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Has STEAM's big picture mode consoles pointless?

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DoomUK said:

Upgrading your PC involves putting a dent in your bank account if your video card or whatever isn't quite up to the challenge and "needs" to be upgraded

Luckily, it's not as bad as it used to be during the dark, transitional years between DOS and Windows 9x: system requirements in those years skyrocketed literally overnight, and the differences between a "Pentium recommended and 8/16 MB RAM" title of 1996 and a DOS game of 1994 designed for 2 or 4 MB were dramatic. Today, a budget computer will be able to putt-putt its way even through a couple of hard games. But if you had a 486 or didn't have Windows 95, back then you'd simply be cut out of the loop. This seldom occurs today (unless you have Intel GMA...)

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I live in Canada and for my high end PC I only paid $750.

AMD FX 8150 Black Edition
Sapphire Radeon 7870 2GB Ghz Edition
16gb Ram
M5A99FX MoBo
700 Watt PSU
Antec Cooling Case

Again only $750.. On full graphics there is 60 frames easy on - Far Cry 3, Armed Assault 2, Max Payne 3 you name it. Even Euro Truck Sim 2 on 400% render.

Just saying, atleast here it's that cheap to get those parts and you will be setup for years. Infact with these parts it'll be cheaper to upgrade to the Radeon 7990 than it would be to buy the next-gen stations coming out soonish which still would barely be comparable to the PC's technology releases at that time.

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Justince said:

Psx only had one processor, MIPS based. Saturn had 2 SH2 RISC processors.

I stand corrected. Still, the amount of features built-in the CPU itself (Geometry Transformation Engine, 66 MIPS, MDEC, 80 MIPS) made it quite competitive versus an early Pentium CPU in practical gaming applications, and that's without counting the capabilities of the external GPU chip. This led to the "paradox" of the "cheap game console" beating the CRAP out of anything but the most expensive Pentium-based computer one could buy at the time.

It was, in effect, a marvel of engineering of its time and for some years to come. Much more capable than the Pee-Cees single-CPU architecture, and more balanced than e.g. the N64 which came after it.

Compared to the previous generation of "next gen consoles" (32X, Sega CD, 3DO, Jaguar, Pippin, CD32, CDTV, CDi etc.) the PSX finally got the balance right. The former were essentially "multimedia machines" built around 16-bit Motorola or weak 32-bit ARM CPUs and a CD-ROM drive, with no other redeeming hardware features. No wonder they couldn't beat the Pee Cees at their own game, aka being generic and making up for lack of hardware features with brute force and continued upgrades.

The Saturn is worth a similar round of considerations, and had also interesting features of its own but, as we know, it flopped for its own reasons.

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Justince said:

That's alright, your point still stands. Fortunately this languishing generation of consoles has put the PC in the lead technologically, and will probably remain so for a good while.

Now, if only game developers could wrap their collective noodles around the fact that we like to play with keyboards and mice on occasion. =P

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