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Why Console Specs Don't Matter

AKR|1689d ago |Blog Post|32|

Oh yes, I'm going there.

It seems like every other day, there's a brand new article which contains new information about the brand-new 'next-gen' systems. Sometimes there's news of a quote from one of the developers, or PR department. Then sometimes there's news on one of the new games.

But most of the time - the main news that circulates these two systems - are news of their respective technical specifications. Yes, whenever it something like: "Console XYZ is using an 'XYZ' GPU" or "Console XYZ has 'XYZ' amounts of RAM" - people lose their heads and start singing songs of praise and/or chants of "in yo face!"

It baffles me as to how much people care about the technical specifications of these systems...I mean good grief, you'd think they helped build the thing. But what baffles me even more is that all of this hulla-ba-loo is being generated over c o n s o l e s.

Consoles have never been the go-to place for pure raw power. Once the 'specs' of the respective system is finalized and the unit is mass produced - that's it. The on-board parts never change. Storage capacity might get an upgrade, and maybe a newer model might improve heating and noise issues but that's as far as "upgrades" go. You can't physically go into the unit and upgrade it's specs - simply because that stuff is all locked up.

That's why I don't get why this whole debate about which system is more powerful, has suddenly become center stage. Yes, these discussions have existed from basically since the beginning ("Blast processing" and "Genesis does what Nintendon't" - come to mind) ~ but still, console specs don't really matter.

Let me give you an example.

Let's say there's this nice, sleek sports car. It has a powerful engine, great gas mileage, beautiful, high-tech interior ~ yeah - all that good stuff. But let's say that you just let it sit there, each day, just admiring it's beauty, because you can't drive it. No matter how great the power and features of that car are - you simply don't know how to pilot it properly.

In like manner, console's are similar to cars. Doesn't matter how good they are - if they don't have the proper drivers (read: games) - then their horsepower means little to nothing. Don't believe me? Well - just look at history. For the past 5 generations; counting from the 3rd-gen (when Nintendo revived the Atari-slain gaming industry) up until now - the weaker console has taken the crown.

SEGA Master System < NES
Neo Geo < SNES
N64 < PS1
PS3 < Wii

Even on the handheld field - the same game is being played


My point is - everyday the war continues about which new system is more powerful, and because it's so powerful - it's sure to take the crown - but yet as history stands; console specs and pretty graphics don't ensure an instant victory - games do. Honestly - how many people who buy game consoles care about things such as: "How much RAM does it have?" "What GPU is it using?" "How many cores does it have?"

Am I saying that neither of the new consoles have great games? No, not at all! But what I am saying, is that people seem to be more concerned about what resolution the games, what FPS it runs at, and what specs the system that will be powering the game has - more than actually sitting down and having...well - fun.

Besides - let's face it - the graphics road is starting to come to a gradual close. Things have evolved quite a whole lot from the 8-bit area, but now we've basically hit the top. Why do I say that? Just look at games like the Last of Us, Battlefield 4, Killzone: Shadow Fall, Project CARS, and GTA: V. They're basically border-lining "photo realism". Although the graphics of the 8th-gen are set to look better than what we saw during the 7th-gen, how much more do you think it will progress?

If you're going to argue over the tech-stuff like that; you might as well just be a full-on PC gamer, as they're really the only ones who need to worry about things like that.

Alright. I've given my two cents. Now fire away.

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black0o1689d ago

we care since its a new generation, and we hve two similar consoles so it's logic to based our disunion on the performance of those two and the best way is by comparing the spec

the launch window titles doesnt show what the consoles can truly do, so the spec are the easies way to tell which one will allow for better worlds/physics/AI ...etc down the line

P.S I kinda agree with u on some points and nice blog (Y)

darthv721688d ago

specs are a place holder for the real power of the platforms. That is the creativity behind the games.

I have seen things done on lesser systems that is an amazing testament to the creative drive that developers have. Or at least they used to have.

back in the day, where there were limitations, these guys had to find ways to take those limitations and make them work to their advantage. finding new ways around issues that would otherwise stall development of a project.

Since the generations of adding more memory and cpu power and graphical capabilities...its like developers are letting the hardware do the work instead of their own creative juices. it goes hand in hand actually.

An idea has to form for the dev to create it and see how it takes shape and you need the hardware capable of taking that idea and making it a virtual...reality. Giving all the freedom to move does not automatically make a great game.

In some odd way...i do miss those limitations as it really showed who had what it took to make more with less. Games like RangerX and gunstar heroes on a platform that had limited color pallet and no hardware scaling/rotational abilities managed to produce some impressive effects for the time.

It wasnt the specs that produced those was the talented staff and creative ambition that did.

SilentNegotiator1688d ago (Edited 1688d ago )

Developers definitely disagree that "specs don't matter". Ask The Metro 2033 dev, the Dynasty Warriors devs, Ted Price, Avalanche Studios, DICE, etc, etc, etc.

Wii U doesn't live up to most developers' and gamers' expectations. Even if you bump up your biweekly Wii U defense blogs to TRIweekly, nothing is going to change, ExtremeAzure. Just because weaker consoles usually do the best, doesn't mean that will be the case with a console that has failed to garner much attention even with an entire year lead.

We aren't talking about the minute differences of most generation's rivals or the demographic difference between PS3 and Wii. We are talking about system getting very little game support that doesn't have a non-gamer attraction to bring in the masses.

dantesparda1688d ago

"Why Console Specs Don't Matter" cuz you said so!

But for some reason i cant help but care about them, stupid me.

Ezz20131688d ago (Edited 1688d ago )

if specs don't matter ?!
then why every one is upgrading their pcs and buying next gen consoles to be able to experince new games that ask for better specs so the dev's can do what they want with their games with out the need to worry about if it possible or not

if specs don't matter then why dev's say "we can't do this because hardware limitations" and so on

fact is specs always matter

wtopez1687d ago

It's just some harmless fun. I mean when was the last time that we could compare specs of two systems being released at pretty much the same time? No one's getting hurt here. In a year everybody will have forgotten about how much specs matter and they'll just notice that the games look pretty much the same on both consoles, like last gen. Until then FLAME ON!

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 1687d ago
PopRocks3591689d ago

Better specs only offer the potential for better games, not a guarantee. Frankly I don't give a damn about how great Battlefield 4 looks. I care about how Kingdom Hearts III plays. Sometimes specs can play into that, but that has a lot more to do with programming and level design than anything else. It's why there are games in the NES that are hailed as masterpieces and there are games in generation seven that are considered trash.

Look no further than the Sonic series; older games are considered to be awesome and the later ones, for the most part, are considered crap. It's a simple matter of circumstance; only great developers can create great games, NOT the parts in your console/computer.

That's just my view; the more efficiently a developer can create a game that matches their vision is what should come first. The potential for better visuals and more on-screen enemies really should come second. It's why the PS4 holds far more potential than the PS3 ever did.

Nicaragua1688d ago

Your right, but you are on a site populated by hardcore game fans and overzealous fanboys - so we talk about this stuff because its important to us, i think everyone on here accepts that the casual gamer on the high street dosnt give a toss about specs.

So now that you have that off your chest you can go back to bumming Nintendo.

EXVirtual1688d ago (Edited 1688d ago )

Specs do matter. More than you think.
If you don't have the specs, you're not getting the games. And really, specs on consoles matter more than specs on PC, because you upgrade a PC at anytime, but when the console releases, it stays that way.

KH3 wouldn't look as good as it does and FFXV wouldn't have such great physics. Obviously, with PC guys, I get where they're coming from, but it's just pointless to repeat the same thing over and over again.

And listen, specs don't just offer good graphics, they offer better AI, bigger and more dynamic worlds and better physics, all of which factor massively in the gameplay.

Now with the Wii U, it isn't getting all the games because of the install base, but even if it was doing well, later on in the gen it would get some seriously watered down ports, or just miss out on games. Whether you like it or not, yes games do matter more than specs, but without decent specs, games like Watch Dogs and the Division especially would not be possible. You can't deny that fact. Plus, if a Zelda game that was made on hardware similar to the XB1/PS4 specs, I would jump to the roof.

And I saw PopRocks comment and he's right about the Sonic games, but if the modern Sonic games were developed by someone better, maybe they would've surpassed the classic ones.

That's not to say that devs should keep making the same recycled crap near the end of the gen, but I'll need to explain in more detail later.

dantesparda1688d ago

Graphics dont matter is what people with systems with weaker graphics say

isarai1688d ago

Specs matter, just not as much as games and how they use that power. and Sony has more than proven it can make tons of amazing games at a steady rate, that is only made better by it's more powerful specs. I mean who would not like to see a Zelda game on a machine with specs similar to that of XB1 or PS4? you can't tell me that idea doesn't sound more exciting than it being on a machine with similar specs to PS3/360.

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