Despite the yearly proclamations of death, PC gaming is still alive and kicking. 2012 saw a number of developers put more emphasis back on the PC in multi-platform development schedules. It seems that Irrational Games also realizes the advantages of the PC platform with Bioshock Infinite. In an interview with Ken Levine and Chris Kline of Irrational Games, the developers told IGN what the company is doing to develop the PC version of the game. While they encountered several issues during development of the first Bioshock, Irrational Games is giving Bioshock Infinite its own team of on-call programmers to develop the PC version.
Reportedly, the developers underestimated the time and effort required to develop the first Bioshock game using DirectX 10 technology and a PC-optimized UI. In the interview with IGN, Irrational Games’ Technical Director Chris Kline stated that “this time around things were done differently.” Irrational Game has a team of programmers, artists, designers, and UI specialists dedicated to the PC development track along with the team working on the console versions.
The PC version of Bioshock Infinite will be able to take full advantage of the higher-end hardware in computers. The game will come on 3 discs and feature:
- Additional objects and particles versus consoles
- Longer viewing distances
- Higher quality textures
- High precision color buffer
DirectX 11 features:
- Contact hardening shadows
- HD ambient occlusion
- Diffusion depth of field
- Compute Shader
- FXAA using Shader Model 5
According to the developers, medium quality settings on the PC will be equivalent to the console versions of the game. From there, the PC will have high, very high, and ultra settings that will further ramp up visual quality beyond what the current generation of consoles are capable of. Specifically, the PC system requirements for Bioshock Infinite are as follows:
|Component||Minimum Requirements||Recommended Requirements|
|CPU||Intel Core 2 Duo @ 2.4GHz or AMD Athlon X2 @ 2.7GHz||Quad-core processor|
|GPU||ATI Radeon HD 3870 or NVIDIA 8800GT||AMD Radeon HD 6950 or NVIDIA GTX 560|
|HDD||20GB free||30GB free|
|Sound Card||DirectX Compatible||DirectX Compatible|
|Operating System||Windows Vista Service Pack 2 (32-bit)||Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (64-bit)|
It is refreshing to see developers respect the gaming platform that starting it all and is driving the industry (in hardware at least), and take PC gaming seriously. Here's hoping Bioshock Infinite is a success. Considering it is due out on March 26th, 2013 gamers do not have long to wait to find out how well the PC version was done.
IGN has the full interview with Chris Kline and Kevin Levine that is worth reading to find out the developers stance on the future of PC gaming, the Oculus Rift, and even Valve's upcoming Steam Box!