270°
Submitted by AwesomegamesUK 793d ago | opinion piece

Do better graphics define "next-gen"?

Adam from Awesome Games writes: 'As the arrival of the next-generation of consoles draws ever closer, respected members of the gaming industry (please note: this does not include Michael Pachter) are beginning to weigh-in with their personal opinions and considered predictions of what we should come to expect.

Naturally, and rather disappointingly, the majority of the speculation, rumours, arguments and divisive debates always tend to stem from one specific area: the graphics. Traditionally, advancements in graphics have coincided with the definition of next-gen.' (E3, PC, PS3, Tag Invalid, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360)

CouldHaveYelledUiiW  +   793d ago
Apparently, Sadly...
kneon  +   793d ago
It's not just graphics. The sound, physics, animations and number of active elements on the screen etc. should all improve.

Just adding a new controller gimmick doesn't qualify as next gen, if it does then Kinect or Move or even PSP/Vita remote play are also next gen.
#1.1 (Edited 793d ago ) | Agree(24) | Disagree(10) | Report | Reply
thezeldadoth  +   793d ago
then by all means, head to newegg.com and build yourself a pc, because it will already be ahead of the ps4 and xbox 720. I'm excited to play the Wii-U, and i haven't played a console since Dark Souls last year.
dcbronco  +   793d ago
We don't know the PS4 and 720 specs so we can't say the current PCs are ahead of them. There are changes coming to CPUs and how GPUs are used that could allow the next consoles to be a huge leap in power. And it's things not available on the PC right now.

The GPU in the 360 was one of the most advanced GPUs when it was introduced and now most GPUs use some of that tech. Nvidia had all but given up on the idea of Unified Shaders until AMD released it on the 360. SO don't count those PC eggs yet. Though the tech coming should be cheap and upgrading on the PC will happen quick.
Machioto  +   793d ago
@thezelda pc can't be pushed as far as consoles because of drivers issue and non-standard hardware,I'm mean,people were comparing ps3 games to PCs,this doesn't suggest that the ps3 is a super console but shows how well the developers were able to utilize the hardware,I don't believe that metro 2033 and bf 3 are games that truly use PCs GPUs to the max,I remember seeing a crysis mod that ran on gtx280 that looked better crysis originally did.
ExCest  +   793d ago
@dcbronco

On the contrary, the projected specs supposedly rival that of a 560. And that makes sense as a 560 already costs in the neighborhood of 200 dollars, something acceptable to place in a console. A 560 is very mid range nowadays and is already vastly overshadowed by the 580 and the 6-series. And optimization comes at a later time, much later. So late that PC's will already have newer and more powerful GPU's in that time, as evidenced by the XBOX360 and the PS3.
Biggest  +   793d ago
People are confusing the meaning of graphics in this situation. Graphics are an integral part of moving toward better gaming. A bump in resolution does not make for better gaming (which is what "Oh the PC" is about). New engines use better graphics to enhance gameplay. Remember when Contra was the class of the shooter/action genre? Now look at games like Uncharted and Gears of War. Graphics make that difference possible. Without advances in graphics there would be no advances in gameplay. Higher resolution or bells 'n' whistles (which is what the PC is giving) do not define a new generation. Only when the graphics allow for new ideas in gameplay does the generation advance.
Outside_ofthe_Box  +   793d ago
kneon you said it perfectly.

-- It's NOT JUST graphics --

People need to get that out of their heads. Improved graphics is only A part of what defines "next-gen." EVERYTHING has to improve. Just approving the graphics alone doesn't cut it.
gaffyh  +   792d ago
A new console generation has never meant just improved graphical capability, there have always been other improvements.
-Gespenst-  +   793d ago
Was about to say pretty much the same thing.

Give us some imaginative and intelligent storytelling. Games have so much potential for this. We know by now developers are capable of making pretty and fun games, it's high time a bit more effort went into story and overall cleverness.
#1.2 (Edited 793d ago ) | Agree(8) | Disagree(2) | Report | Reply
Getowned  +   793d ago
Right on the money!. Hope we can get CGI graphics with longer and more imaginative storys/telling. Games have gotten a lot shorter lately, with the over use of the copy and paste buttons. Hopefully Publishers stop trying to make cod clones for casual players and start making real games for the gamers,Gamers are a sure thing. Make a good game and we will support you, The Causals wont do that like Gamers. What I'm trying to say is I wish they would stop dumbing our games down!
Biggest  +   793d ago
I agree with your sentiment, -Gespenst-. But imaginative storytelling doesn't mean next gen. Books have superior storytelling in comparison to most games and require nothing more than a surface for words to be imposed on. Video games need a story to be entertaining (for the most part), but not to be next-gen. CGI cutscenes are pretty, but they don't do anything that can be considered next-gen in my opinion. FFVII was the last time I saw a cutscene and thought "WOW! This is new and awesome!" Now they are the norm and will be the norm regardless of how good they look. Now, if those cutscenes become actual gameplay and the models we control are able to do the awesome moves (FFVII:AC for example). . . THAT will be my next wow moment.
-Gespenst-  +   793d ago
I understand this but you can't just make the graphics better and better to the exclusion of everything else. You can expect diminishing returns if you do this.

The writing in most games is absolutely abysmal, but it's papered over by pretty visuals and fun gameplay. These aren't bad things, but if games are to be taken as seriously as books and films, they need that other element to be beefed up too, which is writing and storytelling. Both have been neglected heavily in the videogame industry.

You might not realize it now, but I'm telling you, give a game some good writing and storytelling and it'll improve it tenfold. Game developers and writers need to work closely with one another to achieve this.
Biggest  +   793d ago
Don't get me wrong. I agree that the writing/storytelling in games could and should be MUCH better. Better games would definitely be the result. But that doesn't impact the idea of "next-gen". I'm also not saying that graphics alone make for better gaming. I am saying that "next-gen" type increases in graphic capability allow for new experiences that can be considered "next-gen".
joab777  +   793d ago
I understand why u say sadly, but they r definitely important because of the immersion effect. Also, it allows for some brilliant art styles. For example, mcfarlane did KoA and many of his ideas were scaled back and some not enough for consoles today. Maybe, project Copernicus would have been able to highlight his art better on over tech, but even then it is scaled back because of the general masses and their average settings.

On the flip side, it is abused because it sells. New ips and sequels can sell easier if they r gorgeous. And developers must choose between allocating memory for graphics or something else. The end of a console Gen is disheartening sometimes because we want better but it is now that graphics have been tapped and other new innovative gameplay elements are introduced, ie. Last of us, beyond, AC3, & watch dogs.

I agree with u. I guess the market will decide.
ATi_Elite  +   793d ago
Next Gen is always defined by the Evolutionary leap in Graphics and the evolution of Graphics allows for greater Gameplay.

Period Point blank end of story.
Hicken  +   793d ago
Graphics don't allow for greater gameplay. They just make things look prettier.

Power, however, does. And more power is usually indicated by an improvement in graphics. But the graphics, themselves, have very little direct impact on gameplay.
BrutallyBlunt  +   793d ago
That's not entirely true Hicken, a game like Gran Turismo for example can have an impact based solely on graphics. Since Polyphony Digital tries to create a realistic simulator one thing that has evolved has been the graphics. By having higher poly-count modeled cars the gamer can then be that much more immersed in the sense of realism.

A game like Silent Hill could also be drastically changed due to the nature of the graphics. By using graphical output in fog they too can crease a better sense of realism since part of the game is based on mood and atmoshpere.

One of the reasons people marvel about God Of War is the graphics and as graphics become better and better the gamer then focuses less on how it looks and becomes immersed more into the game. People can invest a lot of money into graphics cards for their PC's and that is mainly to add greater depth and immersion to the game. The gameplay itself often doesn't change.
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mewhy32  +   792d ago
Sadly graphics play the biggest role. They shouldn't but they do.
AngelicIceDiamond  +   793d ago
Better graphics gives it an equal chance of better gameplay, Sound, AI, multiplayer and environment manipulation. So yeah, Graphics play a vital role in core mechanics in a game.
thezeldadoth  +   793d ago
people tend to forget that our economy is not doing well. You want a huge leap in graphics? Then prepare for company buyouts/merges, and more close downs because every single game will have to sell 10million to make a profit. What you would end up with is a very limited choice in library.

The ps2 generation was great. Games could profit off of 500,000 sales, and gamers played a wide array of games, even games rated 7/10. Nowadays people only play the top franchises and ignore a game for getting an 8.5 out of 10 on ign. Fanboys are ruining gaming, not the companies.
#2.1 (Edited 793d ago ) | Agree(6) | Disagree(6) | Report | Reply
DeadIIIRed  +   793d ago
Agreed. Story telling is something that can be and should be improved with the current generation of systems and I'm not sure how people think new consoles are going to help make a game more innovative and intelligent without first improving graphics, mechanics, and physics.
Tonester925  +   793d ago
Yes it does to the mass majority of gamers in this age. Better gameplay can be done without a Next-Gen console. I consider Next-Gen when we play our games in a different manner. Such as virtual reality.

Imagine the Danger Room in X-Men in real life! Now that's next-gen.
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Kran  +   793d ago
To me? No.

To most of the gaming community? Yes.

Whenever I read somebody mention "next gen" I think: They just want better graphics. They don't care about gameplay. All gamers do is hype up the game and how beautiful they are with their graphics, and then they get the game and it's not like they hoped for. Then another game comes along and looks even better and rinse and repeat, and yet all these other games with more comic style graphics are usually better with gameplay and people couldn't care less.
vortis  +   793d ago
To be honest,

if you play GTA IV with icEnhancer and the "realistic physics" mod, it's vastly different than playing a game like Gears of War or GTA: SA. The shootouts in GTA IV take on a completely different feel thanks to the graphics and physics, so I would say that yes I am part of the community where graphics do sway me in the way I interact and appreciate some games.

However, I think art-style plays a lot in how a game evolves graphically as well, such as Limbo or Lost in Shadow, which are also pretty cool.
Acquiescence  +   793d ago
I think next-gen is defined...
by a leap in technology. So not necessarily "better graphics", but something more substantial. In my mind there's no point in splashing out on a new console that proclaims it's next-gen if it doesn't offer that leap that seperates it from the current-gen.
Tonester925  +   793d ago
Yea like the leap from PS1 -> PS2-> PS3

Those were huge leaps! Especially the introduction of HD Televisions. I was AMAZED by the graphics. Some of my favorite games are still on PS2 because of the stellar gameplay.
neutralgamer19  +   793d ago
lol Why would i have expected something like this from a person with your name lol hahahahaha. Sadly ppl love to settle for less.

A stronger more powerful CPU amongst other things has always signified a leap to next gen or a more powerful system. With stronger cpus come better graphics generally. Before it also entailed color palette because system were also limited in that as well but thts not such a big issue anymore. Better graphics doesnt necessarily mean a better game but why settle for less when you can have gorgeous graphics and good gameplay?
CouldHaveYelledUiiW  +   793d ago
I agree with you, but I correct you by saying a more powerful system has ONLY the "POSSIBILITY" of offering better gameplay and better physics.

^ Kran and thezeldadoth (and others) make great points.

Have you noticed that there are less and less new games and that smaller game companies are finding it harder to make it in the console biz?
Have you seen the anger over ports and sequels- lack of new IPs.

Why is this?

Because this craving of "Powerful console systems" is costly/expensive. Not only to the end-user but to developers.

It would be different if every developer strove to max-out the physics and gameplay of every system but with concerns of budget and cost, it becomes more difficult to experiment.

Which is why there are sooooo many cookie-cutter FPSs... Do you think that it less likely to change or more likely to change?

to quote Kran: "rinse and repeat"
neutralgamer19  +   793d ago
By the way my comment was directed to "couldhave yelledwiiu"
Gridloc  +   793d ago
Less day one patches and broken games that shouldn't have been released would be a good start. If next gen consoles are what Cliffy the douche bag thinks they should be, good luck on a sub $400 price point. Unreal engine is very popular but Epic shouldnt be the ones dictating hardware specs. But on the other hand the 360 wouldn't be where it is without their recommendations.
mike1up  +   793d ago
Define... no. People expect better graphics, but I wouldn't say that they ultimately define next gen. By that logic, all consoles are "last gen" when compared to PC.

The SEGA 32x, SEGA CD, ATARI Jaguar, and NEO GEO all had better graphics than the Super Nintendo. I don't remember any of them being classified as another gen.

I think that most of the people on here just simply get off to bashing Nintendo. PS4 and 720 have no officially released specs either, yet they arrogantly claim superiority.
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mamotte  +   793d ago
"Better graphics" is a big concept; recently, gamers measure the "quality" in graphics with the "OMG it looks real!!!" rule. But, to be honest, I dont think any of them can see the difference between a game running in 720p and the same game in 1080p. Or, at least I cant see it.

So, the real question is, is realism in graphics the way next gen is going? If the answer is yes (and graphically praised games like Beyond is proof of it) the, I'll be sad. I mean, we play games to forget all about the world, is graphically the real world so good? Meh.

I'll choose Okami over the entire Uncharted series every day.
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Outside_ofthe_Box  +   793d ago
Some people want realism in their games, others don't. That is why there are different types of games for different types of people.

I believe a developer said this before, people that are looking for a "cartoony" look isn't going to see much improvement in graphics, while people that are looking for a photo-realistic look will see a significant improvement.

Look no further than movies for this. Look at Toy Story 1 compared to 3. One came out in 1995 and the other came in 2010 yet the graphical difference doesn't look like 15 year leap.
PopRocks359  +   793d ago
If the answer is yes then why don't all gamers just convert to PC?

I like nice graphics on my console like anyone else, but I'm not going to throw out my wallet for a game to look photo-realistic. Fuck that noise; substance > realism.
CyanideMatt  +   793d ago
I believe that next gen means better technology. Whether it be the engine, the way the game adapts to your character, the AI, the vastness of the game world, etc. I would like to believe when a good game is made for the next gen consoles they ask "what can we do to expand the identity of the console industry?" I'd like to believe that some may try to make a shooter with accurate physics, an RPG that truly adapts to your choices of the smallest nature, a Sim that allows you to build intricate systems, an AI that will adapt to the way you play. I'd like to believe that is what Next Gen is. Please gaming industry... prove me right.

Also Aesthetics > graphics
#12 (Edited 793d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
ShaunCameron  +   793d ago
To technophiles and hardcore gamers, yes.
ozzywazzy  +   793d ago
No. Because I'm a Nintendrone and I'll settle and be happy for mediocrity. Screw advancements in graphics and gameplay and everything else for that matter. Gimmicks and mediocrity for me! I can't wait for nintendo land, the graphics on that game are out of this world.
#14 (Edited 793d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(7) | Report | Reply
Dms2012  +   793d ago
No, but stupid questions seem to define this one.
TheLyonKing  +   793d ago
Graphics could stay the same as long as improvements such as more interactivity was made.

Unfortunately we are still in the stone age of gaming when it comes to sandbox games.
SpecialK  +   793d ago
To me the defining thing about this gen for consoles was the gigantic leap online connectivity. We went from some games having online multiplayer but it wasn't amazing and had no real community, to fully integrated communities, achievements and friend/ clan systems which have had a way bigger impact than graphics.

I reckon its partly whats caused this shooter craze going on, shooters and competitive online multiplayer just work and can have so many clan systems and community aspects that many gamers (myself included) just wernt used to.
greenlantern2814  +   793d ago
while i do think it is not just about graphics, you must admit that graphical leaps are a part of it. but improving on everything should be the goal. better a.i. better story, better online ( i'am looking at you sony) but to every one that thinks graphics dont matter ask your selves would you buy the next consoles if they came out and said hey every thing else will be much better but the games are gonna look the same
FinaLXiii  +   793d ago
In my opinion is really about adding new types of experiences where gameplay visuals and sounds come in a whole to make something outstanding sadly that wasnt the case for many games in the early days of this gen.

And the most important thing - more good games.
#19 (Edited 793d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
nano88  +   793d ago
not really but its part of it
NeoTribe  +   793d ago
Yes it does mean next gen. Same goes for better AI and game physics. Being able to have a lot going on and looking good while still maintaining a good framerate. Quit singling out graphics like that's the only thing people want. Better graphics come naturally with every new gen of consoles.
FinalomegaS  +   793d ago
Easy... What happens when the graphics can't get any prettier?

End of next-gen?

Our technological leap per cycle for graphics will reach that point,then what?
Dms2012  +   792d ago
Then the games will no longer be judged on graphics, that category will be gone and replaced with something else, like art direction.
JoNaZ_RG  +   793d ago
Not necessarily, but when you see those stunning graphics all you have in your mine is "When can I be able to get this console". If there is no good looking graphics, the eyes wouldn't get fed with the nice looking lighting. OVERALL: It DOES MATTER.
KontryBoy706  +   792d ago
Yes and it should. People should stop with the whole "graphics aren't important" argument. If that's the case would you be fine with Nintendo releasing another 16bit console? As long as it has good games right? How about seeing Uncharted 4 in 64bit instead? I don't think so. These days great gameplay is important but so are graphics too. Next gen needs an improvement in visuals as well as gameplay not one without the other.
Dark-vash  +   791d ago
Actually, I wouldn't mind getting another 16bits, as long as there are good games!
I recently bought Pier Solar for the Genesis/Mega Drive.

The most power full console never won the "war", so graphics are overrated! Not that i want to play Ucharted 4 on 64bit graphics, but I wouldn't mind playing a Chrono Trigger or a Comix Zone with 128bits or even 64!

Games sell systems, not otherwise, and we have seen this every gen... Ps1 over N64/Saturn, PS2 over GC/Xbox, DS Over PSP and Wii over PS3/Xbox!
Grafics does matter, but most of all it's what you do with it!
Tzunoy  +   792d ago
yes this is what they call a step forward.
DivineAssault  +   792d ago
Better graphics dont literally DEFINE next gen but they are important.. Especially when developers are asking for more power to fit in what they blueprinted without cutting out to make the game fit.. Innovation is important as well so they must work in harmony with each other.. Nintendos new gamepad for Wii U may set a standard in gaming & the competition may take the idea to new levels by adding features & putting more power into their machines.. Either way, we can control what happens in gaming... Only enjoy the products released & the competition between companies can only benefit us as they know that ridiculous prices wont move systems
kent80082007  +   792d ago
Nope, there's duller gameplay too

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