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Star Citizen, PC, PS4 and Consoles

croberts68

Developer

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Hi everyone!

I figured it was best to post this in its own thread instead of one of the many "Star Citizen on PS4, the sky is falling!" threads that sprung up this weekend after a PS4 devkit was spied in background on Jason Spangler (our CTOs) desk.

While some could view the 1+1 = 256 logic that it required to come to the conclusion that we were ditching the PC for PS4 as an overreaction it does show how passionate everyone is in this community about the PC as the best gaming platform, which warms my heart!

So let me say this.

Star Citizen IS a PC game. It will NEVER be dumbed down for a lesser platform. We will NOT limit the input options or supported peripherals to the lowest common denominator. We will NOT pass on features and technology just because they will only run on some hardware configurations.

I just upgraded my office rig to a pair of Titans running in SLI, driving a 4K monitor and a 1440P one (Thanks NVidia for the goodies!). We’re about ready to build the ultimate AMD rig with FOUR R9 290Xs and AMD’s eight core CPU driving a set of 4K monitors in Eyefinity (Thanks AMD!)

You think that’s a good approximation for console, even a next gen one like PS4 or Xbox One?

I LOVE the PC as a platform because it is open, is always moving forward, with new powerful components (usually at cheaper prices) becoming available to gamers available every year. A $3,000 high end PC gaming rig of today wipes the floor of dedicated graphics supercomputers costing over $1M 10 years ago. People were amazed at being able to get Giga flops of performance. Now we can obtain over 5 TERA flops on a single PCI-E GPU!!! The PC platform is great because it isn't static. It doesn't have rules or some controlling entity that decides what will and won’t be in the eco system. If a cool new disruptive technology like the Oculus Rift comes along it can have a chance to gain traction and become the next big thing.

Because of this Star Citizen will always be primarily a PC game and will embrace the best and newest tech.

Some of you may have seen that we announced our intention to support AMD’s Mantle with Star Citizen. We didn't do this because AMD sends us lots of high cards (although that doesn’t hurt). We are doing this because it increases the ability of a PC to get the most out of its incredibly powerful hardware. Going to the hardware without an huge inefficient API like DirectX allows us to radically increase the number of draw calls in a frame – At last week’s AMD developer conference Nitrous, which is a new company working on a next gen PC engine, demoed a scene with over 100,000 drawcalls per frame running at over 60 FPS through Mantle. To put that in context last gen stuff (and a bunch of PC games gated by DirectX) have been stuck around 2,000 - 3,000 drawcalls and next gen consoles (like PS4) can do 10,000 - 15,000 or so. We’re supporting Mantle to push PC graphics performance higher – it’s been gated too long by DirectX’s inefficiency and abstraction, which has only gotten worse as Microsoft becomes less interested in the PC as a gaming platform. I would love NVidia and Intel to have Mantle drivers (as the API is designed to be non GPU architecture specific) but if not we would support NVidia or Intel drivers that would allow us to get to the metal (GPU Hardware) efficiently and take advantage of parallelism in CPU cores (for efficient batching of data between the game and the GPU).

This is ironically the advantage the next gen consoles have like PS4 and Xbox One – they abstract the low level hardware much less, so what is essentially a mid-level gaming PC of today (which are what the PS4 and Xbox One specs are) punches above its performance weight while Windows and Direct X do a nice job of handicapping the high end PC.

I'm supporting Mantle to push the PC as a gaming platform even further and negate one of the advantages of a console over a PC. Hardly the actions of someone about to sell out! :-)

As far as consoles go Star Citizen will never be on the PS3 or Xbox 360. As for the next gen consoles, PS4 and Xbox One, we have NO CURRENT PLANS, but my stance remains open and is consistent with the many interviews I’ve given -

IF the platform holders (Sony & Microsoft) allow us to update the code and data without restrictions and odious time consuming QC procedures, IF they allow our community to openly interact with each other across platforms then I would CONSIDER supporting them.

Why?

Well because then they are essentially inexpensive small form factor PCs with a custom operating system focused on gaming and who wouldn't want a bigger community of Star Citizens? If Sony or Microsoft are willing to let their platform be open, then I see no real difference between them or Valve’s Steambox, a Mac or a PC running Linux, all of which are platforms that I don’t think this community would mind supporting as they are all viewed as “PCs”. In fact most Macs are probably much worse gaming machines than a next gen console (as Apple is the antithesis of what I love about PCs)

But this is a big IF as it’s asking a lot. To their credit Sony seems to be the most eager to embrace indie games and the idea of openness, and they chased us down to give us some dev kits to play with but we’ve been very clear on what it would take to get Star Citizen onto PS4.

And even then it would only be contemplated as a port from the PC, not the other way around plus we would require a financial commitment by Sony to make it happen. If some of the coolest features or peripherals don’t make it because the PS4 can’t handle it we would never gimp the PC version. This is no different than the issues you face in PC development – we could be like Blizzard or Riot and focus on a game that works on the widest array of PC hardware – but that’s not the spirit of Star Citizen. We are shooting for the stars both virtually and technology wise. For me this game is about pushing boundaries on all levels and is something that I hope is still breathing strong ten years from now. Instead of Crysis benchmarks when they test a new GPU I want to see Star Citizen!

One last thing to think about - normally developers "sell out" to a console platform (Bungie or Epic going XBox exclusive for instance) because the platform holder is funding the budget. Thanks to everyone that has backed Star Citizen we have no need to sell out to anyone! You've funded a AAA PC game that will compete with the biggest and best. By the time the game is officially "done", I'm pretty sure that the final funding will be larger than most AAA console games outside the very biggest like GTA or CoD - and our money goes much further as we don't have any corporate overhead or fancy marketing budgets. You have all proven there is at least as much demand for a high end PC game as most console games.

So fear not! The PC is the platform of Star Citizen. Anything else, if it happens at all, will just be after the fact.
  • Sigma957

    Posts: 2792

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    Thanks Chris! Please lock all the other threads so they will disappear for all time

    :o]

    Goodnight from Hawaii.
    I was there at the 4th age of Mankind...
  • Cardboard

    Posts: 1547

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    Thank you for taking the time to write this.
    "I calculated the odds of this succeeding versus the odds I was doing something incredibly stupid... and I went ahead anyway." -Crow T. Robot
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  • Bridy

    Posts: 79

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    Thankyou for your awesome efforts!!
    Aggro Queen
  • Iveryke

    Posts: 105

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    Well said Chris, well said.
  • TheDarkKnight

    Posts: 194

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    You should not have needed to write this given what you have said in the past but thanks for taking the time to make this clear.

    Thanks from New Zealand.
  • Fuzzer

    Posts: 946

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    ...
    IF the platform holders (Sony & Microsoft) allow us to update the code and data without restrictions and odious time consuming QC procedures, IF they allow our community to openly interact with each other across platforms then I would CONSIDER supporting them.
    ...
    If Sony or Microsoft are willing to let their platform be open,....
    ...
    And even then it would only be contemplated as a port from the PC, not the other way around plus we would require a financial commitment by Sony to make it happen.

    haha, I have really LOLed about that :D
    Blackmail at it's finest! I'M LOVING IT :D

    as Apple is the antithesis of what I love about PCs

    you're speaking out of my soul man...
    after all apples machines are consoles too

    [EDIT: MVP +1]
    http://the-shadow-legion.enjin.com/html
  • daHawk

    Posts: 99

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    So fear not! The PC is the platform of Star Citizen. Anything else, if it happens at all, will just be after the fact.


    Thank you

    Imperium Recruitment
  • CalEl

    Posts: 56

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    Awesome awesome awesome . I never doubted but its always nice to have things confirmed for the hundredth time!

    Rock on!
  • Seraph84

    Posts: 7248

    On Probation
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    You rock my world Chris, as always. Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to address fan concerns - however irrational.
  • TheDarkKnight

    Posts: 194

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    I know a few community managers from certain companies who handle, large, player bases. I always wondered why they look so tired.

    It must be like herding sheep blindfolded in a blizzard.
  • skuripanda

    Posts: 3383

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    Great update, and I hope it will once and for all quench all the doubters and panickers.

    Thanks Chris!

    And let me just say that you're almost single-handedly driving PC technology forward... Without Star Citizen, I'd be content with my medium-end 2 year old PC. Now I'm buying a new graphic card for the single reason that is Star Citizen! I'm pretty sure a lot of fans in this great community are doing the same.
    And you supporting latest PC tech, and pushing the limits by demanding millions of polygons drawn at 4k resolutions, is just another push for the PC manufacturers to stop horsing around and start thinking towards the future.
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  • Allard

    Posts: 1072

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    Chris,

    please dont. I can understand that looking for even more customers is allways something a company has to do. But please, do not start "re-opening" the quotes we toke as granted.

    I at least, understood it from day 1 that StarCitizen would never open to consoles. For a year in development it was very clear and you did not change your stance a bit. Now the big companys send you samples, what did you expect with the product you are developing? Of course they smell success and of course they will try to get on board. Take it as a compliment, and smile.

    Every kid out there that dwells on a console can be saved and brought to the bright side of the force friend.

    Just imagine in 10 years what the kids from today would say once adult : "thank you Star Citizen, for forcing me into PC, without you I would have stayed with a controler all my life". Just like we do, who grew up whith tweeking our autoexec.bat and config.sys on our old 386 to get WingCommander running back in the days.

  • ShadowCross

    Posts: 800

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    Many thanks for taking your time to write this rather long & detailed post!
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  • Whiplash-0036851

    Posts: 5125

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    The one post to rule them all... :-)

    Thanks as always for interacting with us Chris. Your comments are very much appreciated.
    Proud Wing Commander pilot since 1995. Got tired of waiting to see my shiny Aurora LX in the Hangar, and traded it for an LN. More pew-pew! Then CIG put the LX on sale again, and I had regrets, so I switched back...
  • Bottaccio

    Posts: 86

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    Thank you Mr Roberts, I think the majority of the community trust you.
  • Nargis

    Posts: 122

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    Instead of Crysis benchmarks when they test a new GPU I want to see Star Citizen!

    This made me smile :)

  • Crusader

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    Thank you Chris, for your clear statement.
  • a3gis

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    Instead of Crysis benchmarks when they test a new GPU I want to see Star Citizen!

    I'd buy that
  • Fuzzer

    Posts: 946

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    oh - and while reading it I listened to this sound and it's kind of exactly the right sound mood for this post :D

    http://the-shadow-legion.enjin.com/html
  • Orinx

    Posts: 959

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    Best post ever.

    Edit: CR's post should get MVP
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  • nojan

    Posts: 385

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    wow thanks Chris , for taking the time answering this, you and your whole team are truly awesome!!
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  • DB93

    Posts: 125

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    Well said CR. Im glad that you made this statement considering the number of worst case scenarios people were coming up with. Me and my brother have both backed this game, we never doubted your resolve for a second. Keep on going, you continue to have our support.
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  • Kamikaz1

    Posts: 1314

    On Probation
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    Thanks for taking the time to explain this Mr. Roberts. To be honest I had no idea what AMD Mantle was or what it did. It was very educational and I can't wait to see if my computer is up to snuff. =)
  • Psychopath

    Posts: 950

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    CR shooting miss information in the knee with an arrow.


    Colonel Matthew "Psychopath" Campbell
  • TakoMT

    Posts: 36

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    Thanks Chris... the threads were going bananas. :P
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  • Vascotia

    Posts: 690

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    Thanks Chris for taking the time to write this up. Appreciate it.
  • Legion-Geth

    Posts: 2418

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    I am considering closing this up, seems the conversation is over, and folks are sort of rehashing things and beginning to sling mud.

    We are making the Best Damned Space Sim Ever - and yes, it is a PC game.

    WM

    @ WingMan - I believe 33 pages of discussion shows that there is a need for a clear statement no this ( for me it was always obvious that "PC Game" means - game is made for PC, w/o any compromise due to the fact that there are other sources of possible income around, and as long as SC stays close to it I'm fine ( doesn't matter what are the other ports ) .. but the whole story of single PU has to be discussed as you can't play on xbox , sony and on pc in the same network ( legally not technically ).. hence there will be quite a few issues with PU in case of ports.
    33 pages show one thing. A lot of shit about nothing.

    How many statements are necessary. CR said multiple times at this time he doesn't see possibilities for console ports. Even a blind man can see that this actual development is focused on PC. It is not your business if SC will be playable on console at a later date. What is all this crap about? As long as we get the thing we wanted it is all good. And if at a later date they will make a console port is irrelevant. As irrelevant as the colour of Chris Roberts underwear is for this pc game.

    Not for you in particular @kbob but especially the other rants about console or not.
    mhm.
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  • SubAvaris

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    Chris, i think gamers had too many broken promises in the past. I don´t believe in Mantle,... yet! And won´t until i see the performane upgrade with my own eyes, on my screen. However, there is a reason why i spent more money into Star Citizen than in any other. It has to be the BDSSE. ^^

    Have a nice day.
  • demeeh

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    Glad that's clear now, although i never had a doubt :). Thanks!
  • DaJenko

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    While it impossible to please everyone, I am a happy chappy.

    Now just need the cry engine running in linux (unlikely I know) and all my christmas's have come at once. Will be getting an sli setup and new monitor when this comes out.

    Thank you Chris and all your team for keeping the dream alive.
    Dajenko.png
    free bitcoins just don't gamble them :)
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