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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Mar 11, 2008, 06:44
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Re: No subject Mar 11, 2008, 06:44
Mar 11, 2008, 06:44
 
Reading that entire article, I feel I can summarize it as follows:

"Waaaaaaaaaaaah! Making games for PCs is HARD! I want a cookie and a nap!"

Most of you are probably too young to remember hardware names like ATi Mach32 and Western Digital Paradise. Coding for games on hardware back then was incredibly hard as you didn't have neat little unifying APIs like Direct X. You had DOS and direct access.

I think a large majority of the problem really lies with the fact that when "big name" developers started, they started in a niche market. They know how to make those niche games but they don't know how to make good games. Knowing how to make a good game allows you to make any type of game.

Only knowing how to make a niche game means you can keep up with technology but not with the demands of your audience. While FPSes are popular, they are beginning their waning phase. Just like space sims, flight sims, RPGs and the like did at their heydey too. However, instead of seeing these companies keep pace with their target audience's needs, I see them begin to wax melodramatic about the death of their chosen platform and how consoles are the new frontier because they're easier, insert other excuse here.

It's a shame that there's not more transparency in to the development of games, because I think a lot of people would be surprised to learn that making a game for a console market isn't always "easier". In fact, sometimes it becomes harder due the the extremely limited resources of the system and the ways in which you can give the player the ability to interact with their environment.

Suffice to say, the PC platform is far from dying and while the Intel cards aren't the greatest, they are still capable. There's a lot you can do with your target system requirements when you're not trying to render everything in photorealistic 3D. If anything, I think the current market trend shows us that only a small percentage of people actually want photorealistic 3D environments. What they all want, almost universally, is something fun that doesn't require a Masters in Electrical Engineering to play or get running on their boxes.

"Just take a look around you, what do you see? Pain, suffering, and misery." -Black Sabbath, Killing Yourself to Live.

“Man was born free, and he is everywhere in chains” -Jean-Jacques Rousseau
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