The case for PC gaming graphics...

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The case for PC gaming graphics...

Postposted on Fri Oct 14, 2011 11:46 pm

Forgive me if this post seems a bit jaded. I have been an avid PC gamer since the Doom II days and became obsessed when OpenGL extensions were released for Quake. However, these days it seems there is little incentive to stick with it as consoles have almost caught up with PCs in terms of immersion, despite having no where near the memory bandwidth, floating point, pixel, texture or shader pushing power.

I don't believe living in a console port world is the sole culprit. Even though I did enjoy PC exclusives such as Crysis, Crysis Warhead and StarCraft II, there was nothing about them that seemed like they were too technologically advanced to be ported to Xbox360 or PS3. Yes, I do realize the textures are higher res and the polygon count are probably a bit beyond the reach of current gen consoles, but I'd wager it's probably not by much.

Look at it this way: I typically game at 720P. I see no reason to sacrifice high framerates for image quality when there is little to gain. Mostly, it's less jaggies, which can be fixed with antialiasing anyhow. I rarely see textures in even the most demanding PC games that get more detailed as resolution increases, rather they just get stretched.

My theory is until PC CPUs/GPUs can utilize raytracing efficiently or perhaps a raster/raytrace hybrid, PCs will have little headroom in immersion over consoles. Now, I'm not sure if we have capable hardware now or require something much more efficient, but I wish someone would try, damn it! :cry:
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Re: The case for PC gaming graphics...

Postposted on Sat Oct 15, 2011 12:05 am

I typically game at 2560x1600. It seems immersive to me.
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Re: The case for PC gaming graphics...

Postposted on Sat Oct 15, 2011 12:30 am

Not sure where you came from with that... but graphics on consoles don't look anywhere near as good as they do on the PC. They don't have the processing power to push physics calculations either (for what little physics are actually used in PC games). I don't think you can begin to put consoles in the same boat with PCs... smartphones, however, are catching up to consoles... isn't that sad?


On a side note, your post is sorta interesting. You seem to start off as if you're strongly sided against consolization and even 'jaded' in that fashion, yet it breaks down into 'consoles aren't that bad I actually game at low resolutions because I have cataracts' part towards the end.
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Re: The case for PC gaming graphics...

Postposted on Sat Oct 15, 2011 11:40 am

I guess if you're gaming at 1336x768 or lower, the case could be made that a console would look nearly as good. But I don't, and I find the lack of resolution and texture detail (I fully disagree with you on this one) quite distracting. But the real clincher is that far too many console games are 30FPS, or have trouble maintaing close to 60FPS, and that really throws me off. Add to that the usual lack of AA, and there you go.

So yeah, and this is not to say that consoles don't have their place (as the market has proven), that's perfectly cool, but I'd much rather have higher resolution, proper smoothness, usually higher texture detail, and anti-aliasing. Oh, and higher draw distances.

Don't let this be a knock on you either: if console graphics work out fine for you, then by all means, enjoy yourself. That's the whole point after all.
Last edited by morphine on Sat Oct 15, 2011 11:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The case for PC gaming graphics...

Postposted on Sat Oct 15, 2011 11:49 am

720P is rubbish resolution.
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Re: The case for PC gaming graphics...

Postposted on Tue Oct 18, 2011 1:37 am

I always use 2560x1600 graphics for my PC it seems so good.
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Re: The case for PC gaming graphics...

Postposted on Wed Oct 19, 2011 1:41 pm

PC's will always have superior customizability; the user can configure everything to fit his/her gaming needs. The limitation to 720p (which looks slightly bad on most monitors since no monitor works at that resolution), 30fps, gamepads, etc. simply don't provide many options to improve the experience. (i.e. users can't even favor, say, higher resolutions over antialiasing, much less have a choice on whether or not their graphics hardware is sorely outdated.) Not only are there no options on AA, there's almost never any AF used either despite the fact that it takes fewer graphics computing resources than other features.

Upon release, consoles are usually at the forefront of technology, with manufacturers often making large compromises to hardware profits for more powerful hardware. Unfortunately, they are also very inflexible; the same console can't be upgraded later and the games cannot be configured to run with different settings, so consoles will never have anywhere close to the same advantages as PC's. (At least not after a few years from their release.)
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Re: The case for PC gaming graphics...

Postposted on Wed Oct 19, 2011 2:02 pm

I think a great example is a game like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. It was the exact same game whether you played it on PC or consoles, but it was actually very different between the two.

The first big difference is resolution. It was done at 540p on consoles with an upconvert, while most PC gamers were probably playing it at 1080p. This means that PC gamers had four times as many pixels on the screen at a time.

The next big difference is control. The mouse and keyboard allow experienced players to be a lot more accurate. This changed the way the game played, making it less run and gun, and more tactical compared to the console counterpart.

The biggest difference in my opinion is the difference in audience. PC gamers own and use headsets. Even in a mainstream game like MW2, you still saw teams coordinating and communicating (especially in hardcore mode and search-and-destroy). On the console versions, every time you would hear someone speak you would end up muting them. It would either be a little kid swearing like a sailor or a person with a heavy southern accent swearing like a sailor.

I use MW2 as an example because there were no special modifications for the PC version to better take advantage of the platform's advantages. Even a straight port will play better on PC than on console. Ocassioinally, there are games that are actually made significantly worse when they are ported (The Force Unleashed comes to mind). These and console exclusives are the only reason that I own a console.
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Re: The case for PC gaming graphics...

Postposted on Wed Oct 19, 2011 2:55 pm

I just bought a PS3. Reason simply is that the release cycle of grade A PC games is too slow. Also imo, PC games are really starting to lack in the replayability department, which used to be a forte.

When it comes to graphics though, PC gaming is unbeatable. Crysis 2 maxed out is gorgeous. You can spend all day just looking at glass, water, and the end of your gun.
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Re: The case for PC gaming graphics...

Postposted on Wed Oct 19, 2011 3:56 pm

For me, "immersion" is a sense of fluidity and lag-free responsiveness.

The graphics could be wireframe, yet my imagination will fill in ALL of the gaps as long as the framerate is high and my input gives me instant feedback.

The same principle applies to cinema. Even when watching Avatar 3D on London's finest screen, I couldn't immerse myself in the lush, crisply rendered world be-ca-us-e it ju-dd-er-re-d al-on-g at tw-en-ty-fo-ur pa-th-et-ic fr-am-es pe-r se-co-nd.

I could tell what refresh rate a CRT monitor was running at, right up to about 100Hz. 24Hz JUST DOESN'T CUT IT.
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Re: The case for PC gaming graphics...

Postposted on Wed Oct 19, 2011 4:15 pm

Mouse + keyboard + >30fps graphics.
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Re: The case for PC gaming graphics...

Postposted on Wed Oct 19, 2011 4:17 pm

ultima_trev wrote:
Look at it this way: I typically game at 720P. I see no reason to sacrifice high framerates for image quality when there is little to gain. Mostly, it's less jaggies, which can be fixed with antialiasing anyhow. I rarely see textures in even the most demanding PC games that get more detailed as resolution increases, rather they just get stretched.


If you game at 1080p or above you CLEARLY see the difference between pc and console games, even for ports. I have a 1080p 60 inch plasma and the resolution most xbox games display in is just painful to look at when gaming. Assassins creed games look like muddy crap, so do the halo games, the list goes on. PS3 games fair allot better but at the end of the day when I bring my pc out and plug it in to play a action adventure game like arkham asylum it looks SO much better I simply can't believe it(and that is a near straight up console port) Playing pc exclusive games on my plasma with suround sound is simply amazing!!! Another area consoles really suffer in and part of this is the optimization for lower resolutions... DRAW IN! Every major console release save for uncharted 2 and a few others features major popin/draw distance problems. The creates major issues with things like sniping at great distance in halo, etc. Maybe I'm wierd but I notice how these technical limitations effect gameplay especially in MP shooters. Gears 2 was horrible for drawing and poping textures etc. I remember the goofy cinematic popins during mass effect 1 on xbox. The hardware limitations of consoles are an interesting thing. Sure the 360 with its 3 processors all hyper threaded was a beast for the first 6 months of launch no programmer could work with it, same for ps3. Now that the software development has caught up the hardware possibilities have expanded on pc to leave the consoles in the dust. I have all 3 consoles and a low end gaming rig, the low end gaming rig looks way better without even trying.
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Re: The case for PC gaming graphics...

Postposted on Wed Oct 19, 2011 6:22 pm

Consoles can and will catch up to PC graphics every couple years. Graphics aren't the issue, it's the community and customizability. Sure, PC hardware is powerful, but it's weak on optimizations, making it difficult to fully utilize.
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Re: The case for PC gaming graphics...

Postposted on Wed Oct 19, 2011 7:20 pm

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Last edited by clone on Tue Jan 14, 2014 12:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The case for PC gaming graphics...

Postposted on Fri Oct 21, 2011 1:40 pm

clone wrote:
I've been playing FreeSpace 2 the scp games lately, some of the campaigns have graphics fully updated to 2009 specs while others only 2001, I'm currently playing the Derelict campaign with 2001 graphics and while the ships look simple in comparison I'm equally immersed once I play.

it's only when I sit back and compare that I focus on it.

God i miss space sims. There was some rumors about a Freespace 3 but doesn't seem like that's going to happen. I think a played freespace 2 dozens of times from the release date until about a year ago when I played it through again.

Right now I'm playing vindictus, a free action rpg... and even though the beginning missions are easy and not too immersive, when you get to level 60+ and fight the gigantic bosses that have insanely fast attacks... you are totally locked on that screen for the duration of the boss fight because even looking away for a second could mean death. This is the newest content that was just released in NA servers http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNMek0cXmnE A lot of times it's just utter chaos.

I think immersion depends on the person too. Like for me RTS games like star craft and a lot of traditional online MMO's like WoW fail to create that immersion for me and I get easily distracted or bored. Dues Ex; Human Revolution had bouts of total immersion but overall it didn't do it for me. I really like games that almost put you into the world like Oblivion and Fallout 3 really had a lot of "immersion" value for me as well as older games like system shock 2 which scared the heck out of me. But then again other games like FEAR and crysis bored me to tears.

But yea, I also totally agree with the idea that it's the game-person dynamic the causes the immersion rather than the graphics.

I am hoping that BF3 will have the magic combination of great immersion with great graphics.
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Re: The case for PC gaming graphics...

Postposted on Fri Oct 21, 2011 5:16 pm

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Last edited by clone on Tue Jan 14, 2014 12:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The case for PC gaming graphics...

Postposted on Fri Oct 21, 2011 7:47 pm

I'd love to go back and play me some good Freespace/Freespace 2. Also had the retail add-on packs.

I'd pay good money for a third. My Saitek Cyborg has been rather lonely as of late.

While we're at it, somebody bring back Crimson Skies to the PC, with an online multiplayer system that doesn't use the Windows Gaming Zone. Man, I miss flying with my virtual squadron mates (had friends from around the globe), doing voice chatter with Battlecom or Roger Wilco for voice chatter.

It wasn't compatible with Windows 2000/XP, so it was gone, and the Zone sucked, though we didn't care because the game was just too much fun.

P.S. I game at 1920 x 1200 and I like it like that.
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Re: The case for PC gaming graphics...

Postposted on Fri Oct 21, 2011 8:33 pm

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Last edited by clone on Tue Jan 14, 2014 12:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The case for PC gaming graphics...

Postposted on Sat Oct 22, 2011 11:51 am

I have not touched my Xbox 360 since I bought new PC. PC gaming is by leaps and bounds superior.
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