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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."
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AMD Wants to Standardize PC Gaming

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  • by Max4400 (1154375)
    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.
    • eh (Score:3, Interesting)

      by dreddnott (555950)
      This kind of crap has been going on for a long, long time. Anybody else remember the MPC standards?
      • Re:eh (Score:4, Insightful)

        by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Monday May 19, 2008 @04:58PM (#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 eln (21727) on Monday May 19, 2008 @04:16PM (#23466660) Homepage
      I think you have that exactly backwards. The software won't be "AMD GAME!" branded, the hardware will be. It's basically a certification program similar to Microsoft's "Windows XP/Vista Certified" stickers on computers and components. AMD will test various components (certain video cards, etc.) to make sure they work as intended with the "latest games" (not sure which games they'll test).

      So, if you buy hardware components that are "AMD GAME! Ready", you can be reasonably confident that you can play the most popular games on them. Personally, I think it's a pretty good idea, as if the label takes off, AMD can charge hardware manufacturers a premium to get the certification. And, of course, AMD's own offerings will be AMD GAME! certified before anyone else's.
      • by grm_wnr (781219) on Monday May 19, 2008 @04:29PM (#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 Cordath (581672) on Monday May 19, 2008 @04:43PM (#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 @04:56PM (#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.
        • 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... 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 year

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by IntlHarvester (11985) *
            Windows Experience Index only tells you about your expected Windows experience. It wasn't designed for games and doesn't produce useful scores for such.
        • by Chris Burke (6130) on Monday May 19, 2008 @05:59PM (#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.
      • by TheSpoom (715771) *
        Not to mention that Intel's chips will probably take forever and a day to be certified, if they ever are.
    • 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.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by bhtooefr (649901)
        For that matter, you could just figure out the algorithm that MS is using to determine the Vista experience scores, and use THAT.
      • by cliffski (65094)

        5. Epic and Id are the primary drivers behind the PC game market.
        both these companies recently announced they were moving away from the pc because of piracy.
      • by Swampash (1131503) on Monday May 19, 2008 @06:36PM (#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.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by ttapper04 (955370)
      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 Bombula (670389)
      While it's a good thing that a hardware vendor is initiating some sort of performance standard that will help the mass market determine whether a machine can play most games, I think it would make more sense if this was done in software with benchmarking.

      Vista already has this feature, if I recall (I still use XP). But if I recall correctly, it's a random 1-5 metric - maybe with a decimal? - and it doesn't offer anything useful like, "Unreal Tournament 3 requires a score of 3.5 or higher; Crysis requires a

    • Think of the benefits just having one game will bring. You only have to ever make one purchase, once!.

      Standardisation is a great thing!

  • by rotide (1015173) on Monday May 19, 2008 @04:11PM (#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.
    • by brxndxn (461473)
      That's why it is nice that AMD is doing this rather than Intel... considering Intel were the biggest abusers of the 'Vista Capable' mark. At least if it's the underdog dictating the standards, they will never be able to dictate standards that are sub-par.
  • as long as I get to write them!"
  • Translation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hankapobe (1290722) on Monday May 19, 2008 @04:17PM (#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?!?

    • by esocid (946821)
      Yeah, I don't see the merit of this with the exception of letting joe six pack make sure he can play whatever he buys. But as everyone knows, all PC titles list required and recommended specs on the box. What's so hard here? I'd rather not have standards (read as limitations) for developers who would like to push the envelope like crysis did. The far cry engine would never ever play on console equipment at the current configuration. So all our game titles will be forced to conform to what the standard is.
  • by DancesWithBlowTorch (809750) on Monday May 19, 2008 @04:19PM (#23466708)
    I'm looking forward for Yahoo! to answer by joining this idea to get Gaming! ready! for the Internet! with Yahoo! Game!

    Heavens, people, whoever thought it'd be a great idea to trademark punctuation needs to be slapped!(tm)
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by JCSoRocks (1142053)
      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...
  • ODF standardizing document formats. While it succeeded, the 800 lb gorilla in that market quickly came in and created their own standard. I await Intel / Nvidia's response. This might be off, I apologize if it is.

    Wasn't Windows Vista supposed to have something like this where they'd take all your components and assign you a number based off of their estimated performance? Then games would be marked with a number - "You need at least an X computer to play this game. Y is recommended". I don't run Vi
  • The real solution (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Charcharodon (611187) on Monday May 19, 2008 @04:25PM (#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.

    • 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.

      The problem is that theater PCs are almost as rare as teeth on chickens. Most PCs that I've seen are connected to monitors smaller than 23 inches diagonal, and it's a pain in the behind to fit four players' bodies around a single 17" or 19" monitor. Even the people who have theater PCs have problems finding titles [slashdot.org] because the AAA four-player games are made for either one console or multiple consoles, and if they are ported to PCs running Windows, they need a separate PC for each player.

    • by MBCook (132727)

      He he he. The 3DO Blaster [wikipedia.org]. Haven't thought about that thing in a long time.

      The best solution we'll get is what you suggested: get Intel to finally put out a half-competent GPU. They say their next one will be, but they have said similar things before.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by mdarksbane (587589)
      Nothing changes until Intel Extreme Graphics either stop stucking or stop dominating the market. Or people bother putting "get a real graphics card" in their buying a pc for dummies guides.

      Even if every system today shipped with something equivalent to a six year top of the line nvidia or ati chipset, it would be significantly faster than the current generation of "extreme" graphics that gets slapped into every bargain basement pc currently made. It's nearly impossible to write anything fancier than popcap
  • While some intense games require specific types of hardware from what I've seen most require the computer to be dedicated to playing the game. Why not take advantage of the virtualization extensions AMD and Intel have built into their CPU's and virtualize a gaming environment.
    • Why not take advantage of the virtualization extensions AMD and Intel have built into their CPU's and virtualize a gaming environment.
      You'll probably figure out the answer to that once you answer this: How well does OpenGL perform inside PC-on-PC emulators such as VirtualBox and VMware?
      • by MBCook (132727)

        If done correctly they can perform quite well. Things are improving, but they still have a way to go.

        On the face, they can do very well because OpenGL is standardized and you can just pass the calls outside the emulator into the real OS. All you have to do is adjust for window co-ords and such (not that bad).

        The big problem (as I seem to remember hearing it) is all the extensions. Since much of it isn't standardized (pixel shaders and such) nVidia and AMD have done their own thing and you have to support

    • I'm not especially familiar with the virtualization world, but my general suspicion would be that virtual systems aren't designed to deliver the continuous real-time response necessary for a decent gaming experience. Anybody here who knows better should correct me. On the other hand, even if the virtual gaming environment is feasible, wouldn't it necessarily be a reduced-performance sandbox vs. the maximum that the latest hardware can do? Would PC gamers want to buy into a system that -won't- pull every
  • by chill (34294) on Monday May 19, 2008 @04:32PM (#23466866) Journal
    ...are doomed to repeat it.

    Can you say "MSX [gamespy.com]"?

      + What is a MSX computer?
          The whole MSX story started in 1983 when the computer companies
          wanted to make a worldwide home computer standard.
          The idea was that you could run programs made for one machine
          on a variation on models from different companies (Just like the
          PC standard today).
          Companies involved with this was among others, Sony, Philips,
          Spectravideo, Sanyo, Yamaha, Mitshubishi, Panasonic, Dragon,
          Daewoo and a lot of other companies.
          The MSX was based around the Z80 3.5Mhz 8Bit CPU, a well
          know and well supported CPU for its time. It also came with
          a 3 channel PSG which had no problems matching the poor quality
          PC sound or other machines made in the early 80's. There was also
          the possibility to add extra sounds via SCC cartridges made by
          Konami, MSX Music (FM-Pac) from Panasonic and also a soundcard
          originally made by Philips. As it also supported 16 colors the
          machine was well suited for games and education programs.
          Later models had more colors and more RAM.
          The MSX did very well in Japan, South America (there are 400.000
          MSX machines only in Brazil!) and quite well also in Europe.
          It did not however become a huge success worldwide, but it did
          reasonably well, in fact it was made and sold in Japan till
          well into the 90's... and the user base still have lots of active
          fans (including myself), though not the same as it was 10 years
          ago for natural reasons... (the developent goes on and so does the
          computer freaks :)) Still it is possible to obtain new hardware
          for the MSX even today thanks to various MSX clubs. These clubs
          make the Moonsound soundcard based on OPL-4 and is said to be
          very good. There is also the GFX9000 graphics board that add even
          better graphics to the MSX in addition comes things like SCSI
          interfaces, adapters etc......
    • ...are doomed to repeat it. Can you say "MSX [gamespy.com]"?
      Konami fans can. Konami put out several games for the MSX. Even if this "MlayStation" failed in the United States, the Xbox and Xbox 360 have failed just as hard in Japan.
  • 4 consoles? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ZephyrXero (750822)
    Sounds like AMDs aiming to make 4 different "console" type setups... to make this really work they need to focus on a singular setup rather than what they're doing... unfortunately I just don't think their heart is really in it enough. We've been working on the Open Game Console project for over 2 years now to figure out these sorts of issues and I just don't see AMDs current game plan working.
  • by Midnight Thunder (17205) on Monday May 19, 2008 @04:35PM (#23466902) Homepage Journal
    One of the biggest advantages of a games console is a specification and implementation once released. A PC (whatever the OS) is a moving target and because of the complexities of configurations and different hardware proves to be harder to get right, especially when you are pushing the edge. Taking this into account and the existence of virtual machine technologies, such as Virtual PC, I wonder how successful a Virtual Games Machine environment would be. The idea is that you provide a virtual machine environment that runs transparently to the user on whatever OS they happen to have (MS-Windows, Linux, MacOS X) and provides the right hooks to run on the underlying hardware. This is probably wishful thinking, but maybe it is the only way PC gaming has a way to survive beyond the speciality games that are suited for a PC - think World of Warcraft and other strategy games.
  • Doomed to failure (Score:5, Insightful)

    by snarfies (115214) on Monday May 19, 2008 @04:36PM (#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.
    • Crysis 3 will come out and require a 16-core 5.5mhz processor
      That's some rather exotic CPU you've got there. Some Z80 reincarnation with 16 cores? Will that run faster than a single Pentium 1 at 100MHz?

      Just kidding, just kidding. But I do wonder what such a CPU could actually be used for.
    • by ceroklis (1083863) on Monday May 19, 2008 @05:16PM (#23467444)
      16-core at 5.5mhz makes 88 millihertz and 8264234gb makes approximately 1033 kilogram*byte. Surprising specifications.
  • by maillemaker (924053) on Monday May 19, 2008 @04:37PM (#23466924)
    Dammit, I _do_not_want_ a separate computer to play games on!

    I _have_ a computer. It is primarily for playing games. I don't want another computer for playing games, and a separate computer for email, web browsing, watching movies, etc. etc.

    And while more and more of this functionality is showing up on gaming consoles, now I'M RIGHT BACK TO HAVING A COMPUTER AGAIN.

    I just do not understand the console appeal. My last console was an Atari 2600.
    • by aliens (90441)
      Console appeal is the same reason you do not want a separate computer.

      Ease of use. I don't want to have to tinker and download drivers now that I'm Old(tm).

      I've got 30minutes to chill and play a game, just work for fucks sake.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Chandon Seldon (43083)

        I've got 30minutes to chill and play a game, just work for fucks sake.

        If you're gaming time comes in 30 minute blocks, consoles are just as useless to you as a gaming PC would be. You'll do just fine with any old computer by navigating your web browser to crappyjavagames.com or whatever - that's pretty much all you have time for.

    • I just do not understand the console appeal.
      A console lets you play with friends who do not own their own computer. Perhaps your friend lives in a 3-person, 1-computer household and can't take the family PC to your house for a LAN party. With a console, you can connect up to four gamepads and a large television, and everybody can smash or kart at once.
      • So the justification for consoles is LAN parties?!?!

        In all my years of gaming on my PC, I've been to exactly 1 LAN party. For the other decade or so of gaming I've done on my PCs, I've played solitary, or head-to-head over the Internet.

        I did try a console once at a friend's house - it was his son's console. We played some 1st-person shooter. It drove me _nuts_ having two separate games going on on the same TV. Give me my own display, thank you.
    • I just do not understand the console appeal.

      I'm not surprised you may think this way if you never had to deal with actual friends. Unlike virtual friends, actual friends are becoming obsolete and it's becoming more and more difficult to satisfy their physical interface requirements. They don't work unless you have physical presence of the friend and even then, they require their own buffer space.

      Virtual friend gaming on a PC is simple because only you interface with the monitor and the computer's input de

    • by Kjella (173770)

      I just do not understand the console appeal.

      A volume of games that doesn't use keyboard/mouse (yes, I know a few have that too but the PC doesn't have it the other way around) and has multiplayer controls that actually work in more than the one game they came with? No driver issues? Actually tested games as patching isn't that easy? I have a Wii, and it's not a PC replacement. Hell, it's not even a replacement for the gaming bit. But at the same time, it's so much more that you don't get on the PC. Sure you could have gotten it on the PC since conso

  • by bill_kress (99356) on Monday May 19, 2008 @04:38PM (#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)
    • by grm_wnr (781219)

      Call it a "Console Mode" for PCs, where you can just boot up from the DVD and the game starts running instantly.
      Current OSs feature bootup time that is, umm... well, the term "instantly" does not come to mind, even from the HD, which is orders of magnitude faster than booting from DVD. And if it's not using a standard OS, it's not a PC in any meaningful sense anymore; it's an Xbox (or LinuXbox or whatever). All these nifty game APIs need time to load, you know.
      • by bill_kress (99356)
        Exactly. The story I was referring to had a version of Linux loaded in rom for instant-on browsing. Hence my suggestion of the addition of a "Console Mode" to the instant-on OS.

        Sorry if I wasn't clear. Perhaps I should have referenced the other story (Still not gonna, it's played here a few times now)
    • by Bert64 (520050)
      Trouble is, current x86 systems are not like old days where hardware was register compatible with standards like VGA...
      There is very little in common between different videocard vendors, they all have completely different programming methods and use a compatibility layer (drivers). There is virtually no compatibility at the hardware level.

      Of course the whole abstraction layer of drivers adds a performance hit...
      To take such things to an extreme, we could all standardise on the Amiga architecture, and run UA
  • Epic Fail (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Lord Ender (156273) on Monday May 19, 2008 @04:40PM (#23466972) Homepage
    Nvidia and Intel will never sign on to anything called "AMD GAME." This is doomed from the start because of the name.
  • I'm not just talking about gaming, either. If someone creates a "standard" for something, somebody else will come along and find some reason to break the standard. Remember when they tried to standardize C? Yeah, that worked out well didn't it? Besides, so-called "standards" are just as likely to stifle innovation as they are to eliminate compatibility problems -- and I'm sure that isn't lost on AMD, who'd stand to profit greatly if everyone just nodded their heads emptily and said "'K! We'll do it all your
  • Alternate Boot (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Toonol (1057698) on Monday May 19, 2008 @04:43PM (#23467014)
    You know how some laptops have an alternate, simple OS built in that can fire up in seconds to play movies, listen to music, and so forth? I think that would be a slick way to establish the pc back as a gaming console. It could be a stripped down, heavily tainted linux OS, or a severely trimmed XP; the point is you would put in a disk and hit the 'game' button on the case, and bam!
  • Basically, it's a branding initiative with zero weight behind it. AMD is in the unfortunate position of not having leading products in either graphics or processor, and yet they are trying to emphasize themselves as a leader for gaming enthusiasts. Of all the markets to try to hoodwink, this is a poor choice to focus. There has been a long standing history of PC gaming nuts keeping a close eye on technology and commenting. The ones that aren't so obsessive about it have either moved to consoles or don't
  • The wide choice of hardware in the x86 market is counter to easy and performant gaming...
    You end up needing multiple levels of software abstraction between game and hardware to cater for hardware that is fundamentally incompatible with each other.
    Compare that to consoles, where the hardware is always the same, so you can program it directly without lots of extra overhead..

    For a good example, try building a pc with as close a configuration to an xbox as you can, and try running some of the games side by side
  • Won't work (Score:2, Insightful)

    by infalliable (1239578)
    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 "ULT
    • Just use model years (Score:2, Interesting)

      by tepples (727027)

      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.

      That or just use model years [slashdot.org], like on cars. So you'd have machines that conform to 2008 Basic, machines that conform to 2008 Ultra, machines that conform to 2009 Basic and 2008 Ultra, etc.

  • Where do I start!? This faster loads and games that take more advantage of the hardware talk is ridiculous. My computer loads games FAR faster than my piece of crap XBox 360 (looks at rock band). How are there more games that fully utilize the hardware on consoles? Is that because there's less to use? Have they heard of Crysis? You can only just now run that maxed at a decent framerate and that game has been out ages. Those things are not console advantages. Being able to buy one system, never upgrade it an
  • by Brit_in_the_USA (936704) on Monday May 19, 2008 @05:03PM (#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.
  • The AMD/ATI 780G chipset has gotten great reviews otherwise, so why isn't it in the initial list - even if it still needed to be paired with an external graphics card?
  • ...because, invariably, a PC which was good two years ago when I bought it just never seems to be good enough for the games coming out two years later.

    Game companies trying to use the high end equipment to "fully develop" their games kept leaving me with abysmal frame rates. I got tired of my wallet smoking from trying to keep up.

    Of course, I understand the idea. Can you imagine game development languor if the latest NVidia or ATI was forced to sit on the store shelf because a company is dedicated to the

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