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Default Are more powerful computers actually better?

January 19th, 2015, 12:38
I was reading the thread in General Discussions about system requirements for The Witcher 3 and my mind was boggling on the recommended system requirements. It will be demanding 40gb of hard disk space and 8gb of RAM…

What I was looking at while reading this was an old game which has as its system requirements just 5mb of hard disk space, doesn't even mention RAM. The first game in my pile that required RAM was a game which requires 75mb of hard disk space plus 16mb of RAM…

And yet, for those older games, I am expecting to have zero chance of them actually playing on my newer gb computer.

One day computers will do everything they are so awesome! … and yet they have trouble coping with something that would take 0.0001% of the processing power of a new standard game.

So there's obviously more to playing computer games than just the actual game-recommended stats, the bit where it shows you which operating system is required is actually the real biggy.

When Microsoft release a new operating system, why do they have to obsolete the old operating system? Why can't they provide the old operating systems as an optional background programme that you can boot up when you want to play old games?

With consoles you can buy an old system to play old games, they don't seem to deteriorate that badly over time, however, PCs tend to die before their use has fully expired and no-one supplies old operating systems on functioning old PCs and new PCs likely wouldn't run old operating systems.

Why does no-one care that all these old computer games, which require nano-power by today's standards, are so readily consigned to the dustbin so quickly after release? Why does Microsoft have such a non-sentimental approach to their product? What is it exactly that prevents computers from coping with simple old games of little power?

When a new generation of PCs come out, it makes me groan, not revel in wonder at the new power levels, all new power levels do for me now is make me wonder which of MY games I'll no longer be able to play…
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January 19th, 2015, 12:54
Generally, I think so, yeah.

If not, then Bard's Tale would not look or "feel" so inferior to say, Skyrim, Dragon Age or Witcher 3.

There are dozens, if not hundreds, of good RPGs from the 80s and 90s that I've never played - because I didn't have access to the platform or because I just didn't come across them - and yet I don't play them today.

That's because I, personally, appreciate many of the advances made that relate to technology.

However, there's also a lot of wasted CPU and GPU power going on, because there's a lot of effort involved in presentation that I don't really need - and which I think would be better spent on gameplay or mechanics.

That said, I love what I'm seeing of The Witcher 3 - and it looks like a game that takes advantage of modern technology exactly like I would want it to.

I don't care about my computer, though. To me, it's something that gives me access to what I DO care about - which is the gaming experience. I'm used to upgrading it - and that's where a lot of my spare money gets invested. I consider it a natural and acceptable price for technological evolution.
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January 19th, 2015, 13:08
Actually, it's quite simple.

Competition drives innovation, which mean new OS's and new hardware.

The hardware can run your old game no problem, but the OS can't. Why, because the coding that was used then is not compatible with the coding that is used now.

This can be due to new coding standards and languages or just because the games were coded specifically with one platform in mind using a specific engine.

It is possible to get games to work within the new OS's as Dosbox shows as well as many other emulators.

For example, you can find NES emulators to play games form the 90's quite easily…

To answer the question as to why MS doesn't simply keep everything compatible is also quite simple. They're a business and need to make money. If they don't make money they go under. Making money means making a profit. For MS it probably is not profitable to keep supporting games from the 80's. There is nothing about sentimentality in here.

If they get sentimental and lose $50m due to supporting old games, then they will fire 500 people. Of course, you can say they could make profit from it, but they probably looked at it at some point and thought it would not be the case or would be too little to be worth the risk.
Whether they were right or wrong is a different matter altogether though.

But, yes the more powerful computers are better in terms of hardware only.
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January 19th, 2015, 13:10
Originally Posted by lackblogger View Post
I was reading the thread in General Discussions about system requirements for The Witcher 3 and my mind was boggling on the recommended system requirements. It will be demanding 40gb of hard disk space and 8gb of RAM…
Does not seem that unreasonable to me. System requirements have always been going up, and you have to remember that not only does these new games look better, they are also capable of doing things that quite simply were not possible 10-15 years ago. Computer game AI has come a long way in the last 15 or so years, and you can tell when you compare say Daggerfall with Skyrim. It still has a long way to go before it gets great, but it is getting better, and with more powerful computers, we can better simulate people and have more of them around at the same time.

Originally Posted by lackblogger View Post
What I was looking at while reading this was an old game which has as its system requirements just 5mb of hard disk space, doesn't even mention RAM. The first game in my pile that required RAM was a game which requires 75mb of hard disk space plus 16mb of RAM…

And yet, for those older games, I am expecting to have zero chance of them actually playing on my newer gb computer.

One day computers will do everything they are so awesome! … and yet they have trouble coping with something that would take 0.0001% of the processing power of a new standard game.
I would say that you have a very good chance of getting most of them to run on a modern computer. Between Dosbox and VirtualPC getting old games to run is a lot easier these days than it was 10 years ago (I've been able to run some of those "unrunnable" games, like Chaos Gate, on modern systems)


Originally Posted by lackblogger View Post
When Microsoft release a new operating system, why do they have to obsolete the old operating system? Why can't they provide the old operating systems as an optional background programme that you can boot up when you want to play old games?
Money. It costs a lot to make sure that everything works well, and when you want legacy code and modern code running at the same time, seamlessly integrated, you'll end up with a lot of issues, issues that costs money to fix. Microsoft did release VirtualPC though (for free!) which allows you to run legacy software on your machine. The only problem with running an OS inside an OS in a virtual machine is that it is darn heavy on the system, but that's fixed by getting more powerful machines.
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January 19th, 2015, 13:14
I can run the vast majority of PC games all the way back to those from the early 80s. As in, at least 95% of them without issue.

The only ones that I might have problems with are those that came out right around the switch from DOS to Windows 95 and the 3D acceleration period. Some of those are a pain, but I usually find some way all the same. Lands of Lore 2 is the only game I've tried (and I've tried hundreds of old games) that I couldn't get to a state where I was ok with it.

Full built-in compatibility is NOT worth the major sacrifices in terms of evolution and performance, in my opinion. Would be nice if it had no such cost, but there's no way to advance without letting go.
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January 19th, 2015, 13:27
Short answer for me is yes.

I don't really understand the argument. Pc's are much more backwards compatible than consoles. It's often much easier in fact to emulate old console games on your pc than try to find the old console and the game cartridge you want.

As mentioned above you can use dosbox or there's nothing stopping you from owning a 486dx/66 with dos on it or dual booting an older OS.

For instance I thought it would be cool to find the console Baldur gates and champions of norrath games and play them with my youngest son but it was near impossible to find copies of the games. The ones I did find were very expensive. Conversely my older son has played baldurs gate 1 and 2, 3 times each and all the ultima's ( in dosbox) on his modern pc.

I'm an early adopter of new tech and actually cringe at how slow technology is moving (pc wise) lately. I long for the days of 6 month upgrade cycles but I'm sure im in the minority there.

It's still pretty easy to get 15-20 year old games to work on modern pic which I think is pretty impressive. If however advancements in technology means I need to keep an old system around or lose access to really old games, I'm fine with that.
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January 19th, 2015, 13:36
You all keep talking about games from the DOS era, but, yes, these are actually easier than some more modern games.

Take Medieval Total War for example, released in August 2002, completely unplayable the second they switched to dual core:

https://www.google.co.uk/?gws_rd=ssl…+war+windows+7

And yes, I know about money and how people will follow the path of least resistance combined with maximum profit, but in most hobbies you find specialists who carve out a living on nostalgia. If you want an old console system, there's going to be someone selling them who has a storehouse full of them, however, does such a private enterprise exist for PCs? No. I even saw a Youtube video of a developer of yore who is worried his old PC wont last much longer.

Take any other technical hobby, like cars or vinyl or VHS or whatever and there are still a lot of resources out there, but old computer games? Really, how much would it cost to have a sub-division which retains minimal production of old rigs, in comparison to a billion dollar profit business? Heck, they'd probably spend more on their own museum (coca-coal has a museum section http://www.worldofcoca-cola.com/ etc etc). If Microsoft had a museum section then old OS's could be just another consumable to buy in the shop at the end of your visit (with an on-line ordering system as well) so, no, I don't buy the lack of money thing one slightest bit really.

Edit: the new old rigs wouldn't even have to be full rigs, they could just be laptops, easy to ship.
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January 19th, 2015, 13:43
Originally Posted by lackblogger View Post
You all keep talking about games from the DOS era, but, yes, these are actually easier than some more modern games.

Take Medieval Total War for example, released in August 2002, completely unplayable the second they switched to dual core:

https://www.google.co.uk/?gws_rd=ssl…+war+windows+7

And yes, I know about money and how people will follow the path of least resistance combined with maximum profit, but in most hobbies you find specialists who carve out a living on nostalgia. If you want an old console system, there's going to be someone selling them who has a storehouse full of them, however, does such a private enterprise exist for PCs? No. I even saw a Youtube video of a developer of yore who is worried his old PC wont last much longer.

Take any other technical hobby, like cars or vinyl or VHS or whatever and there are still a lot of resources out there, but old computer games? Really, how much would it cost to have a sub-division which retains minimal production of old rigs, in comparison to a billion dollar profit business? Heck, they'd probably spend more on their own museum (coca-coal has a museum section http://www.worldofcoca-cola.com/ etc etc). If Microsoft had a museum section then old OS's could be just another consumable to buy in the shop at the end of your visit (with an on-line ordering system as well) so, no, I don't buy the lack of money thing one slightest bit really.
I haven't tried Medieval : Total War on my new laptop, but I doubt it would not be able to run at all. You might need to tell the program to just use one core, but other than that, I don't see why it wouldn't run because of having more cores.

With regards to Coke, they probably make more money out of the museum than you think as it is used for advertising as well as selling stuff within the museum shop. However, Coke does not meed to keep a factory open to produce the old versions of Coke for it, nor do they need people to maintain the old Coke bottles.

The analogy doesn't fit.

However, I am certain you can still buy versions of Win or XP to play old games if you want.
You can even buy laptops with WinXP on them for less than £50.
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Acer-Trave…item43d61aec6c
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January 19th, 2015, 13:46
Try before you make claims and come back to the thread.

Coke does indeed try to market various forms of coke-original on a regular basis.

Awesome link with the XP, I'll look into that, but I even had the same problem with XP, loads of 95/98 games wouldn't run on it… it's a continuous issue with each new OS, which is why they tried with their emulators in Win 7, but it doesn't always work.

Edit: on one ebay XP laptop 1gb RAM the page claims 130 sold… well, there's just one seller proving that there's a market for cheap old rigs… money issue my ass.
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January 19th, 2015, 13:57
Originally Posted by lackblogger View Post
Try before you make claims and come back to the thread.

Coke does indeed try to market various forms of coke-original on a regular basis.

Awesome link with the XP, I'll look into that, but I even had the same problem with XP, loads of 95/98 games wouldn't run on it… it's a continuous issue with each new OS, which is why they tried with their emulators in Win 7, but it doesn't always work.
Unfortunately, my game's CDs are back in Belgium (my parents' house)

Also, it's the same with any other thing though. If you want to play NES games, you would need to own a NES and not a SNES. So in this case all you need is an old computer with the old OS on it.

If you want to play vinyl records, you need a vinyl record player (e,g, : grammophone).

Don't see how that's different.
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January 19th, 2015, 14:12
It's different because people still make brand new vinyl players:

https://www.google.co.uk/?gws_rd=ssl…layer&tbm=shop

It's different because consoles don't die after 7 years, they go on-and-on-and-on-and-on. I have a pre-console computer console with a built-in game:

Grandstand Astro Wars

Which still runs as perfectly as the day it was bought in 1981, it just requires new batteries. My old XP computer though? The hard drive frazzled for no reason other than age.
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January 19th, 2015, 14:13
Originally Posted by lackblogger View Post
Try before you make claims and come back to the thread.

Coke does indeed try to market various forms of coke-original on a regular basis.

Awesome link with the XP, I'll look into that, but I even had the same problem with XP, loads of 95/98 games wouldn't run on it… it's a continuous issue with each new OS, which is why they tried with their emulators in Win 7, but it doesn't always work.

Edit: on one ebay XP laptop 1gb RAM the page claims 130 sold… well, there's just one seller proving that there's a market for cheap old rigs… money issue my ass.
Then buy one of those laptops and play your game.

Someone on eBay selling 130 old computer is proof of a market?? Based on that a real company can create a whole sub division to making these old pcs??

Maybe Sony should make a subdivion that only makes black and white Tv's because there are people who like to watch old movies.

Sorry, the number of games that won't work is just to small for any company to make money targeting consumers that want to buy an older system to play the few games that won't work.
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January 19th, 2015, 14:14
Your dismissive generalisations are boring and unhelpful. That was just ONE seller, who are you to know the market, why compare B&W to colour when that is so far from the comparison as to be a laughable proposition, you're words aren't wroth the screen they're written on. A better comparison is people upgrading and restoring old tv shows and films, which goes on every single day. Yes, I could by an old XP system, but what about 2000, 98, 95, how long before my new old refurbed XP dies, what then? etc. Why I'm even responding to you I have no idea.
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January 19th, 2015, 14:18
Originally Posted by lackblogger View Post
Your dismissive generalisations are boring and unhelpful.
Ok, good luck.

You just wanted to bitch rather than go out and solve your issue. Got it.
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January 19th, 2015, 14:20
No, you just wanted to post lazy dismissive anti-proposition diatribes because it was the cool thing to do, regardless if it was all complete horseshit. Got it.
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January 19th, 2015, 14:24
*yawn*

Your right I dont care enough.
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January 19th, 2015, 14:32
Thanks for your marvelous contribution and sparkling attitude. I'll be sure to post abstract CBA nothings on your future threads…
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January 19th, 2015, 14:55
Sorry, I usually have a better attitude when I'm attacked for offering my thoughts.

As for being dismissive, there are solutions to your problem, you even posted 1. I suggested you do it. Not sure what the big deal is.

The b&w tv reference was supposed to be absurd. Just as absurd as you suggesting that it wouldn't take a lot of money for a company to open a sub division just to make old pc's. Check how well that work for computer Renaissance, they used to have several stores in my state that Focused on selling old computers. Now they have none and it appears they only have 2 stores left in th US and have changed there business model.

My point was there's not a big enough market there imo.

I was hardly dismissive and felt I contributed. You don't think so. No biggie.
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January 19th, 2015, 14:59
Let me start by saying I completely misunderstood what this thread was about, I think that maybe you should change the title? The way you can read it now is, whatever computer performance has evolved a lot, which would be very interesting in some ways to discuss.

Secondly there are very very few games you cannot make to work on modern systems in one way or another there are also places like GOG who keep improving that.

As for consoles there is no backwards-compatible in a lot of consoels so they are much more of a problem than PC's, but there are also people who dedicted their time to those.
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January 19th, 2015, 15:31
Originally Posted by lackblogger View Post
It's different because people still make brand new vinyl players:

https://www.google.co.uk/?gws_rd=ssl…layer&tbm=shop
Yes, and people still make brand-new computers too. It's not different in terms of hardware in this case.
And again, if you want to play NES games, people don't make new NES consoles.

It's different because consoles don't die after 7 years, they go on-and-on-and-on-and-on. I have a pre-console computer console with a built-in game:

Grandstand Astro Wars

Which still runs as perfectly as the day it was bought in 1981, it just requires new batteries. My old XP computer though? The hard drive frazzled for no reason other than age.
Those consoles with just one game are very simple, and so are much easier to make to last.

Your computer with XP had a hard drive that could be reprogrammable, which that Astrowars game probably did not have.

There's a big difference in Reprogammable and non-reprogrammable hardware for one.

Your hard-drive fizzling could be due to many things including mechanical failure, but hard-drives fail due to the amount of read/writes going on as well.

Again, nothing to do with MS, unless you expect MS to be responsible for your hard drive as well as your OS ?

(Note: I had a 10-year old hard drive in my house PC, which still worked, the only reason I stopped using it is because I use my laptop for everything now)

The Astrowars game is again a poor example for the reasons mentioned above but ALSO because if you wanted to play the game, you would need to find that particular console/game pair, which they do not make anymore.

Also, you are asking for two different things:

1. Old things you can still buy
2. Backwards compatiblity


For some things, you only want one, for others, you want both.

Why aren't you asking the Wii to be able to play NES or SNES or N64 games ?
That's much harder than playing old games on a PC.

Yes, you can buy an old NES or N64. You can also buy an old PC with XP on it.

In reality you can even buy a new PC and put XP on it.
If you want your Win 95 games to run then you dual boot your XP and 95 on that PC.

I don't understand why you seem to think PCs are worse than consoles ?
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