Borderlands 2 designer: Consoles dictate the PC

Scott Kester, the lead concept designer for Gearbox's upcoming Borderlands 2, bemoaned the state of PC gaming to GameBlurb during a preview for the game. While there was a time when PC gamers scoffed at 'inferior' console games, those days are long gone, and the tables have turned.

“In this market,” Kester said, “unfortunately the consoles kind of dictate the PC.” Sure enough, a cursory glance at any forum dedicated to PC gaming will turn up plenty of people with the same complaint. While ten years ago it was the consoles that dealt with inferior ports and bemoaned PC exclusives, PC gamers are more often than not the ones coping with inferior ports these days.

Still, all hope is not lost – Gearbox still has lots of love for the PC, Kester says. “We're proud to say that we're one of the few developers that put a lot of effort into PC. Since we all come from that background, we make sure not a single system is compromised in development.” Not too many studios can say that, as any PC gamer will tell you.

Borderlands 2, a first-person shooter/RPG mashup, launches this September for PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360.

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Maybe todays developers should look back at when games are simpler... there was a far bigger performance gap between computer systems. For example there was a massive difference between the MSX, Amiga, Commodore and the ZX Spectrum, but there were usually different versions of the same game on each. I don't think there was any discussion back then about bringing a game down to a certain minimum level so they ran identically on them all... They all just looked and sometimes played different. These days they all look the same.

It's kinda weird actually. I have a PS3 and an Xbox, and 90% of the games are exactly the same on both.

I do agree with the article but one thing the PC will always have over a console.

Upgrading is simplistic, Whereas a console isn't. If you need to make your system faster and you have a stepping processor. Well you just overclock your PC which will increase processing prower and RAM performance. You cannot do this on a console. Therefore, the PC wins again. The market for PC is shrinking there is no doubt about this. But ever faithful PC users keep the market steady.

Tell me Gandalf,
In what world is it more "simplistic" to research and overclock your processor than it is to just throw away a console and buy a new one?

ZenVenT said,
Tell me Gandalf,
In what world is it more "simplistic" to research and overclock your processor than it is to just throw away a console and buy a new one?
because new, more powerful consoles don't get released very often

I don't think the problem is as big as made out and is partly "PC snobbery". There are valid complaints that can be attributed to consoles (such as one my friend made about the Skyrim menus only working well with the keyboard). But all too often the "console port" complaints are more about design choices that would be no different even if it was a PC-only title because they are about making the game accessible and fun to all - not a few "elitists" living in their basement.

Don't get me wrong, I dislike the direction some games have taken too. I miss true tactical shooters like Rogue Spear. But is it down to consoles? No. It is down to the now mass-market appeal of games. And if we want new great games then we need that mass-market appeal.

What annoys me more actually is developers releasing new game ideas under classic IPs. Anything with "Rainbow Six", "Ghost Recon", "Command & Conquer" or "Need for Speed" are dead to me now.

I have no problem with console ports as long as they are good. L.A. Noire is one I really liked console port or not I was glad to see it come to the PC. If the game is good I welcome it.

It's true and it has been like that for a couple of years. Thankfully, there are companies like Blizzard Entertainment and Valve that make great PC games. I look forward to Borderlands 2 and the news of a proper PC version made me look forward to it even more.

Anaron said,
It's true and it has been like that for a couple of years. Thankfully, there are companies like Blizzard Entertainment and Valve that make great PC games. I look forward to Borderlands 2 and the news of a proper PC version made me look forward to it even more.

And amidst all their claims it still didn't sound like a proper PC version.