Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Are hardware requirements back?

Heartlessgamer posted the recommended PC specs for Battlefield 3, and I couldn't help but notice that the relatively expensive computer I bought a few months ago is just barely above those specs. This arms race between hardware availability and PC game specs is something that went on for many years, but was very much subdued in the last couple of years. But it appears that games have caught up again with the hardware. That isn't necessarily a good thing, because I don't think everybody has a Windows 7 64-computer with a quad core, 4 GB of RAM, and a Geforce GTX 560 / ATI Radeon 6950 or better yet. Of course that is the recommended specs, the minimum requirements are lower. But having to tone down the graphics settings for a game to run smoothly is not something that makes you feel good about your PC.

Sometimes I wonder whether companies like NVidia subsidize game companies to make them produce games which don't run well on an average computer. Or is there really a demand for much more photo-realistic games out there? I often like cell-shade or comic-style graphics more than I like photo-realistic ones. And I'd rather have my weapons cause some sparkly special effect than realistic-looking blood and gore. But that might just be me.

Are games with high-end hardware requirements attractive to you? Do they make you want to upgrade or replace your computer? Or are you happily playing games with much lower requirements?

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