22 August 2007

The March of Progress


I recently took part in the Valve's Steam Summary which basically just posts your system information to Valve. They then post that online which is probably a good cross section of the slightly higher end of the game playing market (I expect Steam users are probably a little bit more hardcore gamers than a standard cross-section). Looking at the results it appears that my machine is at the lower end to mid end of the spec (there are a few people who appear to be running Steam on toasters). One of the reasons that I love consoles is the lack of upgrade cycle (well there is an upgrade cycle for a new console but it is a much slower cycle). However the fact that I do some development means I still want PC games that have editors rather than their console variants and the fab thing about upgrading your PC is suddenly a bunch of your games look better (I'd love to run Company of Heroes at full graphic settings).

I gave Bioshock's demo a go on my 360 and then my PC and... well lets just say I'm going for the 360 version. I suspected as much when my machine just hit minimum specs for the game and Rainbow Six Vegas (another Unreal3 game) doesn't run great either. A while back Kotaku posted the system specs for Stranglehold which, among other crazy specs, required 2GB of RAM. I'm already planning on going for the PS3 version but looking at the Steam survey (at the time of writing) 4,650 out of 1,092,762 have 2GB or more of RAM. That's less than half a percent, it's not exactly a storming market, is it? There is something to be said about it not mattering how good your game looks or plays if no one can actually play it.

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