Wow, Valve are somewhat economical with the truth when it comes to defining system requirements for a HDR demo. I haven’t accessed Steam in ages, since I reinstalled my machine last January in fact, but I decided to boot it up again just so I could take a look at the Lost Coast demo. But, on booting it up, I’m told that Valve have decided that my card can’t do HDR. Which is, as we all know, total and utter bollocks. Not only have I both rendered to and from HDR textures and used full HDR shaders using OGRE on this very card, but I’ve run several HDR demos from other sources too. Now, I’m aware that my card is getting old (it’s an FX5900 Ultra), I’ve just been holding back upgrading because I intend to replace most of the box at once next year, but claiming it can’t do HDR is pure nonsense. I wasn’t expecting it to be smooth, or indeed the top-quality output from the top-end cards, but I was expecting it to at least run with HDR enabled. I note rather cynically how they provide a link to Amazon.com for purchasing an upgrade, I wonder how much they made from that? Perhaps they’re using ps3.0 judging by the list of ‘approved cards’ (ie the 6800 and X800) but there’s no reason they couldn’t have made a HDR-capable ps2.0 fallback, everyone else and their dog has.
I’m very suspicious that since they’re not selling the Lost Coast, the deliberately over-constrained system requirements, and with the very direct marketing of upgrades, whether this is all a cheap hardware sales stunt from Valve/Amazon.
I could have played it anyway but there’s not really any point. It was only meant to be a tech demo anyway, and this has left a rather bitter taste in my mouth. I can’t even bear to listen to the tech commentary, since I’d just end up shouting at the monitor asking why the hell they can’t implement HDR effects in ps2.0 like everyone else. 😛