Consoles are the future of video gaming … wait, that's tablets … wait, it's actually smartphones. Or is it?
I've been an avid gamer my whole life but resisted console games for a long time – PC-based games were just more flexible and had more depth. But the exclusivity of titles like Halo 3 and others forced me to finally pick up an Xbox 360 and a PS3.
If you're willing to spend the money, a top-of-the-line PC setup for gaming will always have a leg up on an Xbox or Playstation. The games made for consoles are tuned for those platforms, so they'll almost never run slowly or crash. Despite all that, there's something missing; I've been left feeling I should have more control.
The issue isn't a lack of people who will play on PCs, or even a lack of support among developers. Corporations go where the real volume is, and right now that's the console market, so PC gaming is treated as an afterthought.
But if you're nostalgic for the good old days of PC gaming, you may be in luck.
The Wing Commander series of video games was iconic, and practically launched the space combat simulator along with games like X-Wing.
Wing Commander also was one of the first games to feature full-motion video comparable to movies. It started off as a PC platform only. Unfortunately, despite being ported to numerous consoles, the series died at about the time gaming was making its shift to platforms like the Xbox. It left behind a large and vibrant fan base, but despite numerous false starts, the franchise never took off again.
Until now. With the help of crowdfunding – a concept for which anyone can chip in financial support – the original creator of Wing Commander, Chris Roberts, has raised over $3 million from nearly 50,000 people to resurrect high-caliber PC gaming with Star Citizen, the spiritual successor to Wing Commander. This isn't a pipe dream – the game has already been paid for, and it has a built-in fan base, so it will be made. And Star Citizen is just one example.
Increasingly, game developers, writers, and even small-budget movie productions are escaping corporate control by funding their own projects via online donations. It's not always that large companies don't want to produce them, but their creators would prefer to do it their way. The online funding concept has proven to be surprisingly viable, and many genres that had been fading away are now seeing a resurgence of interest, as people are willing to spend a little money for something that corporations don't think is worthwhile.