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Van Hemlock Episode 26
Tue, 11 Nov 2008 01:56:00 GMT [download/play]



It's another news and what we're playing show. This week we've mostly been playing fallout, so come die with us in the wastelands of DC.

If you want to follow how far we've managed to get then add Van Hemlock or Senyek to your friends lists on XBox Live. First person to 1000 wins!

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Episode 26 Discussion Thread

'PC Game Sales Figures False' by ScytheNoire
Submitted on 2008-11-11 02:13:01 CST
I want to smack some heads together every time I hear bullshit comments about PC game sales being down and that PC gaming is dying. It's not true and those numbers are always very unreliable and skewed.

1) They only count boxed sales from select stores. This means not every store is counted, and for example, in North America, they don't count Wal-Mart sales, which is the biggest PC game seller for boxed games.

2) They don't count online download sales, including the most popular seller, Valve's Steam. Fact is that more and more people are using online services to purchase their games.

3) Do they count online retail sales? Some don't, which also skews numbers greatly. Most PC gamers also order their games online and have it shipped to them. We are both a tech savvy bunch and often lazy and avoid the public. (Gotta keep up stereotypes)

4) They don't count hardware sales. If they even counted sales of gaming video cards, which have no use but for gaming, PC sales would squash console sales. But consoles count ALL their hardware, while PC gaming counts none of it.

5) They don't count subscriptions. Now consider Blizzard alone makes A BILLION DOLLARS A YEAR just on WoW alone is enough to say that they are missing out of a lot of sales money by not counting subscriptions.

6) They don't count micro-purchases for PC gaming. I'm fairly certain Microsoft (and the other two) do give figures for their downloadable content, which is a form of micro-purchases. But PC gaming has a huge amount of micro-purchases, yet, they don't count that either.

So basically, the numbers are a lie. Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo want to control content and kill PC gaming, because it gives them a controlled platform where they get to make lincesing fee's. They don't want PC gaming. But the fact is that PC gaming is alive, and doing better than ever. Just looking at the PC games released this year, many with inferior console counterparts, shows just how much PC gaming is alive and kicking butt.

So perhaps whenever you or any one else mentions PC games sales being down or dying, you might also mention these facts and that those numbers should be taken as very unreliable and perhaps, tainted to give a viewpoint people who are paying for that research might want.

After all, any one who knows statistics knows you can make the numbers say anything you want, such as 99% of PC gaming is dying is bullshit.



'I'm not sure it's that simple' by Jon
Submitted on 2008-11-11 06:39:42 CST
The best bit of the "death of PC games" story is that we get to be sarcastic at it every few weeks whenever it comes up :)

The problem with PC game sales is that the people who make/sell the PC games don't give good enough numbers. Only a couple of the MMOs actually give accurate subscriber numbers with any regularity and I've not come across any monthly sales numbers for Steam. It's not the fault of Sony/Microsoft (who would have a bigger interest in PC games sales than they do you'd think) and Nintendo, it's the fault of the PC games industry itself for not giving better information on the state of the market. The problem is we have no idea how big the PC games market is beyond retail sales numbers because the retail side is the only bit that's willing to publish numbers and they are indeed seeing falling sales.

I'll have to disagree with the all graphics cards are sold to play games comment I'm afraid, there are far more uses for having a good card than just games, especially if you want to run Vista on a large monitor. Looking at the Dell range the moment you start going above the entry level machines you start to get cards that can play games, I bet that most of those sales never touch a game as they're just being purchased as a reasonable spec general PC.

Even though we were sarcastic about the death of PC gaming on the show I do actually think PC retail sales will decline further and die, services such as Steam and other direct downloads are just so much of a better experience so people will use that instead. Of course that's always the story being reported when you dig into these reports, but it's always seen as saying that it's PC games as a whole. PC gaming may not be as big as console gaming on a number of titles sold basis, but this has been the case for a very long time now and it's still more than healthy. What's more as MMO players we all know it as we see it every day.



'Exteel' by Zoso
Submitted on 2008-11-11 16:02:08 CST
I gave Exteel an hour or two, but wasn't at all impressed. One Must Fall 2097 remains the king of robot on robot action.


'sales a go go' by welshtroll
Submitted on 2008-11-14 03:28:02 CST
i find it funny that console games beating others sales funny, considering that titles on consoles tend to be 3 times more expensive that cds, 50% more than pc games and twice the cost of dvds. Plus i could be wrong but console game prices appear to stay close to the initial price for far longer.