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Lost Planet, DirectX 10, And You

Lost Planet Capcom's popular Lost Planet: Extreme Condition for the Microsoft Xbox 360 is on its way to Windows XP and Windows Vista in versions for both DirectX 9 (that's the XP version) and DirectX 10 (for Vista).  Demos of the two versions were released last week, giving hardcore hardware hobbyists their first look at a game that demands the Vista-exclusive DirectX 10.  The verdict from Extreme Tech?  Lost Planet on Vista needs work.

Simply put, this demo was not ready for release. The menus are awkward for a PC game and still include console button identifications, and the performance is simply not there yet. Capcom should have worked more with both Nvidia and ATI to improve performance in both DX9 and DX10 modes, and the whole interface needs an overhaul.

Clearly, a lot of work needs to be done by all parties involved. Capcom needs to optimize their code further. Nvidia needs to improve its performance in DirectX 10—if the whole point of the DX10 version is for it to look the same but run 10% to 20% faster than the DX9 version, it had darn well better run 10% to 20% faster. Even if that were achieved, and so far it isn't, that would be a pretty unimpressive debut for DX10. If you upgraded to Vista and bought a DX10 card just to have your game look the same while running 10% to 20% faster, you'd be right to be upset.

I downloaded the demo for Vista last week but haven't found the time to do anything with it yet.  Based on this I may just hold off for a better demo somewhere down the line.  What's the point of having state of the art technology if it doesn't work quite right yet?  Sure, I could try the DirectX 9 version, but what's the point of having state of the art technology if I don't actually use it?  I call this disparity "The Lost Planet Conundrum".

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