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PC Games (Games)

Unreal Creator Proclaims PCs are Not For Gaming 705

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the true-if-you-run-a-mac dept.
An anonymous reader writes "TG Daily is running an interesting interview with EPIC founder and Unreal creator Tim Sweeney. Sweeney is anyway very clear about his views on the gaming industry, but it is surprising how sharply he criticizes the PC industry for transforming the PC into a useless gaming machine. He's especially unhappy with Intel, which he says has integrated graphics chipsets that 'just don't work'."
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Unreal Creator Proclaims PCs are Not For Gaming

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  • by PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) on Monday March 10, 2008 @09:00AM (#22699410) Journal
    There aren't many GOOD pc games coming out lately. So, if the manufacturers drop the ball on hardware ... it doesn't REALLY matter, because the software developers aren't doing much better either.

    I don't think that it is a downward spiral, either - software companies aren't focusing on consoles because the PC hardware isn't great ... they're focusing on consoles because there is more money in consoles!
    • by DuncanE (35734) * on Monday March 10, 2008 @09:08AM (#22699500) Homepage
      Personally I find that only games that require a mouse are worth playing on a PC now anyway. And I dont include FPS's in that either. So really I only play RTS's on the PC, but I would happily play them on a console and then wouldnt have to worry about driver issues and bugs due to odd hardware conflicts.
      • by Brian Gordon (987471) on Monday March 10, 2008 @09:18AM (#22699628)
        Oh please. I don't understand you console jockeys at all- FPS can. not. be played on a controller. None of them can. Halo came somewhat close to playability, but anyone who ever seriously played the terrible PC port of one of the first two Haloes can attest that without the added challenge of dealing with a joystick input, the game is ridiculously easy, and multiplayer is a joke- anyone with moderate railgun skill can just crank up their resolution, grab a sniper rifle, and score nonstop headshots from a mile away. Sorry Wii, the input should be seamless and not the only thing that makes a game challenging. The mouse is obviously the easier input device for FPS, so it alone should be used. Ever wonder why the console versions of multipleyer FPS can never play with the PC versions of the same game? The first time they tried that was with Quake 3 on the dreamcast and on the PC. Even if you've never played the game yourself, you know the reputation- ridiculously fast amphetamine-twitch gameplay. The PC players absolutely curb stomped the dreamcast players until they were drowning in the blood pouring out their eyes.. it was a huge joke at the time because the dreamcast players just couldn't even score a kill- you'd look at the scoreboard and it would be like naturally the top half of the scoreboard is reserved for PC players, the bottom half for dreamcast players.. the controller just sucks that much.
        • by Telvin_3d (855514) on Monday March 10, 2008 @09:37AM (#22699866)
          regarding the Wii; It's taking a while for the various companies to figure the quirks of the new control scheme. However, some are getting there. Drop a few dollars and rent Resident Evil or Metroid for the Wii for a weekend. I've seen it happen with a half dozen people now where they bitch about the controls for a hour and then everything clicks and away they go.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Volante3192 (953645)
          FPS's can be played with a controller, but you have to add an autolock feature (i.e., Metroid Prime) which seriously drops the difficulty level.

          Multiplayer, an autolock is akin to cheating, even if it's game supplied, so sorta screwed there.
        • by reidconti (219106) on Monday March 10, 2008 @09:44AM (#22699988)
          Maybe we care more about having fun than about worrying about optimum input devices, highest possible mouse resolution, upgrading our video cards every 6 months, and so on. All to end up with a "gaming" PC that makes too much noise and crashes all the time (or is down for repairs).

          I like to come home, flip on my 360, know it'll work (joke's on me I guess) and play games for an hour or two.. then put it away and go on with my life. It's nice to have a system that just does what it's supposed to do. The game makers know what hardware I'll be using and optimize the game for it. Perfect.

          Go ahead, tar and feather me as a Mac user, but I work with computers all day; the last thing I want to do is come home and mess with one too. I love my job, but home time is relax time.
          • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 10, 2008 @10:11AM (#22700430)
            I'm a PC gamer and that's exactly what I do with my PC. I play the recent Valve games. Last upgraded the motherboard and CPU in 2004, and last upgraded the graphics card a year ago. It just works. It doesn't crash because I don't use it for anything other than gaming. The problems you list are myths I think, there is no need to be a "hardcore PC gamer" and continually upgrade. PC games are not so demanding.

            I guess I am using the PC as a games console, but it's a games console with cheap games, decent controls and no software restrictions, and I can reboot into Linux. For me, that is a much better deal than the 360. I suppose another advantage would be that I could replace the parts myself if they failed, whereas if I had a games console I would have to send it back to the manufacturer (red ring of death?). However, this has not happened yet.
          • by Andrzej Sawicki (921100) <ansaw@poczta.onet.pl> on Monday March 10, 2008 @10:15AM (#22700508)

            Maybe we care more about having fun than about worrying about optimum input devices
            Unfortunately, as with RTS games, this is directly correlated. Every FPS I tried playing on a console has had me screaming (and I mean screaming, even though I'm usually very patient) in minutes because of the crappy interface. All I usually do on my PC, is pick the right mouse sensitivity, tick off antialiasing, and I'm set for fraggin'. (Plus, on my PC, I get to play Civilization.)

            All your other points are well taken, though. It does take some thinking ahead to make a PC that is silent (as in the hard disk being the loudest component), and suited for gaming at the same time. And it doesn't end with the hardware, you also have to know how to choose the right settings for each game.
            • Hey, for a standard of comparison, I was just checking out a freakin' LAPTOP for $850 cdn, intel core 2 duo, 2 gigs ram, and a NVIDA 8600 video card, for $850.

              Compare that to a PS3 for $600 bucks, considering how much more you can do with the pc laptop than you can with the PS3, and, well, you see where I'm going, right?

              And thanks for pointing out what an utterly appalling POS console controllers are. Who in the name of all that is holy thought that those goddamn useless twin-stick controllers was a good id
          • by totally bogus dude (1040246) on Monday March 10, 2008 @10:18AM (#22700550)

            If you're constantly have to repair your PC or if it "crashes all the time", then you're using it wrong. I get home from work, flip on my PC, surf the 'net, check my email, watch a video, play some games, and it just does what it's supposed to. Has done since I built it, and I even swapped out the motherboard to replace my Athlon CPU with an Intel Core Duo a year or two ago and it still works (okay, I admit I was a bit surprised by this).

            Yes, every now and then I may replace a component; I got a new video card about 6 months ago for example, and while the cards I had then were pretty good it did give a noticeable boost to performance, and it was worth it. On a console, you get what you're given, and the only way to upgrade it is to buy a new one when it comes out. That has its benefits and its drawbacks; clearly you think it's a benefit and I can understand that, but I do like to be able to make my gaming PC more powerful whenever it suits me and my budget rather than having to wait until a new console is available with games to make it worthwhile. I suspect the XBox 360 will be showing its age compared to PC titles by the time it gets a replacement, but this is the first generation of console games that have actually been comparable to gaming PCs so I could be wrong.

            Also, games for the consoles seem to be noticeably more expensive than PC games. It might just be because it's easier to pirate PC games, but it may also be to help make up for the manufacturer's losses in selling you the console hardware in the first place.

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              Also, games for the consoles seem to be noticeably more expensive than PC games. It might just be because it's easier to pirate PC games, but it may also be to help make up for the manufacturer's losses in selling you the console hardware in the first place.

              I'm sure that's part of it, PC developers don't have to pay licensing fees since the platforms they developing for are open, Xbox 360 and PS3 games pay out nearly $7 per disc back to MS/Sony for licensing. Not to mention they have to foot the bill for s

          • by crossmr (957846) on Monday March 10, 2008 @10:31AM (#22700830) Journal


            I don't get people who claim how frequently they have to upgrade their machine, or how much time they allegedly spend maintaining it. I'm calling it BS and the person who modded you up some clueless console fanboy.

            I upgraded last summer to a core 2 duo, an 8800 GTX, and a SB X-Fi. I bought the machine 3 years ago. In that 3 years the only thing I'd done was add 1 GB of ram to it and a TV Tuner card. During that time I played all the latest and greatest including first person shooters all the way along.

            I have no plans to upgrade 6 months from when I bought that unless I travel back in time, and likely I won't upgraded the graphics card for another year and a half.
            I can't recall the last time I had a problem so severe on my machine that I had to stop anything I was doing and focus on it rather than do what I wanted to do on the machine.

            But if you fool yourself in to thinking that a Radeon 9250 is a good upgrade choice, or that you'll get a free ipod for punching that damn monkey, I could see why you might have to upgrade often or spend a lot of time "maintaining" your machine.

            Not everyone who plays a PC is some kind of hardcore lan player who spends hours every day optimizing his water cooling device and trying to squeeze another MHz out of his overclock. However optimum input goes hand in hand with fun. Its not much fun stumbling your way through bad controls, which used to happen on the PC, when some developers thought it was a good idea not to let players map controls (that only happens in bad console ports now). Anyone who can look at it objectively should be able to realize that there are certain types of games which just lend themselves to a mouse/keyboard input and that joysticks fail at.

            As another benefit, should something actually go wrong with my PC, I'm only inconvenienced for as long as it takes me to get a part and put it in. If its something non-critical, like one of my storage drives, optical drives, sound card, tv tuner, etc. I'm only without it for as long as it takes me to power it down and put the new one in and turn it back on.

            I don't have to sit around twiddling my fingers while Microsoft, Nintendo, or Sony get the unit back to me.

            • by Ephemeriis (315124) on Monday March 10, 2008 @12:15PM (#22702598)

              I don't get people who claim how frequently they have to upgrade their machine, or how much time they allegedly spend maintaining it. I'm calling it BS and the person who modded you up some clueless console fanboy.

              I upgraded last summer to a core 2 duo, an 8800 GTX, and a SB X-Fi. I bought the machine 3 years ago. In that 3 years the only thing I'd done was add 1 GB of ram to it and a TV Tuner card. During that time I played all the latest and greatest including first person shooters all the way along.

              I have no plans to upgrade 6 months from when I bought that unless I travel back in time, and likely I won't upgraded the graphics card for another year and a half.
              I can't recall the last time I had a problem so severe on my machine that I had to stop anything I was doing and focus on it rather than do what I wanted to do on the machine.
              I used to be a pretty big gamer myself... Used to spend almost every spare dollar upgrading something. Birthday, Christmas, whatever - the ideal gift was an upgrade of some sort. I never had the income to be "bleeding edge", but it was a fun hobby.

              That all ended about four years ago. I changed jobs, my lifestyle changed, bought a house, and I just didn't have the time or resources to put into constant upgrades like that. That computer served me very well over those four years. I was able to play pretty much anything I wanted to - World of Warcraft, Condemned, Half-Life 2, Portal, WarCraft III, Oblivion. Sure, I had to turn down the options on some of them...some of them ran a little slow...but I was still able to enjoy myself.

              This year, for Christmas, I decided it was time to upgrade. I spent approximately $600 to build a new PC from scratch. Dual-Core CPU, 4 GB RAM, decent video card, LCD monitor... Nothing bleeding edge, but a substantial upgrade for me. I can play absolutely anything on the market right now, most of it with the settings completely maxed out. And unless the industry changes dramatically in the next year or two, I should get the same 4+ years of use out of this computer.

              And my old computer has been recycled into a very nice media center PC.

              The folks who claim that you have to constantly pour hundreds of dollars and hours of time into PC gaming are simply doing it wrong. Sure, some folks get a kick out of being bleeding edge... But you don't have to do that just to play games on the PC. You can get a perfectly good gaming PC for nearly the same price as a console, and get nearly the same life out of it.
          • by Ash Vince (602485) on Monday March 10, 2008 @11:07AM (#22701444) Journal

            Maybe we care more about having fun than about worrying about optimum input devices, highest possible mouse resolution, upgrading our video cards every 6 months, and so on. All to end up with a "gaming" PC that makes too much noise and crashes all the time (or is down for repairs).
            Sorry, but you must have last played PC games quite a long time ago.

            I currently own a PC bought several years ago (Athlon XP 3200+, GTX6800 and 1 Gig Ram). Ok, this was fairly expensive when I bought it but it has been good for me ever since. We are not talking about 6 months between upgrades, we are talking 3-4 years, long before your 360 came out. That discounts your first point about upgrades, I will only need to upgrade when games I want to play start comming out Vista only and that hasn't happened yet.

            Optimising mice and video cards? If you mean selecting what resolution to run each game this is hardly a chore, most games will autoconfigure by looking at your PC specs now. It is also amazing how many games still run at the top resolution my monitor (1280*1024) even though the PC is now several years old.

            Makes too much noise or crashes all the time?? Nope, never. If a PC crashes nowadays then something is wrong with it, probably in hardware. I know windows has a reputation for being buggy, but I have had very few issues with windows XP.

            So now I have shot down all you bad points about PC gaming let me elabourate on the better points:

            1) Multifunctional

            With a PC you can do other stuff as well as play games. You need to write the occasional letter, no problem. Almost all of us nowadays need to do the CV thing occasionally and alot of companies now accept word document CV's so you do not even need a printer.

            2) Higher Resolution

            PC's can support much higher resolutions than your TV, this has been true for years.

            3) Cheaper games

            Since your 360 is actually a cheap PC in disguise that was sold at cost Microsoft have to make money somehow, they do that by adding an extra licence fee to the games. They then use a patent or hardware device to prevent people producing software for the system without paying MS a licence fee. This fee makes console software more expensive.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by MikeBabcock (65886)
          Personally I have a harder time understanding you PC bigots. Of course, I should understand because I used to be one. Playing FPS games on the PS3 is completely different from when I tried (and failed) to do so on the PS2. Why? Sony increased the resolution of the sticks to have much higher sensitivity and with the HD output, I can get comparable-to-PC resolutions making good shooting possible again. Is aiming the same? No. Is auto-aim necessary? No. Can you still get headshots? Yes, and I often d
    • by Brian Gordon (987471) on Monday March 10, 2008 @09:09AM (#22699512)
      Not many good pc games coming out? Who cares about new games when you have such a massive library of games available? Just have to have your madden 09? Then go away. Like a good game despite Windows 95 graphics? Break out Chip's Challenge [therhogue.com] and see if you still remember how to beat it. Craving something new? How about Steam's library, which is massive and is actually priced reasonably unlike any console game at all. And has free mods for the more popular games that are good for more play hours than the game itself-- how many people have bought Half-Life 2 Deathmatch just so they they can play SourceForts, and never even launched HL2DM? How about Insurgency [insmod.net]? PC gaming is dead? Does netcraft confirm it?
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Thats my point - who cares if PC hardware isn't on par with consoles - there aren't any games coming out with those requirements, so stick to the old ones!
        • by Brian Gordon (987471) on Monday March 10, 2008 @09:25AM (#22699736)
          And who said PC hardware isn't on par with consoles? Have you seen those new NVIDIA cards? From wikipedia [wikipedia.org]:

          Two 65nm process GPUs, with 256 total Stream Processors (128 per PCB) Supports Quad SLI. 1 GiB memory framebuffer, possibly up to 2 GiB [this is insane 2ghz GDDR3 memory] 128 GB/s memory bandwidth
          • And how much is the chip? If its like most chips its probably around the cost of a console which leads to the "why bother?"

            The more telling statistic is numbers sold. A PC game that breaks 300-400 thousand is considered a hit. A console game that barely breaks that though is considered lukewarm at best when most games hit 1-2 million these days.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by sm62704 (957197)
      There aren't many GOOD pc games coming out lately.

      That's Tim's fault, isn't it?
  • I'd say that PC have decided that their PC's are certainly not for YOUR game.
    • by Lumpy (12016) on Monday March 10, 2008 @09:17AM (#22699616) Homepage
      Have you even tried to play Unreal III? It takes far more PC than most people have. and that same problem plagued ID on it's last 2 releases for almost 2 years. Hell I know people that STILL dont have a pc capable of running Doom III at any playable speeds. Gaming companies are killing themselves. They are selling games that require a 4ghz dual core, 4 gig ram, and a $500.00 video card. While the world is happy as hell with their 3 year old Pentium 4 3ghz running that $45.00 Geforce 6600 card.

      you cant sell a crapload of games that runs on hardware that most people dont have.
      • by MightyYar (622222)
        From the article, their development rig:

        My work computers are Dell workstations. Currently, I have a dual-CPU setup, dual-quad cores for a total of eight cores, and 16 GB of memory. We at Epic tend to go to the high-end of things. Until recently, we used to buy high-end consumer PCs, simply because they tend to deliver the best performance. However, as time goes by, we constantly run into stability problems with CPUs and graphics, so we decided to switch to workstations. We just need very, very stable computers and they perform very well.

        Price that one out and see why you can't get stuff to run on a $400 Dell :)

      • by c6gunner (950153) on Monday March 10, 2008 @10:12AM (#22700440)

        Have you even tried to play Unreal III? It takes far more PC than most people have. and that same problem plagued ID on it's last 2 releases for almost 2 years. Hell I know people that STILL dont have a pc capable of running Doom III at any playable speeds.
        What the hell? Unreal 3 runs like a dream on my machine, and here are my component costs, at the time of purchase:

        CPU - $90
        Motherboard - $140
        2 gigs RAM - $80
        Graphics card - $160
        HD - $120

        Grand total? $590. Considering I built this system almost a year ago now, it's safe to say that you could purchase the same components for under $500 today. 5 years ago I couldn't have even bought a basic system for under $1200, let alone one capable of running the most recent games!
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Directrix1 (157787)
          That's amazing. Now how about you give the prices of: case, power supply, CD/DVD drive, keyboard, laser mouse, monitor, speakers, and value of your time spent on building it. :-P
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by crossmr (957846)
        The problem is the people who buy a business class machine, like one of the Dell machines intended solely for office work, e-mail/surfing and expect it to be a gaming machine.

        There is nowhere that this is more apparent than The Sims franchise where people who are not gamers suddenly want to play a game and find they can't or that the performance sucks.

        The problem lies with the fact that PCs are not consoles and people have choice. If every PC was sold as something capable of handling games, the price would
    • by MORB (793798) on Monday March 10, 2008 @09:43AM (#22699974)
      That's twice that someone from epic say pc gaming is dead. I think that's because they have sour grapes that UT3 sales failed.

      The problem is that they failed on many points:

      1. They shouldn't have released an unfinished games to meet seasonal sales, because in the end they missed much more than just christmas 07 - they made people ignore the game altogether.

      2. When you release a primarily multiplayer game with the idea that it's third parties who'll host most of the servers, you have dedicated linus server binary available on the release day. On release day people had to host servers on windows with a retail CD in the drive for fuck's sake.

      3. When you release a successor to ut2004 that had tons of maps and mostly the same gameplay and game mechanics (minus the bugs and unfinished features of ut3 like spectating), don't expect people to upgrade just for the visuals - especially since ut2004 can run so well on today's machines.

      4. And they should have listened to complains and answered them on their forums instead of deleting any post suggesting ut3 is far from a perfect game in the hope that other potential buyers wouldn't otherwise find out (how stupid can those PR fucks be?). That or just don't have forums at all.
      • While but a small number of sales, the people I game with (12 or so, tops) have not (other than 2-3 initial purchases) made the jump from UT2k4 to UT3. Why?

        No Linux or Mac ports

        No initial Linux server

        Severely downgraded server app (No webadmin, no ability to ban by CD key, limited functionality mapvote, repeated server crashes, bugs in the beta which were reported, but not fixed on release, etc.)

        While we've been playing UT for 8 years or so, this is by far the WORST release we've ever seen. With
  • TFA Clarification (Score:5, Informative)

    by GWLlosa (800011) on Monday March 10, 2008 @09:06AM (#22699472)
    He's not saying that the PC is not a gaming platform, or that it shouldn't be. He's saying that there are 'high-end' PCs that can play games, and 'low-end' PCs that can't, and the gap between them is large and transparent to the average consumer (who doesn't realize that buying a PC with "Integrated Extreme Graphics" is the same thing as buying a PC that "can't play modern games").
    • by iainl (136759) on Monday March 10, 2008 @09:11AM (#22699528)
      But, as ever with Epic staff, he seems to labour under the frankly ludicrous idea that the solution is to stop home and business users who don't need an 8800 from buying anything slower.

      If he's not able to label his game box clearly enough as needing a £300 graphics card, that's his problem, not Intel's. They make chipsets that are perfectly good enough to accelerate Aero Glass, and there are plenty of consumers that only need that.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by daveime (1253762)
        Amen to that ... I'm so tired of buying games for my 10 year old, then having to disappoint her when it won't install because it doesn support pixelshader 1.N, and 10^27 polygons per second etc ... perhaps it's time for them to realise that I don't want to buy a new graphics card every 3 months just because they are too lazy to put anything in code anymore and rely solely on the GPU functions. DOOM was a cracking game, and works on everything, even Intel integrated chipsets ... why can't they follow that m
        • by p0tat03 (985078) on Monday March 10, 2008 @09:38AM (#22699894)

          Because you, the consumer, demand flashier and better graphics. Not to mention that the level of graphics we're talking about is *impossible* to implement on CPU - the GPU trounces your CPU's performance many times over for matrix math and other calculations.

          Scalability is certainly a problem that game developers face - your game should look fairly decent even on a relatively old card, but PC gaming (especially of the 3D graphics variety) has always been an enthusiast thing. If you're not willing to buy a new $200 video card every year or so, you have no hope of keeping up.

          I object to your description of game devs as "lazy". The usage of the GPU is a matter of necessity, and it's not easy either. Game developers are not taking the lazy way out by "not writing code" (they are), and relying in GPU functions - what does that mean anyway? Do you think there's a magical "awesome graphics" API on your graphics card that we can call to make things shiny? The kind of work we do on the card (shaders) is sometimes a LOT more complex than what we do on the CPU.

          Oh, and DOOM works fine on integrated chipsets because... *drumroll* it doesn't use it! All your 3D work is done on-CPU, and I'm sorry to say that as fast as our CPUs have gotten, they are FAR from fast enough to power all of the pretty graphics you're used to seeing. We are, what, 100 times faster than the CPUs of the DOOM era? But our performance needs for games have progressed leaps and bounds beyond that.

          I'm so tired of buying games for my 10 year old, then having to disappoint her when it won't install because it doesn support pixelshader 1.N, and 10^27 polygons per second etc

          Read the requirements on the box! Every PC game I've ever bought has been *perfectly* clear about its video card requirements up front. After all, PC developers don't want pissed off consumers any more than you like getting disappointed when a game won't run. And seriously, if you're buying things like Lego Star Wars for your child, anything higher than a GeForce 6600 will run it buttery smooth, and that's a $50-100 card these days.

          Honestly speaking, IMHO PC devs have been doing a good job with scalability. The only game recently that required a massive upgrade just to play was Crysis, everything else (Portal, TF2, C&C3, etc.) scales VERY well down to some downright low-end hardware.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by stonecypher (118140)

            I object to your description of game devs as "lazy".

            So do I. The fault lies at the game designers' feet. If you look at the top ten selling games of all time, you'll find that none of them are graphics quality powerhouses - the sims, diablo, roller coaster tycoon, grand theft auto. Yes, making a game visually crispy will get a lot of dollars, but it doesn't win the top of the tree, and the last time it did (quake 1) was largely coincidental. What makes epic dollars is gameplay. Always has been, always

      • Re:TFA Clarification (Score:4, Interesting)

        by MightyYar (622222) on Monday March 10, 2008 @09:31AM (#22699800)
        You nailed it. Furthermore, his message is very confusing:

        You pay twice as much money for 30% more performance... That is just not right.
        Fair enough, but then a few questions later:

        The biggest problem in this space right now is that you cannot go and design a game for a high end PC and downscale it to mainstream PCs. The performance difference between high-end and low-end PC is something like 100x.
        I mean, I get what he is trying to say, but it's not a very consistent message. He's just spouting facts that support his flawed argument that everyone else should be concerned about how hard it is for him to design a game.

        He also doesn't consider reality:

        A PC should be an out-of-the-box workable gaming platform.
        So the interviewer then asks "what about notebooks?":

        There is no room to put a fast GPU into that compact form.
        So now he wants EVERY computer to be an out-of-the-box workable gaming platform... well, except for 50% of them. So apparently portability is an acceptable trade-off, but cost is not?

        He also makes this odd statement regarding Intel's integrated graphics:

        They're not faster now than they have been at any time in the past.
        Weird thing to say, since integrated graphics seem much, much better to me. In the bad old days integrated graphics meant watching the windows redraw... if you were lucky you got some 2d acceleration. Now you can actually run in 3d. I'm presuming that he means they aren't faster in relative terms - which is probably true.

        By the way, gamers:

        My work computers are Dell workstations. Currently, I have a dual-CPU setup, dual-quad cores for a total of eight cores, and 16 GB of memory. We at Epic tend to go to the high-end of things. Until recently, we used to buy high-end consumer PCs, simply because they tend to deliver the best performance. However, as time goes by, we constantly run into stability problems with CPUs and graphics, so we decided to switch to workstations. We just need very, very stable computers and they perform very well.
        I think that it is very interesting that he does not try to use super high-end gear. It really tells you where the sweet spot is for gaming - might as well use the gear that the developers do.
        • He also doesn't consider reality:

          A PC should be an out-of-the-box workable gaming platform.

          So the interviewer then asks "what about notebooks?":

          There is no room to put a fast GPU into that compact form.

          So now he wants EVERY computer to be an out-of-the-box workable gaming platform... well, except for 50% of them. So apparently portability is an acceptable trade-off, but cost is not?

          I think he sees laptops as analogous to handheld game systems. Nintendo's GameCube (previous generation console) is much more powerful than Nintendo DS (current generation handheld). Likewise with Sony's PlayStation 2 and PSP, and Microsoft's Xbox and Pocket PC.[1] Laptops are supposed to run games designed for weaker graphics hardware; that's part of the tradeoff for mobility.

          It really tells you where the sweet spot is for gaming - might as well use the gear that the developers do.

          Which would be consistent with the rest of the article: With the consoles, end users are guaranteed to use "the gear that the de

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by MightyYar (622222)

            I think he sees laptops as analogous to handheld game systems.

            It is, and that is an excellent point. What I don't understand is why he is willing to see portability as an acceptable reason to trade off performance, but cost is not... All he has to do is design a low-end version of his game - no different then making one for the DS or one of the consoles. If he doesn't do it and there really is the market he seems to think there is, one of his competitors will be happy to eat his lunch.

            Which would be consistent with the rest of the article: With the consoles, end users are guaranteed to use "the gear that the developers do".

            Then his developers need to go out and buy some low-end Dell machines. They'll nev

      • by Nicolas MONNET (4727) <`nicoaltiva' `at' `gmail.com'> on Monday March 10, 2008 @09:34AM (#22699840) Journal
        I just bought a new motherboard with integrated Intel GMA3100 graphics. I ended up buying a low end Nvidia 8400 for 40 EUROS because it sucked so much. The Intel can barely run Google Earth. It runs Quake3 worse than a 6 year old Geforce. The 8400 runs ET:QW at 30 fps @ 1680x1050, medium-low settings with shadows disabled. That's not £300, just £30, and it's capable of running recent games decently.
        So yeah, the guy's right, Intel's graphics adaptors are terrible. I don't know about the X3xxx series, they're supposed to be much better, but I wouldn't count on it.

        * OH FOR FUCK'S SAKE /. still can't display the EURO sign, what the fuck is wrong with you people? *
        • by mdarksbane (587589) on Monday March 10, 2008 @10:13AM (#22700460)
          I agree 100%. The difference between an integrated graphics chip and a $50 consumer-grade card from *two* generations ago is staggering.

          A Geforce 6600 will still run new Unreal Engine games with the graphics turned down to medium. A 5900 will run them on low (I think, anyway.. they might be missing a few extensions needed). That's hardware from several years ago.

          An intel integrated graphics card still can't run Quake 3 well.

          He's saying we need to get into that 10x range from low to high, not that everyone needs an 8800. When the average new product gets trounced by a low-end standalone card from four years ago... how are you supposed to develop games for the platform?
        • They are better (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Sycraft-fu (314770)
          But still crap overall. The major problem is that they use system RAM. Graphics is very RAM bandwidth intensive and the system RAM just can't provide that. Part of the problem is that you are fighting for access to it with the CPU, but the other part is that it is just slow by graphics standards. I mean consider that the brand spanking new high end RAM for a motherboard is DDR3-1333. That's 1333MHz in RAM speak (meaning 1333 million transfers per clock). Most people don't have that, even with high end syste
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by poot_rootbeer (188613)
          So yeah, the guy's right, Intel's graphics adaptors are terrible.

          Terrible at polygon shading, maybe, but that doesn't matter for 95% of what the PCs that have them are used for.

        • by MightyYar (622222) on Monday March 10, 2008 @11:57AM (#22702292)

          So yeah, the guy's right, Intel's graphics adaptors are terrible.
          But you aren't seriously arguing that every computer buyer should have to pay extra money to make the life of game developers easier, are you? Because I maintain that integrated graphics will always suck as long as they are using system memory, and giving them their own memory will cost money. If for no other reason, integrated video will always exist for the corporate market - and that by extension makes it available to the broader market.
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Briareos (21163) *

          OH FOR FUCK'S SAKE /. still can't display the EURO sign, what the fuck is wrong with you people?
          Here you go:

          €€€

          Just my 0.02 &euro;...

          np: Kings Of Convenience - Sorry Or Please (Riot On An Empty Street)
      • by Weegee_101 (837734) on Monday March 10, 2008 @10:27AM (#22700740) Homepage
        I think you're missing the point here though. It sounds to me like he's more pissed off with the fact that Dell, HP, and the other vendors are slapping the cheapest video card they can into the computers, ripping out the PCI-X slots, then selling the computer for $800 and marketing it as a "Entertainment PC". I admit I agree with you a little, but the Intel chipsets really are pretty terrible. Usually they pull out most of the flashy shaders and such for video games leaving the developers a tiny toolset that they could make an engine reminiscent of the Quake engine.
    • What he is saying is that the PCs are no longer a common platform. There are games for low-end PCs and games for high-end PCs, but not ones that scale to both. From TFA:

      ...we would just have to design two completely different games. One for low-end and one for high-end. That is actually happening on PCs: You have really low-end games with little hardware requirements, like Maple Story. That is a $100 million-a-year business. Kids are addicted to those games, they pay real money to buy [virtual] items with
    • This is where I give the company I work for some props (as far as comsumer sales goes)...

      They ask what sort of games are played and tell them what they won't and will be able to play, and recommend a non-integrated graphics card when applicable.

      Also, I get to see the new *beastly* machines before they come out ....... And yes - I want that dual 9800 GTX watercooled setup which the public can see tomorrow (i think?) - I dunwanna pay 6,500 dollars though!!
  • RTS (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hansamurai (907719) <hansamurai@gmail.com> on Monday March 10, 2008 @09:07AM (#22699488) Homepage Journal
    I really believe the last bastion of PC gaming lies in real time strategy games, a genre that essentially requires at least a mouse. I guess many die hards would say the same about first person shooters, but I am comfortable playing with either a mouse or controller, and ever since Halo came out back in 2001, the FPS scene has been migrating to the consoles at a pretty quick rate. The PC will always have Counterstrike, but when it gets pretty popular console games such as Gears of War a year after their console release, you can tell that times have changed.

    But yeah, real time strategy games, I don't think we'll ever a decent port of say Starcraft 2 to the consoles, but I suppose if anyone can pull it off, Blizzard can.

    I'm not really sure if PC games losing to consoles is entirely a bad thing, I think people are just fed up with trying to keep their system up to date with hardware, nasty CD protection schemes that kill their drives, and console ports that can play just as well and in the comfort of their living room.
    • I really believe the last bastion of PC gaming lies in real time strategy games, a genre that essentially requires at least a mouse.

      Do real-time war sims require a mouse, or do they work well with a DS touch screen, a Pocket PC touch screen, a GP2X F-200 touch screen, or a Wii Remote?

      I'm not really sure if PC games losing to consoles is entirely a bad thing

      It is. Independent developers have less access to the consoles by far than they do to the Windows platform due to the lockout chip business model adopted by all three major console manufacturers.

      • Do real-time war sims require a mouse, or do they work well with a DS touch screen

        if you have a DS and an M3DS simply or R4DS card, you should look up "a touch of war" a simple homebrew touch-screen controlled RTS.
        its a little buggy and limited to only 4 units, but it works quite well. with a more powerful system, a touch screen RTS would be an enjoyable experience.

        I might have to go out and buy a tablet PC now and crank out some old command and conquer disks and see how it goes.
        hopefully i have better luck than i did trying to run WoW on a Wacom tablet.

        • Do real-time war sims require a mouse, or do they work well with a DS touch screen

          if you have a DS and an M3DS simply or R4DS card, you should look up "a touch of war" a simple homebrew touch-screen controlled RTS.

          Which brings me to the next point. The console makers have preferred to lock out smaller developers rather than embrace them. Once every generation, at least one console maker sues retailers that carry some product that allows homebrew, and at least one console maker continuously updates newly manufactured consoles with code that blocks the exploits that homebrew uses to boot without the console maker's digital signature. With PCs and PDAs, independent developers and players of their games don't run nearly

      • I recently played FFXII: Revenant Wings on the DS which is a real time strategy game. I honestly didn't think it worked that well, but the game could have used more shortcuts for assigning units to certain buttons and creating groups more effectively. Review here [beyondthefirsthour.com] if you're interested.
    • by Machtyn (759119)
      There are several very important advantages to PC gaming over the consoles.
      • User input. There are just more options.
      • Expandability. First person shooters, real-time strategy, role-playing, sims (flight, car, etc), and more all gain major replayability due to easy expandability. Granted, consoles are making huge inroads, but their systems are still pretty tightly closed with a high startup cost for starting development. (Still, consoles are starting to break-down this feature, too. Still, PCs have the gr
      • by JSBiff (87824) on Monday March 10, 2008 @09:45AM (#22700016) Journal
        "Better hardware. You can always throw in a new (or extra) graphics card (relatively inexpensive) or more memory (cheap) in three years and bring your PC up to spec for the latest games. You have to buy a whole new console system at $400-$600 every three years."

        That's sorta true. . . but not so much. . .

        • You can't upgrade the CPU (usually) without upgrading the mobo (that is, while you might be able to upgrade to a slightly faster CPU, usually you can't upgrade to the next generation of CPU which gives the big performance gains vs. the incremental upgrade from 3.0 to 3.2 GHz)
        • You might be able to upgrade the graphics card, once; about every 2-3 generations of graphics cards and mobos use a new physical interface (i.e. the recent transition from AGP to PCI-X), which requires a new Mobo
        • You can upgrade the amount of ram, but ram is constantly getting faster, and to use the faster ram requires a new mobo
        • Then the new Mobo might possibly require you to get a new hard drive (if, e.g. it supports only SATA, and not PATA. . . or it supports the same physical interface standard, but at a slower speed, e.g. the transitions over the years from 33Mbit/s to 66 to 100 and beyond) - yes, you could by a PCI card to provide the old interface, but at that point it might make sense to use the money instead to get a new hard drive (so that the HD isn't a performance bottleneck in your upgraded system.
        • Then when you upgrade the Mobo, so that you can upgrade everything else, the new mobo might require a new case and power supply, or other new components (almost certainly it requires new RAM, but you were planning to buy that anyhow)


        By the time you finish upgrading your computer, you've spent enough money that it might have made more sense to by a medium-spec next gen machine, instead of trying to upgrade your last-gen machine to high-spec (for that generation). Because the medium spec machine will likely be more powerful than the high-spec last-gen machine. Or, you have, really, bought a new computer, one part at a time, anyhow, and probably spent $400-$600, at least, to do it.
    • by DdJ (10790)
      1) "Halo" is the game that changed many peoples' minds about this with regard to FPS games. It is going to be very interesting to see whether "Halo Wars" can do the same for RTS games. It's due out this year. I'm not very interested in it myself, but I will be watching the market's reaction to it.

      2) More and more people are hooking up a mouse and keyboard to their consoles anyway. All the current-gen consoles have USB ports and support keyboards. I've got a Logitech wireless keyboard/mouse attached to
  • by amazeofdeath (1102843) on Monday March 10, 2008 @09:07AM (#22699490)
    For example:

    [...] a problem that we have today, and that is the fact that every PC should have a decent graphics card.
    Why would a computer meant for browsing the Internet and reading email need a separate graphics card?
    • For example:

      [...] a problem that we have today, and that is the fact that every PC should have a decent graphics card.
      Why would a computer meant for browsing the Internet and reading email need a separate graphics card?
      Don't forget that the dedicated graphics card (or even high end graphics on the motherboard) will add more power consumption (heat) than most users will need 99% of the time.
  • i915 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by westcoast philly (991705) on Monday March 10, 2008 @09:09AM (#22699506)
    Of course integrated graphics aren't for gaming. that's what a dedicated video card is for. If you want to use your PC for gaming (Which I do, casually.. with dual geForce 8600GTSs) you have to add on.. it's a simple procedure as everyone here is probably aware. but integrated graphics are VERY useful for office environments where they don't NEED 3d performance. wow.
  • you are better off getting a Sony Playstation or a Nintendo Wii, about the only games i play on a PC are not video intensive (solitare/freecell, mahjongg, etc)..
  • If PCs aren't for gaming, then how can smaller game developers get their foot in the door with the console makers?

    (after reading the article) False alarm. There is still a market for PC games with low-end graphics. From the article:

    there will always be a market for casual games and online games like World of Warcraft. [...] You have really low-end games with little hardware requirements, like Maple Story. That is a $100 million-a-year business. Kids are addicted to those games, they pay real money to

    • The point of the article is for his company to slag off a pklatform it has recently failed on, so the investors think they are still doing well.
      I bought a Nintendo wii, just for wii sports, but will always be a PC gamer. the idea that the games available to me have to be pre-approved by men in suits from sony, Nintendo or Microsoft is just stupid. In the immediate future we have Spore and The Sims 3 coming up, and I certainly haven't finished with COD 4 or Sins of a solar Empire yet either.
      The PC will alway
  • Creativity (Score:3, Insightful)

    by c_g_hills (110430) <chazNO@SPAMchaz6.com> on Monday March 10, 2008 @09:18AM (#22699630) Homepage Journal
    I fully agree with the sentiment. In the good old days, you had to be creative to get the most out of the hardware you had, and gameplay was at the centre (or center) of attention. These days it is all about how many frames per second you can push from your graphics card and cpu.
  • by Evil Kerek (1196573) on Monday March 10, 2008 @09:20AM (#22699654)
    and stop having an anuerism everytime someone tries to add a mouse, I'd pretty much stop using my PC to game with.

    I will NEVER use a joystick to play an FPS. Period. It's inferior. Period. A good mouser can beat the best joysticker everytime, given a level playing field (and before you start, it's almost NEVER a level playing field - so don't tell me how good you are on a console. The target areas are programmatically larger. The AI is dumbed down. Etc, etc. These are facts - look it up)

    If you even START to suggest adding a mouse option to consoles, the kiddies starting pitching a fit and immediately begin insulting your mother. It's pathetic - the fear of having their asses handed to them in combat is funny. I really enjoy my 360 - but not having a mouse as an OPTION prevents access to a lot of what is cool on it.

    Until that time, the PC platform will remain strong. Consoles need a mouse. It's just silly they don't have them. If M$/$ony will EVER gets some balls and support a mouse, I think you'll see the PC side take a huge hit. I'd rather play on my 65" HD.

    EK
  • Keyboard and Mouse (Score:5, Informative)

    by tripmine (1160123) on Monday March 10, 2008 @09:20AM (#22699656)
    I used to be a complete hater when it came to keyboard and mouse fanboys. But even since my friends and I started playing UT2K4 together about a month ago (yeah I know it's an old game shut up), I have seen the truth. FPS's are meant for the mouse. Until a console fully supports this, I will refuse to believe that PC gaming is dead.
    • by Brummund (447393)
      Well, being an oldtime PC gamer I made the switch to consoles when the PS2 came out, and I don't miss the keyboard and mouse a bit. I now play COD4 with the sensitivity on 5, and I'm still improving.

      I guess I got bored by sitting in front of the PC all day and night, and just unwinding in my recliner while playing games on the projector-setup is awesome. Also, Xbox Live is great, I've met a lot of people who I regularly play with, as we seem to buy the same titles. Great fun!
    • by abaddononion (1004472) on Monday March 10, 2008 @09:43AM (#22699966)
      Again with these posts. Clearly Im going to have to give up on pointing this out, but:

      I cant speak for the 360 (I just dont know), but the PS3 already supports mouse/keyboards fully. It uses USB interfaces, so there's no difficulty finding a mouse or keyboard to hook up to it. If you want to go wild, you can buy an expensive bluetooth keyboard for it and save a port. Game support might be running a bit lower. I dont know about CoD4, but UT3 fully supports playing with the mouse/keyboard on the PS3. You have to set it up, but it's not a hard process and can be googled.

      Im not sure what more people are looking for with this "I demand full support NAO!" thing.
  • Define games (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Thaelon (250687) on Monday March 10, 2008 @09:22AM (#22699690)
    From the perspective of type of resources "modern" games require, he's right. But large portions of the gaming industry seem to have lost sight of the fact that games do not need to be pretty, only fun. They are games after all.

    In the last six months I've logged more hours playing Mahjong on my N810 than I have playing UT3, EVE Online and Half Life 2 mods combined.

    So from a wider perspective he's not only wrong, but lost sight of what is important in a game. Not that I don't personally think that UT3 is fun as hell, I actually bought that one. But some perspective on his part would be beneficial to him and his customers.
  • by acvh (120205) <geek AT mscigars DOT com> on Monday March 10, 2008 @09:31AM (#22699786) Homepage
    this article and interview are NOT about mouses and joysticks. this article and interview are NOT about PC vs. Console.

    This article and interview ARE about how the overwhelming majority of PCs sold in the US do not come remotely close to being able to run current game software. It is almost a plea to Intel to stop making integrated graphics chips, because they suck at running games. If 90% of the PCs sold can't run the software you write and publish, then you aren't going to be a big fan of PC gaming at the moment.

    Yes, we know, if you're posting here you can build your own PC, upgrade your graphics card every six months, and use your mouse and keyboard to headshot Osama Bin Laden in his cave from orbit. That doesn't change the fact that you are a part of a minority, and can expect that other game publishers will begin thinking of bailing out on the PC as a platform.

  • by eebra82 (907996)

    He's especially unhappy with Intel, which he says has integrated graphics chipsets that 'just don't work'.

    Which is why you get what you pay for. Such chipsets are not targeted for gamers, but energy efficient laptops and general surf machines / business application computers. Otherwise he could rant about how much the Wii graphics suck when compared to the PS3, but ultimately, it is the developers who push the graphics to an insane level of realism.

    There are many examples of games with "dated" graphics that sell in high volumes.

    • by Shados (741919)
      I think the issue is, let say you buy an average/high end computer from dell (minus the XPS line). You can get something like a Core 2 Duo 2.6 ghz with 2-4 gigs of ram and a 500 gigs harddrive....not too shabby....with an integrated intel chipset by default.

      So the rest of the machine will be screaming... People then have expectations on their games going on from there. Its silly, I know...but those chipsets are used -everywhere-, not just in low end computers or work lap-tops, and customers arent properly w
  • I like Tim, I especially liked his presentation on programming languages in games, but his comments about 64-bit Vista seem rather out of touch.

    Sweeney: Let's be clear with it. The switch to exclusively 64-bit would clean up all the legacy viruses and spyware programs that have been plaguing us for years. The requirement for much more system memory cannot be an excuse, because most owners of 64-bit processors have at least 1 GB of system memory installed.

    Yeah? It'd also have cleaned up all the "legacy"

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Jimmy_B (129296)
      <blockquote>Yeah? It'd also have cleaned up all the "legacy" software people are using. Like iTunes. Not to mention all the actual legacy software like kids educational software, drivers for old hardware, etc. I also don't know why he thinks this would have cleaned up viruses and spyware. These guys adapt fast and the extra anti-patch systems in 64 Vista aren't all that strong.</blockquote>
      It would've broken all the old drivers, yes, but they did that anyways. Regular applications would be unaff
    • I really agree with Tim here. This was the perfect opportunity to transition to 64bit. Most compatibility issues with Vista are Vista related, not 64 bit related. This would have given us more access to memory beyond 2GB and accelerated 64bit application development and might have even given me a reason to go with Vista. If you are breaking a lot of drivers and programs anyway, why not got 64bit at the same time and gain some benefit in the process. Heck Apple managed to swap to a whole new CPU architecture
  • by GauteL (29207) on Monday March 10, 2008 @09:47AM (#22700046)
    If 90% of all PC's sold can't play 90% of the games sold, who's fault is this? Is it the hardware manufacturers that sell people PCs at a reasonable price, or the game manufacturers who target hardware only found in 10% of PCs? Even if only 1/9th of all the people buying low-end PCs wanted to buy games, that would still double the target market (and that is assuming that all of the people buying "capable" machines want to buy games).

    Games manufacturers could easily start to target the 90% instead if they wanted to increase their market. Even an Intel GMA 950 (which is in an awful lot of PCs and laptops) should be capable of playing 3D games if the graphics are scaled down properly.

    Personally I think a lot of games manufacturers are pissing away the chance for a large increase in their sales, by being way too '1337'. They want to show off their game, and they want to make it look super slick, which is fair enough... but don't come complaining if this rules the game out for a large part of the market.
    • by aarku (151823) on Monday March 10, 2008 @01:27PM (#22703930) Journal
      We do scale down graphics to the GMA950 ... and below. The fun part happens when you get this big divide in user reviews due to the scaling down. Some claim the graphics "sux" and others claim the graphics "rox". There is also only so much you can scale down. It takes a ton of resources to remodel/re-rig a character at a low-poly for the integrated cards and a high-poly for everything else. We end up just shipping ridiculously low polygon models that anything with hardware T&L is barely taxed. In short, we game developers are generally intelligent people and we do our best, and there actually is a problem in these integrated cards... A pc may not have been purchased as a gaming PC but little Timmy is still just as pissed when the game doesn't perform well on it.
  • by The Fun Guy (21791) on Monday March 10, 2008 @09:51AM (#22700120) Homepage Journal
    The PC should never have been used for gaming. It took kludge on top of kludge to make it work, and the end product is so far from its roots as a general-purpose computational device that it is barely recognizable.

    And those jaw bones should have been left the hell alone [wikipedia.org], too. You can barely recognize them, either, and in their current form, they are NO GOOD FOR CHEWING!

    Why can't people leave well enough alone?
  • Irony (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kerrbear (163235) on Monday March 10, 2008 @10:16AM (#22700510)
    > criticizes the PC industry for transforming the PC into a useless gaming machine

    Humorously ambiguous sentence
  • by phozz bare (720522) on Monday March 10, 2008 @10:16AM (#22700518)
    I personally think that the PC, particularly under Windows XP, is a terrible gaming platform. I find myself cringing every time people complain about how bad Linux/Mac are for games, as opposed to the great and wonderful Windows. Here's a little list of annoyances I can think of off the top of my head right now:

    * The need to install a game on your hard disk. Why can my Gamecube run any game within seconds of plopping the CD in and turning it on? (...and it's not like I can legitimately run the game without the original CD anyway.)
    * The horribly slow and ugly process of switching from the Windows desktop to full screen. First the screen flickers. Then the screen turns black. Then the desktop shows up for a second, "magnified" (because the resolution is lower). Then more blackness. Finally, the game shows up. Hard disk grinding throughout this time. Reverse this process when the game is over.
    * Occasionally some stupid popup (like an instant message or a warning about my swap space running low) will force the game out of full-screen mode and back to the desktop. This cuts you out of the action for at least 30 seconds, as the disk grinds its way to swap everything back in and the resolution change as described above occurs yet again.
    * The occasional background process causes the game to stutter or jump slightly every once in a while.
    * I've rarely ever seen a 3D, or even a 2D game on the PC that has consistent smooth moving animation and scrolling at the refresh rate of the monitor with no tearing - things that are a given in almost any console game. That is, it should be that FPS == refresh rate, and refreshes occur while screen is not updating.
    * When quitting a game, very often all windows that were previously open are now confined to the upper-left corner within bounds equal to the size of the game's full-screen resolution.
    * Sometimes the same goes for all desktop icons. So what if you've spent time arranging them in a particular way? They're all bunched up in a 320x200 corner now, sorry.
    * No matter how good your hardware, a game will always give you the impression that something needs upgrading (see the stuttering phenomenon mentioned above).

    In my experience the Mac is much better in most of these respects. I've never tried gaming under Linux or Vista, and I do realize some of these points may have been fixed in Vista.
    • by owyn999 (856162) on Monday March 10, 2008 @10:36AM (#22700914) Homepage
      all of the issues you have described sans the change of desktop to game resolution are apparently only you. I personally have never had these issues of course I'm one of those crazy people who read the packaging before I buy a game... and if it says "4 GB RAM" and I only have 2 I don't try to force feed the game down my machines throat. I politely put the game back down and go home. Wait a few months until I have the money to afford the upgrades that I need. Considering that my machine is near 5 years old. Upgrade the component and then go find the game only this time in the bargain bin for 15$ instead of $60.

      The stuttering that you are talking about is because you are trying to run the game at settings that the developer made for the game that only the absolute top of the line machine can handle.

      When quitting a game if you have all of your icons/windows bound to a corner of the screen... Try checking your settings... as this absolutely should not happen. If it does maybe you should go look for a patch for the game you are playing or update your drivers.

      I have played a number of both 3D and 2D games that always and I mean ALWAYS run stunningly.

      oh yeah and finally... KILL YOUR AIM/use the AWAY message so that it doesn't pop a window up, I know really... I have to do things to make my machine behave the way I want it to... WAH... get Xfire, or trillian and shut the Notify and open new windows off on trill. Xfire will solve most of your issues. Especially with the Xfire Plus pack that is being developed that will let you message people while in game.

  • Don't blame Intel (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cerelib (903469) on Monday March 10, 2008 @10:35AM (#22700900)
    Blaming Intel and integrated graphics for the decline of PC gaming is a cop out. These game companies have been operating under the principle that a game with better graphics is a better game. Instead of creating new an innovative was to game on a PC, they enhance the graphics of an old game and call it a new game. Don't blame Intel if your game does not work on their GPU platform and you are using the latest, cutting edge, extensions and expecting the latest amounts of video ram. The fact that some of these companies are listing specific graphics cards as system requirements should indicate that there is a problem. At that point you are limiting your audience on your own. If you want a big audience, you should target machines with integrated graphics and then find ways to scale up when there is more power instead of targeting the latest and greatest and then complaining that you can't scale back to make it work. By promoting the idea that better graphics equals better game, they entered into a stupid race and they can only blame themselves.
  • by Thanshin (1188877) on Monday March 10, 2008 @10:35AM (#22700904)
    What did everyone had at home? Televisions.
    What do you need to use a console? Televisions.

    When everybody has a computer at home, wouldn't it be natural for consoles to connect to the computer and use it's display? Wouldn't it also follow that, having connected to the computer you could also use it's peripherals?

    At the same time, aren't graphic cards concentrating more and more of the power needed to run a modern game?

    So, on one side we'll have consoles that lack display (as now) but also controls and sound, and graphic cards concentrating almost all the power to run a cutting edge game.

    What differentiates those two pieces of hardware?
  • Proof that (Score:3, Informative)

    by Stu Charlton (1311) on Monday March 10, 2008 @11:05AM (#22701414) Homepage
    The high end game industry lives in its own (un)reality.

    How the hell is it Intel and the PC's manufacturer's fault for integrated graphics, when most PC's are for business use, where they, at best, play card games on. People won't pay for power they don't need.

    The market for insanely fast, high-end games seems to have shrunk in favour of casual games, MMOs, and "gameplay" games. Instead of working on graphics engines, the hotspot for innovation seems to be game play and game experience. Examples abound: Wii Sports, Bio Shock, Mass Effect, World in Conflict, the endless stream of "war games" like Gears of War and Call of Duty, etc.

    None of these games can be played with Integrated graphics; WoW will run max ~10-15 fps on X3100 Integrated graphics, and will probably degrade without aftermarket cooling. Almost all sales people at Best Buy or even at the Apple Store are very clear about what models are meant for games, and which ones aren't. Yet Tim claims that poor, blind, customers are being sold PC's that won't play games. I guess he's never heard of a "2 week return policy"?

    I think Doom 3 killed the market -- after that experience, people don't want to buy the same old 10 year old game with new graphics and some minor gameplay improvements.

    For example, if you improve the graphics (a bit) AND the gameplay AND change the setting or genre, you may have a winner... The current graphics champ, Crysis, has done fairly well [1up.com], selling 1 million [kotaku.com] through the end of January, despite early reports that it was flunking as bad as UT3. Gears of War 2 is hotly anticipated and I bet will slam UT3's sales despite being on the same engine. I haven't heard what UT3's sales are, last I saw it was 1.2 million [gamespy.com] for PS3 + PC combined, which seems to indicate PC sales sucked.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by TheLink (130905)
      Yeah, PCs are "useless gaming machines" for the games the "Unreal" creators keep trying to make.

      But they are perfectly fine for WoW, Counterstrike, Warcraft 3, Starcraft, The Sims, Bejewelled, Freecell and many other games that millions around the world are playing _NOW_.

      I've been playing Guild Wars on my years old Athlon XP system, and what bothers me more is network latency than system "grunt" - high ping makes playing hard.

      If the latest UT didn't sell well or doesn't work on computers that 90% of the _ta
  • by Bob-taro (996889) on Monday March 10, 2008 @11:49AM (#22702158)

    Here is an opposing viewpoint [gamasutra.com] from Doug Lombardi.

    I tend to agree that PC gaming is not going away. PC game programming definitely has it's challenges. The console programmer is programming for known hardware so he can optimize much more easily than a PC game programmer who has to deal with unknown graphics capabilities, cpu speed, memory size, monitor resolution, etc. Good graphics APIs help, but do not take the problem away. OTOH, once you have programmed for this variability, you have a more portable game. When I buy a new PC, I don't mind paying a few hundred more for discrete graphics card (I don't buy consoles anyway), and I enjoy loading all my old games onto it and knowing they'll (usually) still work. Sometimes I even find that some group has created a modified version of the game that improves the experience on faster hardware (like open GL versions of doom or descent). Also, user created content (maps, characters, campaigns, etc) is an area where PC games outshine their console counterparts.

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