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.
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.
This comment was edited on Jul 15, 14:59.