The great migration: PC gamers heading to consoles


The subject of PC gaming has come under a bit of fire lately. Some folks claim it is at its healthiest point ever, while others are ready to carve it’s gravestone and never speak of it again. id Software’s Steve Nix isn’t going to either of those extremes, but in a recent interview he does seem to favor the opinion that the PC as a platform is losing customers to the smaller, dedicated game boxes known as consoles.

id has produced some of the most genre-defining PC FPS games in the history of the industry, but Nix realizes that the console market is just too large to ignore, “I know I have friends who are considered core gamers, who years ago were just keyboard and mouse guys – now, when a game ships on all platforms, they buy the console version, even though they have a PC version sitting there and they have a PC that would run it perfectly well. It’s just their preference.”

It’s not just Nix that feels this way, as designer Greg Stone who is currently working on the 360 version of Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, seems to share his sentiment, “For me, I’m exactly what he’s describing – I’m a guy that used to play on PCs, and now I’m totally console.” He adds, “It’s so much money to keep up with the bleeding edge of technology on the PC, and it really just is easier to take a console and say, well, this is good enough. I think that’s the way it is for me, and for a lot of people at this point in time.”

Nix did also make a point to say that he is not belittling the dedicated PC gamers out there, “There’s no console out there that’s as powerful as a God machine right now, with a Quad-Core and a GeForce 8800 – it’s very hard for any console to compete with that,” he admits. “So you still have PC players, and some players are just console guys, but have players moved over? Absolutely. We love PC gaming, and we continue to support PC gaming – but you can’t ignore the market realities and the size of the console market these days.” And really, who can blame him? After all, behind every great title there’s still a business to be run.