For the past few weeks, almost a month, there has been a very easily noticed trend in gaming news. For awhile, it's been BF3 news, then anything John Carmack of id Software had to say, then back to BF3 news; rinse and repeat ad nauseum.
That's fine and everything, except that the problem is that the discussion was always about PC this, graphics that, Ultra settings blah blah blah.
Go into the comments section, and you'll see ePenis measuring contests where PC fanboys talk incessantly about what kind of rig they have, and how their PC will output at "teh uber grfx rezolushun" and it's not really their fault. It's the developers fault.
Gaming is becoming all about the graphics. All about the damn gloss, the flash of the game. All you hear now is about tessellation, DX11, MLAA, and even light sources when talking about a game.
No one talks about the actual game anymore. It's all about how it looks, and who has the best looking version. And why is that? Because of the developers.
If you look at development this gen, you'll see that most development studios are merely followers, not innovators. Coasters, not risk-takers. If you want to be successful this gen, it takes only two things. One, make an FPS with CoD online. Two, focus on the graphics. Hell, this gen may as well have been filled with CoD and its clones but all outputted with high end graphics because that's all that seems to matter.
You RARELY hear about a game's story, or its music, or its characters anymore. And it makes games like El Shaddai, Demon/Dark Souls, or LittleBigPlanet seem like revelations in gaming because they don't focus on the graphics, they focus on style, gameplay, interaction and the like.
Having been a gamer for over 20 years, if I were to be asked what platform was the greatest for gaming of all time, I'd simply say the SNES. Sure, later consoles did have great gaming experiences, but for my money the SNES had the best and most of them all. Games back then were all about story, music, and characters. But that's nostalgia talking and we have to live in the Present.
Presently, I can't really agree with the direction gaming is going. If you make games all about the graphics, you eliminate the need for consoles altogether because PC will always surpass consoles in that arena due to having an open hardware format. Consoles are great because they have unique gaming experiences you won't find on PC, they are made to work universally rather than requiring various tweaks and setting alterations due to the unending amount of configurations out there on PC, and quite simply are far more convenient/far less of a hassle.
But games are focusing too much on flash, the substance is being drained out. It's gotten to the point where gaming may as well be CG movies rather than games because all anyone cares about is how a game looks.
Graphics are the most superficial aspect of a game. In reality, we constantly hear about how we shouldn't "judge a book by its cover" so to speak, but that's all that's been happening in gaming. It's like giving a really attractive woman a job she is dangerously underqualified for just because she's hot, versus a woman who is perfect for the job not getting it because she isn't what society deems as attractive.
Games should be about gameplay, story, music, ambiance, character development first and graphics way last.
But it looks like it'd take another game market crash like the one in 1983 to change the direction gaming is going, and I really don't want to see that happen.
Maybe I'm making more of it than it is, but I'm worried about graphics being the center of everything these days.