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No Man's Sky launch on PC puts a big dent in the resurgence of computer gaming

John Brandon | Aug. 15, 2016
The No Man's Sky launch on PC is a terrible nightmare. Some gamers have even decided to wait for bug fixes. This is not a good sign.

No Man's Sky

Users aren’t that upset by this. They are measured in their tone, almost sanguine. In one chat forum, someone mentioned how they half expected this and will wait “a few weeks” for bug fixes. Another said they decided to stick with PS4.

That's right -- the PC launch for No Man’s Sky is not going so smoothly.

The problems so far are related to overloaded servers. In a Twitter post, the developers mentioned how they were surprised to see so many gamers launched the game at the same time (even though Steam users can pre-load the game). There are also issues with the controls, settings, and graphics. Some users even say the game won’t load at all or that it crashes as soon as they see the main screen.

This is not a good sign for the supposed resurgence of PC gaming, an uptick that started innocuously enough when games like Far Cry 4 and Battlefront popped up on Windows, this after a big surge related to cheaper hardware, persistent Internet connections at home, and after indie games became so popular.

In the past, many hardcore C.O.D.-style gamers would have not strayed more than a few inches from the living room and the consoles. Strangely enough, while Acer and Alienware continue to carve out their niche with high-end gaming desktops, business laptops only get faster, the VR headsets provide a welcome boost to gaming overall, and even the Mac seems like it could join the fray as a legit gaming system someday, there’s an annoying sense that this is yet another false start.

Why is that? For the die-hard fans, PC gaming never went away. They’ve been toiling away in the basement tweaking their liquid-cooled systems and happily snapping up NVIDIA cards. The rest of us sit back and wonder what’s going on. Why are the games still so time-consuming to install? Why are there so many crashes? Why do you have to think so much about compatible drivers and upgrade to the latest version of Windows 10? Who keeps insisting we upgrade for every new game? Part of the fun of owning a PC is that you can customize everything, but that’s also the great and eternal curse.

I’m in both camps. I like being able to Alt-Tab over to a game running in the background, and there are times when I don’t want to go sit on a couch and “lean back” to play a game. I started out on PC; I avoided the entire Nintendo gaming craze and even berated people who jumped on that bandwagon. I’ve been a PC and Mac gamer since Marathon, the original Bungie game. Yet, what’s always been so perplexing is that these machines -- powered by advanced processors with loads of RAM and plenty of storage, with super-fast connections -- can’t become more intelligent.

 

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