The longer consoles stay stuck on this generation the more it benefits PC gaming.
And PC gaming has been calling me back for awhile now.
So I whet my appetite this weekend by installing Win7 and playing a little BF:BC2 on my Mac. And wow! It’s been awhile.
First thing I realized this weekend is how the mouse aiming fit like a glove. An old favorite glove. And as smooth as the white-gloved one doing the moonwalk. Effortless. It’s instant relief from the claustrophobic console world.
I also realized how direct PC gaming controls are. There’s a key for that could be PC gaming’s slogan. What seat do you want to take in your vehicle? What weapon do you want? Want to see your score? etc etc. There’s no shuffling going on here. It’s direct from manufacturer.
And it’s not as if the mouse isn’t being direct. Point and click. What class you want? Point and click. What spawn point do you want? Point and click. What squad do you want? Point and click. No lists to shuffle through.
This all extends over to the server browser. You get to see all the servers with all the players on them. The community feels alive. It’s not a black box. It’s open. A variety of games to be had for your direct choosing. And options like no friendly fire. No cross hair. No minimap. or some combination thereof
But I would be remiss without the downsides I had to go through. Making sure my drivers were updated before playing. Getting kicked by punkbuster from every game until I Googled reasons for that and came up with 2 solutions. One was to add BF:BC2 to punkbuster and the other was to uncheck an option in Steam. The latter was the easier fix as I wasn’t sure how to do the former without another Google.
Choice also has a downside. Sometimes you aren’t sure what server you are joining. And before you figure out you are on a hardcore server your K/D ratio is 4/21. You died 10 times 1 second after spawning in. And never had a crosshair. Tougher to swallow when you have a lot of rust to shake off.
And I won’t lie. If you get into PC gaming just a bit you start to want to improve your experience. You want to make the sound out of your headphones is directional. That may take another soundcard or motherboard or some tinkering with settings.
You want to make sure you have a smooth frame rate and so your machine may or may not need updating.
This takes some research. It’s not rocket science, but it can take time as none of this stuff is very easily laid out for you unless your budget is high enough that you don’t worry about a few hundred dollars here or there.
And you need to tinker with the controls to get them the way you want them for optimum playability. You are going to want to move a few more controls to your 5+ button mouse. And probably rearrange a few keys to fit the natural movements your fingers and habits.
Last no couch gaming. I admit I like kicking back and gaming from the couch on my TV.
But when graphics on PCs are nicer than ever. And you get more players in PC games because of the greater memory and power of PCs. And when you more choice and options. I think it worth it.
The hassles have gotten better. Windows 7 is so much nicer. Multi-tasking now works great. You can have a big game running and easily do something else on your 4-core machine. Steam helps out with driver updates in many cases. Keeps track of your game updates. And friends. And games. etc. NO messing around with discs.
And PC gaming is cheaper than ever.
Today I ordered full fledged gaming laptop. $850 before tax. New Sandy Bridge 4-core i7 CPU. ATI 6750 video card. 750gb hard drive. 6gigs ram. etc etc. FAst laptop. $550 more than a 360. No $50/yr online gaming fees. No $10 more per game. And it’s your computer as well. How many are going to blow most of that any way on a PC?
A desktop PC would be even faster and cheaper to boot.
If new consoles aren’t going to be here until Fall 2013 then the time is most ripe for PC gaming. Enjoy the next 2 1/2 years PC gamers.