Bookmark and Share


Game consoles, smartphones and media tablets get more powerful and capture their chunks of the video games market. Nonetheless, personal computers remain popular among gamers and will continue to be, according to a high-ranking executive from Epic Games, a leading software developer. In the foreseeable future PC gaming will get reinforcement in the form of Valve’s Steam Machines as well as virtual-reality headsets.

Steam Machines

“Valve’s Steam Machines reinforce the importance of PC as a platform. […] You have only got to look at the console business over the last 15 years. […] [The console’s] hardware is locked and at the end of the cycle the delta between PC and console is massive. That is always going to be the case because PC is always going to be an upgradeable piece of kit. That will not change. PC gamers will always be smug because they can upgrade,” said Mike Gamble, EU manager at Epic Games, in an interview with the Edge Magazine.

Steambox from IBuyPower. Image by The Verge web-site.

Valve’s Steam Machines with Steam OS are expected to wed simplicity of game consoles, the speed of Steam video game delivery system and upgradeability of personal computers. Steam Machines are specifically designed for the living rooms, where, over time, they will compete against game consoles like Sony PlayStation 4 or Microsoft Xbox One.

Since Steam machines are supposed to feature no-tolerance for piracy, so from game developers perspective the new platform looks very promising. One thing it has to do is to get popular.

Virtual Reality

There is another thing incoming that may further strengthen the PC as a unique platform: virtual reality helmet developed by Oculus VR company. Epic has worked closely with the latter to ensure that its latest Unreal Engine 4 (and eventually video games based on this engine) support the Oculus Rift headset as well as possible other products of this kind.

The problem with popularization of virtual reality gear is a classic chicken and egg question: what comes first, the VR helmet or games that support it. For consumers, it makes no sense to get the Oculus Rift without support by major video games. For developers, it makes no sense to invest into support of hardware that does not have an installed base.

“There are games in development that are going to rely on [Oculus Rift] [and set to be on] the market this year, so if [Oculus Rift] is not, they will be in trouble. […] [Designing a game for Oculus Rift] is a hard decision to make because you never know what the market is going to be like,” said Mr. Gamble.

Even when the Oculus Rift launches, its price of around $300 will be an obstacle since not a lot of gamers can afford it. In fact, high-end class graphics cards (a must-have hardware for a gamer) sell in a low single-digit number in millions every year, sales of VR headsets are going to be lower than that, at least initially. So, betting on VR helmets is risky. Perhaps, a breakthrough game with VR support could make a revolution?

“Someone is going to come out with that killer app – a Halo, or whatever it is going to be – that is just so good that the extra $300 […] becomes a case of ‘I really need that’. At that point it becomes mainstream,” stressed the executive.

Tags: Epic, Unreal Engine, Valve, Steam Machines, Oculus, Oculus VR, Oculus Rift


Comments currently: 1
Discussion started: 02/07/14 09:50:00 PM
Latest comment: 02/07/14 09:50:00 PM


“Someone is going to come out with that killer app – a Halo, or whatever it is going to be – that is just so good that the extra $300 […] becomes a case of ‘I really need that’. At that point it becomes mainstream,” stressed the executive.

For once I finally agree with an exec!

It was like this in the beginning, I remember the game Wing Commander it was just so way ahead of it's time compared to other games, People would buy a pc just to play it!
I would love to see a return to this, Oculus may well be just the ticket a lot have been waiting for, Myself included.
0 0 [Posted by: ozegamer  | Date: 02/07/14 09:50:00 PM]


Add your Comment

Related news

Latest News

Monday, April 14, 2014

8:23 am | Microsoft Vows to Release Xbox 360 Emulator for Xbox One. Microsoft Xbox One May Gain Compatibility with Xbox 360 Games

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

10:39 am | Microsoft Reveals Kinect for Windows v2 Hardware. Launch of New Kinect for Windows Approaches

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

1:57 pm | Facebook to Acquire Virtual Reality Pioneer, Oculus VR. Facebook Considers Virtual Reality as Next-Gen Social Platform

1:35 pm | Intel Acquires Maker of Wearable Computing Devices. Basis Science Becomes Fully-Owned Subsidiary of Intel

Monday, March 24, 2014

10:53 pm | Global UHD TV Shipments Total 1.6 Million Units in 2013 – Analysts. China Ahead of the Whole World with 4K TV Adoption

10:40 pm | Crytek to Adopt AMD Mantle Mantle API for CryEngine. Leading Game Developer Adopts AMD Mantle

9:08 pm | Microsoft Unleashes DirectX 12: One API for PCs, Mobile Gadgets and Xbox One. Microsoft Promises Increased Performance, New Features with DirectX 12

3:33 pm | PowerVR Wizard: Imagination Reveals World’s First Ray-Tracing GPU IP for Mobile Devices. Imagination Technologies Brings Ray-Tracing, Hybrid Rendering Modes to Smartphones and Tablets

2:00 pm | Nokia Now Expects to Close Deal with Microsoft in Q2. Sale of Nokia’s Division to Close Next Month