Is the PC the Next Big Party Platform?

Is the PC the Next Big Party Platform?

Let’s face it, PC gaming is intimidating. Casual gamers would much prefer to game on console, because then they don’t have to worry about specs, or upgrading, or OS compatibility, so on so forth. As such, some of the best-selling “party games” from Mario Party to Rock Band, the sorts of games that you can get an entire room of people to crowd around, have been console only releases.

But over the past few years, a shift has been made in the PC gaming world. Indie games have become very very prominent through Early Access programs and initiatives like Steam Greenlight. As a result, simple but fun multiplayer games are being put on the Steam platform every day, and these make for absolutely excellent party games. In fact some of these games are ONLY fun when being played with other people, whereas only 5-10 years ago, the thought of a local multiplayer only game on the PC would have been madness.

These games come in many shapes and sizes. If you are a fighting gamer, you might want to try the crazy one hit kills of Lethal League or Nidhogg. If you are a platformer, then Speedrunners will have you trying to out-platform four of your friends. If you are a shooter fan, Screencheat will force you to look at your opponents’ screens to figure out where they are. And there are so many other great multiplayer games, from the hilarious physics-based tomfoolery of Mount Your Friends, to the absolute absurdity that is multiplayer Goat Simulator.

So why are these games doing so well? The thought that a group of people would gather around someone’s computer is kind of outlandish right? So why now are these party games doing so well on Steam?

Is the PC the Next Big Party Platform?

Well there are a number of reasons, actually. The first is that most of these games are not “state of the art.” They use very little processing power, and put even less of a toll on your graphics card. Nearly every PC can run them, even if you don’t have a gaming PC.

This of course means that you can play these games on practically any laptop, which also means they are portable. Since laptops are now being built with HDMI ports, you can also connect your laptop to a TV with very minimal work or complication. From there, all you need is a USB hub and enough controllers for everyone and you are good to go.

But who has 4 PC controllers lying around. Well… everyone really. Xbox 360 controllers, PS3, controllers, Xbox One controllers, PS4 controllers, even Wii controllers have had software written to allow them to interface with the computer. Some have default drivers that don’t require any extra installation whatsoever! So now you can use your old console controllers as PC controllers, and if you REALLY want to, you an even use older controllers like PS2 or Gamecube controllers through the use of controller converters, which can be found at random Gamestops if you look hard enough.

And things are only going to get easier. The release of the Steam Box and the Steam Controller will basically allow people to treat the Steam indie market exactly like a console. Soon, it will be no harder to get people around a Steam Box playing I Am Bread than it is to get them around a Wii U playing Mario Party. In fact, the party gaming experience will be the least expensive experience if the Steam Box is affordable. These indie party games are only 5-10 dollars, as opposed to the full 60 dollar price of titles like Mario Party, and the several hundred dollars it takes to have a full Rock Band setup. In short, the PC may be the place to go for party games in the future.

What do you think? Is the PC the next party game platform? Do you have a bunch of party games in your Steam library? Let us know in the comments.

To top