ATI's and nVidia's marketing campaigns are effectively fragmenting the game market into two pc-consoles: one with ATI cards, the other with nVidia cards. And who suffers? The gamers who just plonked $x00 on a gfx card and gets shit performance in one game and great performance in another.
This IS an ugly development really. I'd always cherished the illusion that game developers were on our side (gamers); now it seems as though they are just becoming part of a graphics card industry that is gaming us.. suckering us into putting out the cash (and with the newestlatest this is significant cash) for expensive new cards with all these distorted benchmarks, developer bias, jargon-cloud hype of truly irrelevant performance/quality distinctions that nobodys ever really going to notice when they're playing, and "the way it's meant to be played" marketing campaigns.
It always been too easy to push new hardware to a gamer--just make him feel inadequate because his machine can only do 87 whatever, while the OTHER one can do 89. We tend to have an acute "his is bigger than mine" neurosis, and the card-makers really know how to take advantage of this. It's a drag that now the game developers seem to be helping them out and it's a drag that we fall for it every time. (To his credit, JC at least seems to be a bit embarrassed about it--I really appreciated his caveat in front of that Doom3 benchmarking thing that came out the other day.)
It's not that I mind buying new computer stuff really--I like it as much as anyone--I just hate that stink of dishonesty that's starting to hover around the whole thing. I'd like to be able to confidently buy something new without feeling like I might be falling for someone's spec distortions and dishonest marketing tricks.