From: South Carolina
Eric: I just looked on Pricewatch and some other places. The only supply of 32-bit chips for desktops seem to be in the hands of scavanger houses. They are going for small bucks. This level of technology is no longer being manufactured where it will enter the developed world mainstream market. Therefore Matrix is building fossil programs for a fossil market. When anyone, anywhere in the developed world replaces a desktop rig it will be with 64-bit tech. Similarly the graphics are advancing with more and more GPU capability in chipsets and glue-on mobo chips in the $5.00 range. Some individuals predict that tri-core and quad-core CPUs will have one of the cores be a GPU. There is a limit to what an emulator can do and since Matrix apparently does not even test for compatability on 64-bit you are going to have more customers like me who feel burned by a purchase that does not work on modern tech. I should repeat that my gaming rig is not very sophisticated or powerful or leading-edge. It is trailing edge if anything. Matrix is off the edge.
Both AMD and Intel have abandoned tri-core due to Intel's successful "quad" (which is really a double double) marketing. AMD has promised a true Quad in 2008 and Intel claimed the same right after them.
Regarding GPUs and naive ideas about "graphics whores:" This is not the point.
Actually this is the point. GPUs are for GRAPHICS, especially 3D ones. Matrix games resemble board games more than MMORPGs and graphics can be minimal and still provide a desired product
If you would read Alex Saint John* on the evolution of modern gaming you will discover that games are progressively run by the GPUs not the CPU. In a Windows box playing a game all the CPU does, nowadays, is load the OS. Specifically:
"There is another important reason that GPUs have momentum for taking over for the CPU. GPUs are better designed for accelerating tomorrow’s nonenterprise computational problems. ... most games derive little or no performance benefit from being threaded or multicore optimized. One of the reasons for this is that the heavy computational lifting and parallelism is already largely handled by the GPU. ...We evolved massively parallel computing brains to cope with the enormous complexity of the environment we live in. Traditional CPU architectures, on the other hand, were designed with serial processing in mind. Although parallelism was added to them over time to speed them up, a modern computer is essentially an extremely fast serial processing device. Although very powerful, it still requires “unnatural acts” to get modern CPUs to solve real-time parallel processing problems...The GPU’s native architectural advantage for future computing derives from its physics roots. It’s easy to forget that a 3D game is an extraordinary achievement in real-time simulation of optical physics. Early GPUs were really just highly specialized massively parallel physics engines that have evolved greater processing flexibility over time. To stretch the point, a modern GPU has a great deal more in common with the structure of a human brain than the CPU does. It’s no coincidence that the GPU’s ability to “visualize” an interactive real-time 3D world for us has resulted in an architecture with a lot in common with the one we use to visualize an interactive 3D world for ourselves."("The Saint: GPU Dominance", CPU Magazine, October 2007, Vol. 7 Issue 10, print issue page 15)**
So: Not only is the Matrix market a fossil it is using a computational element of the computer, the CPU, which is rapidly becoming obsolete for any serious gaming purposes. Dig it, the parallelism is in the GPU not the CPU. Parallel processing is the future of all nonenterprise computing. All the interesting stuff in the gaming world will eventually be parallel not von Neumann.***
So who would care about this? Aside from old cranks like me who whine about Matrix' shortcomings the whole world is becoing 64-bit enabled. Gaming is a huge marketplace. After security software gaming is the largest aftermarket purchase for typical consumer-level computers. People keep buying games long after they stop buying security software or enterprise software or whatever. Wired Magazine prediced that gaming would be larger than all other forms of entertainment combined in the future (including movies, music and pro sports).
The future of 'modern gaming' is also console based. Far more Wii and Playstation games sell than PC. Ask retailers and they will tell you they move more product for old consoles than for modern PCs.
Matrix has competition. The market segment it serves is large enough to attract real competitors whether they write for it or port to it from a console edition or whatever. Avalon Hill and SPI also made great games once upon a time. I purchased my copy of Tactics II (The first mass-market board wargame) from the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry store when I was probably age twelve. I have bought and discarded more board wargames than most people can recall. My observation is that all wargame companies commit suicide one way or another. This is unfortunate. It would be nice if Matrix could avoid this common fate.
You seem to misunderstand what the role of Matrix is. Matrix is a facilitator for devs. People make games that they think will sell and Matrix helps them take their finished product to market.
*so Google him.
** The Saint is wrong about computers and brains being very similar. This is a common misconception spread by various hucksters, bums and criminals who want the government and dumb businesspeople to give them money to develop "Artificial Intelligence." The brain is primarily an endocrine organ with some computational capacities not a computer-like organ. Consciousness is not like what comes out of a computer multimedia experience. Computers extend human mathematical abilities in business and science applications. Recently computational achievements crudely model interactive environments in games. People who do not get out much may think this is "realistic." They should go for a walk some time. I have visited the oh-so-beautiful and techno-impressive-takes-the-breath-away websites of "Artificial Intelligence" firms and inquired of them: "You are promoting an artificial version of "Intelligence." What do you define as "Inetlligence" real or artificial? So far none of them will respond to my emails. None. These people all know they are selling nothingness.
***von Neumann invented the modern serial-adding-machine CPU.
Although the single-memory architecture became commonly known by the name von Neumann architecture as a result of von Neumann's paper, the architecture's conception involved the contributions of others, including J. Presper Eckert and John William Mauchly, inventors of the ENIAC at the University of Pennsylvania. The mistaken name for the architecture is discussed in John W. Mauchly and the Development of the ENIAC Computer, part of the online ENIAC museum, in Robert Slater's computer history book, Portraits in Silicon, and in Nancy Stern's book From ENIAC to UNIVAC .
So the short version of all of this is simply that you are asking Matrix (or the game developers that use their services) to jump on in and take the lead where larger companies like EA have failed to. And you think they are being unrealistic?