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Gamers Don't Need Vista or DX 10 Says Carmack 257

Posted by Zonk
from the stick-with-what-works dept.
Freshly Exhumed writes "In an interview with Marcus Yam at Daily Tech legendary PC/Console game creator John Carmack holds forth on DirectX 10: 'Personally, I wouldn't jump at something like DX10 right now. I would let things settle out a little bit and wait until there's a really strong need for it.' and then zings Microsoft's marketers over DX10's mandatory use of the Vista OS: 'Carmack then said that he's quite satisfied with Windows XP, going as far to say that Microsoft is artificially forcing gamers to move to Windows Vista for DX10.' There are a few good tidbits on Xbox 360 vs. PS3 development, and a fairly clear disinterest in Wii as a platform for his company's products is shown."
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Gamers Don't Need Vista or DX 10 Says Carmack

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  • by xantho (14741) on Friday January 19, 2007 @10:43AM (#17680500)
    Considering that he's got a long history of doing incredible graphics on relatively garbage hardware, e.g., real scrolling, platformer style on a PC that just couldn't do it using conventional means, using ray tracing to render a 3d looking scene in 2d, I'd think that pushing out gorgeous graphics on the Wii would be a nice challenge for him. Then again, why tackle that problem for the third (fourth, fifth?) time. It gets old hat after a while.
    • by dalmiroy2k (768278) on Friday January 19, 2007 @10:52AM (#17680630)
      He may still be a little angry towards Nintendo because of Wolfenstein 3d for SNES. Id Software had to remove blood, Nazi stuff and more in order to port the game. I still remember he said he will never port a game to a Nintendo platform again, but then again Quake and QuakeII eventually got released for N64.

      • by CastrTroy (595695) on Friday January 19, 2007 @11:01AM (#17680778) Homepage
        Things aren't the same as they used to be. The video game landscape has changed. Nintendo has plenty of games with blood now, and probably wouldn't stop you from killing Nazis in a game, which I fail to see anything wrong with. If you're going to have a shooter where you kill people, you might as well be killing Nazis. And not all of Carmacks games were bloodfests either. There's plenty of games that he could have ported to Nintendo without making any changes. Think of Commander Keen. Anyway, Nintendo isn't the family friendly system it used to be. Well, it's probably still the most family friendly system, that contains the most games playable by the entire family, but that doesn't stop it from having it's share of violent games.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by archen (447353)
          The video game landscape has changed. Nintendo has plenty of games with blood now, and probably wouldn't stop you from killing Nazis in a game, which I fail to see anything wrong with.

          Evidence - Wii Launch title: Call of Duty 3.
        • by Thansal (999464) on Friday January 19, 2007 @12:00PM (#17681726)
          Carmack: You know, we've never had a good relationship with Nintendo, from really early products we did a long time ago. And for the most part, we just said, "Fine." We're busy with other stuff, and we just haven't been that tight with Nintendo. On the up side, I really do respect what they're doing, where for years, I've been saying--you probably heard me at QuakeCon--I will go on about how IO devices are where the really big differences are going to be made in gaming. You can get ten times the graphics power, and you can make a prettier picture, but when somebody makes a new IO device that really changes the way that people interact with the game, that's going to have a larger benefit there. So I'm really pleased with what they're doing with the Wii and with the DS--and they're doing innovative things. But our current generation of game technology is not targeted at the Wii. Maybe that was a mistake on our part originally, but we have been looking strictly at the 360, PS3 and PC as what we want to simultaneously develop on. We probably aren't going to be able to hit the Wii with the same technology platform.

          Source [gameinformer.com].

          This is actualy a dupe of an older /. report of the orginal article, as opposed to this one where it is a /. report of a summery of the original article.

          So yes. Carmack (and thus ID) have stayed away from Nintendo because of bad dealings, and no real NEED to work with them. This time around he is thinking it might have been a bad idea to stay away from the Wii.

          My bet is that once they have the current Tech that they are working on up and running he will look into making stuff for the Wii. And I for one look foward to it.

          Also, he is looking to port Orcs and Elves to the DS. Source [kotaku.com]
        • by shoptroll (544006)
          I think Nintendo is finally realizing that they might sell more games if the rest of the family (read: not the kiddies) had something to play too. They might be adopting something that Disney has started doing recently and that's attaching it's name to stuff other than "G or PG" material (Pirate of the Carribean and Kingdom Hearts).

          There was an interview with Suda 51 (head of Grasshopper) basically stating they were making No More Heroes for the Wii because it'd stand out more from the usual "kiddish" game
      • He may still be a little angry towards Nintendo because of Wolfenstein 3d for SNES

        I sincerely doubt that. For one thing, we talking about something that happened over a decade ago. For another, Carmack strikes me as having too much character to hold a grudge that long. Nintendo got their comeupance during the N64 and Gamecube generations. As a result, they reinvented themselves into a very different company. A company that is a bit more tolerant of Id's brand of gaming than they were in the past.

        I'm sure that Mr. Carmack is still *wary* of dealing with them (they're still the most "family friendly" of the console makers), but I sincerely doubt that he's being childish in his dealings with them.
    • I'd think that pushing out gorgeous graphics on the Wii would be a nice challenge for him.

      You need to keep in mind that Id Software has made a business out of driving better graphical performance out of more and more advanced hardware, generally planning their engines to target the hardware available in the future rather than at the time of engine creation. So for them, the Wii is 90 degrees offset from their core competency while the XBox 360 and PS3 are more along the lines of what Id has long been interested in. To that end, the Wii is going to seem like too simplistic a device to be of interest to Id.

      I think you'll find that it will take quite a while before the industry as a whole gets used to the idea of the Wii. It was a somewhat unexpected development (in comparison to the years of advance notice they're used to), leaving developers wondering what exactly should they be doing with this thing? If the Wii continues to deliver in the long term, however, you may see Id warm up to the idea a lot more. Not to mention that the next generation of consoles will be fought without a gamepad in sight. ;)
      • Nintendo should make a second generation Wii that's packed with all the multiple core processors and powerful graphics cards, as well as the cool features of the original Wii. They could call it Wii++.
      • I'm not convinced that the Wii signals the end of the game pad. I suspect that we will see the game pad as the primary interface for the Wii before it comes to an end. Physical interaction with the video game is a neat idea, but I'm not convinced that it will hold players attention enough to be the dominate interface in the long run. I really suspect it will be a little like DDR pads. Popular, having long term popularities, but definitely not the interface you would want to use for every game, or even m
    • by Zebra_X (13249) on Friday January 19, 2007 @11:01AM (#17680784)
      Not really, Carmack is a polygon guru. The Wii is decidedly not about the graphics and more about the gameplay and usability. Thus, Carmack is not interested because his skills lay in making games that use traditional interaction methods.
    • by UnknownSoldier (67820) on Friday January 19, 2007 @12:53PM (#17682584)
      I can understand John's sentiment. I just started doing Wii development this week. It doesn't have stencil support, pixel shaders, or vertex shaders -- even the PS2 had vertex shaders; which I'm already missing the general "funkiness" of the PS2. Faking the stencil with such hacks as the alpha buffer is getting kind of tiring.

      One of our other developers jokingly called it a "GameCube 1.5" -- which is very appropiate.

      The nunchuck (controller) is cool, and while it would be up to design to come up with some innovate uses, the hardware by itself, just isn't that impressive. Of course, it is always the games (or lack of them) that make (or break) a platform.

      Cheers
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by AuMatar (183847)
        If you want impressive hardware, you're going to go for a cutting edge PC, not a console at all. Buying a console is always about price, convenience, and game availability. The average person buying a console doesn't know what a gigahertz is, much less how many each console has.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by slaida1 (412260)
        Game makers who think they can't make good games without best available graphics and/or CPU power aren't giving very convincing image of their self esteem.

        They may say that gamers won't buy their games without good graphics or that boobs sell and 1k poly boobs sell even more. Well... I don't know about other gamers but I have GC with GB adapter so that I can play modern 2D games and I'm buying Wii because it has the ability to surprise me positively. It doesn't even try that fake realism that supposedly sel
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by UnknownSoldier (67820)
          For the record, I never mentioned having the -best- hardware, just _basic_, functioning hardware. It's 2007, and we have hardware that _still_ doesn't support stencils?!

          Supporting multiple platforms, all with features sets that vary, with little commonality, is a real PITA.

          Cheers
  • by 0racle (667029)
    Thank you John for saying the obvious. Wait for Vista and DX10 to be fully supported (ie DX10 video cards) before upgrading. Right now there is, what, 2-3 Video cards that are DX10 cards? Obviously the safe thing to do is wait for a bit.

    What John or anyone else says doesn't matter. People who have to get the latest will get Vista as soon as they can, a lot of other people will wait. John could say never get Vista or get Vista right now and the same thing would happen.

    Jobs says get a Mac. How many here are
    • by kestasjk (933987) *

      Now how many are going to hold off on Vista because Carmack said to.

      You seem to be suggesting that he has something against Vista and wants you to boycott it, which misses point of what he's saying.

      The point is that his company isn't going to be developing Vista-only games in the foreseeable future, or else he would be encouraging migration. As his company is fairly representative of the big business games industry this probably indicates something about how quickly DX10 will be adopted.

      This is good

  • by mewsenews (251487) on Friday January 19, 2007 @10:47AM (#17680572) Homepage
    This is a summary of an interview conducted by Game Informer [gameinformer.com].
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 19, 2007 @10:49AM (#17680592)
    Not only does he make kick arse engines, he's a straight talker in a world a spin merchants. He's helped Microsoft improve Direct X (while supporting OpenGL), praised them for their Xbox 360 development tools, but can call a spade a spade. Objectivity. Love it, live it.
  • One thing.. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by joshetc (955226) on Friday January 19, 2007 @10:50AM (#17680612)
    All I know for sure is Linux / OpenGL wont have an opportunity like they have now for at least 5-10 years. No DX10 on WinXP could be a real killer for DX, if developers feel the need to target both Vista and XP users, OpenGL could be the way to go.... Which AFAIK makes portability to Linux easier.
    • Re:One thing.. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by PygmySurfer (442860) on Friday January 19, 2007 @10:59AM (#17680750)
      No DX10 on WinXP could be a real killer for DX, if developers feel the need to target both Vista and XP users, OpenGL could be the way to go....

      Or DX9 ...
      • DirectX 9 doesn't let you easily take advantage of the features of the new generation of cards. If the OpenGL standards group manages to pull its finger out and get a new revision of the shader language working, then the choice will be either developing using OpenGL, or using DirectX 9 and DirectX 10 (which are very different APIs). Using OpenGL will be easier, and easier translates to cheaper. As a side-effect, the PS3 supports OpenGL ES, so you get a PS3 port almost for free (not sure about the Wii).
  • Carmack and OpenGL (Score:3, Interesting)

    by zoftie (195518) on Friday January 19, 2007 @10:59AM (#17680744) Homepage
    Since day one Carmack disliked DirectX and promoted OpenGL...
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Xipher (868293)
      If you haven't seen his other interviews, he has stated he thinks DirectX is becoming a good API now, and that they might start using it.
      • Oh noes ! (Score:3, Insightful)

        by DrYak (748999)
        ...and suddenly, all users of Linux, Mac OS X, PS3, and whatever platform that isn't Windows or XBox started to scream "Oh noes !"

        The Use of OpenGL is what have enabled games from Id to be ported to almost any powerful enough platform under the sun.

        Should he switch to DX, fans will be stuck to Windows and XBox (and maybe a couple of WinCE compatible device).
  • by blueZhift (652272) on Friday January 19, 2007 @11:33AM (#17681270) Homepage Journal
    From Carmack's comments regarding DX10 and the Xbox 360, I wonder what Microsoft is really up to here. On the surface, tying DX10 to Vista, looks like a strong armed tactic to force gamers to Vista. Clearly, game developers aren't likely to abandon XP anytime soon. Carmack also had good words to say about the Xbox 360, so could the real plan be to nudge developers into more Xbox 360 development and off of the PC? I know, strange plan, but games made and sold for Xbox 360 = royalties for Microsoft, games for the PC do not. Of course, there may not be a plan at all. This could be evidence of different parts of Microsoft pulling in different directions.
    • by PingSpike (947548)
      To me, a lot of Microsofts recent moves signal a bit of an identity crisis that often happen when companies get large. Basically, the different parts of the company start to compete with eachother because their core businesses start to overlap.

      Microsofts OS dominance is driven at least in part by windows being the defacto computer gaming standard. But as they continue to try and erase the line between their console and the PC (by limiting the PC in some respects and offering more of PC gamings features on t
    • Two things (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Friday January 19, 2007 @01:25PM (#17683126)
      One is bringing the PC in line with the 360 and making ports easy. Apparently it's pretty minimal effort to port from the 360 to a Vista/DX10 system (I say apparently because the information is second hand to me, I'm not a game programmer I just chat with them).

      However the main thing is just new API with new features for new hardware. Graphics card companies want to keep pushing forward with more features, game devs need an easy way to use those, DX10 is the answer. The biggie is unified shaders. The idea is rather than having discrete pixel and vertex shaders, which are kinda two sides of the same coin, with different APIs you unify all that. In the case of nVidia's 8800 card it's not just unified in the API but the actual hardware. There's just general shaders on the card, that can be tasked to do whatever's needed. That means that if you have a scene that's geometry heavy but pixel effect light you get more shaders working on that, and you can swap around in teh very next scene.

      So it's just more new shit, like all the past DirectXs. DX7 brought hardware T&L, DX8 brought programmable shaders, DX9 brought fully programmable shaders (there were more advances in them as well) this is just the next step.
    • by Locutus (9039)
      I've been wondering how Microsoft is going to handle the THREE Windows platforms they are pushing and some schizophrenic moves are surely going to be a result. The three are the game console, media center, and PC systems and the lines are really blurring between them all. I'll bet that restructuring Microsoft every 2 years to keep Wall Street guessing where the money is coming/going doesn't help. Not to mention Sony's PS marketshare is a massive threat as it also looks to move toward media center capabiliti
  • Vista is probably going to be a better OS than XP, and it won't kill anyone to have DX10 since DX9 titles will work on it. You don't need to rush out and buy Vista, but you'll most likely wind up with a copy sooner or later and there's no good reason to not use it in favor of XP.
  • by Pablo El Vagabundo (775863) on Friday January 19, 2007 @11:48AM (#17681536)
    "You can get ten times the graphics power, and you can make a prettier picture, but when somebody makes a new IO device that really changes the way that people interact with the game, that's going to have a larger benefit there.

    "So I'm really pleased with what they're (Nintendo) doing with the Wii and with the DS-and they're doing innovative things,"

    "But our current generation of game technology is not targeted at the Wii. Maybe that was a mistake on our part originally, but we have been looking strictly at the 360, PS3 and PC as what we want to simultaneously develop on. We probably aren't going to be able to hit the Wii with the same technology platform."

    I think he is very interested in the Wii. Just the projects and engines they have are not a fit for the platform.

    Personally I believe the GFX on the Wii are grand. I luv the controller and the who package is sweet.
    • I think it's not so much him being disinterested in working on Nintendo hardware as him being disinterested in working with Nintendo as a company. They still approach contract negotiations with outside developers as though they had a near-monopoly on the market.
  • Right... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by robyannetta (820243) *
    Gamers don't need Vista or DX10...

    That's not going to stop Microsoft from REQUIRING it, though... Then we won't have a choice.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Macthorpe (960048)
      Microsoft may require it for their 'Games for Windows' shenanigans (something I really couldn't care less about), but do you think games makers are going to isolate a large portion of their market for Microsoft branding? No. Games sell fine at the moment without it, so why should they?

      I think what you'll end up seeing is games which utilise DX9 and DX10 depending on which OS you are running, or games that forgo both in favour of OpenGL.
    • Gamers don't need Dx10

      Gamers don't need Dx9,8,7,6,5,4...

      Gamers don't need Dual video cards, cards with 512mb ram, 256mb, 128mb, 64mb, 32mb, 24mb, 6mb, 4mb, 3D graphics cards, 2D color graphics cards, color graphics, hell any kind of graphics or a monitor either....

      Gamers don't need broad band, wireless or wire networks, 56k dial-up, 28.8k dialup, 9k, 6k, 900 baud, 600, 300.....

      Gamers don't need a wireless laser mouse, laser mouse, optical mouse, three button mouse, a mouse, a joystick

      Gamers don't

  • What if... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by sottitron (923868)
    What if he had said DX10 was absolutely necessary and that everyone should go out and buy Vista on Jan 30? How many people would have listened to him? (This is not intended to be flamebait or trolling. This is a genuine question as I am not an graphics savvy geek)
  • Not to dick on the submission but what slashdotter really thinks this is an issue today?

    An OS that hasn't even been released to the home market yet has a LONG way to go before it has enough of a market-share to be competitive. It has nothing to do with the technical aspects of DX10 but rather commonsense economics.

    It's suicidal to put out software that has such a high system demand that only the upper crust of users can run it.

    Infact, I'd even predict that DX10 is going to be such a non-issue that DX11 (
    • ...enough of a market-share to be considered a series developmental arena...

      Damn it! I meant serious, not series. Damn my eyes!
  • dupe.
    I don't have a link for the original on hand, but this was linked a few days ago...
  • by Paralizer (792155) on Friday January 19, 2007 @03:10PM (#17684866) Homepage
    There was an article [slashdot.org] a week or so ago, and on the second page [gameinformer.com] there was an interesting quote from Carmack.

    Carmack: It's a tough thing for Microsoft, where, essentially, Windows XP was a just fine operating system. Before that, there were horrible problems with Windows. But once they got there, it did everything an operating system is supposed to do. Nothing is going to help a new game by going to a new operating system. There were some clear wins going from Windows 95 to Windows XP for games, but there really aren't any for Vista. They're artificially doing that by tying DX10 so close it, which is really nothing about the OS. It's a hardware-interface spec. It's an artificial thing that they're doing there. They're really grasping at straws for reasons to upgrade the operating system. I suspect I could run XP for a great many more years without having a problem with it.
    I think most people skipped over this because the primary focus of the article was about Carmack discussing why they would rather develop for the XBox360 over the PS3, but this was still a gem. In fact, this article seems to be a reiteration of this very quote.

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