Valve laughs off PC gaming doomsday predictions

EA CEO John Riccitello took a minute to evangelize the PC as a gaming platform last week, and now it’s the turn of Valve Software’s Doug Lombardi. During a press event, Lombardi sat down with the Shacknews folks to talk about the subject. He was adamant that PC gaming isn’t any worse off now than it has been in the past—quite the opposite, in fact.

Lombardi pointed out that Valve is doing better than ever these days, even though it still focuses largely on the PC. Part of that has to do with Steam, Valve’s highly popular online distribution software. The studio’s policy of making its games scale well on low-end hardware has also helped. Every six months, Valve uses the Steam hardware survey to gather data on its customers’ PCs and gauge adoption rates for new components. Lombardi criticized other developers for not taking such publicly available statistics into account when making their PC blockbusters:

It’s a business decision, really. Too often I think the development side of things runs the house. People say, “Oh, we’ve got to target those high-end core gamers. We have the best graphics, sweetest screenshots, and we’ll get more press, and we’ll win.” Okay, well, you’ll win in the pre-launch phase. Then when the game comes out, and 60-70% of the people who don’t have that sweet machine–maybe even higher numbers, maybe 80% don’t have that sweet machine–well you just cut off your ability to sell to all of those guys.

In Valve’s case, Lombardi says, “We’ve heard this from a lot of people: ‘I fired up Portal on my three year old machine and it ran great.'”

As for the doomsday predictions surrounding PC gaming, Lombardi lays part of the blame on the PR teams of Microsoft and Sony, which more or less lack PC counterparts:

There’s this kind of roller-coaster ride: the consoles launch, their PR agencies go out and do everything they can to try and say the PC is dying, they’ll prop up the sales of the console, the console starts to get old in the tooth, the PC starts leapfrogging in terms of graphics and bigger releases. So we’re almost what, mid-way through the console lifecycle now? So yeah, over the next two years the story’s going to come back that the PC is bigger, things like Left 4 Dead and Spore, the id titles are going to come out and everybody’s going to be like, “Wow, those console titles are looking kind of crappy.”

Check out the full first part of the Shack’s interview to see Lombardi discuss the PC Gaming Alliance, misleading retail statistics, and where hardware makers fit into all this.

Comments closed
    • impar
    • 12 years ago

    Greetings!

    PC gaming, as an activity, is alive and well.
    Whats is lacking, in comparison to consoles, is the PC games sales.

    The piracy rate in the PC platform is brutal and is scaring developers to more profitable platforms, consoles.
    Or, in the case of Mass Effect and Spore, to ineffective and draconian DRM measures. Online verifications and, particularly, limited installs make me not buy games I otherwise would.

    Why would I buy a game that is only good for three installs?
    A game that prevents me from upgrading my system at will without being worried on it detecting the upgraded PC as a new machine and equate it to a new install?

      • indeego
      • 12 years ago

      Welcome to steam. as far as I know very little piracy, allows you (even encourages it as a feature) to install on multiple machinesg{<.<}g

    • PerfectCr
    • 12 years ago

    I hope PC gaming doesn’t go away. I absolutely love Steam and PC gaming. However, I’ve sworn off PC gaming for now because I have two young kids and simply don’t have time to keep up with updating hardware, tweaking, installing drivers, etc. I have a Xbox 360 and a PS3. For the first time I truly believe consoles are on an equal playing field with PC’s in terms of functionality (Media related) and graphics. I don’t miss PC gaming at all. I got the Orange Box for the Xbox 360 and I’ve played through Half Life 2 twice now and the experience was just as good as it was on the PC.

    But, I do believe when my kids get older and I more time on my hands (read: when I am not waking up 3 times a night to be with crying babies!) I’ll build another gaming PC. But really that’s probably 5 years off, maybe more.

    I still fire up Steam on my Macbook through Boot Camp to play some older PC games like Quake, Doom, etc.

    • no51
    • 12 years ago

    In response to #28: You’re missing out. Ep2 was awesome compared to Ep1. Almost HL2 awesome.

      • Silus
      • 12 years ago

      Sorry, but I don’t think I missed a thing. Episode 1 was a waste of money and time and what I saw and read about Episode 2, didn’t change my mind one bit. Plus to get Episode 2 I had the “fabulous” retail option of the Orange Box, with games I already had (HL2 and Episode 1) and games I didn’t want (TF2).
      And Steam was not an option either, since the prices there were insane for single games…That’s partially why Valve is losing me as a customer. First I have download limits and Steam is nothing more than a way to get updates from to me. And second, I actually like to collect games. It’s great to have digital distribution as an option, but to limit retail options because of it, is really just a way to dismiss customers such as myself.

        • Palek
        • 12 years ago

        Patience pays off. Episode 2 is now $15 on Steam as a stand-alone purchase. 🙂

        I liked Episode 1. It seems everybody is complaining that the game was only 3-4 hours long. Well, I actually took my time to enjoy it instead of trying to rush through it in the shortest time possible. I’m pretty sure it took me at least 8 hours to complete the game.

        Am I getting too old?

          • Silus
          • 12 years ago

          Well, first of all I never rush through any game. I like to explore what’s there to explore. However, games like HL2 have little to no exploring, since we are very limited to where we can go in a certain map. So 3-4 hours was what took me to finish Episode 1 and it offered me absolutely nothing new, since HL2.

          I’ll probably buy the episodes I’m missing, when both reach $15-20, for completeness sake. I am a collector after all ^_^.

      • indeego
      • 12 years ago

      I went by my brother and a few select friends, who in general game more than I do. Nobody said ep2 was worth it and nobody completed it. Now that it’s $15 I may take a look, but I’m playing GTA:SA and having too much fun to distract myselfg{<.<}g

    • Jambe
    • 12 years ago

    The most vociferous here seem blinded by or inextricably attached to extant tech paradigms. Gaming platforms will continue to evolve and skillful devs/pubs will adapt or die. I think Valve are capable of changing with the times.

    Lombardi is proselytizing and nothing more — just like Newell and other industry bigwigs (Bleszinski, Wardell, Miyamoto, Moore, Molyneux, etc come to mind as folk who have ranted about various platform schisms).

    I see no point in discussing this stuff from a consumer-centric PoV. In the short term nothing changes, and in the long term we all buy new hardware anyway. Welcome to the 21st century.

    Where it *[

    • SGT Lindy
    • 12 years ago

    So gamestop releases some numbers today up 61% year over year this quarter. This when the economy is bad. They for the most part dont sell PC games, unless you look at bottom shelf in one corner behind the trash can.

    Valve is doing great because PC gamers are being forced to get games from them, or Walmart. Even at Best buy the PC game section is nothing compared to the rows of console games.

    PC gaming is not dead, its just stuck at about 900million a year in sales which is great from where I sit, but it pales in comparison to the 17 billion in console game sales.

    What is Valve going to say “Well its not really growing over all and its nothing compared to console game sales. However we are getting more cash because its harder to find PC games on store shelves”.

    No they are going to spin what positive there is in the PC gaming environment. All the time wishing they had the just half the sales of GTA, GHIII, COD4 and Halo on consoles.

      • DrDillyBar
      • 12 years ago

      I got COD4 on Steam actually.

        • SGT Lindy
        • 12 years ago

        Sure, that said COD4 has sold something like 4 million copies by April of 2008, just over 3 million went to the Xbox 360. At more cost and profit I might add.

        COD4 on the 360 or PS3 was $59. What was it on steam, $39? Also according to this list it did not sell over 1million copies on the PC.

        §[<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_best-selling_video_games<]§ PC gaming is still alive and will live it just will never....ever come close to console sales. Almost everyone I know has a notebook and has gotten rid of their desktops. Of those 98% use integrated graphics that probably struggle with solitaire.

          • ThorAxe
          • 12 years ago

          “a recent report from Jon Peddie Research (JPR) market tracking company indicated that the total available market (TAM) of standalone graphics cards increased to a record height in Q3 2007 along with revenues.” In addition 67.33 million discrete graphics cards were sold in Q1-Q3 of 2007 with an average sale price of around $237.

          For $237 you would expect most purchasers to have gaming in mind when purchasing their video card.

          Extrapolate the 67.33 million sales to include Q4 and you would expect 2007 graphics card sales to be at least 90 million. To put this in perspective this figure (which is only for 2007 sales) is about 35 million more than the combined totals of the Wii, PS3 and 360 since launch.

            • indeego
            • 12 years ago

            ATI X300’s in Dell’sg{<.<}g But I think ya'll are missing the point. eventually the console and the PC will turn into something else, likely portable, small, and modular with various display functions. Just because something is popular now doesn't mean it will always be that wayg{<.<}g

            • SGT Lindy
            • 12 years ago

            90 million graphics cards does not mean game sales on the PC…see below. Every 360 or PS3 sold = game sales. The 360 has something like a 7.6 game attachment rate.

            Top 10 PC Games of 2007 (Corrected)

            1. World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade – (Vivendi) – 2.25 million
            2. World of Warcraft– (Vivendi) – 914K
            3. The Sims 2 – (Electronic Arts) – 534K
            4. The Sims 2 Seasons Expansion Pack – (Electronic Arts) – 433K
            5. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare – (Activision) – 383K
            6. Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars – (Electronic Arts) – 350K
            7. MS Age of Empires III – (Microsoft) – 313K
            8. Sim City 4 – (Electronic Arts) – 294K
            9. MS Flight Simulator X – (Microsoft) – 280K
            10.The Sims 2: Bon Voyage Expansion Pack – (Electronic Arts) – 272K

            • ThorAxe
            • 12 years ago

            What is the point in posting a US only retail chart when most of the income for PC games comes from online distibution and Europe and Asia?

            Did you know that using numbers from DFC Intelligence, revenue from PC gaming in the US came in at as $2.76 billion and accounted for 30 per cent of gaming revenues in the territory, and is projected to grow to $3.1 billion in the US in 2008. This is just software sales and NOT the console and software sales that you have quoted.

            Now lets look at the worldwide market. If I was to add the $23.33 billion (90m * $237) from discrete GPUs sold in 2007 to the $8.3 billion from non-casual PC game sales that would equal $31.63 billion. I haven’t even bothered to add in the cost of CPUs, MBs, sound cards etc for these gaming PCs.

            The reality is that consoles, as a gaming platform, are largely irrelevant outside of the US and the UK however much the M$, Sony and Nintendo PR machines would like you to believe otherwise.

            • SGT Lindy
            • 12 years ago

            Maybe I just can read. In your linked article I could only find this about PC games.

            “On the PC side alone, DFC expects this category to grow to over $2.3 billion a year by 2012, but in reality that is only a small part of the “casual” game story.”

            A forecast for 4 years out. Not real numbers about PC games sales from last year.

            You dont want me to quote just US but then you turn around do the same, quoting numbers not provided in your link?????

            Another quote from your link “In 2007 the big revenue generators included epic games like World of Warcraft, Halo 3, Call of Duty 4, and Mass Effect. However, a true mass market game platform needs to play both the epic games and the simple games.” Most giant successes on the console, some console only.

            Another…..”It is likely that 2008 could be the year of the epic game (with a focus on the number 4). Products like Devil May Cry 4, Metal Gear Solid 4 and Grand Theft Auto IV could be the big stories for the first half of 2008, and all these products are coming out for the Xbox 360 and/or PlayStation 3 (but not the Wii).”

            And the only real thing I can see about the PC that is real and not a forecast is… “On a worldwide basis for 2007, it looks like the PC passed the PlayStation 2 as the leading revenue generating platform. The PC has become a platform that can satisfy the wide range of consumer game interests, from the casual to the hard-core gamer. Not surprisingly, the diverse PlayStation 2 still had a strong year even after the development focus has shifted to all the new systems”

            So the PC finally caught up to the PS2, as it winds down its life. When it will it catch up to the Wii or 360….2012? Even then it quoted no real numbers for the PC, like the links I gave you.

            Brother spin it any way you want but the truth is, consoles gaming makes more money than PC gaming way more. PC gaming is not going away, but it clearly has been marginalized year after year by console gaming. If DFC expects PC gaming to account for 2.3 billion (world wide?) by 2012 what will console gaming be, 20-25 billion????

            • green
            • 12 years ago

            l[<"On a worldwide basis for 2007, it looks like the PC passed the PlayStation 2 as the leading revenue generating platform. <snip> So the PC finally caught up to the PS2, as it winds down its life. When it will it catch up to the Wii or 360....2012? Even then it quoted no real numbers for the PC, like the links I gave you.<]l sorry i read that section twice and still interpreted it the same way from it i read that PS2 used to be the leading revenue generating platform meaning it outdid all other platforms including xbox360, ps3, wii, etc that was until at some point during 2007 where the pc had taken over hence outdoing xbox360, ps3, wii, etc or am i wrong in my interpretation of what they wrote? not that i agree with their assessment (using "it looks like" didn't help) i also find their 2012 prediction questionable

            • ThorAxe
            • 12 years ago

            You might be able to read by it appears you fail to comprehend. 🙂

            Anyway have a read of this though I expect further denial to follow.

            §[<http://www.developmag.com/news/29331/The-PC-market-is-not-dying-says-newly-formed-PC-Gaming-Alliance<]§ Q. What chance does any console have against 263 million PC gamers? A. None

            • MadManOriginal
            • 12 years ago

            I think you need to reread the last paragraph you quote. It says that the PC has passed the PS2 as THE leading revenue generating platform. That would mean the PS2 was first, above the newer consoles, and the PC has recently passed it. It doens’t say anything like ‘except for XBox 360 and PS3.’

            My problem with gaming, and I’ve been doing it for a loong time, is that there are few new ideas any more. There is the occasional good implementation or improvement of an idea, or maybe a new and interesting story but ultimately it’s all been done so far. Rarely does something all around new come out, something like what Spore may shape up to be, but otherwise it’s almost the same stuff in a new fancy wrapper. The same goes for console games too really. So I wonder what how the appeal of console games is supposedly so much higher since consoles aren’t breaking any new ground either.

          • Palek
          • 12 years ago

          Actually, COD4 is $49.95 on Steam, and it will cost that much for the next few months. It took Valve at least half a year to discount Orange Box pricing. I am sure they will keep the price high for a hot game like COD4 and people will still buy it.

          And don’t forget that for Valve there is no disc, no disc case, no manual (however thin they make them these days, it still costs something to put a piece of paper in there), no shipping costs, no middle-men (apart from Valve of course), no store space to maintain (with all the costs that come with it). Instead, they have to maintain some servers, and that’s it.

          Which one do you think will make more money? Physical media for $59.95 or electronic copy for $49.95? No cookies for guessing the right answer.

            • SGT Lindy
            • 12 years ago

            Lets see the DVD case, discounted because they buy 10 million at a time ends up costing .39 cents each.

            Manual (if there is one) paid for by the companies that slip in the other papers for game adds/game toys/memorabilia etc = Free

            Shipping paid for by gamestop, walmart, bestbuy, circuit city, target, toys-r-us…etc.

            Physical media 1 digital media 0 🙂

            Looking that cost to make a video game for a console, plus the cost of supporting it after it ships is a huge vs the cost of a PC game.

            Most console games get 1 patch if any after the game ships. PC games ship in beta these days, and get patched over and over ONLY if they are a hit.

            How much does punk buster cost the game maker to use for a PC game?

            How many testers and different PC’s do you have in your PC game testing lab? How many 360’s or PS3’s do you need…1 each…2 to speed up the bug search?

            Ever read PC game forums? No one is happy, someone always has a problem.

            Console game forums, pretty much they like the game or not. They all have the same problem, or no problem (with it running) since they all have the same hardware/os.

            • Palek
            • 12 years ago

            /[

            • SPOOFE
            • 12 years ago

            “This was the point I was trying to make.”

            That you want to overexaggerate the costs of physical media and pooh-pooh away the costs of maintaining a high-traffic content delivery system? So good of you to admit your bias up-front, but did you really need to use so many words to do it?

            • green
            • 12 years ago

            last i saw the cost of employees in retail tended upwards
            while the cost of bandwidth tended downwards
            (though electricity itself is going up)

            either way economies of scale assists in keeping the overhead of physical media fairly low
            in the end, digital distribution will win out being a cheaper agile solution

            • Palek
            • 12 years ago

            /[

            • SPOOFE
            • 12 years ago

            “However, I do not see where I was over-exaggerating regarding physical media.”

            “Pennies” is the word to describe the cost of physical media. It’s also the word to describe the cost of downloadable content. Per game, of course.

            • Palek
            • 12 years ago

            /[<"Pennies" is the word to describe the cost of physical media. It's also the word to describe the cost of downloadable content. Per game, of course.<]/ Indeed. And I never said anything to the contrary. In fact, I never mentioned any specific figures regarding the cost of physical media itself. Once again, and for the last time, I was talking about the TOTAL cost of delivery which does include a disc and case, but - in the case of physical media - is mostly made up of maintaining the supply chain.

            • SGT Lindy
            • 12 years ago

            For the most part I was joking/exaggerating about the physical/digital delivery.

            Digital is the way to go, but it cost as well.

            A rack of servers, their data center space, maintenance, air conditioning, power, etc. Plus the DS3 at least, probably more of network bandwidth you need. Then for latency/redundancy you probably have more than one site so all of that x2 or x3. Plus employees to maintain it. These employees probably get paid just a tad more than the average DVD package/box handler.

            Before I quit PC games, last game was GRAW 2/BF2 era they all seemed to ship in beta. Heck those two mentioned got many updates and were bug fests when they shipped. I see 0-1 updates per game on my 360.

            I have never had to go into a game forum for my console games to see if the problem I was having was my rig or the game. In fact I dont thing I have had a problem with a console game, except for the POS RROD 360 its self taking a dump on me.

            • Palek
            • 12 years ago

            /[

          • green
          • 12 years ago

          l[

        • A_Pickle
        • 12 years ago

        Me too. Love it.

        • SGT Lindy
        • 12 years ago

        Reply on brother after reading some of these….pretty much all of them support my original post.

        §[<http://blogs.pcworld.com/gameon/archives/006324.html<]§ §[<http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20080124-growth-of-gaming-in-2007-far-outpaces-movies-music.html<]§ from that one above..."Game sales for the year were weighted very heavily in favor of the consoles. In fact, PC games accounted for only 9.5 percent of total gaming sales." §[<http://www.shacknews.com/onearticle.x/50939<]§ "Of the $18.85 billion the video game industry generated at North American retailers throughout 2007, only $910.7 million of that, roughly 14%, was attributed to PC games." §[<http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=17129<]§ §[<http://pc.ign.com/articles/842/842883p1.html<]§ "Here on the PC we saw some games long in development finally release and, in many cases, live up to the hype. In other ways, the PC market isn't looking strong. While the console markets grow in North America, we're seeing a decline in PC gaming. It's probably exactly the fact that there were so many strikingly excellent games this year that makes this so much more surprising. "

          • Palek
          • 12 years ago

          You are overlooking one *[

            • SGT Lindy
            • 12 years ago

            Could be, but I bet its hard to get good number in some places.

            I know for instance in Korea that Star Craft is still the #1 game. Saw this great special on discovery HD, they have professional Star Craft tournaments that are broadcast ed on TV.

            I would imagines piracy is another problem with less laws regulating things in some countries.

            • Palek
            • 12 years ago

            “Could be, but I bet its hard to get good number in some places.”

            True. South-East Asia is also notorious for piracy, and Eastern Europe is not exactly better, either. Nevertheless, PC gaming is big there. And Steam-like digital distribution systems significantly reduce the piracy problem.

            “I know for instance in Korea that Star Craft is still the #1 game. Saw this great special on discovery HD, they have professional Star Craft tournaments that are broadcast ed on TV.”

            It’s crazy, isn’t it? The best gamers are as highly regarded as star athletes! I think Blizzard is basically developing Star Craft 2 for Koreans!

            “I would imagines piracy is another problem with less laws regulating things in some countries.”

            And that is exactly why Steam and its kind are the way of the future for PC gaming! Almost completely hassle-free for the customer, great for all game developers big (whose games will get pirated much less frequently) and small (whose games may have never reached their audience otherwise). Everybody wins! (Except traditional retail stores, of course.)

            • SGT Lindy
            • 12 years ago

            I agree. Then Congress taxes internet purchases because of tax $$$ lost on store purchases:(

            • Palek
            • 12 years ago

            Funny thing, if I had bothered to read the Valve interview first I would have found this interesting piece of information sooner:

            “But people are taking that and discounting.. *[

            • green
            • 12 years ago

            you would assume correctly:
            §[<http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/1540/the_state_of_korea_pc_games.php<]§ overall the asian attitude to pc game sales is a bit further advanced than the direction the US mentality is going. but again i have no numbers. i don't think pc games account for much. given you could pick up a full working copy of that game on the streets for the equivalent of US$1 what is more interesting though is the businesses brought up around mmog's. specifically how there's people making money off farming. they play 8-16 hours a day to sell goods/services to people that buy them. it isn't so much that they're willing to do that; they're filling a market. it's more that people are happy to pay someone real money to power level a character purchase virtual goods. fascinating... and a little sad at the same time...

      • green
      • 12 years ago

      l[http://www.shacknews.com/onearticle.x/50809<]§ l[

        • Meadows
        • 12 years ago

        I suggest you re-read the news you linked. It’s all about the console industry and nothing about the PC. Consoles made $17.94 billion and none of the stats or charts include PCs. You’ll have to find other stats for that.

          • green
          • 12 years ago

          originally from #23 which was what i responded to:

          l[

            • Meadows
            • 12 years ago

            I see now, sorry about that.

    • swaaye
    • 12 years ago

    I like to refer back to historical PC death references.

    §[<http://groups.google.com/group/rec.games.programmer/browse_thread/thread/d8aa6d210cfdbfae<]§ The "great" debate has always been a hot topic. Hey, as far as we know, the PC's best years are yet to come. These guys didn't know what was coming, that's for sure.

      • Krogoth
      • 12 years ago

      They already have came between years 1996-2002. It then went from hits to misses into a decline outside of MMORPGs.

      Gaming consoles have caught up for the most part and are missing one thing: keyboard/mouse.

      In a nutshell, demographics and economics have finally caught up and render PC gaming into a niche.

        • swaaye
        • 12 years ago

        You sound as certain as the folks in that thread.

          • Krogoth
          • 12 years ago

          It is because, I have grew on PC gaming and know that the current times are a far cry from what it was.

          I have love PC gaming, but I am not blind enough to know that its time has came and pass by. The evidence is just overwhelming and in plain sight.

          What fundamentally does a gaming PC offer these days over a gaming console? The only answer is more complex peripheral devices (mouse/keyboard). Once, consoles acquire that same function it is game over for mainstream PC gaming.

          Gaming consoles on the other hand have evolved into becoming more of a less a gaming PC with a predictable hardware platform. (Win/Win for mainstream market and developers)

            • NeXus 6
            • 12 years ago

            If you’re talking PC-only games then I would agree that those days are over. If you’re talking about the platforms, PC gaming is still very alive and will be for years to come.

            PC gaming has always been a niche market compared to consoles. There is no surprise that console gaming dominates PC gaming because it’s always been that way. What is the worry? You see less games these days because big companies like EA and others have bought out the competition.

            • swaaye
            • 12 years ago

            Seems to me that there’s a not-so-small community that thrives on modding PC games. The consoles are missing much more than just control choices. I’ll argue with you all day long about how invaluable modding is to gaming.

            Maybe PC gaming isn’t “mainstream” or topping the popularity charts, but it is where the best entertainment is to be had and the best community found.

        • BobbinThreadbare
        • 12 years ago

        MMOs, and RTS games.

        Unless you liked playing starcraft with a N64 controller.

          • Krogoth
          • 12 years ago

          Which is why consoles need official keyboard/mice support (PS3 is almost there!) in order to grab those genres from gaming PCs. 😉

    • indeego
    • 12 years ago

    I hope Valve abandons HL for a whileg{<.<}g The episodes, while nice, pretty much exhausted me on the HL universe [permanently?]

    • herothezero
    • 12 years ago

    q[

      • Krogoth
      • 12 years ago

      I have been with gaming PCs for a long, long time. It is utterly depressing these days that new PC titles are just rehashes of stuff long ago with prettier eye candy and button-smashing action. Which all can easily be done on gaming consoles.

      It is so bad that I have almost no compelling reason to get even a cheap DX10 part to replace my X1900XT. I spend more time gaming with DosBOX classics and older Windows-based titles then with newer ones.

      What made PC gaming so distinctive from gaming consoles is almost gone. The last thing is literately a freaking keyboard and mouse.

      I am sure once that happens, there will be yet another wave of gamers that will drop their gaming PCs like a bad habit and revert them into general purpose rigs.

        • DrDillyBar
        • 12 years ago

        Exactly. *points to them*

    • no51
    • 12 years ago

    PC Gaming! Dying since 198x!!!

    • Krogoth
    • 12 years ago

    Damm, the flames are strong here.

    Valve is just playing it smart to keep afloat for now. Notice how Source engine isn’t exactly the most demanding engine nor Value’s games depend heavily on eye candy and other gimmicks to sale? They are using an ingredient that other PC publishers seemed to have forgotten about. It is called “gameplay”.

    BTW, there is a huge distinction between dying and being marginalized. Outside of Valve and MMORPGs, PC gaming isn’t looking that sharp.

      • Meadows
      • 12 years ago

      I love it when you try looking smart to defy yourself. You actually pull it off quite well pretty often.

      It’s true that they still use rare (or outright innovative) gameplay elements to market their own stuff, but that’s not all – their engine isn’t up to par with things that, say, Crysis crams out, but it’s by no means ugly, so it provides a pleasant mix of acceptable looks and functionality. Also, let’s not forget that Steam is a portal to a lot of games from various developer groups and Valve *[

        • flip-mode
        • 12 years ago

        Ew, repulsive, know-it-all, better than though posting style for the lose. Even if every statement you make were dead accurate (which would be a first for humanity) you would still sound like a ****.

      • DASQ
      • 12 years ago

      Can I get a ‘durrrrrr’

    • Kurotetsu
    • 12 years ago

    *waits for Krogoth or the like to come in and spin this into a ‘PC gaming is STILL dying…its just taking a while…’ rant*

    • cegras
    • 12 years ago

    I haven’t been able to upload my statistics for a while now ..

    Also, PC gaming isn’t dead. It’s dead to companies that only make a single player game, because that is easy to torrent. If you put effort into a multiplayer game (and thus extend playability), CD-key authentication can thwart piracy due to having a limit number of valid keys, and then you get people buying your game.

    Single player only games will suffer from pirates, through and through.

      • Mystic-G
      • 12 years ago

      Well that is true but you must take into account that it’s fair to say now-a-days, for a game to do well in sales *[

    • Silus
    • 12 years ago

    I agree with him overall, but why wouldn’t Portal run great on a three year old machine ? I still uses the 6-7 (?) year old Source Engine. The surprise would be if it didn’t run great.

    There’s one thing I don’t agree with him and it’s a major one. If it wasn’t for games like Crysis, which was certainly one of the games he targeted with his remarks, we would still be at the GeForce 2 MX days. So, Valve, please do understand this simple fact and stop being so self-righteous.

      • SNM
      • 12 years ago

      Calling the Source engine 5 years old is a bit misleading — it’s had new features added with every game released on the engine.

        • Silus
        • 12 years ago

        And ? Besides HDR and the supposed multi-core support ever since Episode 2 (which doesn’t seem to have been included anyway) it’s still the 6-7 year old Source Engine. Valve does need to do something new. Source Engine is way too old…

          • Sargent Duck
          • 12 years ago

          I agree Source is old. But it is still a beautiful graphics engine and still more than capable. Look how long the Quake 3 engine lasted. And besides, as nice as graphics are, I think that the sales of the Wii are proof enough that they aren’t a make or break deal. All of Valve’s games have always focused on gameplay first, graphics second and all of Valve’s games have been pure gold mines for them.

            • ludi
            • 12 years ago

            Ditto. I still upgrade periodically, but I’m past the point where I lust after the latest and greatest hardware. However, I still like playing a good game (first) that looks good (second). Source Engine fits the bill perfectly and Valve keeps getting my money as a result, especially since Steam makes the updating and patching painless.

          • Spotpuff
          • 12 years ago

          If it isn’t broken… fix it anyways?

          What does the Source engine not do that you would like it to do?

            • swaaye
            • 12 years ago

            Real dynamic lighting and shadowing? Source produces very static environments. The good looks of the various Source games are down mainly to texturing.

            I’d also like the audio engine to stop stuttering.

      • TurtlePerson2
      • 12 years ago

      Portal didn’t run all that great on my 7600 GT SLI system with a 3600 x2 and 2 GB of RAM. I expected to be able to max it out at 1280×1024, since I can do so with all other Valve products, but the frame rate dropped to 10-15 if I looked at a Portal.

      I guess it still ran ok, but it could’ve been better.

        • Silus
        • 12 years ago

        Don’t say that to me. Say it to the guys that do the Steam survey 🙂

        • Meadows
        • 12 years ago

        Then you’re just silly (and I used a mild word). I’m guessing you maxed out the portal render depth. That should mean you’re hitting an engine bottleneck. The game ran slow on my PC when looking into a portal, and lowering the settings didn’t help – and I have an overclocked 8800 GT and an X2 6000+ with 4 GiB of DDR2-1000. It’s quite simply a fact that the code struggles – or it might be that the code is so bad, we’re actually hitting a CPU bottleneck there.

        Either way, lower the portal render depth. You’ll lose visual fidelity when looking into one, but you’ll gain substantial performance too.

        • Palek
        • 12 years ago

        Your CPU was most likely the bottleneck.

        When the Half-Life 2 Lost Coast tech demo first came out the recommended minimum setup for it was a 2.2GHz AMD64. With all the crazy physics calculations that go on I would not be surprised if Portal was even more demanding on the CPU.

        As far as I know *[

          • Silus
          • 12 years ago

          They are not optimized for multi-core, even if that was one of the rumored reasons for Episode 2 to be released so late. I didn’t even touch Episode 2, after Episode 1’s failure. 20 euros for 3-4 hours of of the same old gameplay ? Give me a break Valve…

        • GTVic
        • 12 years ago

        I have a 3800 X2 overclocked to 2.2GHz with a 7600GT and Portal runs great at 1600×1200.

      • indeego
      • 12 years ago

      They are gathering statistics so that they can develop games most people as possible can enjoy their games. How in any way is that self righteousg{

        • Silus
        • 12 years ago

        Did you read what I said about how important it is for games like Crysis to come out ?
        Doug was clearly pointing fingers at these types of games, that really push graphics cards beyond their limits and how this is important to strive better and faster GPUs. So they were being self-righteous with those remarks.

        As for HL2, yeah it was beautiful when it was released, but it certainly ran like crap on my 4 year old machine at the time. HL2 was the Crysis of 2004…

          • SNM
          • 12 years ago

          HL2 looked beautiful on a slow P4 Dell with an FX5200 stuck into it when it came out…

            • Silus
            • 12 years ago

            Not on mine it didn’t. I clearly mentioned “my 4 year old machine”, which at the time was a P3 and a GeForce 2 MX and HL2 ran like crap, even with everything set to low @ 640×480.

            On the other hand, my current 3 year old machine which consists of a Athlon 64 single core and a 7800 GTX 256, ran Crysis with most medium settings and one or two on high @ 1024×768 very well.

            So again, HL2 was the Crysis of 2004 and now they are pointing the fingers at games like that…

            • indeego
            • 12 years ago

            “HL2 was the Crysis of 2004 and now they are pointing the fingers at games like that… ”

            Not sure why your system didn’t work well, but HL2 worked fine on most low to medium specc’d machines at the time of release. I don’t recall an outpouring of complaints from reviews or users upon its release, like crysis got pretty universally panned forg{<.<}g

            • DASQ
            • 12 years ago

            At the time of HL2’s release, I was playing it on a Radeon 9000 Pro. Sure it was DX7 only, but it ran pretty good at 1280×1024 with most features scaled to medium. On a Athlon XP 2500+ w/ 512MB

      • SPOOFE
      • 12 years ago

      “If it wasn’t for games like Crysis, which was certainly one of the games he targeted with his remarks, we would still be at the GeForce 2 MX days.”

      It’s competition amongst GPU makers that pushes graphics card development, not demands from game developers that can’t manage resources or spend five man-minutes typing “average gaming hardware” or something into Google.

        • Meadows
        • 12 years ago

        There would be no competition without demand for the devices in the first place. So he is, in effect, correct that games do the big part. They provide the demand and the incentive to advance and compete for the graphics card manufacturers (who in turn give product samples and extensive support to nurture promising titles, it’s mutual).

          • SPOOFE
          • 12 years ago

          The heaviest demand comes from the mainstream; specifically, the demand is for more performance for less dollar. That’s why we so often see high-end graphics cards come down to or re-released as mid-range cards.

          The high end is performance crown bragging rights, nothing more.

        • Silus
        • 12 years ago

        Wrong. It’s not just that, that strives graphics processing power. There needs to be a killer app (game), that actually pushes the boundaries of current graphics cards, to justify spending money on new architectures and more efficient GPUs. Otherwise, we would be stuck with refreshes much longer. Even though my GeForce 2 MX was an exaggeration, it wouldn’t be too far off I guess, since today, we would probably be getting a refresh to 65 nm of the GeForce 4 series.

          • SPOOFE
          • 12 years ago

          Completely ridiculous. Games take advantage of hardware (and, in the case of Crysis, not very well) and compete with each other for how well they can do it. Video cards compete with other video cards, and that competition for both the bragging rights as well as the mainstream sweet spot is what drives innovation in that space.

          EDIT: If what you assert was in any way accurate, Crysis would have driven gamers to buy Super Duper High End cards in droves. Instead, it’s accrued a hefty amount of derision. Mockery drives hardware development? Is that really what you’re claiming, here?

            • Silus
            • 12 years ago

            LOL you must be one of those that complain about how poorly coded Crysis is. Give me a break…A game that beautiful, that runs on a machine like mine with acceptable quality options and good enough to play (even if not exactly smooth), is nothing short of good development.

            Back to the point I was making, you are wrong again, but you did say something that’s true. The sweet spot is in the mid-range and that’s what most people will buy. If the game only runs well on high-end machines, most will either wait for a mid-range solution that can or simply won’t play the game. To get that mid-range solution that provides good performance for the money (9600 GT, 8800 GT or HD 3850), tech needs to evolve and what was the high-end before, will be the mid-range in the next iteration of a given product cycle. If there were no games to push the envelope, this product cycle would be much slower as I mentioned earlier. Obviously competition is part of the equation too, but you cannot disregard the “killer app”.

            • SPOOFE
            • 12 years ago

            LOL you must be one of those that make irrelevant assumptions about a person based on scant bits of information. We English-speakers call that a “bigot”.

            • Meadows
            • 12 years ago

            I’d hate to burst your bubble but that’s just what Crysis has done. In addition, a portion of sales was tied to the cards too (high-end cards coming with a Crysis bundle) which can also be written off as buying a card because of the game. The middle and low class of users (in terms of performance) hardly ever do upgrade (they tend to buy a new value PC after a few years) – why would’ve they done it for Crysis then? That’s what hurt the sales. The number of people who upgrade rarely changes, so long as there’s always an excuse for them to do it.

            Crysis was a brilliant excuse to upgrade a system, and it did do that, the problem is that it locked itself away from people with modest PCs, and that hurt the sales. They could’ve done it better to find a way to both kinds of consumers, much like Half-Life 2 back in the day which had brilliant graphics, yet a way to run on modest systems as well.

            The fact that mainstream offerings are most of a manufacturer’s profits has nothing with your initial argument. Those mainstream offerings were once full-blown top offerings, and those top offerings appeared because software keeps wanting to go forward. Had game development stopped at Doom 1, we’d have no 3D accelerators to begin with. It’s not a matter of “I can do it better than you”, that competitive attitude has never created any company yet. It’s a matter of demand -> supply.

            • swaaye
            • 12 years ago

            Gee, it’s not like any of these games affected hardware development: (off the top of my head)
            -Quake
            -Quake 2
            -Quake 3
            -Unreal
            -Unreal Engine 2
            -FarCry
            -Doom3
            -HL2
            -Unreal Engine 3

            I seem to recall them running like shit on the hardware I had when they came out. And, subsequently, companies providing us gamers with affordable hardware to play them better on. And software competitors copying them like crazy to join in on the craze. Or licensing the state-of-the-art engine to make their games as pretty.

            Think back on Unreal or Quake for a moment and then reflect on Crysis. The situation is awfully similar. I’m sure you can go on Google Groups and dig up bitching about the games being “too demanding” too. Games are always deemed “coded poorly” or “too demanding” when they stomp on a person’s highly-valued hardware.

            • SPOOFE
            • 12 years ago

            I never said software has zero effect on hardware. I simply stated that competition between hardware companies is a far greater impact than the relationship between hardware and software. These responses that such a simple statement are nothing but kneejerk reactions from poor readers.

            EDIT: But hey, if you want to give Quake the credit for emancipating us from the tyranny of the GeForce 2 MX, have at it.

            • Meadows
            • 12 years ago

            Quake was the reason 3D acceleration appeared in the first place. And it wasn’t nVidia. You’re wrong and keep being wrong – you can’t say competition is responsible for development when new software has the crown in that.

            I don’t know how deranged you are to keep missing this point, but get it like this: if the top game in 2008 was still Quake, would there be even a GeForce FX or Radeon 9k series? No. Of course not, because nobody would even buy the /[

            • SPOOFE
            • 12 years ago

            “you can’t say competition is responsible for development when new software has the crown in that.”

            Except you haven’t shown that software has the crown. You’ve demonstrated /[

            • Meadows
            • 12 years ago

            Probably for the same reason why DirectX 9 was out before any game could take advantage of it. Ask Microsoft.

    • moose17145
    • 12 years ago

    I must say… i do find Valves hardware statistics to be fascinating. Kinda neat to see what other people are running in their computers. At least to me anyways.

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