Why PC Ports Are Always Crappy And Always Will Be

There are so many PC ports that are unplayable at release. A developer now reveals why PC gamers will have to accept it.

Jedi Survivor Last of Us Shitty PC Ports
Two examples that left their scars... | © EA, Sony

It's really a shitty situation. There are great games released every year and every year PC players are getting disappointed by unplayable versions, full of bugs, glitches and overall bad performance.

So you either get frustrated if you try to play an AAA game right after the release, or you have to wait for the biggest issues to be fixed before you purchase the game – and your friends playing on console are already finished and have spoiled the game for you.

Digitaltrends stepped up and asked developers why it's always the PC version, and received an answer we all didn't want to hear.

Why PC Ports Are Crap And Never Will Be Good

The senior vice president of Unity Create, Marc Whitten, said one of the main reasons for the shitty PC ports are the different configurations each PC player uses. So the biggest strength of PCs is simultaneously their biggest weakness:

...the sheer diversity and variability of PC configurations that games will be played on … can definitely expose unexpected issues.

Well, damn.

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Adding to that, there are the different operating systems. Is there a new driver update? Which version of the operating system is used? BIOS settings? Which additional software for mouse, keyboard and headset is installed? And which version of that?

If you've ever built a PC on your own, you know how many possibilities there are just concerning the hardware. There's a sheer uncountable (I'm sure you could calculate the number, but I can't) amount of possible combinations of the different components, like motherboard, graphics card and so on.

Even if the devs pinned down the most common ones, there would still be the software combinations that are causing issues.

All these possible configurations multiply into tens of thousands and even though the devs are fixing the issues for the most popular PC configurations, it simply is impossible to cover all of them. Whereas the configurations of the PS5 or Xbox Series are the same for every console.

John Johanas, the game director of The Evil Within 2 and Hi-Fi Rush agrees with Whitten.

It’s pretty unrealistic to think that you can make a product that will run flawlessly on what feels like an unlimited configuration of CPUs, GPUs, memory, and more likely, what is running in the background.

A long PC port development isn't necessarily a good one, like The Last of Us demonstrated. Since the newest and most common combinations may change multiple times during the process, it's hard for the devs to stay adjusted.

And as if that weren't enough reasons, there's the budget for the games. While it would of course be ideal to be able to scale graphics settings for a wide variety of configurations, development costs severely limit these possibilities, according to Hideyuki Miyashita, systems programmer on Hi-Fi Rush.

Considering that PCs aren't getting simpler – in fact they're getting more complex – this issues probably will exist as long as PC gaming will.

So all there's left for PC gamers is to be patient. Because once the issues are fixed, the great diversity of configurations and hardware can become the best part of PC gaming.

Of course, we took a closer look at Jedi Survivor too.

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