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Macs Casual Gaming Growth? Pc gaming Dying?
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ryaxnb
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May 3, 2008, 01:23 PM
 
Please don't move this to the Mac gaming forum, I want everyone to see this. It's about very casual gaming, not normal Mac gaming, and it involves Nintendo.

I have been thinking and a lot of people have been saying PC Gaming is Dying. The Mac could take advantage of this trend. How? Casual gaming.

Piracy, high hardware requirements, are killing PC gaming. Casual gaming is killed by lack of shareware payments and how hard it is to install a good-performing game on a system filled with miles of crapware grayware and viruses (typical casual gaming market user)

Macs on the other hand are used lots by switchers. And Mac devotees. Both would like casual games, have no junkware on their system, and would like to waste time on simple games. Mac user historically pay shareware fees - and there could be a system to download and install games, online, as part of iTunes, or as part of iGame. Here's a basic layout for iGame:

*Small developers encouraged, so long as game is fun
* Clones, arcade titles OK, platformers, action-adventure, racing and sports encouraged.
* Small fun puzzle, arcade, and shoot-em-ups with a unique presence also encouraged.
* Prices low $9.95-25.00
* Very limited trials, to encourage paying the (small) fee
* All games run on at least a Radeon 2400/x1600/9500 chip for Action-adventure, Racing, Sports, run on any X1300 or faster for other genres. Perferrably some x1300 support, always.
* All games require Core Duo, some work on Core Solo or G5 chips.
* Some (few) games work on G4 1Ghz or faster.
A simple system only shows you games that work on your system.

I can't help but think that also, Nintendo could help. Offer old titles "Virtual Console" on the Macintosh, with low requirements. Offer special mini-game collections. Perhaps form a partnership where Apple could make special Macs for the living room (spruced up Mac Minis?) optimized for Mac usage, HD content from iTunes, TV Shows from iTunes (including HDTV 720p) and Nintendo games, beginning 2010-2011.
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Tesselator
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May 3, 2008, 02:04 PM
 
Why would you think that PC gaming is dying? It seems the opposite to me!
Game developers go where ever the market is strong enough to generate a
profit. The bigger and stronger, the higher the priority. Simple.

Why would you think mediocre games that are free on the web for any
browser with java and etc., free for XBox 360 owners, free on PS3 and
generally in abundance everywhere would be a good thing to associate
with the Mac platform specifically and as a niche?

And, yeah, this thread should be moved to the game section where people
who might be interested can read it.
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it!"
- Thomas Paine
     
ryaxnb  (op)
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May 3, 2008, 02:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by Tesselator View Post
Why would you think that PC gaming is dying? It seems the opposite to me!
Game developers go where ever the market is strong enough to generate a
profit. The bigger and stronger, the higher the priority. Simple.

Why would you think mediocre games that are free on the web for any
browser with java and etc., free for XBox 360 owners, free on PS3 and
generally in abundance everywhere would be a good thing to associate
with the Mac platform specifically and as a niche?

And, yeah, this thread should be moved to the game section where people
who might be interested can read it.
Games with the same class as Airburst, Mars Rising, or Bugdom are not, in fact, free.
They are sometimes available on Xbox Live and on PSN. They cost money there. They are hard to find. The Mac's unique feature would be games that straddle the line between bare-bones flash game that's free, and full-blown commercial games. Shareware developers have straddled that line before (Pretty Good Solitaire on Windows, Airburst on Mac) and people liked it. I think this definitely could use examination. The casual market is there, the Wii Proves it. The casual market is strong, but hard to target on a PC. The competition from grayware "Free With added Adware" is too great. Not so on Macintosh.
Trainiable is to cat as ability to live without food is to human.
Steveis... said: "What would scammers do with this info..." talking about a debit card number!
     
BasketofPuppies
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May 4, 2008, 06:50 PM
 
There is no hope for Mac games as long as Windows games are dying.

Game developers will port a Windows game to Mac if it is relatively easy and the game has enough appeal to turn a profit with the smaller Mac market, but the market is not there to support a large number of Mac-specific games--even low-budget, so-called "casual" games.

And with Apple's token commitment to games, this is not going to change.
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turtle777
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May 4, 2008, 07:30 PM
 
I prefer to work on more realistic projects, like solving world hunger or brining about world peace...

-t
     
OldManMac
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May 4, 2008, 08:07 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
I prefer to work on more realistic projects, like solving world hunger or brining about world peace...

-t
And that's just in your spare time, right?

I'm not sure I agree with the OP's assertion that gaming is dying on the PC platform. There are a multitude of high end gaming video cards available for the PC, and the custom build market is a small, but strong one as well.
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BasketofPuppies
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May 5, 2008, 03:45 AM
 
When Id (Wolfenstein, Doom, Quake) and Epic (Unreal, Gears of War), say that they will target their games toward game consoles rather than computers from now on, that's a sign that PC gaming is dying.

The high-end video card market is a surprisingly big one, and you can be sure that most of the people supporting that market are using those cards for games, but they are not buying the games that they're playing. Computer game piracy is far bigger than a lot of people realize.
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MacosNerd
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May 5, 2008, 07:24 AM
 
I think in general the computer gaming industry is shrinking and specifically the Mac platform is in even worse shape.

Basically for the Macs, why should I wait months for a game to arrive and then pay 20 dollars ( or more) then the PC counterpart that hit the streets months earlier. With the advent of boot camp, this I believe has hasten the gaming industry on the mac platform.

My opinion on the market in general is that its more lucrative for companies to produce the games on the consoles, where as on the PC, they have to deal with piracy. A serious problem or not, it appears to be a hot button topic for these companies.
     
exca1ibur
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May 5, 2008, 11:15 AM
 
System requirements are more an issue with PC gaming hurting more than piracy. Crysis says they are not doing PC only games anymore, because they didn't make any money and blame piracy. The fact that their damn game ran on 5% of the PCs out there seemed to slip their mind. The game was nothing but a tech demo. If you game sucks it will not sell well. A lot of these companies need to look in the mirror and make good games and they will sell well. You have Grand Theft Auto 4 selling by the truck load because the games is good. Make a good game, that people can run on their hardware, and you will sell games simple as that. Just blaming piracy all the time, instead of admitting your game is garbage doesn't fly all the time.

I don't see the gaming market shrinking, I see it shifting. Its still a huge business. For the PC, most people can't find a logical reason to spend $600 on a video card this generation with the 360 and the PS3 packing a lot more power now and is compared to a good mid-high level PC now. To say the PC market is dying it a big much, but shrinking sure. A lot of those people are starting to shift to consoles.
     
Luca Rescigno
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May 5, 2008, 11:48 AM
 
I don't think PC gaming is dying, just going through a controlled shrink. With the immense popularity and greater profitability of current-gen consoles (and I'm only talking about the PS3 and Xbox 360 here; the Wii is a last-gen console and I can say this on the authority that I own one), developers would be stupid not to tap into that market, even if piracy never occurred with PC games (which is, of course, very far from the truth).

However, gaming in general is exploding. PC gaming might be shrinking, but only slowly, if not maintaining current sales. It just looks like it's dying when you compare it to the consoles.

As for casual gaming, that's a totally separate market from "serious" games like Crysis and what have you. The audience is totally different and they buy games and think of games in a totally different way. I don't think the Mac will get any surge in popularity due to the prevalence of casual gaming. People who buy and play casual games do so because they want a quick and easy diversion. They're not going to buy a computer based on the games they want to play, nor will they arrive at the conclusion that buying a Mac is a good solution for the reason that it's able to play casual games (even if it can't play serious ones). If anything, the casual game player (I hesitate to call these people "gamers") might buy a Mac for other reasons and later discover that they can get some casual games for it. But it won't work the other way.

EDIT: When I talk about casual gaming, I'm referring to games like Bejeweled and Peggle. Some people might get that confused with many Wii games, which may be "kiddie" but are not necessarily "casual" (e.g. Mario Galaxy). Your mom can play Peggle. She can't play Mario Galaxy.

Serious/hardcore gamers are the only people who buy computers with games in mind, and none of them are buying Macs unless they're messed up in the head.

Oh, and it's not really fair to compare a PS3 or 360 to a new gaming PC. For one, video cards aren't $600, they're $200 (for a medium-high end one), and a $200 video card will give any recent PC way more power than a modern console. The reason people buy consoles isn't because they give you more power per dollar, it's because they're simple. Just hook it up and start playing.

"That's Mama Luigi to you, Mario!" *wheeze*
     
BasketofPuppies
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May 5, 2008, 02:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by exca1ibur View Post
System requirements are more an issue with PC gaming hurting more than piracy. Crysis says they are not doing PC only games anymore, because they didn't make any money and blame piracy. The fact that their damn game ran on 5% of the PCs out there seemed to slip their mind. The game was nothing but a tech demo. If you game sucks it will not sell well. A lot of these companies need to look in the mirror and make good games and they will sell well. You have Grand Theft Auto 4 selling by the truck load because the games is good. Make a good game, that people can run on their hardware, and you will sell games simple as that. Just blaming piracy all the time, instead of admitting your game is garbage doesn't fly all the time.
You have no idea how much of a problem software piracy is.

The number of copies of games that are downloaded on torrents is staggering. It's not the only issue hurting computer games, but it is a bigger one than a lot of people realize or are willing to admit.
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MacosNerd
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May 5, 2008, 03:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by BasketofPuppies View Post
The number of copies of games that are downloaded on torrents is staggering. It's not the only issue hurting computer games, but it is a bigger one than a lot of people realize or are willing to admit.
I agree, I've been seeing articles on the net here and there from various companies bemoaning the fact that their profit margins are getting whacked, in part because people are playing the game, just not paying for it.
     
Luca Rescigno
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May 5, 2008, 03:26 PM
 
Not to downplay the major negative effect piracy has on game development, but it is actually difficult to figure out precisely how much piracy affects PC gaming. It's safe to assume that it has a negative effect on sales, but how much does it affect sales?

I'm guessing the majority of downloads for various games are by people who download the game and then play the whole thing without ever paying. But the number of downloads doesn't equal the number of lost sales. A lot of the people who download games would never buy them, even if the option to pirate the game was removed entirely. If it were theoretically possible to shut down all piracy, the pirates would have to pick very carefully because they're clearly not willing to spend much money on games. I have a feeling that some games wouldn't sell much more than they already do, even if piracy were completely eliminated, because most games are just crappy and not worth $50 or even $30.

There are also a few cases of "legitimate" piracy (though I am using that word loosely). This would cover people who download a game because, for example, there is no demo offered and they want to see if they like it or test whether it'll run on their computer. An "honest" pirate would delete their copy of the game after a short period of time and then choose to purchase the game or not based on their experience. Dishonest pirates, on the other hand, would just keep their illegal copy of the game and continue to play it until they get bored without ever buying it.

So anyway, when you consider factors such as the number of actual lost sales and the number of people who pirate the game just to see what it's like and then buy the game later, I think it's hard to say exactly how badly piracy damages the PC game market. Like I said, I'm sure it has a pretty big effect, but there are a lot of factors to consider.

"That's Mama Luigi to you, Mario!" *wheeze*
     
MacosNerd
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May 5, 2008, 03:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by Luca Rescigno View Post
Not to downplay the major negative effect piracy has on game development, but it is actually difficult to figure out precisely how much piracy affects PC gaming. It's safe to assume that it has a negative effect on sales, but how much does it affect sales?
Agreed, and there's little reason to get into the semantics of legitimate piracy.

The issue is if the people who publish games don't believe there's a profit for a particular platform, they'll not publish games for that platform. The Mac is an excellent case history for this. Most game publishers avoided publishing games for the mac relying on licensing the game to folks like macsoft.

I just bought a PS3 and I don't consider myself a hardcore gamer by any stretch and to be honest, I'm blown away by the depth, game play and graphics of the games.

Another plus is that I get to play in the living room not in my office. This also provides the ability to keep an eye on my kids when they're playing on it. I don't let them on my computer in the office since its out of sight and in this day and age, we cannot be too careful.
     
Tesselator
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May 5, 2008, 11:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by ryaxnb View Post
Games with the same class as Airburst, Mars Rising, or Bugdom are not, in fact, free.
The same class as Bugdom? I disagree. There are many about the same quality as
Bugdom that are free. In fact that was the quality level I had in mind when I said that.
And then of course there are the playable demos which are free, great for "casual play"
and in huge abundance.

Have you looked around recently at the freebies out there? I'm impressed anyway...
...I mean for freeeee...
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it!"
- Thomas Paine
     
Luca Rescigno
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May 6, 2008, 12:21 AM
 
Originally Posted by MacosNerd View Post
The issue is if the people who publish games don't believe there's a profit for a particular platform, they'll not publish games for that platform. The Mac is an excellent case history for this. Most game publishers avoided publishing games for the mac relying on licensing the game to folks like macsoft.
It's the perfect way. Strike up a deal, get paid, and then it's up to Macsoft to sell enough copies to turn a profit. Actually, I don't know if that's how the deal works, but it seems like something that would happen.

Originally Posted by MacosNerd
I just bought a PS3 and I don't consider myself a hardcore gamer by any stretch and to be honest, I'm blown away by the depth, game play and graphics of the games.
They do look quite nice, but PCs look even nicer. Imagine the detail possible when you're looking at 1920x1200 pixels instead of something like 1280x720 (or less; many PS3 games render below 720p and then up-sample the picture). Graphics isn't everything of course, but as amazing as the PS3's graphics look, they're just run of the mill compared to recent gaming PCs (which wouldn't cost as much as you might expect).

Originally Posted by MacosNerd
Another plus is that I get to play in the living room not in my office. This also provides the ability to keep an eye on my kids when they're playing on it. I don't let them on my computer in the office since its out of sight and in this day and age, we cannot be too careful.
I think this is one of the biggest reasons why consoles are getting so huge now. Not that parents can monitor their kids, but that the parents themselves are now playing games. Ten years ago, the thought of a guy in his late 20s or early 30s playing with a Playstation or N64 would have been somewhat foreign. But video games are now just as popular (if not moreso) among adults as they are among children. Many adults are busy and don't have time to set up a PC for gaming, so they'd rather just go out and buy a game machine and plug it into their TV.

Myself, I think I'm too young to be a console junkie, at 23. I don't make enough money to blow a bunch of it on a huge TV, so playing games on a TV is a chore for me, a necessary evil rather than a perk if I want a console. However, I do have a pretty nice gaming PC, and I use it for other stuff already, so the cost to upgrade it from a normal computer to a gaming computer is very low.

It just depends on your situation.

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ApeInTheShell
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May 8, 2008, 10:42 PM
 
Gaming will be more popular on the iPhone than on the Mac simply because that is the direction Apple is looking forward to. The reason I don't play Windows games is because of game controllers. Most of the game controllers are wireless, easier to use, and easy to pick up and learn. The keyboard and mouse are the main reason people have a hard time justifying buying a gaming rig. You can have the best graphics so far but if it takes too much effort the average user is going to get a XBOX 360, PS3, or Wii.
     
Luca Rescigno
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May 8, 2008, 11:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by ApeInTheShell View Post
Gaming will be more popular on the iPhone than on the Mac simply because that is the direction Apple is looking forward to. The reason I don't play Windows games is because of game controllers. Most of the game controllers are wireless, easier to use, and easy to pick up and learn. The keyboard and mouse are the main reason people have a hard time justifying buying a gaming rig. You can have the best graphics so far but if it takes too much effort the average user is going to get a XBOX 360, PS3, or Wii.
I'm having difficulty understanding what you're trying to say with that post, but it seems like you're arguing that game controllers are easier to use than keyboards and mouse and that's one of the reasons behind the surge in consoles.

I completely disagree. In fact, keyboards and mice are what are keeping a lot of PC gamers on PCs even if they'd like to get a console. If you're playing a game that requires any sort of aiming, a mouse is hugely more precise than a thumbstick. Besides, if gamers want to play games using a controller, there are plenty of PC game controllers available, and a lot of games support them.

No, the thing that's bringing people to consoles is the ease of use, and that doesn't have anything to do with the controller. A game console is super easy to set up. You just bring it home and plug it into your TV. It's guaranteed to play any game that comes out as long as companies keep developing for it, you don't have to buy hardware upgrades every couple years, and there's no extra work in terms of installing and configuring games. Everything's taken care of.

"That's Mama Luigi to you, Mario!" *wheeze*
     
Tesselator
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May 8, 2008, 11:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by ApeInTheShell View Post
Gaming will be more popular on the iPhone than on the Mac simply because
that is the direction Apple is looking forward to.

I think you're right. But the reasons why they are going in that direction is
of course again, profitability. I believe they've found out that iPhone users
are not willing on the same scale as desk-top users to spend the time to
hack the games for illegal use and distribution. More are willing to add
$50 here or there to their CC bill when they're making monthly payments
anyway and when it's for a device that they carry with them everywhere.
Either way the cell-phone market (which Apple hopes will become mostly
iPhone based) is much more massive than the desk-top + laptop installed
base.

So again, I say: 'Game developers go wherever the market is strong enough
to generate a profit. The bigger and stronger, the higher the priority. Simple.'
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it!"
- Thomas Paine
     
   
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