked too much to charge for. How often do game companies hold press conferences in order to give public apologies for how bad a game is? They essentially re-made the entire game over again after firing everybody involved with the first release.

It took a few weeks of convincing to get me to try FFXIV and I still went in there kicking and screaming. But I've enjoyed it very much.

(I'm on Midgardsormr)
   55. hokieneer Posted: September 28, 2013 at 07:36 PM (#4553378)
#### dan, playing the market wards was the only fun I had in that game. BTW they added a search feature at some point before I quit, which upgraded them from double-root-canal horrible to single-root-canal horrible. You could only do x number of quests every 36-48 hours or whatever it was. So I would breeze through all my combat quests in like 45 min, and then set down to craft. I was a decent level goldsmith, and found that no one was really making some mage staves or mid level weapon upgrades (15-30) that only goldsmiths could do. SO I set up a booth in one of the smaller wards that focused on magic users and made a virtual fortune. I could over charge like crazy because if there was anyone else on the server making them, it was going to be ####### impossible for buyer to find the seller. The weapon upgrades were the best. I could buy, let's say a battle axe, from a vender for 10K, add about 1K in crafting mats to it, and sell it for 25-30K. I literally had already bought all the gear/weapons/crafting mats/etc upgrades for my character all the way to lvl cap and still had like 7 million gold left.

Hmmm, perhaps I should migrate my account over...
   56. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: October 25, 2013 at 12:08 PM (#4583399)
Bump
   57. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: October 25, 2013 at 12:25 PM (#4583423)
It lives!
   58. Dan Evensen Posted: October 25, 2013 at 12:38 PM (#4583442)
Hmm, another gaming thraed. I'll participate.

I broke down and bought the PS3 / GTA V pack a few weeks ago. It was an excellent move, actually. GTA V really does live up to its hype -- and I haven't even tried multiplayer yet.

I also have a copy of Skyrim Legendary Edition just waiting for a day with nothing else to do. Yeah, I know, consoles don't get the UBER-LEET FPS that PCs do -- but I don't care. The PS3 was a good buy at $270, and the games are just as much fun.

I haven't been able to stick with a game of Civ V long enough to get to nuclear weapons. It feels much slower to me than the older Civ games. I also do not like the fact that I can't easily start building up a sizeable empire as long as there is enough land around me, which was part of the addictive appeal of Civ IV.

I was able to install a full CD version of Civ II on my Macbook Air ("console") using Parallels and Windows XP. Yes, the newer games have a bit better gameplay balance (gotta love Fundamentalism), and, yes, the graphics are horribly outdated (though the advisor cutscenes are classic) -- but none of the other Civ games are anywhere near as addicting as II.

#47 is right on, by the way, when it comes to the PC market. I don't remember a time when PC games had 85% market penetration. Hell, not even Doom and Doom II were THAT well received. I remember installing Doom II on computers in middle school to play with my classmates in one of those pointless "introduction to computers" classes (it helps when you know more than the teacher). A good number of my classmates had never played Doom before -- and this was in early 1999.

Consoles, on the other hand, had absolutely huge market penetration, particularly around 1992-1994. Everybody I knew growing up had either an NES, SNES or Genesis. Interestingly, I didn't know anybody who had a cross-company combination, like a SNES and a Genesis. Kids back then tended to be fanatically loyal to one brand or the other -- something that had died down considerably these days. Even the XBONE - PS4 internet arguments I've seen are really tame compared to the way things were back then. I mean, Genesis fans wouldn't be friends with SNES fans.

All modern gaming aside, there's still something special about those old 8 / 16 bit games. I fire the old emulators up every now and then to replay some of the classics. GTA V is fun, but it's nowhere near the "greatest video game of all time" that you see in certain online reviews. I'd still rather play Mario 3.
   59. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: October 25, 2013 at 12:40 PM (#4583444)
FWIW Dan, I plan on starting FFXIV 2.0 after the WS ends. Because apparently I hate myself and have no life.
   60. Pooty Lederhosen Posted: October 25, 2013 at 12:50 PM (#4583456)
I'm an old PC gamer who recently moved in with a lifelong console gamer. One advantage the console has is in fighting games and that you can couch co-op. Borderlands 1 and 2 were so fun with the gf that my 10 year old and I are now playing 1.

Despite how much I love Borderlands (which is a lot), I still don't like to play that kind of game with a console controller.
   61. Good cripple hitter Posted: October 25, 2013 at 01:20 PM (#4583482)
Anyone here play Curt Schilling's game? It's free on PS+ right now and I'm not sure it's worth the hard drive space / bandwidth. The reviews I found on Metacritic were surprisingly positive (81) for a game that I only heard about in articles talking about how badly it bombed.
   62. Manny Coon Posted: October 25, 2013 at 01:33 PM (#4583498)
The reviews I found on Metacritic were surprisingly positive (81)


Is there any group of writers that are worse and have less credibility than professional game reviewers?
   63. Good cripple hitter Posted: October 25, 2013 at 01:45 PM (#4583506)
Is there any group of writers that are worse and have less credibility than professional game reviewers?


Art critics who are drunk, smug, and impotent?

Professional game previewers. People covering the business side of video games. Music critics.

I usually don't bother with reviews but I literally have no knowledge of this game other than it caused Schilling to sell most of his worldly goods.
   64. The Good Face Posted: October 25, 2013 at 01:47 PM (#4583510)
Anyone here play Curt Schilling's game? It's free on PS+ right now and I'm not sure it's worth the hard drive space / bandwidth. The reviews I found on Metacritic were surprisingly positive (81) for a game that I only heard about in articles talking about how badly it bombed.


Kingdoms of Amalur? Was a decent enough action RPG. Plusses; huge game world, very good combat, a gajillion side quests, lots and lots of items, spells, character builds, etc. Minuses; bland and generic fantasy world, dull, cliched main quest, some absolutely terrible writing, silly voice acting, mediocre graphics. Basically it's a game where you mash the buttons to kill the guy to get the loot to mash more buttons to kill more guys to get more loot to... well, you get it. I wouldn't spend more than $15 or so, but it's worth fooling around with if you like actiony RPGs.
   65. President of the David Eckstein Fan Club Posted: October 25, 2013 at 02:11 PM (#4583536)
I got Kingdoms during the Steam sale for really cheap, which is - like TGF says - the only reason you should consider trying it. There's a LOT to do/see in it, but it's all shallow and generic, and the voice acting and main storyline are pretty terrible. I ended up giving up on it after awhile and decided to stick with Dragon Age: Origins if I want a (mostly) cookie-cutter RPG.
   66. Swedish Chef Posted: October 25, 2013 at 02:13 PM (#4583539)
I usually don't bother with reviews but I literally have no knowledge of this game other than it caused Schilling to sell most of his worldly goods.

That wasn't that game. The thing that sank them was their ambitious unreleased MMORPG. The Kingdoms of Amalur game is something they got when they bought a studio in Baltimore.
   67. Good cripple hitter Posted: October 25, 2013 at 02:26 PM (#4583553)
Kingdoms of Amalur? Was a decent enough action RPG. Plusses; huge game world, very good combat, a gajillion side quests, lots and lots of items, spells, character builds, etc. Minuses; bland and generic fantasy world, dull, cliched main quest, some absolutely terrible writing, silly voice acting, mediocre graphics. Basically it's a game where you mash the buttons to kill the guy to get the loot to mash more buttons to kill more guys to get more loot to... well, you get it. I wouldn't spend more than $15 or so, but it's worth fooling around with if you like actiony RPGs.


I got Kingdoms during the Steam sale for really cheap, which is - like TGF says - the only reason you should consider trying it. There's a LOT to do/see in it, but it's all shallow and generic, and the voice acting and main storyline are pretty terrible. I ended up giving up on it after awhile and decided to stick with Dragon Age: Origins if I want a (mostly) cookie-cutter RPG.


Thanks, that's what I was looking for. The plusses are things that appeal to me, so I I'll download it. My problem is I've got a backlog of supposedly better games to play (Shadow of the Colossus, Ico, XCom, other stuff I'm probably forgetting) but I'll give this a look.

That wasn't that game. The thing that sank them was their ambitious unreleased MMORPG. The Kingdoms of Amalur game is something they got when they bought a studio in Baltimore.


Whoops, that's right.
   68. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: October 25, 2013 at 05:43 PM (#4583754)
So my old PS3 got the yellow light of death for the third time the other night and, as much as I enjoy firing up the heat gun and soldering iron, I finally decided pick up a new one. My last fix only lasted a couple of months and I'll be stuck in DC for a couple of weeks coming up so I need something dependable.

Anyway, bought the 500 GB bundled with GTA5. I've never played a Grand Theft game, my recent experimenting with the Bioshock games is my only experience with that genre, and frankly I doubt I'll work up the courage to attempt GTA5. I guess it depends on how frustrating my second pass at Bioshock 1 is.

Just out of curiosity I tried the 'hair dryer' trick to revive my broken PS3 so I could transfer the data to the new machine and it worked! Color me surprised. It lasted plenty long enough to transfer my data and is actually still going.
   69. zack Posted: October 25, 2013 at 06:41 PM (#4583785)
Bioshock isn't in the same genre at all, really, so I would definitely try GTA with an open mind. One is a first person corridor shooter (infinite, anyway), the other is a 3rd-person sandbox game.
   70. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: October 25, 2013 at 06:42 PM (#4583787)
FWIW Dan, I plan on starting FFXIV 2.0 after the WS ends. Because apparently I hate myself and have no life.

I'm on Midgardsormr, unless you already have plans to join a group.
   71. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: October 25, 2013 at 06:44 PM (#4583788)
GTA's not a challenging game. It's not so much about the challenge, but for the sandboxy mayhem of it. Crazy stuff happens in GTA when you're wandering around as it's very easy to get into a wacky misadventure.
   72. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: October 25, 2013 at 08:11 PM (#4583812)
Interesting, thanks. As always, I know nothing.
   73. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: October 25, 2013 at 08:38 PM (#4583820)
I also have a copy of Skyrim Legendary Edition just waiting for a day with nothing else to do. Yeah, I know, consoles don't get the UBER-LEET FPS that PCs do


FPS has nothing to do with the PC's enormous ever-expanding superiority for Skyrim! It's all about THE MODS.
   74. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: October 26, 2013 at 03:10 AM (#4583889)
Yeah, Skyrim without the mods just isn't the same. People *really* go all out making quests and locations and various graphics/concept mods (and so on) for Skyrim.

And some crazy people load up their Skyrims and make it look like this.
   75. Dan Posted: October 26, 2013 at 04:07 AM (#4583892)
And to talk about the actual fugging article: don't bet against Valve.


It seems like not going for a set hardware configuration really takes away a lot of the advantage of making a console though, doesn't it? It shouldn't be too terribly different to make Steam Box games vs. PS4 games from my understanding, but consoles still have the advantage of letting developers build and optimize and test for one universal hardware spec. At least PS4 and steam box will both share *NIX based kernels and x86-64 architecture though, so it shouldn't be such an investment to port to Steam Box that developers won't give it a try.

The controller that Valve came up with for the Steam Box seems like the most interesting part of the whole thing to me. The touch pads replacing analog sticks seems like a really creative solution for trying to add better precision to a game controller. It might not get you all the way to mouse-aiming levels of precision but if it's 80-90% as precise as a mouse then that's a massive jump up from analog sticks on PS/XBox controllers. I'm wondering how long it'll be before MS and Sony copy the basic design and come out with next gen XBone/Ps4 controllers with comparable precision.

As a Mac user, all this talk about PCs seems to leave me out. I've stopped gaming on my Computer almost entirely, except for a few games I keep around for long trips, and the Baldur's Gate II campaign I absolutely will finish someday. The Civilization games were ruined by Civilization IV, and the Paradox games are mainly unavailable for Macs, and unrunnable on my older machines if they are. So it's consoles or bust for me, alas. I still play Field of Glory on my Mac, though, I miss the old exploration games like Alpha Centauri.


Developers are porting a lot more games to Mac now than in the past, and it may even increase in the near future since PS4 and SteamBox will both be *NIX kernels running on x86-64 architecture (and using OpenGL for graphics), just like OS X is. As for Paradox, I still haven't gotten into trying their games (and I mean to pick up at least one to try), but they seem to have plenty of games available on Mac.
   76. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: October 26, 2013 at 07:27 AM (#4583897)
All this talk of PC vs Console, and no one has yet mentioned that the ideal technology for gaming is a table, dice, beer, pizza/funions, PHB, DMG, and MM...oh, and the one cute nerdy chick who plays too.
   77. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: October 26, 2013 at 09:11 AM (#4583907)
Yeah, I wouldn't play Skyrim on console only because I love modding it. I'm not happy unless my character has to eat 3000 calories a day and get 6 hours of sleep a night, can't fast travel if he doesn't have a tent and firemaking gear with him, and has to beware frostbite. Plus, then I actually have use for all those wedges of cheese.

I agree completely with the earlier statements on Amalur. Generic story, but good combat system and interesting character modification/leveling. But I'd play Xcom first, because that game was a very good update on what was one of my all time favorite games.

And man, I wish I had a tabletop group. D&D done right is an excellent time to spend an evening.

   78. Paul D(uda) Posted: October 26, 2013 at 10:06 AM (#4583932)
My PS3 also died for third time recently. I've decided to stick with the PC for a while - I've got Fallout: New Vegas and The Witcher 2 on there which will last for a while, and I'm sure Steam will have an incredible sale for Black Friday.
   79. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: October 26, 2013 at 10:47 AM (#4583952)
Is there any group of writers that are worse and have less credibility than professional game reviewers?


Speaking of which, Metacritic scores for Total War - Rome 2: 7.7 from the professionals (with overwhelming praise from the sites who reviewed it at release) and a scintillating 3.8 from the people who actually paid money to play serve as beta-testers for a buggy, ill-conceived, poorly-executed piece of crap.

   80. Random Transaction Generator Posted: October 26, 2013 at 12:28 PM (#4584007)
All this talk of PC vs Console, and no one has yet mentioned that the ideal technology for gaming is a table, dice, beer, pizza/funions, PHB, DMG, and MM...oh, and the one cute nerdy chick who plays too.


Other than the cute nerdy chick (or the beer), that was my teenage years.
That, and many table-top games with lots of little counters and fiddly bits.

The recent rise of table top games (board games and RPG) makes me wish I was a teenager again (with the free time) but with my current income (to buy all those games).
   81. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: October 26, 2013 at 01:05 PM (#4584043)
My PS3 also died for third time recently. I've decided to stick with the PC for a while - I've got Fallout: New Vegas and The Witcher 2


Good choices, both. I wasn't particularly happy with the Fallout reboot, it looks and feels like "Skyrim with guns" too much for my tastes but I'm aware that my nostalgia for the original clouds my impression. Everyone wanted a new Fallout but all the cool kids really want an Arcanum reboot!

I love Witcher 2 but I know it's not for everyone. The combat is weird but much improved from Witcher 1's "stare and click" model which had great animations you never noticed because you were waiting for your combat icon to flash. I'm eager for Witcher 3 to come out, which promises less linear gameplay and a more open gameworld. Don't get me wrong, I've enjoyed fairly linear RPGs in the past (the first Star Wars KOTOR and the Mass Effect games, mainly, plus the old-style RPGs like Baldur's Gate) but nothing beats wide-open exploring for me.

Speaking of which, Metacritic scores for Total War - Rome 2: 7.7 from the professionals (with overwhelming praise from the sites who reviewed it at release) and a scintillating 3.8 from the people who actually paid money to play serve as beta-testers for a buggy, ill-conceived, poorly-executed piece of crap.


Well that's sad to read because I love the Total War series and was looking forward to using it to put my new system through its paces. Guess I'll re-installed Medieval: Total War II instead.
   82. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: October 26, 2013 at 02:36 PM (#4584083)
It's not a terrible game - some of the flaws at launch only really come out with veteran Total War players that really play the #### out of it. They've been patching aggressively since release and I wouldn't call the game ill-conceived so much as released too early.

but nothing beats wide-open exploring for me.

That's one of the things that makes the Elder Scrolls games so much fun for me. I'll add a whole bunch of user created quests and storylines and you'll literally have no idea where they start or what you're supposed to do until you discover it for yourself.
   83. Paul D(uda) Posted: November 16, 2013 at 06:15 PM (#4601289)
Anyone pick upa PS4?
   84. Greg K Posted: November 16, 2013 at 06:42 PM (#4601292)
I haven't been able to stick with a game of Civ V long enough to get to nuclear weapons. It feels much slower to me than the older Civ games. I also do not like the fact that I can't easily start building up a sizeable empire as long as there is enough land around me, which was part of the addictive appeal of Civ IV.

Different strokes. One of the many things I love about Civ V is that there are pretty significant penalties associated with sprawl. Having a friend over tonight to have a session...I might try out a Canadian civ I got from the modding workshop. Bonus for forest tundra hexes! Though hopefully it doesn't go for 13 hours like our last Civ Saturday.

For a variety of reasons I haven't played any GTA 5 yet, but I have sat and watched other people play for about 10-12 hours worth of game time. It looks like a lot of fun. Generally with the GTA games I just drive around on motorcycles, do massive 50 foot jumps, then get off the bike in mid-air and die. Not sure why, I could do that all day. But from watching others play, the stories and cut scenes (which I usually treat the same way I did Tom Bombadil songs back when I was a kid - skip and ignore), are actually entertaining enough to follow.
   85. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: November 16, 2013 at 07:12 PM (#4601298)
I still can't decide between a PS4 and and XBox One. Luckily for me, the game I'm most interested in playing is Batman: Arkham Origins, which is for the machine I already have. I'm hoping to put the decision off for at least a couple of months, when things will be cheaper and I'll be able to sort through people's opinions after they've actually used both boxes.
   86. BFFB Posted: November 16, 2013 at 07:51 PM (#4601316)
One reason there's a bit of a lag right now is simply due to the end of a console generation. With so many games ported, even though PC ones can look better than the same game on a PS3 or 360, something that really pushes a PC's hardware would be a real ##### to get to run on a console right now.

If you want to see a PC really get pushed, here's one of my favorite set of links, to a guy who loaded his Skyrim with more than 100 graphical mods and got his GTX 670/i5 2500k screaming for mercy.


Or load up Planetside 2 :)

Even with an overclocked 4670K and R9 280X that game struggles to get a consistent 60 fps. Still hellish fun, though.

So, going from like 85% marketshare to like 30% over the last 20 years is what then? It's not dead, it's probably not even on life support, but it's a niche now in a much larger gaming environment.


PC'2 compete with Sony and Microsoft. Nintendo and Phone games are pretty much their own thing and don't really cannibalize on the former because what they offer is sufficiently different. For what PC is really competing against the split is pretty much an even 33/33/33 and the platform which gets the biggest 1/3 pretty much varies from game to game. COD, for example, is way in favor of Microsoft where as other games will be more even.

   87. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: November 27, 2013 at 02:34 PM (#4606841)
I'll treat this thread as our catch-all gaming thread and let everyone know that the Annual STEAM Winter Sale has started today and will run through next week. Sure there are huge discounts to be had on all manner of games, but the fun thing is that this isn't the sort of sale where they put all their wares on display at once; oh no, you'll want to check in several times a day for the surprise short-term deals that only last a few hours. It's a heap of fun and a great way to add some fantastic games to your library at a deep discount.

Currently they're offering Skyrim - the REAL Skyrim, you know, on a PC so you can use mods - for $7.50. Left 4 Dead 2, which is one of my favorite online team-based games, is a whopping $5 and Witcher 2 is $10. Something for everyone at prices even Jeffrey Loria couldn't turn down. I'm keeping an eye out for a chance to nab Rome: Total War 2 for maybe $15, and Fallout 3 or Borderlands 2 for $5.
   88. zack Posted: November 27, 2013 at 04:11 PM (#4606916)
It's the Autumn sale. Somehow, despite the 4 inches of snow on the ground.
   89. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 27, 2013 at 04:20 PM (#4606922)
I have not played a non-sports video games in over a decade. I'm not really into racing or shoot-em-ups. But from what I understand there are many games out there - Bioshock, Beyond Souls, LA Noire, Heavy Rain - that are more like interactive stories?

What would you recommend for someone that hasn't played a game in a long time but is looking for something with depth like that?
   90. The Good Face Posted: November 27, 2013 at 04:41 PM (#4606932)
I have not played a non-sports video games in over a decade. I'm not really into racing or shoot-em-ups. But from what I understand there are many games out there - Bioshock, Beyond Souls, LA Noire, Heavy Rain - that are more like interactive stories?

What would you recommend for someone that hasn't played a game in a long time but is looking for something with depth like that?


That's a pretty broad question, but if you want interactive stories, you could do a lot worse than the Uncharted series. You play as a lovable rogue archaeologist/thief who gets mixed up in incredible adventures while trying to pull off various capers; Indiana Jones-type stuff. There are sequences of gunfights, parkour and puzzle solving, interspersed with lots and lots of cut scenes. Top notch voice acting, solid writing and story-telling.

Bioshock Infinite would probably fit the bill as well, although it's a shooter at heart, so if 1st person gunplay isn't your thing, you may want to steer clear.

The Last of Us fits the interactive story requirement pretty well, but there's a lot of survival horror gameplay there, and if you only play sports games, you might find it frustrating or annoying dealing with resource management while simultaneously trying to battle zombies while armed with nothing but a brick and a gun with 2 bullets.
   91. Greg K Posted: November 27, 2013 at 04:59 PM (#4606943)
Speaking of mods, does anyone know any good ones for Europa Universalis IV? Usually Paradox fans come up with a mod that essentially just acts as an update patch, streamlining play and improving little details. So far my only complaint is the fact that you have to manually allocate your papal influence on cardinals. I wish I could just pick one and automatically funnel my influence to him until he dies or is made a cardinal. Other than that of course, this game is my perfect soul-mate. I'm holding off on playing a game as a colonial power until the New World expansion pack comes out in January.

Also, I see the X-Com expansion came out as well. I haven't got it yet for annoying reasons, but are there other good turn based squad games like that? Shining Force is one of my all-time favourite games and X-Com is right up there, but there's about 25 years of history in the genre I am entirely blank on. It seems like a genre that could be amazing with good modding (just create endless streams of classes and leveling trees), but my one complaint with X-Com was that it didn't allow for much differentiation between character types.
   92. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: November 27, 2013 at 11:27 PM (#4607098)
Welp, there's Fallout 3 AND Fallout:New Vegas for $5 each. Mission accomplished.

Feel like some old-school RPG/FPS greatness? Break the bank for Deus Ex for $2.79, the outstanding horror goodness of Call of Cthulhu for $5, and quite possibly the best horror FPS/RPG ever, System Shock 2 for $5.
   93. Dale Sams Posted: November 27, 2013 at 11:42 PM (#4607102)
This seems like a good place for this. I don't watch Doctor Who, but I did watch the 50th anniversary follow-up directed by Peter Davison.

Five Doctors (ish) reboot

Highly recommended.
   94. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: November 27, 2013 at 11:44 PM (#4607103)
I don't watch Doctor Who, but I did watch the 50th anniversary follow-up directed by Peter Davison.

Five Doctors (ish) reboot

Highly recommended.


Yeah, I like that they knew the fans wanted a lot of cameos for the anniversary so they found a way to isolate most of them where they wouldn't have to be worked into the plot.
   95. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: November 28, 2013 at 10:19 AM (#4607205)
While we're all gorging ourselves on cheap games at the Steam Sale I'll mention that the first Steam Box has been announced by custom PC builder iBuyPower:

Anyway, iBuyPower announced that their Steam Machine, due out in early 2014 and bundled with the first iteration of the SteamOS, will be available for only $499. Yes, the exact same price as the Xbox One, but far more powerful.

In fact, the Steam Machine will come bundled with AMD's latest R9 270, where-as the Xbox One's GPU performance is closer to a 7790, according to Tom's Hardware. That's not to mention the R9 270 comes with boosted clock speeds, super fast 2GB of GDDR5 VRAM and enough shader processors to make most games weep. What's sad is that for the same price, the Steam Machine is already far faster than the Xbox One as far as graphics processing, memory access and performance goes.


Next round of Steam Sale items will be posted at 1PM. Come on console losers, set your aspirations higher than overpriced games and onerous fees to play online. Join the PC Master Race!
   96. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: November 28, 2013 at 11:03 AM (#4607208)
Just picked up Skyrim, thanks for the heads up, YR.

Is there a set schedule for when they announce the short-term deals?

Are they including new, top releases in the deals at all? I'd love to nab the new FM at a discount, but that only came a month ago, so I'm not sure they'd drop it.
   97. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: November 28, 2013 at 11:18 AM (#4607215)
Just picked up Skyrim, thanks for the heads up, YR.


Excellent. Step One is complete. On to Step Two!

Is there a set schedule for when they announce the short-term deals?


Daily deals each day at 1PM EST. Flash sales every 8 hours beginning at 1PM EST, so 1PM, 9PM, 5AM.

Are they including new, top releases in the deals at all?


Yes, but those discounts are typically smaller, you won't see Arkham Origins for $5 or anything but you can probably save $10 on anything.

Here's a helpful link of all sale items, even the minor ones that wouldn't otherwise be easily found on the front page of the Steam Store.
   98. formerly dp Posted: November 28, 2013 at 02:12 PM (#4607257)
Hey, the gaming thread's back! Snagged Far Cry 3 for $7.50 today, probably going to end up with the StarCraft: Heart of the Storm and a few others before this BF thing blows over...Amazon's running a lot of great deals, in addition to the Steam offerings.

Most excited about the Steam Machine's controller-- could be a major step forward in translating strategy games to bigger screens if they execute on it right.
   99. madvillain Posted: November 28, 2013 at 05:26 PM (#4607289)
What's sad is that for the same price, the Steam Machine is already far faster than the Xbox One as far as graphics processing, memory access and performance goes.


*sigh*, when will PC gaming enthusiasts (and those that write about such people) realize that the pure amount of graphics porn possible doesn't really mean squat? This isn't 2001 where the difference between a Voodoo 3 gard and a Nvidia GeForce 3 is a huge chasm. The difference in graphics between the Steam Box and the PS4 is so small as to make no practical difference. The frame rates on the consoles (and the resolution) are locked anyways, so console gamers aren't going to notice the dreaded frame rate glitching so common to PC gamers using "last generation hardware" on current gen games.

The Steam Box can push a few more polygons (and higher resolutions) but so what. 1080p is already a really freaking high resolution and how many people even own displays with 4k resolutions?

/rant

________________

I think the Steam Box is a fine idea and you'd be a fool to doubt Valve in any venture, but that it will gain marketshare on "processing power" is laughable. It's a golden age for PC gaming in that you can build a great gaming machine for under $600, but the days of PC exclusive titles are long gone. If you have any real interest in PC gaming (and gaming in general) you'll probably own both a console and a PC rig.

Just one more note, the reason the XBONE is $499 is the kinect, which I'm personally not a huge advocate of (it's sweet cutting edge technology but not something I'd buy a gaming rig based on) but a lot of people love kinect, especially one of MSFT's target audiences -- upper middle class families looking for an all-in-one living room device.
   100. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: November 28, 2013 at 05:53 PM (#4607300)
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