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Electronic Arts to Sell Crysis-branded PCs

By - Source: Tom's Hardware | B 19 comments

Perhaps taking a page from the console world, massive game publisher Electronic Arts is exploring the possibility of selling machines that are purpose built to run a specific game title, and to run it well.

One of the biggest barriers of PC gaming is the link between the hardware and software. Usually the latest games require recent hardware, but whenever it comes time to upgrade, even savvy users may have a hard time making sense of system requirements.

EA is looking to knock down this barrier by providing the consumer with an instant hardware solution that should get gamers up and running in the easiest possible way yet. According to comments made by EA representatives at Comic-Con, recorded by Chris Remo, the game publisher is planning to market pre-built PCs purpose built for running Crysis Warhead – the follow-up to last year’s graphical showcase shooter.

The systems will likely range from $600 to $800, and will be differentiated by at which level of detail and special effects each will be able to run Crysis Warhead.

Such purpose-built computers will likely be overlooked by those who take the time to build their own machines – like those who frequent Tom’s Hardware – but for the mass market, a seemingly dedicated Crysis machine will hopefully make top-tier PC gaming as simple as it is on today’s consoles.

At $600 to $800, it’s twice as much as a modern games console – but imagine the owner’s delight when he or she discovers that any machine that can run Crysis at a respectable clip will also run every other PC game in history.

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  • 0 Hide
    giovanni86 , July 30, 2008 11:08 PM
    Good luck 2 them on that. I rather build my own machine. Even for around 600 to 800 i doubt crysis will even run at low settings. my 2 cents.
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    1971Rhino , July 30, 2008 11:20 PM
    I don't like the bloatware garbage that EA uses when you install a game......I can only imagine how much bloatware a PC from EA would have.

    They'd probably sell more if they based one off of Madden it would be huge!
  • 2 Hide
    emp , July 30, 2008 11:20 PM
    If they can pull this off, I can definitely see it helping PC gaming overall. Streamlining for the masses PC gaming (a la console) while keeping the customizing aspect of PCs for us enthusiasts seems like a big step in the right direction for PC gaming.
  • Display all 19 comments.
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    LoboBrancoTimido , July 30, 2008 11:44 PM
    Its a cool idea. People that build gaming rigs tend to forget that most people can't build them. These computers are not for us the enthusiasts but they will help the gaming community a lot IMO.
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    Anonymous , July 31, 2008 12:02 AM
    ^ exactly
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    neodude007 , July 31, 2008 12:34 AM
    As long as it has something like an E8400 and 8800GT or above in both fields it will help PC gaming but...LOL at running that stupid game quickly as respectable settings. The game is not even worth it but EA thinks it has the next Halo on its hand so they are making 2 more sequels, ha.
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    kman7607 , July 31, 2008 12:40 AM
    empIf they can pull this off, I can definitely see it helping PC gaming overall. Streamlining for the masses PC gaming (a la console) while keeping the customizing aspect of PCs for us enthusiasts seems like a big step in the right direction for PC gaming.


    I agree completely. If anyone can make this happen it would be EA. They have the money to do it. The only problem would be with the cost of the PC when compared to consoles, like it said in the article. This is still a huge step for PC gaming. Kudos to EA even if we all don't agree with their other principles.
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    anonymous x , July 31, 2008 1:08 AM
    I can see this happening easily. I have a mere pentium D and a 7950 GT, but I can run Crysis @ medium settings with no lag. Crysis warhead should be more optimized, so something like 9800 GTX ($200) and OC'd intel e8200 with 2 GB ram should hit the price mark and run on pretty high settings
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    ovaltineplease , July 31, 2008 1:10 AM
    Honestly, Crysis has a pretty sizeable following of players worldwide - its surely not as big as an MMO or perhaps games like CoD4, but they have a pretty big player base and mod community nonetheless.

    Anyways, I think its a great idea; but only if they stick to a good quality standard in //modern// components (NOT X STOCK), and ensure that expandability is available in the build.
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    Indubstylo , July 31, 2008 1:26 AM
    They better have a laptop released at launch as well. Today's cards already handle the cry engine 2. While the engine for warhead is revamped so that it's not so demanding and can play on next gen consoles. This might be too little too late. But if they get a laptop that can play Crysis out then they would get directly into dell's top end machines. I'm surprised that it wasn't thought of sooner.
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    eklipz330 , July 31, 2008 2:45 AM
    i think perhaps the biggest problem with pc's is there lifetime... its short, 2-3 years before your REALLY outdated, thats like 6 generations of gpu's and 2 generations of processors... although it can do other things like word processing and internet, im sure these consoles aren't that far off with integrating it[or maybe future generations]... and consoles have a avg lifetime of ~5 years, with sony as an exception [~10 years according to them]... so spending about $800 on a pc that'll last 2-3 years just wont compete against cheaper consoles that last longer
  • 0 Hide
    falchard , July 31, 2008 3:30 AM
    For $600 I can make a PC that can run Crysis on Maximum (1920 res, no monitor or keyboard). Getting a $200 return is a descent enough profit margin.
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    SpinachEater , July 31, 2008 4:00 AM
    PC lifetime isn't comparable to console lifetime...and by lifetime I am assuming you are talking about how long it will play new titles at decent settings rather then when it kicks the bucket. PC graphics keep improving from game to game so the requirements for the system get pushed a lot harder and more frequent. Console graphics remain stagnant for the most part so a PS3 will appear to last a lot longer.

    It think it was touched on above but one key market angle EA could play would be having the power to upgrade instead of having to buy a new console. If they make upgrading very simple...like for example putting the video card in an easy to remove case to where you can just pull it out like a USB drive and replace it with a new one...and even perhaps getting some sort of credit back for your old one...they might be able to work it out. I wouldn't expect that much innovation to come out of EA's court however.
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    romulus1 , July 31, 2008 5:58 AM
    I'm with the people who say if these works out it could help PC gaming. And I especially like that idea about making upgrading even easier (IF they do something like that). 600 to 800 is allot compared to a consol but not too bad when talking about PCs. Sony is doing alright now despite all the shit they were getting for making a consol so much more expensive than the others. I don’t think this will sell playstation like numbers but if it does good and gets some hype it can only help PC gaming.

    I'm just tired of seeing good games (or games who’s concept I like) going for consoles only. Allot of the "best" (read most hyped) shooters are now going for consoles only or at least leaving PC only titles in the dark (compared to games like Halo and GTA 4) with little attention. Witch brings me to also being tired of people saying PC gaming is dead.

    I hope EA pulls it off and gets loads of attention while they're at it.
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    dimaf1985 , July 31, 2008 4:51 PM
    EA and Crytek have to really be careful here. A 600-800 dollar machine wont run Crysis, but from all the previews and interviews i've read, Crytek is claiming that such a machine will run Warhead silky smooth at max settings. Clearly, they're investing a lot into quality assurance with a move that basically bridges the gap between their product and any potential skepticism towards purchasing it. Imagine what would happen if thousands of people purchase these machines, only to find out that certain graphical settings STILL cant be maxed out without compromising framerate. The added disdain of knowing that for the same 800 dollars they could have put together a much better machine by themselves, would simply spawn so many detractors of EA and Crytek, that not only would the franchise be ruined, but the companies themselves would lose whatever fragile credibility they have left at this point.

    I hope this doesnt happen because i really liked Crysis (despite the terribly unoptimized engine) and i like Crytek's corporate vision, and the product they release. But this is really thin ice theyre walking on. Somehow, i suspect that EA will find a way to cut costs on the hardware which will result in the exact sort of blow-up that i described. I hope im wrong.
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    jaragon13 , August 1, 2008 3:45 AM
    Really? My Intel Pentium D 925 and MSI ATi 2600XT run Crysis..Obviously not well at high setting on 1680x1050,but still.
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    warezme , August 1, 2008 12:30 PM
    good luck trying to run crysis like those screenshots their showing on an $800 PC.
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    jamesl , August 1, 2008 5:02 PM
    IndubstyloThey better have a laptop released at launch as well. Today's cards already handle the cry engine 2. While the engine for warhead is revamped so that it's not so demanding and can play on next gen consoles. This might be too little too late. But if they get a laptop that can play Crysis out then they would get directly into dell's top end machines. I'm surprised that it wasn't thought of sooner.


    good laptop for Crysis, 8800m gts 512
    comparitivly inexpensive, no bloatware, fairly decent specs, keyboard has realy good feel
    http://www.gateway.com/systems/product/529668070.php

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_D2lWKZRAU

    but if you want something a little more powerful
    http://www.gateway.com/systems/product/529668159.php
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    goonting , August 3, 2008 3:16 PM
    i wonder which video card they be using...another dollar earning deal breaker