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Computer Games /1: An Introduction  
The beginning of our new special features about PC Games, from the PCs vs Consoles debate to our suggested PC configuration.

Harry A few months ago, the staff at Ps2Fantasy.com had an idea - why can't a niche website focused on consoles offer its view on the world of PC games? The war between personal computers and consoles, when it comes to gaming, has never ended. But what makes this exact moment in the history of computer and video games so interesting is that like all things in this universe, this never ending war seems to be finally coming full circle. Consoles are getting closer to PCs, PCs are getting closer to consoles, and multi-platform development has become almost the standard of the industry. Yet, there are still many substantial - evident and not so evident - differences between a PC and a console. Many console gamers often fear to enter the realm of PC games, believing that gaming on a PC involves more problems than fun. PC gamers feel that consoles will never offer the kind of freedom offered by PCs. Is this true?

Ps2Fantasy.com's PC Games Special Features
This series of in-depth special features written by the staff of Ps2Fantasy.com will offer all our readers a particularly rich view on the realms of computer games. We will start with general features and we will then proceed with reviews of many of the most exciting PC games of recent times. From DOOM III to Star Wars Galaxies, from Unreal Tournament 2004 to The Sims 2, our reviews will not be your usual 'give this game a score' stuff. We will give no scores, and for this reason we will try to go deeper into the game and analyze its many aspects without the urge of putting it into a category. Where does DOOM III come from? What's the history of the Unreal Tournament series? How is Star Wars Galaxies different from other MMORPGs? These questions, and many, many more, will be answered throughout the coming months in our articles.

DOOM 3 Star Wars Galaxies
DOOM 3
Star Wars Galaxies
Half-Life 2 Unreal Tournament 2004
Half-Life 2
Unreal Tournament 2004

We will give no scores, and for this reason we will try to go deeper into the game and analyze its many aspects without the urge of putting it into a category.

The best thing is that all these features, sponsored by Alienware, will be the starting point of a new, small but informative website focused only on PC games and run by the same staff behind Ps2Fantasy.com. This is just part of our project to expand our coverage in the next weeks and months.

Two ways to play, (almost) the same history
It's obvious that all games, whether they are played on a console or on a PC, are technically computer games. The biggest difference between a videogame and a computer game is in the way the game is played - the interface - and the place gaming takes in our everyday life. Console games are played on a TV, they can be played using a controller with rarely more than 16 buttons, often without the encumbrance of a keyboard or of a mouse - both devices that ask you to have a desk to use them. You can play videogames just about anywhere in your house, and they're often a very social activity, thanks to multiplayer modes and also the visual support they use (the TV). Computer games are more often a solo activity, with multiplayer often limited to online modes (but there are big exceptions), and often require you to play using a keyboard and a mouse to exploit all their complexity and depth.

Things are changing though. Computer manufactures are creating 'media centers': platforms that mix the user friendliness of consoles and offer the unparalleled freedom of personal computers, designed to be hooked not only to a monitor but also to TVs. But even looking at the most widespread PCs and consoles in our houses today, it's evident that the most successful platforms are converging to the same point: offering users an involving, accessible multimedia experience. For example, the old, once common 14 inch CRT monitor has been replaced by the larger 17 inch screen, which make it possible to enjoy DVDs on your PC or also play more easily games with more people in the same room. Consoles have entered the online gaming world, with Xbox Live, PlayOnline, and with SCEI's decentralized gaming network. Online games designed for consoles now must include support for keyboards and mice to be really enjoyable - the PlayStation 2 version of Final Fantasy XI offers the same features of the PC version.

Final Fantasy XI, the first cross platform MMORPG, is a clear example of how the difference between the industry of computer games and videogames is disappearing. Publishers and developers have started to release their games on all platforms, often simultaneously, and marketing offices have learnt to target an audience that includes casual and dedicated gamers used to play on different platforms and systems.



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