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PC > Console, with or without VR

Zenbane
MVP
MVP
Now the Sony's PlayStation VR is approaching release, the number of PSVR discussions have increased. However, each discussion seems to embrace amnesia regarding the reality behind PC's vs consoles.

First there is the idea that consoles had exclusives. But that is a thing of the past. Thanks to emulators, gamers have been enjoying console gaming on both PC's and mobile devices. To this day my favorite console game to play on my Android is Shining Force 2. Yet the same doesn't hold true going backwards: you can't take any PC game and play it on the console. And while consoles have maintained exclusives, they never really applied it to PC's. A PlayStation or XBox exclusive can usually be found for PC on Steam since the PC is essentially considered neutral territory.

Even now, console exclusives are coming to an end:
Microsoft just approved an NES emulator on Xbox One
http://www.techradar.com/news/gaming/microsoft-just-approved-an-nes-emulator-on-xbox-one-1328348

Aside from exclusivity, backwards compatibility and scalability are the domain of PC's; where consoles have a history of requiring you to put your old games and peripherals aside in favor of complete replacements. It's taken many long years for console makers to understand that this is a terrible business model, and now finally in 2016 things are inching their way towards change:

"Sony and Microsoft have finally figured out that the 'throw everything away every five years' model is not going to work any longer, especially when people want to maintain some sense of platform continuity. No matter who makes my gaming PC and the components inside, if I've upgraded it 10 times, or if I initially spent $600 or $6,000 on it, I can still download the same game code from Steam or another online store and and play essentially the same game on the common Windows platform. Sony and Microsoft promise at least some of the same interoperability going forward, with both requiring game makers to make their new games work across all their current and coming-soon consoles.

Console gamers who can now choose between a $299 slim PS4 or Xbox One S, a more powerful $399 PS4 Pro, and next year's Project Scorpio, now have more options than ever before. It's still nowhere close to the variety, flexibility and interoperability we seen every day in the CNET PC Testing Lab, but it's a good first taste, and I suspect console fans will find they want even more."

http://www.cnet.com/news/pc-gaming-beat-consoles-a-long-time-ago-so-now-consoles-are-becoming-more-l...

And that is the big factor that is missing from the PSVR vs PCVR discussions. If someone decides to ditch their Vive in favor of a Rift or their Rift in favor of a Vive... they can still play their same games; a truth that becomes more concrete after the release of Touch next month. Even Oculus Home titles can continue to be played using the Revive application if someone were to switch platforms. It goes without saying that if you keep your current Rift/Vive and decide to completely switch to a new PC... you keep all of your VR titles. How is that going to play out for PSVR?

When Sony releases their second PlayStation VR console and HMD, will it be backward compatible? There is nothing about the overall history of consoles that says it will. Sure, console makers have recently attempted to apply backward software compatibility; but it is still very new and not really on the forefront of marketing for console VR.

I found one article that states,
The PlayStation VR arrives in October 2016 and will allow for a level of PS4 Backward Compatibility for existing, non-VR titles.

It's not even fully backward compatible, just "a level." Is that promising for console VR going forward?

Yet chances are extremely high that those of us with a Vive or Rift will be able to play Sony's VR games through a port or emulator no matter how many new releases. I do predict that the console VR experience will be sub-par... similar to playing Oblivion on PC vs the XBox. Even if the gaming experiences end up magically stellar for console VR... PC gamers will still play them with their existing setup.

The bigger question about console VR should entail the assurance that consumers won't continue to be subjected to the "throw away the old" model that has plagued consoles for decades. I find it odd that this isn't at the forefront of such discussions. Instead, people are trying to figure out if console VR will "topple" PC-based VR, despite the complete lack of consoles to ever function as anything more than the PC's pre-teen sibling.

4 REPLIES 4

TC1999
Adventurer
Consoles have thier place in the gaming world.

It's funny how the gaming world goes round in circles. We had the 1st Atari consoles and soon after the collapse of interest in gaming and the 10000+ copies and consoles buried somewhere In the Vegas deserts.

Then came along the 1st affordable computers zx1. Commodore 64 and again a burst in gaming interests and again the collapse with warehouses full of omega computers.

Once more the console came back for a mini comeback with sega, nes etc. this time didn't die but just stayed more dormant, ticking along.

Then we had a new advancement in console power around 1993 with 3do where Fifa and need for speed where launched.

3do was electronic arts console.

This died so with it consoles once more.

But in the background the pc gaming begun with wolfstien leading to doom.

Wow I played the shit out of doom in 1994 on a pc running at 75hz.

After this was for gaming the dormant years where neither pc or console had any really good games until half life entered the stage.

Don't get me wrong there was plenty of games on pc from 96 onwards with some great ones like rogue squadron, need for speed 2 etc. but half life changed it all for pc.

Then we had n64 1995, consoles on the rise once more. But after some terrible choices for console design by sega gaming didn't really comeback in full force untill 2000 with sony ps2.

And with the launch of Xbox and halo in 2001 was when I 1st looked at a demo and went shit I want that.

Since then I feel whether you are a pc gamer or console they both are important because they support each other.

In the 90's many large game creaters and distributors have almost gone bust like EA, Activision, sega, Capcom etc.

Big console sales help keep gaming going and pc developers help create unique and original content.

I love the openess and originality of pc games and the solidness of what consoles game developers can offer with 2 year development 1000's of staff and a 100 million budget.

GTA started on pc but I'm pretty sure we wouldn't have the GTA we have now if it wasn't for the revenue consoles sales have created for them.

With vr its home will be with pc but if consoles can offer good quality vr it can help support game and hardware development.

However as long as the console can offer good vr. If it's bad and I feel psvr on the ps4 could go this way can disrupt development with negative press. gamer experience and developers running for the hills.

As long as that doesn't happen then let consoles develop the user market interms of numbers and pc vr can push the hardware forward to where we all want it to be.

Sooner then later.

There is plenty off room for us all...... Hopefully.










jayhawk
Superstar
Consoles def have their place. They are a better fit for the living room while a PC is a better fit for a desk. The only multiplayer games I play are on console and not on PC (Destiny and Halo). Even if I found a MP game on PC I liked, I still wouldn't play it, because I don't do keyboard and mouse. If I want a high resolution high framerate single player experience or VR of course, that is where my PC comes in.

CrashFu
Consultant
The difference between PCs and Consoles is largely an illusion to begin with.

Consoles ARE PCs.  Just pre-built ones manufactured with bulk-purchased economy-grade components (to maximize affordability of the final product), that come with a tailor-made idiot-proof OS pre-installed, and tailor-made peripherals,, and offer developers a single, consistent set of hardware specs and input devices to work around.  They also offer the benefits of consistency between the experiences of one user and the next (unless you get a defective unit or something)  which automatically creates a very unified, mutually-respecting user community, and the platforms' developers are willing to put forward the publishing money to ensure there are at least a few excellent games available to their users...

Huh.. what does most of that remind me of? 
It's hard being the voice of reason when you're surrounded by unreasonable people.

DarkTenka
Trustee
I disagree with your assessment that Emulators make consoles redundant. Emulation for a certain console takes upwards of 5 years before it is available and playable at a reasonable rate, by which time the Console has already lived its profitable life time. We live in a day and age where if you dont get it when it comes out, you dont really count as "having gotten it". So under that rule emulation doesnt really impact the need/usability of a certain console, those that want to play console games will still probably buy a console for them rather than wait 5 years to play the game they want.

On the other hand though, SO many games are becoming multiplatform as devs realise that the PC market continually grows exponentially. This makes less and less of a need to buy a console for exclusive games.

There are like 2 or 3 games that might make me buy a PS4 if they turn out to not be complete shit. I dont have any reason to buy an Xbox One and I doubt I ever will.. the only thing that would make me buy a Wii U or Nintendo NX is a new Metroid game that does Metroid justice (not this Federation Faff).. Star Fox Zero was supposed to be my reason to buy a Wii U but they punted my sale out the window with that one.