Quick Quotes: Epic’s Mark Rein on the importance of PC to the future of gaming

Saturday, 9th July 2011 20:34 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

“We’re at the stage in the life of the consoles where the PC has shot by them in terms of capabilities. Don’t forget every game that’s ultimately built is built on a PC. PCs are always going to be the tools through which all games get made. With the PC you can simulate the future – you can put enough hardware in a PC to show you what a future console will look like.” – Mark Rein speaking to Eurogamer in The Future Of PC Gaming Pt.1. (Thanks EvilAvatar)



  1. Erthazus

    than how about bringing Gears Of War 2-3, Shadow Complex or Next Unreal Game on the PC, Mark Reain? Is it too hard for you?

    #1 4 years ago
  2. Grimrita

    PC is king. Simple as. And its more than ‘just a tool for building console games on’. Consoles will never be able to match the sheer power of a PC. Its about time lazy developers woke up and started to develop proper games on the PC again, instead of blaming poor sales, pirates, Pat butcher…

    #2 4 years ago
  3. Erthazus

    @2 +1000

    I agree completely. My PC is already more powerfull then the console for like 8 times.
    I’m sick of this port trend with cheap consolization. Developers really need to wake up and do something for PC that pushes it to the limit.

    Instead you get 5-6 year old crap with linear scripted gameplay with 600p visuals upscaled to 720p with 25-28 fps.

    #3 4 years ago
  4. monkeygourmet


    You really think this is going to happen? Next Xbox and Playstation release then PC games will start getting pushed again.

    It sucks but that’s how it works, you must understand that by now? Games like BF3 and Witcher 2 are hopefully going to push out the MS and Sony consoles that little bit quicker as the gap is really starting to show now graphically.

    Also, Erthazus, check out my question at the top of the forum about a gaming laptop, advice would be helpful but no snarky comments please! ;)

    #4 4 years ago
  5. Kabby

    Man speaks the obvious. Blow me the fuck down. Maybe he’s the next Molyneux.

    #5 4 years ago
  6. danhese

    This isn’t news, PC hardware has always been ahead of console hardware by 2 to 4 years because of the release cycle. PC hardware gets a yearly refresh while consoles get refreshed every 5 to 10 years and that is a trade off developers and console gamers are willing to accept in other to get consistency and compatibility. Console hardware are based off of PC hardware so you are in fact saying a 2011 PC gpu is better than a 5 year old PC gpu and that is pretty obvious considering the huge age difference. Developers will not stop using consoles as their main platform for games because that is where they make the most money. Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft could in fact make consoles that the gpu can be swapped at your own expense but the burden will fall on the developers to create consistent looking games taking all those different hardwares into consideration. Nintendo and Sony do not use Direct X API. Even with direct x, xbox 360 uses a custom direct x API that only surpports 360 hardware so the gpu cannot be switched.

    #6 4 years ago
  7. DSB

    @5 Obviously so. However, if you look at the Eurogamer segment they pulled that from, it’s just as mindnumbingly stupid throughout, seemingly asking a lot of people to state the obvious.

    Probably he just got asked an incredibly stupid question, and decided to indulge what he probably thought to be someone who has no clue of what a PC is.

    It’s the same as the Molyneux articles here. You gotta bring the content somehow. It’s the same reason why CNN keeps a stable of commentators that are essentially completely out of the loop, with next to no insight on the issues they comment on.

    As long as they’re talking, you don’t have to come up with anything that’s actually relevant.

    #7 4 years ago
  8. fuchikoma

    That’s all true, but it’s not relevant to why consoles beat PC in sales.
    Can you just pop the disc in and be sure it’ll work? Do you have to install drivers? Do you have to install supporting technologies like DirectX? If you update these, will it break any games or reduce performance in some? Will it run poorly because other things are in the background? Will it run at all, if there is malware? Does the game itself install malware, and will that break other games or functionality? Will QTEs pop up, asking you to hit pad buttons 3 and 7? Or insert and J, in the next 2 seconds? If you have the specs to make it “run,” does that mean run at 20fps? Does it mean with, or without foliage, trees, and other details turned on? How long should you expect to tweak texture, geometry, and shader settings to make it run decently? Can you pick up a game from 5-10 years ago, pop it in, and have it work flawlessly – just as the developers saw it?

    Of course PCs will always be essential to game design, if TPM doesn’t get out of hand. Anything people can program will get games on it, and PCs will take any kind of media in, process it any way, and put any kind of media out. Still, no amount of peak technical performance can make up for the convenience factor of games that are guaranteed to be totally consistent and functional on all compatible units.

    Also, personally I don’t see the way consoles are holding back PC gaming. I’ve been a PC gamer since the early 1980s, and once 3D acceleration took off, the vast majority of games have been afraid to use a fraction of what the best hardware can do – except Epic, and a few others. It wasn’t because games led on consoles – they led on PC – it was because you can sell way more copies if you can run your software on 3 million PCs, not 3 thousand.

    #8 4 years ago
  9. blackdreamhunk

    pc gaming is like th borg

    Star Trek – Locutus Of Borg

    We are The Borg

    Brokenspace [BORG] Alliance Video

    #9 4 years ago
  10. bpcgos

    everyone here talking about PC only from the one side of the coin! We all already knew it,guys!There is Much more that PC have bring to the table but its seems being forgotten!

    Innovation and fresh new thing we can try is the most outstanding point PC were always able to do but not on console without involving major risk (and money)! What about free to play (but not free from paying sadly)?What about digital distribution? What about Valve (I’m pretty sure it was an innovation)?And the most important things is about the community itself.

    We, PC gamer, always tend to try something new and then share it towards the world !We also never forget about something old as long as its worth it (is there any 10 years old console game that still sold today like deus ex?or even 15 y.o games like xcom).We dont care about metacritic score because every game are worthed(see my last rambling far below ) We dont care much about graphics eventhough our hardware should be able to do more (the prosperous indie market is one of many proof we can presents).

    PC gaming itself never stop evolving beyond the tech its contains. Crysis 2 (+DX 11 patch and texture patch) is prime example what PC can do with its raw power! Minecraft (its sell 2 m copies alone without console interference),torchlight,magicka,etc are another example of what pc can do beside from its raw power . While Crysis, The witcher 2 or STALKER series are yet another example that can do both.

    For last but not least, I always love to use this as my last rambling:

    quote drom markcockjin @RPS comment thread of this article

    “All I have to say is, Valve and Steam are doing the most important job here for PC gaming by turning a highly competitive games market into a community of people who share the love for gaming.

    Instead of fragmenting fans into die hard groups loyal to a particular franchise or developer, Steam shows you what games you missed, and gives you the chance to appreciate new genres you may have never bothered to try. Turning on Steam is like going to a party.

    To tell you the truth, I was so depressed reading about Origin and how they want their share of the pie. What pie are they referring to? Valve’s? All I see are PC gamers who are free to communicate and relate to each other when before, they weren’t even able to. You have Ubisoft who cooks up crazy plans to make it more complicated to play. Microsoft who secretly wants to kill PC gaming and port XBox Live to PC. You have Rticello and DICE saying that they are going to kill CoD and how it’s rotten to the core. On the other hand, you have Gabe who says that CoD is actually good for games like it because gamers normally want to play more than one game of a certain type.

    Then you have the Steam Summer Sale where you read comments of people having fun playing a low metacritic-rated game because there are these little prizes you can get fo-reals. These aren’t just the dudebro fratboys or the Hammer Legion Members. You see comments from people who don’t even speak English or pee standing up.
    PC Gaming does not belong to these CEOs and stockholders. It belongs to the gamers and the games we decide we like“.

    #10 4 years ago
  11. TheWulf


    I don’t think it can be measured in years. A decent 2011 computer is 20 times the magnitude of a PS3 (when developers can actually figure out how to push it to its limits) and 30 times the magnitude of a 360.

    I think that when the next generation of consoles come along they’ll be limiting hardware on purpose so that development costs don’t increase exponentially. And really, I can understand that, so you’ll be having consoles which PCs are 10-20 times the magnitude of.

    I don’t think we’ll ever see high-end PC games again, myself, and I say this as a PC gamer. Why? The development costs are too high. BUT, here’s what I do want – I want console manufacturers to stop putting shitty CPUs in their consoles. The 360/PS3 have about the equivalent of an old PC dual core in there, and it shows, because the AI in console games absolutely pales in comparison to stuff like Stalker. We all know this is true.

    And having better AI wouldn’t increase development costs substantially, either, and STALKER is once again proof of that. I think what the next generation of consoles needs to do is concentrate almost purely on CPU power. Sure, boost the graphics a little because they’re showy, but we can’t get by with amazingly shitty AI forever.

    Let me put it this way… the AI in Ultima VII, a game from… what… ’92? That has AI that puts Oblivion to shame, and sadly it’ll likely do the same with Skyrim. Skyrim will also likely have shit AI compared to Ultima VII, as do 99% of console games. And this isn’t being nasty, this is speaking the bloody gospel that we all know to be true.

    Name ONE console game where you have a LOT of critters on screen, all of which are acting intelligently. If you can do that then I’ll bow down to your knowledge, but otherwise, consoles are inferior to decades old computers, and that’s depressing. The problem is is that the CPUs are just that wimpy, and part of the CPU in most console games is devoted to graphics and physics processing.

    The next generation of consoles really needs to concentrate on AI above all else. Slight increase in graphics, physics, sure… but get a beefy processor in there so we won’t be playing another decade of games which are entirely about set pieces where you have to script the every motion of every critter in a rigid way, lest they go running into walls.

    #11 4 years ago
  12. ExxonValdez

    Epic should make more PC games.

    #12 4 years ago
  13. endgame

    ok so what’s the point of what he (mark rein) just said? I mean, that’s common knowledge.

    @1 why? does games suck anyway.

    #13 4 years ago
  14. Maximum Payne

    @13 Speak for yourself I love Gears and I would Gears 3 to come on pc.

    #14 4 years ago
  15. Kuwabara

    Console gaming will always be better than pc. Since playstation 1, the sony systems have had the best exclusives, and games overall. With pc, you only get decent shooters and rts/rpg games here and there. The overall quality in console games far exceed pc games.

    #15 4 years ago
  16. Christopher Jack

    Some people just want development costs to spiral out of control for a slightly better looking game, guys like Erthazus clearly have no idea how hard it is building 3 identical games at the same time, they do what they can to make the PC version look best but they’re not going to go bankrupt trying to achieve perfection for a few nitpickers like yourself.

    @15, I prefer playing on my PS3 above PC/360 for general gaming but even I find your comment ridiculous, I do agree that the PS3 has the best exclusives but exclusives alone won’t sell a console, just ask Nintendo that during the N64/Gamecube era, the 2 biggest marketing tools are the price & building up the hype. The games & features are the next most important things.

    I think PC gaming has some potential to capture more of the core audience but they need to make it more accessible. For example, Valve could design a range of gamepads, headsets, mice & keyboards that’s universally supported by all of their games & ship it off to gaming retailers. They could also get away with building a Steam ‘console’, capable of being upgraded & able to play every current game out of the box at an affordable price-whether it’s Windows based or not is irrelevant

    #16 4 years ago
  17. DaMan

    The Ai notion is incorrect, without a doubt computers do allow for more elaborated ones but there’s plenty of room for improvement on current gen consoles. Old games didn’t have to do with complex collision detections in 3d worlds, leading to bugs and numerous issues. Many modern titles have poor AI because it’s merely hard to implement properly.

    Also, there’re plenty of ancient native console titles selling well these days, Perfect Dark, Chrono Trigger, Resi just to name a few.

    #17 4 years ago
  18. Dralen

    As I person who owns a PS3, Xbox and a PC, I can say that PC is definitely my favourite platform. Even the console ports are better than the console versions now that they better supporting gamepads.

    #18 4 years ago
  19. DSB

    @16 That would be an incredibly easy way for Valve to lose money. All they have to do is improve their service and maintain their brand and they can look forward to a good 10 years of growth.

    They’re way ahead of anyone in building a community around their client, and that’s only going to get stronger.

    A decade from now, brick and mortar is going to be considered antique. You might find a few here and there, and games will probably still be a physical thing in the bigger supermarkets, but mostly it’s going to be a third world phenomenon. Gamestop are managing to make a profit based on their size and consoles that mostly aren’t digital yet, but they are smartly in the process of going digital to avoid becoming the next Blockbuster, while several of their competitors are inching closer to extinction.

    Games are going digital, both on consoles and on the PC. The question is who will come out on top. A next gen console featuring less than a TB of space will be a bad idea in my opinion, and will need an upgrade before too long.

    Microsoft want a proprietary service on their console, and that’s Steam out of the picture, but Sony could really bolster their profile by partnering with Steam to deliver games on their consoles. Netflix is obviously a huge plus for people, and given Steams profile on the PC, it could do the exact same thing for them.

    If or when they do branch out, it would probably be a cloud service. They already have good relationships with all the major publishers, and arguably the strongest brand of any online games provider.

    Nobody wants proprietary controllers, and the console market is completely saturated by three consoles, two of which are virtually indistinguishable from one another. Valve aren’t in a hurry, though, people are going to keep signing up, and hopefully they’ll be able to prove their worth with Sony. Either way, they can afford to wait until the market is ripe.

    #19 4 years ago
  20. Christopher Jack

    @19, Ironic, I myself have mentioned a potential partnership between sony & valve myself on more than one occasion but I fear that may inflate the price when sony demands their royalty payments for steamplay games.

    Hopefully there will be multiple purchasing options, marve maybe one just for a ps4 only version, one for a ps4 & a psv version for slightly more, another for a ps4 & pc version & yet a 4th option to use the game on all 3 platforms.

    Wouldn’t be entirely surprised to see onlive join the equation either but i’ve no doubt that valve will be working on their own streaming service for steam. Either way, it’d seem more likely for sony to do it all themself over partnering with the top dogs. I mean sony have done a good enough job on psn for psp, all they really need to do for the ps4 is have same day digital releases & competitive prices with frequent bargains to compete with steam.

    #20 4 years ago
  21. DSB

    It would be more profitable if Sony could pull it off, but do they really want to take that risk?

    I know it’s a point of contention with people who have a tight relationship with the console, but PSN hasn’t exactly been a wild succes for Sony. The best thing you can say about it is pretty much that it’s free.

    Of course it would be a hard decision to say “We’re outsourcing this instead of taking the extra profit”, but personally I think it could be the equivalent of having an exclusive on something like Netflix. Microsoft obviously aren’t open to Steam, and Nintendo obviously don’t care to make a serious online component, but Sony actively working with a brand like Steam, to bring people games across platforms? I think it would be a huge advantage, with a lot less risk than trying to go it alone.

    Obviously there’s a difference between selling games and streaming movies, but I think Valve has some very compelling offers. Beyond being experienced and popular, they’re obviously able to offer a few games on both PC and Mac via Steamplay, why not extend that beyond Portal 2 with the PS3? They won’t be able to do it with every game, but it’s pretty compelling when they can.

    #21 4 years ago

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