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schoolslave

Does Crytek's Engine suck?

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I agree with most of the things in your rant angry. But the problem is that we are not getting more efficient at what we do. And, limiting the subject to computers or even games for that matter, you can understand the complexities once you break the game down. I mean, think about it. We see a bush in Crysis, swaying in the wind. Your computer has to go through several layers of processing to get that tree down to binary code; your graphics card has to build a three dimensional scenery right before your eyes and it has to rebuild that exact same scenery (even if nothing has changed) over thirty times a second. A second. Let’s just focus on the texture of a game. Say each pixel is brought on the screen with a byte of code, 8 digits of binary information. At a gamers resolution (1900x1200) that is 2.2 million bytes, or 2.2 megabytes of data, just for one frame of texture. now, let’s not mention the fact that your processor and graphics card have to work in tandem in order to build several million lines of code to create the physics of each strand of grass as well as build your first person viewpoint in a three dimensional world; lets also forget the fact that you must translate this code through several languages, the operating system and its kernel, and down to the binary stages.

 

Now, I don’t know exactly how games work and exactly the coding procedure that is used to run them, but I do know that the way we build programs and games right now won’t cut it in the future. The only reason we are making faster processors, faster graphics cards, higher wattage power supplies, is because it is inefficient. We have built and built and built our programs on top of one another over the past few decades. What would help all industries would to be to focus on efficiency of the software as well as the efficiency of the hardware. I mean, I completely understand that a game would need more power to run than Windows 3.1 I mean after all, the ending credits to Crysis probably produces more code than the entire windows 3 operating system. But instead of coders telling the computer to calculate what 2+2 equals every five lines, why not just tell the computer to calculate it and remember that it equals 4 until it isn’t needed anymore?

 

This is why I hate vista.

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I agree with most of the things in your rant angry. But the problem is that we are not getting more efficient at what we do. And, limiting the subject to computers or even games for that matter, you can understand the complexities once you break the game down. I mean, think about it. We see a bush in Crysis, swaying in the wind. Your computer has to go through several layers of processing to get that tree down to binary code; your graphics card has to build a three dimensional scenery right before your eyes and it has to rebuild that exact same scenery (even if nothing has changed) over thirty times a second. A second. Let’s just focus on the texture of a game. Say each pixel is brought on the screen with a byte of code, 8 digits of binary information. At a gamers resolution (1900x1200) that is 2.2 million bytes, or 2.2 megabytes of data, just for one frame of texture. now, let’s not mention the fact that your processor and graphics card have to work in tandem in order to build several million lines of code to create the physics of each strand of grass as well as build your first person viewpoint in a three dimensional world; lets also forget the fact that you must translate this code through several languages, the operating system and its kernel, and down to the binary stages.

 

Now, I don’t know exactly how games work and exactly the coding procedure that is used to run them, but I do know that the way we build programs and games right now won’t cut it in the future. The only reason we are making faster processors, faster graphics cards, higher wattage power supplies, is because it is inefficient. We have built and built and built our programs on top of one another over the past few decades. What would help all industries would to be to focus on efficiency of the software as well as the efficiency of the hardware. I mean, I completely understand that a game would need more power to run than Windows 3.1 I mean after all, the ending credits to Crysis probably produces more code than the entire windows 3 operating system. But instead of coders telling the computer to calculate what 2+2 equals every five lines, why not just tell the computer to calculate it and remember that it equals 4 until it isn’t needed anymore?

 

This is why I hate vista.

 

it's really a moot point. What is Bill Gates' most famous quote?

 

"no one would ever need a personal computer"

 

remember each time we heard about some nonsense or other like "1MB RAM" or "60Mhz cpu" and we thought "hahahahahahah WHAT A BUNCH OF IDIOTS!!! WE'LL NEVER NEED THAT!".

 

Efficiency is always a factor, but it is always factored out of the equation at some point.

 

ie: multi-core cpu's came about and guys like the whiner at Valve claimed "boo hoo we don't need multi-core and besides, multi-threaded is too complicated!!! boo hoo!!!"

 

and guess what?

 

The reality is, multi-threaded is the next step in the evolution of computers (games in this scenario) to factor out the efficiency...factor lol. Games require more and more and more mhz to get more and more and more framerate.

 

so the hardware switches track and now gives you multiple threads within the cpu AND gpu (sli, crossfire), and now we are limited by the software.

 

In a couple of years, we'll be at a different junction, and instead of throwing more cores at it, hardware will have to approach it yet again in a different way.

 

It's just how it is. Regardless of how complex software (games) get, there comes a point in the evolution of technology where the hardware goes into a new phase and is much more powerful than the software being run on it. Then the software catches up and uses every single ounce of performance/power from the hardware, and so on and so on and scooby-dooby-doo-on.

 

it's the cycle, and it will always be a cycle.

 

what happened when cavemen needed more warmth? They learned how to harness fire. That solved the cold, but what about the rain and the snow? They started building shelters instead of caves because caves are not mobile. Now you've got shelters, but eventually that ties you to the ground and you can't go moving 1,000+ people every couple of months, so you come up with a solution, you start growing your food as well as breeding animals for food (and using them to help you grow food).

 

Ok so that problem is solved, but now you got to feed a LOT of people, and a couple dudes plowing the field by ox is just getting too inefficient. So you come up with a plow that can do multiple rows at once and only requires more oxen. But then at some point, you can only have so many oxen pulling something at once and building a plow that can do 400 rows at once by having 200 oxen drag it around...just isn't efficient.

 

So you improvise or invent once again, and take an existing technology like gasoline or steam engines, and build a mechanical powered plow yay! Now it's efficient again!

 

I could probably give you 100 more examples of how this 'cycle' works for just about everything that mankind wants to solve/resolve ;)

 

Humans are only limited by their imagination and intelligence. Nothing else limits us.

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I think we are all in agreement that graphics don't make a good video game so I see no reason to beat a dead horse.

 

I need to clarify what I meant by "crash". No, the video game industry will never disappear in total and everyone will be out of a job. Video games are here to stay. Thats a fact. A housing market crash doesn't means that everyone is now living in the streets thereafter. My apologies if this was not clear. But there is no way it can keep going on forever like it is right now, by promising a new console every 3-5 years that can render graphics in (x+1) improvements and everyone is going to keep on buying it in increasing quantities.

 

Microsoft and Sony cut each others throats, lose billions for every console they release every three years. Pfff, big deal you say, Microsoft and Sony have lots of money, who cares? Their shareholders do. Pretty soon they're gonna start asking why Nintendo can turn a profit and you clowns can't at video games. And the answer "But our consoles can render noise hair at 10000000fps!" won't cut the mustard for the next 30 years.

 

You cite the fact that the video game industry is bigger than the movie industry in dollars and it is also younger so its continued growth for years is inevitable. I have several issues with that. First off, the video game industry considers all consoles / hardware (at $400-$600 a pop + accessories) as part of their revenue figures. The movie industry considers box office gross, movie rentals/sales and associated industries only (sue me if I missed a key subcategory here).

 

If the movie industry considered all necessary hardware to play it at home in that figure (a very convincing argument could be made for it) like big screen televisions, DVD players, home theater components, surround sound speakers, home theater installation / support the number would either beat or close the gap substantially. To be fair, a lot of this revenue could also go towards the video game industry, because my big screen LCD purchase was primarily focused around it doubling as a computer monitor.

 

I also disagree the movie industry began in the 1920's. The human interest in storytelling and drama FAR predates the 1920's and is a naturally occurring phenomenon in all human societies since time began. Movies, TV, motion pictures of any sort are merely an evolved form of this oldest form of storytelling and dramatic form. It has yet to be proved that imitating Les Claypool and rocking out to Guitar Heroes with your buddy will become a permanent part of the human psyche, but I could be wrong. Again to be fair, video games are also using storytelling to sell as well. Also if Hollywood pulled their heads out of their asses and made movies that people actually wanted to see more often, their numbers would grow exponentially, but thats another story altogether.

 

Also, I would consider TV to be part of the movie industry in that it more closely follows the human dramatic form than video games. And there is no doubt whatsoever as to what is or will forever be a larger industry, TV+Movies or video games. Why? Following your deeply cynical view of human beings in general (i.e., stupid monkeys) they are also lazy monkeys. And for vast swaths of these lazy monkeys, no video game will ever substitute for cuddling up on their couches with their loved ones and being mindlessly entertained by TV or Movies that require no interaction / effort whatsoever when they get off work. Sure YOU and I may play vids all the time, but I was perfectly clear in my earlier comment that the people like you and I who superclock $160 CPU's to NASA speeds are a fringe and hardcore segment of the video game market.

 

You also admit that Sony and Microsoft is heavily subsidizing the "more graphics power = more sales" growth of the video game industry at the same time because they have lots of money. Well that REAL money is coming from sources outside the video game industry (MS Office, Alarm Clock Radios, etc.) so its not a good indicator of the long term health of the industry. I'm sure RIM could afford to give every human being on the planet a pink phone for a $1 and unlimited calling for $5 , but I would be hesitant to call this new growth of the pink phone market an indicator of its long term health.

 

Ah, you say, they make the money on the games! But that comes back to my whole argument that if you're a game maker in the next 2-3 years, are you going to invest the millions in re-inventing the wheel by creating a whole new game engine to render characters nose-hairs following some Microsoft / Sony . contest for market share? Or are you going to use a very good and realistic game engine to create a fun and innovative game that doesn't revolve around how many polygons it calculates? Nintendo gambled the Wii on the latter and thats why it makes money and Microsoft and Sony lose money catering to people like the readers of this forum and high school children who are not indicative of the video game market at large. And as long as Sony and Microsoft continue this trend of beating each others hardware, Nintendo will be laughing all the way to the bank.

 

My whole point of my earlier comments that caused issues was this:

 

(1) How much more can graphics get better compared to Crysis and Unreal3 on full DX10 settings? I am sure it CAN get better but it will be incrementally smaller and smaller and most likely not worth the effort of coders. Crytek and UT3 will not be here in 3 years thats for damn sure. The real breakthroughs in video games will be in new and better AI and games with hordes of bad guys working together, etc. The graphics requirements will require new and better graphics cards for sure, but because they have to render MORE objects, not just the same objects in increasing and stupid detail. That was my point in my" two years from now " comment. Will grass on Unreal 2k20 look THAT much better than the grass on Crysis?? Whats the point? Games that innovate will sell much more than pretty games in the years to come. Developers will learn this or go bankrupt.

 

(2) The Western world with all the disposable income you mention is getting smaller and smaller. There is no more certain truth in the universe than demography. If you want a million 20 year old video game consumers 20 years from now, you better have a million babies today. Currently its not happening. Check some unbiased stats on the birthrates of core video game markets like Europe, Japan and China. In fact, don't. Enjoy your hair. World population growth is primarily concentrated in poor and Islamic parts of the world. Unless the Hadith starts allowing CPU overclocking and peasant farmers in India, Africa and Peru start deciding to blow $600 of their cash on Sony's new PS16 that can render birdcrap on a cars window, I don't see big headway into this market. The rich market is getting old and unlike you and Branjo, a lot of them simply stopped playing games because they don't have the time, not the social acceptance of it. And there is increasingly fewer and fewer people being born to replace them. Sure you may turn some adults onto gaming but are they lifelong consumers Angry? Next 20 years they're gonna buy EVERY console released at $300-400? Or somebody who sucked at video games because of poor manual dexterity saw guitar heroes and started playing it is going to stick with the game for the next 20 years? Or get bored with it and be a sporadic customer. That was my demographics comment.

 

PS: I spend overall less on vids in my late twenties than I did when I was in high school and college. Its not disposable income. Its lack of time and increasing interest in other parts of my life like work and family. But I guess its just me.

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My whole point of my earlier comments that caused issues was this:

 

(1) How much more can graphics get better compared to Crysis and Unreal3 on full DX10 settings? I am sure it CAN get better but it will be incrementally smaller and smaller and most likely not worth the effort of coders. Crytek and UT3 will not be here in 3 years thats for damn sure. The real breakthroughs in video games will be in new and better AI and games with hordes of bad guys working together, etc. The graphics requirements will require new and better graphics cards for sure, but because they have to render MORE objects, not just the same objects in increasing and stupid detail. That was my point in my" two years from now " comment. Will grass on Unreal 2k20 look THAT much better than the grass on Crysis?? Whats the point? Games that innovate will sell much more than pretty games in the years to come. Developers will learn this or go bankrupt.

 

how much better could we imagine tv getting 40 years ago? 30? 20? 10? 10 years in the future? 20? 30? 40?

 

that's the answer to that question

 

(2) The Western world with all the disposable income you mention is getting smaller and smaller. There is no more certain truth in the universe than demography. If you want a million 20 year old video game consumers 20 years from now, you better have a million babies today. Currently its not happening. Check some unbiased stats on the birthrates of core video game markets like Europe, Japan and China. In fact, don't. Enjoy your hair. World population growth is primarily concentrated in poor and Islamic parts of the world. Unless the Hadith starts allowing CPU overclocking and peasant farmers in India, Africa and Peru start deciding to blow $600 of their cash on Sony's new PS16 that can render birdcrap on a cars window, I don't see big headway into this market. The rich market is getting old and unlike you and Branjo, a lot of them simply stopped playing games because they don't have the time, not the social acceptance of it. And there is increasingly fewer and fewer people being born to replace them. Sure you may turn some adults onto gaming but are they lifelong consumers Angry? Next 20 years they're gonna buy EVERY console released at $300-400? Or somebody who sucked at video games because of poor manual dexterity saw guitar heroes and started playing it is going to stick with the game for the next 20 years? Or get bored with it and be a sporadic customer. That was my demographics comment.

 

no, a country like China is poised to be the #1 economy in the world for a long time pretty soon, sans any crashes/revolutions there (if there's a revolution, they might actually get there quicker and stay longer).

 

China has about 1.2 or 1.4 billion people, with around 300+ million already entering "middle class", which is almost more than our entire country (USA).

 

India has over a billion people, and they are quickly moving more and more into the middle class over there (think about the jobs they are getting outsourced to them, not to mention the heavy investment from western firms knowing there are 1+ billion potential customers to tap into...poor now, but if the west keeps investing like we did in China by way of "cheap labor" and "cheap technical skills" then those that are doing the labor and tech are going to hit India's middle class.

 

Middle class and above has a LOT of purchasing power. Even the not-so-middle-class has purchasing power...basically all but the poorest.

 

Forget Islam and their billion. China and India make up over 2 billion potential consumers.

 

Now, that's just simple economics if you pay attention to the world instead of just your town or your country.

 

Sure you may turn some adults onto gaming but are they lifelong consumers Angry?

 

they are after they get involved with it. More importantly, whether they are lifelong customers or not, their children will be. EVERYONE'S children will be.

 

Why?

 

Because we live in a technological world now. 3rd world countries will always be there to kick around, but China, India, EU, Russia, North America, Brazil, Japan, southeast Asia, Australia, etc...that's pretty much the majority chunk of population on the planet, and all of them are growing up with more and more technology becoming a bigger and bigger part of their lives.

 

Who would have imagined 20 years ago China would have as many people hitting middle class and getting spending power as we have citizens in the USA? No one except the shrewdest of economist with crazy computer models.

 

Who would have imagined 20 years ago India would be getting the same kind of boost to their economy as China is getting, except the wages are usually higher in India when it comes to skilled technical work (though not even close to what even low-wage Americans work, but that is unimportant because in India, it's considered middle-class wages, which gives them purchasing power within their own country, which in turn drives the entire country's economy, which in turn gives the country enormous economic leverage as corporations, including game developers and distributors and hardware mfg's etc, move in to claim new territory, and make sales to new customers).

 

Here again, you have to have a world view, not a limited view of the "western world" because the "western world" will not be the same kind of economic powerhouse dominators that they have been since pre-WW2. Sure the American and Canadian and Japanese economies will be strong, some of the strongest in the world. The EU is actually poised to surpass all but China last I heard. But other than that, the big (and new) players are still going to be China and India, and below them a host of other nations that are growing economically, which means they can afford to bring everyday tech to their country and most especially their families.

 

That's getting into a groove, and when you get into a groove, things start to happen. Dell starts selling more than just an occasional desktop to people in Brazil because Brazilians have a growing economy (yes, there is still a LOT of poverty there, but hell, there's too much poverty in our own country if you ask me, it's just not as proportionate). So Dell says hrmm...we see a lot of potential growth here in Brazil, let's move a mfg facility here to cut costs for them, so they can afford to buy more, in turn allowing us to sell cheaper because we can now buy in even larger bulk from AMD, Intel, etc to satisfy the customer demand.

 

So now Dell opens a factory in Brazil, and starts paying a number of workers better-than-average wages to work there. This in turn is like a ripple in a pond, how it spreads out. Wealth of this type is always like a ripple in pond, spreading out, touching many layers. Now all these families have a bit more economic power and can buy nicer things, having more 'disposable' income. So to satisfy this need to spend the disposable income, other business start to spring up.

 

New housing divisions going up to satisfy the need from workers who can afford it? Got to have gas/ethanol stations to fuel their vehicles, grocery stores/markets to fill their food orders, restaurants and bars and country clubs and this and that and the other.

 

WTF does this have to do with video games? It all comes from economic power, and there are billions of untapped potential customers, and big numbers are gaining more and more economic (spending) power.

 

That in itself takes care of the customer base WITHOUT even having to delve into USA, Japan (who, by the way, are gamers for life at almost ALL ages as a society that eats, sleeps, and breathes technology...), EU, Russia (who is slowly but surely getting more spending power, but slower more than surer at the moment lol), whoever else that are already established customers.

 

So game companies are still able to expand to gather up more customers here in USA, Japan, EU, etc just by the fact that gaming, as popular as it is, still hasn't completely saturated the market. Gamers in USA aren't in the same league as VCR's and CD players yet. I'd normally say dvd players, but I think last I read about, DVD players (standard, not the new HD/BR ones) were at about a 75% saturation point. Even going by that, you still have 25% of about a billion combined potential customers in just USA, EU, Russia, Japan to still saturate your product to.

 

Birth rates are a moot point. The planet's birth rate is going up, regardless of whether teh EU is at an almost zero percent growth rate, regardless of whether Japan is in an actual decline with their birth rates, etc. Statistics like birth rates take generations to increase or decrease the line on a graph/chart.

 

Statistics like what is happening in China with thousands of Chinese citizens everyday being welcomed into the lower-to-middle classes when it comes to spending power are statistics that make the big jumps on those graphs/charts.

 

So now you have about a quarter of a billion potential customers with definite disposable income in "the west", and possibly 2.5 billion potential customers in just China/India in varying states of economic strength.

 

Are you still thinking that the game industry doesn't have a huge pool of customers that they still haven't tapped into?

 

 

Now let's focus on another bit

 

Will grass on Unreal 2k20 look THAT much better than the grass on Crysis?? Whats the point? Games that innovate will sell much more than pretty games in the years to come. Developers will learn this or go bankrupt.

 

Yes. It will. It's natural progression, evolution, whatever. Do games look better or worse than 2 years ago? Do games 2 years ago look better or worse than those 4 years before them?

 

The point? The point is there is no point as you are thinking. The point of game developers is to make a product that looks good, plays good, and sells good. If Crysis4 uses 200,000 polygons to render a single tree, this spurs the guys working on Unreal6 to use 400,000 polygons to render a single tree. Then Id sees this and says hey man, we used 500,000 polys for a SINGLE BRANCH!

 

The innovation then comes like it did with 3d bump-mapping, per-pixel lighting, etc. Instead of drawing more polygons, you innovate new graphics "tricks" to enhance visuals without requiring an entire room full of SGI workstations to draw those 500k polys on a branch and then texture it to look real without using polys for detail, as well as lighting to give it a more life-like effect without being inefficient.

 

If you step back for a second and look at where game development started, and what game developers and hardware mfg's have done each stage of gaming's evolution to bring games to the "next level" as we like to say a lot, you'll see periods of intense horsepower (e-penis) matches between Intel and AMD, Nvidia and ATI, etc to push more and more polys.

 

Then you sorta hit a ceiling, like Intel and AMD did with cpu's topping out around 3Ghz average, and you have to innovate instead of throw more horsepower at it. ATI and Nvidia and Microsoft did this by evolving DirectX as well as the hardware to allow more graphical features to be implemented without burning your house down trying to get a gpu to clock 3.5Ghz to draw those scenes. Intel and AMD decided over 3Ghz was too much trouble for the current technological limits on current bleed, fab yield, etc, and instead turned to multiple cores. ATI and Nvidia did the same once their gpu's hit a horsepower ceiling and going any higher resulted in limited yields and too much trouble and expense for very little return.

 

So AMD, Nvidia, and MS got together again and came up with DX10, which on paper is pretty great, but implementing it in a cheeseball OS like Vista is a lot different than on paper. But look where it led gpu's to evolve to. Now the poly power of a gpu is almost secondary as you have streaming shader processors, tens to hundreds of them, like little floating point units able to execute instructions by themselves to feed back to a single scene all at once, and you have what can almost be considered a massively parallel processing unit on your gpu alone...which is innovation and evolution that solves the problems of the technological ceiling that graphics rendering was hitting.

 

Now, like always, we wait for software to catch up and take full advantage of the hardware. Again, evolution in technology. It always happens. It will always happen unless mankind is wiped out or wipes itself out, or as previously mentioned, the entire planet has a massive recession/depression (but even then, there will always be enough money to fuel new technologies, as new technologies are usually what helps to pull economies out of the cellar and back into the black, regardless of what specific technology it is).

 

 

now for some other points:

 

I also disagree the movie industry began in the 1920's. The human interest in storytelling and drama FAR predates the 1920's and is a naturally occurring phenomenon in all human societies since time began.

 

huh? How can the movie industry far predate the technology used to make movies? This makes no sense.

 

You cite the fact that the video game industry is bigger than the movie industry in dollars and it is also younger so its continued growth for years is inevitable. I have several issues with that. First off, the video game industry considers all consoles / hardware (at $400-$600 a pop + accessories) as part of their revenue figures. The movie industry considers box office gross, movie rentals/sales and associated industries only (sue me if I missed a key subcategory here).

 

You can have all the issues you want with it. The video game industry has surpassed the movie industry in all phases. Check it. You'll see. It has for a couple of years now. There's nothing to have issue with here other than...somehow you don't believe the truth?

 

If the movie industry considered all necessary hardware to play it at home in that figure (a very convincing argument could be made for it) like big screen televisions, DVD players, home theater components, surround sound speakers, home theater installation / support the number would either beat or close the gap substantially. To be fair, a lot of this revenue could also go towards the video game industry, because my big screen LCD purchase was primarily focused around it doubling as a computer monitor.

 

moot point since the movie industry still comes in second place to the video game industry (and as you say, how does one distinguish a tv and home theater purchase for purely watching hollywood movies vs playing video games, or watching tv for that matter?)

 

But again, movie industry still comes in second either way.

 

It has yet to be proved that imitating Les Claypool and rocking out to Guitar Heroes with your buddy will become a permanent part of the human psyche, but I could be wrong.

 

Video games are already part of pop culture. You can't limit the video game experience to one famous musician playing one single game. Can't be done.

 

Again to be fair, video games are also using storytelling to sell as well. Also if Hollywood pulled their heads out of their asses and made movies that people actually wanted to see more often, their numbers would grow exponentially, but thats another story altogether.

 

Video games are surpassing movies for one simple reason: INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT.

 

Movies are passive. You sit, you watch, you piss and moan when it sucks (I agree about the "movies are total . these days" statement lol).

 

Video games are becoming more and more cinematic in that they present a high level of visuals and (sometimes lol) deep story plots. The difference here is YOU, the gamer, take an active part in the story. Can't do that in movies, and people (especially those of us under 40 who grew up with technology's boom from the 1970's onward) would much rather be part of the story, than to be just an observer. If this weren't true, games wouldn't be popular. They'd still be stupid kid things like my parents used to yell at me about ("why the hell do you need quarters to play Hemorrhoids? How is picking Hemorrhoids going to help you in life?" ps my best friend's dad used to call Asteroids that...old guys like me, you know exactly what I'm saying here).

 

 

Also, I would consider TV to be part of the movie industry in that it more closely follows the human dramatic form than video games. And there is no doubt whatsoever as to what is or will forever be a larger industry, TV+Movies or video games. Why? Following your deeply cynical view of human beings in general (i.e., stupid monkeys) they are also lazy monkeys. And for vast swaths of these lazy monkeys, no video game will ever substitute for cuddling up on their couches with their loved ones and being mindlessly entertained by TV or Movies that require no interaction / effort whatsoever when they get off work. Sure YOU and I may play vids all the time, but I was perfectly clear in my earlier comment that the people like you and I who superclock $160 CPU's to NASA speeds are a fringe and hardcore segment of the video game market.

for most of this, see my previous bits above your quote.

 

For the rest, your fatal flaw is that you fail to recognize that low-end cpu's, low-end gpu's, low-end systems can still play games. The fastest growing segment of gamers? Older women from about 34-55. They've played Bridge and Canasta all their lives. Now they can play with their friends online and meet new friends to play with. Gaming consoles? They are the more popular alternative to $1000+ pc's. Playstation2 has sold about 120 million units. They only cost about $99 today. The PS2 still sells more overall games than the new consoles. But those 34-55 year old women? They have kids, who demand these newer consoles or PC's. They have kids or friends who talk them into something like a Wii, which is unlike any previous gaming concept we've ever had except in our imagination.

 

You think everyone who games has to have a $500 console or a $1000+ gaming PC? Hardly. Look at current online game stats, like the Valve hardware survey. Most players who took the survey? They have machines that make us howl with laughter at their...low-ended-ness lol.

 

Who sells more computers? Dell, or all the custom gaming rig OEMs combined? Yep. Dell.

 

Will a Dell play the most popular online games right out of the box (Counter-Strike and World of Warcraft)?

 

Yep. I don't even think you can configure a desktop system at Dell that won't play either of these games, which means millions and millions of just Dell pc's can play games. Add in the millions of HP, Gateway, Compaq, whatever else. Factor in that the majority of games being played other than WoW are not the games you and I play, but the online games like Shockwave, MSN Gaming Zone, etc.

 

We sometimes like to think we live in a bubble and everything we do is important and what everyone else is doing until we step outside that bubble and realize we are at the very top end, with the overwhelming majority below us, and we are as invisible to them as they are to us except when outside that bubble. The 85% as I like to call them around here. And as we know very well, 10,000 overclocking DFI boards isn't even an eyelash compared to the 1 million Intel OEM boards for Dell, HP, etc. We are so niche yet we think we are just like everyone else, when we just aren't.

 

You also admit that Sony and Microsoft is heavily subsidizing the "more graphics power = more sales" growth of the video game industry at the same time because they have lots of money. Well that REAL money is coming from sources outside the video game industry (MS Office, Alarm Clock Radios, etc.) so its not a good indicator of the long term health of the industry. I'm sure RIM could afford to give every human being on the planet a pink phone for a $1 and unlimited calling for $5 , but I would be hesitant to call this new growth of the pink phone market an indicator of its long term health.

 

again you take a limited view. Microsoft lost money on the Xbox for a few years, but made it back eventually. But the original Xbox was NEVER intended to be a money maker. It was only intended to get the brand recognition out there, and it did. The 360's are moving towards zero-loss right now, especially with the move to 65nm. It only took 2 years, minus the billion dollar hit from all the dying consoles. That's all part of the whole though.

 

Sony only lost money on the PS2 for a year or two, then they generated so much profit as to fuel the pipe-dream known as PS3, thinking THEY controlled the market so THEY could tell everyone what to buy. Any company that says "Next-gen gaming doesn't start until WE say next-gen gaming starts" is a company full of jackasses who need to be dragged into the street and have their gonads repeatedly crushed by steel-toed boot wearing construction workers in a roid-rage.

 

However, Once again, profitability for Sony is really moot for the industry as a whole, as Sony won't always lose money in droves as they are now. I doubt the PS3 will ever be a huge money machine for them (a money-MAKING machine that is lol), but the wound will eventually scab over and stop bleeding so bad, it just might never heal.

 

But the industry itself will go on regardless. Did the industry die forever when Atari went under? Nope, just for a few years until Nintendo came along.

 

Did the industry die when Sega finally carved out their own tombstone? No, the industry actually got stronger (though it had nothing to do with Sega leaving the game).

 

Did the industry die when Nintendo made mistake after mistake with N64 first and Gamecube second? No. And now look where Nintendo is. Outselling both PS3 and 360 easily. You still can't find a Wii anywhere in Idaho, especially at Xmas season.

 

Long term health of the industry? A few ups and downs here and there but over the long-term, it's a steady climb upward. Facts and previous earnings/statistics prove this, so no need to argue it. It continues to grow at rates most companies can only dream of.

 

Ah, you say, they make the money on the games! But that comes back to my whole argument that if you're a game maker in the next 2-3 years, are you going to invest the millions in re-inventing the wheel by creating a whole new game engine to render characters nose-hairs following some Microsoft / Sony . contest for market share? Or are you going to use a very good and realistic game engine to create a fun and innovative game that doesn't revolve around how many polygons it calculates? Nintendo gambled the Wii on the latter and thats why it makes money and Microsoft and Sony lose money catering to people like the readers of this forum and high school children who are not indicative of the video game market at large. And as long as Sony and Microsoft continue this trend of beating each others hardware, Nintendo will be laughing all the way to the bank.

 

you don't have to. Epic, Id, Crytek, Valve, etc, they all do it for you. You just have to buy the license (typically $250k per game) and spend the cash to hire on people to make the game content, since the legwork of building an engine is already done for you. This has been going on strong for at least the last 5 years, more likely since the Quake2 engine and the Unreal engine first came about respectively and Epic/Id realized they could not only cash in on their own games, but cash in WAAAAY more by licensing the engine technology.

 

As I said, Microsoft is in no danger of losing anything. Their console is the second-strongest console on the market, and sales are continuing, though slower than they have been, but that will pick up now in the holiday season. PS3 as well. But consider how profitable the system really is when you think of say, Gears of War AND Halo3 AND Orange Box AND Mass Effect AND Guitar Hero AND Rock Band...those are just a few of the games that have (or are on their way easily) to selling a million copies, sometimes a lot more (how many Halo and Halo2 games were sold? Google that one and tell me MS lost money in the long run by building such a franchise and tying to their hardware brand).

 

Sony, they'll survive as well. The PS3 is finally catching on as the prices drop. Consoles, like brand new 8800 video cards and quad-core Intel cpu's, don't sit at the premium price for the life of the product. They sit at that price until one of two things (or both) happens:

 

1. sales lag so bad that you have no choice but to cut the price of the product to generate sales. Selling $100k worth of product for $75k is still a LOT better than not selling $100k worth of product.

 

2. Fab processes eliminate high-waste, low-yield problems as the mfg evolves it's hardware production. MS 360's that used the original 90nm cpu and gpu, lets say that alone cost them $500.

 

Add in the memory, which at the time the 360 was being built for release and say, 1-2 years after, might cost them $50 per 512MB. A 20GB hdd might cost them $20. The DVD drive might cost them $20. Each controller might cost them $25. The motherboard itself might cost them $25. The heatsinks/cooling might cost $20. The power unit might cost $50.

 

Now step ahead to present, a couple of years later. They've moved on to 65nm cpu and gpu's which generate less heat, require less power, as well as requiring less motherboard space. Now these only cost $200 for the cpu-gpu, $5 for the motherboard, $20 for the power unit.

 

Cooling/heatsinks, they cost less because they keep ordering in massive quantities, and as steady customers, all the money they pump into the heatsink mfg's helps the heatsink mfg's expand or research and develop smaller, better, cheaper heatsinks.

 

Same with the motherboards. DVD drives, hdd's...after purchasing millions of them for the last two years, the prices of these items come down a little. Controllers can now be made en-masse for $10.

 

See how this works? Sony is going through this phase right now as well. Look at when they went through this phase with the PS2, 50 million or so units later. The cost to mfg the console dropped to about half what it initially cost.

 

Same with gpu's and cpu's in your computer. What did a Q6600 cost when it came out? A hell of a lot more than it does now. Remember when an FX-55 was $900, and then remember a year or two later when the FX-55 was only $100? I do.

 

This is standard stuff honestly. Hope it helps you get a broader understanding of the forces at work, as well as more globalized view of what is really happening in the world. Step out of the bubble for a bit and see that the world is more than just what's in YOUR world (or world view).

 

If you still want to question any of this, talk to someone else who pays attention to these things. Talk to any 1,000 of them.

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Damn!

Now I forgot why I used to hate you.

hahaahahha that makes my entire day since it's only the second post I've read today.

 

Some people (a LOT of people actually) just aren't logical when it comes to certain things (especially things that they have an emotional attachment to). This is compounded by the fact that most everyone I know doesn't understand about taking a world or global view...they only see what is in their own back yard instead of seeing what is in the back yards of the rest of the neighborhood.

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im with the pritty but inefficient programing camp, after playing the demo

 

i reckon if valve started from scratch & built a new engine from the ground up that rivalled the prittyness of crytek engine the valve one would be a hell of a lot quicker.

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im with the pritty but inefficient programing camp, after playing the demo

 

i reckon if valve started from scratch & built a new engine from the ground up that rivalled the prittyness of crytek engine the valve one would be a hell of a lot quicker.

 

Speculation of that sort is usually pretty unhealthy. Who can say who's engine WOULD BE better if there is nothing to actually compare Crysis with (like a new engine from Valve)?

 

I tend to gravitate towards Valve myself though as they take the global view (ie their games will scale down to almost any computer that can do at least rudimentary 3d acceleration)

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Or somebody who sucked at video games because of poor manual dexterity saw guitar heroes and started playing it is going to stick with the game for the next 20 years?

 

I don't understand your point here.

 

Just because the controller looks different doesn't really mean it requires any less hand-eye coordination than the next game with a "normal" controller.

 

In fact, that has been the major influence on why I see more and more people older than me diving head first into video games. (I'm 29) The new systems or games or whatever have given us new ways to interact with the games via innovative controller concepts.

 

Take steering wheels for racing games as an example of an unconventional controller concept.

 

I live in the south and as you all know, we love our NASCAR down here. If I could assemble all the people I know who plays racing games on PC/Consoles with a steering wheel, and they gathered all the people they know who do the same thing. It would be a pretty massive assembly of people. And you know what. This group of people isn't going anywhere. Do you know why? Because we can't afford to live the dream and pursue a real racing career.

 

A game console, a few games and a fancy controller is all we need to live the dream for a little while every now and then. How much does it set us back? Only a few hundred dollars. I can tell you it's a lot safer and cheaper than actually building a real race car and going out and hitting the track and risking our own personal saftey. Not to mention as you stated before, the family element.

 

A lot of the guys I know would put their families in a serious financial bind if they actually went out and got in a wreck in a real race car. In the virtual world. We have a good laugh and live to race another day. Unhurt and able to go to work the next day.

 

And this only represents a very small portion of the "international gaming army" interested in innovative concepts in gaming. Don't get me wrong, I love my FPS games, but a game that can get my a$$ off the couch truly is an innovative game.

 

By the way, my racing rig not only had your standard fare console/wheel controller but also a bucket seat from a Mitsubishi Eclipse. Yeah its pretty stupid, but man is it fun!!

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