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PC Gaming Alliance Launching Certification Program in March

By - Source: Gamasutra | B 13 comments

Image: PC Gaming AllianceImage: PC Gaming Alliance

PC Gaming Alliance president Matt Ployhar recently told Gamasutra that a PC game certification program will likely launch with finalized specs by March 2014. This program aims to give consumers a better idea of what to expect from their PC game purchases by introducing a quality bar.

According to Gamasutra, the program is completely opt-in and OS-agnostic. The group wants to achieve standardization across games within the open PC market, which in turn is expected to encourage more consumer confidence and put more cash in developers' pockets.

The group is currently looking for more developers to partake in the program. The rate for certification is reportedly cheaper than what developers shell out for console certification programs: $500 per title if non-PCGA applicants test the game themselves, or $2500 if they need the PCGA to help test the game. Members of the alliance get their games certified for free.

"We don't need to have it completely locked down and so restrictive," Ployhar told Gamasutra. "We don't need to tell people, 'This is your minimum configuration.' But, you still need to hit a certain quality bar."

He provided an example, saying that games would need to hit 720p resolutions on medium settings, 30 frames per second, and support a game controller if the PC game has a console counterpart.

In addition to better consumer expectations using the new system, Ployhar also pointed out that there will likely be a reduction of product support service calls for publishers and developers, which can be an expansive issue in the PC game space. The "platform-agnostic" nature of PCGA's program should also make it future-proof and not take the same path as Microsoft's Games for Windows certification.

"As various gaming cert programs come and go, we future-proofed this one by accommodating the flux and future directions of OSes and form-factors that comprise the spectrum of the PC ecosystem," he told Gamasutra.

Additional new information regarding the certification program will be revealed in the coming months.

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  • 0 Hide
    wanderer11 , December 6, 2013 8:13 AM
    "He provided an example, saying that games would need to hit 720p resolutions on medium settings, 30 frames per second, and support a game controller if the PC game has a console counterpart."

    I don't understand. Do they expect every computer ever made to achieve that framerate?
  • 7 Hide
    vmem , December 6, 2013 8:28 AM
    Quote:
    "He provided an example, saying that games would need to hit 720p resolutions on medium settings, 30 frames per second, and support a game controller if the PC game has a console counterpart."

    I don't understand. Do they expect every computer ever made to achieve that framerate?


    no, it's more about the ever mysterious 'minimum required configuration'. which even in this day and age say things like 2GB of memory with a radeon 6670 or something like that.

    there need to be a standard on what defines a minimum requirement. in that regard, I fully support this
  • 3 Hide
    ubercake , December 6, 2013 8:35 AM
    They need to get buy-in from the giant game companies like EA or your next iteration of Battlefield will be just as buggy at release as BF4 was/is. EA or other similar game publishers won't even care about some game-standards organization if they see no benefit to it.

    How do you sell this certification to companies like EA who will sell software regardless of what the PC Software Alliance has to say? This is the major obstacle to the success of the program.
  • 1 Hide
    internetlad , December 6, 2013 8:42 AM
    I'm actually looking forward to this. If they had teirs to play at 30/60 fps at 720p/1080p i'd happily use these reccomendations.

    30fps at 720 should be basically achievable with an APU at this point, though, setting the bar pretty darn low.
  • 0 Hide
    wanderer11 , December 6, 2013 9:59 AM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    "He provided an example, saying that games would need to hit 720p resolutions on medium settings, 30 frames per second, and support a game controller if the PC game has a console counterpart."

    I don't understand. Do they expect every computer ever made to achieve that framerate?


    no, it's more about the ever mysterious 'minimum required configuration'. which even in this day and age say things like 2GB of memory with a radeon 6670 or something like that.

    there need to be a standard on what defines a minimum requirement. in that regard, I fully support this


    Ah that makes perfect sense. That's a great idea. Make the min/recommend/max actually mean something. If 30 fps @ 720P on medium was min and then maybe 45 fps @ 1920x1080 on medium for recommend then 60 fps @ 1920x180 ultra could be max.
  • 0 Hide
    InvalidError , December 6, 2013 11:17 AM
    Quote:
    30fps at 720 should be basically achievable with an APU at this point, though, setting the bar pretty darn low.

    For casual players who just want a playable gaming experience without excessive lows for their occasional gaming sessions, this is often good enough.

    APUs are about to catch up with my 1GB HD5770 and it is still good enough for me even at 1200p with most details on High for the few games I play. At this rate, I think my main motivations to upgrade GPU will be for 2GB VRAM and lower power once 20-22nm GPUs become available at some point next year.
  • 0 Hide
    thee_prisoner , December 6, 2013 11:33 AM
    Kevin, "which can be an expansive issue in the PC game space" Did you mean "expensive"? Although, it can be an "expansive" issue as more PC games are being sold.

    Happy gaming, the Prisoner...
  • 0 Hide
    abbadon_34 , December 6, 2013 7:33 PM
    OS agnostic, soooo expect the same "experience" on a MAC or to run on Linux? Backward compatible with XP? Sure
  • 1 Hide
    f-14 , December 6, 2013 9:30 PM
    [saying that games would need to hit 720p resolutions on medium settings, 30 frames per second, and support a game controller if the PC game has a console counterpart.

    The "platform-agnostic" nature of PCGA's program should also make it future-proof ]


    720? 800x600 went out with the 90's even in 2000 1280x1024 was standard and above 30FPS.

    as far as needing to have console controller support on a pc that is a joke even my flight controllers have better and more functionality than console controller POS. i even have triple the buttons and on top of that 3 modes for each button giving me 9 times the functionality of console garbage. and that's with just the joystick and throttle!
  • 0 Hide
    rantoc , December 7, 2013 2:24 AM
    Clearly they want to bring the consoles poor standards as reference point for the PC, the laughable 720p is extinct on PC and even considered High-res on Consoles. Controllers? Really... would not surprise me if they even rant down on a rts/fps if it don't have controller with the then mandatory auto-aim feature, making the game play itself for the player *LOL*
  • 0 Hide
    dalauder , December 7, 2013 1:17 PM
    720 is a strange resolution that constantly gets benchmarked for PC. Why not do 1366x768? That at least is VERY common on medium and low-end laptops. I do think people want to know a mobile and desktop minimum requirement to hit both that resolution (768 @ 30fps?) and 1080 @60fps. People do need to get over 1280x720 as nothing since the 2010 Macbook Pro (or something thereabouts) has used that resolution.
  • 0 Hide
    eldragon0 , December 8, 2013 9:53 PM
    @Dalauder ; 720 is a display standard at lowest "High Def" at the correct aspect ratio, that's why it's so often compared to; also it's what most of the last gen console games ran at. Also I find it interesting that they'd do "Minimum" requirements with a non minimum standard. I CAN (and do until an aftermarket 290 or 290x comes out) run BF4 on my rig using the integrated 4600 intel hd igpu @ 720 on minumim settings with no frame lag or drops at 45+ fps. It looks ugly as high hell but it runs smooth enough to play.
  • 0 Hide
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