Why the Traditional Desktop PC Remains the Best Choice for Gamers
With the launch of the very much mobile- and touchscreen-orientated Windows 8, many doomsayers are saying that it is the final nail in the coffin for the traditional desktop computer. The boss of Valve, one of the world's best known developers and publishers of PC games, Gabe Newell, described Windows 8 as a "catastrophe" for PC game makers. Desktop computer sales have been steadily dropping over the past few years in favour of more portable solutions such as laptops and tablet PCs. It is hardly surprising that the devoted PC gaming community is starting to grow anxious. Nonetheless, there are plenty of reasons why the desktop PC is not about to be replaced for gamers and, for that matter, many other types of power users. Here are some things to consider before you completely lose hope in the future of PC gaming.
PC Gaming is a Popular Niche
Consider the large number of high-budget and much anticipated titles which continue to be released for the PC. The PC has its own games market which is unique to that of the console markets. Consider, for example, the most popular video game ever made: World of Warcraft is only available for the PC and there has never been any suggestion of it migrating to the console scene. Although the number of subscribers to the world's most popular MMO has dropped, the latest expansion pack may well draw many players back in.
The two major graphics card chip manufacturers, AMD and nVidia are not exactly giving up on the PC gaming market either. They continue to release new generations of graphics cards to suit all budgets just as they have been doing for years. There is, if anything, more to choose from when it comes to desktop computer hardware than there ever has been.
But Windows 8 Is a Disaster for PC Gaming…
Everyone said exactly the same thing about Windows Vista when it came out, particularly due to its removal of the DirectSound API which caused many problems for gamers. However, most sound card manufacturers found a way around this problem and, while ultimately, many consumers see Windows Vista as a poor operating system, it certainly didn't have a devastating effect on PC gaming in the longer term as many were suggesting at the time. Fortunately, Windows 7 arrived, fixing many of the problems with its predecessor and people soon forgot about how good Windows XP was for gamers.
Windows 8 has improved a great deal since the earlier pre-release versions which many people put too much weight in. Consider, for example, the improvements that it introduces which have nothing to do with the operating system's bias towards touchscreen devices and portability. There's a greatly improved task manager, improved memory management and faster start-up times just to name a few.
It is certainly not all good, however. For some, the disadvantages of running Windows 8 on a desktop computer will far outweigh the advantages. If this is the case, then gamers will most likely stick with Windows 7, just as many gamers stuck with Windows XP in the first few years of Windows Vista. And if gamers think they're the only ones who are worrying, they should think again. Many businesses are also concerned about Windows 8, being that the new system introduces little improvement when it comes to productivity and instead focuses mostly on connectivity and portability. Gamers are not alone.
Desktop PC Gaming Can Never Be Replaced by Console Gaming
While there has always been an elitist community in the PC gaming scene, there is truth in their argument. There will always be people who want the very best when it comes to graphics and sound quality, performance, upgradability and customizability. By contrast, consoles will always be the preferable choice for casual gamers who don't want to be bothered with all of the problems which come with PC gaming, such as updating drivers, upgrading hardware, checking system requirements and troubleshooting. This trade-off is always going to be there.
A generation of video game consoles typically lasts six to seven years. In the same amount of time, any serious gamer will upgrade their computer at least once in order to be able to take advantage of the latest technology and enjoy games to their fullest. PC gamers can enjoy sharper textures, higher resolution graphics and, depending on the games they play, a plethora of user-made add-ons and customizations. PC gaming forms its own niche and it is a completely different scene to the console gaming one. This is something that has not changed since PC gaming began.