25 Aug 2007

State of Gaming: Another PC Revolution?

I'm back to blogging after... 2 months.

So anyway, Vista has been out for quite a while. Drivers are stabilizing and DX10 games are coming. So is everything rosy for M$?

Currently Bioshock, a DX10 game, has garnered fantastic reviews from many game journalists. Among the 9.9 and 10 out of 10s however, is one review that stood out from the rest. A review from Gamespot. It gave Bioshock a 9 out of 10. Not too shabby? The one problem they faced was stuttering frame rates after a few straight hours of play. There you have it. DIRECT X 10 IS STILL NOT FULLY OPTIMIZED. A friend of mine is currently playing the game and says that the graphics are nice, but nothing groundbreaking. The real test for DX10, Vista and DX10 cards still lie ahead, in the form of Crysis.

The Xbox360 however, has a healthy number of games right now. Compared to the current generation consoles, I think that the 360 has the most extensive and impressive line-up of games across nearly all genres at the time of writing. The PS3 has an impressive arsenal of games coming out in 2008 (and maybe 2009 too), while M$ has built a pretty amazing defensive wall with solid foundation. The Wii on the other hand continues to exist on another planet. It has recently outsold the Xbox360 in overall sales with a cool 10.57 million consoles sold to M$'s 1.56 million. Ninty's game catalogue right now however is hardly impressive. Launch title Twilight Princess, quirky RPG-Platformer Paper Mario, weird and admittedly uninspired mini-game collection WarioWare, and GC remake Resident Evil 4. Makes me wonder what those 10 million Wii users are playing now. Probably Wii sports.

On the handheld front, Sony attempts to spice things up with the sexy new PSP Slim and unlocked processor speed of 333MHz. DS still reigns king.

I had thought of building a new desktop for Bioshock and Crysis the same way I built one for Half-Life 2 back in 2003. The DX10 cards fail to warrant a purchase though... the technology is still young and immature. Which makes me wonder: Will PC games make another breakthrough the same way Half-life 2 (and Half-life) did back then? It's already 2007 folks. We need something that could blow our socks off. Sure, Bioshock is fantastic and might become Game of the Year or Best Game of All Time on GameRankings.com, but it just refines and doesn't revolutionize anything in particular. Here's hoping Crysis will be the one.

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