A look back at the PC specifications for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 launch year titles

Interesting Posts

By -

50 GB HDD Space, 6 GB RAM, 64bit — Are we heading to a new standard specification for PC hardware? We take a look back at multiplatform titles of Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 and see what PC specifications they required in order to run on a PC — and how they compared to the hardware at that time.

When the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 launched, they were quite ahead of the PC hardware, that was the standard at that time. It is a opposite situation now where both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are using off-the-shelf part for their hardware, mixed with various customizations to the CPU/GPU and RAM, and all packed neatly in a casing. Both can be compared to either mid to high-end PCs.

The most important thing to consider here is that both systems are now using a 8-core CPU and 8 GB of RAM, coupled with a decent GPU. While the CPU is perhaps the most weakest part of the console, it also means a lot for PC owners, who have long waited for a time when games will be optimized for multiple cores.

So looking at this, one might guess that the requirements might be a little low, right? But what we have seen so far just seems to be the exact opposite. Requirements have shoot up a lot higher to the point that a hardware upgrade is now necessary, unless you were already the owner of a high-end rig.

With the news that both Watch_Dogs and Call of Duty: Ghosts will require 6 GB of RAM minimum and Call of Duty: Ghosts even requires 50 GB of HDD space, we decided to take a look back the the multiplatform titles of the previous generation.

Starting off, let’s talk about Gears of War. It was a exclusive to Xbox 360 and was heralded as the graphics king of its time. No PC game came close to matching it except for Crysis. Surprisingly enough, it had a pretty modest specs requirement since it was a Unreal Engine title, which was well optimized for PC. Check out the specs below

Minimum
CPU: Intel 2.4 GHz+ / AMD 2.0 GHz+
CPU Speed: 2.4 GHz
RAM: 1 GB
OS: Windows XP or Vista
Video Card: NVIDIA Geforce 6600+ / ATI x700+
DirectX version: 9.0c
Sound Card: Yes
Free Disk Space: 12 GB
DVD-ROM: Yes

 Recommended

Processor: Any Intel Core 2 Duo or AMD Athlon X2
RAM: 2 GB
Video Memory: nVidia GeForce 7600, ATI X1900
Hard Drive Space: 12 GB

What about Call of Duty on PC? Call of Duty 2 was the first Call of Duty on Xbox 360 and it was also released on PC. Here are the specs for it.

 Minimum
CPU: Pentium IV 1.4GHz or AMD Athlon XP 1700+ processor or higher
RAM: 256MB RAM
VGA: 3D hardware accelerator card required – 100% DirectX 9.0c compatible 64MB hardware accelerator video card and the latest drivers*
DX: DirectX 9.0c
OS: English version of Microsoft Windows 2000/XP
HDD: 4.0GB of uncompressed free hard disk space (plus 600MB for Windows 2000/XP swap file)
Sound: 100% DirectX 9.0c compatible 16-bit sound card and latest drivers

Recommended
CPU: Pentium IV 1.4GHz or AMD Athlon XP 1700+ processor or higher
RAM: 512MB RAM recommended
VGA: 3D hardware accelerator card required – 100% DirectX 9.0c compatible 64MB hardware accelerator video card and the latest drivers*
DX: DirectX 9.0c
OS: English version of Microsoft Windows 2000/XP
HDD: 4.0GB of uncompressed free hard disk space (plus 600MB for Windows 2000/XP swap file)
Sound: 100% DirectX 9.0c compatible 16-bit sound card and latest drivers

Again, these specs were pretty much the standard at that time.

What about Assassin’s Creed? Just like Watch_Dogs, Assassin’s Creed was Ubisoft’s first multiplatform AAA project for consoles and PC. The PC version didn’t launch alongside the consoles though and was released at a much later date. While it might be argued that the PC version wasn’t optimized properly, we are not talking about the port issues here, just the specification requirements. You can check the specs below.

 Minimum

CPU: Dual core processor 2.6 GHz Intel® Pentium® D or AMD Athlon™ 64 X2 3800+
RAM: 1 GB Windows Xp / 2 GB Windows Vista
VGA: 256 MB DirectX® 10.0–compliant video card or DirectX 9.0–compliant card with Shader Model 3.0 or higher (NVIDIA GeForce 6800+ / ATI Radeon X1600+) (see supported list)*
DX: DirectX 9.0 or 10.0 libraries (included on disc)
OS: Windows® XP/Windows Vista® (only)
HDD: 12 GB

 Recommended
CPU: Intel Core® 2 Duo 2.2 GHz or AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+ or better
RAM: 2 GB Windows Xp / 3 GB Windows Vista
VGA: 512 MB DirectX® 10.0–compliant video card or DirectX 9.0–compliant card with Shader Model 3.0 or higher (see supported list)*
DX: DirectX 9.0 or 10.0 libraries (included on disc)
OS: Windows® XP/Windows Vista® (only)
HDD: 12 GB

See, they weren’t demanding much. Assassin’s Creed was released in 2008 and by that time, Dual Core CPU was already a standard.

Bioshock 1 was another Xbox 360 exclusive, that was based on Unreal Engine 3. It was also released on PC. Here are its specs requirement.

 Minimum
CPU: Intel single-core Pentium 4 processor at 2.4GHz
RAM: 1 GB
VGA: Direct X 9.0c compliant video card with 128MB RAM and Pixel Shader 3.0 (NVIDIA 6600 or better/ATI X1300 or better, excluding ATI X1550)
DX: Direct X 9.0c
OS: Windows XP (with Service Pack 2) or Windows Vista
HDD: 8GB of free hard drive space
Sound: 100% direct X 9.0c compatible sound card

 Recommended
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo processor
RAM: 2 GB
VGA: DX 9 – Direct X 9.0c compliant video card with 512 MB RAM and Pixel Shader 3.0 (NVIDIA GeForce 7900 GT or better), DX 10 – NVIDIA GeForce 8600 or better
DX: Direct X 9.0c
OS: Windows XP (with Service Pack 2) or Windows Vista
HDD: 8GB of free hard drive space

A 8600 GT was recommended back in 2007 for a Unreal Engine 3 title like Bioshock 1- which dazzled everyone with its beautiful graphics on Xbox 360. Of course, the PC port of Bioshock 1 had some technical issues and flaws, which made it more of a okay port. It also lacked Widescreen support, which was later added through a patch.

It was not until in 2007, when Crysis hit, that PC folks finally found themselves with a challenging game, that forced them to upgrade their PC. But Crysis had its own issues, mainly related to poor optimization, that resulted in beefy requirement and the origin of the meme “Can it run Crysis?”

So why are we suddenly seeing hefty requirements. A big reason is due to the fact that the previous generation dragged on for too long. PlayStation 3 was launched in 2006 and Xbox 360 in 2005. It has been more than 8 years for Xbox 360 and 7 years of PlayStation 3 now. The PC Hardware has also progressed rapidly through out these years so it was not surprising to see these specifications pop-up now. While they may look demanding now, they won’t do much in the later years.

Hopefully, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One won’t go for another 7-8 years life cycle and instead settle on the usual 5-6 year life cycle of a console, that used to be the norm back then.

What do you think of this article? Let us know in the comments below.

Stay tuned to GearNuke for latest on technology and games.

Khurram Imtiaz

A Geek and Gamer, who loves JRPGs and VITA. Follow him on Twitter and Google+

  • Leave Me Alone

    “Both can be compared to either mid to high-end PCs.”

    lol….no.

    more like low-end/lower mid-end PC’s. they are not coming remotely close to high-end PC’s.

  • Dakan45

    Games better run better this time around, the architecture is very similar the previous consoles were ahead of pc at release ,yet games were not demanding so they BETTER run on lesser rigs now that the architecture is the same.

  • Matt

    Crysis was unoptimized crap but it looked great… I can max it out without a hitch these days but it still has the 24hz 1080p glitch which is annoying. There is a solidness to that game that I haven’t seen since though.

    PC gamers are ready for a 6gb standard… maybe not the casuals but screw them. COD Ghosts using 6gb is the problem… no way in hell it’s going to amount to anything different from the consoles. It’s more than likely just unoptimized code and their bloating the system specs so they don’t have to go back a clean it up. If it can run on a 360 then I don’t see why it couldn’t run on a system that could run BLOPS 2.
    Unlike the console crowd it’s minority that actually plays COD on Pc anyways.

    • deSSy2724

      I know many ppl with 4GB ram, high end CPUs like i5 or i7 and high end AMD/nVidia GPUs. So, your point is invalid…. some system requirements for current games are saying 4GB is minimum but you can run the same game with 2GB of RAM. Obiviosly i talk about system RAM, NOT video RAM.

      • Matt

        Don’t tell me my point is invalid when you don’t even have one… I’m just going to read your post like the robot guy off of Grandma’s Boy.

        • deSSy2724

          You can do everything with 4GB of system memory (play any game at maxed out settings´ofc if you own a good CPU and GPU), END OF STORY!

          BTW you can even run the newest games with only 1GB DDR1 memory and with a single core CPU (for example, i tested it with DFI Ultra Infinity s939 AMD board and PCI-e DX 11 GPUs). The problem is, it will lag too much, loading times are the hell etc but you can run it.

          The real minimum system requirements are shaders… (4.0, 5.0 etc), not really RAM and CPU speed and cores. 4GB of RAM is enough for all games (to this day, for 100% SP games and 90% multiplayer games)

  • Clifton Walton

    eh I don’t think the requirements are that demanding. about what I expected to be honest. my HD 7950 will do ok and I will simply upgrade it in a year or two.

    • deSSy2724

      It is demanding compared to other games in general. WatchDogs can be played on PS3/360/Wii U (much weaker hardware) and it cant on a “cheaper” 2013 PC? Its ridiculous…. ofc you own a 7950, so you dont care but hello, the “mass market” is the biggest market (they dont own the best CPUs and GPUs).

  • Netvyper

    I have to ask, what gaming PCs don’t have 6GB of Ram & 64bit already? Infact, show me a laptop that doesn’t meet those core requirements these days. PCs are sat in a holding pattern, hardware improvement has been far in excess of software for plenty of years now.
    My GPU is nearly 3 years old, and the rest of my box 4+… and yet I can still play BF4 rather nicely in 1920×1200… This kind of thing would have been impossible 7-8 years ago when the X360 & PS3 were released. I don’t know if the low console specs and multi-platform gaming are to blame, or if there just isn’t the push for improvement that there was back then… I mean, games are looking pretty sweet, and have been for a while… I wonder if it’s just a natural plateau that we’re seeing.

  • mu_ndane

    … I dont even…

    • Snooche

      Perfectly described

Follow us!

If you like this site please help and make click on any of these buttons!

×