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Thread: When, if ever, will PS4, XO, Switch be considered "retro?"

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    Pear (Level 6) gbpxl's Avatar
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    Default When, if ever, will PS4, XO, Switch be considered "retro?"

    Its hard to imagine games looking much better than they are in 2019. Even if the hardware allows for higher resolution, more detailed textures, etc. the manpower still needs to be there. I dont know how video games compare to movies in terms of time and money but I read that a single frame in the movie Frozen took 132 hours to render.

    I think the technology is being greatly underutilized at this point, only because itd take years and years to produce a game that really pushes the PS4 and XO to their limits. Remember what most games looked like on the SNES compared to Donkey Kong Country? Or how most PS2 games looked compared to Gran Turismo 3 and 4? In some cases, it's hard to believe they are on the same platform.

    Anyways, I really think its at the point now where the technology is plateauing. Music media essentially reached its peak with the compact disc. No one looks at a CD in a jewel case made in 1991 and goes "oh wow, that's so retro." But look at how people view movies and games produced in that same era.

    Even today, PS2, Xbox, Gamecube games dont look retro to me despite being almost two decades old. The snapcases and optical media dont look much different from today and the graphics arent leaps and bounds behind the games of the newer generations. Much better obviously but nothing compared to the differences between the N64 and the GameCube.

    I dont know what can really be considered retro about todays games in 20-25 years. You can only put so many buttons on a controller, only have so many pixels on the screen that are discernable from one another.
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    I dunno, I think there are plenty of people who would consider music CDs retro. Or at least outdated and obsolete.

    The current systems are already being pushed to their limits, considering many games can't manage 60fps. Many of the same games can be run on PC, and as long as you have a PC that's more powerful than the PS4/Xbox One (which isn't difficult or terribly expensive to obtain), you can run those games with better graphics and better framerates than the home consoles can.

    Me, I'll consider any system and its games retro once said system is off the market and not a part of the current gen. But everybody has their own idea of what "retro" means.

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    Great Puma (Level 12) jb143's Avatar
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    Jeans have been made out the same material and probably manufacturered exactly the same way for decades, yet I'm sure there are many jeans you would look at and say are "retro". Bell bottoms for an obvious example. So even if all we had going forward was current gen systems, then the games going forward would continue to change, until today's gameplay, mechanics, UI's, etc... start to feel antiquated.

    For example, for a while there, it seemed that every 3d platform game had objects just floating in the air that you were supposed to collect. Some people would probbaly consider that concept to be "retro".

    As far as technological advanements, Moore's Law is still going strong. Games will continue to get bigger and systems will contiue to have better graphics and advance in ways we can't begin to guess.

    Another example is AI. Past generations AI in games can feel "retro" compared to today's games. There will come a time when people say the same thing about today's games.

    There are alread companies working on the ability to speak naturally to AI characters and have them respond equally naturally, realistlically, and in character. At that point, they'll basically be holodeck characters.
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    To me anything past PS2 is never going to be vintage or retro, it's just going to be old and outdated. PS2 is right at the cut-off and at times barely feels vintage either.

    Just look at computers, Windows XP machines are about 15 years old and they aren't thought as vintage or special, they're just old. Most cars from the 1990's aren't thought as anything special either, 1970's and earlier are vintage. You might as well be asking how long it will take stereo equipment produced around 2005 to be considered vintage, it just won't.

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    Pear (Level 6) gbpxl's Avatar
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    When I worked at a game store I heard a couple people refer to PS2 games as "retro". And a mom told her kid "this is what i had as a kid" referring to the GameBoy Color. That made me feel old
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    I feel that it is hard to call something retro unless it exhibits qualities from a specific era. Like with Genesis games, you have that "Extreme Attitude" you would often see in the 90's. NES games will often have "Totally Rad" sytles to the games, whether it be through in-game text, box art, characters etc. Not to mention those are all on formats that don't exist in the same manner as they used to. There is more to it than just my examples above. With PS2 vs PS4, is there really much that stands out other than DVD Vs. Bluray or SD Vs. HD? Maybe manuals were more the norm and no online patches for games.

    When you look at things like box art, slang used by in-game characters, character design, game design. I don't think there has been drastic enough of a change to really view PS2 as retro yet, I can't imagine when PS4 would become retro. Obviously there are many exceptions to what I am showing here for my opinion. If anything, maybe games that were created before the indie game/digital age could be considered the new retro, but I'm not sure we've had enough years of what we have now go by yet. I'd like to see other's opinions as it is quite interesting, and it the answer is truly in the eye of the beholder.

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    It's harder to view games as retro when they're constantly being rereleased in new compilations or with upgraded versions, and many of these upgrades are just changing to higher resolution so why go back to the older versions?

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    I would say 20 years down the line.

    Would love to see how, if any, consoles survive by then.
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    Quote Originally Posted by megasdkirby View Post
    I would say 20 years down the line.

    Would love to see how, if any, consoles survive by then.
    I give physical media in general about 10 years. I dont think there will be a big enough group of people still wanting physical media at that point for the manufacturers to justify making them still. The shelf spaces get smaller and smaller every year. I dont know why that trend wouldnt continue. Kind of sad but that's evolution. The successful products survive and the products that arent needed will die off.

    I dont even listen to CDs much anymore. Most of the time I am listening to either radio, Spotify, or Youtube
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    Everything's going to be retro at some point, it's just that technology and trends sometimes move faster or slower than other times. I would consider music CD's "retro" - while the quality hasn't improved, the manner in which we listen has. It's now digital files for the most part. Things like PS2, Windows XP, and 2005 stereo equipment will become retro, it just will take longer than many things took to become retro in the past, because the functionality is improving at a slower pace. Those things stayed current for longer than older technologies so they'll take longer to become retro.
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    Pear (Level 6) gbpxl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WelcomeToTheNextLevel View Post
    Everything's going to be retro at some point, it's just that technology and trends sometimes move faster or slower than other times. I would consider music CD's "retro" - while the quality hasn't improved, the manner in which we listen has. It's now digital files for the most part. Things like PS2, Windows XP, and 2005 stereo equipment will become retro, it just will take longer than many things took to become retro in the past, because the functionality is improving at a slower pace. Those things stayed current for longer than older technologies so they'll take longer to become retro.
    its an interesting theory. I think itll take a very long time for someone to look at a DVD from 2005 and say "woah thats retro." though I did hear someone refer to PS2 as "old school" so who knows. youd have to look at a technology that hasnt changed for decades and ask yourself "does this seem retro to me"
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbpxl View Post
    its an interesting theory. I think itll take a very long time for someone to look at a DVD from 2005 and say "woah thats retro." though I did hear someone refer to PS2 as "old school" so who knows. youd have to look at a technology that hasnt changed for decades and ask yourself "does this seem retro to me"
    All technology changes over the years, the standards may stay the same but the manufacturing process changes. Usually to lower costs. Early CD players are already thought of as vintage, but those are from when the technology was still new and the main focus was on performance and quality, not on cost savings. Most CD players from the late 90's onwards aren't viewed as vintage as they're mostly cheaper in build quality and they're already 20+ years old at this point. There's some portable CD players with more features from the early 2000's onward but they're not considered vintage even though they're all out of production at this point as MP3 players replaced their purpose.

    I can think of two exceptions. The first is when a format as a whole doesn't last long and dies out, then anything of that format will be considered "vintage". Like HD-DVDs, DTheater, or Beta. The second is when a format is long lasting but originates from a primitive time period in a products existence. Like Laserdiscs, they were around for decades but originated from a time when home media was a new concept so they're still seen as vintage, high quality in design but still primitive. Cassette tapes too as they were an early form of portable music(the age of the Walkman).

    With video games, there's been too many generations for any of these recent consoles to be seen as vintage. With previous generations you can really see the improvement as technology improved, but once high definition came along there's barely a noticeable difference between generations and each generation is lasting too long to be seen as something scarce. Back with the NES and SNES, those generations only lasted about 5 years each. Now systems are out for about 10 years. I just don't see them the same way as earlier generations.

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    With generations lasting twice as long in video games now, it would seem to make sense that video games would take twice as long to become retro. Give them time. PS2, GCN, and Xbox are retro now. It typically takes about two generations for something to go retro.

    Plus, even once video game technology plateaus (which is still a ways off), styles and trends will change. That will make the older styles and trends "retro".

    Also, discontinuation date seems to matter just as much if not more so than introduction date. Elcaset, for instance, was an audio format that used tapes about the size of a VHS tape and competed with regular cassette tapes. Elcaset was introduced in 1976, cassette tapes were introduced all the way back in 1963. But Elcaset is seen as much more vintage than cassette tapes, because it was discontinued by 1980 whereas regular cassette tapes were still commonly used all the way through the 1990s (though cassette tapes are vintage themselves now). Beta tapes were seen as vintage long before VHS even though they both came out in about 1976, Beta was gone by the end of the 1980s and VHS was still common until the mid 2000s. CD's themselves might not be considered vintage yet as they were regularly used until fairly recently especially in cars. My 2011 Honda Accord still has a 6 CD changer.

    Video games seem to be the same way. I remember PS1 and Dreamcast going retro around the same time even though Dreamcast came out four years later. My Digital Press Buyer's Guide from 2002 says that NES was just beginning to become retro at the time, while Master System had been retro for a while by 2002. Again, it's because the much-more successful NES was viable for longer with people still paying big money for new NES games into the mid-1990s while the Master System barely made it over the 80s/90s decade line before being canned. The Wii seems to already be headed into "retro" territory before the PS3 and 360, even the Wii U seems to have only a few years left before it's "retro".

    Despite the Wii getting new games all the way up to last month, the system faded from the new gamer's eye in the early 2010s. I would definitely say the Wii is more of a 2000's console than a 2010's console. It sold the most from 2006-2009 and the pace of new game releases dramatically slowed after 2011.
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