Electronic Arts' Spore
could easily be one of the most-anticipated games of all time. Created by Will Wright--the genius behind the Sims series of game titles--Spore has been referred to as "Sim Everything
." It is a game where you manipulate the evolution of an entire species of creatures from single-cell organisms through the development of civilization and even onto deep-space exploration.
Spore is still on track to start shipping in the U.S. on September 7th, and Spore Creature Creator
is scheduled to hit the shelves in just six days from now. As launch time gets closer, EA has released the minimum system requirements for Windows PCs with discrete graphics cards:
- 2.0GHz P4 processor or equivalent
- 512MB RAM (Windows XP) / 768MB RAM (Windows Vista)
- A 128 MB Video Card, with support for Pixel Shader 2.0
- At least 6 GB of hard drive space
For Windows PCs that use integrated graphics, the minimum requirements are a bit more robust:
- Intel Integrated Chipset, 945GM or above.
- 2.6 GHz Pentium D CPU, or 1.8 GHz Core 2 Duo, or equivalent.
- 768 MB RAM
Additionally, EA provides a list of supported graphics cards, with entries from ATI that date as far back as the Radeon 9600, and from nVidia's GeForce FX 5900.
These are fairly modest minimal requirements, and they seem to indicate that most rigs that are even a few years old should have no trouble running the game as long as they have a discrete graphics card. Logic dictates that systems with higher-speed specs should be able to run the game with more features enabled and garner higher frame rates. Systems with low-end or integrated graphics, however--especially laptops--might have a few more challenges: Intel(R) Extreme Graphics
GMA 950, GMA X3000, GMA X3100
Laptop versions of these chipsets may work, but may run comparatively slowly. Standalone cards that are installed in vanilla PCI slots (not PCIe or PCIx or AGP), such as some GeForce FX variants, will perform poorly. Intel integrated chipsets featuring underclocked parts, such as the 945GU, GML, and GMS, will not perform adequately.
Integrated chipsets such as the ATI Xpress and the NVIDIA TurboCache variants will have low settings selected, but should run satisfactorily.
In addition to running on Windows PCs, EA is also making versions of Spore for the Mac OS (Intel Macs only), Nintendo DS, and some mobile phone models. Will Wright has talked about making version of Spore for Xbox 360, Sony PS3, and Nintendo Wii; although there is no definitive information on the veracity of these versions or even potential releases dates, if they even exist. Based on Wright's comments in an interview with guardian.co.uk last October
, however, a Wii version appears to the most viable candidate for an initial console version of Spore.