This week I’m not so much going to talk about an exciting new release but the way in which we obtain games. I’m sure there are plenty of great games coming out this week: Pikmin 3, for example. So if you want to play something new this week then go and pick up a copy and Pikmin yourself to death. First of all, you’d need to actually buy a Wii U, though. That sucks.
Famitsu have awarded P3 (that’s the abbreviation we’re all using, right?) with 37/40 while The Sunday Times saw fit to give the game 5/5. So to re-cap: Pikmin 3 is really good and if you do happen to own a Wii U you should probably buy it. There. Done.
Now, as mentioned in my first sentence, today I’m going to talk about the way gamers buy games in this day and age, and more specifically: Steam.
I’d like to get something out of the way: the PC is a better gaming platform than a console. Now, before you start chasing me with your “Die, PC Master Race!” pitchforks, I’ve always been a console gamer and always will be a console gamer; I’ve just never had a PC good enough to run all the current releases.
That all changed last year, though, and after comparing games like: Far Cry 3 and Skyrim there really is no comparison. In terms of quality the PC is just better. The rub is to obtain such quality you need to initially spend more than you would with a console.
You should expect to pay more for a PC though because it doesn’t just play games- I won’t list all the many uses of a desktop PC as I’m sure you’re all well aware of the key differences between them and consoles.
I’m going off the point here.
But it’s with PC gaming that comes the raison d’etre of this piece: Steam.
Gone are the days you’d jump on a bus into town and visit your local Game or Gamestop store to pick up the latest release (which has led to the decline of such businesses lately). Why go to so much effort when you can purchase and install a game in a matter of minutes? (Depending on your internet speed, of course).
You may (or may not) be aware that the Steam Summer Sale has been running for the last week or so (it ended a couple of days ago, infact) and it is here that PC gaming comes into its own. The money you save by picking up games for a fraction of their RRP is amazing. I must have purchased 5 games and not spent a penny over £15! You just can’t get those savings on a console.
I’m a PS3 owner and also regularly use the Playstation Store to buy content but I don’t buy games. Why? They’re simply too expensive. They’re actually more expensive to buy off PSN than off Amazon. I do take advantage of a PS+ subscription, though. This gets me a couple of great free games every few weeks for just £40 a year. It’s a fantastic service and I’d recommend it to everyone.
But still, it can’t compete with the range of games on offer via Steam.
I don’t think I can get through this piece without spending a bit of time discussing what I see as the main reason for choosing a PC or a console: keyboard & mouse v controller.
I’ve always preferred to have a controller in my hands, and I think for a lot of genres it’s the best input method available. The cheeky combo of keyboard & mouse trumps all when it comes to FPS, RTS and RPGs though and these genres tend to make up the biggest percentage of ‘online gaming’.
I admit, I even use my PS3 controller on my PC for certain games: I played Mark of the Ninja using this way last night. A simple side-scrolling platform game requires no ‘aiming’ or ‘looking around’ so a control pad is definitely the way to go. I think the genre you intend to play should decide what input device you use: why use one when you can use both?
I’m not really sure what the ‘point’ of this article is. I think we all know the cloud-based market model is here to stay and 10 years down the line our poor blu-ray discs will be boxed away and considered ‘retro’. But this isn’t new, I’m sure you’ve read loads of articles on this topic before; articles much more interesting and much better written than this lonely tome.
The ‘point’ definitely isn’t to champion the PC as a gaming platform either. As I said, I’m a console gamer at heart and always will be (how psyched am I for the PS4!).
I know, the point of this piece is this: why can’t we all get along? We’re gamers. We bleed the same. So why the hate?
Why can’t we all just get along?
You’ll notice I’m asking a lot of questions and not giving many answers.
We all need a little mystery.