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Next gen PC games questions

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  • Video Games
  • Next Generation
  • Games
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October 14, 2013 12:27:31 PM

I have a two questions about next gen pc games that perhaps you can give me some insight to.

1. Will most games be 64 bit and will they be able to use lots of RAM?
(I have 16GB, lets say a game recommends 8GB, will it be able to use up to 8 or more depending on how much you have?)

2. Will games have better optimization?
(All the systems this gen are x86,will this allow for more optimization and less time porting?)

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October 14, 2013 12:40:23 PM

Games will definitely go 64 bit so they can take advantage of all the RAM on the new consoles, 32 bit applications are limited to 2GB of RAM maximum (possibly extended up to 4GB using the Large Address Aware flag) any usage higher than that requires a 64 bit application. When games go to 64 bit, they will use as much RAM as they need from your 16 GB.

Games should theoretically be easier to port now that we aren't hopping architectures between consoles and PC, whether that equals better optimization is up in the air. In the immediate future, we may not have that great optimization as the new hardware offers more headroom, and developers no longer have to squeeze every last bit of performance out of 8 year old hardware, and the publishers might not care too much about alienating people with older PCs, console sales seem to be the only thing that publishers really care about.
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October 14, 2013 1:36:43 PM

irsninja said:
I have a two questions about next gen pc games that perhaps you can give me some insight to.

1. Will most games be 64 bit and will they be able to use lots of RAM?
(I have 16GB, lets say a game recommends 8GB, will it be able to use up to 8 or more depending on how much you have?)

2. Will games have better optimization?
(All the systems this gen are x86,will this allow for more optimization and less time porting?)


1. Yes, they should be 64bit given the 8GB memory on both consoles. Take into consideration that the consoles use a shared memory architecture, meaning those 8GB are used as both system RAM and VRAM. A straight port running on an engine made for both PC and consoles will use much less than 8GB, that recommendation comes to guarantee you will not reach a memory ceiling under any circumstance.

If the engines allow and the developers go through the trouble of exploring the added memory available on the desktop, then yes, games can use that too. But in short, 8GB is likely to be more than enough for a while.

2. Yes, but not so much. It is certainly easier to build an engine that runs consistenly well on the desktop and x86 consoles than it was on a cell processor.

Still, there are considerable differences. For instance, games optimized for the X1 are likely to abuse its eSRAM and tiled rendering, possibly making it a bitch to port.

PS3-orientend games should be easier, although optimized games will enjoy GDDR5 bandwidth, which, while in par with desktop graphics cards, will also be used as system memory, whereas the PC can't achieve that kind of bandidth quite yet.

In all, don't let the fact that porting will be made easier fool you into believing this will translate into better quality ports. That depends highly on the developer's effort.

Back in the day when the X360 launched, Microsoft pushed the GFWL initiative, convincing developers that it was feasible to develop for the console and then port it to the PC. Thanks to that, we got a few titles on the PC that we otherwise would not. Also thanks to that, many games were developed with the PC as a secondary platform, resulting in the wave of crappy ports we all came to know (mouse acceleration, aim assistance, wasted graphics potential and the like).

We can hope that the developers have learned from that experience, although there is little doubt about which platform will be the primary market for most of them. In the end, I believe the real driving force in the PC front will be Valve, since they have enough leverage to sustain a thriving platform and draw other companies to it.

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