Sam Rivman ’18 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
For the majority of gaming history, the processing power required for games has been dictated by the console for which the game is made. Because every gaming console has equivalent specifications to other consoles of the same make, games can be made to perfectly cooperate with the power that a console possesses.
Although consoles are still prevalent in today’s gaming industry, there has been a massive upswing in PC gaming in the last decade, as PC’s have become exponentially more advanced. However, this creates a glaring flaw in the way games are produced: games can no longer be made to fit just one set of specifications, as there are potentially an infinite number of different specifications for different PCs. For gamers who don’t have enough money to upgrade or replace their computers every year or two, they will find that their computers simply can’t handle the graphics and processing of new games designed for the newest computers.
This creates a large gap between manufacturers and consumers in the PC gaming industry, because games are now evolving at a pace more rapid than the salary of the average video game enthusiast. Those who cannot afford to match the requirements of PC games must often wait months or even years to play the games that were meant to be enjoyed and appreciated upon their release.
Not to mention, those with Mac computers (a number constantly increasing) have an almost infinitesimal chance of being able to enjoy any of their favorite titles from their computer, as almost every game is designed for Windows computers. Not only are game designers missing a large portion of the market, as Apple products are all the rage these days, but Apple users are missing out on an entire segment of the interactive media market.
One way to rectify the unfortunate situation that so many PC gamers face is to improve the communication between game designers and computer companies. If a conversation is established between these two entities, game designers will better understand the market that they are attempting to sell into, and computer companies will have a better understanding of how they can make computers capable of processing new games while still being affordable for their consumers.
Another option is for computer companies to build computers with frequent gaming upgrades in mind. A system of affordable, easy-to-install graphics cards released yearly to keep up with the gaming industry would do wonders for PC gamers who play more casually or don’t have full pockets to empty at Best Buy. Game designers could also attempt to lower the minimal requirements for games, even if recommended settings remain the same. That way, gamers could still play new games on their less powerful computers, albeit at very low quality. These days, even attempting to play a game at the lowest possible settings can be nightmarish if using an older system.
If no changes are made, it is very likely that PC gamers will give into frustration and switch to reliable consoles as their games reach unobtainable heights regarding what is required to run them.