The Next-Gen Launch Power Debacle
First of all, let me just say that this is not going to be me harping on as to which of the next-gen consoles are more powerful. Because it's very obvious that it's the PS4. You can look at the spec sheets and the comments from 3rd party devs and even MS and you'll find the answer. This is going to be about whether or not the next-gen consoles will hold up in terms of performance throughout the gen. I'm not going to be attacking the PC either. This is just a blog with educated reason to it.
So the main reason as to why there's this debacle about the power of the consoles is none other than BattleField 4. A game from EA. A company that was voted the worst in America. Yeah. But more so, the game comes from DICE. You know where this is going, right?
You see, DICE is a mainly PC developer. We all know that. I've also never seen a game that looks like night and day between consoles and PC to the extent that games like BF3 and Mirror's Edge do. That's something that you must keep in mind. In fact, from what I've heard, the PC is where EA get's most of it's money. Again, just keep that in mind. FB3 is also a very un-optimized engine.
I don't how many times I've said it, but we're talking about rushed, cross-gen, multiplatform, un-optimized launch games that we haven't even seen the final versions of. They're not going to showcase the full power of the PS4 and the XBO. It's just not going to happen. In particular, we're talking about the one next-gen launch game that runs at less than 1080p AT THE MOMENT. Not even 720p smack on apart from the XBO. Don't forget, BF4 runs at 60fps, with a 64 player online mode, building destruction and vehicle use and it's a launch game. A rushed and un-optimized launch game. And again, it's ONE game people. Every thing else is either running at a full 1080p @ 30/60fps. AAA games at that. So why does one game, from EA out of all companies decide what resolution this gen will be in? Trust me, the gen will be in 1080p, even when devs have to upscale it a bit later on. I know KI runs at 720p, but I'm 100% sure that it's just lazy optimization on Double Helix's part. They're the devs who made Silent Hill: Homecoming, remember.
I understand that these consoles have PC like architectures (they are quite custom at the same time), but there are still bottlenecks like multithreading to be bypassed, driver updates and of course, optimization. You don't need to look any further back than the launch of the PS3 and 360 and compare to now. Look at GTA4 and compare to GTA5. GTA5 has much better graphics, physics simulation and a world more than twice as big as GTA4. That was accomplished on 7 year old tech. Hell, there was an article that talked about the evolution of graphics in the 7th gen alone. Don't forget that the 360 also had a very developer friendly architecture and can pump out some pretty impressive looking games 8 years after launch.
If the 360 can run GTA5 as well as it can, 8 YEARS after launch, imagine what the XBO will be able to do. If the PS3 can handle the Last Of Us so well and if the PS4 can run an open world game like inFamous Second Son 3 months after launch at 1080p native 30fps as well as the Division in 1080p (not sure what frame rate it is) with great graphics and awesome physics as well as being an online game? If the PS4 can also run FFXIV and Deep Down (which has amazing graphics BTW), online games that come out slightly a year after launch at 1080p native @ 60fps, what do you think it'll be able to do later on in the gen? When Sony said they have a custom architecture, they were not kidding.
We're going to see ball bustingly good looking and amazing physics in 1080p, but the standard frame rate will be 30fps by the end of the gen. In the middle (2-4 years) about 40-45, with devs that aren't lazy. I don't know why it's such a huge problem, seeing as console gamers have been used to 30 fps or less for as long as I can remember, jumping into the 3D era. That's not to say frame rate doesn't matter, but I'm just Saiyan. There was also something that a dev said a while ago. Something along the lines of: 'In 1 or 2 years, you'll be blown away with the PS4 and the XBO' That's coming from a developer, not me. But it should be common sense that launch games don't decide how the whole gen is going to be like. When Naughty Dog shows off their new PS4 game, jaws will be dropped. Also, I don't think this gen will last more than 7 years. I really don't. Definitely not 10 years. I think what Sony and MS mean is that that's how long they're going to produce the consoles for.
If you're expecting the best graphics or a difference between the PS4 and XBO at launch, then you're in for a disappointment. Before we start any legitimate comparisons, it's going to be at least a year after launch. One game launch game (BF4) does not decide the resolution for the gen. What all camps are debating on right now is the performance of the consoles at launch. Lastly, all this talk about next gen graphics has been solely based on games with realistic art styles. Have you ever thought of how the PS4 would handle games with a cel-shaded art style, or a cross between realistic and cel-shaded? Just some food for thought.
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EDIT: I know that the leap is not huge. Alright? It's significant, but not huge. I know all of that alright. I can read. That doesn't mean that the graphics will not advance. What do you want me to say to get that through some of your heads? Because it should be common knowledge. And guys, you would be complaining if these consoles were a ginormous leap. Why? Because they'd be expensive as hell! Remember the PS3? That was when the economy for the US was better than now. So what do you want the 9th gen to be like. How big of a leap. PS2-PS3 leap? Or PS3-PS4 leap?