Thursday, February 03, 2005

Console Vs PC Graphics Preformance Lifecycle

This is a hate post, but I will get to my point of writing this later.

The PC's graphical splendour lifecycle is gradual. Every year a new generation of GPUs are launched with a new range of graphics cards from both ATI and Nvidia. This means that developers have to be careful about supporting the new cards and features because they might alienate a lot of systems by putting their requirements to run the game, too high. Developers can help gamers running older cards by offering them varying quality settings to suit their varying hardware. So all in all the graphical splendour of PC games is gradual and progressive.

Consoles on the other hand are only launched once every four to five years and their graphical performance is fixed. So an XBox bought at launch will have the same graphical capabilities as one bought today. The relevance this has on games is that developers can tailer their requirements directly to the console's configuration and use-up all the graphical capabilities available. So when a new console is launched it generally has the latest in graphical technology, to give it the best looking games. With this model developers don't need to be concerned with supporting older hardware because all their gamers will be running the same setup. That is unless it is a multiplatform game of-course. The only thing that limits a console's graphical capabilities is the cost of the hardware at the time the specification was put together because not everybody can afford £1 billion super computers. So all in all the graphical splendour of Console games comes in leaps with every new generation of consoles.

Now I would like to apologise for having to cover what you already know, but every four to five years some stupid fuckheads start writing articles titled Xbox 2
More powerful than a PC!?
. And of-course the new generation of consoles are going to have more graphical capabilities than the PC because it is the technology lifecycle they follow, but still every few years people start preaching doom and gloom for the PC. I call them stupid fucks, but most people don't seem to see things that way. And it pisses me off because these people are so obviously short sighted. Some also say that one-day there will be no consoles because PC technology will be so advanced that there will be no need for consoles to exist, but even this opposite viewpoint is ignorant, because it ignores brand-naming and marketing. People get told by adverts what to buy. And since we are a consumer driven society this will never change. So as long as Sony (for example) keeps making games consoles, people will keep buying games consoles because this is how marketing works. The product doesn't have to be any good, but as long as the product can make people desire it, it will sell (prime example jewelry).

So next-time somebody starts preaching about this Console killing PC shit, just tell them they are stupid. Don't go printing their shit on websites like most gaming sites will in the run-up to E3. Work units and gaming units will not always be completely separate entities, but work units will never be dedicated gaming platforms and gaming platforms will never be dedicated work units.