Oblivion

By Shamus
on Mar 2, 2006
Filed under:
Game Reviews

From the spamming shills at Gamespot, comes the news that Oblivion has gone gold.

I loved the previous game in this franchise, the unique and innovative Morrowwind. Now the sequel is due in stores March 20. Sadly, I won’t be getting it. My humble ‘lil PC just isn’t up to the task. I’m way below the minimum system specs for this thing. I’m sure I’ll upgrade my computer sometime this year, and then I expect I will pick this game up, probably used.

Here is an interesting fact: The PC version of this game is $50, and the XBox version is $60. Nice. This is a first-person game, which means it is far more suited to the PC, and looking around with the analog stick is going to be akward and frustrating. The PC version comes with the toolkit so you can add content to the game. You can add new NPC’s, quests, or entire towns and share them with your friends. The PC version will support the fantastic keyboard technology, which lets you type letters and symbols directly into the game instead of playing hunt-and-peck with the controller. Thats a lot of features to give up for $10 more.

I don’t get it. What’s the sense in charging more for the console version?

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1313 comments. That's a baker's dozen.

From the Archives:

  1. Jay says:

    The 360 version may run better. Your PC might have graphics hardware that beats the Xenon’s, but the 360 has two things most PCs won’t: multiple CPU cores, which allows for saving lots of processing time (provided sufficiently parallel tasks) and zero variability of setup, which allows for more optimization.

    Perhaps more importantly: there’s more demand for the console version — simply based on how many interested customers also own machines that can actually run it.

  2. bkw says:

    Why charge more for the console version? Because they can. From what I’ve seen, $60 is pretty typical of a new top-tier release — “top-tier” being some eagerly anticipated game expected to sell lots and lots of copies on strength of brand name alone (e.g. Final Fantasy, or Legend of Zelda).

    A better question might be, “why pay more for less content?”

  3. ian says:

    i have played oblivion and it was awsome!!I thought it was basicly morowind with better grafics and fightig system.I really loved this game but I couldnt use any other function on my computer because i took up so much memory.Any one who has the system requirments should definitly give it a try.

  4. Jeff says:

    Speaking from the perspective of the future now, the game runs better on PCs than consoles, especially with the tweaks you can do to it. It can run better, and it can run prettier, and it can have more stuff.

    Like fan-made interface fixes so it doesn’t have the problems inherent in a console game (such as a lack of scaling, by which I mean running on 1600×1200 gives you the same number of inventory entires on-screen at once as running it 800×600. I mean, come on! We’re not blind, here…)

  5. StClair says:

    But could it run better on PCs than on consoles THEN?

    This very article points out that at least one PC of the time couldn’t run it at all. As I recall, the one I had then couldn’t either. Which is better – upgrading, at a cost of at least $200 (new video card) and possibly as much as $1000 (whole new computer), or a $200 game console which is GUARANTEED to be able to run the game at full detail, right out of the box, no fiddling required?

    Console gaming is all about convenience. You don’t (or shouldn’t) have to do anything but put the disc in, close the cover, and hit ‘START’. It limits you, especially when the state of the art moves past what the console can do; but it also frees you to just play the game and not worry about configuration or drivers or patches.

  6. Katy says:

    Yeah, I mistakenly bought Oblivion thinking my laptop could handle it. Hahahaha! Yeahhhh, right. Thankfully, I bought it a couple months before I had planned to buy a new desktop, so the money wasn’t wasted, just postponed. I wonder, though, if you’ve played NeverWinter Nights and/or its expansions or sequel? I rather enjoyed NWN, but wished for a little more autonomy, so Oblivion is probably a good solution. Hope you get to play Oblivion sometime soon!

  7. Zomgoose says:

    Actually, there is a mod that you can download for this game once you install it (called Oldblivion, you can google it) that significantly tones down the graphics and other things. So if you have the memory required, you may still be able to run it.

  8. Miako says:

    *yawn*

    both Morrowind and Oblivion.

    … but get the collectors edition!!

    best gifts since Infocom…
    I swear they used a real forger this time! (you aren’t taking me seriously, are you?)

  9. Sum Guy says:

    The price difference could simply be because the XBox version cost extra to make. It probably did.

    The PC/XBox price difference might well be due in part to a console licensing fee, i.e. a fee that the game developer pays the console maker to produce games on that system.

    Or it could be due to the cost of porting a PC-native product. If Oblivion was designed primarily on/for the PC and then ported to XBox (which I suspect it was), rather than being built from the groud up to run on both, then it took additional man-hours to translate it over to the XBox.

    Whatever the reason, they are in the somewhat odd position of asking someone to pay more for the stripped-down XBox version. But, as you’ve all pointed out already, a lot of not-too-old computers just don’t have the power to run it. I suspect there are no few people out there who own X-Boxes, but not high-end PCs. Then it’s a matter of a slightly simpler game that you can play costing $10 more than a fully-featured game that you can’t.

  10. mixmastermind says:

    Oh Oblivion, I had such high hopes for thee, to be dashed by thine wooden acting and poor story.

  11. dyrnwyn says:

    The Xbox also has USB ports, so you can use a keyboard. I would lose my mind if it didn’t.

  12. Steve says:

    Actually what I find interesting is that alot of people have no probs at all when they’re below minimum requirements, but when they’re on the requirements or over they can have a whole slew of problems :(.

  13. killdozer69 says:

    I would give Oblivion a perfect 10 except Bethesda never fixed the A-Bomb bug and pretty much told gamers “well, since we got your money now, we don’t care about fixing the bug, although we ‘fixed’ the other bugs that gamers were actually having fun with!” So, at best, Oblivion gets an “I” for incomplete. And Now Bethesda is coming out with another Oblivion. What’s that saying? Fool me once, shame on you…fool me twice, shame on me.
    That goes for any other games that Bethesda makes (that I really wanted to buy). In fact my enthusiasm for buying and playing games is has greatly waned altogether thanks to Bethesda and the unwillingness of the gaming community – developers, reviewers and shockingly, players – to treat this seriously. It’s like they all bent over and screamed “THANK YOU SIR! MAY I HAVE ANOTHER?!” to Bethesda. while handing them their wallet.
    Now I loved Oblivion more than any other game I’ve ever played. But that’s exactly why I hate Bethesda and their A-bomb bug they put in that game all the more. I’d REALLY love to buy their next Oblivion game, but I’m not. And I’m going to tell everybody who ask me not to buy it either and why. It saddens me to do this. Oblivion did everything right as far as RPGs go. It’s far superior to Dragon Age in that respect in everyway. But when a game doesn’t work in the basic way it was designed and more importantly-advertised to do, it doesn’t matter how good everything else is. That’s all null and void. You have to declare that the game was an incomplete and faulty product sold under false pretenses.
    And they knew about this bug very early in the games’ release. Bethesda themselves held a contest to see who could log in the most hours with one character and the problem was exposed then. It was called the “Oblivion Iron Man Contest”. Google it and you’ll see. Also google “Oblivion A-bomb bug” if you want to read about more…

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