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+.

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

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