With Windows 8 announced to release on October 26th, PC gaming is about to get a bit of a shake up. I won't say that the changes coming in Windows 8 are going to be terrible for PC gaming, but the idea of Valve reaching out to Linux is giving me hope for the growth of PC 'platforms'. Heck, even Apple is looking at letting other companies connect video game controllers to iOS devices. With these developments and changes I thought it might be the right time to talk about where I see PC gaming going and where I hope it might go. Sadly, these things don't always match up.
Where I hope PC Gaming will go:
Valve releases the proper codecs, programming, and other software necessary to enable PC gaming on anything that runs Steam. With the addition of Mac desktops and laptops, as well as Linux and Chrome OS, PC gaming has moved to be available on all computer platforms, not just traditional Windows systems. Publishers work to partner with Valve more closely, removing the need for intrusive DRM and allowing Steam users to 'trade' games amongst themselves. EA expands their Origin service as a download platform, turning it into a broader digital store to compete with Steam. Indie developers now have a pair of distributors to work with, EA and Valve actively compete for distribution rights. The most notable change: Steam and Origin work to become cross-platform, expanding into multiplayer with console gamers without relying on Games for Windows or the Apple App Store.
Where PC Gaming will probably go:
EA's Origin program will maintain the status quo, while making reaching out to indie games to try and move them away from Steam. Steam will probably release for Linux though the availability of games for it may be small except for Valve games. Apple allows for third party companies to connect video game controllers to their products but the only games available are provided by Steam or through the App Store. Publishers continue to experiment with DRM, more often than not, to the annoyance of their customers. Digital game resale and trading is swept under the carpet except for small companies like Green Man Gaming which only allow for games being traded back to them at set prices rather than between end-users.
This is all obviously just a glimpse into my crystal ball. I know that my hopes are fairly high for PC gaming but I do believe it is the best platform for gaming and there's a good chance for increased availability to the average casual user as opposed to the 'hardcore' system builders/hobbyists like myself. Give me your thoughts and suggestions in the comments, what do you expect or want to see from PC gaming in the future?