Elite: Dangerous is about to leave older rigs behind

If you’re playing Frontier Developments’ Elite: Dangerous on a PC that’s behind the power curve, you’re going to be passed by soon. David Braben, CEO and founder of Frontier, warned players that the studio will likely be dropping support for 32-bit systems and graphic cards still using DirectX 10. According to Braben, their data shows that very few players of Elite: Dangerous would be negatively impacted by the shift to higher-end systems.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://www.quartertothree.com/fp/2016/09/19/elite-dangerous-leave-older-rigs-behind/

To be fair, if you’re still on a 32-bit system you’re holding back the entire world and we’re probably better off abandoning you.

If you’re running a 32-bit rig and/or DX10-only card you are trapped in a world three curves behind.

Jeez, PC master race is a tough crowd.

So… why support those systems to begin with, on release, over a year ago, if support was to be dropped?

Well, for one thing, that was over a year ago. Plenty of people will have upgraded some or all of their system in that time. But for another, they may not have realized at the time that it would be a problem for future development.

I thought Horizons (which is what you get by default if you bought the game sometime this year) was already 64 bit only?

So is this change for legacy owners, who have not upgraded to Horizons?

I know the upgrade curve is flattening out, but we’re talking about rigs that are at least 7 years old. When Morrowind came out in 2002 I didn’t expect to be able to play it on my old 486 from 1995.

It’s put up or get back to your kiddy consoles!

Multiple code paths are always a bit undesirable, but is Elite really a demanding performance title? Isn’t it mostly, well, empty space?

The option for a 64-bit OS was almost 10 years ago now (Vista) . This isn’t leaving recent folks in the past.

Can’t think of too many modern games with non-indie budgets that run on 10-yr old mid-range hardware.

Lots of games switched over about a year ago. When Dark Souls 2 brought out the SOFTS version they “left behind” all the old computer users. Almost everything since then has.

I bet the route plotter works (or could work) a lot better in 64-bit. And it means they can expect more than say 3GB of usable RAM.

This is the reason Braben gave a year ago when Horizons was announced to be 64-bit only:

some of the things we are doing with compute shaders have proved unreliable on Windows 32, especially with certain graphics cards even with the latest drivers.

Compute shaders are used in the planetary generation.

In the same post he also indicated they would drop 32-bit support all together sometime in 2016:

Season one will remain supported on 32 bit as well as 64 bit, until sometime next year at least.

I need to update and play this again one of these days.

You could already run it with Windows XP 64-bit edition (basically Server 2003 64-bit) that came out in 2005 I believe, been waiting 10+ years for the majority of new titles to be 64-bit instead of 32-bit.

I think they demoed 64-bit Unreal Tournament back in 2003 on Itanium XP-64bit.

Was really surprised Elite was 32-bit back when I bought it and couldn’t understand why they would limit themselves in that way.