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

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

Editor-in-Chief at GearNuke. I am a hardcore Final Fantasy fan and lover of JRPGs. When I am not posting news, I can be seen sharing my thoughts over at Twitter.

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