July 7, 2010

Activision Wants Consoles to be Replaced by PCs

We live in a world where we have multiple platforms for gaming.  PC, PS3, 360, WII, etc.  Each platform has varying amounts of power when it comes to playing games.  Games are released across several platforms and the platforms that have the weakest specs or the worst controls tend to get the watered down, crappier versions of the games released.

Activision, one of the leading cross platform publishers, wishes to move away from the “walled gardens” set by  Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo.

The president of Activison, Bobby Kotick, believes that the majority of people paying to use XBL are paying to play Modern Warfare 2 – -Activision does not get a share of that profit. 

“We’ve heard that 60 per cent of [Microsoft’s] subscribers are principally on Live because of Call of Duty,” Kotick told FT. “We don’t really participate financially in that income stream. We would really like to be able to provide much more value to those millions of players playing on Live, but it’s not our network.”

While one might feel bad that activision isn’t getting in on  it’s “share” of the profits one does have to realize that it releases $15 dollar mappacks that it sells millions of.  Having said this it isn’t like Activision is hurting for money. 

Kotick’s solution is to turn to the PC, where it can set its own model for pricing – not unlike what Blizzard has done with World of Warcraft and Battle.net.  Kotick stated that Activision would “very aggressively” support the likes of HP and Dell in any attempt of making an easy ‘plug-and-play’ PC that would hook up directly to the TV.

While I would love to see gaming return to the PC as a primary gaming platform one does have to realize that their are some games that just play better on console based systems such as side scrollers, sports games, and party games.  It’s very hard to use the PC as a party platform because a single unit does not provide play access to 4 or more people simultaneously.  If this issue could be addressed then it would make the PC more viable as a mass appeal platform.  I hate playing games on anything other then a PC, especially shooters.  One does have to realize, however, that some games just play better on consoles. 

Consoles do provide other elements to developers that make it easier and cheaper to produce games.  Games made for consoles have the exact same requirements across the board for everyone playing so you only have to test the game on one system instead of 300 million different combinations.  Consoles also have the ease of play factor that you don’t get currently with PC games and thats just putting the CD in and playing.  Generally with PC’s you have to install the game before you can play it and for those less knowledgeable this can be a real pain.

45 comments

  1. wesker killer - March 12, 2011 2:35 pm

    i dont want buy console that get red ring of shit ps3 get that fucking error i now and i hope that crysis 2 sell best on pc including star craft 2 wh40k dawn of war series and by the way console war suck balls stupid people come argument some shit like this xbox 360 is better than ps3 how stupid more console fanboys more stupid people

    Reply
  2. snsd genie - December 17, 2010 11:01 pm

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    Reply
  3. Aidas - September 14, 2010 3:07 pm

    They want to make a pc plug and play? LOL isnt this already done? I just take my laptop, connect hdmi cable to tv, turn on the hdmy channel and I have my desktop on, I ccan play any game on max everything ( no it doesnt lag, tv screen doesnt affect performance ) and watch any bluray movie or listen to songs or use thousands of chatting programs, it is plug and play… I dont see the problem there, cost issue u say? Well I buy xbox for 200$ lets say, then pay 30$ or something every month to play online and another 3 for internet to my home, then I buy a 60- 100$ game. What difference does it make for ur money? I buy a good pc for lets say 600$ I havee net, I can buy games that cost 20-30 less and have free dlc, I can also not buy dlc and continue playing, while on console most of the time its not the case. So basicly for the cost of paying for the whole xbox stuff I can update my pc in lets say 5 – 10 years… The last time I bought a new pc was 7 years ago and only changed vid card once, thats it, it cost me about 700$ total. and I could play pretty much every game on max for the 7 years… I dont see why I should get a console any time soon…

    Reply
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  7. thsoundman - July 9, 2010 7:02 pm

    I have found that you can slap a new vid card in almost any machine and it will be gaming ready. I tossed a radeon 4890 in my friends bottom of the line HP and it was maxing everything with no issues.

    Reply
  8. Skizem - July 9, 2010 5:50 pm

    I do agree with most posters here, 5 years is about the lifespan of most PCs. My PC was a powerhouse 5 years ago, could play everything at max settings with no visible lag…now it’s not nearly as powerful and I see $500 machines with more performance than I have….

    But….

    Consoles are also a lot more streamlined in the purchasing end. The only real choices you have to make is the hard drive size. Whereas with PCs there are different processor manufacturers each with 3 or more lines of different processors, 2 major video card manufacturers, dozens of RAM choices, etc etc etc etc. Even just picking out an HP (or any major brand) machine is a nightmare for people that don’t pay close attention to the gaming scene.

    Reply
  9. thsoundman - July 9, 2010 3:36 pm

    @ Crias Thanks for stopping back in. Appreciate your comments and home you’ll come back and sign up and join us here 😛

    I do totally agree that this is a move to make activision more money. I doubt the higher ups care at all about the end consumer… I’ve found most companies have this mindset now… it’s more about making top dollar then it is about making a quality game anymore. Playing on PC with controller is a good 50% handicap at least.

    Reply
  10. Crias - July 9, 2010 11:27 am

    @thsoundman
    Very true. I fully expect my hardware to give out “any day now”. To be honest, I don’t keep anything important on there, so that’s perfectly okay with me.

    As for the competitive advantages, I’ve noticed it too. I hooked my old XBox controller up to my PC and played a bit of SoF with some friends. On XBox I can consistently compete directly with them, but on PC with a controller it was a bloodbath.

    As for the upgrades, I agree that I don’t have to upgrade, but I also (often) have to sacrifice optimal playability of the games in order to not upgrade. On a console, I can always play at the “optimal” settings.

    I can respect PC gamers, I just don’t like companies like Activision thinking one size fits all. 🙂

    Reply
  11. thsoundman - July 9, 2010 10:53 am

    @ Crias I can appreciate your response because you just don’t like the controller setup. That makes sense to me and tells me you’re not just a fanboy.

    I do have to say that even under non gaming circumstances though you shouldn’t keep a computer more then 5 years. I’ve found over my years as an IT consultant that a resonable life expectancy of a computer is about 5 – 7 years before you start seeing all around hardware failure of some sort. I replace my hard drive every three just in case.

    The controller vs keyboard disadvantage is quite large and I’m glad that you pointed this out. My friend is a huge halo fan and he’s pretty damn good at it too… he’s never really used a keyboard for anything so when i told him he should play counter strike and try it out he refused to play it without a controller. So we bought xmapper and setup a controller on there for him to play with. We played 30 rounds… I won 26 of them and most of those decisvely. Both of us are seasoned FPS vets… the advantages are clear. With a controller youre aim is based purely on your sensitivity where as with a mouse it’s based on both the quickness of your wrist and your sensitivity. It makes competing against me incredibly hard. Just what i’ve noticed. You don’t have to upgrade your PC every few months to keep up with games. You really don’t. I sure as hell don’t and if I did the wifey would have me in a noose.

    Reply
  12. Crias - July 9, 2010 10:33 am

    I don’t want to use my mouse/keyboard for input.
    I don’t want to be at a disadvantage for using a controller.
    I don’t want to have to upgrade my PC every few months.
    I like my gaming and my working separate.

    I realize there are many who do not agree with me, but there are enough who do that it’s not a market segment that should be ignored, and Activision desperately wants to pretend we don’t exist.

    For the record, I haven’t upgraded my PC in 5 years and it still works great. I don’t want gaming to ruin that ability.

    Reply
  13. thsoundman - July 9, 2010 8:16 am

    @ Tim. The whole point of PC gaming is being able to customize. If you can’t customize is their any point to it? I don’t buy hardware because I have to I buy it because I want to and I enjoy being able to find the hardware I want not the hardware the manufacture wants me to buy.

    Reply
  14. Tim - July 9, 2010 6:18 am

    Despite coming from Activision, this is almost a good idea. The cost of PCs has dropped a lot, so this could be done in a way that would allow hardware manufacturers to make money. Selling products online might be able to slow piracy to the point where developers could make money.

    The trouble is getting the PC manufacturers to agree on a spec and stick to it. I’d really love to be a part of deciding what that spec is…

    Reply
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  18. Larry - July 8, 2010 9:11 pm

    Unfortunately PC gaming seems to be mostly geared towards MMO’s with PC’s getting the short end of the stick. Although I do not own one – consoles offer a platform that doesn’t frequently change. This ultimately allows software manufacturers to make 1 game in 3 flavors with no worries about this videocard or that soundcard (etc). Unfortunately – buying an xbox 360 today is like buying a 5 year old computer – however – it works for the software industry (and the console manufacturers too).

    Reply
  19. PimpmasterF - July 8, 2010 6:40 pm

    Leave it to activision to think of new and improved ways to get greedy. Bunch O douches

    Reply
  20. AceOfNades69 - July 8, 2010 6:16 pm

    PC games won’t be able to get close to consoles anymore. It’s all about money. Consoles have a set price and specs don’t change for years. PC prices are all over the place (anything good being way more than a console) and you will always need to update your machine for the newer more graphically demanding games. People aren’t gonna want to spend that kind of money.

    Reply
  21. thsoundman - July 8, 2010 3:18 pm

    @ MWW what is the ION platform? Nvidia does some low ball shit sometimes but they still do put out some good hardware.

    Reply
  22. MWW - July 8, 2010 3:06 pm

    Say what you will about Nvidia, but their ION platform is almost it.

    Reply
  23. AiR - July 8, 2010 2:39 pm

    its about time they marketed pcs for a console type thing. 1.upgradable 2. longer use span 3. can be used for more than just games and 4. its more personal. just some reasons why its better. and with the decreasing price of some of the newer generation vid cards and proc its become fairly cheap to build a system that can run games in a more than playable fashion. than when a new video game comes out the customer has the choice to upgrade his system if he wants to see it in all its glory. activision in a money grab? hrmmm i like how they pump out games in a chinese sweat shop manner and expect everyone to be on their jock. I also expected these guys to cry when they tried to do the console flip with this game cuz they wouldn have “no control” lol i mean what did they expect? if you dont own the console shut up and make the game. sound familiar? “shutup and play? yea these guys should just stop while they are ahead. not to mention the COD series started on pc’s where it shouldve stayed and maybe we wouldn have these washed up games with the COD tag poppin up every year or two.

    Reply
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  25. thsoundman - July 8, 2010 12:20 pm

    This is why I haven’t bought any of activisions games since Mechwarrior and Star Trek: Elite Force I & II

    Reply
  26. DeathProof - July 8, 2010 11:27 am

    Activision is just a bunch of money hungry cocks. If they keep making rocking games, I’ll buy them, but for them to want to compete with Xbox Live, Steam or PSN.. good luck.

    Reply
  27. thsoundman - July 8, 2010 11:01 am

    The problem with most people with PC games is they buy a huge monitor and then max the specs of the game and their PC can’t run it when all they would have to do is press “detect optimal settings” and be done with it. Advanced settings are just that… advanced settings.

    Reply
  28. thsoundman - July 8, 2010 10:58 am

    @ jordon… I have to agree that this is just an attempt for activision to make more money. I don’t think it’s cause they want one platform over another. Switching platforms for this reason is plain stupid.

    I do think that having a single platform would be better for the consumer in the end but I can understand the benefits have having a different platform in some cases. Personally I think if you can’t afford to buy a vid card for your PC then you should be spending money on video games anyway. Gaming is a luxury not a need so. Thats just my 2cents

    Reply
  29. thsoundman - July 8, 2010 10:55 am

    Consoles do offer a standardized piece of hardware for developers to work with. They alwaso provide the 4 player party thing that PC’s don’t really currently offer. I also prefer to use Controllers for sports games it just works better then a keyboard. If i can get these features on a PC then yes PC is the way to go.

    People need to get over the notion that you have to spend $1000’s of dollars on PC upgrades a year to keep up with the latest and greatest. I’ve got friends who use 5 year old equipment and still play most games on or near max settings. PC hardware doesn’t age like it used to back in the mid 90’s during the computer boom. You can easily make a gaming PC last 5 years and speand near nothing on upgrades. Most PC games spend money on upgrades because they want to not because they have to. You can get a gaming ready vid card and slap it in almsot any computer for under 200 dollars.

    PC will always be the primary platform for me as it has all the feature I want, No DLC scam, upgradeable, better graphics, superior control interface.

    Reply
  30. Jordan - July 8, 2010 10:52 am

    Everything on the console works fine right now, whats the point in turning to the PC, it’s only so activision can make more money.

    Reply
  31. C= - July 8, 2010 10:44 am

    ..”attempt of making an easy ‘plug-and-play’ PC that would hook up directly to the TV”..

    Yes, that was already done once, it was called an “Amiga”

    Reply
  32. T8 - July 8, 2010 9:24 am

    PC gaming has always, and will always be the elite of the gaming scene. People are just now starting to realize how big of a market the pc will have over the next ten years. No console will ever give the user more control over every aspect of the game, like the pc offers.

    pc gaming for the win!

    Reply
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  34. Martin - July 8, 2010 8:28 am

    The article is very interesting. Now that the world of TV sets and Computer monitors had merged, making the “PC for Games as easy as Console” is more a reality than ever.
    It Just require a standard Open OS with good graphic libraries to overcome the obstacle of easy of use of consoles.

    …by the way, what is the Wii, PS3 and Xbox? aren’t they just a PC focus on gamming?The consoles now have internet browsers, USB ports, wireless network cards, comercial PC chipsets just like the PCs, the only secret they have is the OS.

    Reply
  35. Mesh - July 8, 2010 8:14 am

    BTW to Steve… mac minis are expensive!!! You can get a similarly powered ‘mini’ PC for half the cost! Which equate to the price of a console. Steam has only began supporting mac for games and will take some time before macs are viable platforms.

    Reply
  36. Mesh - July 8, 2010 8:09 am

    ZERO games play “better” on a console. PC’s support controllers, SOME newer games on PC now support split screen like BLUR and Sega’s Sonic racing game. If more developers would support split screen on PC there would be no need for consoles, which are just “stupid” PC’s to begin with. PC’s are upgradable, which is less wasteful to the environment. OR you keep every console you ever buy and let it pile up. Plus PC’s no longer require physical media with Steam and Direct to Drive. PC’s DO already hook up to TV’s easily with Windows 7. Just no one knows it yet. And you can switch between monitors EASY by pressing ‘Windows key + P’. I hate console people, they are dumb.

    Reply
  37. Steve - July 8, 2010 7:28 am

    Mikey, A Mac mini’s starting price is 50% more than the most expensive console, you seem to have completely missed the point, as has activision. Console gaming is far more cost effective than PC gaming, putting people back on the endless upgrade cycle with expensive NON SUBSIDISED hardware is not a good answer. If they are so sure this is a good idea they should invest their own money to create the market and see how well it goes. FYI, for sub $1000 you can get a decent gaming rig that will play crysis at 60+ fps as well as nearly all current high end games, something the overpriced Mac mini could only dream of.

    Reply
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  39. Mickey - July 8, 2010 6:52 am

    “Kotick stated that Activision would “very aggressively” support the likes of HP and Dell in any attempt of making an easy ‘plug-and-play’ PC that would hook up directly to the TV.”

    HP?! Dell?! Uh…you also have Apple’s Mac mini with 802.11n, gigabit Ethernet and an HDMI port. I’d say that’s pretty damn plug-and-play.

    It isn’t exactly going to play Crysis at much more than 20 FPS, but at its price point, it sure beats out those sub-$1000 bargain PCs.

    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2365157,00.asp (performance charts at the bottom…Dell puts on a sad showing even against Apple’s previous-gen mini)

    Reply
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  41. Scott - July 8, 2010 6:04 am

    “We’ve heard that 60 per cent of [Microsoft’s] sub­scribers are prin­ci­pally on Live because of Call of Duty,”

    Wow this guy really is full of himself. Xbox live has 25 million plus subscribers, So they are trying to say 15 million of them are because of COD lol. COD MW2 has not even sold that many copies on the 360 so how the hell does he come up with that idiotic number, not to mention that just because someone plays COD doesn’t mean that that is why they have Xbox live, I have MW2, I have a gold xbox live, the 2 purchases are completely unrelated.

    Reply
  42. Matt - July 8, 2010 4:58 am

    I’m all for it.
    I dont understand that “how ever, that some games just play bet ter on consoles. “. How can this be true ?

    A PC can have a console-like behavhiour given it runs an appropriate OS. (not windows). Just pop your DVD in. No installer, nothing. Maybe an OS similar to Android or Chrome OS or another one to invent….
    Hardware and software (for drivers) specs for a “PC-Console” label can be published to insure compatibility.

    Reply
  43. Sébastien Gamby - July 8, 2010 3:28 am

    The problem is that PCs have varying specs while consoles are homogeneous. If you buy a game for your console, you are pretty sure that the game will run smoothly while for a PC you may have performance issues for old or average models. Furthermore in order to enjoy good performances on a PC you have to invest in an expensive model (1,000 € or more if you count the Windows licence and the antivirus) while the PS3 is now at 300€.

    Reply
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  45. Rich Gilbertson - July 7, 2010 8:11 pm

    By the time games are done for a Console from conception to market over a year has gone by, later after it becomes popular it 2 years old. This is why Console games will never come close to PC games that are less then 6 months old. The disadvantage of PC is the interface, not that they almost all run Windows, if you make the interface devices on the PC laptop then what need would anyone have for a console? When someone makes a laptop that can emulate the console, goodbye to consoles forever.

    Reply

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