With the recent releases of several games now including extensive benchmark utilities in-game, we thought of posing a question to you guys: should in-game benchmark tools be separate of the base game and free for all players? Then you can download a benchmark tool for a specific game to see how well your system will perform before actually buying the game itself.
For instance, say you want to get one of the biggest games of the year, Cyberpunk 2077, exactly when it releases. However, you’re rocking a pretty low-end setup before Christmas rolls round and you can finally upgrade your setup, but that doesn't change the fact you want to play CP2077 on day 1.
Let’s say you have the bare minimum card, the GTX 780, and you want to know what kind of performance and quality you can expect from Cyberpunk before you actually play the game. The problem is that you need to actually buy the game and try it out first, and if it doesn't play well and you instead want to wait for an upgrade then you’ll just have to refund it, which can be quite disheartening once you’ve already made the purchase.
Obviously there are ways to get around this, like refunding the game after purchase as mentioned above, or obtaining a copy of the game in… other ways… but again these aren’t always ideal. And in a world where demos are scarce (though, admittedly, on the rise again) this would be a great way to make sure customers are happy with performance before making purchase.
Personally I don’t see any harm in it, as the benchmark software wouldn’t be packaged with the full game and therefore there’s no way of being able to experience the game through the benchmark, and it will only test your PC's performance.
As a side note: I am aware that a lot of games these days have in-game benchmark tools that are not indicative of real in-game performance (*cough* Watch Dogs Legion *cough*). Casting those worries aside, let’s treat this debate like all benchmark tools from here on out are 100% accurate and completely representative of in-game performance.
What do you think? Should in-game benchmark tools be free for all players and separate from the base game? Or should there be other ways available to test performance before purchase? And what is your routine for testing performance in-game? Let’s debate!