Last weekend, a post emanating from VoodooPC founder and HP CTO Rahul Sood’s personal blog has been circulating the regular PC and Gaming news sites. The post was a reflection on the state of PC gaming and Microsoft’s supposed failed attempt at Cross Platform gaming. To his credit, he is one of the few people who grasps the state of gaming on personal computers.
The PC isn’t a failing platform for gaming, far from it! Graphics cards are not as expensive as they once were and a new price war is in effect between nVidia and ATi, Windows 7 with touch technologies was made with gaming in mind, and games like RUSE are taking advantage of the fact, not to mention the slew of new PC titles coming out this holiday season! And lets not forget the ever growing CASUAL PC gamer. Oh no, hardcore gamers don’t like to think of them. They’re not real gamers. News flash! Back in 2009, 41 million Americans were playing casual games according to the Nielson Co. That was back in 2009, mind you. PC gaming is not dead, the market is just changing.
The PC isn’t the only platform changing either. Gaming technologies are becoming very similar to one another, what with game engines being licensed and used off the PC (Unreal Engine, Source Engine, Crytek Engine, etc). Wouldn’t it make sense to try to get gamers playing with each other from different platforms? Cue Microsoft and their Cross-Platform technology, stage right.
“There was a project that got killed at Microsoft. This project was designed to allow console gamers and PC gamers to interact and battle over a connected environment. I’ve heard from reliable sources that during the development they brought together the best console gamers to play mediocre PC gamers at the same game… and guess what happened? They pitted console gamers with their ‘console’ controller, against PC gamers with their keyboard and mouse. The console players got destroyed every time. So much so that it would be embarrassing to the XBOX team in general had Microsoft launched this initiative.”
And exit stage left. I don’t know how connected Sood, or the source of his information was to the project, but it’s hard to believe that MS would drop the project solely because the environment was a competitive one. I mean seriously, who wouldn’t have guessed that PC players are the better gamer with their high dpi mice and their anti-ghosting keyboards? Our co-blogger ICptJackSparrow can contest himself that Shadowrun, Microsoft’s first entry into the cross platform arena, is still being played and is pretty well balanced. 360 players have a little more help with aiming and hit boxes than the PC players do, but that helps even out the playing field! I would think that if Microsoft has stuck to their guns, it would have worked out for both PC and 360 gamers. The PC would have evolved further and the list of titles available would have been longer and 360 gamers would be UNSTOPPABLE! Practice makes perfect, after all.