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Sweeney: PCs Good for Anything... But Games

Unreal creator: Tim Sweeney PCs are good for anything, just not games” on TG Daily is a Q&A with the Epic CEO which, as the title of the article suggests, features some negative comments about the PC as a gaming platform. This is actually just the age-old complaint about PCs with integrated graphics, as he says that mainstream PCs are not suited to gaming:

Retail stores like Best Buy are selling PC games and PCs with integrated graphics at the same time and they are not talking about the difference [to more capable gaming PCs]. Those machines are good for e-mail, web browsing, watching video. But as far as games go, those machines are just not adequate. It is no surprise that retail PC sales suffer from that. Online is different, because people who go and buy games online already have PCs that can play games. The biggest problem in this space right now is that you cannot go and design a game for a high end PC and downscale it to mainstream PCs. The performance difference between high-end and low-end PC is something like 100x.

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68. ta&#351;&#305;mac&#305;l&#305;k &#351;irketi May 17, 2008, 15:38 kardelen133
 
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67. Re: No subject Mar 16, 2008, 03:24 CreamyBlood
 
Sweeney if you where selling toaster, cars or even chairs you would have a business plan that would include marketing. Not only that you would make sure your new products are an improvements on previous ones to motivate people to buy. Well UT3 was the worst UT released to date & waiting for the PS3 version to be ready to lauch a half baked maketing plan did not help. Get a clue EPIC...stop making interviews ...sit down & look at your work...

Good point. I try and read Blues as much as I can and the only things I know about UT3 is that the engine has been licensed for many games and has texture popping issues. That's it.

I played the original Unreal single player game back in the day and the demo for one of the UT 2000's (can't remember which one) and being a Quake 3 elitist at the time didn't find much to write home about.

I honestly don't even know if UT3 has a single player campaign or if it's just online only. But it does have texture popping issues, I've heard that much.


 
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66. Re: No subject Mar 16, 2008, 03:04 CreamyBlood
 
Two hundred bucks on a video card would let me play COD4 and Bioshock, but I just don't care at the moment, I'll play them later when I buy a new system.

Since when does dropping any amount of money on a video card last you more than two years with the latest and greatest games? Seriously. Think about it.

As to Intel integrated video, it's crap, everyone knows that. Even an old onboard nVidea 2 chipset is probably better than the latest 'Extreme'.

But as Creston pointed out, why would Intel care? They don't. It runs windows and Firefox good enough. If you're going to play the latest games on your PC you need enough of a brain to recognize that you need a video card even if you don't have enough little grey cells to install it yourself.

 
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65. Re: No subject Mar 15, 2008, 20:44 Prez
 
Well, that's true, but can't the same be said of consoles? Everyone who bought an Xbox needed to buy a 360 a couple of years later to play Halo 3. Ahh, progress.  
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- Mahatma Gandhi
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64. Re: No subject Mar 15, 2008, 11:11 Krovven
 
Sarcasm aside, Intel's onboard video is shit, I'll give Sweeney that. It's also lame that computer manufacturers are selling some PC's as gaming capable when they really are not. But a $180 video card bought today, is not going to last very long for PC gaming, and who knows about the rest of someones system. Just buying a video card may not cut it for a lot of people.

I got his point just fine, you obviously didn't get mine. Forget the Sarcastic comment and look at the bold text. Dropping a $200 on a video card isn't going to get anyone more than a couple years at best with brand new games (and that's being generous), and that's assuming they have the rest of the components to keep up for the same period of time.

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63. Re: No subject Mar 15, 2008, 06:37 Prez
 
You missed Drydens point, Dagok. He said that assuming the consumer already owned a PC, in which case he or she would have some form of those devices. The trouble is, it would still have to be a relatively newer PC -less than 2 years old, maybe newer than 18 months - to have the upgradeability for a new Video Card.  
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62. Re: No subject Mar 14, 2008, 19:55 Krovven
 
All a standard relatively recent model PC needs to play most games is a $180 graphics card and its ready to go.

Hmmm, I thought you needed a Hard Drive, CPU, Motherboard, Sound card (if MB doesnt), Speakers/headphones, Power Supply, Ram, Case, CD drive, Monitor, Mouse and Keyboard as well as a video card.

I must have been mistaken.

Sarcasm aside, Intel's onboard video is shit, I'll give Sweeney that. It's also lame that computer manufacturers are selling some PC's as gaming capable when they really are not. But a $180 video card bought today, is not going to last very long for PC gaming, and who knows about the rest of someones system. Just buying a video card may not cut it for a lot of people.

I also think Epic has shot themselves in the foot time and time again since post Unreal Tournament 1. First mistake was having someone else make Unreal 2 that completely failed to grasp what made Unreal 1 good. Second mistake was Unreal 2k3. Then they made a great move by having the Make Something Unreal contest and really nurturing the mod community.

They followed that up with Unreal 2k4, which can be looked at as both a success and a failure. A success in that it brought home the Contest and allowed mod authors to build upon their previous work. And while they put together a very large package with Unreal 2k4, it fragmented their own community dozens of different ways, and they basically made the same game as Unreal 2k3 but just added more stuff to it.

They follow that up with making Gears of War 360 exclusive, which boiled down to a big "fuck you" to everyone that ever supported them in the past. Then this gets followed up with the PC version of GoW being so screwed up it's unplayable online.

Then over the past year or more Sweeney and CliffyB start flapping their gums about not supporting PC gaming etc, and are still doing it. Sweeney even stating the next engine will be made for next gen consoles first and PC last.

And now with UT3 coming out...the interface sucks and is obviously designed for a console, and the gameplay has not changed since 2k3. Its the same game with a new coat of paint, and while that may be fine for the select hard-core pro UT MP players....most people learned not to get suckered again after 2k4.

Now Epic will move on to consoles for the next 10 years, probably release the same shit over and over, sales will dwindle and they will blame it on something else.

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This comment was edited on Mar 14, 20:19.
 
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61. No subject Mar 14, 2008, 13:33 dryden555
 
Sweeney's comments are bogus. All a standard relatively recent model PC needs to play most games is a $180 graphics card and its ready to go. Game makers want to blame everyone but themselves when their under-cooked PC games dont sell.

 
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60. Re: Read the article Mar 14, 2008, 06:35 Ecthelion
 
And again, this is them just whining and moaning because their latest games sold badly on the PC. If they had sold 2 million copies each, you wouldn't have heard a peep out of them on how bad PC gaming is, and how it's dying and blablablablabla whine.
Actually, Tim Sweeney has been complaining about Intel graphics for years. He would have said the same thing even if Gears of War and UT3 had sold really well on the PC.

http://www.firingsquad.com/news/newsarticle.asp?searchid=11906
Look at the date, and then read the last paragraph. Note that this was in 2006, when Epic was still well-liked by PC gamers.

This comment was edited on Mar 14, 06:43.
 
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59. Re: Read the article Mar 13, 2008, 19:05 Creston
 
Intel joined the PC Gaming Alliance, what does fault have to do with it? They just want to pretend to get involved, that is fine with me, but either way I have no idea what you are trying to say with that.

Uhm, that was a response to someone saying " Intel could have improved their graphics cards to keep up with games, but they didn't. "

Not sure who it was. That seems to imply that it's Intel's FAULT that integrated graphics suck. Which I find a dubious proposition. Hence "Why is it Intel's fault?"

Obviously they think at least pretending to be involved benefits them, or they wouldn't have done so.

It benefits them purely from a standpoint of name recognition, and possibly even from a standpoint of gamers going "Whoa, Intel's in the Gaming Alliance, I'm going to get one of their processors!"

In the end, it's going to amount to very little, and since membership in the Alliance is free, and since I seriously doubt Intel is going to change anything, they don't lose anything by being a member.

Once the rest of the "Alliance" basically says "Well, the whole point of our Alliance, Intel, is to force you to make better integrated graphics!" Intel will tell them to go fuck themselves, and that will be the end of it.

A lot of people with PCs don't want to game... but it can only help sales to increase the number of systems capable of running games. Like it or not, game companies are businesses, so they want to see the potential market increase.

GAME companies, sure. Ofcourse they want to see that market increase. Why would Intel? What does Intel care? And let's face it, that's basically what the whole Alliance is about. Let's Make Intel Make Better Integrated Graphics, since they completely dominate that market.

And from Intel's standpoint, what gain is there for them?

He was talking about things more like old school software rendering in HL and Unreal, though that was wretched imo and I don't think if they create similar solutions it will end up being worth the effort. I think they should do it right or not at all.

Fair enough, but I think the time when software rendering could do what specialized GPUs can do is long gone. I doubt even a quad core could keep up.

We are talking better here... not high end. I don't think anyone was suggesting near top of the line video on a mobo. What WAS being discussed was providing higher quality i.video so that Joe Consumer's Best Buy PC might run a few more games than it can now, not be the official computer of the CPL or whatever...

Okay, I don't consider a 7900 to be all that spectacular anymore, but even if they go to the level of a 6800 or even something before that. Say the equivalent of a Radeon 9800 Pro. That's a lot of extra cost for Intel to implement, and I really don't see the benefit of it for them.

And what does that have to do with Epic's games? What benefit is it to Tim Sweeney if tomorrow's Best Buy PCs with integrated graphics can now play, say, Half Life 2 at 30fps. They still won't have SM 3.0, so they still won't be able to play the latest Unreal Tournament. So I'm not really even sure what Tim Sweeney is saying. Unreal Tournament has always been the province of the... shall we say Advanced PC Gamer. The guys who play UT aren't going to get a Best Buy PC. So Epic isn't going to miraculously sell a million copies extra if Best Buy suddenly starts selling better gaming PCs.

And again, this is them just whining and moaning because their latest games sold badly on the PC. If they had sold 2 million copies each, you wouldn't have heard a peep out of them on how bad PC gaming is, and how it's dying and blablablablabla whine.

As I mentioned, Intel joined the silly thing not me, I don't understand why you insist on telling me what they want

Merely arguing. *shrug*

I would imagine they know better than either of us

Intel wants one thing : profit. I fail to see how they can get more of it by implementing better integrated graphics.

Attempting to improve the PC gaming market is fine with me

Oh, me too. I just don't think that a "Gaming Alliance" is going to help all that much. And neither does Epic whining their asses off.

Just because something can be made better doesn't mean that every developer is running up a console flag and ditching the platform and calling it dead, as much as the whining around the community would imply at any rate.

You mean the developer community, I hope?

Which was pretty much my point. All Tim Sweeney does is whine. There is nothing wrong with PC Gaming, and bitching about how Integrated Video is killing it is just bullshit. If we REALLY want to talk about what's "killing" PC gaming (or at least having a detrimental effect), I think the following list is probably more accurate.

1) Lazy developers. By which I mean they give a fuck about optimizing their code for lower end hardware. "Hey Bob, our game runs like shit!"
"Don't worry, we'll just make it minimum spec of a quad core processor, 2 Gigs of RAM and a Geforce 8800GT!"

And then they whine when nobody buys it.

2) Insistence on including absolutely worthless DRM that screws over legitimate customers.

3) Non-existant quality control.

4) Draconian return policies.

...

189) Intel Makes Teh Crappy Integrated Video!1!!


SPELIN WRIGHTE 1S GUD!

No it isn't!



Creston


 
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58. Re: Read the article Mar 12, 2008, 21:19 MattyC
 
But somehow it's now Intel's fault? What benefit is it to Intel if they make an onboard integrated graphics controller that the equivalent of, say, a Geforce 7900? Great, their motherboards now cost a hundred bucks extra. Which gets them how many extra customers?

Intel joined the PC Gaming Alliance, what does fault have to do with it? They just want to pretend to get involved, that is fine with me, but either way I have no idea what you are trying to say with that. Obviously they think at least pretending to be involved benefits them, or they wouldn't have done so.

Stating that weak graphic solutions exist in a large number of systems owned by those unlikely to upgrade isn't saying "GO BUY A 360 AND GEARS2 K?". It is just the way it is. A lot of people with PCs don't want to game. Some game, but are happy with pogo.com or whatever, but it can only help sales to increase the number of systems capable of running games. Like it or not, game companies are businesses, so they want to see the potential market increase.

Also an integrated graphics solution doesn't have to be included on every board, nor does it need to be on par with a 7900. He was talking about things more like old school software rendering in HL and Unreal, though that was wretched imo and I don't think if they create similar solutions it will end up being worth the effort. I think they should do it right or not at all.


Or let's say that Intel decides to offer high end integrated video in addition to keeping the low end. How many gamers are going to buy integrated video, even if it's supposedly on par with Nvidia/ATI's latest offerings? Would you?

We are talking better here... not high end. I don't think anyone was suggesting near top of the line video on a mobo. What WAS being discussed was providing higher quality i.video so that Joe Consumer's Best Buy PC might run a few more games than it can now, not be the official computer of the CPL or whatever...

As I mentioned, Intel joined the silly thing not me, I don't understand why you insist on telling me what they want. I would imagine they know better than either of us. The newer laptop video chipset they put out is a modest improvement so I think they are putting at least some effort into this, though I can't say for sure if we will see more of that or not.

Attempting to improve the PC gaming market is fine with me. Just because something can be made better doesn't mean that every developer is running up a console flag and ditching the platform and calling it dead, as much as the whining around the community would imply at any rate.

edit: SPELIN WRIGHTE 1S GUD!
This comment was edited on Mar 12, 21:34.
 
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57. Re: ... Mar 12, 2008, 20:42 Creston
 
PCMCIA does a similar thing for laptops - you'd just need to expand the scope quite considerably.

Erm. A large number of laptops require you to remove the frakking KEYBOARD before you can even get at the slot the memory is in.

Sure, we could make an easily upgradeable PC. We as in the PC industry as a whole. It'd also be completely incompatible with all the parts that currently exist. So who's going to be the first to take a gamble? Build an entirely new manufacturing line, do millions of dollars worth of R&D, millions more of testing, get the word out on the street with a massive ad campaign, etc.

It's really easy to sit here and bleat "Hardware manufacturers should just do blablablabla".
But if you take five seconds, ask yourself why THEY would do it?

Btw, things like that have been tried before. Back in the 80s, a bunch of manufacturers combined to form a standardized hardware base. All computers were identical, and the idea was that they could be easily upgraded etc.

MSX it was called. It was a great idea, until they realized that nobody was buying them. So which manufacturer is now going to take a hundred million dollar gamble, for what in the end will amount to zero extra profit?

What's in it for the hardware manufacturer? The answer is : Nada.

Creston

 
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56. Re: Read the article Mar 12, 2008, 20:26 Creston
 
Intel could have improved their graphics cards to keep up with games, but they didn't.

Ofcourse they didn't. They knew they weren't competitive in the top of the line graphics market, so they never bothered to try. They focused on their end of the market, which is cheap motherboards with integrated graphics for the business and home user. And made an absolute fucking FORTUNE in it.

But somehow it's now Intel's fault? What benefit is it to Intel if they make an onboard integrated graphics controller that the equivalent of, say, a Geforce 7900? Great, their motherboards now cost a hundred bucks extra. Which gets them how many extra customers?

Or let's say that Intel decides to offer high end integrated video in addition to keeping the low end. How many gamers are going to buy integrated video, even if it's supposedly on par with Nvidia/ATI's latest offerings? Would you?

Intel knows its market. Its market is not in high end graphics. For Tim Sweeney to bitch and moan about it won't make a fucking difference.

Neither will the PC Gaming Alliance. Because in the end, even 500 developers whining and crying, I still don't see what benefit there is for Intel to try to compete in a market they can't compete in.

Okay, let's see, that's Rein, and that mongrel cliffy, and now Sweeney. Who else does Epic have that can come and bitch about PC gaming. How about the intern? Maybe they have a janitor? Coffee lady?

Creston

 
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55. Re: No subject Mar 12, 2008, 20:20 Creston
 
This is in line with the PC alliance thing they joined, he is talking about the problems of the platform

It's not a problem Matty, it's just them whining about not selling enough units. And MAYBE that's, I dunno, because their PC ports of their latest two games have sucked?

Integrated video sucks and a pretty reasonable number of PCs are running them

And these people have traditionally never bought the kind of game that Epic puts on the market. So what does it matter? Intel has been promising to improve their integrated video since the days of Doom3, and it still can't run anything that's less than five years old. It's not going to change. Whether the "PC Gaming Alliance" bleats about it or not. This is the same kind of bullshit that Valve had oh so long ago, how they were going to form this alliance that was going to miraculously make your ping < 0.003 seconds. And all they did was yap and bleat and in the end nothing fucking changed.

Why would Intel care? Why add integrated video that can play modern games when it just raises the price of your motherboard by 50-100 dollars, and the people that buy motherboards with integrated video (ie, the low end machines) AREN'T GOING TO BE PLAYING THE LATEST 3D SHOOTERS ANYWAYS.

He is spot on about this being something that is holding PC gaming back

Funny, because their earlier games sold just fine. I guess it wasn't holding it back then? Integrated graphics sucked just as much when UT came out.
And all this holding back has the PC platform generation 1.7 billion dollars of sales. I wish my salary would be so held back.

"increasing the quality of integrated video to up the potential market for more serious games on the PC. "

The people that play serious games, have a serious graphics card. The end. Or do you really see Joe Schmoe who buys his PC from fucking Best Buy somehow really getting involved in Gears of War 2?

It's Epic. All they know how to do is whine and moan and fucking cry. If they spent all the time they've wasted on bitching about the state of PC Gaming into actually making a decent game, we'd all be playing UT2K9million right now, and not be sitting here telling Epic to just shut the fuck up.

Creston

 
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54. What the fuck Mar 12, 2008, 20:08 Creston
 
Isn't there a single retard at Epic who can just shut the fuck up? PLEASE FUCKING LEAVE ALREADY. Take your 9,174,569,274th iteration of Unreal Quake3 Clone to the consoles, and STOP YOUR FUCKING WHINING.

Creston

This comment was edited on Mar 12, 20:10.
 
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53. No subject Mar 12, 2008, 14:36 LightHawkJ
 
UT3 had on average about 1000 players playing (check gamespy). Since Tim Sweeney made these comments it's dropped to 300.

 
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52. Re: No subject Mar 12, 2008, 10:04 Ecthelion
 
And I have rocked onboard video-nforce implementations aren't half-bad and will run older games pretty decently-just not cutting edge.
ATI and nVidia have decent onboard offerings, but those companies have very little market share compared to Intel. Intel pretty much owns the workstation motherboard industry - ATI and nVidia are mostly relegated to do-it-yourself systems and high-end gaming systems (like Alienware).

 
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51. No subject Mar 12, 2008, 08:39 Fugazi
 
Look. I am no fanboi and if you had cared to quote the rest of my paragraph you would have seen why I objected to Sweeney's comments. If more prominent developers keep proclaiming that "PC Gaming is D0med!" then it will probably go that route.
I also have personal gripe with Epic right now as I bought ( I know-stupid me) UT3 -collector's edition even- and inside the artbook is a big long spiel by Mark Rein about how much they care about the Unreal Tournament series and then when I launch the game...it's a turd. UI is complete garbage, Windows Live is broken, the game looks muddy and in fact it looks like a first-person Gears of War-a game whose art direction I did not care for. They don't care about UT3-it was quite obvious that it was a half-ass job. So UT3 tanks-and rightfully so-especially since COD4 and TF2 were much, much better games. They edited their forums so heavily after launch due to the flood of customer complaints and problems-yet fanboi posts were left. So does Epic own up and say-we didn't do a great job and it was our fault. No! Instead we get articles from these clowns talking about how PC gaming is in disarray and how consoles are "teh great"! Sorry gents, but I don't buy it-actually I did buy your game and my ass is still sore from the reaming. Learn from your failure, don't blame your customers for it. Epic games used to be an automatic buy for me-not anymore.
As for the warez kiddy comment-in my experience the people that warez games are some of the loudest complainers. Sure, they'll drop 2k on gaming rig, but they won't spend $50.00 on a game.
And I have rocked onboard video-nforce implementations aren't half-bad and will run older games pretty decently-just not cutting edge.

This comment was edited on Mar 12, 09:03.
 
The CRTC needs to be destroyed.
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50. No subject Mar 12, 2008, 08:22 Brainp0wa
 
But isn't fanboy behavior a staple of Bluesnews?

 
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49. Re: No subject Mar 11, 2008, 20:44 MattyC
 
Umm...I read the article. And when Sweeney says PCs are good for a lot things just not games-he's talking out of his ass.

He is talking about machines with integrated video, and he is right. You even agree, otherwise you wouldn't say

I have owned a 8800GTX for over a year now

you would be rocking onboard video, because you disagree... That is where the "Intel snipes" came from. You, however, do agree. It is ok, Intel and AMD agree too, they are working to improve their i.video offerings. You just take a statement of "this needs to be improved" directed at your platform of choice and turn it into a personal insult of some kind. I think your fanboy is showing.

I imagine you're just a little warez kiddie anyway.

Um... what? This must be more of those iffy reading skills you displayed earlier, because I don't see anything written by me that would lead you in that direction. What kind of insult is that anyway?

 
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