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I’m one of those people who pretty much just has to play any game I’m excited for (a recent example of this is when I bought Halo 3 with no 360 to play it on and had to get a friend to lend me his, so long as I give him the game afterwards). And being a pretty heavy gamer, I get excited for quite a lot of games.

So often times I approach a sort of pickle in my gaming life, much like the one I’m in right now. I’m sure many others have encountered the situation: a slew of new games all come out within a few weeks of each other, and you simply don’t have enough time to play them all as much as you want. It’s a weird situation, having too much of a good thing.

This was originally going to be a post about all of those games, but let’s split it up into chunks:

One of the games I’ve been trying to work into my schedule is, of course, Crysis. I won’t waste keystrokes trying to explain the awesomeness of its graphics and physics (I’m no graphics whore, but hey — a good thing is a good thing), because I’m sure everyone who’s heard of Crysis has probably heard about it in some reference to graphical detail. Rather, I’d like to explain somewhat the opposite: the lack of possible graphics.

Before I start trippin’ up all in your grill, I’m talking about the DirectX9 version here. And I’m in no way trying to criticize its capabilities; in fact, I’m trying to bring them out. It’s been circulating around the ‘net that when Crysis runs on DX9, its graphical intensity is purposefully not as high as it can be, presumably to make people say “Oh man, DX9 sucks compared to DX10, now I’m going to go spend some money on Vista and a new graphics card so I can experience the awesomeness.”

A (somewhat) recent comparison of the DX9 and DX10 versions of Crysis somewhat reveals this — throughout the page, screenshots taken on DX9 Crysis are shown, and on rollover you can see the DX10 versions of the exact same screenshots. But at the bottom, some instructions are mentioned to allow DX9 to run on some high-end settings that supposedly only DX10 can handle — apparently Crytek has “chosen to artificially limit some of the game’s graphics effects to only the DX10 version in order to create a bigger perceived difference.”

Not cool, man.

DX10 is still (I hear) much better than 9, but why would Crytek choose to disallow DX9 to work up to its full potential? Are they trying to encourage people to get DX10 cards to prepare for the future, or did Microsoft have some say in this?

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