Any change in Hmx anti-PC stance?

rvashkorvashko Unsigned
edited February 2008 in Less Rokk More Talk
It's been a few months now, and I was wondering if anyone at Hmx (or someone keyed in to Hmx's goings-on) knows if they've changed their stance on a PC version of the game.

IIRC, the whole thing boiled down to how cramped four separate fretboards (or whatever the singer interface is called) would appear on an average-sized PC monitor. I'll accept that, but I (re)submit that there are probably loads of PC users who would love to play this game solo (including double-duty with an instrument and singing) or with one buddy.

And what about when MP World Tour goes online? Wouldn't online MP obviate the need for displaying all four fretboards on a single monitor?

I'm no developer or programmer, but as a consumer, I have to ask if Red Octane thought there was a viable PC market to port GH3 to PC, why not RB?

No slam against Hmx, but their rationale just seems a little half-ass. I'd much rather play something straight from them than an RB version of Frets on Fire or Guitar Zero.

Comments

  • UltraceUltrace Road Warrior
    edited December 2007
    I support their stance. This is "Rock Band" -- and while it can be played solo, the game is clearly geared toward the multiplayer experience (and I'm not referring to multi-instrument single players.) Also, while the online BWT might work with a single fretboard showing on the screen, a big part of the enjoyment of an online game is seeing how your partners are doing.

    Ultimately, the very nature of computers vs. consoles is part of the issue. Consoles are, at their very heart, something expected to be set up on the big television in the house in the living room or another area with lots of space. PCs, on the other hand, tend to be more constrained and not nearly as condusive to the rock out concept.
  • espherespher Road Warrior
    edited December 2007
    rvashko;225541 said:
    I'm no developer or programmer, but as a consumer, I have to ask if Red Octane thought there was a viable PC market to port GH3 to PC, why not RB?
    Given how Red Octane has been whoring it up, I'm pretty sure they'd put out a version you could play on your toaster if they could get it working.
  • KevhouseKevhouse Opening Act
    edited December 2007
    GAH! i can't stand people who think RO/Activision made GH3 for PC! It was all Aspyr's hard work, and they're never recognized!!! (sorry for the venting, but ive seen it quite a few times now :D) But I would love to see Rock Band on PC, and I would definitely consider purchasing it merely for the fact of having it on my PC.
  • rvashkorvashko Unsigned
    edited December 2007
    Ultratrace - I understand how the game is geared, and I agree that when dealing with 3-4 players, a PC monitor probably would get a bit crowded.

    But whether or not Hmx wants RB to always be played by four people on a big-screen TV, I still stand by the assertion that the reality is that the game will be played just as often (if not more so) by a single player or a duet. In that case, a 19"+ PC monitor would be just fine.

    And as for online World Tour MP, do people really look at their bandmate's onscreen fretboard to see how they are doing? Or do they listen? Frankly, I'd find the latter to be more immersive anyway, since that's what you do in a real rock band.

    And if your point is that it's infinitely preferable to have all your bandmates in close physical proximity to you, then why bother with online World Tour MP in the first place?

    Kev - Sorry on the Aspyr thing. I should have said "Activision" instead of "RO". I guess my point is that Activision thought there was enough of a PC market to commission Aspyr to do it.
  • Eman311Eman311 Road Warrior
    edited January 2008
    A PC Rock Band just would not work. Have you heard about the awful performance from GH3 on PC's with even the best specs? RB would be a disaster.

    Just one of those things that won't work, I think.
  • Cabal17Cabal17 Unsigned
    edited January 2008
    If they do release a PC version, I'd pick it up even though I already have the game on 360. And GHIII performance on PC has no bearing on how well RB would perform on most PCs, since the games are by completely different developers. Comparing the two would be like saying that since Crysis runs poorly on your machine, so would Unreal Tournament 3 just because they are both FPS games.
  • hamthegreathamthegreat Opening Act
    edited January 2008
    GH3 is one of th worst optimized PC games i have ever had to deal with. Much better looking games like UT3 run a lot better than GH3 on my computer.
  • o0MeTaL0oo0MeTaL0o Opening Act
    edited January 2008
    Eman311;226140 said:
    A PC Rock Band just would not work. Have you heard about the awful performance from GH3 on PC's with even the best specs? RB would be a disaster.

    Just one of those things that won't work, I think.
    It would work just fine if it was coded properly. You can tell even between the 360 and the PS3 versions they Activision doesn't know what they're doing. Let alone a 3rd rate company to work with the code base they had to port onto PC, making things 100X worse. There was no optimization at all!

    Just lazy Developers.
  • rvashkorvashko Unsigned
    edited January 2008
    Eman311;226140 said:
    A PC Rock Band just would not work. Have you heard about the awful performance from GH3 on PC's with even the best specs? RB would be a disaster.

    Just one of those things that won't work, I think.
    Yeah, I'm not sure how you draw that conclusion. Why does crappy coding/porting by Aspyr mean that a PC version of RB would just not work?

    True, many companies treat their PC ports as sloppy afterthoughts, but that doesn't mean a quality PC version isn't possible.
  • Darkone83Darkone83 Unsigned
    edited January 2008
    I beg to differ on screen size that is. i have my ps2 running thru my 15" laptop at work and me and 2 other friends were able to play just fine with 3 players 4 might be pushing it lol i will attach a picture so you all can see. I was playing quick play but heres a idea of how it looks. Btw i also have a youtube video of the setup in action for all of you non-belivers. PS this played on my PS2 and audio has been removed for copyright reasons.

    My proof of concept video.

    image

    image

    image

    image
  • rvashkorvashko Unsigned
    edited January 2008
    Very nice. Do you have any screenshots with the three of you playing together?

    I don't think anyone doubts that a PC monitor would suffice for solo play. But since Hmx has positioned RB as "party" game a la DDR, I think the real debate on PC viability comes in when you start talking MP.

    I wonder what kind of Return on Investment EA would need to make a good PC port worth its while. I mean, as much as I like RB, it isn't a "killer app" that's gonna make me run out and drop $300+ on a console just to play one game.

    Is EA that bearish on the profitability of a PC port that they're OK with folks defaulting to a FoF-like freeware RB clone? Or perhaps do they plan on a PC version, but have put it on the back-burner while they devote time and resources toward World Tour MP and a Wii version?
  • Darkone83Darkone83 Unsigned
    edited January 2008
  • IhmhiIhmhi Unsigned
    edited January 2008
    You're seriously telling me that they can get a game to work on the PS2, which has the following specs:

    294 MHz processor
    32 MB of RAM
    147 MHz Graphics Chip

    A system that came in out 2000... and you can not get it to work on a modern computer that is literally 10-20 times more powerful? The latest computers (and even a generation or two back) are always more powerful than consoles, albeit not as optimized to use that power.

    Thing is, though, that Rock Band on the PC would be ridiculously easy to bootleg. Why buy DLC when you can just download it off of the net? And, of course, that would start modding, what with people making their own DLC, skins, mods, etc. The last thing RB needs is its own Hot Coffee because some idiot wanted nipples on his female guitarist.
  • DesiredFXDesiredFX Road Warrior
    edited January 2008
    There's one reason I wouldn't make this game for the PC.

    I wouldn't want to have to provide the level of support PC users require.

    You can put the minimum requirements on the box, but it doesn't matter. You can tell someone they need to have the latest DirectX, and it won't matter.

    You will get calls.

    And calls.

    And calls.

    From people who are having problems not with your game, but with their PCs because they didn't bother to read the requirements.

    This game focuses a lot on casual users. Casual users are notorious for not researching the requirements of a product, much less whether their equipment actually meets those requirements.

    Just look at how many posts there are from the PS3 users that haven't been following the Guitar Hero Les Paul drama, who still don't understand why the Les Paul doesn't work, and you'll have an idea of why Harmonix really wouldn't want to put out a PC version.
  • rvashkorvashko Unsigned
    edited January 2008
    I guess I don't find that "tech support" argument persuasive. Under that line of reasoning, if support for PC is so onerous, why would any game developer ever make a PC game? Why not simply make Bioshock or Crysis or Half-Life 2 console-exclusives?

    I would think the casual, unsophisticated user wouldn't be messing with a PC in the first place, opting for the cheaper and less complicated plug-n-play console platform. I would further think that the much smaller PC gaming market would, by necessity, have to be a bit more tech-savvy, and thus willing and able to troubleshoot simple issues on their own.

    Finally, I doubt the closed-system of consoles stops people from making stupid-ass tech support calls that would be unnecessary if they simply read the instructions closer. True, a closed system might be easier and quicker to troubleshoot, but that's unrelated to people making the call in the first place, tying up lines and dragging out the queue.

    And given how much larger the console gaming market is compared to that of the PC, I wonder if there are actually MORE stupid-ass calls coming in from console users.

    I agree with your idea that what's holding up a PC version is not a technical limitation, but a business decision. I don't think anyone doubts it would be relatively easy to port it over.

    Still, I'd love to hear their official stance on their plans (or lack thereof) for the PC.
  • DesiredFXDesiredFX Road Warrior
    edited January 2008
    So if the casual user isn't going to play on the PC, and the game is targeting party crowds and casual users, you've just cut out the target demographic by going PC, and developing RB for PC is an awfully big investment to make to produce a game that a relative handful of users are going to play on that platform.

    Every game that's going to be on the PC weighs the tech-support aspects against the obvious advantages of being a PC game (more processor and graphic power, many more options for game controls).

    Not to mention that many of the most successful PC games are MMO games that require a subscription price and therefore have the tech support paid for by the users.

    This is meant to be a plug-n-play game for people who aren't very tech savvy. They just want to hook up and jam.

    Despite the PS2's native network capability at this point, they left out online support for the PS2, in part because of processor power, but also because networking on the PS2 is far from a breeze.

    USB plug, USB port, disc in drive, and play. That's what they're going for--maximum ease of use.

    My question is...why would you want it on a PC, anyway? What's the benefit to it? It's certainly not more convenient than a console. The only real argument I can see in its favor is "I already have a gaming-quality PC."

    It seems to me that Harmonix is smart enough to weigh all the questions before making a decision like this, so I doubt the decision came entirely down to whether the game interface would fit on a PC display, especially since a PC display is capable of going above and beyond 1080p.
  • rvashkorvashko Unsigned
    edited January 2008
    DesiredFX;241685 said:
    So if the casual user isn't going to play on the PC, and the game is targeting party crowds and casual users, you've just cut out the target demographic by going PC, and developing RB for PC is an awfully big investment to make to produce a game that a relative handful of users are going to play on that platform.
    I 100% agree that the lion's share of money made off this game will come from consoles, but is a PC version really that big of an investment with that little profit potential? The existing controllers can work with PCs, and software publishers sure aren't shy about cranking out PC ports that are almost identical to the Xbox version. If the PC gaming market was that weak, and ports were that unprofitable, they'd never bother with them in the first place, would they?
    DesiredFX;241685 said:
    Every game that's going to be on the PC weighs the tech-support aspects against the obvious advantages of being a PC game (more processor and graphic power, many more options for game controls).
    I don't believe anyone wanting to play RB cares about a step-up in graphics for a PC version. I think folks would be more than happy with a carbon-copy Xbox port.
    DesiredFX;241685 said:
    Not to mention that many of the most successful PC games are MMO games that require a subscription price and therefore have the tech support paid for by the users.
    WoW is the obvious reference in recent successful PC games, but again, I point to stuff like Crysis, Call of Duty, Far Cry, Bioshock, F.E.A.R., etc. I'm hard-pressed to think of an MMO that has rocked the charts lately besides WoW.
    DesiredFX;241685 said:
    This is meant to be a plug-n-play game for people who aren't very tech savvy. They just want to hook up and jam.
    I think even tech-savvy people would like to just hook up and jam in this game. It is fun, after all. And I would bet the farm that if RB doesn't accomodate these people, then hackers/modders will. Again, money left on the table.
    DesiredFX;241685 said:
    USB plug, USB port, disc in drive, and play. That's what they're going for--maximum ease of use.
    I agree. My point is that all this is possible on the PC as well as consoles.
    DesiredFX;241685 said:
    My question is...why would you want it on a PC, anyway? What's the benefit to it? It's certainly not more convenient than a console. The only real argument I can see in its favor is "I already have a gaming-quality PC."
    That's exactly it. I'll pony up the $170 for RB, but the game isn't so cool that I'd also drop another $300 on a console simply to play one title.

    I'll concede that the console gaming market is much more robust than the PC gaming market, but PC gaming isn't exactly chump change to leave on the table either. Again, if that were the case, then the publishers wouldn't even bother with the ports.
    DesiredFX;241685 said:
    It seems to me that Harmonix is smart enough to weigh all the questions before making a decision like this, so I doubt the decision came entirely down to whether the game interface would fit on a PC display, especially since a PC display is capable of going above and beyond 1080p.
    Well, we really don't know exactly what their reasons are. All we have are some off-hand non-committal comments that we see on YouTube. To my knowledge, there's no official word, one way or the other, on a PC version.

    If they said something like "We don't think we'd make enough money off a PC port to make it worth our while", I'd accept that as being perfectly valid, even though it would bum me out. Or if they said "We wouldn't mind doing it, but right now, we need to focus time and money toward MP World Tour and a Wii version", that would also make sense.

    But I think the PC display issue, by itself, is a weak reason not to do it.
  • DesiredFXDesiredFX Road Warrior
    edited January 2008
    I see what you're saying. I was just trying to offer a stack of reasons why HMX might shy away from a PC version that were more credible than questions of whether a "standard" PC display can handle the RB visuals.

    The minimum everyone I know runs in these days is 1280x960. There's your 720p right there.
  • rvashkorvashko Unsigned
    edited January 2008
    Thanks. Those are all good points - much better than the "PC display" reason by itself.

    And you're quite right - I'm sure EA has, or eventually will, review the viability of a PC port. Given their proclivity for "quickie ports" in the past, I think RB is worth doing, but as a PC-only user, I admit to being a bit biased.

    I'm sure whatever official word they might release would be be something along the lines of "We are excited at the possibilities of bringing Rock Band to the PC, and we will look closely at this possibility over the coming months." *sigh*
  • ChakalChakal Unsigned
    edited January 2008
    I read about the PC version of GH3 and even if they all saying that the game is a poor ported thing, I decided to buy it anyway.

    And you what, it works just fine! Even if my PC is far from the high end system.

    Yes I dont run it with the graphics maxed out, but in this kind of game, who cares about graphics ?

    GH3 and Rock Band are like sims racing games: The eyes candys are blured by the fact that while in the action, your attention is focus on staying on track.

    So why Rock Band is an exclusive PS3 and 360 game??

    The answer is so simple.

    To stop the Nintendo's Wii impulse. Period.
    RB is a PS3 and 360 seller.

    The futur of console gaming is on interaction. While Microsoft and Sony cranked their new consoles only on super graphics rendering, Nitendo came in with a new dimension...at a lowest price. Looking at the sales of the 3 consoles confirm that Sony and Microsoft miss the train.

    People wants intaraction. Just try to get the GH3 and the Wii Bundle...good luck. Its sold out every where, every where u can find piles of the same bundle for the PS3 and 360.

    The Wii hits the large scale public ( 7 to 77) while the 2 others only attract hardcore gamers.

    An then comes Rock Band. A title that brings the same entertainement as the Wii offer exclusively on consoles that was not initialy desing for interaction.

    Seeing the popularity of the Wii, I think Hmx is burning of desires to bring RB to that console but it looks like they are linked somehow with Sony and Microsoft and have to wait ( the time to raise the sales of PS3 and 360) before moving on the Wii.

    And dont expect a PC version untill that.

    PS: English is not my first language so I m sorry if the quality of my writting and syntax are a lillte poor.
  • rvashkorvashko Unsigned
    edited February 2008
    I think you're right. I think the Wii takes precedence over everything else for Hmx right now. There's certainly much more revenue to be had with a Wii version than a PC version.

    But I wonder if it necessarily has to be a case of "Wii first, then maybe PC". Like GHIII, couldn't a PC port be farmed out to a separate developer while Hmx focuses on Wii development?

    I know I'm fighting a losing battle here with the PC thing, but I do like keeping the discussion going, if only in hopes that the good points made here catches the eye of a dev.
  • FallenAceFallenAce Eater of Fine Cheeses
    edited February 2008
    The Wii version isn't "farmed out"? The PS2 one was, so I just assumed it would be too.
  • rvashkorvashko Unsigned
    edited February 2008
    I dunno. I was just guessing that Hmx would prefer to develop such a high-profile title in-house.

    My point is that it's not like there's a single team that must be allocated to one project at a time.
Sign In or Register to comment.