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jAkUp
09-10-05, 04:36 PM
I would be lying if I said I wasn't a little concerned in the past about the future of PC Gaming. The next gen consoles looked amazing, and I thought that the PC Gaming community would shrink. I'm glad to say, I think I was wrong. I was suprised at the amount of PC Games at E3, the next gen consoles were just announced, and I expected the show to be mainly consoles. I was wrong. Also, recently the screenshots and movies from the next gen's has been looking worse and worse IMO, and the PC Gaming scene looks better and better. Here is what I mean, look at all the interesting hardware that we have to look forward to in the near future:

The Ageia PPU will make games advance in a direction that is great from a gameplay, and visual standpoint. Physics in games plays a large role in the overall excitement for me, I'm glad to see that this is taking a huge step in this direction.
The Ultra competitive GPU market obviously plays a huge role in the lowering of prices, as well as the bigger and badder hardware that we all crave.
Unreal Engine 3 looks absolutely amazing, and I cannot even begin to count the number of developers that have licensed this engine. Not to mention the other upcoming amazing looking engines, we have the tech demos of a few, and FEAR looks very impressive as well.
John Carmack drives a good part of the gaming industry, I remember back when there were rumors of him taking a back seat to programming, I think that has changed now. He showed up at quakecon this year for the first time in a while, and I think he will be more involved from now on.
Steam some may love, some may hate, but it is a godsend for PC Gaming, no longer will creative ideas be brushed away from publishers because of the risk involved with a non-mainstream game, finally, developers are sticking it to publishers, and we should see better, more creative games because of it.
The upcoming Pentium M is extremely fast. And can easily compete with an FX55, competition for AMD means faster CPU's and lower prices.
The mouse showdown doesn't seem like a big deal, but to me it does. I will tell you why; yes, we all know that Razor and Logitech always duke it out in the mouse arena, but recently, we had Microsoft join in for the threesome. Microsoft have kinda stepped out of the gaming hardware arena a few years back, now they are back with their gaming mouse, and who knows, maybe gaming hardware again. Obviously they see a large market for it or else they would not spend the amount of resources needed for a good gaming mouse.
AIseek's AIS-1 another unique device that allows vast improvements in A.I. Who doesn't want better A.I. in pcgaming? I am very excited about this and the PPU.
quake4 sure looks great, but its not the singleplayer that I am looking forward to most. It is the multiplayer. Love it or hate it quake3 multiplayer was and is, huge. quake4 looks to be the same, and frankly, I can't wait to see the gib's flying.
Windows Vista is another one, Microsoft said they are trying to make it easier to port console games over to PC, and if the rumors are true, Vista has plenty of tricks for us PC Gamers with Vista. Maybe we will see the end of the lame port?
Creative X-fi looks good to me. Love it or hate it Creative is taking a huge step in the right direction. The reviewers love it, and I can't wait to pick one up.
PS3 and Xbox360 are consoles, but from a PC perspective, look at the ports that we will get from these two decent looking consoles, no longer will game ports be based on 5 year old technology, at least, not in the short term.
Budget cards supporting SM3.0 means us hardcore gamers will get all the nice graphical features, and developers aren't scared to put it in.
SLI/Crossfire, HDR, 512mb cards, LCD's finally with low response times, gaming keyboards, and the list goes on.

Frankly, I'm glad to be a PC Gamer right now :)

stncttr908
09-10-05, 04:39 PM
That list made me feel warm and fuzzy inside.

jolle
09-10-05, 04:54 PM
Frankly, I'm glad to be a PC Gamer right now :)
Sure you dont mean:
Frankly, I'm glad to be a PC Gamer with alot of cash at hand right now.
hehe.. all that hardware comes with a hefty price tag.

That said, I still wouldnt buy a console.

CaptNKILL
09-10-05, 05:10 PM
Yep...

Damn it feels good to be a gamer... :D

Nitz Walsh
09-10-05, 06:13 PM
Frankly, the best news about PC gaming is that MS knows they haven't done all they can to promote it:

http://www.mcvuk.com/newsitem.php?id=488


Microsoft has pledged to ‘put the game back into Windows’, admitting that its lack of investment in PC has been ‘killing’ the platform.

:)

msxyz
09-10-05, 06:20 PM
I share your views about points 3-4, but as of the rest...

*Who needs more useless physics puzzles in videogames? Stack the boxes, push the boxes. These things are better suited to monkeys in a zoo cage! :P

*Who needs another bloated OS from Mircosoft? I'm just beginning to appreciate XP after I succesxfully cut it down to 150MB with nLite. Still far from the 30MB I was able to reach with 98Lite and Windows 98

*The Pentium M is overrated. Its big, fast cache is what makes its performance. For the rest is just a normal Pentium 3 (with all the pros and cons of the p6 architecture) If AMD could use the same 12" wafer plants of Intel and produce enough processors with gargantuan L2 caches, the difference in performance would be even much more umiliating for Intel.

*Creative X-fi: if it wasn't for Creative and its monopoly we would have much better audio libraries now. Besides, I don't have enough space to have a full set of surround speakers nor an adeguate room for setting a up a virtual theatre with everything that follows. Just give me a DSP that recreates high fidelity surround sound for headphones! When it comes to headphones, most products on the market offer minimal support besides some lame "virtual surround" mode.

*Advanced mouse/keyboards, fancy joypads, etc... Just pricey useless devices. The best FPS player I knew (one ranked very high in the UT/Q3 ladder back in the days when these two games where rocking the boat) used to play with a cheap-ass keyboard + PS/2 mouse combo. He kept video detail to the minimum and music off in order not to be distracted. In the end it's all a matter of skills, not of hardware.

Being a PC gamer is being ass-raped. And being happy for it. Honestly, if it wasn't for the ability to mod videogames (something console users don't enjoy yet), I would have given up long ago.

Mr_LoL
09-10-05, 07:16 PM
You missed the most important bit Jakup. All that hardware is lovely but its useless without games :D

russ_3d
09-10-05, 07:41 PM
*Who needs more useless physics puzzles in videogames? Stack the boxes, push the boxes. These things are better suited to monkeys in a zoo cage! :P
/endquote

aww come one man, you are forgetting that an MMORPG with proper physics (or any multiplayer) could be the absolute bees knees ( :eek: ) with physics. because we can start doing things ourselves

e.g > a couple of barrels - 4 x teams of two - push to top of hill - one gets in, 1,2,3 - the other team member rolls barrels down hill, first to bottom wins. if it smashes out of race.

gnome throwing contests. or gnome punting. at long last.

pick up anything to use as weapons. including limbs.

see what im getting at? i have a TOP SECRET idea for a physix gun that turns whatever part you shoot at (leg,arm,chest) into another form - liquid - rock - ice - glass - smoke etc. imagine that for a gun ! oops i let it out.


oh, jakup - you are forgetting another thing - 3d tech.
it is advancing. 3d screens soon, - next start wars are going to be in 3d i heard?
and some people are patenting a tech that has a projector in the middle of a table that fires out 360 beams of light in a circular motion - making a 'soft-light-object' - but thats maybe a little while off.



yeah im excited. good times for us ahead!

Edge
09-10-05, 08:16 PM
For the X-fi, I'd have to say that any product from Creative is going to be yet another money-hole that doesn't deliver on what it should. Hell, my Vortex 2 STILL has better sound capabilities than any game I've played on my Audigy 2, and frankly the HRTF and sound processing on any Creative API is inferior to it. I miss the days of being able to hear things above me, or sounds actually reflecting off walls in real-time. If the X-fi delivers on what it promises, then it will probably end up being one small step closer to what we got out of the Vortex 2.

I think the glory days of PC gaming were between 1997 and 1999. Back then virtually everyone used the same platform (Win95/98), new technologies were exciting and offered features never heard before, and the games were spectacular (Half-life, System Shock 2, and Total Annihilation are some of my favorite games of all time). Now, it seems like you're espected to spend a thousand dollers on a computer upgrade every year or two, the OS of choice is bloated, and far more games seem to be have gameplay that's worse than games that came out years ago. Hell, it took 3 years and many videocard upgrades later before a 3d accelerated game could have water effects on the same level as a software-rendered game from 1999 (Outcast).

The lack of unified hardware is REALLY starting to become a burden on PC gaming, developers are getting to the point where they can't both support the low-end AND provide high-end features, and cutting off the low-end means killing their sales much of the time. After all, for both the AI and physics chips, developers not only have to design a basic gameplay system for those that don't have those things, but also work in game mechanics that WOULD take advantage of them for users that do own them. And they have to take into account that someone might have an AI chip but not a physics chip, or that a person with the physics chip wouldn't have the AI chip (which would be a particularly challenging scenario, since the new gameplay mechanics offered by advanced physics would probably require advanced AI to react to it).

I definately play PC games more than anything, yet strangely I find that lately the main games I've been playing on it are either based on 10-year old engines or have had the same gameplay mechanics as games from 2000.

jAkUp
09-10-05, 08:54 PM
The nVidia 6 series is a unified system. Even the 6200 supports SM3.0. I dunno what you are talking about not being unified if an $80 6200 supports all the features of its higher end brothers. Sounds unified to me.

Look back to the old days. How many different API's was there?? Opengl, glide, d3d, and I think PowerVR had one too. Developers had to support EVERY single one. Now we have direct3d. Sounds unified to me.

And how about soundcards in the old days? Every soundcard was different, and you had to select your soundcard and settings to get it to work properly. Remember that? Now we have directsound. Sounds unified to me.

Back then I remember some games having 3DNow features, or some having MMX features. And now? Its about the same. Sounds unified to me.

Everyone says that gaming now is more expensive than it used to be, its really not. I've been gaming for at least 10 years, and I can tell you its not more expensive. For a good gaming experience, I think its even cheaper. I remember back then just to play quake2 with all options maxed you need at least a top of the line voodoo2 at 1024x768.
And now? A 6600gt will play Doom3 perfectly at 1024x768 at 60fps. If you want the AA/AF, thats when it starts getting expensive.

jAkUp
09-10-05, 09:16 PM
*Who needs more useless physics puzzles in videogames? Stack the boxes, push the boxes. These things are better suited to monkeys in a zoo cage! :P

Imagine the possibilities of real time flowing water. I dunno about you guys, but physics is one of the recent gaming technologies that has impressed me. No longer can you use a soda can for cover. You have to rethink your strategies.

*The Pentium M is overrated. Its big, fast cache is what makes its performance. For the rest is just a normal Pentium 3 (with all the pros and cons of the p6 architecture) If AMD could use the same 12" wafer plants of Intel and produce enough processors with gargantuan L2 caches, the difference in performance would be even much more umiliating for Intel.

Ummm... ITS FAST!! Thats all that matters! It doesnt matter how they do it, its fast. And plus, cache has nothing to do with the speed of the CPU, look at the San Diego cores with the 1mb L2, the performance difference is very small. So what if its basically a p3? I tell you, if intel came out with a CPU based on the 486 that whipped the pants off a FX57, I sure as hell would buy it!

*Creative X-fi: if it wasn't for Creative and its monopoly we would have much better audio libraries now. Besides, I don't have enough space to have a full set of surround speakers nor an adeguate room for setting a up a virtual theatre with everything that follows. Just give me a DSP that recreates high fidelity surround sound for headphones! When it comes to headphones, most products on the market offer minimal support besides some lame "virtual surround" mode.

Well thats certainly not what all the reviews say, they say the headphone experience is absolutely amazing on the X-FI, it is able to recreate positional audio very well.

*Advanced mouse/keyboards, fancy joypads, etc... Just pricey useless devices. The best FPS player I knew (one ranked very high in the UT/Q3 ladder back in the days when these two games where rocking the boat) used to play with a cheap-ass keyboard + PS/2 mouse combo. He kept video detail to the minimum and music off in order not to be distracted. In the end it's all a matter of skills, not of hardware.

You obviously haven't used a good mouse/keyboard/mousepad. Its not about the skill completely, its about the feel. I just wouldn't be able to game with some old ball mouse, its just not responsive, and not smooth. Let me use this example:
Does a high performance steering wheel make you any better of a driver? Not really, but it sure feels nicer/smoother/more responsive.

Plus, the main reason I brought up the point is because there is an obvious market for it. Which means company's think there is enough profit in this stuff. Its good to see PC Gaming get some attention.

Sgt_Pitt
09-10-05, 09:32 PM
your also forgetting that the pc is an first choice for a stepping stone into the game design industry for alot of budding programmers and game designers


pc will never die

PSYCHODAD
09-10-05, 10:02 PM
jacKup--"LCD's finally with low response times, gaming keyboards, and the list goes on"

I just went from a Viewsonic 19" monitor to a 19" Hyundai LCD and I've been very happy with this choice.

Seems to me that some of the current generation of LCDs are quite adequate for gaming, so no need to wait for the future\ imo. :D

jAkUp
09-10-05, 10:08 PM
Well, what I meant is that we finally have LCD's with low response times :) As in, the last year :)

PikachuMan
09-10-05, 10:57 PM
Well, what I meant is that we finally have LCD's with low response times :) As in, the last year :)

That is lovely. The LCD I'm using has one nasty response time, it's great now that even the cheaper models won't have this horrid ghosting.

That's a nice list you have there, it's so tempting to go build a brand new system for those new technologies. Those consoles are cheap though.. :o

NaitoSan
09-10-05, 11:22 PM
I completely agree with you, jAkUp. :) I'm glad I'm still a PC gamer.

I recently got Dell's XPS Gen 2 laptop, ZOMG it's so sweet and fast. It's great for gaming at school, or whatever. I'm very much looking forward to the future on what games will bring. I'm currently studying at DigiPen in Redmond in Production Animation. I might be one of people who will bring kickass games and take advantage of certain features like HDR, SM4.0(if it's out at that time), PhysX, etc. :D

...if I do all homework and turn them in on time. :P

Drumphil
09-10-05, 11:29 PM
I thought this thread was going to be about overdone HDR and bloom effects.

Edge
09-10-05, 11:33 PM
The nVidia 6 series is a unified system. Even the 6200 supports SM3.0. I dunno what you are talking about not being unified if an $80 6200 supports all the features of its higher end brothers. Sounds unified to me.

Look back to the old days. How many different API's was there?? Opengl, glide, d3d, and I think PowerVR had one too. Developers had to support EVERY single one. Now we have direct3d. Sounds unified to me.

And how about soundcards in the old days? Every soundcard was different, and you had to select your soundcard and settings to get it to work properly. Remember that? Now we have directsound. Sounds unified to me.

Back then I remember some games having 3DNow features, or some having MMX features. And now? Its about the same. Sounds unified to me.

Ahh, but that's the thing: an $80 6200 supports the same features as a 6800ultra, but a $400 x850xt doesn't. Now, if a developer wanted to make a game for the "high-end" cards, how could they design it for SM3.0 when half of the high-end cards out there don't even support it? I honestly think the non-unified hardware issue from early on has come back even worse (btw, very few games supported OpenGL, D3D, AND Glide: most only had support for one or two). Should we add multi-core support? Should we add physics card support? Should we add AI card support? If we have an advanced physics system, will the AI be able to compensate for it without killing the performance without an AI card? If someone doesn't have the hardware to run our advanced lighting system, can we compensate for that without affecting gameplay, or should we cut off support for low-end hardware? Developer will have to look at all these issues, and many more, when designing their games now, and there's no way most developers are going to have enough resources to solve all these issues.

Everyone says that gaming now is more expensive than it used to be, its really not. I've been gaming for at least 10 years, and I can tell you its not more expensive. For a good gaming experience, I think its even cheaper. I remember back then just to play quake2 with all options maxed you need at least a top of the line voodoo2 at 1024x768.
And now? A 6600gt will play Doom3 perfectly at 1024x768 at 60fps. If you want the AA/AF, thats when it starts getting expensive.
Err, it's a HELL of a lot more expensive now than it was back then. I remember my friend getting a super beefed-up computer in late 1998 which was, in a word, godly, and it cost about $800. Now, we have $300 sound cards, $250 physics cards, AI cards, $600 videocards (with SLI for up to $1200 worth of videocards, no less), $1000 dual-core CPUs, etc. Back then, we had a damn hard time finding anything that even stressed my friend's top-of-the-line PC for at least a year, but now games like Everquest 2, F.E.A.R., hell even Thief 3 can't be run on a $200 videocard at anywhere near high settings, and we haven't even STARTED getting into games that use the physics or AI cards.

Well thats certainly not what all the reviews say, they say the headphone experience is absolutely amazing on the X-FI, it is able to recreate positional audio very well.
Making the best product is easy if there's no competition. Of course the X-fi is going to sound like the greatest thing ever when the ONLY thing to compare it to is Creative's LAST card. And even then, very few games will support it. Remember what I said about unified hardware? Some games either don't support EAX, or support it poorly. Some games don't even have surround sound support! So when the X-fi is released, is it even going to be worth it when many games either don't support it or only use a miniscule number of features on it? It's ridiculous that there's absolutely no standards for games to follow, and your experience with one on your hardware could be terrific, while for another that same hardware isn't taken advantage of at all. Every game SHOULD have surround sound support, every game SHOULD have at least environmental audio support (I think it's a crappy system, but since it's the standard, I'd expect it to be followed), yet a large amount of games don't even support those. Many games don't even support standard resolutions, if you have a 1280x1024 native LCD monitor, you're going to have trouble with games that only support 1280x960, or in some cases, 1024x768 MAX.

Imagine the possibilities of real time flowing water. I dunno about you guys, but physics is one of the recent gaming technologies that has impressed me. No longer can you use a soda can for cover. You have to rethink your strategies.
I do agree with this, physics are one of the things I'm looking forward to seeing more of in games. It certainly opens the door for many new gameplay mechanics (I've actually come up with a few interesting gameplay ideas involving physics myself). However, physics aren't really new: Trespasser had physics that were actually used for MORE things than modern games use them for when it was released back in 1998. It's just that now, we don't have nearly as many problems with them and they're refined to the point of where developers aren't scared to use them. I only hope that we won't be expected to buy $250 cards to take advantage of advanced physics in upcoming games.

SH64
09-10-05, 11:51 PM
Gotta agree except for the stinkin' Steam which dosent let me play the same game on 2 PCs at once ... its simply retard & i dont see this doing any good for the PC gaming future.
(edited).

Mr. Hunt
09-11-05, 12:03 AM
Yup... Steam sucks. It is not the future... I prefer to have a hard copy of my game I can install anytime I want WITHOUT needed internet access and then there is always the possibility of Steam just going "hmmm... I think I will delete your game for no reason"... I can't tell you how many times Steam wanted me to redownload CS:S because I "didn't have it"...

jAkUp
09-11-05, 12:59 AM
Yup... Steam sucks. It is not the future... I prefer to have a hard copy of my game I can install anytime I want WITHOUT needed internet access and then there is always the possibility of Steam just going "hmmm... I think I will delete your game for no reason"... I can't tell you how many times Steam wanted me to redownload CS:S because I "didn't have it"...

you can easily back those files up. Maybe not steam, but services similar to steam will probably be used more and more. When a developer can create a game without the help of a publisher, that is more cash in their pocket. Definetely extremely inviting for most developers.

SH64
09-11-05, 01:04 AM
Definetely extremely inviting for most developers.

Inventing for them ... but bad for us :thumbdwn:

jAkUp
09-11-05, 01:19 AM
Ahh, but that's the thing: an $80 6200 supports the same features as a 6800ultra, but a $400 x850xt doesn't. Now, if a developer wanted to make a game for the "high-end" cards, how could they design it for SM3.0 when half of the high-end cards out there don't even support it? I honestly think the non-unified hardware issue from early on has come back even worse (btw, very few games supported OpenGL, D3D, AND Glide: most only had support for one or two). Should we add multi-core support? Should we add physics card support? Should we add AI card support? If we have an advanced physics system, will the AI be able to compensate for it without killing the performance without an AI card? If someone doesn't have the hardware to run our advanced lighting system, can we compensate for that without affecting gameplay, or should we cut off support for low-end hardware? Developer will have to look at all these issues, and many more, when designing their games now, and there's no way most developers are going to have enough resources to solve all these issues.

And x850 is a last generation card! The voodoo2 didn't support 32bit color. The voodoo3 did. Difference? Last generation card.
Thief 3 runs fine on $200 cards! Like I said. If you want AA/AF you need to spend more money. Back in the older days, did you use AA/AF? NO. What suddenly makes you think you can use it now for the same amount of money? AA/AF is something seperate from standard graphical features.

I will use this comparision again. I used to play quakeII on my $350 Voodoo2 at 60fps with no AA/AF at 60fps.
Now? A 6600GT for $200 is more than enough for HL2 or Doom3 at 1024x768 with no AA/AF @ 60fps. If you want the higher resolutions, its gonna cost you. Hell, remember for the Voodoo2's, You needed to run 2 of them just to get 1024x768!

Also, many developers are licensing engines, rather than building them from scratch, so that means we will have better polished gameplay, along with all the nice graphical features in a vast majority of games. The UE3 engine supports just about everything. Look how many devs have licensed it. Thats a bunch of games with the same basic requirements.

Err, it's a HELL of a lot more expensive now than it was back then. I remember my friend getting a super beefed-up computer in late 1998 which was, in a word, godly, and it cost about $800. Now, we have $300 sound cards, $250 physics cards, AI cards, $600 videocards (with SLI for up to $1200 worth of videocards, no less), $1000 dual-core CPUs, etc. Back then, we had a damn hard time finding anything that even stressed my friend's top-of-the-line PC for at least a year, but now games like Everquest 2, F.E.A.R., hell even Thief 3 can't be run on a $200 videocard at anywhere near high settings, and we haven't even STARTED getting into games that use the physics or AI cards.

He obviously didn't get top of the line. I remember when a Pentium II was going for $650! Yes, just the CPU! Not to mention RAM costed and arm and a leg! Now? Ram is incredibly cheap, and CPU's well the top of the line is more expensive, but everything goes up in price.

As for FEAR, it runs great on a $200 video card. You just have to turn the options down. I mean, seriously, what in the hell would be the point in buying a $600 video card if a $200 ran it fine?

My point is, its much cheaper nowadays to build a mid-range to high-end gaming system, of course, the super high end stuff is expensive. But I could easily build a mid range system for $800.

Luxery cars keep getting more and more expensive as well.. why? They become more and more advanced, however, more and more decently powered cars are getting to the low price ranges. Its the same thing here.

jAkUp
09-11-05, 01:21 AM
Inventing for them ... but bad for us :thumbdwn:

I don't think its bad for us in the least. Like I said, we will get more creative games, and better games because of it. Truth is, a publisher will not sign a game they won't sell. The cost of development is much too high. So many creative games never see the light of day because they find no publisher that is willing to take a risk. Most PC Games now are FPS, Racing, and MMORPG's, reason is because those genres sell. Once you cut the publisher out, we will see more System Shocks, RPG's, Adventure Games, etc.

CaptNKILL
09-11-05, 01:30 AM
Psst... Voodoo 3 didnt support 32bit color... Voodoo4 and 5 were the first (and last) :D

But I agree on most of your points... I also agree on some of Edge's. I personally think PC gaming is doing really well right now. More and more people are getting into PC games and more and more PCs are getting capable of running them. Even the POS intel extreme graphics chips are getting to the point where they are capable of playing recent games (slowly).

Plus, we have a new Elder Scrolls game coming out... the last one had a big impact on console and PC gamers, so that alone will make the near future for PC gaming pretty good :)