Sections

Revelations: How PC gaming allowed me to be born again

Friday, 13th January 2012 13:31 GMT By Johnny Cullen

Previously a console elitist, Johnny Cullen makes the jump to a gaming PC and details his experience so far, the inclusion of PC games in his routine and why consoles may be facing the biggest test of their history.

The arrival of my PC has enabled me to broaden my gaming – personally and professionally – in a way I haven’t experienced since I bought my first non-PlayStation console, an Xbox 360, in 2006.

While I’ve been gaming since I was a wee wain, I’ve only used consoles. I got a PSone for Christmas 15 years ago this year; I was six. Up to that point, I shared a Master System, SNES and GameBoy with others.

And while I’ve owned new hardware since then, I’ve never had a gaming PC. Sure, there was a computer in my parents house, but it was never “enabled”. PC gaming was unheard in the Cullen household.

All this changed last week, though. After three years of working for VG247, I bought a gaming PC to sit alongside my PS3, 360, Wii, Vita and 3DS.

The specs are in the box-out; it runs like a dream. It cost £830. I picked up copies of Skyrim, Battlefield 3 and Star Wars: The Old Republic before I bought it. While I’ve yet to try Battlefield 3 as of writing this piece – thanks, Origin! – I can run Skyrim at the highest setting with no problems or glitches. It looks stunning.

Then there’s the older stuff I’m playing in a completely new way. Case in point: I first played Half-Life 2 back in 2007 as part of The Orange Box for Xbox 360. And while I love it, it was always in 30FPS with a console controller.

To play it in 60FPS with keyboard and mouse on a HDTV is a godsend. It’s unbelievable.

On top of that there’s Steam. It’s changed the way I give and receive. I’ve had games gifted to me since I bought my PC. Nathan gave me S.T.A.L.K.E.R. and its expansion as part of an internal Secret Santa thing; Brenna gave me Audiosurf for my birthday; and Alex gifted me Cthulhu Saves the World, Breath of Death VII and VVVVVV.

My hardware specs

Processor – Intel Core i5-2400 Quad Core (3.10GHz, 6MB Cache) + HD Graphics

Motherboard – Asus P8H61-M LE/USB3 (NEW REV 3.0): M-ATX, USB 3.0, SATA 3.0Gb/s

RAM – 4GB Samsung Dual-DDR3 1333MHz (2 X 2GB)

Graphics Card – 1GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti – DVI,HDMI,VGA – 3D Vision Ready

HDD1 – 120GB Intel 320 SERIES SSD, SATA 3 Gb/s (upto 270MB/sR | 130MB/sW)

HDD2 – 1TB SATA-II 3-Gb/s hard drive with 32Mb catche (7,200rpm)

Disc Drive – 24x Dual Layer DVD Writer ±R/±RW/RAM

Memory Card Reader – Internal 52 in 1 Card Reader (XD, MS, CF, SD, etc) + 1 x USB 2.0 port

Power Supply – 450W Quiet 80 PLUS Dual Rail PSU + 120mm Case Fan

Processor Cooling – Intel Socket LGA1155 Standard CPU Cooler

I did already own some Steam games – such as The Orange Box, bought when I got a decent Windows laptop a few years back; Left 4 Dead and the sequel in the hope it might run on my Macbook (it does, barely); Portal 2 from when I picked up the PS3 version; and Torchlight, the only game I’ve found that works on my Mac without any issues – but now I finally understand what all the fuss is about.

The arrival of my PC has enabled me to broaden my gaming – personally and professionally – in a way I haven’t experienced since I bought my first non-PlayStation console, an Xbox 360, in 2006.

Dark side

It’s also introduced me to a genre I’ve never touched before: MMOs.

I’ve always had a keen eye on MMOs, but I haven’t touched them on console because I can’t be bothered waiting 200 million hours for a client download and all the updates known to man. Even with its F2P status, would I honestly see myself wait for DC Universe Online on PS3 to install itself, download updates and then get myself signed up? You figure out the answer to that one.

Star Wars: The Old Republic on my super-PC is different. There isn’t too much hassle besides installing the client through the retail copy and downloading the two most recent updates. It took 10-20 minutes. All set to go.

Except, and this is where I discovered one of the harsh realities of PC gaming, I still need to use some sort of payment – credit or debit card, or pre-pay – before I can play it. So much for those free 30 days.

After popping into GAME and getting 60 days playtime, I’m now set for 90 days of MMO action. BioWare’s storytelling in this is brilliant, which is probably going to go a long way in my justification of triple-dipping Mass Effect 3 come March.

I’ve been bitten by the MMO bug, thanks to owning a PC. Now I’m really keen on other upcoming MMOs, particularly The Secret World from Funcom and NCSoft’s Guild Wars 2.

The Star Wars playtime thing, in hindsight, was just an inconvenience. My second ‘harsh reality’ is one gamers get very upset about. I didn’t really understand the fuss about DRM until last week.

On Saturday, when I picked up my SWTOR playtime, I also picked up a Games for Windows Live copy of Grand Theft Auto IV. I thought I may as well give one of my favourite games this console generation a spin on PC.

The PC version’s notoriously awkward. An install attempt went successfully, but when it came to verifying the game things got hairy.

I was told my serial was invalid. Even using Rockstar support guides resulted in fruitless results. After two hours of re-inputting, I gave up.

So I bought it again, this time on Steam. I try to play: Rockstar Social Club, needed if you wanted to play online. Rockstar’s since removed it in order to make it easier to play the game as part of update 1.08. I didn’t realise this until after my computer decided to say that GTA IV “had stopped working” and that Windows was working on a fix. This maybe more of a computer issue than a Rockstar thing, but still; I can’t play it.

Niko Bellic’s American dream turned into
my worst nightmare.

Pleas on Twitter and Facebook didn’t go unheard, so I’m going to try some advice today.

Making the jump

Besides not being to actually play a game I bought twice, though, my rebirth as a PC gamer has been more than a pleasant experience.

Console will always be a big part of my life. I’m not going to get Uncharted, Mario or Zelda on my PC. And there’ll be some things I’ll keep playing on console, regardless of a PC release, for nostalgia’s sake; F1, FIFA and plenty of others.

But. There’s a “but” to all of this, and it’s a big one. We’ve already noted it here, but it’s worth reiterating. An increasingly large section of the core market is drifting towards PC gaming as a result of the extended hardware cycle of Xbox 360 and PS3.

For the early-adopting gamer, this console generation is running on fumes. Yes, Wii U will be out by the end of this year, but we’re still likely at least two years away from any new tech from Microsoft, and probably longer for Sony.

A good indication of the trend can be seen in a couple of pertinent software examples.

Exhibit A: despite being announced as a PC and Xbox 360 exclusive, Alan Wake initially launched on console, with the PC version canned. Since then, Remedy’s said the PC version will be self-published with Steamworks support in early 2012 alongside American Nightmare on Xbox Live Arcade.

And then there’s Exhibit B. While nothing’s been confirmed or announced, a petition to bring the Namco-published From Software superhardballs console RPG Dark Souls to PC has seen 65,000 signatures.

If this does get the greenlight, everybody’s a winner. Namco will have nothing to lose after seeing the great reception the game got at release, critically and saleswise with 1.5 million units shipped, on PS3 and 360 last October. The console lot will have had a timed exclusivity period, and PC owners who’ve been clammoring for it will finally have their wish.

The question is this: has Sony and Microsoft sat on hardware for too long? That may well be the case. PC gaming is accelerating. I don’t see any slowing.

I, for one, welcome our new PC overlords.

Breaking news

90 Comments

Sign in to post a comment.

  1. Talkar

    A great read Johnny. Nice to see that you are finally trying out a gaming PC. The primary downside i see to being a PC gamer myself, is the lack of polish on games, since a console copy of a game sells better, it isn’t being ported well every time. That being said however, we do have the superior graphics.

    On another note, the Dark Souls petition is right now at 65,559 signatures ;)

    Also, the bosses at Namco Bandai are now aware of the petition!
    http://forums.namcobandaigames.eu/showthread.php?p=2333925#post2333925

    #1 3 years ago
  2. viralshag

    Good article.

    Although, I’m not sure if I would consider console masses flocking to the PC and setting a tone for the future. Possibly now they are but is that any different to previous console generations?

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Patrick Garratt

    I think it is different this time as the cycle’s much longer. Normally you’d get a bit of it at the end of a console cycle, but only in the interim as hardware swapped. It seems more permanent this time.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. loki

    Boring story about boring guy and boring PC games

    fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu
    fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu
    fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu
    fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu
    fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu
    fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu
    fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu
    fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu

    #4 3 years ago
  5. Patrick Garratt

    I’ve edited that to remove some “u”s.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. unacomn

    At that price, I’d say you were a bit ripped off, the SSD is sort of pointless, that money could have gone towards a better CPU/GPU/RAM which would have been more noticeable performance wise. Also, the PSU seems a tad underpowered and may give up the ghost when it’s doing a marathon.
    There are a lot of things in this article that make me cringe, still, the it’s better than that thing published by IGN a while ago about one of their 10 year old editors getting a PC for the first time.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. NiceFellow

    Welcome to the world of PC elitism – and on that note I note that while your specs are “decent” they’re not as big as mine!

    Seriously though nice article. I’ve drifted right back to PC myself. With a K&M, gamepad, joystick and wheel attached to my PC I’ve yet to find anything that doesn’t play or look better on it.

    Still love my PS3/360 for Uncharted, Gears, etc. but particularly with every exclusive from MS being aimed at at Kinect version of something I already have on my Wii I’m finding PC a great place to be again.

    And get the BF3 running – Skyrim is still a last gen engine (on PC) and see what’s really possible (technically that is – the SP is a bit “ish” although the MP is the bollocks).

    #7 3 years ago
  8. viralshag

    But what’s pointing to a big move to the PC? I mean, like you I own a PC, PS3 and 360. Come the next batch of consoles, do you think you will skip them?

    I mean you might, of course. Even I might if it doesn’t tick all my boxes. But the bottom line is I will be in the market for a new console before I think about upgrading my PC. And most likely if I do get another console, you can be sure that’s the platform most of my new game purchases will be for.

    But of course, it does all come down to what will be on offer.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. absolutezero

    Welcome!

    Now that you have spent 800+ on a new piece of hardware you’ll find your tolerance level for games raised slightly, you paid for this amazing thing you’ll always want to get the best out of it. Its one of the reasons why PC-centric gamers are always seen as being misrable, moaning bastards.

    You’ll be one of them soon enough.

    Once you own everything (a luxury position that I do not actually endorse), you turn into a child in a sweet shop, you can pick and choose from whatever you like from where ever you like. I have titles on the go on everything I own swapping too and fro. Thing is I spend my majority of time on my PC. Im not going to pontificate on the reasons being levels of quality or anything like that its just a preference, with Steam, and mumble/vent/skype everything comes togethor so easily and cheaply and free.

    In the spirit of sharing heres the rig I use everyday : http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r132/KatzenAZ/Untitled-2.jpg

    One thing I have noticed is that this is not a new thing, when the PS2 and Xbox generation was winding down there was a resurgence in interest in the PC then, and the same before that and before that again. I know that the PC will fade into the background as soon as the next platforms are announced and im ok with it. Ill just stay back here, support and enthusing to the best of my ability.

    SSD’s might not give the performance boost for pure gaming (aside from destroying load times in BF3) but they do make everyday use a joy. The speed really is intoxicating once you actually use one. Im waiting more or less for my next build before getting both an SSD and Windows 7, what can I say im lazy about formatting.

    #9 3 years ago
  10. Joe Musashi

    Welcome to the fray Johnny. The air’s a bit thin up here but you’ll get used to it after a little while.

    Oh, and if you didn’t actually source the components and build the rig yourself then you’re still a N00B! ;)

    JM

    #10 3 years ago
  11. dubya75

    @loki – grow up, will you?

    #11 3 years ago
  12. Blerk

    Forget those big-budget ‘also on console’ releases, Johnny. Indie games is where it’s at on PC. Lovely, lovely indie games!

    /hugs indie games

    #12 3 years ago
  13. GrimRita

    Great read Johnny. Today is the start of your life! PC Gaming rocks. Oh and if you want to try something different and addictive – google Openttd – transport tycoon. Its free to download and play and is a classic from the 90s.

    Probably one of THE most addictive games ever made.

    #13 3 years ago
  14. dubya75

    #10 – Well said!

    #14 3 years ago
  15. a7md1990

    As a trophy whore,PC gaming is out of the question! why waste an hour of BF3 with 60FPS on a million dollar PC when i can waste it on a PS3 with 30FPS and get trophies??

    #15 3 years ago
  16. mad1723

    Very nice article, right on point. The consoles are getting long in the tooth ( we’re talking about pre-2005 tech here guys!). 512MB of RAM for both the system and the GPUs (a hybrid X1900/HD2900 for the 360 and a 7900GTX for the PS3) were already weak back in the day, imagine today! Developpers do miracle, but I think the wind is shifting, because games like BF3 show us how much more we can expect from a good PC when it’s exploited correctly.

    It’s unfortunate that PC gaming is still treated as a secondary market, an afterthought by some devs. It is a harsh market, a market of hard to please gamers, but one that will try to get the most out of a game. Just look at Skyrim, all those mods floating around to just improve on the base game!

    I think the best example of how not to treat PC gamers would be Ubisoft. An always-online DRM? Check. A login at the start of the game? Check! PC ports that are barely playable and come out weeks if not months later? Check!

    Ubisoft is wondering why they PC sales are not going well… They keep blaming piracy… Honestly, I think they need a little reality check on how a sale must go with a customer for him to return. You don’t attract flies with vinegar!

    Valve, with Gabe Newell, have gotten that concept and pushed it. Treat the gamers as if they are your customers and make it easy and enjoyable to buy an game and then play it, and they will come back in force with all the money you could possibly imagine. Trust is a hard thing to earn, but Valve has earned it rightfully in the last years by offering more instead of less.

    In short: <3 PC gaming!

    #16 3 years ago
  17. NeoSquall

    Cool story bro.

    Now go and purchase Battlefield 3 (doesn’t matter if you have it on consoles), Space Pirates and Zombies, Killing Floor, Rock of Ages, Trine, Trine 2 and Zeno Clash, to name a few.

    #17 3 years ago
  18. Johnny Cullen

    @1 That was the number at the time I wrote this piece, but I’ve gone ahead and fixed it. :)

    @4 *sigh*

    #18 3 years ago
  19. Johnny Cullen

    @17 – I have Battlefield 3, but Origin keeps putting a spanner in the works before I’m able to play it. :S

    #19 3 years ago
  20. viralshag

    @Johnny, add your fellow VG247ers on Origin/Battlelog and get BF3 working! We should all celebrate with a big BF3 get-together this weekend!

    #20 3 years ago
  21. ManuOtaku

    Great read, nice to see that you like and enjoy it, but i think, like some commenters before me mentioned, that either way, PC gamers will keep supporting console gaming just for the core IPs on each respective console (god of war/ uncharted, mario / zelda, gears/halo), therefore i think consoles are not in danger, this issue happens all the time in each particular gen, so this will be not different in this one, and this will not affect them, just like in the past, and even if some gamers go an adopt PC gaming too like your case, they will be coming back to the home consoles too, therefore they will co-exist in the eyes of newly converted gamers.

    Having said that, i think i will never become a PC gamer myself, because iam a lazy person with tech things, especially the ones i dont know much about it, i dont want to live constantly opening my PC and keep upgrading it, i just want to buy something conect the plug and cables and be ready to play, and for that the dedicated home consoles are great for me, cause i dont want to buy a new PC every now and then in order to play the latest games.

    P.S also i forgot to mention i dont like to play games with a mouse and keyboard, for me is just to akward i like the home consoles controllers better, but to each their own i guess

    #21 3 years ago
  22. Old MacDonald

    Having grown up with consoles, you’ve missed a bunch of PC-classics. To the GOGmobile!

    http://www.gog.com/

    :)

    #22 3 years ago
  23. Lahanas

    Consoles > PC for gaming.

    Actually no, let me rephrase that: Consoles >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> PC for gaming.

    More games and better games such as the first-party stuff. It’s just the way it is.

    #23 3 years ago
  24. rafterman83

    Hardly a revelation. Yeah PCs are (were) great, but the cost is too much. What happens when a new game comes out next year – that needs a news graphics card, or more ram or you’re power supply fails?

    The rat-race of upgrading eventually forced me to consoles and I won’t be making the trip back. Admittedly there’s the odd game that is far better than the console version, but nowadays the PC development just isn’t the top priority of developers. Therefore the PC’s users often get forgotten.

    Long live consoles.

    #24 3 years ago
  25. Talkar

    There is one game that is enough reason to get a PC instead of a console.
    StarCraft 2! No console game can compete with the advanced, fast paced play in this game, the stunning graphics, the awesome community, and one of the, if not the biggest E-sport game on the planet!

    #25 3 years ago
  26. absolutezero

    Oh God the ignorant brigade has arrived!

    1. The PC has the largest amount of games released on any platform, the closest would be the app store I think, endless indie games, major studio games and facebook titles.

    2. No one game demands a new piece of hardware, my friend still has a 8800 and it still runs nearly everything he throws at it, mainly because of his smaller monitor and his willingness to play with the visual options. You can’t claim that you need to upgrade constantly (which is to max games really, as you could happily stay with the same rig for a long time) and then go and sit and play with downgraded visuals on a console anyway.

    I don’t know if you’ve noticed but the old “plug and play” consoles do not exist anymore, both the PS3 and the 360 are slowly just absobing PC features, streaming, profiles, the cloud etc etc etc.

    #26 3 years ago
  27. deadstoned

    #27 3 years ago
  28. deadstoned

    Nice to see your giving the PC a shot :) , personally I’m only a PC Gamer these days. I just prefer the controls for RPG’s, FPS’s and Strategy more which are the make up of my gaming diet these days. But I wouldnt say no to a cheap PS3 to play some Uncharted, GT5 and God of War.

    #28 3 years ago
  29. DSB

    I share v-shags skepticism, but I don’t think it’s a question of consoles being preternaturally destined to rule, I think it’s more a case of the PC being consistently underrated by everyone from gamers to publishers.

    Suddenly people realize that it isn’t a universal fact, and it’s time to rediscover the PC, which has really only been on the upswing since Steam came on the market.

    Ultimately I think that has a lot to say for which is the in-platform. The more you’re able to improve your services, the bigger the hype. I think the dark years of Windows Vista has a lot to say for the PC losing its prestige, and I think the consoles are under pressure to find their next big thing for the coming generation. They’ve finally broken the online barrier, but now that’s par for the course.

    #29 3 years ago
  30. James

    Good build but I’d have changed a few things, especially at that price which is probably a tad to much compared to the build I just specced at another site.

    I’d have changed the i5-2400 to an i5-2500k, the GTX 550 to a 560 and got a better brand PSU as you shouldn’t really skimp on something like that.

    All that being said, welcome to PC gaming (although I’ve already said this many times to you on Facebook and Twitter lol).

    #30 3 years ago
  31. rafterman83

    I could list countless PC games that have got a raw deal when it comes to releases compared to console. Obviously MMO’s and stuff purely made for PC are fantastic, but anything that is out on console and PC – I would personally always go with Console.

    PC’s always promise the world, but rarely deliver – the graphics drivers don’t work, DRM issues, releases getting push back. At the end of the day if you want to spend a hours tweaking things to get a extra 10 frames out of it that’s cool, but some of us just want to play and enjoy the games.

    Ultimately Vista totally put me off, but, I am willing to concede Windows 7 is far better and maybe my experience would have been much better. But the cost of something to run BF3 at top-whack is just too much.

    Enjoy the joy’s and annoyance’s of PC’s Johnny – you’re a braver man than me.

    #31 3 years ago
  32. ManuOtaku

    #26 i hope that comment wanst direct it to me, not for the content of comment as just for the ignorant call,in case it was, is not an act of ignorance is more of a preference, lets put Balttlefield 3 as an example, i know is a downgraded version for PC, and that i can play it on some old PC with the same performance as my ps3, but the thing for me is that if i have a device PC, or home console, i do want the best experience available for that device, therefore in the ps3 i get the best battlefield 3 game in terms of performance for that ps3, or any other home console, i dont need to upgrade ,or do an extra step, or any investment or something on those lines, just buy the game and play it, but in the PC it will not be the case, so in the end i will be force to upgrade my PC, which i dont want to do, for the reasons previously estated in my above comment in this trend, therefore i see it more as a preference than ignorance, and also i dont like to play games with Mouse and keyboard, albeit i do know they are the most accurate and maybe the best way to play games, i dont like it, and i do prefer home console controllers better.

    #32 3 years ago
  33. absolutezero

    I hope that the 83 in your name does not mean your the same age as I am, that would be depressing.

    Drivers have not been an issue in a really fucking long time, its also your choice to install them or not, they might well give you greater performance from your card but its never ever more than 10 fps.

    DRM is an issue but it rarely interferes in actually playing anything aside from Ubisoft.

    You don’t have to tinker with anything ever if you don’t want to, its a horrible misconception that all PC Gamers tinker constantly and have frame rate counters, if you just stick a game on medium it will still 9/10 look better than the console equivalent, run better and actually be in HD. Then theres the multiple control to suit whatever game it might be that your playing, Arcade Stick, Control pad or Keyboard, nearly every new PC game has native pad support.

    Like I said the cost of maxing BF3 is alot BUT you don’t have to max it on order to have a superior experience in comparison to the consoles. Thats the difference, its all up to you how far you want to go into customisation and expansion.

    Im done, im out, im gone. Its over. Escape while you still can, laugh at loki if you must but at least he never attempts to hide behind ignorant, retarded arguements.

    EDIT : #32, no MO it was not at all directed at you. You do raise an interesting point though, that you feel you need to play something at its maximum in order to get the most out of it. Lets be honest here, just because a game supports x32 AA it does not mean you will even notice the difference if you go above x4 say, you should not feel “Inferior” just because of whatever PC you happen to be playing on.

    I never knew this mind-set even existed, I knew there were people that love maxing the next greatest thing with water cooled SLi GPUs etc but I never knew not being able to max out a games visuals puts people of playing altogethor.

    #33 3 years ago
  34. silkvg247

    I was a console gamer long before I got a PC and I’ve never looked back.

    Welcome aboard. :)

    #34 3 years ago
  35. Stephany Nunneley

    All I have to say Cullen, is: Finally. Finally.

    Oh yeah, and next time, build your own! Hell, if I can do it, anyone can. :)

    #35 3 years ago
  36. viralshag

    It is true, if you had £830 quid to spend and decided to build it yourself you would have had a better machine, a much better machine.

    It only takes a couple of hours to knock together a machine depending on skilzzz but it is a lot easier than people think.

    #36 3 years ago
  37. Johnny Cullen

    For the record, I’ve gotten more Steam games besides the games I got at Xmas and ones gifted to me over it. There was meant to be a capture of it from Steam showing you it, but it was edited out due to taking too much space in the article. I’ve added a full list below.

    Audiosurf (Brenna)
    Breath of Death (Alex)
    Cthulhu Saves the World (Alex)
    Deus Ex: Human Revolution (bought)
    Dungeon Defenders (gifted)
    Skyrim (pre-bought at retail before PC arrived)
    Grand Theft Auto (bought)
    Grand Theft Auto 2 (bought)
    Grand Theft Auto III (bought)
    Grand Theft Auto IV (bought)
    Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City (bought)
    Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (bought)
    Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (bought)
    Half-Life 2 (bought via The Orange Box)
    Half-Life 2: Episode One (bought via The Orange Box)
    Half-Life 2: Episode Two (bought via The Orange Box)
    Half-Life 2: Lost Coast (bought via The Orange Box)
    Left 4 Dead (bought)
    Left 4 Dead 2 (bought)
    Mass Effect (bought)
    Mass Effect 2 (bought)
    Metro 2033 (bought)
    Sid Meier’s Civilization V (bought)
    Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (gifted)
    Team Fortress 2 (bought via The Orange Box)
    Torchlight (bought for Macbook originally)
    VVVVVV (Alex)
    The Witcher 2 (bought)

    Anyways, if anyone wants to add me on Steam, go ahead. ID is vg247_JohnnyCullen.

    #37 3 years ago
  38. Kabby

    You’re paying him too much, Pat.

    #38 3 years ago
  39. rafterman83

    @26 Rage.

    I win.

    #39 3 years ago
  40. mingtons ghost

    fuck video games

    #40 3 years ago
  41. Erthazus

    With that money you could build a bit better machine. Next time you should do it yourself.

    While SSD is a great move to the future, it’s useless right now with your specs, unless you want to play Multiplayer games on it such as Battlefield 3.
    Also, Intel SSD sucks huge ass, so prepare for the major problems in the future. You bought it, now deal with it.

    Next time you should go with OCZ.

    Also, welcome to the PC gaming. You should check out RTS games too.

    #41 3 years ago
  42. Len

    PC Master Race FTW! ;)

    This is great news but you probably want to update that gfx card, looking old hat already… ;)

    And come join in the bf3 madness when you get it sorted, it is amazing! :)

    #42 3 years ago
  43. Talkar

    @40
    Wrong place, wrong time ;)

    #43 3 years ago
  44. NeoSquall

    @19 you should hit the screen when origin is in foreground, it works :D

    @20 what the man here said.

    Also, do you want a 33% coupon for Valve games? It works for Portal 1 and 2, too.

    #44 3 years ago
  45. Stephany Nunneley

    @41 “OCZ” – This. Although I didn’t go that route this time around. I will next time, which will be coming up at the end of the year. My specs are getting out of date as well, despite not having an issue running anything. Here is what I have:

    Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit
    System Manufacturer: Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd.
    System Model: P55A-UD3
    BIOS: Award Modular BIOS v6.00PG
    Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM) i5 CPU 750 @ 2.67GHz (4 CPUs), ~2.7GHz
    Memory: 3072MB RAM
    Available OS Memory: 3068MB RAM
    System DPI Setting: 96 DPI
    Card name: ATI Radeon HD 5700 Series
    Display Memory: 2293 MB
    Dedicated Memory: 1015 MB
    Current Mode: 1920 x 1080 (32 bit) (60Hz)
    Monitor ASUS HDMI 24 inches
    Mouse Razer Naga
    Disk & DVD/CD-ROM Drives
    Model: KINGSTON SSDNOW 30GB ATA Device
    Realtek HD Audio output

    I have W7 running on my SDD, but I am going to re-install everything, and pull it off the SDD as it is almost full already. I am going to put it on the new drive, and the old drive is just for pictures and zero programs.

    I had XP tricked into installing programs automatically onto another drive, but it ended up screwing up my root paths to a lot of programs, so this time I didn’t do it – thus the SDD is getting full of W7 related junk.

    #45 3 years ago
  46. triggerhappy

    @ Johnny: Whats your take on KB&M over a controller?? Are you going to hook up a wireless 360 controller or anything or are you happy using WASD & Arrows?

    #46 3 years ago
  47. Edo

    Welcome to the club :)!

    #47 3 years ago
  48. Patrick Garratt

    @38 – No shit. Has he told you about his 500 quid Vita import?

    *rethinks salary strategy*

    #48 3 years ago
  49. Patrick Garratt

    Quick reminder that we have a Steam group. All welcome – http://steamcommunity.com/groups/vg247

    #49 3 years ago
  50. Johnny Cullen

    *jazzhands*

    #50 3 years ago
  51. Edo

    We all forgot to mention the most important part about PC gaming,and that is MODS!!!

    #51 3 years ago
  52. Erthazus

    @45, I recommend to wait a bit for Windows 8 to start upgrading your PC, especially when it comes to SSD. Because once Windows 8 will be released, SSD is going to be cheaper.

    Also, your PC is not that bad, but you seriously need to upgrade your videocard and don’t forget for the +3 GB Ram that should do the trick.

    your system processor is enough for the gaming tasks.

    cheers Steph.

    #52 3 years ago
  53. minxamo

    I quite like PC gaming, it’s just a shame that I loathe PC gamers.

    #53 3 years ago
  54. viralshag

    @46, I love that you went there haha. Controllers FTW <3

    @53, Although I do agree with that, they're not all bad.

    #54 3 years ago
  55. DarkElfa

    @53, LOLWTF?! POT, meet the fucking kettle. Have you missed the last 5 years of console fanboy wars on here or the rest of the web?

    #55 3 years ago
  56. The Evil Pope

    Exactly some of the reasons i’m done with Sony/MS hardware. Sony/MS maybe have a few exclusives on their platforms, but that doesn’t justify buying each system for a handful of average “exclusive” games. Gears, Halo, Killzone, Resistance, InFamous, GT, Forza, Fable, God of War, etc, do fuck all for me.

    Anyway, the best games this gen have been multiplatform, plus the PC has loads of exclusives of its own.

    The PC is the best platform out there, by a mile.

    #56 3 years ago
  57. fearmonkey

    This was a fun read Johnny and reminded me of some great times in my PC gaming past.
    I remember in 1996 picking up a Monster 3D 3DFX Voodoo card to go along with my 4MB Matrox Millenium card in my PC. I remember starting up Quake with the glide patch installed and thus began my graphics lust. Without the 3DFX card Quake was blocky and I had to play at a very low resolution on my Pentium system at that time, with the 3DFX everything was sharp and smooth, and looked amazing. I hardly touched my playstation again after that, as its low res just couldn’t compare.
    PC’s, thanks to the extended current console life, are making a resurgence. Deus EX:HR on PC blows away the console version, as does Crysis2, Skyrim and others.

    #57 3 years ago
  58. Lounds

    PC gaming is good even if your PC is lacking power, I currently run BF3 at 1080p at low settings on a ATI 4850 and I shit you not it still looks better than the xbox & PS3 version lol.

    #58 3 years ago
  59. Dimaco

    Hmm… I also got myself a new gaming pc lately, pretty much for BATTLEFIELD 3 alone, and it looks awesome and stuff, but I just can’t leave my PS3. Probably because of the controls… And I like it more!
    Plus, when you have a high performance pc you can probably play new games at maximum detail for what, one year?
    And then if you want to keep that “prerogative” you end up spending a s**tload of money to upgrade it…
    No, thanks, I’ll stick to my console, instead. Gaming experience doesn’t look any worse to me, even with less detail.

    #59 3 years ago
  60. Lounds

    @59 Uncharted 3 yes please, best looking game on consoles to date imo.

    #60 3 years ago
  61. Dimaco

    @60 glad you know what I mean! :-)

    #61 3 years ago
  62. Maximum Payne

    @59 same story with me.I just prefer PC over consoles because of controls and not over graphic and other stuff.

    #62 3 years ago
  63. Dimaco

    @62 I can understand that, most people instead keep pushing pc’s better performance, without considering how much more you need to pay to get that result. Plus, console games are generally better optimized, resulting in very good graphic performance even on a hardware that old (e.g. Uncharted, Forza, and other already cited titles)

    #63 3 years ago
  64. Erthazus

    @59,
    “Plus, when you have a high performance pc you can probably play new games at maximum detail for what, one year?”

    Not true at all, if you spent “shitload of money” you will run any game at max or highest settings for 5-6 years.

    Look at the Steph’s rig at the previous page. It’s outdated and she still will run most of the games on the highest settings.

    If you upgraded your PC for the BF3 alone, you are going to have amazing visuals for many years.

    good luck and have fun.

    #64 3 years ago
  65. Dimaco

    Well, I guess it might be the case.. But than you won’t have that hugely enhanced performance over consoles most pc gamers seem to need… Btw, as said, I don’t dislike pc gaming at all, I simply prefer playing on my console, that’s all…

    #65 3 years ago
  66. DSB

    @63 I don’t know about that.

    Performance is usually taken to mean superficial graphics stuff, but I’m pretty sure most of us prefer the PC for more than just overly expensive graphics, even if that’s what the fanboys like to beat off to.

    Ultimately I love that I can switch from playing a game, to watching a show, to chatting with friends, to writing e-mails, to listening to music on whatever website or client I choose, shopping online on whatever website or client I choose, looking things up, to writing up something for work, potentially within seconds of eachother. You aren’t locked down by proprietary software, and it’s a lot quicker to get around and enjoy that freedom. Alt-tabbing and multi-tasking is a very big part of why I prefer the PC.

    Controls are mostly a question of what you prefer, but with PC’s supporting both mouse and keyboard as well as gamepads, we tend to get the best of both worlds, which means I can play most things console gamers can, as well as strategy games, which aren’t exactly numerous on consoles.

    Sure, shoddy ports are there, and that’s something we have to stomache, but it’s not like nobody ever fucks up on the consoles. Memba Dragon Age, Mafia 2, Modern Warfare 2, RAGE, Skyrim and Battlefield 3? That’s just off the top of my head.

    #66 3 years ago
  67. Lounds

    But as PC gamers, we have to know how to troubleshoot our computers when something fails, or software stop working, consoles don’t really have the same issues, but you are right PC’s are easier to download & play, work etc.

    #67 3 years ago
  68. Dimaco

    @66 that goes without saying, nobody here is trying to compare consoles with pcs for all that purposes… All I am trying to say is that considering the hardware’s age this gen can give you a hell of a great time, and I don’t believe what you now get on pc is worth buying one for gaming alone (of course you need a pc for a bunch of other activities like the ones you mentioned!)

    #68 3 years ago
  69. DSB

    @67 There are definitely pros and cons, but I don’t think it’s ever been easier to keep a PC running smoothly. With Windows 7 it’s become pretty easy to handle drivers, and as long as you don’t abuse your PC with bad software, there’s really a lot less to worry about than there ever was.

    The only major problems I’ve had over the last 5-10 years has been hardware dying on me, and while that’s a major life crisis every time, it’s still only been once or twice over that period.

    Back in the 90′s it felt like there was a new super-virus wreaking havoc on your PC every other week.

    @68 Well my point is that it’s an essential part of the PC experience. I don’t have to limit myself to playing games on it.

    Consoles are a great compromise between performance and price, and they’ve only gotten better at offering some of the things the PC does, in terms of online services and multimedia, but ultimately you’re stuck with the dashboard or PSN if you want to do anything other than game.

    I definitely wouldn’t recommend buying a PC for gaming alone unless you’re a major hifi geek, but I personally don’t know any PC gamers who bought a PC purely for gaming. They might have chosen the specs to allow for high performance gaming, but the thing that truly makes it worth it almost has to be the versatility.

    #69 3 years ago
  70. reask

    @69
    Theres the thing right there.
    My PC wont run ping pong but years ago I had 1 that ran a few games like nightfire 007 and a couple of others.
    I was having a few problems with nightfire and when I finally got to the crux of the problem it turned out my anti virus was causing it.

    If what you are saying is correct then maybe I might consider having a second look sometime in the future but the console does what it says on the tin albeit with compromises.

    I mean us techy noobs are out there in there millions and I reckon it is what,s keeping the console business ahead.

    #70 3 years ago
  71. DSB

    You’re never gonna get around the human factor though, and Lounds is absolutely right in that troubleshooting is a part of playing on the PC.

    I consider myself a tech noob as well. I can barely slot a GFX card, even though I’ve been gaming since the 386. I have this idea that my computer is going to explode in my face if I try to open it.

    Sometimes developers don’t account for things like antivirus or firewalls. When I first tried to play BF3 coop, it wouldn’t launch, which turned out to be because they hadn’t made sure it was compatible with even the most common free antivirus programs.

    You also have some games requiring portforwarding to play online, which is a pretty intimidating thing for people who aren’t too savvy.

    On the bright side, troubleshooting is effective. There are few issues that can’t be solved on the frontpage of a Steam forum, and sometimes the community even takes it upon itself to fix developers mistakes for them.

    These days you’ll also have the problem of DRM, which is usually very poorly designed software that isn’t meant to convenience anyone. The console audience is spared that at least.

    #71 3 years ago
  72. HauntaVirus

    Congrats on the recent build, welcome to EPIC GAMING!

    #72 3 years ago
  73. loki

    this boring junk article still on top?
    facepalm
    You dissapoint me VG247

    #73 3 years ago
  74. triggerhappy

    @ loki: Why do you hate PC so much? Instead of just making a rubbish comment why don’t you air your grievances and tell us all your problem with the platform. I am actually genuinely interested to hear what you’ve got to say.

    #74 3 years ago
  75. Erthazus

    @73, “this boring junk article still on top?”

    Because People Like PC Gaming, now get lost.

    #75 3 years ago
  76. freedoms_stain

    @74, I’ve been reading this blog since early 2009 and never known him to reply to another user, he just trolls.

    #76 3 years ago
  77. SwiftRanger

    The more we game on varied platforms the better. Every platform has its killer ap and its strengths and we should all respect that.

    While PC gaming coming back is a nice thing, there is also the fact that it is in a more dire state than at the end of the previous console cycle. Some would just say it’s “different” but that’s quite a lie.

    RTS is as good as dead. MMO’s haven’t changed (free-to-play business model or not). PC exclusive shooters don’t exist. Multiplatform titles haven barely advanced their respective genres. DRM has only gotten worse. The same publishers/developers still release their titles in a buggy state (Paradox, Bethesda) on PC. Games have only become more cheapish due to an overabundance of sales. Big names as Bryan Reynolds, Soren Johnson have effectively left the hardcore gaming industry for dreadful social apps and FB games. Most of those promising indies from back in the day haven’t grown into the healthy medium-sized developers we’ve all wanted them to become. Last but not least, the two biggest publishers out there still show they can ruin the reputation of once great developers (Bioware, Mythic, Pandemic, Raven, etc.).

    No, it seems no-one except Valve or Blizzard have survived with all their ideas and capabilities intact. Everyone else is under pressure on PC. We are very far removed from a golden age. Very far.

    #77 3 years ago
  78. Maximum Payne

    @77 That is true.
    Even RTS developers developed games on console first and then to PC which is big facepalm like EndWar and older alien theme game can’t remember wasn’t big succeed.Red alert 3 was ok but last CnC was abomination.
    Total War is good franchise.
    DRM is only critical with Ubi titles.

    #78 3 years ago
  79. frostquake

    Though I may not be a Young Buck like JC, at 21 I am guessing, I too remember get into the Gaming PC’s.

    I started with my first gaming PC being a Packard Bell 286 and went to a 386, 486, then a 486×2. Buying Ram and Video Cards like they were candy! Remember when Video Cards had to have their own Power Supplies, as big as the Power Supply on the Xbox 360?

    With each iteration of Wing Commander, I had to be able to run it at its highest specs no matter the cost. Had to see Mark Hamill in all his Video Glory..LOL.

    I thought the Glory Days would never end…but something Funny Happened!

    I got Married, Bought House, Bought 2 Cars, Bought a Farm, Bought Appliances, Bought Electronics, Bought Furniture, Bought and set up Salt Water Tanks, Bought and Set up Fresh Water Tanks, Bought and Filled up Guest Bedrooms! Bought Annuities! Played the Stock Market! Bought 7 PC’s!

    Had a Great Job, made a Ton of Money, and life was good!

    Then Life wasn’t so good. The Company I worked for got bought, and then got stripped and sold off in parts, and then went bankrupt and closed!

    Found another Job, a Good Job, but not as good as I had. Funny how something as taking a Pay Cut of $50,000.00 and no bonuses and no stock options can totally change your World View!

    All of a Sudden I wanted everything…EVERYTHING…I had to “LAST AS LONG AS POSSIBLE!”

    I had to eliminate things that nibbled at my money. Monthly Fee’s for MMO’s, 6-12 Month Upgrades of my PC’s, No more Stock Market, No more Annuities, No more Salt Water Tanks, No more Fresh Water Tanks, No more Landscaping my Farm, Sold 100 Chickens, Sold 25 Turkeys, Sold 50 Ducks, Sold 20 Geese, Sold all my Pygmy Goats!

    Say your 20 something living with Parents…Then you have a TON of disposable income if your working a great job, and your Parents feed you and pay for everything.

    Say your 40 something, been through jobs due to a horrible economy, married, have kids, and have acquired all kinds of things for 20 years!

    All of a sudden you WANT things to LAST as long as possible, that is why Console Gaming is perfect for the 99% of the USA! You see as you get older and your “DISPOSABLE” income shrinks you find yourself wanting things to last as long as possible, unless your one of the lucky 1% in the USA, who can just buy, buy, buy!

    So to JC I say, Lets talk in 20 years and see where you are? Believe me, I would LOVE to be in your position, but it wouldn’t be “Responsible” of me to do that, So I envy you, and tell you to ENJOY it, and I hope for you it can last! :)

    #79 3 years ago
  80. turin

    @77 – RTS genre is as good as dead? Hardly. If anything, it’s getting better. PC exclusive shooters don’t exist? Try Red Orchestra or ArmA. Both make Battlefield and COD look like piles of crap.

    It sounds to me like you’re not looking hard enough or are making assumptions based on what you see in the mainstream.

    #80 3 years ago
  81. DSB

    @77 Whoa, whoa, and whoa.

    I don’t think you can say that the RTS is dead when it’s pretty much singlehandedly dominating the e-sports scene worldwide.

    And Raven was a great developer… In the mid-90′s! Even id Software is falling apart, and so things change, some people innovate, some people fail to go anywhere. I don’t disagree with a lot of the points you make, but I definitely would’ve picked Massive Entertainment and Relic over those guys in a heartbeat.

    I don’t know anyone who wishes indies to be gobbled up by the industry. I’m perfectly happy with independent developers not being molested by venture capital or wild expansions. If anything they’ve only gotten stronger by not going that way. People are throwing hundreds of thousands of dollars at games that have sometimes only been programmed by a single person! And now it’s gotten even better, with some developers even finding support among the community to fund their work before their games are even released.

    What could they possibly get by emulating the biggest studios and removing themselves from that community? In a time where people seem to be in tears over how many people are buying Call of Duty, how can that not be the closest thing to Nirvana on earth?

    I agree completely with the sentiment around DRM, and I agree that a lot of publishers are ignoring what’s really a very viable platform, and I also agree that the unique gameplay experiences have been cut back as a result, certainly in terms of tactical shooters, tactical RPGs and strategy, but I think it can only be seen as temporary.

    I don’t agree that shooters have changed in a negative way because of consoles. I realize that a lot of people force that idea on themselves because they loved running around in mazes 10 or 20 years ago and they dearly treasure the time they’ve wasted on serverbrowsers ever since then, but ultimately things change for the better. In terms of the PC alone, it’s been the case with both Modern Warfare 2 and Battlefield 3 that the console audience have gotten a lot less (or more in the way of bugs, depending on the way you look at it) for their money.

    I don’t think there’s any reason to be pessimistic. Publishers like EA are making more per PC release than they are on any other platform, and that sort of thing speaks louder than the status quo. And if EA knows that, then everybody else does too. Except maybe Ubisoft or THQ, but they’re arguably the dumbest guys in the room.

    #81 3 years ago
  82. Clupula

    See, one of the first things you said was that it cost 830 pounds or something. That’s over a thousand dollars. I don’t have money like that to spend on games when I’ve got a perfectly good console to play on. Not to mention, if I want a game to look as good as possible, I’ve got to constantly upgrade my equipment. I will probably never switch to PC. I have a PC now that I could probably not run Half Life 1 on before it would crash and it does everything I need it to do.

    If you enjoy playing a game on a PC, then that’s cool for you. I prefer my PS3. And honestly, I hope this gen lasts until 2015, at least. I’m not ready to buy a new system any time soon.

    #82 3 years ago
  83. Virginityrocks

    Yeah, a good PC usually costs in the 1000 – 1200 range, or 2000 for a complete system with new tech, but everyone needs/has a computer, so a portion of that cost is already going to be spent one way or the other. Then, of course, if you take the price of a console plus the extra cost of games, service charges, tag on fees like warranty, all of the over-priced peripherals not included in the original box, you’re not looking at spending very much more than you otherwise would. By buying a gaming PC you’re buying a fast computer, capable of gaming, HD movie playback, and a fast, enjoyable general computer experience. I highly doubt you’re reading this on your Xbox or PS3. You’re probably on a computer. I simply took whatever cost I would have thrown into the console pile and instead put it towards buying the faster, more expensive computer. I didn’t spend a dime more than you.

    #83 3 years ago
  84. frostquake

    @ 83

    You couldn’t be more Wrong on the Price being the same on a PC in the Long run.

    I have my original PS3 $400, I have two Controllers, one came in the box, so $50. Bought a 2 year warranty for $30 (Which by the way they sell Warranties for Computers too!) Then last year I bought a bigger Hard-Drive and it cost $50. So I spent $530 Dollars so far!

    Game Cost…Games cost on PC and cost on PS3. I rarely buy day one, so I spend about $20 on a PS3 games!

    I watch Blu-Ray Movies, Play Games, Watch Major League Baseball, Rent Movies.

    I do have a $200 Netbook that I am typing this on right now and have had since I bought my PS3. I had to add ram to the Netbook to speed it up!

    If I had a Gaming PC, I would still have spent at least a $1000.00 on, then in 10 years I promise you I would have upgraded the Memory, Video Card, Power Supply, Mother-Board, and Intel Chip…That won’t happen on my PS3 at all!

    YES the Gaming PC is the Best, but it also Cost the Most in the long run..Your comparison is just outright wrong! I know for a FACT because I have done both!!

    #84 3 years ago
  85. turin

    PC gaming works out a lot cheaper in my experience.

    I bought my current PC in 2006, around the same time as I bought my 360. I haven’t upgraded once since and it’s still able to run all the latest games (albeit not on ultra). I’m fairly confident that will still be the case when the current console generation has ended.

    Now, during this time, i’ve found myself spending considerably more money on console games than PC games… and I buy more PC games.

    Thanks to Steam, I rarely seem to spend more than £10 on PC games. Compared to the £30-340 I spend on console games. On top of that, there are no Live subscriptions to worry about on a PC.

    Taking into consideration that PC gaming has a significantly vaster catalogue of games available, there’s simply no question which is better value for money.

    #85 3 years ago
  86. NoPizzaNoCry

    PC allows LANs to be held.
    And a gamer who hasn’t experienced a LAN with friends missed one of the big joys of being a gamer.

    #86 3 years ago
  87. silkvg247

    I challenge any UK gamers to come to the next Insomnia. I go to them all. :p

    #87 3 years ago
  88. Clupula

    I just feel that I should never pay twice my rent on an entertainment product.

    #88 3 years ago
  89. silkvg247

    @88 – Illogical.

    Rent is a montly payment.

    A £1,200 PC would last you three years, that’s about £33 a month.

    #89 3 years ago
  90. Clupula

    It’s still a lot of saving up when I have rent and bills and band expenses to pay for, already. I don’t need a gaming rig when I have a PS3. My computer, itself, was a gift, because I was about to buy a $150 netbook and a family member wanted me to have something better. It’s still not anywhere near powerful enough to run any games on.

    Not to mention, my PS3 has lasted me 4 years already and didn’t cost $1,500.

    #90 3 years ago