Someone Says Something Nice About PC Shocker

By John Walker on March 20th, 2008 at 12:26 pm.

Are you sure sir, it does mean changing all three bulbs?

With all the moaning and bitching about the PC of late, it’s a relief to hear EA championing the format. According to a recent Eurogamer article, EA say that the consoles still can’t keep up with the real-time strategy.

“Console RTS design has come a long way, but I don’t know if you will be able to lead design of a true RTS, which is so inherently reliant on the mouse and keyboard combination, on the console. It’s one of the reasons we don’t do cross platform play – the way RTS’ [sic] are meant to be played, the PC guys would be so much faster.”

This is all being said to suggest that next year’s Red Alert 3 will be cross-platform, but even this early on EA are stating it won’t compare to the PC version.

“What our team has done with the new radial interface in C&C3 Kane’s Wrath is leaps and bounds beyond that. It’s still not close to a PC, but it shows we can keep improving and that’s something our team is dedicated to continue to strive towards.”

Yeah, we’ll take the scraps we’re tossed at this point. Read the rest of the article here. And check out the Red Alert 3 screenshots here.

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24 Comments »

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  1. Butler` says:

    Loving his implications about the focus on multiplayer improvements. It bodes well, especially on the back of c&c3’s “implementation” – if you can call it that.

    And yeah, I can’t see consoles catching up with KB/M ever, basically due to the limitations of a controller. Peaks of 600 actions per minute in StarCraft aren’t unheard of.

  2. Phil says:

    Console RTS have always given me nightmares, I still remember completing Command and Conquer 1 on the Playstation with no mid-mission saves – Christ that was tough.

    Goblin Commander (from Blizzard, I believe) was the only one that really ‘got’ consoles, ie semi-direct controls and not simply treating the joypad as a slower form of mouse, huge monsters smashing stuff helped too.

  3. Jim Rossignol says:

    All that said, the 360 version of Universe At War is looking pretty good.

  4. Cigol says:

    Who says RTS games have to use the point and click interface, what about games like Battlezone (RETROSPECTIVE!) and its spate of imitators in the 90’s?

  5. Chris Evans says:

    Well Battlezone was a RTS/FPS hybrid of sorts though wasn’t it? It didn’t need the complex management present in many modern RTS games on the PC

  6. Ging says:

    Butler – 600 actions per minute? Even accounting for things like unit selection that’s actually insane, it’s like, 10 actions a second…

    Are you sure that’s right? Even as a peak value, that’s obscene.

    Edit: Seems that it’s not just EA saying nice things about the PC. Steve Nix of id has also been at it: Gamesindustry.biz

  7. Butler` says:

    It’s absolutely phenomenal, but yes I’m 100% sure. It’s even the the recently released Guinness Book of Records: Gaming Edition.

    Of course, this is coming at it from a purely competitive angle. I don’t doubt the RTS genre can be highly successful on consoles in some respects (UAW could be one such example).

  8. Ging says:

    I can’t even begin to imagine working at that level, I guess that’s why I never became a pro SC player!

  9. Geoff says:

    I feel the same way about FPS, but that hasn’t stopped them. Hell, the Halo series is one of the biggest console hits these days.

    As long as the opponents are suitably scaled down (read: no PC vs Console multiplayer games) it seems people are still able to have some fun with the significantly inferior interface. Perhaps because they’re simply not used to the alternative.

    I don’t doubt that if you’re used to playing RTS and FPS on PC, you would have a hard time accepting them on console, but if console is all you’ve got… Could still be fun and interesting.

  10. xeallos says:

    “what about games like Battlezone (RETROSPECTIVE!) and its spate of imitators in the 90’s?”

    You meant to say Uprising, and it’s spate of imitators in the 90’s like Battlezone, right?

  11. Cigol says:

    If you say so? I wouldn’t remember to be honest, but I wasn’t meaning to be unflattering with the use of the word ‘imitators’ either – I liked them both.

  12. Ging says:

    I’m not convinced that Battlezone was directly influenced by Uprising, if only because there was less than a year between the two games being released. Uprising came out late 97, Battlezone in 98.

    Besides, the 98 Battlezone was a remake of the old 80’s arcade game of the same name (well, re-imagining might be a better term, as it introduced so much new stuff).

  13. Andynonymous says:

    I find FPS games completely playable on consoles. I bought CoD4 without a moments hesitation for my 360 and have never once felt that I’d have been better off playing it on PC. The controls work well, and hypothetically, the only time you might feel disadvantaged is if you were playing cross platform MP versus pr0 M+KB players.
    On the other hand I feel RTSs, and RPGs to a lesser extent, definately suffer on consoles, and make the games feel far more labourious to control.

  14. Ging says:

    Andynonymous: I agree with you about FPS games on consoles, I’ve played, literally, days of MP CoD4 on the 360 and am quite happy with it.

    I’ve also played it on the PC and don’t feel that I’m missing anything – I play a lot of FPS games and can happily say that I don’t mind if they’re on a console or on the PC, as long as they’re half decent.

    There are a number of ways that RTS games can work on a console, but generally only on a smaller scale (something more squad based that don’t involve managing hundreds of units).

    Andynonymous, why do you think that RPGs suffer on consoles?

  15. Phil says:

    Thinking about it Halo Wars looks remarkably good – the pitched battle at the end of the gameplay trailer was special – perhaps it’ll be the game to finally solve the control issues in console RTSer.

    It’s Halo though, so unless they cut the sub-Attack of the Clones exo-politics cack I’m excluding myself.

  16. Chaz says:

    Tom Clancys Endwar is the RTS I’m looking forward to on the console as the units are voice controlled.

    I tried the demo for C&C3 on my 360 and couldn’t get on with it at all, it was way to fiddly and frustrating.

    As for FPS’s I don’t mind them on the 360, it just takes a little bit of getting used to. However I still find myself having to tap the stick to nudge it into place to line up precision shots that would have been elementary on the PC with a mouse and keyboard.

    No doubt about it RTS and FPS games do control a lot better on the PC. However my main reason for playing these games on a console is because my PC is no longer up to scratch and £200 on a 360 was a lot cheaper than splurging out on a new PC.

  17. James says:

    I have to say, I infinitely prefer a controller for my FPS’s. I’ve played more than enough FPS games on both PC and consoles, and I really only use a mouse and keyboard when I absolutely have to. In fact, I prefer a controller set up for player most genres. *Raises shield to protect from the stoning.*

    That said, for an RTS… yeah, not so much. Even a TBS is a tough one. I couldn’t imagine trying to play Civ 4 on the Xbox, for example, though I am absolutely interested to see something like Civilization Revolutions’ take on the matter. There might be hope for the console based RTS yet.

  18. Dean says:

    An FPS designed for a console is an inherantly different beast than one designed for PC. That’s why ports are never as good as the native versions – why HL2 is the best seller on PC and CoD4 on 360.

    You design an FPS for a console you require less precision shots, the need to be looking up and down and other changes are made. Most lazy PC ports just throw in auto-aim to compensate.

    It may have been one of the RPS guys that coined the notion of PC FPSs being “shooting floating heads” – there’s rarely need for anything that isn’t a head-shot in a PC game.

    I bought Red Alert for the Playstation. The next day I went back to GAME and bought the Playstation mouse.

    edit: I went back to Electronics Boutique, OBVIOUSLY.

  19. andy says:

    hopefully this puts some fire under the idiot console manufacturers to allow for 100% mouse/keyboard support in the real next-generation.

  20. Garth says:

    I never feel odd playing console shooters until I play a PC one after. The sheer amount of control you have on a PC is huge in comparison.

    For example, try Vegas 1 or 2 on 360, then PC. You’ll notice a massive difference.

  21. Rich Powers says:

    Until a console can push 1920×1200 resolution or support dual screens (like SupCom), I’ll stick to PCs for my RTS needs. The PC is simply superior for those of us who enjoy games that require complex management.

    That being said, I’m really looking forward to EndWar because it promises to streamline the RTS command structure. As much as I love SupCom, I’d really like an intelligent voice recognition system that could help me command.

  22. James T says:

    Edit: Seems that it’s not just EA saying nice things about the PC. Steve Nix of id has also been at it: Gamesindustry.biz

    Man, she really shouldn’t have got that haircut!

  23. wcaypahwat says:

    Thats a terrible, terrible joke. But I laughed anyway.