If you were one of many who picked up id Software‘s latest game, RAGE, you were loathe to discover that there were more than a few problems and glitches with the graphics – going so far as to even crash the game sometimes.
John Camack, creator of id Tech 5, used in RAGE has responded to the question of why the PC launch of the title has done so badly in comparison to the console iterations.
Right now, the first couple of fixes have been released for the PC edition of RAGE. However, that doesn’t really excuse id in the eyes of gamers who were frustrated that the company released a title that ran so badly. John Carmack himself went so far to call the launch a “cluster****.” For those wondering why the PC version of RAGE had done so poorly – the problem was the result of relying on the wrong video driver, used to interface ATI and Nvidia graphics cards, at shipping.
Keep in mind that RAGE was also built with consoles in mind, and actually consoles were the forefront of this new IP from id Software. Carmack’s positive opinion regarding consoles has been documented, but when he spoke to Kotaku, he solidified his stand point.
“We do not see the PC as the leading platform for games. That statement will enrage some people, but it is hard to characterize it otherwise; both console versions will have larger audiences than the PC version. A high end PC is nearly 10 times as powerful as a console, and we could unquestionably provide a better experience if we chose that as our design point and we were able to expend the same amount of resources on it.
Nowadays most of the quality of a game comes from the development effort put into it, not the technology it runs on. A game built with a tenth the resources on a platform 10 times as powerful would be an inferior product in almost all cases.”
John Carmack’s been a veteran of the gaming industry for quite a while, as has everyone at id Software, who have been working together since the days of Wolfenstein 3D. Noticing the trend in where the gaming demographic is going is an important part of ensuring your company does well, when it comes to maximizing sales, but PC gamers may feel like they were caught in a crossfire.
On the other side of the popular PC developing houses, Valve’s Gabe Newell, when he’s not busy teasing people about Half-Life 2: Episode 3‘s release date in poetic forms, is championing the PC market with his company’s continued support – especially with the leading online content delivery service, Steam. Why all the love from Newell regarding PC gaming? Because the PC is so customizable.
“People like their PCs. There are huge numbers of them and each person gets to have the one that they like rather than the one that someone else has defined for them.
“There were 350 million PCs sold last year so the economies of scale are tremendous so you get great value for money.”
PC and console gaming are going to be apples and oranges for a while yet. While some people absolutely prefer to play their games on PC, you’ll find a similar amount of people wanting to play their games on console. It’s still the same market – but with two different audiences that need to be satisfied. As evidenced by Carmack’s statement, it can be very difficult to please everyone across the board, especially when you want to deliver on promises of high caliber graphics.
RAGE is available now for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.
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