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Author Topic: What is suffocating Pc Gaming... Ill tell you what.  (Read 2670 times)
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HankRaptor
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« on: March 28, 2008, 05:18:43 PM »

I finally upgraded my home PC after 5 years things were starting to go, and it just felt like time. I have NEVER had a PC this long. The recent console’s really helped that as they have been taking a big chunk of my time. So I jumped in and bought a DELL XPS 630 with a quad processor 4 gig o ram Nvidia 8800 GT. And I was thrilled….UNTIL

PROBLEM ONE

Install Unreal Tournament 3 and it looks amazing!!! But has these horrible random PAUSES that are enough to drive you crazy… After 2-3 hours of diagnosis, I ascertained it is a driver issue with the  NVIDIA drivers and QUAD processors. I found a beta video driver that fixed the problem.

PROBLEM TWO

In the mean time, everything was running just DANDY, and the I decided to INSTALL SP1 for VISTA. Now the machine wont come out of sleep mode. Its maddening. After an hour of playing with drivers… it only got worse. I did a system restore, and went back, but I was able to ascertain that this is a relatively common problem with SP1 and there are tons of users with similar problems. The solution right now? Uninstall Sp1, or don’t go into SLEEP mode. I chose the latter.

PROBLEM THREE

I decided to get some games that I have been missing out on over the past several years and made a stop at Gamestop… I was HORRIFIED by the selection, I couldn’t find Command and Conquer 3, Rise of Legends, Company of Hero’s after three stores, I found Company of Hero’s. I reckon I need to buy games for the PC online. Being out of the loop on this one, this was quite the shock. I remember when 80 percent of the store was PC and it was OVERWHELMING what to even BUY!!! THE HORROR.

PROBLEM FOUR

I get home with my poichase of Company of Heros and try to install it and the serial key does not WORK after a call and some hand flapping I  was told the manual key was bad and should have another  number in the box. In the middle of the manual was an index card with a number stating the manual printing was hosed use this number….. and after a LENGTHY install.. I was treated to having to download a patch that was over 100 meg. No problem, another 10 minutes it installs and I restart the game PATCH 2 at 40 meg… Rinse, Wash, Repeat. I didn’t even believe this myself a THIRD PATCH had to download. ONE HOUR LATER I HAVENT SEEN THE GAME YET.

Now I should say, I often enjoy diagnosing PC problems. But my concern is how JOE SIXPACK would do ANY OF THIS. The answer is he wouldn’t he is playing his Wii.  After all these years these problems SHOULD not EXIST.

Cries on his autoexec.bat trying to remember the commands for emm386… Hugs his PC softly weeping.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2008, 11:10:48 PM by HankRaptor » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2008, 05:33:43 PM »

We've come a long way from "load "*'* ,8,1" haven't we?  Well, maybe not so much.  I know exactly what you mean - I've spent more time installing, configuring, patching, and tweaking games than I have playing them.  Insult to injury, once you get them all massaged into place so many of them suck.  Not just wasted effort, but a lot of wasted effort.  Trade your games in at EB/Gamestop?  Not so much.  So much of what is killing PCs is a simple little thing I like to call "Quality".  If it isn't the OS it's my sound card.  If it isn't my sound card, it is my video card.  Did you update your DirectX?  Have you updated your motherboard drivers?  Are you using the beta drivers we released 10 seconds ago?  Where did the testing go?
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« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2008, 05:48:16 PM »

I had written a long post, and then it started to sound like I was whining.

I'll just change it to...

+1

And add, because I can't help myself...

For me it isn't the monetary cost of PC gaming that has pushed me more and more toward consoles/handhelds. It's the time cost. With family and kids, free time is scarce. A PC game install has the potential to turn into a 30-minute (or longer) problem-solving exercise, and when that's all the gaming time I've got, it's just more efficient to stick a cartridge into a DS, or play something on the Wii.

I'm more of a "PC" gamer, by the types of games that I like, but I'm finding that more and more I can find strategy games that hit my niche on handhelds/consoles. I never thought I would be here, but four years ago 80% of my gaming was on the PC. This past year, I'd say that it's down to about 20%.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2008, 05:49:59 PM by Godzilla Blitz » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2008, 06:07:59 PM »

Big fat ditto to Godzilla. Installing/patching anything on the pc is a massive pain-in-the-ass venture anymore, and upgrading parts is even moreso. I used to enjoy it, but at this point life is too short and free time too limited to want to waste my time on it all. I still do for truly great games, but I have to admit that if a game is multiplatform, I buy the console version instead of the pc version anymore and save myself the headaches.
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« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2008, 06:13:46 PM »

Let us know how you guys like the load times on those console titles which have to install, then patch, or require an internet connection to activate.

Consoles are becoming like PCs, not the other way around.

I will add, however, that it really pisses me off that a person has to be very tech savvy in order to do things.  I don't think it's a PC thing, however, I think it's just that the people who design this stuff don't give any thought to making things easy to use.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2008, 06:15:24 PM by unbreakable » Logged
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« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2008, 06:19:40 PM »

I've been playing older games more and more frequently on my PC, which is ironic considering I rebuilt it last year with the latest and greatest bells and whistles. Oh sure, I can play Crysis no problem. But would I prefer to play Grim Fandango on it instead? Yes, actually.
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« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2008, 07:44:52 PM »

Quote from: unbreakable on March 28, 2008, 06:13:46 PM

Let us know how you guys like the load times on those console titles which have to install, then patch, or require an internet connection to activate.

Consoles are becoming like PCs, not the other way around.

I will add, however, that it really pisses me off that a person has to be very tech savvy in order to do things.  I don't think it's a PC thing, however, I think it's just that the people who design this stuff don't give any thought to making things easy to use.

The install time is minimal, requires absolutely no input, and won't fail at the end for a missing key.   It is also only featured on some titles on the PS3.  I can't see how it'd be any easier to use.
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« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2008, 08:30:34 PM »

Quote from: unbreakable on March 28, 2008, 06:13:46 PM

Let us know how you guys like the load times on those console titles which have to install, then patch, or require an internet connection to activate.

Example please?

I have never seen a console game that requires an internet connection to activate.  99 percent of the time I just put the disk in my 360 and play it.  When there is a patch to download and install, it takes less than 45 seconds from start to finish.

I admit that the process of updating a game on the PS3 is more cumbersome than on the 360.  But it doesn't even approach the patching issues in Company of Heroes or Hellgate London.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2008, 08:52:35 PM by denoginizer » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2008, 08:38:52 PM »

Quote from: HankRaptor on March 28, 2008, 05:18:43 PM

PROBLEM TWO

In the mean time, everything was running just DANDY, and the I decided to INSTALL SP1 for VISTA. Now the machine wont come out of sleep mode. Its maddening. After an hour of playing with drivers… it only got worse. I did a system restore, and went back, but I was able to ascertain that this is a relatively common problem with SP1 and there are tons of users with similar problems. The solution right now? Uninstall Sp1, or don’t go into SLEEP mode. I chose the latter.

Heh, it was the opposite for me- sleep mode *was* broke, but SP1 seems to have fixed it.

Quote
PROBLEM THREE

I decided to get some games that I have been missing out on over the past several years and made a stop at Gamestop… I was HORRIFIED by the selection, I couldn’t find Command and Conquer 3, Rise of Legends, Company of Hero’s after three stores, I found Company of Hero’s. I reckon I need to buy games for the PC online. Being out of the loop on this one, this was quite the shock. I remember when 80 percent of the store was PC and it was OVERWHELMING what to even BUY!!! THE HORROR.


Try Best Buy or maybe Target.  Gamestops suck for PC games now, I guess because they got out of the used PC software market so they don't care.  Best Buy typically has a quite large PC selection that has pretty much every major title from the past couple of years and even some pretty obscure ones. 
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« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2008, 08:55:12 PM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on March 28, 2008, 08:38:52 PM

Try Best Buy or maybe Target.  Gamestops suck for PC games now, I guess because they got out of the used PC software market so they don't care.  Best Buy typically has a quite large PC selection that has pretty much every major title from the past couple of years and even some pretty obscure ones. 


If you have a Micro Center nearby I would also recomend checking it out.  They have an even bigger selection of PC games than Best Buy.  They also have a large number of older games for less than $10. 
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« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2008, 08:58:42 PM »

Can't say I've had any of these huge issues, that or I don't really care about them. And I've patched/played Hellgate.....

Also the PS3 is migrating over to installing more games into the hard drive. Did hear a good amount of whining about the install time for Devil May Cry 4. Anyway, patches and fixes and issues will happen with every major platform. Consoles aren't immune to there share of issues, are they as prevelent on consoles? Not so much but you have to remember that the PC is an open platform there are only so many configurations developers can test, whereas with consoles there is only one....and issues still happen on consoles.

I prefer the openness of PCs, I usually only play PC games. I have an xbox 360 and a Wii and they don't get nearly as much use for gaming as my PC does. They just don't have any games that I really enjoy like the PC still does. I don't know just seems to be how it works out.

Anyway, what is more annoying having to download a couple patches that take a few hours. Or having to wait 2-3 weeks for your Xbox to come back from burning out.
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« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2008, 09:10:01 PM »

At least PC games tend to run smoothly if you have the hardware to power it and patched pretty quickly if there are serious bugs. On the console side we've been getting fucked over the past year or so with choppy framerates and bugs that we can't do anything about.

Look at R6V2, as the latest example. It runs smooth on a decent PC, but on the 360 and PS3 it runs and looks like garbage.

I'm starting to believe the current theories of a one gaming platform future, most developers simply can't work with so many platforms.
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« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2008, 09:26:42 PM »

Quote from: denoginizer on March 28, 2008, 08:55:12 PM

Quote from: Kevin Grey on March 28, 2008, 08:38:52 PM

Try Best Buy or maybe Target.  Gamestops suck for PC games now, I guess because they got out of the used PC software market so they don't care.  Best Buy typically has a quite large PC selection that has pretty much every major title from the past couple of years and even some pretty obscure ones. 


If you have a Micro Center nearby I would also recomend checking it out.  They have an even bigger selection of PC games than Best Buy.  They also have a large number of older games for less than $10. 

MC used to be completely INSANE with their game prices.  I forget the game, but every time I went there I used to laugh, since they had a 3 year old game (it was kinda ok when it came out, but got dated fast), and it was sitting there for $40.

However, the last few times I went there I was really pleasantly surprised.  They completely redid their game area, and they had TONS of good deals.  They also had a lot of great older games at good prices (I think I grabbed Civ 3 for really cheap).
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« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2008, 12:12:27 AM »

Quote from: Ridah on March 28, 2008, 09:10:01 PM

Look at R6V2, as the latest example. It runs smooth on a decent PC, but on the 360 and PS3 it runs and looks like garbage.


I can only speak for myself but the last shooter that ran on my PC as good as my 360 was Half Life 2.  And even that game ran like crap until they patched a soundcard issue months later. I guess if I went out and spent $800 on upgrading my PC it would run Bioshock or CoD 4 as good as my 360.  But I am simply not willing to do that anymore.  The only games I play on my PC anymore are RTS's and turn based strategy games.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2008, 01:38:01 AM by denoginizer » Logged

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« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2008, 01:09:50 AM »

Quote from: Ridah on March 28, 2008, 09:10:01 PM

Look at R6V2, as the latest example. It runs smooth on a decent PC, but on the 360 and PS3 it runs and looks like garbage.

buh?
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« Reply #15 on: March 30, 2008, 04:14:01 AM »

Quote
PROBLEM THREE

I decided to get some games that I have been missing out on over the past several years and made a stop at Gamestop… I was HORRIFIED by the selection, I couldn’t find Command and Conquer 3, Rise of Legends, Company of Hero’s after three stores, I found Company of Hero’s. I reckon I need to buy games for the PC online. Being out of the loop on this one, this was quite the shock. I remember when 80 percent of the store was PC and it was OVERWHELMING what to even BUY!!! THE HORROR.

One Word: STEAM. If I can't get it there then I'll just check out places like GoGamer or Amazon. I haven't stepped foot in a Gamestop in probably 2 years and I don't ever intend too again.
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« Reply #16 on: March 30, 2008, 12:23:49 PM »

That would be "Heroes".
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« Reply #17 on: March 30, 2008, 02:48:57 PM »

Quote from: unbreakable on March 28, 2008, 06:13:46 PM

Let us know how you guys like the load times on those console titles which have to install, then patch, or require an internet connection to activate.

I don't like them, and I don't buy/play them. icon_wink It's why I choose a console game over the pc version when I can. If a game has serious tech/compatibility issues, I tend to avoid it, regardless of platform. When I try ignoring the issues, I wind up with something like Hellgate London or Titan Quest: Immortal Throne -- a ~$50 coaster that sure reads fun but I wouldn't know since it doesn't work reliably.

[edit]To clarify, like several have stated, PC gaming's depth can't be matched elsewhere yet, it's the tech issues that are becoming too much of a pain in the ass. When a deep pc title works well, it tends to get a lot of play from me. The games I've played more than any others in recent years are Civilization 4, Diablo 2, World of Warcraft, and Guitar Hero / Rock Band. That's three pc-exclusive titles on that list.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2008, 02:51:29 PM by Farscry » Logged

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« Reply #18 on: March 30, 2008, 04:17:41 PM »

Quote from: HankRaptor on March 28, 2008, 05:18:43 PM

PROBLEM THREE

I decided to get some games that I have been missing out on over the past several years and made a stop at Gamestop… I was HORRIFIED by the selection, I couldn’t find Command and Conquer 3, Rise of Legends, Company of Hero’s after three stores, I found Company of Hero’s. I reckon I need to buy games for the PC online. Being out of the loop on this one, this was quite the shock. I remember when 80 percent of the store was PC and it was OVERWHELMING what to even BUY!!! THE HORROR.

PROBLEM FOUR

I get home with my poichase of Company of Heros and try to install it and the serial key does not WORK after a call and some hand flapping I  was told the manual key was bad and should have another  number in the box. In the middle of the manual was an index card with a number stating the manual printing was hosed use this number….. and after a LENGTHY install.. I was treated to having to download a patch that was over 100 meg. No problem, another 10 minutes it installs and I restart the game PATCH 2 at 40 meg… Rinse, Wash, Repeat. I didn’t even believe this myself a THIRD PATCH had to download. ONE HOUR LATER I HAVENT SEEN THE GAME YET.

Now I should say, I often enjoy diagnosing PC problems. But my concern is how JOE SIXPACK would do ANY OF THIS. The answer is he wouldn’t he is playing his Wii.  After all these years these problems SHOULD not EXIST.

Cries on his autoexec.bat trying to remember the commands for emm386… Hugs his PC softly weeping.

For #3, if you have a decent size Target store, check it out. The Target near where I work in Virginia has a fine PC games section, well stocked with new releases (I've often been surprised to see new releases the very day they launch, at Target), older "big name" releases (including the GOTY version of Company of Heroes). And game boxes are stocked with the cover FRONT, instead of this book-binder style stuff too common these days.

I don't waste my time at Gamestop anymore when it comes to PC games (I just go there for handhelds now). I'm not going to reward a chain for treating PC gaming like a ghetto when there are still stores that don't.  disgust
===================================
For # 4, if you want something like Company of Heroes, look for the "Game of the Year" edition (which presumably has most of the patches already in place, or at least on the DVD) or for a compilation that has it and Opposing Fronts. Most of COH's patches are adjusting balance (there's so much variety in the game, esp. in PVP online play, I doubt they'll ever stop balance-patching it). Also, to make the game compatible with Opposing Fronts online, they pretty much had to jam the Opposing Fronts entire install into a patch (so that you can play against people who have the Opposing Fronts armies even if yourself don't have OF installed).

If you did get the GOTY edition, than disregard this rambling.  icon_smile

The glass half full way of looking at Company of Heroes is just how dedicated Relic has been to constantly tweaking the game, and making sure people with just the original game can play Opposing Fronts owners without having to pay more money. It's not so much the game is a mess they're constantly fixing. If they only had to balance it for single player, I doubt it'd have had anywhere near as many patches as it did.
---------------------

You make good points, but even consoles are now forcing people to patch, and often download updates to fix problems or get additional content. I really thinK QA is getting both worse and tougher to do, you can't really account for people using integrated video or 5 year old cards, or 4 year old systems (like me  paranoid)

I'm still putting off a Vista system purchase because I still see no consistency in gamer impressions. Some have disastrous experiences with it and others claim, "For me, after SP1, it's just like XP," though the latter always makes me ask "Then why bother with it?"  icon_confused

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« Reply #19 on: April 02, 2008, 04:00:42 PM »

Thing is that reguar Joe does not have too much problem updating XBOX360 game patch as it's pretty much automatic and easy.
Also, it takes more afford for me to go out and buy PC games than console title.

As much as I love PC games, it's just that I have less to worry on XBOX360 and PS3.
No changing options, searching & updating patch(es), etc.

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« Reply #20 on: April 03, 2008, 11:28:26 PM »

i've found i play very few new games anymore - i've been big on emulators for some years now, and lots of older stuff on PC and consoles.
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« Reply #21 on: April 16, 2008, 09:28:38 PM »

I agree that PC gaming is becoming the author of its own demise.  You go out and buy a top of the line system, then two years later, (or less), stuff won't run on it.  Getting real tired of constantly having to upgrade.  Any reason games can't come out with all the bells & whistles but also be able to tweak down for older systems?

Consoles starting to surpass PC's as far as quality & number of games.  When I go into a store & look at games for my Xbox, know anything on the shelf, no matter how new will run.  No patch or hardware issues, just plug & play.

Personally I prefer the flexibility that PC games offer but gets to the point where enough is enough & getting tired of all the crap. Sticking with my 2yr old PC for Internet & business apps, but, console may be my next game machine unless developers start to wise up.
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« Reply #22 on: April 18, 2008, 03:27:45 AM »

Consoles and PC's both have strong points, and weak points. For me at the moment, I'm preferring my 360 for ease of use, since I work quite a bit and usually end up with some OT every week. I like to be able to come home, sit down, pop in a disc and just play. No futzing with drivers and patches and crazy copy protection issues, unexpected crashes, and all that crap.

I still love PC gaming, and always will, and I'm sure upcoming games like Spore, Starcraft 2, Disciples 3, Empire Total War, and several others will have my arse planted firmly in my PC desk chair once again.

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« Reply #23 on: April 18, 2008, 04:54:52 PM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on March 28, 2008, 08:38:52 PM

Try Best Buy or maybe Target.  Gamestops suck for PC games now, I guess because they got out of the used PC software market so they don't care.  Best Buy typically has a quite large PC selection that has pretty much every major title from the past couple of years and even some pretty obscure ones. 

or Fry's Electronics. They usually have a pretty good PC Game section.
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« Reply #24 on: April 18, 2008, 05:04:00 PM »

Or just go online and get it from Go Gamer, they are pretty competitive with pricing as well.
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« Reply #25 on: April 18, 2008, 05:17:30 PM »

The upgrade carousel is what has driven me into being a 99% console gamer.  I simply don't have the time, money, or desire to completely overhaul my system every couple years in order to play the latest and greatest game, not to mention the incremental driver updates, patches, and tweaks.  I've never once had a problem popping a disc into my console and playing it, and the most patching it will ever do will be a 30-60 second update through XBL. 

I still play some older games that still run on my system, but I'm through trying to keep up with the technology needed to play the newer stuff.
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« Reply #26 on: April 18, 2008, 06:45:03 PM »

Quote from: Gratch on April 18, 2008, 05:17:30 PM

The upgrade carousel is what has driven me into being a 99% console gamer.  I simply don't have the time, money, or desire to completely overhaul my system every couple years in order to play the latest and greatest game, not to mention the incremental driver updates, patches, and tweaks.  I've never once had a problem popping a disc into my console and playing it, and the most patching it will ever do will be a 30-60 second update through XBL. 

I still play some older games that still run on my system, but I'm through trying to keep up with the technology needed to play the newer stuff.

You mean like upgrading from XBox to XBox 360 and upgrading from PS1 to PS2 to PS3 every 2-3 years?
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« Reply #27 on: April 18, 2008, 06:48:22 PM »

Quote from: Moliere on April 18, 2008, 06:45:03 PM

Quote from: Gratch on April 18, 2008, 05:17:30 PM

The upgrade carousel is what has driven me into being a 99% console gamer.  I simply don't have the time, money, or desire to completely overhaul my system every couple years in order to play the latest and greatest game, not to mention the incremental driver updates, patches, and tweaks.  I've never once had a problem popping a disc into my console and playing it, and the most patching it will ever do will be a 30-60 second update through XBL. 

I still play some older games that still run on my system, but I'm through trying to keep up with the technology needed to play the newer stuff.

You mean like upgrading from XBox to XBox 360 and upgrading from PS1 to PS2 to PS3 every 2-3 years?

PS1 - 1995
PS2-  2000
PS3-  2006

That's a little more than 2-3 between hardware. 
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« Reply #28 on: April 18, 2008, 06:51:08 PM »

And 4 years between the Xboxes, and the PS2 is still kicking after 8 years.
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« Reply #29 on: April 18, 2008, 08:09:07 PM »

I have to say, I've staunchly defended the PC as a gaming platform for a long time, but my resolve is waning.

When I can power on my Wii or my DS and be playing a game in 1 minute, why would I play PC games?  The kind of games I like don't get made anymore, so I play older games mostly.  So I have a really nice system that's just sitting there doing nothing except being a media server.  I could part it out, but I wouldn't get squat for it. (sigh)
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VynlSol
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« Reply #30 on: April 18, 2008, 08:32:01 PM »

My wife and I purchased a PS3 a few months ago (specifically for the Blu-Ray player functionality) and I've found playing games on it is rather fun. We only have two games - Motorstorm which came with it and Guitar Hero which we picked up for our daughter.

I have found that thus far it hasn't cut into my pc time though. I don't really even consider it to be a gaming device for some reason...

As an aside, I have a like-new Toshiba HD-DVD player that cost me several hundred dollars sitting around collecting dust.
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Gratch
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« Reply #31 on: April 18, 2008, 11:41:50 PM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on April 18, 2008, 06:48:22 PM

Quote from: Moliere on April 18, 2008, 06:45:03 PM

Quote from: Gratch on April 18, 2008, 05:17:30 PM

The upgrade carousel is what has driven me into being a 99% console gamer.  I simply don't have the time, money, or desire to completely overhaul my system every couple years in order to play the latest and greatest game, not to mention the incremental driver updates, patches, and tweaks.  I've never once had a problem popping a disc into my console and playing it, and the most patching it will ever do will be a 30-60 second update through XBL. 

I still play some older games that still run on my system, but I'm through trying to keep up with the technology needed to play the newer stuff.

You mean like upgrading from XBox to XBox 360 and upgrading from PS1 to PS2 to PS3 every 2-3 years?

PS1 - 1995
PS2-  2000
PS3-  2006

That's a little more than 2-3 between hardware. 

Not to mention the cost.    I bought my 360 a year ago.  It was over a year old when I bought it, cost me $400 and I will be able to play every game released on it for at least the next 2-3 years.  By comparison, my last PC upgrade (2 years ago) cost me over $1,000, and it's already struggling with any of the new games.  If something is released that is even remotely graphics-intensive, it's a slideshow on my system.   
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