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Thread: The "Next Generation"

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    Default The "Next Generation"

    So, it's been a year since the debut of the 8th generation, 2 if you start counting with the Wii U. Of course, the oh-so-beloved phrase "a next-gen experience" was bound to be thrown about from the very beginning. However, the more I hear it, the more I realise that, at least for me, it's a very nebulous concept at best; what, exactly, is so different? Of what magnitude do the changes have to be for one to be able to talk about a true new experience? Of course, for the publishers, it's just a term used to entice us into buying their stuff - most of them probably couldn't care less about quality, as long as it doesn't affect their influx. But I'd really like to know:

    1.) What qualifies (or should)? Does it have to be something drastic, like 2D - 3D, revolutionary gameplay, VR etc., something moderate, but still worth mentioning, or just a slight bump in graphical fidelity, the latter being what all the fuss is about nowadays?

    2.) Where, if anywhere, would these changes and developments be currently observable?

    At least as far as I'm concerned, there's sadly a distinct lack of innovation. Would you agree, or am I just too blind to realise the avant-garde genius behing this grand industry?
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    There is no experience or big bold change, they're just upgrades, well Nintendo did the 'next generation' jump at least going to HD, but the other two are just beefier versions of what already existed much like the old PC days in the 90s when everyone had a 386 and you upgraded to a 486 and suddenly heaps of non-usable stuff would work. A real generation of change would be a noticeable upgrade doing something new over the last.

    Your pre-NES era stuff with the low color, poor sound, very squared off graphics down to the front end of Pong I'd see as a generation.

    Then the NES/SMS era stuff, true 8bit systems which introduced performance enhancing chips, cartridges that do so much more, that was another.

    The SNES/Gen era would be another as they took the level of what you saw in the arcade finally home to your TV along with that NeoGeo and was the dawn of CD addon systems too.

    And once more going into cruddy rough early 3D and games only on disc was a huge generational jump because the pre-N64/PS1 stuff was experimental with the FX and SVP chips.

    The Gamecube/PS2 era finally made the first scratches into good looking 3D with visuals not being the polygonal equal of a 2600, gaming started going online, that was another jump too.

    And the last jump was dropping SD for HD visuals and bringing stuff that could parallel realism home in gaming for better or worse along with that Nintendo and their motion play stuff on Wii too.

    This current non-generation generation is the first time you have a new rack of systems out there that don't do jack shit over what they did in the last round of stuff (WiiU going to HD aside for Nintendo only gamer holdouts) and just improve what the last systems already did and that's really it. It's going back to where I started this post on, the upgrading the guts of your PC to get better gaming experiences to run at all or at its best for the time, but doesn't add anything new to the mix. There's no real change, nothing that's observable so far other than a nicer more realistic coat of paint. I think your jump next time will be when you see gaming goggles (VR/Oculus Rift) type stuff taking you off the TV to bump the immersion up again.

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    I agree, but even SD - HD and motion controls (which aren't that great TBH) can't match the initial jumps. The intesity of the changes drops as we go down the list, but that's to be expected; gaming *was* still in its infancy back then

    Still, the industry's become too stale, with interesting titles increasingly few and far between; I can only hope that it'll improve down the line and that we'll break the status quo. VR I can kind of see mixing things up, but I have to wonder how long that novelty will last. I feel like I'm too pessimistic, but there's nothing I see to warrant the opposite.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Some1 View Post
    So, it's been a year since the debut of the 8th generation, 2 if you start counting with the Wii U. Of course, the oh-so-beloved phrase "a next-gen experience" was bound to be thrown about from the very beginning. However, the more I hear it, the more I realise that, at least for me, it's a very nebulous concept at best; what, exactly, is so different? Of what magnitude do the changes have to be for one to be able to talk about a true new experience? Of course, for the publishers, it's just a term used to entice us into buying their stuff - most of them probably couldn't care less about quality, as long as it doesn't affect their influx. But I'd really like to know:

    1.) What qualifies (or should)? Does it have to be something drastic, like 2D - 3D, revolutionary gameplay, VR etc., something moderate, but still worth mentioning, or just a slight bump in graphical fidelity, the latter being what all the fuss is about nowadays?
    I honestly think it's just the following scenario with today's players: Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo all have home consoles. When all three of them release a new console that is not just a variation of their current console, it is now next gen. This doesn't count for handhelds.

    2.) Where, if anywhere, would these changes and developments be currently observable?
    Wii => Wii U
    PS3 => PS4
    XBox 360 => XBox One

    There's not a lot of difference between the current gen and the previous gen. It's just a few new features that PC has had for years, some graphics card upgrades, and new controllers. The most innovative one here was the Wii U with it's tablet, but Nintendo hasn't used it very well, and the poop sales for it didn't give MS and Sony a lot of incentive to try something different. Hell, MS TRIED to do something different, but they didn't think far enough ahead.


    At least as far as I'm concerned, there's sadly a distinct lack of innovation. Would you agree, or am I just too blind to realise the avant-garde genius behing this grand industry?
    There's lots of innovation in the indie scene, just not in the AAA scene. I keep saying this, but the lack of innovation is because most people are broke. People want safe and secure and would rather not risk dropping $60 on something that's an unknown. Microsoft tried to push a new model with their XBOne, but because of nasty DRM attached to everything, nobody preordered it, so they transitioned back to how it was in the 7th generation. You can't really fault them for that. After all, consumers spoke with their wallets and MS had to follow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zthun View Post
    There's lots of innovation in the indie scene, just not in the AAA scene.
    That's true, indie's been a sort of bastion for a long time now. It would be great if some of that spirit went over to AAA, but, like you said, today's economy isn't the kindest to those kinds of ventures - one slip up may mean just a bruise, a broken limb or even worse. Maybe, there'll be a breakthorugh. That would be fantastic. Then again, this situation may indeed persist for a while.

    Who can really say?
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    I miss when the concept of indie game didn't exist because the licensed developers had actual balls, sometimes brass ones at that. Those nutless wonders who used to task risks and put out lots of unique games, supporting lots of genres pretty fairly, and there was much diversity on the physical medium. Indie is just what the industry lost the nerve to do that they did over a decade ago.

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    Well, next gen means slightly better looking games.

    Go look up comparison videos of games on PS3 and on PS4 - The Last of Us, Tomb Raider, GTA5. You can tell there's a leap, but it's not really all that huge. It's like the leap from late era Xbox games like Dead or Alive 2 Ultimate to early 360 games like Dead or Alive 4. DoA2U and DoA4 look pretty damn similar, with DoA4 only being the kind of leap forward now.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satoshi_Matrix View Post
    Well, next gen means slightly better looking games.
    What's the point, then? I can kind of sort of unterstand it now (a bit), but the law of diminishing returns states that the increase in quality for a given increase in horsepower lowers as we reach the asymptote (in this case, perfect realism). Once we're sufficiently close (and we aren't all that far away, especially when looking at the power of high-end PCs to come), the current trend of incremental increases will not be able to continue. Developers will have to do something more, not just nicer paintjobs. Of course, there is development in other areas, but those gave up the front seat to eye candy and gimmicks (= more mad moneyz) long ago.

    It'll be interesting to see how much longer they can ride this train. I mean, it's not all bad, I guess. Graphics are important in the end, but it could be a lot better.
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    The "point" is multifaceted:

    1. Consumers and industry are used to console cycles. The seventh gen cycle lasted nearly twice as long as previous cycles due to a weak global economy, the cost of entry and other factors.

    2. Even through there aren't a whole lot of obvious visual updates, the new hardware offers tons of hidden advantages, such as RAM. Big scope games are limited by what the RAM limitations are of a system. To this day the 64MB RAM of the original Xbox is the biggest bottleneck for Xbox homebrew developers. It's not the CPU speed or anything like that.

    3. Videogames are a business first and foremost. New hardware gets people excited and hyped for what's coming next.


    To me, system upgrades are fine and dandy, but that alone isn't enough to justify spending money on a new console. It's all about the games. Right now, I''m just not feeling the 8th gen excitement because the games I want to play are still being made for hardware I currently have, and the ones that will be exclusive are still a long ways off. Fallout 4, Dead or Alive 6, Valkyria Chronicles 4, stuff like that would excite me enough to go next gen, and hopefully, prices will come down when that happens. $450 for a PS4 is wayy too much to justify given there's very few games I'd want to play for it.

    The Vita TV that just launched though, that's a perfect entry price for Persona 4 Golden alone.
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    1.) Nothing to add.

    2.) Of course, better hardware means bigger games with more interesting mechanics, but, at least in the current transition phase, it's not really happening. Down the road, when 7th gen fades, I'm sure things will improve.

    3.) True, but all those new hyped features stopped for a martini along the way, so it may take a while for them to show up.

    I'm not saying hardware upgrades are a bad thing; in fact, I think they're great, and they bring new options to the table, but what good are they when they're underutilised? I'll probably buy a PS4 down the road, but for now, it's all more of an extension of the last gen than anything else. Going back to my original post, I doubt we can talk of a real next gen experience as yet.
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    Just about every game no matter the generation isn't some amazing unique experience. Thinking of such you're setting yourself up for disappointment regardless what gen you look at. Graphically, the argument of the games not being much of a jump from the previous gen existed last gen as well and look at how good looking games have become, all the while being locked at 720p or less, sometimes, rarely, more.

    Not only is the Xbox One holding the PS4 back, but many developers aren't taking advantage of what they can do with the console. Assassin's Creed Unity and Watch Dogs are obvious, but then there's many games that are just higher res multiconsole games. Games like Call of Duty Ghosts, Assassin's Creed 4 Black Flag, Diablo 3, etc, etc. Just as a few games that looked noticeably better at the beginning of last gen, there's the same here. Killzone Shadow Fall, Infamous Second Son, Ryse, Dead Rising 3, and Witcher 3 look far better than anything released last gen, graphically of course.

    As developers learn the hardware, the longer they have access to it, the better games will look. Maybe not as much as every gen that's preceded this gen as the bump isn't as high, but it's still very noticeable with some of the games we've seen.
    Everything in the above post is opinion unless stated otherwise.

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    I guess you're right. I have always idealised a bit too much. I'll take an original idea over graphics any day of the week - it's just that I expext these to come way too often.

    Thanks, guys, for your thoughts.
    LIVE LONG AND MAY THE TRIFORCE BE WITH YOU!

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    I think you just gotta give it time.

    I have a few games for my PS4 right now, that's fine. In the meantime I'll play my NES games.

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    the last cycle lasted as long as it did because they new this was going to happen and I imagine it was more profitable to stretch it out. Thats fine its better for us if we get more time to buy games and not hardware or at least to recover from the new launch prices and the fact the consoles don't seem to get as cheap as fast etc. as for the games issue indie is over rated imo many of the games suck and I think many people buy and don't play such games. the other problem is sequels which for some brands is fine but I get burned out on many of them and then you have so many of the same games on all the systems. Xbox one has the exclusives I'm interested in as does the Wii U with its nintendo titles but at this point all the systems only have a handful of worthy titles imo many of which are seeing release on the old hardware from last gen!

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    I would not be surprised if the PS4 and One stick around as long as the last systems did too. They keep cross porting stuff instead of forcing people to move up as it has been in the past so the motivation isn't there when it should be by this point.

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