News Article

Gaming Convergence

Posted by Anthony Dickens

We take a look at convergence between PCs and Consoles. Will it ever happen?

Reading up about the CES show over the weekend I noticed an article on The Register where Micheal Dell - of Dell Computers - attacked Microsoft's Xbox 360 with a wash of outrageous claims.

"Dell dismissed Microsoft as a "so called high-definition gaming" player, saying that gaming consoles will never keep up with the ever-improving performance of PCs. The consoles initially ship with state-of-the-art technology, but consumers cannot upgrade the systems easily and after a few months the consoles are showing their age. By contrast, PCs always ship with the latest and greatest parts, and customers can upgrade internal components, Dell argued.

Now, this was all pretty amusing as the "state-of-the-art" PC he was talking about was over $2,000 when an Xbox 360 will set you back only $300. Not being able to upgrade? Fair point, but consoles are starting to come with more upgradable parts eg: Xbox Hard Drive.

I thought about it some more, lets say its 1995 and Gamer X has $2,000. You could either buy a $2,000 PC or get a PSX for $500, then a PS2 for $500, then a PS3 for $500 with $500 left for the future PS4. So in reality its really not bad value for money. If that gamer wanted state-of-the-art PC gaming for 15 years it would of cost closer towards $10,000.

Most people in the industry respect that PC Gaming and Console gaming are quite separate markets, with little successful crossover. The input devices are very different as are the screen / speaker environments. Its the sofa against the chair, monitor against the TV.

However, we're now entering 2006, where media center/entertainment PC's are slowly moving into the living room and alongside our consoles - and our consoles are becoming more like PCs with similar components and computing power. Will these devices ever become one? It's possible.

The main difference between them, in my opinion, has been the interactivity. The mouse / keyboard combo works really well on the PC and the controller has worked really well on consoles. With the Revolution controller on the way, it should allow a more "mouse" like movement within games. Will this be just another step towards convergence?

Tell us your thoughts.


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User Comments (3)



Nanaki said:

I would use my PC for games more but I talk to people and do my uni work on it. I had the trouble with FFXI on the PC, you have to wait a couple hours in game for a group... this means I cant do any work or speak to anyone outside the game.
The point about upgrades is true and the console technology is good enough for me to not be envious of PC games.



antdickens said:

Yeah, I'm pretty sure the current rift is down to personal preference. But the ideals do seem to be alot more together than 10 years ago.. Microsoft's XNA will allow games to be compiled for console and windows pcs. Maybe we're going to see convergence over the next 5 or 10 years. Time will tell.



James2t3 said:

The only reson i prefer COnsoles gaming to PC gaming is the simple plug and play nature, fair enough you can constantly upgrade but that can be more of a negative point with every SUPER enhanced graphical game on PC youll requiire an upgrade in ram, umm no thanks. Consoles last for a good few years with minamul amount of upgrading leading to most if not all games being compatible. Theres also the clear line of "I can play PS2 games on PS2 but can't play PS2 games on PS1" in PCs it all gets a bit fuzzy "umm you might need a bit more ram, new graphics card or a driver update" ><. Plus there will never be a PC in my living room there still ugly boxes unlike consoles which may look ugly cough xbox cough but they suit the room more and are as i said earlier Simple to use, Turn on and play, if you want to mess with the settings you can if you want.

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