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Mark Rein Knocks Intel, Episodes

Epic's Mark Rein Intel is killing PC Gaming on Joystiq reflects the opinion the Epic VP expressed to the Develop Conference in Brighton that moves by Intel, in particular the promotion of integrated graphics on the motherboard, are hurting PC gaming. Epic VP: Intel is killing PC gaming! Ars Not really is an article offering an alternate opinion, which is probably not the last editorial that will be written on this topic. During his keynote address Rein also had an episode about episodic gaming, calling it "a broken business." According to the report, Rein's remarks met with some heckling from the audience, accusing him of being a "dinosaur" and "self-serving."

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86. Re: Hmmm Jul 17, 2006, 22:11 Riley Pizt
 
all the games on it are console games some (most) of which have PC versions coming out too.
While I certainly hope that those games will release ports for the PC, I have my doubts about many of them especially the ones which are debuting on the consoles first or which are not sequels to existing PC games. If the console version doesn't sell well, a PC port probably won't happen.


 
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85. Re: Hmmm Jul 17, 2006, 20:08 Tango
 
With Microsoft's endorsement of the Unreal Engine 3 for the XBOX 360, it's the consoles that are driving adoption of that engine not PC's.
Which is precisely what that list shows (albeit with a few apparent errors) - all the games on it are console games some (most) of which have PC versions coming out too. In case it's not clear - I agree that its compatibility and development ease on the new generations of consoles is the main reason for the UE3's success.

This comment was edited on Jul 17, 20:09.
 
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84. Re: Hmmm Jul 17, 2006, 19:20 Riley Pizt
 
they're pretty much all cross-platform
That list is NOT an accurate list of PC titles. I know for a fact that the Turok game from BVG is not for the PC from the press releases it has sent me. I suspect many more are for the consoles only or will be by the time of release especially since some are Playstation 3 launch titles.

With Microsoft's endorsement of the Unreal Engine 3 for the XBOX 360, it's the consoles that are driving adoption of that engine not PC's.

This comment was edited on Jul 17, 19:29.
 
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83. Re: Hmmm Jul 17, 2006, 14:34 Tango
 
Not that I'd ever suggest Riley doesn't back up his claimes
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unreal_engine_3#Announced_projects_3

With the exception of the odd MMORPG, they're pretty much all cross-platform. But isn't UE3 included in the PS3 devkit, so I guess that figures?

 
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82. Re: Hmmm Jul 17, 2006, 13:45 Riley Pizt
 
That's funny, because UE3 licences are huge. They have many times more licensees than any other AAA game engine out there.
Console licenses are driving that not PC licenses. Let's see how many PC games based upon Unreal Engine 3 are developed especially those from developers other than Epic. The ones I can think of offhand are all for consoles only. That's why Intel is killing the PC game business in Marc's eyes.

This comment was edited on Jul 17, 13:47.
 
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81. Re: Hmmm Jul 17, 2006, 12:04 DrEvil
 
Actually Mark's real beef is that none of those Intel integrated graphics PC's will run Unreal Engine 3, and that deters publishers and developers from licensing it.

That's funny, because UE3 licences are huge. They have many times more licensees than any other AAA game engine out there. Pretty insignificant deterrent.

 
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80. Re: Hmmm Jul 16, 2006, 15:42 Tango
 
Actually Mark's real beef is that none of those Intel integrated graphics PC's will run Unreal Engine 3
Bingo.

 
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79. Re: Hmmm Jul 16, 2006, 02:11 Krovven
 
When the Doom 3 expansion pack was released, everyone screamed bloody murder that it was "just the same as Doom3."

Uhh no they didnt. Most people agreed that the expansion was even better than the original game. Overpriced...arguably, since it was like $30 or so, still Ep1 was cheaper,and IMO offered more (commentary is really nice and unique to games) than expansion packs for most AAA titles.

I can name plenty of AAA game titles that release expansions that cost more than Ep1, and offer less game experience.

----------------------------------------------------
Currently playing Titan Quest, Prey, Need For Speed Most Wanted, and Disciples 2.
 
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78. Re: Hmmm Jul 15, 2006, 22:11 Riley Pizt
 
That's not Mark's argument. His argument is ...publishers push developers to design to those low requirements (by and large, of course the Quake/Crysis/etc. are exceptions) which in turn stifles creativity into a downward spiral and THAT is what is killing PC gaming.
Actually Mark's real beef is that none of those Intel integrated graphics PC's will run Unreal Engine 3, and that deters publishers and developers from licensing it.


 
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77. Re: Hmmm Jul 15, 2006, 20:45 wtf_man
 
That's not Mark's argument. His argument is that people who aren't hardcore are buying computers, and they all come with those integrated graphics that aren't anywhere close to a decent Nvidia/ATI card. As a result, the installed base is that integrated graphics crap, and publishers push developers to design to those low requirements (by and large, of course the Quake/Crysis/etc. are exceptions) which in turn stifles creativity into a downward spiral and THAT is what is killing PC gaming.

I don't agree, but that's his point.


Well I'm glad you don't agree with Mark, because he's wrong.

Intel isn't in the graphics business (Yet). And I'm talking ATi / Nvidia level.

Their budget chipsets are mainly intended for businesses, which throw away / donate their old machines every few years and buy new ones. They have ZERO need for Geforce 6200 level hardware. There's a heck of a lot more market there, than there are gamers. It only makes good economic sense that they try to keep the costs down as much as possible, and profit margins as wide as possible (even if integrated is way "outdated". (as far as gamers are concerned).

Now... Dell (and others) keeps selling these cheap $399 (with no monitor... $599 with) computers to people that don't know any better. They usually don't have a graphics slot (On Purpose... cost reasons). Now how the hell is it Intel's fault that there are millions of morons out there that don't know anything about modern gaming requirements? People like this SHOULDN'T have to know any better... and any software they buy SHOULD just work. PERIOD. That means supporting the lowest common denominator with an application. (Budget Business throw away machine)

It's up to the Publishers and Developers to SEE what the market is, and adjust accordingly for it.

Intel is NOT going to increase costs of budget machines just to appease game developers. That would be bad business, as far THEIR market is concerned... which is way more than just gamers.

 
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76. Re: Hmmm Jul 15, 2006, 19:32 Creston
 
As a result, the installed base is that integrated graphics crap

It's a spurious argument he makes, since the integrated graphics aren't THAT bad. The high end Intel model plays Doom 3 and HL2 just fine. Sure, it's no GX7900 or XL1900, but for people who don't need the bleeding edge, it works pretty decently.

Yet you won't find too many people, other than the vocal minority, that didn't like Ep1. Most people really enjoyed it

True, but it doesn't invalidate the argument that Ep1 was just a few new levels with the same textures/monsters and weapons. Again, name me one developer BESIDES Valve whom that would have been accepted of? When the Doom 3 expansion pack was released, everyone screamed bloody murder that it was "just the same as Doom3."

*shrug*

Creston


 
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75. Re: Hmmm Jul 15, 2006, 17:25 Krovven
 
I'd remind you that when Ep1 was released, there were a LOT of comments that it's pretty much exactly the same as HL2 is. It's just a few new levels put together. Same art, same weapons, same puzzles.

Yet you won't find too many people, other than the vocal minority, that didn't like Ep1. Most people really enjoyed it, and it was worth the $20 to them. Most people don't look for innovation with every game that comes out, especially when the existing dynamics of the game already works. Ep2 has already been stated to have new environments, weapons, enemies, and engine upgrades. This should satisfy those that require these things and put the bitching on these topics to rest, at least if only for a short time.


----------------------------------------------------
Currently playing Titan Quest, Prey, Need For Speed Most Wanted, and Disciples 2.
 
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74. Re: Hmmm Jul 15, 2006, 16:54 Tango
 
Lol Creston in a world where people pay $2 for frickin horse armour...

That said, I had fun in those extra maps so I think they were worth the money. 'Nuff said.

 
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73. Re: Hmmm Jul 15, 2006, 16:46 Da Stylin' Rastan
 
I'm not really sure that integrated graphics are killing gaming. PC gaming is an expensive hobby to begin with, and the integrated graphics really don't add THAT much of an expense to a mobo, probably 20-30 bucks at the most. On a 500-1500 dollar PC, that's not really worth getting your knickers in a twist over.

That's not Mark's argument. His argument is that people who aren't hardcore are buying computers, and they all come with those integrated graphics that aren't anywhere close to a decent Nvidia/ATI card. As a result, the installed base is that integrated graphics crap, and publishers push developers to design to those low requirements (by and large, of course the Quake/Crysis/etc. are exceptions) which in turn stifles creativity into a downward spiral and THAT is what is killing PC gaming.

I don't agree, but that's his point.

-DSR

This comment was edited on Jul 15, 16:46.
 
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72. Hmmm Jul 15, 2006, 14:57 Creston
 
I'm not really sure that integrated graphics are killing gaming. PC gaming is an expensive hobby to begin with, and the integrated graphics really don't add THAT much of an expense to a mobo, probably 20-30 bucks at the most. On a 500-1500 dollar PC, that's not really worth getting your knickers in a twist over.

Now, in the sense that they keep graphics down, is that really such a bad thing? I'm getting a little tired of forking over 300 bucks for a new graphics card every 18 months. If we take the decrepit PS2 as an example, developers could be squeezing a LOT more graphics out of today's hardware than they currently are. But PC developers are lazy. Rather than optimize, they just throw more power at the problem.
If the technology curve were to slow down a little, I'm sure we'd see more optimized games and graphics that we couldn't even dream of two years ago, all out of today's hardware.
Look at the difference between the first PS2 games, and God of War. All on the same hardware. Why can't the PC industry do the same?


I agree that episodic content simply rehashes the same crap. While everyone already seems to have forgotten and are again singing their praises for Valve, I'd remind you that when Ep1 was released, there were a LOT of comments that it's pretty much exactly the same as HL2 is. It's just a few new levels put together. Same art, same weapons, same puzzles.

And yes, it is Valve's blind fanbase that allowed them to do this.

Before anyone nails me on it, yes, Ep2 looks to be pretty different from HL2+EP1, but they still got your 20 bucks for Ep1, didn't they? Name me one other company that could get you to pay 20 bucks for a few extra maps while you wait for the REAL expansion/sequel?

Sadly, because of the success of Valve's model, a lot of publishers will probably go to episodic content, even though they don't have the blind fan worship that will allow them to be succesful.

Sigh.

Btw, Mark Rein needs to focus on making better games, rather than trying to become the Voice Of The Gaming Industry. He's becoming the Curt Schilling of gaming.

Creston

This comment was edited on Jul 15, 14:59.
 
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71. Re: Huh? Jul 15, 2006, 09:00 Tango
 
Sequels to PC games generally won't run on the same PC as the predecessor especially if two or more years has lapsed between releases whereas on video game consoles, the sequels do run
Yeah, but the price consoles pay for that is being behind the technology curve. I absolutely agree that properly designed console sequels manage to make better use of the same technology (see Gran Turismo 3/4, GTA 3/VC/SA, EA sports). And that is one of the advantages of console gaming. But PC gaming has a constantly evolving top spec and allows games which always, even near the start of the console's life, look better than their console equivalent.

"Appealing to a broader technological range" in practice means a lowering of target specifications. I know it shouldn't, but it would because in practice devs don't have the time to implement too many different versions of their renderer. Think of the QIII engine with its separate paths for Ati and nVidia cards. Now expand that to the last four generations (and support for the next generation) of hardware.

Edit: clarity, what clarity

This comment was edited on Jul 15, 14:22.
 
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70. Re: Huh? Jul 15, 2006, 00:55 Riley Pizt
 
Even if developers did this, the game still would not run on an integrated intel chip.
It depends on which Intel integrated graphics design you are talking about. I have run Quake 3 engine games and even Lithtech Jupiter games like NOLF 2 and Tron 2.0 at playable framerates at 800x600 or at least 640x480 on socket 478 Celeron PC's with Intel 845G integrated graphics. That platform represents an entry level PC from a little over three years ago whereas the games it is running are not much older than that in some cases. In addition, the games certainly didn't look any worse than a typical Playstation 2 game.

What you are arguing against is the UT 2k7 and Doom III's of the world. First off, this is hardly the main bulk of PC game sales.
Actually in the first and 3rd person action genres it is. Sure there are plenty of small casual PC games which don't require highend 3D graphics, but even newer editions of casino games like Hoyle's are starting to push the 3D envelope with hardware shader support requirements.

In order for your analogy to hold up, that integrated chip bought today would not only have to play every game out when it was purchased, but play every game to come out for your accepted life cycle
And it would IF developers would simply develop for that hardware specification instead of always something much higher.

( around five years from what I've read based on the fact that you have zero quams with new consoles arriving ).
I am certainly not the only one with that opinion about console games. Have all or even most Playstation 2 owners stopped buying games because the Playstation 3 is around the corner? Did all or most XBOX owners upgrade to XBOX360? The answer is no on both counts.

Integrated intel chips are about 5 years behind the technology curve...The damn chip is negative 10 years according to your own life cycle.
First not all of Intel's integrated graphics are that dated, and certainly they were not that dated when released. Second, it's negative ten years only in YOUR own misguided head. Intel has improved its integrated graphics solutions with each successive chipset introduction. Its 950 series supports DirectX 9 shader model 2.0, and has for a little over one year. Its forthcoming iterations designed for Windows Vista will not only expand on such support, but supposedly run much faster. The problem is not Intel's graphics solutions. The problem is that PC game developers always want more than what Intel offers even though perfectly good games could be made using that hardware.

This comment was edited on Jul 15, 05:32.
 
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69. Re: Huh? Jul 15, 2006, 00:34 wtf_man
 
"It's important for all gamers except the average blues news reader. Do you have a little brother? A nephew maybe? Any male around the age of 16. Tell him to pick out a game. I'll put down a hundred bucks, that he doesn't pick the latest tile based strategy game, and instead picks out the latest and greatest graphically intensive game. The platform doesn't matter."

You just thwarted your own point.

The problem is that game companies are targetting a narrow market of 16 yo's, when there's a much larger market that has basic budget PCs.

Nobody is saying that games shouldn't push the envelope, graphically.... but they shouldn't shut-out the largest install base either.

Many of these games... if you hack the .ini files and turn off all the bells and whistles and other bullshit.... what do you have? Quake 3 level graphics that run fine on Intel integrated graphic machines.

Why the fuck don't these game companies support those lower end options out of the box?

Because then they have a larger potential for 'tech support' costs. But what they don't realize is that once these games hit Wal-Mart and Costco (or Bargain Bins)... they'll make more than enough money.

Just look at The Sims 1 (And expansions). As avid gamers we all fucking hate that game (Well, most of us do)... but the piece of shit is STILL in the Top 10 PC sales. Why? Because it fucking runs on low end machines with Integrated Graphics.

I dunno about you guys... but I'm fucking sick of seeing The Sims in the Top 10.

---------- EDIT ----------
This is where you are missing the point. Even if developers did this, the game still would not run on an integrated intel chip. Integrated intel chips are about 5 years behind the technology curve.

That's utter BS. The market draws the "curve"... not the "tech". (Which is the whole debate, I guess)

When you have people that are unwilling to spend tons of money on a gaming rig... that should tell you what your primary install base is.

...And if you are saying that they can't tone shit down in their engines low enough to work with lower end machines... then how the hell did they make the tech to work on more advanced machines in the first place? Oh yeah... they learned from that 5+ year old tech and added shit.

They can always make things less intensive... it's not that hard. Drop shaders... drop Physics (other than basic gravity)... Drop Surround sound... scale back textures to 1999 era (64x64), and scale back the polygons on most 3D models (Probably the only part that would take extra work, if they didn't plan ahead).
This comment was edited on Jul 15, 01:03.
 
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68. Re: Huh? Jul 15, 2006, 00:24 Than
 
" What would be better for the consumer and in turn better for the health of the PC game industry is for PC game developers to design games for a defined PC specification for a longer period and maximize the capabilities of that hardware instead of always raising the bar and expecting the customer to buy new hardware to keep up."

This is where you are missing the point. Even if developers did this, the game still would not run on an integrated intel chip. Integrated intel chips are about 5 years behind the technology curve. In order for your analogy to hold up, that integrated chip bought today would not only have to play every game out when it was purchased, but play every game to come out for your accepted life cycle, ( around five years from what I've read based on the fact that you have zero quams with new consoles arriving ). The damn chip is negative 10 years according to your own life cycle. I can't reiterate this enough... This is NOT about games having a broader target hardware range. This is about a chipmaker intentionally misleading consumers and causing the industry as a whole to suffer for it.

This comment was edited on Jul 15, 00:32.
 
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67. Re: Huh? Jul 15, 2006, 00:11 Riley Pizt
 
he...picks out the latest and greatest graphically intensive game. The platform doesn't matter.
You missed the point. The point is that no matter how graphically intensive the console video game is it will still run on every single one of those consoles made and it will still run on one made years later. Console game developers squeeze as much capability as they can from a console's hardware when creating games. PC game developers on the other hand typically don't and just cop out by telling the customer to buy a new video card. What would be better for the consumer and in turn better for the health of the PC game industry is for PC game developers to design games for a defined PC specification for a longer period and maximize the capabilities of that hardware instead of always raising the bar and expecting the customer to buy new hardware to keep up.

 
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