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PC Games Rating System

So you don't have to worry that a PC game won't work.
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(+3, -5)
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I think they should come up with a rating system of numbers (possibly even colors, for those of you that are mathematically impaired) for PC games and programs. Each PC would be built to a specific rating....1 being the lowest (weakest computer), 10 being the highest (best computer). Each PC game would also have a corresponding rating on its box cover. The way the system works is that a PC will be able to play (at full capacity) games with a rating equal to or less than its rating. For example, a PC rated 7 would be able to play games with a rating of 7 or less, but not 8-10. Services can also be provided at stores such as Circuit City, Staples, etc. that can update a PC to a specific rating. The reason behind this rating system is simple: anyone who has played a PC game knows how much of a hassle it is to try and match a game's system requirements to your PC's hardware. Unless you have a lot of knowledge about PCs, it can be very frustrating to spend $50 on a game only to find out it doesn't work on your computer, and you can't return it.
Pocketassreturn, Dec 01 2004


       Many games come with the required specs on the side of the box. But we know how scary these specs look to new gamers.   

       The only problem is, the rating would have to be changed as the months went by. At one point, 64meg ram, a 400mHz processor, and a 3DFX card was the best money could buy.   

       Can you imagine how much hassle it would be for shopkeepers to go round their shops, replacing the rating sticker of every game in the shop?
spiritualized, Dec 01 2004

       I understand what you're saying and I did consider that...I don't think hardware updates would necessarily happen every couple of months...in any case, I think that the actual ratings could possibly be posted on some kind of an official web site (it can be updated much easier), where all games are listed, with their current ratings. From this website, it would also be possible to scan your computer and create a rating based on your current hardware vs. standards at that point in time. Though it may not be as easy as just checking a game's box, it saves game stores from having to check titles for ratings.... It may also be possible to ask a store worker to check a game's current rating in-store (I'm sure most stores have internet connections, and if they can go as far as to modify cash registers to handle ESRB ratings, they can do this too).
Pocketassreturn, Dec 01 2004

       The problem is that different games exercise different components of your computer to a different degree. For instance, a 3D shooter might require a better video card, but be reasonably tolerant of RAM size. A simulation of the D-Day Invasion might have relatively modest graphic needs, but require tons of RAM to track the state of the battle. A game with lots of in-game video would need a very high speed DVD drive to play that video, while other games that install to your hard disk might not care about DVD speed at all. So at the very least you'd need a series of numbers.   

       There is also a whole class of problems that this doesn't solve, namely the incompatible hardware issue. Sure, your video card is ranked 27 and this game only requires a 12, but we're still not compatible with the driver supplied by the card vendor.   

       Bottom line: this idea attempts a very simple solution to what is really a very complex problem.   

       I solved this problem a different way: I bought a game console instead. Since the hardware is uniform on those, the games always work.
krelnik, Dec 01 2004

       Agreed. For a computer to be definitely able to play a game, it would have to exceed minimum (or recommended, depending on how you chose to implement the system) specs in all areas. Consequently, a computer rated 7 would be able to play some games rated 9, but not all of them.   

       How about an option on a website which would take your computer's specification and adjust what products in its online store it shows you, such that the only products you can buy are ones which will work with your system? Or that would take your computer's specs and tell you what you would need to buy to run a given game?
david_scothern, Dec 02 2004

       That's actually a good idea, Dave. You should post it.
spiritualized, Dec 02 2004

       How ya been [Pocketass]? Good to see you weren't driven away for good. As the others said, PC's aren't 'better' or 'worse' so much as 'different': buy a PS2. If you're worried about the slight edge that PC's have over consoles when playing stuff like 'Halo', you're just going to have to learn a bit about PC's and make sure yours is configured right (though this can sometimes be more complicated than it has any right to be). [+] For trying to simplify this particular minefield. [-] Because your idea won't work.
wagster, Dec 02 2004

       Well, this actually would work pretty well, considering we found a way to make the rating stickers automatically change.   

       Maybe we could have an ink that slowly changes color, so that as the game gets older (and computers advance), the rating changes (based on calculations of how fast computers advance), telling you that you don't need a top-of-the-line computer to play that game anymore.   

       + for the exploration.
DesertFox, Dec 02 2004

       I'm not sure why the stickers or the ratings would have to change. Sure, hardware is always advancing, but that just means that the "top end" of your scale keeps going up.   

       Put another way: when initiated, this system might rank systems from 1 to 10. But 18 months later (one Moore's Law cycle) it would go from 1 to 20. And so on.
krelnik, Dec 02 2004

       I have been burned by this many times, but this solution is just unrealistic. Computers are too complex and there are too many vendors. You could do this on Apple though, since they have (much more) uniform and gernerally predictable hardware.
seriousconsult, Dec 04 2004

       Creating some kind of power index that can be matched between software and hardware is a great idea, that number will keep growing as hardware improves. And it's great to see you back PocketAss [+]
zen_tom, Dec 04 2004


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