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.'

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kneon2159d ago (Edited 2159d 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.

thezeldadoth2159d ago

then by all means, head to 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.

dcbronco2159d 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.

Machioto2159d 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.

ExCest2159d ago


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.

Biggest2159d 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_Box2159d 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.

gaffyh2158d ago

A new console generation has never meant just improved graphical capability, there have always been other improvements.

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-Gespenst-2159d ago (Edited 2159d 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.

Getowned2159d 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!

Biggest2159d 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-2159d 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.

Biggest2159d 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".

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joab7772159d 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_Elite2159d 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.

Hicken2159d 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.

BrutallyBlunt2159d ago (Edited 2159d 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.

mewhy322158d ago

Sadly graphics play the biggest role. They shouldn't but they do.

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AngelicIceDiamond2159d 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.

thezeldadoth2159d ago (Edited 2159d 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.

DeadIIIRed2159d 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.

Tonester9252159d ago (Edited 2159d 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.

Kran2159d 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.

vortis2159d 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.

Acquiescence2159d ago

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.

Tonester9252159d 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.

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