PC gaming was never dead



By Zach Walton

I love being nostalgic for the good ol’ days. You may remember a time when consoles were all the rage and people were claiming the end of days for PC gaming. I loved those times because I was a console gamer. I felt like I was on top of the world and everybody was catering to me. Oh, how wrong I was.

Not content to be a one-trick pony as far as gaming coverage goes, I built a gaming PC last year. After a year with it, I wonder how anybody can be a hardcore gamer and ignore what PC gaming has to offer.

This isn’t about me and my infatuation with PC gaming, though. This is about what people perceive as the death of PC gaming as we know it. The truth is that PC gaming never died, was never close to death and never will die. Of course, there are those who want to believe otherwise.

Razer, known for its PC gaming accessories, announced a new gaming laptop aimed squarely at those who want to play games at their max settings. They claimed this new laptop, the “Razer Blade,” would be the savior of PC gaming. There are other companies like Dell who offer gaming laptops, but the Razer Blade is unique because it is a Mac. They all have the same specs and will have support like a Mac or console does.

The cost of that convenience, though, is similar to Macs’. The laptop will cost $2,800. The price can be justified for those who want all the hardware of a powerful gaming rig in the small shell of a laptop.

But one does not have to shell out for these specialty systems, and people are already proving it. The statistics are even showing that PC hardware is in the lead compared to all other hardware. The PC Gaming Alliance, a group dedicated to the expansion of PC gaming, claims that PC gaming hardware sold twice as much as all other gaming devices combined in the same period in 2009. Those numbers are expected to rise even higher by 2014.

What this all means is that PC gaming is on the rise again. Sure, there was a moment when one could possibly say that PC gaming was hurting due to piracy and expensive costs of entry, but those complaints are largely moot now.

Steam is a key factor in all of this. Valve’s digital content delivery service serves smart DRM that isn’t intrusive and doesn’t treat customers like they are thieves.

One of the major reasons for piracy in the past was that games were not built with PC gamers in mind and the gamers in turn didn’t support those games with their dollars. Developers and publishers are becoming more mindful of the PC audience and making their games more in tune with their tastes instead of porting the console version over. PC gamers in turn buy the games which influence more developers and publishers to do the same.

PC gaming has changed over the years. It has seen a lot of ups and downs, but one thing remains consistent: it is full of life. Chances are you’re probably playing a game on a PC, whether it’s “Battlefield: Bad Company 2“ or “The Sims 3.” That’s the beauty of PC gaming; it encapsulates all genres and play styles under one unified banner.