Weekend Open Forum: Is PC gaming really dying?

By on April 12, 2013, 6:00 PM
gaming, lan party, pc gaming, xbox 720, playstation 4

We’ve been hearing for years that PC gaming is on its deathbed. Next generation consoles from Microsoft and Sony are just around the corner while Nintendo’s Wii U is already on the market (although it’s hardly a threat). The more pressing matter, however, is the influx of mobile games on tablets and smartphones.

Even the platform itself is facing pressure like never before. Earlier this week we published a report from IDC highlighting the fact that sales of personal computers dropped 14 percent during the first quarter of this year – the worst quarterly slump in history. The decline isn’t really a surprise as tablets and smartphone have cannibalized a market once dominated by the PC.

With the cards seemingly stacked against the PC, we have to wonder how this might impact hardcore gamers. Will you stick with PC gaming for the foreseeable future or are you planning to retire the trusty beige box when the PS4 / Xbox 720 drop?

Is PC gaming dead or is there still some tread left on the tires?

User Comments: 93

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2 people like this | Guest said:

NO, PC gaming isn't about to drop dead.

Your article from earlier this week saying personal computer sales are on a decline is irrelevant toward PC gaming (for the most part) if you consider most PC gamers build their own machine.

3 people like this | JC713 JC713 said:

Not when I am breathing!

3 people like this | Lurker101 said:

Wasn't there an article on TechSpot recently proving that PC gaming is just as profitable as it's ever been?

4 people like this | SalaSSin said:

Wasn't there an article on Techspot recently proving that PC gaming is just as profitable as it's ever been?


Well, that's it for this Weekend's Open Forum, glad we got this one solved.

CU next week everyone!

Guest said:

NO way...

Love playing Tomb Raider at 1080p with maxed out settings... looks great!

1 person liked this | lipe123 said:

The real thing thats dying is the games being developed for PC's by all the major publishers.

Anything and everything that was released in the last 3 years I can think of by the likes of EA/Activision/Blizzard turned out to be worse or on par with games that was already around in the early 2000's.

Story lines in games are terrible, the graphics is deliberately handicapped because of console ports and there has been next to no improvement to gameplay at all. Infact with most "always online" releases gameplay has been going downhill fairly steadily.

hahahanoobs hahahanoobs said:

"Is PC gaming really dying?"

It must be, because I keep reading that it is every year.

9Nails, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Oh no no no no no!

There's plenty of room for both, PC and Console gaming in my house.

PcGraphicFanboy PcGraphicFanboy said:

I will never stop playing on Pc until I can no longer play on Pc. There are so many things that you can do on pc that you just can't do on console or some mobile device. The real problem for pc's future is that if Nvidia/Ati/Intel/Amd etc slow down and eventually stop making performance parts for pc because they no longer think the money is there.

1 person liked this | TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Interesting timing - in this month's "PC Gamer" magazine (sorry TechSpot - I know that's a competitor) the editorial was about this topic. I'll take the liberty of posting the first paragraph of that editorial and leave that as my opinion:

"In a survey of North American game developers gearing up for their annual pilgrimage to the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, 49 percent reported they were developing their next game for PC's and/or Macs. Compare that with the rather embarrassing figures for the XBox 360, PlayStation 3 and the next generation of both platforms at 13.2 percent, 14 percent and 11 percent respectively. OUCH."

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Is PC gaming really dying?
Not as long as IGP has less power than nVidia Titan. Even then there will be game titles pushing the envelope even further, requiring more power than a tablet will provide.

Guest said:

No PC Gaming is not ending but satisfaction with 32 bit games is at the end of it cycle

in order to go beyond the memory, audio, and video limits of 32 bit encoding we must drop 32 bit games and embrace 64 bit games

yes I know this would drop a lot of game in the dust but if we build a 64 to 32 bit sandbox for older games they could still exist

1 person liked this | mikeymike mikeymike said:

I bought a $600 HP laptop last Christmas. Within three months the audio jack busted and the hard drive failed. Even then, it could barely run any games I wanted to play.

Recently purchased $1100 laptop. It's robust, sturdy, and well built. And it runs just about all my top end games at max video settings in full resolution. This thing will last me years. This was purchased from cyberpowerpc, and the equivalent laptop from Alienware (made by Dell) would cost almost twice as much.

PC gaming isn't dying. Sh*tty computers are.

1 person liked this | metalSHOCK said:

Unlike kids in this generation, I grew up in the dot com boom and bust, where kids innovated and got rich. We needed the latest and greatest hardware. I will always continue to need the latest and greatest. Enough to ***** my graphical power over games. I know what it was like to play games with a 56k modem. I appreciate all the gains hardware has made so far. I hope they continue to make massive strides so I won't be forced to play games on a 10 inch tablet in 10 years. That's crazy!

Xclusiveitalian Xclusiveitalian said:

PC gaming is booming right now, steam is doing great, and now even though I don't like them there is Origin, UPlay, capsule all because the PC gaming market is ripe.

2 people like this | treeski treeski said:

More likely it will start converging with other gaming platforms.

1 person liked this | Benny26 Benny26, TechSpot Paladin, said:

No chance.

My "beige box" aint going nowhere. That said, I also own a PS3 to have best of both worlds, but PC gaming is so much more rewarding for me.

2 people like this | SchtoltheimR SchtoltheimR said:

Install steam and rewrite this article

1 person liked this | TS-56336 TS-56336 said:

Not really. It's just the beginning.

grip_2_go grip_2_go said:

I've said this before. Whatever MS and Sony have been waiting 5 or 7 years to introduce to you will be overpriced, and outdated less than a week after release, if they aren't outdated before. I just recently spent almost 600.00 on a graphics card, and almost before I could install it there were a half a dozen newer, faster cards released. That's just how it goes. As long as peripheral manufacturers are cranking out new goodness, and as long as game developers are re-writing code to take advantage of that hardware, then I'mma gonna be a PC gamer. **** consoles. Aside from the odd "Exclusive" game title which may or may not rock,the only good they serve is internet connectivity and Blu-ray playing. Any fool who posts about the next gen consoles being the shiznit of shiznits is sadly under-informed.

grip_2_go grip_2_go said:

Unlike kids in this generation, I grew up in the dot com boom and bust, where kids innovated and got rich. We needed the latest and greatest hardware. I will always continue to need the latest and greatest. Enough to ***** my graphical power over games. I know what it was like to play games with a 56k modem. I appreciate all the gains hardware has made so far. I hope they continue to make massive strides so I won't be forced to play games on a 10 inch tablet in 10 years. That's crazy!


Timonius Timonius said:


Nope! Besides its also a definitional problem. By PC gaming do you mean traditional desktop windows platform computers?

Seriously I consider PC gaming to be anything on a Personal Computer whatever format or OS. In the gaming arena the real comparison is versus 'consoles' and/or dedicated 'handhelds'.

VitalyT VitalyT said:

This is the wrong place to ask such a question. Most people here are PC enthusiasts who will defend PC right at gaming no matter what. I, for one, will not do so. I started playing PC games with Z-80 in 1988, and finished in about 2010, just getting old for that.

PC gaming is all about dedicated hardware, with the graphical card in the lead. The level of graphics that Sony PS4 will offer, for instance, according to numerous videos, is so impressive that to have the same on a PC one needs to invest a lot more money into the hardware to achieve a tiny improvement over PS4, if any at all. If you are primarily a gamer, you will be better off with PS4, and then have a cheap PC for internet, if needed. Although I hear PS4 may offer Internet browsing on its own.

The new generation of gamers will be finding less and less incentive to buy a PC for gaming. So, to answer the subject - yes, I for one believe PC gaming is in decline.

1 person liked this | Guest said:

My PC entertainment value is crushing Mobile and Consoles 4 me.

My 360 is just collecting dust and my Samsung is back 2 beeing a fancy camera and gps toy

The last Consol thing I waisted money on, was that Rockband thingy

My PC ... the last yr or so

Defiance, Farcry3, Deadspace3, Mass3, xcom, Borderla...... + more

And near futurte CoH2 and BF4 is a "must have! 4 me"

And not 2 forget Chris Roberts star-citizen.

Hugs my PC.....

1 person liked this | Ranger12 Ranger12 said:

It is hard to find hard statistics on this topic. For instance, what percentage of gamers (people who play mainstream or indie titles for a specified time per week, solitaire and minesweeper do not count) have actually cut back their pc gaming in favor of gaming on a phone or tablet. My guess would be almost none have but without any numbers it's hard to say.

Another factor would be the economic outlook of the nation and world as a whole. PC games and gaming specific hardware is largely a luxury and when the economy takes a turn for the worse (the past several years) luxuries are the first to go. So you might be able to make an argument that it's not dying its just following the dip of the economy and will come back as economies recover.

1 person liked this | yRaz yRaz said:

Are you guys forgetting about the 2 biggest PC gaming genres? 1) strategy games 2) MMO's. These styles of games cannot be effectively played with a controller. It's no different than trying to play an fps on a smartphone. We've already pushed the limits of what controllers can do. On top of that, a voip service like the one in Xbox live would be useless for going on raids. Setting up macros and customizing keys would also be impossible.

1 person liked this | Guest said:

PC gaming will not die since it is actually cheaper if you already need a platform for productivity compared to consoles.

The PS4 and Xbox720 will likely launch around $500 which is enough to buy a nice up-gradable PC gaming rig [no OS :P]


1 person liked this | Guest said:

With the expected prices of ps4 and the new xbox, im going back to the pc as my main gaming platform. at least until the prices come down a lot.

Guest said:

It doesn't mean that PC gaming era is on the verge of breaking down just because Lucas Arts signed off. A famous man once said, " To travel is better than to arrive" .

m4a4 m4a4 said:

No. Even if it's not growing fast, it doesn't mean it's dying.

3 people like this | psycros psycros said:

PC gaming isn't dying - PC gaming *publishers* and their most tightly controlled studios are dying. They brought it upon themselves, despite fans begging them not to commit suicide.

Guest said:

With the new consoles moving towards more PC-like components, I think PC gaming will only get better in the future. At least they will be easier to port to PC. Just up to the developers to want to do it properly.

Guest said:

Yeah haha I agree. IMO, the first major company to go down under in the PC manufacturing area will be HP. Their PCs are low quality, (I hear their printers are decent, but I've never tried one), and when I read that they're going to be focussing on tablets. Lets just say that if I was working for them and I heard that announcement, I'd be looking for a new job.

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

With the next gen consoles being x64 based I can only see pc gaming going from strength to strength. PC gaming isn't dying, it's not even critical.

Guest said:

"You're all going to die. The only question is how you check out. Do you wanna go on your feet? Or down on your fuckin' knees... beggin'? Well I ain't much for begging! Nobody ever gave me nothing! So I say **** that thing! Let's fight it."

Unless always-online for single player becomes the norm, I'd fight for PC gaming - even then I'd still get my games from gog.com

Twixtea said:

Personally I'm just about to upgrade my PC in the summer, and also most probably buying the PS4 early next year.

I can't imagine PC gaming dying, it will always have a graphical edge over the competition and for some people that's very important.

1 person liked this | Twixtea said:

Install steam and rewrite this article


Guest said:

Another fact is that PC gaming hardware will support most of the new and old games for years to come once you got a decent PC (which most gamers builds themself .....cheaper)

But a habit of PC gamers or its just me always looking to upgrade the rig as new stuff is released even the original is good enough LOL

1 person liked this | vkmarketing vkmarketing said:

PC gaming will never end till you get something more competitive as far as controls and visibility are concerned. So don't worry man...........

1 person liked this | H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:

There is nothing a mobile device or a console can do that my machine can't (apart from being lightweight but that can be fixed with mini cases).

The beauty of PC gaming is that you have options. Put up surround, hook up 3 screens, maximize graphics and enjoy the ultra-entertainment.

Dying, not yet. On decline? Well, money is an issue and poor games that have let people down another.

Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

Not dying, just changing.

Guest said:

I currently do not see any console as being a replacement for my PC. It's not even close.

GunsAblazin said:

All those other devices are just mobile PCs, some of which can run full fledged PC games. This only means mobile PCs are becoming more powerful. The fact is some people have to chose between a desktop, laptop (ultrabooks etc.), or a Tablet PC as their primary computing device because they can't afford it, and they probably already have a conventional PC in their home. Nowadays you can game on any device; they may just be casual games, but still games. Trying to differentiate them is ridiculous, because they are all PCs, and in a few years even cell phones will be able to run "PC" games. The market for PC games has grown exponentially if you include mobile devices, so no, PC gaming isn't dying, it's just evolving.

Cycloid Torus Cycloid Torus said:

Wrong Question.

I think the right one is, "When will the developers create a game engine which crosses and thoroughly transcends all platforms?"

There has been significant progress in programming languages and structures, so we may be nearing the point that a game is created as a game and then is modified to fit this or that platform. In the beginning, the platform dictated. Early experiments in console to another console and console to pc have been disappointing for the secondary versions because they are being played by folks who expect "primary" version virtuosity. This can be reduced with a game to platform approach. Controller vs mouse/keyboard can be overcome now by insightful design.

It is on its way!

As a direct consequence, any platform which nearly attains the current level of hardware capability will be viable. Wii, Xbox, PC - and even capable tablets - will continue to receive market acceptance.

GunsAblazin said:

The only real draw to buy games on consoles are the exclusive games. multiplatform games are still far superior on PCs.

Guest said:

PC gaming is dying? of course not! IMHO the sales of PC dropping by 14% might says that some consumer only use their PC for simple task such as email, browsing, social media, etc that can be done by tablet, that's why they change from PC to tablet, in result, the sales of PC dropping 14%

PC gaming is dead when ARM based tablet can run Crysis..

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Wrong Question.

I think the right one is, "When will the developers create a game engine which crosses and thoroughly transcends all platforms?"

Console makers want to stay proprietary, why else do you think they have remained proprietary all these years? A game engine that would play across all platforms, would be a slap in the face to console maker. They would no longer have the advantage of saying, some games only play on our console.

Duskywolf50 said:

Hell No! PC will not dying, It's evolution. PC spread in different ways also getting smaller. They are trying work on powerful graphic and processor use less power plus get small so fit in tablet, HTPC, Small PC.

Remember, Console are limit freedom than PC. Now, seem like next generation console will reduce the freedom.

My answer for PC is still Alive! Just Evolution.......

hahahanoobs hahahanoobs said:

"We've been hearing for years that PC gaming is on its deathbed."

And each year it's proven to be bullcaca. Moving on...

tonylukac said:

Aside from pirating, the problem is it's so dang expensive. My $300 video card blew out in an electrical outage last year (lost the hard disk too), and I don't especially feel like replacing it, when a console costs as much.

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