Intel has dropped the reputation of its Arc graphics cards down a peg (or three) with the release of Starfield, sadly, if online feedback is anything to go by (and we’re pretty sure it is).
Okay, so Starfield isn’t officially out yet – or at least the full release doesn’t happen until September 6 – but those who bought the premium version(s) of the space RPG can play it right now in early access.
Or at least those with AMD or Nvidia GPUs can, as both companies brought in Starfield support with a fresh driver release just before the early access kicked off. Intel? Not so much.
Intel’s Arc driver doesn’t have Starfield support yet, and there’s worse news than that.
According to some reports on X (formerly Twitter) – and there are quite a number of these – Starfield doesn’t work at all.
This isn’t just a case of Starfield running badly optimized and really poorly, you can’t even play the game.
A common theme with the complaints on social media is that Starfield starts to run, and indeed does appear to be running in the background – eating a whole load of system resources – but the game’s window (you know, the important bit) never actually appears.
Analysis: In space no one can hear you mash your keyboard in frustration
What’s going on here? Clearly Intel seems to have made a fair old mess of this one.
Starfield is a huge release with a hype train that’s many, many, carriages long, and with early access, keen fans have taken time off work to get stuck into the game – and those affected folks with Arc graphics cards who have done so are, as you can imagine, very frustrated (quite rightly). The outpouring of wrath and comments about being misguided to buy an Intel Arc GPU is quite something.
Intel says it’s working on a fix, which is a given really, but it seemingly won’t be here until next week, which compounds the disappointment for those affected.
Team Blue tweeted an update on X as follows:
We are aware of issues with @StarfieldGame on Intel Arc graphics. We are working to improve the experience for the game's general release next week.August 31, 2023
Having it actually able to run would be a good start, of course, and likely “improve the experience” by leaps and bounds.
There is the odd report of the game running on Arc, but mostly, the feedback is all negative and about not being able to play, and this incident seems like a real shame. Intel has been making good progress with its graphics drivers in general throughout the existence of Alchemist GPUs, ramping up performance levels with the best PC games steadily, and older titles too.
And we’re really looking forward to Battlemage, as are others, of course – and what the 2nd-gen might mean for breaking up the graphics card duopoly in a more meaningful way, and attacking with new contenders for the best cheap graphics cards. This Starfield affair, however, rather dampens any excitement around that.
Via Tom’s Hardware