Why PC Gaming Won’t Die

Because we have keyboards and mice.

At the moment there’s not a single console that would automatically come with a keyboard and a mouse. Console gamers have pads as their main control device (okay, Wii has Wiimote), or the console has control buttons integrated (like PSP).

I don’t think any hardcore real time strategist or a player that favours first person shooters would switch mouse and keyboard to pads. Mouse is simply such a great controlling device that it’s not easy to beat by consoles. Wiimote is perhaps closest competitor if you compare the default controlling devices – there’s hardly any other consoles that would come with mouse-like control device. Consoles aren’t meant for be played using keyboards (or mouse) and that gives a benefit for PCs.

Of course there are more factors that make up the whole picture (such as what customers are willing to pay, what big players such as EA do, how casual gaming market is developing and so on), but I think this small technological factor (mouse & keyboard) is not often included in the discussion. Mouse and keyboard (and of course indies) give PC such a benefit that’s not easy to overcome.

11 thoughts on “Why PC Gaming Won’t Die

  1. @overklokan: while it’s true there’s lots of pcs… there’s still very many compatibility issues. Just think about the drivers mess – there’s lots of different video cards you need to set up.

    and even though more people use pcs, it doesn’t mean it couldn’t changed.

    point #2 is good one didn’t really thought about that.

  2. 1. pc game market is too strong to be ruined by consoles
    2. high end gaming pcs will always have better stats than consoles
    3. pc is one, consoles are many
    4. all pcs are compatibile, consoles are not
    5. way more people use pcs than consoles

  3. @g: Well said. That’s one big benefit for PC: there’s development tools everywhere.

  4. PC gaming won’t die because anyone (who knows how) can make games. So there will always be games available to play, even for free.

    I don’t like to use mouse for FPS, I work on a computer all day long, my hands are a bit stressed due mouse usage, I would rather play a FPS using a gamepad. I find it more enjoyable.

    When it comes to strategy games, or point-&-click adventures, that’s a different story, mouse is a must. But I avoid shooters or action games that are mouse controlled and fast and precise movements are needed.

    The problem with keyboards is that bad designers say ‘hey, we have 101+ keys, let’s use’em all!’ and a lot of PC games have really complicated and bad schemed control layouts.

    I’ve always thought keyboards are for typing, gamepads for gaming and mouses for pointing. Use the input methods that feel more natural for your game, but don’t force anything.

  5. The only problem with PC gaming is that PC gamers don’t buy games :D Except for casual players. So no matter how freakin’ cool PC is for playing games if players don’t buy no one will make games for it.

  6. PC games wont die because “everyone” got a PC.
    I think there are more gamers who own a PC and dont own a console then people who own a console (and probabbly own also a PC)

  7. Well as KaRt0nEs pointed out, I think it really depends on the type of game. While a shooter, a typical strategy game and a Lucasfilm-like adventure might be the better one with a mouse, I still prefer the classical “cross and 4 buttons” over the “arrow keys and Ctrl, Alt, Shift, Space all over the place” when it comes to a Jump’n’Run. So in my opinion, it’s not exactly “two crowds of gameRS” (@ Toraux), it’s also heavily a “two types of gameS” thing :)

  8. Yeah true…. the PC Gaming wont die because its a very nice manner of play games, and we dont have one console that we can have fun with, using keyboard and mouse. But i wonder that wii would be more fun, but sure it depends on the game.

  9. 100% percent with you. I’ve got a 360 and exactly strategy and FPS are the kind of titles I’ll still be playing with my PC. I would only add some RPGs like WoW or Neverwinter Nights (others like a Final Fantasy clone can be played perfectly with gamepad).
    Still, some games are adapting very well. Rainbow Six: Vegas has a wonderful gamepad button configuration and can be played without problems by PC FPS players.

    I’m curious of Halo Wars, if Bungie/Microsoft spend time and resources and come up with a user-friendly RTS gamepad control system, things can change :P

  10. I personally can’t stand a gamepad over a mouse and keyboard for FPS control…. but many people i’ve talked to feel the opposite, and prefer a gamepad over a mouse and keyboard. Ultimately there are two crowds, console gamers and PC gamers, with some overlap here and there. To each his own.