I know I tend to harp on this kind of stuff every now and then, but given my research interest (and obsession amongst other things) in gaming, I think I can be forgiven. I came across an article on Gamasutra whilst going through my Google Reader feeds and was pleasantly surprised to see a mention of South African game development. It linked to a particularly interesting blog post by Joshua Dallman, who was in South Africa working with a game development company (he never stated which, although given the limited number working in the country I could probably hazard a guess…)
Whilst originally reading the post, I felt my hackles rise at his complaints of bad internet (yes, we know it’s not as good as the US, but if you cant watch Flash files, theres something wrong with the internet you’re using, it’s not a general problem for a good connection!) he did justify and correct many of these complaints in the comments section (worth a read when you’ve finished the article).
Although I’m not speaking from a game DEVELOPER point of view, I began to ponder on his comment that the majority of the gaming market here is for PC. His comment on the fact that very few people have Mac’s (again, justified later, but I felt the irritation initially) and older PC’s baffled me. Yes, there is a HUGE PC market in South Africa! I own a XBox, PC, as well as a PSP and a DS, but I don’t deny that I am probably amongst the exceptions to the rule. I was always under the impression that more people owned consoles than ‘game spec’ PC’s. Surely it is cheaper to save up and outlay the money once off for a console than to spend it on continuously upgrading a computer (because let’s not deny it, thats what is required)? My own PC at home is a bottomless pit that sucks in my money and spits it out the other end 6 months later when it needs to be upgraded if I want to stay abreast of the latest hardware. The fact that I dont upgrade it every six months (who has that much money?) is irrelevant. So, yes, perhaps people own older PC’s, but there are just as many people out there who own older consoles (games are still developed for PS2) and I find it interesting that his impressions (which were largely of rAge) seemed to be that so many of us still favoured PC’s. Again, the fact that rAge is still largely (from my experience anyway, of course I have no data to back this up!) a white demographic again makes me disinclined to take his impression as seriously as I should.
If we take the ‘older hardware’ persepctive: how much easier is it to buy a console, take it home and plug it into your TV, put in a game and pick up a controller – than to buy a PC (again an older one remember), install the game, discover it keeps crashing, figure out why and then have to change the settings to make sure it runs on your computer before you can play?
Before anyone gets up in arms – yes, these are generalisations, musings on my part – I lay no claim to any facts and am merely thinking about whether or not his impressions are correct…
But, here I am talkng about something you’ve never even read – read Joshua Dallman’s post here