Honestly... the only reason we "need" them is because publishers and developers think they need to. Most of them are obsessed with mentalities and common market trends that they themselves in part created.
I personally think that new consoles aren't a bad idea considering how long the current console generation has gone on for. I just wish that console developers would release good, functional consoles with a decent line up of games and bring in a ll the "innovation" later.
I, personally, have never gotten on well with motion gaming. There are games for the Wii that I would like to play, I just don't want to put up with potential shoe-horning of motion based controls.
I've always been of the mindset that; the less you have to think about HOW you're controlling the game, the more immersed that you can get into the games you're playing.
Companies want consoles so that they can continue to compete with each other and make better hardware, to get the better games, to get our money.
We don't need better hardware because entertainment is a trivial part of our lives. We don't need fucking Star Trek tech in our living room to enjoy video games. Also artists have proven time and time again that you can develop perfectly good games with the hardware that currently exists.
Also in terms of graphics we've pretty much peaked. Textures and graphic are at the point where they hurt the believability of the artificial worlds by making the incongruities more obvious.
well even if they do make more does anyone really care if there's another console? I really don't believe that there's going to be a PS4 for certain, but it'd be pretty persuaed if Sony's really going to bother
Firstly, in case someone has said what I will, I admit that I skipped over the majority of this conversation as I believe most people won't really share my enthusiasm here. My answer is Yes! We do need new consoles. Graphics can always get better, more advanced, more futuristic, the consoles can be faster, the AI more intelligent (which, ofc, needs greater power/speed so yeah). Not to mention technological advances incorporated! When I see games in the future I see something reminiscent of Star Trek's Holo-deck, fully immersive reality gaming, and I'm thrilled that it's already somewhat on it's way - just look at Kinect, sure it's rudimentary now, but 20 years ago tell people you'll be able to play games without a controller and they'd throw you in a mental hospital. I'm very excited for future content and what companies can think of to add in to these consoles, there are always improvements to be made, sure it costs money to upgrade each time but most consoles you'll keep for a good few years and if you're serious about gaming it will give you a lot of joy.
For those saying get a PC rather than a console, please, remember that PC specs get outdated so fast too, quickly you won't be able to play the best (highest tech/quality) games cause your PC can't handle it, unless you spend thousands which will gain it a couple of years max. Remember technology advances so fast lately, in all areas, consoles and PCs alike. I would however say go for the highest range stuff in consoles, i.e. Xbox or Playstation, forget Nintendo, they can't compete anymore unless they release something incredible to change my mind, they simply haven't advanced their gear fast enough. If you're going to spend your time playing old games and classics or non-demanding games i.e. mario and streetfighter etc. then don't bother on more consoles, that still doesn't mean they shouldn't make them because you don't want something better (and yes, more expensive). The new, advanced consoles are for those that appreciate the true art of modern gaming, if you're not into gaming on a competitive or serious level then that's a different matter.
Well I'd get excited if they introduced something new that would change they way our games look and play, but I don't really see nothing that different in that aspect from the new consoles so far, besides Nintendo's Wii U pad.
You omit that settings can be adjusted for the PC for it to run optimally, and that higher quality in terms of performance isn't even on console. Sure my old/current PC can't handle 2560x1600, or 5760x1080 with 16x anti-aliasing at 120 frames per second, or current maximum- neither did the PS3/360, (and I doubt the PS4 would), but it still runs recent games at the appropriate setting.
And that PCs can be under $1000 and capable of running games.
There is an argument for new consoles as it brings in new players who until this point haven't bought a console and with these new gamers a jump in the sales of games which at the moment slowing down as people outside the gaming world have lost intrest. With an increase of sales the game companies will be more likely to invest in new games instead of making remakes and sequals.
Personally, I couldn't care less about the graphics as long as the game is fun. If these new systems are able to bring the "fun" in new ways not currently possible, then I say yes.
Then again, I'm a guy who likes his games cell-shaded, his RPGs JRPGS, and his shooters fast and furious, so I understand there are people out there with different combinations of tastes and their definition of "fun" may be different than mine. It's all cool though.
It's not like we're being forced to buy them, and few people have probably played all the games they want to on the systems they currently own. Heck, I still want to get a PSP to play all the games I missed before I start worrying too much about the Vita, and don't get me started on the 3DS/DS.
Yeah, I do see the need for it. I mean, as I see it the PS4's biggest features were shit like Facebook integration and seriously: Fuck that. That's useless. Being able to upload plays to Youtube? That sounds like they're just out of ideas.
I'll wait till they're 100 bucks and there's a new Street Fighter, thanks. I still have PS2 games I need to play.
Because they're bad ideas. Do you really care to see when your friends get a new trophy junking up your Facebook wall? Think about the difference between the SNES and the N64 and compare that to the ability to upload replays to Youtube.
I think the reason we were excited for new consoles back in the day was because along with new graphics comes less imitations of what the games can do. If you were to say that graphics didn't matter when you went from 4th to 5th gen, people would've looked from Ocarina of Time (for example) to A Link to the Past, and wonder if you're an idiot. Nowadays, despite the better graphics, the gameplay on what 8th Gen can do does not feel as much of a big leap anymore.
It also doesn't particularly help that the Microsoft's and Sony's consoles these days feel like weak versions of PCs. The PC and consoles are more interchangeable that getting a console almost seems irrelevant. The PS2 and consoles before it felt different compared to the PC.
I'm a PC gamer and I still like Nintendo and am a fan of pre-PS3 Sony and pre-Dreamcast Sega. However, while the PC is still holding strong, nowadays handheld games are what I'm looking forward to. Not only do they fit a wide range of market, but I see more inspiration from them than consoles. Even the Vita looks like it's trying to take a risk forward, while, graphics and features aside, the PS4 looks like the same ideal as the PS3.
Except for purely commercial and economical reasons we have no need for consoles at all. A computer with gamepads that can hook up to a TV is essentially what they are and what they can be replaced by. But if you got rid of the Nintendos, Sonys and Microsofts you'd then be left with the Apples, Linuxes and ... Microsofts.
Well it has been the longest cycle for console's and they have fallen a long way behind pc's. I am still happy with my ps3 and will wait till the games i want to play are out for ps4. atm i have alot of games i want to play on my current console and really good ones are coimg out for ps3 late so i'm goona wait for sure.
There are some things that older hardware still can't handle. Though I doubt developers would prioritize these things because everyone still just wants more detailed graphics. Even if it's to the detriment of gameplay or game flow, like in Crysis 2 where the excessive detail just clutters up the screen and conceals whatever you're supposed to do or be shooting at.
-Loading-free levels. In games like Skyrim, the entire level structure is still based on individual areas separated by "portals". Doors that you activate and then it loads the other level. That is unnecessary if you have the hardware resources to run seamless levels, even in vast open worlds.
-Consistent draw distances. In many games, despite the player being able to see into a distance, that area is still so far away that the game decides not to load the assets that should exist in that space. And/or any AI behavior does not take place there. With more powerful hardware, every pixel visible for the player should be near enough for the game to load al the assets present in that location.
-Real stealth AI. In stealth games, you can often hide in the shadows. But the AI that determines whether or not you remain hidden, has been the same since Thief the Dark Project. They just look at the illumination value of the character. Nothing more. With vastly superior hardware, each AI could actually render a rough representation of their vision, and verious image- and movement recognizing algorithms could actually give the AI the ability to not only distinguish the player realistically, but to also accidentally get alerted by things that merely look suspicious, like moving shadows of swaying trees, or distant shapes of friendly AI. Also, camouflage would not just modify your stealth score. It would really impact the way you blend into your surroundings exactly the way it does in reality.
...well those the only gameplay related things I can think of off hand but about graphics...
-Particle lighting. It has been almost 20 years since particle effects like smoke have been implemented, and still I can't think of one game where the environment lighting correctly illuminates particles. In other words, in pitch black darkness, smoke remains visible because the shadows fail to darken the smoke sprites.
-Real-time indirect lighting. In a game where you need to navigate using a flashlight, you only see the exact area that the cone of light is illuminating. As opposed to real light, where the photons bouncing off a white wall can illuminate the surrounding area as well, and photons bouncing off a black wall have less effect. This is caused by the fundamental system infrastructure, where lighting is not calculated by photons hitting the geometry, but it's calculated per each rendered pixel on screen to determine that pixel's lighting.
...And because every multiplatform game is developed for the current generation consoles first, the current platform is always holding the PC back. So since 2006, every game has been stuck in 2006. Because the Xbox 360 came out back then, with 2006 hardware.
But as I said, I doubt anyone wants to prioritize this type of innovation. Everyone wants to improve what already exists, and I don't mean the gameplay. I mean that everyone wants to make better the things about graphics that are good enough now, and actually have been good enough for half a decade. Everything that has not been implemented yet, will not be implemented. Be it gameplay or graphics related.
-Real-time indirect lighting. In a game where you need to navigate using a flashlight, you only see the exact area that the cone of light is illuminating. As opposed to real light, where the photons bouncing off a white wall can illuminate the surrounding area as well, and photons bouncing off a black wall have less effect. This is caused by the fundamental system infrastructure, where lighting is not calculated by photons hitting the geometry, but it's calculated per each rendered pixel on screen to determine that pixel's lighting
[link] ? (Don't need headphones or watch over a minute.) It's (Need for Speed) Shift 2: Unleashed with a night race with very few world lights and white walls as well as reflective road surface.
I don't know if I was supposed to see indirect lighting in that clip, or notice the problem that its absence is creating? Because I sure didn't see any indirect lighting there.
Oh and by the way... Shift. Damn that first game sucked so bad. It's probably the worst racing game I've ever played. A studio famous for great arcade racers, trying to make a simulation racer? Bad fuckin idea.
Carbon is still my 2nd favorite racing game, right after Carmageddon.
Particle lighting and effects is very render-heavy though and rarely is seen outside of pre-rendered cutscenes. As a 3D artist myself, I know from experience how much special volumetric materials like clouds, smoke, water, etc can bring an otherwise fast render to a grinding hault I'd love to see it in games, but I think for a long time they'll have to keep "faking it" using clusters of animated, semi-transparent bitmaps.
Same goes for indirect lighting or "Global Illumination" in 3D artist terms. Creates a very convincing lighting setup indeed, but a lot of extra processing power has to go into calculating where the light bounces off and to what extent it dissipates into darkness, slowing down render speed again
Hell, it was only the last generation that brought us actual 3D models of trees and vegetation rather than flat "billboards" that always face the camera
Yeah I know the resource requirements of those things. It was exactly my point. The question was... do we need new consoles? Yes. We need better hardware, because there are still features that are not possible with current hardware.
From what I understand, modern particle effects themselves are not very GPU intensive. Just translucent smoke sprites. I don't think implementing better shaders for those would have too big an impact on performance. Just have the environment lighting have an identical effect on the geometry and the particles. But then there's also the problem with blending that I haven't yet seen fixed. Translucent sprites often illuminate dark backgrounds when you look through them, because the blending mode of the translucency is faulty in some way. Illuminated particles would probably only accelerate this unwanted effect. Oh, and remember when Nvidia introduced PhysX? A whole dedicated microchip on their GPU that would take care of the physics? Maybe in the future, there would be separate chips for indirect lighting and particle illumination, hmm?
But about lighting, I just wish modern games would try to phase out static lighting whenever possible. Especially games with day/night cycles. The first game I ever played that had dynamic lighting, "Thief: Deadly Shadows", was in fact entirely dynamic all the way. There are absolutely no static light maps in the game. And the only other games with that feature have been "Condemned" and "F.E.A.R". Dynamic lighting is the way to go, and new generations of hardware would make that possible.
Though I still think that prioritizing seamless loading should be more important. When GTA3 came out over a decade ago, it was amazing how much stuff the game had out there in the open, without any loading screens. That system was improved, but not perfected. In open world games, there still isn't a seamless consistent world. You have one huge universe, and smaller universes with portals leading into them, that are entirely disconnected from the world they are supposed to be a part of.
And no, it wasn't the last generation that got rid of billboards. It was the one before. On the PS2 there were double billboards. 3D tree trunk, with two intersecting "cards" with the graphics for the leaves. It was in the PS1 generation when static billboard tree sprites were last used. Feeling old already?
Yeah, it'll be cool to see such improvements in the next consoles. It isn't even just for realistic games either. I bet such improvements would have their place in anything. Sometimes the simplest and most stylized games can show off low-poly models the worst due to shapes standing out more than textures
Oh yeah, "criss-cross trees" as I called them. Two image-planes slotted into each other to give a semi-3D look. Works way better on tall, narrow trees (like certain types of pines) than on standard ones though I remember using a similar method in real life when in school and we had to make a 3D board game. Cut out two shapes and make a "slot" in each one, then slip them into each other
Take one look at current PC games and you'll see the problem.
Consoles are pitifully behind, and how can they not be? They're all running on old-ass hardware, and that's the problem with consoles in general; you can't upgrade them bit by bit like you can a PC. You have to upgrade the whole unit, remarket it and redo everything about it so games can be developed for it. It's a vicious cycle of planned (and inevitable) obsolescence.
A console is about the same price as a high end graphics card so I don't see much of a difference.
Saying that though, it's not 10 years ago, when you had a higher chance of installing a pc game and getting a fuckton of installation issues, causing you to trawl the internet for hours looking for a fix, pc gaming is just so easy now to get into, even the high end games are running fantastically on mid range pcs.