So far, the most we've seen from next generation graphics is primarily from Sony's Playstation 4 reveal event. We've seen the machine supposedly running game engines that look pretty close to CGI visuals that you would sometimes see in an animated movie. Technologically speaking, it's pretty cool. It certainly has many Sony fans excited, with many wondering where that leaves the upcoming new Xbox console.
However, I feel there is a risk here with this kind of hype. What I would not like to see is what happened with this past generation when Gears of War came out. There is not THE way to make a game look great, but many different ways. Thankfully, during the same generation, Journey on the PS3 and Super Mario Galaxy on the Wii were releasrd. A downloadable indie title and a Wii game, both of which looked stunning at the time. This sort of stylization has almost universally always appealed to me far more than realistic graphics in video games ever have.
That isn't to say that I was not impressed by the Killzone or InFamous demos, mind you. Both trailers looked really impressive from a technical standpoint. But like with Gears of War, I am not interested in a multitude of copycat games to follow. Around that time, shooter games were released almost annually, with many unoriginal concepts and bland, boring visuals being brought to light. I'd prefer not to see this happen again.
Now before you start typing onto your keyboard how "wrong" I am or how I am "being bias" or this or that, just think about it for a moment. First and foremost, I'm not saying we're necessarily heading into that direction right now, but that we can head in that direction if developers start to believe that ultra realistic and violent games is all the industry wants.
Second, I'm sure the obvious implication here is that I'm worried about seeing less Nintendo games. Well, let me put that retort to rest like so; Nintendo makes Nintendo games and I don't need that from Sony or Microsoft. But Nintendo doesn't produce all of the games I like to play; Splosion Man is one of my favorite games of the past generation and Tearaway is a magnificent looking game that's only on the Playstation Vita. Portal 2 from Valve is probably one of my favorite games in the past decade. Games with stylized and fun visuals as oppose to gritty, ultra realistic ones are typically what appeal to me most and I would like it much more if the industry does not lose sight of this.
I suppose we'll see in about two or three years.