New Consortium Plans to Reinvigorate PC Gaming

By Aaron Linde, Feb 13, 2008 1:28pm PST Several marquee companies are teaming up to keep the PC gaming platform alive, according to the Mercury News.

Dubbed the PC Gaming Alliance, the group is made up of several companies with an interest in sustaining PC gaming, including Intel, Microsoft, Nvidia and AMD. The alliance aims to keep PCs competitive with consoles in drawing game developers to the platform.

The consortium hopes to expand the efforts of Microsoft's Games for Windows program, which sought to standardize the platform and improve consumer experience. The PC Gaming Alliance is expected to be formally announced in advance of next week's Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.

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  • I remember buying several video cards at different points in my life and never paying a super high price...until recently (past 5 years or so).

    I bought a TNT2 card when it first came out. Spent $150 and that was fine. 5 years later I bought a Geforce 3 on launch week. Spent $279 and that was ok. Both of them played every available game with all of the bells and whistles on for a few years...and even as new stuff came out, they held their own.

    Flash forward a few years, and I have bought 4 video cards since 2002, just to be able to keep gaming with all of the bells and whistles on. My Radeon 9800XT is REALLY showing its age, and even some of the newer models like the 7600 and 7950 have trouble keeping up in certain games.

    Spending $1800 every 18-24 months is ridiculous, and that is not even counting the games themselves. Add those in, and you're looking at another $500 or so every year. That gets to be a pretty big chunk of money.

    I think for PC gaming not to fade away, 2 things need to happen:

    1. Use the Windows (or another company's) rating system for requirements. Don't give me bullshit "Minimum" and "Recommended" settings...just give me the requirements I need to play this game and have it look great. Then, take that hardware level, and keep it relatively steady for a year or two. STOP giving us GT, GTS, GS, LE, VE, XXX, and Ultra cards every 3-6 months! Make a card that is good, wait a year, and improve on that. It makes it much easier to buy something knowing full well that it will still be a good purchase, even in a year. Its harder to justify $500 every 6 months on something that's almost obsolete in a year.

    2. Makes games fun again. Please? Valve has always had a good setup, and games like CS and HL2 are fantastic games at a good price. $29.95 and $39.95 are great price points. $50 for CoD4? Not so much. There is no excuse for spending $50 to $60 on a game. None at all. CoD4 took all of 6 hours to play and finish, which was disappointing to say the least. I recognize the need for casual games, which is what MP is for (I can hop on TF2 and play for 30 mins, and have a blast), but there is no excuse for a $60 game that takes 6 hours in single player. That is just greed and poor game design. What about free content? Patches with extra levels, more weapons, etc? On XBOX you have to pay for those now (I won't)...but with the PC, its free. That needs to be used to it's fullest potential...have a TON of free content for the PC, and that will lure people back who don't buy the scam that is Xbox Live. You should never pay for online play, unless its a MMO type of thing where the servers are maintained by the company making the game. You should never pay for patches or add-on content, unless its an expansion pack. Plain and simple.

    Thread Truncated. Click to see all 3 replies.

    • A month or two ago I configured a brand new Dell computer that included a 20" lcd for $1000. It had a 8600GT in it. While not a great card it can run all the current games at least on medium settings (according to the newegg reviews I just read) and it only costs $100. Sure if you want all the eye candy your going to have to cough up $250+ for a better video card but thats for the hardcore gamers. The more casual gamers can easily get by with a lesser card.

      Basically I think your comment, "Spending $1800 every 18-24 months is ridiculous" helps perpetuating the myth that pc hardware is expensive. Yes it is if you want the "best" but that applies to anything you buy. PC hardware is no longer like the olden days when you had to spend $1500+ to get a decent mid lvl gaming rig. I did a massive upgrade to my own system to bleeding edge components last August for $700. I only reused my dvd r/w drives, sound card and lcd screen. Its a sweet rig and worth every penny.

      However I highly agree with your comments 1 and 2. Just two cents on the game prices. If your paying $50 for your pc games you need to work on your shopping skills. Unless I want a game super bad I always get my pc games for $40 or less. Retail stores do a great job at putting pc games on sale within a short time of release. Gogamer will usually come through eventually as well. By the way HL2 was originally $50 as well. ;)