Asus and the cheat drivers – this happened on July 19th. Every day, PC Games Hardware takes a look back at the young but eventful history of the computer.
… 2000: “If you don’t have an Asus graphics card – beware! Never mess with someone who has an Asus card in a 3D game – you will lose.” On July 19, 2000, Asus advertised a new technology with such slogans, which is to be integrated into future drivers for Geforce cards: 3D SeeThrough. This makes it possible to display 3D games with transparent textures or even in wireframe mode, i.e. without any textures at all – the effect: players can see through walls. Another function called Extra Light promises improved illumination of dark 3D game scenes. What is actually supposed to get players excited about Asus cards turns into a PR disaster: There is an outcry from the player communities because SeeThrough could be used for cheating in online games, as it is nothing more than a “wallhack”. Asus dismisses it: 3D SeeThrough is only intended to show the possibilities of new graphics technology and is not intended for cheating in online games – even if the first announcement sounds completely different. A day later, however, Asus backed out due to massive protests: the technology would not be published for the time being.
But that is not how it remains. SeeThrough can be unlocked in the following driver versions with a registry hack without any problems. In May 2001, the cheat technology that was touted as a “secret weapon” was suddenly found officially in the latest Asus driver. A renewed storm of protests and the result of an Asus poll, in which 90 percent of all users vote against 3D SeeThrough, prompt the manufacturer to rethink – the technology will be removed again. This time for good.