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PC Games Giant Rouses From Slumber 164

An anonymous reader writes "The Rocky Mountain news has a piece up looking at the revival of PC gaming." From the article: "'PC gaming used to take up the entire store,' said Ken Levine, president and creative director for Irrational Games. 'Now PC gaming get's a tiny little shelf. Literally you have a fraction of the shelf space.' So which is it for the future of PC gaming? Is it a dinosaur marching toward the tar pits or a sleeping giant ready to wake and reclaim its past glory? The industry's top advocates say there are plenty of problems keeping PC gaming down - but just as much potential that portend its inevitable rebirth."
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PC Games Giant Rouses From Slumber

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  • by xxxJonBoyxxx ( 565205 ) on Friday February 17, 2006 @01:28PM (#14743402)
    "Shelf space" is obsolete - the last few computer games I bought were 100% pure electrons. (I paid online too, of course, before downloading.) The "shelf space" battle will always tilt toward the console-playing, Best-Buy-shopping, mouth-breathing masses. Show me "units sold" or "revenue per unit" and I'll pay more attention.
  • Part of the Problem (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MorderVonAllem ( 931645 ) on Friday February 17, 2006 @01:34PM (#14743469)
    I think part of the problem is that whenever I go into Fry's Electronics (i used to work there), there are 100's of games on the shelf. It's hard to weed out the ones that might be interesting to you.

    Also, most of the video games come in fairly large packaging with just a CD. Even the manuals are now in PDF format on the CD. Give me a break. I wanna hold it in my hand and read it.

    Third. Most games only make like 50 cents to a couple bucks profit per game, when stuff like stuffed animals (fry's electronics sells them in the same area) make probably 800%-1000% profit. Not much incentive to give shelf space to a product that doesn't make you that much money in the first place.
  • by displague ( 4438 ) <slashdot AT displague DOT com> on Friday February 17, 2006 @01:39PM (#14743524) Homepage Journal
    Best Buy gives PC games an isle or two which is more than what they offer other indiviual systems. Even Target and Walmart give PC games an isle, compared to a glass case. Usually PC Games get half of the space at Electronics Boutique stores. I don't think there is any merit to the claim.

    I suppose all of that would change if the PC Games would distribute in consistently smaller packages.
  • by ivan256 ( 17499 ) * on Friday February 17, 2006 @01:45PM (#14743571)
    I think the complaints about piracy are actually developers being optimistic that there is actually somebody out there running their buggy pieces of trash.
  • 1/2 of an EB? What? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by wuie ( 884711 ) on Friday February 17, 2006 @01:54PM (#14743646)
    The last EB I went to, they only had about 1/6th of the store dedicated to PC gaming.
  • Re:PC - Console - PC (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ultranova ( 717540 ) on Friday February 17, 2006 @05:02PM (#14745097)

    When will people get it? There is obviusly a cyclic development. When new game consoles come out, PC gaming suffers. When the consoles are a bit outdated, PC gaming will rise again. And so on and so on.

    But there is also a long-term gradual slide towards the death of gaming. The slide is caused by, ironically, technological advance.

    Each game must look better than the previous one, and that means more detailed 3D models. 3D models are slow and difficult to make, and the time needed goes up exponentially as the details increase. This means that each game takes longer than its predecessor to make. Of course, the producer could hire more people to work on the game; but either way, the labor needed and thus the costs to produce a game go up, up and away.

    While the cost of making the game goes up, the price that the market will bear stays roughly the same. The size of the market is also quite limited. Therefore, there's a limit to how much money you can get from a game, while the price of making it grows without limit. Sooner or later the price of making a game hits the maximum possible return, and at that point, the game industry - not just PC game industry, but the whole industry - dies.

    The only way out that I can see is to get a lot better tools for 3D editing. No, the current tools are not good; they are utterly horrible. The most important tool in most 3D editors is the ability to move individual vertexes or otherwise modify them. Contrast this to 2D tools: would you think it reasonable that you'd need to enter each pixels color values numerically - in hexadecimal ?-)

    Until such a time that you can simply let the 3D program generate the base mesh from drawn images, or use some other similar data enrance method, the cost of making (and animating) the 3D models will remain an anchor trying to pull every game project under the waves. And of course a good 3D program would also help independent movie projects tremendously.

"Mach was the greatest intellectual fraud in the last ten years." "What about X?" "I said `intellectual'." ;login, 9/1990