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Console Gaming Hits [on] the PC!

The continued success of Microsoft’s console business is a sour point for some PC gamers. Many perceive the growth of the console market as a drain on the constantly shrinking PC space. Fortunately, there are aspects of Microsoft’s success which actually serve to prop up PC development. It’s no secret that publishers have found bigger profits on set-top boxes, but thanks to Microsoft’s unified tools, the PC has hardly been left out in the cold.

Developers have been creating content for multiple platforms since the dawn of this industry. In the past, however, this often meant starting from the scratch on each independent platform. Even with the dawn of the Microsoft age of console gaming, things didn’t really seem all that promising for the PC. Some PC games made their way to the original Xbox, but fewer console releases traveled in the opposite direction. With the advent of more powerful consoles and more unified tools, however, there are ports moving across platforms in both directions more seamlessly than ever.

These are just a few examples of console-first titles that are making a splash on the PC.

There are no zombie shortages on the PC.

Resident Evil 5 (released)

Capcom isn’t exactly well known for their PC support. However, their participation on the platform seems to be gaining steam. Their seventh generation game engine, known as MT Framework, deserves most of the credit. The multiplatform engine has allowed Capcom to create software that runs on all “next generation” platforms with relative ease. The results have been tremendously promising, especially on the PC; many of Capcom’s other MT Framework titles have already made their way to the platform, including Devil May Cry 4 and Lost Planet.

Where Resident Evil had been halfheartedly ported to Windows in the past, the fifth entry in Capcom’s survival horror franchises represents the best version to appear on the PC yet. With support for post-HD resolutions and more accurate aiming, it’s arguably the best version of the game period.

There’s no demo for the PC version of Resident Evil 5, but there is a nifty benchmark tool that will give you a glimpse of how well it performs on your rig. The Resident Evil 5 benchmark tool can be found here.

Not shown: naked Cammy skin!

Street Fighter 4 (released)

Street Fighter 4 represents one of the more unique titles to appear on this list. Of all of the games that one would expect to make their way to Windows, fighters are among the least likely candidates. The PC version of Capcom’s Street Fighter revival is almost ironic, and yet, many have called it the “definitive version” of the game. In addition to all of the features included in its original console release, Capcom has upped the ante by including some interesting new elements, such as PC exclusive achievements and new visual filters. The community has even created a variety of custom costumes for your favorite characters, many rivaling the quality of the official DLC. If the appearance of Street Fighter on the PC weren’t already ironic enough, this game doesn’t even use Capcom’s MT Framework!

Street Fighter 4 for uses Games For Windows Live; unfortunately it does not support cross platform multi-player. If you’d like to see it in action, you can check out their official benchmark tool for Street Fighter 4 as well.

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Batman: Arkham Asylum (released)

This title comes from a pretty fresh developer. Rocksteady Studios isn’t exactly well known in any corner of the video game industry, or, they weren’t until their new Batman title hit retail shelves. Many gamers applauded Rocksteady for executing a game in the Batman franchise that, well, doesn’t suck! Critics and gamers alike rave about this new stealth-action title, and nearly everyone agrees: the PC version is the cream of the crop.

Batman: Arkham Asylum makes use of Epic’s Unreal Engine 3, which probably made the Windows port an easy decision. For those gamers who have a beefy Nvidia GPU “under the hood,” this game goes the extra mile by supporting Nvidia’s PhysX accelerated physics engine.

Batman: Arkham Asylum was published by Eidos Interactive. You can find it here.

Assassinating PC's in Q1 2010.

Assassin’s Creed 2 (Q1 2010)

Unlike Capcom, Ubisoft is no stranger to PC gamers. They have a history of PC-centric game development, reaching back to classics like Rainbow Six and Ghost Recon. Those franchises have witnessed a bit of a regression in the opinion of many PC gamers, as recent entries of such franchises target console audiences, and thus approach game design with a different mentality.

It’s not Ubisoft’s foundation in PC gaming that appeals to this list. Beginning, perhaps, with titles from the original Xbox (Psychonauts, Beyond Good and Evil, Prince of Persia), Ubisoft has been porting their best console wares to the PC. This trend has continued this generation, with competent PC ports of a new Prince of Persia, and Assassin’s Creed.

Assassin’s Creed 2 will make its way to Windows PC’s in Q1 2010.

Will DICE deliver?

Battlefield Bad Company 2 (March 2010)

This franchise has been the darling of PC gaming since DICE released the original Battlefield 1942 way back in 2002. Since then, the series has received a slew of sequels and spin-off titles. Console gamers got their first taste of Battlefield on last-generation consoles, with the release of Battlefield: Modern Combat. A “next-gen” version followed, but it was Bad Company that really captured an audience. With multiple new Battlefield titles appearing on consoles, it was only natural that DICE’s PC fanbase felt a little ignored. DICE aims to change this perception next spring by bringing the former console exclusive to the PC.

In many ways, this game will test DICE’s dedication to their original fans. With the controversy surrounding Infinity Ward’s Modern Warfare 2, DICE has cashed in. Jaded and angry Call of Duty fans are looking to DICE to steal their hearts, and all they have to do is follow through. I don’t think anyone is expecting Bad Company 2 to be a worthy follow up to (the masterpiece) Battlefield 2, but it certainly looks good enough to hold us over for the next “true” sequel!

DICE will give PC gamers a sneak peak of their efforts in December with an open beta.

5 comments
Firefox
Firefox

There are good games on both platforms. No one can complain!

GriftGFX
GriftGFX

There are also many, many more that I did not mention! Mass Effect 2 comes to mind, or Burnout Paradise! It was difficult to limit this to five games.. and I'm not even suggesting that they're the five best!

GriftGFX
GriftGFX

I actually agree with much of what both of you are saying. I'm not trying to make an argument for ports being in any way superior than exclusives, or suggesting that any of these ports are *perfect*, just that they're great games... and in many cases represent the best versions!

Unknown
Unknown

So should all the PC games go to the consoles? That seems like the point you want to make at the end there. How about making more console franchise move over to the PC before complaining about the lack of genres on consoles. Consoles having worse performance than PC is due to limitations in their hardware, people that buy consoles should know it and complaining about it won't do anything. As for console ports of PC games playing worse, that is what happens when games are ported over to systems that are not design to handle it. If the only satisfactory solution is to make consoles perform better than PC, then go cry more. This article expalins that PC players feel betray because PC franchise moved to consoles, so that point about BF2142 is null. The equivalent case for consoles would have been if Halo Reach or Uncharted 3 became PC only. Capcom's support in this case does not mean the quality of their games on the PC, but the quantity. It is still true that Capcom's number of consoles titles out number their PC titles, and PC versions of console titles are usually delay by quite a bit.

Ynchtuch
Ynchtuch

1º)"Capcom isn’t exactly well known for their PC support" ... and since 2 years ago first Lost Planet, where have you been? Times are changing. Anyway, all of them, cheaper and better in PC (both Lost Planet, R.E.5, DMC 4, SF IV, etc) From here, I thank to Capcom new gen games PC support. 2º) Batman AA: - PC: 1200p, 60 fps. - Xbox 360 & PS3: 720p + limited to 30 FPS. (for some, that is not even HD resol: Max Payne 2 in PC then would be HD) 3º) First Assassin´s Creed on videoconsoles: the worst version of all. If you are happy with that version, congratulations. Not to be very proud of that version. And second A.C. 2 suffers from Screen Tearing, due to the inexistence of control in the graphic menu. 4º) Did videoconsoles audience felt ignore with no Battlefield 2142 version? Or the mutilated Battlefield 2 with ONLY 32 players + no expansions at all ? Battlefields with less than 64 = videoconsolish Battlefield. No, thanks. It is a regresion, not an evolution. 5º) What about RTS ? Graphical Adventures? Flying Simulators ? Exclusive RPG or FPS ? Very relative article. And not very serious. But thanks anyway for a "not objetive" point of view: a) Not same developers. b) Not same kind of genres games c) Not same nationalities working on the games... what are you trying to sale here...a magical potion like in Far West old times ? P.S: STALKERs, The Witcher, Risen, ETQW, Crysis Wars, ArmA 2 for multi, Operation Flashpoint Dragon Rising...? Shattered Horizons?