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PC Gaming 'a Generation Ahead' of Consoles, Says Crytek Boss 412

Posted by Soulskill
from the dell's-picard-to-sony's-kirk dept.
Crytek co-founder Cevat Yerli spoke recently about the growing gap between modern PCs and consoles like the PS3 and Xbox 360, saying that the desire to develop for multiple platforms is hampering creative expression. "PC is easily a generation ahead right now. With 360 and PS3, we believe the quality of the games beyond Crysis 2 and other CryEngine developments will be pretty much limited to what their creative expressions is, what the content is. You won't be able to squeeze more juice from these rocks." One reason this trend persists is because of the perception that PC game sales are not high enough for most developers to focus on that platform. Rock, Paper, Shotgun says this indicates a need for the disclosure of digital distribution sales numbers, which could dispel that myth. Yerli's comments come alongside news of Crytek's announcement of a new military-based shooter called Warface.
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PC Gaming 'a Generation Ahead' of Consoles, Says Crytek Boss

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  • Before you start saying that these consoles are essentially tapped out, keep in mind that the PS3 isn't near its full potential yet.

    PS3 still not maxed out - Andrew House (SCEE President)
    http://www.computerandvideogames.com/article.php?id=248275 [computeran...ogames.com]

    PS3 hard to develop for on purpose - Kazuo Hirai (SCEE Chairman)
    http://www.computerandvideogames.com/article.php?id=248275 [computeran...ogames.com]

    Now, when you've finally "tapped out this rock", then come back and complain. Until then, blame yourselves for your inability to develop good gam

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Jartan (219704)

      The PS3 might not be "maxed out" in terms of software existing which uses it's good points. It's pretty clear though that it's maxed out in terms of what the gaming market is ever going to do with it. The reality is that Sony tried to go a new direction with hardware but they failed to get the market stranglehold they needed to force developers to take risks on new coding styles for a platform specific title.

      Either way the original point that the PC has far surpassed the PS3 is still true. The PS3 has

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Movi (1005625)

        Actually it's not a new direction at all. If anything, the PS2 was the new direction. Stick very high speed vector processors next to the a standard CPU and GPU and some low latency ram on a high speed interconnect. The PS3 is just this idea extended to more vector units and current-generation CPU and GPU (at the time it was made).

        What Microsoft did was smart - instead on banking on very specialized hardware, it made sure it's development kit could do the optimisation automatically, hence it's MUCH easier t

      • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Thursday November 25, 2010 @09:11PM (#34346684) Homepage Journal

        The PS3 has way too much power in certain area's that aren't necessary. In area's like GPU and memory though it's pathetic.

        For me, the biggest weakness of all consoles is the controller. PS3 and XBox controllers force game developers toward silly simplifying moves like the abominable "third person shooter". I guess if you're into puppetry it might be fun, but if you're looking for anything like an immersive experience, third person shooters aren't going to get you there. No matter what you do, you're looking over the shoulder of a character who, for some reason, doesn't seem to understand that sometimes you want to jump over the box and sometimes you want to use it as cover.

        I wouldn't mind so much if the net effect of the ubiquity of consoles was just that it slowed the development of graphics for PC games, but it's done something much much worse: it's forced PC games to adopt horrible control mechanics and idiotic point of view, and for no better reason than the limitation of the console controller.

        It amazes me that decades in to see how clumsy console controllers are. That's not to say that it's impossible to get somewhat used to a console controller, but even when you've mastered them, it's still an ergonomic nightmare. In online gaming with PCs, you can always tell when someone's using a console controller. Not that they're going to be necessarily worse than someone who's using a keyboard and mouse, but there are certain tell-tale signs.

        And the "alternative" controller schemes, like the Wii and even the Kinect are still completely unable to control fine movements. If you want to swing a bat or a sword, you can use a Wii, but if you want to strafe while picking off the enemy from a crouched position and switching to a different weapon or reloading, good luck. I'm interested in seeing where the Kinect will go, but until they make Kinect controllers for my PC, I'll never know. I did my best to warm up to a PS3 for more than a year, but finally (about the time MW2 came out) I finally just gave up and went back to PC gaming. The fact that Sony continues to be hostile to its customers was no small part of that decision.

        The best thing that can happen to PC gaming, in my opinion, is for simple hacks for the PS3 and XBox to become readily available so games can easily be copied and shared. Personally, I'm surprised that so many console gamers have chosen to accept punishment so readily for PC gamers' filesharing. Especially since there's very little evidence that filesharing has in fact hurt PC game developers.

        • by Zironic (1112127) on Thursday November 25, 2010 @10:02PM (#34346916)

          I don't see first person shooters as immersive at all. I feel like I'm playing a floating camera with a gun attached. I prefer third person shooters for a number of reasons, 1) They don't give me dizziness and headache from the camera movement 2) They give me a much better idea of the relative position of my character compared to everything else, and doesn't make it feel like the character is floating when he climbs ladders or whatnot 3) They allow the character to have much better movements as you can see in more then one direction 4) They allow you to have more game-play mechanics like interesting melee combat.

          Third person shooters can also be made competently with PC controls in mind, for instance Global Agenda is a great Team Fortressish shooter that's third person and designed for PC and I find it much nicer to play then Team Fortress 2.

          • by suzerain (245705) on Friday November 26, 2010 @06:04AM (#34348594) Homepage

            Figured I'd add onto this...the problem with first-person shooters, for me (or, say...in the F1 racing game where you can have a "looking out the windshield" view vs. a view from behind the car), is that in first-person shooters, you're in a tunnel with no peripheral vision.

            In real life, if I was sneaking around with a gun trying to shoot people, I'd be relying on my peripheral vision as much or more than my direct vision. This is why I, too, prefer the third-person view, because at least it opens up the field of view a bit.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      I'm guessing that we should just take the president and chairman of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, a couple of non-techie suits with a nontrivial stake in saying nice things about their product, at their word when they assure us that the PS3 will achieve photorealistic graphics and save the whales, if only those lazy developers would do it right? Isn't this the same Sony whose PS2 "Emotion engine" was supposed to have been delivering cinematic graphics, according to their marketdroids?
    • Consoles have always had a simple weakness. Memory. Developers love it, consoles don't have it.

      Netbooks now come with 2GB. The PS3 comes with 512mb. That is all, video and main memory and in some ways it really only 256mb. When was the last time you had a computer with 256mb main memory? Or for that matter a 256mb video card? Oh okay, my current netbook has but then I would hardly call it a gaming machine.

      A perfect example was Morrowind, it performed horrible on the PC at first with frequent loading betwe

  • Bullshit (Score:4, Insightful)

    by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Thursday November 25, 2010 @06:30PM (#34345764)

    I haven't seen anything innovative done on a PC that couldn't have been done on a PS2. Crysis 2 is innovative? Oh please. Two extra bullet-points on the back of a box do not make a game "innovative". Portal: innovative. Tower of Goo: innovative. Minecraft: innovative. What do they have in common? They could run on hardware that is 10 years old.

    I think the Mr. Crytek fails to see past his own problems: that the shiny that his company specializes in does very little to make a game special.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by icegreentea (974342)
      No, you stop this bullshit. It's pretty clear that they're talking about graphics capabilities here. The word innovative doesn't even appear anywhere in the summary or articles. Every fucking time we talk about games or movies, its the same shit. "Omg, it's shiny it sucks". Shiny and "creative" and "fun" and "innovative" are all largely orthogonal to each other. Their only real conflict is the budget. And this is goddamn Crysis. It's a game which is meant to be a tech demo. Like UT. Of fucking course their
      • Re:Bullshit (Score:5, Insightful)

        by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Thursday November 25, 2010 @08:26PM (#34346464)

        Yes, it is indeed pretty clear they're talking about graphics. It is also pretty clear that when they say "is holding back creative expression" and "holding back quality games", what they mean is that all their creative expression and quality work is going into making a game prettier. Which in turns means they have no idea how to make quality games.

        That's what I'm calling bullshit on. The fact that creative expression is identical with fill-rates or polygons/sec. I'm sorry you were so gung-ho to call me on my snobbery that you missed that point.

    • Portal: innovative.

      Yes

      Tower of Goo: innovative.

      Haven't played it, so I'll take your word for it.

      Minecraft: innovative.

      There was a similar game before, but MC is quite different from it now.

      What do they have in common? They could run on hardware that is 10 years old.

      Portal is on Source engine. While it could run on 10 year old hardware, the graphics would suck. You need a better video card (at least) to make it have decent FPS at max graphic settings on 1600x1200 or higher resolution.

      Minecraft requires less resources, but also has worse graphics. I have installed the HD texture pack, because while the game itself is good, I did not like the low qua

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by caitsith01 (606117)

      I haven't seen anything innovative done on a PC that couldn't have been done on a PS2.

      So you think graphics are completely irrelevant, good for you. I'm as much of a fan of gameplay innovation as anyone - I still play a lot of DOS games, in fact - but outstanding graphics DO add something, and there's no question that the PC has a lot more potential than current-gen consoles, let alone a PS2.

    • Re:Bullshit (Score:5, Insightful)

      by blahplusplus (757119) on Thursday November 25, 2010 @07:43PM (#34346270)

      "Crysis 2 is innovative? Oh please. Two extra bullet-points on the back of a box do not make a game "innovative"."

      The great irony in you saying this is that the reverse is true, console game quality is hurting PC game quality. PC games have been dumbed down for consoles and consolized for multiplatform release.

      Also console ports for the PC get sloppy seconds due to multiplatform release. We saw the awful game for windows live inserted into Gears of War for PC. We also saw how Badly Halo and Halo 2 were ported to PC. Halo was originally a PC game they had to fit into the first xbox because MS needed a game to sell the system.

      Don't believe it console games have effected PC game quality? Check out supcom 2 and Civ 5's terrible reviews on amazon.

      Civ 5
      http://www.amazon.com/Sid-Meiers-Civilization-V-Pc/dp/B0038TT8QM/ [amazon.com]

      Supcom 2

      http://www.amazon.com/Supreme-Commander-2-Pc/dp/B002BXN6GY/ [amazon.com]

    • Look man there is nothing wrong with liking gameplay. I am a full supporter of the "games need to have good gameplay" idea. However there is also no need to hate on graphics, which seems to common on Slashdot. A kind of techno luddism. "Oh these games would be just as good with older graphics on low end hardware." No, sorry, but that is false. A game is a rich experience. Part of that experience is visuals and good visuals go a long way to making that experience immersive.

      So holding gameplay up as the One a

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      This comment is so blatantly ignorant of gaming that I don't even know where to begin.

      Tower of Goo is innovative? Minecraft is innovative? Tell me, how many games have you played in total? Five, maybe ten? Those two titles are both highly derivative of previous games. The fact that they're a fad now does not somehow make them "innovative." Justin Bieber isn't innovative just because he's popular. Portal is the only game you listed that fits the term.

      And if you don't understand the technology that wen

  • War-face? (Score:5, Funny)

    by pookemon (909195) on Thursday November 25, 2010 @06:35PM (#34345786) Homepage

    a new military-based shooter called Warface

    Sorry, facebook will insist that you change it's name.

  • by mikaelwbergene (1944966) on Thursday November 25, 2010 @06:35PM (#34345794)

    And it has happened again as it has happened every single generation of consoles and as it will in every future generation.

    One platform is constantly shifting and upgrading, the other doesn't.

    What do you think happens in the gap between console releases?

    Unfortunately they're currently too busy trying to milk motion controls and using that as an excuse to not release new hardware. Hopefully Nintendo will just out of nowhere drop a magic console developed using their profits from their current gen console.

    Either way some games are better on consoles (fighting, local multiplayer, driving games etc) , while other games I prefer my mouse and keyboard support (simulation, rts, fps, etc)

  • by Average_Joe_Sixpack (534373) on Thursday November 25, 2010 @06:35PM (#34345796)

    as long as the developers target the consoles and PC then you only have to match the specs of that console generation.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jjohnson (62583)

      There was never a need a for yearly upgrades. Current games have always been comfortably playable at less-than-max settings for PCs two or three years behind the latest-and-greatest. It's gamer dick-swinging that led the misguided to constantly chase the "current" hardware--the producers of PC games always allowed for older machines.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Um, no. That may be true now, but that's a fairly recent change. It wasn't that long ago that new games targeted bleeding edge hardware at the time of release. I think roughly the release of Half-life 2 & Doom 3 were the turning point. That's the last time I remember people planning a hardware upgrade specifically to coincide with a game purchase.
      • by SpazmodeusG (1334705) on Friday November 26, 2010 @02:28AM (#34347868)

        That's a recent thing and is OPs point. You most certainly couldn't certain play games on a 3 year old system back in the mid-late 90's for example.

        eg. Unreal 1 was released 22nd May 1998. It required a 166Mhz CPU at minimum. Less than 3 years before that the top of the line CPU would have been the Pentium 120 (released 27th May 1995). So you could have bought a top of the line CPU and in less than 3 years it'd be below minimum requirements for the newest games. That sort of thing was normal in that era. It doesn't happen today though.

  • by tepples (727027) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {selppet}> on Thursday November 25, 2010 @06:48PM (#34345914) Homepage Journal

    PC is easily a generation ahead right now.

    Wii showed that graphical output isn't the only thing that defines a hardware generation. In the seventh generation, while Microsoft and Sony were moving their output forward by a generation, Nintendo moved its input forward by a generation by bundling a Bluetooth handheld pointing device with the console. It took the other guys years to come up with Kinect and Move to match the Wii Remote.

    But the major consoles are still ahead of PCs in how many simultaneous players a game will usually support. This is in part because consoles are ahead in what monitor size their makers can encourage their users to connect. Sure, using a TV as a monitor has been easy since HDTV became common starting in 2006, but home theater PCs are still a rarity for some reason. Is it usability, or is it a plain old path-dependent Catch-22?

  • I'm not at all surprised that he believes that todays high end gaming rigs are one generation ahead of the consoles. They are four years old after all.. What a shocker. Pushing more pixels through a GPU doesn't constitute innovation though. What have Crytek done but yet another FPS? *yawn*
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MightyMartian (840721)

      It's also an issue of market. High-end game PCs make up only a small part of the whole PC market. If you indeed did make games that required the horsepower of a $2000 gaming machine, I doubt you would see much profit. Yes, technically consoles are a generation behind, but if you're looking at selling lots and lots of copies, you want stable hardware specs. Most PC games are probably sitting in the generation, or at least half-generation, behind the full throttle systems as well, simply because you want

      • by ADRA (37398)

        I think you'll find that any PC being sold the last few years has higher system specs than any console today as long as the PC was sold with any sort of discrete video card. I've got a PC that plays modern PC games and it cost me around $700. Because I can do so, much of that cost won't be renewed because I can reuse several of the pieces for my next generation or even the one after that.

        "I fail to see what hardware has to do with creativity anyways"
        Hardware doesn't in itself encourage creativity, but it su

  • its consoles. they are too locked in, and their companies do not put out new generations often. that is why the console market is dragging ALL gaming behind. developers are having to accommodate consoles that are a few years behind in technology.

    not to mention the horrible, flat-out fascist attitude of the console producers towards any kind of free development, improvement, or modding on their devices.

    really, it would be better if they are totally dropped.
  • Yerli makes these sweeping statements... and then we have this:

    Yerli's comments come alongside news of Crytek's announcement of a new military-based shooter called Warface.

    Please tell me - how is all that extra PC horsepower being used in a way that's not possible on a console? I know all these "shoot people in the head" games are immensely popular... but come on! The same sorts of games exist on the XBox 360 and PS3 and look really, really good - so it's certainly not graphics performance or computations per second that's a limitation.

    No, as others have pointed out: The limitation is the lack of creativity on the

    • by 0123456 (636235)

      The limitation is the lack of creativity on the part of most developers.

      But that's largely because most games these days are developed for consoles, which means lowest common denominator design and limited in scope to be able to run on antiquated hardware.

    • by AHuxley (892839)
      Textures beyond 640p, world size, number of monsters, AI ect are all moving to the top end on a PC. You have to meet some min stats but the top end is open to the creativity and coders to really push the limits of what Windows and opengl can offer.
      With a console all your doing is locking into 5 yr old tech and staying at a low level within that tech range.
      A constant trade off rather than anything new to show off.
      Your over hyped console cannot do "almost-lifelike games" without really dropping in many
    • Ok (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Sycraft-fu (314770)

      How about large game worlds? Consoles, with their tiny memory amounts, put real limits on that kind of shit. As an interesting study in this, look at Deus Ex 1 vs Deus Ex 2. DX1 was PC only, running on Unreal Engine 1. Levels were more or less large, continuous, zones. You'd start and just walk around the whole thing, no loading. Also it wasn't streaming, the whole level was active, NPCs moved around freely and did things off camera. DX2 was designed for consoles, using Unreal Engine 2. Despite being a numb

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by CronoCloud (590650)

        How about large game worlds? Consoles, with their tiny memory amounts, put real limits on that kind of shit. As an interesting study in this, look at Deus Ex 1 vs Deus Ex 2. DX1 was PC only, running on Unreal Engine 1.

        Deus Ex 1 wasn't PC only, it was on the PS2 as well.

        Also it wasn't streaming,

        Streaming worlds is smart, it enables you to have HUGE worlds with 0 load times between zones, like EQOA on the PS2. You could walk/swim from Fayspires to Qeynos and never see a load screen. Who cares if things out of your FOV don't exist and are regenerated.

        The consoles are only 720p devices (1280x720). Yes, they do basic upsampling but you gain no detail with that. Other than a few rare PS3 games (which suffer in therms of textures and so on because of it) that run at 1080, they all run at 720, and sometimes even less.

        Citation needed.

  • by Nyder (754090) on Thursday November 25, 2010 @07:15PM (#34346102) Journal

    Think a lot of people are missing the point here.

    They are talking about hardware, not what the current PC games compare to their console counter parts.

    See, this is the problem. PC are capable of so more, yet we get a dumbed down console port instead of a game tailored to the extra stuff modern PC's can bring you.

    Most PS3 & 360 games are barely 720p, usually less. Crappy AA on them, etc.

    Modern PC can do the 1080p, max AA and not break a sweet. And not break your bank. Get a Nvidia 460 1gb card for $200 and you got yourself a nice card that kicks ass.

    And yes, I'm a gamer. Been so for 30+ years. I prefer my PC for gaming (even got me 3D Vision, which rocks), but I do have a Xbox 360 (jtag'd), a Wii (softmodded) and will have a PS3 whenever I get enough money for it (ya, and I'll hack it also, because that's how i roll).

    It's funny, because I remember when arcade games were the better graphics systems, and computers & consoles tried to be that good. Then the computers surpassed both the consoles & arcade games. And we, the computer gamers have been paying for it ever since.

    (sorry, when the PS3 & 360 game out, their graphics weren't really on par with computers, they were already behind, and it's a bigger gap now).

    • by ADRA (37398)

      What really makes me sad these days aren't so much the graphical sacrifices that PC gamers have to suffer from, its the control limitations. Whenever I play Mass Effect, I feel like punching the developers, because its perfectly clear that whomever designed it was only targeting console game play mechanics.

      • by Nyder (754090)

        What really makes me sad these days aren't so much the graphical sacrifices that PC gamers have to suffer from, its the control limitations. Whenever I play Mass Effect, I feel like punching the developers, because its perfectly clear that whomever designed it was only targeting console game play mechanics.

        I agree. I hate over the shoulder games. In fact, some of them make me sick to my stomach (Dead Space is one that does that).

        I think they don't want to have people think the game is a first person shooter, when in reality, that is what the game is.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I would agree that there is a generational gap between true gaming PCs and consoles. That's always going to be the case. The upgrade and refresh cycles of gaming PCs are going to be much shorter than consoles. However, the console market is much larger than the true gaming PC market. In order to expand the market beyond this niche, game developers have to target "standard" PCs, and that is where the variability is hardware capabilities is an issue. If I develop a game for a console, every user is going

  • Interesting (Score:2, Insightful)

    by vampirbg (1092525)
    Maybe someone should tell him that it's the GAMEPLAY that matters, not flashy graphics. I never did like Crytek's games because they felt more like tech demos that real games. Also, consoles have one more advantage. If I want to play a game I just stick the disk in and that's it. No worries if my drivers are current, or if my combination of mb+graphics would cause a problem etc. Also it's much cheaper to be a gamer on the consoles. Sure, the games are more expensive but ask yourself how often do you have t

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