August 26, 2007

Bioshock Woes

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You may have recently heard about the digital rights management issues with BioShock. The game allows only two installations before failing, and most PC gamers are in an uproar. However, there is another issue: the game requires Shader Model 3.0, which is only supported on the Radeon X1000 series or higher video cards from ATI. An incredibly large number of people still use the previous (and very successful) series of ATI video cards. Especially considering that the underlying graphics engine of the game, the Unreal Engine 3.0, fully supports Shader Model 2.0, the developers’ decision to disable support for it is, to put it bluntly, stupid. If only they were slightly less lazy, and written Shader Model 2.0 versions of the respective shaders, the aforementioned unfortunate end-users would happily play BioShock, even with the virtually-unnoticeable differences in visual quality. It is truly a shame how problems such as DRM and DirectX specifications ruin the PC gaming industry.