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The Death of the PC as a Gaming Platform? Not Just Yet...

by Rainier on June 25, 2009 @ 11:19 a.m. PDT

A new study by Interpret’s Syndicated Research Service provides new insights on the importance of the PC as a platform, and contrary to the often held assumption, the PC is in fact an important platform for both core and casual gaming audiences.

Interpret’s Syndicated Research Service study provides new insights on the importance of the PC as a platform, and contrary to the often held assumption, the PC is in fact an important platform for both core and casual gaming audiences.

“The insights found in these studies hold important implications for game developer and publishers, technology companies, and media companies,” commented Michael Cai, who heads Interpret’s video game practice.  “Interpret will continue to offer actionable and timely research that have real business impact on gaming and related industries.”

The study found that:

  • 23% of all gamers still rely on PC based games as a primary means of gaming, feeling that the experience provided by the PC was superior to anything that could be provided by a console based game.
  • Key to this finding was the fact that the PC continues to have a superior input method for certain types of games compared to console based games.
    • The study found that access to a keyboard and mouse as primary means of input in PC based games allowed gamers to communicate more effectively in many multiplayer environments, especially as it pertains to MMOs and strategy games.
    • Conversely, the study found that the once PC-dominated first person shooter genre is now experiencing equal or greater success as console-first titles.  The research concluded that this trend may hint at the future of how gamers will use each unique platform, and how developers can best tailor product offerings to exploit the differences.
  • One of the major advantages that the PC maintains over console based systems continues to be access to bleeding edge technology, both hardware and software.
    • The “open platform” nature of the PC has been a hallmark of its development; as it pertains to gaming, the console based platforms are simply not as conducive to experimentation as the PC. Console audiences are also less willing to sample proof-of-concept independent games or unfinished-but-promising user-made game modifications.

The new research on the PC as a gaming console concluded that the PC still plays a pivotal role in the gaming sphere.  Interpret made the following recommendations to developers:

  • Playing to the strength of the keyboard/mouse as an input device.
  • Incorporating tools and features that allow veteran players to create communities both in and out of games more easily.
  • Play to the strengths of Internet connectivity of the PC.
  • Allow greater hardware scalability on all next-generation PC titles.

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