The other day while digging for news, I started to think about how far we have come technologically; I remember sitting and banging away on what to me at the time was a super speedy 2x86 CPU and I was happy. It was quick (again for the time) and could do everything I needed it to. Then, a new piece of software was thrown at me. This used terrain information (inputted by the user) to create an amazing 3D map of a battlefield. I was floored; normally I would sketch out this type of information using a drafting table. But here was something that would do it for me.
One problem, it would not run on my 2x86, I was going to need a more powerful system… My long battle with hardware upgrades was about to begin. Software driving hardware; that was the way things were until the late 90s.
At some point in the 90s hardware became so sophisticated that it leapt ahead of software. We now see software companies rushing products to market just to keep up with last year’s tech. Take games for example: A game is developed on whatever the current top performing hardware is at the time development begins.
That means that the rendering engine is designed to run at its best on the fastest GPU out. The AI is designed to run on the top CPU etc. Normally that would be great but since Hardware manufacturers have gotten into a six-month cycle; by the time a game hits the shelves - it is already outdated. So we are buying yesterday’s product and products poorly coded in order to meet deadlines.
The six-month refresh also means that time cannot be put into developing story line, combat systems, AI etc. Game developers just stuff as much eye candy as they can and push old, rehashed ideas out the door. This is hurting the market in ways that I cannot even begin to describe. Software companies cannot develop truly innovative features. Games are shipping with patches to known bugs already in the works. The software that is released comes broken and support for it is very lacking. This is from good companies too, but in order to keep up with demand we, the consumer, gets crap.
Even with all that, there is still another factor to all of this that makes things even worse...
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