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Future Gaming: Focus More on Gameplay than Graphics?

You could argue with someone about when the next installations of consoles are coming in; and we already see the Wii U now. There are loads of rumors regarding the 'Xbox 720' or 'PS4' - so we might see future consoles in the coming years. When it's coming is anyone's guess, some may argue we are already in the next-generation since the Wii U 'is upon us'.

I'm a bit optimistic of the future of gaming, although I am intrigued. No doubt people ponder upon how the graphics of the next set of consoles will be amazing, and we have seen tech demos of such in short videos (like "The Samaritan" video). People gawked (and I admit, I have) over the graphics of this gen too: From Metal Gear Solid 4 to the Uncharted series; and coming up The Last Guardian, Uncharted 3, and Gears of War 3 as well as many others look amazing graphics-wise. But what is missing here?

No doubt people argue which is more important: Graphics or Gameplay. For me, Gameplay matters the most and graphics matter to an extent: I think this gen we have reached amazing graphics, but I think what devs and games lack the most in focus are most of the gameplay factors. A.I. is something, for example, I'd like to see built upon. In Shooters today, the enemy seems little improved as they'll just stand as shoot at you in shooters or they will lack intelligence in strategy or RPG games. I want to see them cover a wounded unit, or try to flank the player.

No doubt graphics can be amazing, and can change a lot - but having the same technical gameplay gimps in games that look photo realistic can really show, and can be predictable since you've been pretty much playing with them for years and years. Graphics are evolving, and there is no doubt about it - but can gameplay and related tech evolve just as fast and be the spotlight for once so we can have enemies outsmarting us like a Computer in Chess on hard?

Even recently Ubisoft wants to focus more on AI in future titles and next gen, and EA is saying that graphics are fine but things such as AI is awful and needs to be improved. Perhaps we don't need prettier graphics, how about a something that blows us away in terms of technicality? I'm not against Graphics, but I would like Gameplay's technicalities to catch up to speed.

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BiggCMan2454d ago

Nice read, I wholeheartedly agree. I love how graphics are right now, especially with certain mods on PC games. But the intelligence behind NPC's is just ok at best, and needs a drastic change. There are some games that have pretty intelligent A.I like Killzone, but it's rare. Having an intelligent A.I doesn't mean making a game harder either, just smarter. Like you said, in a shooter, smarter enemies will use cover much better, or protect the wounded. That doesn't make it harder, it just shows that the developers took the time to show some technical superiority.

a08andan2454d ago

Better A.I is one feature we are going to see with the release of next gen consoles ^^ Since those consoles won't support an higher resolution than 1080p (They might do after a firmware updated though), since there won't be that many people with a TV that has a resolution above that, the added processing power has to go somewhere! And A.I is one feature it can go to :)

Enate2454d ago

1080p is a great resolution those higher resolutions a minority of PC gamers play games at. Usually don't show any major difference worth mentioning. There is plenty of places for the new horse power to go at 1080p. There are already a ton of features graphics wise consoles would do well to run at high end. Tessellation being the most obvious and plenty more with new engines and the sort.

There are still games on PC that that people can not run without the highest end graphics card at 1080p 60fps. An even then some games still don't run at 1080p 60fps with the top end single gpu card. So yes there is plenty for that new horsepower to do at 1080p.

xX-StolenSoul-Xx2454d ago

Graphics are good and its pretty obvious with BF3 the graphics are over the top so we can only have 24 players online instead of 64. We may not have to upgrade yet since graphics arnt my biggest concern. Really i see a PS3/NextBox going to use motion gaming more which im not fond of. The wii u control will add gameplay changes which is what i really crave.

BiggCMan2454d ago

"We may not have to upgrade yet since graphics arnt my biggest concern." - There's many more people in this world than you my friend, and graphics are very important to lots of them. And they should be important, otherwise we wouldn't be seeing advancements in consoles. However, I don't think they should be a games only focus for the developer. Also, it's not just the player count that was changed in Battlefield 3 on consoles from the PC version. The maps are also smaller, and obviously the graphics won't touch what high end computers will be able to do. Plus, who wouldn't want 64 players in a game with jets, tanks, ATV's, and so much more, it's just great.

n to the b2452d ago

@BiggCMann: EXACTLY, bubs+. a better title would be, "Future Gaming: Focus As Much on Gameplay As Graphics?"

caseh2454d ago

For me 64 players is the limit, having played MAG and its 256 player battles it becomes an epic clusterf*ck...4 platoons, each with 4 squads of 8 players. Game was easily more enjoyable when played with 64 players.

Bigger maps are great as long as it doesn't take you close to 2 minutes to return to the action after respawning. For me BF3 having smaller maps/24 players is a bonus.

Ever tried securing an objective with 32 players throwing grenades at it? :D

bunfighterii2453d ago

Graphics and AI shouldn't be mutually exclusive. I think it's really a bit of a moot point these days anyway. I know of plenty of games with great graphics and gameplay- most of them I own. I do agree AI in some games has seen little improvement since oldschool days. I'm playing Deus Ex HR right now and the AI is really dumb.

However the games you highlighted, especially MGS4 (which is now 3 years old) still looks as good if not better than most games released these days, and the AI is totally awesome. I played through it again on BOSS Hard recently and it's fucking difficult. Not to mention the rest of the gameplay which is totally awesome. That's the perfect blend of graphics and gameplay. Also same with Killzone 2 and 3, and the Uncharted games, God of War III, Red Dead Redemption etc. All look great with awesome gameplay.

We shouldn't expect graphical powerhouses to have poor gameplay and vice versa. It's all about quality of dev teams, studios etc.

MacT2453d ago

Very good read, I personally prefer graphics over gameplay that's why i game on PC mostly.

The The Samaritan demo was made using 3 GTX 580's in SLI I believe and since the next xbox is going to be released on summer 2013 and its probably going to have an APU there's no way it will be able to produce such graphics.

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