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I wish | This is why PC ports of many games are so bad

I wish |  This is why PC ports of many games are so bad

There's an explanation why many console games don't deliver the same quality on PC as they did on the original platform. This is the reason given by the developers.


John Gabor

09.28.2023 – In recent years, a lot of obstacles have appeared to make life difficult for PC gamers. First came cryptocurrency miners for GPUs, then came the global semiconductor shortage. We did it, Ren. Now that there are no longer major hurdles to hardware supply and the supply of graphics cards has also stabilized, there is reason to hope that the new PC ports will perform well on the new configurations. Well, somehow it doesn't work that way. Some games whose recent PC ports have been somewhat disappointing:

  • Wu Lung: Fallen Dynasty
  • The last of us part 1
  • abandoned
  • yields
  • Star Wars Jedi Survivor
  • Remake of Dead Space
  • Hogwarts Legacy
  • Resident Evil 4

These are perhaps the most famous “criminals” of 2023, whose PC port had to be installed long after release, so that players would stop fuming on the forums. Since there were so many AAA games that had to be improved afterwards, this trend – you guessed it – can't be a mere coincidence. The graphics and stability issues in these publications aren't just due to bad luck.

What's behind the computer port clutter?

In the case of the above games, a recurring issue was that ray tracing was wrong, playback crashed, the frame rate crashed, and you were left wondering what you spent your hard-earned HUF on. Because you expect lots and lots of big studios and reputable titles for a reason. There's no simple explanation for why PC ports go bad, just as it would be difficult to find common, easily identifiable features behind individual games' faults. But there are possible explanations.

Source: Mojoplace

PCGamer has two unnamed developers He sought me out, to help detect malware causing bad ports. To reassure you that the problem is not in your device: they have agreed on that

It's not a computer problem, it's a development problem.

This may not be a satisfactory statement from a user perspective, but the fact is that it is becoming increasingly difficult for developers to achieve the performance goals required for each platform. You must have noticed that in recent times creating large games has become significantly more expensive and more complex, but the end result is becoming more and more unpredictable. One explanation for this may be the well-known Moore's Law. Named after one of Intel's founders, the observation is simply that the complexity of integrated circuits roughly doubles every one and a half to two years, creating a serious problem for digital innovators. It is extremely difficult – if not impossible – to keep up.

Source: Wikipedia

Roughly speaking, developers today have to work twice as hard to achieve half the progress they did 10 years ago. And it's dirty, expensive stuff. It requires more staff, more implementation time, and more component preparation. Since it is very difficult to constantly scale up, especially visually, there will not be much left at the end of the performance goals set at the beginning of projects.

“Of course, we insist on making the game as beautiful as possible. But if you spent three or four years making it and running it at 30fps, it's impossible to suddenly jump to 60fps – at least without ruining the content.

One of the developers explained. It's important to note here that while consoles are closed ecosystems – their performance levels can be predicted and tested by developers with great accuracy – the PC platform has always been, and always will be, a mess of variables.

Source: GameRanks

During computer performance testing, you can try a certain number of CPU, GPU, and RAM configurations, but it is impossible to consider and test thousands or even tens of thousands of variables at the same time. Because almost. Mathematical absurdity.

“It is unrealistic to assume that you can create a product that runs flawlessly on any configuration of CPUs, GPUs, memories, and most importantly, background software.”

– said John Johannas, director of Hi-Fi Rush and The Evil Inside 2, when asked by Digital Trends. Hideyuki Miyashita, the first game's systems programmer, agreed, but also highlighted the cost of optimizing the game for each possible configuration. “In terms of PC performance, it would be ideal to make every graphics function scalable to different configurations; however, development costs place an upper limit on realistic scalability.”

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We understand the problem: There are neither enough people nor enough money, because the mission is impossible from the beginning. But is this really so? Will there never be PC games that are stable, well-running, and beautiful even when ported? Because computers will never be simpler, which means that games originally produced for consoles will always arrive broken on this platform?

According to Miyashita, one solution may be asynchronous operations. In such cases, the development team uses analysis tools to determine exactly what the CPU is doing when objects appear in games and try to move tasks to other threads so that the game does not slow down. This move to a parallel architecture can also help with resource load.

the total

The games that appear today were in development in a disastrous state years ago, so it's understandable that porting them to today's PC environment is difficult. While we have reason to believe that studios will become more forward-thinking and consider the post-requirements of the PC port during original development, it will take years before these fundamental issues are resolved.

For digital trends statement They care about performance just as much as players, so there's no shortage of goodwill, the developers said. There are ways to optimize PC versions, from pre-caching to asynchronous operations to testing on a wide range of devices. But the harsh reality right now is that developers can't take everything into account, either due to time constraints, money constraints, or both.

What you can do to change trends is mercilessly announce your opinion to publishers. Because until the demands of the gaming public change loudly enough – at best in the form of a dying feedback campaign – no studio is going to voluntarily hire more people and spend more money on a better quality port.

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It must be said that we would rather wait a little longer, just do it right!

One important lesson is that given the poor quality of the PC port, you shouldn't shoot the most obvious target, the developer, because they did everything possible with their time and budget. So don't shout at them, shout at the publisher. But louder with him, because he doesn't really care how the audience judges him. Sooner or later, he will listen to the customer, as he should have done in the first place. And one more thing: in the case of the PC port, it really seems like you should be careful and probably not buy it right away on premiere day. We know it's a game of patience, but if you wait, you'll likely get a much better quality game for your money after any issues that may arise are fixed, i.e. after several patch updates.

Finally, there is another excuse for developers, which can be easily forgotten. While years ago it was common for games to arrive on one platform first, then a few months or years later on PC, nowadays more and more studios are faced with the expectation that at least three games will arrive (such as the Xbox Series (PS5 and PC) should appear on the system. Moreover, even on previous generation platforms (Xbox One, PS4). in the same day. In this context, it is no longer incomprehensible why there are problems on PC, but perhaps the new practice will slowly mature and we will receive more polished versions.

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