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NVIDIA on PC Exclusive Games

NVIDIA's Roy Taylor Interview on Eurogamer talks with the NVIDIA VP of Content Business Development in a conversation where he opines that the heyday of PC exclusive game development is coming to a close:

I think that we're going to see more digital authentication, and we're going to see more of an approach that says that PC games aren't products - they're a service. You're going to start out with a basic service, which is the game, and then increase the value of that service through patches, mod packs, expansions, maps and so on. That's the direction it's going to go, because the pirates are just killing the developers - and I think it's really unfair what they're doing.

In terms of your other point, which you're right, is related - in terms of where PC development sits relative to consoles, I think we have to face the facts - the value of consoles is such that no-one is going to make a PC-exclusive game in the future. Why would they? Why would they ignore consoles? That said, PC gaming is changing - and consoles don't threaten PC gaming. They're just different. Adapting to that and understanding that is what I think is really, really important. Most PC gamers also own consoles - not all of them, but a lot of them. What we're seeing happen is that, yes, people are developing for Xbox 360, for PS3 - but they're also developing for PC.

The console is now a baseline. If you look at Gears of War or Assassin's Creed, they came out on console and they were great experiences - but the PC versions had additional aspects to them that also made them attractive, whether you owned the console version or not. The PC version was better. That's something that people need to get their heads around - the console is a baseline, the PC is going to be an improved version. That's an exciting future, and that's why I don't see anything threatening about console at all.

The other aspect is that in the past, PC gaming development meant pandering to the lowest common denominator - which meant some poor integrated graphics. Today, developing a PC game means starting at a console, and console graphics are way above integrated graphics. That means the baseline is getting better. Now we're going to add to that version additional features, additional content, to make the PC version even better.

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99 Replies. 5 pages. Viewing page 2.
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79. Re: No subject Jun 10, 2008, 22:31 sponge
 
If you genuinely don't see the negative impact that cross-platform development has had on PC games, you should probably go hang out at the Kotaku boards.

You know what they say when you make an assumption.

I can agree with a point while still thinking people like to create unholy amounts of drama when they feel their precious platform has been slighted. It feels like people truly believe that they are somehow intellectually superior over people who like Gears of War, etc.

That level of zeal is just as, if not more, obnoxious than what idiots at Kotaku produce.

 
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78. Re: No subject Jun 10, 2008, 22:22 Aero
 
I'm a little worried that it's a self-fulfilling prophecy. If everyone keeps talking about how PC gaming is dieing, people are more likely to think it is dieing, not spend as much money on PC hardware, the PC user base shrinks, rinse, repeat, PC gaming dies.

Anyways, the big AAA titles can have the consoles, that's fine with me. The real PC games are from the smaller developers in the niche markets that could never make it in console-land because of royalties and the cost of console development. The small developers are the only ones who are making the sort of games traditionally defined PC gaming.

It's got almost nothing to do with the hardware anymore. If you could stick a keyboard and mouse onto a PS3 or an X-Box 360 with a high-def screen, what's the difference? The only difference is the sort of games the respective audiences enjoy, and we're all still here.

 
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77. Re: No subject Jun 10, 2008, 20:50 Kxmode
 
ALL GLORY TO THE PC! ZEE OPPOSITION VILL BE KVRUSHED! VEE MUST PROTECT ZEE MOTHERLAND FROM DAS KONSOLEFAGGOTEN!

I think you mean PROTECT ZEE MOTHERBOARD

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76. Re: Heh... Jun 10, 2008, 20:49 Kxmode
 
So what's the bottom line? If PC Gaming is replaced by these lame games, then that means I won't upgrade, which means NVidia won't get my money, which means they'll cut their R&D budget.

So, Roy Taylor, how is this good for your company?

For all the OEM BS, the bottom-line is that PC gaming pushes computer technology, and not just video. I wish folks like Roy Taylor would acknowledge this. Without PC gaming computer hardware probably would not be where it is today.

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75. Re: No subject Jun 10, 2008, 20:35 Jerykk
 
Oops, sorry, just trying to fit in with the crowd here.

If you genuinely don't see the negative impact that cross-platform development has had on PC games, you should probably go hang out at the Kotaku boards.

 
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74. Re: Rampant piracy Jun 10, 2008, 20:12 Warrax
 
Piracy will probably adapt to console if all the business is here. Just like the Xbox and the PS1/PS2 a couple of years ago (chips).

 
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73. Re: Nvidia = liars, cheats Jun 10, 2008, 20:06 PHJF
 
You're going to start out with a basic service, which is the game, and then increase the value of that service through patches


Did I miss something or did nVidia just tell us that we're going to start paying for patches?
 
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72. Nvidia = liars, cheats Jun 10, 2008, 19:44 mameyjamee
 
Nvidia can't even meet it's own promises regarding SLI functionality in XP---after how many months? Almost a year? Read the 175.16 WHQL promise re:SLI and XP functionality: a promise that is still... broken.

Yet Roy Taylor whines about fairness ("and I think it's really unfair what they're doing..."). Meanwhile, Nvidia is still committing consumer fraud. Disingenuous? Just a bit. Oh yeah, wait- it must be the software pirates that are preventing Nvidia from meeting their SLI promises... riiiight.

I hope Intel ramps up their gfx solution properly and eats Nvidia's lunch.

 
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71. Re: PC Gaming Jun 10, 2008, 19:29 Lorcin
 
Even if a completely infallible protection scheme pops up, games will still be multiplatform and designed for the consoles. More effective protection schemes only means the PC gets more ports, not original, exclusive games.

Surely that is more down to spiralling development costs and publishers needing to hit the biggest audience they can.

There are still some small low budget games being made for the PC but they either niche with laughable graphics compared to the big guns. Or casual (enough said).

There are 3 games in the top 20 xbox 360 games listed on gamerankings which are actually exclusive (and Halo 3 will come to PCs with windows 7 I bet). 5 on the Playstation, 13 on the Wii and 8 on the PC.

So really we could actually be doing worse for exclusives

Edit: Oh and the PC is the only platform with all 20 games scoring an average >90% (actually it has 41 >90%, the PS3 has 4 which are >90% are none of thoose are exclusive)


This comment was edited on Jun 10, 19:39.
 
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70. No subject Jun 10, 2008, 19:27 sponge
 
ALL GLORY TO THE PC! ZEE OPPOSITION VILL BE KVRUSHED! VEE MUST PROTECT ZEE MOTHERLAND FROM DAS KONSOLEFAGGOTEN!

Oops, sorry, just trying to fit in with the crowd here.

 
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69. Re: No subject Jun 10, 2008, 19:25 Chaos the Crazy
 
If this is true, then the publishers are fools. In the film industry, a Lincensee pays anywhere from 12.5 to 30 percent of gross dispositions to the Licensor....ie Blockbuster would be paying EA or Activision or whoever 12.5 to 30 percent of the the money they make on rentals.

Generally quarterly.

 
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68. Re: PC Gaming Jun 10, 2008, 19:11 tuddies
 
This jackass is wrong on so many points, it would take ten pages to refute all of his delusions, and other developers have already done this thoroughly on the subject of consoles and piracy.

Yes, consoles influence PC gaming negatively. No, piracy is not killing PC developers.

This comment was edited on Jun 10, 19:13.
 
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67. Re: PC Gaming Jun 10, 2008, 19:08 Jerykk
 
As for pc games - the bioshock/mass effect systems are showing promise.

Even if a completely infallible protection scheme pops up, games will still be multiplatform and designed for the consoles. More effective protection schemes only means the PC gets more ports, not original, exclusive games.

 
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66. Re: Heh... Jun 10, 2008, 19:03 GreenTea
 
Hit the nail on the head. It's sad to see NVidia committing industrial seppuku, but if that's what they want, so be it. I have found almost every console port to PC to be banal and mind-numbing, and even with the exception of the few that weren't (Mass Effect comes to mind), the control scheme has left me not wanting to play the game.

COD is an excellent example that was given before-- how many million PC units sold for a clean game? The problem is not piracy in the industry-- piracy has existed back when I played computer games on the Apple and PC in Jr. High (we're talking the 80's here), but irregardless, the gaming industry flourished into the multibillion-dollar juggernaut that gave companies like EA their life. The problem with the industry is the unbelievable greed. If the PC games of the future are just ports of Assassin's Creed and Gears of War (which, amusingly, I could never get to install anyway), then PC gaming is dead for me, and probably for a large portion of the my fellow gamers.

So what's the bottom line? If PC Gaming is replaced by these lame games, then that means I won't upgrade, which means NVidia won't get my money, which means they'll cut their R&D budget.

So, Roy Taylor, how is this good for your company?

 
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65. Re: No subject Jun 10, 2008, 18:57 Ray Marden
 
Blockbuster has off and on.

At its peak, it was renting games for a good two years or so. Both before and after that point, there have been numerous tests of PC rentals and some individual stores opted to carry on the practice a bit longer.

Currently, though, you will be hard pressed to find any major rental chain that rents PC games.

Of course, this is a very hard thing to do due to PC gaming installation issues, the frequency and relative ease of pirating, games that have no copy protection, etc.

However, there is a long-term profit issues for consoles in the shape of used game trading. Though consoles are leading the market and gathering the lump sum of sales, Lamestop (and the now bastardized EB) is reporting enormous profits due to its heavy pushing of this practice.
Then again, I think it is absurd games cost $60.
Noting the rental scene is not profit-friendly either,
Ray

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64. Re: PC Gaming Jun 10, 2008, 18:55 Lorcin
 
that is what i was thinking about copy protection on consoles. every time there is an opportunity to inject code into a system the chances of circumventing copy protection increases. it has been demonstrated that you can mod previous generation consoles just by loading a disk or memory card. profit and greed will make it too irresistible for console manufacturers not to provide modular upgrades and accessories which are avenues for mods and cracks.

I would agree except arguably the most complex current gen console has not been hacked. Simply if the proctection is built into the CPU design and runs from there across the whole system from boot then mods would be far harder to find. With the new 8+ core processers which have god knows how many pins inserted into god knows how many layered PCBs it would be like looking for a whole bunch of needles in a haystack.

Imagine the xbox's cpu checked the firmware version on the DVD and shut down if it was found to be tampered with. All of a sudden teenagers would not be able to hack an xbox in seconds. I've no doubt microsoft will learn from there mistakes and produce something a bit stonger next time.

As for pc games - the bioshock/mass effect systems are showing promise. Bioshock took a week to crack and Mass Effect took two weeks before it was properly done (and that included attempts by ALL of the big pirate groups to do it).

Once companies realise that online activation and verification are the only workable solutions then that will become mandatory. Then we'll suddenly all get games the way Metaboli/Gametap deliver them; completely encrypted until a online verification has delivered the unencryption key for that serial number. Once the player hits quit the game instantly returns to a encrypted state. I haven't investigated exactly what metaboli is doing too much on my PC - but I do there is a semi-hidden X drive which appears when I'm authorised which contains the games file structure. The only reason I know that is because one game has an import/export facility which show's the drive. Dos/explorer etc still couldn't access it even when it was showing in the imp/export application.

I'm sure people will bitch about privacy - but as the devolpers seem to think this is a war then at some point they will eventually count the online complainers as acceptable losses.

This comment was edited on Jun 10, 18:59.
 
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63. No subject Jun 10, 2008, 17:53 Tim James
 
Based on this press release where Roy Taylor implies that we're all criminals, I've decided to pirate all my nVidia products.

I've already acquired a V8 Interceptor and removed a few body panels to slash at their delivery truck drivers with a large exhaust pipe. That'll show them.

 
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62. Re: No subject Jun 10, 2008, 17:44 Krovven
 
Interesting. Don't think you'd find that wide spread. I haven't heard of anywhere in Canada or the US that does, other than the odd small shop.

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61. Re: No subject Jun 10, 2008, 17:27 manic half
 
you can rent pc games too though

What major chain rents PC games?

here in australia, blockbuster video does. along with many other smaller stores.

 
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60. Re: No subject Jun 10, 2008, 17:13 Krovven
 
you can rent pc games too though

What major chain rents PC games?

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