Ever since SEGA went 3rd party, fans have been looking for a new console to call home. The issue? SEGA, like all big 3rd party publishers, likes to keep their games in a multitude of devices and consoles. Now that the Playstation 4 and the Xbox One are already out, which one should a SEGA fan buy? Well, if you will take a few minutes to hear me out, I’ll tell you why I personally prefer the PC for gaming over the new consoles.
[You can have a super crazy set-up like Mr. Irontiger here from the futuremark forum]
One of the big things about these console wars is always what is under the hood. You have CEOs of companies going on stage at E3, bragging about the hardware, and then you have sites like Digital Foundry comparing the versions of games, making gamers more wary about which platform they buy a game on. In the end, 90% of the time, the PC version always wins these fights. Why? Because a PC game runs as good as your hardware, and gives you control; not someone like Microsoft, Nintendo, or Sony.
It’s liberating knowing that most games you already own on PC look great now, but will look even more amazing in years to come with newer graphics cards and displays that support higher resolutions. While on console, you can’t play those old games in higher resolution in the future. Right now, consoles are having issues with the way games are running, most games don’t display at 1080p. While on PC most gamers are already running games at 4k Super HD resolution with silky smooth 120fps. I sit and watch these Sony and Microsoft presentations and I really don’t see what is so ‘futuristic’ about these consoles, most of that stuff has been done on PC already.
The thing about SEGA consoles was always that they brought the arcade experince home, but other companies (especially after Microsoft joined the console race) are trying to bring a ‘PC to the living room’ in the form of a console. Look at the specs on the Playstation 4 and Xbox One, running AMD X86-64 processors. This will mean that porting over games will be very easy. Expect a ton more PC ports in the near future from all companies.
[With a few tweaks, you can still play this version of Bug! released in 1995.]
One of the biggest complaints about this generation of consoles is the lack of backwards compatibility. The Playstation 4 and Xbox One both won’t play last generation games, that even includes PSN/Xbox Live Arcade games. Even though I kind of understand why you can’t play Playstation 3/Xbox 360 disc games, the fact that you can’t play your digital games on the Playstation 4/Xbox One seems to be poorly planned. Especially since companies like Microsoft tried to promote the advantages of the cloud and digital gaming, while telling Xbox 360 gamers that they won’t be able to play their XBLA titles on their new console. What’s the point of investing in a digital store for games that don’t transfer over? Do I need to keep my old consoles around just to play a game of Guardian Heroes?
I think some people don’t know that SEGA has been releasing PC games since the 90’s and have a huge catalog of games including Bug!, Panzer Dragoon, The House of the Dead 2, and way too many to list. Sure, you have to mess around with the game files to get them to work correctly in new operating systems like Windows 8, but it isn’t impossible and at least you have the option to get them working on PC. If that wasn’t enough, the PC has quite the emulator scene. You can turn the PC into your own personal Wii with the help of Dolphin (Sonic Colors at 1080p looks beautiful), play Dreamcast games with Chankast and play tons of other great Retro games thanks to emulators.
Saving on software
One of the big strategies for console manufacturers is to underprice a system and then make their money with overpriced software. First thing that I noticed while switching to PC is all the sales they have and that is because you have plenty of competitors trying to price match each other. You have Steam leading the pack but others like Amazon, Gamefly, Green Man Gaming, and many more are very hungry to take your money. This means that you, as a consumer, save a ton of cash on games. I can’t remember the last time I paid full price for a PC game and I can’t remember the last time I had close to 200 games on one platform. Yes, I have 193 games (and counting) on Steam, and this doesn’t include games I have purchased on other online stores. The best part? All the cash actually goes to publishers and developers instead of Gamestop (when you buy it used).
While on Xbox One, Wii U and Playstation 4, you don’t have a choice. Don’t like the price that Microsoft has set for its digital game? Too bad. Not only that, the market for free to play games is huge right now on PC. I have probably put in over 200 hours into League of Legends and haven’t spent a penny. Why? The only thing they charge for is skins. Same thing with Vavle’s new approach with Team Fortress 2 and DOTA 2, which are also very popular and free-to-play games. I actually have many friends that bought PCs just to play these free-to-play titles, when was the last time you felt that one game was enough? Much less a free-to-play game? Considering that SEGA also has entered the free-to-play market with titles like Spiral Knights, Phantasy Star Online 2 and the upcoming Total War: Arena it’s something to be excited about. Especially if it’s done right.
PC gaming is big for SEGA
SEGA has been dabbling in PC gaming since the 90’s, when they still created hardware, and now they seem to be heavily focused on the platform. Just last year they purchased Relic, the creators of the biggest RTS franchises Company of Heroes and Dawn of War; before that they scooped up Creative Assembly (Total War) and Sports Interactive (Football Manager). Not only that, SEGA’s PC support has increased over the years, giving PC gamers the best version of Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing Transformed.
Beyond that SEGA has decided to make Phantasy Star Online 2 for only PC and Vita and so far it doesn’t seem that there are plans on bringing this title to any console. One of the issues is that the game has not been officially released in the West, which is true but it’s easy enough to play the game if you wanted. There is no region locks stopping you and the patching process is very easy.
The only bad part, as of right now, is that it seems there is still a disconnect at SEGA. While it’s Western studios are ready to bring their titles to PC, SEGA Japan on the other hand has decided to mostly ignore the platform. Sadly, if a game is created in Japan, don’t expect a PC release. I think a lot of the issue, especially this last generation, is a lack of PC outcry in Japan and developing for the Playstation 3. I can just imagine how hard it used to be to bring a game like Yakuza over to PC, but now that Sony has disbanded the cell, this shouldn’t be an issue for future titles.
I have a feeling that SEGA will be bringing its Japanese games to PC more in the near future. Not just them, but also other Japanese publishers. Namco-Bandai has recently made a big move by announcing a PC free-to-play fighter and I think more Japanese developers are going to be trying to capture the free-to-play market just like Valve and Riot have.
Wrapping it all up
PC gaming can be great, especially if you have great hardware. You can get a huge library of games for almost nothing, enjoy a great category of SEGA games, and have the freedom to choose where you shop for your digital titles. Like consoles, you have your dodgy ports here and there, but overall I’m satisfied with the ports.
One of the biggest things missing from PC gaming library is SEGA Japan’s support, which I hope gets rectified in the near future. There are plenty of people who want more Japanese SEGA games on PC, the only one stopping them from giving their money up is SEGA. The other complaint from console gamers is that they can’t just sit back and enjoy the PC games on a TV with a controller; which Steam wants to change with their Big Picture and Steam machines.
But if you do buy a Personal Computer for gaming, make sure to join us on our Steam group.Ad: