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E3 2010: We get an update from the head of the PC Gaming Alliance

E3 2010 may be the single biggest event in the gaming industry but it's still considered by many to be mostly a console game with just a few PC titles spotlighted. However, this year there are actually quite a few PC exclusive games being shown at the show.

However, a person who believes that the PC is still a huge platform for gaming is Randy Stude of Intel and the head of the non-profit PC Gaming Alliance. Big Download has chatted with Stude in the past and this week we get an update from him about the group's activities, his opinions on the industry and more.

First E3 is this week and despite the fact there are a lot of PC games, including PC exclusive titles, at the show some in the industry still consider it to be a console only show. Why do you think there is that perception?

E3 is a show conducted by the ESA. ESA membership is comprised of by game developers and publishers who's primary focus is retail game sales and distribution for the game consoles that were released in 2005/2006... Retail buyers attending E3 view the best upcoming games and / or consoles that will be on shelf in time for the holidays. PC Gaming has been breaking away from E3 for several years and now has diversified to larger events like: ChinaJoy, G-Star, Gamescom, and Penny Arcade Expo. The PC is a connected device that does not rely on retail buyers to stock the shelves with DVD's instead it counts 300 million gamers + as an online frontier that doesn't need an arena with circus acrobats to help convince people of its importance.

In an earlier interview you said that perhaps there should be a PC game specific event similar to E3. Is this something the PC Gaming Alliance might be interested in getting started and if so what would such an event look like?

The PC Gaming Alliance has discussed this concept, but as I mentioned in the prior answer... there are already big primarily PC focused events.

OnLive is scheduled to launch this week as well during E3. Do you think it signals a new era in PC gaming if it is successful in bring in cloud computing?

I think Onlive is one more example of why the PC is the gaming platform for all time. Business models and technology innovations happen all the time on the internet connected PC while consoles lag significantly. Free to play gaming is demonstrating to the world why the internet connected PC will always lead the way.

What is your opinion on the upcoming Supreme Court case that will decide if California can regulate certain games to minors?

Government should stop trying to take the place of parents.

What is your opinion on how 3D could affect PC gaming, if any?

I think that Notebook PC's are the best potential platform (aside from the 3DS handheld) to lead broad consumer adoption of stereoscopic 3D in general. Gaming on S3D requires a more hands on approach to development, however the PC will continue to lead the way on this until there are: 1. More S3D HDTV's being purchased. Recent consumer research shows that the adoption curve by consumers is going to be a long one for S3D HDTV's. 2. Next generation consoles that have enough graphics horse power to render two graphics pipelines. The current generation may adopt support for S3D, but the quality of the experience will be significantly lower than what you will see on the PC for many years.

The console game industry seems obsessed with motion sensing and motion controllers. Do you see this trend coming to the PC at any time?

There are several vendors shipping motion controllers for the PC already. Novint, Razer (Holiday), HP, Toshiba, Lenovo, ASUS, etc... all have products either released or announced. The key is not really the controllers, but the games. If the controller comes with a game that people want to have for their PC it will succeed. Motion controlled gaming on the PC I think will take a different turn however until PC's are more "connected" to the digital home (HDTV). I believe that gamers will enjoy playing PC games with multi-touch enabled Windows 7 PC's first. As more notebooks come to market with touch/multi-touch, game developers will be able to count on an installed base to market touch/multi-touch enabled games to.

There are still some game genres (MMO, RTS games) that are mostly PC based. Do you think it will stay that way?

With gesture gaming on the console I expect more games in the RTS space to launch for console. MMO's are a different animal. They have a social aspect that the console has yet to break through. Sony has tried on multiple occasions to put their MMO's on the Playstation and to date I believe they have not been able to claim the same level of success as their PC based products.

What other trend do you see popping up that could affect the PC game industry?

The impact of the Euro Crisis could have a dramatic impact on the growth estimates for $60-$70 video game sales this year. In my opinion this will lead gamers to draw more closely to the business models that work well in Korea and China even more rapid growth in that segment (free 2 play). PC gaming grew last year during the worst economic crisis possible. The business model flexibility of the PC as a gaming platform makes it nearly impervious to short term economic downturns that are devastating to developers counting on millions of units sold of a console title.

Can you give us an update on the PC Gaming Alliance's activities?

The PC Gaming Alliance is getting ready to release its annual Horizons Hardware research data that will summarize revenues generated by the purchase of PC's used for all forms gaming (mainstream, social/casual and enthusiast). We are also getting ready to release a combination research and position paper to our members on developing games to prevent piracy while not alienating your legitimate customer. Finally, we are continuing our efforts to promote the PC as the most innovative and ubiquitous platform for gaming worldwide.

Finally is there anything else you wish to say about PC gaming in general for this E3 week?

The PC is the single most popular gaming platform in the world. It is so large that many research analysts and media have to compare it to the entire console marketplace (Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo). We expect the entire console market software revenues to be overrun by PC gaming software revenues in the next three years.

Big Download's E3 2010 coverage is sponsored by:

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