Editorial
GameGeex - Bungie sparks FPS debate between the mouse/keyboard and controller Who knew a couple of words could spark a whole debate... Oh wait... Well, this one's on controller vs the keyboard and mouse. Have fun.
This is an Editorial post. Views expressed by this post are not necessarily those of GameGeex.

Bungie's unveiling of their upcoming mega shooter, Project Destiny, sparked the gaming industry with quite a bit of interest. I mean, what website isn't talking about it right now? Of course, with every spark comes the desire for more; more news, more details, more everything! So why not ask the co-founder of Bungie, Jason Jones? Well, that's what Destructoid did and the response from Mr.Jones sort of lit a flame in the peripherals department.

We did a bunch of ambitious things on Halo deliberately to reach out to people. We limited players to two weapons, we gave them recharging health, we automatically saved and restored the game—almost heretical things to first-person shooters at the time. We made the game run without a mouse and keyboard. And now nobody plays shooters the way they used to play them before Halo 'cause nobody wants to.

Unfortunately, this response was taken quite literally, you know, as a stand against the mouse and keyboard! Ok, not for truly, since good writers out there were able to make some good points around that (thank goodness). For now, I'll use two notable media outlets who duked it out on this statement; Ars Technica and Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Ars' Kyle Orland argued for Jason's statement from a business perspective while the latter, well, argued against it, or Orland at the least. Both men had excellent things to say on their topic but really I think this got quite out of hand on this whole topic in-general.

For starters, I don't think Jason meant to start a flame war but rather wanted to make comparisons between how successful and innovative Halo was at the time of its launch to how they want Destiny to turn out albeit with a bit of sarcasm in there. The first Halo title came out in 2001. Yea, i've been playing consoles long before then, but the blunt majority of my shooter days in that era were played on PC, with a keyboard and mouse. Since that part of his statement was "emphasized" I take it he wanted to say they didn't think they could compete with popular titles like Counterstrike and Half-Life, yet the first Halo has become one of the greatest and most memorable console shooters of all time all without the player playing on a keyboard and mouse -- which at the time was an act against the gaming gods! Not really, I just wanted to be dramatic but I digress.

Unfortunately, where wording went wrong in this debacle was where he used the word "nobody." If this were a speech, that would be the part where one would shoot themselves in the foot.

nobody wants to

Well, now that's just crazy right there. I know a lot of people who enjoy FPS titles on a keyboard and mouse and even argue its superiority. I play shooters at a pretty damn high level and I use a controller, but being a competitive console gamer, that's a given.

After reading Kyle's article, which mainly focused on the sales of several cross-platform shooter titles in terms of PC vs. consoles, I came to the realization, that it was all common knowledge. Console shooters will almost always be more successful because they sell more, always, at least the popular ones do. On top of that, you have to consider the convenience of purchasing a console vs. a PC gaming rig. It's all logical. While I believe in the reality of PC gaming being the monster of the realm, I believe consoles are the wide-spread phenomenon... They're everywhere...

Then there's RPS' John Walker. Kudos for eliminating the pure validity of Orland's numbers because it's true:

We know two things for sure:

1) As a rule, for cross-platform releases, console games sell more copies than PC games.
2) We don’t know how many copies of PC games are sold.

We'll never know the combined sales of PC gaming as well as the total number of digital purchases and pirated copies. I don't like piracy, but it still counts. But after thinking this through, i've come to the conclusion this became another one of them fancy console vs. PC wars because the numbers used were direct PC vs console sales. Come on, man! We already know each platform has a slightly different market focus than the other.

Last I checked, Mr.Jones didn't even mention a declining PC market. I guess you could argue it was implied when he mentioned "nobody wants to" but see here, he shot himself in the foot right there. This is also all after Bungie mentioned they would still not count PC out when launching Destiny.

While I agree to many extents on the facts and math behind Orland's and Walker's posts, I think they forgot a rather important piece of the puzzle, at least for this particular topic. The part of the pie that involves PC gamers who play their FPS titles with controllers. Walker did the math behind PC vs console sales and added some rough estimates that included piracy + unmarked digital distribution which in the long run, helped PC in the whole PC vs console sales department. But this is about keyboards and controllers and while PC and console sales help the debate, numbers are always going to be skewed if you don't factor in every variable.

I'm pretty sure 100% of console gamers use a controller to play their shooters, duh, while PC, though small, still has a percentage of players who do not use a mouse and keyboard. If you tally that, that numbers will definitely change. I can't say by how much nor do I wish to make estimates, but just read the comments on both posts. There are a handful of gamers who play "with comfort" and use controllers on their recliners. While this doesn't represent the whole, it still shows there's a enough of them to warrant some number crunching.

Somewhere is this mix, Jones was considered to be talking about the blasphemy of a PC market going under. At least if you implicate the knowledge of Destiny only being released on consoles for now. I just don't think that's entirely the case. While I am more keen on using a controller for my shooter needs, there still a sizable chunk of PC shooter players that consider the controller poison. And trust me, their numbers aren't equal to an elections independent party. So what do all of you use for your gaming needs? What do you make of this argument? As for me, I can safely say I use both peripherals for different gaming situations and love one no more than the other.

 

4 Comments for this post.
Like 3 Disike 0

It seems to me the argument boils down to elitism.  "I play FPS games with a controller, therefore keyboard players are crap."  I happen to be a "nobody" according to this debate.  I have always been a stronger PC gamer than a console gamer -- I think it's my piano playing honestly.  Playing games on a keyboard is easier for me because of the brief musical training I've had, since I equate a piano keyboard to a computer keyboard.  

I know I'm not the only one, nor are PC gamers a minority in the gaming market.  I have one word for you "Steam."  I actually see the strength of PC gaming, and yes that includes FPS gaming, growing -- as your chart shows.

So do I think that Halo killed the keyboard FPS scheme?  No, no I do not.  Yes it definitely exploded console FPS gaming, but that didn't kill keyboard gamers.  We're still here, and we're growing as the cost of gaming PCs drops.


Like 2 Disike 0

I much prefer Mouse & Keyboard for FPS games - it just feels more natural to aim that way. When I try to play a console shooter, my aiming is all hurkey-jerky and I am quickly frustrated, but then I punch up Borderlands 2 on Steam and headshot until the cows come home. The headless cows. Because I blew their little cow heads off.


Like 2 Disike 0

Dear Lord Art what have you done!? Peta... they're everywhere.. *looks around*


Like 2 Disike 0

Let 'em come.

*reloads*


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