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Just Cause 2 is DX10 only
Friday, February 26, 2010 | Permalink

Recently the min spec for Just Cause 2 was published and there has been quite a lot of attention to the fact that the game does not support Windows XP, which is simply due to the fact that it's a DX10 exclusive. The reaction has been everything from "awesome" to "stupid", depending on how you see it. Certainly it's a quite bold move given that not everyone has moved over to Vista/Win 7 yet. On the other hand, if you want something that's not just a simple console port, this is clearly the way to go. Going DX10 simply allowed us to a make a better game.

Anyway, I have seen some opinions of the sort "way to cut your potential customer base in half", often quoting the most recent Steam survey, which I wanted to address. If you look at the Steam survey more closely you'll see that it's not quite as bad. Currently 49% have DX10 systems. That doesn't mean a DX9 version would have brought the other 51% on-board. In the bottom end we have people on DX8 and earlier (5.66%). If there would be a DX9 version then for sure it would require at the very least shader model 3.0, so that cuts all 2.0 cards (3.84%). The Steam survey for some reason puts 2.0b and 3.0 in the same category, so some fraction of those would not be able to run the game either. So let's say that about 15% maybe in the bottom end would not be able to run the game anyway. So that makes it more like 49 percentage points vs. 36. So the cuts about 40% of the market. However, those numbers are still January numbers, and the trend with people migrating to Windows 7 is strong, so interpolate two months and another 4 percentage points will have moved up from Xp by the time the game is released. Another thing to consider is that people wanting to buy JC2 probably tend to be more likely to have made the switch to DX10 system anyway. Then there's of course all those people who will buy the game because it's a DX10 exclusive who might not have bought the game otherwise. Whether it all plays out favorable in the end will be interesting to see, but my gut feeling is that a great experience for a smaller audience is better than a medicore experience for the masses.

In related news, the demo will be available on March 4 for all platforms.

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Bjorke
Sunday, March 7, 2010

Of course, the count of game PLAYERS is not necessarily the count for game BUYERS. I strongly suspect that buyers lean more towards the newest-coolest-thing end of the curve.

Xop
Sunday, March 21, 2010

By the way, could you share some details about lighting in Just Cause 2? Currently I'm considering an upgrade to lighting system in our engine (I work as a graphics programmer at a small company), and article looks very intriguing. I've pre-ordered GPU Pro already, the problem is release date - 1st of June

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