Every so often, we PC Gamers are humbly reminded of just how expensive our hobby can be.

When Bioshock comes out later this year, will your PC be ready to play it?

I know this, mine certainly won't, at least not on "recommended" settings. The system requirements released on Tuesday at 2K Games' official BioShock site reveal that even a new, mid-range computer may not be able to handle BioShock in its' full glory:

Operating Systems:

  • Windows XP (with Service Pack 2) or
  • Windows Vista
Minimum system requirements:
  • CPU: Pentium 4 2.4GHz Single Core processor
  • System RAM: 1GB
  • Video Card: Direct X 9.0c compliant video card with 128MB RAM (NVIDIA 6600 or better/ATI X1300 or better, excluding ATI X1550).
  • Sound Card: 100% direct X 9.0c compatible sound card
  • Hard disc space: 8GB free space

Recommended system requirements:
  • CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo processor
  • System RAM: 2GB
  • Video card:
    • DX9: Direct X 9.0c compliant video card with 512MB RAM (NVIDIA GeForce 7900 GT or better)
    • DX10: NVIDIA GeForce 8600 or better
  • Sound Card: Sound Blaster® X-Fi™ series (Optimized for use with Creative Labs EAX ADVANCED HD 4.0 or EAX ADVANCED HD 5.0 compatible sound cards)

Important Note: Game requires Internet connection for activation.

Oh Lord. It looks like my humble Athlon X2 and 7800GT may not be able to handle this bad boy. However I knew this already; the Overlord demo on Vista ran like molasses. So long, old friend. Nice to know 'ye.

Particularly interesting is the internet-required activation. Does this mean gamers are going to need to run yet another software distribution platform? Evidently not:

What does the internet activation entail? Why do you have it?
It's an anti-piracy measure that we unfortunately have to implement to curb illegal game distribution as best we can. It's a one time check and then you're done.

We're already bombarded with clients from GPGnet, EA Downloader, Steam,, and others. It's nice to know that 2K Games will not be added to that list. However will the game still require the CD be in the drive? I hope not.

On the other hand, activation will always incur problems for those (like myself) who regularly reformat their hard drives, as reactivating the game usually requires an awkward phone call.

I'm also curious to see how well Bioshock PC does compared to its Xbox 360 brethren. Oblivion, which had relatively high system requirements for its time, did well. Being that the two games have a lot in common in terms of fan base and prior history, perhaps 2K Games' setting the bar so high isn't an unwise decision.

According to EB Games' listings, BioShock on PC is $10 cheaper than 360, and you get new DirectX 10 graphics if you pack the requisite hardware.

So, come August, will your PC be ready? Or will you pick up the 360 version?

"Well, there may be a reason why they call them 'Mac' trucks! Windows machines will not be trucks." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

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