Beamer wrote on Jan 6, 2014, 14:38:
BitWraith wrote on Jan 6, 2014, 13:05:
I'll be curious to see how this generation pans out. The boxes are selling well, but I'm not sure how the casual crowd is going to react fully to the seemingly lackluster upgrades from last gen. South Park said it best when they said "The graphics are 10% better!"
I'm also curious to see how Steam Machines affect the landscape.
The graphics are 10% better... now.
People seem to forget how things work in the 3D era. It isn't like the jump from NES to SNES anymore. But go look at the 360 or PS3 launch titles and compare them to late Xbox or PS2 titles, then to current 360 or PS3 titles. They look much more like the earlier generation than like current titles.
In other words, what we're seeing now is significantly worse than what these consoles are capable of and will be doing.
The bigger issue will be gameplay changes.
NES -> SNES: More buttons, meaning more ways to interact
SNES -> N64/PS: 3D
N64/PS -> PS2/GC/Xbox: Standard dual stick, allowing for better interaction with 3D worlds, enough RAM to do larger 3D worlds like GTA3
PS2/GC/Xbox -> PS3/360: Standardized and utilized online, enough RAM to do larger 3D worlds
PS2/360 -> PS4/Xbone: ???
Not really sure what this generation will offer that last generation couldn't do. I don't know if anyone is sure. Previously, there were clear signs and clear things being pushed. Now, everything is done better, but better isn't new. The new stuff is more out-of-game, like streaming and recording, but that doesn't change games.
Streaming and making it easier for independent developers will both encourage risk-taking in games. Streaming is at least like word-of-mouth help for a game and possibly it can reach thousands of people in more popular streams. Spreading out the attention and money means that more unusual ideas can get funding so we will see what comes out as worthy to hold on to.
IMO larger worlds is just now happening in a way that makes them fun to control which takes good frame rates for anything with real-time movement. Red faction guerrilla was the first I actually liked to play on a console and that still is very rudimentary in many ways. Imagine Red Faction Guerrilla with better and more NPC AIs. I loved the way they would help you, pick up arms and join in the fight against their oppressors. I imagine richer interactions like in an elder scrolls game where NPCs have lives and things to do and Walk around doing their own stuff. Then Mix that with the ever-changing "mood" of the AI in Guerrilla and the more fluid action. Run it smooth and let weird interactions between the player and the AI to happen as many as possible. That will be a brand new experience because of the pieces working together to make this fast, co-operative (or hostile) fluid experience. From talking to action to building support for the cause and organizing defenses, you just get an exponential increase in combinations of behaviors (end result)when you make things faster and with a finer granularity of possibilities.