Videogame sales in the UK will eclipse the combined value of music and video purchases in the UK this year for the first time ever, despite plummeting demand for PC titles. Verdict Research said that, by the end of 2008, UK gamers will have splashed out a credit crunch-defying £4.6bn ($7.2bn/€5.7bn) on gaming kit, including …
The Crysis Fiasco, and the recent news that my much anticipated Starcraft 2 is to be broken up into 3 games drip-fed to us over the next few years, have turned me completely off PC gaming now.
No more costly graphic card upgrades, no more driver updates, no more control issues, no more hoping that the thing is playable on my rig (recommended specs on the box being no use at all), fuck it all.
I'm done with it.
Much easier to just pick up a joypad and stick a disc in, especially with some of the amazing things in console world at the moment. LittleBigPlanet shits all over Spore from a very very great height.
Probably due to a lack of noteworthy exclusives, and the fact that you really only need one copy of WoW.
Not, as about a million retards are about to suggest, Piracy, or DRM.
So game manufacturers deliberately stop selling them for PC or topload them with crappy DRM that they know nobody wants and then we're supposed to be shocked when sales fall?
Games manufacturers are trying to kill off the PC games market. It's that simple. The question is why?
PC Gamers choose WoW
I reckon that WoW has pushed aside a lot of other PC games. People who might otherwise have bought a new title don't have the time to play anything other than WoW in my limited gaming time. I know I've looked at trying a new game or two, but desisted when I realised that I had goals to reach in WoW that would have precluded much time on other games. While I've now reached those goals, the expansion is only a week away, so I'll probably not be "done" with WoW now for another year, so no other new games.
The only reason PC Game sales are falling is because for some reason, big software houses <cough>EA<cough> think that when you purchase one of their PC games you should then be subject to the most restrictive DRM on the planet that almost makes their product worthless.
Meanwhile console gamers can simply insert a disk and be playing in a few minutes (what a bizzare notion!). They can even play the game on another console and lend it to their friends! OMG how does the industry cope!
They will say that piracy killed the PC gaming industry, when in fact, pirated console games have been just as availiable since the Playstation. The thing that is killing PC gaming is filthy stinking DRM.
I've been buying my pc games recently from Steam, based in the US, and paying in USD. I'm not sure if these sales on steam get included in UK figures, but its far more convienient to download a game rather than going to a high street store. AND games coming from steam dont need to have a pesky DVD inserted before you can play.
Doesn't surprise me PC game sales down.
Consoles offer the most stable target platform for developers who don't have to deal with a multitude of possible machine configurations.
I haven't let the kids put games on the PC for the last 3 or 4 years. PS2, GBA and Wii FTW !
Sales down now theres a shock.......
Might have something to do with there being sweet fa worth buying . Games devs now are building purely for console . The ports the pc gets are usually awful as the pc just isnt good at control systems designed for joypads .
Still wont make me buy a console though .
Maybe in the UK, but not over here in the USA
Perhaps you Brits aren't buying PC games, but since Crysis, Halflife 2, F.E.A.R, and RACE07/GTR EVO don't come on consoles, I won't be seeing any of you console gamers in my cross hairs online. CHEERS!!
Anybody else think this is somewhat due to music and video being easier to pirate than computer/video games
Could it be that....
Buying a new console every 3 years or so is vastly cheaper and less time consuming than continually upgrading and maintaining PCs? I gave up on pc games years ago because of this and because of the badly written games that demand admin access to run.
This is BS though
When they add up music and video sales, they don't include sales of CD players, iPods, DVD players and so on. When they add up video game sales, they do include sales of consoles. So it's a case of comparing apples and oranges.
FPS and RTS games with a joypad?
Waste. Of. Fucking. Time.
And so, the dumbing down of society continues....
were can I buy the add-on skyrockets for my console of which you speak.
@Surprise, Surprise AC
Assuming your conspiracy theory is correct, I would say the answer is most likely the obvious. CASH.
Developing for one system (possibly two) is going to be cheaper than developing for 3. Also, look at game prices. Take Far Cry 2 for example. On PS3/360 this will set you back about £40, but on PC it can be had for just £25. I would suggest that the inflated console prices are not just covering the cost of licensing the game to a given console, and that there is increased profit to be had from these sales. (I have no hard facts to back this up mind you - it is speculation).
I wonder how many cross platform titles make a significant profit from the PC release once you take into account the extra development time and publishing costs? Not to mention ongoing support - which is expected from the PC gaming community far more so than it is from the console community (due to devs having to craft a game that can run on so many varient configurations).
So...Cash I reckon.
A common complaint about these statistics is that they don't include online sales of downloadable games. I know I've spent more on games from Steam and its ilk than I have in stores this year. I don't think the PC market is disappearing, it's just evolving beyond traditional retail channels.
PC games manufactures act like f***ing a***holes, games sales drop. No doubt the manufactures will live in denial and blame it on something/anything else.
They make us wait for horrid console "port"s (a real port would require effort, unlike for instance, Star Trek Legacy which had some things you couldn't do becuase my keyboard doesn't have a shoulder button, fucking imbeciles)
Or things like Live which still have XBox button icons.
Or maybe that developers keep churning out shite?
Far Cry 2, Fallout 3, Spore, Dead Space, all great games, some I bought 2 of. For a friend.
They should make online sales cheaper, EA don't seem to understand this and think charging me the same for less (I don't get a box and manual to thumb through whilst sat atop the throne) will work.
Stardock have recieved a lot of my money for their excellent games and delivery system also.
Maybe it's just cannablism though, PC gamers moving to consoles rather than just "growing out" of it (see the Times' coverage of this story and my probably-excepted comments revoking games being for "spotty teenagers" until late)
There are some things that will just be annoying to do on consoles, like shoot accurately without auto-aim (which, when they don't take it out of the PC version, amkes for a ridiculously annoying 'feature').
Consoles will just be PCs with super-DRM and fiddly controls soon anyway.
Re: Surprise, Surprise
"Games manufacturers are trying to kill off the PC games market. It's that simple. The question is why?"
Quite simple really, it all boils down to one thing. Greed pure and simple greed. why develop a game for 3 platforms and sell one cheaper than the other two, when you can have it on two platforms and command a higher price.
typical example taken from play.com website
brothers in arms 3 "Hells Highway"
Xbox 360 £39.99
£15 quid difference developers know that thier are far more consoles out thier than pc's so they target the larger market share to increase returns. eventually they will kill off the PC gaming market so that they can increase thier returns whilst dropping thier development costs for PC based games.
Joe K hit the nail on the head
"No more costly graphic card upgrades, no more driver updates, no more control issues, no more hoping that the thing is playable on my rig (recommended specs on the box being no use at all)"
£200 - £400 for a new graphics card every few months when the graphic card companies release one.
can think of much better things to spend that sort of cash on.
plummeting demand for PC titles?
The only people who don't want pc games, are the games companies. the majority of big name games are released for pc months later, and are generally botched and buggy console ports.
I'm quite happily playing fallout 3 on pc (it was £15 cheaper than the console versions after all), however like oblivion before it, it has the unmistakeable stamp of a console game on it. Taking little to no advantage of the pc platform. (pc gamers are sat a foot away from a high res screen, not 10 foot away from a tv)
"So game manufacturers deliberately stop selling them for PC or topload them with crappy DRM that they know nobody wants and then we're supposed to be shocked when sales fall?
Games manufacturers are trying to kill off the PC games market. It's that simple. The question is why?"
Ome word. Support. With consoles game makers don't tneed to give much support as the games will pretty much play out of the box. On PC's you have a multitude of issues to deal with like Windows and DirectX etc. Paris because she prefers easy.
I think it's a combination of a couple of things.
-PC games don't seem to be marketed as aggressively as consoles/console games.
-I'm a PC gamer, and I have a fairly good machine, but even I get sick of the ridiculously high system requirements that increase with every new game release.
-I like to tinker with machines, but how many gamers do? When you put in a console game, it just works--no software to install, no trying to get the PC to work on your TV screen, make sure controllers are recognized, etc. Sometimes you just want to relax and play a game, not spend an hour or more trying to get it to work.
-Consoles like the Wii are so much more friendly to people intimidated by technology than the PC platform.
-The Wii controllers, Rock Band, etc. 'nuff said.
Console multiplayer gaming
I think a lot of it has to do with the advent of decent console multiplayer capability. Coupled with the fact that a high end graphics card alone costs the same as an entire PS3 (and you'll probably spend the same again in 2-3 years when it can suddenly only run Sim Tower), people are taking the logical choice and going console. Especially as most of the big new games are multi platform (COD4).
I for one welcome the change. No more pissing around with graphics/sound/chipset drivers, installing, patches, x-fire, teamspeak, punkbuster, multiple accounts, buying new hardware, patching XP/Vista... then start again when the whole lot needs reinstalling when you get a new board, OS upgrade or a fucking virus.
Fairly obvious really isn't it?
Look at the cost of keeping a gaming PC set up going. New components out every 3-4 months, latest tech stuff is always the same price as last version, ie very high!
Buy Console game. You buy, you play. 18-24 months, you sell on ebay, you buy the next one, the cycle continues. You buy game X for console Y, you know it's going work, no question.
Buy PC game
a) spent 25 mins checking the specs and your kit,
b) downloading 1GB of patches for new PC game after it crashes on certain hardware combos
c) wait 30 mins to install after i)DRM checks ii) it copies 8GB of code to PC disk.
d) Realise it doesn't really work that well as the specs on the box were a little off what was really required.
@AC PC decline
Noteworthy exclusive PC games...of recent times.
Sons of a Solar Empire
CSS:S (I know it's out on console but just try playing it on one)
I can't be arsed thinking of more. Maybe, I should include games that were developed for PC then ported to console later on..
Half Life 2
Team Fortress 2
Left 4 Dead - Soooooon
Bioshock - good game sadly ruined by DRM
I could go on. I'll just mention as well the massive community of indie developers that constantly churn out original, innovative games that consoles don't get a sniff at.
The fact is, innovation in PC game development drives the console market. But obviously some tards don't know it.
BTW - fuck WoW
'Exclusive' PC titles
Supreme Commander, TF2, Portal, Left 4 Dead and Bioshock aren't PC exclusive. I'm not sure if you get the original FEAR in FEAR files, so that might be.
Anyway, I have been a die-hard PC gamer for most of my life, until the past year or so when I bought an 8800GT when it was released and Crysis still struggled. I just thought, to hell with it. I'm not paying the price of a console every few months for new kit to find stuff still doesn't work as it's supposed to. I just want to pop a game in and kick back without fannying around. Console games in recent years have gone from strength to strength and I don't see myself going back to gaming on a PC until they sort out compatibility, ridiculous software requirements and the godawful DRM that seems to infect every title these days.
11m WoW subscribers worldwide, you'd figure there's a fair few in the UK. At £10/month, if there's anywhere near a million subscribers, then that one game alone would be netting UK revenues comparable to PC game sales in UK stores. Then consider EVE and other MMORPGs, Steam and so on, and you have to conclude that the PC game figure is highly skewed.
Yes, PC game sales in stores may be dying out - because of late arrivals, variable playability and useless recommended specs, lack of ability to sell a game you've bought because of DRM, activation issues, etc. But that doesn't mean PC games are dying out - it just means they're being sold in different ways, whether it's to companies like PopCap with casual games, Steam for all kinds of games, or MMORPG subscriptions.
Former PC Gamer
I used to be a PC gamer. An avid one at that. Thing is, I just can't be arsed with it anymore.
I now have a 360.
No longer do I have to install games, check specifications, update drivers, update the game, reconfigure the controls, buy new hardware, find help in a forum, crack the exe for NOCD...
I just put my game in, and play. If there's an update, I press (A). That is all.
Also, FPSs are finally becoming good on consoles! :)
@ AC 13:52
OMG, a fellow EVE Player! I think part of the decline is the fact a lot of people are subscribing to MMOs like EVE instead on PC. Plus, with some of them you get the upgrades free and major community support :)
Re: AC 13:52 and 13:39
>> The fact is, innovation in PC game development drives the console market. But
>> obviously some tards don't know it.
The above statement is very true. Anyone who has the time, skill and capital to develop a game can do so for the PC - the console manufacturer's controlling influence is bound to stifle game development.
Also @AC 13:39
>> Quite simple really, it all boils down to one thing. Greed ...
>> £15 quid difference ...
You do realise the reason console games are £15 more than PC games? This extra £15 (less VAT) goes directly into Microsoft/Sony's bank account, how else do you think they are able to sell an XBox 360 incl. Fallout 3 for £130?
I personally won't be buying PC games again, purely because I don't have enough time to play games to justify the costs. IMHO, historically, the biggest detriment to playing games on a console has been the TV screen - this is much less of an issue now we have HD tellies. Admittedly a good graphics card and monitor combination might go upto say 2560x1600 (you might even get dual head if the games supports), but the benefit of this resolution over say 1920x1080 or even 1360x720 is is very little compared to the benefit of 1360x720 over 720x576.
Sure for some games, a controller isn't necessarily the best interface, however for many games it is, plus all of the current gen consoles support keyboard/mouse (even if the games might not).
I quit with the PC years ago!
I stopped using the PC as my primary games machine years ago. It's seriously expensive to keep up a rig that will run the latest games to a good standard - coughing up £1.5k to £2k every couple of years is hard work unless you've got far too much money - particularly when for everything else you use the machine for it's perfectly fine.
Add to that playing around with drivers, installing patches, dealing with the DRM and so forth it just isn't as easy as it should be. Granted, it's easier than it was but the underlying problem now is the inherent advantage of a PC - the enormous variations and flexibility and the fact that no game will actually tell you WHY it's going slow - is it because my ram is a bit naff? Is it the bus speed on the motherboard? Are my drives running slow? Is it the graphics card memory is not enough or too slow? Is the processor not good enough? Do I need one with more L2 Cache? It would be a slightly different kettle of fish if the games actually gave you a good clue as to WHY they were running slowly - without which you're left stabbing in the dark "oh well, time for another graphics card, there goes another £250".
The last straw for me was a couple of games which actually could not run out of the box, once installed a patch was mandatory to make them work AT ALL.
Then there was a bazillion patches for Half Life and other FPS games of the time, I got completely lost - I managed to get upgraded and then the next time I got to multi-play I found we were all using different versions so we had to spend the next hour downloading patches to get us all up to the same level again.
I'm a converted Xbox gamer now, started with the original doorstep sized Xbox and i've now had the 360 since it was launched. I've had Xbox Live membership since the day it first started beta testing.
I bought a VGA adaptor so that the console plus in to my PC monitor and then when my PC is churning over some normal activity (download etc) I fire up the console and have a play.
The 360 has never crashed on me, i've never had to install drivers, online gaming just works 100% every time (at least once your firewall and router is set up anyway :) ) and if there are any patches it just goes ahead and gets on with it; though any patches i've had for games so far have only taken a few seconds to download and install, hardly a passion-killer.
Are Console games everything that PC games can be? Sometimes yes, sometimes no - strategy games are still king on the PC, but even then Command and Conquer 3 on the 360 was actually extremely enjoyable, much to my surprise... but I still would much prefer strategy on the main PC - that said, I shall not be buying Red Alert 3 on the PC purely because of the DRM, so that's another sale to the console market. FPS games I now really enjoy on the console - even after a decade of FPS madness on the PC I'll take slightly more awkward controls over overall ease, simplicity and put simply - fun.
I'm a techie, I used to build PC's, I develop all sorts of software at all kinds of levels from assembly up to C#, Java and even write my own programming languages from time to time where it helps a problem. What i'm saying here is that i'm no newbie, and i'm not afraid of technology. What I *am* is someone who does computers for a living and when I get home and want to have fun I need equipment which just works, 100% of the time every time.
The biggest problem my 360 gives me is when the battery pack dies, but it only takes a few seconds to switch it for the other one sitting on the charger and off we go again with no real interruption to the game in progress.
PC gaming will never die but consoles now generally exceed the power of the PC that the *average* person has and it does so at far lower cost, meaning better gaming is more accessible on the console than on the PC. Indies are well supported on consoles because you can use tools like XNA Game Studio (for example) on the 360 to make your own games. I foresee the console market set only to grow next year and the PC market to continue shrinking.
The PC is, imho, unmatched for Strategy and Simulation - but most other genres work very well on the console.
Ahem, verbal diahorrea now finished :)
The article says that sales of videogames will exceed those of music and video. However, sales of console hardware are included in the figures for videogame sales.... Are sales of TVs, DVD players and hi-fis included in the music and video sales? I doubt it! Seems like an unfair comparison to me.
for me, it was the cost
The last game I bought on the PC was STALKER, and it was great, but then my motherboard packed up and due to my system being a bit old I thought I'd build a new one.
The graphics card alone would've about 300 quid so I bought a PS3 instead (please don't attack me xbox fanboys).
With regards to someone's comments regarding FPS's with a joypad being a bit crap, I'll admit that the first month was a nightmare, but after a while I got used to it.
Control Methods still a big block.
The three areas where the pc really excels over consoles (for the most part) are:- FPS, RTS, and MMO's.
Back in the bad 'ol days the sheer power of a PC was the only machine on the block powerful enough to do more than sprite shunting, plus it had lots of "added features" (internet access, network gaming etc). High resolution and powerful 3d gaming etc were solely the remit of the biege box. Nowadays, consoles have caught up with the power of the PC (Full HD graphics, network gaming, internet access) in these fields.
However, there are two areas that the PC still beats them in easily:-
1) Customisability - most competitively played PC games all run custom rulesets, and are easily and widely modded by players (COD4, CSS etc) - given the closed loop nature of console development, this is difficult if not impossible to implement at present on console versions (With an honourable mention to Bungie for the massive number of Halo gametype options).
2) Control method - why is there no WoW client for Xbox or PS3? Why are FPS games such a pain in the ass to play? Why are RTS games on consoles universally pie? Mouse and Keyboard. There is simply no comparison between the most advanced joypad and the cheapest 5 quid Tesco Value keyboard/mouse combo when it comes to FPS, MMO, or RTS games.
Really, as soon as Microsoft and Sony do the decent thing and enforce standardised keyboard/mouse support in all relevent titles, I'll be buying all my software in a console format - thus getting the best of both worlds. For the time being the way I choose to play complex modern titles is still too heavily restricted on console platforms.
PC gaming really isn't that hard
I've been a PC gamer and console gamer for years. Right now I've got a Wii, PS3 and a decent gaming PC and there's a place for all of them.
But I don't buy into the idea that the PC is somehow more expensive or difficult to play games with than the others. Yes, the inital hardware outlay is greater, but I just rationalise that with the fact I'm also buying a machine for work, photo sorting, video editing, managing my music collection, web browsing... worth an extra couple of hundred quid on the price of a PS3, no?
And as for graphics cards, there really is no need to upgrade that often. In the last 8-9 years or so I've had a Geforce 3 Ti 200; Geforce 6600GT and now I've got a pair of 8800GT cards that are more than enough to run any game I want to play on my PC. I might buy something better if I was buying now, but there's no real benefit to be had from constantly upgrading. And whilst I maybe can't run Crysis with all the settings totally maxed out, it still looks better than anything on a console.
The real benefit comes from the price of the games - buying say 7 games a year on the PC instead of a console could save you over £100. £100 a year over the expected 6 year term of a console generation = £600 saved.
Which is plenty to put towards a new gaming PC when yours is truly obsolete.
Its all gone down hill
I own a imac and a normal pc with xp and laptop with vista on it. and my oqo is to slow to play much and my Ipod touch 2nd gen is not going to win any speed racers too..
I used to build my own PC's but as I could never afford top of the line video cards etc. I was always stuck playing games that look crap or about 3-4 years old.
With a console I know that I can play the lastest games @ hd res and I my system is no better than the people that have shed loads of cash to play with. the type that could have the top of the range pc etc. but stick with consoles.
I only have a core duo imac @ 1.83ghz with its radeon x1600 video system so its hopeless for playing games. And my pc is worse but thats cause it has only low profile slots
I do still buy the odd pc game but only the old ones for around £10-£15 as i would rather spend more cash on the xbox 360 so i know my system will be able to play it.
and what consoles do i own. well the last one i got was a 1st gen playstation. I have 1 playstation 2 psone's 3 gamecubes and 1 xbox and 1 xbox 360.
I only play on the 360 as there are some good old games on the others for my two young boys..
its a shame the PC costs so much to be able to play decent games as I do miss taking them apart etc..
Sign of the times
It's a sad conclusion, but not a surprising one. I think most people have added pieces to the puzzle, but in the end, it's all of the above.
Graphics - Used to be a big draw - why watch a PS2 on low res TV, when you could see it beautiful crisp SVGA? Nowadays, it's all plug and play HD TVs - no worrying about tweaking drivers and video settings to get the frame rate up.
Reliability - No compatibility issues, just drop it in and away you go. No need to worry too much about whether you've got up to date drivers, Direct X/OpenGl whatever version. Oh, and no need for Vista's bloat under the hood.
Price - £160 for an xbox360 with a hard disk and wireless controller, versus thick end of a grand for a gaming PC which will run any game without having to tweak everything. Yes the games cost more, but when the device costs half dozen times more to get the same convenience, I'll swallow the tenner difference.
Variety - Used to be so much variety in PC games, as opposed to consoles (platform games or racing). Nowadays, the variety has improved on consoles, but declined on PCs. Tends to be poor rehashes of console games, with a small smattering of cheap rubbish. There are odd exceptions, and lets face it, an FPS or a strategy game needs a keyboard and mouse. Put them on an XBOX and I'd be as happy as a pig in sh*t.
Bring back the good old days of loads of different flight sims, space sims, strategy games, FPS games with brains (or not, as in Serious Sam), proper adventure games....
No Support + Multiple Resale = BIG PROFIT!
Of course people don't develop for PCs any more. Since DRM/activation is now tied to a specific user to "prevent" (HAH!) piracy, you can't resell PC games. As has already been said, "recommended specs" are a joke by the advertising department. Don't even get into the next-to-infinite combinations of parts that make up PCs and cause software to fail.
Now take a console. No support costs because the hardware is fixed. Resell the (zero activation) game at £10 a pop as many times as it passes through your shop when punters want £2 off their new £40 title.
These companies are in it for the money. What on Earth makes you think they'll want to employ support staff when they can employ none, and what on Earth makes you think shops will want to sell PC titles when not only is it them that has to deal with the "it doesn't work on my box" arguments, but they can sell the console titles umpteen times at a nice tidy profit for each sale?
You can't play Guitar Hero on a PC. It's just doesn't work. FPS games work pretty well on both, as do platform games, but where are all the buttons to use Microsoft Flight Sim on a console, then? Anyone seen them? Thought not. How many MMOGs are there on the consoles right now? They really don't work well, either, do they?
Both markets can happily co-exist, but one makes vastly more profit than the other. Guess which one corporate entities will develop for. Doesn't take much doing, does it?
Paris, because even she can see which one the developers will put their money into.
pc is getting stiffled by protection
I have myself an xbox 360. I got it for the primary reasont o stream media from my pc to my tv, which i have working pretty well, games were just a benifit.
I have went through a transition of going from being a pc gamer to moving to the xbox to going back to the pc again full circle. The main reason being I just cant stand fps on the controller even after months of pratice just cant beat the old mouse keybaord combo.
This new DRM crap in all the games is a serious headache, a friend of mine bought farcry 2 and it wouldnt run properly or run because or DRM related issues. After posting on game maker forums for help, he got banned for saying he had tried a cracked exe and got it working. Result - he contacted the original games supplier got a full refund and then downloaded the game for free with a crack which worked prefectly. Now hes swearing he will never buy another ubisoft game as long as he lives... What do these companies expect people are going to do when they take aim and crap on your head from a 20 storey building with every new release.
Steam seem to be the only outfit keeping it simple as far as I can see, buying and downloading content from them is pretty easy and hassle free.
As long as
I can plug a keyboard and mouse into the console, I'll have one. Then there would never be any reason to use Windows.
RE: Unfair comparison?
I agree with you, to a point, but do you buy a new hi-fi every time that "must have" album comes out that hasn't been released for your current CD player? Oh ... wait a minute ... it doesn't quite work like that for music. ;)
If its not dead, its certainly looking a funny colour...
I agree with almost all everyone's comments as to why PC game sales are in decline, especially those that highlight the ease with which you can play games on consoles without having to check specifications, bug check, download patches and jump through various DRM hoops. I admit that whilst I still buy PC games, I now tend to buy more games for my XBox 360, which is simply easier to use for a quick gaming fix. I also agree with the points about having to constantly drop hundreds of pounds on new PC kit to even be able to run a title, let alone play it with half decent graphics without the risk of the game turning into an interactive slideshow. I just can't afford to keep buying new processors, graphics cards, PSUs, memory, operating systems and hard drives every few months!
However, I don't think anyone has mentioned the important fact that games shops are perpetually reducing the size of their PC games sections, sometimes to the degree that they are smaller than the 'miscellaneous items of game-related tat' sections, (Mario plush toys, and so on). They're also almost always stuck out of the way in some rarely visited area of the store or conversely, in the most awkward place imaginable.
Gamestation seem to be particularly prone to doing this - my local store appears to be selling off most of their pre-owned PC games for a pittance, and have placed the pre-owned section directly in front of the staff door to the stockroom. Similarly, the brand new PC games are placed on a very small number of shelves directly in the way of where people queue for the till. If you want to browse either section, you're either continually being 'excuse me'd' out of the way by staff carrying armfuls of console goodies to and fro, or bored punters waiting to pay for stuff.
And then theres the criminal lack of variety in stocked titles - I know for a fact that there are more games out there than are displayed in stores. Now that Gamestation is part of the same chain as GAME, their stocked PC titles are pretty lacklustre and usually identical, an example of this being the fact that as my wife has a liking for LEGO games, I was looking to try and find LEGO Batman shortly after its release - this proved more difficult to find than a piece of hay in a large stack of needles. In the end, I ordered it from an online retailer.
Stores like as HMV and Zavvi are even worse than the supposed specialist game stores. Even my local CEX (traded games only) have shifted their PC games from right next to the area where people queue for the tills to a dank area right at the back of the store, (see what I mean about the PC game placement trend?). Even supermarkets have stopped stocking PC games entirely, or if they have some, they tend to be the top 5 or 10 games, which invariably means half of their stock are bloody Sims expansions that no-one actually wants.
So although I've been a staunch supporter of PC gaming in the past, and have often posted rambling diatribes against lazy console ports, I think I'm on the verge of giving up on the PC as major gaming platform.
It just seems to be getting progressively easier and cheaper to get a console and an armful of good games instead, set myself up on my settee and crack on with the serious business of having fun...
Plus, PC Zone magazine seems to be turning into a tri-monthly games leaflet, with people pulled off the street with a shepherd's crook every other month to take a turn as a reviewer/freelance journalist/magazine editor before they leave the sinking ship. But thats another gripe I have...
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