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Ubisoft DRM Analysis

A couple of recent articles highlight vastly different takes on Ubisoft's controversial "always on" DRM, which requires a constant internet connection to play games. On the one hand we have comments from founder, analyst Nicholas Lovell, who calls the DRM "draconian" in speaking with Computer and Video Games and saying: "There is no doubt in my mind that pirates now have a better experience than legitimate consumers." On the other had there's outspoken Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter, who offers thoughts on the topic in his Pach-Attack videocast (thanks VG247), saying he likes the system, and if your opinion differs from his, you are a thief: "I think anything a publisher does to make sure you donít rip off their games is their right, and I think that people who steal should be in jail. I welcome the flamer comments on this one; if you think thatís right good for you; we have no interest in your business since you donít pay for stuff anyway."

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58. Re: Ubisoft DRM Analysis May 31, 2010, 06:34 .Drifter
Jerykk wrote on May 31, 2010, 04:31:
This can be seen by all the PC user posts that pop up complaining "my computer is a top of the line, 20 core, 6 card SLI system with 100GB or RAM and 20TB hard drives, and the game runs like crap" (exaggerated numbers for effect, of course) when most multi-platform releases come out.

"Most" multiplatform releases? Really? From what I've seen, most ports are solid. There are very, very few that actually run or look worse than their console counterparts. Even GTA4 PC is better than the console versions.

There is an important distinction to make in terms of standards, though. PC gamers tend to have much higher standards for image quality and performance than console gamers. For example, 30 FPS is considered standard for console games, while 60 FPS is considered standard for PC games. If a console port runs at an average of 45 FPS, PC gamers will complain because that's below the standard for PC games. However, that's still better than the console version. Similarly, we expect to be able to use AA in our games. But even if a port doesn't support it, we can still run at much higher resolutions than the console versions. It really doesn't take much for a port to be superior to the console versions.

"Most" multiplatform releases, yes really, at least in my experience.
From your response, are you considering "runs better" to be the same as "runs faster?" That's the impression I'm getting by the fact that you brought up FPS.
What I mean by "runs better" is that the game runs as trouble and glitch free as possible.
Moving on to some games I don't consider to run better on PC, from what I've seen and experienced.
Saints Row 2 both looks better and runs at a higher FPS on PC compared to Xbox360, but I do not consider it to "run better" than the console original. This is due to the nasty bug the game has for many, if not most, people with the PC version where driving at a high speed causes the game to stutter so badly you have trouble controlling the vehicle.
Fable is another example of a PC port that I don't necessarily consider to "run better" on the PC. Yes, it's prettier and has a higher FPS, but it also seems (again, in my experience) to crash randomly, something the xbox original never did for me.
Borderlands is a third example that I also don't necessarily consider to run better on PC. Better graphics and higher FPS, but a nice little shadow glitch that was introduced about 2 or 3 patches ago. An issue I have not seen in the Xbox360 version.
And finally, and oldie but goodie, the port of the first Halo game to PC, which did not run as smoothly and had a tendency to crash.
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