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How To Make PC Gaming Better

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the extreme-fanboy-deathmatch dept.

PC Games (Games) 337

New submitter RMingin writes "Bruno Ferreira at Tech Report has a number of suggestions that he feels could improve PC gaming. Some are quite thought-provoking. For example: 'When technology advanced [in the '90s], the industry came up with a certification specification to ensure punters didn't miss out—and consequently spent more on better PCs. That spec was called MPC, short for Multimedia Personal Computer. The first version of the MPC spec said, in simple terms: Thy computer shalt be blessed with a sound card and speakers. Thou shalt be provided a CD-ROM drive in which to receive silver discs. Thy processor shalt not be completely crap. At the time, this spec meant a lot—and, to be honest, I think it worked marvelously. We need something like that again. People wanted MPC, everyone sold the better hardware, and everyone was happy. Let the powers that be come up with a new baseline specification. Call it MPC-HD or whatever acronym the marketing Nazgûl want to give it. I'm fine with whatever, as long as it gets the job done.' He also calls for an end to the unintuitive model numbers for GPUs and CPUs, and more consistent driver support."

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How To Make PC Gaming Better (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42415299)

Port everything over to Linux so we can ditch Wine and Windows.

Someone had to say it.

Re:How To Make PC Gaming Better (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42415403)

Port everything over to Linux so we can ditch Wine and Windows. Someone had to say it.

OK. First convert all GPL-based libraries to LGPL so that they are non-viral, sometimes you have to statically link. Someone had to say it.

Re:How To Make PC Gaming Better (3, Insightful)

arbiter1 (1204146) | about 2 years ago | (#42415455)

Port everything over to Linux so we can ditch Wine and Windows. Someone had to say it.

OK. First convert all GPL-based libraries to LGPL so that they are non-viral, sometimes you have to statically link. Someone had to say it.

Second, make it so when you install video drivers you are not almost guaranteed to spend some time at a CLI prompt cause gui don't want to start. Someone had to say it.

Re:How To Make PC Gaming Better (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 2 years ago | (#42415481)

Wow, have you used Linux since 1996?

Re:How To Make PC Gaming Better (1, Insightful)

armanox (826486) | about 2 years ago | (#42415693)

If you grab the blob from nvidia's site you have to install at the CLI.

Re:How To Make PC Gaming Better (2)

cheesybagel (670288) | about 2 years ago | (#42416007)

Use Ubuntu and just click to install the NVIDIA driver. It's not very hard and no CLI required.

Re:How To Make PC Gaming Better (5, Informative)

jjjhs (2009156) | about 2 years ago | (#42416067)

Every time I try Linux, even recently, I spend more time trying to get everything to work than actually doing what I want to do. Wireless STILL didn't work. A driver was installed but it wouldn't find any networks. Wired LAN randomly didn't work, and for some reason was dependent upon for booting. Most of the time I end up having to compile a newer kernel to sort some things out. I could go on. Eventually I give up because I'm tired of spending my entire time trying to get things to just work.

Re:How To Make PC Gaming Better (1)

myowntrueself (607117) | about 2 years ago | (#42416083)

Wow, have you used Linux since 1996?

I've used Linux since 1991.

Its improved A LOT.

Re:How To Make PC Gaming Better (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42415741)

In recent years the reason I've found for that is because of a kernel upgrade without installing the proper support first. On Ubuntu based systems, that is DKMS, build-essential and linux-headers-generic.

Just to explain :) (0)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 2 years ago | (#42416103)

when you install video drivers you are not almost guaranteed to spend some time at a CLI prompt cause gui don't want to start.

Just to explain how modern Linux works. On the majority of desktops that have Intel...they are open source and simply work, and modern ones are suitable for most gaming, Nvidia and Ati have open source drivers, but the proprietary ones are still better (I've not used Ati in a while), but upon loading Ubuntu asked you whether you want to install them...and its always a single click away, its simpler than Windows complicated method of having to go to the web-site and wade through the complicated instructions etc etc.[I'm to bored to explain]

You live in the world of faeries :)

And yet gaming exists already :) (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 2 years ago | (#42416071)

OK. First convert all GPL-based libraries to LGPL so that they are non-viral, sometimes you have to statically link. Someone had to say it.

Wow Ballmer still spreading that Cancer line is getting old just saying. Humble Bundle 7 has ten games than seem to cope just fine.

Ironically the bundle before this "THQ bundle" one was controversial because not only had DRM it was unable to provide ports to Linux (and OSX) because of proprietary based libraries. The reality is locking yourself into a single platform is particularly foolish as Android is set to eclipse Windows in a matter of Months.

Microsoft is a problem (0)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 2 years ago | (#42415515)

Port everything over to Linux so we can ditch Wine and Windows.

Microsoft has been a problem for PC gaming for a long time; partly due to control over Direct X (shitty lock-in); Partly due it controlling a game console(shitty Ports). Ironically with the rise of iOS...the Android; Humble Indie Bundle(Who could have seen that) and the rise of crowd funding/indie gaming. [I am not sure about steam]...The new problem is Microsoft pushing the PG-13 Agenda through their store(shitty anti gamer store), the reality is on Linux we relied on a few ports from Windows. If you support PC gaming then move to an alternative platform. the games are coming [already here] to Linux/Android...and there is no better time to RUN!

Android means touch screen means "casual" (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#42415579)

the games are coming [already here] to Linux/Android

Only if Ouya takes off. If it fails, as several Slashdot users predict will happen, then most Android games will continue to be in genres suitable for a flat sheet of glass rather than genres suitable for a gamepad. And historically, as I understand it, touch screen games have tended to be shallower even than gamepad games. It's possible to emulate a gamepad with a touch screen, but it's reliable only up to the Atari 2600 level (one D-pad, one button). If there are multiple trigger buttons under the right thumb, the player has no feedback as to where the right thumb is positioned and starts missing buttons.

Nothing casual about :) (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 2 years ago | (#42415913)

Only if Ouya takes off.

Thats such a weird think to say right now I've been playing through the games on Humble Bundle 7 and none of those are possible because of the Ouya [Legend of Grimrock is particularly good]. The reality is Android will get serious and *episodic* games just like any other platform. I say episodic because some of these games are designed for playing for short periods at a time. The reality is though the sheet of glass games are perfect for *new* game interfaces, and are perfect for strategy; tower offence/defence hell I'm looking forward to games that rely on pointing as *several* parts of the screen at once.

All the Ouya may bring is new games that use traditional controller to the Android platform. Although as owner of an Xperia Play [oh and a Ouya] they have been on Android for a while.

Re:Microsoft is a problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42415733)

Aparently you haven't been long enough to understand that Microsft hasn't been a problem for a very long time. The real problem right now is the huge ammount of crappy games being sold as if they were the pc saviours instead of focusing on the complex kind of game the PC gamer generally likes.

There is a new spec. TAG (4, Insightful)

Culture20 (968837) | about 2 years ago | (#42415329)

It's called Tablet App Gaming. Thy computer shalt have no native input device save the screen. You shall not have full control of the device. Some of your data must needs live in the cloud.

Re:There is a new spec. TAG (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42415355)

as long as it is usable by my penis (or finger) i guess its ok?!

Re:There is a new spec. TAG (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42415521)

as long as it is usable by my penis (or finger) i guess its ok?!

I know that it is just the right size for your penis but that is the headphone port.

Re:There is a new spec. TAG (1)

aix tom (902140) | about 2 years ago | (#42415609)

It's a sad thing, but I guess a "paint your name in the snow" game would probable be a big hit nowadays.

Pee-mail (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#42415767)

Pee-mail [pee-mail.com] has been out for years and will run on any PC with a Flash Player. I haven't tried to wee on a Wii, but Internet Channel for Wii does have Flash Player.

No that is just a diferent input (2)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 2 years ago | (#42415603)

It's called Tablet App Gaming. Thy computer shalt have no native input device save the screen. You shall not have full control of the device. Some of your data must needs live in the cloud.

Annoying as one who is really enjoying tablet gaming [and ds gaming], you have to remember that touch-screen is exciting, and even though Windows 8 sucks donkeys balls...touch gaming is great for *some* genres of games. Its not for 3rd Person shooters[keyboard mouse]...or 3dBeaten ups;Platformer;standard shooters[Joypad], but a tablet for is great for racing games[ok not as fun as a real wheel]...for for strategy!! and tower defence/offence and tactile puzzlers touchscreen wins. I will be buying a great big touch-screen when a compelling one comes along.

Re:No that is just a diferent input (1)

Culture20 (968837) | about 2 years ago | (#42416143)

I'm not saying that this is a good standard. It seems to be one that we're being force-fed though, like 3D TVs (although not as blatant as the digital TV switch).

Stop "Hollywooding" the gaming industry (5, Informative)

Nyder (754090) | about 2 years ago | (#42415333)

Stop thinking every title needs to be a triple AAA title with millions of dollars in cost, that has to sell a large amount of copies to turn a profit.

Stop putting crappy DRM on your software, since that only hurts your customers.

Stop making crappy consoles ports.

And quit fucking blaming everything on piracy.

FTFY (2)

zlives (2009072) | about 2 years ago | (#42415383)

Kickstarter fixes all these issues for me :)

Re:Stop "Hollywooding" the gaming industry (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42415635)

its not crappy console ports anymore.

its crappy PC ports of shitty console games.

Re:Stop "Hollywooding" the gaming industry (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42416157)

FYI, "console port" refers to a port *from* a console (making no judgements about the quality of the original game).

Re:Stop "Hollywooding" the gaming industry (4, Insightful)

dyingtolive (1393037) | about 2 years ago | (#42415673)

These are so much better than the original article. I have a two year old computer that I put together new for about $500 that can run just about every game I've played on medium-high to high graphics settings with at least 30 fps minimum. While I don't play a lot of modern games, such as Metalfield 428 or Halo 9 or what have you, Planetside 2 is quite beautiful nearly maxed out.

These are the ways to make PC gaming better. The article has a handful of suggestions for manufacturers to make selecting a PC better, the level of quality being somewhere between obvious and pointless.

Article demands a spec for hardware. Windows 7 has a rating for hardware. It's called the Experience Index. It sucks, but so does any other spec you'll come up with because specs can't be as simple as "cd-rom drive and SVGA graphics" anymore. Peggle and Crysis won't have the same minimum requirements, ever. Linux does not have something like this because it hasn't been needed, both due to a lack of games and because I can only assume Linux users generally know what the fuck they're doing.

Article demands a spec for rating (benchmarking) processors. Author hates not knowing if another core is better than an extra 500 megahertz. Great. Problem is that the answer is (and always will be): "It depends."

Next suggestions are "stop letting the marketing guys name products cause they do it bad", and "drop the suck when you write your drivers". These are both fantastic ideas. Unfortunately, they've been the issue for about the last 10 years, or at least, when ATI first started building cards that required drivers (on the topic of bad drivers) and Nvidia's "Geforce If I have FX in my name, I suck regardless of my number".

And the crazy thing for me is that I feel like in the last 3-4 years, I've had a lot less fucking around with games/hardware to get them to "just work". For all of it's flaws, Steam is pretty magical. I feel like if this article would have come out years ago, I'd have agreed wholeheartedly. Now I just shake my head at Captain Obvious.

Re:Stop "Hollywooding" the gaming industry (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42416057)

Only reason your computer works so well is because games are still made for consoles. Polygon counts will shoot up to 10x-20x as much as now when the next-gen is released, and your computer will be left behind.

Re:Stop "Hollywooding" the gaming industry (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42416617)

From what I've read about Sony and Microsoft's next-gen systems, I highly doubt that.

Re:Stop "Hollywooding" the gaming industry (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 2 years ago | (#42416565)

What does Steam have to do with this?
Steam is just a library of games, lots of them don't work. Steam does not bother to do anything but provide the latest patch. Many games on Steam need you to fiddle with the compatibility settings, update your drivers, or do other normal stuff; Just like if you downloaded it yourself. In fact I am sure there are games on Steam that are more broken then if you downloaded them yourself, because sometimes you do not want to install the latest patch, sometimes the latest patch is broken.

Heard of Indie gaming. (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 2 years ago | (#42415719)

Stop thinking every title needs to be a triple AAA title with millions of dollars in cost, that has to sell a large amount of copies to turn a profit.Stop putting crappy DRM on your software, since that only hurts your customers.Stop making crappy consoles ports.And quit fucking blaming everything on piracy.

Indie gaming [and open source gaming] is all of those things, and has a better community. Apart from team meat...but they have Super Meat Boy so they get to be dicks.

Re:Stop "Hollywooding" the gaming industry (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42415929)

Stop being "Digital Pictures" (remember from the Sega CD). I want my game to be a game, not an interactive movie with poor character and/or voice acting.

In fact, I play a lot of 2D shooters ("shmups" to the fans of the genre) and a few FPS games with no discernable story throughout. I rarely ever play anything platform or puzzle anymore, just takes way too long to really get into the game. I just want to play, level by level, until the game is finished or until the game loops again to a harder difficulty. Rhythm games used to do this well, until they started with the unlock garbage for certain silly achievements (e.g., get all Good timings for an entire song when the best timing measurment is Marvelous), although the later Guitar Hero games had a Quick Play mode (i.e., just let me play) where unlocks weren't needed to play a song, leaving the optional unlock path to those who wanted to go through Career mode.

That's all I need, plus modest system requirements, for an improved gaming experience. That and stop with the multiple patches after the release, I don't care about DLC but I do care about yet another patch fixing bugs that escaped development and QA testing yet again (sigh).

Re:Stop "Hollywooding" the gaming industry (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42416261)

Cannot agree more with the bad console ports - this more than anything else is killing PC gaming for me personally. Major titles are shipping with interfaces and control setups which just don't work properly with a mouse and keyboard. The lack of monitor support options in the console ports is also annoying, especially with multiple monitors - it seems like we have gone backwards with older FPS games providing more support than new ones. Please if you're making a game at least support fullscreen borderless windowed mode, and allow us to set the monitor the game is shown on :/

Re:Stop "Hollywooding" the gaming industry (3, Insightful)

Altanar (56809) | about 2 years ago | (#42416279)

A game that costs $100,000 to make, but sells at $2/game has to sell over 50,000 copies to make a profit. A game that costs $2,500,000 but sells at $50 has to sell the same. Your first point is only valid if you're willing to pay a higher percentage of the cost.

Dear Indie Game Devs:

  • Your game isn't intrinsically better than others because it looks like a SNES game.
  • Stop making games that think that difficulty for difficulty sake is the best mechanic a game can have.
  • Stop making clones of games from the early 1990s.
  • Stop refusing to sell your game on marketplaces like Steam, Origin, and the Windows Store. You are not hurting "the Man"; you are hurting gamers and yourself.

PC Gamers:

  • Buy games that you like.
  • If a game is worth playing, it's worth paying for. No excuses.
  • The *only* point made when you pirate a game is that the PC has a pirating problem. You are not hurting "the Man"; you are hurting gamers and yourself.

It's way more simple (4, Insightful)

irwiss (1122399) | about 2 years ago | (#42415351)

Those who finds model numbers unintuitive usually asks one of their geek friends to build a PC for them, those who don't even bother looking at model number but rather look up the benchmarks don't care about the model numbers.

The real issue with PC gaming is that a lot of games these days are shitty console ports with atrocious controls, awful camera and graphics that are still stuck on xbox360/ps3 level which are already outdated by just about any discrete video card, and there's no incentive for companies to change their "make console game -> port to pc to milk" agenda.

Re:It's way more simple (1)

irwiss (1122399) | about 2 years ago | (#42415367)

To ask a friend*
It got eaten :(

There's nothing wrong with PC hardware (5, Insightful)

TheGoodNamesWereGone (1844118) | about 2 years ago | (#42415359)

There's nothing wrong with it. In fact, it's miles better than any console. An I5/I7 paired with a midrange graphics card blows them out of the water. The problem isn't the hardware, it's the software writers who write for consoles and then port that back to PCs... Case in point, Skyrim, which has about the most awful interface ever inflcited on the keyboard & mouse using public ever. More first-person shooters that all look the same. No innovation any more. No, the problem is the game companies and their crap.

Re:There's nothing wrong with PC hardware (5, Insightful)

dreamchaser (49529) | about 2 years ago | (#42415613)

Actually the problem is gamers who keep buying the crap made by game companies. Said companies are making fistfulls of dollars so what is their incentive to improve the crap they put out?

I do tend to differ with you on Skyrim though. I found the interface quite easy to use on my PC. I've never played any of the console versions though.

Re:There's nothing wrong with PC hardware (1)

Ambassador Kosh (18352) | about 2 years ago | (#42416375)

Strangely enough I love Skyrim on the PC and I play it using a 360 controller. I find it very relaxing to play that game with a controller. It works well and plays well.

I think I have about 70 mods installed for the game including the DLC released so far.

Re:There's nothing wrong with PC hardware (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42415921)

Bad example. The Skyrim engine is a modified version of the engine used in Oblivion, which itself is a (heavily) modified version of the Morrowind engine. It is not a console port. Yes, the UI was clearly desinged with consoles in mind, but under the hood it is the console versions that are the second-rate ports. Just look at how much trouble Bethesda is having trying to get the Dawnguard and Hearthfire DLCs running on the PS3.

All that aside, it's an Elder Scrolls game... if you don't like something about it use a mod, if you don't like the existing mods then mod it yourself. The ability to tinker is, in my opinion, one of the biggest advantages of PC gaming.

There happens to be an excellent (and configurable) UI mod available for Skyrim:
http://forums.bethsoft.com/topic/1433593-relz-skyui/ [bethsoft.com]
The beta version linked in that thread is solid in my experience.

What is this MPC stuff? (4, Funny)

WilliamGeorge (816305) | about 2 years ago | (#42415363)

I've been using computers since the late 80s, and I don't recall this term at all. I do remember people talking about "Multimedia PCs", which must be the verbal expression of that (just saying the letters MPC seems odd - makes me think of the MCP from Tron). But I don't recall it being a big deal... at least not as a home user in middle school and high school, building my own computers (and some for friends). Maybe it was a bigger deal among the major brands at the time?

Anyways, as a professional who helps folks figure out what they need in a computer today, I don't see how this would be all that helpful. Maybe as a guide for those who know nothing about specs, have no interest in learning, and are buying from a source where they cannot get decent advice... but there is such a wide range of specs and performance these days that a simple label would have a hard time encapsulating enough info. All modern computers (save some servers) have audio, some level of 3D performance, etc - and while not all have optical drives that isn't always a big deal, since the advent of Steam and similar services.

On the other hand, if you want to ensure decent game performance then you have wildly different specs to aim for depending on the game, the resolution the user will be running, the quality and FPS settings that they consider reasonable, and future-proofing. I don't think that can all be covered by one arbitrary standard, personally.

Anyone inside a Best Buy or Walmart store (2)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#42415439)

Maybe as a guide for those who know nothing about specs, have no interest in learning, and are buying from a source where they cannot get decent advice

In other words, anyone inside a Best Buy or Walmart store.

All modern computers (save some servers) have audio, some level of 3D performance, etc

But only recently (circa Ivy Bridge [anandtech.com] ) did Intel integrated graphics come to equal the graphics of a 2005-spec console like the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3.

On the other hand, if you want to ensure decent game performance then you have wildly different specs to aim for depending on the game

Should the industry get behind this new proposed son-of-MPC, game developers will target a particular MPC level just as they targeted the original MPC spec. That's what the Vista-era "Windows experience index" was for, but it ended up not catching on.

the resolution the user will be running

With LCD panels having standardized on 1920x1080 because of the economies of scale of the TV market, is there really a choice here anymore?

Re:Anyone inside a Best Buy or Walmart store (1)

WilliamGeorge (816305) | about 2 years ago | (#42415555)

It is indeed a pity that the associates - especially at 'tech' stores, like BestBuy - aren't better able to help folks out. Having done a stint at Circuit City myself, many years ago, I know first-hand how little quality training they get about the real important stuff inside computers. Sometimes you get lucky and find a knowledgeable person, though, and really there is vastly more info available just surfing the online websites for those companies (thanks to customer parts reviews and the like now).

WEI was never very impressive, and still isn't. It uses the lowest 'score' out of its several parts for the overall system score, which can be very misleading, and its graphics tests are really not too demanding at all. It is an example of why such arbitrary scores or ratings *don't* work.

1920x1080 may be the most popular for a new monitor these days, but many people still use older screens. I get folks ranging from 1280x1024 on up, and many these days running higher resolutions like 2560x1440 and 2560x1600. Further, on the gaming side, there are AMD's Eyefinity and NVIDIA's Surround View modes - so you can put three screens side by side for an impressive, immersive experience. Either of those later options demands a lot more out of the hardware - especially the video card - than a 1080P display.

Re:What is this MPC stuff? (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | about 2 years ago | (#42415617)

I remember the MPC 'spec', and I've been using computers for maybe a decade longer than you. It was in the early 90's or so I think, an attempt at a 'standard' spec so that people knew their PC's were 'multimedia' ready.

Re:What is this MPC stuff? (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | about 2 years ago | (#42415629)

Here you go: Multimedia PC [wikipedia.org] .

Never went very far.

Re:What is this MPC stuff? (1)

thesameguy (1047504) | about 2 years ago | (#42415789)

I worked in a small computer store in the mid '90s and we had lots of people come in and ask to see "MPCs." Of course we couldn't show them any, because we weren't building half-assed PCs in huge volumes. Back then, most of them just wanted to run 7th Guest or Encarta and what we built would run the hell outta either of them. ;) The logo looked like this - http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/2/29/Mpclogo.png [wikimedia.org] - and it was slathered all over crap Packard Bell et al computers - the people who were building half-assed PCs in huge volumes. ;)

The failure with MPC was that multimedia titles got better faster than was anticipated, and your c1994 MPC computer was positively worthless for running 1996 multimedia titles. We had many customers buy software only to come back with puzzled faces when their MPC choked. They weren't happy when we told them their 486SX wasn't going to run anything on the shelves well.

Computers move too fast for a standard like this to exist. By the time all parties involved ratify some MPC-HD standard it will be barely sufficient to run current titles and worthless for whatever comes out tomorrow.

People who genuinely care about PC gaming are already doing just fine digesting new model numbers and looking up benchmarks and making good choices. Everyone else is just buying an Xbox or an iPad anyway. The last thing PCs need is another industry working group taking their cut of the pie with a stupid certification slash choke point.

That said, if anyone was going to do something like this, it should be Microsoft. Selling OEMs an "xbox certified" sticker to plop next to the "Designed for Windows" logo would probably money in the bank for them. Perhaps I shouldn't have said that.

It seems like he's calling an end to innovation. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42415369)

I have to say, I don't understand CPU model numbering anymore, I do understand GPU model numbering for AMD and NVIDIA, but Intel is just way out there. (Some models are PowerVR for example, which have rubbish desktop OpenGL).

There's a number of issues with the proposals mentioned in the article however, and it's tied to specific implementation. Creating performance benchmarks to generate a category for a product will lead to the manufacturers optimizing for these specific benchmark profiles, instead of making an architecture that's fundamentally better.

This would've been fine in the the Happy MIPS Land, where every instruction took one clock. You could compare a MHZ cpu to a MHZ cpu with no issues. But different architectures will mean operation execution speeds will vary greatly. I wouldn't be surprised if branching was the most wildly changing metric in this regard. A branch predict miss will give pretty bad penalties, and a programs performance might well depend on the prediction algorithm, or it could depend on a single instruction that the compiler at the time thought was a good idea, but is infact 10x slower on a new cpu than a different operation.

You can make these benchmark categories, but they'll be mostly worthless.

Re:It seems like he's calling an end to innovation (1)

aix tom (902140) | about 2 years ago | (#42415677)

You can make these benchmark categories, but they'll be mostly worthless.

They would be pretty useless at first. But once some "performance standardization" has taken place, games (and other programs) would be able to better quantify that they need at least "fifty thousand libraries of congress per furlong throughput" to be usable.

At least it might either make the hardware manufacturers aware of what performance the majority of games need, or the game writers aware of what performance the majority of hardware can achieve.

Re:It seems like he's calling an end to innovation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42415935)

You can make these benchmark categories, but they'll be mostly worthless.

They would be pretty useless at first. But once some "performance standardization" has taken place, games (and other programs) would be able to better quantify that they need at least "fifty thousand libraries of congress per furlong throughput" to be usable.

At least it might either make the hardware manufacturers aware of what performance the majority of games need, or the game writers aware of what performance the majority of hardware can achieve.

That's just the issue. The only performance criteria the designers of the chips can target is existing performance targets (aka, games in this case), which is mostly meaningless, as the current games would target the existing chips, which are the previous generation.

What standardized benchmarks like these create is a stagnant market, because if your new product X, isn't faster than the old product Y in benchmark K, it won't compare successfully to some old game that will run perfectly fine on both cards. This card could have feature Z that makes it 1000 times faster in some other task.

It's not to say that benchmarking isn't useful, but attaching it directly to product naming schemes. Aka Nvidia GeForce STD771122 is equal in benchmark K to AMD Radeon STD771122, which is what the article seems to imply.

Don't forget about PSU's some systems ship with (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 2 years ago | (#42415409)

Don't forget about PSU's some systems and cases with a free PSU come with carp ones.

Re:Don't forget about PSU's some systems ship with (2)

EETech1 (1179269) | about 2 years ago | (#42415599)

Agreed... you are always much better off getting the crappie;)
Sorry... i had to...

Re:Don't forget about PSU's some systems ship with (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42416113)

Yeah, those tend to be fishy.

Re:Don't forget about PSU's some systems ship with (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 2 years ago | (#42416253)

crap ones

The main problem (1)

marcovje (205102) | about 2 years ago | (#42415411)

How does this solve the basic problem, namely that hardware vendors and game makers have two opposing interests:

Hardware vendors want to sell new stuff, and forcedly raising minimum specs is therefore in their advantage.

Games vendors want to sell as many copies as possible to a biggest possible potential audience, and keep the specs at the minimum necessary, and might even want to do extra work to achieve this (like providing different binaries for different versions of DirectX).

And finally then there is Microsoft that wants to sell us all a new Windows

Re:The main problem (4, Informative)

mikael (484) | about 2 years ago | (#42416039)

That happened 30 years ago with consoles. Japanese console manufacturers figured they would corner the market if they adopted a standard console system called MSX. It would be extensible enough for the systems to be used as home computers: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MSX [wikipedia.org]

Didn't last simply because each manufacturer used the standard as a base level and added their own custom features - extra sound channels, larger screen resolutions, more cartridge memory, extra peripherals like light pens, light guns.

In the end games designed on one system wouldn't run on others, and the system become forgotten.

The problem with the PC right now is... (3, Interesting)

blahplusplus (757119) | about 2 years ago | (#42415417)

... none of the major players give a shit about the PC as a platform. Since Microsoft has abandoned the PC as a gaming platform for Xbox. This leaves a huge opening but unfortunately big companies aren't very bright. Valve sadly has went the data-mining DRM route and is adding more barriers and cluster-fuckery to gaming that doesn't need to be there.

If I was Intel right now I would see the profits apple is making and attempt to standardize the PC space and prevent bargain basement PC chaos from occurring. When one looks at steam hardware surveys one see's most people have very little clue about their computers and tend to buy the cheapest shit.

As much hate as intel gets if it was intelligent it would get serious about creating a platform and not pull the software shenanigans like DRM/closed ecosystems like what the big software companies do (ms, valve, etc). Software is becoming hugely inefficient to create because software parts the equivalent of ROADS and SEWERS are being patented and copyrighted/protected.

Software really needs public R&D investment in 'foundation level' like stuff to get over these barriers and solve these problems, but barring that Intel (one of the biggest hardware companies) doesn't seem to seriously grasp the need for a software ecosystem that drives people to need their stuff. They are too content with idiocy and clusterfuckery of the current batch of software companies.

If I were intel I would turn GOG.com into a platform and increase R&D in how to make better games for cheaper as well as invest in better tools to drive down costs. The biggest problem we have today is making complex apps people want costs too much time and money so there need to be serious R&D in tools, software aided-creativity and automation.

Are You Serious???? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42415423)

You are just going to repeat the stupid MS$ lockin culture of yesteryear, that era is gona and thats a good thing. PC's are powerful enough and today most gamers play on consoles anyway. PC gaming is gone and wont be coming back any time soon. Im sure some people will be saying that they and their friends still game and there are lots of them sort of people but in reality you pc gamers only represent like about 2% of game players. PC gaming is done, and now the move to linux and away from windows is playing out and thats why MS$ is going all like freaking out cause noone is locked into them anymore cause they let the game genie out of the bottle and not locked into their stupid system crap. Good outcome but, now we are all going to linux and Open GL so you never know pc gaming may come back

Linux != Linux (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#42415499)

today most gamers play on consoles anyway. PC gaming is gone and wont be coming back any time soon.

So for which platform should a startup company develop games before it has the experience and financial stability to qualify for a console license?

Good outcome but, now we are all going to linux and Open GL

By "Linux" did you mean the Android stack (phones, tablets, Ouya) or the GNU/Linux stack (still associated with PCs)?

Linux = Good Cross Platform Gaming (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 2 years ago | (#42415755)

By "Linux" did you mean the Android stack (phones, tablets, Ouya) or the GNU/Linux stack (still associated with PCs)?

I'm assuming he meant both, Reliance on any one platform, or relying on some platform dependant tools is stupid in todays diverse market its why game engines like Unity work on both Gnu/Linux and Android :) http://unity3d.com/ [unity3d.com]

Genre depends on input devices (2)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#42415857)

Cross-platform compatibility between PCs and Android devices isn't as useful as some might instinctively assume because the input devices are vastly different between platforms, and each input device works best for a particular genre. Smartphone and tablet operating systems work best for touch-screen genres, GNU/Linux and Windows work best for mouse-and-keyboard genres, and the consoles, PS Vita/3DS, and to a much lesser extent Ouya, GNU/Linux, and Windows work for gamepad genres.

Then you need to keep your peepers open :) (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 2 years ago | (#42415951)

Smartphone and tablet operating systems work best for touch-screen genres, GNU/Linux and Windows work best for mouse-and-keyboard genres, and the consoles, PS Vita/3DS, and to a much lesser extent Ouya, GNU/Linux, and Windows work for gamepad genres.

Then you need to keep up because I already have several controllers on GNU/Linux, and One on my Phone (Xperia Play Baby!) :). When they have dropped in price I'm going to get me a 27" flatscreen (touchscreen) monitor going cheap because of Windows 8.

Looks like cross platform is going to be very very useful :). I suspect very strongly though that my next gaming PC will be a touchscreen chromebook running Debian with Android compatibility...I maybe will hook up my PS3 controller if Super Meat Boy gets ported :)

Poor retail performance for Xperia Play (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#42416249)

Then you need to keep up because I already have several controllers on GNU/Linux

So do I [pineight.com] . I just wonder whether a platformer optimized for a controller (but also playable with a keyboard to the same extent as, say, emulated Mega Man) will have any chance of selling, especially given the button mapping phase that the player has to go through for any controller that isn't an Xbox 360 controller.

and One on my Phone (Xperia Play Baby!)

Unfortunately, there aren't enough others like you. Another web site reports "poor retail performance" for the Xperia Play [knowyourmobile.com] . Only once Ouya comes out will games other than casual games and strategy games have a chance of being viable on Android.

Linux and controllers (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 2 years ago | (#42416513)

Your guessing what my experience is like in absence of having your own. The truth is the Xperia Play is a beautiful device Sony's best ever IMHO...but in no way perfect, but that article has nothing to do with the problems of the Xperia Play which were simply initial opening price too high(more expensive than an iPhone), with specifications too low (single core, no internal memory)...and Sony half heartedly supporting it(no update to Ice Cream Sandwich). That said its a hell of a device, and there are a surprising amount of games that support it. I'd buy its successor in a heartbeat.

There are issues with using a controller on GNU Linux. The problem is games that support remapping have incredibly good support, with a wide range of hardware supported(far better than Windows). The problem is the games don't as a rule [even open source games] support them. you can change the order of your controls on your joypad, and remap keys which covers almost everything in a haphazard manner, but its too messy and very un-gnu/Linux where everything from scanners to wireless is standard across devices. To be fair it needs someone (seam maybe) with enough influence to move everyone in the same direction in this neglected area.

By bet is (1)

ozduo (2043408) | about 2 years ago | (#42415427)

that you are looking for standardised cheats!

They have a guide line (0)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 years ago | (#42415491)

Why? most off the shelf 1000 dollar computers can run anything.
The reason it existed in the 90s was dubious at best then. and pointless now.

The current generation of on baord graphic cars can play almost any games at a playable setting. That's certainly a first.

You want a model number scheme the applies to all video cards? here is one called "money":
Pay more the 150 dollars. They will pretty much do it. Want the super card with every sparkle doing things you can see? spend 400 dollars
there you go. Yes, you can argue technical semantics, but for the person he is talking about it will be fine.

nullhulland drive:
It shows the mob destroying a mans life until ha agree to cast an unkown actress.
CPU model numbers are fine.

i3 i5 i7.
Biger has more power.
220, 3470 etc... bigger is more power.

Using power in a general form for overall performance, not just speed.

I haven't had a driver issue in any nVidia card in well over a decade.
I won't buy that other chip for personal reason, not technical(although I hear their drivers suck)

If he didn't mention the year, I would have sworn it was circa 2001..and I would ahve agreed with himi at that time. Now? power is outstripping resources to use it too fast to be that particular.

Re:They have a guide line (3, Insightful)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | about 2 years ago | (#42415771)

CPU model numbers are fine.

i3 i5 i7.
Biger has more power.
220, 3470 etc... bigger is more power.

Quick, hotshot! Which has more power, a 5450,or a 4870?A 2700K, or a 3470?

Re:They have a guide line (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42415821)

quick, is the 2700k an i7 or an i5!? Is the 3470 an i5 or an i7!? Oh wait, you didn't actually list the full model numbers.

Re:They have a guide line (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42415943)

quick, is the 2700k an i7 or an i5!? Is the 3470 an i5 or an i7!? Oh wait, you didn't actually list the full model numbers.

Exactly. What number's important? How many of them are important? Is it the one with the i or the K? Wait, this one has a GT! This company doesn't even have an i in their numbers! Why do I need to know two sets of numbers (CPU, video card)? Wait, THREE sets (motherboard architecture)?

Start by not killing the desktop? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42415497)

http://semiaccurate.com/2012/11/26/intel-kills-off-the-desktop-pcs-go-with-it/

Re:Start by not killing the desktop? (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#42415525)

"Intel kills off the desktop, PCs go with it" by Charlie Demerjian

All that article means is that certain Intel motherboards will come bundled with a CPU. If anything, it'll drive people to AMD.

Ultima VII: look long and hard at that! (1)

Beetjebrak (545819) | about 2 years ago | (#42415511)

Back in 1992'ish my 386 PC with its 20MHz. CPU and 4MB RAM ran Ultima VII. It had an utterly believable game world with a huge amount of freedom and interactivity and layer upon layer of depth to the story. Seeing how the laptop I'm typing this from runs at 2.5GHz. and has 4GB's of RAM, I'm deeply disappointed with the state of gaming as it is now. FPS games got better graphics, but their stories are hardly much more than running along waypoints shooting everything that moves. Origin went utterly down the tubes when EA got involved. Sadly there probably won't ever be a game like Ultima VII, but updated in depth and scope for today's hardware.

Re:Ultima VII: look long and hard at that! (2)

Zarhan (415465) | about 2 years ago | (#42415709)

As someone who has completed all Ultimas from IV to VIII (including Serpent Isle and Ultima Underworlds), that's just nostalgy filter shining.

I don't count "believeable world" to be one where I have to guess keyword, and talk with "Name?", "Job?".

Granted, since U5 the NPCs started to actually have daily routines, but...well, ten years after U7, you had a RPG renaissance that started with Baldur's Gate. Have you tried it (with all the fan-made upgrades for todays computers)?

For more recent stuff, well, Skyrim actually is pretty damn good. I'll grant you that earlier Elder scrolls games (I played even Daggerfall) suffered exactly from that lack of immersion, but Skyrim finally feels good.

Then theres pretty much everything Bioware has made since Baldur days, Dragon Age I + Awakening (Dragon Age II suffers from sequelitis), Mass Effect being the recent entries.

And that doesn't even count all the stuff available from indie developers (Magicka!).

Re:Ultima VII: look long and hard at that! (3, Insightful)

qwak23 (1862090) | about 2 years ago | (#42415959)

I have to second this. Though I cherish my memories of playing the Ultima series in my youth, I find the games practically unplayable now. Sure, they had a very detailed world and story, but the systems while fairly fresh at the time, seem very primitive and unfriendly now. Granted the games did do a few things that I've rarely seen since (if at all - granted I haven't played every game in existence so I may be missing some things) that would certainly be welcome (by me) in a modern game.

I remember that the story in Ultima VI wasn't exactly linear, though you could follow cue given to you by NPC's and work your way through the game in a linear fashion, you could also avoid the major conflict with the gargoyles from the start and forge your own path through the game. Sure, some things could only be done one very specific way, other could be done multiple ways, especially if you got creative (and if you really got stuck somewhere, you could go the evil route and kill a few npc's or steal some goods to get what you needed, granted you could also make the game unwinnable this way).

I really don't think the state of PC gaming is in that bad of shape. I've also been hearing complaints about the state of PC gaming for almost as long as I've been gaming on a PC (1985). Sure, some companies do crappy ports, others just try to get some fodder out the door to capitalize on the current trend, and other companies cater to the PC audience even while courting the consoles and for others, the PC represents the vast majority of their output.

The first Borderlands runs and looks better on my tower than it's console version does, and can even be dialed down enough to be playable on my laptop (inexpensive laptop purchased primarily for school work, not gaming). I haven't tried to run 2 on my laptop yet, but it's still awesome on my tower. Skyrim? sure the menu system may suffer from consolitis a bit, but everything else about it is better on PC, and again runs great on my tower and can be dialed down to be playable on my laptop. That's not even consdering the mods (and support of!) available for the PC version.

Sure, there are plenty of games out there with poor PC support, barely playable on my tower due to poor optimization, lack of video settings or both, but I'm usually not surprised by those ones when I see who developed/published the game.

Of course there are also several genres that thrive on the PC and rarely, if ever see the light of day on a console (how many 4X games make it to consoles?) and certain games that hold a larger (or longer) PC following. How many people still play Morrowind on the Xbox vs. how many people still play it on the PC? Hell, given how cheap it is on steam, the various (new!) mods, and younger audiences being introduced to TES for the first time by the latest game in the series, I'm sure Bethesda still sees a fair amount of sales on Morrowind for the PC.

Re:Ultima VII: look long and hard at that! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42416605)

About the Elder Scrolls fuck-up: Need I say more? [youtube.com]

Re:Ultima VII: look long and hard at that! (1)

TFAFalcon (1839122) | about 2 years ago | (#42415809)

Well if you're looking for a successor to Ultima, then don't look at FPS games. Try Morrowind or Skyrim. I think they have just about everything Ultima had (well except detailed bread baking and hunger).

There is a spec...... (1)

LoRdTAW (99712) | about 2 years ago | (#42415539)

And it's called the Xbox 360. I just played Crysis 2 the other day and its certainly a console port. It runs amazingly smooth on my modest PC on the second highest setting. Can't say the same for Crysis, though it was a better game. Just about every game that exists for both the Xbox and PC are optimized for the lowest common denominator, the 360. There is your spec.

that was step forward (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42415581)

That was a step forward then when we moved out of an era of ascetic PC computers with no sound capabilities, rigorously slow processors, crappy UI and 1.4 mb disks. That was a step out of infancy and a little, fuzzy revolution with all sort of silly things coming out - as well as great overall advances. It paved the way to nowadays and things kept on going up that route. Such a label wouldn't make as much sense now.

PC gaming relevant enough? (1)

theurge14 (820596) | about 2 years ago | (#42415623)

Back in those days sound cards and CD-ROM drives were rather optional, a PC gaming standard made sense.

What hardware do PCs have now that are so different than PCs from 10 years ago? Built in WiFi? Bluetooth?

So really what this seems like is that we're trying to understand why a $300 laptop from Walmart can't run the latest games on Ultra-mode? Do we really need a new spec to tell us this? Can't we just ignore those cheap bastards and tell them to go play more Minecraft on their phone?

Re:PC gaming relevant enough? (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#42415735)

So really what this seems like is that we're trying to understand why a $300 laptop from Walmart can't run the latest games on Ultra-mode? Do we really need a new spec to tell us this?

Yes. It'll give developers a baseline to choose whether or not to target based on whether or not they want to try selling their product to owners of $300 econo-boxes. Some developers need all the sales they can get, such as indie developers, casual game developers, and indie casual game developers, and they can deliver a game that's less complex graphically to pretty much every PC capable of running Windows 7. Others have the budget to develop AAA titles that demand AAA-capable boxes. It'll also give home users stuck inside a Best Buy store an idea of what to buy if they want to match the minimum spec that AAA game developers are targeting.

This is so stupid (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 2 years ago | (#42415657)

Ignoring the fact that I have never heard of this EVER, or that PC gaming as got so shitty its more about console ports that even a basic PC can cope with anything it has to handle. That stores that deliver your games *electronically* should be able to filter out games that simply won't work like....Android does now. The idea of creating a made up specifications to represent real specifications is the stupidest idea ever. Personally I think that game designers should put effort into providing the best experience your computer can handle automatically rather than have settings.

Seriously dumb article.

different time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42415729)

Well the pc wasn't considered the mass-media / entertainment platform it is now, and I remember distinctly a tech guy handing me over my new machine while saying ironically "There, it's a nice gaming console you got there" (I was 15). That label made sense (at the time)

A Few Quick Steps: (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42415753)

1. Package all hardware in cartridges. I don't care what convoluted system of bends and risers in the motherboard you have to come up with, because once the case is open it should not be necessary to remove a single screw, or touch a single bare circuit, to swap hardware or 'build' a computer. This idea is past overdue and will make upgrading (and repairing) vastly easier than it is. It is also proven, at least as far as drives are concerned.

2. Convince the major publishers to agree on some sensible system spec standards and update them incrementally every two and a half years. The eternal upgrade cycle does not help the PC at all, and makes the lifetime cost of the platform much higher than it needs to be. If your game (or other software) can meet certain benchmarks on a system matching those specs, you get a gold star, Nintendo Seal of Approval style.

3. Knock off the stupid DRM bullshit. It doesn't save anyone any money. It doesn't make the customers happier. It doesn't solve any problems. The fact that executives still think this works proves that they're just collecting checks and have no idea what actually goes on in the real world...

4. ... Which leads me to my next point. The industry has become so risk averse in general that there are really only three valid genres in the commercial PC space anymore, and all of them can be summarized with a three-letter abbreviation: FPS, RTS, and MMO. (And MMOs are on their way out.) Ten years ago, the platform was already contracting but a lot more broad than it is now. Twenty years ago, the PC (and the last of the family computers) was an extremely ambitious platform. The PC actually has an advantage here already in that anyone can develop for it, but that doesn't forgive the industry for pussing out and ignoring anyone who doesn't want to play a three letter word.

5. Stop obsessing over chasing the latest and greatest technology. That doesn't mean stagnating like the consoles do, and this point is addressed by my second suggestion, but this deserves to be said: Developing within boundaries will produce better software. Making yesterday's technology work better today can produce real yields, both in performance and mechanical advantages.

6. PC games are notorious for being buggier, less stable, and frequently performing worse than console titles. Don't skimp on quality assurance just because it's going on the PC.

7. No more direct console ports, please. They're awful and usually the fans themselves have to patch them to bring them up to par.

8. At the same time, don't be afraid of controllers. A good, cheap wavebird should be a standard accessory for any gaming rig, in addition to the keyboard and mouse.

Re:A Few Quick Steps: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42416049)

A couple additions, all IMHO, of course:

1: Modular, possibly hot-pluggable hardware is a must. We have had passive backplane computers since the days of zoot suits and quaaludes. Yes, it might cost a bit more for a standardized pseudo-blade enclosure the size of a desktop, but the money would be made back when people want to replace a CPU module or a GPU array without having to migrate to a new platform.

2: Agreed. Have it tied to the year, so someone sees the latest version of Crysis, so their 2013 spec machine either can run their game, or needs upgraded to the 2014 spec.

3: DRM is a bread and butter of consoles, but on PCs, it is pointless since the game will end up getting repackaged by some guy out of Russia, shriven of all nasty stuff (activations, low level drivers), and be available for all to obtain. Want a good system? Have a repository mechanism like gog.com where one can back their games up as well as redownload them. Steam does this, but Steam also has DRM, and one can't really reload from a backup should the Steam servers be taken down.

4: Game makers keep making the same recycled shit, then wonder why sales are so poor, and blame it on piracy. Time to get some new IP going. Look at Origin Systems. Its budget was a fraction of EA, but they churned out original IP until they got slurped up and absorbed. Hell, even if it is old IP, make a new Wing Commander.

5: Technology is a good thing. With even a cheap PC having decent graphics, one can make a decent game that will run on almost anything. It might not look as good as the latest Crysis, but WoW did a fine job of having a world that didn't need to display the individual pubic hairs of every orc.

6: Consoles are going that way. In the past, before DLC and updates, console games had to be perfect before the game hit the media. Now, companies can ship early beta quality stuff, then either upgrade it to a late beta so they can sell DLC, or just call it done and walk off to the next "mostly-finished" project. QA is usually ass for all games these days because the important thing is getting it out the door for the first weekend numbers.

7: Console ports are poor, then the lackluster game sales are blamed on piracy, so even worse ports come out.

I'm hoping the big guys who whine about the piracy in the PC market and such just bite the bullet and leave the market completely. Let the indie players and the next Origin Systems take that market so we don't get the same predigested crap. Until they got bought out, Blizzard did well with this -- their releases were not perfect, but a release was release quality, and not a beta. A company doing this would rake in the money. As for DRM, that is simple... have unique CD keys that are used for accessing multiplayer functions. Two clients using the same game at the same time, one gets turned away. That is all that would be needed.

The one PC advantage over consoles is that PCs are everywhere. Get a small fraction of this market, and a company can do extremely well without the barrier of entry required for consoles. Since Apple and Microsoft have good online stores, let those companies worry about marketing, distribution, and updates, and just piggyback off of them.

One big thing....extra account creations/bloatware (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42415799)

If I purchase a game on Steam (Grand Theft Auto 4, Assassins Creed 2, and Bioshock are great examples) I want to play the game after it's downloaded. I don't want to join Windows games, install extra software like the Visual C++ Redist (for every....single....game. Hello? Check to see its installed first), figure out why I need to join ANOTHER community in addition to Steam to play a game (Assassins Creed 2), and have to consult numerous Google Pages to get a game to even start correctly for the first time on PC (Grand Theft Auto 4 - 45 minutes to find out how to get it to even start for the first time).

This is BS to have to do this for games these days. People wonder why PC gaming is down. Really game developers? Keep it simple. Duhhh.

Translation: I want limited, stupid twitch games. (2)

Chas (5144) | about 2 years ago | (#42416003)

It's that simple.

The answer to making PC games better isn't to make them MORE like a consoles.

It's to make them LESS like consoles.

Re:One big thing....extra account creations/bloatw (1)

slaker (53818) | about 2 years ago | (#42416079)

I don't use Steam. I like PC gaming, but I want to disassociate my gaming experience entirely from online services. That leaves me with very few options. I've returned every boxed PC game I've purchased in the last three years has required some kind of online login, even for single-person, offline play. I really don't like having to play "mother may I" with Electronic Arts or Valve or anyone else. That doesn't leave me many gaming options, but I will say that every single thing I've ever gotten from GoG.com has worked, is divorced from any sort of download, copy protection or online community bullshit.

Also in a lot of case I have just as much fun watching somebody else's game playthrough videos on Youtube as playing myself. There are surprisingly complete video sets for many RPGs and other single player titles and that's just fine as far as I'm concerned.

Steambox (4, Insightful)

J-1000 (869558) | about 2 years ago | (#42415877)

The upcoming Steambox will hopefully be the new benchmark for software. It would be nice if they'd release a certification badge upon release that other hardware makers could use. I agree 100% with the comment about GPU/CPU naming conventions. They are even worse than cell phones. If there's one thing we can learn from the iPhone, let it be simple names.

Re:Steambox (1)

J-1000 (869558) | about 2 years ago | (#42415895)

Hardware, I meant of course.

Re:Steambox (1)

slaker (53818) | about 2 years ago | (#42416095)

How is handing control of your gaming experience entirely over to Valve any better than handing it over to Microsoft or Sony?

Re:Steambox (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42416465)

Since when are graphics card model numbers "confusing"? The first number is the generation. The second is if it is high end, mainstream or budget, and the rest are small differences. Pick the latest generation, pick the money you’re willing to pay / power you need, and then compare the ones that pass that filter. (Usually only one card per manufacturer.) Done. How is that hard? What's your/his problem?

If there's one thing we can learn from Apple, is that there is a shitload of retards out there, who instead of using their fucking brains for the first time in their NPC lives, bitch and whine that everything should be dumbed down to their level, at the expense of all efficiency, elegance, emergence or plain usefulness to anyone with an actual working brain.

THE WORLD IS NOT THAT SIMPLE! YOU CANNOT DUMB DOWN EVERYTHING TO A SINGLE BRAIN FART!
We are already faaaaaaaaaaaar past the point where it just becomes more and more crippling and we're moving backwards in evolution, power, abilities, freedom, etc.

You, being nothing more than meat with eyes, mindlessly consuming, glued to your chair, hipster glasses on to make you look “smart” (because you aren't) and drooling spit and cum onto your shitty iCrap.

(Even the CAPTCHA perfectly describes you in a single word: imbecile,)

The first rule for making PC gaming better. (4, Insightful)

Chas (5144) | about 2 years ago | (#42415991)

You have (and shall) never hear the term "console port".

The main problem with a LOT of PC games, nowadays, is they've been dumbed down, and lots of features stripped out or simply never done (or done right) in the first place. Simply to make it easier to share code-bases between a console port and the PC game.

DCUO is a prime example of this.

It's so incredibly limited, and the controls for the game absolutely SUCK. Why? Because they designed it with a controller in mind. They limited the game's models and costume options because most consoles just couldn't handle the sheer variety a full-blown costume/model system would have given them.

As a result, you have a console fighter game masquerading as a PC MMO. And it does NEITHER well.

better ideas (4, Interesting)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 2 years ago | (#42416063)

#1. Make all games use OpenGL or some other newly invented standard that is cross platform.
#2. Have congress declare that "virtual goods" or whatever you want to call them are no more than poker chips. Selling items in game is probably the most detrimental change in the history of gaming as it leads to developers intentionally making the game un-fun and grindy so you'll sink real money to obtain imaginary items to make your play easier. Also... they really are poker chips... it's wrong that they are sold to children.
#3. Games that are online and can not work without the servers provided by the publisher should be required by law to provide service for a certain period of time after you buy the game. A certain portion of the proceeds of the sale of the game should go into a 3rd party account to pay for the continued operation of the servers even if the original producers of the game go out of business. At least someone buying the game could be guaranteed a certain about of play before it just stopped working all together. But better yet, hopefully producers of games would not want to have to put money into a trust and instead would open up the server platform to the players.

Re:better ideas (4, Insightful)

qwak23 (1862090) | about 2 years ago | (#42416545)

#1 - Don't make me obligatory xkcd you! ;) yeah, one solid standard is nice assuming it can be maintained properly. Unfortunately the latter part of that is pretty rare. Either not everyone adopts updates to the standard, or the standard stagnates, 2 or 3 potential replacements arise to take the torch and we're back to competing standards for awhile. Standards are awesome, but without a walled garden approach (and even then...), I have a feeling this will always be a problem.

#2 - I have mixed opinions on this. I'm not a big fan "virtual goods" sold by the service provider that make game play easier or progress faster as that gives the company incentive to do just as you describe, however I don't really have a problem with a player driven market exchanging virtual goods for real world cash as in most circumstances I've seen this in (MMO's mostly) it really doesn't affect my game play experience if I choose to not take part.

#3 - I totally agree, though I'm not really sure it would be feasible. I think a better option would just be a stipulation that if you are going to provide such services, that should you go out of business or suspend services you allow private entities (individuals, other companies, etc) access to the server side software and code so people may choose to keep the game going at their own expense if they choose and if the server side houses all player records, that those records be made available to the player so they can readily transfer them to a private server if they choose. Of course, re-reading your post, you do seem to mention this option ;)

Abusive Monopolist (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 2 years ago | (#42416655)

#1 - Don't make me obligatory xkcd you!

I think you need to look at the joke again. Its about creating a new standard to replace multiple incompatible standards. His comment is about reducing control of a de-facto standard on one ecosystem by a conflicted monopolist...and doing so using an *existing standard* that arguable is better, and is cross platform used on the majority of computing platforms [Ok no quite]. The reality is the massive growth of Android/iOS has but a massive dent in DirectX, and OpenGL has been moving and shaking after years of neglect.

Universal requirement testing app? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42416175)

Why don't all the game publishers get together and make a universal system requirement app? I haven't been keeping up with hardware for last decade so I have no clue which model number of video cards are better than the ones listed on the box. If box calls for video card better than model #4440, how do I know if my #850 will work or not? I'm saying this as a person who built many desktop systems for family members, friends, and myself in the past.

App should quickly scan my system and tell me if that game will run or not.

*shrugs* (1)

lightknight (213164) | about 2 years ago | (#42416227)

Show them the difference. Show them how well your machine runs, and how theirs is crap. Then offer to build them a desktop for a set fee, or offer an inexpensive consult on a laptop.

The average computer user finds the whole thing confusing. They are expected to acquire skills which are both required by their job and considered nerdy. This, of course, creates a conflict for most people, as being popular / going with the crowd is more important to them than getting ahead in life.

And what does that have to do with better gaming? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42416413)

Does that idiot really think that gaming equals hardware power?
In a world where consoles gather dust while Flash/mobile games are played by the masses?

Yes, technology is one aspect. But it always was the only aspect everyone guaranteed to be good. As in: Graphics and effects.
To say that we should focus on that even more, instead of using our current chance of everyone finally giving a fuck about good gameplay / mechanics and a good story too, is insane.

Also: Since when are graphics card model numbers "confusing"? The first number is the generation. The second is if it is high end, mainstream or budget, and the rest are small differences. Pick the latest generation, pick the money you’re willing to pay / power you need, and then compare the ones that pass that filter. (Usually only one card per manufacturer.) Done. How is that hard? What's his problem? (The usual? As in: Stupidity and ignorance?)

MPC meant nothing (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about 2 years ago | (#42416499)

Romanticize about it all you want but to the consumer it was just another meaningless computer acronym.

The major problem with it was it only gave you a hint at what the absolute minimum requirements might be... if you even knew what the damn thing meant. MPC 1 was a 386sx25 with 2 megs of ram, sure your program might run, but just in the basic sense that it ran, not that it was playable or useable. SO instantly you are going back to the requirements list. It was meaningless and did nothing but add another dumbshit icon to the box of icons

Would Intel allow it? (1)

Sarusa (104047) | about 2 years ago | (#42416511)

Any decent game machine is going to need an add-in card, not an Intel GPU. I'm not sure if they'd be okay with something that mandates competitors' products. And if not, would they try to kill it? Given the hold they have on the PC market and how much money they can and do throw around to try to move the market (ultrabooks!) it could be tough if they did.

But perhaps they'd grudgingly go with it just to sell more high power desktop CPUs and motherboards.

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