Carmack: “We do not see the PC as the leading platform for games”

John Carmack, id Software’s founder and chief technological officer, isn’t really as interested in the PC as a platform anymore.

At least, that’s the rather huge implication of a quote he gave to Kotaku following the massive, horrific debacle that has been the release of id’s latest first-person shooter, RAGE, on the PC. Here’s a quote from that interview:

We do not see the PC as the leading platform for games. That statement will enrage some people, but it is hard to characterize it otherwise; both console versions will have larger audiences than the PC version.

Carmack goes on to discuss the fact that while PCs are 10 times as powerful as consoles today, it’ll create “an inferior product” to expend “a tenth of the resources on a platform that’s 10 times as powerful.” So it makes more sense, he reasons, to develop for the lowest common denominator — the consoles — and focus on the effort of the development team in working on making the game fun. Instead of worrying about technology, he says, developing for consoles allows id to focus on gameplay, while the PC versions of games can be incrementally better. Developing primarily for PCs, on the other hand, makes for much weaker console games.

But while the audience for PC games isn’t as large as consoles in Carmack’s view, at E3 2011, the developer noted that the PC platform is “an order of magnitude” more powerful than consoles. During an interview with CVG, Carmack noted the power of the PC platform and said that developing RAGE for consoles and porting it to PC had been a mistake.

You can see the complete interview video here, but here’s some relevant quotes, care of Rock, Paper, Shotgun:

When we started on the game six years ago, I looked at the consoles and said ‘These are as good as the PCs that we’re on here’, and our development strategy was set up such that we basically developed live on all the platforms there. And now when we’re looking at PCs that have 10 times the horsepower of the consoles… I’m making a large change in my direction, just saying ‘We should be focusing on building things efficiently on the PC and [then] deploying on to consoles.’ And we didn’t make that as crisp of a distinction as we should have.

My development system now has 24 threads and 24 gigs of memory, and we can start putting on half a terrabyte of solid state drives, and these are the things that are gonna drive the development process on the PC. I’m actually as excited about how we’re developing tht titles in this coming generation as the graphic enhancements and things that I’m gonna make.

…it is unhappily true that we have these consoles here running at sixty frames per second, and we could have these massively more powerful PC systems that struggle sometimes to hold the same framerate because of unnecessary overheads. If we were programming that hardware directly on the metal the same way we do consoles, it would be significantly more powerful.

And despite Carmack’s assertion that PCs aren’t the primary platform for its games, it seems taken as a whole (which includes social gaming, admittedly), PC gaming is expected to surpass consoles in revenue as early as this year, according to research by Ignite Media.

NVIDIA comes to a similar conclusion when measuring game sales, which have been rising on the PC since 2008. The graphics card maker expects PC sales to continue on the rise, surpassing those of consoles by 2015.

Granted, NVIDIA’s figures are likely self-serving given that it works on PC components (among components for a number of other devices — including the Playstation 3). We’ve seen a lot of evidence that the PC platform is no longer dying, but, in fact, thriving, but Carmack does not see it as the company’s leading platform — despite years of history there.

Follow Hornshaw on Twitter: @philhornshaw

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55 Comments on Carmack: “We do not see the PC as the leading platform for games”


On October 7, 2011 at 3:05 pm

“We do not see the PC as the leading platform for games. That statement will enrage some people, but it is hard to characterize it otherwise; both console versions will have larger audiences than the PC version”

because console gamers are cheap bastards who cant afford decent computers who’d rather pay twice the price for a console game (and the cheap h/w) then they would on a PC game. What console gamers dont realise, gaming pc’s are built to do anything and everything, can xbox browse net? can ps3 properly browse net? does either console have an office suite? can you make backup discs or burn cds or dvds etc… NO!!!. Even the cheaper gaming computers can play most of today’s games because its companies like ubisoft dont bother putting effort in making them Next Gen. PS3 & Xbox 360 is long dead in technology!

If it weren’t for pc technology you wouldn’t have console technology such as xbox, xbox 360 and ps3- Remember that!



On October 7, 2011 at 3:30 pm

Carmack’s been corrupted.

Sorry old friend, we have to take you out.


On October 7, 2011 at 3:38 pm

For someone who has historically been lauded as being a forerunner for pushing the envelope of graphics and technlogy, this is a shocking blow.

So, basically, he’s saying it’s hip now to sell-out for the almighty dollar? Shame on you, Carmack.

So yeah, let’s pass over PCs because consoles are cheaper & easier to develop for. Why hire technology researchers and pay programmers or artists to learn about new and emerging technologies? Why do anything at all when you can just regurgitate the same sequel selling over and over for $60?

Why, you ask? Because people will buy it anyway. Goodbye, innovation. Hello, stagnation.


On October 7, 2011 at 4:47 pm

Carmack Your Wrong

PC is the ultimate machine than consoles
Are You ing Retarded??
Get The Out Of Here
Dont’t Whit PC Gamer’s



On October 7, 2011 at 6:36 pm

What it sounds like he is saying is if you combine the 360 sales and ps3 you will see a much higher figure in numbers sold then in just the pc alone.

So designing a video game around two consoles Is a lot less work then pushing countless hours and money in new technology.

And now we are left with the issues we see now with all the bugs and issues on the pc version.

Hopefully they will stop making pc games, If you can’t make a AAA Title 90%+ free of bugs when releasing the title you shouldn’t be making games for the pc in the first place, really getting tired of these company’s with no standard of quality.

JosephPS3 Dead State

On October 7, 2011 at 6:58 pm

This really doesn’t help ppl like me who were once PC gamer but moved to consoles. Its just reality of gaming today-consoles dominate. I was seriously looking to upgrade my PC to play games sometimes in 2012 but I think Carmack’s statement is not alone nor crazy. As a game developer you simply can’t ignore the console market. They take priority if you want to maximize profit.

By the time the gap between PC and consoles become too great, the next gen consoles would be released making console gaming once again “good enough” with a much more affordable entry cost. Don’t get me wrong, I love the options PC offer-Keyboard and mouse, multiple monitors but I really don’t see how PC will once again dominate and get developer’s main attention.


On October 7, 2011 at 7:13 pm

Suck Brah


On October 7, 2011 at 7:30 pm

@Steve “So, basically, he’s saying it’s hip now to sell-out for the almighty dollar? Shame on you, Carmack.”

u just hammered the nail on the head so hard that Chuck Norris feels afraid of your knowledge.


On October 7, 2011 at 8:50 pm

It’s laziness.Developing for consoles rather than PC’s is due to laziness.They want to make the same or more profit for less work.Many people do not have the work ethic that we had 20 some years ago.It’s all about the almighty dollar not the final product.


On October 7, 2011 at 9:29 pm


What the hell, you back stabbing snake in the grass. You know that you started with PC games not console games and now you turn your back on us. No wonder you spit out Doom 3 and it sucked, such a garbage game and the only reason is it was consolized. Now you’re lazy and turn your back on PC gamers and give us a big middle finger. Well guess what I am giving you 2 middle fingers back. I didn’t buy Rage and I will not buy Rage for PC, heck I wouldn’t even bother downloading it if I was some crazy pirate because it is a waste of good bandwidth!

I am not buying another Id Software game until Carmack is gone or Id goes back to making games mainly for PC! As my friend known as The Great GQ would say “Suck a fat one!” that’s right Carmack this message goes out to you!

Brandon J. Clark

On October 7, 2011 at 9:47 pm

If I just released a piece of on the PC I’d try and distance myself, too.

There is no other truth in this situation.


On October 7, 2011 at 10:26 pm

Battlefield 3 seems to disagree! With the PC as the lead platform, it makes sure that it’s GREAT on the PC, and it should also STILL be great on the Consoles… just because you’re making PC the lead platform doesn’t mean the console versions will be worse, it just means that the PC version will be -better-


On October 7, 2011 at 11:04 pm

He says this stuff as if anything he’s had a hand in since Quake 3 has mattered to gamers or the industry. Get a clue Carmack, because as it is your totally out of touch with reality.


On October 7, 2011 at 11:13 pm

by that photo above of Carmack, you can just see he has sucked console and chewing on its lol


On October 8, 2011 at 1:04 am

Maybe if id had been relevant to gaming in any way whatsoever at any point closer than a decade ago, I might actually give two s about what Carmack has to say these days.


On October 8, 2011 at 5:57 am

Heru is completely right, iD has been completely irrelevant to the gaming industry since the release of Quake 3.


On October 8, 2011 at 8:50 am

Despite being mainly a console gamer, I have to agree that Carmack’s comments are quite short sighted and will only serve to alienate a dedicated (more like fanatic) PC fan base. Such a decision can only lead to stagnation in gaming software as id focuses on consoles which are always trailing behind the PC in terms of hardware. In the short term consoles may seem cheapter but with a replacement cycle averaging seven years (sometimes less), a good gaming PC is cheaper. For the same price of a console now plus accessories, one could upgrade their PC and still have better hardware. In the future I will be picking up a console mostly just to play exclusive titles.

The PC has always been the leader and if it is an issue of profits, I agree with the likes Ignite Media and Nvidia (despite the latter’s bias) that with PC components becoming cheaper, the dedicated gamers that spend the most will be mostly on the PC in coming decades. Consoles and their games will remain over priced, alienating more and more potential customers.


On October 8, 2011 at 9:41 am

carmack sold out


On October 8, 2011 at 10:50 am

carmack is a crysister s


On October 8, 2011 at 1:28 pm

console ports are boring as bricks. You can’t do nothing with that old hardware to impress anybody. Its stagnation.


On October 8, 2011 at 1:50 pm

If you really think the PC is not a leading platform for games, I would love to know what your smoking.

A PC has much better processor (most computers are 2000 Mhz (2Ghz), generally 2000 MB or RAM, better dedicated graphics (usually gamers have 512 MB DDR3 graphics cards running at 700 MHz or better) and bigger (and faster) hard discs (easily 100 GB or more)

Compared to a console, lets take the latest WII as an example. The processor of a WII is 729 MHz, with 88 MB main ram (of which 64 MB is for graphics, and graphics card runs at 243 Mhz). Hard disc is about 512 MB.

So if consoles have 300% slower processor speed, 2272% less ram, and 289% less graphics card processing speed and 19500% less hard disc space, please tell me what technology allows the “console” to be faster than an average gaming PC ? Huh?

JosephPS3 Dead State

On October 8, 2011 at 5:11 pm

@ Paul

You’re missing the point Paul. There is no argument the PC is much much more powerful. The issue is market share. Consoles dominate the gaming market as of now. Just go to your Best Buy and Futureshop and check out the console section and compared that to the PC gaming section. Its at least 3 times the space and selection. That’s because most of the market (customer) own and use consoles as a medium for gaming. So priority goes to consoles.

Lets say the reverse happened. Rage was developed on PC first and released flawlessly on the PC with much better visuals and performance but the console port was a disaster. Id’s new engine and future as a developer would very much in trouble.

If I was the CEO and had to risk potentially disappointing either a small minority group or a larger majority group of customers which group would I risk? Or put it in another way, I would ensure the best possible outcome for the majority of my customers.

I don’t think Id wanted the PC disaster but I’m sure they put a lot more time and effort to make sure the console went smoothly. This is just reality. PC was once dominant but slowly lost market share while consoles grew to the point where we are now and I don’t think that’s going to change in any significant way in the near or far future.


On October 8, 2011 at 8:52 pm


Yea, you made this too easy:

“Just go to your Best Buy and Futureshop and check out the console section and compared that to the PC gaming section. Its at least 3 times the space and selection”

The console section is “at least 3 times the space” because it has to represent three different consoles. And this is without mentioning handhelds.

I mean, come on now.

Tonton Alarcon

On October 8, 2011 at 11:51 pm

i think Steve Jobs’ death took a toll on him. maybe its time for Carmack to join him.


On October 9, 2011 at 2:23 am

herp derp Carmack is pissed because graphics suck on PC and now says bad things…
he’s beginning to act like that douchebag Cliff Bleszinski…

señor cojones

On October 9, 2011 at 3:22 am

this dude opinions are not relevant:
1. he has not made a good videogame since the original doom, he will never do it again, on consoles or pc, quake was crap and so it was quake arena, ut99 was way better. Doom3 was a turd and far cry 1 crapped all over it showing this dude how its supossed to be done
2. can not even make a good engine so others can make a good game, the guy is done for good, no good games + no good engine = you might as well start doing 2d games for facebook. At least the guys in the unreal camp make good engines other use to make good games, this guy is 100% irrelevant to pc gaming, while a guy like blezinsky is only 50% irrelevant
3. he is a ginger


On October 9, 2011 at 4:33 am

Wow I didn’t expect someone like Carmack saying something like that. I always saw Carmack as someone who was above the corporate bull. I thought Carmack was in the industry for the love of making awesome engines and awesome technology. He can’t be though because anyone who really loved making awesome tech would hate developing for a console (stone age in tech terms) when he could be doing state of the art stuff on the PC.

I guess Carmack officially has become a has-been then. He’s in his comfort-zone where he knows everything he needs to know and doesn’t need to learn new stuff. The console is perfect for people like that because there isn’t anythnig new to learn. What you see is what you got and there’s no way to upgrade a console with new tech. New happens on the PC all the time. People used to listen to what Carmack had to say. He’s not really relevant any more. Goodbye mr Carmack. You still have a legendary name in the industry of course but enjoy your pension age.

JosephPS3 Dead State

On October 9, 2011 at 5:29 am

@ SupremeAllahStupid

I guess I have to point out the obvious: console = PS3, Xbox, Nintendo ummm ppl who buy a copy of Rage on either one of these consoles is not going to buy another copy for their PC. Its one or the other.

What does it matter to the PC market if they lost a sale to either PS3 or Xbox or Wii. Its still a lost customer to the console market. So yeah you can combine all three as a comparison to the PC market when talking about market share and allocated retail shelf space.

Is there anything else you need hand holding explaining you special kind of stupidAllah?

JosephPS3 Dead State

On October 9, 2011 at 5:50 am

HolyAllah! I just realized why SupremeStupid got confused. Its because I used “3″ as the numerical comparison. So obviously thought, “ofcourse the console section would be 3 times bigger then PC because there are three platforms.” You have to think like a moron to understand what goes around his head.

I greatly underestimated the number. Its probably more like 10 times bigger. Each console alone is about 3-4 times larger. PS3 section alone is allocated 2 rows of shelf space. Same with Xbox and Wii. PC gaming section-1/4 of one row. SupremePathetic, run to bestbuy, futureshop, gamestop, circuit city etc right now and grab your Playschool measuring tape to compare yourself.


Phil Hornshaw

On October 9, 2011 at 10:40 am

I think the Best Buy discussion is a bit of a moot point given that it seems a huge portion, if not the overall majority, of PC game-buying is done digitally. Shelf space is diminished because nobody’s walking into a Best Buy to pick up PC game discs with the rise of Steam. Only Gabe Newell knows how much of the PC game-selling market he currently holds in his deep pockets.

As to Joseph Dead State, here’s the thing I think you’re underestimating: you’re saying that PC gaming is “a small minority” when I think we’re starting to see that that minority isn’t really that small. You’re right — it makes more financial sense to develop for the lowest-common denominator. But id’s utter failure with the PC is almost as big a failure as if they’d released a crap console game. The PC segment IS smaller than consoles, but not nearly small enough to warrant what id has done — which is basically ignore it, fail to care about it, and release an entirely sub-standard product using it. They did exactly what they claimed they couldn’t to the console market, but to the (smaller, but not definitely not small) PC market.


On October 9, 2011 at 11:11 am


Don’t have to cry like a child because you were wrong, guy.


On October 9, 2011 at 12:10 pm

Damn it, we lost another one.

I’m sorry Mr. Carmack, you’re no longer welcome.

JosephPS3 Dead State

On October 9, 2011 at 1:06 pm


Go read it again SupremeAllex. What Phil’s saying is that its not about right or wrong because the point is moot because its impossible to make a comparison of market share based on shelf space because PC games are mostly downloaded. Anyways enough of you, you’re a stupid child and there’s no point of trying to get any meaningful discussion with a moron.


I see your point and you’re right. You can’t based market share on retail space.

The PC market is definitely smaller but whether its still relevant or not is up for debate I guess. The only main point I was trying to make was that it seems like ID neglected the PC. I don’t think anyone can argue with that. But interestingly, I don’t think ID is even responsible because I recently read that ID made sure everything was working perfectly for the PC but it was AMD who messed up with their drivers. I don’t think any developer can be blamed for third party mess ups. I don’t know whose to blame or share the blame but the damage is done. You can’t make another first impression and you can’t take back disappointments and bad word of mouth.

Its a little ironic that of all the people and stuio, its Carmack and ID that as set the PC gaming a step backwards. Right or wrong, Rage disastrous PC release is a tarnish for gaming on PC.


On October 9, 2011 at 2:26 pm

Fair Well, id Software.
i spent 49US for Rage and u say like this to make me Rage.
id Software just lost an old fan today, Congratulations!


On October 9, 2011 at 4:09 pm

gtfo carmack
i’ll stick with buying good games from now on


On October 9, 2011 at 8:16 pm

@JosephPS3 Cry-state

You burst into attacks like a child when I called you out. Don’t be mad because you’re wrong. You’re clearly still in tears.


I feel you. They tell us the PC version will be great pre-release, now they’re like “Yea, stick with consoles and stuff. BTW, who cares about PC!”


On October 9, 2011 at 8:23 pm

Sometimes I wish PC gaming would drop dead because of the community it has. I love playing on my computer. Just not the community i talk to online. Godawful people.


On October 9, 2011 at 9:48 pm

@ScrewTheConsole: You must be a very sick man.


On October 9, 2011 at 10:26 pm

Never thought I’d say this but Carmack is an idiot.


On October 9, 2011 at 10:33 pm

I recently visited my local GameStop store and they told me that they no longer sell PC Games. The store is full of games for the consoles and lightweight gaming devices like the DS & 3DS. Screw id software. Consoles like the Playstation 3 and XBox 360 are already outdated. PC gaming is the way to go because you can upgrade your processor, video card, etc for a better gaming performance. You can replace your old video card with a much better one that costs less than the price of a PS3 or XBox 360 console.

Phil Hornshaw

On October 9, 2011 at 11:09 pm


That’s very likely because GameStop is pushing its Impulse platform for digital downloads.

(Not that we’re arguing this point, but,) Like I mentioned before, it’s not that retailers don’t deal in PC games, it’s just that the way people buy PC games is becoming different.


On October 10, 2011 at 2:34 am

Who is this Carmack? Did he died >:)

Sorry I couldn’t help myself. He just didn’t get to play the BF3 beta these past weeks. That’s why he’s upset. I feel like more people would game on pc if they actually experienced it for themselves. Everytime I have friends over (yes console friends, God help them) and they play games like BFBC2 or something like DiRT3 with uber graphics they are always blown away. They love it. I can’t help but dog their consoles. I actually just aquired a PS3 notto long ago and when the BF3 beta came out I also downloaded it on the PS3. Guess how much I played it… like 10 min tops. It was terrrrrrrrrrrrible. I still go back to the controller issue first but the graphics just blow. The resolution is unbearable. I think with the ever dropping price for pc hardware, more and more people will trend to the pc. There needs to be a big marketing push for the gaming pc but I think the winner is clear.


On October 10, 2011 at 6:12 am

I understand the PC love and i respect PC gamers, but rememeber that good console games are ported everyday to PC that if it wasnt the case you shouldnt be playing, like assassins creed, halo, gears of war, etc i know this games are not perfect but nontheless you can play it without the need of buying a console, therefore PC also benefit from consoles like the other way around, we need each other, therefore to demand respect also give respect.

And also the if you look at the all time greates videogames list you see a lot of consoles only games and a lot of PC only games, therefore all the formats form part of the same group, gamers, this attitude hurt us in the end, even today gamers are seeing as a niche group, with a niche industry, so stop segragating ourselves like that.

I agree with most of the comments here, he shouldnt said something like that period, even if its true(marketshare thing),you should put effort on both formats so the game is great, and playable on both formats, and have everyone happy, you as a developer should aim for that period.


On October 10, 2011 at 8:57 am

Halo and Gears are not “Good” games.

Dave T

On October 10, 2011 at 9:04 am

I dunno, rage has triple monitor support (6048×1080) and higher texture modes on the pc compared to the consoles 16k is the highest without a texture pack! where as the consoles have 4k – 6k depending on the area they are playing in (to achieve 60 fps)so we cant really say he has not catered for the pc users to some extent. I mean this could be a knee jerk reaction to the amount of anger that has been pointed at the company from release. I had problems like everyone else to start with, but the second version of ATI drives fixed everything for me. But unfortunately he has got a point he has had wages to pay to all of his staff for 7 years, he really does need to make some cash from this title and no matter how good a pc exclusive could be there is no way he could make the amount of money he needs to on it!


On October 10, 2011 at 6:37 pm

Plain and simple guys:

If your a game developer and you have the choice of either selling your games on a console or a PC, your going to choose the console hands down. Why because you are going to make more money.

Yes Graphics are better on a PC
Yes the PC has a lot more power then a console
Yes the PC is going to allow you to do a lot more things techincal like better multiplayer and better support for DLC and so on and so forth.

But its about the money, sure developers want to make a great game, but if they know they can sell 10k copies of an alright game with alright graphics, or sell 4k copies of a alright game with GREAT Graphics and so much more, well guess what, they are going to sell 10k copies of that game. Plus they are going to get 3 times the amount of exposure if they sell it on all three consoles. That means they have more wiggle room to put out a 2nd and a 3rd and sell even more sub par games.

Now the real question would be can anyone out there find actual stats of how many games were purchased for consoles and how many games were purchased for PC. Taking into account all platforms with digital downloads and taking into account that Mobile games for iphones and such are not to be included in these stats, nor are games on Facebook etc etc. I’m willing to bet that consoles are still very much in the lead.

Phil Hornshaw

On October 10, 2011 at 6:57 pm


In fact, it’s really hard to gauge PC game sales because not all the numbers are made public. For example, nobody but Gabe Newell knows how well Steam is doing, but it’s certainly doing extremely well. We all know there’s a ton of sales going on there, but we have no idea what the actual numbers are. So doing a true side-by-side comparison is impossible.

That said, more than one source has pointed to rising PC revenues. I linked a couple in the story above.

I think it’s important to remember that while, yes, given the choice of PC and console, there’s more console revenue out there, RAGE has done abysmally on the PC. Whether you blame the video card drivers or the guys who made and (should have thoroughly) tested the game, the fact is that many PC gamers feel abandoned by id. And up and abandoning, whether real or imagined, a huge chunk of the audience is just as terrible an idea is producing exclusively for PC while ignoring consoles.

JosephPS3 Dead State

On October 11, 2011 at 6:12 am

Rage=Perfect example why PC gaming is not dominant anymore.

Rage perfectly underlines the problem with the PC as a gaming platform. I really don’t think ID neglected the PC market. Its smaller than the console market but its still a significant market and I’m sure they put in the proper time and effort to make it look great and run properly. I’m sure they thoroughly tested and made sure it worked with their test studio’s many PC. But the PC has soooo many different variables that can go wrong- OS, motherboards, videocards, processor and drivers and versions etc etc.

Choosing the console as the leading platform doesn’t necessarily mean you dump on the PC platform. Its just easier to develop for the lowest common denominator and then scale up and add more features for the more powerful PC market. But even the great Carmack and ID studio can’t avoid the PC headaches of so many variables.

At the end of the day, the consumer doesn’t care or want to try to understand whose to blame or what went wrong. All they know is that this was a game they were excited to play, paid good hard earned money to play it and what they got instead was disappointments. Greater the excitement and anticipation, greater the let down and disappointment which leads to frustration which leads anger which leads to the dark side.

So what’s this PC gamer suppose to do after a few of these headaches. Well he sees his friends playing the game with good enough graphics. Some of his friends have already finished it and sold it for 90% of the cost and is ready for the next game while he’s still standing there like a sucker waiting for drivers to be released and when its released has to still tinker around with command codes and tweaks. As that once PC gamer, I said “this is bull! I’m just going to buy a console and not bother to upgrade my PC for gaming. I’ll just use my PC for everything else but gaming.” Many many pc gamers have made the same decision as evident by the consoles dominating.

Ron Whitaker

On October 11, 2011 at 10:22 am

Joseph, I’m not buying the driver argument. If the game doesn’t work with drivers that are currently the most current, that a problem at the developer. You don’t develop for some mythical driver that will exist some day soon. You develop for what people are using right now. If you can’t do that, maybe you should forget about the PC as a platform, because you aren’t competent enough to develop for it.

Sure, people will say that they needed new features for RAGE to work how they wanted. Fine. Make sure the driver is out and you test the game with it before you launch. Don’t just launch it knowing it’s this bad. id had to know how bad this game was running on normal drivers, and they made the choice to release it anyway. That’s one of three things: laziness, ignorance, or apathy. Heck, it could be some of all three.


On October 11, 2011 at 11:13 am


I don’t buy into the whole idea that it’s getting more complicated to test every configuration for a PC. The reason I say this is because the permutations haven’t really changed in the last 10 years. If anything, PCs have gotten easier to test for: Hardware and drivers are (generally) more stable. Development software has gotten better. APIs like DirectX and OpenGL are mature and are well documented/supported. There are less proprietary devices in a PC (onboard sound, onboard NICs, etc.) PCs today are far more standardized than they were 10 years ago.

In 2000, we had FOUR major GPU manufacturers. Granted, standards back then were much lower, but still… developers like id and Epic pulled it off like a champ.

What is obvious is that consoles are less obfuscated. Well yeah, it’s a fixed platform, it should be. Carmack isn’t lying when he says they can get closer to the metal, thus more bang for your buck performance. But I argue that as time goes on, this advantage is offset by the so-called fixed platform’s hard limit on performance. Eventually, there’s only so much you can squeeze out of 5 year old hardware. But I’m getting off-topic here…

So yeah, I don’t put much weight into PCs being difficult to develop for or test. What do you think Carmack and Mark Reign use to code on? I’ll bet you money, it’s a PC. It doesn’t start diverging from a PC environment until it hits the 360 code base compilation stage. We could argue the merits of debugging on the actual hardware vs. emulation mode, but in the end that’s splitting hairs.

So giving Carmack and crew a break because PC’s are too hard to develop for is a total cop-out. All you have to do is not only look into the past, but look at their peers. Epic has mastered cross-platform. Crytek seems to have no problem. DiCE obviously doesn’t either. I’ll even bet money that Bethesda themselves have no issue either. I guarantee if you look hard enough you’ll find plenty of other developers who would argue that PC is not substantially that much harder to develop and test on.

When it comes down to it, it’s all about the money. If you don’t want to throw any money or effort towards proper PC development and testing, then you end up with the topic at hand.

JosephPS3 Dead State

On October 11, 2011 at 3:04 pm

@ Ron and Steve

When you’re right you’re right. I just couldn’t believe Carmack and ID studio with their heavy PC history could drop the ball like this. I thought there just has to be another reason, another explanation. It couldn’t be that they just didn’t care and had lower standards for the PC market. But Ron’s right, the driver excuse fails. Steve’s right, its a lot better and easier now to develop for the PC.

So when all other possible explanation fails then the only remaining plausible explanation must be true: Carmack and ID neglected the PC market.


On October 11, 2011 at 3:57 pm

I would sympathize with all you PC fanboys, but I’m just having too much fun playing RAGE on my PS3.


On October 12, 2011 at 12:18 am

No Carmack, excuse will not work! Hiding behind your words, banal truth: id software lack the skills to develop games for PC. Blizzard makes the games for years only on the PC.(And by the way, they are one of the few who completed in 2010 with a net profit.) And all their games just fly! So maybe it’s not a bad driver, but your incompetence? A, Carmack?!


On November 6, 2011 at 11:56 pm

Carmack is only one of many who are jumping on the bandin. They all think consoles are the ways of the future now and forever. However The simple fact is, the only reason consoles sell more is because lots companys only make console games now. If every game release came out on console and pc I guarantee that pc sales would skyrocket. There just not selling because theres no pc games to sell now. Look at your digital store there all remakes or low quality games made by some company that no ones heard of. So Carmack is scared and he wants to fit in so hes gonna do what everyone else is doing. I will point out that if gaming pc goes out so does the hardware, and with it the consoles, think of it as the pc death cures. lol


On December 19, 2011 at 6:36 am

I wonder why we are arguing about this at all. The fact remains that, and senior cojones said it best, carmack can leave and I would not miss him.

PC dosen’t make any money? Did Carmack ever hear of Starcraft 1 – 2, Warhammer 40k, warcraft 1- 3? world of warcraft? The Witcher Series? Crysis? Half Life 1 & 2? Far Cry? The Old Republic? Deus EX? I can go on. Oh and where did Carmack make his start?

The fact remains that you have to make a good product. I will take a game with less than stellar graphics but with a good storyline and amazing gameplay over a game that promises all of these great things and does not deliver. Keep in mind I have a pc with two gtx 580′s and an I7 2600k (i also own a Wii, 360, and a PS3).

I’m sorry, but to me, the game was not that great…it wasn’t bad, just not great and I feel the reviewers were right to give it 8.0, in most reviews. Make a better game and the sales will come. I promise you this.

@ PrettyNiceGuy. Hey, How’s skyrim running on that PS3 of yours? Any lag yet? It’s running fine on my PC!