The Big Picture?
I am writing in reference to the current issue of PC Gamer Letter from the readers, specifically, the excellent letter titled “Completely scalable” from “Gumption”.
The letter suggested that game developers seem to be staying away from the necessity of high-end hardware in favor of pushing the limits of existing, less powerful hardware that is more easily affordable.
While Adam Oxford (PC Gaming Editor) consistently bemoans the fact that he is relegated to the same tired, mid-level PC build, month after month. Obviously, Adam is not in charge as I am sure that he would produce at least a few high-end builds that would make anyone envious.
PCG Editor answered “Gumptions” letter with “Would that be so terrible”. “There’s a lot to be said for working within limitations…”.
Really? Isn’t that what console manufactures are doing, creating a more or less level playing field with everyone using the same hardware?
Could politics be involved? PC Gamer is owned by “Future US, Inc.” who also publishes the “Official Xbox Magazine”, “Playstation: The Official Magazine”, “Nintendo Power”, and others.
Could PCG be seen as promoting low-end, to mid-level PC rigs so as not to offend its sister console magazines?
I have been a PC gamer for years and at one time subscribed to several PC Gaming magazines. Sadly, all but one is gone.
I am interested in acquiring better hardware that can produce an edge over console gamers, especially in games like BF3. I would think that many “PC Gamer” feel similarly. It would be nice if PC Gamer actually supported the hardware side of PC Gaming rather than a “one size fits all” philosophy.
I'm not sure it would be to appease the sister magazines, possibly the big publishing houses (not that that's a nice insinuation).
By the by, it's great that games work within limitations on low to mid end machines but I agree that it would be much better for them to be scalable to work on much higher end machines too, which would make hardware like that a much more appealing prospect (probably for me if I get a windfall or something) and inject more money into the industry as a whole.
Sorry for waffling.
to be fair the power rigs you are talking about just aren't needed and by the time they are it#s outdated and needs replacing anyway.
games like movies are a entertainment media driven by sales, now if they are to make a game that will only run on the top 5%'s PC's even if they please everyone (will never happen) they are selling to a really tiny market and the majority of games would make a loss and then the firms don't have money to make the next game.
on the other hand if they aim it at the hardware 80% of PC gamers have they then have a massive open market so even if half the people dont like it you still going to see a lot higher sales than you would from that top 5%.
as long as something is consumer driven it will always cater to the masses, you can be a special little snow flake all you want, with your rig you probably paid way too much for, but the fact is the market is aimed at the majority and the top end PC hardware market isn't the majority it's a very small minority. look at a steam hardware survey and you will see how true this actually is.
so if you can find a way for a games firm to make money and be profitable without aiming at the majority the mid range PC is always going to be the target, but seriously for gaming a dual core i3 in most cases can go toe to toe with a 8core chip, it's just shows how pointless a lot of these upgrades are if you are just gaming.
Personal hat well and truly on here, not intentionally speaking for anyone or anything but myself.
I don't think anyone is implying that high end stuff isn't a good thing from time to time, but the implication that allowing more people to get into PC gaming is somehow a bad thing.
The PC Gamer Rig has never been about making the most top of the range PC with the newest components, but a rig that provides the best value for money with performance ratio possible. So not necessarily the cheapest stuff, but not necessarily the most expensive for the sake of it either. It's about making a good high-end rig within what's roughly considered a reasonable budget for most readers that will plough through the games that everyone's currently playing and will be playing in the immediate future.
I believe Adam's recent bemoaning was more about how the "happy medium" components that the rig deals with hasn't moved much at all and not the rig itself. It's all well and good speccing up a computer with the latest top of the range gear, but if only 1% of the readers could afford it, it's hardly going to be providing practical advice- which is the main point of the PC Gamer Rig. Lately the very top stuff hasn't particularly come down in price and the stuff releasing at the same price hasn't gotten any better than what's already in there. This relative stagnation he mentioned was exactly why this month he decided to show off what can be achieved from a small form factor case. He may indeed decide to do ultimate top of the range build at some point for the same reason. I'm fairly certain he's not bemoaning being disallowed to build rigs due to editorial pressures, it's because at the time of writing, any changes aren't significant or relevant enough to provide useful, practical advice.
Top of the range stuff still gets reviewed in the hardware tests - including high end rigs - and believe me when I say pretty much almost everything in the last three years appearing in the hardware section more than likely outperforms the consoles in at the very least one aspect, making accusations of appeasing to the consoles laughable. I don't think being positive about the possibility for lots of people to enjoy PC gaming in addition to celebrating top end PC hardware- are necessarily mutually exclusive from one another at all.
“Special little snowflake”, isn’t that precious.
I hope you are not piqued by the notion that I may have spent more on a gaming rig than the cost of several semi -trailers of ”Ramen noodles”.
Frankly, I enjoy gaming on a more upscale PC. I haven’t always been able to afford a high-end rig, so I can really appreciate the stability, superior frame rates, and the extraordinary 2560X1600 resolution that comes with a boutique gaming machine. If I had to go back to a smaller monitor, it’d be like looking through a peephole.
Traditionally I have upgraded every 18 to 24 months. And in this regard, I hope that graphic card and CPU manufactures continue to push boundaries. This has always made their second tier cards more affordable (following the release of the next generation card).
To me, a PC Gaming magazine has an obligation to continue to support the hobby at all levels. I can get reviews on games anywhere. If I’m going to continue to support PC Gamer with my subscription then I expect the magazine to review all the new peripherals (including high-end monitors) and how these “gee-wiz” components can make the game more appealing and enjoyable.
Seriously, PC Gamer has done the $1,200 gaming rig to death. I get it already. High-end gaming rigs have nothing to do with bragging rights, but have everything to do with displaying and providing the gamer the opportunity to play the game in the best possible way.
As to your movie reference, and following your logic (one size fits all) why is it that almost all of the biggest movies offer a 3D version? Some folks (the other little snowflakes) are willing to spend a little more for the big leather seats and the more engrossing and pleasurable 3D viewing experience.
I'm really not seeing the conspiracy here. I thought what Adam Oxford was saying made perfect sense. Rather than programming games that won't run properly on current hardware, it makes more sense to create games with scaleable options that everyone can play. If anything it's a cry out against consoles, given that there are no graphics options for them whatsoever.
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