Oh, what could have been. Rahul Sood, of Voodoo PC fame (now at HP), says he’s heard from people in the know that Microsoft was working on a project that would have integrated Xbox Live with a sort of Windows Live. The end goal was to have been console gamers and PC gamers playing against each other on a combined Xbox Live+Windows Live service. The reason why this project never saw the light of day? Because console gamers are rubbish.
What happened was that the combined service, or whatever you want to call it, was moving along smoothly, even getting to the testing stages. That is, testing between console gamers over here and PC gamers over there. Console gamers would be using their standard controller and PC gamers would be using their standard mouse and keyboard.
Every single time the PC gamer killed the console gamer. And I don’t mean killed as in “fragged,” but killed as in the PC gamer knocked the teeth out of the console gamers every single time.
So partially for this reason—console gamers didn’t stand a chance against PC gamers—that Microsoft decided to kill the project. Maybe that’s good (would PC gaming be more popular today?), maybe that’s bad (would PC gamers have to put up with 12-year-olds screaming stupid nonsense at the top of their lungs all game long?). Who knows.
Now, this could be saying a few ones. One is obvious: a mouse and keyboard is more precise than any console controller. That’s not disputable, right? I should hope not! Two, it could be saying something about the relative skill level of PC and console gamers. Can you name even one “famous” professional console gamer? I certainly cannot, but I know you’ve heard the name Fatal1ty before. Perhaps PC gamers are simply better at gaming then their console counterparts?
Then again, it could simply be function following form. PC games (that’s from-the-ground-up PC games, not mere ports) are usually more complex than console games, so after years of getting used to playing, say, Eve Online (or name-your-complex-game), they’ve developed better skills?
No one is saying that PC gamers are “better” than console gamers, just that maybe they have a higher developed skill-set thanks to a more precise input method and generally harder games. Please don’t throw pointy things at me.