TechSpot Poll: Do you think Vista is hurting PC gaming?

By on January 17, 2008, 11:33 AM
2007 was a great year for gamers. There were a ton of great titles to choose from across all platforms, with some PC games long in development finally getting released and, in many cases, living up to the hype. But while the video game console market saw tremendous growth last year, retail sales on the PC remained stagnant.

Traditionally, PCs have enjoyed a bit of an upper hand over consoles when it comes to the variety of exclusive titles offered and unmatched levels of gameplay and visual quality. But perhaps in light of the lackluster game sales figures, many formerly PC exclusive franchises are now moving to the console, signaling that the days of PC-only titles could very well be nearing an end.

There are a number of reasons for the decline of the PC as a gaming platform such as the high overhead it carries over its console counterparts. If you want to play the latest PC games (as they were intended to be played), you need to spend at least a thousand dollars every couple of years in order to keep your hardware up to date, whereas with a console even after factoring in a decent 1080p HDTV, it is significantly less expensive to game across its 5-6 year lifespan, and you wonít have to worry about it meeting the requirements to play a certain game.

Others believe the complexity of developing for the PC platform is to blame. Granted, designers and developers need to hone their skills and learn specific techniques when developing for a console, but at least it is an entirely predictive architecture so developers donít have to cater for a number of different hardware and software configurations that are found on the PC platform. Also, many believe Microsoft made a terrible mistake releasing DirectX 10 as Vista only since not everyone is interested in spending a small fortune for Vista and DX10 compatible hardware Ė only one in fifty players according to a recent online survey by Valve. Given the latter, what we want to know in our latest poll is: Do you think Vista is hurting PC gaming? (if you are reading from the frontpage, see the new poll on the right side column). Also see results from our previous poll "PC game of the year", if you thought Crysis was the easy pick, think again!

Here are the results from our previous poll where we asked you to pick 2007's PC game of the year:





User Comments: 25

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phantasm66 said:
Well, I did really stop playing games except the odd game of UT, and to be honest if I was getting back into gaming big time I would just get a console. That hardware race... it becomes too much to keep running it after a few years go by. None of this is Vista's fault... I think its just the way things are going.
phantasm66 said:
yeah buy yourself a laptop and a wii for god sake.
phantasm66 said:
oh, and everyone should stop blaming Vista for everything too![url]http://www.techspot.com/news/28623-why-isnt-vista-l
ved-as-much-as-xp.html[/url]
Julio said:
As with all of our polls, we want to see what's the general audience perception. As some of you had mentioned in that story's comments (see phant's comment above), it just seems 'trendy' to bash Vista nowadays even if for no good reason anymore...
jhill3d said:
BattleField 2142, COD4 and Lego Star Wars are the only games I've played on Vista. No problems at all, in fact it seems I get less lagging in 2142 now that I'm running it on Vista. I suspect that is largly luck on the server I connect to however.
Soul Harvester said:
Criticizing any piece of software is acceptable - provided you're doing it with justification. If you hate any particular piece of software, whether it is an OS or an office suite or a browser, "just because", you aren't accomplishing anything.That said, there are reasons to hate Vista. I for one do see it as a detriment to gaming. My reasons, however, are particular. If you recall the launch of Windows XP, it had many issues with suppporting older games, much as we see in Vista today. Here's where my bone of contention comes in, however. For many years after XPs release, many games were released still being supported in an OS as old as 98. And it wasn't until 2005 or so that we started to see games that actually *required* Windows XP and wouldn't run in 2000. Vista, barely out of its infancy, is already touting DX10 and Microsoft is deadset on making newer games completely incompatible with XP by requiring DX10 support - which they refuse to provide to XP. Even though it is technically feasible and we've seen it done before.I do think Vista will harm PC gaming.
phantasm66 said:
These big machines with loads of fans and water cooling and all sorts just to get a few extra frames in Quake may turn out to be a bit of a fad, you know.(Phantazmm hides from impending thunderbolt sent for heresy...)No, seriously PCs might become laptops, consoles for games and big desktop machines will probably start to vanish once online storage provided by the likes of Amazon comes of age, plus more applications moving on the web.The desktop PC may die, by the way.... and it will not be the fault of Vista, merely of history running its course.
lmn8r said:
This is ridiculous. First of all, Vista may not offer any *benefits* for gaming right now, but it's certainly not hurting things either. Game performance differences are pretty negligeable now that we're a year after a release. Heck, game performance at this point in Vista's lifetime is far, far better than this same point in XP's lifetime, compared to the previous system.Second of all, those of you voting "high requirements", it's time to take off the rose-colored glasses and look at history for what it's really like. Even the most demanding game out right now - Crysis - is fully playable at decent-looking settings on computers that are 3-4 years old.When Half-Life 2 came out - arguably one of the most scalable games ever released - it was praised because it could run on systems....about 3-4 years old for its time. Same for Doom 3. Same for Unreal Tournament 3. Hell, same for Duke Nukem 3D!Even Diablo 2 and Starcraft went by the "minimum-requirements-are-a-3-4-year-old-system" route.Yes, today's consoles are more powerful than ever, but it's the exact same situation compared to PCs that it always has been. Now, 1 year after the release of the PS3, and 2 years after the release of the 360, reasonable computer hardware that you can build an entire computer for under $900 for utterly demolishes the performance and capabilities of those consoles. Is $900 more expensive than those consoles? Absolutely. But you're also getting an entire computer that can do a crapload more than all of those consoles combined, in addition to playing all of the games out now at high details.It's the same with every single console generation. I guarantee you that if you go back to 1-2 years after the original XBox came out, the same arguments were being made by the same people holding the same ignorance towards PC gaming.
phantasm66 said:
Unreal Tournament 3 runs a treat on my Dell Vostro 1500 laptop - running Vista.
Soul Harvester said:
I agree that PCs are being archaic and will eventually disappear. The era of the notebook is at our doorstep and will only grow from here. Five years ago, getting a notebook that was on-par with a desktop was nigh on impossible - the hardware simply didn't exist. Three years ago, you could begin getting notebooks that could actually *compete* with desktops, primarily due to the increased prevalence of discrete GPUs and faster HDD. The only problem then was that it came at a significant price premium. Now, in 2008, laptops not only have hardware to compete with desktops, but the price to compete as well. A new laptop I purchased just last week is sporting a Core 2 Duo CPU, 4 gigs of ram and a GeForce 8600 PCI-Ex card with a massive 320GB HDD - for only $1200. Could I get more horsepower from a PC for the same price? I sure could - but not by much.
Phantombadger said:
[b]Originally posted by lmn8r:[/b][quote]This is ridiculous. .Second of all, those of you voting "high requirements", it's time to take off the rose-colored glasses and look at history for what it's really like. .Yes, today's consoles are more powerful than ever, but it's the exact same situation compared to PCs that it always has been . . But you're also getting an entire computer that can do a crapload more than all of those consoles combined, in addition to playing all of the games out now at high details.It's the same with every single console generation. I guarantee you that if you go back to 1-2 years after the original XBox came out, the same arguments were being made by the same people holding the same ignorance towards PC gaming. [/quote]I agree. The only thing Hurting gaming on Vista are people who expect it to be a dream machine like a console, where there are "no bugs", no upgrades etc, its entirely PnP. If the game doesnt work there is usually a workaround on the net. Having that said Game Devs are getting hasty and lazy when it comes to games now. They release a game that is 85% playable and wait for reactions. if its all bad they will quickly release the " patch" to fix Known issues. this then snowballs with patches. but its almost to be expected with PC games, patches that is. When a console game is released with the options to patch and patches and work arounds are needed is the day I denounce my gamer status. I will never touch a console that needs upgrades. and its getting damn close to that point.
canadian said:
What Microsoft needs to do is make Vista more like the 360. Have it so you can play xbox disks, have a live system that is always open, and let it auto update games for you, one friends list, and if possible a set system requirement that is acceptable for most mid-high range computers.
SCHUMIinSA said:
Yeah I do think Vista is hruting gaming. Maybe not current but retro games most certainly. So if I suddenly get the urge to play good old Age of Empires again or something like that....then I can't unless I Dual Boot XP or run it through a Virtual Machine. In other words with Vista only I can throw about 90% of my games away...I need to keep XP in some way or another in order to be able to enjoy the classics.
LordMetzen said:
Someone said the era of the pc is about to dissapear, well, think again, the HD era is higly dependant on a Video Card capable of resolutions beyond a notebook, sure you can get an alienware notebook with dual videocards in a few months (No, life aint cheap)....But "Full HD" will be over in a couple of years with bigger screens that do more than 1080...But yeah money is on the side of lazyness, people want everything easy, Vista right now aint easy, as Win XP wasn't easy years ago...PCs being archaic?, thats impossible, for the simple fact that PC is what pushes games further...Sure the mass of people is happy with a fancy new Toyota Camry....but a lot of us still dream with a Ferrari, Lamborghini, Aston Martin, etc.A lot of people like McDonald's, others enjoy a gourmet meal...Some guys like big fat girls, others like them cute, others sexy ones...There is room for everybody, just remember you get what you pay for...as we all know, Life Ain't Cheap.Edit: Vista performance is crap compared with XP on same hardware...still, no way around it, we have to move on ppl.[Edited by LordMetzen on 2008-01-18 01:45:27]
luvhuffer said:
I think PC gaming is hurting Vista. The whining of gamers about a few frame rates getting lowered have been widespreadd enough that I suspect its influencing gamers and non-gamer adoption alike
shl0791 said:
How many of those people who voted are running Vista?
Mictlantecuhtli said:
[b]Originally posted by SCHUMIinSA:[/b][quote]Yeah I do think Vista is hruting gaming. Maybe not current but retro games most certainly. So if I suddenly get the urge to play good old Age of Empires again or something like that....then I can't unless I Dual Boot XP or run it through a Virtual Machine. In other words with Vista only I can throw about 90% of my games away...I need to keep XP in some way or another in order to be able to enjoy the classics.[/quote]90% of your games are from the 80's?
Eddie_42 said:
[b]Originally posted by Mictlantecuhtli:[/b][quote][b]Originally posted by SCHUMIinSA:[/b]90% of your games are from the 80's?[/quote]id belive that, not that they are from the 80s, but that most of the games will be tough to get running properly, unless your game was purchased in the last year or two. A lot of the games i play have issues with the dual-core processors as well. I'd imagine 64bit causes problems as well. Some of us dont have crazy money to be throwing around and getting $600 video cards and $50 games every other week just because its new and popular.
shl0791 said:
that reminds me of the old falcon 1.0 release, made for the xt computers. I ran it on a 486dx once (fast SOB by the way). Took off, wings buckled, and I died. Damn F16 flew faster than real life!!!
Rage_3k_Moiz said:
[b]Originally posted by lmn8r:[/b][quote]Second of all, those of you voting "high requirements", it's time to take off the rose-colored glasses and look at history for what it's really like. Even the most demanding game out right now - Crysis - is fully playable at decent-looking settings on computers that are 3-4 years old. When Half-Life 2 came out - arguably one of the most scalable games ever released - it was praised because it could run on systems....about 3-4 years old for its time. Same for Doom 3. Same for Unreal Tournament 3. Hell, same for Duke Nukem 3D! Even Diablo 2 and Starcraft went by the "minimum-requirements-are-a-3-4-year-old-system" route.[/quote]How many games can you name that will run acceptably on PCs having a 6600GT and a Pentium 4 3.2GHz? Crysis sure as hell doesn't, and the 6600GT is one of the most popular cards out there. Look [url=http://www.steampowered.com/status/survey.html]here[/ur
] and you'll see that besides the 8800 series and the 7600 series, the 6600 series is the next most popular video card out there. Games need to be more about..well..the game and less about the graphics. NFS Pro Street looks terrific but is a rubbish game compared to Most Wanted. An excellent example of games that allow everyone to play them would be Grim Fandango and the Monkey Island series, as well as games like The Longest Journey and World of Warcraft. I'd take them over Crysis any day. It's you who seems to be wearing rose-coloured glasses. The technological curve is becoming steeper and steeper, so people are forced to upgrade much earlier than they'd really want to in order to play the latest games. Add in the fact that DX10 will be supported only by Vista and I don't see how it doesn't hurt PC gaming.
phantasm66 said:
I just got so sick of it all... a new motherboard, CPU, fan, memory... graphics cards bought all the time... and for what? So I can play some game?It dawned on me one day that I was never actually USING my computer - not for anything other than games, anyway. So now I have a laptop.If I wanted to play games now, I'd grab myself a wii or something... I'd look at the games available, not just how nice the graphics were. Cheap and cheerful would be what I was looking for. Gone are the days where I can be bothered upgrading hardware all the time - the irony is that now, finally, I am in a position to properly afford that hardware race. I just can't be assed running it any more.Computers are changing. Laptops are getting smaller and lighter. Games consoles are getting more powerful. Is Vista destroying PC gaming? Of course not. Why not blame Hilary Clinton for the weather?
Julio said:
Here's some further commentary on the poll subject:[url]http://www.techspot.com/blog/121/vista-and-gami
g-a-bad-combination/[/url]
Eddie_42 said:
i think a great follow on poll would be "Do you think Gaming is hurting Vista?"
icye said:
Vista doesn't hurt gaming, its the companies that make bad games infested with glitches that are hurting the gaming industry.
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