Last year when EA was showing off Battlefield 3 they spent most of the year showing off only the PC version. They were pretty upfront with the matter but if all you did was watch a commercial on TV then you might have been disappointed when your shiny new game didn't look anywhere near as good as the version from the trailer. Now for a lot of people graphics don't matter and getting a watered down version of the game wasn't a huge loss. I'll argue that getting it at only 30 fps was a bigger loss especially for those use to the smoothness of Call of Duty. Regardless, while EA never outright lied, for those who didn't do their research there could have been a big blow to the face when they started playing their game.
This year EA did a repeat of last year. Except this time they showed virtually every game at their press conference off on the PC. And this time they didn't own up to it right after. But this year it wasn't just EA. Ubisoft was only showing its games on PC (I understand that this was the case even at Sony and Microsoft's press conferences), Tomb Raider was running on a PC, RE6 was running on a PC, everything was running on a PC. The only games actually running on the consoles they were being displayed on were the exclusives (You Halo and God of War and so forth). Now arguably Sony's exclusives especially looked better than most anything anyone else was showing save for maybe Watch Dogs and the stuff confirmed to be next gen. But the question is, for all of these third party games, will they actually look and run anywhere near as well on a console as they did on PC? The answer is obviously no. At best they will look pretty close but run at half the frame rate. At worst you will get the type of game we saw at the end of the last generation, where games looked decidedly worse on consoles than on PC. The question is, which games are going to look good regardless of system and which won't? And furthermore will gamers have any heads up in advance or will we be at the whim of critics to tell us what games are functional on consoles and what games aren't?
It's going to be an interesting year and a half until the launch of next gen systems and in that time I expect PC gaming will see a big explosion in popularity as people await a console that can keep up with the PC's on the market already. As someone who buys most of his games on the PC I think it is great that developers aren't holding back when it comes to their latest engines, but I also feel bad for those who don't do their research and end up buying something that doesn't work how they thought it would. What do you guys think? Do graphics and performance matter enough to you that this is going to be a problem? Or are you content with the graphics of current gen systems even after seeing what the next gen will be capable of at this year's show?
Oh and as a final note, thanks to everyone who took my survey over the past 24 hours. I got over 150 responses thanks to you guys so I'm set to go other than needing to get some more girls to take the survey. Didn't think of that skew when I posted it here. Oh well. So thanks everyone! I really appreciate it!