PAX 2010: PC Gaming Gets a Boost

By Joseph Christ on September 7th, 2010 (18 comments)

PAX 2010 is now over. This is the time when reflection of the convention as a whole can take place.  Beyond the detailed previews, impressions, and news one can also try to garner a look at where the industry might be going as a whole.  It's not a perfect science, but speculation hardly ever is.  One thing I took away from this PAX is the new push that PC gaming is beginning to make into the market once again.  The PC presence is always there of course. I wrote a bit about it from E3 2010, and even some from last years PAX 2009.  In 2010, however, it seemed to be making a larger sweep. A plethroa of new MMO's we're being shown, an RTS MMO, FireFall (an MMO resembling both PlanetSide and Tribes) was there, as well as an abundance of other MMO's and computer paraphernalia.

I think MMO's will always be there. Very often the new ones will fail from the time you see them at one convention to the time the next convention takes place. So is the way of the MMO world, but like the sun rising the next day, another will surely take the preceding one's place.  The push this year was curious, and perhaps somewhat expected, since people are currently a-buzz with StarCraft II and the "upcoming" Diablo III, both of which were completely absent from the show floor this year.

If PC is trying to make a comeback it is surely doing so with the help of STEAM which has arguably saved PC gaming over the past 5-10 years or so.  And good on Valve for doing so since a little competition with the console market can be nothing if not healthy.

We'll see how things look next year, or at least at the next convention we cover.  It'll be interesting to see if this current bump has any legs. If so, then it may just be time to update that video card and see what that side of the gaming tracks has to offer.

Have an opinion about this?  Then sound off in the comments.

Tags: PAX 2010, PC gaming

Joseph Christ

Joseph Christ is the Reviews Editor and a Podcast Personality at 4Player. Specializing in reviews, editorials, drinking, and saying inappropriate things about gaming franchises that are beloved by millions, his satirical and sometimes edgy style offsets a more serious and penetrating substance lurking below the surface. He is also the host of the Cocktail Time Podcast. You'll follow his Twitter if you know what's good for you.

Comment!
  • linkingday 4 years, 2 months ago

    The reason hardcore PC gaming isn't as popular as console gaming is all because of the price. Consoles are more "streamlined" in that everyone playing will all have the same experience, whereas those playing on PCs will have different experiences, since each of them have different rigs. I can at this moment buy a console for $300 dollars and have a better experience than someone who bought a $750 computer, since my system is optimized for this game, but not all computers are.

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    • linkingday 4 years, 2 months ago

      I guess what I'm trying to say is that PC gaming will never catch up to console gaming because it's much easier to play games on a console.

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      • ElectricKoolAid 4 years, 2 months ago

        I have to agree with you. Many of my friends just can't afford a new computer rig. If they could, they would totally get into PC gaming. Up until very recently, I wasn't much into PC gaming. The only Popular PC Game I played was WoW, but that's just because it required less out of the system. Until I used $1000 on a new rig. That isn't cheap, let me tell ya. :I

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    • apapsa 4 years, 2 months ago

      You are the stupid. Yes, its a 300 dollar console, and a 500dollar TV. And anyway, the reason Console is big is because things just work on consoles. You pop the disc in and you play it. PC IS the best platform for playing games. But it's not the easiest platform and it doesn't get all the games since you make way more money on Consoles. Consoles are easy and they just work. With the PC you can get all sorts of weird problems, but you can configure pretty much everything and you have stuff like MODS. FOR FREE. And the games are 30$, not 60. And yes you said that it's because consoles are easier, but I noticed that post now :)

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      • linkingday 4 years, 2 months ago

        Most people have TVs already, whereas much less people already have a gaming rig that handle the current games people want to play. You're stupid.

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      • Gurtog 4 years, 2 months ago

        Games are 50, and you just repeated linkingday's point

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    • ASD 4 years, 2 months ago

      I think what makes PC stand out, is the freedom. It may not be in the center of all attention, but it certainly has some interesting games that the public doesn't notice: Modifications and independent games are one reason: Today for example is the release of Amnesia: The Dark Descent. The game has absolutely no weapons and trying to make risky things like these is mainly only possible on PC (if you do not count XBLA, PSN). Thus I think that PC gaming is probably giving the freshest experiences out there: The recent release of Kane and Lynch 2 had an interesting multiplayer modes, where some of the players acted as traitors. However, I thought as the gamemodes were old, since I had been playing these for the year now in Garry's Mod.

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  • Dimensaur 4 years, 2 months ago

    PC's are integrated into our lives. They store information for us, they do work for us, and they entertain us. I don't think PC gaming is going to go away any time soon. As long as computers exist there will be someone making games with and for them. There may come a day when big companies no longer make PC games (that day is very far off as well) but even if/when that day comes there are still going to be people making PC games be it for fun or profit. This same spirit is what brought us Cave Story which is nothing short of one of the finest games ever IMO and it was offered for free. People with passion will always make a way and with those people leading the way PC gaming has a bright future beyond just MMOs and first person shooters.

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  • TheFlameLurker 4 years, 2 months ago

    I'm an avid PC gamer, I enjoy all the things about it, building rigs, tweaking specs, playing mods, creating them, dedicated servers, and great controls. I have noticed a slight return of PC gaming to it's past glory while I doubt it will ever be what it once was because of the lack of control you have compared to consoles its great to see some games that aren't just bad ports like they used to be. I see big name developers and Indy developers putting out some outstanding games for the PC now a days.

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  • GaiusBaltar 4 years, 2 months ago

    I agree that PC gaming is coming back...but alot of it is in the kind of stagnant Strategy game market. Dont get me wrong I like my Civ and Starcraft games but theres only so many of those you can play. PC needs to take advantage of its obvious advantages. Processing power and GPU. It can do alot more and alot prettier and smoother. Over the past 5 years Ive only seen poorly done console ports. Good devs need to start looking to make first rate PC exclusive titles (that arent strategy games) for PC gaming to truly start to come back. And with STEAM and its sales I think this becomes financially viable. Stream truly is a god-send to pc gaming. With all that said Ill be building a gaming pc by the years end.

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    • GaiusBaltar 4 years, 2 months ago

      I also must admit the last two pc games I played before I moved to consoles were Mafia and Max Payne (the originals). So im excited.

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  • pioshfd 4 years, 2 months ago

    I agree with the above that STEAM is really an incredible idea. I may not be as hardcore a PC gamer as other people because I don't tinker with computers or construct my own rigs. But I still get a lot more enjoyment out of playing games on a PC than a console. It might be easier to play on a console but as Dimensaur said, PCs are integrated into our lives and I'm glad to be able to do work on a computer and then switch over to a game while I'm taking a break. That being said, I'm still waiting for Diablo 3 but I'm also really looking forward to Brink!

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  • Calam1tous 4 years, 2 months ago

    PC Gaming is expensive as fuck. I'm pretty much broke because of it, and it empties my wallet at least once a year. However, I love PC building, LAN parties, and technology, so it's kind of a separate hobby that I combine with gaming. This is the case with a lot of people who are PC gamers, which is probably why it hasn't died out (of course platforms like STEAM basically saved it too). There are a lot of great PC exclusives that are overlooked and underplayed. Especially with the new games that are coming out for PC, it's probably worth it nowadays to have a PC that can play games. However, it's a large investment, and most people are nervous to drop that much cash (naturally). (You could probably get a basic, future-proof system for around 400$-500$, maybe 300$ if you were cheap, and upgrade it from there.) In any case, I think if you like the idea of PCs and building them, (and of course the games that are only on platforms like STEAM), you might find yourself at heart with the PC community. I personally think the community in general is the best out of all the current-gen consoles out right now, and I've always found some niche part of it that I have fun with. You might not enjoy the PC "culture" and prefer consoles, but everyone is different. I've spent a lot of money up keeping my system, but I don't think I've ever once looked back.

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  • Microcombo 4 years, 2 months ago

    I agree that PC gaming isn't going to die soon, yet I have a hard time believing that it will reach the popularity it had a long time ago. Personally, I used to only play PC games, but once graphics and technology started becoming more advanced, my PC fell behind. I cannot play anything relatively recent anymore, and the price is too steep to pay (especially because of the fact that I own current-gen consoles now). In turn, I made my shift to console gaming as opposed to PC gaming like others probably have, and though it's good to see PC gaming being more emphasized, I don't see myself making a shift back to PC gaming anytime soon.

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  • Xalgar 4 years, 2 months ago

    To be honest, #1 thing I'm hyped about is Torchlight 2. High Quality Diablo MMO, holy shit!

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    • xalgar 4 years, 2 months ago

      edit: not an MMO, but still

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  • Breakspeed 4 years, 2 months ago

    *Echo of all the arguments claiming PC gaming is too expensive (and requires a bit of knowledge about how your computer actually works in most cases) versus a console which you can plug and play for a lower price in most cases.* Not sure if it's been mentioned before but... Did the Pax Cocktail time ever happen? That might be the highlight of my work week.

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  • Shotokanguy 4 years, 2 months ago

    Once that PlanetSide sequel comes out, PC gaming will be saved for eternity.

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