February 20, 2008 8:54 AM PST

PC Gaming Alliance debuts

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SAN FRANCISCO--With consoles increasingly intruding on such hallowed ground as the real-time strategy genre, many PC gamers have adopted something of a siege mentality.

This defensive attitude is also apparently afflicting hardware manufacturers and software publishers, a number of which on Monday announced the formation of the PC Gaming Alliance.

The first body ever formed solely to promote the PC gaming industry, the PCGA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to "driving coordinated marketing and promotion of PC gaming...and creating forums for member companies to cooperate on solutions to challenges facing the PC gaming industry, such as hardware requirements and antipiracy."

Said member companies include PC hardware manufacturers Acer-Gateway, Dell-Alienware, Intel, and Advanced Micro Devices. AMD also owns ATI, a leading manufacturer of PC graphics cards, whose chief rival, Nvidia, is also on the PCGA board along with PC game peripheral company Razer USA. Rounding out the list are game developer Epic Games and the biggest third-party publisher on the planet, Activision.

Ironically, the maker of one of the consoles being blamed for cutting into the PC's market share is also on the PCGA's board. After spending billions on launching and promoting the Xbox 360, Microsoft has joined the board as part of its reinvigorated PC gaming initiative, Games for Windows.

The formation of the PCGA is drawing praise from some analysts covering the PC gaming market, which took in $911 million at U.S. retailers last year--a decline of 6 percent. "This collaboration will provide developers and publishers with a champion for consistent demographics, hardware adoption, and revenue measurement and reporting," DFC Intelligence David Cole said in a statement. "An authoritative source of information on the PC as a gaming platform will serve as an invaluable catalyst for growing the market and improving the consumers' PC gaming experience."

The announcement of the PCGA's formation was timed to coincide with this week's Game Developers Conference, where many of its member companies are touting their wares.

Tor Thorsen of GameSpot reported from San Francisco.

See more CNET content tagged:
formation, hardware manufacturer, Activision Inc., games, San Francisco


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does this mean that M$ is now in competition with itself.
Promoting Windows boxes at the same time it is selling its own
gaming machine. Ludicrous and laughable and self-defeating.
Posted by Ian Kirkland (48 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Yeah Right!
They get cash from both sides. Hardly self-defeating... More like pure genius!

If I choose XBOX360 -> Microsoft Wins.
If I choose PC -> Microsoft Wins.

I also win no matter what because I got what I wanted!

BTW, I have a PC and a WII. I want a 360 but I'm not paying the $$$.
Posted by BobbyCannon (44 comments )
Link Flag
Shot Themselves again and again....
Well, in the first place why demand PC gamers the need to upgrade that darn graphics card just to play the new games? Crysis is one fine example.

I just could not see the reason to upgrade the graphics card just to play a game. Much less a game out of numerous others that needed a less power graphics card.

It is so much more economical to get a console and play without worrying about the graphic cards for at least 4-5 years instead of the PC's 1.5 years
Posted by wilswong (22 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Consoles the new PC's...
That is so true, I for one have recently moved from the PC gaming world over to the console world because it's cheaper for me to go out and purchase a PS3 "sorry 360 fans it's still a MS box and I'm not a MS fan at all" then to keep upgrading my PC just to play a new game. Also the PS3 has the ability to use a Keyboard and Mouse "not with all games but ones like Unreal Tournament" that has always kept us PC gamers from moving to the console world. Now I have a system that will last many years rather then months. It's not rocket science, stop making games that require you to buy the latest $500 to $1000 video cards just so you can run them.
Posted by StrongJedi (7 comments )
Link Flag
it's the hardware requirements, stupid
and it seems like it's gotten worse the last several years. Developers seem to make very little effort to optimize game performance on PCs anymore...
Posted by Jeema (23 comments )
Link Flag
The PC gaming situation
The PC as a gaming machine has it's place, but the console will
continue to advance and for the most part overtake the PC
gaming community.

The problem is that it is simply not economical to be a PC
gamer. The games are just as expensive as the console versions,
and the hardware to run the games on is much more expensive
than a comparable console. The PC gamer market can be divided
into two groups. Casual gamers that will play games that happen
to run on their systems, but don't upgrade hardware to play
them, and the hardcore gamers that will buy the latest
technology to run the latest games.

The PC gamer market is made up of more casual gamers than
hardcore ones, which is a serious problem for PC game
developers that feel they need to constantly be on the bleeding
edge of graphics technology. PC games are not going to regain
any of their former glory or popularity unless developers start
making them playable on older systems that aren't running
$300 graphics cards.
Posted by jelloburn (252 comments )
Reply Link Flag
PC vs. Console
I have to agree with your last statement, that until they make them more compatible with older machines and less expensive hardware upgrades they're going to see a drop in sales. People just don't want to spend a couple of hundred bucks on a game and all of it's expansion, or add-on, packs, and then have to put hundreds into upgrading their hardware to be able to play them. I've been fairly lucky and am able to run The Sims 2 and Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 on my five-year old Celeron, with upgrades of course, but that's only because I study tech sites and have been able to tweak this system into submission. Most gamers don't know how to do this, or just aren't willling to learn all that tech stuff to tweak their machines. And I don't blame them.
But, as for consoles outselling PCs? I don't think so. One of the biggest attractions to my games is the ability to go online and download the custom content that other gamers create for the games. You can't do that with console games.

Posted by Kat4547 (1 comment )
Link Flag
I disagree
The console market has it share of a large influx of casual gamers.

All of the popular games do not require $300 graphics cards to run at an appropriate level of performance. In fact this is one of the reasons why they sell.

World of Warcraft
Team Fortress 2
Call of Duty 4
Maple Story
Eve Online

I have a strong feeling developers already understand this limitation.
Posted by Sakamura (5 comments )
Link Flag
Console -vs- PC
I find it interesting, as well as very telling, that everyone posting so far has decried COST of PC hardware as their biggest complaint. Specifically the video card. I , of course, play both PC and console games. I prefer PC, as I do keep up to date on my hardware. This results in MUCH better graphics, and game play in my opinion. Very simple statement that several people will argue about I am sure. Simple answer to those comment: Your consoles ( that you say you play for 4-5 years ) has the very SAME hardware. Considering this is the case, your "graphics" for games will not advance in that time. The PC however, WILL have new hardware (video/sound/memory/CPU) at any time during those five years that I may, at my discretion, purchase and ADVANCE my game experience at any time. THAT is the advantage above any other that I see. If you/I are willing to pay for the hardware, We/I will benefit with better experiences. It is really that simple. Forget advantages such as INPUT devices (PC is better! LOL) it really comes down to pure "horsepower". I will pit my son's lowly 3 year old PC against your console computing power any day. As for my PC? No question at all...not even worth a race. Bragging? Nope, just stating a fact. I enjoy both, and they have their places. For those willing to spend the money, PC will kick console tail any day of the week. As for sales? Well, console will almost always win this arena. Not everyone is willing to pony up the money...but enough do to keep PC game markets open...unless you consider over 800 million in sales childsplay?!
Posted by mikalg (195 comments )
Reply Link Flag
And yet Activision...
... is partnering with Blizzard in a rumored move to port World of Warcraft to mobile devices!
Posted by Jim Harmon (329 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Crysis is not worth it
Seriously CRYSIS is not worth it.

I have a feeling that everyone is spouting their complaints about 1 particular game (that requires vista) that wants you to update to highest system possible which someone told you it would cost $500.
Posted by Sakamura (5 comments )
Reply Link Flag

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