I simply cannot let this slur stand. PC gaming dead ? Ridiculous. Why ? First of all, even if consoles represent a good portion of market interest, there are some things that they will simply not do.
The traditional area of expertise for consoles has been arcade. Driving, racing and flying are pure joys on consoles, and consoles are made for it.
Fight games are another segment that typically shine on consoles. Both categories have one thing in common : they don't need many buttons.
Recently, after a history of dismal failures, consoles have adapted successfully to the FPS genre, albeit with a few caveats. Indeed, Battlefield 2 is playable on console, but it's not the same game as on PC. The console version does, however, have an interesting control functionality included for single-player, one that is lacking in the PC version. But the PC version has solid multiplayer and upgradeability which the console version lacks. And PC players regularly kick the stuffing out of console players in the rare FPS games that let both play together.
And that is, in the end, where the console leaves the scene. PC gaming is the ultimate power ride - for those who have the means to stay current. Also, the more complexe games - mostly strategy titles, are their best on the PC, although the apparition of keyboards on consoles may change that.
It is an undeniable fact that console are approaching PCs in functionality. When the console has the keyboard and mouse, it is justifiably difficult to boast that one has an advantage over the other in terms of gameplay.
But there is one domain where the PC will remain the king : technical innovation. The PC is where it's happening, consoles can only follow the trends. It's on the PC that 3D graphics were explored. It's on the PC that physics processors are being explored. It's on the PC that multi-core processors were first implemented at the consumer level. Soon we will see real-time raytracing - on PCs
As far as hardware is concerned, the PC will always be in the forefront, and consoles will always lag behind. The much-vaunted graphical excellence of any console falls to mainstream levels after the next iteration of PC graphics cards is released.
And finally, consoles do not appeal to everyone. The console environment is in the living room, hitching a ride on the family TV. Some people prefer the privacy of the home office or bedroom, where the PC claims lordship. You can share a console without a second thought. You do not share a PC, you connect it to a LAN or on the Internet.
Consoles and PCs represent different mindsets, and cater to different populations. The console is a great gaming platform and is here to stay, so much the better. But the PC is not gone, and will forever remain the bed of innovation and frantic activity that we have always known.
Until, that is, graphics and performance reach such a state that the least expensive, throw-away configuration can manage Supreme Commander Tournament 3000 in 420,000 by 340,000 at 200fps. With Surround 24.8 EAX 7 effects. And raytraced.
When we get there, I guess there'll be a lot less interest in hardware. Except that Vista 3000 will require 75% of that performance just to launch the logon screen, of course.