I hope PC gaming graphics have plateaued
Posted on 26th Mar 2009 at 12:14 by Mark Mackay with 48 comments
Lombardi told CVG that he believes that ‘graphics have started to top-out. We've got really great-looking games but what we want are more intelligent, more visceral games and the multi-core processors are going to be the way that we get there on PC.’
Some of you might feel that this is nonsense; others might feel that it’s true but you wish it wasn’t because you want to be dazzled by graphical feats of unimaginable excellence. Personally, not only do I believe that Lombardi’s statement holds a good deal of truth but I also actually hope that he’s right.
The reason I do is because of something that happened the other day in the labs. Antony was testing an awesome watercooled rig built around an overclocked Core i7-920 and overclocked Nvidia GTX 295. I watched in awe as the machine played Crysis Warhead in DirectX 10 mode at 2,560 x 1,600 with 4x AA at a 24fps minimum frame rate.
If Crysis is indeed the pinnacle of PC graphics then in a few years or maybe less than that, we’ll be able play our games at the native resolution of a 30in display with all settings on max using mid-range hardware. There are a few rich persons out there that can afford such luxury but I’d never seen a game that looked so good being played so smoothly on such a large display and OMG do I want one!
In my opinion, the often reality-checking detail in Crysis with all the sauce turned on looks just as good as Left 4 Dead at max settings even though the latter game is built on a graphics engine that is the better part of five years old and will run on a pocket watch. As Joe wrote in his Graphics versus Presentation Blog how good a game looks isn’t about how technical the graphics are.
For this reason and the fact I want my future mid-range gaming PC to run my games on a 30in display, I really hope that graphics advancements slow down some and gives the hardware a chance to catch up.