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Why I Love The PC

I’m a PC person. My brother has an Xbox and I can play on a console if I need to, but the PC is where my heart is. And there’s one main reason why:

Garbage Truck Simulator.

No, I’m not joking about a) its existence or b) placing it there. I’ve had my review copy for a while now but only recently installed it. You know what? I’m glad that I not only made a drunken request for this (Pro Tip: Smartphone with your professional email + cocktails = bad idea), but I got it.

This, to me, symbolises what the PC is about. It wouldn’t work on a console. Leaving aside the cost of development, the hurdle of getting Microsoft/Sony/Nintendo to sign it off and say “Yes, you can release this” would probably be too much.

I’m not in any state to talk about GTS in any great detail yet (though I should be at the weekend), but the people publishing GTS will publish anything: Street Cleaner Simulator, Farm Simulator, Police Simulator, Demolition Simulator… The crazy thing is that not only does Farm Simulator exists, they do these yearly.

I love that I can be on a platform where someone can say “You know what the biggest gap in the market is? Garbage Trucks! Let’s make it happen!”, and they do. I love that if I want to release something, I can just do it without asking anyone.

To take this into performance terms, the PC is like that open mic you know about down the corner, and the consoles are the proper theatres. You can just get up and go at the open mic, and the quality might be…less than polished, let’s put it that way.

But at the same time, you can see gems that couldn’t start in a theatre environment. Minecraft is made in Java, which requires no licence fee. The Unreal engine, which powers Unreal Tournament 3, Bioshock and others is free until you make a certain amount, and then you require a license.

I love the PC because of that openness, and nothing will sway me. Though that PS Vita does look sexy…

Patrick Rose is general editor at How To Play, and is currently doing the 30 Song A Day Challenge. You should listen and tell him that he needs a better studio

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  1. Patrick Rose says:

    @Chris: It’s less an impossibility and more an improbability. I’m not entirely sure, but I think you still have to get Microsoft to sign it, even if you’re an indie. I can’t be certain, but I think that costs.

    There are some amazing things that came from Xbox Indie to PC, a big favourite being B.U.T.T.O.N. (it’s £1.50 for me, that works out at around $10 now right?)

  2. Chris Viola says:

    Is something like this really that much of an impossibility on consoles? Some pretty decent games have been created using XNA, a free development suite for Xbox 360 and PC, and have been released on Xbox Live Indie Games. Two Xbox Indies, Cthulhu Saves the Word and Breath of Death VII, were recently released on Steam after enjoying a pretty successful run on XBLIG. I realize it’s not quite the same, and I think the Steam crowd is definitely more supportive than the XBLIG crowd, but there’s been at least some progress in this department on consoles.

  3. PapaFrita says:

    Does the blurring in the video represent you’re picking up trash drunk?

  4. Thomas Weiler says:

    @Patrick: OK, I shouldn’t do my research at late night next time. It seems Farm Simulator 2011 “only” outsold the WoW standard game in the 2010 charts. Cataclysm sold way better of course, second-most on the PC (behind StarCraft 2).

    @eric: At the local store, there is a whole shelf of nothing else than these sim games. Space shooters are quite rare though.

  5. Guy says:

    If you want to see what a modern gaming PC can do, go to Youtube and search for “DCS A-10C”, it’s incredible what gaming rigs are capable when you get a developer willing to put their power to work.

  6. eric says:

    That is awesome! It seems that good-old-fashioned sim games (not to mention space-shooters) are getting harder to find in chain retailers. I’m not up on gaming, and my tastes are still in the ’90’s (Tie Fighter, 1602 AD, and Homeworld: best games ever!). But methinks I’ll have to get this, because for open-endedness and sheer flexibility, you’re right–you can’t beat a PC (or Mac)!

  7. Patrick Rose says:

    Thomas, I doubted that and did a quick dig. Can’t see any evidence of it outselling WoW, but 2010 appeared to sell 500,000 units. Maybe it did outsell WoW in physical sales, but download sales are notoriously difficult to track down.

    Valve could, of course, just release episo- Sorry, their sale figures.

  8. Evan O'Malley says:

    This is the whole reason why i got a powerful PC: to be a sanitation engineer!!! lol No but in all seriousness I love modding games and adding new content to them to suit my needs. I got a high end PC for all my stuff and even though we have to deal with that silly DRM stuff now, I know I’ll be happier with most PC games as opposed to their console variants.

  9. Thomas Weiler says:

    You’ll be amazed at how big that market gap actually is. Here in Germany (where those XY Simulator games are developed) the Farm Simulator 2011 sold better than WoW last year. There is also a huge mod fanbase that adds more tractors and other farming equipment to the game.

  10. Robin Burks says:

    Well said. Although I do most of my gaming on the console, a lot of it is because I prefer the controls and my PC just can’t handle games very well right now.

    But I think we’ve already had that conversation.

    And I agree, the PS Vita looks very sexy.

  11. Mary says:

    I cannot believe I just watched that video. I’m so amused. My friends at sanitation will love this!