Irrational Games answer PC Bioshock Infinite questions

27 Jan 2013  by   Paul Younger
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BioShock Infinite

A few days ago Irrational Games revealed the PC specs for Bioshock Infinite but there are more questions needing answered. Is it Windows 8 certified? Is there a Steam offline mode? Yes, there’s been plenty of queries so hopefully Irrational’s Technical Director Chris Kline can fill in any gaps.

Q: Does the game support 120 hertz?

Chris Kline: If you play the game with the frame rate locked then the game will render at the lesser of the maximum rate that your hardware is capable of, given the current scene and your chosen resolution and graphics options, and the refresh rate of your monitor. If you use the in-game UI option to disable frame rate locking, then the game will only be limited by your hardware and not the monitor refresh rate. For example, if you have a 120 Hz monitor, and your graphics card is capable of rendering the scene at 187 FPS, then the game will render at 120 FPS (if frame rate is locked) or 187 FPS (if unlocked).

Q: Does this title support Windows XP, Vista, 7, or 8?

Chris Kline: Windows XP is not supported. The PC version requires Vista, Windows 7, or Windows 8.

Q: Is it Windows 8 Certified or just compatible?

Chris Kline: Compatible.

Q: Today I learned the PC requirements for BioShock Infinite and that it will come with a bench tool.  If not free, how would I know if it will run?

Chris Kline: If your PC meets the minimum requirements that we’ve already announced, you can be confident that the game will be playable on that specification with some combination of settings. How fast the game runs and how beautiful it will look depends on how powerful your PC configuration is. So if your PC is at the low end of the requirements you may need to run at a lower resolution and/or lower some of the configurable graphics quality settings.

Q: How would it run on a GTX460?

Chris Kline: I have not personally tested with this specific graphics card, and I don’t have access to your machine, so I’m not able to give you hard numbers. However, that card is above our minimum requirements for graphics cards. Therefore if your machine meets the other minimum requirements for BioShock Infinite, I believe it will run well.

As a side note, if you’re interested in checking out how your graphics card compares to our minimum and recommended specifications, here is a helpful comparison chart where more powerful cards are at the top and less powerful ones at the bottom: Tom’s Hardware “Best Graphics Cards For The Money: January 2013 ” Graphics Card Hierarchy Chart

Q: What are your plans for widescreen in BioShock Infinite?

Chris Kline: We’ve done a lot of work for BioShock Infinite to support a wide range of display setups and resolutions, so I’m confident you’ll have a great full-screen play experience when it is released.

Q: Will it support Steam offline mode?

Chris Kline: Steam Offline Mode is supported.

Q: Will there be any DRM?

Chris Kline: We are using the standard Steam DRM. You’ll need a Steam account and a broadband internet connection during initial installation for Steamauthentication. But otherwise it works pretty much like any other Steam title: you can install under the same Steam account on multiple machines, activate Steam Offline Mode to play on an airplane, etc.

Q: Will I be able to run this on ATI Radeon Mobility HD 4500 series?

Chris Kline: Unfortunately this card is below our minimum requirements, so I cannot state with confidence that it will perform well on your PC.

Q: If I purchase a boxed copy of BioShock Infinite, does that mean I’ll still be able to play it using Steam or do I have to actually purchase it throughSteam?

Chris Kline: You do not need to purchase the game via Steam to play it using Steam.

Q: Will the game require the disc to be in the computer or is it able to directly download from Steam? I bought the collector’s edition but my computer doesn’t have an optical drive.  Am I allowed to input a code into Steam and download it without the disc?

Chris Kline: Boxed copies will include a Steam key. So if you bought a boxed copy but your computer doesn’t have an optical drive, you can still activate and install the game via a Steam download.

Q: Is BioShock Infinite a Steamworks title?

Chris Kline: Yes, BioShock Infinite is a Steamworks title, and activation requires a Steam account.

Q: The minimum PC specs confuse me.  It says that the minimum video memory is 512, but it also states that it can run on Intel integrated chipsets which my system says is 384 megs.

Chris Kline: This is a little complicated to answer because Intel graphics works a little differently from other vendors. As Intel says in their Graphics Memory FAQ:

“Intel graphics do not have dedicated memory but utilizes some of the computer’s system memory. The amount of memory used for graphics may be a fixed amount or may vary up to a maximum amount. It depends on if your computer manufacturer has configured your computer to use a fixed amount, a dynamic amount (varying up to a maximum amount), or a combination of both fixed and dynamic amounts of graphics memory.”

The best way for you to find out if your computer has enough graphics memory is to follow the instructions in the Intel Graphics Memory FAQ in the section titled“How much graphics memory does my computer have?” This explains a method that allows you to find out how much memory your Intel graphics setup has access to, taking into account the memory it shares with system memory.

Source: Irrational Games.

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