Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Pre-Christmas grievances

While I am generally a happy gamer these days, there are some grievances that bear mentioning lest they be forgotten. These things weigh on the mind from time to time, maybe I can move on once I put them out here.

Grievance I: the HD era. They tell us we'll see PC-level graphics on the telly. I've played some Call Of Duty 2 on the Xbox 360, on a proper HD display, and it just ain't all that. Yes, there are more details apparent and the resolution is higher, but I recall being told we'd get rid of the jagged outlines for good. If anything, I was bothered more by the jaggies on a crisp resolution display than I ever was on a good ol' CRT display.

And it doesn't look like HD sets would be likely to become very common around here anytime soon. (Unlike US citizens, we don't have cheap CRT HD sets available.) There isn't any talk of HD tv broadcasts yet, we're only going from analog to digital in two years.

I trust these issues will be remedied in the year or so to come, but I do expect to see some anti-aliasing, at least on a level even my ancient PC (sub-1G processor) could manage. In any case the next generation doesn't much excite, unlike the current generation did.

Grievance II: PC copy protection. I usually apply a no-CD crack on games I've bought for the PC, simply because I dislike having to dig for the discs when I want to play for a bit. However, I have quite a few games which won't play unless a no-CD crack is applied. This is just wrong, considering that those playing pirated games won't ever see this crap.

Worse yet is the Ubisoft model, where the game snoops around your hard drive, looking for software which in the publisher's discretion is objectionable. They've discriminated against CD copying software, commonly used by pirates but also by perfectly legitimate customers.
This is unacceptable and it makes me wonder who they think they are to even contemplate doing this. My HD is none of your business, mr. publisher. (This is from a person who loves most of what Ubisoft does, by the way.)

Luckily I play so few PC games these days that copy protection doesn't spoil my day as often as it used to. It's still a bad idea to implement half-assed solutions which only bother your own customers.

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