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Say What? Average PC Cannot Handle EA's Ignite Engine

By - Source: Polygon | B 140 comments

The Ignite engine is fine-tuned for closed console systems.

OK, so maybe sports titles don't exactly feel at home on the PC, but when EA claims that the engine behind its next-generation sports games can't run on today's PC, we have to investigate. The Frostbite 3 engine didn't seem to have any troubles cranking out visuals on Alienware desktops during E3 2013, so what's so special about the Ignite engine?

Let's back up a second. Until FIFA 11 was released on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC (among others) in 2010, EA used a separate engine for the PC version of its FIFA titles, stating that the current state of hardware couldn't run the "latest and greatest" engine that was already running on consoles. It wasn't until FIFA 11 that the company started using the same engine across the PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation platforms. But even with FIFA 11, it seemed that PCs had a hard time running some of the feature packed into game.

"Even though there were some PCs on the marketplace that could run that engine, the lion's share of PCs on the marketplace could not," said Wilson, referring to some of the technology used in FIFA 11. "And the majority of the gamer base that was playing the game on PC did not have a PC spec that would work with that."

The engine used in FIFA 10 and lower ran great on consoles because there was only one hardware set for each: you can't say the same for the PC sector. EA said at the time that people playing FIFA on PC wouldn't be playing a game that was on par with the console versions until the mainstream desktop caught up. Thus, EA simply didn't see the need to expend resources on developing a separate up-to-date version of the game for PC until technology reached Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 levels in 2010.

Now it seems that there is a great divide one more. Andrew Wilson, executive vice president of EA Sports, is repeating what was essentially said before FIFA 11 arrived: that the current PC hardware platform in the standard desktop isn’t enough to power the Ignite engine. It's not only designed around the AMD APUs mounted inside, but the two environments on a whole. In other words, Ignite is only fine-tuned for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 hardware even though they're x86-based.

"So could I see the potential for EA Sports Ignite to make it to PC in the future? Yes, I think it's possible, but a couple of things need to happen," said Wilson. First the current mainstream PC needs to catch up on a hardware level. Second, the engine will need to be adjusted to handle the open nature of PC architecture versus the closed nature of consoles.

Despite the new consoles sharing AMD-based x86 cores with the PC gaming crowd, there still seems to be a wall to some degree dividing both gaming sectors. With all the excitement surrounding the news that both consoles will be based on x86 technology, it was easy to forget that developers will likely flock more to the closed Microsoft and Sony platforms than an open one full of infinite configurations.

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Top Comments
  • 16 Hide
    bystander , June 23, 2013 12:07 PM
    If the average PC is one with an integrated GPU, then I guess they are right, but it sounds more like they just don't want to spend the time and money to make a PC version to me.
  • 15 Hide
    de5_Roy , June 23, 2013 12:10 PM
    seems like ea's ploy to make money on console versions using 'console-only' optimizations as an excuse.
  • 11 Hide
    xaephod , June 23, 2013 12:36 PM
    My computer will crush any console...period.
Other Comments
  • 16 Hide
    bystander , June 23, 2013 12:07 PM
    If the average PC is one with an integrated GPU, then I guess they are right, but it sounds more like they just don't want to spend the time and money to make a PC version to me.
  • 15 Hide
    de5_Roy , June 23, 2013 12:10 PM
    seems like ea's ploy to make money on console versions using 'console-only' optimizations as an excuse.
  • 10 Hide
    mauller07 , June 23, 2013 12:11 PM
    Biggest load of bull i have heard next to games on consoles running 2x the performance of a comparable pc
    the carmack tweet was for specific graphics functions when you read the whole interview compared to dx9 but in the whole program its never near 2x when optimised for the hardware if they can even make the game that well optimised..

    the fact the ps4 and x180 are low end cpu's with mid range gpu's and they initially make the games on pc in the first place makes this bull.
  • 8 Hide
    Grandmastersexsay , June 23, 2013 12:13 PM
    Sounds like an excuse for bad programming.
  • 3 Hide
    blubbey , June 23, 2013 12:24 PM
    If we're talking about the average spec PC in the world, probably true. Or it's a way of saying "we can't be bothered to do it properly".
  • 1 Hide
    JimmiG , June 23, 2013 12:27 PM
    The average PC is probably a Core2 Duo 1.8 GHz, 2GB of RAM and a integrated Intel graphics.
  • 4 Hide
    Kinky Couple , June 23, 2013 12:34 PM
    It's optimized in the code for Xbox1 and PS4 CLEARLY.

    if Platform != Xbox1 || PS4, run at half clockspeed.
  • 11 Hide
    xaephod , June 23, 2013 12:36 PM
    My computer will crush any console...period.
  • 2 Hide
    majudhu , June 23, 2013 12:38 PM
    EA always making excuses. I will never buy a console, never, i say never.
    http://defectivebydesign.org/
  • 7 Hide
    olaf , June 23, 2013 12:46 PM
    ahhh the sweet smell of bull and lazy...
  • -9 Hide
    mercurynine , June 23, 2013 12:47 PM
    Seem you guys are upset. It's like APPLE VS GOOGLE. most games run better in a closed system vs games that are ran on a open system with different hardware. Pc people think it's all about crunching raw numbers and it not. Every ps4 and xbone is the same with a SoC cpu/gpu. There are advantages to console over pcs.
  • 1 Hide
    computerguy72 , June 23, 2013 12:56 PM
    All these integrated graphics machines that get sold drive the lowest common denominator down dramatically. Even Intel's crystalwell top of the line is barely competitive. Add that to all the people running 10 year old video cards and boom you have 80% of the population with graphics weaker than a 2006 console. Sad really. But yes modifications to the Ignite engine itself would correct for this and it would not even be an outrageous effort.
  • -8 Hide
    hakesterman , June 23, 2013 12:56 PM
    70 percent or higher of the PC's on the market couldn't handle Wii U material let alone any EA Sports games. If you bought your PC from a retailer than chances are you got a watered down PC that is almost useless with hardcore Gaming. When the PS4 comes out this fall, it will be more powerful than 85 percent of the PC's currently on the market. Can't wait to see it kick $%^#$%.
  • 4 Hide
    Mike Stewart , June 23, 2013 12:59 PM
    what a load of crap ! just give me that new fifa now and i'll murder it with my 780GTX and4770K@4.4Ghz, not even PS5 or XTWO will beat that
  • 0 Hide
    soldier44 , June 23, 2013 1:22 PM
    Of course not, standard off the shelf PCs like he is describing barely have enough juice to play minecraft. They just don't want to spend what it would take to make a really good title just for the gaming PC crowd that wouldn't be profitable to them since we are the minority of gamers. I bet my 2 gtx 780s in sli and 4770k @ 4.5, 16gb of ram and 512gb SSD could easily handle that engine. But I'm in the top 1% of hardware like this they will naturally flock to the consoles where the money is at.
  • 9 Hide
    Vorador2 , June 23, 2013 1:22 PM
    Translation: "We don't want to expend the time nor the resources to properly remake our games for PC, so we will put the blame on an imaginary lack of raw power to explain our shitty outsourced ports."
  • -4 Hide
    SirTrollsALot , June 23, 2013 1:26 PM
    Your and my PC will vary. The consoles don't. They can optimize the game for that particular console. As for a PC they would have to optimize it for each and every system out there, AMD, INTE, or Intel with Nvidia Graphics, Intel with AMD graphics, AMD with Nvidia Graphics, AMD with AMD graphics, and add in OS's and so forth and so forth.... You understand companys dont want the headache of making a engine for each of your systems so they have to comprimise on the code, its not impossible, but it takes lots of time and effort...Hence the console, 1 console, 1 optimized code, they can base that engine with refinements over the consoles lifetime... Get it? Now get out!
  • 5 Hide
    bejabbers , June 23, 2013 1:32 PM
    geeze, I hope my 3930K, 16GB or RAM and GTX Titan can handle this... I didn't realize those consoles were so far ahead of the game....

    Oh wait, it's EA/Origin, which sucks balls. Who cares.
  • 4 Hide
    bejabbers , June 23, 2013 1:34 PM
    Quote:
    Your and my PC will vary. The consoles don't. They can optimize the game for that particular console. As for a PC they would have to optimize it for each and every system out there, AMD, INTE, or Intel with Nvidia Graphics, Intel with AMD graphics, AMD with Nvidia Graphics, AMD with AMD graphics, and add in OS's and so forth and so forth.... You understand companys dont want the headache of making a engine for each of your systems so they have to comprimise on the code, its not impossible, but it takes lots of time and effort...Hence the console, 1 console, 1 optimized code, they can base that engine with refinements over the consoles lifetime... Get it? Now get out!

    tl;dr version: game devs, specifically those at EA are lazy.
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