The traditional image of the FPS player as a PC gamer with keyboard and mouse doesn't necessarily hold true any more, according to id Software's director of business development, Steve Nix, who told Eurogamer this week that he believes many hardcore PC FPS players are now getting their jollies on consoles.
Chatting to us in London about the upcoming console version of Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, Nix said that id is "absolutely" seeing a shift to consoles, even from formerly diehard PC gamers.
"I know that I have friends who are considered core gamers, who years ago were just keyboard and mouse guys - now, when a game ships on all platforms, they buy the console version, even though the PC version is sitting there and they have a PC that would run it perfectly well. It's just their preference," he explained.
Designer Greg Stone, who has been working on Quake Wars at Nerve Software, chipped in to agree. "For me, I'm exactly what he's describing - I'm a guy that used to play on PCs, and now I'm totally console. It's so much money to keep up with the bleeding edge of technology on the PC, and it really just is easier to take a console and say, well, this is good enough. I think that's the way it is for me, and for a lot of people at this point in time."
However, Nix was keen to point out that he's describing a limited trend - and that there's still plenty of space for the PC in the games market, even if FPS games are certainly no longer entirely a PC-centric genre.
"There are plenty of people who are diehard mouse and keyboard guys that may never go to console, and also right now, if you have the highest of high-end PCs, you're generally going to get a better visual experience," Nix said. "There's no console out there that's as powerful as a God machine right now, with a Quad-Core and a GeForce 8800 - it's very hard for any console to compete with that."
"So you still have PC players, and some players are just console guys, but have players moved over? Absolutely. We love PC gaming, and we continue to support PC gaming - but you can't ignore the market realities and the size of the console market these days."
Enemy Territory: Quake Wars came out last September on the PC, and we rather liked it - to the tune of eight out of ten. The console versions are being developed by Nerve (360) and Activision Underground (PS3), and will be out in the coming months. You can read all about how they differ from the PC version - and why they might actually be better - in our shiny new preview.