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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28.
 
The game is changing
Mar 11, 2008, 04:38
28.
The game is changing Mar 11, 2008, 04:38
Mar 11, 2008, 04:38
 
The new AMD 780G chipset manages rather decent integrated graphics performance, check out Anandtech or Toms Hardware reviews for the last week.
Best of all it can use separate video RAM on the motherboard, avoiding the ugly bastard, never successful, cheap-arse, crappy, unified memory solutions.
(You can tell I don't rate unified memory solutions, right?)

Avatar 13987
27.
 
Intel's integrated graphics
Mar 11, 2008, 04:38
27.
Intel's integrated graphics Mar 11, 2008, 04:38
Mar 11, 2008, 04:38
 
I think the real issue that Tim is making here is that Intel have saturated the PC market with absolutely terrible graphics chips - it's not even about discreet vs. integrated graphics hardware, it's all about the Intel Extreme(ly bad) graphics architecture that is so frustratingly pervasive.
I have had no end of problems with these chips - quite often, they are as Tim suggests, just plain broken. Doing even simple tasks, such as drawing quads for a pixel-perfect sprite engine fails on some intel chips I've had the misfortune of working with. When they do stick to the standards, they're too slow to be useful. You'd get better performance from a generations old Geforce (which you could put on a tiny form factor using very little energy and generating very little heat using modern chip fabs) than from the latest 'extreme' graphics chip.
By flooding the market with this crap, they are making the job of us graphics programmers insanely hard and are preventing games developers from accessing a wider audience on the PC (which is a huge audience!). It's almost as if they're doing it on purpose!

This comment was edited on Mar 11, 05:04.
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26.
 
Re: No subject
Mar 11, 2008, 04:04
26.
Re: No subject Mar 11, 2008, 04:04
Mar 11, 2008, 04:04
 
Agreed. retail sales figures are a silly way to measure the market these days. they don't include MMOs, STEAM or other digital distribution methods. The entire casual games business is ignored, as are indie games.
I wish epic would just fuck off to consoles and STFU.
25.
 
Re: No subject
Mar 11, 2008, 03:47
25.
Re: No subject Mar 11, 2008, 03:47
Mar 11, 2008, 03:47
 
with xp being discontinued, people would be FORCED to buy newer processors if they want to use windows? even if they have a 3.6GHz P4.
The Prescott and later P4s are 64bit capable. With high end desktop processors you'd have to look back over 4 years to find one that isn't 64bit capable. In fact if it wasn't for the Intel Core (1), everything made in the last 2-3 years or so would be 64bit capable.

Never mind you completely fail to understand what "discontinued" means. Discontinued means MS quits selling it, XP will continue receiving support & patches until at least 2012.

24.
 
No subject
Mar 11, 2008, 02:15
24.
No subject Mar 11, 2008, 02:15
Mar 11, 2008, 02:15
 
Sweeney: I really don't know why they kept the 32-bit version of Vista. I was surprised when they decided to keep the 32-bit version, I expected that they would push the 64-bit version exclusively. It would have been the perfect time for that.

with xp being discontinued, people would be FORCED to buy newer processors if they want to use windows? even if they have a 3.6GHz P4. think people will like that? think microsoft will like that? does he have any business sense whatsoever?


Let's be clear with it. The switch to exclusively 64-bit would clean up all the legacy viruses and spyware programs that have been plaguing us for years.

so spyware programs will suddenly stop working if it's on 64-bit? but anything that doesn't spy on users will continue to function magically?

23.
 
Re: No subject
Mar 11, 2008, 01:32
23.
Re: No subject Mar 11, 2008, 01:32
Mar 11, 2008, 01:32
 
It seems like developers don't realize that PC gamers have different standards than console gamers.

Nah, I think they do realize...but they either don't care or they don't want to do the work. Heh.
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22.
 
Re: No subject
Mar 10, 2008, 23:29
22.
Re: No subject Mar 10, 2008, 23:29
Mar 10, 2008, 23:29
 
Stardock makes some good points. The problem with most PC games today is that they aren't designed with PC gamers in mind. They are either ports or designed for casual gamers. It seems like developers don't realize that PC gamers have different standards than console gamers.

Avatar 20715
21.
 
...
Mar 10, 2008, 23:19
21.
... Mar 10, 2008, 23:19
Mar 10, 2008, 23:19
 
They need to make it easy for the average person to upgrade their computer without assistance. Why not have a cartridge like system at the back (or even the front) of the computer that can be used to upgrade graphics, memory and even processors? PCMCIA does a similar thing for laptops - you'd just need to expand the scope quite considerably. That way EVERY computer would be upgradeable, instead of not knowing whether a computer has PCIe slots for upgrading.

Also, it's stupid that everything is moving to dual-core / quad-core processors at the expensve of other parts when all most people are going to do is use Word and Internet Explorer. Graphics should scale parallel to processors so that machines are good all-round. What use is Excel loading 0.03 seconds faster if little Jimmy can't play the latest Pirates Of The Caribbean game? Not only that but people that want to upgrade later often find their compact PC doesn't have any PCIe slots to upgrade with.

The current situation is appalling for the average user and they are impacting us advanced users. We need to improve the situation for everyone.

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Founder of the "I Hate Smiley Fitz" society

Remember: Riley has autism. He has trouble communicating, and in an overstimulating
environment, he can get frightened and run away, leaving his parents frantic. - Auburn
"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."
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20.
 
Re: No subject
Mar 10, 2008, 23:13
Prez
 
20.
Re: No subject Mar 10, 2008, 23:13
Mar 10, 2008, 23:13
 Prez
 
That's a situation the hardware manufacturers could fix tomorrow if they wanted to.
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
Avatar 17185
19.
 
Re: No subject
Mar 10, 2008, 23:10
PHJF
 
19.
Re: No subject Mar 10, 2008, 23:10
Mar 10, 2008, 23:10
 PHJF
 
Fact is I've run into plenty of people who would otherwise love to play PC games but they find out (after the fact) that their PC is ill equipped for the task. The humongous majority of PC purchases are for internet browsing, word processing, whatever. As such they come with barely enough graphical power to push the Windows Desktop let alone 3D Game XYZ. So John and Jill find a game and try to play it only to wonder why their brand new Dell is woefully unable to keep up.
Steam + PSN: PHJF
Avatar 17251
18.
 
Re: No subject
Mar 10, 2008, 23:00
Prez
 
18.
Re: No subject Mar 10, 2008, 23:00
Mar 10, 2008, 23:00
 Prez
 
The reason why we don't put copy protection on our games isn't because we're nice guys. We do it because the people who actually buy games don't like to mess with it. Our customers make the rules, not the pirates. Pirates don't count. We know our customers could pirate our games if they want but choose to support our efforts. So we return the favor - we make the games they want and deliver them how they want it. This is also known as operating like every other industry outside the PC game industry...
...Blaming piracy is easy. But it hides other underlying causes. When Sins popped up as the #1 best selling game at retail a couple weeks ago, a game that has no copy protect whatsoever, that should tell you that piracy is not the primary issue.


Can I get an Amen?
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
Avatar 17185
17.
 
Re: No subject
Mar 10, 2008, 22:39
17.
Re: No subject Mar 10, 2008, 22:39
Mar 10, 2008, 22:39
 
I think this post is a bit more newsworthy

http://forums.sinsofasolarempire.com/post.aspx?postid=303512

16.
 
Re: No subject
Mar 10, 2008, 22:28
16.
Re: No subject Mar 10, 2008, 22:28
Mar 10, 2008, 22:28
 
Quite the whining, this is getting boring. The AMD 9500 quad core with a decent, albeit integrated, gfx card, 3gig DDR 2, 1TB hd space is currently only $650.

Too bad you can't see or hear it, or even interact with it.

This comment was edited on Mar 10, 22:29.
15.
 
Re: No subject
Mar 10, 2008, 22:07
15.
Re: No subject Mar 10, 2008, 22:07
Mar 10, 2008, 22:07
 
PC video cards are still making large gains and there's still new possibilities of integrated physics. Console games aren't going to look much better for another 2+ years or more as there's only so much you can do with a video card and processor core(s) set in stone. Mainstream gaming to these developers isn't about the best games. It's about the best profit margins.

14.
 
No subject
Mar 10, 2008, 21:34
14.
No subject Mar 10, 2008, 21:34
Mar 10, 2008, 21:34
 
They are all focused on casual gamers right now thats the industry focus. Plus Sweeney comes from the camp of making tings easier to develop which can be true if you only have to build for specific consoles.

My problem is that you just cannot get the networking capabilities out of console games that you can out of PC games. Secondly, I want to use a fricking keyboard and mouse. How hard is it to build in that support on console games?. Lastly, dedicated servers and mods.

PC gaming is where most game enthusiasts reside. Thats a market that is totally being ignored by many. Fortunately some of the best developers support PC gaming (love you Valve). And I think the caliber of the games and their gameplay show it. Which is more popular Unreal 3 or a little extra feature of a game called Team Fortress?

Unreal 3 was an ultimate example of console FPS mindset. Lots of eye candy, millions of machines and guns crappy gameplay and UI.
This comment was edited on Mar 10, 21:39.
13.
 
Re: No subject
Mar 10, 2008, 21:30
13.
Re: No subject Mar 10, 2008, 21:30
Mar 10, 2008, 21:30
 
Anyone see a pattern emerging here?

Yes, what we have here is yet another overhyped developer blaming the platform because he couldn't make a good game again if his life depended on it.

You're running a little late there Tim, Peter Molyneux and Chris Taylor already beat you to it. Guys, the pc is no less a platform now than it was back when games like Unreal and Total Annihilation got you where you are today.

You want proof? Stardock. Look at how happy they are with how Sins of a Solar Empire is selling. Great game, great support, great company. Not that you'd know about any of that.

Makes me laugh how they're always so quick to point the finger when the reality is, these bastards just aren't any good at it anymore.

12.
 
Re: No subject
Mar 10, 2008, 21:27
12.
Re: No subject Mar 10, 2008, 21:27
Mar 10, 2008, 21:27
 


Most people don't even know what the difference is between ram and a harddrive.

Sadly thats so true.

11.
 
Re: No subject
Mar 10, 2008, 21:24
11.
Re: No subject Mar 10, 2008, 21:24
Mar 10, 2008, 21:24
 

Ive been PC gaming since the beginning and by far its cheaper now than is ever been to buy or put together a decent gaming rig.

I used to build a new PC ever year around the holidays just to keep up with the new games. these days its every two or three years with the exception of a new GPU every year or so only because I'm a graphics whore and want to play with ever thing maxed out, most ppl are happy with much less.

BTW fuck you Sweeney your just another console whore.

10.
 
Re: No subject
Mar 10, 2008, 21:19
10.
Re: No subject Mar 10, 2008, 21:19
Mar 10, 2008, 21:19
 
It's a great price, but most people would rather buy a console than learn how to put a new graphics card in their computer. Most people don't even know what the difference is between ram and a harddrive.

9.
 
No subject
Mar 10, 2008, 20:58
9.
No subject Mar 10, 2008, 20:58
Mar 10, 2008, 20:58
 
Quite the whining, this is getting boring. The AMD 9500 quad core with a decent, albeit integrated, gfx card, 3gig DDR 2, 1TB hd space is currently only $650.

That's a pretty high end machine for a low end price if you ask me.

If you want bells'n whistle gfx, the nvidia 9600 GT is $199, and voila, a pretty good rig for less than $1K

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