Six reasons the PC is winning E3

PC Gamer at

The Oculus Rift

The Rift has inspired a renaissance in virtual reality and related tech, and it's the single most exciting thing happening in gaming hardware at the moment. It's the perfect combination - new technologies that directly and tangibly give players access to new experiences. Microsoft and Sony are touting camera-based systems with questionable utility and even questionable legality in certain territories. There's none of that uncertainty with the Rift - it's cool, it’s evolving fast, and its purpose is obvious.

It plugs into everything that's already great about the PC: the grassroots enthusiasm of modding teams, the long history of great first person games, and a focus on games as a hobby rather than as a nebulous lifestyle entertainment entity. It might take a while for flailing around with a VR headset on to be socially acceptable, but it's great to have something to be excited about.

The future doesn't look like a bunch of smiling people yelling 'MacDonalds' at their televisions: it looks like someone with a huge pair of goggles on running in a motion-sensitive bowl while pretending to fight a dragon. That's much, much cooler. Obviously.

It's got the best graphics

If you saw the two Battlefield 4 conference demos, you may have noticed the telling little backspace key prompt in the top right corner. They were running on PC. Of course they were.

You don't have to imagine what the next generation will look like. You can see it right now. You can play it right now. Find a gaming PC made in the last couple of years, get Crysis 2, then install the MaLDoHD Texture Pack.

Actually, no. The next-gen consoles almost certainly won't look that good.

For years, the restrictions of the current consoles have become increasingly stifling for developers, and they've been using the PC to stretch their legs. Metro: Last Light, Bioshock Infinite, Tomb Raider, Battlefield 3, Skyrim. All games that, with their graphics settings turned up, outperform anything the consoles can handle. And that's not including the added spit and polish that mods can provide.

The next generation isn't about forging ahead. It's about catching up. At times, literally. PlanetSide 2 is making it's way to the PlayStation 4. For that system, the mix of sci-fi visual flair and epic scale is the next generation. For PC owners, it's just a game that they can play. Right now.

There's a reason the Xbone and PS4 are shifting to a more PC-based architecture. It's because PC-based architecture is really good. A PC doesn't just guarantee you graphics that will match what the next-gen can handle – it's already delivering them. And where those consoles are stuck with the same level of technical performance for the rest of their lifespan, the PC has room to grow.


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