July 7, 2010

Activision Wants Consoles to be Replaced by PCs


We live in a world where we have mul­ti­ple plat­forms for gam­ing.  PC, PS3, 360, WII, etc.  Each plat­form has vary­ing amounts of pow­er when it comes to play­ing games.  Games are released across sev­er­al plat­forms and the plat­forms that have the weak­est specs or the worst con­trols tend to get the watered down, crap­pi­er ver­sions of the games released.
Activi­sion, one of the lead­ing cross plat­form pub­lish­ers, wish­es to move away from the “walled gar­dens” set by  Sony, Microsoft and Nin­ten­do.
The pres­i­dent of Activi­son, Bob­by Kotick, believes that the major­i­ty of peo­ple pay­ing to use XBL are pay­ing to play Mod­ern War­fare 2 — ‑Activi­sion does not get a share of that prof­it. 
“We’ve heard that 60 per cent of [Microsoft­’s] sub­scribers are prin­ci­pal­ly on Live because of Call of Duty,” Kotick told FT. “We don’t real­ly par­tic­i­pate finan­cial­ly in that income stream. We would real­ly like to be able to pro­vide much more val­ue to those mil­lions of play­ers play­ing on Live, but it’s not our net­work.”
While one might feel bad that activi­sion isn’t get­ting in on  it’s “share” of the prof­its one does have to real­ize that it releas­es $15 dol­lar map­packs that it sells mil­lions of.  Hav­ing said this it isn’t like Activi­sion is hurt­ing for mon­ey. 
Kotick­’s solu­tion is to turn to the PC, where it can set its own mod­el for pric­ing – not unlike what Bliz­zard has done with World of War­craft and Battle.net.  Kotick stat­ed that Activi­sion would “very aggres­sive­ly” sup­port the likes of HP and Dell in any attempt of mak­ing an easy ‘plug-and-play’ PC that would hook up direct­ly to the TV.
While I would love to see gam­ing return to the PC as a pri­ma­ry gam­ing plat­form one does have to real­ize that their are some games that just play bet­ter on con­sole based sys­tems such as side scrollers, sports games, and par­ty games.  It’s very hard to use the PC as a par­ty plat­form because a sin­gle unit does not pro­vide play access to 4 or more peo­ple simul­ta­ne­ous­ly.  If this issue could be addressed then it would make the PC more viable as a mass appeal plat­form.  I hate play­ing games on any­thing oth­er then a PC, espe­cial­ly shoot­ers.  One does have to real­ize, how­ev­er, that some games just play bet­ter on con­soles. 
Con­soles do pro­vide oth­er ele­ments to devel­op­ers that make it eas­i­er and cheap­er to pro­duce games.  Games made for con­soles have the exact same require­ments across the board for every­one play­ing so you only have to test the game on one sys­tem instead of 300 mil­lion dif­fer­ent com­bi­na­tions.  Con­soles also have the ease of play fac­tor that you don’t get cur­rent­ly with PC games and thats just putting the CD in and play­ing.  Gen­er­al­ly with PC’s you have to install the game before you can play it and for those less knowl­edge­able this can be a real pain.

47 comments

  1. Rich Gilbertson - July 7, 2010 8:11 pm

    By the time games are done for a Con­sole from con­cep­tion to mar­ket over a year has gone by, lat­er after it becomes pop­u­lar it 2 years old. This is why Con­sole games will nev­er come close to PC games that are less then 6 months old. The dis­ad­van­tage of PC is the inter­face, not that they almost all run Win­dows, if you make the inter­face devices on the PC lap­top then what need would any­one have for a con­sole? When some­one makes a lap­top that can emu­late the con­sole, good­bye to con­soles for­ev­er.

    Reply
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  3. Sébastien Gamby - July 8, 2010 3:28 am

    The prob­lem is that PCs have vary­ing specs while con­soles are homo­ge­neous. If you buy a game for your con­sole, you are pret­ty sure that the game will run smooth­ly while for a PC you may have per­for­mance issues for old or aver­age mod­els. Fur­ther­more in order to enjoy good per­for­mances on a PC you have to invest in an expen­sive mod­el (1,000 € or more if you count the Win­dows licence and the antivirus) while the PS3 is now at 300€.

    Reply
  4. Matt - July 8, 2010 4:58 am

    I’m all for it.
    I dont under­stand that “how ever, that some games just play bet ter on con­soles. “. How can this be true ?
    A PC can have a con­sole-like behavhiour giv­en it runs an appro­pri­ate OS. (not win­dows). Just pop your DVD in. No installer, noth­ing. Maybe an OS sim­i­lar to Android or Chrome OS or anoth­er one to invent.…
    Hard­ware and soft­ware (for dri­vers) specs for a “PC-Con­sole” label can be pub­lished to insure com­pat­i­bil­i­ty.

    Reply
  5. Scott - July 8, 2010 6:04 am

    “We’ve heard that 60 per cent of [Microsoft’s] sub­scribers are prin­ci­pally on Live because of Call of Duty,”
    Wow this guy real­ly is full of him­self. Xbox live has 25 mil­lion plus sub­scribers, So they are try­ing to say 15 mil­lion of them are because of COD lol. COD MW2 has not even sold that many copies on the 360 so how the hell does he come up with that idi­ot­ic num­ber, not to men­tion that just because some­one plays COD does­n’t mean that that is why they have Xbox live, I have MW2, I have a gold xbox live, the 2 pur­chas­es are com­plete­ly unre­lat­ed.

    Reply
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  7. Mickey - July 8, 2010 6:52 am

    “Kotick stat­ed that Activi­sion would “very aggres­sive­ly” sup­port the likes of HP and Dell in any attempt of mak­ing an easy ‘plug-and-play’ PC that would hook up direct­ly to the TV.”
    HP?! Dell?! Uh…you also have Apple’s Mac mini with 802.11n, giga­bit Eth­er­net and an HDMI port. I’d say that’s pret­ty damn plug-and-play.
    It isn’t exact­ly going to play Cry­sis at much more than 20 FPS, but at its price point, it sure beats out those sub-$1000 bar­gain PCs.
    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2365157,00.asp (per­for­mance charts at the bottom…Dell puts on a sad show­ing even against Apple’s pre­vi­ous-gen mini)

    Reply
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  10. Steve - July 8, 2010 7:28 am

    Mikey, A Mac mini’s start­ing price is 50% more than the most expen­sive con­sole, you seem to have com­plete­ly missed the point, as has activi­sion. Con­sole gam­ing is far more cost effec­tive than PC gam­ing, putting peo­ple back on the end­less upgrade cycle with expen­sive NON SUBSIDISED hard­ware is not a good answer. If they are so sure this is a good idea they should invest their own mon­ey to cre­ate the mar­ket and see how well it goes. FYI, for sub $1000 you can get a decent gam­ing rig that will play cry­sis at 60+ fps as well as near­ly all cur­rent high end games, some­thing the over­priced Mac mini could only dream of.

    Reply
  11. Mesh - July 8, 2010 8:09 am

    ZERO games play “bet­ter” on a con­sole. PC’s sup­port con­trollers, SOME new­er games on PC now sup­port split screen like BLUR and Sega’s Son­ic rac­ing game. If more devel­op­ers would sup­port split screen on PC there would be no need for con­soles, which are just “stu­pid” PC’s to begin with. PC’s are upgrad­able, which is less waste­ful to the envi­ron­ment. OR you keep every con­sole you ever buy and let it pile up. Plus PC’s no longer require phys­i­cal media with Steam and Direct to Dri­ve. PC’s DO already hook up to TV’s eas­i­ly with Win­dows 7. Just no one knows it yet. And you can switch between mon­i­tors EASY by press­ing ‘Win­dows key + P’. I hate con­sole peo­ple, they are dumb.

    Reply
  12. Mesh - July 8, 2010 8:14 am

    BTW to Steve… mac min­is are expen­sive!!! You can get a sim­i­lar­ly pow­ered ‘mini’ PC for half the cost! Which equate to the price of a con­sole. Steam has only began sup­port­ing mac for games and will take some time before macs are viable plat­forms.

    Reply
  13. Martin - July 8, 2010 8:28 am

    The arti­cle is very inter­est­ing. Now that the world of TV sets and Com­put­er mon­i­tors had merged, mak­ing the “PC for Games as easy as Con­sole” is more a real­i­ty than ever.
    It Just require a stan­dard Open OS with good graph­ic libraries to over­come the obsta­cle of easy of use of con­soles.
    …by the way, what is the Wii, PS3 and Xbox? aren’t they just a PC focus on gamming?The con­soles now have inter­net browsers, USB ports, wire­less net­work cards, com­er­cial PC chipsets just like the PCs, the only secret they have is the OS.

    Reply
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  15. T8 - July 8, 2010 9:24 am

    PC gam­ing has always, and will always be the elite of the gam­ing scene. Peo­ple are just now start­ing to real­ize how big of a mar­ket the pc will have over the next ten years. No con­sole will ever give the user more con­trol over every aspect of the game, like the pc offers.
    pc gam­ing for the win!

    Reply
  16. C= - July 8, 2010 10:44 am

    ..“attempt of mak­ing an easy ‘plug-and-play’ PC that would hook up direct­ly to the TV”..
    Yes, that was already done once, it was called an “Ami­ga”

    Reply
  17. Jordan - July 8, 2010 10:52 am

    Every­thing on the con­sole works fine right now, whats the point in turn­ing to the PC, it’s only so activi­sion can make more mon­ey.

    Reply
  18. thsoundman - July 8, 2010 10:55 am

    Con­soles do offer a stan­dard­ized piece of hard­ware for devel­op­ers to work with. They alwa­so pro­vide the 4 play­er par­ty thing that PC’s don’t real­ly cur­rent­ly offer. I also pre­fer to use Con­trollers for sports games it just works bet­ter then a key­board. If i can get these fea­tures on a PC then yes PC is the way to go.
    Peo­ple need to get over the notion that you have to spend $1000’s of dol­lars on PC upgrades a year to keep up with the lat­est and great­est. I’ve got friends who use 5 year old equip­ment and still play most games on or near max set­tings. PC hard­ware does­n’t age like it used to back in the mid 90’s dur­ing the com­put­er boom. You can eas­i­ly make a gam­ing PC last 5 years and spe­and near noth­ing on upgrades. Most PC games spend mon­ey on upgrades because they want to not because they have to. You can get a gam­ing ready vid card and slap it in alm­sot any com­put­er for under 200 dol­lars.
    PC will always be the pri­ma­ry plat­form for me as it has all the fea­ture I want, No DLC scam, upgrade­able, bet­ter graph­ics, supe­ri­or con­trol inter­face.

    Reply
  19. thsoundman - July 8, 2010 10:58 am

    @ jor­don… I have to agree that this is just an attempt for activi­sion to make more mon­ey. I don’t think it’s cause they want one plat­form over anoth­er. Switch­ing plat­forms for this rea­son is plain stu­pid.
    I do think that hav­ing a sin­gle plat­form would be bet­ter for the con­sumer in the end but I can under­stand the ben­e­fits have hav­ing a dif­fer­ent plat­form in some cas­es. Per­son­al­ly I think if you can’t afford to buy a vid card for your PC then you should be spend­ing mon­ey on video games any­way. Gam­ing is a lux­u­ry not a need so. Thats just my 2cents

    Reply
  20. thsoundman - July 8, 2010 11:01 am

    The prob­lem with most peo­ple with PC games is they buy a huge mon­i­tor and then max the specs of the game and their PC can’t run it when all they would have to do is press “detect opti­mal set­tings” and be done with it. Advanced set­tings are just that… advanced set­tings.

    Reply
  21. DeathProof - July 8, 2010 11:27 am

    Activi­sion is just a bunch of mon­ey hun­gry cocks. If they keep mak­ing rock­ing games, I’ll buy them, but for them to want to com­pete with Xbox Live, Steam or PSN.. good luck.

    Reply
  22. thsoundman - July 8, 2010 12:20 pm

    This is why I haven’t bought any of activi­sions games since Mech­war­rior and Star Trek: Elite Force I & II

    Reply
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  24. AiR - July 8, 2010 2:39 pm

    its about time they mar­ket­ed pcs for a con­sole type thing. 1.upgradable 2. longer use span 3. can be used for more than just games and 4. its more per­son­al. just some rea­sons why its bet­ter. and with the decreas­ing price of some of the new­er gen­er­a­tion vid cards and proc its become fair­ly cheap to build a sys­tem that can run games in a more than playable fash­ion. than when a new video game comes out the cus­tomer has the choice to upgrade his sys­tem if he wants to see it in all its glo­ry. activi­sion in a mon­ey grab? hrm­mm i like how they pump out games in a chi­nese sweat shop man­ner and expect every­one to be on their jock. I also expect­ed these guys to cry when they tried to do the con­sole flip with this game cuz they wouldn have “no con­trol” lol i mean what did they expect? if you dont own the con­sole shut up and make the game. sound famil­iar? “shut­up and play? yea these guys should just stop while they are ahead. not to men­tion the COD series start­ed on pc’s where it shouldve stayed and maybe we wouldn have these washed up games with the COD tag pop­pin up every year or two.

    Reply
  25. MWW - July 8, 2010 3:06 pm

    Say what you will about Nvidia, but their ION plat­form is almost it.

    Reply
  26. thsoundman - July 8, 2010 3:18 pm

    @ MWW what is the ION plat­form? Nvidia does some low ball shit some­times but they still do put out some good hard­ware.

    Reply
  27. AceOfNades69 - July 8, 2010 6:16 pm

    PC games won’t be able to get close to con­soles any­more. It’s all about mon­ey. Con­soles have a set price and specs don’t change for years. PC prices are all over the place (any­thing good being way more than a con­sole) and you will always need to update your machine for the new­er more graph­i­cal­ly demand­ing games. Peo­ple aren’t gonna want to spend that kind of mon­ey.

    Reply
  28. PimpmasterF - July 8, 2010 6:40 pm

    Leave it to activi­sion to think of new and improved ways to get greedy. Bunch O douch­es

    Reply
  29. Larry - July 8, 2010 9:11 pm

    Unfor­tu­nate­ly PC gam­ing seems to be most­ly geared towards MMO’s with PC’s get­ting the short end of the stick. Although I do not own one — con­soles offer a plat­form that does­n’t fre­quent­ly change. This ulti­mate­ly allows soft­ware man­u­fac­tur­ers to make 1 game in 3 fla­vors with no wor­ries about this video­card or that sound­card (etc). Unfor­tu­nate­ly — buy­ing an xbox 360 today is like buy­ing a 5 year old com­put­er — how­ev­er — it works for the soft­ware indus­try (and the con­sole man­u­fac­tur­ers too).

    Reply
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  34. Tim - July 9, 2010 6:18 am

    Despite com­ing from Activi­sion, this is almost a good idea. The cost of PCs has dropped a lot, so this could be done in a way that would allow hard­ware man­u­fac­tur­ers to make mon­ey. Sell­ing prod­ucts online might be able to slow pira­cy to the point where devel­op­ers could make mon­ey.
    The trou­ble is get­ting the PC man­u­fac­tur­ers to agree on a spec and stick to it. I’d real­ly love to be a part of decid­ing what that spec is…

    Reply
  35. thsoundman - July 9, 2010 8:16 am

    @ Tim. The whole point of PC gam­ing is being able to cus­tomize. If you can’t cus­tomize is their any point to it? I don’t buy hard­ware because I have to I buy it because I want to and I enjoy being able to find the hard­ware I want not the hard­ware the man­u­fac­ture wants me to buy.

    Reply
  36. Crias - July 9, 2010 10:33 am

    I don’t want to use my mouse/keyboard for input.
    I don’t want to be at a dis­ad­van­tage for using a con­troller.
    I don’t want to have to upgrade my PC every few months.
    I like my gam­ing and my work­ing sep­a­rate.
    I real­ize there are many who do not agree with me, but there are enough who do that it’s not a mar­ket seg­ment that should be ignored, and Activi­sion des­per­ate­ly wants to pre­tend we don’t exist.
    For the record, I haven’t upgrad­ed my PC in 5 years and it still works great. I don’t want gam­ing to ruin that abil­i­ty.

    Reply
  37. thsoundman - July 9, 2010 10:53 am

    @ Crias I can appre­ci­ate your response because you just don’t like the con­troller set­up. That makes sense to me and tells me you’re not just a fan­boy.
    I do have to say that even under non gam­ing cir­cum­stances though you should­n’t keep a com­put­er more then 5 years. I’ve found over my years as an IT con­sul­tant that a res­on­able life expectan­cy of a com­put­er is about 5 — 7 years before you start see­ing all around hard­ware fail­ure of some sort. I replace my hard dri­ve every three just in case.
    The con­troller vs key­board dis­ad­van­tage is quite large and I’m glad that you point­ed this out. My friend is a huge halo fan and he’s pret­ty damn good at it too… he’s nev­er real­ly used a key­board for any­thing so when i told him he should play counter strike and try it out he refused to play it with­out a con­troller. So we bought xmap­per and set­up a con­troller on there for him to play with. We played 30 rounds… I won 26 of them and most of those decisve­ly. Both of us are sea­soned FPS vets… the advan­tages are clear. With a con­troller youre aim is based pure­ly on your sen­si­tiv­i­ty where as with a mouse it’s based on both the quick­ness of your wrist and your sen­si­tiv­i­ty. It makes com­pet­ing against me incred­i­bly hard. Just what i’ve noticed. You don’t have to upgrade your PC every few months to keep up with games. You real­ly don’t. I sure as hell don’t and if I did the wifey would have me in a noose.

    Reply
  38. Crias - July 9, 2010 11:27 am

    @thsoundman
    Very true. I ful­ly expect my hard­ware to give out “any day now”. To be hon­est, I don’t keep any­thing impor­tant on there, so that’s per­fect­ly okay with me.
    As for the com­pet­i­tive advan­tages, I’ve noticed it too. I hooked my old XBox con­troller up to my PC and played a bit of SoF with some friends. On XBox I can con­sis­tent­ly com­pete direct­ly with them, but on PC with a con­troller it was a blood­bath.
    As for the upgrades, I agree that I don’t have to upgrade, but I also (often) have to sac­ri­fice opti­mal playa­bil­i­ty of the games in order to not upgrade. On a con­sole, I can always play at the “opti­mal” set­tings.
    I can respect PC gamers, I just don’t like com­pa­nies like Activi­sion think­ing one size fits all. 🙂

    Reply
  39. thsoundman - July 9, 2010 3:36 pm

    @ Crias Thanks for stop­ping back in. Appre­ci­ate your com­ments and home you’ll come back and sign up and join us here 😛
    I do total­ly agree that this is a move to make activi­sion more mon­ey. I doubt the high­er ups care at all about the end con­sumer… I’ve found most com­pa­nies have this mind­set now… it’s more about mak­ing top dol­lar then it is about mak­ing a qual­i­ty game any­more. Play­ing on PC with con­troller is a good 50% hand­i­cap at least.

    Reply
  40. Skizem - July 9, 2010 5:50 pm

    I do agree with most posters here, 5 years is about the lifes­pan of most PCs. My PC was a pow­er­house 5 years ago, could play every­thing at max set­tings with no vis­i­ble lag…now it’s not near­ly as pow­er­ful and I see $500 machines with more per­for­mance than I have.…
    But.…
    Con­soles are also a lot more stream­lined in the pur­chas­ing end. The only real choic­es you have to make is the hard dri­ve size. Where­as with PCs there are dif­fer­ent proces­sor man­u­fac­tur­ers each with 3 or more lines of dif­fer­ent proces­sors, 2 major video card man­u­fac­tur­ers, dozens of RAM choic­es, etc etc etc etc. Even just pick­ing out an HP (or any major brand) machine is a night­mare for peo­ple that don’t pay close atten­tion to the gam­ing scene.

    Reply
  41. thsoundman - July 9, 2010 7:02 pm

    I have found that you can slap a new vid card in almost any machine and it will be gam­ing ready. I tossed a radeon 4890 in my friends bot­tom of the line HP and it was max­ing every­thing with no issues.

    Reply
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  45. Aidas - September 14, 2010 3:07 pm

    They want to make a pc plug and play? LOL isnt this already done? I just take my lap­top, con­nect hdmi cable to tv, turn on the hdmy chan­nel and I have my desk­top on, I ccan play any game on max every­thing ( no it does­nt lag, tv screen does­nt affect per­for­mance ) and watch any blu­ray movie or lis­ten to songs or use thou­sands of chat­ting pro­grams, it is plug and play… I dont see the prob­lem there, cost issue u say? Well I buy xbox for 200$ lets say, then pay 30$ or some­thing every month to play online and anoth­er 3 for inter­net to my home, then I buy a 60- 100$ game. What dif­fer­ence does it make for ur mon­ey? I buy a good pc for lets say 600$ I havee net, I can buy games that cost 20–30 less and have free dlc, I can also not buy dlc and con­tin­ue play­ing, while on con­sole most of the time its not the case. So basicly for the cost of pay­ing for the whole xbox stuff I can update my pc in lets say 5 — 10 years… The last time I bought a new pc was 7 years ago and only changed vid card once, thats it, it cost me about 700$ total. and I could play pret­ty much every game on max for the 7 years… I dont see why I should get a con­sole any time soon…

    Reply
  46. snsd genie - December 17, 2010 11:01 pm

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  47. wesker killer - March 12, 2011 2:35 pm

    i dont want buy con­sole that get red ring of shit ps3 get that fuck­ing error i now and i hope that cry­sis 2 sell best on pc includ­ing star craft 2 wh40k dawn of war series and by the way con­sole war suck balls stu­pid peo­ple come argu­ment some shit like this xbox 360 is bet­ter than ps3 how stu­pid more con­sole fan­boys more stu­pid peo­ple

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