What would you say if Crytek's CEO told you the next installment in the Crysis series will run well with the detail turned up on a $450 PC? Surprisingly enough, that's pretty much what Cevat Yerli has claimed in an interview with German site PC Games. Roughly translated using my clunky German skills, Yerli's statement reads:
We wanted players not to be afraid of being unable to play our product. Warhead is a game everyone can play. It will be playable on a €400 PC—and at the "High" detail setting. The game will run at a very good frame rate, I think 30 to 35 FPS on average. . . . That was already partially possible with Crysis. But if you had a poorly configured €2,000 PC, it lost against a better-configured €600-700 PC. That means some people had €2,000-3,000 invested in the wrong configuration. . . . To a certain degree, these optimizations could be patched into Crysis. But that will take a lot of time, because the optimizations go quite far. We are currently getting started with this, but we want to finish Warhead first.
€400 actually works out to $625 at the current exchange rate, but the ~$450 figure I get based on the Economist's Big Mac index is more appropriate here. In that price range, AMD's Radeon HD 3850 is probably as good as it gets, and we only squeezed 25 FPS out of that card in our Crysis tests at 1280 x 800 with high in-game detail levels. If Yerli's predictions come true, eye candy in Crytek's next game could indeed get a whole lot cheaper. (Thanks to Shacknews for the tip.)