“You just swap out the graphics card, download the new drivers, and you’re done.”
Something like that, PC self-assemblers like to explain to you what to do if you want to upgrade your old Otto stand after tens of years, at least for a while Blobby Volley Being able to experience it in all its glory is often complemented by a cheerful “if you can put blocks in a shape cube, you can do it too”. Just that Pull the nipple through the tab.
This is usually followed by a desperate look from the person asking for help, and then the slightly annoyed groan of the hobbyist, who then quickly does the job for you.
Personally, I see myself more in the role of the desperate supplicant, and if I also agree that many of the tinkering steps are usually relatively easy to implement, the easy-peasy attitude is usually not entirely appropriate. Then the driver does not want to be like you do, some connection does not fit or some other detail that only wrests a tired smile from a connoisseur can cause a nervous breakdown in yourself. The dear colleagues from PC Games Hardwarewho have rushed to my aid a few times can sing a song about such situations. I’m a little sorry
And that’s why I say: Consoles will remain relevant in the future!
About the author
Source: Lukas Schmid
Lukas Schmid has been working in various functions at Computec Media and thus at PC Games since 2010, first as an intern, then as a freelancer, then as a volunteer, editor and now as editor-in-chief for pcgames.de, videogameszone.de, gamesaktuell.de and gamezone.de. He loves action, adventure, action adventures, shooters, jump & runs, horror and role-playing games, you can hunt him with strategy titles, most rogue likes and military simulations. Every Saturday at around 9 a.m. he tells you in his column what is annoying or happy about him. Hate comments and love letters in the comments under the column [email protected] or on Twitter @Schmid_Luki.
Small hurdle, big impact
Ok, that may have been a hasty conclusion, but you can guess where I’m going with my introduction. PC gaming is actually not rocket science. It only requires a bit of training time and a trace of tinkering, then you can screw together devices that do more for years than the current consoles do now.
The problem with that: It requires a bit of training and a trace of craftsmanship.
Video games have now really, really long arrived in the middle of society. And with something that is enjoyed by Grandma Hedwig and Grandpa Günni as much as by cousin Susi and Schwippschwager Torben, there is also the need for this something to be as simple as possible to use.
That is why I find it difficult to agree with those who say that PC gaming is the future of the medium because it is cheaper in the long run, more widespread because almost everyone has a PC, and ultimately easier to adapt. All of this is true, but only in theory. In practice, the effort that is seen as a minor stumbling block for someone who is familiar with the subject is an insurmountable hurdle for a layperson. And in the age of touchscreen devices, it is no longer the case that every household automatically has a computer or laptop.
It is no coincidence that with smartphones and, before that, the Wii, gaming is getting such an extreme boost “Blue Ocean” the potential buyer has experienced. From this a new target group developed, which gradually wants more demanding games, but is still not willing or able to tackle technical hurdles around them.
Stick in and have fun
The best example of my mother-in-law: From hectic fidgeting in Animal Crossing and Endless Ocean on the Wii, she has developed into role-playing games, action adventures and the like, which she now masters quite confidently; on her switch, in her household without internet, so that I always have to help out with updates via mobile phone hotspot, and perhaps the vague memory that she saw a PC from a distance many years ago.
The plug & play factor will still be of immense importance in 2021. Sure, there are huge updates, DLCs that are compulsory online and all sorts of other inconveniences. In the end, however, the following still applies: If I buy a game for Playstation, Xbox or Switch, I know that the thing will also work, whether digital or retail. Nothing there with checking system requirements, increasing or decreasing the settings and despairing because the image resolution is not what you want it to be. The new consoles also offer various display options, but they are always optional.
That is why the potential objection that you just buy a completely cobbled together computer and be happy doesn’t work. Taking care of things goes backwards in the run-up to the purchase, and as soon as the first time something does not work as you imagined or an upgrade is pending, as a layman you are quickly at the end of your game.
Germany, now also with the Internet
For similar reasons, I also don’t see streaming as a hot new thing in the foreseeable future. There is no need to deal with the hardware, but completely new problems arise. First of all, decent internet has to be available, and that is by no means the case everywhere in Germany, even with the tech-savvy age group. If you move from the city out into the country or even just outside the city, the situation quickly looks bleak. While people in Berlin’s government district are cheering about 5G plans, in some places you have to take a vacation to send a video on WhatsApp.
For streaming you need not only fast, but also stable internet, and neither one nor the other is given in many places. That alone is a big difference to film and music streaming, where you may not get 4K or have to be buffered, but ultimately this permanent stability is not such a relevant factor.
Sure, Germany (plus my home country Austria, where the situation is very similar) is not the world, and elsewhere the digital change is taking place much faster. You may not believe it, but there are even countries that are even worse off than we are when it comes to the Internet! Console connected and started, but it works everywhere, and if global uniformity is not at least largely in place, one cannot assume that a new technology will prevail. The makers of Google Stadia had claimed and maybe even really thought that this would happen faster with the network expansion, because everyone is so keen on their service – somehow almost cute.
Where does the controller come from?
What: Google LLC
And then we’re back to the topic of plug & play, just in a different version. If it is up to me as a gamer which devices I stream with, which input device I use, which settings have to be made for it, then for many people we have already reached the point where the anger or displeasure about the necessary preoccupation with the infrastructure outweighs the will to play. I haven’t even talked about the countless different providers and subscription models.
And that’s why: console! No matter how often the end of dedicated gaming devices is talked about, I don’t see their end as a given in a society in which so much speaks against the alternatives. More limited functions, a lack of upgrade options and, on average, higher prices for software are restrictions that many people are willing to accept and I am convinced that they will be for a long time to come.
My other columns
The power of sound: how music brings games to life
Identification with video game characters: a bizarre sham debate
Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 – 10 wishes to the Switch successor
Live service games: If you have to, then please do it right!
They all look the same: Why do modern graphic styles bother me?
Nintendo Switch 2: a flop with an announcement? That’s why Nintendo has to be careful …
Electronic Arts vs. Creativity: At the end of the day, everyone is screwed up
Is violence awesome? Why some games go too far for me …
Remakes, remasters, and reprints are a mistake
Well-known on the PS5: Sony has a creativity problem
Whistle on creativity: Dear developers, steal ideas!
Achievements, trophies and co .: Stop doing stupid tasks!
Realism is annoying: Why games should just be games
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