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There is no doubt pc's are much more powerful than consoles. Why do Consoles always have the best looking games?

Gamer79

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It's typical for the best and brightest games to be played or made on a console. Going back to the HD era of games this remains true with graphic king games. Gears of War, Uncharted 4, Read Dead Redemption 2, The Last of Us 2, and Ratchet and Clank a rift apart wipes it's ass when any game out period. Despite these high end pc's having graphics cards that can cost as much as 3x as much as a Playstation 5 the math doesn't add up. Sure on pc you can play at 300fps with much higher resolutions but I can't really think of a pc game that was a real graphics king since Crysis. In short? Why aren't these pc's blowing console games out of the water while costing 4x or more as much?
 
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JerryinSoCal

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Not all PC's are more powerful than consoles, people need to stop talking about PC as if it's a fixed platform. Console devs can focus on a specific set of specs, they don't have to worry about making the game run on dozes if not hundreds of configurations.
 

killatopak

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Because games are almost always developed to first and foremost run on the consoles even if they are primarily developed on PC.

Result is, you can’t get away from certain aesthetics the console version has without massive modding.

A good example is Witcher 3. The first trailer versus what we got is basically because the consoles couldn’t run that version of the game so they kind downgraded it and it affected the PC version.

Star Citizen on the other hand is developed exclusively for the PC and looked excellent dating back to last gen.
 

Yumi

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It’s makes me think of how heartbreaking it must be to have a vision, see these programmers and developers create something spectacular on their high end rigs, then having to optimize and degrade until they reach 30 fps. It must happen, cause it’s so often what we get compared to the first footage shown, is a lot of the time clearly downgraded.

Someone who knows more about game development correct me if I’m wrong. Some prime examples are the Witcher 3 and Final Fantasy 15.

Why not just release these versions 2 years later for super high end PC?
 

ElusiveFroyo

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I think if you’re a pc centric developer, you have to have graphics that target the masses. When World of Warcraft was released, it didn’t have the best looking graphics that the time could offer, and yet WoW sold millions. Compare that to vanilla Final Fantasy XIV. The majority of people’s pcs couldn’t run the damn thing. Gameplay aside (and woo boy were there problems in this regard), I don’t think you can succeed if you severely limit yourself to a tiny demographic. When the XIV team released a realm reborn, they dumbed down the graphics and changed the game engine so that more potatoes could run the game.

Back to the question — I think theoretically when you target a console, you are guaranteed a large install base that doesn’t have to worry about being able to run the game.
 
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M1chl

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It’s makes me think of how heartbreaking it must be to have a vision, see these programmers and developers create something spectacular on their high end rigs, then having to optimize and degrade until they reach 30 fps. It must happen, cause it’s so often what we get compared to the first footage shown, is a lot of the time clearly downgraded.

Someone who knows more about game development correct me if I’m wrong. Some prime examples are the Witcher 3 and Final Fantasy 15.

Why not just release these versions 2 years later for super high end PC?
And then capture very small market, yeah nobody is doing that. Even on PC there are majority of people on medium to low end machines.
 

radewagon

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My take is when it comes to First Party titles, those first party titles are there to get you to buy the console and, as such, they are given lots of support from the console maker to ensure that they push it to its limits and make said console more desirable than the competition. Additionally, first party games have the benefit of being able to focus on a very specific hardware configuration and spartan OS's so optimizing the titles is likely much easier than when doing PC games where a large range of available hardware configurations and more robust operating systems must be taken into account.

The theoretical ceiling for PC performance may be higher (and often it really shows), but the fact that console specs are locked in, even though lower, can sometimes be beneficial.

I could be wrong. I do not know how to make games. :messenger_squinting_tongue:
 
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Sep 13, 2009
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For some of the big first party titles it's just down to art direction, PCs will always have games that can run at Ultra high settings but I think art direction, for example, can add way more to visuals compared to a native 4k image.

However, I can see things changing soon with ray-tracing, because even now we're still in the very early stages of what it can really do - especially when combined with DLSS like tech.
 
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reksveks

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1) performance is generally a higher priorities for pc first devs
2) devs typically don't have a resolution/fps combo in mind so they don't have the ability to absolutely optimise and iterate to the same level as consoles
3) game scopes are very different. The dev cost per virtual square mile for a game like tlou2 is alot higher than any pc game. You just can't currently scale that level of fidelity yet. A combination of ai and photogrammetry might get close but you still typically need a artist. As someone else mention, art direction is extremely important.

Point number 3 is why you really shouldn't compare games with different genres. Point one is why you shouldn't compare games with very different performance targets.

I will say that fs2020 is one of the prettiest games imo out there though.
 
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kevm3

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Because with consoles you can have these first parties that are highly optimizing on a fixed platform. On a pc, they don't really know their baseline like that because there are so many software configurations out there so it's much harder to optimize. With that said, games that targeted the highest end pcs at the time like when crysis originally came out, looked better than anything on consoles.
 

Nobody_Important

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FStubbs

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Because with consoles you can have these first parties that are highly optimizing on a fixed platform. On a pc, they don't really know their baseline like that because there are so many software configurations out there so it's much harder to optimize. With that said, games that targeted the highest end pcs at the time like when crysis originally came out, looked better than anything on consoles.
I don't know how many alien configurations you really have on PC anymore. You either have an AMD or Intel CPU and an AMD, Intel, or nVIDIA graphics solution. The only differences from there are in terms of power.

PS5 and Xbox Series X right now are probably more powerful than the vast majority of gaming PCs. It'll be a few years before the baseline moves back to PC.
 
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Fahdis

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Because hardware manufacturers really want people to buy their hardware so they pour money as fuck to first party games look as incredible as they can be

The only right answer. Also working on the same platform helps them optimize their games getting the most juice out of the hardware.
 
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Fbh

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-Because consoles have companies behind them spending millions to make games for them and turn them into appealing products. PC as an open platform doesn't really have that, the closest is MS and they'll obviously make (almost) everything for Xbox too.
When Sony pays for a game like TLOU2 to be made it's not only to make money through game sales, it's also to make playstation a more appealing platform.

-Because there's way more low and mid end PC than there's super high end ones. So when you are making a PC game you'll usually make it in a way it can also be played on lower end hardware, since that will massively increase your potential audience.

-Since MS owns windows, big third party companies have no real incentive to make big AAA PC exclusives. They care about selling games, not selling a specific OS or hardware. They'll go where the customers are and they won't leave behind the profitable console market just to focus on people with $1000+ GPU's
 
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8BiTw0LF

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1st party console titles are made for one or two hardware setups. It's much easier to optimize games, when you don't have to test and code for many different hardware combinations. This is also primarily the reason why some of the biggest developers wants to be first party developers.
 

rofif

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Money and optimization.
I kinda start to hate on pc gaming. I know it's better..it is. I have 3080 and so on. But still just launching a console without a worry in the world is comforting. Replayed uc4 on PS5 and it's still mind blowing. Playing ff7 and it's gorgeous.
And there are some advantages over pc gaming at any price too for now. Dualsense, 3d audio integration and super fast loading.

But ok pc I get 4k, dlss and 120hz
 

LazyParrot

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Because high production values lead to high production costs, and high production costs incentivize developers and publishers to release their game on as many platforms as possible in order to recoup their investment.

The days where a small company like early to mid 2000s Crytek could make a game that's both an AAA blockbuster and a graphical milestone are long gone.
 
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All 3rd party game looks and run better on PC, Star Citizen looks better than any console game ever.
ratchet and clank said bs

does it look better on "your" pc than any console game ever?

apart from rnc? ofcourse...
 
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LordOfChaos

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Giving developers a buttload of time and money to make first party titles for a specific target set of hardware. Better hardware makes for better looking cross platform games (usually, barring bad ports), but a bucketload of money is still needed to make a cinematic game, and that's where companies like Sony invest heavily in.
 

Markio128

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When you develop for a console it is always a common denominator, however, there are so many variables in terms of PC capabilities. Yes, there maybe better looking games on PC compared to console, MS FS arguably for one, but only a relatively small percentage of PC owners experience the optimal visual settings. The fact that MS FS is also being released for series x sort of negates the need for a PC as a gaming option for the majority of gamers.
 

Topher

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It's typical for the best and brightest games to be played or made on a console. Going back to the HD era of games this remains true with graphic king games. Gears of War, Uncharted 4, Read Dead Redemption 2, The Last of Us 2, and Ratchet and Clank a rift apart wipes it's ass when any game out period. Despite these high end pc's having graphics cards that can cost as much as 3x as much as a Playstation 5 the math doesn't add up. Sure on pc you can play at 300fps with much higher resolutions but I can't really think of a pc game that was a real graphics king since Crysis. In short? Why aren't these pc's blowing console games out of the water while costing 4x or more as much?

Gears of War and Red Dead Redemption 2 are going to look better on a higher end PC than they will on Xbox. Better quality, higher resolution, higher frame rates. Most PCs with higher end 2000 series or any 3000 series Nvidia GPU is going to look and play better than console. Exclusives look awesome on console and there is no denying that but it really doesn't make much sense when there isn't a direct counterpart on PC to compare it with.

When you develop for a console it is always a common denominator, however, there are so many variables in terms of PC capabilities. Yes, there maybe better looking games on PC compared to console, MS FS arguably for one, but only a relatively small percentage of PC owners experience the optimal visual settings. The fact that MS FS is also being released for series x sort of negates the need for a PC as a gaming option for the majority of gamers.

That works both ways. I'm a PC gamer and the fact that MS games like FS has been on PC negates my need for an Xbox console. And not all console gamers are gaming on the latest and greatest consoles either. Base PS4 is still more common than anything else out there.
 
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Golgo 13

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Optimization, first off. Familiarity with the specific specs of a certain piece of hardware.

Secondly, many (I’d argue most) of the best developers in the world produce content exclusively for consoles. With more former “console exclusives” coming to PC we are seeing these nice QoL and visuals improvement, so that’s beginning to change however.
 
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Markio128

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Gears of War and Red Dead Redemption 2 are going to look better on a higher end PC than they will on Xbox. Better quality, higher resolution, higher frame rates. Most PCs with higher end 2000 series or any 3000 series Nvidia GPU is going to look and play better than console. Exclusives look awesome on console and there is no denying that but it really doesn't make much sense when there isn't a direct counterpart on PC to compare it with.



That works both ways. I'm a PC gamer and the fact that MS games like FS has been on PC negates my need for an Xbox console. And not all console gamers are gaming on the latest and greatest consoles either. Base PS4 is still more common than anything else out there.
I get that, but I also get the feeling that you own a top spec PC, therefore, don’t have the same need for a console as others would with medium to low end PCs.
 

JimboJones

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What exactly do you want a PC to do? Bend reality so the game to matches your preferred artstyle?
If a game is available on pc 9/10 it's going to have options to increase the fidelity and performance if the hardware is there.
 

Amiga

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hardware doesn't produce art.

console game graphics are made by highly talented top dollar artists and coders. consoles generate the biggest profits, they get re-invested on talent (in the good studios at least).

consoles can keep up with the baseline. high end PCs push premium graphic features like full raytracing or 120+fps, native 4K/DLSS8K.

another thing is that hardware has outpaced art design. if you look at high end GPU benchmarks they comfortably go over 120fps and hit 240fps. even "weak RT" 6800XT will do ray tracing at 1440p/60fps. PC is overkill for now.
 

Ellery

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1) Consoles are always better than the PC the average guy owns. Yes this means your RTX 3090 for 1500$ is being held back by a 1.2Tflop Xbox One still, because they want to sell games on old platforms because millions of people own them. They also want to sell those games on PC to as many potential customers as possible simply because that is where the money is. With people that still play on a GTX 970 or a 720p laptop with integrated graphics.
2) Most of the time it is just one set configuration you have to optimize for. I doubt we will see PC games again that require hardware that only less than 1% of the 1% have. I would love to see it, but who would buy it? The 200 people that own an RTX 3090 that only run benchmarks with it?
3) Naughty Dog
4) It makes no sense from a business perspective to start a game for the very top and then scale it down. You can't really make the best looking game of all time that runs at 1080p 30fps on an RTX 3090 and then scale it down. You would need to change everything including the A.I. and that is basically like making multiple games at the same time for multiple PC sets of configuration.
5) Introducing new tech that might require more performance (e.g. RTX) does not necessarily result in a gamechanging graphical visual explosion that people easily recognize and perceive as graphical upgrade. We could compare TLOU2 to Metro Exodus RTX 4K. Obviously Metro Exodus requires a ton more hardware performance, but TLOU2 does look better even on old hardware. I love Raytracing and it looks great, but many people won't even realize if it is on or off although it can tank performance by 50% easily.

In the end it mostly comes down to that not enough people own high end gaming machines publishers would want to create for. The people with the high end monster rigs are few and they are not paying more for the games.
 

RoadHazard

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Most PCs are not more powerful than consoles, at least not in the first part of a generation. So games have to be made to work on lower tier machines too. This is true for multiplats in general. When a dev can focus on a single fixed spec and optimize specifically for that without having to worry about how the game will run on the average Steam user's machine, they can achieve a more consistent high visual quality. The same would be true if someone made a game targeting only the RTX 3080, for example. Although another factor is that Sony (who usually has the most impressive games) spends a lot of money to make the games look that good. PC doesn't really have a 1st party in the same way, nobody is making games to sell PCs.
 
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abel empire

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One of the reasons is that the best studios are bought by console companies and are funded to make console exclusives for instance playstation studios. And working on a fixed playform always makes better looking games since ever.
 

Topher

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I get that, but I also get the feeling that you own a top spec PC, therefore, don’t have the same need for a console as others would with medium to low end PCs.

Not top spec, but still better than Xbox Series X/PS5 so yes, you are right. But if we are looking at the average PC gamer versus the average console gamer then the most typical console is PS4. The majority gamers on Steam have rigs much more powerful than PS4. It makes sense though. Console upgrades are every few years whereas PC is constantly advancing.

Most PCs are not more powerful than consoles, at least not in the first part of a generation.

Most PCs are more powerful than *most* consoles. Why are we comparing the average PC spec-wise to the latest and greatest console on the market?

The best developers aren't making PC only games.

I think that is the answer that makes the most sense. This really isn't about the specs. It is all about the devs. PC doesn't have a single corporation like Microsoft or Sony making games just for PC in order to highlight PC games. Maybe Nvidia should start a game studio....
 
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HTK

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1. Majority of PC gamers DO NOT have high end GPUs or system builds.
2. Very few PC only games and game developers who push boundaries on PC. (Star Citizen comes to mind but they are falling behind.)
3. Most games are made for consoles first, then ported to PC with few added benefits like resolution, fps, higher textures, etc...)
4. Console made games are optimized for one set of hardware without too many variables. So developers that are talented can get more out of hardware.

In general, I think its a tall order for any game developer to create, optimize, and push the limits of a platform where hardware is extremely variable between every user on top of a OS where you can't control the environment.
 
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GametimeUK

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It's the performance. It takes a lot of horsepower to run some of the mentioned games like RDR2 at 60fps. Don't forget console has settings lower than the lowest setting on PC for that game.
 

Neff

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We're at the point now where time, money and talent is the barrier for quality visuals, not technology. In fact I'd argue that we've been there for some time.
 
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Haggard

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Every single third party game always looks and runs best on PC which is about 99% of all games.
The OP is generalizing from a hand full of outliers per gen made by 2-3 genius first party studios.
 
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Three

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Because often high PC settings put a lot of power behind settings that make very little visual impact whereas with console it is very conservative with what is worth spending that power on. If you had PC exclusive games things may be different but with games developed for console you often just get console games but the extra power used for res or some ultra setting shadows which are barely visibly better. Devs become much more wasteful with "ultra settings" because they can afford to be.
 
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brian0057

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Optimization, first off.
This.
When you know every single owner of the device has the exact same specs, you'll optimize the game to those specific set of parametres.

The problem with PC is that you have to take into consideration that every person who buys your game won't have the same specs.
They can have computers that range from a pre-built PC with integrated graphics all the way up to PCs that cost more than some cars.

The second and perhaps the most important reason is art design.
Okami, The Wind Waker, Shadow of the Colossus, Resident Evil (2002) and Resident Evil 4, Halo: Combat Evolved, etc. have some of the most beautiful artistic direction in the history of the medium. On top of being optimized to their respective hardware, they also have such a unique look that, to this day, they look like they haven't aged a day, even if the controls and gameplay have.
 
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Woggleman

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Because PCs vary drastically in quality while consoles have standard hardware. You can take two people who play on PC and one will have one that can run even the most demanding games at 60 FPS while the other has one that struggles to run a game like RDR2 or HZD at 30 FPS. If two people own a PS5 both of them have a console with the same capabilities.
 
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