I’ve been building my own computers for at least the past twelve years. Every time I do a new build, I add in a discrete graphics card. Way back when I was playing (what at the time were) graphics heavy games, I would splurge a bit and get a really good card so I could keep playing. So now I’m looking into doing another build for myself, and I came to a rather upsetting realization: that I perhaps don’t need a discrete graphics card as I once did.
This realization is easily attributable to the fact that nearly all games I play now are console-based. I played Oblivion on my computer, and also got some Unreal Tournament 4 later on, but that was several years ago. These days I take full advantage of my PS3 and 360 not out of ease of use (though console gaming is a much easier way to play games) but because the major game releases these days are on consoles. With the exceptions of MMOs and RTSes, at least, that statement is true. From a developer’s perspective I can understand how it came to be that way: building games to work on a relatively standardized platform and hardware is way easier than having to deal with the quirks of various graphics cards, drivers, operating systems, and so on. Right now there’s a similar battle going on between developers of mobile apps, and whether they want to build for the iPhone or Android.
I guess I’m saddened by the change of PC gaming to console. Maybe part of it is out of nostalgia from when I was growing up (though I did play a lot of console games then too) but a good part of it could just be a change in my lifestyle. Either way, it’s a bit disheartening.