Are Consoles Holding Back PC Gaming?

Discussion in 'PC Gaming' started by Berek, Mar 28, 2010.

  1. Ethatron

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    I never understood the deal with that company - which rushed out wrecks of games, which still outshine most of the pathetic thin attempts of major studios (ToEE is godly!) and still ... no more Troika. I don't understand any of that.

    I wish the old Black Isle guys from Planescape would have combined their story-telling with the ToEE engine. Damn, how can something that doesn't even exist shine so strong? :D
     
    #21 Ethatron, Mar 30, 2010
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  2. MfA

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    Most major PC publishers have the anti-Midas touch ... they just don't see the value in polishing a game.

    It's such a shame the ToEE pathing engine is completely busted (it's uninterruptable and runs inside the main rendering loop, a recipe for disaster) and they used a proprietary animation system ... otherwise it would have had some awesome mods.
     
  3. aaronspink

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    Well Troika was pretty upfront about their goals and abilities. There is a reason their logo was a clock pointed at Design and obvious being pushed way away from code and a bit away from art ;)
     
  4. MfA

    MfA
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    Meh, I don't think their games were bad technically ... buggy yes, bad no.
     
  5. Lonbjerg

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  6. Ethatron

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    "[...] but this, all of this is academic. You [Troika] were made as well as we could make you."
    "But not to last."
    "The light that burns twice as bright burns for half as long - and you have burned so very, very brightly [...]"

    :grin:
     
  7. Mobius1aic

    Mobius1aic Quo vadis?
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    Graphically, and in some ways of design? Yes
    Conceptually? No

    The two HD consoles make vast worlds finally possible through proper memory and graphics management, but the mainstream level PC (high level dual core, 2+ GB RAM, something like an 8800GT) is still vastly capable of more. I think having Crysis 2 take place in New York might have come from the memory constraints Crytek was dealing with. The localized environment is probably a bit easier on memory, and streaming I'm sure is alot easier because of that. Remember the first CE3.0 tech demo showing the opening level area from Crysis? Yeah, there's the evidence:lol: Console devs are not willing to give up graphical fidelity for most types of games it seems. Who can blame them, games are judge way too primarily on their graphical merits.

    As for the PS3 comment, I do think that yes the PS3 is possibly held back in some regards considering it can do some amazing things with the Cell. However it must be noted that most of these "amazing things with the Cell" are more or less short comings with the RSX. If it's physics related, an 8800GT probably possess the power to run PhysX, and game graphics at the same quailty with better texture filtering, resolutions and AA than the PS3 could hope for, considering the Cell BE needs headroom left for AI and game orchestration that a good dual core already does better than the Cell at most likely. That's how I look at the situation. It's only too bad that so many PC games lack optimization.
     
    #27 Mobius1aic, Apr 1, 2010
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  8. eastmen

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    He does have a point tho. I wanted to get a 5850 but my 4850 is running everything just fine.

    The whole pc industry itself is basicly dead. Back in the day I'd buy a new monitor and it have higher res . So I went from my first 13 inch monitor to a 15 inch monitor to a 17 and finally a 19 inch crt. Each time the resolution went up and coupled with new games really made it hard for my video cards to keep up. Even brand new $400 ones like my radeon 9700 or the x800xt pe.

    Now tho I'm using my same sceptre 1920x1200 monitor for over 2 year. I could side grade or mabye its a down grade to another 24 inch with 1080p but the value isn't there for me. Eyefinity is something I want , but I'm not going to spend $400 right now on a DP 24 inch monitor and sadly I can't find 1920x1200 one.

    So monitors aren't realyl going up at all , so I'm still at the same res I was at for the last 2-3 years. On the other side most games are console ports so they are designed around 720p or less on 5 year old hardware. My 4850 easily runs those games at 1920x1200.

    There are few games like Metro that have destroyed my rig in terms of performance , but it wasn't a great game anyway and while the 5850 might give me a better experiance on Metro there doesn't seem to be enough games that my 4850 can't run to warrent me upgrading . I mean we are at what the 9 month mark for the 5850's release , its more expensive than at launch and we know at some point a new card is coming out to replace it in price and we don't have anything big coming out performance wise till mabye crysis 2 in Nov. The next pc game I'm buying is civ 5. I highly doubt i need a 5850 to play it and on the other side the next pc game i'd ant more performance for is sw tor which is a year away.
     
  9. Sigfried1977

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    I think this stagnation is a good thing personally. I can play RE5 on my somewhat decent PC in stereoscopic 3d with everything maxed and still get around 40 fps. Not to mention the game looks absolutely fantastic.

    On the other hand I have a PC exclusive game here, Cryostasis to be more specific, which doesn't look anywhere near as good and runs like dog shit (and is still bloody awesome, btw.). Apparently the consoles force developers to be a lot more efficient at what they are doing, and I like that very much.
     
  10. Neb

    Neb Iron "BEAST" Man
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    Though Cryostasis certainly would benefit from more optimisations it is also a game doing some heavy calculations. The games has tons of SSS on surfaces, POM, AO, very high quality global softshadows , expensive HQ shaders etc you getthe point. Then if you have PhysX enabled you are allowing engine to render upwards 30k physics based soft particles at once. 30k physics based soft particles is like 30k more particles than what is in RE5 at any time. I'll bet RE5 at most pulls 2-300 cheap particles onscreen at most. Ofcourse one could think they might try to reduce some things a bit if it aint that visible but it sure is a power house.

    Just something to think about.
     
  11. Sigfried1977

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    ^I know that. And it shows too. Still, it's also very low-poly, with basic looking character models in small, rectangular, adequately textured rooms. Despite the PhysX wizardry I can't really say the water looks any better than the more static approach to the problem in Bioshock either. I don't really give a damn how they do it as long as it looks good. Artistry over technology. Always.
     
  12. Berek

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    It seems to me that when the next generation of consoles comes along... it will blow our socks off in terms of graphic evolution compared to the previous generation gaps.

    Then again, we've been saturated with increasing in graphics quality for years now and expect it. Not to mention that graphics are getting pretty darn realistic in many cases, it may be a significant leap, but a whimper response by the community.
     
  13. AlphaWolf

    AlphaWolf Specious Misanthrope
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    There's nothing about consoles stopping developers from making strong games that sell well for the PC. Blizzard numbers are still strong. I expect starcraft 2 will still sell just fine despite the presence of the xbox360 and ps3.
     
  14. Scott_Arm

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    The only thing holding back PC gaming is PC gaming. I was a PC gamer for a long time, until GTA4 came out. I'm not missing it. Video drivers are an absolute disaster, with constant hot fixes for new titles. Nvidia and AMD/ATI have exceptionally low quality control. It seems all they care about is winning the benchmark war. Gone are the days where I've had to deal with problems like the audio stutter in Half Life 2, game crashes, graphics corruption, patches that break working games, drivers that introduce bugs on old hardware with games that were previously playable. Nvidia and AMD don't seem to understand the concept of regression testing. I'd even argue that the quality of the hardware is incredibly low, even if the price tags are high. Anything that doesn't have a lifetime or three to five year warranty is not worth buying. Even with problems like RROD and YLOD on 360 and PS3, I'd say it's an easier and cheaper problem to deal with, and you get a good warranty. I don't have to deal with hardware conflicts or driver conflicts anymore.

    Here's a good example of the oddities of PC gaming, which make things tough on developers. I used to be in the Guild Wars alpha. At some point they released a new build for one of the free weekends. There were a good number of users reporting a crash that they couldn't figure out. I was one of the only Alpha testers affected by the problem. The game would crash when loading between zones. I reported the bug numerous times, and was in direct contact with one of the devs to try to work it out. Eventually he figured out that the bug was caused by running Ventrillo in the background while using an AMD processor, and somehow that affected the way level geometry was loaded, which caused the game crash. I never got anything more specific than that, but he said it was the weirdest bug he'd ever seen. They fixed it, but it was hard as hell for them to track down and speaks to the stability problems of the platform as a whole.

    Devs can pass the buck and say the bugs are not in their code, but in the end, they're releasing a game on an unstable platform, and as far as the consumer is concerned the game and the platform are the same thing. If I want to play a game, I don't care who's fault it is that I can't play; I just want to play.

    And don't even get me started on the imaginary upgrade cycle. Unless you are a frequent updater with a lot of money, updating components ever three or four months, you pretty much ended up replacing your entire PC. Want a new video card? Well, it looks like the bumped the AGP bus to a new spec, or switched over to PCI Express. Oh, your motherboard doesn't have that? Well you'll have to get one of those. Oh, your new motherboard needs different RAM too, and it has a different CPU socket so you'll need one of those. Not working? I guess you forgot that your new components need more power, so you'll have to buy a new power supply. Nice cheap upgrade. You got to reuse your case, your keyboard and mouse and your hard drive.

    Things might be more stable on the upgrade front now, but I haven't been following it for a few years now.
     
  15. Squilliam

    Squilliam Beyond3d isn't defined yet
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    Then isn't the obvious solution simply to put a protected run time environment into PCs with a strict set of programs/features allowed to be run, Scott?

    Well that would make the Windows platform into just another console though!
     
  16. RobertR1

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    MS should be more strict with DX. MS should be delivering most of the driver set. Nvidia and Ati can then take different approaches on the hardware they produce. They can also add their propreitary tech. If MS is already doing this, they're not doing a good enough job and need to tighten things up even more.

    It wouldn't be a console as you would still have options for adjustments such as resolution, AA, AF and other graphical options to customize the game to their hardware. That's all PC gaming is. Game customization. Not dicking around shitty drivers and bugs. What you should be buying from Ati and Nvidia is hardware that simply works. This is often not the case.

    Onto developers, it's generally assumed in PC land (and starting to become more common in consoles) that patches will be coming. PC gamers are conditioned to games have a fair amount of issues and waiting on patch after patch after patch. Then you run into the blame game of what is causing an issue. Now you're spending a fair bit of your time on forums trying to find others who have a similar bug and hoping they resolved it somehow.

    The last factor is PC gamers. The last few days in this sub forum has been a great read. PC gamers are bottom feeders with entitlement issues. Atleast the ones on tech and gaming forums. Hopefully for deverlopers sake, the casual PC gamers have a different mentality.
     
  17. swaaye

    swaaye Entirely Suboptimal
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    Avoiding being an early adopter gets around a lot of problems. Don't buy a GPU on day one, or buy a game on release day. That's never in your best interests.

    I think today's PC gaming is vastly more accessible than it has been in the past. Even the recent past. Hardware works better today than it did 8 years ago or so. VIA chipsets anyone? Win9x? DOS?!

    If you want the freedom that we have to do just about whatever we want with the hardware and software, I think it's impossible to approach the plug-in-and-go nature of the consoles. Those boxes are the pinnacle of non-freedom but you get the ultimate in mindless simplicity as a result of the tight control.

    Besides, is accessibility actually beneficial to game quality? It seems to me that some of the best and move innovative games have been made in the "worst of times" and that the console world doesn't get better games because everything is "so easy to set up". Having a massive new group of people on tap to buy the games doesn't guarantee quality either.
     
    #37 swaaye, Jun 30, 2010
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  18. Scott_Arm

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    In terms of quality, I'd say console games and console platforms are light years beyond the PC. I'm strictly referring to bugs, crashes etc - quality assurance.

    Avoiding early adoption avoids some problems and creates others. Driver sets from Nvidia and AMD do break games on older hardware that they've thrown to the curb after a short time. Sure, you get driver updates on old hardware, but be careful of what you're getting yourself into. AMD and Nvidia only care about the latest and greatest and winning the benchmark wars.

    And sure, things are better than the Win9x and DOS years, but that's setting the bar horribly low. PC gaming used to offer many advantages over consoles, which gave you a reason to put up with the nonsense. Now, the only real difference is graphics, but I think for most people the graphics on the console are good enough. For me, this gen was the end of my PC gaming days because of Xbox Live. Sure, I had to pay some small change for it, but it actually does online gaming better than the PC. Universal friends list, integrated voice chat across the entire experience, cross-game invites, achievements. These things are all available in every single game. And now they have party chat, party invites and party match-making. Steam addresses some of this, but those features are hardly unified across the platform.

    The one area where PC excels is the mod community, but generally the mods take a really long time to come out, so unless you like to revisit games that are a year or two old, it's not much of an advantage.
     
    #38 Scott_Arm, Jun 30, 2010
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  19. Scott_Arm

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    But that's exactly the problem. You are actually recommending people not buy the products early, when they are officially for sale, and should be in a stable form, because everyone has experience with the low standards the software and hardware adheres to.
     
  20. swaaye

    swaaye Entirely Suboptimal
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    I think you greatly exaggerate the problems.

    I don't really play the latest games. I've been playing tons of STALKER. I bought Alpha Prime the other day. Oblivion. Deus Ex and DXIW? They work fine on NV's 257 drivers. They work on my Radeon too. NVIDIA actually fixed some DirectX 5 issue in this driver pack apparently!

    Quality of the games from a QA standpoint has never been better IMO. Compare Morrowind v1.0 to Oblivion v1.0 sometime. Or Unreal v1.0 to UT3 v1.0. Whatever. They are all getting better at it even though the games are hugely more complex.
     
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