Whenever I pitch Overwatch, one of my favorite games over the last year, to potential players, I routinely hear something like, “I don’t think my PC can run it.”
I’m pretty sure Blizzard optimized the game so much that its working minspec might be a Hamilton Beach Toaster. “Your PC can probably run it,” I tell them.
22% of all Overwatch PC players are running the game on a machine with integrated graphics. That is, graphics that share memory with the CPU itself. The other 78% uses a dedicated, or discrete, GPU. That’s your typical graphics card that does the heavy lifting and makes games run better.
Speaking during GDC, Blizzard Senior Software Engineer Ryan Greene talked a bit about the studio’s efforts in making Overwatch with weaker hardware in mind.
“Blizzard historically supports a very large number of players… It’s just something we work towards and always has good benefits…
…We set up playtest labs with various machines all configured with different hardware. We got different people to play on it, and they were surprised at how well it ran, and how much it felt like Overwatch.”
This was good news for high-end machines, too
That optimization work for minspec actually made the high-end performance better, it turns out.
“We found that optimizing for the minspec yielded really good gains on the high end and on console. It was a really synergistic relationship.”
How are you playing Overwatch? I sit around 180fps on my rig with a dedicated GPU. Are you running on a laptop with integrated graphics? How’s that going?