Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
AMD PC Games (Games) Hardware

AMD Wants to Standardize PC Gaming 277

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the long-road-ahead dept.
Vigile writes "Even though PC gaming has a very devout fan-base, it is impossible to not see the many benefits that console gaming offers: faster loads, better compatibility and more games that fully utilize the hardware to name a few. AMD just launched a new initiative called AMD GAME! that attempts to bring some of these benefits to PC games as well. AMD will be certifying hardware for two different levels of PC gaming standards, testing compatibility with a host of current and future PC titles as well as offering up AMD GAME! ready components or pre-built systems from partners."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

AMD Wants to Standardize PC Gaming

Comments Filter:
  • by Max4400 (1154375) on Monday May 19, 2008 @03:10PM (#23466556)
    I think this will be very cool for average joe who don't understand difference between 8400GS and 8800GT graphic cards. If game cover says its AMD GAME READY, joe can buy that game and play in his PC.
  • by rotide (1015173) on Monday May 19, 2008 @03:11PM (#23466574)
    This will get abused/misused just like the "Vista Capable" mark. Find a way to technically be compliant but in reality be quite sub-par to what the consumer expectations are.
  • Translation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hankapobe (1290722) on Monday May 19, 2008 @03:17PM (#23466666)
    FTFA: The goal for AMD with the new GAME! initiative is pretty simple: make it easier for PC gamers to buy a system or components that will competently play most modern titles at reasonable quality levels and frame rates.

    Dumb everything down so that everyone with the infrastructure to make crap can enter the marketplace regardless of the quality and merits of their product. Those that make the cheapest shit that just barely conforms to the standard will capture the market.

    Hey, it worked great for the PC market; didn't it?!?

  • The real solution (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Charcharodon (611187) on Monday May 19, 2008 @03:25PM (#23466788)
    The day that the console makers come out with a console on a card will be about the time you see some sort of standardization in PC gaming. Hell a Wii minus the DVD player could do that now. Plug it into your theater PC and you are good to go.

    It's either that or PC makers/buyers wise up and tell Intel graphics to shove off and buy whatever is in the $50-100 range from Nvidia or ATI or one of their integrated solutions they've been talking about.

    Looking at Valve's hardware survey that's about where the majority of PC gamers reside. Give it another year or two and Crysis level graphics will run nicely at that price point. Maybe then the PC gaming renaissance can commence.

  • by grm_wnr (781219) on Monday May 19, 2008 @03:29PM (#23466840)
    One, AMD might shoot itself in the foot by targeting gamers especially (or not; I think gamers actually like to run AMD's top offerings on desktops so it might sense to concentrate on that market, but it's kind of sad).

    Two, I think neither Intel nor Nvidia will ever want to get any of their hardware certified with their biggest competitor's logo. So if it's by component, it's dead in the water. If it's by system, it might have a little potential, but unless it gets the big shots (Sony, Dell, etc.) on board, it will be limited to the much smaller market of small run custom builders - and those are exactly the ones whose customers already know which systems run games well.
  • by AKAImBatman (238306) <akaimbatman AT gmail DOT com> on Monday May 19, 2008 @03:34PM (#23466892) Homepage Journal

    I think this will be very cool for average joe who don't understand difference between 8400GS and 8800GT graphic cards.

    I disagree. I didn't even finish reading the summary before I realized this wasn't going to work. TFA just confirmed my suspicion.

    A few problems:

    1. AMD will only certify AMD/ATI hardware. Which kind of makes this useless if you're an Intel/NVidia user.

    2. Game Systems gain their stability due to LOOOOONG (4-5 years) release cycles. In PC terms, 4-5 years is an eternity.

    3. AMD is going to butt heads with the PC Gaming Alliance [wikipedia.org] they just helped form.

    4. Given that PC Hardware is a moving target, how will AMD certify future machines? Will AMD GAME and GAME ULTRA also be moving targets? If so, will that not confuse Joe Gameplayer when AMD GAME system from 2008 fails to smoothly run AMD GAME software from 2010?

    5. Epic and Id are the primary drivers behind the PC game market. Their engines are the keystone that holds the whole thing together. Thus it is their engines that make the market. Maybe I missed it, but I don't see AMD having their cooperation on setting future standards.

    A much better system would be a versioned hardware spec that is maintained across the industry. e.g. PC-Spec 1 would certify GeFore 8400/Radeon HD 2400 and PC-Spec 2 would certify GeForce 8800/Radeon HD 2900. A new revision of the spec would be created for each sliding window. Each spec would consist of a certain performance plateau combined with a given feature set. (e.g. Support for GL Programmable Shaders.) The latest 3D engines from companies like Id and Epic would target the latest, upcoming spec. (A spec which those companies would have helped define when they were in early development.)

    From a consumer perspective, this makes my life easier. Because instead of looking if RAM, Graphics Card, and CPU match, I can simply look for the spec number. If my computer supports a higher spec number than what's on the box (e.g. I have a PC-Spec 5 computer and this game requires PC-Spec 4) then I know I can play the game.

    It's not quite as simple as consoles, but such is the way the PC world works.
  • Doomed to failure (Score:5, Insightful)

    by snarfies (115214) on Monday May 19, 2008 @03:36PM (#23466918) Homepage
    1) AMD Game is pretty low-spec.
    2) PC gaming, unfortunately, is a constantly moving bar. There are a few games out today that will run just fine on AMD Game. Tomorrow? Probably not, Crysis 3 will come out and require a 16-core 5.5mhz processor and 8264234gb of RAM, and if you bought into AMD Game thinking it'll last any longer than any other system you can buy/build, guess what?
    3) Enthusiasts will ignore Game, seeing points 1-2 clearly. This leavs Joe Sixpack to market to, and Joe Sixpack will be angry by this time next year once he sees Elder Scroll 7 won't even attempt to launch on his POS.
  • by bill_kress (99356) on Monday May 19, 2008 @03:38PM (#23466952)
    If this were combined with the "Preloaded linux in rom for browsing" thing. Call it a "Console Mode" for PCs, where you can just boot up from the DVD and the game starts running instantly.

    It could still load the DVDs to disk.

    And the whole thing could be set up to run as a VM inside another OS if available--making games platform independent.

    And there would be world peace...

    (Might as well throw that in with the other pipe dreams)
  • Epic Fail (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Lord Ender (156273) on Monday May 19, 2008 @03:40PM (#23466972) Homepage
    Nvidia and Intel will never sign on to anything called "AMD GAME." This is doomed from the start because of the name.
  • by ttapper04 (955370) on Monday May 19, 2008 @03:40PM (#23466978) Journal
    I don't see something like this going over, seeing as the "average joe" doesnt know if he has an AMD or Intel chipset.

    Any initiative of this type would require the cooperation of Intel/others.
  • by Cordath (581672) on Monday May 19, 2008 @03:43PM (#23467028)
    First thing is first, if you really want to bring an even remotely viable standard to the industry, it can't have your brand on it. Not even if your processors didn't suck. So, AMDGame!, AMDGame Ultra, ect.: meet trashbin.

    Second, if you base your standard on qualitative metrics today like regular, extreme, venti, extra loco, etc. they're all going to be in the sucks, super-sucks, sucks more dick than an intern at a political convention, range of categories in little over a year. That means you have to keep coming up with new, confusing, and retarded new names every product cycle or, alternatively, redefine the existing names each cycle so that last years Ultra is this years suck. How is this going to reduce confusion?

    My suggestion is to slap a number on your standards. e.g. PC Gaming Score: 710 for this years Ultra, and 920 for next years. Every last mouth breather out there knows that higher numbers are usually better and will assume so, even when they aren't.

    Now, it's important to note that these numbers aren't quite like a benchmark. Having one really fast component shouldn't quality a system for a number high enough to play a game when it has other components that will make that game unplayable. These numbers can't be mindless metrics that come out of a benchmark. It has to take all components into consideration, especially the bottlenecks. The goal is to provide a single number that a user can look at and say: Okay, the required number on gameX is lower, so I can play it. No worries.

    It's that simple. No worrying about whether uber-awesome is greater than mega-extreme, or whether it's last years mega-extreme or this year's mega-extreme. It's, "is the number on the box of this game less than the number on my machine".

    Seriously, it's about time companies like AMD realized that the same slice from a bigger pie still equals greater profits. If they want to increase the PC gaming market they really need to put their brand promotion on the back burner.
  • by nelsonal (549144) on Monday May 19, 2008 @03:56PM (#23467180) Journal
    What about something like 2008 Basic and 2008 Performance that held steady for a year and then were reset the year after, it would allow game boxes to say complient with 2009 Performance 2010 Basic and all newer systems. That isn't too far from consoles which are on a slightly longer than annual cycle.
  • Won't work (Score:2, Insightful)

    by infalliable (1239578) on Monday May 19, 2008 @03:56PM (#23467182)
    Good idea, crappy ass execution. Biggest issue with is the entire thing is the X PC configuration is labeled as Ultra and Y PC configuration is label basic. How long will these configurations be the adequate for PC gaming? In 2 years, the "ULTRA" system may be pretty crappy compared to what is for sale. You have to keep coming up with new names to identify that this is different from that. Essentially, PC hardware changes all the time. How is one to know how todays "basic" compares to yesterday's "ULTRA?" It makes the entire mechanism useless over time. If you are going to do it, you need to say some system is the baseline system with a score of 100. Over time, you rate the PC based on that. So in 2 years, a "standard" pc may end up rating a 200. You say a game requires a rating of Z score to play. It is of course not foolproof as there are many factors that go into a PC's performance but it's a lot better the "basic" and "ULTRA"
  • Re:eh (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Monday May 19, 2008 @03:58PM (#23467204) Homepage

    Bingo. But MPC was too slow, so they added MPC 2. Then 3. I think that's when they gave up. As another commenter pointed out this is how the RSX got started in Japan.

    Computers move too fast. The only thing this is good for is smaller games (think PopCap) and with those it's a pretty safe bet you can play them if your computer was purchased in the last 4 years.

    If you want this to work for FarCry or some such, you're dead.

    Then there is the "playable" problem. Is 60 FPS at 1024 playable? I'd say yes. I'll accept 30 FPS at 1280. Many people here (and on other forums) will say "It must be at least 90 at 1600" to be playable. 3D graphics just made defining anything like this much much harder. MPC included CPU, colors, CD-ROM speed, and sound card. Now you have to deal with can the GPU render X number of Ys at Z resolution with Q pixel shaders at over L FPS.

    Can't be done unless you can get some huge share of the market with ONE computer. The iMac (first gen, colorful) worked for something like that on the Mac side, but then again you can often just list the Mac models on the box because there are so few these days.

  • by MBGMorden (803437) on Monday May 19, 2008 @03:58PM (#23467208)

    You've just described a console game machine.
    Yep. I was totally waiting for the "Maybe they could call it the Xbox or something?" punchline in the GP's post and it never came along.

    Microsoft essentially did EXACTLY that in the original Xbox. They took commodity PC parts and designed a gaming machine out of them. It was a bit large, ugly, and has it's issues, but it worked reasonably well as a console (speaking as someone who owned all 4 systems from that generation and has no bias towards any one in particular).

    Honestly, with the advent of HDTV displays the horrible graphics resolution of console games has finally been fixed. The new consoles also come standard with networking/internet capability. Aside from input methods, there's not much difference between a console and a computer now. Even that is being improved. Xbox 360 has those little mini keypads that fit under the controller now. While I can't stand those things, I have to admit that to a generation that has grown up using cell phones to communicate using SMS messages, they're probably not bad at all.

    I'd bet that the next generation of game system will include an RF keyboard with them, at least as an option. And honestly, this convergence isn't a bad thing. It's not as if PC games are dying and loosing out to a console like the SNES. It's just that the best attributes of both systems are being combined to form a better gaming paradigm.
  • by Brit_in_the_USA (936704) on Monday May 19, 2008 @04:03PM (#23467284)
    This PR stunt will die in 1-2 years as the stickers and reports I have seen make no mention of appending a date (a year would be enough). Get ready for class actions in 1-2 years when old stocks of AMD game certified machines are on sale and do NOT play the latest games well.

    A well thought out system would put the year on the sticker and have a site dedicated to the specs required historically for the year in question.
  • by JCSoRocks (1142053) on Monday May 19, 2008 @04:04PM (#23467296)
    What's up with the all caps crap too? Remember when NVIDIA was just nVidia? ugh. AMD GAME! - 'cause GAME just looks cooler than Game...
  • by Chris Burke (6130) on Monday May 19, 2008 @04:59PM (#23467916) Homepage
    My suggestion is to slap a number on your standards. e.g. PC Gaming Score: 710 for this years Ultra, and 920 for next years. Every last mouth breather out there knows that higher numbers are usually better and will assume so, even when they aren't.

    Now, it's important to note that these numbers aren't quite like a benchmark. Having one really fast component shouldn't quality a system for a number high enough to play a game when it has other components that will make that game unplayable. These numbers can't be mindless metrics that come out of a benchmark. It has to take all components into consideration, especially the bottlenecks. The goal is to provide a single number that a user can look at and say: Okay, the required number on gameX is lower, so I can play it. No worries.


    AMD wanted to do exactly that, and talked a lot about it back in the day when they first started using the modelhertz ratings on their processors. They wanted to have a full-system performance number in several areas (i.e. business, content, games) that would let customers choose rigs based on what they wanted. But there were ultimately 2 huge problems and a 3rd relatively minor problem:

    1) OEMs didn't like it. OEMs prefer to be able to market based on the processor, the amount of RAM, and a couple other basic specs. They don't want the effect of things like the cheaper, high-CAS latency RAM and the craptacular chipset they used to become blatantly obvious via low scores and thus explain why their offering is $100 cheaper than a competitor's with superficially equal specs. They would have been okay only using it on high-end gaming rigs, but that mostly defeats the purpose.

    2) Intel. Intel was never going to buy in to an AMD-concocted perf rating scheme, especially not in a period where AMD held a performance advantage, but realistically not even when Intel was ahead. And when your number rating scheme misses 80-90% of the market, it's pretty useless. About all it would do is point out above-mentioned performance deficiencies in some AMD-based products, while leaving the Best Buy clerk perfectly free to answer the question of "well how does this Intel-based PC [with equal number of cut corners] perform?" with "Great!"

    3) Picking benchmarks. You have to change them over time, because a game perf score based on Quake 3 (the FPS benchmark du jour back when this was all being proposed) would be a ludicrous way to rate a modern PC, but then you have problems with the relative scores of old PCs changing. And the politics. You may be aware of the politicking that goes on at SPEC, now imagine if SPEC CPU numbers were the primary metric used in consumer-level marketing. When you're only rating your own parts, you can make whatever changes you want. Which is why ultimately AMD's modelhertz ratings and now their supposed system-wide scores are only going to apply to systems with AMD and only AMD parts in them.

    Since then, AMD has pretty much completely shut up about the issue. Now what they're talking about is superficially the same idea, but as you noticed from the branding, it is not going to be very helpful for a wide number of customers. I don't expect this to be a hit with the OEMs either, maybe restricted solely to their high-end gaming lines if anything.

    Oh, and seriously, AMD needs to learn to stop putting sentence punctuation into proper nouns. It makes no sense.
  • Re:Exactly! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Stunning Tard (653417) on Monday May 19, 2008 @05:24PM (#23468132) Journal

    I still think any standard will fail because game publishers will always lie about the requirements so as not to scare off buyers with slower machines.
    So the box will look like:

    Minimum System Requirements: 2008+ Class B

    Recommended System Requirements: 2010+ Class B

    But a sensible machine will be rated something like 2011+ Class A

  • by Swampash (1131503) on Monday May 19, 2008 @05:36PM (#23468244)
    Epic and Id are the primary drivers behind the PC game market. Their engines are the keystone that holds the whole thing together. Thus it is their engines that make the market.

    Epic and id may drive the FIRST-PERSON SHOOTER genre, but in the PC game market there's Blizzard and then "everyone else" a long way back.
  • Wasn't until Windows 95 and that God awful game Microsoft came up with that was truly Win95 compatible that game makers accepted the performance hit just so they could sell how easy it is to run the game.

    DirectX made it easier for your game to run, and provided unprecedented backwards compatibility for games. For all Microsoft's and Windows' many flailings, DirectX is not one of them.

  • by Renegrade (698801) on Monday May 19, 2008 @10:58PM (#23470818)

    it is impossible to not see the many benefits that console gaming offers: faster loads(snip!)


    Consoles are faster loading than PC games? I don't think so. Even the best DVD/BD drive cannot match a low-end modern HD for transfer AND latency.

    The most recent example, GTA4, is driving me up the wall. I've been on long hours at work since just after it was released, which doesn't give me much time to play. Every time I fire it up, I'm watching those static pictures for a minute and a half out of a thirty to sixty minute play session.

    Were they talking about cartridge games or something?? Or comparing the one-time PC install cost vs. the every-time-it-starts console cost??

If a 6600 used paper tape instead of core memory, it would use up tape at about 30 miles/second. -- Grishman, Assembly Language Programming

Working...