More power to PC gamers.

This year’s E3 really was a good’un. So many great games were revealed with plenty of release dates before the end of the year, a welcome change from 2014’s long list of teasers that we had to wait until the following year to play. The press conferences weren’t all aces in the hole (thanks again, Nintendo) but overall the big hitters in the industry were well received by fans and the members of the gaming media.

But in all honesty, I’ve grown tired of the giant Green glow versus the bloated Blue glow at E3. It’s time that PC gamers took back what is rightfully theirs with a dedicated event, even if it was at an off-site venue from the rest of the circus at the LA Convention Centre.

Brought to us by our friends at PC Gamer, the PC Gaming Show was held last week at the Belasco Theater in Los Angeles with room for just a few dozen in the audience and a live Twitch stream. Hosted by Star Craft commentator (and former professional Brood War player) Sean “Day[9]” Plott, the roughly two and half hour event took a late show-style format, with Plott introducing developers and publishers and interviewing them from behind a desk, a bit like Jimmy Fallon but a whole lot nerdier. There was the obligatory product advertorial content from the title sponsor AMD, but the rest of the show gave some interesting insights into the latest developments in the PC space and of course, why it’s arguably superior to all other platforms.

Here’s some of the highlights and the full PC Gaming Show video.

PC Gaming Show

Phil Spencer (left) lets James Phinney and David Eckleberry do the talking for their games Gigantic and Fable Legends.

Phil Spencer Got Heckled

A somewhat surprising speaker given Microsoft’s focus on Xbox for its gaming properties in the past, it was refreshing to see Phil Spencer humble himself in front of a strictly PC crowd, with some humorous snide remarks coming from both the audience and Plott himself. Spencer was there to highlight Microsoft’s new direction with games, including how free upgrades to Windows 10 will help PC developers and players alike with a unified platform. Cross-platform games between Xbox and PC – including multiplayer – is something that we’ll see a lot more from Microsoft, starting with Gears of War: Ultimate Edition. It’s about time.

Studio/Publisher Relationships Were Explored

Pillars of Eternity may just be the best RPG of the year and Fred Wester, CEO of Paradox Interactive, was on stage alongside Obsidian’s Feargus Urquhart to talk about the new expansion, The White March.
Wester weighed in on how Paradox had been “on the fence” about Kickstarter projects because the finished product often ends up being vastly different from the original idea. Pillars showed much more promise, however, due to the success of its campaign and how deep it already was into the development cycle. I’d like to see more frank discussions like this at the Sony and Xbox press conferences.

Niche Gaming Communities Were Covered

Dean Hall, now CEO at Rocketwerkz, spoke about the blowback from the DayZ community when he left Bohemia and how that affected his transition to his new project, Ion. For the first time at E3 there was also discussion about the pros and cons of Early Access, as well as covering niche PC gamer communities such as ARMA and the Truck Simulator series. While these titles may not have the mainstream appeal of Star Wars: Battlefront, they have equally dedicated followings all over the world. With this kind of coverage at E3, these players now feel like they are more included.

AMD Dual Fiji

Pure power. AMD CEO Lisa Su shows off the new dual-GPU Fiji-based AMD Radeon R9 Fury X2 card.

We Got To See True Potential Of Games

Rather than a publisher noting at the end of their game segment that it will be available on “Xbox One, PS4 and PC,” the PC Gaming show sat down with devs about how they are able to design beyond the capabilities of consoles. Powering VR graphics and 4K resolution was a hot topic, showing that dumbing down specs to match static console hardware capabilities isn’t always necessary. And hearing Cliff Blezsinski say that the keyboard and mouse is still the superior control for shooters, now that was just awesome.

Here’s to seeing the return of the PC Gaming Show at the 2016 E3.

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