Space Game Elite: Dangerous to Launch With Graphics Options Today’s PCs Can’t Handle

"Even if your PC of today can't run with all the features on, your PC of tomorrow might."

Upcoming Space game Elite: Dangerous will launch with graphics options that players won’t be able to run with their current PC hardware, head of developer Frontier Developments David Braben has said.

"We're going through some wonderful effects internally that look truly beautiful, and we're saying, that slows the frame-rate a bit, doesn't it?" Braben said in an interview with Eurogamer. "And we say yes, but we don't mind, because it looks so beautiful. But what we're going to do is attach it to this part of the detail slider. Or we'll call it out as a tick box...Even if your PC of today can't run with all the features on, your PC of tomorrow might."

Braben said he loves the idea that this will future proof Elite: Dangerous. Theoretically, it could look great long after its initial release as players get better PC hardware. Of course, Elite: Dangerous’ graphics options will also scale to run and look great on a variety of current PCs when it launches.

Braben attributed part of RollerCoaster Tycoon 3’s (another Frontier Developments game) success to this strategy. "One of the things that's really helped us was we had that huge scalability, so the game could run on the laptop of 2004. It could also run on the uber desktop of 2004. Which is the laptop of today. I want to make sure we do the same with Elite: Dangerous."

Elite: Dangerous launches in beta on PC July 29 before its full release later this year. The Mac version will follow, and Braben also recently said that the game could come to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. For more on Elite: Dangerous, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.

Emanuel Maiberg is a freelance writer. You can follow him on Twitter @emanuelmaiberg and Google+.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Emanuel Maiberg is a freelance writer in search of the Citizen Kane of burritos.

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Discussion

307 comments
hvypetals
hvypetals

this is a brilliant game.  ED puts the pimp hand down on all other space sims.


and its only going to get better.  they will include carrier ships, co-op capital ships, and landing on planets straight from space where you can walk around or drive around the surface of millions of planets! 



FuzzyPancakes
FuzzyPancakes

If you go on YouTube, almost every one who posted gameplay of the beta on PC is running it on Max settings, around 60 fps while recording, and they don't have any extra graphics cards, its just current PC hardware, some people are running it max in 4k aswell, but they are running crossfire, but it doesn't appear too difficult to run, so idk what this article is talking about

cjtopspin
cjtopspin

Will the story require new hardware or will it be like most of the "Commodore VIC-20" drivel out there?

death4us2
death4us2

As a game developer you need to make your game run not only on best PCS but ones that don't have the best hardware. Are they going to put it on the PS4 and Xbox One and say sorry its going to barely run on them but on the Ps5 and Xbox Two its going to run great? If you want to make a game for the future make it in the future because most people want a game that will run good on their PCs now and not maybe in the future. While I think its good to try to make your game future proof you should really worry about how it runs now and try not to alienate those who don't have top of the line gaming PCs. If I can't play a game on high and enjoy the graphics to the fullest then to me the game is a waste of time and money but that is only my opinion and everyone is entitled to their own. I am sure many gamers will enjoy being force to play on lower settings for the next 5 or 6 years or more until the technology catches up.

excalibre2668
excalibre2668

I wish people would read the full articles direct from the developers website and not these half ass snippits posted on gaming sites, I own the early access beta and being a fan of the elite series way back in the 90's had been waiting for this for many years the graphics are outstanding and gameplay truly amazing. The comments made by Braben about the game being future proof and running the game with graphics maxed out wont work on todays pc's, means just that, if you maxed out the graphics settings in this game it will look like nothing you have ever seen before truly amazing visuals and play like a slug because the hardware available today just can't cope with the amount of texture processing, even a tri-sli titan setup is unable to render the graphics fast enough for smooth gameplay. so future graphics hardware will eventually catch up and you will have the added bonus of stunning graphics in the future.

This is MMO Sandbox and anyone who played the original elite series will know it has massive scale.

Hope this helps.

grin89
grin89

does anyone who has purchased the game for the beta know if its like eve online or is it a single player?

death4us2
death4us2

If it can't run with current hardware how did they test it or even develop it and does it even work. Are they trying to say they have technology from the future that allowed them to make the game. I think they need a new head because their current one doesn't work right lol

MaxZeta
MaxZeta

So, you are selling a game that most people won't be able to run just because it will look good in the future and people will be able to play it then. So, question a) why not selling it then?, and b) what if your game suck?. We all saw nice graphics in several games but the game itself sucked balls.

peasant30
peasant30

lol my ps4 could run this with max settings no probs since 30 fps is all we need. it could run 4k graphics and ddr5.

voljin1987
voljin1987

Like Witcher 2's ubersampling I guess 

ps3gamer1234
ps3gamer1234

Ubisoft should have done this with Watch Dogs instead  of graphics being tone down. Then a modder would have not needed to  unlock features that should have been unlocked officially. 

metgear2000
metgear2000

The problem now days is not the lack of hardware but the lack of software that can fully utilize the hardware available. There are all these high end graphics cards being released, yet game publishers want to maximize their profits so they have to make games run on the lowest common denominator. Like right now most games are still being optimized to run on the xbox 360.


There aren't enough PC gamers for developers to justify the cost of making a game that will fully utilize the PC hardware because then it could not be ported to the aging hardware of the consoles.


The graphics of games will only improve once the old gen consoles are fully phased out. Which will be at least 1 more year. 

metgear2000
metgear2000

Clearly this guy hasn't seen the specs of my PC. I will most definitely be able to run this game with everything maxed out.

bbq_R0ADK1LL
bbq_R0ADK1LL

I approve.

The Witcher 2 had some pretty crazy graphics requirements like ubersampling that will still give today's best cards a run for their money. As long as the game has a bit of longevity, & the lower settings are still optimised properly then I think it's a great move.

Prometheus
Prometheus

Somewhat depressing if you just bought a new PC, but probably for the best if it actually has cutting-edge features and isn't just poorly optimized.

Coolman13355
Coolman13355

How elite and dangerous.

- puts on sunglasses

shidib09
shidib09

I just want to thank the PC gamers for not bashing my inferior console as 99% would say the super inferior console Xbox one I enjoy console gaming always have always will I couldn't careless about a PC for games idk man it's just not me especially the community that comes with it.

meatz666
meatz666

It might be great for screenshots...

Toysoldier34
Toysoldier34

Need to put more time on optimizing games not just raising the ceiling.


Far too often I can play games that visually are all about the same but the performance is all over the place due to lack of optimization.

Marky360
Marky360

Wow this is interesting wonder what the game looks like with those new graphics enhancements that none of todays PC's could run it?

Gamertech100
Gamertech100

People have blown what he said out of proportion.


All he said was, their adding some effects to the detail graphics slider, and if your computer can't run them now, the one you get tomorrow might. 

He doesn't mean everybody with a high end PC can't run it with the extra effects, he just means it will lag on some computers, he's just saying their going to add it as a feature anyway, because in the future everyone will have a more powerful machine.

Where people have got the impression from that a Titan Z won't be able to handle the extra effects. I don't know, he didn't say that. 

cashandchecks
cashandchecks

This sounds like what Crysis did when it came out years ago.

lonesamurai1
lonesamurai1

I hear they're talking about bringing this game to next gen consoles, but after reading this I have to now ask why would they want to do that?

veryDERPY
veryDERPY

i think it's a stretch to say the most powerful pc today. if i can do *game title* in 4k, i THINK i can do this....maybe not in 4k but surely i'd still be playing it

grin89
grin89

@death4us2 playing the beta right now with all the settings turned up have yet to encounter any frame rate problems, this article isn't very accurate.

hvypetals
hvypetals

@grin89  its like the FPS cockpit view of EVE.  there is a solo version of online where you can grind up to new ships AND THEN move over to true MP and carry over your ships and loot.  AND THEN go back to solo if you want.


There is also private group play with plans for co-op ships

ganondorf77
ganondorf77

@death4us2 Ar u serious? For instance: Do you know the most expensive Nvidia graphic card is almost $7000, didn't you? Professional hardware can not be bought in a store nearby your place (unless there is an actual professional place, but it won't be a store at all for sure).


That "current hardware" expression was obviously referred to just "non professional current hardware". Even 2 or 3 Titans in sli-mode are included in "non-professional", even though you could spend $2500-3000 in just them, and are not as good as whatever any developer could use in their workstation.

ShimmeringSword
ShimmeringSword

@death4us2  What most consumers can reasonably buy is not the limit. Much more powerful rigs can be made to run this stuff already, and you can simply observe such features at lower than desirable frame rates. Their head is just fine, maybe you just lack the right mindset.

peabnutbubber
peabnutbubber

@MaxZeta I think you misread the article. They're not saying only future PCs will be able to run it; they're saying only future PCs will be able to max out the graphics settings. This is similar to what Crytek did with Crysis in 2007, and the graphics on that game are still holding up pretty well to this day.

Zloth2
Zloth2

@Prometheus  Rest assured, SOMEBODY will pronounce the game "poorly optimized."  Somebody always does.

davoz28
davoz28

@shidib09 Thats kind of generalizing. I'm a proud part of the PCmasterrace, but there's good and bad in PC and console community.

trotar
trotar

@notoje Seems more a SC centric poll, and limited choices to answer.

zinten
zinten

@Toysoldier34 The game is already quite well optimized, I have two pc one very old that would be considered very low end then a mid range pc and both runs the game smoothly, not sure what else you would want to optimize if the game can already run on low and mid range pc.

So I think that adding more stuff so that people could also use future gfx card to their full potential later is a good idea,

Zloth2
Zloth2

@Marky360  Oh I'm sure they can run it - they just can't run it at a frame rate that's even remotely fun.  Screenshots should still work just fine, though!

Zloth2
Zloth2

@Gamertech100  Errr, I think by "lag" he meant "unplayable lag" - as in slideshow.  However, the mid-level video cards that show up five years from now won't have a problem with them.

Toysoldier34
Toysoldier34

@lonesamurai1 So the company doesn't go bankrupt after releasing the game.


The PS4 and Xbox One are large parts of the market. It is quite tough to sink AAA budget costs into a game for only one platform unless the game is either backed by someone like Sony or the game just doesn't support non PC controls well like Starcraft or Diablo, which did later make it to consoles for more money even if scaled down.

Smosh150
Smosh150

@lonesamurai1 I wouldn't worry about that anyways, they are wanting to have it finished and polished on the PC first before they start doing that. As long as they do a proper job on the PC version first I don't mind if they bring it to consoles, might be a good thing actually to draw in more space simmers increasing the player base for Space Sims possibly.

mkeezay22
mkeezay22

@lonesamurai1  Honestly I think they just said that to make the console crowd happy, either that or they will release it as a downgraded version, possibly with a smaller map like they have done with many PC to console ports, Minecraft and BF4 come to mind, both were toned down in scale to make playable on consoles.

death4us2
death4us2

@ganondorf77 You do know you can buy those graphic cards and btw they are over $10,000 and ofc it can't be bought in a store near me. You ever hear of ordering online give it a try lol.

death4us2
death4us2

@ShimmeringSword The word was current hardware, not cheaper hardware or hardware that is so expensive that most people can not afford it. (Even if your PC of today can't run with all the features on, your PC of tomorrow might.) that is what he said trying to say no computer today can run it with all features on. So if you are right then their head is wrong thus proving my point on their head lol.

Smosh150
Smosh150

@trotar @notoje Was just about to say, there is no did you back ED or how do you feel about the ED development. I backed both and I feel confident in both especially ED considering the beta is very nice(SC's beta requires a lot more dev, but still gives a good taste of the game).

Toysoldier34
Toysoldier34

@zinten @Toysoldier34 Say your mid range system can run the game well at medium but struggles with high settings, by optimizing your system could handle high settings better. It isn't so much about having a low cap for lower systems to play the game, but enabling lesser hardware to run better things. This also applies to the highest settings and hardware.

lonesamurai1
lonesamurai1

@Toysoldier34 @lonesamurai1  I know from a financial standpoint why they would want to bring it to consoles, but compared to the PC version it's going to look like utter crap and that difference will be very noticeable. 

Isn't  that why Ubisoft tried to gimp the PC version of Watch Dogs graphically to prevent the PC version from looking monumentally better compared to the consoles?

suture
suture

@death4us2 @ShimmeringSword You are taking things too literally, he probably wanted to say only 1% of the gamers will have a PC to run the game at full graphics

zinten
zinten

@Toysoldier34 @zinten My example might have been abit long here is a shorter version, take the game from 10 years ago, I could run them at ultra high setting smoothly on my very low end pc but they look like crap 

, now my low end pc cant run stuff on high anymore but on low, games still run smoothly and look better than those games from 10 years ago at ultra high setting.

Its just evolution more detail/objects etc.. on screen requires better hardware. And if you want your old hardware to always run stuff at high setting that is just asking to stop evolution.

zinten
zinten

@Toysoldier34 @zinten High setting is not equivalent between games.

Elite on medium for example looks better than x rebirth at high and as a bonus it runs much better as well. 

They could make the game look average on purpose with medium polygon count/gfx effect etc.. and call it ultra high setting, it would run very well on even my low end pc at high setting and ultra high on my medium pc.

That would probably make people think that it is well optimized because it runs on ultra high setting on their 10 year old pc but in the end everyone would end up with medium graphics.

That is the case with most current pc game by the way, almost none use full potential of high end gfx card because they are either badly optimized so they have only a good looking game at high setting, almost equivalent to their next gen console version when its a multiplatform game.

I would rather have a game fully utilizing pc potential at all settings so that it looks good on my medium pc and better on high end pc that can handle more stuff on screen.


Darkhol0w
Darkhol0w

@lonesamurai1 @Toysoldier34 No Ubisoft did that so the console folk won't go "Hey! Why do PC people have the E3 2012 version..wait that was played on PC didn't it?" Bingo!